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Chapter 274: Star sign, Virgo
No one would actually flash their cash here. They simply began reporting their investment sum.
Xu Tingsheng sat together with Huang Yaming and Tan Yao. Although the other fella who was actually poor as a dog, Fang Yuqing, also wanted to join them, he was kicked away by Huang Yaming.
Huang Yaming said, “At least put on the look of a second gen and leave us bros some face!”
Following that, the three who were seated together were shocked by the figures that were successively reported.
Slowly but surely, the figures finally ascended to the territory of seven zeroes.
Huang Yaming was no longer able to keep from uttering a tragic cry before he said softly, “Heck, Tingsheng, are there so many rich people now? I thought that Zhu Jun throwing that ten million was freaking crazy already. I thought that you were freaking crazy already.”
“Honestly speaking, I hadn’t thought that it’d be like this too. It’s crazier than I expected,” Xu Tingsheng replied.
“Sigh,” Huang Yaming sighed before saying, “I really can’t stand this kind of shock. Do you know what I’m thinking right now? I’m wondering-with Tan Yao and I opening bars like this, which lifetime will it before we can finally catch up? Before we can have a voice of our own.”
It had long since been agreed that Tan Yao would have a share in the bars, Huang Yaming having asked for this himself. Xu Tingsheng had agreed to it, and Tan Yao had not refused.
Tan Yao nodded as he heard Huang Yaming’s words. The two of them had been in the industry for quite a long time already, also having witnessed Xu Tingsheng’s rise to power as they had accompanied him for a long time as well…
The more they saw, the more they yearned to attain a status of their own at such heights.
The two of them had never hidden or concealed such thoughts and desires of theirs from Xu Tingsheng before.
Still, they received a very big mental blow now. As they saw it, bars…were fun to have and convenient for picking up chicks with, yet should not possess that much earning potential.
“Don’t jump to conclusions,” Xu Tingsheng replied, “If you want to grasp a basic understanding regarding this, listen to the figure that Bro Kun reports later. Your industries are similar, after all. He still hasn’t made a move yet, haven’t you realised?”
In the end, Wu Kun reported a figure that left the two feeling incomparably excited. There was twenty million at the initial stage, and more could be added later on up to the total sum of four million yuan.
Although Fang Yuqing had already previously mentioned how Wu Kun dared to bet with all his a.s.sets, the a.s.sets of this 32-year-old who had started out with totally nothing at all still caused the few of them, Xu Tingsheng included, to leap up in fright. It was still the year 2004 right now.
Also, Xu Tingsheng had a feeling that…this shouldn’t be all of it, all of what Wu Kun possessed. He still hadn’t done enough for him to go ‘show hand’ yet.
Huang Yaming and Tan Yao were excited and moved as they secretly pumped their fists in celebration. Still, everyone else accepted this calmly, as if all this was just perfectly natural.
Up next was Ye Qing who came from Yanzhou’s wealthiest family. She reported the exact same figure as Wu Kun, with even the latter sum being exactly the same.
She was actually expressing her stance with this, conveying that she did not intend to hold the majority of the shares and rise a head above Wu Kun in this. This stance of hers alleviated the worries and doubts of many, Fang Yuqing and the trio included.
Of course, this also caused others to realise that her status in her family was indeed not that low as it was not difficult at all for her to draw on such funds. It was no wonder that it was rumoured outside that she was still competing, that she still stood a chance to inherit her family’s a.s.sets.
Finally, there was only Fang Yuqing left.
He should not have stayed silent to the point of ending up as the very last guy. Sitting there with everyone’s gazes all on him, he was rendered speechless as he felt awkward beyond compare.
It would be impossible for Fang Yuqing to really dig into his own pockets now. After buying that ring, he actually lacked even the money to top up petrol for his car as he had been shamelessly borrowing money from everyone he saw like a d.a.m.ned beggar these past few days.
