Putuo Mountain was situated among the islands of Zhou Mountains. Putuo Mountain, together with Wutai Mountain, E’Mei Mountain, and Jiuhua Mountain were the four famous Buddhist Mountains, also where people gather to practice Avalokiteśvara’s philosophy. Putuo Mountain had also been mentioned in some well-known sayings regarding famous mountains.
At the foot of Putuo Mountain facing the east where the land met the sea was where people came to watch the sunrise. There was a house neither big nor small, constructed by using green bricks and surrounded by a yard filled with plants and flowers. Within the house was a Buddha hall and in there was seated an old man in Buddhist robe. He looked to be over 60 years old and was meditating.
There were two men standing outside the Buddha Hall. One of the was Yang Deng, who had a fight with Qin Sheng. He had just recovered recently, although still looking weak. There was a middle-aged man by his side who had a cheerful countenance, who was playing with a string of Buddhist beads.
There were no strangers in the house and there was only one way leading up to it. With one man guarding the gate, there was no possibility of trespassers. Apart from the servants, the place was only occupied by the old man and two other stewards. However, there were often visitors who came by. The old man often went to the temple to meet the teachers there to discuss the Buddhist teachings. Besides reciting the Buddhist Sutra everyday, he either slept or wandered around the island whenever he liked. He was most excited to speak with tourist because that was the time he met some interesting people.
By the time the old man exited from the Buddhist hall, Yang Deng and the middle-aged man quickly went up to him and greeted him, “Third Master,” with respect.
“Little stool, have you recovered from your injury?” Third Master asked. He had shaved his head and grown a long beard and he hunched a little. Fortunately, his legs were still strong. All who saw him would make the comment that he had a Buddha’s face. After all, he had devoted himself in the Buddhist teachings for over many years and his countenance was that of a kind soul. However, his mannerism exuberated an imposing aura.
Feeling a little guilty, Yang Deng answered saying, “Third Master, I have embarrassed you because of my lack of capabilities. I will have no complains if you decide to punish me.”
“Han Guoping is dead. This matter has come to a close. It’s not a bad thing to experience failure. There is bound to be people better than us. We all grow from our experiences and no one could be at the top all the time. A person who rises to the top very quickly will fall down harder,” the old man said with a kind smile. The children living around there who saw him often always called him Grandfather Wu. It seemed as if nobody knew his real identity. In fact, he was a highly influential figure throughout the entire Yangtze River Delta.
He was none other than Third Master Wu, who had cornered Han Guoping and whom Jiang Xianbang feared and respected at the same time. His life was so dramatic that it could be written into a book.
Despite the fact that this old man had left the political arena for many years, his successors whom he nurtured had all become powerful people in society.
“Third Master, I have found out information about the young man according to your instructions. He seemed to not have any relationship with Jiang Xianbang. I am sure they are not relatives,” the middle-aged man beside him said, looking perplexed.
Third Master raised his eyebrows and snorted. “No relationship? If they are not related, why would the cunning Jiang Xianbang be willing to part with his treasures and offered his antiques to me?”
“I have failed,” the middle-aged man hung his head and trembled as he continued, “Qin Sheng was from Xi’an. He orphaned at a young age and lived with his grandfather. Eventually, he came to Shanghai to study in Fudan University. It was during those days he started to have contact with Jiang Xianbang. However, he vanished for two years after graduating from university before reappearing again recently. As with regards to his relationship with Han Guoping, we can’t find anything. The only thing we found was that he was instructed by Han Guoping to protect his daughter.”
“Is there any news about his grandfather?” Third Master Wu asked with interest.
The middle-aged man shook his head and said, “Nothing much, just that he passed away two years ago.”
Third Master Wu went into deep thought. Then he felt it was a little funny and thought that this young man was rather interesting.
“Third Master, what shall we do about this matter?” the middle-aged man asked.
Third Master Wu continued walking toward the beach where it was very windy. He had not gotten used to the strong evening wind. Shaking his head, he said, “I am letting the matter rest. After all, I have accepted those expensive gifts from Jiang Xianbang, and I should at least give him face. Moreover, there wasn’t really any hard feelings between Han Guoping and me. It was only because he was too arrogant and bruised my pride. He was not my match at all. It is my usual practice to add icing on the cake, either good or bad, depending on the person’s relationship with me.”
“I know what to do now,” replied the middle-aged man who smiled and nodded.
“Don’t do anything to that lass and that lad, although we can’t do much about how the others are going to plot against them. It’s none of our business. However, as for Han Guoping’s inheritance, whoever is interested can take it, just don’t let any outsider benefit from it,” Third Master Wu continued.
