Qin Sheng and Chang Baji left. They stayed in the Lingyin Temple for only about half an hour, less than what they expected. They should have stayed longer. Usually, people would have a lengthy and hypocritical talk to sound each other out when coming across their enemy.
Qin Sheng now was not in the mood to burn any incense for praying. He left the Lingyin Temple with Chang Baji, holding an umbrella. Chang Baji did not ask anything until they got in the car, and he said, “Anything wrong?”
“Lao Chang, one will always be humiliated when he hasn’t got the power. But, sooner or later, I’ll take my revenge for what they’ve done to me,” Qin Sheng said with resentful eyes. He was not that kind of sage who could return good for evil. He was a nobody who would be affected by all the emotions when struggling among the ups and downs of life. He was no more than a common person who returned good for good and evil for evil. This was how he lived and how he enjoyed his life.
Chang Baji knew what Qin Sheng meant, which was within his expectation. Anyway, Qin Sheng had to be clear about the result of his behavior.
“I’ll kowtow as an apology,” Qin Sheng said straightly.
It was not a big deal for any other common person to kowtow to some big shot as an apology. Wise men should be able to stoop and stand erect. Some might have no feelings if they kowtowed often as an apology.
But for Qin Sheng, this was much different. Kowtowing for an apology was equal to breaking his two legs, and it was hard to say when he could stand up again. This was even much worse than killing him.
Chang Baji was a little surprised. After all, this was not a big deal for others, but it was for Qin Sheng. For him, this was Achilles’ heel. Yan Chaozong had given Qin Sheng a real hit.
“Then what will you do next?” Chang Baji did not try to persuade Qin Sheng to give up and say anything to comfort like “This’s nothing at all”. He always let Qin Sheng make the choice himself. After all, he couldn’t stand in Qin Sheng’s shoes, and would never fully understand him. But Chang Baji was sure about one point. If Qin Sheng said “yes”, then Qin Sheng would not be the person he admired anymore. Although he would not look down upon Qin Sheng, he could not deny that he would feel uncomfortable more or less.
Qin Sheng closed his eyes, rubbing his temples with fatigue. “Let me think about this… I’ll think about this…”
Then Chang Baji left Qin Sheng alone and just drove quietly. Qin Sheng had to make his own choice. Anyway, this was Qin Sheng’s life, not his. He should not do anything about this.
Lin Changhe went to visit an old friend, who was an eminent monk of the Lingyin Temple and had gotten along well with the Lins. This monk was at a similar age as the old Ms. Lin, and was old Mr. Lin’s good friend. Anyone from the Lins coming to the Lingyin Temple would visit the monk. It was almost a rule of the Lin family.
When Lin Changhe came out of the room, he saw the guard of Shifang Garden standing beside the door. Lin Changhe went over and asked the guard, “Where are they?”
“Executive Lin, they have left,” the guard answered.
Lin Changhe said surprisedly, “They’ve left?”
Of course, he did not ask about the talk between Qin Sheng and Yan Chaozong, and the guard obviously had no idea. He thought for a while and called Qin Sheng, but Qin Sheng did not answer the phone. Then he called Yan Chaozong and asked, “Chaozong, what did you talk about with him?”
“Second Uncle, Qin Sheng told you nothing. It was a nice talk. As for the result, you will know it soon.” Yan Chaozong deliberately hid something.
Lin Changhe did not like Yan Chaozong due to this young man’s arrogant attitude. He finished the phone call with a few words. From Yan Chaozong’s voice, Lin Changhe realized that he must have won this round and there had been a result. He guessed that Qin Sheng had to pay a lot for this. Lin Chang sighed. This was within his expectation. Unfortunately, Qin Sheng was the only one to pay for this round of the game.
He thought about all those ups and downs happening to the Lin family. If his big brother was braver, then the Lins would not suffer as much as they did now. The Lins would not become much better, but at least they would not be worse. After all, big families always hoped that they went further.
For rich and powerful families in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, it was a long convention to unite by marriage from ancient to modern times. It was the same for the Lin family. Let alone in some places, major industries were controlled by the big local families. In southern China, clans were especially influential unlike in the north. That was why there were so many clan temples in the south but much fewer in the north.
Lin Changhe thought, “If Lin Su was a man, then things would be much different. Because the family education would be deeply rooted in ‘his’ bones.” But things were better since Lin Su was actually a woman. If not, the Lins would never admit “his” girlfriend and “he” would be excluded by the whole family and even other families who had connections with the Lins.
Things had happened before. The story of Xu Zhimo, one of the most famous modern poets, and his wife Lady Lu Xiaoman, a well-known social butterfly, was known to many. Xu Zhimo was the elder cousin of Jin Yong, one of the most famous kung fu story writers. But Jin Yong obviously scorned this cousin. In Jin’s novels, the hero’s elder cousin was always a bad guy. And in one of his novels called Tian Long Ba Bu, Jin even named a raper after his cousin’s pen name.
Jin Yong was a pen name and his original family name was Zha. The Zha family was a big family from Haining, Zhejiang Province. It was such a big family that even a Qing dynasty emperor had praised it as “the hugest Jiangnan family with thousands of years of history”. This showed that the Zhas was a big power in Zhejiang Province. The Zhas had produced untold politicians and scholars. The family also built connections with other rich and powerful local big families by marriage. The Zha family’s glory was mostly in the period of Kang Xi. After that, during the period of Yong Zheng, the family was unfortunately involved in a coup, but in the end, went through difficult times. This was because of the help from the Chen family, who the Zhas had a marriage connection with. The Chen family had close connections with Emperor Yongzheng and even Emperor Qianlong.
