At the Blackwater Town Police Station in City B.
"Are you Xie Yu's guardian?"
"I'm his mother." Gu Xuelan stood in the police station, clearly feeling uneasy. "Is he okay? Is he injured? How much is the medical bill? Whatever the cost, just let him out immediately."
The female police officer didn't even lift her head, skillfully pulling out a piece of paper from a folder on her right and slapping it on the table. "We'll talk about that later. Fill out the form first."
After a while, when the female officer finished her work, she put the cap back on her pen and looked up. "Your son is quite impressive. He fought off five people alone and gave them all hidden injuries. They wouldn't even be noticeable without a hospital examination."
Gu Xuelan stiffened, unsure of what expression to make. The female police officer looked them up and down and casually asked, "You're not from around here, are you?"
Gu Xuelan replied, "We... are from City A."
Xie Yu's fighting incident wasn't too serious this time. Although the little brothers who called the police kept saying how their big brother was bullied and beaten on the ground, the police officers in charge of recording were all skeptical.
They had received countless calls for help, but this was the first time they encountered such a "victim": with colorful chicken head hair, earrings and nose rings, a strong smell of smoke all over, and dominant left and right tiger tattoos on the arms. Especially after checking their ID numbers, they found that they were all delinquent youths with several criminal records.
"Is what you're saying true?"
"It's true, absolutely true. Our boss still can't stand up," they said.
They then turned their gaze to the man on the couch in the lounge, who looked hideous and had a golden "dog chain" around his neck. The man was holding his stomach and constantly moaning, "It hurts so much, oh my god...they bullied an honest man. What's wrong with kids these days...it hurts, even talking hurts."
Gu Xuelan filled out the form and signed her name in the bottom right corner.
The female police officer said, "Alright, wait here. Your son hasn't finished being questioned yet."
Gu Xuelan clenched her handbag. She didn't want to stay here any longer. "He hasn't finished being questioned yet?" She immediately rushed over from A city after receiving the phone call, a two-hour drive.
The female police officer glanced at her and said, "The testimonies from both sides don't match."
In the waiting room for questioning, Xie Yu repeated for the third time, "I didn't hit him."
In the two hours that followed, Brother Hu experienced the unpredictable nature of life and the taste of frustration. The high school kid sitting across from him had just given him a lesson on shamelessness.
Sitting at a long table opposite Xie Yu, Brother Hu slammed his palm on the table and shouted at the top of his lungs, as if he wanted to lift the roof off the building: "F*ck your mother! Police! He's lying!"
But the police officer was not one to be trifled with. Working in the jurisdiction of Blackwater Street had hardened even the gentlest of personalities: "What the f*ck are you saying? Sit down properly! What kind of behavior is this? If you can't behave, then get the hell out and don't speak again."
Reluctantly, Brother Hu sat back down. The police officer turned to look at the "weak and gentle youth" sitting across from Brother Hu, lowering his voice a few notches. "You're Xie Yu, right? Don't be afraid, we're here. He won't dare to do anything to you."
Xie Yu spoke quietly, timidly, and with great politeness. "Thank you, Uncle Policeman."
Brother Hu was so angry that he wanted to jump over the table and tear off this kid's fake mask. "Don't act like you're innocent! I'm the one who got beaten up, I'm the victim!"
The police officer slammed his folder on the table. "If you keep making a scene, I'll kick you out! Look at what you've done to this poor child!"
Xie Yu shuddered in a very cooperative manner, pretending to be scared by the gangster. Although his acting was not very convincing, the effect was remarkable.
It's all fake! It's all fake! You're blind!
Brother Hu roared in his heart. "What kind of monster is this person? How can someone so young already be so good at disguising themselves as a sheep?
This is clearly a wolf!
Xie Yu left when it was almost dark, without taking any responsibility, and got away with it perfectly.
Thanks to the exaggeration of the aunties at the wholesale market, Brother Hu was confirmed guilty, and the injuries on his body were deemed to be "who knows where and by whom he was beaten". He had to pay 500 yuan, write a guarantee, deeply reflect, and swear never to cause trouble for the people of Blackwater Street again. He had to turn over a new leaf and start anew.
Brother Hu bent over the table, with a new Chinese dictionary by his side. Whenever he didn't know how to write a word, he would look it up in the dictionary. They even forbade him from writing in pinyin.
This can be said to be an extremely shameful experience in his life.
As Xie Yu was leaving, Brother Hu called out to him.
The police held their batons tightly, remaining on high alert as they sternly warned, "Chen Xionghu, what are you up to now?"
"I'm not up to anything. You're keeping me here, so what can I do? I just want to talk to him," replied Brother Hu. He stared at Xie Yu, refusing to give up, and asked again, "Which faction are you from?"
Xie Yu stopped in his tracks and looked at him with a complex expression that could only be described as dumbfounded.
Brother Hu repeated his question, refusing to let it go. "Which faction are you from? I feel like the forces behind you are unfathomable. I need to know which god I've offended this time. I want to die with a clear understanding."
Under Brother Hu's intense gaze, Xie Yu slowly opened his mouth and said, "Me? I'm walking the path of Chinese socialism."
Brother Hu: "..."
Parked outside the police station was a familiar silver Bentley, with Gu Xuelan sitting inside. Her profile could be faintly seen through the window.
Xie Yu got into the car and said, "Mom."
Gu Xuelan didn't say anything.
Xie Yu continued, "Actually, you didn't need to come today. I know how to handle these matters."
That Brother Hu, he knew from the beginning that this person was just bluffing. A real tough guy wouldn't boast about having been to prison all the time, nor would he dare to come over when Guangmao was temporarily empty and then stupidly call the police in the end.
