Chapter 37: Lobster Sashimi
Translated by Karcessel of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
When Lin ShuYi ran into Zhao XueMei in the police station, she was a hagrid, dishevelled mess, but animated as soon as she saw Lin ShuYi. “Xiao Xiao? Is Xiao Xiao back?”
Lin ShuYi couldn’t be bothered to look at her with anything other than distaste, and didn’t know why she was asking him about her own son. “You should ask the police, not me.”
Zhao XueMei’s voice quivered as she spoke, looking at Lin ShuYi with wide, bloodshot eyes, like someone deranged. “Didn’t they already take his grandfather too? Why haven’t they let Xiao Xiao go yet?”
Suddenly narrowing his eyes, Lin ShuYi shot out a hand to grab her wrist. “What did you just say?”
Zhao XueMei abruptly fell apart. Screeching and screaming, she was already in an unstable state, and this one unexpected move from Lin ShuYi was enough to push her over the edge. “Xiao Xiao is gone! He’s gone! We couldn’t save him! That old man is his grandfather, isn’t he? They already took him, so why won’t they let my Xiao Xiao go!”
For the first time in his life, Lin ShuYi was so livid that he didn’t even think slapping her would quell anything. “Yang Xiao was taken because he gambled someone else’s money away and couldn’t pay them back. You can call the police, you can beg others to go save him for you. But grandpa, none of this had anything to do with grandpa. The reason grandpa was taken was all because of Yang Xiao. If you want your son back so bad, why don’t you go looking for him yourself, take grandpa’s place?”
“Xiao Xiao was set up! He was tricked! If his grandfather had just sold the house, we would have gotten the money and this would never have happened! That old man would rather help some parentless orphan like you than help his own flesh and blood grandson, what kind of grandfather is he?!” Zhao XueMei shrieked, still hysterical.
This time, there were zero reservations holding Lin ShuYi back from slapping this woman, but the moment he raised his hand his mind flashed to Old Man Yang. Old Man Yang, who was currently being held God knows where, suffering alone. This was not the time to bother arguing with a crazy person. Zhao XueMei had cowered back, frightened by Lin ShuYi’s raised hand, but in the end he slowly put it back down, saying one last line, “Grandpa never wronged your family in any way. How many ways have you wronged him?”
With that, Lin ShuYi turned around a left, leaving Zhao XueMei behind with her lifeless expression. He had more important matters to deal with.
The two policemen standing guard were shocked, watching this entire scene unfold. This boy couldn’t be much older than his late teens, but the look on his face was much too threatening for such a young age. As they were thinking this, Lin ShuYi walked past them on his way deeper into the police station, towards the conference room.
It took a second for the two policeman to react and quickly follow after him, calling out, “That’s the conference room, you don’t have permission to enter—!”
Lin ShuYi had already pushed the door open, striding in.
This was the first time Lin ShuYi was been inside a police station, but he could have never anticipated the events that brought him here today.
Shen Fu to told Lin ShuYi he would be back soon before he left, and Lin ShuYi didn’t know why he wasn’t back yet, but he wasn’t worried. He trusted Shen Fu, and had a feeling Shen Fu wouldn’t just abandon them like this.
Right now, his main priority was to find out where those people had taken Old Man Yang, and for what reasons.
Quite a few policemen were gathered together in the conference room, engrossed in animated discussion. Gambling, kidnapping, robbery; none of these were common crimes on the quiet ChaoYang street, and for this one case to involve all three was a pretty serious matter. Any clue was valuable, especially when they had zero leads on where the perpetrators may be hiding.
Several pairs of eyes looked up at Lin ShuYi as he walked in, all surprised, then one person took the initiative, standing up and saying, “Are you family? Please remain calm, we are currently working on a solution.”
Lin ShuYi nodded in understanding, but rather than leaving, he grabbed himself a chair and sat down.
Now the policemen all looked at each other a bit awkwardly, unsure of what to say, until a person seated on a central chair said, “It’s fine. Keep talking.”
Truthfully, none of the officers here could deduce the perpetrators’ intentions. If this was just for money, after taking Yang Xiao, they should have gone straight to one of his parents to demand a ransom. However, not only have they yet to send someone to contact Zhao XueMei, they went and kidnapped Old Man Yang instead. These actions left all the policemen confused.
