The flyers covered almost every profession, from dumpling vendors to small loans. There were even locksmiths, miraculous Chinese medicine doctors, private detectives, and professional test-takers...
Xie Yu threw them all in the trash except for the last one, which read: "Mysterious game, ignite your passion! Come on, good brother~~~"
The wavy lines on the flyer were too much for Xie Yu to handle, and just as he was about to throw it away, he heard someone behind him shout, "You little brat!"
Xie Yu was startled and his hand shook, causing him to lose his train of thought. He ended up stuffing the flyer into his pocket.
Xu Yanmei rubbed her hands together and asked, "Why do you have time to come see me?"
As soon as Xie Yu saw her, he handed her a black plastic bag and quickly stepped back, avoiding her: "What's that smell on you, toilet freshener? What are you trying to do, spraying it all over yourself like that?"
"Bullshit toilet freshener, this is the scent of a woman." She had sprayed half a bottle of perfume.
After speaking, she opened the plastic bag and looked inside, stunned for two seconds: "I just said it casually and you actually got me a big loudspeaker - how do I use this, is this the switch?"
Xie Yu's temple jumped suddenly: "Don't press it, it's too loud."
It was too late, Xu Yanmei had already pressed the red button, like a child who had just received a new toy. The song that hadn't finished playing in the grocery store blasted out of the speaker, with a great momentum that would linger for three days.
Xu Yanmei was a bit confused, "Wow, so intense?"
"Hurry up and turn it off," Xie Yu said again, "And with your throat, do you really not notice? Smoke, go ahead and smoke."
"It's not that bad...with my strong physique, I can fight for another three hundred years at least," Xu Yanmei replied.
Xie Yu silently observed her, and immediately noticed that she had been unconsciously supporting her waist with her right hand. Due to years of hard work, Xu Yanmei's waist had never been quite right, and she had to apply a plaster every day, otherwise, sometimes she couldn't even get out of bed because of the pain.
"Strong? You really dare to say that."
Xu Yanmei noticed the look in Xie Yu's eyes and immediately put her hand down, her words flowing smoothly as she spoke: "My waist is fine. Oh, and last time you asked me to go to the hospital, I went and everything was good. The doctor said there wasn't a big problem."
Xie Yu listened as they walked into the Guangmao Building. He was wearing a plain, even somewhat cheap, black t-shirt - one that Xu Yanmei had bought for him before. She often sent him clothes, buying them whenever she found something suitable, and eventually accumulated enough to send a large box that was as tall as a person.
His hands were in his pockets, the sleeves of his shirt rolled up to reveal a slender wrist. His hair was medium-length and looked soft, even naturally curved due to its fine texture, but it added a hint of sharpness to his appearance.
He asked, "How many trucks are being unloaded today?"
Xu Yanmei is in her forties now, busy with buying and selling goods all day long. She manages everything including the random troublemakers, but she has no time to take care of herself. Her hair is still permed from last year's Chinese New Year, but she neglects to take care of it, so now it looks like a messy instant noodle head, dry and yellow.
Looking at her facial features, it's not hard to see that she was beautiful when she was young, but time spares no one.
Even if she were thrown into a crowd, she would just be an ordinary middle-aged woman, so much so that people might even doubt whether the beauty that can be glimpsed from her eyes and eyebrows is just an illusion.
"Eighteen trucks. Don't be fooled by the fact that it's still summer, we need to keep an eye on the autumn clothing, otherwise the supplier may not be able to deliver on time."
When it came to work, Xu Yanmei instinctively reached into her pocket, hoping to find a cigarette to satisfy her craving. However, all she found was a lighter, no cigarettes.
Xie Yu asked again, "Do you have enough hired help?"
"More than enough, we don't need you," Xu Yanmei replied. "Last time you came to help without saying a word, I haven't even settled the account with you yet."
Occasionally, when she was unloading goods, Xu Yanmei strained her back. Xie Yu skipped a day of classes and she found him already mixed in with the workers, unloading four or five trucks.
The boy had taken off his school uniform and was covered in sweat. The wholesale market wasn't doing well at the time, and business had only slowly picked up in the past six months. They had to be careful with expenses then, so they hired as few unloading workers as possible. Managing two floors of the Guangmao Building was already a challenge.
The two of them stood in the elevator, the cramped space intensifying the scent of the perfume that resembled air freshener. The work elevator probably transported fresh seafood, as the overpowering fragrance was mixed with a faint stench of fish.
Xu Yanmei asked, "You've grown taller, haven't you?"
Xie Yu replied, "I'm almost 1.8 meters now."
Xu Yanmei looked him up and down, wanting to laugh and frown at the same time. "You've gotten thinner."
The elevator doors opened and Xie Yu stepped out, but Xu Yanmei was still holding onto the word "thin": "You must eat your meals on time. Nowadays, young people always want to lose weight at the slightest provocation. Don't do anything foolish... Wait, why did the elevator stop?"
Xie Yu stood in front of her, blocking her view completely. "What's wrong? What happened?"
Without giving her a chance to see what was happening in front of them, Xie Yu pushed her back into the elevator and pressed the button decisively.
His reaction was so quick that even the group of fierce-looking people outside the elevator didn't have time to react.
By the time they came to their senses, the elevator doors had already slowly closed. The man at the front, with a face full of muscles and a gold chain around his neck, pulled the cigarette from his mouth and casually threw it to the ground.
He cursed and walked forward, shouting, "Xu Yanmei, you damn bitch, stop right there!"
He was the only one quick enough to react, and the other brothers didn't even realize the woman they were looking for almost slipped away right under their noses.
