“Official Fan.” Seeing that Fan Li had a smile that was not really a smile, Xiang Bao honestly and politely greeted him.
“Open a… a place even bigger and better than Liu Jun Zui huh?” Fan Li laughed amiably.
Xiang Bao nodded her head.
“That’s very nice thinking ah.” Amused, Fan Li laughed even more. “Want me to lend you some money?”
Lend money?! Xiang Bao’s eyes shined brightly, nodding vigorously.
“That’s not very hard, but what is in it for me? Any benefits?” Fan Li smiled.
Benefits? Xiang Bao was stuck and started to rack through her brain for an answer.
“When you have finished thinking, then come and talk to me.” Just like that, Fan Li smiled, before swiftly leaving as if he was floating in air.
Xiang Bao was left nibbling her finger. What benefits could he get…
Xiang Bao racked her brains and thought all she could. She was prepared to seek advice from Ah Fu, when suddenly, she saw a secretive figure walking into the house.
Eh…….wasn’t that the money tree, Qiu Xue, whom Madam Gan had spent a lot of money on?
Xiang Bao smiled, as she hid behind the door peeking.
“Lady Qiu Xue?” Ah Fu, upon seeing her, was very shocked and hurriedly offered her a seat before pouring her tea. He was very polite.
Xiang Bao who was hiding by the door was peeking excitedly and in amusement.
Qiu Xue smiled, “The last time I saw you, I noticed that your clothes had holes in them. So, I made you new ones. I’m not sure whether they will fit.”
She handed him the clothes that she had in her hands.
Ah Fu hurriedly declined, “No, this is too much…”
“Just take it as… thanks for escorting me,” Qiu Xue remained smiling.
“Thanks Lady Qiu Xue, but I escorted you on Madam Gan’s orders and it was just something that I needed to do,” Ah Fu hurriedly said.
Xiang Bao silently scolded Ah Fu’s stubbornness. The girl had already indirectly confessed, but this guy actually didn’t accept it!
“Unless…..you don’t want me……” Qiu Xue asked with lowered eyes, very pitifully.
Ah Fu fluttered his hands, “This, this, this…..I’ll keep it then, thank you Lady Qiu Xue.”
Only then had Qiu Xue turned her tears into laughter.
Xiang Bao pursed her lips, as a thought flashed past her. Should she… make clothes for Fan Li? Just to curry favour from him?
With a ‘hei hei,’ Xiang Bao laughed as she stealthily slipped away.
If Xiang Bao thought of doing something, she would really do it. Like the wind and thunder, Xiang Bao immediately rushed into her room to take out the winter clothing that Mo Li had made for her. She intensely studied them.
“Did Wen Zhong find you?” Setting the clothing in her hands down, Xiang Bao blinked at Mo Li.
“You blabber mouth brat, dare to betray your own sister. How much did you earn for that?” Mo Li pinched her face, laughing.
Xiang Bao laughed with a ‘hei hei.’
That afternoon, Xiang Bao dug out her precious box, took out a few coins and rushed to the market to buy some materials.
Thinking back to her awful experiences in the market, Xiang Bao purposely put it inside her clothes. After buying the stuff, she would immediately return to Liu Jun Zui, not one second would be wasted.
The market was bustling and thus, unconsciously, Xiang Bao had already let her guard down and her thoughts slowed down. She had even bought a few snacks to eat while walking. How joyful.
After all, Madam Gan was not the one to send her out, so of course, she could be relaxed and joyful. In the midst of her contentedness, she suddenly saw that in front, a lot of people were gathering. Curiously, Xiang Bao ran towards the crowd.
It turned out to be a few burly men kicking something. Xiang Bao was short so she could only jump to try to see. Yet even so, she still could not make out what they were kicking. She could only see that there was something black lying on the floor. Like a bag, it made no sounds or moved.
“Kill this thief! Beat this thief to death!”
“You dare to steal my things! You must be sick of living!”
Those men were shouting loudly, the surrounding people also shouted along with him. They were even spitting at the black bundle.
Xiang Bao froze. Thief? Was it him?
Digging into the crowd, Xiang Bao was able to see the scene more clearly. Even though that clothing had been stepped on till it was black, vaguely, there was a tint of red.
Sure enough, it was Wei Qin.
He was lying on the floor, unmoving. His long black hair was covered in mud. His face was also similarly dirty.
A big foot was stepping on his head, yet he still did not move.
Suddenly thinking of the day when he had shut his eyes, as he called out to his mother led Xiang Bao’s heart to hurt a little. She shouldn’t have told to him to not steal from the poor.
What should she do…
“Wu wa……” Crying loudly with tears, Xiang Bao rushed out and hugged the leg that was stepping on Wei Qin’s head.
