Chapter 72 – Could this person be Cui Zhiqiang!

Soon, the two arrived at the county town.

The county town at night, though pitch black everywhere, occasionally revealed a faint glimmer not far away, flickering for a moment and quickly disappearing.

Just like the people moving around the county town at this time, most of them were silent.

At most, one could see a shadow passing by in a flash, capturing a faint sound drifting in the wind, only to vanish in an instant.

However, tonight’s county town seemed unusually quiet, as if something was brewing, like the calm before a storm!

Because of the insights from the little girl’s thoughts earlier, Xu Xiangbei was on guard, so as soon as they reached the county town, he faintly sensed that something was amiss.

Xu Xiangbei didn’t go directly to the agreed-upon location; instead, he chose a more secluded place and took out what he had brought.

“Little girl, hurry up and put this on.”

It was a disguise that Xu Xiangbei specially brought – oversized clothes that covered Xu Jinning’s petite body, and then her face and head were wrapped up, revealing only a pair of eyes.

“Little girl, when you follow me later, remember to stay behind me and don’t speak, understand?”

“Okay.” Xu Jinning allowed Xu Xiangbei to dress her up, nodding.

Once he made sure the little girl was ready, Xu Xiangbei briefly disguised himself.

“Let’s go.”

Then, Xu Xiangbei hid the bicycle somewhere, held Xu Jinning’s hand, and constantly maneuvered through the alleyways.

“Brother, are we going directly to the trading place?” Xu Jinning asked. If that were the case, they definitely couldn’t go.

“No, I’m going to find someone first.”

Xu Jinning breathed a sigh of relief as they continued to navigate through the area, quickly arriving in front of a secluded small house.

Xu Xiangbei tapped the door with his fingers in a rhythmic pattern, as if it were some kind of secret code.

After the knocking stopped, footsteps were heard from inside, and the door opened a small crack.

“Who’s there?”

“I’m Leopard,” Xu Xiangbei replied.

Here, no one used their real names; they all went by self-assigned aliases.

The person inside relaxed upon hearing Xu Xiangbei’s voice and quickly glimpsed another person behind him.

“Brought someone else?”

“Yeah.”

“Can they be trusted?”

“Yeah.”

“…Alright, come in then.”

Xu Xiangbei led Xu Jinning inside.

Once inside, Xu Jinning noticed there were quite a few people, but each one, like her and Xu Xiangbei, was heavily disguised.

Unless acquainted, they didn’t engage in conversation; it seemed like merely a temporary gathering place.

Each of them appeared to be waiting for something.

As Xu Xiangbei guided Xu Jinning further inside, he explained, “Every person here is here to pick up goods. About an hour later, the goods will be delivered here. There are many types of goods, so you can choose whatever you want as long as you have enough money and connections.”

[No way, isn’t the police ambushing people here tonight?]

Xu Jinning was frightened and immediately wanted to take Xu Xiangbei and run.

Xu Xiangbei hurriedly reassured her, “I used to trade here before, but not tonight.”

Xu Jinning’s heart eased slightly, but she remained somewhat puzzled.

Xu Xiangbei lowered his voice and explained, “The goods I’m getting tonight are of high value, and I can’t easily let others see them. That’s why we’re making a separate trade at another location.”

At that moment, Xu Xiangbei spotted the person he was looking for and pulled Xu Jinning along.

“Qiangzi,” Xu Xiangbei called out.

The person, also in disguise, turned around. Upon seeing Xu Xiangbei, he seemed to sigh in relief, then playfully punched his shoulder, saying, “Why did you come so late? I thought you weren’t coming.”

Xu Jinning’s eyes glanced at the person in front of her.

Qiangzi, could this person be Cui Zhiqiang?

Due to the disguise, Xu Jinning couldn’t discern Cui Zhiqiang’s exact appearance.

But in the book, there was a description of Cui Zhiqiang’s appearance.

Cui Zhiqiang had a rather delicate and handsome face, charming enough to attract the town girl Zhang Xiaoyan instantly.

Moreover, he had a good height and a well-proportioned physique.

If he were truly a man with a rough appearance, Zhang Xiaoyan would definitely not be interested.

The so-called love at first sight was nothing more than the hormonal response triggered by a hero saving the beauty, and the attraction of appearances.

In the book, Cui Zhiqiang’s scheme against Xu Xiangbei was undoubtedly successful.

He did betray his good brother and, as a result, received a reward of 50 yuan and a job position.

In the end, he successfully married Zhang Xiaoyan.

Even later, during the era of economic reform and opening up, Cui Zhiqiang ventured into business, established a company, and became an entrepreneur and wealthy individual, accumulating substantial assets.

Due to the success of his career, he frequently accepted interviews, appeared in newspapers, and even became a role model nationwide.

Although in the end, Cui Zhiqiang had more than one woman.

While Zhang Xiaoyan was his wife, after achieving success in his career, Cui Zhiqiang acquired mistresses, and not just one.

However, these were merely some of his amorous affairs.

In that lifetime in the book, Cui Zhiqiang was undoubtedly successful.

He lived to be over eighty years old and, at the time of his death, he had a large family with wives and concubines, becoming a top-notch tycoon with assets scattered across the country.

However, no one knew that the first step in his successful career was stepping on his good brother, relying on betrayal of conscience.

When readers encountered this plotline, Xu Jinning and many others criticized it.

It was just too morally questionable.

Why could a person like Cui Zhiqiang, devoid of conscience, selfish, and unable to remain faithful in marriage, achieve success?

Was success only attainable through lack of conscience, by means of manipulation?

How could a villain like Cui Zhiqiang live to a ripe old age without facing any consequences?

And how many people were harmed and used as stepping stones in Cui Zhiqiang’s path to success?

Although Xu Jinning finished reading the author’s books, it was not out of enjoyment but due to the skewed moral perspectives.

Indeed, the author’s books had points of criticism everywhere.

It seems like the viewpoint held by that author is: bad people live long, succeed, while the kind, those who haven’t committed evil deeds, are destined to be cannon fodder, experiencing tragedy, and possibly even paying with their lives in the end.

“Abei, who is this person?” Cui Zhiqiang asked upon seeing the petite figure behind Xu Xiangbei.

Xu Xiangbei had always been alone, and today he unexpectedly brought someone else along.

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