Late at night, Wanchai Police Headquarters, O-Kee Deputy Superintendent office.
The blinds were closed tightly. Xie Jiahua stood in front of the table with a stack of information, his face cold. Behind the table sat his superior, Deputy Superintendent Lau, with the same serious and stern look. Together, they looked at a tattered young man, who was sitting on the sofa with his legs crossed, smoking – this was Xia Liuyi's bodyguard, A-Biao.
“You followed Xia Liuyi for a year and a half but found no crucial evidence?!” Lau-Sir slammed the table and said angrily.
A-Biao shrugged with the cigarette in his mouth, "Sir, I did want to, but Xia Liuyi is too alert! Let’s put his age aside. He was twenty years old when he began to go to the Golden Triangle with Azure Dragon and build a relationship with the drug lord over there. After Azure Dragon’s death, he became the only Xiao Qi Tong member who knows the drug line by heart. I only know about the few less important lines, which usually contact Cui Dongdong instead of him directly. As for those important, crucial lines, he would receive the 'goods' himself and would only take his senior followers with him, not a little bodyguard like me. And until moments before the transaction, even his followers wouldn’t know where the car should be parked."
“Then why did you reveal your identity so early when you had yet to find anything!”
“Big Boss, I didn't want to!” said A-Biao, “I’m fine with devoting my life to people, but I can’t devote it meaninglessly in chaos, alright! If I didn’t die inside the villa tonight, Xia Liuyi would’ve been doubtful of me. To him, I’d belong to either Fat Qi or the police. Ain’t I going to die if I went back to him? Moreover, if I didn’t find out Fat Qi was playing with some dirty tricks and withdrew early to report you, how could you arrest so many people?”
Deputy Superintendent Lau grabbed the materials on the table and smashed them towards his head. He scolded while smashing! “How dare you keep talking back! In these two years, all you’ve been is a gangster! You did nothing that matters! Yet you got sick! Getting angry about me?! Huh?!”
A-Biao covered his head, dodging. He was aggrieved and said, “Was it easy for me in these f*cking years, hiding under the risk of death! It’s really ungrateful of you to treat such an officer who contributed a lot, Lau-Sir!”
“Contributed a lot?! F*ck it!” Deputy Lau was even more enraged, smashing three more books to him.
“Ouch! Xie-Sir, stop watching! Help!”
Xie Jiahua did not even frown, as if he did not see them fighting. He thought for a while with the cold expression on his own and said to Deputy Lau, “The scene was burned, and the Huas are all dead. Nor is there a camera on the nearby highway. The testimony from Fat Qi's men can be deduced easily considering their conflicts with Xia Liuyi. With our current evidence, it’d be hard to convict him. We must arrest Xia Liuyi and his henchmen as soon as possible, and most ideally, have his underlings confess.”
“That is too hard,” A-Biao interjected, "Xia Liuyi is a generous and righteous man, and has a way of buying hearts and minds. Even I would give my life to him if I wasn’t an undercover agent. His men would not sell him even if they sold their own fathers.”
“Praise! Praise! Praise him! In my opinion, he is your real father! Follow him and live your Triad life! Don't f**cking come back!” Deputy Superintendent Lau made a move to hit him again. He raised his hand as a gesture to defend himself and resentfully shrank up to smoke.
“Write a detailed report on Xia Liuyi and give it to me in three days,” Xie Jiahua said to A-Biao, “His character, preferences, people, places...everything you can think of, I need all of it. At least 10,000 words.”
"What?!" A-Biao screamed, "Xie-Sir, I have not written more than 10,000 words in my twenty-year-old-long life!"
Xie Jiahua didn’t give him any reaction. He nodded to Lau-Sir and left. A-Biao looked at Deputy Lau bitterly, almost begging with his eyes.
Deputy Superintendent Lau sighed, “Write it as quickly as possible. You’ve worked hard in these years. I will arrange a safe house with 24-hour protection for you. After the tension abides, you’ll be sent abroad for further study."
Xia Liuyi didn’t feel any physical discomfort other than being stuffed despite the past bloody and thrilling night. Stretching on He Chusan’s bed, he scratched his hair and tidied up everything in his mind, and then turned off the light, going to sleep.