After exchanging a series of troubled looks with Xu Tingsheng, Fang Yuqing finally reported the sum of one million yuan.
“One million?” Hu Shengming threw back his head and laughed uproariously.
“This time, it’s the turn of us who run stores to look down on you officials, hahahaha…great, just great. This is too freaking awesome. Come, Chen Yan, Jiang Jin, Yuqing, let me interview you. How did you feel as you reported those figures? How did you feel as we reported our figures?”
Hu Shengming was instantly charged at, taken down and pressed against the sofa for a good beating.
Having basically finished discussing the important matters at hand, as they drank wine and conversed happily, the Black Horse Club also arrived at a general verbal agreement which included the rules for new members and such. Ye Qing was temporarily chosen as Chief with Chen Yan and Gao Yupo, from officialdom and business respectively, becoming Vice-Chiefs.
The two Vice-Chiefs were actually chosen this way in order to achieve a sort of equilibrium. If Wu Kun and Xu Tingsheng were to be the Vice-Chiefs, the Black Horse Club would then lean entirely towards the side of the businessmen. There would then exist the suspicion of it falling under the control of a small, relatively close-knit group of people.
As for Chen Yan and Gao Yupo, they now each represented a comparatively separate ent.i.ty.
No one was too concerned about this. Firstly, all of this was only temporary. Secondly, no one had yet realised as of now the influence that the Black Horse Club might possess in the future.
That big sister who had wanted to seduce Xu Tingsheng did not make a move in the end. Hu Shengming proposed that Wu Kun call a few beauties over to drink with them. The four ladies present did not object to this.
Soon, more than ten model-tier beauties entered the room, coming over to stand in a neat row.
“Brother Xu, the greatest credit for the situation today lies with you. You get first pick,” His s.h.i.+rt having been pulled off during that little altercation earlier, Hu Shengming did not put it back on, leaving his upper half bare as he clamoured.
Xu Tingsheng glanced up at them, smiling as he enquired, “Which of you is best at drinking?”
“Boss, we…none of us is weak at drinking. We’d long since have been fired by Bro Kun if we were,” One of the women smiled, answering.
“I know that, but there’d surely be differing capacities. Who’s best?”
“That would be me,” It was that same woman who replied.
“I choose you then. Come on,” Xu Tingsheng said.
The girl joyfully came over to sit beside Xu Tingsheng. Having worked in this industry for quite a long time, she possessed quite a discerning eye as she could tell with a single glance that Xu Tingsheng’s status was not low. Even her boss, Wu Kun, had accompanied him throughout while he sat there.
Wealthy and with status and also young, handsome and a stranger who should not have anyone he liked at Starry Splendour yet-where was such a customer usually to be found? Additionally, from Bro Kun’s att.i.tude towards him, if she managed to get on his good side, wouldn’t her future be bright and worriless then?
The others began choosing people as well.
“h.e.l.lo, you are?” Xu Tingsheng moved slightly to avoid the woman’s body, asking her softly.
“You can call me Tongtong, Boss,” She said.
“Okay, so…Tongtong, your upcoming task is to help me block the wine. I’m entrusting it to you. I’ll be troubling you then.”
After saying so, Xu Tingsheng closed his eyes and leaned back against his seat.
“Just that?” Tongtong could not help but blurt out despondently.
“I’m a bit tired,” Xu Tingsheng said with his eyes closed.
“Tongtong, you’re so sly,” The woman beside Bro Kun immediately raised her winegla.s.s.
Perhaps because she had stolen the march or because she had said that her alcohol capacity was the best amongst them, the other girls were unwilling to concede as Tongtong soon faced a.s.saults on all sides by ‘allied troops’ whilst also having to intercept the wine for Xu Tingsheng.
The battle raged on intensely.
Huang Yaming and Tan Yao began excitedly looking for people to discuss their bars with.
Wu Kun leaned over, whispering, “The lady over there seems to have drunk a bit too much.”
