Qi Xiuyuan had always thought himself to be a smart and elegant individual when it came to academic-related places but being held captive in this abandoned elementary classroom made his lungs want to explode into pieces.
“Is your brain only used for eating noodles?” He lowered his voice and chided Xiao Yang, “Why didn’t you report to the police when you got out? What were you calling Susu for?”
Xiao Yang was lying on the ground sideways as he faced Qi Xiuyuan who was sitting up beside him. He explained, “I can’t report to the police, they’ll retaliate against me.”
“Isn’t it more tragic that you didn’t report it?” Qi Xiuyuan looked down, holding his own face in the palm of his hands. “Then you don’t have anyone else to notify? All you said was that you have been injured in Shanshang District and needed Susu to come and get you? Good thing that I was afraid it was too dangerous for her to go out alone as a girl and I came out instead. If Susu actually came and something happened to her, even if you died a hundred times over, it still wouldn’t be enough compensation.”
Xiao Yang did not talk but when he did, he whispered, “Sorry, I… I didn’t think about it much. It has become a habit to call and talk to Susu every day, and today, I haven’t so I was also afraid that she would be worried. Also, at that time, I didn’t think it was that dangerous—”
“What are you making noises for? If you make another sound, I’ll cut your fucking tongue out!!” The red-hair boy was fidgety as he cursed and ran toward the window to look outside.
Five minutes ago, that person who called himself, “Da Gui” said the cell signal wasn’t good, and only if they were halfway up the mountain would any call connect. Having said that, he took three men out with him and left the premises. The remaining four saw that Xiao Yang was weak and unable to stand so they thought that there was no threat and paid no attention to them. The two among them said that it was boring and wanted to go to the car to watch a DVD. With vulgar expressions on their faces, they walked further outside.
Now only two people remained, the red-hair boy and a shorter man wearing all black. At night, it was very cold on the mountain and since this classroom was completely run down, the cold air flowed through more conveniently. The two remaining paced back and forth, kicking their foot while cursing at their other two accomplices who had run to the car.
Xiao Yang lowered his voice, “Sorry, Qi da-ge. I’ve caused you to get hit as well… I…”
Forget it, these injuries were caused by your brother.
Qi Xiuyuan remained quiet and then snorted. “It’s good that you know that. Now shut up and close your eyes. No matter what happens, don’t make any sound.”
A moment later, he let out a breath of cold air and with a trembling tone of voice he shouted. “Hey! Hey! Say something! You, you, move and say something! You, you can’t die!!”
When the two at the window heard that, they turned only to see Xiao Yang lying motionless with an ashen face’s Qi Xiuyuan screaming nonstop to the side; they ran over without hesitation.
The man wearing black was quicker; in just a moment, he pushed Qi Xiuyuan to the side and crouched down to feel Xiao Yang’s breath, however, before he could decipher anything, his movements ceased.
Who could have guessed when Qi Xiuyuan had struggled free from the binding – however, it had happened; his hand shot out, and using the crook of his arm, he hurriedly gripped the neck of the black-clothed man while seizing a blackboard eraser with his right hand. Since the eraser was worn down, it left behind a deformed and sharp metal at the edge; using the metal edge of the eraser, Qi Xiuyuan slit it across that man’s temple.
Witnessing this, the red-hair boy was taken aback, and as he was about to say something, Qi Xiuyuan tightened his grip on the man under his control.
He whispered a warning, “Don’t make any sound, otherwise, I’ll kill him!”
The red hair boy remained still. He hesitated but sneered, “You… aren’t you a teacher… you, you, you can actually take him out? Don’t cut yourself—”
The grip that Qi Xiuyuan had on the man’ neck was tight to the point that his veins protruded and turned an almost purple color. He slowly pulled himself and the man up simultaneously as his right hand remained motionless.
He said with a sinister smile, “You’re afraid I’ll hurt myself? Even if I were to castrate myself, I’ll make sure to kill him first!”
The red-hair boy pulled back a few steps; the color in his face drained.
Qi Xiuyuan, “Undo the rope on Xiao Yang and don’t even think of trying anything funny. If you’re slow even a bit, I’ll poke a few holes in this young man’s head.”
Hearing that, the red-hair boy quickly ran over and undid the rope around Xiao Yang.
“Xiao Yang, tie him up.”
Swaying in a daze for a bit, Xiao Yang stood up only to hesitate.
Looking at him, Qi Xiuyuan saw red and cursed in rage, “What are you blanking out for?!!”
Xiao Yang cowered for a moment and finally tied the red-hair boy. Then under Qi Xiuyuan’s command, he found a rag from inside one of the desks and stuffed it into the boy’s mouth. By now, he looked as though he was about to choke to death.
“Take off his belt and tie his foot together too, then come here and help me tie him up too.”
The two tied the two up with sturdy knots before they threw them into the center of the classroom where there was no place for them to lean against.
Qi Xiuyuan crouched down and patted the red-hair boy on the shoulder, “Looking at you, you don’t seem that old, why aren’t you in school? There’s a limit to your youth, you should value it more, you know.”
Once that was over, the two freed men ‘jumped’ out of the window facing the east side. With Xiao Yang’s unsteady footing, don’t even mention jumping out, in truth, Qi Xiuyuan had to jump down first and then help him down from the outside. They moved around toward the west side to avoid the other men and followed along the hillside to go down.
At that time, the first glimmer of light had already emerged from the horizon.
Xiao Yang was gasping for breath, “Qi da-ge, I can’t move anymore. Wait a moment.”
Qi Xiuyuan had suffered a hard beating during the day only to encounter this kind of ‘joyous’ adventure at night; he had already endured enough exhaustion as it is, so much so that even his legs felt as though they were not his anymore – he was already choking with each step he took just to keep his legs from going on.
When he turned around and saw Xiao Yang’s miserable appearance, he could not help but sympathize with him. Although he was also in a very sorry state, he thought with gratification that being beaten up ruthlessly and being up beaten up mercifully was actually quite different.
Xiao Yang leaned against a tree trunk and gasped for breath.
As the two continued to stumble forward, Qi Xiuyuan asked, “This Han Jia that you mentioned, is he that tall and slender man that works with your brother?”
“What are you asking about him for?”
“Didn’t you say, once they captured him, they’ll let you go free?”
“… do you think that what I did was wrong?”
Qi Xiuyuan didn’t answer and only asked, “Why wasn’t he tied up with us?”
Xiao Yang remained silent before he answered, “He was taken to a different place since his status is different from mine.”
The two walked and rest ocassionally for about half the day until they caught sight of the highway at the foot of the mountain. Suddenly Qi Xiuyuan stopped in track and faintly said ‘ah’. That sound was unexpectedly filled with surprise and soaked with a meaningful notion.
“What’s going on?” Xiao Yang asked.
Qi Xiuyuan pointed ahead, showing him where to look, “Isn’t that your brother’s car?” but then he realized something, and his brows tightened. “That’s no good, he couldn’t have gone up the mountain already, right? What’s going to happen if he ran into that gang when he’s halfway up?”
Xiao Yang looked at that car and then glanced at Qi Xiuyuan again.
Qi Xiuyuan, “Xiao Yang, go wait in your brother’s car. If there’s an opportunity, report to the police and don’t be afraid of the retaliation. If you don’t report it, you’re not giving yourself a chance to retaliate.”
Having said that, he turned around with the intent to leave, but Xiao Yang pulled him back. “Where are you going?”
“To see if I can stop your brother.”
Xiao Yang frowned, “You and Xiao Li…”
“I forgot to tell you,” Qi Xiuyuan said before he turned to leave. “I’m pursuing him.”