Too much congee brought him an urgent need to urinate at night, so he went to the toilet in the dark with his slippers. When he came back, he passed by the sofa and saw the He Little Brat squeezed on it. His head rested on his briefcase, and his long legs almost reached the floor.
There was originally a jacket on it, but it had slipped down.
Xia Liuyi walked over, looking at him. He bent down to pick up the jacket and put it on He Chusan again.
After the sound of his footsteps disappeared, He Chusan opened his eyes in the darkness and rubbed his hand quietly on his jacket.
Best Actor He lurked in the darkness, waiting for the best opportunity. After a long while, hearing a small snoring sound from Xia Liuyi’s room, he gently left the sofa and sneaked into the bedroom.
Xia Liuyi did not lock the door, so he used his fingers to take the edge of the door lightly and carefully. Little by little, he opened the door.
Xia Liuyi slept on his side, his breath long and even. The room was dim, and there were only a few drops of light from the sides of the curtain. He Chusan could barely see his silhouette - the thin quilt on his waist recessed into a beautifully shaped valley, following that, it was the upgoing hill of his buttocks…
He Chusan stood there, holding the door. He silently swallowed a mouthful of saliva, and did not dare to take another step forward - he knew Xia Liuyi was alert even in sleep, and that the slightest movement would make him kick the intruder into the wall!
He stood at the door like a ghost at midnight. His heart was filled by the deep love of a secret admirer and the lewdness of a voyeur. Watching in silence for a long time, he eventually sighed quietly, closing the door gently with temporal satisfaction and climbing back to the sofa to sleep.
The second-hand sofa in the living room creaked when being pressed. Xia Liuyi, who kept closing his eyes tightly, frowned in the darkness.
Puk gaai brat. He cursed in his heart.
Spending their night scheming and doubting, they both woke up with redness in their eyes. Yawning, He Chusan made fried egg sandwiches. Xia Liuyi got up to use the toilet. Seeing the sandwich, he dragged the corner of his mouth down to show his disapproval and went back to sleep.
He Chusan didn't dare to bother sleepy Big Boss Xia. He left the sandwich on the table and went to a grocery shop with a cloth bag. He looked handsome and wholesome, and with his polite and gentle character, he was very much adored by the women shopkeepers. They kept asking about things, like when he moved here and where he worked. Half an hour later, he went back loaded, with two big and long green onions for free.
Other than the food, he bought a small pot and some delicate spices, keeping the working noise inside the kitchen. At noon, Big Boss Xia got up to wash his face, drowsy. He Chusan poked his head out of the kitchen, “Boss Liuyi, you’re awake?”
"Don’t forget to brush your teeth. The new toothbrush is on the cup."
He Chusan brought up a plate of steaming marinated beef stew, a steamed fish that had been favored by Big Boss Xia during the Spring Festival, and a small side dish, all lined up on the coffee table. He did not even have an extra stool in the house. They sat side by side on the sofa, bending down together to eat the dishes.
Despite the lack of space, He Chusan insisted on bending his elbow to pick up food for Xia Liuyi. Xia Liuyi blocked him back with the chopsticks, “Eat yourself.”
"Does the wound still hurt?" He Chusan asked.
"Did you sleep well last night? Did you sweat? Let's change your bandages again if you sweat."
With his calm face, Xia Liuyi tore at the fish with his chopsticks. Asking what you should know, bastard! Peep at midnight and still ask how I slept?!
He didn’t give He Chusan any reaction. Biting harshly at the best part of the fish belly, he suddenly asked, “It’s Sunday. Why didn’t you ask Little He for a date?”
He Chusan's face didn’t change at all. He picked up the root of a bok choy, “She’s not feeling well recently and can’t really go out.”
"What exactly happened?"
"She told me not to worry and didn’t mention any details. It seems to be a cold.”
“Ha, aren’t you quite in love? Why’re you not visiting her when she’s sick.”
He Chusan lowered his eyes, turning the fish over, and when he raised his eyes to look at Xia Liuyi again, he was still honest and obedient. Moreover, there was an earnest concern for his lover in his eyes, “I planned to see her this afternoon.”
