“Han Jia, did you bring a boy here today… what is his condition now? Bring him to me. I want that kid… we’ll talk when you get down here.”
After the call ended, Xiao Li turned to face Qi Xiuyuan who was sitting in front of him. “Qi Laoshi, your student is fine. He’ll be here so don’t worry and wait for a moment. That’s right, what do you want to drink?”
“No, thank you.” Qi Xiuyuan replied as he looked around the room. “Is this… your office?”
Hearing that, Xiao Li shook his head. “Qi Laoshi, you’re funny. How can we have an office like this? It’s just one of the lounges I stay at. But now, it has become a special place for me to use.”
When all Qi Xiuyuan could reply with was an ‘oh’, the room fell into silence. He tried to relax, but in the end, he couldn’t bear it any longer. “Did you… open this place?”
Xiao Li looked as though he really wanted to laugh. “You think too highly of me.”
For some reason, that sentence caused Qi Xiuyuan to let out a sigh of relief, however, he felt that that kind of emotion was a bit deceiving to himself and to others.
Just as he awkwardly smiled, there was a knock, followed by the sounds of laughter.
“Xiao Li, come out and get this kid! You received the news quite fast, didn’t you? You liar. Didn’t you say this kind of thing is not to your liking?”
Once Xiao Li opened the door, a man all dressed in black brought Jiang Xiaoning into the room, followed by the tall and slender man that Qi Xiuyuan had seen at ‘Ge An’ yesterday.
After the man placed Jiang Xiaoning on the sofa, Qi Xiuyuan looked at him from a short distance. His cheeks were abnormally flushed with a confused expression that made it seem as though he had been overtaken by delirium – Qi Xiuyuan became even more worried seeing his teacher in such a state.
He rushed over and patted Jiang Xiaoning’s cheek, calling out to him in a low voice. “Xiaoning, Xiaoning.”
No matter how many times he called, Jiang Xiaoning remained unresponsive. Qi Xiuyuan looked up at Xiao Li when he felt a tightness in his chest.
But before their eyes met, Xiao Li had already turned to Han Jia. “What’s wrong with him?”
“I thought you wanted to taste fresh meat, so I gave him a pill. What, you actually don’t want to try…”
Han Jia’s sentence was cut short when he caught sight of Qi Xiuyuan. A mask painted with a surprise mien covered his face as he looked speechless. “Hey handsome, aren’t you his teacher?”
Qi Xiuyuan was fuming with rage. His first thought was to beat Han Jia up but knowing that he was in their territory, he held himself back – in any case, he did return Jiang Xiaoning.
Just endure it, just endure it,he told himself repeatedly even though his tone of voice was still full of contempt. “Sorry to trouble you, please remedy this!”
Just as those words dropped, Han Jia’s smile became even more brilliant. “This, I can’t cure. The main dish is already here, whoever eats it will surely enjoy it, right? You two can decide who gets him.”
With that said, he gave Xiao Li a quick glance and left without much care with the man dressed in black following suit.
Qi Xiuyuan was burning with rage and had wanted to chase after, but Xiao Li blocked him.
“Don’t listen to him. This kid is fine.”
The sound of Xiao Li’s voice almost soothed Qi Xiuyuan’s impatience.
“Just let him sit in cold water for a bit and sleep. He will be better after.”
Xiao Li bent down to pick Jiang Xiaoning up and gestured for Qi Xiuyuan to open another door in the room which revealed a luxurious bathroom. Xiao Li placed Jiang Xiaoning inside the bathtub and switched on the shower handle to cold.
Jiang Xiaoning twitched in reaction to the cold water before he groaned out. “Dad… help me… Laoshi… help me…”
A few seconds later, his face was soaked, making it hard to tell if it was water or tears.
Qi Xiuyuan felt distressed and couldn’t help but turn his head around to lash out at Xiao Li. “You guys… this kid was not willing. How can you do this to him?”
Without responding, Xiao Li glanced to the side and pulled out a cigarette from his pocket.
Suddenly, Qi Xiuyuan realized that this was the first time he saw Xiao Li smoking.
How do you want him to answer you? How do you want this gangster to answer you? Qi Xiuyuan let out a sigh, still feeling extremely disheartened.
All he could hear in the entire bathroom was the sound of water flowing.
The coldness gradually rained over Jiang Xiaoning, causing him to sneeze loudly. His eyes shot open before his pupils moved slowly towards Qi Xiuyuan. His eyes brightened up immediately, displaying a sense of relieve and peacefulness.
“Laoshi…” He opened his mouth weakly.
Qi Xiuyuan turned off the water, rolled up his sleeves and pulled Jiang Xiaoning out.
“Mr. Li, we’ll be leaving.” He quickly said and walked out without seeing where Xiao Li was.
“How are you guys going to leave looking like that?” Xiao Li’s voice was deep and low, yet still smooth and steady.
Hearing that, Qi Xiuyuan didn’t question him any farther.
“Dry your student up first, otherwise he’ll catch a cold.”
With the cigarette loosely in his mouth, Xiao Li opened the nearby cabinet and pulled out a large white towel.
“These haven’t been used, use them as you please.” He glanced at Jiang Xiaoning in Qi Xiuyuan’s arms. “If it’s inconvenient for him to return home, I’ll take you both to your house.”
“There’s no need to trouble yourself,” Qi Xiuyuan refused to look at him.
However, before he could say anything, Xiao Li had made his way toward the door, waving his hand in disapproval. “After you’ve tidied up, come down. I’ll wait for you at the entrance.”