TLDP Ch. 89: Gang Retaliation
He’s a gangster so legal talk does no good, talking about the Yin and Yang, the balance of everything, etc., would also be futile, so I asked him, “How do you want to settle this?”
“Kid, we go way back, so I’m not gonna make this too hard for you. You have two choices. One. I’ve always liked your style, so you could come work for me. If you do, you’ll make at least two million a year! Two. I know what you can do. Since you killed a ghost of mine, you just have to give one back, that’s all. Of course, I want the super mean ones.”
I leaned against the wall and smiled. “Brother Li, ghosts are not fun to mess with, the more you deal with them, the more Yin you’ll get, you can get really sick, or even die.”
Scarface Li puffed on his cigarette. “I don’t care. You gotta pick.”
“I’m sorry, I don’t want to pick either one.”
A young guy behind Scarface Li pulled on my collar. “Who the hell do you think you are?!”
I kept the smile on my face. “Brother Li, let’s be honest here, if we really fought now, your one dozen men won’t really matter.”
“Are you for real?” The young man snarled and gripped my collar even harder.
Big Sis, who is watching us, blew out the Yang fire on the young man’s shoulders. He shivered and suddenly got third-eye vision, he saw how Big Sis stood less than 5 cm from him and was chanting, “Let go of your hand…”
The young man blinked hard, confused how Big Sis showed up. When he looked at how Big Sis was bleeding, he pointed at her and backed away; he was so scared he couldn’t even talk. When he stepped on a friend’s foot, the other guy yelled at him.
“Ghost! A female ghost!”
The dozen or so men working for Scarface Li looked around for the ghost.
Scarface Li still seemed calm, “Kid, you’re messing up all the rules.”
“Brother Li, I didn’t do anything, I didn’t say anything, how am I breaking all the rules? So your little bodyguard just went crazy. it’s not my fault.” I protested.
He nodded. “Fine, you can have this round. Let’s go!” He waved and left with his cronies.
Watching them leave, I knew things won’t be over so easy. He’ll retaliate for sure. I was most worried about this, I thought it’s all over after all this time, but they still tracked me down…
My phone rang, it was He Xue. She never called without a problem, something must be up. “Li Xiaolong, where are you?”
“I’m home, what’s wrong now?”
“My boss’s deadline for catching Ma Xiujun is coming up soon, can you help me out?”
I was still worried about the gang, so I was irritated when I said, “I’m busy!” Then I hung up.
Then I calmed down. After all, He Xue and I have known each other a while, if I didn’t help her, it’s not so cool.
So I called her back and apologized. “Sorry about earlier. I’m in a little bit of trouble and feel stressed right now. I’ll help you tomorrow morning. I’ll do my best, but I can’t promise I can catch Ma Xiujun.”
“Thanks, I owe you one.”
“It’s fine. We can talk in person. I’m still busy here and need to go.”
When I returned to the private room, Chen Haotian said, “You look awful. Who were those guys?”
“I guess they’re my enemies. It’ll be pretty messy for a while.” I looked toward Big Sis. “Please protect Xiaoling for me, please keep her safe! I’ll make sure your family matters are taken care of, no worries there.”
Big Sis agreed. It’s good that we have known each other a while and have a certain level of trust. I have to get the ghost couple to help my parents for a while too. I also need to find He Xue. We all need to leave here soon.
The problem is, the ghost couple’s not exactly very skilled. Having them protect anyone is a stretch. If the gang really targeted my parents and Xiaoling, I trust that Big Sis can ensure Xiaoling’s safety but my parents would be left in the lurch. Haotian saw my frown and offered. “Xiaolong, let me know if I can help with anything.”
I was silent for a moment, then said, “Brother Chen, can you please look out for my dad for a few days? I’m worried the gang will hurt my family.”
“No problem.” Haotian replied. “What about your mom?”
