“Xiao Li, hurry up and come to Jin Gu Yuan.”26 Feng Qiang’s voice transmitted from the other side, “Someone with the surname Sun just asked for you. He said he wants to meet you, so Qing-Ye told me to give you a call.”
Xiao Li frowned and pushed off the woman lying on his body. He sat up and asked, “What does he need to meet me for?”
“The leaders of the five districts are here, aside from you that is. That Sun guy isn’t happy about that.” Feng Qiang lowered his voice, “Hurry up and be a bit clever when you speak. That Sun guy doesn’t seem to acknowledge Qing-Ye.”
Xiao Li kept his phone close and walked toward the bathroom, “What does that mean?”
“I can tell that he sounds very dissatisfied that we’re the ruling group here from the way he spoke. He thinks Luo Dong being back doesn’t mean anything and even suspects that we will give him trouble. If you ask me, Luo Dong must have found a big shot to fucking support him, otherwise, this bastard Sun wouldn’t dare to not help us and say all those bullshits.”
“Then why continue to waste our time with him?”
“Those are just guessed. Since the situation hasn’t been determined yet, we still have to hold on to him. Besides, one of Qing-Ye huge business transactions is still in his hand. Even if he can’t help us, we can’t let him find something to use against us.”
“I’ll be there soon.”
Xiao Li took a quick shower and drove straight to the southern district. Just as he was about to enter Jin Gu Yuan, Feng Qiang called again.
“Where are you?”
“I have something to tell you,” Feng Qiang said in a hurry. “Liu Zicheng spoke on your behalf just now and said you can’t drink since you’re injured. He used a cup of tea to replace the alcohol and asked that Sun guy not to take offense. But that guy only looked at Qing-Ye and laughed and said, ‘how come your subordinate is more important than your reputation?’”
“… what did Qing-Ye say?”
“Qing-Ye didn’t say anything, but his complexion was bad.”
Xiao Li didn’t speak.
“Xiao Li, can you exactly drink or not?”
“I’m getting on the elevator now, I’ll hang up. You can go back first.”
Once he hung up, Xiao Li rode the elevator until he reached the fifteen floor and walked toward Jin Gu Yuan’s most luxurious private room.
Taking a deep breath, he pushed the door open and entered.
“Sun Tingzhang,27 Qing-Ye. I am sorry for being late. Let me drink three cups as punishment first.”
After they were done eating, there was still another affair to attend to.
The procuress of Jin Gu Yuan was a woman known as Mali Lian – her mannerism was completely different from Han Jia. When she smiled, there was a feeling of decency and seriousness, but when she didn’t, she was overflowing with charm.
She elegantly led everyone to the bathing location which was truly magnificent. It imitated a sort of public hot spring and had a fountain in the shape of a naked woman in the center. There were many men and women partially exposed, offering massages. This was indeed the finest example of the word, ‘debauchery’.
A short moment later, aside from Wu Qinghua who was here as an assistant and the only one still enjoying the hot spring water, everyone else had already taken advantage of the massages and was not chasing after the women.
Xiao Li gritted his teeth and slowly walked towards the exit. Mali Lian walked over to greet him but was scared off by his unsightly expression.
His stomach started to turn as he staggered toward the bathroom, kneeled at the side of a toilet bowl and throw up.
Nothing else came up yet the uncomfortable feeling did not subside either, and a sharp pain attacked his stomach instead.
Xiao Li let out a dry cough strenuously. Just as the uncomfortable feeling persisted, he suddenly felt a hand on his back, massaging it up and down.
“It’s been hard on you,” a warm voice sounded off.
Shaking his head, Xiao Li wanted to say, ‘thank you Qing-Ye’ or ‘I’m okay, Qing-Ye’, but before he could, his stomach twisted again, forcing him to lean over the toilet to vomit.
Li Shiqing let out a sigh and walked out before returning with a glass of water that he then passed over to Xiao Li.
As Li Shiqing watched Xiao Li rinsed his mouth, he said, “You were really good this time, and didn’t let Sun Zeyu28 dig up anything to use against us.”
Xiao Li forced a smile. But when the pain in his stomach lessened a bit, his brain started to hurt, and his ears began to ring, causing him to sit on the floor, gripping his head.
He heard Li Shiqing said, “Go rest at my place. I will give the family’s doctor a call.”
Xiao Li lowered his arms and opened his eyes to looked at Li Shiqing, only to see that he was wearing a bathrobe with the front wide open – evident that he was intoxicated with a woman before he came over.
He shut his eyes and shook his head, “There’s still someone waiting for me.”
He was referring to the woman on the bed earlier.
“It doesn’t matter,” Li Shiqing stooped close to his ear and whispered, “Whoever you want, I’ll have them brought over to my place for you.”
Xiao Li frowned and suddenly pushed Li Shiqing away before throwing up yet again.
Once that nauseating feeling stopped after much difficulty, he stood up unsteadily and went to wash his face at the sink. After he finished, he searched around for a towel, but Li Shiqing had taken it and moved closer to wipe his face for him.
Xiao Li remained quiet and waited for him to finish before he bowed his body slightly.
“Qing-Ye, I’ll be leaving now.”
Not waiting for Li Shiqing to speak, Xiao Li turned and walked toward the door.
Simply walking that short distance nearly exhausted his strength. But he could not stop, he could not stop. He staggered toward the elevator, shocking the waiter that was standing there.
Although the waiter had never seen this silent and vicious man before, he was still able to tell that Xiao Li was a powerful person. The waiter went over to support him, “Sir, are you feeling uncomfortable? Are you sick? Do you want to find a room in Jin Gu Yu for a rest?”
Xiao Li simply pressed the elevator button down.
“Sir, do you want to take the elevator? What floor would you like to go? Please wait a moment, the elevator should be up soon—”
“Be quiet!” Xiao Li lashed out in a low voice.
Frightened, the waiter immediately closed his mouth and reached over to support him as they waited. The elevator door finally opened, and the waiter helped him in. Xiao Li leaned against the elevator wall and glanced at the corridor.
Li Shiqing had been standing at the doorway of the bathroom watching him the entire time.
Once the elevator arrived on the first floor, the waiter helped him out, thinking that not only had the person leaning against him become heavier, his complexion had also worsened.
“Sir, sir, are you okay?”
Xiao Li ignored him as he took out his phone and dialed a number with an exhausted look
“Qi Xiuyuan… come and get me… I’m at…”
26 Jin Gu Yuan – brothel
27 Tingzhang – Premier of the State Council of the PRC. It’s his title in the government. In China and many Asian countries, the person(s) work position or career comes after their surname. Just like how Qi Xiu Yuan is Qi Laoshi which means Teacher Qi. “Sun Ze Yu”, the surname Sun and the title Tingzhang roughly translate to “Sun, head of the PRC gov’t provincial dept.”