Chapter 131: I fear that you wouldn’t be able to take it
Zhang Xingke was a fourth year Marketing student from Jianhai Technological University. While his classmates were trying hard in various recruitment drives, lined up into long queues with their resumes in order to find a decent job as they were devoid of energy and filled with anxiety, he still remained in school, remained in Xishan Academy City.
Zhang Xingke had never ever thought that he might someday have to work for someone else, being restricted and exploited whilst only obtaining that meagre bit of wages as remuneration.
He indeed possessed the capabilities for this.
Four years ago, virtually every single university in Xishan Academy City had possessed an organisation or union that provided services for its working students. Yet, ever since three years ago, just one year after Zhang Xingke had come to Jianhai Technological University, these unions and organisations had all either soundlessly vanished or ceased to exist in all but name.
In the entire Xishan Academy City, there only remained a ‘Xishan Academy City Working Students Association’, while the Chief of this association was precisely Zhang Xingke. Due to this, he had even been evaluated by the media as one of ‘Xishan Academy City’s Ten Most Beautiful Students’ before. Of course, this ‘most beautiful’ referred simply to his inner beauty.
There were just those impoverished university students, gnashing their teeth yet fully helpless, who knew exactly how ‘beautiful’ his heart was.
Within this three years, Zhang Xingke had gained both fame and benefits from this ‘Xishan Academy City Working Students Association’, having bought a house in Yanzhou’s city district and a car as well, with the figure in his bank account putting many white and even golden-collar workers to shame, should it be made known.
Exactly how profitable could this association which seemed merely a service-type entity be?
Many people had once wondered about this till the time when a drunken Zhang Xingke, trying to pick up a girl who was ignoring him in a nightclub, had shouted amidst his drunkenness, “This old man has more than 200000 entering his account every month! You should feel fortunate that you’ve caught my eye.”
That was in the early 2000s. What did an income of more than 200000 yuan per month entail? A new flat per month.
Did Zhang Xingke manage to get that chick in the end? No one was any concerned about that. Everyone had their heads spinning at that monthly income, their minds only able to think things like ‘Inconceivable’ and ‘How is that possible?’
When directly confronted with such a question, Zhang Xingke had once commented disdainfully in private, “Of course they feel that it’s impossible. If that bunch of fools could get it so easily, all this money wouldn’t just be profiting merely me and me alone.”
The truth of the matter was this. When small businesses were consolidated, they formed a huge market.
Virtually every single home tutor intermediary organisation in Yanzhou had to rely on Zhang Xingke for their survival. Just based on this alone, the intermediary fee from each parent that fell to Zhang Xingke amounted to at least 150 yuan. If you were in urgent need or had greater requirements, give more money then.
Then, it was actually free in name on the side of the home tutors themselves. This was a method Zhang Xingke had initially employed to win people over. However, the hourly salary that they received would usually be somewhat lower than what the parents had truly paid.
Even if some people were dissatisfied, in this era when the functions of the internet had yet to be effectively developed, other than you going around pasting flyers all throughout the streets yourself, the only thing you could do was find Zhang Xingke.
Moreover, receiving intermediary fees from home tutors had always been a usual practice of such intermediary organisations.
Other than that, however greatly dissatisfied some people were, even if competitors arose, there was actually still no way for them to win against Zhang Xingke.
To put it a little more crudely, Zhang Xingke had both money and power. He had already established a net that was sufficient to encompass the entire Xishan Academy City. It was even to the point that when most of these university students were giving feedback to their university regarding the matter of home tutoring, these higher-ups would generally silently choose to stand on Zhang Xingke’s side. The reasons for this were not hard to understand. Zhang Xingke was someone who was very proficient in extending benefits to rope in others.
Apart from home tutoring, if the companies that were located within Yanzhou City wanted to find a few dozen students to distribute flyers and hold up advertisement boards, or perhaps merely just fill up the numbers, Zhang Xingke was the one whom they had to find.
You want to advertise, promoting something? You’ve got to look for Zhang Xingke as well.
