“Give Susu a call,” Xiao Li said as he easily let Qi Xiuyuan down. He took out his cellphone, hand it over to him and pointed to a spot a bit further away, “Go over there and make the call.”
Qi Xiuyuan knew that he wanted to speak with Xiao Yang alone, so he obligingly steadied his footing and walked to the side. But once he took a quick glimpse at Xiao Li’s appearance, he still could not feel any sense of relief – he hesitated for second and decided not to walk too far.
Xiao Yang stood up, leaned against the car and watched as Xiao Li approached him. He straightened up angrily, yet the expression in his eyes did not seem frightful, there was only a sense of hesitation dwelling in them.
Xiao Li stood in front of him and raised his hand up. Xiao Yang wanted to hide from it, however, Xiao Li only gripped his left hand lightly. Xiao Yang was unexpectedly riddled with a shock when he saw him looking at his hand with such a complicated expression. In one second, it was as if he was able to feel a sense of relief, then in the next, it looked as though he was utterly disappointed.
Finally, Xiao Li let out a long sigh. He released his hand, took a step back and looked squarely at him. “Where is Han Jia?”
Xiao Yang turned his face to the side, “How would I know? I only spoke to him on the phone. I never met up with him.”
“What did you say when you spoke to him?” Xiao Li frowned with a questioning look.
“I only told him to head to the entrance of Feng Mao mansion and someone will be there to get him,” Xiao Yang quickly said.
“Why did he listen to you?”
“I knew that he has a lover. I told him that if he doesn’t come and switch with me, I’ll tell Luo Dong who his lover is so that he will be switched with me instead.”
“He has a lover?” Xiao Li was stumped for words hearing that. He asked again, “How do you know that he has a lover?”
“I saw them!” Xiao Yang buried his face in his hands and tried to get a grip of his own mood. “Can you not interrogate me as if I’m a criminal? I knew you would be like this. Let Qi da-ge come over here, I’ll tell him everything. I don’t want to see you!”
Xiao Li grabbed his hand, pulling it away from his face before restraining himself.
“That’s not what I meant. Did you tell Luo Dong who his lover is?”
“You really didn’t? Luo Dong didn’t ask you this question?” Xiao Li’s brows tightened.
“I already said I didn’t, so I didn’t!” Xiao Yang sulkily yelled, “That man Luo Dong, specifically told me not to tell him. He also said that once he captured Han Jia, he’ll slowly ask him himself. Then he said… he said, he said, it would definitely be amusing when he slowly draws the answer out of him!”
Xiao Li’s complexion ashen as his grip tightened; Xiao Yang shouted in pain.
“Let go! Let go!” He broke Xiao Li’s hand away, “This is not my fault. Don’t tell me that you would rather see my hand get cut off? Or could it be, you want me to die? Would you feel better if I were to die? Using me in exchange for that fuckboy of yours would make you feel better, right?”
“You!” Hearing him talk about his hand being cut off, Xiao Li’s expression became unsightly but hearing him said that last sentence made him angrier. He raised his hand with the intent to hit him, however, he halted midair.
“Go on, hit me!” Xiao Yang lifted his head angrily, “The person that captured me had also hit many times. What’s more hits from you will do!? Do you hate it that much when I cursed him? You didn’t even know that he got a lover behind your back and hid it from you! You want to hit me for someone like that? You really have no sense of shame!”
“We don’t have that kind of relationship!” Xiao Li retorted, “It doesn’t matter what he did to offend you before. You’re the coward that betrayed him, so at the least, you should have some respect for him.”
“Coward?” Xiao Yang laughed grimly. “Is that how you see me? Why should I act like a hero in this dog-eat-dog criminal world that you’re in? What good has Han Jia done for me that would make me want to protect him? Xiao Li, I could have called you and make you come in exchange for my freedom, have you ever thought about why I called him? Yet you want to hit me?!” He lost control of his emotion, “Why have you never looked at your own problems? If you weren’t with these people, with the underworld, would I have been captured? Would these despicable things happen?! I’ve told you early on not to mix with them, have you ever heard any of it?!”
Xiao Yang covered his face in utter shock. Xiao Li was also startled.
Qi Xiuyuan clutched Xiao Yang’s collar tightly and pulled him close.
“Xiao Yang, the entire world can curse Xiao Li for being a violent, merciless gang member and that he deserves what’s coming to him, but you can’t!”
“Who are you to—” After the shock, Xiao Yang flew into a fit of anger out of shame.
“I’m also someone’s brother!” Qi Xiuyuan looked in his eyes, “You’re using your brother’s kindness toward you as a tool. You are blinded to all the sacrifices that he has made for you. You have never willingly done anything for him while your own ego and selfishness increased. You’ve been heartless, disrespectful, immature and hurtful. I have a lot of experience with adolescence like you – rebellious and ignorant. Go back and study well on how the world works, then go spend at least two days with people that are at a disadvantage in this broken economic system, see what kind of concern and protection they might have towards you. The most important thing is, you must understand that the world does not revolve around you. Your brother let his world revolve around you only because he doesn’t know the rules of how to educate you.”
He patted Xiao Yang’s face, “If you act this immature again, don’t blame me for taking Susu away. No brother would be at ease giving their sister away to someone like you.”
