“Clunk! Clunk!” “Boss Liuyi!”
Xia Liuyi was suddenly awakened from his nightmare by fear. He frowned and looked towards the door. Little He sprang up with him, taking off her clothes quickly and disheveling her hair to mimic the chaotic after-sex look.
Xia Liuyi pulled the door open and Little Ma almost crashed into him, his face full of fear, “Boss Liuyi! The situation isn’t good! Big Boss and sis-in-law quarreled and sis-in-law ended up stabbing Big Boss……”
“How’s Mr. Big’s wound?!” Xia Liuyi interrupted him anxiously. He didn’t even put on his clothes, merely wore a pair of trousers before rushing out the door with bare feet.
Little Ma chased behind him in a hurry, “His critical points weren't hurt and he’s already been sent to the hospital! But sis-in-law……”
“Which hospital!” Xia Liuyi growled.
“Snap City Hospital, the one next to the walled city! Boss Liuyi! Sis-in-law, she……” Little Ma ran after him, terrified, and pulled him to a stop. He wanted to say something but couldn’t convey it clearly.
“What did she do?!” Xia Liuyi shouted angrily.
“She, she stabbed Big Boss and she jumped off the roof of the villa……”
The motion of Xia Liuyi ducking into the car abruptly paused. The car key in his hand clattered onto the floor!
The limousine rushed away, swiftly bumped into the night. The end of the road was an intersection, to its left was the villa at Snapdragon Beach, to its right was Snap City Hospital.
Xia Liuyi trod on the brake at the turning point and took a breath with a blank expression on his face. He turned the steering wheel fiercely and went to the left!
He threw open the door of the car and rushed into the villa with bare feet. A couple of servants staying at the villa came forward to stop him, one after another, “Boss Liuyi! Boss Liuyi!”
“Get out of my way!”
Beside the pool behind the building, a white cloth covered the ground, and a meager body lay below it.
Xia Liuyi rushed to the body and kneeled down. He lifted the white cloth and took a look. The stiff expression that filled his face crumpled at once! He trembled and bowed his waist, groveling on Xia Xiaoman’s body. Being silent for a long time, he finally released a repressed sigh, “Big sis……”
The butler and a few servants followed him, hesitantly watching from a distance, daring not to approach and risk aggravating him.
Xia Liuyi’s eyes were crimson. He kneeled down for a long while, his body trembling. He asked, “What happened?”
The butler hesitated, “I also arrived after it happened. Little Wen, tell us.”
A servant that had been at the scene anxiously said, “Madame and Lord quarreled. I, I heard from outside of the door, it seemed that Madame doubted Lord and believed he had a mistress out of the villa, and Lord said he didn’t, but Madame didn’t believe it and scolded him ‘perv’, ‘shameless’, and eventually said ‘the one you really like is……’ She hadn't finished her words before she was slapped by Lord and then Madame stabbed Lord with a fruit knife. We hurried to send Lord to the hospital and as soon as we reached the door, we heard a sound: Madame had jumped off……”
Xia Liuyi cowered and lowered his head. He tightly grasped the white cloth, and as if the world had abruptly collapsed, he made a cracked, aching roar.
After a long time, Xia Liuyi forcibly sniffed. When he lifted his head again, there was no longer an expression on his face. He pushed himself off the ground and stood up slowly. He said to the butler, “You manage here first. I’ll go and check on my Mr. Big.”
He walked away slowly in uneven steps and no one dared to go close and call him back. At this time, one of the servants crept away from the crowd and went inside secretly to make a call.
Xia Liuyi drove back on the road he came from and arrived back at the intersection. He turned the direction of Azure Dragon. When he stopped at Snap City Hospital, there was already a group of underlings belonging to different people gathered. Little Ma had also arrived. He said with a few brothers behind him, “Boss Liuyi, Boss Xu is inside and he doesn’t let us in.”
“Little Liu, your sister stabbed Big Boss. Isn’t it irrational for you to go in?” Xu Ying said, blocking the door of the ward.
“My sister was attacked by her disease and she couldn’t control it,” Xia Liuyi said with a cold face, blood red suffusing in his eyes, “I’ve followed my Mr. Big since I was ten; kowtowed and joined our gang when I was fourteen. Nothing can compare to what I owe my Mr. Big. I will never hurt him. I just wanna go in and take a look at him. Get out of my way.”
