Aside from local students, those from subordinate villages and towns were also taking their examination here in Bai Town. With their parents to accompany them, the town was swarmed with the sudden inflow of people.
Fang Qing was taking her exams in another middle school not far from her home. After everything was ready, the four of them set off together. Her parents walked in the front, followed by Gu Yu and the girl.
"How are you feeling these days?" He whispered.
"I feel awesome. My memory is much better than before. Anyway, I remembered a lot of exercises," the girl was not sure how to express what she was feeling.
"That’s good enough… oh, have you put away the sachet?"
"Yes, I left it at home."
Gu Yu nodded. It was better that way. It would be such a shame if the sachet was labeled as some cheating instrument in the exam room.
Those two types of incense were no magical cure, but simply helped one focus without giving the person too much pressure by improving one’s capability for clear thinking. Judging from her words, the girl was much more confident these days.
The four of them soon arrived outside the school gate, which was not yet open. All kinds of students and parents flanked the street. Bai Town had only two public high schools and the rest were all private schools. Most kids would go to either No. One or No. Two High School. To the locals, there was no third choice.
Uncle Fang and Aunt Fang were unbelievably nervous. They tried to come up with something encouraging to say but did not know the appropriate words. All they could say was "don’t be nervous in there", "just do as you usually do", "you mustn’t put pressure on yourself" and so on...
Fang Qing responded casually to their lecture and was sighing to herself inside, for she really was not nervous at all.
Ten or so minutes later, the loudspeaker announced that it was time to enter the exam rooms. Fang Qing waved at them, "Dad, mum, I’m going in. Brother, I’m off!"
"Em, I’ll wait for your call," Gu Yu waved back.
It wasn't until the girl went in and disappeared into a building that her parents stopped craning their necks trying to catch a look of her. He offered a few more soothing words and left them--it would be perfectly normal for the parents to wait there, but his presence would be rather awkward instead.
This fellow was not working on his stall again today. He headed home straight away. Locking himself inside the west wing, he started concocting the raw materials.
Zeng Yuewei had turned out to be an awesome middleman. The day she received those pills, she managed to find him a customer, who was also a young girl. They befriended each other on the social media and the bubbly girl kept throwing all sorts of question at Gu Yu. In the end, she ordered one box of incense pills and sticks each and paid 1600 yuan without hesitation.
Gu Yu sighed with emotion at her purchase, impressed by city slickers’ generosity and their emphasis on the quality of life and mental relaxation. However, he was well aware that his own mentality remained at a low standard and was as stingy as ever.
Before he knew it, it was noontime. When Gu Yu finished preparing enough material for five portion of incense, his phone rang on time.
As soon as he picke up, Fang Qing’s vigorous voice rushed into his ears.
"Wow, your voice is saying ‘I did really well’," he chuckled.
"Absolutely, or I’ll be letting you down."
"Just don’t let your parents down."
"Aiya, I know that! You know what, I think I nailed that reading comprehension. As for my composition, haha, do you know what is it like to be overwhelmed by inspirations?"
"You are doing it right now…"
The two chattered on for a while before the girl hung up and went to eat lunch with her parents.
Chinese examination took place in the morning and comprehensive science examination was in the afternoon. If her feeling towards Chinese exam was rather abstract, the answer to how she did in comprehensive science was much more specific. Regarding those questions she knew the answers for, she had very likely given the correct ones. If she could not give full answers, her thoughts were usually going in the right direction and she could at least put down a part of the solution, earning herself one or two more points.
One of two points might seem like nothing, but they would be the only thing she could depend on to move her rank higher on the final grade list.
That night, the Fang family invited Gu Yu over and Aunt Fang cooked dinner herself. It was nothing fancy, just a small celebration on the good start of Fang Qing’s examination. What the Fang couple wanted more than anything else was for Fang Qing to get into university and settle down in the city in the future. They did not want their daughter to live as humble a life as theirs in this dump.
Many people nowadays were saying that studying was useless. As a matter of fact, study was always useful, regardless of what era it was. However, the real differentiating factor did not lie in one’s knowledge, but their wisdom.