The resources were in Zhang Xingke’s hands, the manpower was in Zhang Xingke’s hands, the information…was in Zhang Xingke’s hands as well. Even Zhang Xingke’s Marketing professor had said quite a number of times before, “That bastard’s a genius.”
Able to gather and consolidate all those scattered, haphazard troops that were working university students and solidly control them all with his own power, bringing out their economic potential to the greatest possible extent, Zhang Xingke was indeed a genius, and extremely competent as well. Even if others had been able to think up the same idea, they still might not have been able to achieve it for certain.
The gaze of a genius would naturally not be constrained to a single academy city. Zhang Xingke had his ambition and his far-reaching gaze. However, just for the time being at least, this was his foundation, his territory that he had to keep a firm grasp on.
Yet, the appearance of Hucheng had thrown a wrench in Zhang Xingke’s plans.
Having analysed Hucheng for a period of time, Zhang Xingke had discovered it to be an even more genius idea than what he had conceptualised. He had even considered imitating Hucheng and establishing such a platform of his own.
However, the time for this was already past. Hucheng’s rate of development had far surpassed Zhang Xingke’s predictions by just too much.
Therefore, Zhang Xingke felt that there were only two choices left to him: Directly carrying away that cake as he took control of Hucheng, or first destroying Hucheng before establishing a platform of his own.
He did not rush things, making sure that he was sufficiently prepared before only then officially making his move.
Zhang Xingke had observed Xu Tingsheng in secret, but Xu Tingsheng had never seen Zhang Xingke before.
Returning to the riverside residence, the first thing Xu Tingsheng saw was a Porsche parked downstairs. Afterwards, in the lounge where they received visitors, he saw the greatly reputed Zhang Xingke for the first time.
Zhang Xingke appeared very ordinary on the outside. His build was ordinary, his looks were ordinary and even his smile was ordinary. However, Xu Tingsheng was still able to notice some things, such as how in his autonomy, he was confident of devouring Hucheng, devouring Xu Tingsheng’s autonomy and composure.
Zhang Xingke had come alone, while beside Xu Tingsheng stood Old Wai, Li Linlin and Lu Zhixin. However, the atmosphere was on Zhang Xingke’s side, Xu Tingsheng always having been very approachable in his usual interactions.
“I cracked a joke with your employees just now. That lady,” Zhang Xingke pointed to Li Linlin as he said, “You seem to have taken a home tutor job over from my side before? There’s no need for me to waste time introducing myself then. You tell your boss yourself.”
“It’s best if senior introduces yourself. My colleague might not have a broad enough understanding,” Xu Tingsheng smiled.
“Well, that’s fine,” Zhang Xingke smiled, introducing himself once over neither humbly nor exaggeratedly.
Xu Tingsheng listened silently to all of it before smiling as he asked, “When senior said that you were cracking a joke just now, what was it then?”
“Oh, it’s like this. When I was talking to your employees just now, I said that I was going to invest just based on resources, asking for fifty percent of the shares. Actually, that was really just a joke. You not being here, it also wasn’t like I could have reached an agreement with them, right?” Zhang Xingke asked.
“What about the conditions that aren’t a joke?” Old Wai asked, clearly being rather dissatisfied at the other party having said that his earlier words to them had completely been a joke.
“My resources and an additional one million, for fifty-one percent of the shares,” Zhang Xingke said, raising his index finger.
Another one million? That was indeed a lot. Be it the money that had been invested into or reaped by Hucheng up till now, it was all still far from one million yuan. Also, just based on Hucheng’s current working conditions and number of employees alone, the entire Hucheng might not even be worth that seven figure price.
However, Xu Tingsheng and the others all laughed.
Old Wai intentionally asked Lu Zhixin, “How much did that previous twenty percent share of Sis Fang’s cost?”
“2 million, and it was still a friendship price,” Lu Zhixin said.
Zhang Xingke seemed not to be moved at all by this as he raised his second finger, saying with utter confidence, “My resources and an additional two million, for fifty-one percent of the shares.”
Zhang Xingke had mainly actually been emphasising on his resources all along. Having heard his self-introduction earlier, Xu Tingsheng understood this well. Therefore, even if the resources that he possessed had now been diminished greatly by the appearance and development of Hucheng, it still remained extremely attractive such that even he himself was a little moved by it.