Xu Ying made eye contact with him for a while and suddenly grinned, “That’s true. You had such filial piety to Big Boss. I shall not block you. Go in. Big Boss just fell asleep. Don’t wake him up.”
The room was dim and full of the copper tang of blood and the sharp scent of medicine. A floor lamp was lit at the corner. It showed Xia Liuyi’s bare feet.
Azure Dragon lay quietly on the bed with his face tilted upward and his eyes slightly closed. It was a position of someone who was too weary to nap.
Xia Liuyi closed the door and bypassed the bed with a light motion. He went to the window and sat.
He lifted his head, looking at the woods that had shaking black shadows. They were blown around by fierce night winds, and those branches and leaves shivered, struggling towards heaven.
“My Mr. Big,” Xia Liuyi said in a low voice, “Am I wrong?”
“At that time, I shouldn’t have begged you to marry her.”
“None of you were wrong, but me.”
He lowered his head, burying his face into his palms, and said hoarsely, “But what could I do? She loved you so much and thought about you every day. She would die without you. She’s my sister. She was so good to me and she protected me ever since we were children……”
He couldn’t speak anymore. He opened his mouth but couldn’t make any sounds. He took a few discordant breaths hurriedly. His hands deeply dug into his hair.
After a long time, he managed to suppress his emotions from their uncontrollable state. He lifted his head a little, “My Mr. Big……”
And then his breath paused!
--In the ambiguous and dim light, he could see something dripping down along the side of the sheet!
He rushed forward with a large step, lifted the sheet, and the stench of fresh blood overwhelmingly flooded the room! Azure Dragon’s half-opened eyes faced the ceiling: a shocked and stiff countenance!
The pair of azure-dragon knives that he purposely had someone build for a great sum of money at Xia Liuyi’s twentieth birthday as his gift for Xia Liuyi, were embedded in him, one of them in his chest and the other in his abdomen. They went through the cot and all of the blade was stabbed in. Only their handles were left!
Xia Liuyi put a finger below his nose, shivering. After a moment, he abruptly broke out a shrill, crazy, scream from misery: “Uh-ahhhhhhhhhhh--!”
Then he mightily blocked the door with the metal hospital bed with Azure Dragon’s corpse lying on it!
At the same time, a violent sound of someone kicking the door came from outside the room. Xu Ying shouted out “Big Boss!” loudly from the outside and intended to ram the door to get in!
Xia Liuyi half-kneeled on the floor. His hands pushed the hospital bed with deadly strength. Under continuous hits, he lowered his head, took his last, deep glance at Azure Dragon, and then turned his face painfully, grinding his teeth –
He suddenly let go of the bed and used both his hands to grab the double knives in Azure Dragon’s body and take them both out at once. The blood splash covered his face!
He turned around and left swiftly, like an arrow. He crashed through the window and fell out from the first floor*1!
Just as Xu Ying shoved the door open with his people and rushed in, a cold wind blew into their faces! He threw a glance at Azure Dragon’s body with a complicated expression, and then looked at the broken window frame. He gnashed his teeth, “Spread this out! To avenge his psycho sister, Xia Liuyi killed Big Boss Azure Dragon! The whole tong of Xiao Qi Tong shall rise in arms and catch the traitor, no matter if he’s dead or alive!”
As soon as his words ended, there was another clatter from the outside. Another window had shattered.
“What the heck!” Xu Ying yelled angrily.
“It seemed to be Xia Liuyi’s 49er. He jumped and ran away through a window as well!” An underling beside him said.
“What’re you f*cks staying here for! Chase him!” Xu Ying spat out.
For skiving and escaping, Little Ma was always number one! As he heard Xu Ying saying bullshit, he made a prompt decision and jumped out of the window in the corridor! A couple of underlings with him were just like their Big Boss as well: they knew they were minor characters and few people could recognize them, so they split up swiftly into the crowd and pretend to be innocent people. They would then mix into the Xiao Qi Tong’s huge army that was chasing the traitors, and eventually escape on their way……
Xia Liuyi held the knives with both hands. He ran swiftly in the woods. He didn’t wear shoes and his feet were cut by the sharp rocks on the ground of the woods. Even so, he still rushed forward without an expression, as if he didn’t register the pain.
