Chapter 322: Two meals, three games (2)
Leaving Wu Kun’s house, getting on the car.
“Tingsheng, come to my house for lunch tomorrow afternoon. My Grandpa knows that you’re back,” Fang Yuqing suddenly said.
“Huh? Didn’t I ask you not to tell your Grandpa?” Xu Tingsheng exclaimed.
“It was Fang Chen, that old demoness who told Grandpa.”
“…What will happen if I don’t go?”
“It’ll be very troublesome, I guess. My Grandpa has a pretty bad temper,” Fang Yuqing said.
The next day, Xu Tingsheng visited the Fang family with a bag of tea leaves that his mother had personally made. There, he saw the old man of the Fang family, Fang Guohou. He was a former provincial bigwig.
When eating lunch, the old man did not say anything. To be precise, no one at the dining table said a single word throughout the course of the entire meal, including the usually courageous Fang Chen and Fang Yuqing.
After lunch, Xu Tingsheng meekly followed the old man into his study.
Fang Yuqing wanted to follow them in but was shooed away with a wave of the old man’s hand.
Four whole hours passed.
Feeling anxious from the waiting, Fang Yuqing asked Fang Chen, “What exactly does Grandpa want with Tingsheng?”
Fang Chen replied, “How would I know?”
Fang Yuqing asked, “Could he…could he be asking him to marry you?”
Fang Chen was taken aback for a moment before she said, “That’s fine too! Who sleeps who? If I marry Xu Tingsheng, I may even have the chance to sleep together with Apple. He plays me, I play Apple…the hell, I feel so stimulated just thinking about it. No, I’ve got to go ask Grandpa to get things settled like this.”
Fang Yuqing had a pained expression on his face as he asked, “Fang Chen, can you not harm my bro?”
“How come you’re letting your bro harm me then?” Fang Chen shot back in exasperation.
“Not him. It’s Tan Yao.”
“Tan Yao? What’s he done to you?”
“He stole my women.”
“…I’ve observed and probed him a couple of times. He seems to like you.”
“…I heard that Ye Qing seems to like him.”
The two completely strayed off topic in their conversation till Xu Tingsheng respectfully exited the study. Next, someone supported Old Mr Fang back to his bedroom as the old man looked rather tired and spiritless.
Fang Chen rushed straight over, grabbing Xu Tingsheng’s collar, “You, you made my Grandpa mad?”
Xu Tingsheng ignored her and extended a hand towards Fang Yuqing for a handshake, after which he said, “Congratulations, Fang Yuqing, CEO of Zhicheng Real Estate. Also, one more thing. Your Grandpa asked me to tell you to bring Yuqing back to see him when you have the time. He’ll speak to your parents about this.”
Fang Yuqing was flabbergasted as he asked hesitantly, “Grandpa said that?”
Xu Tingsheng nodded, “Your Grandpa said that.”
Fang Yuqing had still yet to recover when Fang Chen came over and pushed Xu Tingsheng, saying, “Stop taking advantage of the two of us, yo!”
After a while, she asked, “Did Grandpa say anything about me?”
Xu Tingsheng considered this for a bit before replying, “No. With your status, you’re still not qualified enough to be mentioned in our high summit.”
“I don’t believe you,” Fang Chen said, “Did Grandpa ask you to marry me?”
Seeing her shameless face and knowing what it was that she was thinking, Xu Tingsheng replied mockingly, “He did mention it briefly, but I answered: I’m neither crazy nor a fool. How would I possibly do something like that? The old man knew that what I said was right, and so he didn’t force me.”
Fang Chen had just been about to blow up when Fang Yuqing regained his wits and pulled at Xu Tingsheng, asking, “How is it possible? I don’t get it. How would Grandpa agree to this? Also, why was it you of all people whom he said it to? Did he also tell you anything else?”
Xu Tingsheng said, “No, nothing.”
Actually, there had definitely been something else. It was just that he couldn’t say it, especially not to Fang Yuqing.
Xu Tingsheng had previously speculated on what the old man might say and how he might go about saying it. Contrary to his predictions, Old Mr Fang had spoken very candidly. The earlier conversation between the two had actually been a deal in which the Fang family had given Xu Tingsheng some benefits before asking some things of him.
