He Chusan thought it was a huge miracle of life – he sat in the car of the drunkard Xia Liuyi and went back to Snapdragon Walled City alive, alive! A! LIVE!
--Honestly, it was because there were so few people and cars at midnight that he could have such a fortune.
Xia Liuyi trod hard on the brake by the road and hit the wheel, waiting for He Chusan to get off.
He Chusan loosened the handrail that he held tightly and took off the seat belt, opening the door with his legs soft, and he felt worried again, “Boss Liuyi, how’ll you go back?”
“Don’t think of me, f*ck off.” Said Xia Liuyi.
He Chusan felt his sight darken as soon as he remembered how scary Xia Liuyi was when he swirled and kept going circle routes at the same crossing, and thinking of this, he sat back fearlessly, “Boss Liuyi, Let me stay with you on your way home. I’ll be worried if you leave alone.”
“I’m not going home!” Xia Liuyi had his eyes slightly opened and shoved him out, and he threw the backpack out together, “F*ck off!”
“You’re not going home? Where’re you going?” He Chusan wondered a lot and holding his backpack, he stood up floppily. Xia Liuyi had leaned forward to close the door with a clap.
He Chusan pulled at the door but failed to pull it open and found that Xia Liuyi had locked the door inside. He thought it was weird instantly, “Boss Liuyi? Open the door! Where’re you going alone?”
Xia Liuyi sneered and showed He Chusan his middle finger from the inside – we can tell that this triad Big Boss who loved pretending was really drunk from this – he spoke out four words, and according to the shape, it was “None, of, your, business!”
He Chusan hit the car window hard and received no reaction. Seeing Xia Liuyi pull the gear stick and about to step on the pedal, he jumped in front of the car in a hurry!
He fell onto the car awkwardly. Throwing the backpack onto the front of the car, straightening his body, and lifting his arms, he looked like a puppy trying to stop a car! Big Boss Xia didn’t notice this little puppy in such a short period and subconsciously treaded on the pedal; with a bang, He Chusan didn’t even leave a silhouette!
An explosion happened in Xia Liuyi’s brain. He treaded the brake swiftly and rolled down the window to take a hurry look – He Chusan fell on the ground a few steps away with his head in the dust, struggling to get up like a fish. He seemed to be fine.
Xia Liuyi poked his head out and cussed loudly, “Puk gaai brat! You don’t wanna live anymore! Why did you block the front?!”
He Chusan got up floppily and didn’t even pick up his backpack. He persisted in blocking the car, “Boss Liuyi, you can’t keep driving like this!”
“None of your cr*p! F*ck off!”
“How can you say this?! I don’t wanna see any accidents happen to you! Stop being childish, Boss Liuyi! Come out!” This courageous puppy yelled to him with a serious face.
Anger overwhelmed Xia Liuyi, and he punched the car horn, “Beep --!”
He Chusan mimicked the sound by clapping the head of the car, “Clap --!” Then he lifted his head to encounter Xia Liuyi’s glare angrily – he didn’t lose at all.
This f*cking deadly bold puk gaai brat! Xia Liuyi ground his teeth for a long while and he was going to be cruel enough to tread on the pedal again……but he failed to be that cruel in the end.
He punched the horn again with irritation and frowned, “Why are you being so childish with me? I have something to do, don’t obstruct me!”
“What do you have to do now? It’s so late! And you’re so drunk! What do you want to do?!”
Xia Liuyi glared at him for a long time. Alcohol rushed up to his brain together with blood and made his head heavy. He leaned onto the seat and said annoyedly, “Don’t care about me. You’re really annoying. I have a headache every time I see you……”
He Chusan softened his voice, “Boss Liuyi, I’ll be really worried if you’re alone. Where’re you going? Can I go with you?”
Xia Liuyi lifted his arm to cover his face, murmured annoyedly as if he was talking to himself, “Don’t f*cking come, all of you, f*ck off……”
He Chusan walked to the driver’s seat, ducking to hold his powerless right arm, and said softly, “I won’t disturb you. Just let me drive with you, okay? I’ll be worried if you drive alone. You can go wherever you want once you leave the car, and I’ll stay in the car. Is that okay?”
Xia Liuyi covered his face and said nothing as if he was asleep. He Chusan could only shake his arm and kept begging softly, “Boss Liuyi……”
He Chusan held the little backpack that was as dusty as him and sat onto the passenger seat again. Xia Liuyi treaded on the pedal with no expression.
The atmosphere was lifelessly silent. They drove and watched the road carefully, respectively with no words. Not frequently, He Chusan would speak to remind Xia Liuyi, “There’s a rail on the left.”
“Do you wanna drive onto the mountain? Turn right here.”
“Don’t drive too fast at the turning, or we’ll rush down the cliff.”