Lu Zhixin was a little drunk? Xu Tingsheng considered this for a moment before shaking his head, “It’s okay. No need to mind her.”
“I’d be a fool if I paid you any more heed,” Xu Tingsheng told himself in a fit of childish pique.
In truth, Xu Tingsheng had begun feeling somewhat unsettled.
Some time later, Tongtong, her courage boosted greatly by the wine, put a hand around Xu Tingsheng’s shoulder, leaning in towards him.
“Your name is Xu Tingsheng?”
“What are you doing right now?”
“Yeah, I’m in my second year of university.”
“Oh. Your family must surely be very rich then.”
Xu Tingsheng smiled.
“What’s your star sign?”
“Star sign? You’ll definitely look down on it if I say it.”
“Just say it! I won’t.”
“Look, you’re looking down on it all right.”
“Like I dare,” Tongtong pulled a face before saying, “Virgo, seeking perfection, seeing faults. Are you a cleanliness freak?”
“Surely not. I’m pretty disorganised usually, just that I have a few compulsions.”
“For example, I have to line up my clothes in neat rows after taking them off or I won’t be able to sleep well. Better if there’s a certain order or symmetry to things. You’re a big fan of star signs?”
“Yes. Are you going to laugh at me for being superst.i.tious? It’s fine, many people laugh at me because of that anyway.”
“No I’m not. Believing in star signs is actually pretty good. We’re p.r.o.ne to be happier that way.”
“Such people are always able to console themselves. If their career or love life isn’t going well, they can tell themselves that it’ll be fine when the month’s over and the stars change. Or they can buy a crystal or a bouquet of flowers and place it somewhere good, thus becoming filled with confidence again…look, life is so full of hope this way.”
“Heh, that actually makes quite a bit of sense. Let me tell you, my horoscope says that romantic attraction is in the cards for me today.”
“Really? But isn’t that true for every single day…Sorry, I…”
“Whatever, it’s fine,” Tongtong said resentfully, “It’s actually very rare that I meet a customer whom I like. I seldom come out to attend to the customers…how about you take me out today?”
Xu Tingsheng smiled, knowing that the ‘like’ she spoke of was actually to a greater extent due to the close relations.h.i.+p between him and Bro Kun. Having seen that, she was intentionally trying to get closer to him. Still, survival had never been an easy thing, especially for girls who worked in places such as these. There was no need for him to expose and find fault with her over this.
“Can I?” Tongtong pressed, sliding a hand towards Xu Tingsheng’s chest.
“I’m still a virgin,” Xu TIngsheng caught her hand, smiling as he said.
“Oh…you want a red packet? I’ll prepare one for you then,” Tongtong smiled charmingly, not minding it at all.
Really just unable to deal with this sort of girl, Xu Tingsheng shook his head and did not speak.
“But I’m clearly quite beautiful, and my figure’s even better! You’ll know when you see it. Do you want a look?” Tongtong asked resentfully.
Just as Xu Tingsheng was feeling troubled over this, yet another person came asking Tongtong to drink some wine.
Tongtong leaned into Xu Tingsheng’s ear and whispered slyly, “Anyway, you can’t forget about me when I’m drunk later.”
After saying so, she leapt up and rejoined the battlefield.
Back when Xu Tingsheng had closed the door and left the room, Lu Zhixin’s mind had been thrown completely into chaos.
A greatly perturbed Lu Zhixin could not stop thinking about his expression from earlier, guessing about how he was currently feeling and holding up. Wanting to go look for him, Lu Zhixin had no choice but to increase the rate of her alcohol intake to the maximum.
Back when Ding Sen had been bothering her the most intensely, Lu Zhixin had caused him to lose face through her alcohol capacity at various locations. This included him having ended up going forward to cuddle a waitress who had come to serve the dishes before a group of seniors.
Today, however, Lu Zhixin had already drunk a lot. The more she drank, the dizzier she got as she became more and more inebriated.
