Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Yu Chu’s hands froze, the shadows on the ground stopped moving, and a few seconds later, after the sound of iron bars hitting the ground, someone flashed past Yu Chu, darting towards the interior of the parking lot. Yu Chu maintained his hands on the iron bar and didn’t move, watching the hands of those desperate to rush inside. Following the sound of footsteps, the police in bulletproof vests ran after them.
He watched as the men were pounced on the ground before they could run out a dozen meters, and were immediately handcuffed with their hands behind them, letting out a pig-like scream.
He rolled his eyes to look in front of him and was confronted by a solid chest also wearing a bulletproof vest. As his eyes slowly moved upward, Xie XingMu’s familiar face appeared in his field of vision.
Xie XingMu took his hands in his and gently pried his fingers away one by one as he took away the iron bar and handed it to a passing officer. He then gathered him into his arms and patted him soothingly, whispering, “Don’t be afraid, it’s alright.”
Yu Chu’s face was pressed against his hard bulletproof vest by Xie XingMu, feeling a bit confused.
Xie XingMu thought he was stunned and softened his voice and continued, “It’s safe now, don’t worry. Don’t be scared.”
The intercom stopped making conversation sounds, the snowy lights waved around, a group of police officers escorting the thugs out, so the parking lot was noisy.
Yu Chu struggled to stand up, Xie XingMu then let go of his hand, saying, “Let’s go, let’s get out of here.”
Yu Chu followed him up to the basement level and saw the two bar guards. One was unconscious and being carried on a stretcher, while the other was telling the police excitedly, “…They were looking for me everywhere, with a foot-long murder weapon, so I went under that car then went under that car.”
One of the escorted hands began to cry foul, “Why would we kill someone? It was Boss Chen who told us to beat that kid up to take out our anger, saying the money was won by cheating! How dare I kill someone, police officer? The weapons were to scare people.”
Another henchman was pushed forward, also wriggled and shouted, “I didn’t kill either, but it was that kid who almost strangled one of our brothers to death.”
“Shut up, we’ll talk about it when we get to the police station.” The detective behind him scolded.
Xie XingMu heard them and suddenly spoke out, “Wait.” The two officers escorting the henchmen stopped and Xie XingMu walked up and asked, “Who is Boss Chen? What cheating?”
The man pointed with his chin in the direction of Yu Chu, indignantly replying, “This kid helped play against Chen Sheng tonight, and Chen lost money. He asked us to clean him up.”
Xie XingMu was silent for a few seconds and said, “Gambling’s illegal, isn’t it? And aren‘t casinos illegal? You’re carrying a murder weapon and unlawful assault of the public is still justified. Take them back to the police station and interrogate them properly.”
“Right away.” The two police officers pushed the hand away.
Xie XingMu slowly turned around and looked at Yu Chu with half-squinted eyes, “Gambling? Cheating? And winning money?”
Yu Chu stood obediently and gave him a crooked, innocent smile, the two dimples deepening on his white cheeks.
“Team Leader Xie, Team Leader Xie! A bag of money was found under a car.” A police officer walked by carrying a plastic bag.
Yu Chu immediately recognized it as the money he had hidden and exclaimed, “That bag is mine.”
“Oh? Let me see.” Xie XingMu reached out and took the plastic bag, and while looking inside asked, “How much money is this?”
“Fifty thousand.” Yu Chu replied.
“Where is it from?”
“I found it.”
Xie XingMu glanced at him and handed the plastic bag to the policeman, “This is gambling money, take it.”
Yu Chu watched his money being taken away, blood dripping from his heart.
When everyone was taken away, Yu Chu also walked out with Xie XingMu beside him. Several police cars were already parked at the entrance, the unconscious security guard was taken to the hospital, and another security guard was taken to the police station.
From a distance, Li SiMing came over and said to Xie XingMu, “Team Leader Xie, they said they were sent by Chen Sheng because Yu Chu won his money just now.”
“Which Chen Sheng? Is that the contractor?”
“Yes, the contractor who does construction. He’s clean in most cases, but the bureau has a record.”
Xie XingMu pondered for a moment and said, “Got it. Take these people back for interrogation. If Chen Sheng is related, let him be investigated.”
