“Father is fine. You know his condition; he’s unconscious as always. He wouldn’t know even if you come visit him,” said Shentu Tian-Yin.
“Tian-Yin, he is your father but he is my brother too. Do you have to keep me from visiting my own brother?” said Shentu Yi.
Shentu Tian-Yin glanced at Xia Lei. He nodded and she said, “All right, I’ll take you to him.”
Shentu Tian-Yin walked towards Shentu Ren’s room and Xia Lei also stood to follow.
“What are you coming with us for?” said Shentu Tian-Feng darkly.
Xia Lei looked at him. “This isn’t your house, so why do you care?”
Shentu Tian-Feng was rooted to the ground in anger but he did not act upon his anger. Xia Lei had dared to scold him so badly that his ears could have bled right in front of so many of the Shentu clan, much less here in this villa. He had no idea how to deal with people like Xia Lei.
‘Let’s see how long you can stay so arrogant. You made a person like Gu Ke-Wu your enemy for this bitch Tian-Yin - just wait, you’ll end up in hell’ thought Shentu Tian-Feng to himself. He felt much better at this thought.
Shentu Tian-Yin opened the room door and the three men followed her in.
Shentu Ren lay quietly on the bed, his face withered and his body a bag of bones. There was no difference from his previous condition except for a little bit of colour in his cheeks and the slightly stronger rising and falling of his chest. However, the healthier blush in his cheeks was not very visible under the warm tone of the electric lights. The stronger rising and falling of his chest was also not discernable if one had not learnt some medicine.
Shentu Yi and Shentu Tian-Feng had not studied medicine and had no specialised knowledge and they didn’t even think of the possibility of someone curing Shentu Ren. They insisted on seeing Shentu Ren only because they wanted to know if he was still alive, so the father-and-son did not observe Shentu Ren’s current condition closely.
“Brother? Big brother?” Shentu Yi faked concern. “I’ve come to see you.”
Shentu Tian-Feng also chipped in some crocodile tears, “Uncle, I’ve come to see you too.” He added more lines, “It was lively when you were at our old place; my mother and the aunts took good care of you. But now you’re here all alone, cold and isolated. You must be unhappy, huh?”
Shentu Yi spoke up too. “Tian-Yin, I think we should take my brother back. You have to manage the company - when will you find time to take care of your father? What’s so bad about leaving your father at the family residence? Why must you take him away? Look at him lying here all alone with no one to talk to him - how lonely, how pitiful.”
Xia Lei couldn’t help his laugh. “Oh, how touching. Did you all visit Uncle to talk to him every day, then?”
Shentu Yi gave Xia Lei an angry look. “You have no say here.”
Shentu Tian-Yin reached to put her arm around Xia Lei’s waist. “He is my fiancé and can also be considered my father’s son-in-law - if he has no say, then who does?”
Shentu Yi held his hand up. “Okay, Tian-Yin, I knew you’d protect this punk. I didn’t come here to argue. We are family and there is no hatchet we can’t bury or misunderstanding we can’t clear. I came to tell you that Grandfather has fallen ill after you left and has not recovered since. The doctors say his life is in danger and he’s a man of many years - he may not make it. He wants to see you. You should go visit him.”
“Grandfather is ill? Why didn’t you tell me earlier?” Shentu Tian-Yin looked worried. “Which hospital is he in now?”
“At Tian-Ci Sanatorium,” said Shentu Yi, “Come with us now.”
Xia Lei kneed Shentu Tian-Yin gently in the back of her leg.
Shentu Tian-Yin took the hint and said, “It’s late now. Better to go tomorrow.”
Shentu Yi made a face. “He’s your grandfather. Aren’t you going to see him when he’s severely sick? What if he can’t hang on anymore tonight? Aren’t you going to see him for the last time?”
Shentu Tian-Feng chimed in, “Yeah, Tian-Yin. Grandpa actually liked you best when we were children. Aren’t you going to visit him now that he’s old and sickly? He wants to see you - and he’s in a serious state too. Can’t you fulfil this small wish of his?”
Shentu Tian-Yin hesitated.
Xia Lei spoke up, “Tian-Yin, you should go visit your grandfather. I’ll go with you. I wonder where this Tian-Ci Sanatorium is? How come I’ve never heard of it?”
Shentu Tian-Feng snorted an said mockingly, “I heard you were a brick-mover at construction sites. It’s normal for people like you to have not heard of Tian-Ci Sanatorium. It’s a private hospital with the most advanced medical equipment and the best medical teams. Only the wealthy can afford to get treatment there.”
Shentu Tian-Yin wrinkled her brows. “Big Brother Tian-Feng, Xia Lei is my fiancé so you watch your words. I don’t want to hear what you said earlier.”
Shentu Tian-Feng smiled. “Sure, I won’t say that he was a brick-mover at construction sites next time. Will this do?”
“You…” Shentu Tian-Yin was mad.
Xia Lei pulled her by the hand and said with a laugh, “Tian-Yin, I was originally moving bricks at construction sites and I’ve welded too. There’s no need to treat it as an unspeakable thing. Let them say whatever they want. Depending on one’s own efforts to work and feed oneself is not anything shameful; every hard worker is worthy of respect. Let’s talk about Tian-Ci Sanatorium - where is it?”
There was no need to argue - what use was it even if they won a verbal fight?
“It’s on an island. I know that place; my father was there for a period of time. We’d need an hour by boat but it’s much quicker by helicopter,” said Shentu Tian-Yin.
“We already have a helicopter ready before we came. Use the helicopter, you’ll arrive at Tian-Ci Sanatorium quickly,” said Shentu Yi.