And it wasn’t just the police who were confused. Currently, the kidnappers were pretty confused as well.
After Yang Xiao gave them Old Man Yang’s address, several underlings were sent to ChaoYang street, and found the restaurant as they were instructed to. They spent a bit of time trashing the place and poking around, before slowly coming to the realisation that not only were there no people inside, this restaurant also didn’t look like the wealthy and bustling business Yang Xiao described. The man in charge was immediately incensed, and went storming up to find Old Man Yang instead. The original plan was to use threats to demand money, so they didn’t hurt this old man at all, but it was only after looking around the house that they discovered this, too, didn’t look like the establishment of someone with money to spare. Furious at being played by Yang Xiao, the man pulled out his phone and dialed back.
“You said your grandpa had money? You’re fucking playing me, aren’t you! Does this look like a house that had money?!”
On the other end of the phone, someone must have done something, because Yang Xiao suddenly cried out, half sobbing and half shouting. “He has money! He has money! He hid it from our family, but his restaurant’s business is really good! He must have hidden the money because he doesn’t want to give it to you! Ask him, ask him!”
Old Man Yang sat calmly on his bed, quietly observing the intruders, and finally seemed to have gleaned an understanding of the situation from this conversation.
The man hung up the phone and restlessly toyed with it in one hand, looking at Old Man Yang. “Old man, you heard that? Your grandson owes us money. He doesn’t have the money. So he told us you have money, and here we are.”
Old Man Yang reached out a hand, softly touching the photo album by his bed. He sighed. “How much does he owe you?”
Old Man Yang frowned. “I don’t have that kind of money.”
He really didn’t have that much money. All of his life’s savings added together would only reach one-twentieth of that amount.
The man laughed coldly and spat, “This little bitch is really playing me, huh.”
Then he turned to Old Man Yang. “Now see here, this whole things really doesn’t have anything to do with you directly, except that Yang Xiao is your grandson. All of the money he owes, now you owe too. If you don’t have enough, then we’ll just take all you’ve got. As for the rest, he’ll just have to pay that back with his organs.”
The intruders ransacked the house, taking all the money they could find. None of them expected that as they were leaving, Old Man Yang would say, “Can I go with you to see my grandson?”
The man in charge was blindsided. Although, in the beginning, he planned to mess around with Yang Xiao a bit out of malicious intent, now he was really just disgusted with how worthless a person Yang Xiao was and didn’t want to bother dealing with him too much. All he really wanted was money, and despite the threats, he didn’t really plan on killing the brat.
Unexpectedly, however, even a worthless degenerate like this still had people who cared for him. The grandfather he had scorned, no less.
It took the man significant effort to muster a rare moment of sympathy. “Old man, I’m telling you right now, this grandson of yours isn’t worth much. We’re here because he sold you out. I’m not a good person, but every injustice has a perpetrator and every debt has a keeper, so I won’t push any of this onto your head. You should stay far away. There isn’t anything worth saving in your grandson, he’s rotten to the core. No matter how good you are to him, it’s no different from feeding a stray animal.”
Old Man Yang was surprised at such well-intentioned words coming from this man, and couldn’t help a small smile. “No matter how worthless this grandson, I can’t just watch him die. So take me there, will you? I won’t call the police.”
The man was still reluctant, but persuaded by Old Man Yang’s words, he eventually agreed. He ordered some men to watch Old Man Yang on the way back, but didn’t restrain him in any way, only kept an eye on him respectfully.
Thus, the police really couldn’t be held responsible for their last of headway in this case, because it was Old Man Yang himself who asked to go with the perpetrators.
As soon as Yang Xiao saw Old Man Yang, he started bawling again, face an ugly mess as he pleaded, “Grandpa, did you bring money? Are you here to pay the ransom?”
Old Man Yang couldn’t help but sigh, looking at Yang Xiao sadly. “Grandpa has no money.”
Yang Xiao caught a glance of the man in charge walking in behind Old Man Yang, and exploded. “If you have no money then why are you here—?!”
The man who came in behind Old Man Yang slapped Yang Xiao, cutting off his sentence. “What kind of grandson are you, talking to your grandfather like this…”
Stunned silence. Yang Xiao didn’t understand what was happening. All he could jumble together was that if Old Man Yang was here, then they should be letting him go, right? But then he heard Old Man Yang say to the man, “So are you planning to use his kidney to pay back the rest?”