If Zhang Xingke had merely wanted to become a minor shareholder of Hucheng and if his character had been reliable, Xu Tingsheng would have welcomed him greatly.
However, Zhang Xingke had repeatedly reiterated another concept as well: Fifty-one percent of the shares. He wasn’t here to invest; he was here for control over the entire Hucheng.
Therefore, while Zhang Xingke thought that he might be able to talk things through, Xu Tingsheng actually felt that there was already no longer a need for them to talk at all anymore.
“Senior, I think that perhaps we really needn’t talk anymore,” Xu Tingsheng said, “Be it the price or the shares, it seems like it would be impossible for us to reach an agreement. I have no intention of selling Hucheng.”
So long as it was possible, Xu Tingsheng still wished to settle this matter with an amicable attitude. Even if they couldn’t become friends, they needn’t become enemies.
Looking at Xu Tingsheng, Zhang Xingke said in a leisurely manner, “If we don’t talk, I fear you might regret it. There was one sentence of mine earlier which was not a joke. Breaking off one’s inflow of cash is just like killing one’s parents. You are currently standing in my way. Thus, you can view me as having come to provide you with assistance. You can also view me as having come to threaten you. It all depends on however you want to choose.”
Xu Tingsheng was taken aback, not having thought that the other party might actually shed off all pretenses of cordiality as directly as that.
Xu Tingsheng had still yet to speak when Old Wai who was beside him interjected, “Senior, aren’t you tired raising your fingers? Always posing a ‘yeah’, is it that you want us to take a photo for you?”
Still feeling angered, Old Wai’s words had an edge to them. Originally having been filled with composure as he raised his index and middle fingers, Zhang Xingke was unable to immediately retract them, yet if he continued raising them…was it just like Old Wai said and he was waiting for a photo?
A conflicted expression appeared on Zhang Xingke’s face.
“Ahaha,” Lu Zhixin and Li Linlin were momentarily unable to hold back their laughter as they burst out chuckling before hurriedly covering their mouths.
Rather vexed over this, Zhang Xingke glanced at them, saying of Old Wai and the two girls, “I’m currently talking to your boss. You’d best shut up, and the two of you as well.”
“Please respect my friends, senior,” Xu Tingsheng said as he poured a cup of water for himself.
A riled Zhang Xingke forcibly kept in his anger, saying, “Fine, I’ll give you one last chance. Name a price.”
Xu Tingsheng shook his head helplessly, moving forward and raising Zhang Xingke’s three remaining fingers as well, “Five million.”
“Five…million?” Zhang Xingke appeared exceptionally dissatisfied, “My resour…”
Xu Tingsheng interrupted him directly, “For your resources and an additional five million, I’ll give you five percent of the shares.”
Having finished, Xu Tingsheng went back to sit on the sofa behind him, no longer speaking as he looked at Zhang Xingke.
Old Wai exchanged glances with Li Linlin and Lu Zhixin who were behind him. They all knew that Xu Tingsheng had been angered. They had virtually never seen an angered Xu Tingsheng before. He was usually calm and cordial most of the time.
“Oh…fine,” Zhang Xingke said in a weird tone before getting up from the sofa and smiling, “Since that is so, it seems like I’ll probably just have to destroy your Hucheng first then.”
Xu Tingsheng smiled.
“Do your worst,” Old Wai stood up and called loudly.
He seemed far more like a reckless first year university student than Xu Tingsheng was. This was clearly the situation of him having just been diligently working along, yet someone having suddenly run out wanting to reap the profits of his labour out of the blue, destroying it all if he so refused…it’d instead be strange if he weren’t angered.
“Oh, really? If I really made a move, I fear that you wouldn’t be able to take it.”
Zhang Xingke ignored Old Wai, his words being directed at Xu Tingsheng as he took out a name card and placed it on the coffee table, “If you can’t take it, remember to call me at this number. We can still talk, just that it definitely won’t be the initial conditions I offered earlier.”
Xu Tingsheng picked up the name card and took a glance at it before throwing it into the trash can, “I’ll see what I can do.”