Lu Zhixin’s face was flushed a deep red.
As for Ding Sen, he actually still appeared perfectly normal, seeming completely unaffected.
Lu Zhixin knew that she could no longer persist as she held her bag and got up.
Just as she was about to utter words of farewell, Ding Sen spoke.
“Let me have a look at the contract,” He said.
Lu Zhixin hesitated for a moment before taking out the contract from her bag and handing it to him. She remained standing, not sitting back down.
Ding Sen flipped nonchalantly through the contract as he said, “Right, Zhixin. Look, my Dad’s discussed it with your Dad, and I’m also back in Yanzhou now. What about our engagement?”
With that, he retrieved a box that contained a ring from his pocket, placing it on the table and opening it.
“I’m only here to talk about the contract,” Lu Zhixin shook her head, raising a hand to support her throbbing forehead.
Ding Sen flung the contract to the ground, smiling mockingly,” Lu Zhixin, I actually didn’t want to say anything nasty, but you’re the one who’re forcing me now. You really shouldn’t view yourself on too high a pedestal. If your Dad goes on like this, you wouldn’t even have the qualifications to be engaged with me if you wanted to later on. A phoenix that’s fallen to the ground is none other than a man’s plaything. My advice is-you’d best consider this properly when you still can.”
Lu Zhixin did not stoop down to pick up the fallen contract. She looked down and smiled, a little disdainfully and a little bitterly as well.
She was clearest on her father’s situation, on that blind stubbornness that was becoming more and more serious an affliction…
Therefore, it could also be said that Xu Tingsheng was actually a straw that the drowning Lu Zhixin had clutched at. After she had discovered Xu Tingsheng’s potential, the initial good impression that she had of him had turned more complex with more things mixed within.
This was a man whom she recognised, whom she liked and in whom she saw a definite possibility of resolving the problem that she faced…there would not be a more perfect choice.
Therefore, Lu Zhixin had exerted all means, trying to get closer to him time and time again.
Therefore, Lu Zhixin had been even more diligent, hardcore and desperate in Hucheng’s development than Xu Tingsheng himself. She yearned intensely for him to rise swiftly in influence and power, because she feared that it might otherwise be too late.
Therefore, she had been able to tolerate humiliation, grievances, derision, negative gossip.
Even something as outrageous as Apple moving into the riverside residence without sparing a thought for her feelings-she had been able to tolerate it.
The existence of that rumoured, nameless woman who might be incomparably important to Xu Tingsheng-she had been able to tolerate it.
Despite being well aware that she was the one being overlooked the most at the moment, she had been able to tolerate it.
Lu Zhixin knew where her advantage lay. Her commercial capabilities aside, she was also Xu Tingsheng’s business partner, able to make him increasingly dependent on her. Her greatest advantage was actually time.
As compared to Apple, as compared to that woman who had never showed up before, and maybe counting in that girl who had come knocking on the door that day as well…Lu Zhixin knew that she was actually the one who spent the most time by Xu Tingsheng’s side.
Capitalising on this, Lu Zhixin had always been attempting to change as well as grasp him.
From an objective standpoint, there were actually many aspects of Xu Tingsheng’s which Lu Zhixin felt exasperated and disdainful about, such as his indecisiveness and his softness, such as how he put many things above career, wealth and authority…he was not the fierce, ambitious sort that she had once hoped for.
Then, Lu Zhixin had suddenly realised afterwards that she was actually the one who was being unconsciously changed by him. She was gradually changing, and she was also becoming more and more hopelessly enamoured with this man.
She discovered that she was becoming more and more like a subservient little woman, such as when she had agreed to his request and let him have his way that night.
Meanwhile, he still drifted a distance away from her as she was completely unable to grasp him.
Lu Zhixin walked towards the entrance of the room.
A savage expression on his face, Ding Sen howled from behind her, “b.i.t.c.h, has that guy had his way with you?”
