translator: baumkuchen editors: serefina, glitterypanda
Blondie, their leader, asked, “Got what he looks like?”
Everyone nodded, one after the other. “Got it, the one with long hair and wearing a white down jacket.”
When doing this kind of thing, what one feared most was beating the grass and scaring the snake. The arcade hall was filled with people and noise, and the lighting was dim, but it was also only in such a place that these people could look all around the place as they wished without needing to worry about being noticed by Dong Ge and the others.
One of them said, “Ge, when are we gonna get him?”
Another said, “For stealing the person our dage has his eye on, not even castration is enough punishment.”
Blondie clicked his tongue. “Breaking a leg is enough. If he loses his life, who’s gonna take the blame? For when to move, wait for instructions.
With their simple plan complete, they went off in groups to play billiards.
The group of young men started making a ruckus, while Skinny monkey, carrying an open beer bottle and two disposable plastic cups, made his way over to Blondie, poured out a cup and handed it to him. “You went to take a look, right?”
Blondie pulled out the already-crumpled group photo from his pants pocket. “You hold onto the photo.”
Skinny monkey, “……Is this the same fucking photo I gave you??”
“It’s made its rounds. You should just be glad it’s still in one piece.” Blondie’s mouth split open in a grin as he made a lewd gesture. “Who asked the ladies to all look so good? They just casually, facing this photo……”
Skinny monkey wiped the photo on the front of his jacket in disgust. “You got what he looks like?”
Skinny monkey gave him a look. “Was all you guys cared about jacking off?”
Blondie waved him off. “Those dancers all fucking look the same, how are we supposed to recognise him?”
Skinny monkey took the picture back out to look at it.
The young men and women in the photo were all dressed identically in a white shirt and black pants. Because they had been carefully picked out since they were young, even their figures were the same.
Their appearances were indistinguishable, and they were all wearing the same thing. Adding on the fact that this was a group photo, they all looked pretty much identical at a glance.
Even Skinny monkey had to look them over one by one in order to see where his own younger cousin was.
Blondie took a gulp of beer. “You don’t have a photo of the kid on his own?”
“My younger cousin should have some, but he’s a real coward, so I can’t let him know that we’re doing this,” Skinny monkey said, “But that brat surnamed Dong is very famous. There are a lot of photos of him winning championships online.”
Blondie said, “Better not then. With this group of soft-shelled baby turtles, if we tell them we’re going to beat up an idiotic fucker who stole someone’s wife, they’ll all be clamouring to go; but if we tell them to beat up a world champion athlete, I reckon they’ll all cower.”
Skinny monkey frowned slightly. “If this case ends up going to court, can we rely on them to keep quiet?”
Blondie smacked his lips. “Don’t worry. I’ve already gotten to know the police officers in this area, and it’s not like surnamed Dong is from some rich family. He’s just from a lower-class family, and won’t be able to make any big waves. As for the brats, I’ve already briefed them. We’re going to act out a play and explain this matter away as a ‘drunken brawl’……”
As he spoke, he lowered his voice, “……When the time comes, even if they realise Dong Ge’s status isn’t ordinary, they’ll have to stick to calling it a ‘drunken brawl’ no matter what if they want to stay out of jail. If we chip in to help them pay reparations, they’ll only have a sentence of fifteen days at worst.”
Skinny monkey breathed a sigh of relief.
If not for this being a last resort, he also didn’t want to use these unreliable brothers.
But his own younger cousin was interested in that surnamed He, who might end up joining the Lou family in the future. He was a frequent visitor to his cousin’s home. When the time came, if He Changsheng ran into him while he was hanging out with his brothers, then his younger cousin would be finished.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
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Blondie said, “One leg, no more, no less.”
The two exchanged smiles and raised their cups in a toast.
At five pm in the afternoon, the three walked out of the arcade hall together.
Lou Sifan still wished to continue. “You’re going now?”
He Changsheng said, “Today we told Madam Dong we’d be coming back for dinner.”
Dong Ge, “En.”
Lou Sifan didn’t object, saying gently, “Then where should we go tomorrow?”
He Changsheng dug out a little pamphlet from his pocket and turned to a page where he had seriously made many notes.
There truly weren’t many places to go to in a little county town. It could be said that in order to resolve the knot in Lou Sifan’s heart, He Changsheng had put in a lot of effort.
He said, “Let’s go to a KTV tomorrow.”
Lou Sifan suggested, “If it’s a KTV, how about we go at night after having some barbeque?”
He Changsheng looked at Dong Ge. “Let’s go back and ask Mama Dong.”
Dong Ge, “En.”
He Changsheng said, “Don’t just keep saying ‘en’.”
Dong Ge thought for a moment, then changed to a synonymous phrase. “As qianbei says.”
Right now, He Changsheng especially couldn’t stand hearing the word “qianbei” falling from Dong Ge’s lips, sounding cold and indifferent, yet seemingly seductive.
He Changsheng looked away, involuntarily replying, “……En.”
Lou Sifan, “……” I would be better off blind.
He forced down the impatience in his heart, smiling and saying, “Then let me know tonight. I’ll book the room. I’ll tentatively schedule it from eight pm to twelve am, alright?”
He Changsheng and Dong Ge, simultaneously, “En.”
Lou Sifan, “……Then I’ll send you two back.”
He Changsheng, “We’ll send you back. Then the two of us will walk back again.” That way, he would be able to walk with Dong Ge for twice the amount of time.
Lou Sifan was gritting his back teeth so hard they started to hurt. “No need. I’ll just go back on my own.”
Hearing this, He Changsheng, who was in the midst of making his little scheme, replied, disappointed, “Ah?”
