The situation had undergone a tremendous change.
With an astonished expression, Xiao Li aimed his gun at Da Gui. “What did you say?”
Da Gui appeared to be relaxed and even though both his hands were slightly raised in the air, he still slowly took a drag of the cigarette hanging loosely in his mouth. “I said, put your gun down. We’re one family now. Which of these words don’t you understand?”
“None of them,” Xiao Li said coldly as he inched the gun closer to Da Gui.
Da Gui looked at him with ridicule, “I’m going to stand still without moving even an inch so you can give Li Shiqing a call and ask him about it.”
Xiao Li stared at him straight in the eyes as he held the gun firmly in his right hand and used his left hand to take out his cell phone to quickly browse for Li Shiqing’s number.
When one of Da Gui’s men suddenly move, the gun in Xiao Li’s hand immediately touched Da Gui’s forehead.
“Don’t be so nervous.” Da Gui pulled his head back and teasingly said, “My brothers all know how to listen well.”
The call finally connected, and Xiao Li spoke with his gaze never leaving Da Gui. “Xiao Li,” Liu Zicheng’s voice sounded. “Qing-Ye and Lu Wu-Ye are talking. Do you need anything?”
“I found Da Gui. I was about to force him to tell me where Xiao Yang and Han Jia are.”
Liu Zicheng, “You didn’t do anything to him, did you?”
Xiao Li’s expression became ice-cold, “What do you mean?”
Liu Zicheng, “Wait a minute,” the noises in the background changed as he walked toward a more suitable area. “Didn’t we tell you to wait at Jin Ting? Why did you act on your own again?”
Xiao Li laughed grimly, “You guys have already planned it all out?”
“Not exactly. At that time, Qing-Ye was afraid you would come, that’s why he stopped you. Besides, you and Han Jia have a really good relationship so he was also worried you wouldn’t be able to come to a decision.”
“Xiao Li, don’t use this tone. Listen and let me explain to you.” Liu Zicheng slowed down, “When we came over here to intercede, we discovered that the plan to capture Han Jia was Luo Dong’s own scheme, Lu Wu doesn’t know about this. He only became aware of the situation once we asked him for Han Jia. His men hid it from him and operated behind his back. You know, with such a matter, we also lose face. Lu Wu never intended for Qing-Ye to hand you and Han Jia over to him. He was just looking for a reason to take over part of our territory. Luo Dong is acting on his own right now. He won’t be able to move his chest piece any further after this. Qing-Ye said that we haven’t decided anything and yet they took the initiative to snatch our person without complying with our rules. He had also said that since Han Jia holds Jin Ting’s financial documents in his hand, they have already gained some profits. At that time, Da Gui had given one of Lu Wu ’s men a call and reported that Xiao Yang had escaped by himself. They don’t have anything to bargain with or hold against us anymore. Since they already have Han Jia and Jin Ting’s money, it’s best to keep things that way. They’re drinking tea now—”
“What do you mean, ‘it’s best to keep things that way’?” Xiao Li frowned the entire time – the frown was so tense, it caused his anger to rise. “What about Han Jia?”
“Do you really not understand or are you just pretending not to? In short, Lu Wu calls the shot. With Luo Dong taking Han Jia and Jin Ting’s money, his resentment with us has been settled.”
“Han Jia… you guys abandoned Han Jia just like that?”
“What do you mean, ‘you guys?’ It’s ‘we’ and that also includes you! This is the gang’s decision!” Liu Zicheng raged, “Xiao Li, think about how influential Lu Wu ’s power is. If all of us fight against him, how many years would we be able to stand against him? Fortunately, he’s not venting out on us on behalf of his adopted son and had also agreed to abide by the gang’s rule. That is, once they got the person and the money, they will give us a way out. In the future, everyone will mind their own business and continue to make money their own way. This is already the best outcome, what else do you want? What’s more, Han Jia went to look for Luo Dong himself—” he groaned and continuing, “Not to mention, your precious brother’s contribution cannot go unnoticed. If he didn’t know Han Jia’s weakness, Han Jia would have escaped already, rather than obediently run to Luo Dong.”
Xiao Li went pale. Although he remained silent, his mood was exceptionally stirred and the hand that held the gun trembled – even Da Gui was nervous as the gun swayed in front of him.
Liu Zicheng sighed and consoled, “Think about it. Yesterday, Han Jia went to look for Luo Dong around nine o’clock. You already know that Luo Dong hates him to the bone… even if we were to get him back, he’s already been abandoned… Xiao Li, the situation has already come to this. You will have your revenge even if it takes ten years. If you really care for Han Jia, then let Da Gui go first. We need to think this through before making any irrational decisions.”
Xiao Li appeared colder and sterner as his eyes bored into Da Gui’s face. Da Gui was completely unaware of what Xiao Li was hearing through the phone, but he didn’t look as emotionally moved. He couldn’t make out any particular expression either. His breath seemed to have steadied, and his right hand also became more stable, but the gun was still pointed straight at his forehead.
The Xiao Li with this kind of appearance was even more frightful to anyone that looked at him. Da Gui did not dare to look him in the eye as cold sweat rolled down his forehead.
“Xiao Li, are you still listening to me? Xiao Li?” Liu Zicheng continued to call out, “Don’t do anything stupid. You don’t want to cause the gang any more troubles by striking Lu Wu, right?”
Xiao Li stared at Da Gui, slowly withdrawing the gun. “I got it.” He hung up on the call and let his eyes swept over Da Gui and his men. “Where is my brother?”
