“This group of kids only thought they were coming here to rescue a disabled hostage, so when they saw Qi Xiu Yun, they weren’t on guard at all. But, this guy is extremely sly. In less than a few words, he was able to get some information out of us. Then he acted all pompous and got Laohu close enough to him before he snatched the walkie-talkie. Afterward, taking advantage of the commotion, he locked himself on the balcony.”
Wu Qing Hua walked and mumbled to himself. He, himself, doesn’t even know if he was complaining that his men were terrible or explaining to Xiao Li that ordinarily, his men were actually not that terrible.
As he talked and talked, they finally arrived on the twelfth floor and walked out of the elevator. Once the door opened wide, they could see four to five police officers in the room surrounding the balcony area. One among them with suntanned skin was in the middle of reasoning with someone.
“…are you still worried about your security? Please be at ease, I am—”
“You’re that ‘Laohu’, right?” Qi Xiu Yuan’s distinctive voice sounded from the balcony; it was a voice filled with agitation hostility. “After being led around by you guys, you still want me to be at ease? From the way I see it, for your next operation, you should change your code name to ‘xiao mao’.”
Xiao Li was stunned, the Qi Xiu Yuan he knew was never bitter or sarcastic like this.
The suntanned officer was also shocked and angered to the point that he was ready to kick the door but a few of his comrade stopped him.
“Stop, stop!” Wu Qing Hua yelled, “Just a few words can make you agitated like this mean that you are no good! All of you, go wait outside!”
The suntanned officer angrily straightened his neck, ready to retort back but his comrades quickly consoled him then dragged him out of the red door.
“The most you have is fifteen minutes.” Wu Qing Hua said, “Or else, he will be shot with a tranquilizer. Perhaps you don’t know this but tranquilizers can kill. If you cannot settle this in fifteen minutes then everyone will be troubled.”
Nodding his head, Xiao Li watched as Wu Qing Hua walked out before he lifted his own hand and knocked on the balcony door.
“Didn’t you want to see me? I’m here—”
‘Click’, the balcony door unlocked from the other side and opened. Qi Xiu Yuan was sitting in a wheelchair, looking straight ahead.
Xiao Li did not expect to a Qi Xiu Yuan that was like this. The dim light above the balcony cast a shadow on his face, revealing scabs at the corner of his mouth that appeared black. There was an inexplicable expression in his eyes that could not be entirely defined, but at first glance, it seemed to be well with rage or perhaps anxiety.
Even when he looked at Xiao Li, that expression did not soften either.
Recalling how he was being sarcastic with the officer a moment ago, Xiao Li realized that he was taking his anger out on someone else. He could not help but to lightly sigh at this predicament. He wanted to say some words as to console him, however, he chose to remain silent instead.
“They suddenly came here to rescue me.” Qi Xiu Yuan raised his head to look at Xiao Li. The light in the living room was brighter than the one in the balcony. It was so bright that it made it impossible to see Xiao Li’s expression clearly. “I thought that Sun Ze Yu was using this opportunity to get rid of you all. You don’t know how worried I was. I was afraid that you would be…” his voice slowed down and became gloomy, “But, when I heard you and that ‘commander’ talking…you’re actually working with Sun Ze Yu?”
Xiao Li faintly sighed then stiffly replied, “Then, you’re not worried anymore, right?” Before Qi Xiu Yuan could answer, he turned around, “I’ll inform them to take you away.”
He absolutely wanted to walk out.
He even took a step forward.
But Qi Xiu Yuan loudly shouted, ‘Xiao Li’, with a tone that he was not able to resist. It was full of grievances and affection as if he was calling out to his own heart.
Xiao Li could not control himself any longer. He remained planted on the same spot and listened as Qi Xiu Yuan said with bewilderment and sadness in his voice:
‘Xiao Li, I’m really confused.’
‘Xiao Li, what’s going on?’
‘Xiao Li, turn around and look at me….’