Lou Sifan forced down the bulging veins on his forehead. He turned. “I’m going back now.”
After they watched Lou Sifan walk off, Dong Ge said, “Qianbei, let’s go home.”
His hopes having been destroyed, He Changsheng was immersed in despair, unable to extricate himself. “En.”
Dong Ge, seeing the far too obvious desolation in the young man’s expression, pursed up his lips. “Qianbei, let’s go to a barbershop.”
He Changsheng looked at him.
Dong Ge touched his head. “I want to get a haircut.” This way, the little brat would be able to spend more time alone with his qianbei.
He Changsheng immediately agreed. “Okay, I know a good place.”
They walked through half the city to a barbershop which apparently “wasn’t too bad at haircuts”.
Actually, how would He Changsheng know about any good barbershop? This place was the place Lou Sifan often went to.
Both of them weren’t people of many words. Dong Ge got his hair cut in silence while He Changsheng stood to the side and watched quietly, both feeling like their hearts had settled down by a lot.
Only after staying together until past 7pm at night did they finally get on a rickshaw and head back home.
The moment he stepped into the house, Dong Ge was smacked on the head several times by a Madam Dong wielding the bamboo broom she used to sweep the bed.
Dong Ge felt rather wronged. “What.”
Madam Dong jabbed at his head like a fierce demon. “Little calf, why didn’t you go get a haircut before the New Year like I told you to? Haven’t you heard that getting a haircut in the first month of the lunar year is damning your uncle to death, ah?!”
Dong Ge, “……I don’t have a maternal uncle.”
Madam Dong choked on her words. She pointed at the Dong Feihong who was currently setting the table. “Don’t you still have this uncle?”
Dong Feihong, who was laying dishes on the table, couldn’t hold back his laughter. “Time to eat.”
He Changsheng followed him, pursing his lips in a smile.
Dong Ge’s home was very different from that of Lou Sifan’s. He Changsheng really liked this kind of tender feelings of the common people.
The next day, Dong Ge and He Changsheng practiced on the family’s ice rink in the morning. After lunch, the two then returned to their own rooms for a nap to preserve their strength for that night.
At 4pm that evening, Lou Sifan showed up at the door. Dong Ge and He Changsheng got up to clean themselves up and change clothes.
As Dong Ge picked out his jacket, he said to Madam Dong, “Mom, don’t wait up for us tonight.”
Madam Dong said, “Which KTV are you guys going to? I’ll ask your uncle to pick you boys up when you’re done.”
Lou Sifan immediately said, “Auntie, don’t worry. When we’re done, I’ll send Dong Ge and He Changsheng back home.”
Madam Dong, “Oh, how could I make you do that?”
Lou Sifan smiled. “I’m the oldest, this is what I should do.”
As he watched the three walk out of the ice rink, Blondie, squatting off to the side as he smoked, looked the three of them over. He sent a text to the group of lackeys who had already completed their preparations.
“The target is the one wearing a light blue jacket and wearing a hat.”
“Absolutely do not touch the one wearing red, that’s laoda’s younger cousin’s person.”
“I’ve already sent you the time and location, that place has only one exit. Wait for your chance.”
By the time they were ready to leave, it was already close to 12am.
The first month of the lunar year was a time for family reunions, so the number of people out late at night to play around crazily was a lot fewer than usual. A lot of shops on the street had gone dark, having already closed for the night. Those with their lights still on only consisted of the odd few hair salons. A few old couplets, which had fallen off of the shop doors, were whirled across the street by the wind, making a flapping noise like that of ruined paper money.
The KTV was located in a dark, winding alleyway. When the three left the KTV, they had to walk through three alleys before reaching the main road.
As they passed through the second alley, the three all heard off-tune singing coming from ahead at the same time.
When Lou Sifan smelled the strong stench of alcohol approaching, he smiled slightly.
……Sure enough, they’d come.
His efforts to subtly inform his cousin of where they would be singing karaoke hadn’t been in vain.
But he soon spoke out in an extremely disgusted tone, “Changsheng, Dong Ge, let’s walk closer to the side.”
He Changsheng nodded, reaching out to tug at Dong Ge, who was walking closest to the centre, by the sleeve. “Keep to the side.”
But when the group of people got closer, only then did He Changsheng understand the meaning of “unavoidable”.
Like an unruly herd of cattle, they stumbled into Dong Ge’s shoulder, not even trying to avoid it.
Dong Ge was pushed off-balance, falling into He Changsheng’s arms.
Lou Sifan got angry, stepping out and berating them in a stern voice, “What are you doing?”
Dong Ge remained silent. He Changsheng, far too familiar with the routine of “finding trouble”, reached out to hold Lou Sifan back, wanting to tell him to not speak out against such people.
But it was already too late.
The leader, a fatty, was absolutely drunk. He spat on Lou Sifan’s shoe. “Wow, so fierce.”
Lou Sifan accused sternly, “The road is so wide, was it so impossible for you to avoid bumping into us?”
The fatty said, “Ai, so I bumped into you. Got a problem with that?”
Lou Sifan, “Why are you so unreasonable?!”
The fatty grabbed Dong Ge by the lapels of his jacket, lifting him up and throwing him to the gravel ground. “Hey, laozi doesn’t want to talk sense to idiots anymore, what do you guys think?”
As soon as his words fell, the group of people behind the fatty appeared like ghosts, fanning out and surrounding Dong Ge and the rest, spitting out filthy curses from their mouths.
sere: the three upcoming chapters are all long… but we are almost there guys! 2 weeks 🙂
Thank you to Creeperco for the ko-fi~