Chapter 305: On one side flames, on the other seawater
It is easy to come up with some minor schemes because they are very specific.
Grasping the grand, overarching trend of things is very difficult because it is very general.
One can certainly succeed with the former as well. To be exact, most successes that we see around us come from these. Yet, those who can truly succeed and become conglomerates or behemoths are mostly the companies of the entrepreneurs who have grasped the overarching trend of the times.
Xu Tingsheng could grasp this due to his rebirth and his constant, persistent analysis of all sorts of events happening around him as he delved into their basis and corroborated it with the future.
As for Zhang Xingke, he had already begun paying attention to this when he was still very weak. This should be an innate ability and talent of someone who was fated for success.
It was just like the future richest man in China. Even when he had been selling groceries to support his dreams, he had already expanded a roadmap of the online lifestyles of several hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens and begun planning for an online shopping empire.
What heights had Zhang Xingke actually attained in his previous life? What had befallen him then? Despite feeling very curious about this, Xu Tingsheng already had no way of finding this out now.
“Thank you. Now, the second question,” Zhang Xingke pondered for a while before continuing, “Your current situation is very good yet also no good. Can I say that? The competition you’re facing is not small. Anyway, you’re focusing on many areas, and some seem to have better prospects than others…why have you still devoted so much resources and efforts to your educational training institutes?”
This question was much easier to answer as Xu Tingsheng smiled, “I come from a farming family. To me, going into education and setting up training institutes is like farming. While it doesn’t seem all that fresh, giving returns that are all that great, I can achieve a very stable foundation with it. It is only with a plot of land that supplies stable returns that I can have the courage and resources to explore and venture into other areas, isn’t that right?”
Zhang Xingke might not understand this for sure. Still, Xu Tingsheng was actually expressing his truest considerations on the matter. Education was his starting point, the piece of ‘land’ he had planned for which was set to be the most stable foundation in his developmental blueprint.
This was because he knew that many future industries, especially those which were related to the Internet, were actually just built upon the foundation of speculation and trends. Losing vast amounts of money every year even as their stock market prices were also rising unceasingly…
In the future, it would be incomparably difficult for manufacturing and real economy to survive and develop.
There would be a dearth of funds and those looking to earn a quick buck as dangers would be lurking around every corner.
Xu Tingsheng had chosen education as his foundation, this being a relatively safe middle route.
Pushing up the prices of real estate had been another possible choice. Still, Xu Tingsheng had decided against it in the end.
The prices of real estate within the country were illogical and did not make sense. This was a fact. After the year 2015 which was as far as Xu Tingsheng’s foreknowledge went, could something like the bubble boom of Japan in the nineties suddenly occur in China?
Xu Tingsheng could not be absolutely certain that it would not.
Xu Tingsheng would also, of course, follow the trends and invest in those extremely popular industries. Still, his education empire which encompassed at least fifty training institutes and education brands was not amongst them. It would not be getting involved in that speculating.
This was what he had left for himself in the case that he failed, preparation that was more for the sake of his family and Xiang Ning.
To prepare for potential crises and retain a stable foundation…even if he failed or vanished or turned mediocre after losing his precognitive abilities…
Zhang Xingke asked his third question.
Xu Tingsheng answered it.
After hanging up, Xu Tingsheng felt rather emotional.
Xu Tingsheng was generally able to see the entire process of Zhang Xingke’s upward struggles. As he met with setbacks in striving for greater heights, he was able to bow his head and bend his knees…he exerted all possible means, remaining wildly ambitious throughout…whatever happened in the future, this promised to be very interesting and was really something to consider deeply about too.
Xu Tingsheng took the initiative and gave Lu Zhixin a call.
“How did those two websites react to our training institute’s initiative?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
“They basically believe that this will not affect their competition with us too much. Actually, I share the same opinion too,” Lu Zhixin briefly summarised.