"Where does she live now?"
"Still in Kowloon City, renting a room with her girlfriends."
"Why don't you let her come and live here together."
He Chusan lowered his eyes shyly, "We haven't gotten to the point of living together yet."
Pretend! Keep pretending!
Big Boss Xia hid the barbs in his words. In every sentence, he doubted; in every step, he advanced forward. Best Actor He always found the best shield. He covered himself with calm and perfect reactions. They battled over this meal and couldn’t distinguish between a high and low.
After cleaning up the dishes, He Chusan changed his suit, as if he was serious. Tidying up his appearance, he said goodbye to Xia Liuyi, “Rest well, Boss Liuyi. I’m visiting Little He. I’ll bring you dinner at night.”
Xia Liuyi leaned back on the sofa and flipped through a few gossip magazines he bought back this morning and answered with a hum.
“Is there something you want me to bring to Boss Dongdong? Or does she want to give anything to you?”
“Don't go to my 'company', there are law enforcement people around,” said Xia Liuyi, “Buy me a cell phone and a new sim card for it."
He Chusan agreed and went to visit his lover with the look of a gentleman. Xia Liuyi leaned on the window, lifting the corner of the curtain, finding He Chusan walking steadily and candidly with no flaws at all.
Puk gaai brat!
Xia Liuyi sat on the sofa and spent the entire afternoon reading gossip, stuffing his brain with posh family feuds. Taking a nap on the bed, he heard the door opening sound in his dream. His reaction springing up stretched the wound on his waist.
He gritted his teeth in pain and stood up, holding his waist. He Chusan said outside, "Boss Liuyi, I'm back."
"I'll put the new cell phone here," he said, seeing Xia Liuyi walking a bit strangely, "What's wrong? Does your wound hurt?"
Xia Liuyi waved his hand coolly, and sat onto the sofa with faux calmness in the teddy-bear pajamas. With his legs spread, he had the Big Boss demeanor.
“Hainan chicken, pan-fried luffa,” He Chusan lined up the bottles and jars he brought back to the coffee table and continued, “Red rice, and dad’s pickled veggies. The shark-bone crucian carp soup is what I made for Little He to recuperate. There’s some extra. You can try to see if you like it.”
“You cooked at Little He's place?"
Xia Liuyi didn't say anything else and drank the carp soup with a gurgle. He adored the Hainan chicken but didn’t really like the pan-fried luffa. Did this kid really have dinner with Little He, or did he go to his dad’s house to cook and come back? – This smoke bomb hid the truth, and Xia Liuyi couldn’t see through it clearly.
Xia Liuyi decided to change his target. He could just let someone have Little He watch the “Swapping living people with a dead pig” scene when he had time. That scene couldn’t intimidate He Chusan but should be more than enough for her. At that time, he would have an honest report from her.
While he was eating, He Chusan went out again. When he came back, he got a small second-hand TV set from who knows where and set up the antenna himself. “Boss Liuyi, you can watch the TV. I have something left to do at my company.”
This night was the mid-autumn night, time for ordinary family and friends to reunite and enjoy the bright moon together. But he didn’t cherish the time of them staying alone at all but instead left Big Boss Xia with not even a bit of lingering, going with his briefcase.
Xia Liuyi was abandoned in the house, thinking and thinking. His conclusion waved between him having hallucinations in deep sleep last night and the puk gaai brat acting too perfectly. The intentions behind the peep must be malicious and would become a disaster in the future. The best way to avoid trouble was to kill this brat immediately.
He called Little Ma with the new cell phone. Little Ma flattered and praised as always. Xia Liuyi couldn’t stand his chatter, “Fat Qi instigated Xu Ying to kill Azure Dragon. Inspector Hua instructed him behind the scenes.”
Little Ma sucked in a breath of cold air, “Ah? Inspector Hua? There shouldn’t be hatred between him and Big Boss Azure Dragon. For, for what?!”
Xia Liuyi could not come up with a reason, and this made him more certain that Azure Dragon’s death was fishy. He frowned and pondered for a while, “Keep going. Search for the information relating to Inspector Hua’s people!”
