He Chusan, hiding behind an ad board for a cart noodle stand, was dragged out by Xia Liuyi like a chick by a hawk.
“About home, huh?” Xia Liuyi frowned and sneered.
He Chusan explained seriously with golden glasses on his nose bridge, “I haven’t eaten dinner and I’m having noodles here. I’m leaving in a minute.”
Xia Liuyi slapped the back of his head. F*ck, a bastard lying around! Having noodles for an hour? Am I easy like your mom?!
He Chusan staggered under the slap. He patiently adjusted his glasses and said, “Boss Liuyi, I need to work extra on Sunday. I won’t bother you.”
Xia Liuyi gave him another hard slap to let out his anger, “F*ck off!”
He Chusan held the business pack and f*cked off obediently. For promotion and customer negotiations, he also had a brand-new suit. His handsome and decent silhouette did have the smell of elites.
However, with his tall, thin body and slender back, he looked a little pitiful and lonely. Adding his slow, pausing steps, people would think Xia Liuyi slapped him too hard.
Calculating his pace and walking about half of the street slowly, as he anticipated, the “beep—beep--” of the horn called him from behind him.
Xia Liuyi rolled down the window with the cigarette in his mouth and said with an annoyed face, “Get on! I’ll send you back.”
A-Biao drove, and A-Yong served as a guard on the passenger seat. He Chusan accompanied the Big Boss at the backseat of the Benz, his head low without a word.
Xia Liuyi kicked him, still with the cigarette, “What’re you chuckling about! Puk gaai brat!”
He Chusan lifted his head, with a smiling face, “Boss Liuyi, are you doing well recently?”
Xia Liuyi hummed, “Not bad.”
“That’s good,” said He Chusan, “Dad worries about your teeth. A few days ago he still bubbled to me, asking you to eat less snacks before bed and remember to brush your teeth.”
The corner of Xia Liuyi’s mouth twitched. Feeling a toothache immediately, he cursed, “None of his business! Has he opened his grocery store?”
“He has. Things went great. He also wants to sell some fruit, and the stack of goods are waiting in our house. I almost have nowhere to live.”
“Move out if you don’t have space.”
“Yes, I do plan to do so. I often work extra hours and he gets up early. It’ll disturb his sleep. Moreover, I’ll be sent to Central* next month…”1
“Central? What an elite, He A-San.” Xia Liuyi teased him.
He Chusan cooperated well, lowering his head with a shy demeanor, “No, no.”
Xia Liuyi kicked him again. For what reason are you playing shy boy with me!
Right at this time, the phone rang. A-Yong brought out Big Boss’s phone from the front, but heard nothing.
Elite He found his own phone from the business pack, “Hello?”
“Little He?” He said with a tender tone.
Xia Liuyi lit a cigarette, rolling down the window for fresh air.
“…I did eat…not yet, on my way back. Boss Liuyi is sending me home…Aye, I’ll pick you up after work tomorrow…I’m fine with either one. What do you wanna have?...Ok, let me try…Oh yeah, Dad prepared soup for you. I’ll bring it tomorrow…That’s nice, I’ll tell him…”
Xia Liuyi rolled his eyes to the window, his cheeks couldn’t feel sorer – this f*cking brat is bringing his goose-bumpy stuff to his Big Boss!
He Chusan continued his sweet talk for at least five minutes, which almost let the Big Boss finish his cigarette. He closed his phone with a lingering look, “Boss Liuyi, Little He asked me to greet you.”
Xia Liuyi emanated his boss’ aura and hummed, being too lazy to speak.
He Chusan took off when the car reached two streets away from his home. He said goodbye to Xia Liuyi, and walked back, hitting the window after getting a few steps away.
Xia Liuyi rolled the window down.
“Boss Liuyi, stay healthy and safe. Be careful if you’re going to the mountain.”
Xia Liuyi waved with annoyance.
The limousine drove farther and farther. Xia Liuyi looked back casually, and the puk gaai brat was still standing straight, looking at him by the road.
He turned back, leaning on the seat, irritated.
“Big Boss, are we going upto the mountain?” Asked A-Biao.
“No, home.” Xia Liuyi said, feeling a bit weary.
He paused for a while, “Let someone send me the cake.”
On his birthday night, Xia Liuyi drank beer alone at home to the memorial tablets of Azure Dragon and Xiao Man. He burnt He Chusan’s birthday card and ate most of the fruit cake, then going to bed without brushing his teeth. On the second morning, he suffered a toothache once he woke up – literally, toothache.
In a week, the pain burnt harder and harder, and his cheek was swelling. His only choice was going to the hospital secretly with sunglasses and a mask. A damaged tooth was taken off – one of those that Dentist He put on for him last year.