“Alright,” Xu Tingsheng acknowledged before saying, “Well then, let’s bring Are You Hungry online tomorrow.”
“No further promotion needed?”
“No need for that. We won’t even have to advertise it ourselves this time, and the advertisement will be big enough already. Those websites have really been helping us by continually reminding everyone of our existence. When we announced our resumption of free-of-charge services, they leapt out and helped us to make such a reminder. When we remained silent and didn’t retaliate, they came out to mock us, helping us out again. With these initiatives from our training institute, the discussions should have been rather heated, right? They’ve definitely said quite a lot too…”
“Therefore, we should be the focal point of everyone’s attention now as they’re waiting to see if we just continue passively getting beaten or have a way of countering their blows. Even if we say and do nothing, they’ll be thinking about how they can dig up the information from us.”
Having explained things, Xu Tingsheng concluded, “So, just quietly bring it online and stay quiet. There will be more to talk about that way. There’ll naturally be people reminding everyone of our existence for us. The more we stay quiet, the stronger they’ll go.”
Lu Zhixin said, “Okay.”
Then, she paused momentarily before asking in a less businesslike tone, “You’re still not done over there? When will you be returning?”
Xu Tingsheng could only lie rather guiltily, “I’ll need a couple more days, perhaps. I’ll have to trouble you over there.”
“It’s fine,” Lu Zhixin smiled, “Actually, there isn’t much that I have to do at all. It’s virtually all planned out by you already. If this goes on, my implementation abilities will definitely become better and better, but my discernment of the overall situation will probably get worse and worse.”
“How could that be?” Xu Tingsheng laughed.
Lu Zhixin was silent for a while before she asked jokingly, “Say, Xu Tingsheng, if things go on like this, won’t I only be left with implementation skills in the end? Then, if there comes a day in the future when you no longer want me, what do I do then? Who am I supposed to go work for?”
These words had actually attained a deeper meaning due to the sentence added within, ‘If there comes a day in the future when you no longer want me, what do I do then?’
Xu Tingsheng hesitated for a bit before sidestepping the topic, laughing, “How’s that even possible? Who’d possibly not want someone like you? I’m afraid that I can’t keep you. Also, you’re Hucheng’s joint second greatest shareholder!”
Lu Zhixin no longer mentioned this topic as she said, “Alright, so I’ll send you the data for ‘Are You Hungry’ tomorrow. You just relax and work on your matters over there.”
“Thank you. So…”
Just as Xu Tingsheng was about to hang up, Lu Zhixin seemed to have suddenly remembered something as she said, “Right, there’s recently been quite a bit of trouble for our training institute in Yanzhou. The Education Bureau, the Firefighting Bureau, Business Tax, Health Authority…all of those departments who can come have basically come, all finding some small problem and leaving word that we can expect a fine from them. Then, some also came to cause a ruckus.”
These were actually unrelated to the matter of the training institute and Hucheng by extension. Instead, they represented external pressure related to the competition over those plots of land, being an extension of that struggle…
Someone had already begun sending a threat by attacking Xu Tingsheng’s foundation, seeking to force him out of the competition.
From this, two things could be seen:
Firstly, the Black Horse Club’s strength and ability to compete had already been recognised as it was being seriously regarded as a foe. It could be said that their ‘guileful’ little battle tactics were already seeing initial success in the area of borrowing power.
Secondly, it was imaginable that others of the Black Horse Club should be receiving pressure as well. Of course, there might also be some who were facing temptations. The tough days were upon them, what Xu Tingsheng himself had termed as the ‘defiantly resisting dying period’.
“You don’t have to care about these things. Just accept whatever they say. Well, maybe you shouldn’t personally listen to what they say. Let Principal Tang go. He’s honest and won’t let matters blow up,” Xu Tingsheng said.
“Relax, I will resolve these matters. Before I have, you guys should just ignore them.”
