Bam bam bam…
The sound of fists and kicks striking echoed throughout the living room. Xia Lei and Liang Zheng-Chun were exchanging blows at a fast pace and Xia Lei was putting in all his effort while Liang Zheng-Chun was skillfully and easily executing his moves.
Liang Si-Yao stood to the side, watching her father and junior disciple spar with a small smile on her face. Her gaze however, was mostly focused on Xia Lei - his glowing handsomeness, his strong and tall body, and natural, down-to-earth demeanor made one have good vibes about him.
Pressing down with a Bridge Hand, Liang Zheng-Chun broke through Xia Lei’s Long Bridge Piercing Fist, cutting through to his front and hitting his chest with his elbow. Bang! A muffled sound could be heard and though Liang Zheng-Chun had used only a small portion of his strength, Xia Lei was knocked backwards, his feet leaving the ground. He stumbled for a few steps before regaining his balance.
“I am no match for you, Master,” said Xia Lei as he rubbed at his aching chest.
Liang Zheng-Chun smiled, “You’re doing well. You’ve progressed much more than I had when I was learning myself. How long have you practiced Wing Chun? Don’t be too anxious. As long as you keep practicing, you will surely surpass me.”
Xia Lei grinned.
Liang Zheng-Chun, however, stopped smiling and turned serious, “But you have not been practicing wholeheartedly recently. I pointed out what you needed to correct the last time we sparred but you made the same mistakes again today. Your internal strength has seen no growth either. It is apparent that you have been lazy and not practicing properly.”
Xia Lei rubbed his nose in embarrassment, “Master, I…”
He had been busy but he was not one to look for excuses, so he kept his mouth shut despite having an explanation.
“Dad, Lei has to manage a company. He’s been trying very hard already so don’t scold him so much,” said Liang Si-Yao.
Liang Zheng-Chun glared at her, “You too, you’re the same. You’ve also become lazy and you dare speak up for Lei?”
“Dad, hee hee…” Liang Si-Yao just laughed.
“You still dare to laugh!” Liang Zheng-Chun snapped, “You two, go to the study and do the Horse Stance. Both of you must have bowls of water on your heads and both shoulders.”
Xia Lei and Liang Si-Yao exchanged looks, their expressions despairing.
“What are you standing around for?” Liang Zheng-Chun was stern, “Two hours. No less.”
Xia Lei and Liang Si-Yao bit the bullet and headed to the study.
Looking at the backs of the kids, a faint smile appeared on Liang Zheng-Chun’s face.
In the study, Xia Lei and Liang Si-Yao did the Horse Stance of Little Idea, left foot forward, right foot back, in an uneven stance. 30% strength went to the right foot while 70% went to the left, and they leaned backwards with their stomachs tensed. Both had bowls full of water on their heads and shoulders facing each other and not daring to move one bit.
“What’s wrong with dad today?” Liang Si-Yao spoke quietly, “He’s was fine when we were eating and drinking and then he suddenly changed.”
Xia Lei also spoke softly, “It’s normal for Master to be a little fierce.”
“He can just punish you to do the Horse Stance - why me too?” Liang Si-Yao rolled her eyes at Xia Lei, “You must’ve dragged me into it.”
Xia Lei was speechless.
“Oh, right. When are you going to Germany?” Liang Si-Yao’s train of thought quickly moved to another topic.
“I’ll depart when Long Bing has arranged everything. The exact time is unknown but I think it’ll be within these two days,” said Xia Lei. Long Bing was already arranging it and based on her efficiency it wouldn’t take long.
“How long will you be away?”
“This I don’t know but I’ll try to hurry back as soon as I can.”
They chatted as they did the Horse Stance and time passed quickly. However, maintaining a stance used up quite a bit of strength in the legs and waist and the two of them soon started to perspire.
Sweat wet Xia Lei’s back and his toned muscles looked like they had been oiled, lending him an attractive, masculine air.
Liang Si-Yao’s cotton T-shirt was also wet by perspiration and the soft material stuck to her soft skin, turning translucent. Under the lamp-light, a black bra was obviously visible under that cotton T-shirt. Her short office lady skirt was also wet by perspiration but the material was thicker and not translucent. However, the Horse Stance showed off her white, tender legs - a beautiful sight indeed. She was right opposite Xia Lei, so his gaze naturally went to that great view under her skirt, those pale thighs, and that bit of black lace protecting a certain place…
Xia Lei had not noticed all these in the beginning when they were chatting but when they ran out of things to talk about, his gaze was totally absorbed by her. It was impossible not to look at her since they were face to face. When he looked at her, the beautiful bits of scenery also entered his field of vision - full and bountiful peaks, slender, soft waist, pale tender thighs and that bit of lace covering her right there, all these combining to stimulate him.
His left eye suddenly overcame his willpower and twitched. Before him, Liang Si-Yao turned into a tribal girl from primitive times and everything about her could be seen. She was so clear, so exquisite, so stimulating and incredible. Xia Lei was embarrassed to find that a certain part of his body had woken up and was standing happily at attention.
