After Xiao Li came down the stairs and returned to the car, he did not start his engine immediately. He simply sat there waiting until he saw Qi Xiu Yuan emerged. Two people appeared from the car parked at the corner and quickly made their way toward the corridor pushing a stretcher. After coming back out with the person lying on the stretcher and skillfully lifting him into the car, a couple minutes later, they rapidly sped off.
Finally loosening his tense body, Xiao Li pulled his phone out to make a call.
“Ge?” Xiao Yang’s voice was exceptionally cautious as he spoke.
Xiao Li simply snorted.
“I’m sorry Ge,” apologized Xiao Yang, even though it does not sound regretful, “Are you guys okay now?”
“It’s not what you think. Don’t be so meddlesome in the future.”
“Oh? Aren’t you two dating? You don’t have to hide it from me, I’m not against it.” Xiao Yang laughed then said, “Qi Dage is a pretty good person and he’s also Susu’s older brother. We’ll be sibling-in-law later, isn’t that good?”
Since Xiao Li has not spoken to his brother much about his own personal life experiences, there was a long moment of silence between them before he finally spoke, “This matter is very complication. There’s no need for you to care about it anymore……”
“Why are you being like this again and not saying anything? You only know how to give me orders……” Xiao Yang complained, however, there was a sense of helplessness in his voice rather than resentment. He sighed and continued, “I know, I don’t care anymore.”
After he hung up on that call, Xiao Li’s brows wrinkled together into a slight frown as he lit another cigarette. By the time he gave Zhang Juan Juan a call, his voice had become cold and gloomy.
“Did something happen to you?” He promptly questioned, “Or, you actually have your own boss?”
Zhang Juan Juan went silent for a moment before speaking in a monotonous voice, “Since you refused Qi Xiu Yuan this time, you won’t have any more chances.”
“I know.” Xiao Li simply answered then hung up the phone.
Xiao Li certainly knew it was not like Sun Ze Yu hasn’t seen it before.
A person like him who abruptly rose to power from the lowest rung of society, who has dealt with the harshness of manipulating of the underworld and obeying to the political structures, has stepped on the shoulders and corpse of countless people while his actions are laden with tyrannical tendencies and callousness.
For these reasons, if anyone wanted to wound his heart, they would not stand a chance. Only someone like Qi Xiu Yuan would believe that someone like Sun Ze Yu is a nostalgic person.
It’s just that… Sun Ze Yu utilized Qi Xiu Yuan as a bargaining chip to lure Xiao Li in. As a matter of fact, it was truly an enticing bargaining chip…… just by thinking about Qi Xiu Yuan’s earnest devotion to him, Xiao Li would immediately find it difficult to breathe.
Letting those thoughts play in his head, he lowered the window and started the car. As he began to drive, the howling wind rushed into the car and dispersed the veil of mist.
This is also good……
Qi Xiu Yuan should have not been involved in this since the beginning……withdrawing now should not be too late either.
He thought as he ignored the sharp pain that pierced his chest while a nearly impossible to see a trace of smile hook at the corner of his lips.
As expected, Xiao Li’s position in the gang has been exceptionally awkward. Before when he acted on his own accord to save Han Jia, he lost half of the eastern territory, and nearly half of his subordinates were split up and given to Yan Ming. After he was found at Qi Xiu Yuan’s house by Li Shi Qing, he was verbally permitted to withdraw from the gang, and although he has a week of preparation time, he still had to make a delivery to Yan Ming and Liu Zi Cheng as soon as possible.
He has no soldiers and no general, and the ones that remained at his side were a couple of subordinates who had followed him from a few years back. Since something has happened in the gang, he doesn’t want to leave right before the battle, but at the same time, he really doesn’t want to stay in Li Shi Qing’s golden house. Therefore, normally he could only remain at Yan Ming’s side and acted like a bodyguard for him.
Da Gui had died at the common border of Liu Zi Cheng and Yan Ming’s territory but Zi Cheng himself doesn’t even know where to investigate, so he abstained from communicating with them. Li Shi Qing personal bodyguard A Lang was suddenly transferred to where Liu Zi Cheng was and another person that followed Xiao Li was also sent away by Li Shi Qing.
Xiao Li felt with certainty that he was losing Li Shi Qing’s trust in him.
On the third day, the sky was already dark when he drove back home. There were already four people standing in front of the door waiting for him, and the two that stood in the shadow unexpectedly appeared in front of Xiao Li, catching him off guard. Xiao Li recognized two among them four as Li Shi Qing’s confidant and bodyguards, Ding Yong and Xiao Chen.
“Li Ge,” called out Ding Yong as he stepped forward, “Qing Ye wants to discuss something with you.”
Without calling beforehand Li Shi Qing had his bodyguards come here to personally stop Xiao Li. His approach was already quite obvious, and Xiao Li couldn’t help but slightly frown before he took his cellphone out and called Li Shi Qing.
“Did you see Ding Ying and the others?” Li Shi Qing’s voice was very gentle as he spoke.
