Luo Dong’s villa was built in the local province and borders the edge of the neighboring province. From there to the closest large-scale hospital was only one path.
At this moment, the sky had already lightened. Strangely enough, Ms. Zhang Juanjuan pulled out an ambulance siren from somewhere and placed it at the roof of the vehicle – exceeding the speed limit, they reached their destination in fifteen minutes.
Xiao Li carried Han Jia and rushed into the hospital. After Zhang Juanjuan helped in handling the paperwork and payments, Han Jia was finally carried into the surgical room.
Zhang Juanjuan said with confidence, “Remember to deposit the remaining money into my account,” before quickly driving off in that vehicle with its fake license plate.
When Xiao Li sat down on a bench in the nearby waiting area, he finally noticed that the front of his jacket was completely covered in Han Jia’s blood. He wanted to get up and rinse it or possibly throw it away but suddenly a deep sense of fatigue charged into his head. He already felt extremely tired, so tired that he did not have the strength to care about his own image. He did not care about anything else aside from the light that lit up the square “surgery” sign.
As he sat with his legs crossed, leaning his head back against the wall, he stared straight at the lamp above the operating room. In this position, his bloodstained clothes made it looked as though he was wounded.
Han Jia’s wound was clearly made from a gunshot – it was unavoidable that someone in the hospital must have reported to the police already since two police officers arrived soon after. They saw Xiao Li from a good distance but neither dare walked toward him. A moment later, one of the officers received a call and quickly glanced over before leaving with his colleague.
Luo Dong must have done this through some bribery since this is his territory, thought Xiao Li. He also doesn’t want to cause a huge commotion here.
The blood on his jacket became dry and the smell became stronger. Xiao Li absent-mindedly recalled the first day he joined the gang. A group of men had ganged up and beat a thin middle-age loan shark to the point he nearly died. That person also threw up blood, fell on the ground then suddenly rolled toward the side of his feet. At that time, he was ridden with fear and drew back involuntarily. But someone gave him a push which made him stagger forward and step on that man’s chest. As the man’s blood spurted out, it splashed on his pants and shoes.
After he returned home that day, how long did he wash his clothes for? He didn’t dare let Xiao Yang see it, he didn’t dare give up, nor did he dare imagine his own future.
That day, he was just a fifteen years old boy – how long did he tremble as he held on to those soaked clothes? But from that day on, he quickly matured and the brilliant dream that lied at the core of this youth’s heart died. What replaced it was a stone-cold heart.
As time went by, even when he personally chopped someone’s hand off, he didn’t care. Not to mention when killing was involved, his eyes never turned away. He didn’t flinch. Looking at it from a certain angle, he was used to this kind of life, so much so that there was a type of pleasure lying beneath it. It seemed with force and violence, he was able to obtain some sort of compensation.
He was the same as Han Jia. It was just an empty satisfaction, the more satisfied,] the more emptiness, the more satisfied the more desperate, but the more desperate the more eager he was to satisfy the desperation. In this kind of vicious cycle, he was nourished by the darkness. He had long stopped himself from such vain attempts for a brighter day…
Memories of the past made him felt weak and lost – with those knitted brows, Xiao Li pulled himself back into the real world.
As he looked ahead, the surgery light was still on. A shadow unknowingly stretched toward his direction, Xiao Li raised his head and turned to the right and saw Qi Xiuyuan not too far away.
How long had he been there, silently watching him?
His complexion did not look too well as if he had not slept all night and the distress made more apparent by the wrinkles of his clothes. But even amidst the hospital white backdrop, his eyes were still radiating with warmth – his smile brimming with kindness.
Once he saw Xiao Li looking at him, Qi Xiuyuan walked over and sat down beside him.
They sat side by side with only ten centimeters of space between them. He didn’t ask how Qi Xiuyuan got here and Qi Xiuyuan also didn’t ask what exactly occurred.
But all of a sudden, Xiao Li felt as if all those dark things did not happen. He was not being chased to death, nervous or frightened. He was not chasing anyone, trying to kill them or reeking fiercely of blood. He wasn’t using his body and loyalty as a bargaining token.
There was no gang.
He was just an ordinary man, an office worker or probably something similar, sitting down with a friend grumbling about work. They were here visiting a mutual friend, and then they will part ways and go back to their own ordinary yet lovely life.
These kinds of thoughts gave him a peace of mind, so when Qi Xiuyuan shifted his hand over and gently placed it over his to comfort him, he did not refuse it.