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About to make his debut, Ou Yang Hao spotted Li Ling Er.
“What a small world!”, he said, smiling ear to ear. He turned, and confidently addressed the crowd.
“Hello, everyone. My name is Ou Yang Hao.”
As Ou Yang Hao continued his introduction, Fan Jian, Zhao Tie Zhu, Li Ling Er, and Zhou Shao sat together in the audience, muttering gossip amongst themselves.
“This boy toy sure is pretentious,” Fan Jian murmured to Zhao Tie Zhu, nodding towards Ou Yang Hao.
“Of course,” Zhao Tie Zhu started, shaking his head and sighing.“Who would show off their flaws to the public? Except when you’re perfect like me. Then you don’t have anything to hide.”
“Yeah, what a small world, except that you stalked us and followed us inside,” added Li Ling Er with a tone of indifference. “Zhou Shao, what did you say that name was? ‘Liu’, or something?”
“I definitely heard you mention a ‘Liu’ too. Is there any ‘Liu’ here?” Fan Jian said with a laugh, scanning the crowd for a response. Finally he locked eyes with Liu Ying.
“What are you looking at? He didn’t say anything about ‘Liu’. I didn’t hear anything,” said Liu Ying, panicking. Zhou Shao briefly considered speaking up, but chose not to make a scene. The surrounding crowd began making fun of them.
Ou Yang Hao had finished introducing himself, and had made his way over to Li Ling Er. He chuckled and abruptly sat down next to her.
“What are you guys up to? You wouldn’t mind if I join, would you?” he asked. Zhao Tie Zhu muttered with contempt, “Hey, I don’t remember giving you permission to sit here.”
Ou Yang Hao looked intense for a brief moment, as though he would jump at Zhao Tie Zhu. After collecting his thoughts, he smiled and replied, “I don’t remember you running this place. I can like Li Ling Er with or without your permission.” Having heard this exchange, a few girls nearby nodded in agreement. Ou Yang Hao is somewhat of a Prince Charming to many girls. He is gentle, cute, and polite. However, Li Ling Er would not fall for him at all. She moved away from Ou Yang Hao back towards Fan Jian and Zhao Tie Zhu, who saw her approaching and gave up his seat for her.
Li Ling Er tightly grasped Zhao Tie Zhu’s hand and leaned on his shoulder. “Can’t you see you don’t stand a chance? My heart only belongs to Zhao Tie Zhu,” she sneered at Ou Yang Hao.
The smile immediately disappeared from Ou Yang Hao’s face as he replied, “Fine, it’s alright. You have the right to turn me down, but I still have the right to like you. I won’t give up. Maybe we can’t date yet, but we can still be friends.”
Excuse me, but I don’t want to be your friend,” Li Ling Er snapped. Ou Yang Hao’s friends took offense, but Zhao Tie Zhu was undeterred. “Even if those punks were all triggered, they couldn’t even slightly harm me,” he thought to himself.
Ou Yang Hao was furious. Li Ling Er had embarrassed him too much in front of his friends. He slowly slipped his had into his pocket, and dialed on his phone. His brothers were waiting outside the bar. Once they received the phone call, they entered with their baseball bats.
One of the brothers approached Zhao Tie Zhu, and yelled at him with grief and indignation, “Do you remember me?” Zhao Tie Zhu remained silent. “You knocked up my sister and disappeared! How could you do that to her? I’ve been hunting you down, and today I will get my revenge!”
It was all an act. Ou Yang Hao and this brother were attempting to paint Zhao Tie Zhu as a douchebag who ditched pregnant girls, and that Ou Yang Hao was helping the victims. Playing his part, Ou Yang Hao interjected, “Guys, guys, take it easy, for my sake.”
“Fine! I won’t pick on other people, as I long as I can take down Zhao Tie Zhu!” the brother continued.
Ou Yang Hao was proud of himself for coming up with such a plan. “Our acting is so convincing, we deserve an Oscar!” he thought. “We’ve already ruined Zhao Tiu Zhu’s reputation. Next we just need to take care of him. Then Li Ling Er will have to go out with me!”
It seemed Zhao Tie Zhu himself was the only one unfooled by this plan. The others had fallen for it, staring at him with disdain. Fan Jian was sipping his drink attentively, while Linda thought to herself, “What an animal!”
Finally, Zhao Tie Zhu spoke up. “So, what’s your sister’s name?”
