The firemen had already put the fire out by the time Xia Lei got there. Thick smoke rolled from the broken windows. Onlookers drawn by all the action stood a ways off, talking amongst themselves.
Xia Lei found Qin Xiang to the side of the group of people, his face as bad as it could be. Tears-stains could be seen at the corners of his eyes - he had obviously cried.
Xia Lei walked to Qin Xiang’s side and patted him lightly on the shoulder, consoling him, “Don’t be sad. How about you stop doing hairdressing and work for me?”
Qin Xiang looked back at Xia Lei, staring blankly, then he suddenly dived into his embrace and started sobbing.
Xia Lei felt very weirded out having another man crying in his arms. He did not push Qin Xiang away though because he knew that Qin Xiang needed comforting most at this time.
After a period of crying, Qin Xiang raised his head from Xia Lei’s shoulder and looked at him with tear-filled eyes, “I want to kill him. I will kill him this time! The salon was my everything and he destroyed it!”
“Don’t be hasty. You’ll fall into his trap if you act recklessly.” Xia Lei was full of anger too but he knew that calm was most needed in a time like this.
Ring ring ring, ring ring ring…
The ringing of a mobile phone was suddenly heard.
Xia Lei took out his phone - it was an unknown number. He hesitated, then answered.
A female voice came from the phone, “Ch,Chairman Xia… Many of my classmates were beaten up by them… Wuuuh…”
Xia Lei quickly recognised that the voice belonged to Guan Ling-Shan. His heart sank as he asked anxiously, “Is this Ling-Shan? Don’t panic. Talk slowly. What happened?”
Guan Ling-Shan’s voice came from the phone, “My classmates and I… We were staying overnight at the site to measure and draw… A group of people suddenly rushed at us and destroyed our measuring equipment… Wuuh… And they injured many classmates too… Those people threatened us… They said, they said if we worked with you, they…. They, they… Will beat us to death… Wuuh…”
Flames of anger burst from Xia Lei’s heart, “Where are they now?”
“They… smashed our equipment, beat us up and, and left…”
Xia Lei ground his teeth, “Where are you guys now?”
“We, we are in the hospital. We don’t have much money… The hospital won’t treat us… Sob…” Guan Ling-Shan sobbed as she spoke.
Xia Lei pushed back his anger and consoled her, “Don’t cry, Ling-Shan. Don’t be afraid either. Tell me which hospital you guys are in, I’ll come right away and pay the fee.”
Guan Ling-Shan sobbed, “We’re at t,the Peoples’ Hospital.”
“Wait for me. I’ll be right there.” Xia Lei hung up.
He was so mad he’d nearly destroyed his own phone.
First, Qin Xiang’s salon had been set afire and then his employees had been beaten up. This was obviously revenge by Huang Yi-Hu because he lost the piece of land to Xia Lei.
“Huang Yi-Hu sent people to beat up your employees?” Qin Xiang looked surprised.
“Yes. I’m going to the site now to take a look. You stay here. We’ll talk tomorrow,” said Xia Lei.
“No, I’ll go with you. My salon’s been destroyed. There’s no use in me staying,” said Qin Xiang.
Xia Lei didn’t think twice, “Okay, let’s go to the site.”
The Great Wall H6 roared on the roads like an angry beast.
“What do you plan to do?” Qin Xiang broke the silence in the car. He looked a little worriedly at Xia Lei.
Xia Lei’s eyes were cold. “That dog bit me so I’ll stab him with a knife.”
“You’re going to do him in?” Qin Xiang looked more worried. He’d wanted to kill Huang Yi-Hu himself earlier but he knew at this time that it was definitely not a good idea.
Xia Lei sneered, “That’ll be going too easy on him. I want him to lose everything and wish for death!”
Qin Xiang was puzzled, “Do you mean you already have some way of dealing with him?”
Xia Lei nodded, “Let’s first go to the hospital to see those kids and then we’ll talk. Watch the side of the road for cash machines and let me know when you see one. I need to withdraw some money.”
Qin Xiang was about to nod when he spotted a cash machine and he waved, then pointed, “There’s one over there!”
Twenty minutes later, Xia Lei arrived at the Peoples’ Hospital with Qin Xiang in tow. When he entered the hospital, he soon saw Guan Ling-Shan, Yin Hao, Han Bo and the others in the Emergency Room corridor. Some of them stood in the corridor and some sat on the waiting chairs outside the room of the doctor on duty. Some had injuries on their heads and blood on their faces. Some had torn clothing and were left with one shoe. Some had injuries on their bodies with obvious bruising. Their youthful vigor was gone, replaced by a group of beggars waiting for rescue, impoverished and dejected.
“Chairman Xia is here! Chairman Xia is here!” cried Han Bo with a face beaten till it was swollen.
A large group of students gathered around, their eyes full of relief and expectation. Guan Ling-Shan stood in front of Xia Lei and she had been beaten too. Her spectacles were broken and one side was cracked while the other was missing its lens.
Guan Ling-Shan started crying at the sight of Xia Lei, “Chairman Xia, we… Have no money… Hospital…”
“Come with me.” Xia Lei pulled Guan Ling-Shan by the hand and strode towards the clinic of the doctor on duty.
