Xiao Yang and Qi Susu was blocked by Xiao Li at a small hotel beside the train station. Originally, they intended to quickly take the train to a neighboring province but as a result of this blockage, they could only purchase tickets for the evening departure. By that time, they did not have the nerve to venture outside for a stroll on the streets, so with no other option, they opted for a nearby hotel. Just as the two were planning their beautiful future together, there was a loud knock on the door, evidently it was Xiao Li.
Once the door was ripped open with great force, not even giving Xiao Li a chance to speak, Xiao Yang immediately swung at him, in an attempt to beat him down. But before Xiao Yang could even reach him, a swarm of his subordinates blocked his path and held him in place.
Frightened by the loudness and sudden encounter in the room, all Qi Susu could do was cry out loudly.
Xiao Yang continued to struggle, shouting out loudly: “Why won’t you let me go? If you weren’t mixed up with the criminal world, how could I have gotten to this point and resort to this method? Why do I have a brother like you? You don’t deserve to be my brother!”
Xiao Li’s complexion ashen as he faced his men that blocked Xiao Yang, “Let him go.”
The men released him, but Xiao Yang still relentlessly charged forward.
Unperturbed, Xiao Li easily kicked his leg which knocked him down to the floor.
By the time Qi Xiu Yuan arrived at the hotel, he could clearly see a drop of Xiao Yang’s blood dripping on the floor.
Xiao Li tightly gripped Xiao Yang’s shirt collar and said, “This is to teach you a lesson. As a person, you cannot be ungrateful. If I wasn’t mixed up with the criminal world, you fucking bastard, you would have been dead in a ditch a long time ago. Would you still have a life to go and study abroad, still have a life to fucking chase after girls?!”
Xiao Yang was kicked until coughs erupted from his mouth, but even then, his arrogant and scornful attitude was not weakened in the least: “You fucking bastard! You willingly did those things yourself. I never asked you to! Xiao Li, let me tell you, I’d rather die in a ditch, than use your dirty money!”
“I didn’t see you complaining when you spent that money!” said Xiao Li loudly as his fist smashed into Xiao Yang’s stomach.
The powerful punch caused Xiao Yang’s body to curl painfully before he spat out: “Hit me! If you have the ability to, beat me to death. So long as I’m alive, don’t even think about hearing any nice words from my mouth.”
Instantaneously, piercing red flames appeared in Xiao Li’s eyes. Anger consumed him his entire face and in his head all he wanted to do was to beat him more.
The little brothers (*subordinates) who knew Xiao Li well, could tell right away the murderous look in his eyes was far from good. They all quickly rushed over and blocked him, moving him away from Xiao Yang.
One of them earnestly urged him, “Li ge, don’t be angry. Yang ge is just a kid who said something in the heat of the moment.”
“Who the fuck is your Yang ge?”
Xiao Yang lie on the floor and shouted loudly, “Xiao Li, you think you’re amazing just because you have these underlings. Sooner or later, a day will come when you’ll die under their hands!”
Once those words came out of his mouth, the expressions on all the little brothers’ faces changed.
Anger no longer painted Xiao Li’s face but what remained instead was a slight smile. He pushed through his own subordinates that blocked his path, walked toward Xiao Yang and crouched down in front of him.
“Xiao Yang, if you really don’t want to recognize this brother, that’s fine. Leave behind a finger. There will be nothing left between us. I’ll just take it as, I fed and raised an unfamiliar dog.”
Angered, Xiao Yang spat the blood in his mouth on his face. “That won’t work with me. Do you think I’ll be scared? You even dare to threaten me? Chop off my finger? It’ll be enough if you kill me! Didn’t our mother die because of you? At that time, if it weren’t for you, mom would have never —!”
Xiao Li kicked him one last time which produced a blood curdling screech. He stared with anger at Xiao Yang trembling painfully on the floor. His fist was clenched tightly while his chest moved up and down rapidly. None of his subordinates dared to utter a single word.
Qi Susu who stood to the side was frightened into silence and her tears no longer ran as she stared widely at the scene in front of her.
Amidst the silent, Qi Xiu Yuan seemed to awaken from his trance. He slowly walked toward Qi Susu.
Upon hearing his Qi Xiu Yuan’s footsteps, Xiao Li twisted his head around to look at him. After letting his pounding chest calm down for a moment, a smile suddenly appeared on his face.
“Qi Laoshi, you and Qi Susu don’t have to be worried anymore.” He let out a heavy sigh, and said with a pause between every word as if for everyone presence at the scene to hear, but also as if for himself to hear, “Because I, Xiao Li, from this day on, don’t have a brother.”
Everything was clear-cut and straightforward. Xiao Li and his subordinates immediately left after those words escaped his lips.
Being left behind in a rather dumbfounded daze for a moment, Qi Xiu Yuan sobered up and finally dialed 112. After waiting for the ambulance to arrive to take Xiao Yang away, he guarded Qi Susu and took her back home.
Only when he arrived home did he realized that there were several messages left on his phone. All of the messages were left by his boss and colleagues as indicated by the numbers. Surprisingly, there was even a text message from a student expressing their concern.
