Xia Liuyi had always thought that He Chusan was an interesting kid. He looked dull but actually had a scheming brain, he was tactful, smart, and flexible, and he did have a spine of steel somewhere you couldn’t see – he could firmly refuse to do something and keep playing around with you. He would never give in. He usually looked obedient and cowardly, but actually, Xia Liuyi had never seen this kid feel afraid for real.
Even when they were chased after and this kid carried him, wheezing and running away, he still looked dumb and unconcerned. Sometimes he was stunned and blank, but he never showed fear.
This was the first time he saw He Chusan be frightened like this. His entire body was as stiff as a stone statue. His hands grasped his pants, and his eyes stared at the door of the operating room.
The blood had drained from his face, and his eyes were blank, as if all the cleverness had gone with his soul.
Xia Liuyi lowered his head and noticed He Chusan’s fingers were slightly quivering.
He couldn’t help covering the sweaty head with his hand. He kneaded and said, “Don’t worry. The doctor said that this kind of operation was usually successful.”
He Chusan sat still and let Xia Liuyi knead. His eyes continued staring at the closed door rigidly. After a while, he finally spoke, “I saw him on the ground unconscious as I was getting back. The door of the clinic was still open, but no one noticed it. The neighbors had all finished up and gone to sleep.”
“He keeps his clinic open till this late every day, and he begins working so early in the mornings, for so many years.”
“He’s this old but still can’t rest. He needs to work and raise me……”
Xia Liuyi wanted to say your dad isn’t very old and if you say this in front of him, he will definitely extract all your teeth. Before he opened his mouth, he saw two lines of tears slide down from the kid’s face, falling on the old pants that were washed pale.
Big Boss Xia’s cold and hard heart turned soft for a moment. He’s still a little brat after all, supporting each other with the old man. His life wasn’t easy. So Xia Liuyi squeezed his shoulder and held him close, pulling him tightly to himself, “Don’t cry. Hold on.”
He Chusan suppressed the whimper and quivered for a while. He did “hold on”. After a long time, he lowered his head and scratched at the messy tears on his face.
“I’m fine, Boss Liuyi. Thank you for giving us a ride,” he said hoarsely and took out a little oil-paper package, opening it. There was a pile of wrinkled bills inside, “You paid when we reached the hospital……”
Xia Liuyi waved his hand carelessly, “Don’t mention it. Keep it and buy some ginseng tea for your dad.”
“Dad doesn’t use the money from the black society,” said He Chusan, “If he knows that you paid the hospital bill, he will insist on leaving the hospital.”
Xia Liuyi couldn’t remember how many times he’d choked on his anger today. He gritted his teeth for a while, “Tell him it’s the extraction fee that I owe him.”
He Chusan pretended to calculate for a while, “Then each of your teeth is worth fifteen hundred.”
Xia Liuyi slapped his head mightily! “You f*cking recovered huh? Are you addicted to making fun of your Boss Liuyi?”
He Chusan covered his head and chuckled.
Xia Liuyi accompanied He Chusan until the operation was finished. Dad He had received anesthesia and was pushed out, sound asleep, being sent to his ward. He had a stroke but luckily, he was sent in time and the situation wasn’t severe. The operation was successful. After he woke up, he only needed to recover and be observed for some time, before he could be discharged from the hospital.
He Chusan carefully made sure the sheet covered his dad well and sent Xia Liuyi out. They walked to the corridor shoulder by shoulder. Xia Liuyi was leaving, and his sleeve was suddenly pulled back by He Chusan.
He Chusan checked there was nobody around and lowered his head, speaking quietly, “Boss Liuyi, actually……what I said tonight, I didn’t mean it.”
Xia Liuyi leaned against the wall. He tilted his head and lit a cigarette lazily, “Oh? Which sentence?”
“I told you not to take me out next time.” He Chusan said, lowering his head.
“Uh.” Xia Liuyi faked being casual but sneered secretly in his mind, waiting to see what explanation this kid could give him.
“I was just……” He Chusan hesitated and still confessed, “When I saw them point at you with guns, I was very afraid.”
Xia Liuyi held the smoke in his mouth, watching this kid lift his head and say with his eyes filled with care and an aching sadness, “I don’t wanna see you hurt anymore. As I thought about how you could get that way again, I felt sad in my heart.”
Xia Liuyi, “Ahem……”
“I shouldn’t make you angry with my words. I’m sorry, Boss Liuyi. Honestly……even though I can’t communicate with you sometimes, I do like being with you. It was my fault tonight. There’s another chicken pot shop that tastes good in Hung Hom. My classmate told me about it. Can I invite you to try it next time?”
Xia Liuyi didn’t answer. He was totally choked by the smoke. He dropped the cigarette and coughed hard! “Ahem, ahem……”
“The hospital doesn’t allow smoking, Boss Liuyi.” The puk gaai brat who didn’t realize what he said at all patted his back and counseled him earnestly.