After giving an account of the matter, he called Uncle Yuan.
The elders were meeting at Uncle Yuan’s home, and they turned on the speaker to listen to the call together. Uncle Yuan did not speak, but Elder Ge, who had always been at odds with Xia Liuyi, expressed disapproval towards him first, “Little Liu, He Sheng Gang is claiming that you pretended to negotiate and deliberately killed Fat Qi and Inspector Hua. They are demanding the big bosses to judge for them. Fat Qi’s sworn big brother – Master Qiao of Wo Yi Society – is asking us for an explanation. And you got the police after you as well! Do you have any plans about what you should do to deal with the ensuing chaos?”
Xia Liuyi's words turned cold, “Elder Ge, are you saying that I’m not reliable?”
“How could I? I am just caring about you. You’re the Big Boss. What should the brothers in the gang, what should us old guys do if anything happens to you?”
“Yes, Little Six,” Uncle Qiu said, “Where are you now? Do you need us to send the brothers to support you?”
“I’m in a safe location and I’ll take care of this myself. There’s no need to worry.”
His answer made Elder Ge and Uncle Yuan have nothing to say. At this point, Prince Duan said, “We’re rest assured with your words. Brother Yuan, do you still have anything to say?”
Uncle Yuan's old, low voice came over, “Little Liu, did you kill Inspector Hua or not.”
"No, Fat Qi killed him." Xia Liuyi calmly said.
“Then it’s good. This must have alerted the ‘Old Boss’. You have to handle it properly.”
"Don't worry, Uncle Yuan."
Xia Liuyi hung up the phone. Sitting on the sofa and pondering at the attitudes shown through the elders' words just now, he could not help but sneer.
Caring and reminding, it was simply because these old guys didn’t trust him.
Whatever, he didn’t pay attention to these bystander elders. Despite his arrogant actions, he did know about the limits and the risks. Surely, he’d prepare a backup plan before making Fat Qi his enemy.
Lying on the sofa, watching the TV for a while, he looked up at the light from the dim fluorescent lights and remembered what Fat Qi said before he died and how the elders interfered with everything. His mind became agitated. He felt his mouth dry, in urgent need of a cigarette.
Puk gaai brat, if you’re not even buying a cigarette for your Big Boss, I should change to your surname if I ever come to your place again! …No, dammit! There’s no next time!
Late at night, He Chusan came home with the stars in the sky. Opening the door in darkness, he found the TV in the living room still on, but Xia Liuyi was asleep on the bed in the bedroom.
He Chusan turned off the TV gently. After changing and taking a shower, he clutched his jacket, going to shrink himself onto the sofa. Then, he saw Xia Liuyi walk out with an unhappy frown on his face.
“Did I wake you up?”
Xia Liuyi hummed as an answer. After using the toilet, he saw He Chusan huddled on the sofa with dark circles under his eyes – it was from a week of busy work and lack of sleep during the weekend – eventually, his heart softened.
“Go sleep on the bed.”
He Chusan questioned, “What about you?”
“What do you think?” How could I degrade myself by sleeping on the sofa?!
He Chusan almost couldn’t believe the fortune coming to him so easily. Holding his jacket into the bedroom, in just a few steps, he knew what Big Boss Xia planned. The Best Actor He lowered his eyes to the ground obediently and got to the innermost area, innocently sleeping on the side.
Xia Liuyi turned off the lights and laid down beside him, also sleeping on his side - mainly because he didn’t want to sleep on the injuries.
In fact, this bed of He Chusan’s was quite spacious, at least better than the terrible iron frame back in the Snapdragon Walled City. It wasn’t too hard for these two tall men to not bump into each other as long as they did not stretch their limbs, not to mention they placed a quilt in the middle.
Xia Liuyi stared at He Chusan’s smooth neck in the darkness, fully concentrated, waiting for the moment that this brat couldn’t stand the temptation of sleeping on the same bed and goof – then, when this brat planted on anything inappropriate, he’d be kicked off the bed and stomped into mud!