“I’m not too worried about her. She’s back home so she should be okay. I’m asking two other ghosts to look after her. I need to go to town to handle something, so I’ll be gone for a few days. Could you stay with my dad and go to work with him too? You’ll be free when I get back.”
Haotian nodded. “Sure. I’ll get Ruoxue to the airport tomorrow, then I’ll look after your dad. When are you going into town?”
“No rush. I’ll leave when you come back from the airport. I can relax knowing you’re there. Please, have a drink on me!” I raised my glass for a toast.
The next morning, after Haotian took Ruoxue to the airport, he came with me to my father’s business.
I told my parents last night that Haotian could stay in my room for now and then go to work with my dad every day.
Big Sis is watching over Xiaoling.
The ghost couple has moved to my house too to watch over my mom.
Ever since Jiannan knew Big Sis’ old house was being fixed, he asked about going over there to learn construction skills. He said having more skills is always good, so he could then offer more services other than shoe repair and making keys. I had no comment and told him to do what he liked.
If I left him at the store alone, I’d worry about the gang hurting him, with him out too, the store could be closed for a few days.
So we took off for the town on the long distance bus. During the ride, Jiannan said he wanted to take some nice photos for his girlfriend, and proceeded to take out a brand-new iPhone. I was shocked he could afford something so expensive. He saw my surprise and said, “I got it from a TV shopping channel, straight from the factory, it was so cheap!”
“What TV shopping channel?” I wanted to get a phone for my dad.
Jiannan started his spiel, “You know, that TV ad where they go, ‘it’s not 4000, it’s not 3000, it’s not 2000, it’s only 298! Just 298 gets you a brand new phone! Act now!”
When we reached town, we got a regular room with two single beds.
He Xue was surprised to see Jiannan, “Who is this?”
I was about to introduce him when Jiannan started on his own. “I am Yang Jiannan, an expert in catching ghosts and demons of all kinds! I also fix shoes and make keys! I’ll give you half-off on all shoe repairs. It’s usually three yuan, you only need to pay one-and-half!”
I was rolling my eyes inside. Shoe repair is always that price and he dared to lie to He Xue about a discount? When did he get so smart?
He Xue was confused by Jiannan’s glib introduction, she just nodded. “Hello. I’m He Xue.”
“I’ve heard about your problem from Xiaolong. No worries, now that I’m here, I’ll make sure you get it done!” He patted his chest.
That evening, He Xue invited us out to eat to thank us. We ended up at a BBQ buffet.
It was 68 yuan per person, when Jiannan heard all drinks were free, he took back ten cans of iced tea, and said he’s going to drink his fill today. I could only wipe the sweat on my brow, praying that he doesn’t get water poisoning or something.
Jiannan was having a great time chugging the free beverage. After an hour or so, he already finished seven cans. I was afraid of him getting indigestion, so I said, “Let’s walk back to the hotel, it’s only 20 minutes, and it’ll help with the bloating.”
They agreed. As we walked, we talked about the issue with Ma Xiujun. He Xue said she was going to check the computer database for Qiling City tonight to see if there’s any other weird cases involving him. There was bound to be clues from those files.
All of a sudden, Jiannan crouched down, clutching his stomach. “Oh no, please wait, I gotta pee.” Then he ran toward a bunch of homes nearby, probably wanting to relieve himself by a tree.
He Xue and I stopped to wait for him.
Ten minutes passed.
Twenty minutes passed.
Jiannan was still not back!
I took out my phone to check the time. “It’s been 20 minutes. What’s taking him so long?”
“Let’s go check.” Said He Xue.
We walked toward those homes too and shouted as we did. “Jiannan? Jiannan? Where are you?”
After we walked a bit, I heard some moaning from inside a well without a cover. We squatted by the well opening and shouted for Jiannan.
There was no reply. I was stressed by now. When I saw a brick next to me, I grabbed and tossed it into the well.
A yelp came from inside the well. I looked at He Xue, “Yep, it’s him!”