He shut his eyes, took a deep breath and turned around to look at Qi Xiu Yuan. Then trying his best to control his own voice, he calmly said, “If you know that it’s confusing then don’t ask so much. Since Sun Ze Yu had thought of a way to lure the enemy away from his territory, you should seize this opportunity and obediently go back. You have an advantage on him. If you use it well, you will always be safe and sound. Why bother to tread even deeper into the water?”
“I’ve already tread into the water…and…I willingly tread in by myself.” Qi Xiu Yuan muttered while looking straight ahead. His voice became a bit louder, “You’re already in the water, why would I stand on the shore? Even today, I willingly let myself get kidnapped by them. There were so many people in the hospital and Sun Ze Yu had also sent someone to protect me. If I didn’t want to come, there were plenty of ways to keep me away from here.”
Xiao Li was in utter shock as he stared at him. A second later, his brows tightened into a frown as he angrily said, “What the hell are you thinking?!”
He reached over to grab the back of Qi Xiu Yuan’s wheelchair and attempted to push him out.
“If you don’t say it clearly, I won’t go and even if you force me to go, I will still come back.” Qi Xiu Yuan used his uninjured left hand to firmly grip the knob on the balcony door. Although he was in a rather sorry state, his voice, however, was packed with determination. “Even if they knock me out and take me away, I will still come back. I will think of every possible way to be at your side. I’ve done it in the past. Just like how I did so with my broken leg…I will do it again if I have to. You better believe me.”
“Don’t be crazy.” Xiao Li said with irritation as he stopped his hand from moving the wheelchair, “You wanted to see me, here I am, you’ve seen me. Nothing’s wrong with me. What are you insisting on staying here for? To give me more trouble?”
Qi Xiu Yuan looked at him for a while.
“For you to use.” He softly said with a slight smile. His eyes that were just like an endless abyss locked with Xiao Li’s.
For some time, Xiao Li did not respond as a perplex expression appeared on his face. But just as quickly as it surfaced, another expression replaced it, one that looked as if something had ruthlessly struck him.
Shock, anger, moved, worry and even embarrassment…all these complicated emotions quickly gathered in his eyes and changed from one to the other.
Xiao Li held his breath and remained motionless, just like a statue. One of his hands rested on the back of Qi Xiu Yuan’s wheelchair while the other was at the front armrest. He stared blankly at the person facing him with determination. When Qi Xiu Yuan reached out to caress his face, Xiao Li still did not budge.
“I want to protect you. I want to be useful to you. Xiao Li, use me. I have information that can be used against Sun Ze Yu in my hands. I’m naturally a great bargaining chip.” His fingers gently caressed Xiao Li’s cheeks, then slowly moved down and stopped at the pit of his stomach. As he lightly touched the bandages there, his eyes darkened just the slightest. “I’m not Xiao Yang. I cannot accept your protection as a matter of fact, without questioning it, and then let you go do dangerous things at places I’m unaware of only for you to get hurt and injured without me knowing…”
Xiao Li closed his eyes while his chest rapidly moved up and down. Then, as if wanting to conceal his expression, he moved close to and let his cheek touch Qi Xiu Yuan’s. Qi Xiu Yuan looked down; his line of sight met the shoulder seam of Xiao Li’s shirt.
He lowered his head just the slightest and left a kiss mark on Xiao Li’s shirt. Just by feeling his body temperature and hearing the sound of his breaths, Qi Xiu Yuan truly felt he could give everything he can just for this person. 
“Don’t force me to leave, Xiao Li.” He brought his lips close to Xiao Li’s ear and spoke with a low tone, “I know why you refused to leave with me last time. Since Sun Ze Yu used you to work for him, he would definitely not comprise and let me take you away. He used me to test you, didn’t he? He wanted to see how important I am to you, didn’t he? So, you refused to go with me. You wanted me to retreat after seeing how difficult things were…you wanted me to obediently return to Sun Ze Yu’s side, that way, I can defend myself. Were these the things you thought of back then? You refused to say anything because you thought I wouldn’t be able to guess?”