“Oh shit…” Xia Lei closed his eyes in agony. This action, however, was as effective as an ostrich hiding its head in the sand. Though his eyes were closed, his head was still full of images of Liang Si-Yao’s peaks and valleys and her beautiful legs…
“What are you closing your eyes for?” asked Liang Si-Yao curiously.
“Uh,” Xia Lei was nervous, “Sweat went into my eyes.”
“Hey, how about we be lazy for a bit? My dad isn’t around now,” said Liang Si-Yao.
“This…” Xia Lei didn’t think it a good idea.
“Ahem!” An old man walked past the doorway of the study, his hands resting on his back. His cough made the two people in the study tighten their waist and leg muscles.
After Liang Zheng-Chun walked off, Liang Si-Yao did not dare talk about being lazy again. She grit her teeth and hung on. She found that opposite herself, Xia Lei would open his eyes once in a while. His eyes were red and he would open them for a few seconds to ten seconds, then quickly close them again. She found him odd. To Xia Lei, this Horse Stance was the most difficult stance in all of Wing Chun because it wasn’t just him enduring the stance but his little soldier as well, and it had been standing for over an hour. This was too exhausting!
Xia Lei hung on till the two-hour mark with great difficulty. Before he had time to shower though, he received a call from Qin Xiang.
“Lei, you should come over and see this for yourself,” Qin Xiang said right away.
Xia Lei’s heart thumped, “What have you discovered?”
“I can’t describe it clearly over the phone. Come quick,” said Qin Xiang, “I’m at the Night in Paris coffee shop at Tai-Shan Road. Hurry!”
“I’ll be right there.” Xia Lei hung up, took his jacket and headed out.
“What’s happened? Where are you going?” asked Liang Si-Yao.
“Qin Xiang has discovered something. I’m going over to take a look,” said Xia Lei. He turned towards Liang Zheng-Chun’s room, “Master, I’m heading out for a bit.”
“Be careful,” said Liang Si-Yao.
“Mm.” Xia Lei made a sound of agreement and left the Liang household.
Liang Zheng-Chun opened the door, looked at the sweaty Liang Si-Yao and said after half a beat, “He is a wild horse. Like you.”
Liang Si-Yao blinked her big, dark eyes, “Dad, what are you trying to say?”
Liang Zheng-Chun shook his head gently and went into his room again.
Liang Si-Yao paused, then grumbled, “Weirdo.”
Ten minutes later, Xia Lei drove to the place Qin Xiang had spoken of and immediately spotted him and his Yamaha motorcycle.
Qin Xiang also spotted Xia Lei and waved at him.
Xia Lei walked over, “What have you discovered?”
Qin Xiang pointed to the Night in Paris coffee shop, “See that? Chi Jing-Qiu and that man opposite her.”
Xia Lei looked at where Qin Xiang pointed. It was a full-length glass window and behind that was Chi Jing-Qiu and a middle-aged man at a table. His eyes went to the man’s face and when he saw his face clearly, he felt as though a shapeless hand had him by the heart and was crushing it. He felt drained, emptied of blood.
The man sitting opposite Chi Jing-Qiu had a face that was exactly the same as his father, Xia Chang-He!
How can this be?
Was that man his missing father of five years?
If he was, and he was back in Hai-Zhu City, then why didn’t he come home?
If he wasn’t then who was he? Could there be a person who looked exactly the same in this world?
Xia Lei’s mind was flooded by a myriad of questions in an instant and his head was a mess.
“Saw it?” said Qin Xiang, “I’ve been to your place and seen your family picture. I remembered your father when I saw that man. Is he your father?”
“He…” Xia Lei shook his head, “He looks a lot like him but I can’t confirm. Why didn’t he come looking for me if he’s my father?”
Qin Xiang frowned, “I found it strange too. If he were your father he should go home but here he is meeting Chi Jing-Qiu.”
“I want to talk to him.” Xia Lei strode towards the Night in Paris coffee shop.
Qin Xiang took a step after him but chose to stay behind in the end. He wouldn’t be of use if he followed in this situation.
Xia Lei’s steps were quick and he forced several cars to stop when he charged across the road. It was dangerous but he didn’t care. His gaze was fixed on that man, lip-reading his conversation with Chi Jing-Qiu.
When he’d discovered that man and Chi Jing-Qiu, it had been Chi Jing-Qiu talking all the while and he had been sitting quietly and looking at her, listening.
At the moment Xia Lei approached the steps of the Night in Paris coffee shop, that man finally said something. “He won’t accept it? Mm, this is your reward.”
The man put a paper bag in front of Chi Jing-Qiu. The paper bag was bulging and looked like it contained a lot of money.
After putting the bag on the table, the man stood to leave.
Xia Lei grew anxious and rushed into the Night in Paris coffee shop.
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