However, this brat stayed nice over the night. Whether he pretended to sleep, snore, or turn over to pull the quilt, He Chusan didn’t move at all. His sleep was so honest and sincere, as if even the end of the world couldn’t disrupt him.
In the early morning, Big Boss Xia finally gave up completely, closing his eyes and sleeping. Listening to the despondent snoring from behind, the corner of He Chusan’s mouth lifted.
Xia Liuyi slept unperturbed until noon. He got up with messy hair, stomping out to the living room with his slippers. There was a plate of sandwiches left by He Chusan on the coffee table, along with a note.
“Boss Liuyi, the lunch is in the pot. Steam and heat it up before eating. I’ll be back in the evening.”
Xia Liuyi threw away the note but picked up the sandwich, casually giving it a taste. He fell onto the sofa, watching the TV.
Soon after, familiar footsteps arrived outside the door. He Chusan unlocked the door and entered the house.
“Did you forget anything?” Xia Liuyi asked.
“No, I forgot that you don’t know how to use the stove.” He Chusan said resignedly.
Xia Liuyi grunted coldly.
He Chusan put an iron lunch box he brought back on the coffee table, “It’s the bento Little He made me. You can eat it first. I'll heat up the food.”
Xia Liuyi looked at this love lunchbox with suspicion, picking up the chopsticks and tentatively eating a bite. Indeed, it was not He Chusan’s cooking.
It seems that Little He made a lunch box herself in return for He Chusan’s carp soup from yesterday – what a sweet relationship. No one would believe they were not deep in love.
Xia Liuyi observed He Chusan’s excited pacing in and out the kitchen. His good mood was apparent. Then, looking at this delicately decorated bento…Xia Liuyi cautiously changed “suspecting” to “half-convinced”.
-- This made him feel stuffed.
He Chusan walked out with the eggplant pork rice he made before leaving in the morning. He found Big Boss Xia leaning on the sofa, watching TV, while the “bento by Little He” was completely untouched.
“Boss Liuyi, why don’t you eat?”
“What about eating mine then?”
He Chusan hurriedly finished the lunchbox and picked up his briefcase, rushing back to work. Xia Liuyi kept watching TV as usual for a while with a tea table of leftovers in front of him, then, he suddenly lifted his leg, kicking down the bento box with little rice left by He Chusan!
The bento box fell to the ground with a clatter, bouncing a bit, tumbling aside, and spilling a few drops of sauce. Xia Liuyi narrowed his eyes and stared at the brown spots on the ground, thinking, “Are they really in love?”
The brat knew nothing other than studying and studying, dull and boring. How was Little He attracted to him? Elite? Ha, how much could he earn by f**cking working for others?
Wasn’t the puk gaai brat interested in men? Did he change so fast? Was that because having sex let him understand how good women are? Didn’t he give me f**cking attitude with the chaste man look last year?!
Tides rose and fell silently in Big Boss Xia’s mind. He sat on the sofa for a while, holding his knees, expressionless. Smashing the remote control onto the floor, he went into the bedroom to lie on the bed.
Turning over and over on the bed, his thoughts swung between that it was nice for the brat to switch onto the right path and not fail from the care his Big Boss gave and that it was f**cking fickle and frivolous for the puk gaai brat to like someone and then switch to another person in a snap. Carelessly, he pressed on his wounds while turning over and had a quick breath in pain.
“F**ck!” He grabbed the pillow, tossing it away to let out his anger.
Laying back down on his arm, he looked irritably at the fluorescent lights covered in insect carcasses hanging from the roof, ready to put the bastard behind him and get down to business with the gang. Suddenly, he felt a strange sensation under his arm.
He propped himself up on the bed, it was from where the pillow was – a stack of photos.
He picked one up suspiciously and looked at it. The corner of his eye twitched!
His face twisted up and his fingers trembled as he picked up the photos and looked them over. Then, he jumped off the bed despite the wound on his waist, pulling open the cabinet and finding the black box.
Throwing the camera aside, he got out the small can of film, stretching it to the fluorescent light…
“HE – CHU – SAN-!”
TN: Edited by our fast editor Mio Rio. @[email protected] Hope you like this chapter lol