He had already skipped half a day of work and wondered about how the afternoon classes were adjusted. Qi Xiu Yuan gave the head director a call and apologized several times before asking for a few days of leave. Hearing the urgency and exhaustion in his voice, the director did not find the need to blame him and had even said a few words of concerns toward him before hanging up the call.
Qi Susu was constantly on the move all day. Having experienced a very theatrical and frightening affair, her state of mind has been beaten into exhaustion. During dinner, she only ate a few bits before reporting that she felt uncomfortable. And as night time approached, sure enough, she had a slight fever. Qi Xiu Yuan could only feed her medicine and as he attempted to take her to her own room to rest, she held on to his hand instead, unwilling to let go.
Qi Susu’s trembling hand tighten on her brother’s arm while she continuously murmured, “A Yang was really scary,” “Li ge was really scary,” which was followed by her weeping voice. She tossed and turned around until the middle of the night before she finally fell into a silent sleep.
Qi Xiu Yuan carried his sister back to her room. Afterward, he himself walked around in circles several times in the living room. Yet even then, he could not find even a single cigarette anywhere to satisfy his sudden craving. Although he had given up and sat down on the sofa, he still shifted about left and right, mulling over today’s incident.
Are Xiao Li and Xiao Yang really brothers who were on bad terms with each other or did they gang up together to put on an act?
If it was really all just an act, then those two brothers’ scripts were extremely heartless; if it was not an act, how can these brothers, of so many years, picked such a time to break off their relations? Regardless of whether it was an act or not, this time blood had been shed. Later on, if the people in their circle knew that these brothers severed their relationship, does it mean that Xiao Li’s business will no longer implicate Xiao Yang? Then, if Susu insist on being together with Xiao Yang, how can he, himself, not consent to it?
As these thought swam around in his head continuously, Qi Xiu Yuan collapsed and fell asleep on the sofa.
Time and time again he dreamt of the moment Xiao Li turned his head around to looked at him as the sound of his own footsteps faintly sounded off in the room. His eyes like two sharp knives gazed at him; almost as if, its intent were to inflict several stabbing wounds on his body. But, the anger and pain in those eyes made him want to avoid them once again but in the end, all he could do was to look back at him, right straight in the eyes.
Due to his sympathetic nature, with a bag of fruit in his heads, Qi Xiu Yuan went to the hospital for the first time to visit Xiao yang.
Xiao Yang said that one of his rib was broken but aside from that, all the other wounds would likely heal pretty quickly. Qi Xiu Yuan, in turn, did not mention anything about Susu and it seems, Xiao Yang also did not have the nerve to mention it either. In all actuality, the two were quite unfamiliar with one another, so without knowing what else to say, all they could do were to look at each other in dismay.
A while later, Qi Xiu Yuan quickly took his leave. When he turned his head to say good-bye, in this sick room that held four patients, only Xiao Yang’s bed was cold, cheerless…lonely.
Qi Susu laid in bed for quite a few days before she finally got off. This time, having gone through that experience, she seemed to cheer up plentiful. After she had graduated more than half a year ago, she has been idling at home, but now, she unexpectedly started to look for a proper job; not by posting her resume online but actually leaving the house for interviews. One day, she came back home with a really cheerful smile on her face, saying that a real estate marketing center was willing to let her intern there; she would be working as a real estate selling agent.
At that time, Qi Xiu Yuan had thought to himself, this is just like you, you might as well say you’re going to cause trouble if you’re selling estates.
Who had expected that since Qi Susu started to work her spirit and mentality had brightened up dramatically. Everyday she would eagerly leave for work in high spirit.
One time, during the weekend, Qi Xiu Yuan went to her work place for a look. When he saw his sister at a distant, chatting and laughing with her colleagues around the same as age as she was, he didn’t go in to find her but instead drove happily back home.
Qi Xiu Yuan had asked Qi Susu once before if she was still in contact with Xiao Yang. That day, this sister who had never lied to her brother before hesitated for the first time and said ‘no’. There was a strangeness in her eyes; muddled densely with confusion as the answer left her lips. Honestly, it was no different than sticking a piece of paper with the words “I’m lying” on her forehead. Qi Xiu Yuan did not get to the core of the matter anymore. Before he was too strict, too severe which caused a very huge backlash. And he himself also had lingering fears of something worse happening. Besides, now she was home for three meals a day, it was easier to control things.
What’s better, his job was quickly resuming its stability as well, so Qi Xiu Yuan could not help but to think that his life was slowly becoming peaceful.
It was just, once awhile in a very fleeting moment, he would without any reasons at all, recall that gang leader he had met only twice.
Qi Xiu Yuan, a teacher, met the gang leader, Xiao Li, when he discovered that his younger sister’s boyfriend was the younger brother of a gang leader. What was meant to be a quick breakage of their sibling’s relationship, brought about a lingering memory of Xiao Li’s piercing gaze imprinting itself in Qi Xiu Yuan’s heart. Several encountered later, friendship was the underlining word to start off their relationship, yet even before then, for Qi Xiu Yuan, it had always been something more. Something stronger. For Xiao Li, who had only known the criminal world, how will he take on feelings that he never thought of before?
The bold line that separate Xiao Li and Qi Xiu Yuan, which path will exactly allow them to meet in the middle?