Chapter 308: The Fang Family’s invitation
Xu Tingsheng actually did not have much luggage with him. There was just a backpack, without even a single suitcase.
Speaking of packing luggage, it is actually around the same for everyone. Most of the time is spent trying hard to recall ‘did I or did I not miss something out’ before comparing each item mentally for confirmation.
Otherwise, it is very hard to feel reassured.
Xu Tingsheng finished packing his luggage, finished checking everything off in his mind. Then, he sat quietly by the window and admired the night view of Nice, the neon lights, flowing traffic and bustling crowds as well as the ocean not far away in the distance.
People are very strange sometimes. While they are clearly viewing images of great noise and commotion, they instead feel exceptionally calm in doing so.
Never would the calm Xu Tingsheng have thought that back in his native country, in Yanzhou, there was a killing tribulation just awaiting his return.
In his two lifetimes, especially this post-rebirth one, Xu Tingsheng had actually provoked quite a few people, attracted quite a bit of trouble. Still, speaking of those who truly would move directly against his life, Ding Sen might be the very first one.
It was not that Xu Tingsheng had never considered that Ding Sen might resort to more extreme methods. He had judged Ding Sen to be such a person, and something had really happened to Huang Yaming, further proving this.
Still, as a normal, law-abiding citizen in his previous life, in Xu Tingsheng’s subconscious mind, having ended up making an enemy out of someone, suffering a bit of retaliation was something which was really only to be expected. Yet, to say that someone would lightly target your life in a lawful society, hiring someone to kill you? This sort of thing only happens in novels or in dramas or movies, right?!
Therefore, Xu Tingsheng had truly never realised that things were already as serious as this.
After he had looked out of the window for some time, the phone in the room rang.
Xu Tingsheng was somewhat taken aback by this. He had stayed in this hotel for so many days, but the phone in his room had never rang before. It was also impossible that someone might be looking for him via this number.
His attention piqued, a rather curious Xu Tingsheng picked up the phone.
“Sir, want a lady? Golden-haired beauty, cheap.”
Some horribly-accented Chinese now resounded over the phone which he was only barely able to understand.
Xu Tingsheng felt flabbergasted. When had someone started paying attention to him? Also…such professional sales, with even Chinese having been said. While there had merely been a few phrases, they had been so direct and clear in their meaning…this was from practice!
“You probably only know how to say this, right?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
“Want, or don’t want?” The other party asked, apparently really being able to say more than that.
“Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers…” Xu Tingsheng said.
“Want, or don’t want?” The other party asked.
“How much wood would a woodchuck chuck…” Xu Tingsheng replied.
“Want, or don’t want?” The other party asked.
“Do you put in the mapo first or the tofu first for mapo tofu?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
The other party hung up.
It looked like they only knew those two lines. Other than that, they probably understood the answer to ‘want or don’t want’ too.
Xu Tingsheng laughed for a while before pondering on the matter. This should be related to the boss of this small hotel. Only he could have provided his room number and telephone number, also being aware that he was Chinese and had stayed here alone for quite a number of days.
Of course, there was no need to get mad and chastise him over it. He might even have done so with good intentions in mind…a solitary youth, long, lonely nights…
The French really loved their guests.
Xu Tingsheng took out his phone and turned it on.
There already weren’t many missed calls on the screen. Over the past few days, most people had already gotten used to his phone being switched off. Correspondingly, the number of text messages he had received were beyond number. Xu Tingsheng briefly glanced through them. One of them was actually from Fang Yuqing.
“When are you coming back? My Grandpa wants to meet you,” Fang Yuqing had typed.
Xu Tingsheng sat upright at once.
Xu Tingsheng did not have much connections in the bureaucracy. Presently, the Fang Family behind Fang Yuqing and Fang Chen was his greatest connection there. In truth, however, he had never truly interacted with the Fang Family before.
He desired this greatly. Still, he had never received such a chance.
Others might not know of this, such as those of the Black Horse Club who were unable to see through Xu Tingsheng, merely judging through his interactions with Fang Yuqing that he should have deep ties with the Fang Family, thereby mistakenly believing that he himself might possess a background with strength comparable to that of the Fang Family.
This ‘misunderstanding’ was actually very crucial for Xu Tingsheng. It decided the attitude and trust that many people had towards him.
Now, Fang Yuqing had told Xu Tingsheng that his Grandpa, the Fang Family’s Fang Guohou, former high-ranking member of the Provincial Party Committee, had personally asked to see him. After feeling slightly emotional and excited, Xu Tingsheng felt uneasy and doubtful, just being unable to get his head around this.