“Don’t drive too fast! Boss Liuyi!”
“What the f*ck are you shouting for! Which of us is the Big Boss!”
You lack a big boss to preach to you! Bossy, unruly, mafia! He Chusan thought irritably but dared not say.
The long and twisting mountain way was empty. There was no one leaving, nor any ghost coming. The Benz wriggled, paused, and continued, and it eventually stopped in front of the creepy seaside villa.
Xia Liuyi put the car into first gear and pulled out the car key. The only light that had come from the car also vanished instantly. Around, it was plain darkness.
The moon was dim and the stars were sparse. The sea wind hit the car window, moaning, and the leftover slips of yellow paper on the iron rail of the villa door shivered and flew up as if they were waving to the guests.
“Don’t come out!” Said Xia Liuyi. He opened the door and floppily went out.
He Chusan sat up and held the window, watching him totter to the eerie villa and sit against the iron rail.
Sitting with his mind blank for a while, he lowered his head to find the lighter. He lit a cigarette, putting it into the space between the rails, and he lit another one, holding it in his mouth.
Since the sky was too dark, and Xia Liuyi had parked far away, He Chusan couldn’t see the expression on his face from the distance and could only catch the glimmering light of cigarette end. Compared to the huge and scary villa background, Xia Liuyi’s silhouette was thin and his face was blurred; he sat over there silently as if he was going to be swallowed by the cold, black, monster behind him in a bite.
He Chusan had never been here, but he was so clever that once he thought about somewhere that Xia Liuyi would go when he was drunk on his “birthday”, and saw how gorgeous and deserted this villa is, he could figure out where it was.
So Xia Liuyi insisted on sending him back. He should have wanted to come and take a look on the way.
He Chusan sighed in his heart quietly, tilting his head, leaning against the seat, and staring at Xia Liuyi. He also felt his mind go blank.
Time elapsed in his drowsiness. He napped, and his head fell onto the window glass hard. He was awoken instantly. Holding the window to peer outside in a hurry, he found the light of cigarette had already disappeared. Xia Liuyi sat where he was like a black shadow, having no motion nor sound at all.
He Chusan hesitated and opened the door quietly, walking up to him with light steps.
Under the moaning sea wind, he walked to the iron rails. Xia Liuyi leaned over there, drooping his head, and seemed to be asleep. His blazer was opened wide, showing the thin shirt inside.
He Chusan squatted down quietly, attempting to pat his arm.
Xia Liuyi had his head lowered and didn’t move at all. He merely breathed long and peacefully.
He Chusan tried to pull at him but failed. Fearing waking him, He Chusan could only stop.
He sat close to Xia Liuyi and put the blazer on for him, finding that there was a ball-like thing in his hand, other than the cigarette end.
He Chusan opened Xia Liuyi’s hand carefully and found the card he gave.
Dimly, he saw the “Happy Liuyi” on the twisting and ugly birthday cake was blurred by some kind of smudge.
-- It was June 1st. I ate a cake for the first time in my life. I thought that day was the first real birthday that I had ever had. I told him I would follow him forever in this life. I could eat cakes if I followed him.
He Chusan’s heart abruptly shook! As soon as he lost the strength on his hand, the crying wind blew the card far away. It vanished from his sight in a flash.
He Chusan couldn’t catch it. He turned his head with a feeling of loss and saw Xia Liuyi’s drooping face. He looked cold and thin from the side, and the corner of his lip went down a little bit, forming an angle with hidden loneliness.
This triad man was playful, indifferent, ruthless, and cruel before the others, but before him, Xia Liuyi was always snippy, self-willed, bossy, young and crazy, tolerating him, caring behind the aggressive look, and subconsciously weak, like the current case.
Holding a birthday party, finding an excuse to award the brothers under him, pretty girls, alcohol, food, laughing, and playing, these are all something he faked with his brothers. The real him would only drive to the mountain at midnight, sit in front of a deserted villa, smoking quietly and weeping to a card, and then fall asleep with no one noticing.
He didn’t know which position he could have in Xia Liuyi’s heart, but this triad man with wild actions had proudly appeared and must have rushed unruly into his heart to expand the boundaries, dominating the entire kingdom eventually – or why else would he feel unbearably panicked and painful when he merely looked at Xia Liuyi in this way.
He couldn’t help lifting his hand, touching the corner of Xia Liuyi’s cold and wet eyelid.
This man said he would expand Xiao Qi Tong into the greatest gang in the black society. He was making up another triad Big Boss’s life and was also finding an outlet for his guilt and suffering. However, expanding the power, fighting with schemes, combating and killing, were these truly the desired life of a man who loved watching films with fishballs, eating chicken pots with beer, and finding a college student to play billiard games?
Besides this, what else did he live for?
