In the central office in a high-rise building facing the sea in Central, where people were crowded and phones were constantly ringing, He Chusan, who was concentrating on the keyboard of a large computer, suddenly sneezed loudly!
The sneeze was followed by an inexplicable shiver. He sniffled and looked up at the central air conditioner on the far ceiling, which was letting out cold air.
He shocked lots of colleagues when clocking off on time this evening. Buying some fresh meat and vegetables from the market, he went back home in a hurry. As soon as he pushed the door open, he noticed that the atmosphere was a bit off.
It was dusk, the sky dark, and the curtains were closed, making the room airtight. Xia Liuyi did not turn on the lights nor the TV, but sat crookedly on the sofa, two long legs on the coffee table, one hand propping up on the head, one hand rotating and playing with a roll of film. He Chusan felt the cold and gloomy atmosphere come right onto his face.
The dishes and the lunch box on the coffee table were roughly swept away, and the greasy residue and pale dish fragments spread all over the floor. A camera smashed in half rested in the middle of the coffee table with a few photos scattered nearby.
--It couldn’t be more like a wife having a private detective that caught the husband cheating and being ready to interrogate him with photos.
He swallowed and hurriedly swept away this untimely scenario in his head. He closed the door as if nothing had happened, turned on the lights, put down his things, took off his glasses, and only then calmly took a few steps forward and approached the murderous Big Boss Xia.
“Boss Liuyi,” he spoke, his face still as frank and sincere as ever, innocent as ever, honest as ever.
Xia Liuyi kicked him in the knee and instantly brought him to his knees!
He Chusan fell into the greasy debris. At once, he had many crumbs stuck into his lower parts of his legs. Enduring the pain and pushing up with his hands while supporting himself on the floor, he looked up at Xia Liuyi, still with a calm face.
“Boss Liuyi.” He called out again.
Xia Liuyi said coldly with a dark expression, “Who took them? When? How?”
The photos on the table and the films that had not yet been developed were all of him just coming out of the company. Including him just coming out or bending into the car, and the most damned one was a clear close-up photo – he had the window of his car open, sitting in the car and smoking leisurely.
How f**cking close was the photo taker to him! How well did they hide?!
He Chusan honestly answered those questions one by one, “It was me. When I didn’t work extra on weekends. I wore a disguise.”
Xia Liuyi gritted his teeth and sneered, “Cool, He A-San, you got some skills?! Playing about stalking in your spare time?! That’s why mentioning the police makes you happy with my troubles, because you’re also a f**cking policeman, huh?!”
He Chusan raised his eyes to look at him and gave a very sincere defense, “No, Boss Liuyi. I’ll definitely fail the physical fitness test, and I studied finance, so I’m not suitable to be a police officer, at most, I can only get into ICAC (Independent Commission Against Corruption)."
Xia Liuyi jumped up and kicked him again! “Are you still f**cking talking back to me?! Sau seng!”
He Chusan fell to the ground, before managing to get up into a kneel. This time, he obediently stayed quiet.
Xia Liuyi sat back and patted the arm of the sofa, “Cool, He A-San, in the past few months, you pretended to be a chaste man, dated Little He, gave gifts to her, invited her to meals, and visited her yesterday, only to show these scenes to me, huh?”
He Chusan nodded honestly, “Yes.”
Xia Liuyi squeezed out a breath of air from his throat. He suddenly jumped up and dragged He Chusan by the hair, hitting his head onto the coffee table and grabbing a blood-and-oil-stained piece of plate, pressing it against He Chusan’s throat, grinning with a fierce expression, “You have the guts to admit it? Are you tired of living?”
He Chusan’s cheek was squashed flat, his eyes turning hard to look at Xia Liuyi. His lips twitched, “Boss Liuyi, wait a moment.”
Xia Liuyi suspiciously slightly loosened his hand. He Chusan turned around carefully. From under the coffee table, he found a handkerchief. He picked up the sharp porcelain piece away from Xia Liuyi's palm, wiping Big Boss Xia’s hand carefully, wiping it clean of the little crumbs on Big Boss Xia’s fingers. After all of these, he put the handkerchief onto Xia Liuyi’s palm and finally put the fragment back.
He then stuck his face onto the coffee table again resignedly, “Please continue. Be careful not to cut your hand.”
“……” Xia Liuyi.
Xia Liuyi dropped the fragment and stripped He Chusan's suit jacket, rolling it into a strip, giving He Chusan a thunderous whip! He cursed while whipping, “F**k! Do you think I can’t beat you anymore after such a play?! Puk gaai brat! Bastard! Playing with your Big Boss?! I must beat you to death today!”