Xiao Yang’s anger and anxiousness were written all over his face. Whatever he wanted to say, Qi Xiuyuan stopped him with a sudden laughter.
“You can’t beat your brother and you can’t out-talk me. So, can you be a bit more self-aware? Go and wait in the car and let me say a few words to your brother?”
Xiao Yang puffed angrily, spat on the ground and reached toward Xiao Li. “Keys!”
Xiao Li couldn’t help but to involuntarily give Qi Xiuyuan a glance before handing the key over to Xiao Yang. Once Xiao Yang entered, Xiao Li suddenly open the front passenger door and took out the black case.
“There’s no need to be so alert. I have no interest in the underworld’s secret!” He said and slammed the door.
Qi Xiuyuan let out a deep sigh as he faced Xiao Li, “Only after going through these two days of hardship did I know I’ve actually lost a few pounds. Maybe letting him go to another province isn’t such a bad idea after all. What do you say?”
A cloud of smiles fell on Xiao Li, “You’re actually an expert at this.”
The moment Qi Xiuyuan saw Xiao Li’s smile, he also became excited. “If you have any educational questions, you can ask for my guidance.”
Xiao Li lowered his head and thought for a moment. He smiled again and softly said, “Then, in the future, I’ll have to trouble you with Xiao Yang.”
It was fifteen hours later when Qi Xiuyuan realized what kind of feeling Xiao Li used as he said that sentence to him.
When Xiao Li brought Qi Xiuyuan and Xiao Yang home, he finally forced Xiao Yang to talk about the matter regarding Han Jia’s lover just after Qi Xiuyuan got out of the car.
“That day, Susu and I were heading to the theme park…” Xiao Yang finally felt a bit of guilt toward Han Jia as he leaned his head against the car window and looked outside. “He was dressed casually – it was a shock even to me that I had even recognized him. At that time, he was lining up at a pirate ship ride with a boy who looked like a girl. Afterward, I saw them two more times. The first time was when they were coming down from a fake mountain. Looking at their messy clothes, it was obvious they’d done something bad. The boy was panting with rage and Han Jia had a look as though he had been slapped. But later, at the entrance, I saw the boy openly hugging Han Jia before giving him a kiss. It seemed like they’ve reconciled.”
“… then, how did you know who that person is?”
“Afterwards, I saw him again.” Xiao Yang sneered, “I never expected that it was really him.”
After sending Xiao Yang off, Xiao Li hurriedly returned to Jin Ting to arrange some things. When Han Jia was here, Xiao Li always thought that he was handling things half-assedly. But now that he was doing it, he felt that it wasn’t easy to handle at all.
The person that Li Shiqing appointed to temporarily stand in for Han Jia was one of his footmen called Zhang Xueming. Normally, he was dressed in black and followed behind Han Jia. Today, for the first time, he was wearing a sparkling gold shirt. Seeing that smug expression, Xiao Li had the urge to punch him, but he had no choice but to call him to the side to ask him something.
“Since you followed Han Jia pretty closely, do you think he has a lover or anything?”
Zhang Xueming thought about it, “Nothing special really. Han Jia has lovers everywhere. I don’t follow him twenty-four hours a day. If he kept a secret lover, I definitely wouldn’t know.”
In just one night, ‘Han Laoban’ has become ‘Han Jia’. Xiao Li wanted to kick Zhang Xueming, but now he felt that there was no need to. If a person knew how to respect their senior, it did not matter if he was a good person or a gangster. There will be plenty of opportunities for him to get beaten in the future.
Seeing that even Han Jia’s closest footman was clueless about the matter, Xiao Li was slightly at ease. His cell phone chose this exact moment to ring – it was Li Shiqing.
Xiao Li answered the call, “Qing-Ye.”
Li Shiqing’s voice sounded rather beaten, “Zicheng told you about it?”
“This time Luo Dong became impatient first and captured Han Jia. Xiao Li, don’t get any ideas. There was nothing Zicheng and I could have done about this.”
“Qing-Ye, I understand.”
Li Shiqing went quiet before he asked, “I heard you found Da Gui yesterday?”
“Yes. At that time, Xiao Yang had already escaped by himself.”
“… then, that’s good. You must’ve not slept yet for an entire night. Do you want to rest at my place? I can’t go back, but I can notify the housekeeper—”
“There’s no need to Qing-Ye. There are still some things to deal with at Jin Ting.” Xiao Li pondered, “Qing-Ye, it’s also been hard on you.”
Li Shiqing sighed faintly, “Xiao Li, your brother escaped himself. What you’ve promised me, were you thinking of letting it pass like this?”
“Don’t be in such a rush to answer.” His voice softened, “Zicheng and I still have some more things to deal with today. Tomorrow, I’ll be on a plane back. We can chat face-to-face then?”
“… okay, Qing-Ye.”
Xiao Li hung up, then called Lin Zi over, informing him that he wasn’t feeling well and needed to return home to rest so that he can watch over Jin Ting for the time being.
Once he arrived home, he quickly dealt with some matters, ate, showered, and went to sleep. This way, he could recharge and preserve his strength in order to fully face the next challenge ahead.