Chapter 5 - Professional? Amateur?
“Hey, kid! We’re talking to you!” The purple-haired hoodlum yelled out aggressively in an attempt to show off in front of his superior.
“Have you forgotten about me?” Li Yiming turned his eyes towards the obese gangster.
After the two exchanged a glance, Mr. Ma’s recollections gradually came back to him, and his legs started shaking uncontrollably to the point where he almost fell to the ground.
“Y… you!” Mr. Ma said with a trembling voice.
“Sit,” Li Yiming said as he picked up his teacup.
Mr. Ma was an old companion of Li Yiming, who had previously bullied the latter and Fu Bo at a tea restaurant. After meeting him again after his arrest, Li Yiming managed to extract some valuable information about Yunlong Construction Group.
“I… I…” Mr. Ma trembled as a mixture of sweat and oil on his face gleamed under the light.
“It’s been a long time,” Li Yiming wanted to laugh, but could only show an apathetic expression.
Mr. Ma finally crumbled under the pressure and fell to his knees.
“Boss…” The purple-haired hoodlum tried to help his boss back up, but was dragged along to the floor as he was far from being strong enough to pull up someone like Mr. Ma.
“Don't be so nervous, come, let's have a talk,” Li Yiming said as he glanced at the window. He could see the rest of the gang trying to peek inside despite the smoked glass.
“I'm sorry sir... I didn't know you were here…” Mr. Ma explained as beads of sweat rolled down his forehead. He knew exactly what Li Yiming’s smile had meant for Yun Long Construction Group, and he feared disappearing overnight just like the mega-corporation did.
A myriad of thoughts flashed past Mr. Ma’s mind, from political struggles to class struggles, to fierce competition between rival companies. Of course, it was in his best interest to avoid getting involved in any of them. He now deeply regretted not biding his time in prison, or even going to a different city to start afresh. And then, he remembered Li Yiming’s parting words.
‘I’ll be watching you, and I'll come find you.’
The purple-haired hoodlum finally caught on to the situation — he understood that Li Yiming was not someone to be trifled with. He struggled to get up and knelt down quietly right next to his superior and immediately thought about ways to please Li Yiming while deflecting blame onto Mr. ma.
The rest of the gang, who waited outside of the tea shop, was completely unaware of the happenings inside. Most of them were busy crafting an excuse for blundering the job given to them by Mr. Ma. The majority arrived at the conclusion that it would be wise to distance themselves from their current leader, and so most of them took a step back.
The leader of the gang, while plotting his revenge against his purple-haired underling, was growing anxious as he could not figure out a way to redeem himself. This nervosity lasted until he saw yet another car arrive on the opposite side of the street. This time, a man holding a flower basket along with two other men and a woman got out of the vehicle and made for the tea shop.
‘What are they up to?’ The leader scrutinized the woman who led the group.
The woman had a tall figure and wore a black suit which carved out her curves almost perfectly. Her short hair, which gave off a feeling of professionalism, along with her high nose bridge and delicate features, conferred to her an unmatched beauty.
However, the leader of the gang was not in the mood for seduction. He approached the woman with caution, intent on figuring out her motives. The rest of the gang came up and all huddled up to surround the new visitors.
“What?” Lin Lu, who was lost in her thoughts, frowned when she saw the dozens of thugs in front of her.
The thugs simply stood there silently, and yet that alone was more than enough to scare off a normal person. Knowing that their boss was in the middle of an important business, they were ready to do anything to prevent someone from coming in and interrupting him before he walked out of the tea shop.
However, Lin Lu was no ordinary person. She glanced back at one of her subordinates. The latter approached her and began whispering in her ear.
“Land developer?” Lin Lu was surprised.
Her subordinate nodded.
“Is there no rule of law here? Bring them all back to the station,” Lin Lu turned around and spoke to her transmitter.
The thug with the eyeglasses, upon seeing that Lin Lu was not intimidated in the slightest, thought about harassing her by staring at her with widened eyes and throwing insults. However, before he could put his plan in motion, a dozen people from all professions, from shopkeepers, horologists, and even small merchants, came running out.
“What… the hell?”
The leader’s surprise quickly turned into irritation and chose to use the people in front of him to vent out the humiliation he had suffered at the hands of Mr. Ma. ‘Don't you know that we’re professionals? Is this some kind of contest?’
“Hah! Looks like we got ourselves a daring bunch…” The leader let out a sinister laugh. “It's the first time I've met someone bold enough to put me into a corner.”
He reached behind his waist and pulled out a steel dagger. It was not every day that he could find such a crowd to showcase his abilities so he saw this as a chance to make up for the blunder he had committed.
The rest of the gang followed suit and pulled out their own weapons, ranging from staffs to bicycle chains to folding knives. The leader’s expression grew even more fiendish, and, were it not for the fact that Lin Lu was a woman, he would have stabbed at her already.
“Forgive me, but I want to have a man's talk. How about you go find someone who can call the shots!” The leader of the gang said to Lin Lu while scrutinizing her from head to toe in a very aggressive and discomfiting way.
“Drop your weapons and put your hands behind your head!” Lin Lu said in a menacing tone.
“You little…” Before he could speak out another word, he was silenced by three gun barrels pointed at his head.
The leader looked around and realized, to his bafflement, everyone who had just arrived at the scene had a loaded gun pointed at him. He gulped down a mouthful of saliva and almost choked himself.
“Three, Two...” Lin Lu started a countdown.
All of the thugs knelt down at once, as if they had rehearsed the move many times before. It was a first for most of the thugs to deal with firearms, as they lived in a country where even police officers were rarely equipped. If anything, the people in front of them looked more like real gangsters than they did.
Mr. Ma came out of the tea shop right after, his limbs still trembling. He looked at his subordinates and at the police officers. He let out a long breath, and his face suddenly turned scarlet and his eyes bloodshot.
“Are you the one in charge here?” Lin Lu asked, and Mr. Ma could do nothing but nod.
“Get into the car.” Lin Lu pushed open the door to the tea shop and went in with the flower basket.
Mr. Ma continued nodding and jogged toward the car. It was an almost comical scene, especially when one considered his overweight figure and the awkwardly slow pace at which he ran.
‘I hope he’s satisfied with my performance…’ It was Mr. Ma’s last thought before exiting the scene.