Don’t be to Cruel
The five days that Bai Luo Yin was away, the Bai’s household was thrown into a complete mess as confusion crushed them into a pitiful state.
Initially, Jiang Yuan had already handled all the necessary formalities needed in order to send Bai Luo Yin abroad. She had remained in constant contact with the school abroad, trying to maintain close ties with them. This was done in order to ensure that everything went according to the methodical plan that she had implemented.
Even more, Jiang Yuan had also communicated her thoughts on this matter with Bai Han Qi who did not agree or disagree with her. He simply stated that he will respect his son’s decisions. But when this critical moment arrived, Bai Luo Yin was nowhere to be seen or be found.
She had asked Shi Hui, but Shi Hui said she did not know. She had asked Yang Meng, but Yang Meng also said he did not know. Then as a last resort, the idea of asking Gu Hai also sprung into her mind, but in the end, she discovered that Gu Hai had also vanished.
Finally, Jiang Yuan brought not only her grievance but also the anger and resentment to the Bai’s household—directing her annoyance where she deemed it conjured.
She insisted over and over again that Bai Han Qi should abandon the idea of covertly keeping their son hidden and to bring him back out. No matter how many times Bai Han Qi explained to her that he did not have any knowledge of Bai Luo Yin’s whereabouts, she refused to listen.
Her tyrannical actions surely did not end there. She kindly took it upon herself to call the police over to the Bai’s residence and threatened to drag Bai Han Qi to the station and have him locked up—distress betide anyone who crossed path with her.
Not long after, a state of utter pandemonium crept throughout the once quiet residence. With such extreme noise and confusion, Bai Han Qi did not have a chance to properly enter the house when Grandma Bai was taken to the hospital.
Jiang Yuan’s suspicion continued to feast up her mind. She ordered a group of men to follow behind Bai Han Qi’s every footstep and another group to stay at the Bai’s residence. They stood in the shadow of the entrance and kept a lookout for any sign of Bai Luo Yin’s appearance.
All day, Jiang Yuan continued to wreak havoc on every ground she stepped on. It was to the point that even the neighbors became irritated with tiredness clearly visible on their faces.
Every day, for about three to five times a day, the sound of the police sirens would sound in their vicinity; an indication that soon the police will stop right in front of their houses. When midday passed, noon passed, nighttime passed—their sleep time was forcibly keep away from them. A midday nap, a good night sleep was indeed out of the question.
The New Year had barely started and everyone’s heart was already consumed with fear. The time normally meant to be celebrated was sheathed in anxiousness as trepidation stalked by closely.
Did Bai Hai Qi not want to find Bai Luo Yin? Come on, he was even more anxious than Jiang Yuan! But what good would all of that anxiousness do? Both Bai Luo Yin and Gu Hai’s disappearance occurred at the same time. More importantly, no one could get in contact with either of them. Even if he wanted to find them, he couldn’t!
In no time, it will be the fifteenth of the first lunar month1. While everyone else was busy going out to buy yuan xiao2, Bai Han Qi, on the other hand, didn’t even have a second to stand still or breathe properly.
Every day, he designated a time frame in which he would go to the hospital. Fortunately, Aunt Zou was there to look after Grandma Bai, otherwise, he wouldn’t even have the time to leave and attend to other matters.
When he returned home, he had to guard off that group of ‘bandits’ who had created a disturbance and caused trouble in the surrounding area. Only doing that was he was able to apologize to the neighbors as well.
But the one thing that made him even more displeased, somewhat angry even, was none other than Bai Luo Yin.
How can he just leave like that and not even give a call?
In fact, this was also due to Gu Hai’s negligence. Since everything happened all of a sudden, he had forgotten to get in contact with Bai Han Qi.
Bai Luo Yin thought that when he was still in his state of unconsciousness, Gu Hai had already weaved a lie to conceal the truth from Bai Han Qi. Hence, he did not think that it was necessary to get in contact with Bai Han Qi.
Early in the morning, Bai Han Qi grabbed a few deep-fried crullers3 and shoved it into his pocket before immediately flying out the front door. He wanted to have an early start at the hospital so that later on when he returned home, there would still be enough time to go and look for his son.
But when he arrived at the head of the alleyway, he was intercepted by Jiang Yuan.
For the past couple of days, Jiang Yuan was also extremely tormented. Her strength had already been depleted by the anger consumed her and the ruckus she had caused. Moreover, she was overwhelmed with concern over her son’s whereabouts.