Where he ached wasn’t his feet, but his heart. His heart was already too in pain to feel anything. In a single night, in barely two hours, the two most important people in his life both died in front of him! Xia Xiaoman’s hollow eyes towards the sky, Azure Dragon’s half-open eyes – they died with their eyes open! They couldn’t close!
Xia Liuyi’s both hands dug deep into the handles, making a terrifying cracking sound.
He gnawed his teeth, held his breath, and rushed. An ambiguous yell shouting to kill came far away behind him. Although Xu Ying’s people kept chasing after him, at the end of the woods was Snapdragon Walled City, with over 500 tall buildings and a population of 30,000. It was endlessly dark and deep, and if he was thrown into it, it would be like throwing a rock into the sea……
Severe pain suddenly came from his knees! His whole person fell forward and groveled onto the floor heavily!
There was a tripwire tied among the tall trees at the exit of the woods!
A group of people lifted machetes and came out from deep in the woods. The head of them had a wide front head and a big mouth, carrying a bent machete on his shoulder. He was exactly the “Straw Sandal” of Xiao Qi Tong, Big Mouth Cheng.
Xia Liuyi shook and used a tree to get up. His knees trembled. His momentum was too great just now and his legs were almost broken. Below his thighs felt totally numb, and it was even hard for him to support his body.
“Big Mouth.” He gnashed his teeth.
Big Mouth Cheng patted his machete with his palm, “Boss Liuyi.”
“There was no hatred between you and me,” Xia Liuyi gasped, “Why would you help Xu Ying?”
“Nor do I have any hatred with money,” Said Big Mouth Cheng, “Of course I would follow the one who gives me more.”
Xia Liuyi took a deep breath, and said slowly, “My sister’s antidepressant was prescribed by a western medicine doctor which you introduced. You did something to it.”
“Oh, it’s not me.” Said Big Mouth Cheng, “Boss Xu arranged this and I simply listened to his command – I heard your sister took it happily?”
“Cheng Siquan!” Xia Liuyi angrily made a hoarse yell.
Big Mouth Cheng tilted his head as if he was afraid of it, and then he dug into his ear lazily, “Xia Liuyi, you can’t even stand steadily. Save your strength! If you go back with me obediently and receive the ‘three stabs six holes’, kneel down before Big Boss’s spirit tablet and beg the elders for a bit, you may still get a ch……”
His “ance” was split by the wind. None of the underlings around him saw it clearly. In just a blink, his wide-open big mouth was cut into halves by a sharp edge.
The azure-dragon knife flew through and embedded deeply into the branch behind him. Half of his head was placed on the knife and the other half fell slowly together with his body……
Xia Liuyi leaned on the tree, supporting himself with the other knife. He said with a solemn coldness, “Who else?”
The underlings all took cold breaths and shook their heads. Their legs shivered more severely than his! They barely watched him support his body with a knife, limping to the range of Snapdragon Walled City.
At this point, messy steps from the pursuit came from deep in the woods. Xu Ying’s loud shout came indistinctly, “Whoever kills Xia Liuyi will get an award of ten thousand!”
The underlings looked at each other in amazement. Their minds were dazzled by hot blood and awards. Someone led, yelled, and hacked towards the back of Xia Liuyi!
Close to the end of a term, it was the exam season. He Chusan got up early. He climbed to the top of the tong lau*2 along the dusky stairs. He did horse stance for half an hour among the colorful, worn-out clothes and sheets of his neighbors, and he pushed t’ai chi ch’uan in a turtle speed for a while. Then he felt that he had done enough practice and went downstairs to his home. He got his books ready and was going to school for self-studying.
He turned to the familiar and dark alleyway with his little backpack – the one where he was taken away by big men with a sack. He was nervous every day when he went through here, worrying about the scoundrels suddenly gaining excitement for a sequel and taking him away with a sack again without any explanations.
He straightened his back and walked fast with a calm facade. He was gonna go out from the alleyway and get into the brightness. However, he was suddenly tripped by something and fell onto the ground like a frog, with a dull sound!
He pressed his elbow onto the floor and embarrassingly straightened his body. At the moment that he was getting up, a chill appeared on his shoulder.
A cold edge was put to his neck. Someone was panting lowly in the darkness.
He stiffened and dared not move. He could barely feel the person searching his body as if he was looking for something, and their motions paused when they reached his old broken little backpack.