“Yes, sir.” Li SiMing answered, then looked at Yu Chu, nodded a greeting to him, and said, “You scared our Team Leader Xie, he thought the fish was biting—”
“What are you talking about? Watch your words, and hurry up and take people away!” Xie XingMu suddenly interrupted him.
Li SiMing was slightly stunned, then he said as if nothing had happened, “Okay, then I’m leaving. Team Leader Xie, what about you?”
Xie XingMu said, “I’ll send Yu Chu back.”
“Take him to the police station to assist with the investigation?”
Xie XingMu faintly glanced at him and Li SiMing immediately reacted, he hurriedly shut his mouth and left. Xie XingMu took off his bulletproof vest, threw it to a police officer, pulled open the door of his big G parked on the side of the road, and told Yu Chu, “Get in.”
Yu Chu got into the passenger side, fastened his seat belt, and the big G revved around and turned onto the street.
Yu Chu leaned back in his seat and looked at the closed stores on the side of the road. The flashing neon light penetrated the car window and reflected his face.
“You even know how to gamble?” Xie XingMu looked in the rearview mirror, turned the car left, and asked casually.
Yu Chu didn’t answer him, just averted his gaze and took out his cell phone from his coat pocket, opening it up to check.
Xie XingMu watched his actions from the car’s rear view mirror and asked, “What’s wrong? Is your phone broken?”
Yu Chu tossed the phone in the palm of his hand and threw it back onto the front fender, saying in a light tone, “I’ll give it back to you. You can use it.”
Xie XingMu glanced at him, and although expressionless, his face was tense, but eyes were only looking straight ahead, and he suddenly understood. He sighed and said, “The tracker in your phone is also for your safety.”
Yu Chu sneered, “It’s just fish bait, but you’ve put it in such a nice way.”
Xie XingMu’s Adam’s apple bobbed, and didn’t say anything else, only parked the car on the side of the road. He then took Yu Chu’s cell phone, took out the phone card, and then took out the phone card of his own cell phone and exchanged them. He handed his phone to Yu Chu.
“Not having a cell phone is inconvenient. You can use mine, alright?”
Yu Chu also glanced at his eyes and said coldly, “I don’t care.”
Xie XingMu saw that he didn’t take it, put the phone between his back seat, rolled down the car window, and felt for his lighter and cigarettes. He parked by the bridge, there were croaks of frogs and insects in the night, wrapped by the wind drifting into the car window. Yu Chu simply unfastened his seat belt, opened the door and got out of the car.
Yu Chu walked to the stone fence and leaned against it, looking down at the bridge, and after a few moments he felt someone approaching him. Then Xie XingMu asked in a low voice, “Are you happy?”
“There’s nothing to be happy about.” Yu Chu’s tone of voice was flat, which revealed a bit of detachment.
Xie XingMu leaned beside him, took a puff of smoke, then said, as if to explain, “Yu ShiQing won’t talk, so the only breakthrough is your key. That key is something the police want to get, and those behind Yu ShiQing also want. So, we put a tracking device in your phone.”
Yu Chu hooked the corner of his lips, dismissing him, “I know, in fact, I was only released from the police station so that I can be used as bait for your case, right?”
Xie XingMu knew he was referring to Li SiMing’s words about the fish biting the bait, and didn’t refute them, but said, “You don’t have to think so negatively about everything.”
“I’m not thinking too negatively about everything, just stating the facts.” Yu Chu turned to look at him, his brown eyes shining brighter under the streetlamp, “Tonight your team showed up and thought that you caught a big fish.”
Xie XingMu fixedly gazed at him for a moment before turning away and looking at the dark river in the distance to continue smoking. When his cigarette was finished, he put it out and said, “Let’s go.”
Xie XingMu didn’t ask Yu Chu for his address, and drove the car directly to the neighborhood where he rented his apartment.
Yu Chu got out of the car, Xie XingMu looked at the phone on the passenger seat, picked it up and followed Yu Chu out of the car. Xie XingMu said behind him, “There’s no parking in this neighborhood, wait for me. I will go to the front, park the car then send you in.”
Yu Chu’s footsteps continued forward, with not the slightest intention to stop. Xie XingMu sighed, left his car directly on the curb, and took big strides to chase the man in front of him.