In his thin shirt, He Chusan covered his head, trying to protect his face. He chuckled while hiding from the whip. His lowered head and quivering shoulders made Xia Liuyi explode from anger as always. Beating and cursing, whipping and kicking, Xia Liuyi repeated this set of actions for more than ten minutes.
Big Brother Xia vented a lot, and after it was over, he sat on the sofa with his legs spread, gasping in tiredness. Observing He Brat San trying to straighten up sneakily, he kicked this brat off back again.
“Boss Liuyi, please stop,” He Chusan hurriedly hugged his calf and grinned bitterly, “I need to meet with clients tomorrow.”
“Meet the cr*p…” Xia Liuyi was going to kick him more, but when He Chusan staggered and stood up, seeing the fragments and blood on his suit pants, Xia Liuyi held his leg back, his expression still dark.
He Chusan supported himself with the coffee table, standing up and checking his miserable state. Then, he bent to take off a blood-soaked crumb from his knee gently. A small stream of blood followed immediately.
Xia Liuyi’s heart twitched. He tried to hold back his words, again and again, but still failed, “Get up and find another pair of pants, and f**ck back here to get some medicine for yourself.”
He Chusan paused his action of extracting the fragments, raising his eyes to Xia Liuyi.
This ruthless underworld Big Boss could hack off dozens of people alone with double knives or smash a tough man’s head into the ground with a fist, but when it came to “whipping him to death”, all this Big Boss did was to get tired from whipping. Xia Liuyi should have witnessed countless cruel, bloody scenes. Despite this, a little wound on his knee still irritated this person.
Stepping on the fragments, he walked forward, swaying. He bent his knees, falling onto Xia Liuyi suddenly!
Xia Liuyi was at first stunned, thinking he beat He Chusan unconscious, but when he held up the head on his shoulder, He Chusan looked totally fine!
He Chusan bore the pain, his face full of cold sweat. Along Xia Liuyi’s worrying gaze, which had not gone away yet, he tightened his arms around Xia Liuyi’s waist.
“What are you doing? Get off!” Xia Liuyi felt this brat was beaten silly, slapping his forehead with the powerless right hand.
“Boss Liuyi,” He Chusan rested on Xia Liuyi and called, his eyes like a dark lake, filled with Xia Liuyi’s reflection.
Suddenly, a sly grin appeared on his always obedient and honest face.
“Boss Liuyi, you should know that for people like me, if you can’t ruthlessly refuse them …you’ll never be able to keep them away.”
He lowered his head abruptly, covering Xia Liuyi’s lips.
No matter how many calculations Big Boss Xia made, he couldn’t expect this brat to be so bold. Caught off guard, his brain paused from working, freezing into a piece of wood.
He Brat San even squeezed his tongue in, tenderly and lovingly licking his lips and teeth, fiddling with the tip of his tongue gently.
Xia Liuyi’s last kissing experience happened more than ten years ago, in a random damp, musty, dark red room, with a random woman in heavy makeup with a heavy powder smell, her mouth mixed with the stink of alcohol and the taste of lipstick. He pushed her away, jumping off the bed instantly, and couldn’t help vomiting. Now, unexpectedly encountering such a wholesome and gentle kiss from He Chusan, even his breath trembled subconsciously.
In fact, the virgin He didn’t really have any skills. All he knew was from text, not experience. At the moment he felt Xia Liuyi’s soft, warm lips, he had his spine softened, his heart, liver, lung, all his organs, almost melted – he’d long desired Boss Liuyi’s mouth, and it was as soft as hot as sweet as…
This nerd’s brain was all muddled. Closing his eyes, he used all his willpower to act cool. Luckily, Big Boss Xia was not yet ready to resist – not until he wandered around Xia Liuyi’s mouth to the last bit of breath, withdrawing fondly, and gently licking Xia Liuyi’s lip. Xia Liuyi, who finally got his senses back, punched forward hard with his fist.
He Chusan had been planning his scheme for a long time. With a quite prepared defense, he tilted his head, hiding from this fist. Facing Xia Liuyi’s eyes widened in shock and anger, he went closer, kissing the side of Xia Liuyi’s lips again, ignoring the life-threatening risk.
“Boss Liuyi, remember to brush your teeth after lunch as well.” He rubbed Xia Liuyi’s nose tip intimately, concluding their first kiss.
Right after, his vital abdominal part was hit by Xia Liuyi’s knee. Then, he was tipped over to the ground! This time, the fragments stabbed into his back.
--You’re still miserably weak in physique, Elite He.