“You don’t even remember her name?” the brother quipped, “You knocked her up! You’re such a monster! Guys, let’s take him down!” Zhao Tie Zhu sighed. It was obviously a trap, but how could the others not see it? At this very moment, they heard a man say in a deep voice, “Who’s starting a fight in my bar?”
Ou Yang Hao noticed a group of more than twenty had pushed the crowd back and were making their way towards him. A confused look came across his face. He had no idea that Iron Hand and Lian Ding Shan had become close friends.
Iron Hand yelled at him, “Ou Yang Hao! Don’t you dare start trouble here! This is my place! My Iron Hand gang is watching you!”
“I didn’t say those were my guys,” said Ou Yang Hao. He tried to switch the topic and drag Lian Ding Shan into the mess. “And when did you stand with Phantom? Are you ignoring Lian Ding Shan? He’s the big bro here!”
It didn’t work on Lian Ding Shan, however. “Chao Zhou gang and Iron Hand gang merged days ago. By the way, Ou Yang Hao, these guys definitely work in your gang! I’ve seen them before. That one who accused Zhao Tie Zhu of dumping his sister works for you too! I remember his nickname. He’s Monkey.”
Ou Yang Hao felt awkward, and turned away immediately. Monkey looked at Ou Yang Hao and Iron Hand at a loss for words.
“What are you staring at?” began Iron Hand, cracking his knuckles and starting to stride towards Monkey. “You want something special from us?”
“No, no, no, no, and please, no,” Monkey said in his best attempt to wheedle his way out of trouble, “I’m leaving. I’m leaving now.”
Flattery would get him nowhere. “Since I knocked up your sister, can you call her? I want to have a conversation with her,” said Zhao Tie Zhu.
“No, no. I got the wrong guy. It wasn’t you. That was a mistake,” Monkey responded, before taking a few steps back and fleeing.
“Ah, look at that! That is a real gangster!” a girl exclaimed.
“Look at his huge arms. He certainly works out! I would say he could take down all of us in one fight, “said another.
“Ou Yang Hao is so lame. I can’t believe he tried to setup Zhao Tie Zhu. I was wrong to think he’s such a good person,” shouted another patron. More nodded in agreement. Everyone started talking amongst themselves about what just happened. Zhao Tie Zhu remained silent. Linda piped up, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have believed in those rumors about you.”
“No worries. I am always innocent and never feel guilty anyway,” Zhao Tie Zhu replied with a grimace.
“Geez,” Linda chuckled. Turning to Zhou Shao, Zhao Tie Zhu asked, “The name you brought up earlier was Liu Ying, right?”
Zhao Shao nodded slightly. The patrons at the bar had stopped staring, and the atmosphere was excited again.
When people finally left the bar, it was already past midnight. Fan Jian and some others went back to campus while Zhao Tie Zhu walked Li Ling Er back to the villa. On the way home, Zhao Tie Zhu received a call from Iron Hand.
“Take care of Lian Ding Shan’s business,” he instructed Iron Hand, “If he is smart, make him your assistant. Otherwise, whack him.”
Right after hanging up on Iron Hand, his phone rang again. This time, it was Chen Wei Guo.
“Hey Old Man Chen, what’re you up to? It’s really late,” Zhao Tie Zhu snickered.
“Shut up, you little punk,” responded Chen Wei Guo, “I have an important message to deliver. Tomorrow, eight p.m., at the underground boxing club in Golden-World square. You’ve got a job to do there.”
“What kind of job?” Zhao Tie Zhu inquired.
“It’s a mission from the National Security Bureau. Apparently, Dragons and Tigers will have a match there. They want you there for security purposes.”
“But I haven’t officially accepted any position at the NSB yet,” said Zhao Tie Zhu.
“They have you officially on record. After this mission, you will be appointed to BJ. This is a really good opportunity, and you’d better take it.” Said Chen Wei Guo in a very serious tone.
“Fine, fine, I’ll go,” said Zhao Tie Zhu accepting the old man’s advice, “But Dragons and Tigers are all masters. Why do they need a security guy?”
“Very funny,” said Chen Wei Guo, “A lot of them love fighting, and they’ll fight for any reason. Your job is to keep them under control.”
“So, you want me to be like a firefighter,” Zhao Tie Zhu quipped, “Put out a fire when things start to heat up.”
“You could say so, I guess,” said Chen Wei Guo.
“What if they defeat me?”
“Then you’re on your own. Good luck.”

(By Hammy Chi and Werfy Lee)

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