As soon as I heard that, my blood boiled in anger. “Is this guy crazy? We just saved his life, and instead of thanking us, he wants to cause trouble?”
“Mr. Zhang, how should I answer him?” asked Xiao Gao.
“Tell him what I just said!” I fumed.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea…”
Saito rolled his eyes and waited for our answer. It seemed there wasn’t a single member of the underworld that was nice.
Xiao Gao spoke a few Japanese phrases. Saito calmed down, nodding repeatedly. For every nod, he said “Yoshi.”
“What did you tell him?” I asked.
“I agreed with him on behalf of you guys.” Xiao Gao forced a smile.
“What the heck?”
“It’s just to buy time. We should get out of here first.” Xiao Gao signaled to me by blinking. For the time being, it was all we could do. I had to give the other party a nod, too.
Chuyi suddenly asked in an indifferent voice, “How long has Li Mazi been gone?”
“Shoot!” I cursed and ran toward the toilet. The others followed me. I pushed the door of each booth, but found nothing. When I pushed the door of the last booth open, I saw Li Mazi sitting inside. He held his head low and was scratching his face.
“What are you doing? Why are you scratching your face?” I asked in puzzlement.
“Little brother, my face is so itchy!” Li Mazi’s voice was sharp and strange to my ears. Eventually, he lifted his head. When I saw his face, I could help but gasp.
Li Mazi’s mouth had become long and pointy. He had thick fluff on his entire face and green pupils. When he lifted his head, a pair of triangular, orange-red pointy ears popped up.
“Shoot! A monster! So many monsters!” When Li Mazi saw me, he screamed and charged forward.
I had to back off quickly. When he rushed out of his toilet booth, the people that filled the place were stunned. The henchmen took out their knives and were ready to attack.
I screamed, “Put your knives away! He’s my friend!”
Li Mazi pushed me toward a urinal. Then, he shrieked, pushed through the crowd, and ran away.
We hurriedly chased after him. The people in the club screamed and made way for him when they saw his fox face. Some hostesses fainted at the scene. Everything was a mess.
“A monster! A monster!”
Li Mazi ran around like crazy. He turned to the window and jumped off the floor we were on, which was the fourth floor. My heart throbbed. Then, Li Mazi floated up again. It turned out there was a jumping cushion outside.
“It's an illusion!” said Chuyi. “Hurry, bite your tongue!”
I did as he said. The pain made me shiver. Now, Li Mazi’s face was normal once again.
Chuyi, Xiao Gao, and I ran to the window. I didn’t know what we looked like in Li Mazi’s eyes, but he was shivering and looked very scared. He didn’t look back at us and continued to run away.
The members of Saito’s group also rushed out behind us. I told Xiao Gao, “Tell them not to follow us, I can’t protect them all! And, tell them to look for my bag on my sofa in the pub. My wallet and passport are inside.”
Xiao Gao translated for Saito. Then, he asked, “Mr. Zhang, you put your passport in your bag?”
“No, it’s just to fool him. I didn’t bring a bag with me. My passport’s at the hotel, and I have my phone and money with me,” I answered.
I wanted to take this chance to run away. When I saw Li Mazi run toward the big street, I became nervous. I hated that I couldn’t just jump off this balcony and follow after him.
Chuyi reached his hand to stop us, pointing at a window. “Look over there.”
I lifted my head and saw a fox with pure white fur lying on the window sill. It squinted as it watched us. It looked as if it was teasing us.
“Evil creature! You're courting death!” Chuyi screamed. Then, a big, round head protruded from his chest. It was Little Lin in his red dudou.
Little Lin’s body was like a hot balloon that floated up into the sky. The white fox jumped onto another window sill. The two swiftly shifted between the windows, chasing one after the other.
Little Lin suddenly grabbed the white fox’s tail, which made the animal squeak in pain. It hissed and turned around, biting Little Lin’s neck. The boy grabbed the fox with both hands. They both fell off the window sill, landing on a car and leaving a dent in the roof.
The pedestrians screamed.
The fox then farted. A mass of gas that looked like mist expanded. The mist hurt people’s nostrils and eyes. All the people who had accidentally inhaled the gas started to cough.
I used my hand to furiously waft the stinky air away. However, the fox was gone while we were distracted. Little Lin disappeared, too.
“Did that child die?” Xiao Gao was surprised.
“No, he’s here with me.” Chuyi unfolded his hand and revealed a paper crane.
Li Mazi stood on the pavement in bewilderment. I went over to him and pulled him. When he saw me, he acted as if he was looking at his long-lost father. He almost cried.
“Oh shoot, you’re here! I thought I was in a dream or something. Monsters were everywhere, and I had to run for my life! Before I knew it, I was on the street. I thought you guys ditched me here,” said Li Mazi.
“You were affected by the fox’s illusion magic,” I explained to him.
“What? Anyway, did you catch that fox?” asked Li Mazi.
I was worried that those guys would follow us, so I shook my head and urged the others. “No, but we should return to the hotel first. We’ll talk later!”
Xiao Gao said anxiously, “We can’t hide in the hotel. We’re Chinese, and thus too conspicuous. With Saito’s network, he can find us easily.”
“Dammit. Let’s call Ru Xue and Yin Xinyue. We should just run!” I said.
Li Mazi asked, “Hey, who did you provoke?”
“The Yamaguchi gang.”
Li Mazi paled in fright. “Little Brother Zhang, you’re too bold! In just the blink of an eye, you’ve messed with the criminals here. I’ve watched some movies, and the Yamaguchi group is ruthless. They cut people’s fingers and make sushi with them. Then, they’ll make the poor guys eat their own fingers! Why did you provoke them? Did you lose your mind?”
I said, “Shut up, or I’m going to tell Ru Xue you were rubbing that hostess’s ass.”
Li Mazi shut his mouth immediately.
I called the girls and asked them to pack up and wait for us at the hotel lobby. On the way, we came up with a story. We wouldn’t mention what happened in the pub. Instead, we would tell them that we went to drink some sake. It wasn’t really convincing, but it was the best that we had for now.
Li Mazi would never spit a word. Chuyi had always been reserved. Xiao Gao was here to earn money from us, so no one would disclose our secret.
Our bond was truly strong!
Shortly after, we returned to the hotel. We gathered with Yin Xinyue and Ru Xue at the lobby, called two taxis, and left. On the way, I told Yin Xinyue the situation. Of course, I’d changed the pub into an izakaya.
Yin Xinyue was a smart woman. She caught the flaw in the story immediately.
She smiled. “How can an izakaya have hostesses? Be honest. Where did you go?”
Left with no choice, I had to tell her the truth. Fortunately, Li Mazi and Ru Xue took another cab.
“I didn’t do anything. You can ask Chuyi if you don’t believe me,” I said.
“I believe you. Anyway, if you want to go there next time, you should bring me with you. I want to know more about Japanese customs.” Yin Xinyue smiled and pinched my cheek.
“Actually… It’s not interesting at all.” I shook my head.
Xiao Gao, who was in the co-driver seat, said with a cheerful face, “Actually, there are kagemas as well. It’s the Japanese term for male prostitutes. They serve women.”
I shot him a glance. He still had the guts to talk. If it weren’t for him, we wouldn’t have gone to a social club in the first place. And, we wouldn’t be running from the Yamaguchi group. It was our first day in Japan, and we were in the middle of a chase scene. I felt like I was in an action movie!
We found a small hotel near the bus terminal and spent the night there. Early the next morning, we took the bus and departed to Kyoto.Previous Chapter Next Chapter