The street light shone on Yu Chu. His back was thin but straight, even a bit stiff. When Xie XingMu was walking alongside him, he suddenly turned around and said, “Go away.”
Xie XingMu said, “I’ll see you to your house then leave.”
“You used me as bait, startled the fish, so now what can you do to hook them?” Yu Chu’s tone was calm, without mockery or anger, like saying a very ordinary little thing. But his gaze was easy to read, so obvious that Xie XingMu could see the sadness hidden in them.
Xie XingMu suddenly felt that if he still insisted on walking him home, he might cry.
Yu Chu felt very different from the previous person Xie XingMu knew. He didn’t cry after he fell into the sea, didn’t cry when he was seriously hurt by Yu ShiQing, and didn’t cry when he was chased by those people just now. But now, Xie XingMu felt that he could shed tears at any time. At the thought of that, his heart also suddenly tightened, feeling stuff and very uncomfortable.
After a night like this, Yu Chu’s hair, which was already previously in good shape, had fallen and was softly covering his forehead. Xie XingMu suddenly wanted to reach out and move the lock of hair that was blocking his eyes, but his fingers only twitched as he held back. He only replied dryly, “Okay.”
Yu Chu turned around and walked towards the dark alley. Xie XingMu just stood there and watched him until his back completely blended into the night, disappearing.
Yu Chu walked slowly, his heart gradually calmed down. He thought that maybe he was too greedy for that little bit of warmth, grasping at the little bit of good that others did for him and letting go. He thought he could resist all the ice cold, and the moment he woke up from the sea to Xie XingMu’s voice, he felt that the world was still warm.
And that temperature was so beautiful that once he had felt it, he never wanted to return to the bone-chilling coldness, so he now wanted to leave the city. He wanted to leave, wanted to stay far away from the person who gave him this warmth. But at this point, he just felt his body freeze into ice, and he had to use all his strength to keep himself from shivering from the cold in the warm night of this seaside city.
Walking out of the alley and through the small garden, Yu Chu went upstairs with very light footsteps. The dim hallway illuminated the stairs, and he avoided the old sofas and broken tables and chairs stacked around the corner, reaching into his pants pocket for his door key.
He was already very tired and just wanted to go home and get a good night’s sleep.
But just up the stairs, he saw the door of his house was wide open, and there was light spilling out from the living room.
Yu Chu rushed into the house, saw his house was destroyed, the sofa was shredded, and the cushion inside was spilling out. His bedroom quilt and pillow were thrown on the floor, all torn, flying all over the room. Even his bathroom shampoo and body wash were cut into two sections, the sticky liquid dripping all over the floor.
Someone had come into the house, looking for something, probably that key.
Yu Chu went to the kitchen again to check. Even his seasoning bottles weren’t spared, the lids were unscrewed, and his cutting board was covered with all kinds of seasonings. He opened the refrigerator and saw that only one packet of chips hadn’t been torn. He stood stunned for a moment, ripped open the bag, brought a piece of chips into his mouth, and slowly chewed.
But his mouth didn’t taste anything.
Knock, knock, knock.
There was a knock on the door and Xie XingMu stood at the front door.
Yu Chu looked at him and continued to eat his potato chips. Xie XingMu entered the house after only two knocks, wrinkled his brow and measured the mess in the house, then dialed a number on his phone, “Li SiMing, bring over a few people to the scene… Yes, now… The address is…”
Yu Chu walked to the sofa that had been slashed open and sat down. Xie XingMu stood opposite him. The room was quiet, except for the chewing of chips. He didn’t look at Xie XingMu, but he could see him going to the kitchen, turning on the faucet, followed by the sound of the gas stove being lit.
A few moments later, Yu Chu finished the bag of chips and Xie XingMu came out of the kitchen with a glass of water in his hand. He handed the glass of water to Yu Chu, “Drink it, I used two cups to cool the water down. The temperature has cooled down.”
Yu Chu took the glass of water in silence and drank it all in small sips.
Xie XingMu reached for the empty cup again, so Yu Chu handed it over. Li SiMing was quick, and a series of footsteps sounded on the stairs. Xie XingMu went out, Li SiMing came in and Xie XingMu said, “Take Yu Chu to a hotel for the night, I will stay to survey the scene.”