Xu Tingsheng’s earlier guess had been proven to be true.
Xu Tingsheng had not refused what the old man had asked of him. He was willing to do so in the first place. After all, Fang Yuqing was his bro and Fang Chen could also be considered a friend. As for other people and other matters, just saying yes for now would not be a problem.
Still, this would not prevent Xu Tingsheng from shamelessly making use of this chance to fish for more benefits.
For instance, while it seemed as though letting Fang Yuqing be CEO at Zhicheng Real Estate really benefited him, the true beneficiary was none other than Xu Tingsheng. This entailed that he would truly have a powerful background and support for a period of time in the near future. Also, the support that was given to him would virtually be all out and with no strings attached.
“Impossible! This is the first time Grandpa has seen you. How could he possibly trust you so much? Letting Yuqing be the CEO of your new real estate company is equivalent to telling everyone that you are backed by the Fang family. Just how are you qualified?” Fang Chen asked.
“Right, that’s what it means. Still, it actually wasn’t so simple,” Xu Tingsheng smiled, “After entering the study, the old man asked me to play three games of Chinese chess with him. He said that if I had the ability to win him once, he would trust in my ability, and if I lost, I should just scram.”
“That’s impossible. Grandpa always played with those professional players before, and he was basically evenly matched with them. How could you defeat him? You’re that good at the game?”
“Just average,” Xu Tingsheng smiled, “I played the first game very earnestly, taking out all I had. That’s basically equivalent to the general standard of primary school students. I lost the game in three minutes.”
“I knew it. What then?”
“In the second game, knowing the gap in our strength, I actually only had one goal in mind, to exchange our pieces, randomly exerting all means and doing whatever I could to exchange our pieces and dwindle his forces. When two sides are far from evenly matched, this is the best way to draw their standards closer.”
“And then you won?”
“I lost. This game went on for around five minutes, I think. I held on for two minutes longer than in the first game. You need skill even to exchange pieces. My level of proficiency isn’t enough,” Xu Tingsheng answered honestly.
“So, you won the third game?”
“But that’s impossible! Didn’t you say that there’s a great gap in strength?”
“That’s right, ultra great. But I still won anyway.”
“How did you win?”
“Your Grandpa has a hasty temperament.”
“He’s getting on in years, his body tiring easily and his spirit insufficient.”
“I’m still young and full of vitality.”
“I took over twenty minutes to make every single move, suddenly releasing loud, abrupt cries of ‘aha!’ countless times in doing so before retracting my hand again when the piece was just mere inches away from the chess board…and then continuing to think.”
“Whenever the old man felt tired and wanted to close his eyes to rest a bit, I would go resolutely let out another ‘aha!’.”
“Then, I continued thinking…aha…and continued thinking…heh, aha…it’s your turn, wait, no, let me think again…aha…”
“Stop! I can’t listen on any longer…what happened then?”
“Your Grandpa surrendered.”
“…How could you be this shameless?” Fang Chen exclaimed.
Beside her, Fang Yuqing nodded, expressing his deep agreement.
Xu Tingsheng replied shamelessly, “That’s exactly how your Grandpa praised me. Still, he also said that I’m courageous and resourceful too…and can accurately read the situation and act accordingly. Your Grandpa has a discerning eye indeed!”
“…Even this worked? How is that possible?”
“Of course it’s possible. In playing chess with your Grandpa, however you look at it, this is the sole advantage that I possess. I was able to find this sole chance at victory and also had the courage to make use of this advantage to secure an upright and aboveboard victory. Your Grandpa was completely won over by my methods.”
“Tsk, there should be a time restriction when playing chess in the first place. If there had been a time restriction…”
“Maybe he forgot about it …or maybe he didn’t say it on purpose. Otherwise, there would have been no need for these three games in the first place.”
The conversation inside the study had obviously not just been about their three games. For instance, during their second game, the old man had said, “Exchanging pieces, huh. I hope that when you have to do this one day, when what you grasp in your hands that is at stake aren’t chess pieces, you will still have the courage and awareness to steel your heart and make these necessary sacrifices.”
Xu Tingsheng looked first at Fang Yuqing, then at Fang Chen…