This punch was earth-shattering.
Shen Shiqi had never been hurt before, let alone by such a merciless punch.
It shattered all of his pride, arrogance, and dominance.
Amidst his howls, his two bodyguards rushed in and without hesitation, threw punches at Ling Shu. But they were quickly knocked down.
These two so-called bodyguards were just thugs hired from the Qing Gang. They knew some fighting skills and followed Shen Shiqi to make a living. They usually flattered him and accompanied him in his car, so they rarely encountered any danger.
But today, they miscalculated.
Shen Shiqi's screams grew louder, and they could be heard for miles around.
Ling Shu's wound also throbbed with pain. The wound on his abdomen from that knife cut was deep, and it still hasn't fully healed to this day.
Just now, with all the sudden movements, it seemed like the wound was starting to reopen.
But it was still better than the current state of Shen Shiqi.
He took a step closer to Shen Shiqi.
He You'an thought he was going to attack, so she quickly stopped him and gestured for him to leave.
But Ling Shu didn't leave. Instead, he crouched down and said to Shen Shiqi, "Young Master Shen, if you keep howling like this, tomorrow's headline will read that the Shen family is trying to bully others and will only end up being laughed at."
Shen Shiqi's howling abruptly stopped.
He glared fiercely at Ling Shu.
"I dare you to appear in front of me again!"
Ling Shu said, "I came to watch a movie. Miss He was just attacked, and I acted bravely. If it weren't for me, what you would be seeing now is Miss He's corpse. Instead of thanking me, you even raised your fists against me. That's not right, is it?"
Shen Shiqi sneered, "Don't think I don't know that you, Ling Shu, want to eat swan meat. I'll remember this incident. If you have the guts, don't leave Shanghai. As long as you're here, I have plenty of ways to deal with you!"
Ling Shu laughed, "Young Master Shen, how do you plan to deal with me?"
Shen Shiqi said with a sinister smile, "Your name is Ling Shu, right? I've heard that your Ling family used to be powerful, but now you're just a fallen aristocrat. I heard that your brother-in-law works in the government, but he's just a low-level clerk. You're barefoot and not afraid to wear shoes. Can't I deal with your brother-in-law?"
Ling Shu's face lit up and he said solemnly, "If Master Shen can really take care of my brother-in-law, I will be truly grateful to you!"
Shen Shiqi: ???
"You don't know this, but I was very unhappy when my sister married my brother-in-law. And since they still don't have any children, if you can ruin my brother-in-law's job, wouldn't it be perfect for me to persuade my sister to remarry? As you saw last time, I was able to attend the consulate's banquet because of Yue Dingtang's lingering feelings for my sister. So if Yue Dingtang becomes my new brother-in-law, shouldn't I thank you even more?"
Shen Shiqi was speechless, unsure if he was angry or simply had no response.
Ling Shu dusted himself off and stood up. "Since Master Shen is here as a protector of flowers, I will take my leave."
With a heavy heart, He You'an apologized, "I'm really sorry. I'll explain this to Mr. Shen. You can go now, I won't see you off."
Ling Shu didn't even turn back, just waved his hand.
Leaving the cinema, Ling Shu leisurely returned to the city bureau.
Yue Dingtang was waiting for him in the office.
"Has the great young master Ling finally decided to come back?"
He put on a posture of having been waiting for a long time, with a slight smile on his face, very kind.
But in Ling Shu's eyes, this smile seemed to have a hint of trouble.
Ling Shu shook the paper bag in his hand.
"Boss, have you had lunch yet? I brought you some meat buns, there's pork and cabbage filling, and also red bean paste filling. I remember you used to love the red bean paste filling when you were in school, so I bought two extra. You won't blame me, will you?"
Yue Dingtang looked at him with a smirk and said, "You disappeared all morning, did you go out to buy buns?"
Ling Shu replied, "Of course not, I went out to do some research. You were kind enough to give me a month to complete the feasibility report on the security situation around the Shanghai teahouses. I was deeply moved and after thinking about it all night, I finally had a burst of inspiration and finished the entire report."
Yue Dingtang said, "So this morning you surprised me by submitting the report and even applying for funding?"
Ling Shu looked embarrassed and said, "I really wanted to surprise you, but I didn't expect you to find out."
Yue Dingtang realized that after not seeing his old classmate for several years, his thick-skinned friend had become even more shameless. Perhaps if you put a piece of cowhide in front of him and poke it with a needle, the cowhide would break before Ling Shu's face does.
Yue Dingtang said coldly, "You haven't shown it to me yet, but you went ahead and reported the project. Have you forgotten who your boss is?"
"Boss, I swear on my conscience that I have to speak up for myself. When I arrived at the city bureau early this morning, I happened to run into Deputy Mayor Chen passing by the entrance. As you know, the government and our city bureau are right next to each other. I naturally greeted him respectfully. He was very approachable and asked me what I was busy with. As a newcomer, he asked if I was adjusting well, so I reported to him one by one."
Ling Shu looked innocent and spoke vividly, singing and acting in perfect harmony.