Xia Liuyi thought there was something wrong with He Chusan’s eyes and words, but he couldn’t tell what – if you want to explain their relationship as brotherhood, it does make sense. After all, he had helped in that crucial moment and saved He Chusan’s dad. It’s reasonable for He Chusan to be nice to him.
The ambiguous romance between a man and man was a minority after all. He thought that he was being oversensitive.
Moreover, a nerd like He Chusan lacked interpersonal relationships. He might not be able to distinguish between which words he could say and which words sounded vague and should be better avoided.
After that night, Fat Qi used all his fat to stand completely against Xiao Qi Tong and he united a few old forces that were once “bullied” by Xia Liuyi – including the Big Boss Sha whose casino in Snapdragon Walled City was destroyed. Fat Qi brought a lot of troubles to Xia Liuyi in this way. Xia Liuyi was busy with the “company’s business”, and He Chusan was busy studying and tending to Dad He after the operation. They hadn’t seen each other for about a month.
When Little Ma came to the “main office” to give a report on the business today, he even deliberately nagged about how long that the brat of the Hes had not visited the billiard room and he was so disrespectful to the Big Boss! And then he was smashed out by Big Boss Xia’s cigarette – you have too much cr*p to say! F*ck off and do your job!
Little Ma left awkwardly and called back in the afternoon, “Big Boss! The brat of the Hes is in the billiard room! He said he has something to tell you!”
Xia Liuyi was in a meeting with a few managers and didn’t care much. He simply made Little Ma make someone drive He Chusan to the main office. After the meeting, the busy Big Boss took some of his precious time to see He Chusan, who was carrying a little backpack and was brought in by two beefy bodyguards.
“What’s up?” Xia Liuyi put down the half stick of cigar that he had used to make a pose – he had never really liked cigars, since he felt that the taste was too strong and made him feel like an uncouth nouveau riche. Xia Liuyi had started his career as a hatchet man from the grassroot class and always thought that he was slightly different from those big-belly people like Big Boss Sha and Fat Qi.
He Chusan looked at the two bodyguards. Xia Liuyi waved his hands, and they crisply disappeared.
He Chusan took a pile of scripts out from his backpack, “It’s a script for you. I needed to look after my dad recently so I wrote slowly.”
Xia Liuyi had already forgotten about this thing. He put the script into a drawer casually.
“Anything else?” He asked again.
“Do you have any time tonight? I wanna invite you to Hung Hom for chicken pot.”
Xia Liuyi lifted his eyebrow teasingly, “You’ll pay?”
“I promised you,” the little poor He said seriously.
Xia Liuyi chuckled and raised his voice to call, “An Qi!”
Soon, a tall secretary with white thighs came in with crisp high-heel sounds, “Boss.”
“What’s the arrangement for tonight?”
“You will have a meal with Big Silly Wu in Lin Heung Tea House at six o’clock and meet Manager Cui in the nightclub at half past seven.”
“Change Big Silly to tomorrow and Cui Dongdong to half past eight.”
The secretary moved her nice hips and left. Only he and Xia Liuyi were left in the large office.
“Sit and wait for a minute. I still have something to read.” Xia Liuyi nodded and showed him to the sofa.
He Chusan held his little backpack and sat obediently. He took a big book out from the backpack and lowered his head to read.
Xia Liuyi continued reading the pile of statements before him with his brows twisting. He had a dictionary on the desk to look up words from time to time. After a while, he found that there was something wrong and said, “Kid, take a look for me.”
He Chusan came close obediently, lowering his head to see the spots Xia Liuyi was pointing at. When he was about to explain, he suddenly frowned, “Overseas company? Thailand? You’re laundering money?”
“Stop the cr*p,” Xia Liuyi ruffled his hair, “What does this part mean?”
“I won’t launder black money for you,” this kid turned his head forcefully.
Xia Liuyi got angry at once, “I didn’t ask you to bookkeep! Will your freaking eyes go blind from simply reading it?!”
He Chusan covered his ‘freaking’ eyes and slipped away from Xia Liuyi like a loach. He climbed back onto the sofa without a word and continued to read his big book. Xia Liuyi smashed at him with an ashtray and was avoided by him.
“Puk gaai brat!” Xia Liuyi cussed, “If you didn’t save me, I’d have already skinned you alive! You deserve no good things!”
He Chusan wasn’t afraid of the attack and pretended to hear nothing. He didn’t forget to urge Xia Liuyi, “Read faster Boss Liuyi. The chicken pot shop is popular and we will need to queue if we are late.”
It was not easy for Xia Liuyi to catch such a top-school-economics-student puppy. However, he couldn’t tell this puppy to do what he asked, and even needed to bear its nonsense bark from time to time. He was almost speechless from anger. He did want to rip this brat’s dog skin – but he let it go! This was a vulnerable student kid, and a distinguished Dragon Head Big Boss like him needn’t be serious with such a little brat!
As expected, they did need to queue for the chicken pot in Hung Hom. A long dragon train formed by people had its tail on the street. Xia Liuyi’s bodyguard squeezed in and forcefully got a table beside the window. He Chusan spoke against the unjust actions while he was dragged in by Xia Liuyi, “There was someone there initially. You grabbed another’s seat……”
“Is this the first day you realized that I’m a triad man?” Xia Liuyi sneered, “Who invited the triad man for a meal again?”