The feelings of the Fang family were rather infectious. Gu Yu was also delighted that he could be of some help.
Needless to say, they did not go overboard with the celebration and were content with a simple meal. After all, they still had one and a half days to go.
The next morning.
Several jeeps were driving along a highway. They were all big, powerful vehicles and looked rather intimidating when standing side by side in a row. Three men sat in the leading car. Despite their ordinary outfits, there was a cruel look to their faces. In short, they were not the easiest people to get along with.
"Brother Bao, what do you think the boss meant?" A young man with brush cut hair and square face asked suddenly. "Are we going to negotiate with him, or just beat the hell out of him?"
"I’m not sure either. Just follow the orders," replied a middle-aged man in the back seat.
"Why the hell did we bring that old priest along? I say, he’s just a fraud," the driver added.
"Watch your tongue!"
The middle-aged man shouted and scolded them, "That priest is a real master. Even the boss respects him a lot. I’ve seen with my own eyes back in the villa. A humongous flower pot was crashing down and he smacked it back with a flip of his sleeves. Can you do that?"
Hearing that, the other two pursed their lips and did not reply, obviously not believing any of it.
The middle-aged man was called Sun Baosheng, the head of security of the He family. He used to practice martial arts for a few years and was a level-headed person. Such a temperament was greatly appreciated by He Zun. The younger two were Yu Tao and Wu Xiaoshan, both low-level hatchet men working for the company. They led the way in the first vehicle while He Zun, Li Yan and Old Priest Mo sat in the second one.
Leqi had led He Zun to Gu Yu. Through his associates in the police force, He Zun managed to obtain Gu Yu’s address. The two fathers decided to come themselves and see just what sort of person the guy really was. If he was not guilty, they would befriend him--otherwise, they would take their revenge right away.
The vehicles entered downtown Bai Town just past 10 a.m.
They stopped by the street and Old Priest Mo changed to another vehicle, leading several people to Phoenix Fair straight away. He Zun and Li Yan, on the other hand, turned to head towards the new district, where Granny Zeng lived.
The old lady had finished her breakfast and was savoring her incense at home. A rumbling engine sound suddenly came from outside her front gate. Before she knew it, two men had entered the courtyard.
She was immediately alarmed, not only for their presence here, but also for the purpose of their visit. Both men were business tycoons of Shengtian. What could be so important so as to draw out them together?
"Old Sister, how have you been recently?"
As soon as they met, He Zun greeted with a laughter. Granny Zeng was more than ten years older than them, so he had to show some respect--at least on the surface.
The old lady was no ordinary woman. She regained her composure at once and welcomed them with a smile. "Well, such rare visitors! Please come in!"
With that, the three went inside and the nanny served them with tea and desserts. Li Yan glanced around and praised, "You sure know how to enjoy your life. The two of us are working ourselves to death out there."
"With those business empires of yours, of course you cannot just put everything aside like I did."
After exchanging the pleasantries, the old lady asked, "May I ask why you two are here today?"
"Oh, we heard that there is an excellent incense maker here in Bai Town, so we are here to see him today, and also to pay you a visit," Li Yan replied casually.
The answer was making Granny Zeng even more unsettled, for their attitude was not saying "visitors", but rather indicated that they were here with the purpose to punish someone.
She flinched inside, suddenly recalling what happened to He Tian and Li Yang a while back. Her granddaughter was also embroiled in that incident… the longer she pondered over it, the more frightened she became. Could Wei Wei be actually involved? How was Xiao Gu dragged into it?
While she was still deep in her thoughts, He Zun asked, "You’re from around here and a fan of incense yourself. I presume you’ve heard about that master?"
"Yes, we’ve actually met a few times."
"That's great. I’ve already sent some people to invite the master over. If you don't mind, we’ll take the liberty to use your house for the meeting today. What do you think?"
"That sounds excellent. I’ll ask them to prepare lunch now. We are going to have things liven up today," the old lady could only try to settle problems as they came along.
"Hehe… here, have some tea," He Zun smiled and poured two cups of tea as if he was the host here. Pushing one cup towards Granny Zeng and sipping the other himself, he added, "It's still early, let's wait."