After all, the hundreds of years of connection-oriented marriages were the root of the Zha family, which made it exist long in history. If you looked up to this history book, you would find that those quite a lot of celebrities had kinships. For example, Aunt Jiang, who was mentioned a lot by Jin Yong, married Jiang Baili, from the Four Families of the Republic of China. Jin Yong’s teacher was Wang Zhean, the younger brother of Wang Guowei, a famous scholar of the Republic of China. And Jin Yong’s niece was Chen Congzhong, who was also a famous scholar.
The reason why Xu Zhimo was looked down upon was that he had broken the big families’ convention of marriage. He abandoned his ex-wife and married Lady Lu Xiaoman, the social butterfly of Shanghai. As a result, the whole Xu family excluded him, but still included Xu’s ex-wife and her son and ignored Lady Lu Xiaoman.
Xu Zhimo’s ex-wife was from the family that was a big shot in Shanghai’s financial industry. This was the deep reason.
It was because of the connection-oriented marriages from generation to generation that the Lin family could take its root in Ningbo. And this was also how the Yan family developed itself from a big family in Ningbo to a real big shot in Shanghai. The connection-oriented marriage brought about the sharing of all resources and glory, as well as difficulties. This was the real reason that the Lins looked down upon Qin Sheng. It was not only because of their disparity, but because the Lins should never break their convention of marriage.
So Lin Changhe thought that things were much better since Lin Su was the daughter rather than the son of the Lin family. If not, Lin Su absolutely would be abandoned by the family.
But Qin Sheng and Lin Su both focused on the conflicts, but ignored the truth behind.
At this moment, after Qin Sheng and Chang Baji left the Lingyin Temple, they did not go to the Golden Coast, but Jiuxi Rose Garden. Now that Chang Baji was going to the training venue of Boss Hu, Gu Qingyang must have gone back to his work.
Qin Sheng walked to the Caos’ mansion. Cao Ying studied in a boarding school and only went home on the weekend. Cao Zhang was a senior student at the university so he had plenty of free time to stay at home. He was playing with his younger sister in the sitting room, laughing happily. Cao Da was sitting beside, reading a newspaper. Second Aunt Mi Na was consulting her smartphone while chatting with Cao Da sometimes, with felicity. First Aunt Ji Jing had gone to Shanghai for shopping.
Qin Sheng was kind of jealous of Cao Zhang. He was at a similar age as Cao Zhang, but had suffered so much from life. He had to struggle for what he wanted, but Cao Zhang needed to do nothing, for his family would eliminate all the difficulties for him.
“Brother Qin Sheng!” Yu’er shouted to Qin Sheng excitedly, running toward him and clinging to his leg. She had a good impression of him.
Qin Zhang greeted him politely. “Brother Qin.”
Mi Na raised her head and said with a smile, “Qin Sheng, how are you doing today?”
Cao Da dropped the newspaper and stared at Qin Sheng, realizing that he wanted to say something. Qin Sheng greeted everyone here politely.
“Is something wrong?” Cao Da asked directly.
Qin Sheng nodded.
“Let’s go to the study.” Cao Da stood up and asked Cao Zhang to take his daughter away.
Cao Da entered the study and said with a smile, “That is over. You still look worried deeply. Never mind. You have to move on to the next chapter.”
“Uncle Cao, that was my fault,” Qin Sheng said with guilty.
Cao Da frowned and said, “What happened? I’ve said that it was none of your business. Why do you still feel bad?”
“Uncle Cao, I’ve figured out the one behind it. That’s why I have to say sorry. I really feel bad now.” Qin Sheng just said it directly and did not want to hide the truth from Cao Da.
“You know? Who?” Cao Da asked surprisedly.
Qin Sheng hesitated a little then said, “An enemy of mine.”
“Your enemy?” Cao Da was even more surprised.
Qin Sheng nodded with a serious look and said, “Yeah, my enemy, the Yan family in Shanghai.”
Cao Da said no more and absorbed himself in thought…
Yan Chaozong had not gone back from the Lingyin Temple, but Qu Huanxi had been waiting in the mansion of Amanfayun. He came very early, obviously having known something about the meeting between Yan Chaozong and Qin Sheng. Yan Chaozong informed Qu Huanxi of his purpose of this Hangzhou journey the moment he arrived here. Qu Huanxi, who had been at leisure for a long time, definitely would not miss this.
When Yan Chaozong went back and entered the room, Qu Huanxi couldn’t wait to stand up and ask, “Lao Yan, did everything go well?”
“All as I expected,” Yan Chaozong said with a teasing smile.
Qu Huanxi asked excitedly, “So he said ‘yes’?”
“Not yet, I said I’d give him time to think about it,” Yan Chaozong answered.
Qu Huanxi was almost jumping with glee and said with a laugh, “You know, you’re going to kick that guy to the graveyard. “But, if he finally says ‘yes’, will you let him go?”
Yan Chaozong rolled his eyes to Qu Huanxi and said in a horrifying voice, “You know who I am!”
Qu Huanxi got Yan Chaozong immediately and burst into a laugh. The show was to be continued.