Looking back at him, Lu Zhixin smiled, “I’m living together with him.”
“A thing like him? You think he can achieve anything?”
“You should be a bit more respectful. His name is Xu Tingsheng, and he can defeat ten of you alone,” Lu Zhixin laughed before continuing, “Also, I was the one who moved in on my own accord, who slipped into his bed on my own accord. His charm’s just too great. You get it yet?”
Maybe because she was already drunk, Lu Zhixin was no longer so clear-headed and rational. She wasn’t even feeling embarra.s.sed despite saying such things. Perhaps she was finally unable to tolerate her father an instant longer…Lu Zhixin decided to be wilful for once.
She remembered that Xu Tingsheng had once told her this:
“Zhixin, don’t let yourself get too tense. You’re still a girl, and youth is seriously short. If there’s anything that you can just toss aside, just do it. Set aside more time to do those things that you like to do. Being wilful once in a while is really fine.”
Ding Sen flung his winegla.s.s towards the wall, smas.h.i.+ng it in a fit of anger.
Lu Zhixin opened the door and exited the room, leaning against the wall to support herself. She wanted to go and look for Xu Tingsheng.
“You said just now to not mind her. Are you really not going to care about this?” Wu Kun asked Xu Tingsheng.
“I’m not caring,” Xu Tingsheng was angry with himself and angry with Lu Zhixin too.
“Well, never mind then.”
“…Something’s up? I…might as well hear a bit about it.”
“That girl appears to be extremely drunk. Ding Sen’s still fine,” Wu Kun told Xu Tingsheng.
“How is that possible?” Xu Tingsheng was aware of the extent of Lu Zhixin’s alcohol capacity.
“My people watching upstairs suspect that the wine Ding Sen gave himself to drink is fake. He really hasn’t budged a single inch. That girl’s almost unable to hold on anymore,” Wu Kun said.
“Haven’t we had people watching them all throughout?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
“Ding Sen was already in that room before that girl came, before you told me about this issue. The surveillance wasn’t turned on back then. We don’t usually leave it on,” Wu Kun explained.
Realising the severity of the matter, Xu Tingsheng was just about to speak when Wu Kun raised a hand to indicate for silence and listened intently.
“It seems they’ve started arguing,” Wu Kun said.
The next moment, Xu Tingsheng who had only just said ‘I’m not caring’ jumped up from his seat before directly leaping over the table beside him and charging towards the doorway.
Huang Yaming, Tan Yao and Fang Yuqing asked not a single thing as they immediately followed his lead, charging over after him.
Wu Kun spoke into his earphones.
As he pulled open the door, Xu Tingsheng’s forward momentum immediately came to an abrupt halt…
Lu Zhixin was standing just outside.
Their gazes met.
“I, I wasn’t going to look for you. I’m going to the toilet,” Xu Tingsheng protested like a little kid.
Her lips pressed together, Lu Zhixin sniffled, “I’m sorry, Xu Tingsheng. I was wrong.”
After saying so, she fell right into Xu Tingsheng’s embrace, hugging him.
“How did you get this drunk?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
“What is it? What is it?” The trio of Fang Yuqing, Huang Yaming and Tan Yao frantically asked as they too rushed over.
“Did Lu Zhixin get bullied?”
“The heck, let’s go off him!”
Lu Zhixin looked up, saying, “No, I’m fine. No need to worry about me.”
Xu Tingsheng was unable to ask anything in front of so many people as he supported Lu Zhixin, turning towards the trio behind him as well as the others in the room and smiling apologetically as he explained, “I’m sorry, it’s nothing. It’s just-she’s drunk.”
He supported Lu Zhixin over to the sofa to sit down.
An attendant soon sent over some hot water.
The woman named Tongtong stood by the side, appearing rather at a loss as to what to do.
“Sorry, Xu Tingsheng, I was wrong. Just now, I…” Lu Zhixin leaned against Xu Tingsheng, apologising repeatedly.