Listening to her cries, the crowd all looked at Xiang Bao dazedly.
“Please sirs, please spare my brother. His brain is not that good even if you were to beat him to death it would not make much difference. Instead, it’ll only dirty sir’s legs…” Xiang Bao cried out.
“Then, what should I do about the fact that he stole my money?” One man from the group shouted, his eyes bigger than bronze bells.
“Wu wa……” Xiang Bao cried even harder and louder.
“Heavens have pity, where are your mother and father?” An old man sounded out from the crowd, unable to watch any longer.
“Wuwu, they’re gone……” Xiang Bao rubbed her eyes, not daring to really cry.
“Ai, just forget it, it’s not worth fighting with two kids,” someone started to advise.
“Forget it, forget it. I’ll take it as if I encountered bad luck.” Thus, with a wave of his hand, the burly man walked away.
The crowd of people also separated.
Xiang Bao lowered her head and looked at Wei Qin.
“How are you?” She reached her hand out to get rid of the hair stuck on his face.
“Quickly… go…” Wei Qin struggled before gritting his teeth and ground out those words.
“Ah?” Xiang Bao froze a little, “It’s no problem, they won’t pursue you anymore, they’re gone.”
“Chou ba guai… quickly go!” Wei Qin struggled even more as he pushed her onto the grass.
Xiang Bao was baffled, suddenly, a few strange men walked onto the streets. In just one glance, it was obvious that they were bad men. Being a bad guy was already very sad but what was pathetic was that they all looked weird. It became so obvious that they were bad men, it was the same as writing the word ‘bad’ on their faces.
One of those men, a bald person, kicked Wei Qin, as he revealing a set of big yellow teeth, asking, “Smelly brat, are you dead yet?”
“Heng, this brat won’t possibly die so easily,” another person grinned.
“He’s just a plain thief, yet he still acts so refined! Let me tell you something, once a thief, always a thief. This will forever be your life! If you are still unable to bring back money and respect me, I’ll cut off your hands! They aren’t of any use anyways!”
Those people laughed before abruptly leaving.
Xiang Bao who was hiding in the grass was stunned.
What was going on?
Seeing that she was unable to see their bodies anymore, Xiang Bao hurriedly climbed out, “Who are they? Are they forcing you to be a thief?”
Wei Qin shut his eyes, ignoring her.
“Say something!” Xiang Bao pushed him, but found that this guy’s hands and legs were bound.
Those people said that he stole from them, but his hands and legs were bound, how could he have stolen from them?
“Were they forcing you? Were they ah?!”
Wei Qin just made a ‘heng’ sound, before ignoring her.
Xiang Bao used all her strength to untie him. She was thinking of helping him up when she suddenly saw a few dark shadows appear above her head. Looking up, those people who had just left were now staring at her, harbouring bad intentions.
“I was wondering why this brat was acting so weird these past few days and was suddenly so obedient. This guy was actually hiding a young lady.”
Wei Qin had a sudden surge of energy and pushed Xiang Bao behind him, “Don’t touch her, I’ll bring you the money tomorrow.”
Big yellow teeth laughed, “This girl doesn’t look half bad. Though she looks a little ugly, she is still a young lady.”
Having heard that, Xiang Bao slightly buried herself even more behind Wei Qin’s back.
“Don’t touch her, I’ll bring you double the money tomorrow,” Wei Qin gritted out.
The men looked at each other in dismay before laughing out loudly, “This brat knows how to have protective feelings for the fairer sex.”
“Forget it, if you want to keep this girl, then keep her. If you don’t bring the money tomorrow, I’ll chop your hands off.”
Xiang Bao sighed silently in relief.
Just as she had just put her heavy heart down, she felt a cold sensation. Xiang Bao raised her head, only to realize that it was raining.
Even the heavens were making life difficult for her,
Subconsciously, she covered her ‘birthmark’ with her hand, she was scared that the rain would wash the red away.
“Damn it, it’s actually raining.” Big yellow teeth turned to look at Wei Qin, “Bring this ugly girl back with us and get back to work tomorrow.”
Wei Qin knew that he would be unable to get away, so he could only bring her along with him. He reached his hand to hold her but only caught onto air. Looking back, he saw Xiang Bao gripping the left side of her face, as rainwater flowed down, bringing along with it a tint of red.
Looking at those distinguished black eyes, Wei Qin frowned.
“What are you dawdling for!”
Wei Qin pulled her hand down. He, then, dipped his hand in his own blood and then rubbed it onto Xiang Bao’s face.
A faint metallic fishy smell started to spread, as Xiang Bao looked at him, stunned.
“Stop daydreaming, let’s go.”