Li Shi Qing pressed closer to Xiao Li in an effort to make him collapse and tremble under his body. When the palm of his hand felt wet and a satisfied expression spread across his face, he sucked on Xiao Li’s ear and softly said, “I’m the only one that would never sacrifice you no matter what happens.”
Different from what Li Shi Qing had expected, this time Xiao Li did not try to evade him. He merely took in a few deep breaths while the shivers that ran up his skin gradually stopped. Then he spoke in a very low yet steady voice, “Do you want to kill him?”
Eying him, Li Shi Qing let out a low muffled laughter, “He sacrificed you, leaving you heart-broken and hurt. What’s so bad about it if I help you kill him?”
With an expressionless face, Xiao Li continued to say, “If he speaks, are you going to let him go?”
Li Shi Qing went quiet for a few seconds before he spoke again, “No.”
Xiao Li reached out and grabbed his wrist, with the intention of pulling away from the hand that was covering his eyes.
But before he could, Li Shi Qing’s hand pressed tighter across his face, “What are you doing?”
“Han Jia said you’re more ruthless than Luo Dong, but I know that you don’t torture people for the pleasure of it,” Xiao Li said as he tightened the hold he had on his wrist and all the while his voice does not reveal his mood, “You’re treating him like this just because you want him to die. Since he’s going to die anyway, can I be the one to do it?”
When Li Shi Qing remained silent, Xiao Li pressed on in a low voice, “You don’t agree?”
Li Shi Qing stared at him for a while before he finally released his hand and ordered, “You guys can stop for now.”
Xiao Li opened eyes closed once again, adjusting his eyes to light while struggling free of Li Shi Qing before he stood at the side of the bed. Qi Xiu Yuan was riddled with bruises as he collapsed on the floor and awkwardly leaned towards his direction. From his posture, as he lied on the floor, it was clear that one of his arms has been dislocated.
Only when Xiao Li walked over and gently kneeled beside him did he notice that Qi Xiu Yuan had already lost half his consciousness. There were bruises covering his body from head to toes, his face was covered with blood, and one of his eyes was swollen. Even under this circumstance, Qi Xiu Yuan still did not dare to make a sound. Because of the lingering pain, he was only able to squeeze out short breaths. When Xiao Li appeared in his line of vision, he suddenly looked as though he was fully awake, so much so that the corner of his lips exposed a weak smile.
Xiao Li did not have any reaction towards this smile. His hand simply reached out towards Qi Xiu Yuan’s chest, stomach and back, practically examining every bone on his body for any fracture. Afterwards, he sighed and as if having decided on a major decision, he raised his head to look at Li Shi Qing.
“Qing Ye, can you just forget about it?”
Li Shi Qing sat on the bed the entire time watching him as if having anticipated earlier on that Xiao Li would raise this kind of question. Not in the least surprise, he coldly said, “Give me a reason.”
“What you’ve said was right, he sacrificed me. He was heartless towards me,” Xiao Li stared at Li Shi Qing’s eyes, “I won’t meet with this kind of person again. But, I can’t let him die. His sister is Xiao Yang’s girlfriend. I don’t want my brother to hate me.”
Hearing that Li Shi Qing merely laughed and looked back at Xiao Li, “Do you think I’ll let him go because of you?”
Keeping calm, Xiao Li smiled, “You want him to die…could it be that it’s not because of me?” He lowered his head to give Qi Xiu Yuan a glance, then went on to say, “This is his house. It’s obvious that I came looking for him myself, and now that I’ve said that I won’t see him again, what reason do you have to want him dead?”
“Because I don’t trust you.” Li Shi Qing revealed a sarcastic smile.
Xiao Li kneeled on the floor and looked at him, then gritting in teeth, he stood up and walked towards him before kneeling down beside him. Afterward, he lifted his head and looked at him again. The tone of his voice was calm and unhurried as he spoke, “When Xiao Li entered college and went abroad, I never seized the chance to leave. When Ma Que Zi rebelled against me, and even when Luo Dong bribed me, I’ve never wavered. This deep wound on my waist was from two years ago when Da Gui used a blade to stab me as I shielded you while you retreated. Have you only been looking about how you’ve been towards me and overlooking how I’ve been towards you? Think about it, Qing Ye, I’m more trustworthy than you.”
Surprised, one of Li Shi Qing’s subordinate took in a breath of cold air. In just seconds, the atmosphere in the room became heavy. But even then, Li Shi Qing’s expression remained hard to decipher. He doesn’t even know when Xiao Li stopped using the formal “you” to address him, so much so that even when his dignity was directly offended, this circumstance seemed to please him instead.
Li Shi Qing reached out to caress the scar on his side for a long while, Xiao Li did not avoid it and obediently allowed him to.