He Chusan flopped on the ground, holding the table and struggling to get up. Xia Liuyi clutched his fist, gasping on the sofa, from his ears to neck all red – from shyness or anger, who knew. His eyes were crimson as well – this was definitely from anger.
Rage almost burnt steam over his head. Glaring at He Chusan for a while, his left fist creaked from clenching. However, his brain was in a muddle too, not even able to think of the next step…
--Just kill him! Chop his head, rip his skin, and feed his flesh to dogs!
Before he could put this furious plan into practice, a sudden knock came from the door.
This alerted both of them. They put the emotions away, glancing at each other. Xia Liuyi jumped up and moved quickly into the bedroom. He Chusan grabbed the camera, shoving it under the sofa. Taking off his messy clothes in a hurry, he raised his voice and asked, “Who is it?”
“Hello. I’m your neighbour living next floor,” said a gentle female voice, “May I borrow some soy sauce?”
He Chusan had only been here for a month or two. Leaving early and returning late because of work, he had never had any contact with his neighbors. Although he was suspicious, the one he saw from the peephole was indeed an ordinary-looking young woman, in her twenties with a candid face.
He glanced at Xia Liuyi standing at the bedroom door. Xia Liuyi frowned and threw out a pair of pants and a shirt to him.
He Chusan put on the clean clothes and said, “One moment.”
“Okay, thanks a lot.”
Before opening the door, the corner of He Chusan's eye twitched a little. He took a closer look at the peephole and thought the woman was inexplicably odd - standing very close to the centre, as if she was trying to hide something nearby. Besides, this kind of cheap tung lau rentals had a complicated tenant group. A young, single woman, casually knocking on the door of a new resident…
His heart sank. He stepped back, but before he could warn Xia Liuyi, the bad-quality door was slammed open from outside!
With a heavy sound and a cloud of dust, three officers rushed in. The leading plainclothes policewoman caught He Chusan’s hands on his back within a move. When she was about to handcuff him, He Chusan flipped and kicked back towards her shoulder.
The policewoman was kicked onto the ground. The other two rushed up to help. He Chusan swept his leg with a tai chi move, looking cool but outnumbered. In a blink, he was pressed onto the floor again by the three officers, “miserably weak in physique” as always.
“Don’t do anything to him,” Xia Liuyi’s cold, hard voice suddenly said from close by.
He Chusan looked up in a panic. Xia Liuyi, changing from his pajamas, unexpectedly walked out of the bedroom himself.
He Chusan struggled more but was firmly held to the ground by the three people on his back. He tried his best to look at Xia Liuyi, panting heavily.
Xia Liuyi looked at him and frowned slightly, gesturing at him to stay calm.
The fourth person from outside was well dressed in a suit. It was the expressionless Xie Jiahua. He turned to Xia Liuyi, “You’re really here.”
“None of his business,” said Xia Liuyi, “He knows nothing. Release him, and I’ll go with you.”
“Boss Liuyi!” He Chusan called out instantly.
“Shut up!” Xia Liuyi shouted at him.
He Chusan gritted his teeth and clenched his fists silently.
Xie Jiahua glanced at He Chusan, who was pressed to the ground, silent for a moment, and then said to his subordinates, “Release him.”
“Sir, he harbored a suspect…” said a new subordinate.
Xie Jiahua glanced at him. That subordinate had the sense to shut up.
“Xia Liuyi, you are now under arrest on suspicion of intentional homicide, you have the right to remain silent, and anything you say can be used as evidence in court.” A police officer said while handcuffing Xia Liuyi. He pushed Xia Liuyi to leave, but Xia Liuyi twisted his shoulder to avoid it.
Xia Liuyi stepped out on his own, and He Chusan followed fearfully, worriedly calling out again, “Boss Liuyi!”
“I’ll have a word with him,” Xia Liuyi said to Xie Jiahua.
Xie Jiahua stopped slightly. Xia Liuyi walked back with handcuffs on, and He Chusan stood by the door, looking at him nervously.
However, Xia Liuyi kicked him back home! “Puk gaai brat! I’ll keep preaching to you when I’m back!”
He Chusan knew that Xia Liuyi’s kick at the end was to reassure him, but even after he received this solid kick, his anxiety was not kicked away. After the police took Xia Liuyi away, he took a cab and went straight to Kowloon Tong. After getting off, he walked around and around to make sure no one was following him, and then, he rushed to Cui Dongdong’s home.
He was in a hurry to report the news, but Cui Dongdong was more relaxed than him, “Ah? Was he caught so soon? It’s fine. It’s fine. I’ll send a lawyer there in a second. Don’t worry, Little San! Go back and sleep!”