“How about you two?” said Shentu Tian-Yin.
“We’d just returned from Tian-Ci Sanatorium so we’re not going. How about this - I’ll tell the pilot to fly over now. It can take off from here, no problem,” said Shentu Yi.
Shentu Tian-Yin glanced at Xia Lei.
Xia Lei laughed. “I’m afraid of heights so I don’t want to ride in a helicopter. Can you arrange for a boat, Tian-Yin? I’d like to go by boat. We can admire the seascape that way too.”
Shentu Yi cut him short, “What boat? I didn’t say you’ll be going.”
Shentu Tian-Feng chimed in, “My grandfather fell ill because you made him angry. How are you still okay with going to see him? He’ll definitely get angry if you go. Will you take responsibility if anything happens to him?”
“I will go with Xia Lei. He will apologise to Grandfather if it’s true that he caused him to fall ill as it’s the right thing to do. Nn, you like to take the boat, so I’ll arrange for a yacht to take us,” said Shentu Tian-Yin.
Shentu Yi and Shentu Tian-Feng exchanged looks, then both looked at Xia Lei with gazes so cold they could cut.
Xia Lei scoffed to himself, ‘Helicopter? If you guys meddled with it somehow and it crashed, you’d get your wish fulfilled, huh?’
Though they could not confirm if the father-son duo had sabotaged the helicopter, they could not take this risk either. Shentu Tian-Yin was not stupid either - she knew well that she could not use whatever mode of transport her Second Uncle’s family arranged for her. That was why she had followed up on what Xia Lei had said about taking a boat with arranging a yacht.
Shentu Tian-Yin and Xia Lei went out ten minutes later.
“Ming-Mei,” Shentu Tian-Yin said to her, “Father is under your care now.”
Fu Ming-Mei nodded. “Rest assured. Be safe out there.”
Shentu Tian-Yin got the car from the garage and Xia Lei sat in the front passenger seat.
Shentu Yi came to the car window and said, “Tian-Yin, we won’t be going tonight. We’ll go tomorrow. Remember to talk calmly to him and not anger him again.”
“I know what to do. I’m off.” So saying, Shentu Tian-Yin drove the car into the lane in front of the door and to the exit of the neighbourhood.
Shentu Tian-Feng and Shentu Yi watched the Rolls Royce Phantom move off, then smiled at each other.
The smiles looked to be pre-celebratory smiles.
“Dad, I think we should get Uncle back to his old place. I can’t rest easy with him here by himself.” Shentu Tian-Feng deliberately spoke in a loud voice.
“Yes, I think so too. Let’s get your Uncle home. We’re doing this for the sake of the patient. Tian-Yin would agree,” added Shentu Yi.
Father-and-son walked into the villa as they spoke, towards Shentu Ren.
Fu Ming-Mei, who was in the doorway, shut the door and leaned against the doorframe. Her slanted body was like a barbed fence.
“Get out of the way!” said Shentu Yi angrily.
Fu Ming-Mei gave him a small smile and took a combat knife from her belt. It was a well known blade - the Buck Nighthawk. She picked under her fingernails with the knife. Her nails were very clean but she still took great care in picking at the perceived dirt. The Buck Nighthawk had a cold shine under the lights, adding to the cold attitude she displayed and giving one the feeling of danger.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Shentu Tian-Feng did not believe that Fu Ming-Mei would dare raise a hand against himself or Shentu Yi.
Fu Ming-Mei looked at him with cold eyes. “Leave. Don’t pretend in front of me. I only listen to two people in the Shentu clan - one is my dad and the other is Big Sister Tian-Yin. She told me to watch over Uncle Ren. No one is going to take him away unless I’m dead.”
“Who do you think you are?” Shentu Yi was mad and pointed at Fu Ming-Mei, “Get out!”
Fu Ming-Mei suddenly flicked her wrist and the Buck nighthawk flew from her hand, grazing Shentu Yi’s cheek as it went and embedding itself in the trunk of a tree beside him.
Shentu Yi was frightened by this and reached subconsciously to touch his cheek. He made no sound.
“Forget it. It’ll be unfair if I used knives against you two. How about this - you guys come at me together. Finish me off and you can take Uncle Ren away,” said Fu Ming-Mei.
Shentu Yi and Shentu Tian-Feng departed from the villa a minute later.
Meanwhile, the silver Rolls Royce Phantom galloped on the roads.
“They’ve started to make their move.” Shentu Tian-Yin could not contain the excitement in her voice, “I can see it. I guarantee that this is the last time they’ll harm me!”
“They want you dead - aren’t you afraid?” said Xia Lei.
“I’m not afraid with you by my side,” said Shentu Tian-Yin with a smile.
Xia Lei smiled wryly, “I’m nervous now yet you are not the least bit scared. I had no idea you were so brave. Okay, we can contact Uncle Fu and the rest now and tell them to start.”
Shentu Tian-Yin nodded and took out a mobile phone…
A confrontation between hunters had begun under the cover of night.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Hello everyone! Chapter 200 is coming soon so I'll be having another Q&A, this time with the author himself! I managed to contact him via WeChat and he has graciously agreed to answer our questions.
*ahem* He also posts nice pictures male readers would enjoy in his WeChat group. If you can read Chinese and use Wechat, you can subscribe to him by searching for 李闲鱼
Please post your questions here in the comment section and up-vote those you'd really like answered. I'll translate the questions for the author and publish his answers with Chapter 200.
Questions will be collected till 11-7-2018. That's 11th July.