Wuxiaworld > Seizing Dreams > Ch74 - Paving the Way

Ch74 - Paving the Way

Zhou Sheng, “……”

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Yu Hao smiled, “Un, if I get the chance to.”

“Zhou Sheng can get a scholarship next year?” Zhou Laichun asked.

Zhou Sheng frowned, “That grandson Xue Long called you?”

“Your counsellor cares about you!” Zhou Laichun said, “Stop being so prickly all the time.”

Zhou Sheng almost laughed out of anger, “That grandson really is cunning. While he tries to screw me over and failed on one side, he’s here taking credit on the other.”

Yu Hao said, “Xue Long he……”

“Forget it, don’t say it.” Zhou Sheng stopped Yu Hao from explaining, “I don’t have the time to get into a palace fight with him.”

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Zhou Laichun said, “Yu Hao, the two of you live together, and one who stays near vermillion gets stained red. The appearance of this civilised Zhou Sheng is as if he has been reborn, and it must have been partly thanks to you. But Zhou Sheng ah, that’s how it is in society,” Within the smoke, Zhou Laichun frowned and lectured Zhou Sheng, “Be a bit more round and smooth, then your life will be both round and full, round and full, got it?”

“Well, your life’s perfect enough.” Zhou Sheng sighed, “But what a pity, the only imperfection is that you gave birth to a piece of barbequed pork.”

Yu Hao almost spat out the tea in his mouth.

Zhou Laichun snorted disdainfully at Zhou Sheng. When Yu Hao saw this, he thought that expressions really could be inherited.

“Then say it yourself, what do you want to do after graduation?” Zhou Laichun asked, “See, I was right. You can do well in your studies and you even ranked second in your cohort. What can’t you do? What can’t you do well?”

Yu Hao thought this was quite right. For as long as he had known Zhou Sheng, he felt that there was more to him than meets the eye. He was just too rebellious. If he was born and raised in a family like Chen Yekai’s, he would also surely have his own male god halo as he climbed all the way to the top.

Yet Zhou Sheng said, “This cow’s tongue is a bit overcooked.”

Zhou Laichun didn’t respond to that, and only said, “In that kind of school, competition is meaningless. Winning them is pointless, come out earlier and compete with society ba.”

“What competition?” Zhou Sheng was impatient now, “Learn from you and start picking up girls?”

Yu Hao was worried that this father-son pair would start quarrelling, yet Zhou Laichun smiled and wasn’t angered. He said to Yu Hao, “Yu Hao, are the two of you interested in starting a business?”

Yu Hao immediately said, “No, no……it’s too early ba.”

“It’s, not, early!” Zhou Laichun said, “When I was your age, I had already been following my senior brother as a second chef for five years.”

Yu Hao remembered the boss of the small stir-fry shop. Zhou Sheng said, “Yu Hao studies Psychology, not Entrepreneurship. Stop trying to con him, can’t you just let him eat in peace?”


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Zhou Laichun put out his cigarette, “Zhou Sheng, you’ll be 21 years old today. I deposited a sum of money in your bank account. If you’re not too busy with your studies, then start a company and practice a bit ba. Yu Hao, uncle knows that the two of you are close, persuade him a little now and then.” As he spoke, he took out a bank card and spun the rotating table until the card was right in front of Zhou Sheng.

Yu Hao thought, wah, start a company? Then how much would there be in this card? Would there be a million? Zhou Sheng probably wouldn’t want it. And indeed, Zhou Sheng just patiently turned the table back without even picking up the card to look at it. He said to Zhou Laichun, “Old man, why do you think that I’ll follow the plan you laid out for me?”

Zhou Laichun lit up another cigarette, “If you don’t learn how to do business, then how will you take over Yun Lai Chun in the future?”

Zhou Sheng said, baffled, “Who said that I’ll take over Yun Lai Chun?”

Zhou Laichun laughed, “Don’t tell me that’s what you really think in your heart. Zhou Sheng, can’t you just have a proper talk with me today?”

Zhou Sheng said, “Okay, have a proper talk, then let’s chat a little ba.”

Zhou Laichun took a cigarette out and passed it to Zhou Sheng. Zhou Sheng accepted it, and Zhou Laichun lit it up for his son. Yu Hao felt extremely embarrassed. Just as he was about to stand up, Zhou Sheng said, “Just sit there and eat your food.”