Third Master Wu was a little tired after talking so much. “I am no longer as fit as before; let’s go back now. The wind is getting stronger,” he sighed.
At the master’s instruction, Yang Deng and the middle-aged man turned around to walk back…
While Third Master Wu was talking about Qin Sheng, at Sheshan Golf Resort in Shanghai, Zhou Wenwu and Zhao Dongsheng were also talking about Qin Sheng, but in an irritated manner.
“What is the background of this guy, Qin Sheng? Is he digging his own grave?” Zhou Wenwu, who had a bad-temper, cursed loudly when he came towards Zhao Dongsheng. Zhao Dongsheng would not have wanted to work with him if he had a choice given how crude Zhou Wenwu was. It was just too bad that only Zhou Wenwu had the capability to help him.
Taking a sip of the white wine, Zhao Dongsheng said, “We are not sure the details of his background. We just know that he was from Xi’an, graduating from Fudan University. We are not sure how he got acquainted with Han Guoping or what his relationship with Jiang Xianbang is.”
“Jiang Xianbang? Are you referring to the Jiang Xianbang who sells antiques?” Zhou Wenwu frowned when he heard his name. He was a bold but cautious man. Not only was he fond of wine, women and gambling, but he also possessed almost everything he desired. With strong backing, not many in Shanghai dared to offend him.
Zhao Dongsheng nodded and replied, “That’s him. Now that’s trouble for us.”
Zhou Wenwu, who thought nothing about it, said, “I will get rid of whoever’s in my way. Who is afraid of this Jiang Xianbang? Just go ahead and I will back you up and be responsible for whatever happens.”
Unlike Zhao Dongsheng, Zhou Wenwu was not fearful of Jiang Xianbang. Although initially Zhao Dongsheng was hesitant about making a move, Zhou Wenwu’s words had boosted his courage so that he was no longer worried.
“Since Han Bing had decided to announce bankruptcy and restructuring, we are going to suffer lose.” Zhou Dongsheng sighed.
Zhou Wenwu burst out laughing. “What does it matter whether the company is restructuring? What is spending a little money just to lay hold of Han Guoping’s inheritance? Most importantly, I have been eyeing on his daughter for the longest time. Since she had escaped death in Tianshui, there is no rush to try to kill her again. Let’s just kidnap her first and if it doesn’t work out, we’ll kill her. I will never forget how Han Guoping humiliated me years ago. This is my opportunity to get back at him.”
This was Zhou Wenwu’s true colors. There was no boundary to his evil doings. It was a blessing that Han Guoping did not have a wife or lover, otherwise, Zhou Wenwu would have spoiled them.
“I don’t care what you do to Han Bing. We have to settle that Qin Sheng first. Did you not see the arrogance in him during this afternoon’s directors’ meeting? If I didn’t retaliate, people would lose respect for me,” Zhao Dongsheng said angrily.
“It’s up to you what you want to do.” Zhou Wenwu could not be bothered anymore.
In the Szechuan Restaurant, Qin Sheng and the rest had just finished eating their inner and were getting up to leave. They were not heading back to Tomson Golf Resort, but rather to Huarun Nine Mile Bund, which was a better choice than the villa of Han Family in terms of protecting Han Bing’s safety. It was because he had plans to go out with Chang Baji after this to settle some other matters.
After sending Han Bing to Huarun Bund, Qin Sheng instructed Han Bing go to bed early and not to be overly worried. He reminded her that she still had a lot to handle the next day.
“How about you? Are you not staying?” Han Bing refused to be separated from Qin Sheng in fear that he would disappear.
Qin Sheng shook his head and said, “I will have Hao Lei to stay here while Brother Chang and I will go out to settle some matters, but it won’t be long.”
Han Bing wanted to say that she would follow them, but she was afraid that Qin Sheng would get mad. She was also aware that they had serious matters to settle. Finally she was agreeable. “Alright, you guys be careful and come back as soon as possible,” she said reluctantly.
Qin Sheng gave further instructions to Hao Lei to stay in the house with Han Bing as he had total confidence in Hao Lei and was at ease with him in the house with Han Bing. After that, he left with Chang Baji.
After exiting from Huarun Bund, Chang Baji suddenly chuckled and asked, “Going to kill people?”
“No, let’s go drink,” Qin Sheng replied casually.
Chang Baji was lost. He did not know what was going on. Why would Qin Sheng still be up to drinking?
Qin Sheng followed closely behind him and said, “Let’s give those people a chance so they can go back and accountable to their bosses. After all, they are only trying to survive.”
Chang Baji finally understood Qin Sheng’s intention and he burst out laughing…