Xia Liuyi’s mouth was rammed by cotton and saliva. On the surgical chair, in the bitterness, with the spinning sound of machinery in his mouth, he almost wanted to torture He A-San and his Dad in the most brutal way…Puk gaai brat! Fake dentist!
“These teeth are all in bad condition and may be inflamed easily,” said the dentist, “Mr. Xia, why not change them all at once?”
Xia Liuyi shook his head hard. Taking of one of them is f*cking enough to kill him!
“Big Boss, let’s change them all,” Little Ma, his companion, said, “with gold teeth, western style!”
Xia Liuyi smashed him out with the surgical plate on the side.
Little Ma escaped the surgery room awkwardly and let his anger out onto his underlings, “Where the heck is the brat of the Hes! He hasn’t come to please his Big Boss for such a long time!”
The brat of the Hes had not only played with Big Boss’s interest but also worked hard for his career. He worked for investment banking, and the most promising investment amongst them in recent years, real estate investment. With the high pressure and risk, the profit was astounding. At that time, the economy in Hong Kong couldn’t be better. The estate market rose higher and higher; the youth threw themselves into business careers, digging for money with all their guts and energy. The current depression in Japan and the liquidation of a foreign investment bank in July failed to hit the field hard enough to give a warning.
He Chusan ate and slept in his company, working extra hours from Monday to Saturday, spinning around like a top. The reason for him not going bald may have been the sets of tai chi he did every day in the pantry.
When Sunday came with free time, he’d pick up the talent of an HK best actor, wearing his dad’s old jacket, messing his hair, tanning his skin, putting on sunglasses and little mustache, and loading a little cart of groceries. He’d sell the groceries beside Xia Liuyi’s “main-office” building – he dared not show up easily, but the fact of not seeing Xia Liuyi bit and scratched at his heart and had led him to this idea – he’d been asked for a protection fee three times, and Little Ma had once come to buy some cigarettes, and he never goofed.
Xia Liuyi had entered the company in the morning, leaving for a business meal at noon, came back in the afternoon, and left at night. He watched all these actions. Under the face of a random guy chewing catechu*, his heart shivered in the wind of spring – this counted as a way for him to reduce the pressure from work.
Behind his innocent look, Elite He’s head was filled with nasty thoughts. His favorite scene was when Big Boss Xia got in his car: tilting his head for a cigarette, throwing it away, then loosening a suit button, bending into the car – his butt couldn’t look better.
What a pity that he did not take the chance to feel it when Xia Liuyi was still nude on his old bed in the walled city!
This year in Hong Kong was exceptionally warm. The burning summer took away the energy of gangsters. All they wanted to do was drink beer in the night breeze and play poker. Xia Liuyi and Fat Qi hid themselves under the big movements of the police, staying quiet for a few months. In September, the first group of members from direct election entered the Legislative Council of Hong Kong. New tension arose.
Detective Hua – a renowned Chief Inspector of Kowloon City District, the fortune and shield of the black society – called Xia Liuyi himself to invite him and Fat Qi for a dinner in his house on a Saturday, two days before the Mid-Autumn Festival. It seemed to be a good-bye dinner before he retires, but actually, he wanted to mediate them and set down the long fight.
No matter how much Xia Liuyi disliked Fat Qi, he had to give Detective Hua face and go in a nice garment. This evening, with two cars of bodyguards, he went to Detective Hua’s villa in the mid-level-villa zone – which was in Hong Kong Island, outside of the regions of Xia Liuyi’s Xiao Qi Tong and Fat Qi’s He Sheng Gang and could be considered as a neutral place.
Xia Liuyi got off the car with a cigarette, seeing Fat Qi get out of a Bentley with his big belly. Xia Liuyi sneered; Fat Qi shook the corner of his lips with loose skin; their bodyguards held one of their hands on the guns; the atmosphere could be burnt in a flash.
Detective Hua came out from the yard with a big belly like Fat Qi. With his white beard and a cigar, he patted Xia Liuyi’s tensed back heavily, “Little Liu, little bro!”
“Detective,” Xia Liuyi answered respectfully.
“Brother Hua,” answered Fat Qi as well.
“Old Qi!” Dectective Hua patted his back as well, “Come on in! Don’t glare at each other outside!”
Following the rules, both sides put away weapons and went into the yard with only two underlings, without weapons. Xia Liuyi chose A-Yong and A-Biao. While lifting his arm for the security to check, he glanced and found Fat Qi exchanging a look with the butler of the Huas.
He was alerted and gave Little Ma in the car an eye signal.
Detective Hua walked in the front, supporting his heavy body with a platinum cane, “I’m old, and it’s time for me to enjoy the peace, but the scene you made was too big, as if I don’t exist! Today, give me some face, and get yourselves in order!”