Da Gui didn’t dare provoke him anymore, but since he was also a leader, he couldn’t just answer every question so quickly, so he simply lowered his head and spit out the cigarette butt.
Lucky for him, a tactful subordinate step forward and said, “He ran off by himself last night. Look, that person behind you is the one who helped him escape.”
Hearing that, Xiao Li turned swiftly and saw Qi Xiuyuan sitting atop a rock with an exhausted expression – who knew how long he had been sitting there, quietly looking at them.
“When did you get a subordinate like that?” Da Gui also looked at Qi Xiuyuan, “He sure does know how to act. I really thought he was a teacher.”
Xiao Li didn’t answer. He gave him a quick side glance and turn around to leave.
“Hey! What kind of attitude is this?” A subordinate who couldn’t stand to watch on said.
Da Gui raised his hand to block him and shouted: “Xiao Li.”
Xiao Li turned his head around for a look.
“Don’t use that face to look down at me.” Da Gui crossed his arms over his chest, “Wu Tou-Gui jumped off a building because you guys were chasing after him. Both his legs are broken now. He can only go back to his hometown and buy a wife to pass the days by. Lao Bing-Gui was also ganged up by you guys and then arrested by the police. He has so many enemies, who know how he’s doing in prison now. As for Han Jia, I’m not the least surprised that he would also have this kind of day. You’re still standing well here today because of this hard life.”
“I know,” Xiao Li answered, “You as well.”
His face was expressionless as he walked toward Qi Xiuyuan, “Why are you here?”
Looking at Xiao Li’s expression, Qi Xiuyuan had always thought that there was something wrong. It was as if his expression was saying – something was constantly being damaged or destroyed by him. Just thinking about it, he couldn’t help but be alarmed.
Hearing no answer, Noticing that he wasn’t answering, Xiao Li crouched in front of him. “I’ll carry you back down.”
Qi Xiuyuan slowly leaned onto his back before the two silently went down the mountain.
After walking for a while, he asked again: “Why are you here?”
“I was at the foot of the mountain already, but I saw your car so I came to look for you.”
“… how did you save Xiao Yang?”
“They wanted to use Xiao Yang as bait to get to you, but they didn’t expect that Xiao Yang would actually give Susu a call.” Qi Xiuyuan propped his chin on Xiao Li’s shoulder, “I would never allow Susu to come here in the middle of the night.”
“Have you given Susu a call since you came out? Don’t make her worry.”
“Ah, my phone was confiscated. We should go back and get it from them.”
“Confiscated?” Xiao Li seldom laughed in this kind of circumstance, “They went the other way. They should be far away by now. When we get back, I’ll compensate for your loss.”
“Since your wallet is still at my house, I’ll use the money in there to buy another one, okay?” Qi Xiuyuan suddenly laughed.
“Do as you please.”
“Then let me use your cell phone for a moment, I’ll report to Susu of my safety.”
“It’s in my suit pocket, get it yourself.”
Qi Xiuyuan stretched his hand out. He had obviously felt the cell phone, however, his hand lingered on Xiao Li’s chest. He teased for a bit by lightly touching and then he would lightly give a rub as if he was still searching and then after ‘finding’ it, his five fingers grazed against his chest one after the other.
“Qi Xiuyuan.” Xiao Li called out, but the man on his back instead turned a deaf ear. Xiao Li continued, “I also like the type of girls that are like Qi Susu.”
Qi Xiuyuan’s hand froze.
Suddenly, Xiao Li forced a bitter smile. “It’s probably because, we gangster, all like the kind of simple and pure girl from a simple family background.” Qi Xiuyuan didn’t say anything, but Xiao Li did not let him get away with it. “You’ve saved me before and saved my brother as well. I’m very grateful to you for this. Even if you want my life, I wouldn’t have any objections, but if you want something else, it’s impossible.”
‘But if you want something else, it’s impossible. I’m willing to be your subordinate in order to repay your kindness, but anything else I can’t.’
In his heart, am I and that person, the person that lust after him when he was in a tight spot, the same?
Qi Xiuyuan exerted his strength into his hand and tightly held on to Xiao Li, while at the same time burying his face into his neck.
“Xiao Li, I don’t want you to do that.” He lowered his voice, “Since you don’t like me, I won’t mention it anymore in the future. That way, can we still be friends?”
Xiao Li remained silent and carried him for a while longer. “What exactly do you like about me?” He sighed, “You’ve seen it yourself, I can’t do anything else besides beating and killing people. I’ve also beat you before, did you forget?”
Qi Xiuyuan depressingly said, “I don’t know, I really don’t know…” Even he himself knew that this answer was vague, but his brain wasn’t able to form any concrete words to express himself. He could only remember the anger and pain in Xiao Li’s eyes as he chided Xiao Yang at that time. His warm and gentle appearance as he stood outside the exam room waiting to receive that person, and even his unnecessary concern for Jiang Xiaoning on whether he would catch a cold or not since he was drenched in water… those things…
Qi Xiuyuan didn’t know if he was attracted to Xiao Li because of those things or because this dangerous man also possessed a peculiar warmth and gentleness.
“Xiao Li, I just really care about you.” Qi Xiuyuan solemnly said, “Your importance to me… even Susu can’t compare to it. Even if… even if we’re just friends, you will still be my most important friend.”
Xiao Li didn’t speak the entire time. Even as they reached the foot of the mountain and saw Xiao Li’s car along with Xiao Yang crouching beside it – he still didn’t say anything.