“Your Grandpa wants to meet me? Why?” Xu Tingsheng sent a reply.
“Heck, you’ve finally replied. I don’t know why he’s looking for you. He just suddenly found me and told me this. Then, when I said that you’re overseas right now, Grandpa told me to tell him when you’re back and invite you over to our house to meet him,” Fang Yuqing soon replied him.
Xu Tingsheng scratched his head and considered this but still could not make head or tail of this matter after a while as he eventually replied, “I’m a bit panicked. He isn’t thinking of blaming me for leading you into a ditch, right? Help me see what it’s about.”
Fang Yuqing replied, “Impossible. I didn’t stir up anything recently. I did ask about it, but my sis wouldn’t tell me.”
“Right. She probably knows but isn’t willing to say it. Recently, my Grandpa, uncles, aunts and my sister as well shut themselves twice in the study to discuss something. It seems like there’s something major going on.”
“Something major?” Related to me?” Xu Tingsheng was really panicked this time as from his usual interactions with Fang Yuqing, he had learnt that Old Mister Fang had formerly been a hardcore combatant in the Sino-Vietnamese war.
“I’m just randomly guessing, because there’s really no other explanation.”
“…Tell me what you’ve guessed then. What should it be about? Please.”
“Actually, I did guess something, but I’m afraid that it might scare you.”
“It’s fine, just say it.”
“I think they might be planning to marry my sister off to you, because when we were eating at home some time ago, my father suddenly strangely said to my sister that it wouldn’t be bad if she found someone who’s doing business. Also, it would be best if it isn’t related to our Fang Family’s sphere of influence. He even said that it’d be best if we didn’t put all our eggs in one basket. They never used to think this way before. I’ll also tell you, my sister herself also once mentioned this to me before. It’s not that she likes you, it’s just that she wants to make use of you to solve her problems.”
Xu Tingsheng was truly scared by this. This was Fang Chen…‘bitter enemy’ Fang Chen, old demoness Fang Chen, ‘love rival’ Fang Chen…if she had designs on someone, shouldn’t that be Apple…could it be that she truly had designs on Apple? It couldn’t be that the seniors of the Fang Family were helping her in this, right?
Waiting for a while and seeing that no reply was forthcoming, Fang Yuqing sent Xu Tingsheng another text, “Are you doing okay?”
His hands trembling, Xu Tingsheng replied with, “They don’t know that your sister…”
Fang Yuqing quickly sent the reply, “Of course they don’t know! Otherwise, all hell would have broken loose way back.”
Xu Tingsheng, “You’ve scared me.”
Fang Yuqing, “Don’t be panicked now. That was just a random guess. How about you ask my sister yourself?”
Xu Tingsheng, “Are you dumb? What am I supposed to ask your sister? Are you planning to get married with me?”
Fang Yuqing, “Well, there’s no way about it then. You’d better wait till you’ve seen my Grandpa. If that really is the case, it can’t be that he’d just force her onto you, right?”
Xu Tingsheng, “That’s true.”
Fang Yuqing, “Still, with my Grandpa’s personality, he might just force her onto you for real.”
Xu Tingsheng, “…”
Fang Yuqing, “When will you be coming back?”
Xu Tingsheng, “Flight’s tomorrow.”
Fang Yuqing, “Oh, great.”
Xu Tingsheng, “Don’t tell your Grandpa yet. Let me prepare myself first.”
After ending his exchange with Fang Yuqing, Xu Tingsheng carefully scrutinised its contents from top to bottom a couple of times over, also inserting everything he knew about the Fang Family as he sought to see if there was something which even Fang Yuqing had overlooked.
This was something that Xu Tingsheng had done most often ever since his rebirth, pondering over an issue and the clues surrounding it as he sought to see through what lay behind them.
The first possibility that Xu Tingsheng saw was the same as what Fang Yuqing had seen.
Still, this wouldn’t actually be very serious. As Fang Yuqing had said, these things could not be forced. Even if the seniors of the Fang Family really had such intentions, Xu Tingsheng could definitely resolve this by talking with Fang Chen. And if Fang Chen was adamant on playing him, he would just lose some things in rejecting them at most.
What truly caused Xu Tingsheng to feel fearful was the second possibility, which was that the Fang Family was facing an imminent crisis, a crisis so great that Old Mister Fang was already beginning to try to arrange a way out for his descendants.
“I really hope I am wrong.”