Yang Xiao began to shake violently as he shrieked. The man shot him a menacing glare, and Yang Xiao immediately shut up again. When things quieted down, the man turned back to Old Man Yang and nodded his head. “The boss said, as long as we get the money we don’t want his life.”
Old Man Yang acknowledged this answer, then turned to look at his grandson. Usually calm, he asked the man again, “Can his kidney really fetch that much money?”
Yang Xiao’s eyes grew wide, curses ready to spill from his tongue. “I’m your grandson! Your actual grandson! What kinds of things are you saying?! You, he…”
“Do you believe that if I hear one more sentence out of you, I’ll cut off your tongue?” The man couldn’t even look at Yang Xiao without his mood dampening and his expression growing ugly. Once again intimidated, Yang Xiao fell silent again, but he still glared daggers at Old Man Yang.
The man responded to Old Man Yang’s previous question. “Yeah, probably worth about enough.”
“Alright,” said Old Man Yang, understanding. Then, “Let me take his place. I may be older in my years now, but I still have a healthy body. My kidney should be worth some money.”
Both the man and Yang Xiao were shocked into silence.
“You guys heard that?! My grandpa said he wants to take my place! Quickly then, let go of me already!” Yang Xiao’s mouth recovered first, but the words that came out of it would make anyone bitterly disappointed.
Old Man Yang’s face still held no expression, but the other man had had enough. He slammed the sole of his boot into Yang Xiao’s chest, directly against the wound there, and Yang Xiao started screaming like a pig being slaughtered. The man turned to face Old Man Yang. “Old man, do you see this? This person is nothing more than some brainless animal. Since you’re not going to call the police, you’d better go home. But even if you did call the police, it wouldn’t really matter. They wouldn’t find this place anyway. I never really wanted to kill your grandson, after all, if he died, it would be even more troublesome, but a few more sentences out of him and I’m afraid I’ll really want to murder him.”
Old Man Yang smiled a weary, tired smile. “A child raised wrong is his father’s sin. I didn’t raise his father properly, and his father didn’t raise him properly, thus I still hold responsibility for this result. He might be rotten, he might be worthless, but his surname is still ‘Yang.’ If he dies just like this, how could I ever face his grandmother in her grave?”
Though Old Man Yang as smiling, his eyes were a dull, lifeless grey.
The man took a deep breath, then let it out. “Grandfather. Why do you suffer for a thing like this?”
“There’s no need for more of this back and forth. Just let me take his place. I’m getting old anyway, don’t have many years left to live.”
The man said weakly, “Cutting out a kidney won’t kill a man, but…”
Before he could finish his sentence, the door burst open, and someone blundered in frantically, “B-boss, the police are at the door…”
And then a boot slammed into their back, kicking them aside, and the man known as Hei Ge came storming in. Frustrated and exasperated, he demanded, “What kind of fucking person did you grab?”
The man in room froze, then glanced at Yang Xiao. “What happened?”
“I’ve been working out of this place for years and it has never been found, so tell me, why the fuck have the police come knocking today? And not just the police, a bunch of agents from above also showed up as well, demanding I release the hostage immediately.”
“From above?” The man was still frozen.
Hei Ge’s face contorted into such a fierce expression it would almost be funny, if it wasn’t also terrifying. “Yes! How would I know why? Didn’t they always ignore small things like these? They’re saying it’s a family member of one of their important clients. Fuck, are you daft? Did you even look into their family before fucking kidnapping someone?”
The man responded defensively, “I did! There was nothing out of the ordinary, I even checked three generations back…”
“Forget it, just let him go, quickly, so we have time to retreat…”
Once again the man, and this time Old Man Yang too, were surprised. “Let him go?”
“Let him go! Do I have to fucking repeat myself?”
Suddenly, Hei Ge’s phone rang, and he shut up immediately. He checked the caller ID, and immediately his entire demeanor transformed as he stepped out to take the call. Suddenly surrounded by an air of deferential respect, he was behaving as if the person on the other end of the call was right next to him, bowing and scraping extravagant.
“Yes, of course, Chen Ge, you’re saying that…”
Yang Xiao still wasn’t fully aware of the situation, but he heard the most important part, which was that they were going to let him go. He was ecstatic. Though he didn’t know who helped him, he’s been saved! Excited, he called out loudly, “Grandpa! Hurry up and untie the ropes! Hurry!”