He Chusan didn’t speak anymore.
These two people respectively thought “This f*cking puk gaai brat faking a gentleman!” “A triad man is a triad man! Hopeless!” and analyzed the menu together between them, and then they said to the waiter coming to serve at the exact same moment, “Large chicken pot, medium spiciness!”
Xia Liuyi glared at He Chusan who snatched his words, “Bok choy……”
“Shiitake and hot-pot beef.” He Chusan snatched the words again.
Xia Liuyi hit the menu on the table, and He Chusan, confused, said, “Don’t you like beef?”
Xia Liuyi took a deep breath and admonished himself to not be serious with such a brat again and again. He took out a cigarette annoyedly from his pocket. As soon as he bit it, the waiter who didn’t know Big Boss Xia tried to stop him, “Sir, our shop doesn’t allow smoking.”
Before Xia Liuyi’s solemn, cold, and lordly eye knives hacked down, He Chusan had already consoled the waiter, “It’s okay. He will definitely choke on it later.”
Xia Liuyi didn’t even show his claws under his extreme anger. He took the cigarette back, waiting for the waiter to leave further away patiently, and finally said, “As long as you can f*cking breathe, you must argue with me, huh?”
He Chusan was obedient, “No, I respect you very much, Boss Liuyi.”
“Shut up!” said Xia Liuyi, “If you dare say another half sentence, I’ll smash the pot onto your head!”
He Chusan sighed like an old man, portraying “Of course you can’t communicate with an unreasonable triad man” on his face and lowered his head nicely, setting up the bowls and chopsticks.
How cultured am I, to have not killed this brat yet? Xia Liuyi suddenly felt poignant.
He recalled this year with all the detail that he knew and from dealing with this brat, he remembered that he merely wanted to kill him with the chair leg at the beginning!
They watched the boiling chicken pot speechlessly. The shiitake poured in by He Chusan was not cooked yet and Xia Liuyi pressed them down and stirred it. He suddenly remembered something and kicked the table next to him.
A bodyguard stood up and handed him a paper package respectfully.
Xia Liuyi gave the paper package with the heads of the chopsticks, “Your paycheck.”
However, He Chusan didn’t take it. He kept stirring the shitake with the chopsticks and stared at Xia Liuyi nicely.
“Stop f*cking pretending to be nice. You can speak now.” Xia Liuyi said annoyedly.
“I won’t take it,” He Chusan said.
Xia Liuyi’s face turned dark. Before he broke out, this brat added instantly, “I wrote it for you voluntarily, Boss Liuyi. It’s for free.”
“Stop faking the brotherhood loyalty!” said Xia Liuyi, “Don’t you simply f*cking think my money was dirty?!”
“I don’t see you as my ‘brother’,” said He Chusan, “You’re my friend.”
Xia Liuyi sneered, “You won’t join the black society but you’ll make friends with someone in it? Do you think you can make yourself clean this way?”
He Chusan lowered his head and took the chicken tail, “I’d never wanted to make myself clean, but I really can’t take the money.”
Xia Liuyi was truly inflamed this time. He put down the chopsticks with a cold countenance. He then suddenly stood up and flipped the table!
The abrupt crashing sound and the sound of a breaking casserole dish shocked everyone in the restaurant. The fallen stove extinguished at once and the gas came out with a sharp groan. The waiter screamed and rushed up to turn off the gas valve. Before he could shout his anger, he was blocked by a few beefy bodyguards. The customers around them widened their eyes to watch the scene, and the shopkeeper scurried out to soothe both sides.
“Big Boss! Big Boss! We can talk about it no matter what happened!”
The bodyguard pushed the shopkeeper away with a palm, “None of your business, f*ck off!”
He Chusan sat there absently. The boiling chicken pot wasn’t smashed onto his head as Xia Liuyi said previously, but instead stained his old and broken shoes and pants.
Xia Liuyi didn’t even give a single glance at him. He turned and left with his face cold. The bodyguards hurriedly followed him.
He Chusan looked at his back with wide eyes until the shopkeeper pulled at him, “Student kid, are you okay? Do you owe them money?”
“I’m fine,” He Chusan looked down to the ground and bent over to find the wet paper package from the dirtiness. He then lifted his backpack that he put aside, “How much were the chicken pot and the casserole? I’ll compensate you.”
“Come on,” The shopkeeper sighed, “Obviously you were bullied by them. Nor is your life easy. Just go.”
He Chusan held the backpack and left the restaurant. At the same time, Xia Liuyi’s car came out from the nearby parking lot. The lighting only left exhaust behind. Xia Liuyi sat in the backseat with no expression, tilting his head and making a call.
He Chusan watched the car vanish around the corner silently. Then he lowered his head, looking at the thick and dirty paper package.
He wasn’t someone particularly special, and this proud and merciless triad Big Boss’s toleration for him should end at this point.
TN: Edited by our responsible editor Mio Rio -v-