“Where’s Yin Zi?”
Everyday Jiang Yuan, without a single doubt, would ask Bai Han Qi this question. If not face to face, then she would make a phone call.
Even if Bai Han Qi’s temperament was really good, he would nonetheless become irritated if Jiang Yuan questioned him over and over again.
“I already told you, he’s not home. I’m looking for him as well. Haven’t you done enough already? Aren’t you done yet?”
“No, I’m not!” Jiang Yuan used her bag to attack Bai Han Qi. “You’re just looking for him now? What have you been doing for the last couple of days? What did you do the very first day my son left? You’re definitely the cause of it! You and that woman must have made it hard for him and threw him out.”
“Then Da Hai, how come he isn’t around? Did you make it hard on him and threw him out? Huh?!” Bai Han Qi’s eyes widened as he stared angrily at Jiang Yuan.
Jiang Yuan’s face was livid with displeasure. She threw her, thousands of dollars or more, brand name bag on the ground. Her heavily breathing was drenched with hatred allowing no words to escape her lips.
Bai Han Qi, whose face was ashen with rage allowed his eyes to remain focus on Jiang Yuan. “He’s already 17 years old, practically 18. If he really wanted to leave home, he has the ability to take care of his own life. Is it necessary for you to cause so much trouble?”
“Bai Han Qi, are you even listening to yourself? Is it sensible to say those words?” Jiang Yuan’s beautiful face became distorted because of the anger. “What do you take my son for? A pig confined in your family’s pigpen? You feed him whenever you want then lock him up whenever you want!! What have you taught him after all these years? Have you seen what he’s become now? He’s cold, detached, heartless and doesn’t know his own wrongdoings… he doesn’t even recognize his own biological mother.”
Bai Han Qi pulled the deep-fried crullers and flung it on the ground. “That’s your own evil doing!”
After those words flew out of his mouth, Bai Hai Qi turned, having every intention to leave but then Jiang Yuan advanced toward him and attempted to block him. Without thinking, Bai Han Qi pushed her to the side which caused her to stagger and fall to the ground.
Two youthful men immediately got out of the car and shoved Bai Han Qi in.
Jiang Yuan’s hair was in complete disarray as she shouted with tears in her eyes. “Don’t hurt him, otherwise my son’s going to take my life.”
Bai Luo Yin arrived home around noon. The moment he stepped in, he found things rather strange since not a single soul was home, even Grandpa Bai and Grandma Bai who were always home was nowhere to be found. Ah-Lang was in his cage, barking furiously. Bai Luo Yin went over and stroke his head and after Ah-Lang quietened down only to face the front door and bark crazily again.
Bai Luo Yin got up and let his eyes linger at the front door. Just as he exited, he saw three shadows faced the west side and leaped away.
What in the world is going on?
As he was deep in thoughts, Aunt Zhang, one of the neighbor, walked over from the east side.
The moment Aunt Zhang’s eyes landed on Bai Luo Yin, they suddenly widened in surprise. Afterward, she pulled his arm, looked at his shoulder, and smacked it twice.
“You… you little scoundrel! Even if you went out to play, how can you not say something? Your dad has been looking all over the place for you for the past two days. He’s about gone crazy by now and your grandma was so anxious, she got hospitalized.”
Bai Luo Yin’s face went pale before he quickly pulled out his phone and gave Bai Han Qi a call, but no one picked up. Then he phoned Aunt Zou who told him that she was at the hospital. Bai Luo Yin hastily made his way to the hospital.
Just as Grandma Bai saw him, her ailment took a turn for the better. Grandpa Bai, Aunt Zou, and Meng Tong Tian were all there, the only person missing now was Bai Han Qi.
“Yin Zi, were you able to get through to your dad?” Aunt Zou asked.
Bai Luo Yin shook his head, “Not yet, it didn’t go through.”
“Try it again,” Aunt Zou became a bit anxious. “How can it not go through? That Lao Bai4, he must have forgotten to bring his cellphone with him before going out again.”
Bai Luo Yin dialed Bai Han Qi’s cell phone number again.
Bai Han Qi was ‘invited’ over to Jiang Yuan’s and locked in a room. Good tea and good cigarettes were served to him, but he was not allowed to leave.
His cellphone was held tightly in Jiang Yuan’s grasp.