“Detective, Little Liu always respects you. Please don’t worry, as long as Fat Qi doesn’t get me into trouble, I’ll absolutely put your face first.”
Fat Qi puffed. Detective Hua stopped and turned to him. He lowered his head and answered reluctantly, “Understood, Brother Hua.”
They sat by the table in the dining room on the first floor. Detective Hua sat at the left-most seat, on his sides were Fat Qi and Xia Liuyi. Fat Qi fell onto the left seat instantly. Xia Liuyi frowned but said nothing.
Sitting together with them, there were also Detective Hua’s wife and younger brother. Mrs. Hua was a famous upper-class social butterfly, and the younger Hua was a sophisticated businessman as well. They built a joyful atmosphere for dinner. Xia Liuyi was experienced in such situations too. He acted like a modest and obedient young man who already threw past matters away. Even though Fat Qi talked the least, he was still respectful before Detective Hua and did not say anything breaking the atmosphere.
“Little Liu, I still remember that when you were young, you often came to our house with Xiao Man. I’d make desserts with you two when Azure Dragon and Old Hua talked about their business,” Mrs. Hua sighed, “but you came less and less when you entered in the company and Xiao Man was married.”
“I was too busy with work,” said Xia Liuyi, “I sincerely apologize for not having the time to greet Madame. Xiao Man talked a lot about your desserts, saying regardless of the ingredients she tried, yours always looks more delicate.”
Mrs. Hua lowered her head and wiped her tears away, “Aye, if she’s still here, of course I’ll be willing to teach her again.”
Xia Liuyi didn’t feel like her tears were truthful, while his heart was still hit with a dull pain. With a calm face, he raised the glass, “That’s too kind of you, Madame. Xiao Man and Liuyi always remembered how nice Madame and Detective were to us. May I raise the glass to you and Detective Hua.”
After drinking the wine in the glass, Detective Hua coughed lightly, “Darling, it’s rare for us to meet each other with joy. Let’s put such upsetting words away. Could you check if the desserts are ready?”
Mrs. Hua understood his meaning and left, and the younger Hua stood up as well, “Big brother, Big Bosses, I have some private business to deal with. Please excuse my absence and enjoy the rest of your dinner.”
After they left, Detective Hua waved his hand to gesture his people. Following them, Xia Liuyi’s and Fat Qi’s bodyguards left the room and guarded the door, which meant it was time for serious business.
Fat Qi wiped his mouth with the napkin and touched the underside of the table with his other hand. Unsurprisingly, he found a gun stuck on by tape.
He never wanted to make peace with Xia Liuyi. He Sheng Gang had been in Kowloon for more than ten years and was deeply rooted. To him, Xia Liuyi was just a brat with peach fuzz but still dared to disobey him. While Detective Hua was retiring, no biggie. Why couldn’t he break the tension and get rid of them both and plant it on Xia Liuyi?
He bribed the butler of the Huas for preparation. The gun hidden under the left side of the table was for himself, and the six shots in it should be sufficient to kill Xia Liuyi and Detective Hua. There were guns hidden in the rubbish bin outside for his two bodyguards as well. Not to mention his people were also waiting on the rooftop and the garden. With guns, gasoline, and fire sticks, they could burn the entire house and erase evidence.
He looked at the glass on the table. As planned, once he drops the glass, the underlings who hear the sound would rush in to help. Xia Liuyi could only die when attacked by two sides at the same time.
Detective Hua had lit a cigar and talked about politics, “You should know that the members have changed. The current Hong Kong is different. The ‘concession’ is ending, and Beijing has presented many conditions, one of them is demolishing your Snapdragon Walled City, Little Liu. The successor after me should have been chosen by me, but they are keeping me from doing this. O Kee recently caught The Third Sha, and the ICAC (Independent Commission Against Corruption) are also acting little by little. Too many eyes are on me, and on you guys as well. Even at such a moment, you are not working together on the same side, but fighting against each other.”
Fat Qi said, “Brother Hua, when has my He Sheng Gang been on the ‘same side’ with his Xiao Qi Tong? Ten years ago, the Hes swore to the heavens as brothers – counting ages, his Xiao Qi Tong can’t compare with us anyway! Even Azure Dragon dared not bother me when he’s alive! This Little Liu doesn’t stay in the Kowloon city but crosses the boundary to step on my place! What the heck is this?”
“Time brings fortune and hero,” said Xia Liuyi, “Hong Kong is only such a piece of land, a free market for anyone who has the ability. Saying that it’s your place – does it have your name on it?”
"Xia Little Liu!" Fat Qi glared, seized the opportunity to grab the glass and drop it.