Silence filled the air. It wasn't until the car had driven a distance that Gu Xuelan spoke, "You still know I'm your mom? What are you doing here when you're fine? In the end, the police said that you hadn't hit the person...but it was you, wasn't it?"
Xie Yu leaned back and said in a nonchalant tone, "I did it. Are you unhappy that I've embarrassed you?"
Gu Xuelan grabbed the seat of the car, her knuckles protruding. After a pause, she said fiercely, "Yes, I'm embarrassed! If you know it's embarrassing, then stop doing embarrassing things all the time!"
The driver sighed in the front seat and tried to intervene, "Second Young Master, don't argue with Madam. She's been worried about you the whole way here, afraid that something might happen to you."
Xie Yu wanted to say, "Don't call me Second Young Master. I'm not your Zhong family's Second Young Master."
Every time he heard those two words, he felt uncomfortable all over, as if he was forced to wear ill-fitting clothes that choked him and made it hard to breathe.
Gu Xuelan calmed down and changed the subject: "I have found several tutors for you to catch up on your studies. Starting tomorrow until the beginning of the school year, you shouldn't go anywhere and stay at home to study hard. You know your own level with your current grades."
Xie Yu replied, "No need, my grades are just like that. Don't waste your efforts."
Gu Xuelan said, "You refuse to go abroad, but staying in the country, look at what you do all day. Like mud that can't even be plastered onto the wall. What do you want to do?!"
The car slowly drove into the underground garage, which was a private villa surrounded by green hills and clear waters. It had rained a few days ago, and the mist had not yet dissipated, giving a damp feeling.
Xie Yu opened the car door and got out, retorting, "I know what I'm doing."
Gu Xuelan was infuriated by his attitude. The driver tried to console her, "It's normal for boys to go through a rebellious phase and be a bit rough around the edges. My own son was like this before, but he grew out of it and became more sensible."
Sitting in the car, Gu Xuelan rubbed her temples, unable to speak.
"Wow, Boss Xie, you're amazing! You said you'd come visit me, but ended up in the police station. I'm so touched,", then "Are you out of the station yet, do you need us brothers to come help you out?" read the text messages from Lei-zi.
Xie Yuyu walked into his house and read the message, then dialed Lei-zi's number without bothering to type a response.
At this hour, Lei-zi was probably still working at the barbecue stand.
Sure enough, when the call connected, it wasn't Lei-zi's voice on the other end, but someone saying, "Give me ten more skewers of lamb."
"Here it is, ten skewers of lamb for table three," exclaimed Lei-zi.
He pulled off his apron and bent down to slip out from the back door. "Boss Xie, are you okay? Did you make it home? I swear, your temper is as bad as ever, just going straight into the station like that."
Xie Yu had just taken off his T-shirt and was standing bare-chested. "I'm fine. Oh, and can you keep an eye on that guy, Brother Dog? I'm afraid he'll cause trouble for Aunt Mei."
"Brother Dog?" Lei-zi pondered for a moment before realizing, "You mean Brother Hu?"
Xie Yu replied, "They're all the same."
Lei-zi retorted, "They're quite different."
Lei-zi then asked, "You always forget people's names. Do you remember mine?"
Xie Yu replied, "Zhou Dalei. Are you crazy?"
"As long as you remember it, it's good. With your personality, you might actually forget," Lei-zi joked.
Lei-zi found a small plastic stool and sat down. He took out a Zhonghua cigarette from his pocket and continued, "Aunt Mei doesn't need my protection. She's got my back. At most, I'm just a small prince of a barbecue stand. She's the famous queen of Blackwater Street."
Xie Yu noticed that there was something more to his words and asked, "What's up?"
"You left early, so you don't know. Aunt Mei found someone and dug up his entire background. All that talk about being in jail and killing people was just nonsense. He only stole something and was caught by the owner on the spot...I don't think he can survive in Blackwater Street anymore. The protection fee in this area is not easy to collect."
Xie Yu placed his phone on the bed and prepared to change his pants.
As Lei-zi spoke, he couldn't tell if it was the loneliness of smoking too much that made him suddenly sentimental.
"I remember when we were all together before, those were good times. But I'm happy for you too, the Zhong family is known for their wealth in A city, and now they even have branches in B city. Your mother can bring you into that family...no more worries about food and clothing, no need to hide from debt collectors like before."
Xie Yu didn't even bother taking off his pants, he just let himself fall onto the bed. The bright light from the chandelier was blinding, and he wasn't sure if he was asking someone else or himself, "Is that so?"
Lei-zi couldn't hear anything over the noise on his end, so he took one last drag of his cigarette and got up. "Boss Xie, I won't keep bothering you. Table three is getting impatient, f*ck they even dare to slam the table, I'm going to take out the charcoal and throw it in their face..."
The call ended. Xie Yu lay on the bed, lost in thought.
After a while, he scratched his head and was about to get up to take a shower when he felt a hard, square object in his pocket. He took it out and saw that it was a flyer - the eye-catching yellow advertisement that he hadn't had a chance to throw away.
To his surprise, it wasn't promoting any nude chat software, because he caught sight of four bold black characters below the flyer: "Trivia King Battle."
Xie Yu raised an eyebrow, feeling that this kind of false advertising tactic was quite novel. He casually flipped the flyer over.
On the back, it read: "Here are the latest and most comprehensive math problems, the most thrilling arena battles, covering all subjects including language, math, physics, and chemistry. Hundreds of professors have carefully crafted the questions, giving you an unexpected experience full of traps. There is no hardest, only harder.
"Will you be the Trivia King we have been waiting for?
"Is it mysterious or not! Is it exciting or not! Oh, good brother~ Ah~ come on~"
Xie Yu: "......"