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“Your mother has been holding you back.” Zhou Laichun narrowed his eyes, “You should know clearly in your heart what kind of person you should become.”

“I don’t know.” Zhou Sheng said, “Honestly speaking, old man, I really don’t know what kind of person I will become. But there’s one thing I know for certain — I won’t become someone like you.”

“Why?” Zhou Laichun said, “Isn’t it good to be like your Dad? I admit that I let your mother down. Try to put yourself in my shoes and think about it from another perspective, would you have been able to tolerate it if you were me?”

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Yu Hao felt more awkward the more he listened. The image of Zhou Sheng’s mother surfaced in his mind.

“Qtfgf’r jii sbeg gfrfcawfca mbwlcu ogbw?” Itbe Ojlmtec rjlv, “Tbe’gf pera gfyfiilcu obg atf rjxf bo gfyfiilcu. Itbe Vtfcu, atlcx jybea atbrf oglfcvr bo sbegr, atf bcfr P agfjafv ab vlccfg ijra alwf. P vbc’a gfwfwyfg atflg cjwfr, atja ues ktb rajcvr bea ogbw atf mgbkv……”

“Llr cjwf lr Me Oldec!” Itbe Vtfcu yifk eq.

“How many envy you for having such an old man?” Zhou Laichun said, “Are you looking down on money? Do you know how important money is? Without money, you won’t even be able to take a single step!”

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“Drop it ba.” Zhou Sheng said, “Don’t you just have some dirty money? But look at how arrogant that made you!”

“Maybe.” Zhou Laichun smiled, “Look down on money, look down on your father, where do you think your life comes from? Nothing goes well for a destitute couple. If your mother and I had lived a good life, do you think our family would’ve ended up the way it did?”

Zhou Sheng suddenly fell silent. Zhou Laichun said patiently, “You don’t look up to anyone, and naturally you disdain the people in your class too. Yes, you’re all rich second generations, but their parents either got rich through demolition work or work as contractors. If they really had connections in society, do you think they would’ve enrolled in your school? How many of their parents can be like your Laozi who can help you pave the way? Let’s put this another way: you want to rely on yourself? Okay. After you graduate, start from scratch, do some business and endure the occasional storm, get up early and go to bed late, make money and get rich, then you’ll feel like you’ve earned your face. But when you look back, you’ll realise that you wasted 10 or so years repeating your Dad’s old road, and what for?”

Zhou Sheng said, “I really don’t think we can communicate.”

“Then say it for yourself!” Zhou Laichun patiently said, “What are you thinking? If you don’t say anything, then how can we communicate?”

Zhou Sheng said, “Old man, there are other things to do in this world aside from making money and spending money. Is there only money in your eyes now?”

“Well said!” Zhou Laichun said, “Then let me ask you this now, what do you want to do? Do you want to join the Tour de France? One bicycle costs 100,000.”

Yu Hao, “……”

“You want to play the piano and learn music?” Zhou Laichun continued, “A piano costs 800,000. Your Uncle Lei’s son plays the saxophone, and his instrument costs 120,000, and this is without considering the costs for a teacher! Drawing? Becoming an athlete? Tell me, what dreams do you have? I’ll analyze how much money they would cost for you. Ideals in life are built with money! Without financial freedom, your only choice is to work an honest 9 to 5 job, you won’t have any other options! You won’t have freedom! You can only be a slave to money!”

Zhou Sheng said, “I’m full, I want to go back. Yu Hao, let’s go.”

“Uncle’s right.” Yu Hao suddenly said, “The poor have no equality, no dignity, and no choice.”

Zhou Sheng was stunned and looked at Yu Hao. Yu Hao said, “It’s the truth. For people who find it difficult to just survive, they won’t have the energy to talk about ideals. They can only be slaves.”

“See?” Zhou Laichun said, “Yu Hao has a much clearer understanding of it than you. You’ve never endured his kind of suffering, so you don’t understand, Zhou Sheng. I know you have dreams, and I support your dreams. I just hope that before you pursue them, you would spend just that……little bit of time……” As he spoke, he made a gesture, “It’ll just be for three to five years. Settle your living expenses first, okay?”