But Inspector Hua grabbed his wrist, "Hey, Old Qi, talk nicely! What's wrong with you?"
The chief inspector, who has made it his mission to administer justice, used his old and strong arm to force Far Qi's hand back onto the table, pulling the glass out and swinging it toward the center of the table.
"If you continue to make trouble like this, my old bones can't hold you down, and if the 'Old Boss' is alerted, I'm afraid that neither of you will end up well."
Once this name came out, the expressions of Fat Qi and Xia Liuyi both changed.
The “Old Boss” is a big figure in the black society. No one knew who he was, but his power penetrated both sides of the upper echelons in Hong Kong, receiving layers of tribute and secretly reversing black and white, manipulating it in such chaotic times. Who he wants to decline, who will be in decline, who he wants to rise, will soar. The balance and prosperity of black and white are decided in his invisible scale.
Fat Qi had paid tribute frequently to the “Old Boss” through Detective Hua in these years, but he was never qualified to see the “Old Boss’s” face. He was worried that behind the scenes, Xia Liuyi had given the Old Boss enough offerings to bring this figure to their game. The nervousness made him hesitate about initiating an offense, "Brother Hua, the Old Boss had known about this? And he asked you to warn us?”
Detective Hua chuckled lightly, “He is busy enough with those big things, how can he have time to take care of you, but if it goes on, I can't say."
Seeing the atmosphere between them had eased a little, he wanted to comfort them and said to Xia Liu Yi, “Little Liu, you’ve crossed the boundary indeed. After all, Old Qi is your senior, you should give him face. We are all making a living, sometimes stepping back is better for everyone. Isn’t sharing the wealth together a good thing?”
His remark reminded Xia Liuyi. He sneered, “Sharing the wealth? He did think about it. He once negotiated with Azure Dragon for a deal: Xiao Qi Tong import and export ‘goods’ from his posts, and he would take some profits. However, Azure Dragon refused, so that he incited Xu Ying to usurp and plot against Azure Dragon!”
At these words, Inspector Hua's expression suddenly had a slight change, but he immediately frowned and stared at Fat Qi with a disapproving face, "Old Qi, is this real?!"
"Of course not!" Fat Qi cried out the wrong, and with a calculating mind, he once again sneaked his hand towards the glass.
"Xia Little Liu, you’ve been a leader of a gang, a Dragon Head. Show some evidence for your nonsense," he argued with a righteous demeanor, "Not everyone has something to do with the death of your ‘Mr. Big’, I think you are too sad and have lost your mind!"
He stressed the pronunciation of the word “Mr. Big”, picked up a glass of wine with one hand, ripped the tape under the table with the other, and brought a teasing tone to his words.
"I heard that since the death of Azure Dragon, you, the new leader, have never touched a woman, but have been getting on with a male college student. Why? Can you not get hard, or do you prefer the 'back door'? Does it mean that you and Azure Dragon......"
Before his words fell, blood streamed from his head with a bang! Xia Liuyi had grabbed an ashtray and hit his head hard!
After the muffled sound, Fat Qi fell down together with the chair! The glass fell on the table once again, rolling a little before being stopped by the dinner plate. The gun's tape also failed to be torn completely, dangling under the table, wobbling.
Fat Qi fell to the ground, covering his smashed head, and let out a groan. Xia Liuyi quickly stepped forward, picked up the blood-soaked ashtray, and gave him another hard blow to the face, blowing out one of his eyes!
"Little Liu!" Inspector Hua stopped.
Xia Liuyi played deaf, his right hand grabbing Fat Qi’s hair, and swung the ashtray again!
This one almost flattened Fatty's nose. This big guy who was running amok outside let out a whimper, his fat arms and legs flailing around, covered in blood, trying to get up.
Xia Liuyi crouched on the ground, sneering at his death struggle. Fat Qi’s limbs twitched on the ground, his hands scratching randomly, one of them trembling to reach the bottom of the table before him, trying to reach the pistol hanging in mid-air.
Xia Liuyi stood up and stepped on the back of his neck, bent down and ripped off the gun, shaking it at Inspector Hua.
"This is?!" The old detective exclaimed.
"You should change your butler," Xia Liuyi sneered.
At the exact same time, Fat Qi, who was lunging at his feet, used his last strength to grab the foot of the table and shook it fiercely!
A wine glass by the dinner plate finally gurgled and rolled to the edge of the table, "Pop--!"
A fierce gunshot rang out from outside the door in response!
- * (A note from the original author) Central is located on Hong Kong Island and is the financial center of Hong Kong, with many large financial companies located here. ↑
TN: Edited by our loyal editor Mio Rio TwT
Today is June 1st, Xia Liuyi's birthday. Happy birthday to Boss Liuyi!