Then slowly, Li Shi Qing’s brow rose. He stood up walked towards Qi Xiu Yuan who was still lying on the floor and arrogantly looked down on him before speaking in a sharp and demeaning tone, “Xiao Li, you really understand me. Unfortunately, this time no matter what say, it’s completely useless. Since this bastard was able to make you come looking for him yourself, there’s no way that I can spare him!”
He lifted his leg and ruthlessly flew towards Qi Xiu Yuan’s stomach, but before the kick could land, Xiao Li had already sped over at the speed of light and took hold of Qi Xiu Yuan, causing them to roll over to the side together. Li Shi Qing’s kick hit the empty space before his foot landed on the floor, creating a loud noise.
“A Long, go see if the young lady has awakened or not?” Li Shi Qing’s ice-cold command created a cold atmosphere in the room, “Wake her up and bring her over here.”
“Stop.” Xiao Li’s voice sounded off with the same demanding tone.
A Long stood in the same place, somewhat helpless and watched as Li Shi Qing walked over and heartlessly yanked Xiao Li’s chin up towards him, “What exactly are you——”
“Qing Ye, at first I didn’t want to ask you this right now. I had planned to later on……” Xiao Li interrupted him as he pulled himself up to sit on the ground so that Qi Xiu Yuan’s back can lean into his chest while he held tightly on to him. All the while, Li Shi Qing’s hand forced his chin upward to look at him. “How did my mother die?”
At those words, Li Shi Qing immediately stiffened.
Xiao Li stared at straight in the eyes, “Back then you said that your younger brother, A Biao, pushed her down the stairs. That’s what everyone said. Even A Biao himself said it and got stabbed six times in front of my mother’s grave and nearly died on the spot. Since so many people lied for you, have you nearly forgotten that you were the one that pushed her down?”
As if being shocked with electricity, Li Shi Qing released his hand and remained silent for a long while then asked in a low tone, “It was an accident……and I immediately sent her to the hospital……when did you find out?”
“Three years ago.”
As Li Shi Qing looked at with a bit of astonishment riding his face, Xiao Li smiled coldly instead, “At that time, Xiao Yang was still abroad and Luo Dong’s fight with us had not stopped yet. If I were to walk away, how would you have stopped me Qing Ye?”
Li Shi Qing stood in place while his eyes shifted towards the windows and back as if he was anticipating something else. A few minutes later, he finally asked, “Then, why didn’t you leave?”
“I want you to owe me.” Xiao Li firmly said one word at a time, “I know that everything has a price. I never wanted to be in the underworld. I never wanted to do anything on your behalf but the price of leaving the gang is too high. I willingly risked my life and limbs to do everything, for the gang, for you, just so that you can owe me this debt. That way, one day I can save up enough token to openly, and righteously leave you without having any trouble lingering behind.”
Li Shi Qing’s expression spoke of the shock that struck his insides as he looked at Xiao Li a few times before knowing how to react. Before long, an unbelievable smile drew across his lips, “Xiao Li, I now know, you really know how to endure everything. As it turns out, you actually stayed and fought your best in the gang so that one day you can throw these cards at my face one at a time, ‘Li Shi Qing, my mother died for you,’ ‘Li Shi Qing, I suffered a blade for you,’ ‘Li Shi Qing, I bled for you,’ then were you going to say, ‘Li Shi Qing, we’re even’?”
“Yes.” Xiao Li’s intense gaze peered at him without blinking.
A deathly pale immediately crawled up Li Shi Qing’s face. He took a few deep breaths, then he revealed an expression of wanting to laugh out but being unable to, “You’re ridiculous, childish and naïve! Have you thought about how I would answer you when that time comes? Will I say, ‘Okay, since it has come to this, we’re even now. You can leave?’ Did you really think that I was going to say something like that?”
“Yes.” Xiao Li’s eyes locked on him while he continued to speak in a firm tone, “You will say exactly that.”
Li Shi Qing looked at him with a faint smile, “I actually want to know, where did all your confidence come from?”
“Because you are not the same as Ma Que Zi and Luo Dong. You’ve let me go before.” Xiao Li retained that same expression and tone as if saying something that everyone knows the final conclusion to, “Back then, when I was just 15 years old, you let me go.”
A sense of quietness befell the room again, with only the sound of the rain falling ever so lightly.
Li Shi Qing could barely look at Xiao Li’s eyes as he covered his own face with his trembling hands.
After a long while, he finally removed his hand and at his moment his face appeared extremely exhausted, so much so that even his voice has lost its oppressive tone. “Then what are you pulling these trump cards out for now? What are you exchanging these tokens for?”
Lowering his head, Xiao Li gently hugged Qi Xiu Yuan’s shoulder, “I want to exchange it for him.”
(⌯˃̶᷄ ﹏ ˂̶᷄⌯) *sighhhh* Xiao Li…Qi Xiu Yuan, hang in there!