When Han Jia woke up, he was still weak and poor in health. The doctor stopped by for a checkup and jolted down some information. As Qi Xiuyuan and Xiao Li listened to the doctor’s instructions, Xiao Li asked him for more details on certain problems with earnest.
Qi Xiuyuan’s eyes only stayed on him. He watched him care for another person, and even though this other person was wounded, a slight sense of sadness still swarmed his mind. He could also sense Han Jia’s cold gaze boring into his bones. For some reason, he couldn’t help but feel rather upset at this predicament.
When the doctor left, Xiao Li turned to face him, “Didn’t your phone run out of battery?”
His voice may have been gentle, but Qi Xiuyuan still felt somewhat dejected knowing that he was trying to drive him away – he forced a generous smile on his sullen face.
“Then you guys can chat first. I’ll head out to buy a charger.”
As he slowly moved away from his side, his hand lightly brushed against Xiao Li’s fingers. Xiao Li shifted his body to the side slightly to avoid him, and the strange look on his face nearly provoked Qi Xiuyuan to stay still.
Once Qi Xiuyuan reluctantly walked out of the door, Xiao Li sat in the chair beside Han Jia’s and watched him. “Luo Dong let you go.”
Han Jia could only sense pain when he spoke, and even then, it was just a whisper.
“Qing-Ye is worried that Luo Dong will cause trouble for the gang, so he had Zicheng negotiate with him.” Xiao Li also puzzled as he continued, “But Luo Dong didn’t seem to care about it. Even when his place was bombed, he still didn’t say anything.” He looked at Han Jia, “Do you know what’s going on?”
Han Jia frowned and shook his head repeatedly.
“Zicheng is worried that he’s hiding someone behind influential,” Xiao Li sighed. “This is Luo Dong’s territory. I’ve already notified some of our brothers to come here and look after you…”
A strenuous laughter filled the air even if it made his chest feel uncomfortable.
Xiao Li helped him sit up, placing a pillow at his for comfortability.
“What craziness are you going on about now?”
Han Jia gradually stopped laughing, “You want to send someone here to look after me? Is it the gang’s order or is this your own idea?”
No words came, and Han Jia scoffed. “I’ve been abandoned just like that? In any case, I’m also…or are they so afraid of Lu Wu that they are leaving me here to stifle Luo Dong? Fuck, how serious are my injuries?”
“It’s already fortunate enough that’s all there is to your injuries.” Xiao Li said with a heavy voice. “The bullet pass through your lung and broke one of your ribs. It seemed to have damaged your nerve so there will be aftereffects.” He looked at Han Jia, “You can’t move around much with the way that you are right now but don’t worry, stay here and recuperate. I’ll take you back into the city after two months—”
“How the fuck am I supposed to not worry?” Han Jia’s voice was hoarse, “I’m a useless person now. How can I be at ease in Luo Dong’s territory?”
“Calm down.” Xiao Li’s hand reached out to cover his mouth. “How can a man who isn’t dead or handicap be useless?”
Han Jia stared at him, his once tightened shoulders loosened up.
Xiao Li released his hand and began to console him, “There’s no need for you to worry about Luo Dong’s affair. I will send someone here to protect you. I don’t care what the gang had decided on, I won’t abandon you no matter what.”
Han Jia sighed, leaning back against the pillow. “I’ve made you mock me again…I only…I only…” He didn’t say anything else.
Who knew what he was thinking when he suddenly looked at Xiao Li and laughed.
“Are you jealous of me now?”
“Jealous of you?”
“Jealous that the gang abandoned me,” Han Jia slowly said. “They threw me to Luo Dong, and even after you saved me, Luo Dong didn’t demand me back. I’ve become useless…I’m half dead now. No one else would miss me beside you. How interesting…how interesting…”
His slow-paced mannerism was followed by a strange smile as if he felt free and accepted this reality.
Xiao Li eventually spoke, “That’s right, I’m very jealous of you.”
Han Jia glanced at him with amazement.
However, Xiao Li had shifted his gaze elsewhere. “The words that you told me to pass on to Jiang Xiaoning, you can tell him yourself when you’re discharged.” He thought about it, “I’ll head out when Qi Xiuyuan return. I didn’t tell anyone when I came here, and the drive back will take some time. It could be a while until I can come again. You need to take better care of yourself—”
He couldn’t finish when Han Jia gripped his hand. “Xiao Li,” there were sparkles in his eyes that appeared unstable and restlessness. “You and that beastly teacher…”
Thinking back to all the things that he and Qi Xiuyuan had faced along with the numerous times he looked at him, Xiao Li couldn’t help but pause with embarrassment. “Don’t call him that.”
Han Jia’s eyes widened, “Don’t you like women? I tried so hard to seduce you back then yet you never …if you want to be with a man, isn’t Qing-Ye good enough? What does that beastly teacher have? He’s just a nobody…”
Looking at Xiao Li’s appearance that looked as if he wanted to say something, Han Jia firmly grasped his hand. “Xiao Li, I can also tell even if you don’t say anything. You ran here to save me, you must be troubled now. Qing-Ye has that kind of thoughts toward you… what are you doing provoking that kind of person? Are you trying to kill him or get killed by him?”
Han Jia, having said all those words with such urgency, a burst of pain struck his lungs. He couldn’t help but grip the area where his wounds were while taking in a deep breath. Xiao Li helped him lean back against the pillow again and consoled him.
“That’s enough. I know. You don’t have to worry about it.”
Han Jia’s eyes lingered on him, “If you really know, you should answer Qing-Ye. Xiao Li, you must listen to me. I’ve acted as a pimp in the underworld for the gang for so many years, what don’t I know about these kinds of things?” He took in a deep breath, “You have to take advantage of the fact that Qing-Ye still has feelings for you and prepare a good escape route for yourself. Someone like Qing-Ye…if he can’t wait for you to initiate something or if he really wants to take control of you, he won’t be as kind as Luo Dong. He’ll force you to…” He nearly lost his breath, “I don’t want you to have that kind of ending. Xiao Li, be a bit smarter.”
Xiao Li’s brows tightened.
Even when Qi Xiuyuan returned, he still did not say anything.