The man with the gold chain waved his hand in anger and shouted, "What are you all standing around for? Go get her! You, go down the stairs and catch her!"
The elevator was already halfway closed, and Xie Yu quickly lowered his voice and said, "Go down first and find someone to help."
Xu Yanmei caught a glimpse of the man's face through the crack in the elevator and had so much to say, but time was running out.
She quickly shouted, "Xie Yu!"
Xie Yu looked at her and said, "Listen to me, Aunt Mei."
She only had time to take a quick glance before the doors closed tightly and the elevator began to descend.
Next to the elevator was a mop that the cleaner had probably forgotten to take away after finishing their work. Xie Yu picked it up and stepped on the mop head, using his strength to pull out the entire wooden stick.
With the wooden stick in his hand, Xie Yu looked up and asked, "What do you want?"
He knew these people.
Blackwater Street was full of thugs who roamed around under the guise of collecting protection fees. This Brother Hu in front of her had supposedly just been released from prison a few months ago, claiming that he had almost killed someone before being locked up.
He was extremely arrogant. Regardless of how he boasted, no one wanted to get involved in the truth of the matter. Brother Hu relied on collecting protection fees to get by, enjoying the feeling of being respected as a big brother by his stupid little brothers, until he met Xu Yanmei - everything started with one thing, he was attracted to her.
Xu Yanmei was somewhat beautiful, with a fiery and spirited personality.
The only problem was that she refused to give him any face and rejected him several times...she didn't know what was good for her.
Thinking of this, Brother Hu's gaze darkened: "Kid, mind your own business."
Xie Yu still had no reaction, and the shopkeepers who were too scared to speak were on edge. They had never encountered such a situation before. This group of people came in arrogantly, smashing things around. It was clear that they were not easy to deal with.
They didn't know whether or not to call the police. Everyone knew the unwritten rules of Blackwater Street - what happens in the underworld stays in the underworld.
Then they saw the "Good Boy" mentioned by Sister Mei standing at the elevator entrance, one person against five, with no expression on his face. He extended one hand from his pocket and lightly beckoned at the group
Nobody knew if it was a provocation or if he really didn't care: "You've come to my doorstep asking for death. I don't have time to waste with you, so come at me together."
Brother Hu didn't want to admit that he had been momentarily intimidated by this boy who still looked like a student.
The boy's eyes were dark and chilling, looking at them like looking at a pile of shit - definitely not the kind of gaze a delicate flower would have.
Brother Hu was fuming with anger, and started to posture. He took the initiative to loosen his collar and said, "You speak with such arrogance at such a young age. Do you know who I am? Go out and ask around. Anyone who has seen this Brother Hu knows to show respect. Look, do you see this scar on my neck? It was from a fight with a prison guard back in the day. You, a little brat who hasn't even grown all your hair, what's your relationship with that stinky b*tch? What are you doing, huh? You want to hit me? You want to learn how to fight like me? With this little stick, you still want to-"
Without hesitation, Xie Yu grabbed Brother Hu's collar and aggressively approached him. He fiercely kneed him in the groin and then pinned his elbow, not giving him any time to react, and pulled him towards himself.
It was a pretty impressive shoulder throw, clean and decisive. If the atmosphere wasn't so tense, the group of shopkeepers behind would have wanted to applaud and cheer.
Brother Hu was stunned, his vision darkening as he couldn't even speak.
However, Xie Yu had no intention of letting him off so easily. He pulled Brother Hu up from the ground and pressed him against the elevator door with a loud bang. His fingers suddenly tightened around Brother Hu's neck!
"How arrogant, thinking that going to jail is a badge of honor for a man."
Brother Hu reacted and tried to kick, but Xie Yu hit him hard with a stick, causing his calf to twitch uncontrollably. When Xie Yu let go, Brother Hu fell heavily to the ground, one hand supporting himself while the other covered his stomach as he couldn't help but retch: "...Fuck."
"Who were you just calling a bitch?"
Brother Hu watched as Xie Yu's beautiful face slowly approached, but the anger in his youthful eyes was about to overflow. More surprising than his outstanding appearance was the coldness, sharpness, and gloominess that emanated from his entire being.
Xie Yu repeated his question, holding back his anger with a hoarse voice, "Who were you just calling a bitch?"
Brother Hu remained silent.
"No one taught you how to be a decent person, so let me teach you." Xie Yu kicked the pile of garbage on the ground with his toe.
Brother Hu's brothers behind him exchanged several hesitant glances, then reached a consensus and ran away.
"Now what do we do?" The tall one asked as they ran, "Should we call the police?"
"Report to the police? What a joke!" another person said. "How are we supposed to survive on the streets after this?"
When Gu Xuelan received the call from the police station, she was enjoying her afternoon tea.
She took off her silk shawl, revealing a high-end lace dress that accentuated her curvy waist and exuded an indescribable elegance. The hem of the dress was embroidered with two discreet flowers, and her ankles were as delicate and smooth as polished jade.
Her meticulously styled long curly hair cascaded down one side of her face as she smiled and listened to the wealthy ladies across from her discussing the latest winter fashion trends.
Every now and then, she would interject with a comment like, "Since Mrs. Chen likes it so much, why not fly over and buy it directly another day?"
"Madam, you have a phone call."
Gu Xuelan turned her head, her fingers resting on the ceramic teacup as she casually asked, "Who is it?"
The person held the phone, unsure of what to say.
After a few seconds of hesitation, he leaned down and whispered in Gu Xuelan's ear with a voice only they could hear, "Police station. It's said that Second Young Master got into a serious fight with someone and the other party is demanding compensation for medical expenses. What do you think we should do? Should we send someone to check it out?"
Gu Xuelan's face changed instantly.