He has also recognized this person from the figure and the severe panting in the dim darkness, “Boss Liuyi?”
“F*ck, it’s you.” Xia Liuyi panted and spat out. His volume was very low.
Then with a clatter, the azure-dragon knife fell onto the ground. He fell forward and became insensible on He Chusan’s back like a corpse.
He Chusan went home with a bloody, mafia, Big Boss on his back, and this almost terrified his dad into having a stroke.
This certificateless dentist, who had lived obediently in the black area for dozens of years, looked at this infamous villain and he almost didn’t know what to do. He Chusan was beaten and ravaged by Boss Liuyi cruelly and mercilessly, after all, and his heart was much stronger than his dad’s. He hurriedly ordered his dad, “Dad, close the door. Don’t let others see.”
“How did you come to be related with such a person! And even dare take him home!” Dad He locked the door from inside. He walked around the room chaotically in fear, and the breeze he made blew at the candle lights, the flames shaking.
He Chusan had no ideas and boldly confessed, “He saved me before.”
“What crime did you commit that made him save you?!” Dad He said in a hurry.
“I was blocked by a few people and they wanted to take my money.” He Chusan didn’t want him to worry; so he only confessed half of it.
“Tsk-tsk……” Dentist He was muddled, angry, and flapped around. This was the only onomatopeia he had left.
“Dad, look at him. Is he dying?” Said He Chusan.
Dentist He rolled his sleeves to be a certificateless veterinarian. Vertically and horizontally, he counted about eighteen deep and shallow knife wounds on Xia Liuyi’s body, and his kneecap was a little dislocated. However, these were not the most deadly wounds. The deadly one was a bullet hole beneath Xia Liuyi’s shoulder and the bullet stuck in. He might have been hurt for about two days already; pus had filled his wound and the blood and meat around it had flipped outward. The situation was very horrifying.
“Tsk-tsk……” Said Dentist He.
He Chusan ran back and forth for water and gauze, serving his dad to tend Xia Liuyi’s wounds. Actually, he had no good feelings for this kind of big rascal like Xia Liuyi at all. These kinds of gangsters were countless in Snapdragon Walled City. If they died, then they died. There would be a second gangster to fill their spot. But this person had saved him after all, and he was a pure good citizen, so he really couldn’t just watch a living person die in front of him.
Dentist He held up the magnifying glass and analyzed for a long while, “A-san, my eyes’re too old and I can’t see it clearly. You take the bullet out for him.”
“Will it hurt?” He Chusan got nervous for a bit.
“It will! Of course it will!” Said Dentist He, “But he’s in a coma and this helps us save the anesthetic! Come!”
He Chusan poked the forceps in and heard Xia Liuyi make a hoarse groan in his coma. He was so nervous that he stopped at once.
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, trying his best to think about months ago, how Xia Liuyi had seized his collar and smashed his head onto the desk; how he kicked him far away; how he beat him with the chair leg; how he said “I won’t cast another glance at you even if you were to die by the road”……
When he opened his eyes again, overwhelming courage filled his heart! One of his hands covered Xia Liuyi’s unconsciously groaning mouth and the other poked the forceps in determinedly!
Dentist He barely watched his mild, temperate son indifferently take the bullet out from the gushing wound. The calmness of his expression gave Dentist He chills. Deep in his heart, he wondered if his education direction went wrong – should his son have studied medicine?
When Xia Liuyi woke up, he was on the narrow, little, iron bed of He Chusan on the first floor. In the room, a candle was lit, and the wet ceiling was covered with black mold, emitting a decaying scent. He was on the bed in a prone position. A pillow was put under his chest, to keep the gun wound on his shoulder from touching the sheet.
He Chusan was kneeling on a wooden chair beside the bed. Below his butt, was a shorter, smaller chair. He was reviewing his schoolwork in the candlelight.
Xia Liuyi took a deep breath. He found that except for his fingers, none of his body parts could move.
“Hey.” He said hoarsely.
He Chusan leaned his head in close, and heard the first sentence Xia Liuyi said after he woke up, “Beef entrails.”
- *The second floor in American English. ↑
- *A tong lau is a tenement building built in the late 19th century to 1960s in areas including Hong Kong. ↑
TN: Edited by our adorable editor Mio Rio ;)