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“Dad has thought of just helping you save a sum of money and leaving it in the bank for your own personal financing and just letting it be.” Zhou Laichun said helplessly, “But how could I know if you’d be able to safeguard that bit of capital? Go ba, Zhou Sheng, go and learn, then you’ll know how much use a certain sum of money can be. After your first business is established, I bet that you’ll definitely go to a business graduate school. You can’t escape from the kitchen chimney smoke in the human world na, you’ll have to face it eventually.”

Zhou Sheng looked at Yu Hao. The two of them looked at each other for a moment. Zhou Sheng motioned for Yu Hao to keep the card for him, so Yu Hao took the card. Zhou Sheng said, “Then I’ll leave now, is there anything else?”

Zhou Laichun said, “There is, don’t be in such a hurry to leave. Your Uncle Huang has a daughter, do you know her? We ate together last time, the one who said that you were humorous and witty.”

Zhou Sheng, “……”

Yu Hao thought, crap, a disaster is imminent.

“I sent you her WeChat. Next week, take some time out to meet up and have a chat.” Zhou Laichun said, “Don’t tell your mother.”

Zhou Sheng finally exploded, “Are you crazy, old man?!”

Story translated by Chrysanthemum Garden.

Zhou Laichun was very patient, “Zhou Sheng, do you have any troubles that you find hard to talk about? Any physiological problems? Do you want to go for a check-up?”

Yu Hao, “……”

Zhou Sheng said, “You’re the one with fucking physiological problems! Take care of yourself first before trying to talk about others, will you?”

“Then what about your girlfriend?” Zhou Laichun suddenly said, “Let me meet her ah! What the hell are you doing? Your mother told you to not find a wife, and you really won’t look for one?”

“She didn’t stick her nose into that business!” Zhou Sheng retorted.

Yu Hao quickly added, “Auntie even asked about it last New Year’s.”

“Does he have a girlfriend?” Zhou Laichun asked Yu Hao, “No? Then go for the blind date and meet her once ah. It’s not like you know whether you’ll like her or not. What’s wrong with Jingya? She studied abroad, and her family works in the government too. Zhou Sheng, you have to think it over carefully. Your Dad is an entrepreneur, and to say it frankly, I’m a noveau riche. Now that the economy isn’t doing so well, money, isn’t, easy, to, earn. Look at the province, which are the profitable businesses? If you want to climb up the social ladder, you’ll have to find a girl like Jingya. In China, no matter how much money you have, whatever you do would all depend on your connections to the government in the end, you can’t escape that! Zhou Sheng, even if you want to start up a business or work part-time, you’ll eventually embark on this road……”

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“Fuck.” Zhou Sheng said, “Do you treat me as a tool?!”

“If you want to play, it’s not like I’m not letting you play.” Zhou Laichun said, “You can play however you want, marriage and love are two separate things, do you get that?”

Yu Hao has never felt more awkward in his life.

Zhou Sheng said, “Okay okay, a blind date it is, I’ll add her.”

Zhou Laichun was about to nod when Zhou Sheng added, “If you end up falling out with Huang Baiguang don’t blame me.”

Zhou Laichun, “I’ve already said this much, do you still not understand?!”

When Zhou Laichun roared, Yu Hao jumped in fright. Zhou Sheng said, “Isn’t it just to get your son to marry the daughter of an official so that it’d be easier for a snake and mouse like you and Huang Baiguang to continue raking in money and become a listed company to cut chives?

Zhou Laichun roared, “Yun Lai Chun doesn’t just belong to your Dad alone! Do you know how many people are eyeing it?! Do you know that your Laozi is acting like a grandson outside just to earn this bit of money for you?! Listed listed! I don’t even want to fucking do it anymore! What can I say?! I only have one son — you, Zhou Sheng!”

Zhou Sheng was infuriated too, “Then you go and be Huang Baiguang’s son-in-law yourself! Do you treat me as a dog?! The kind that you just take out to mate whenever you want me to?!”

“Don’t, don’t……” Yu Hao finally couldn’t bear to listen to any more. He quickly said, “Don’t fight anymore.”