Even the most reliable Cui Dongdong said so. He Chusan could only leave in fear. He didn't go back to Hong Kong Island but went back to his dad’s house nearby.
It was late in the evening, his dad had already closed the stall and eaten dinner, sitting downstairs with a few neighbors, chatting. Seeing him walking in a trance, Dad hurried to call him, “A-San? Why are you back? Did you have dinner?”
He Chusan shook his head dumbly.
Dad realized he was not in the right mood and hurriedly took him back home, “What happened? Ay! Why is there blood all over your pants!”
Dad He was so distressed that he hurriedly found a first aid kit and pulled up He Chusan's trouser leg to treat his wounds, putting on the medicine while asking worriedly, “What’s all this about! What happened?! Say something!”
He Chusan lowered his head and said softly, “Dad, did the police come, and did you tell them where I live?”
“Yes, this afternoon, they said they came to check the relocation status of the residents of Snapdragon Walled City and asked where you live now, so I told them. What’s wrong? Did the police do this to you?! Did you commit anything?”
“Nothing, Dad. Don’t tell anyone about my things anymore. Just tell them I moved out and that you don’t know about the details. I’ll buy a new phone card. Call the new one if the old one does not work. Don’t let anyone else know.”
Dad He found his voice lowering, feeling something was wrong, “A-San, tell me honestly what happened! Is there anything you can’t tell your dad!”
He Chusan took a deep breath, and only after a while, he answered, “Boss Liuyi was arrested.”
He was bare on both knees, his feet covered with bloodstained cuts. He bowed down to hold his head, his shoulders shaking gently, and repeated in a soft voice, “Boss Liuyi was arrested.”
“Cavity boy?” Dad He sighed immediately, hissing, “What happened? Was he finally caught because of selling white flour?”
“No,” He Chusan shook his head, refusing to elaborate further.
“Ay!” Dad He sighed, “For people, all the sins one commits must be paid back later in their life! That’s the debt for everyone in the triad! Why are you always worried about that triad member as a college graduate? Let him be!”
He Chusan did not say a word, shaking his head, his fingers tightly pressed into his temples.
He couldn’t say anything. No, it was impossible. How could he let him be? How could he let him go! He had just kissed those lips and watched the one he kissed taken by the police. At the moment he was pressed on the ground, he went insane, insane enough to block the police for Xia Liuyi and do anything to let Xia Liuyi go…Justice, conscience, morality, his decade of education, his dad’s teachings since his birth, how could he shove them aside and defend a blood-stained criminal!
He was so hopeful, so confident, wishing to bring this triad man back to the right path from a mistake someday. The path before him, however, was too long. He’d drown before he could step forward!
He was too naïve, too optimistic; he spent most of the year playing a little loving game with Xia Liuyi, but did not notice the danger hidden in the calm days at all. He thought they still had a lot of time, enough for him to grow up slowly, become powerful and experienced, arrange his plans, console and change Xia Liuyi…but till today, he eventually realized that it only took a moment for Xia Liuyi to fall, and he even didn’t have the ability to make a difference!
Cui Dongdong told him not to worry, but how could he! Xia Liuyi was reckless. Opening gambling stalls and brothels, selling white flour, fighting with other gangs, he did everything! Even if he could get away with it this time, how could he get away next time? Perhaps someday he’d be caught again. Perhaps someday he’d die somewhere in the street… That’s the debt for everyone in the triad…
The more he thought about Xia Liuyi dying on the street, the more he trembled with fear. He drew a deep breath and took his damp hands from his face. He thought he cried, but it turned out to be cold sweat all over his hands.
“Dad, I’m fine. Let me calm myself for a moment.” He looked at the sweat stains in his hands and whispered.
Dad He let out a long sigh and patted him on his downcast head. His son grew up looking obedient and well-behaved, but with mindful ideas of his own. He couldn’t interfere with those ideas even if he wanted to. The good thing was that He Chusan was nice and smart and knew the societal and legal rules – he believed that his son wouldn’t make a big scene.
That night, He Chusan slept in his small bedroom that had been converted into a utility room by his dad, with groceries piled up under and around the bed.
He opened his eyes wide in the cramped darkness around him, stretching out his right hand and raised it to the dark ceiling.
He spread out his palm, looking at the shape of his long, slender five fingers. Slowly and forcefully, he clenched his fist, and then, he released it again.
TN: Edited by our reliable editor Mio Rio ^^
I just found C14 was incomplete and added the ending to it. So sorry for the mistake TT. They went to watch a film in C15 because He Chusan invited Xia Liuyi at the end of C14.