Xiao Li’s heart skipped a beat and his breath halted for a moment, leaving him still wordless. But, Qi Xiu Yuan could sense him pressing even closer to him. He tenderly kissed Xiao Li’s ear, and softly said, “I cannot always listen to you. You wanted me to wait then you didn’t want me to wait, both of which I do not want. I don’t only want to wait for you, I want to be together with you. Even if it’s as your chess piece, bargaining chip, tool…Xiao Li, are you willing to?”
Xiao Li began to tremble. Qi Xiu Yuan could hear Xiao Li’s breaths becoming chaotic before he was pushed away. Xiao Li took two steps back but still stared at him with eagerness and hysteria in his eyes.
All kinds of emotions were flooding Xiao Li’s eyes, so much, that even he, himself, could not properly make out what was happening in his own mind.
Locking his eyes with Xiao Li’s, Qi Xiu Yuan felt as if that look seemed to want to hurt him but also pity him, embrace him tightly but also refuse him, long for him but also afraid of him, destroy him but also to be destroyed with him.
I knew it…
Qi Xiu Yuan’s heart trembled causing him to nearly be unable to control himself.
I knew it long ago. This is the kind of man Xiao Li is. If he truly loves someone, he would definitely expose this kind of look.
What does it matter if he had deceived the police, snatched their walkie-talkie then locked himself in the balcony in order to force them into submission? What does it matter that he made several despicable deals with his enemy, through methods that he hated, in order to deal with someone? What does it matter that he has been chasing him from behind all the way into the deep water until his entire body and face were covered with mud and bloodstains?
This person is now his…living, breathing, looking at him, loving him…this person is his.
Everything was worth it.
Qi Xiu Yuan and Xiao Li’s eyes tangled together. Just by looking at each other, their bodies felt warm and light as a feather. It was the feeling of completeness, of being wanted and adored. It felt as if all the injuries on their arms, legs, ribs have been completely healed in the presence of each other. They only wanted to embrace the other person tightly until their flesh and blood melted together.
Then Xiao Li shifted his gaze away and laughed—a sweet laugh that sounded as though he was mocking himself. He covered his own eyes and muttered, “I must be crazy.”
Without looking at Qi Xiu Yuan anymore, he turned around and walked toward the door. Qi Xiu Yuan moved forward a few steps and heard Xiao Li say outside the door: “Give me a cell phone, I need to use it.”
Someone immediately answered him with ‘what’, which only made Xiao Li’s tone even more determined, “Stop this bullshit, and give it to me.”
The person finally handed the cell phone over to him.
Moving the wheelchair closer with the controller on the armrest, Qi Xiu Yuan could see Xiao Li’s tall figure.
“Sun Tingzhang.” He said, “I want to move ahead of time.”
The middle-aged officer to the side looked at him nervously, but even then, Xiao Li’s voice did not fluctuate, remaining calm and tough.
“I know it’s all of a sudden…yes, I have already decided on the plan. Do you have any other option?” He was quiet for a moment, then answered a question from the person on the other side of the phone, “There’s no reason. I can’t wait any longer.”
After listening for a few more seconds, he simply said, ‘okay’ then handed the cell phone back to the officer with the nervous expression and said, “Listen to your new order.”
When the officer took the phone, Xiao Li turned around and let his eyes remain on Qi Xiu Yuan for a moment before walking toward him.
Qi Xiu Yuan kept his eyes on him the entire time.
“Qi Xiu Yuan.” Xiao Li stooped down, his eyes brightened as he looked at him, “I am willing to.”
 “…into the water?” –> “Why bother getting yourself even more involved in this horrible mess?”
 In the audio book, they kissed here but it’s not part of the novel. XD THANK YOU!
❤ This is the song that was used in the audio book for when Xiao Li answered Qi Xiu Yuan “Qi Xiu Yuan, I’m willing to.” (to be with you) T^T After he said that, the song starts at 0:52 “I’m ready to believe, be strong enough, give everything I am and trust in love.” ❤