Chapter 112: You wouldn’t understand
Xu Tingsheng received a call from Mr Xiang that night without incident.
Little Xiang Ning’s super ultra male home tutor had officially been employed. Every Saturday afternoon and evening thereafter, Xu Tingsheng would be giving Xiang Ning tutoring sessions.
The reason for this arrangement in timing was that Yanzhou University and Xiang Ning’s house, one being in southwestern Yanzhou with the other being in northwestern Yanzhou, were indeed rather far apart. If the two tutoring sessions were on every Friday and Saturday night, Mr and Mrs Xiang thought that it might be rather inconvenient for Xu Tingsheng.
The good part about this was that Xu Tingsheng would be able to eat dinner at the same table as Xiang Ning every weekend.
The bad part? It was the same as the good part. Xu Tingsheng was worried that he might not be able to grip his chopsticks properly, or perhaps might even suddenly fall into a daze with food in his mouth one day, being thought to have mental disabilities by his future in-laws afterwards.
After having been notified, due to guilt, Xu Tingsheng sent Gu Yan a message via QQ.
Xu Tingsheng said: I hope you won’t mind it. The hourly rates of this home tutor job are not high anyway, and it’s also far. As a 1-Star home tutor, there’re no end of positions out there waiting for you. Don’t be too hung up over this.
Just happening to be online at the time, Gu Yan replied: What tricks did you use?
“Is acting pitiful to gain sympathy counted?” Xu Tingsheng thought before resolutely denying: I really didn’t.
Gu Yan said: I don’t believe you.
Xu Tingsheng felt that he really had no way to communicate with this girl.
Gu Yan asked: Why did you take on a home tutor job? Mr Boss.
This question was one Xu Tingsheng had already considered, having specifically prepared an explanation for the many whom he knew would be asking it: In order to experience the job of home tutoring, including the trial tutoring and competition selection system, thereby being better equipped to improve the service of the platform.
Gu Yan said: I don’t believe you.
Xu Tingsheng went offline.
Afterwards, he gave the same explanation to Old Wai, Li Linlin and the rest of Hucheng. As for whether they believed him or not, that really had nothing to do with him anymore.
Xu Tingsheng felt incomparably relieved that he had not let Huang Yaming, Fu Cheng and Song Ni participate in the affairs of Hucheng Education. Otherwise, as soon as the name Xiang Ning was exposed, this matter would really be blown up then.
If they knew that the person within Xu Tingsheng’s heart was a fifteen-year-old girl who was currently still only in eighth grade, what kind of a ‘world-shaking catastrophe, stormy downpour of blood’ would that be!
Perhaps even Apple would kill her way over upon learning of it.
Over the next two days, Xu Tingsheng helped out with the matters of the platform whilst conscientiously preparing for his tutoring sessions in his free time, doing it with even more earnestness than when he had taught graduating classes in his previous life.
He did not intend for their future home tutoring sessions to be warm, pleasant interactions. Xu Tingsheng would go all out and enforce full strictness, because Xiang Ning definitely had to make it into a first-tier school.
For Xiang Ning, as well as for himself, so as not to let Xiang Ning meet that ‘Wang Lihong’, Xu Tingsheng had decided that he would work hard.
The only exceptions were his prank-like yet blissful endeavours as he…researched on how to say ‘I love you’ in a few obscure languages, next jotting them down and practising them repeatedly.
The precondition for this was the obscureness of the foreign language in question. Otherwise, if Xu Tingsheng suddenly came on with a ‘salanghei’ someday, the girl who loved watching Korean dramas would immediately understand and be scared off.
Xu Tingsheng had jotted down things like the Hungarian ‘Szeretlek’, the Czech ‘Miluji te’…
Leaning back on his bed, Xu Tingsheng looked at the entire page full of ‘i love you’s illuminated by the warm yellow light.
“In this life, just how many ‘I love you’s that you don’t understand will I have to say before you grow up? Before I can finally say the real, understandable ‘I love you’? Just like how I used to in the past.”
As the platform progressed rapidly, Old Wai and Li Linlin were very busy, as was Lu Zhixin.
She had at least managed to maintain a businesslike manner of interaction that Xu Tingsheng was very comfortable with. These past two days, she had not talked much with Xu Tingsheng, but when they had talked, all they had discussed were business-related matters, such as Hucheng’s expansion into other cities, when they might start charging fees for the platform and also the establishment of an autonomous training institute.
Currently, Hucheng already possessed a certain level of foundation due to its development. However, at the same time, its daily expenses were growing greater and greater as well, with money flowing only out rather than in. The situation of just sitting there and eating the mountain dry was a worrying one.
Therefore, it seemed like charging fees from parents as an intermediary was already absolutely necessary.
Xu Tingsheng held a meeting with all of Hucheng. Apart from Xu Tingsheng, everyone was unanimous on the issue. When parents had searched for home tutors in the past, they had already gotten used to paying fees to intermediary organisations. Therefore, with Hucheng’s current place in the market as well as the standard of its service, as long as the fees that it charged were not too high, this decision should not cause too much dissent.
Actually, when he had conceptualised the platform, Xu Tingsheng had wanted to keep it forever free of charge, using a model similar to that of 360 Free Antivirus that had appeared in the year 2005 as well as 58.com afterwards. Hr wanted to accumulate a customer base through its free service before earning profits through other avenues.
Now, however, with Hucheng still yet to establish its own training institute, organisational recruitment service as well as sale of teaching materials proxy service, Xu Tingsheng felt that it might be very tough for them to continue down this path of keeping their basic service forever free of charge.
“Let’s delay it for a little while longer. You guys come up with a proper price as well as the specific details first. I’ll think more on it.”