“It’s okay, I know that it’s your family’s matter. It’s been tough on you,” Xu Tingsheng was no longer angry by now as he asked warmly, “How’re you holding up? Are you really okay? You weren’t bullied, right?”
Lu Zhixin suddenly explained incomparably nervously, “No, no…I didn’t even let him touch my hand, really. Believe me, Xu Tingsheng, I really didn’t.”
Xu Tingsheng felt rather speechless as he said, “I’m not talking about this! What hand or not?”
“It’s not that,” Leaning over from Xu Tingsheng’s embrace, Lu Zhixin explained, “I really didn’t! Don’t be angry with me. I know that you definitely will mind it…because your star sign is Virgo.”
“Huh?” went Xu Tingsheng.
“Huh?” went Tongtong.
“Xu Tingsheng, are you still angry with me? I’m drunk, you can’t not care about me. Take me home,” The drunken Lu Zhixin murmured.
Tongtong was feeling very aggrieved at how those lines were clearly exactly the same as hers.
Xu Tingsheng said, “Okay.”
Tongtong went, “…Come, who still wants to drink some wine? This dame just might as well drink to death today!”
Xu Tingsheng could not very well take his leave right away as he could only get Lu Zhixin to first lean against his body and rest.
Noisy footsteps resounded from outside.
The door was opened.
Ding Sen stood outside with more than twenty men behind him.
“Sorry, Bro Kun. I’m not here to cause trouble. I’m just here to find two people and take care of a little something.”
Generally speaking, those seeking revenge at a nightclub would inform the boss about it before going out privately to settle things…this could not be considered rare, much less anything rude.
Ding Sen would of course know that Xu Tingsheng was definitely acquainted with Wu Kun, with a bit of a relations.h.i.+p existing between them. Still, after weighing his importance against that of Xu Tingsheng’s, he believed that such a smart person like Bro Kun definitely wouldn’t stand on Xu Tingsheng’s side.
As for that so-called prospective real estate venture, Ding Sen had immediately dismissed it as a joke upon hearing of it.
He had come here for Xu Tingsheng today in the first place.
It was only that his method of humiliating Xu Tingsheng and looking for trouble with him would differ based on whether he could successfully secure Lu Zhixin.
For instance, Ding Sen had imagined appearing before Xu Tingsheng with Lu Zhixin in his embrace, humiliating and trampling on him as much as he liked as he completely vented his rage at all the rumours that he had heard about them on Xu Tingsheng tenfold, a hundredfold.
When Lu Zhixin had rejected Xu Tingsheng just a short while ago, Ding Sen had already felt that rush of joy as he yearned to win the beauty’s favour, yearned to get an even greater kick out of it.
Now, however, the situation was clearly not like that. Lu Zhixin had still gone to look for Xu Tingsheng in the end. She was currently right within his embrace.
Therefore, Ding Sen had chosen the most impetuous method.
Of course, he himself did not believe this to be the case.
Inside the room, Wu Kun frowned as he looked at that idiot by the doorway, “How can there be someone as nice and polite as this in this world?”
Hu Shengming secretly tugged at Chen Yan and Gao Yupo, saying, “Our gang’s being bullied right after its creation. What do we do?”
The Black Horse Club’s scope had yet to be defined. If one really wanted to do so, it should probably be called a club of elites? In the end, Hu Shengming had directly called it a gang.
“Aren’t you the one who gets agitated the most easily?” Chen Yan asked.
“The problem is that I may not be able to deal with all of them. You guys go too! If you go, I’ll definitely follow right along,” Hu Shengming said.
“It’s not that we won’t go. Bro Kun’s sitting there, and Sis Qing too. We should wait for them to speak first. Honestly speaking, I really sort of can’t bear to watch on any longer. I wonder how that idiot’s gonna die in a bit,” Gao Yupo replied.