“Let them drive you over her.”
“There’s no need for you to drive,” interrupted Li Shi Qing, “Don’t worry, they’ll bring you back once I’m done with what I have to say.”
“Okay, Qing Ye.” Xiao Li put his phone away then without even the slightest change in his expression, he turned to face Ding Yong and said, “Let’s go.”
Ding Yong drove the car and the other bodyguard Xiao Chen sat in the front passenger seat while Xiao Li sat in the back seat, squeezed in between the other two remaining people.
All five people knew that this trip was unusual yet no one said anything as they remained shrouded in silence until their destination was in sight. The car stopped at the side of a warehouse in Liu Zi Cheng’s territory.
“Li Ge, this way.” The person sitting to his left side got out of the car first and then held the door for him. By the time he got out of the car, all four men had already split to different directions with two standing at his side, one in front and one behind him before making their way toward the entrance of the warehouse.
There were already some people standing in wait at the entrance. Once they saw them walking over, they pushed the heavy metal door open just the slightest causing faint ray of light to shine out.
Changing their location, two men now stood in front while two stood behind Xiao Li as they walked in. There was a lightbulb hanging in the middle of the dusky warehouse and the boards on the wall limited the amount of light that brighten a portion of the empty space.
Li Shi Qing sat in a spot that boarded the light and shadows, and standing beside him was Li Zi Cheng. Xiao Li walked over and stood at a distance not too far from where Li Shi Qing was while the four acted like bodyguards and remained around him.
“Qing Ye,” greeted Xiao Li with a blank expression.
“Xiao Li, say it again.” Li Shi Qing looked at him with the same expression, “You don’t have anything to do with Da Gui’s situation.”
“Qing Ye, I won’t betray you.” Xiao Li’s stern gaze looked at Li Shi Qing.
Ding Yong, who stood behind him to the left, suddenly made a move and kicked the back of his knee.
Having been on guard the entire time, Xiao Li turned around to counterattack but the four people around him simultaneously attacked. At a disadvantage, Xiao Li was no match for his opponents. After a short fight, both of his hands and shoulder were stifled and held down before he was pushed to kneel on the ground in front of Li Shi Qing.
“Qing Ye, you don’t trust me?” He picked up his head and stared at Li Shi Qing with dark pupils that reflected the lights.
At first, Li Shi Qing was leaning back into the chair, but now he sat slightly upright as he looked at him and slowly spoke. “You’re the one I don’t want to doubt the most. It’s best if you tell me now, where did you go just now?”
“I went to Xiao Yang’s place.”
Then someone felt around in his pant pocket, pulled out his cellphone and passed it over to Li Shi Qing.
Li Shi Qing looked through the cellphone and slowly said, “The hidden compartment at the front passenger seat, who are you using it to communicate with?”
“What?” Xiao Li’s eyes widened.
“When you were on your way here, we sent someone to search your car.” Liu Zi Cheng suddenly spoke, “Also, Han Jia has been discharged from the hospital. You should also know this, right?”
Xiao Li stared sternly at him.
“At first, we wanted to train him again, but he secretly ran off instead.” The person who spoke this time was Li Shi Qing. He sighed looking as though he was really concerned, “How strange, the gang couldn’t find him anywhere…perhaps you know where he is?”
Xiao Li shook his head, “Qing Ye, I don’t know anything about this.”
“Don’t you always know your brother’s situations?” Li Shi Qing looked at him, “I wanted to have a proper talk with him but unexpectedly, he’s renting an apartment with one of Lu Wu’s subordinate. What a nice coincidence, isn’t it?”
With an expressionless face, Xiao Li did not answer.
Li Shi Qing sighed, “You made such a huge ruckus after burning off your escape route. Everything I’ve taught you over the years has been in vain……” his eyes flickered, “Even the bastard that was beaten until he nearly died has found an independent bodyguard…you are really considerate.”
Xiao Li could feel his eyelids tremble as he looked at him and spoke in a low voice, “Qing Ye, you’ve said you wouldn’t do anything to him.”
“I have said that.” Li Shi Qing admitted as he leaned back into the chair, hiding his expression in the darkness, “If you found out that I did something to him, I’ll let you go to be with him,” he laughed, “This is this and that is that Xiao Li. There’s plenty of time to discuss things. Right now, I only want you to answer the question.”
“I only want them to be safe, there’s no other meaning to it,” replied Xiao Li.
“No other meaning?” Li Shi Qing sneered, “Do you still want to be stubborn and not admit your mistake? You’ve already made such a mess after burning your way out of the gang that even a blind person can see what’s going on……has everything I’ve taught you over the years really been in vain?”
“Qing Ye, there’s really no other meaning to it.” Xiao Li persistently said.
Li Shi Qing did not say anything as he faced Liu Zi Cheng and gave him a glance.
Liu Zi Cheng sighed, “When Da Gui was ambushed and one of them was able to get away, Lu Wu sent him over here. He said that he can recognize the person murdered them so we let him confront one of your subordinates.”