Yue Dingtang knew that the other person was acting, but he also wanted to know what story he was planning to sell. This conflicting feeling made him hesitate to interrupt the other person's words.
"In the end, the old man not only patiently listened, but also offered to help us. I thought to myself, this is all because of your reputation, boss. I can't let you lose face. So I bravely applied for funding for the project, and Mayor Chen approved it immediately. In order to fulfill the plan as soon as possible, I spent the whole day outside conducting detailed investigations for the plan!"
Yue Dingtang watched as he spouted nonsense, "So what did you find out from your investigation?"
Ling Shu said, "The investigation results show that the reason for the poor public security near the teahouses is because it attracts people from all walks of life, making it a hub for robbery and theft. The number of patrol police is limited and they cannot attend to every incident. However, if we mobilize the people, even in the moment of many incidents, we can find clues in the first place.”
“Therefore, I suggest that we spend this budget on improving the relationship with the surrounding residents. Most of the families around the teahouse have average living conditions. We can provide them with some assistance when they encounter difficulties, and they will be our eyes and ears as they have lived in the area for decades and know the people and environment well. Even if a real incident occurs, they can help us gather information."
Yue Dingtang remained silent for a while.
Ignoring him, Ling Shu continued speaking. "You see, the government allocates a large amount of funds every year, but who knows how much actually goes towards practical use. Since there's an opportunity now that can benefit you and help others at the same time, it's a win-win situation. Why not take advantage of it?"
Yue Dingtang smiled wryly. "I never expected that Young Master Ling would have such a compassionate heart for helping the needy."
Ling Shu bowed. "I dare not accept such flattery from my superior. My main goal is to bring in revenue for you. Although you may not care about a small sum of money, you are now a member of the city bureau and need to establish your prestige. As your subordinate, I have no other skills but to work hard and do my best for you!"
Yue Dingtang remained silent, staring at Ling Shu for a long time.
He didn't know what to say because he was impressed by Ling Shu's dedication.
He didn't know what he was feeling at the moment, but it might be similar to how Shen Shiqi felt after being beaten down just now.
"This matter ends here. Without my permission, you cannot act on your own, especially when it comes to reporting to higher-ups."
Yue Dingtang chuckled.
"I know you don't want to stay under my command and hope that I'll kick you out, but the more you act like this, the less likely I am to let you go."
"Ling Shu, think about how many favors you owe me since we reunited. Even if you leave now, can Big Sister let you off the hook?"
Yue Dingtang's words successfully silenced Ling Shu.
The two of them stared at each other for a moment.
Ling Shu's stomach growled.
Yue Dingtang: ...
Ling Shu looked innocent. "Boss, I haven't had lunch yet, and the buns are cold."
Yue Dingtang felt like he was playing the piano to a cow and a goose, so he didn't bother saying anything and turned around to leave the office.
Perhaps he was really annoyed by him, but Yue Dingtang didn't come back all afternoon.
Ling Shu was calm and collected. As evening approached, he slowly packed up his things and went to someone else's house for dinner.
By the time Yue Dingtang's school matters were settled, it was already completely dark outside.
The days of severe cold were particularly difficult to endure. Even if he was wrapped up tightly, after only a short time outside, Yue Dingtang hoped to quickly return to the warmth of indoors. Especially in this kind of weather, if he could have a hot pot with various meats and vegetables to dip in sauces, it would definitely be a wonderful thing.
Yue Dingtang was really hungry.
To him, what happened in the afternoon was just a small episode.
Although Ling Shu took the initiative without permission, Yue Dingtang reviewed the proposal and found no flaws.
Admittedly, Ling Shu's direct application for funding without going through him was a major taboo in the workplace, but this old classmate was determined to get himself fired, so the taboo became a trivial matter.
Moreover, nowadays, the misuse, abuse, and even embezzlement of funds have become an unspoken reality.
To be honest, Yue Dingtang even had a hint of approval in his heart for the purpose of Ling Shu's application.
But this trend cannot continue, otherwise, day after day, where would his face be?
"Did you tell my sister that we're having hot pot tonight?"
As he entered the door, he didn't forget to ask the old servant.
"I did, Miss prepared a lot of dishes, it's enough even with the guest," the old servant said with a smile.
"What guests?" Yue Dingtang's question had not even been asked when he saw his third sister sitting in the dining room, picking up a chopstick of beef and putting it into Ling Shu's bowl.
As she served, she spoke, "Eat more quickly, while Dingtang hasn't come back yet. He loves beef, don't let him eat it all!"
Yue Dingtang: ...
Am I not her real brother?
Was I switched at birth?
Why is my sister more enthusiastic towards Ling Shu than towards me, her own brother?
These questions, coming from the depths of his soul, exploded in Yue Dingtang's mind.
His current mood was like a cat that had just come back to its nest after a fight outside, only to find that its spot had been taken by someone else.
Exhausted, disheveled, and slightly jealous.
The author has something to say:
Ling Shu: There is a cause for every effect, and your retribution is me.
Yue Dingtang: ...