He Chusan made a long sigh, pulling Xia Liuyi completely into his arms, letting the drooping head lean against his chest.
Then he lowered his head, sticking his face lightly onto Xia Liuyi’s messy, alcohol-scented hair.
In the early morning, Xia Liuyi was woken up by the seagull cry. He frowned annoyedly and tried hard to pull his eyelids open.
What he saw was the blue sea behind a cluster of palm trees. The first, dim light of the morning sun quivered and spread onto the horizon. A few silver-white seagulls swirled to the end of the sky in this warm red blaze.
This over-fantastic waking-up scene made him completely dizzy. Watching blankly for a long while, he finally felt that there was something wrong on him – not only his head was in dull pain and his whole body was sore, but most importantly, somewhere on his chest was itchy, and very irritating.
Big Boss Xia lowered his head, finding his wrinkled blazer open wide and showing the thin shirt inside, and someone’s dog paw was pressing on it – this time the fingers changed; they were middle finger and ring finger – blocked by the shirt, and pinching right on this master’s little bump.
Xia Liuyi waved his hand with great rage, digging He Chusan’s dog paw away for the last time!
He Chusan was holding his waist with another hand, flattening his face on his shoulder. He murmured in his dream and subconsciously rubbed his face on Xia Liuyi, continuing to exhale regularly.
College Student He was worried about the triad man for a whole night and was tired, sleepy, upset, and heartbroken. He didn’t have any energy to care about the rage of a human-shaped pillow.
Xia Liuyi shook him and didn’t manage to wake him. Intending to slap him awake, Xia Liuyi had the palm reaching towards his face, but still couldn’t make it – this brat had rheum on his face and would dirty my hand!
He pushed He Chusan away, supporting himself with the iron rail. The blaze of the morning sun shone on the rooftop of the seaside villa. The snow-white rooftop reflected the golden light, composing a fresh, glaring color.
Xia Liuyi lifted his head, his eyes half-closed and staring the direction of the light for a long time. His eyes heated up for a bit……As his head lowered, he was the calm Big Boss with no expression on his face again.
He leaned over to lift He Chusan’s arm with a single hand, pulling the brat sleeping like a dead pig up and carrying the pig on his shoulder. Dragging and pulling, he reached the car and threw He Chusan into the backseat. Then he sat into the driver’s seat, rolling down the window and lighting a cigarette.
Puffing out the smoke rings, he leaned against the seat, facing the top of the car to look at He Chusan’s peaceful and innocent sleeping face through the rearview mirror.
He was really ridden over by alcohol last night to have taken this kid here. However, he still remembered every word this kid said, everything this kid did, and every glance this kid had cast on him.
He even had a vague image about the light hug at last remained.
He was not too sensitive. He Chusan had actually gone too far and had crossed the boundary of brotherhood.
Xia Liuyi put his arm onto his forehead frustratedly. Slow and dragging, he puffed out the illusory white smoke.
Big Boss Xia arrived at his beautiful twenty-five, and his first love that occupied his boy’s heart for over ten years just died. All his attention was put in his work and none of it was left for a relationship. And a post-puberty brat was the cr*p among cr*p. This kind of dangerous feeling should be destroyed as early as possible. The earlier, the better.
Although he used the word “destroy”, he wasn’t going to play some plot like hating you, fearing you, hiding from you, never seeing you – usually, the harder you hide, the more you care. Big Boss Xia Liuyi thought he didn’t care about the secret admiring from such a brat at all, so he continued doing what he did: finding this kid for meals as before, teaching him playing billiards as before, trying to force him to help the triad business as before……The only difference was that he had some ideas left in his mind. He wanted to give this kid a taste of women.
He asserted that this over courageous brat had become silly from too much studying and a lack of social interaction. When there eventually was a Big Boss covering him – though this kid refused to admit a Big Boss – he mistook the brotherhood as a crush. He went onto the into-men road before he ever enjoyed the taste of girls.
--Wait a sec, Big Boss Xia. Are you sure these words aren’t just describing yourself?
Well, let’s put aside how the Big Boss Xia disrespectfully beat the author. After he made such a certain judgment, he became more and more caring about He Chusan’s problem with development. Once he had time, he would plan to find his little A-San a you-know-which-kind-of scene for a taste of fun.
General Manager Ma flatteringly called to report to his president, “Big Boss, the brat of the Hes is too bold. He said he wouldn’t be able to play billiards with you next Sunday afternoon.”
“He needs to review for the test again? Doesn’t he have an internship at the bank?” Xia Liuyi was poking the cheese sausage on his side.
“He said that when you found a pretty girl to teach him closely, his wrist was sprained and he hadn’t recovered yet! I think he definitely pretended, Big Boss! This kid is searching for an excuse to hide from you! As you command, I’ll grab him out and give him a beating immediately!”