Actually, Xu Tingsheng did not intend to resolve these matters in the first place, or all of them at least. This was what was meant by the ‘defiantly resisting dying period’. He had long since been mentally prepared for this.
The problems, pressure and threats that they might face during this period of time need not all be resolved…all they had to do was resist and tide through this, holding on for a period of time.
When the time came, things would naturally be resolved on their own.
After saying goodnight to Lu Zhixin, Xu Tingsheng dialled Huang Yaming’s number.
“How’s your arm?”
“And Chen Jingqi?”
“Still the same. Taking care of me, and then not even letting me touch her at all.”
“That’s good then.
“Good your head.”
Having finished exchanging greetings, Xu Tingsheng told Huang Yaming about the situation Hucheng was currently facing before saying, “You should go to the Black Horse Club’s next gathering. Tell them about our situation and hear about what they’re facing too.”
“What then? Many people are going crazy being unable to get through to you. They’re all looking for me. The pressure on them is probably not low at all.”
“I’m aware of that. It’s precisely because of this that my phone has to be kept turned off most of the time. Otherwise, if they find me over every random matter, on one hand, it’d be frustrating to death and I also wouldn’t be able to do anything, and on the other, all the truths and falsehoods will affect feelings and unity…it’s still best if all of them continue being unable to understand me.”
“What if someone gives up and gives in?”
“That wouldn’t be very surprising.”
“What if someone tells?”
“It’s too late. No one would believe it now.”
“…Then, is there any more that you want to say to them?”
Xu Tingsheng considered it for a moment, “Tell them that I said that now is the defiantly resisting death period. I’m basically done contacting the construction materials companies. Just keep resisting, and wait till I get back…that’s all. Let them think and do whatever they want.”
Xu Tingsheng did not intend to explain and account for things to the majority of the Black Horse Club, telling them what to do. They were neither fools nor kids, and they would definitely not be taken by surprise and totally helpless in facing such a situation.
Of course, Xu Tingsheng still called Wu Kun and Ye Qing. While he did not go too deeply into things, he still gave them the general idea. After all, these two people were important helpers indeed.
As they were conversing, Ye Qing asked Xu Tingsheng, “Someone’s helping you to disarm mines. I can’t find who it is, but there’s someone who’s helped your training institute to solve quite a number of problems without actually making an appearance…can you say who this is?”
Xu Tingsheng laughed, “Sis Qing, please let me leave myself with a sense of mystery, alright?”
Ye Qing did not press him regarding this.
After hanging up, Xu Tingsheng thought about this and felt that this person was almost definitely Chen Jianxing. Even though Xu Tingsheng had refused his request back then, he was still doing it, and also in utmost secrecy at the present moment as even someone of Ye Qing’s background could not discover his identity…
What to do? Xu Tingsheng hesitated over this but did not call Chen Jianxing in the end, deciding to feign ignorance for the time being.
With all that done, Xu Tingsheng looked at the time. More than two hours had already gone by.
He turned off his phone and went to bed.
On one side, Shenghai, Yanzhou, Hucheng, land…intense as intense could be.
On the other, sunlight, beach, the great blue sea. Xu Tingsheng managed to find a real beach in the end as he rented a reclining chair and bought a bottle of wine, listening to the sounds of the waves…the better part of the day went by just like that.
If not for the fact that beauties were wobbling before him, if not for the fact that a whole bunch was lying prone and lying on their sides around him…if not for the fact that they were playing beach volleyball, wobbling and wobbling…Xu Tingsheng’s heart would surely be especially calm.
In a rather more artistic way: On one side flames, on the other seawater.
To act more cool: Sitting and watching the winds arise and the clouds surge, or grasping fate in the palm of a hand, the decisive battle a thousand miles away.
“Wah…beauties, I’m pretending to act profound right now! Can your volleyball stop smashing on my shorts? I’m already wearing bigger size beach shorts…could it be that even these are unable to hide my ‘overwhelming valour’?