This was Xu Tingsheng’s final decision. While it was met only with confusion and opposition, Xu Tingsheng stood by what he had decided. He was still hesitating, still searching for a suitable opportunity.
The previous day, Xu Tingsheng had received a call from the publishing company that had purchased his revision materials when he was in twelfth grade. They had requested him to provide them with some mock questions for this year’s university entrance examinations, having offered him a very high price in doing so.
However, Xu Tingsheng had refused.
This call had forced Xu Tingsheng to face something he had always been hesitant about in the face:
Should he exploit his grasp of the university entrance examination questions of the upcoming years, especially in History, to do something? If so, what should he do such that he would not be exposed, such that he would not bring about too great a level of unfairness?
This was a chance whilst also a challenge. Xu Tingsheng could not decide.
Huang Yaming, Fu Cheng and Song Ni returned to Yanzhou as well.
Fu Cheng began yearning for his woolen sweater. The boy whom Song Ni was getting closer to had still not yet made an appearance. Huang Yaming did not immediately embark on his life of debauchery.
He found Xu Tingsheng, saying very earnestly, “Tingsheng, help me with thinking. I can’t just waste my life away like this. I’ve got to do something.”
“Study well?” Xu Tingsheng ventured.
Huang Yaming shook his head, finding a bottle of wine to drink in Xu Tingsheng’s room and taking a swig out of it, “That isn’t enough. After seeing Tan Qingling get off someone’s Porsche that day, I didn’t say anything, still gallivanting about, right?”
“Still, Tingsheng, do you know what I was actually thinking about the most afterwards?”
“I tell you, I want to make something of myself. I’ve definitely got to make something of myself.”
Xu Tingsheng looked at Huang Yaming who had a rare earnest look on his face, “You want to prove something to Tan Qingling?”
“I want to prove me to myself,” Huang Yaming said, “So that I’ll never have to face that kind of thing ever again. This society is a very realistic one, that I can get. I want to live a little better within it.”
Xu Tingsheng considered for a moment before saying, “How about this? Buy a few public servant books and start preparing a few years earlier than other people. If you choose Libei as your starting point in the future, I…my family will fully pave the way for you.”
In his previous life, Huang Yaming had been greatly interested in bureaucracy yet had ultimately failed to become a public servant, having been unsuccessful in both his interviews for it.
Due to this, in this life, Xu Tingsheng had never involved Huang Yaming at all in his prospective career roadmap. He had already decided on what he should be doing for Huang Yaming, which was helping to pave that path for him in the future.
At the same time, Xu Tingsheng also felt that he would need such a person in the future, a true brother who possessed both power and authority.
Xu Tingsheng would not stoop to exploiting such connections in order to perform illegal activities. He would never place Huang Yaming in such an unethical, dangerous situation, nor was there a need for him to do so. However, this, at least, entailed one more path, one more layer of protection.
For example, in the battle against the Huang Family this time, even having drawn on the Fang Family’s strength, if not for Xu Tingsheng having relied on his memory at the end and exposed Huang Tianliang’s sins, he would have suffered a complete, utter defeat.
This had let him understand how much he needed such a person. Also, this person must be someone he could fully trust without reservation.
Huang Yaming was the best future candidate for this.
However, unexpectedly, Huang Yaming did not accept Xu Tingsheng’s idea.
He said, “Tingsheng, actually, you’re not wrong. I did indeed think like this, yearn for such last time.”
“Now, however, after having seen the matter between your family and the Huang Family, after having experienced Huang Tianliang, I feel that I might instead be more suited to get into contact with these things through another method…”
“The best method is for me to extend my branches over, the branches many and covered densely with leaves while the trunk, I myself, am instead not placed within the situation itself.”
At this moment, Xu Tingsheng suddenly felt a little like extending and flapping his arms a few times like the wings of a butterfly. He felt amused yet also bemused. In this life, due to him, Huang Yaming’s path would also thereon be changing.
Even though this was not in line with Xu Tingsheng’s original path of thought, Huang Yaming was his brother. So long as he had made his decision, Xu Tingsheng would support him. If he wanted to step into the government bureaucracy, Xu Tingsheng would pave the road for him to do so. If he wanted to walk another path, Xu Tingsheng would do what he could for him as well.
Now, the problem lay with the fact that Huang Yaming seemed unsuited to participate in the entirety of Xu Tingsheng’s career routes, be it the Xu Family’s business, his band or Hucheng.
“Then, what do you want to do? Do you have anything in mind?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
“Best if I can combine the divine order the heavens gave me, debauchery, together with the path I’m walking. That way, whilst not defying the heavens, it would also not be a waste of my life!” Huang Yaming said shamelessly.
Xu Tingsheng understood.
“There’s no need to rush then. You should do something first, which is to go find Fang Yuqing. Ask him to introduce you to those friends of his,” Xu Tingsheng said, “You go hang out with that bunch of people. Only having managed to gain some sort of status amongst them will you be qualified and capable enough to embark on your next step.”
Huang Yaming thought for a moment before standing up, “Right.”
“Also,” Xu Tingsheng said, “I’ll introduce someone else to you as well. If you want to progress in the entertainment industry, this person would truly be a very suitable candidate for it.”
“You’ve met him before. He’s my roommate, Tan Yao.”
Huang Yaming thought for a moment before saying, “Yeah, there’s probably no one who’s more suitable than him. Alright, I’ll make a move first then. Remember to prepare the money, Boss Xu! This bro will be working with you from now on.”
Xu Tingsheng walked over, saying earnestly, “Remember this. In this life, you and Fu Cheng are not allowed to call me Boss, ever.”