Just when Bai Luo Yin called, Jiang Yuan had left but when she returned, the phone sounded. She quickly rushed over to answer it. Once she saw that it was Bai Luo Yin’s name, she was so excited that she could barely hold the phone steady in her hand.
As expected, this trick was useful: lock up Lao Bai and Xiao Bai would not be able to stay still.
“Yin Zi, you’ve finally appeared. Mom has been so worried and anxious, I was about to die.”
How can it be that Jiang Yuan picked up?
Bai Luo Yin was confused but afraid that Aunt Zou would hear, he quickly walked out of the patient’s room.
“Where’s my dad?”
“Your dad is with me. If you want to see him, just come here. I’ll send someone to get you.”
Twenty minutes later, Bai Luo Yin arrived at Jiang Yuan’s place.
Once Jiang Yuan saw Bai Luo Yin, she immediately pulled him into a tight hug and sobbed. “Yin Zi, where have you been for the past few days. I’ve been worried sick.”
Bai Luo Yin simply pushed her away and asked, “Where’s my dad?”
Bai Han Qi stood at the doorway. His pale face livid with anger stared directly at Bai Luo Yin. As Bai Luo Yin made his way toward him, he immediately reproached him.
“What have you been doing these couple of days?”
Bai Luo Yin wasn’t even able to reply when Jiang Yuan flew into a fury first.
“Why are you yelling at him?”
Without paying attention to Jiang Yuan, he went to stand beside Bai Han Qi. “Dad, what are you doing here?”
Bai Han Qi glanced at Jiang Yuan before his gaze returned to Bai Luo Yin, “Son, let’s go back and talk at our house.”
He adopted an attitude of wanting to leave again.
Jiang Yuan rushed over to blocked them and then with a harsh tone, she glared at Bai Han Qi and spoke. “You can leave, but my son will stay here.”
“Why should he stay here with you?”
This time, Jiang Yuan was unable to control her resentment. “I went through a lot of trouble and had even invited you over, for what reason? Did you really think I invited you here to drink tea? It wasn’t easy to get my son to come here and now you want to drag him back with you? Then hide him again? You don’t want me to see my son’s face for another five days and five nights? Bai Han Qi, you’re also very inhumane!”
“Jiang Yuan, don’t be too cruel…”
“Dad!” Bai Luo Yin suddenly interrupted Bai Han Qi, “You should go home first. I want to know exactly what she’s trying to do.”
“Yin Zi, how can I leave you here alone?” Bai Han Qi became anxious.
Bai Luo Yin turned to look at Bai Han Qi, “Don’t worry, I’ll return home in a while.”
Jiang Yuan’s eyes swept passed Bai Han Qi, “Goodbye, I won’t be seeing you out.”
After Bai Han Qi left, Jiang Yuan pulled Bai Luo Yin into a room and showed him the results of her hard work for the past few days. Every three sentences or so, she would mention Shi Hui’s name as if she was a magical weapon that she could wield to in order to subdue Bai Luo Yin.
She was afraid that Bai Luo Yin did not know about the energy and time she and Shi Hui had put into this matter—all the things they did for him, for his benefit.
On the other hand, she definitely did not want Bai Luo Yin to know how they secretly ganged up and conspired together to deceive Bai Luo Yin in going broad.
Since Jiang Yuan stated everything in this matter, Bai Luo Yin knew why Bai Hai Qi was invited here. He also knew why Grandma Bai was hospitalized. Even more so, he knew why no one was at the Bai’s household was there and why Ah-Lang was placed in the cage, furiously barking about…
And he went as far as to faintly guessed why Gu Hai would suddenly decide to do something so utterly senseless… so preposterous… so despicable…
1 The fifteenth day of the first lunar month is the Chinese Lantern Festival also known as Yuan Xiao Festival. This day marks the final day of the Chinese New Year. During this day, children and adults alike would go to the temples, carrying paper lanterns that sometimes have riddles on them that needed to be solved. The lanterns can symbolize people letting go of their past selves and obtaining a new one, which they will eventually let go of in the next year.
2 Yuan Xiao – During this time, Yuanxiao or Tangyuan, (the name derived from the festival), small dumpling balls made out of glutinous rice flour, are eaten.
3 Youtiao or deep-fried cruller; a pair of lightly salted, deep-fried dough strip. Look up the story behind Youtiao, it’s pretty interesting.
4 Lao Bai is Bai Han Qi; its literal translation is Old Bai or Mr. Bai. I’ll leave it as Lao Bai. Married couples like addressing each other like this XD