Zhou Sheng said, “I shouldn’t have come for this meal, I knew it wouldn’t amount to anything good.” As he spoke, he stood up and signalled to Yu Hao to leave.

Zhou Laichun said, “I’ve already made everything clear to you. Go back and think over it yourself ba. You know yourself that you regret not going to Ying University like I told you to and instead enrolled in such a lousy college……”

“I don’t regret it!” Zhou Sheng walked to the door, turned back and said, “Could you stop acting? I, don’t, regret, it! Did you look at how I mouthed it? Do you understand?”

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Yu Hao quickly motioned to Zhou Sheng to stop arguing and to hurry back. Zhou Laichun said, “Yu Hao, thank you! Go back and persuade him a little!”

“I’m the one who has to thank you na!” Zhou Sheng shouted from outside.

Zhou Sheng walked out, thoroughly angered. Yu Hao held the card and didn’t know what to say for a moment. He already had a conclusion regarding Zhou Sheng’s coping style when he gets angry. Don’t comfort him, just stay by his side, and his anger will gradually dissipate after a while.

They left the clubhouse. It was halfway up Mt. Yunding, so they couldn’t even hail a cab. The chauffeur was standing at the entrance as he teased the lobby manager in a lecherous manner while he waited outside. When he saw Zhou Sheng and Yu Hao come over, he immediately said, “Young Master, your dormitory is already cleaned up. Just let me know if you need to use the car.”

Zhou Sheng ignored him. He immediately left Yun Lai Chun and headed towards the plankway at the back of the mountains. Yu Hao quickened his pace and followed Zhou Sheng.

“Let’s take a stroll?” Zhou Sheng’s anger seemed to gradually subside as he spoke with Yu Hao.

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“Okay.” Yu Hao said.

The plank walkway crossed through the bamboo forest, and the air was extremely fresh. Compared to the urban areas where the summer heat was inescapable, the natural park was just like a paradise. The whole piece of land at the back mountains was within the boundary of Yun Lai Chun, within which golden pheasants and peacocks were reared. In the spring, suspended in mid-air beside the plankways, and koi were swimming here and there.

At the end was a transparent glass walkway. Zhou Sheng stepped onto it, Yu Hao looked down at his feet, and the two of them walked into the clouds halfway up the mountain.

“Do you really think so?” Zhou Sheng asked.

“That’s how reality is ba.” Yu Hao understood what Zhou Laichun meant. His words were coarse, but the underlying meaning wasn’t. People who have been poor would never want to experience that kind of poverty again in their lifetime.

Eventually, Yu Hao continued, “Think about it, take Chen Laoshi as an example. If he had no financial ability, didn’t have shares and patents in his friend’s company, and even owed student loans in America while finding it difficult to get a job, how would he be able to do as he pleased and return to the country whenever he wanted to, and become a third-tier college’s form teacher?”

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Zhou Sheng said, “Yu Hao, if I were to say that I actually don’t like sports competitions, would you believe it?”

“Ah?!”

Yu Hao never expected that Zhou Sheng would say that.

Zhou Sheng leaned on the railings of the glass plankway and looked down. There was a deep valley with a waterfall, and water vapour was curling upwards. Yu Hao fished his phone out and took pictures of him.

“I don’t like competing for a rank.” Zhou Sheng said, “Yesterday was the first time I participated in such a competition. I know that it’s an honour to stand on the podium. Everyone cheered and crowded around because they were happy for me, but I felt very annoyed.”

“How come?” Yu Hao put down his phone, “But your own feelings are the most important. If you don’t like it then don’t participate in the future? I thought you liked sports.”

“I like sports, but I only like the process of cycling, running, and swimming.” Zhou Sheng said, “Just like how you like singing. You get very engrossed in it, but you don’t like singing on stage and being judged.”

“I understand it now.” Yu Hao understood it within seconds, “I understand that very well.”

“So I think, I shouldn’t be in this field.” Zhou Sheng said, “But I don’t know what I want to do in the future either. Actually, that old man was quite right, money is very important. If I had assets like Kaikai who made it through his own means, then I wouldn’t need to eat his meal today, and I wouldn’t even need to ask him for my own living expenses.”

Yu Hao said, “Even if you did do the same as Chen Laoshi, it would just be a small-scale business in your father’s eyes ba.”