There was only one doctor on duty because of the late hour and it was a male doctor in his thirties. He was sitting in the clinic playing with his mobile phone. He didn’t even glance at them when Xia Lei entered with Guan Ling-Shan but said indifferently, “Didn’t I already tell you that the hospital is not a charity? How are we going to treat you if you have no money?”
As soon as he was done speaking, a plastic bag thumped on the desk. Money spilled from a hole in the bag. It was still brand new and shone temptingly under the light.
The doctor on duty looked up in surprise and saw a fuming Xia Lei.
“Are you not going to bother if they lived or died if they had no money?” said Xia Lei angrily, “How are you a doctor? Didn’t your teacher teach you about the value of human life?”
The doctor on duty shot to his feet, “This is the hospital’s rule. How can we treat them if they have no money? What are you shouting at me for? Go take it up with the head of the hospital if you have issues! If you cause any more trouble I’ll call security to chase you out and you can go look for a hospital which will treat you for free!”
Xia Lei suddenly punched the doctor’s desk. The punch was heavy and the entire desk jumped with the impact - there was a pit in the desktop when Xia Lei removed his fist.
The doctor was so frightened his face drained of colour.
Xia Lei pointed at the doctor right in the nose, his eyes icy-cold, “You’d better comply or you’ll be like this desk!”
The doctor nodded timidly. He’d never seen anyone who could punch a pit into a desk. Furthermore, the Xia Lei before him did not seem like a good person but a reckless character from the underworld. How could a little doctor like him afford to offend a person like him?
“What are you standing around for? Treat their injuries!” roared Xia Lei.
“Right away, right away… But take your money to the cashier. I don’t collect money, I see patients… Who’s first?” The doctor didn’t even wipe away the sweat on his forehead; he had immediately entered work mode.
The world was like this - weak fists were afraid of hard fists and those with lives were afraid of those who’d throw their lives away.
The doctor started seeing to those in need of treatment, not even waiting for Xia Lei to show him the receipt.
Xia Lei paid the fee at the cashier, then took 50,000 out and handed it to Guan Ling-Shan.
Guan Ling-Shan looked at Xia Lei in surprise, “Chairman Xia, wh, what is this for? Why are you giving me money?”
“Take this money. Buy clothes and nourishing stuff for your classmates tomorrow. You get yourself a new pair of spectacles. Divide the remaining money equally amongst yourselves,” said Xia Lei.
“I, I can’t do that.” Guan Ling-Shan tried to give the money back to Xia Lei.
Xia Lei stopped her hand firmly, “This is from the company. Don’t worry and use it. And, I won’t just let the matter of you guys getting beaten up pass. I will get justice for you all.”
Guan Ling-Shan clutched the thick stack of money and was so moved she cried.
The classmates standing nearby were also moved and they felt like it was a good thing that they worked for a boss who would care for and think about them.
“Chairman Xia, those people were from the underworld. You can’t fight with them. We…” Yin Hao said, “We were just beaten up. It’s okay. We’ll be fine in two days.”
Han Bo also spoke up, “Yes, Chairman Xia, you’re our company’s chairman. You can’t pick a fight with those thugs.”
“Don’t worry. I have my own ways of dealing with them. That’s right, did any of you make a police report?” said Xia Lei.
“We did make a police report. The police came to the site before you came. They said they were going to chase after those thugs and haven’t appeared again since,” said Guan Ling-Shan.
It was difficult to say what importance the police put on a case where a group of fresh graduates were beaten up by street thugs and had no fatal injuries.
Guan Ling-Shan spoke again, “I wanted to call Miss Liang at first but because she’s a woman, I thought it’ll be better not to tell her, so I called you.”
“You guys handled it well. Rest tomorrow. Don’t go to the site again,” said Xia Lei.
“No, we want to go,” said Han Bo, “We’ve already measured that piece of land and drawn up drafts. We’ll be finished with our design in two days. How can we not go?”
“Yeah, we want to go. We’re not afraid of them.” someone said.
Xia Lei was touched, “All right. Since you guys are so insistent, I’ll get Miss Liang to watch over you.”
“Miss Liang? But if those thugs come again…” Han Bo looked worried.
“You don’t have to worry about that. Those thugs are no match for her,” said Xia Lei.
“Huh?” The students had surprised looks on their faces. They had no clue of Liang Si-Yao’s other identity - Wing Chun expert.
Xia Lei left the hospital two hours later. The night had sunk deeper in darkness and the streets were empty of pedestrians and cars.
“What now?” asked Qin Xiang.
“Make some trouble for Huang Yi-Hu,” said Xia Lei.
“Are you really going to the fishing village villa?” said Qin Xiang, “He could have set a trap there already and is just waiting for us to jump into it.”
Xia Lei shook his head, “I didn’t say I’d go to the fishing village villa. I’m going to his company.”
“To his company?” Qin Xiang froze.
“Let’s go. I need you to use your talents,” said Xia Lei.
Qin Xiang seemed to have guessed Xia Lei’s intention. He shrugged, then smiled wryly, “I’ll take it as a compliment.”
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