Old Man Yang did not move.
Yang Xiao opened his mouth to shout even louder, but Hei Ge stepped back in, his call finished.
He looked at Yang Xiao, then looked at Old Man Yang, and sighed. “Where did you get the old man?”
The other man quickly stood up and answered. “This old man is that little brat’s grandfather. The kid threw him under the bus is all, none of this has anything to do with him.”
Though the man’s tone was dismissive, it was clear that he was trying to protect Old Man Yang.
Hei Ge thought about what the person on the phone had instructed him to do. He thought about what the men from above said. Then he slapped his hand against his forehead, “I get it now! Those agents they said, this old man—no, it’s this old grandfather that they want us to return unharmed! Alright, that decides it. And this kid, pack him up and drop him off at the police station. Someone there’ll deal with him.”
Yang Xiao was dumbfounded, than upset, but before he had time to shot, a vicious strike from the man knocked him out. The man grinned. “I don’t know who exactly gave this order, but damn, I’ve wanted to do that for a while now.”
Then he turned and said to Old Man Yang, “Grandfather, it turns out that you’re actually some big, important figure. That’s on me, looks like I had eyes but couldn’t see what was right in front of me. I will escort you home immediately. As for your useless grandson, what do you say about letting him do some self-reflection in prison?”
The previously generous and self-sacrificing Old Man Yang now simply nodded his head. “Good.”
He didn’t want Yang Xiao to die, of course. But if Yang Xiao was no longer under threat of losing his life, then he should pay for his actions.
By the time night fell, Lin ShuYi was escorted back by the police dejected and crestfallen, only to find Old Man Yang already waiting at home.
The inside of the house was still left a mess, but there Old Man Yang was, calmly cleaning up, without any hint of having just gone through a traumatic event.
Lin ShuYi rubbed his eyes, wondering if he was hallucinating for a second. Today, though the police had found the perpetrators’ hideout, by the time they arrived the place was already cleaned out and empty. Lin ShuYi was worried to death, anxiety turning into acid in his stomach, and came home hopelessly only to find Old Man Yang was already back?!
Lin ShuYi shouted out of shock, and Old Man Yang turned around to see him, a smile already beaming across his face. “Xiao Yi, I’m back.”
Lin ShuYi didn’t have words to say or questions to ask, he just threw himself into Old Man Yang’s arms, hugging him tightly.
Old Man Yang patted Lin ShuYi’s back comfortingly, as if he were a small child, and Old Man Yang’s cold, frozen heart finally began to recover some warmth.
“Well, seeing as you’ve both just gotten back, it seems like I’m right on time.” Shen Fu walked in the door, grinning at Old Man Yang and Lin ShuYi.
Though Shen Fu was gone the entire day, and Lin ShuYi had no idea where he went, the timing of his return made it very clear that he had something to do with Old Man Yang’s return as well.
Old Man Yang smiled at Shen Fu, silently thankful.
Just now, as Old Man Yang was cleaning up his home, he found a container of dried bayberries Lin ShuYi left here long ago. As he reminisced, his thoughts began to wander to that night, coming home after a day of picking bayberries, when someone knocked into Lin ShuYi and spilled his entire basket of bayberries. The lost bayberries were compensated with another basket by that man back then. That man, if it wasn’t Shen Fu, then who else could it be?
But in the present, Old Man Yang didn’t care to think too much about why this person suddenly appeared in his life. All he knew was that these two kids sincerely, genuinely cared for him, and that was enough.
“Where were you the entire day?”
Against Lin ShuYi’s predictable inquiries, Shen Fu held up the contained in his hand. “Lobster sashimi, regular sashimi, and sushi, authentic Japanese cuisine. When you saw it on T.V. the other day, didn’t you say you really wanted to try it?”
Lin ShuYi’s face turned gloomy. “Do you take me for a child?”
Shen Fu plastered on a teasing grin. “Now now, behave. Why don’t we discuss that after dinner?”
Lin ShuYi snapped, and threw a kick out at Shen Fu, but Shen Fu dodged easily, sidestepping swiftly and throwing an arm around Lin ShuYi’s shoulders.
“Grandpa, do you think you can stomach raw fish?”
After all, this was a meal Shen Fu had specially solicited from Chen Fang, how could he let it go to waste?