“He wants to plan out my entire life for me.” Zhou Sheng looked at the clouds in the valley in a daze, “And I can’t say that he’s wrong ba, he has good intentions. If I knew what I wanted to do, I could have been more confident about being in the right today, but I don’t even understand myself yet.”

Yu Hao carefully studied Zhou Sheng’s side profile and thought that when he was rational and calm, he did look quite handsome. This was the Zhou Sheng he knew.

“I really want a jindouyun.” Zhou Sheng subconsciously drew a stroke with his hand, “Xiu—— then we’d be able to step on it and fly away.”

Yu Hao laughed.

Story translated by Chrysanthemum Garden.

“I’m a melodramatic person.” Zhou Sheng finally said, “Let’s go down the mountain ba.”

On their way down, Yu Hao kept pondering. He has already liked Zhou Sheng for a long time, yet Zhou Laichun’s words today reminded him of something that he had never considered before, which made him feel a little scared. For most of the year, his only thought was “like”, and yearned for a day that Zhou Sheng would be moved by him and respond to his feelings. Yet he had never thought about whether this kind of like would harm Zhou Sheng.

Zhou Sheng was different from him; he has many options for his future.

Yu Hao was all alone in this world, and he may not have to care about other people’s evaluations of him, but Zhou Sheng has to. His Dad gave him money to support his entrepreneurship, but that money was just a tuition fee for “hands-on practice” — his purpose was to get Zhou Sheng to inherit Yun Lai Chun Corporation in the future. Then get him to marry a beautiful and outstanding girl, rise to the social stratum of the rich and powerful, become the CEO of a listed company……

Yu Hao was beginning to understand Nakagawa Ryuusei more and more now.

Did the past him ever have these thoughts? But at least, he and Chen Yekai were in love with each other. But he and Zhou Sheng were different.

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“Are you full?” Zhou Sheng asked, “I forgot that there were still longevity noodles left.”

“I don’t want to eat anymore.” Yu Hao said, “Your father’s cooking really isn’t as good as yours.”

Zhou Sheng laughed, “Ever since his divorce with my Mum, his cooking isn’t as good anymore.”

Yu Hao said, “But the stir-fry yesterday was really good.”

Zhou Sheng muttered, “Un, so if we only talk about cooking, that old man will never be better than his senior brother in this lifetime.”

They left the plankways and waited at the roadside bus stop. The buses to the forest park ran every hour. Zhou Sheng thought about it for a bit before saying, “Let’s go, follow me.” And as he spoke, he took Yu Hao to the forest park.

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“How much money does your father have?” Yu Hao suddenly asked.

Zhou Sheng thought it over and said, “Are you asking about how much Yun Lai Chun is worth, or my Dad’s own personal property?”

Yu Hao said, “His own money.”

“Why?” Zhou Sheng said, “Interested in his money?”

Yu Hao laughed, “I’m curious.”

Zhou Sheng said indifferently, “The old man……should have one billion ba. I’m not really sure about that rich woman, I just know that she has more than him.”

Yu Hao said sincerely, “Too rich.”

Zhou Sheng uttered an “un”, “Even if he gave all that money to me, I wouldn’t know what to do with it.”

Yu Hao said, “Your father has always wanted to nurture you. From the very beginning, he has never thought of neglecting you……”

“I know.” Zhou Sheng walked to the front of the park, there was a row of shared bicycles parked there. Each of them scanned one, and Zhou Sheng continued, “My mum was causing such a huge fuss last time, so he couldn’t get involved. Now that I’ve left home and enrolled in college, he thinks that it’s time.”

Yu Hao gradually understood that perhaps in Zhou Laichun’s eyes, sanben and a sports major were all just……as long as one had money, it wouldn’t be an issue to train Zhou Sheng to take over his business.

“Let’s compete to see who reaches the school first?” Zhou Sheng asked.

Yu Hao said, “Are you kidding me?! How’s that possible?”

“I’ll give you a one foot handicap!” Zhou Sheng stepped on the slanted front bumper of the shared bike and only used his left foot to cycle, “Win, and the card is yours! One, two, three, start!” As he spoke, he rode off first.

Story translated by Chrysanthemum Garden.

Yu Hao, “……”