Xiao Li frowned.
Li Shi Qing clapped his hands until two shadows emerged from the darkness dragging a man over before throwing his face toward the area where the lighting shined the brightest. That person’s face and clothes were completely drenched with bloodstain. Both his hands were tied back, and the item used to bind around him seven to eight times was unexpectedly wired, more so, there was a wiring board pressed painfully at that person’s pelvic area.
“Lin Zi?” Xiao Li asked in complete shock, “What’s going on?”
Li Shi Qing snorted but did not say anything.
Liu Zi Cheng sighed again.
One of the people that dragged Lin Zi walked away for a second then came back with a bucket of water and poured it on his head.
Lin Zi choked and opened his eyes as his unsteady line of sight slowly swept through his surroundings. When he finally made contact with Xiao Li, he suddenly stirred.
“Li Ge……Li Ge……” There was a sobbing tone in his voice as he spoke, “I’m sorry……”
Xiao Li was utterly startled but before he even had time to speak, the muzzle of a pitch-black gun pressed firmly against his temple. Li Shi Qing had already stooped down to stand in front of him. His hand was extremely unstable as he gripped the gun tightly while wearing an expression of sorrow and even his tone of voice was completely dull.
“How are you going to explain this?”
“I don’t know what’s going on.” Xiao Li calmed down while his voice remained steady and sincere.
“Then, let me tell you,” said Li Shi Qing. As he moved in a bit closer toward him, the muzzle of the gun slowly shifted from Xiao Li’s temple to his stomach. “Lin Zi confessed that you’re the one who incited them to kill Da Gui.”
At those words, Xiao Li’s brows tightened even more.
“Xiao Li,” Li Shi Qing had one hand gripping the gun while the other hand caressing
Xiao Li’s face, “Do you remember when you were 19, and you became the leader of dozen or more subordinates for the first time, what did I give to you as a gift?”
Xiao Li’s expression slightly stirred, hiding his own emotions as he spoke in a low voice, “Qing Ye gave me the tattoo on my back.”
Li Shi Qing continued, “And, what did I say back then?”
Xiao Li stopped before speaking again, his distinctive voice seemed hoarse, “Qing Ye said, you are a soaring dragon, and you want to give me a tattoo of a mighty tiger climbing the mountain. A tiger climbing a mountain will be loyal and brave for a lifetime and only that can protect the soaring dragon and become a hero for a lifetime.”
“Brave and loyal for a lifetime, brave and loyal for a lifetime,” Li Shi Qing slightly laughed, “Right now, I’m not asking for a lifetime or bravery, I only want to ask whether you are worthy of the word ‘loyal’ or not.”
Xiao Li looked at him with calm and clear eyes, “Qing Ye, I didn’t kill Da Gui.” He paused, then solemnly asked, “If I say that I did not betray you and Liu Zi Cheng is trying to frame me, would you believe it or not?”
Hearing his name, Liu Zi Cheng was trampled with shock as he drew closer to Xiao Li, but before he had a chance to say anything, Li Shi Qing had already started to laugh, “Accusing anyone of this would be fine, but why accusing Zi Cheng? There’s completely no reason at all for him to frame you. I don’t believe it.”
“Investigate the one that got away, Qing Ye.” Xiao Li raised his voice, “Why is it that everyone else died and he’s the only one alive? Whether he and Li Zi Cheng has connections or not is simple enough to find——”
The sound of a gunshot went off instantly, provoking everyone to be completely stunned. No one had anticipated that Li Shi Qing would take action so quickly. A moment later, everything in the warehouse was wrapped in utter silence.
Xiao Li’s body nearly collapsed backward from the impact of the bullet. But, before the men that held him down could react or let him go, he fell forward into their hands instead.…the blood from his stomach was rapidly flowing out, and beneath the dusky lighting, all that could be seen was that dark spot became bigger and bigger, soaking the ground. His eyes were wide open as he faced Li Shi Qing with shock.
Li Shi Qing’s eyes flickered with a ray of light that was hard to describe. Using this kind of strange expression, he reached down and touched Xiao Li’s wound, and watched as the light of life in Xiao Li’s eyes gradually faded away.
At that moment, the four people around him finally let go and Xiao Li fell forward on the ground…motionless while the blood persistently and quickly flowed, creating a pool of blood around him.
 Dage – older brother
 sibling-in-law – or doubly related: if one pair of siblings is married to another pair of siblings, the siblings-in-law are thus doubly-related, each of the four both through one’s spouse and through one’s sibling, while the children of the two couples are double cousins.
YESS!!! Xiao Yang, we want your sweet badass brother to be married to our dear Qi Xiu Yuan as well!!
 “Xiao Li certainly knew, it was not like Sun Ze Yu hasn’t seen it before.”
 “You’ve made such a huge ruckus after burning off your escape route.” Li Shi Qing is referring to XL using his freedom in change for QXY’s life.