“What the heck will you beat! Can you compensate if you beat any problem into him?! Grab him to watch the film with me.”
Hence, on Sunday afternoon, He Chusan was miserably “grabbed” into the private luxurious cinema of the triad company. He still wore an old shirt washed pale, but his little backpack was switched into an old leather case. There was also a pair of glasses on his nose bridge.
“You finally went blind from reading?” Xia Liuyi showed his care from the Hawaii sling chair.
“The manager said I looked too young and needed glasses in front of customers,” said He Chusan, “they have no degree.”
Xia Liuyi sneered and pushed the fishballs to him. He Chusan poked one up obediently, “Boss Liuyi, keep watching. I’m reading the material for the essay on your side. I won’t be noisy.”
Xia Liuyi was used to his ability of trying his best to lift his hands and head to read even on a crowded bus and was too lazy to beat him but swept a glance casually across his index finger covered by the bandage, “F*ck! You really can act. Is this a ‘sprain’?”
“No, I was cut when I worked my shift yesterday.”
“Cut? Aren’t you a waiter in a tea restaurant*1?”
“I have begun learning to cut since last month. Uncle A-Hua’s shop moved outside of the walled city. The business is going well, and they don’t have enough people.”
Xia Liuyi carelessly sneered and turned to continue watching the film.
It was the winter of 1990. The moving of Snapdragon Walled City had gone into the central stages. Most of the residents were distributed compensation housing and money from the government. Dad He, an undocumented resident who had fled into the city, had also become a permanent resident because he had lived in Hong Kong for more than seven years, turning into a member of this city on the sea. Moreover, according to the size of the two dreadful condition rooms they had, they were given a tong lau near Kowloon City Ferry Pier.
However, Dad He was still a certificateless dentist and had failed to obtain the qualification to become a legal dentist and couldn’t open clinics outside so he could only retire and rest. Luckily, He Chusan found an internship smoothly and gained about two thousand monthly to support the family. The signature shop of Uncle A-Hua, New A-Hua Bing Sutt, was opened right next to the tong lau, so He Chusan still worked a part-time job in the New A-Hua Bing Sutt in the free time aside from his schoolwork and the four days he worked weekly in the bank.
He should have served the customers today with his wound, but once the afternoon came, he grabbed the old briefcase and scurried away in Uncle A-Hua’s roar. Responsibly and self-willingly, he arrived at the billiards room and was brought to the Big Boss.
Emperor Xia Liuyi lay on the chair to watch the fad of this year, A Moment of Romance. Under a thundering scream, Wah Dee drove wildly on the track, crazy and fearless, heart-grabbingly cool. Big Boss Xia commented carelessly, “Ha, what the cr*p is this. I’m bored with it.”
“You have played in car racing?” Asked He Chusan.
Xia Liuyi sneered and boasted, “I’ve been the king of Kowloon city ever since I was sixteen years old and I never lose on the track!”
He Chusan slightly frowned and asked worriedly, “You didn’t get hurt, right?”
“……Of course not!” Xia Liuyi, who broke his leg later and was locked up for two months by Azure Dragon, had been kept away from motors ever since that time.
This f*cking little fox seemed to be able to look through humans’ hearts, looking at him in an extremely complex and queer way for a long while. Until Xia Liuyi was almost mad from the shame, he withdrew his line of sight and sighed like an aged man, “Great.”
Big Boss Xia hit the arm of the chair hard, and He Chusan took his voice back immediately, staring at the book concentratedly.
With the help of the little lamp that Xia Liuyi had asked someone to prepare for him on the table, he finished reading the essay material quietly and carefully folded the two large pages of notes to put them back together with the material. As he lifted his line of sight, Big Boss Xia had dropped his head into a sound sleep.
Last night, Xia Liuyi drank with a few newly promoted detectives and handled them till late in the night. He began napping after merely watching half of the film. Fortunately, he simply saw the romantic love between the protagonist and the rich heiress, and didn’t see Wah Dee heavily wounded and dying together with his enemy in the end.
The girl with a pure look ran on bare feet in a wedding dress; the gangster twitched in a pool of blood at the end of his life. The young singer quietly sang The Short Tenderness: Sweet words can’t tell/ This is a happy end. The longing of life is never clear/ Why should we be awake……*2
He Chusan straightened his body quietly, getting close to Xia Liuyi’s chair. He leaned over slowly to him in the darkness……but only took the jacket thrown aside by Xia Liuyi and lightly covered him with it.
- *A type of Hong Kong restaurant evolved from bing sutt. ↑
- *Link to the song with film cut: https://youtu.be/2O7G5434f1M; the scene described in this chapter: https://youtu.be/NYutsORGU-0 (from about 9:00 to the end) ↑
TN: Edited by our considerate editor Mio Rio +v+