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Chapter 86: Meeting Old Friends (4)

Hu Ba's purple discolored lips spread open wide. Unable to utter a single word, his head was clammy with cold sweat. Xu Yangyi calmly walked towards Hu Jiaojiao, her entire body faintly trembling. Her hair slowly fell down. 

"Clunk…" Her handbag, a Hermès handbag, fell on the ground from the midst of her five trembling fingers, and both her legs shivered. Watching the slowly walking Xu Yangyi, her face was devoid of blood.

T-t-this was a monster!

Moments ago, there was no one able to sense it deeper than her! Just now… she seemed to be placed at the eye of a hurricane! She even believed herself to have cross over into one of Master Xing's blockbuster kungfu movies!*

That sensation of believing herself to have died for a split second… was too profound. So profound that now as she watched Xu Yangyi calmly advance, her body began to instinctually tremble! She was terrified to the extreme!

"D-don't you come over!" She said trilly. In the last second, she was still yelling angrily to get the other to come, but in the next, she even felt the menace of his approach! The crook of Xu Yangyi's mouth curved, and he sneered, still walking forth neither slowly nor hurriedly as before.

"Don't you come over! Don't come over!"

"Thud!" Hu Jiaojiao's back was already leaning against her car. She was genuinely terrified.

"Do you know who my Big Brother is!" Xu Yangyi's shadow became increasingly distinct within her pupils. She was so frightened that she was already rambling in fright, her voice crowingingly sharp: "I-i-if you do anything to me, my Big Brother won't let you off! In Mingshui Province… No! In the entire country, it'll hard for you to step an inch! Don't you come over!!!"

Xu Yangyi walked before her. The distance between the two of them exceeded no more than twenty centimeters.

"Idiot?" He studied Hu Jiaojiao with a smile that wasn't a smile: "Was that a curse for me?"

"Not at all! No! It wasn't a curse for you! I wasn't cursing you!!!" Hu Jiaojiao nearly wept in fright, screeching her response.

"Swoosh!" Xu Yangyi raised his hand. 

"Ahhhh!!!" Hu Jiaojiao immediately yelped as she crouched down. A finger snap rang out. Xu Yangyi laughed, watching the truly crying Hu Jiaojiao. He turned around and departed. At this time, applause echoed and a man's voice resonated simultaneously. 

"I haven't seen you in three and half years, but your still the same."

A sentence thereupon awakened Hu Jiaojiao from the middle of her nightmare. In a twinkling, the winter day turned frosty. She stood up straight away, wiping her runny ears and yelling hoarsely: "Big Brother!"

"Big Brother, hurry up and handle this! Those guys don't want me!"

"T-this thug bullied me! Boohoo, boohoo!"

Her complexion faintly flushed and she pursed her lips, even squeezing out the few pitiful teardrops. Just as she turned her head, she caught sight of a man dressed in camouflage who was standing at the side of her car and bearing the smidgen of a complex smile. Nevertheless, his gaze wasn't on her body.

Behind him, there were also a couple people. Some had stirred expressions, some raised their middle fingers at the man in the Audi, and some were grimacing exaggeratedly. However...

There wasn't anyone looking at her.

"Why are you here?" Xu Yangyi was likewise surprised, yet he suddenly came to a realization: "Ming A-AA6666, this is… your car?"

"This is my car!" The man hammered his chest: "We of the Nantong Province branch, all of the surviving champions, finally meet again!"

"Welcome back, Paragon!"

Hu Ba was in a cold sweat. His mouth wished to say something, yet nothing came out. He was none the wiser of what matter had occurred behind. He only knew that was a fist, a fist that he had never seen! Even the boxing champion he had studied Muay Thai from couldn't strike out wind pressure!

This was a legendary realm! It was fundamentally impossible for this to exist in reality! Not only was it him, everyone was stunned. At the present scene, when there wasn't anyone paying attention, seven people had appeared. However, no one had noticed them. All of the people were watching Xu Yangyi in shock.

"My god…" A university student said, his voice shaking: "D-d-d-did you all see that? Just now, t-t-that's girls hair flew up!"

"Is this Yip Man?!" A female university student firmly grabbed onto the arm of a male classmate beside her, her eyes radiating light: "He can fight ten-on-one, right!"**

"How can it stop at ten…" After the astonishment, the look in the male classmate's eyes became extreme shock and worship: "Maybe fifty will do…"

"Is this real or fake…" The middle-aged man fished out a cigarette, but couldn't put it in his mouth no matter what. Both his lips and fingers were softly shivering: "Is there still a true martial arts master in the world? One so young?"

None dared to speak. They had all been rendered stunned by that fist of moments ago. If the contrast of Hu Jiaojiao at the side was absent, that fist possibly wouldn't have been considered much. It would only make everyone feel that it was fast. Rather fast. Extremely fast.

However, if there was the addition of all of Hu Jiaojiao's hair flying back in the instant the fist was displayed… That spectacle was too staggering! An inhuman strength!

"Big Brother, Big Brother!" Hu Jiaojiao snivelled and teared as she wept, running over to the leading man in camouflage like a helpless little birdie. Her Hermès handbag, a bag worth a good few ten thousand, had landed on the ground because she had been shaken to fright by that fist. She dared not to retrieve it.

The man glanced at the girl running over and raised a brow towards Xu Yangyi: "Why?"

"You should know, Chu Zhaonan." Xu Yangyi shrugged his shoulders in a very devil-may-care manner: "I just didn't expect that this was your car. It ain't too convenient for me to find you right now."

Chu Zhaonan nodded, looking towards Hu Jiaojiao who had ran only half a meter from him. Not even sweeping over her with an eye, a slap sealed itself on her face!

"Pow!" A crisp noise rang out, causing everyone to sober up from their astonishment once again. The women flinched. Even if they were separated by some distance, they could feel the pain of that slap. The men gulped. Likewise, they could feel the force behind the other's slap.  

"Huh… Eh! Ah!!!" Hu Jiaojiao had nearly been sent flying by the slap, and she covered her nose as she fell on the ground. After she got up, her voice was a yelp of pain. Ensuingly, it was a screech because she saw that her hand was covered in blood from her nose. In the end, it was a shriek of incredulity! 

Why! How could her beloved big brother that had always treated her well, recognized by all the scions of Mingshui Province's political elite, hit her? No, that was wrong! Her big brother seemed to know this bastard? He had actually hit her for this wretch?!

"B-Big Brother! Y-you…" 

Before she even finished speaking, Chu Zhaonan had already grabbed her by the throat and lifted her up. His face cold, he said icily: "Apologize." 

Hu Jiaojiao couldn't even get out a word. She had never witnessed her big brother's expression so cold. 

Their social circle had ranks. Chu Zhaonan was a vice minister's grandson and the sole child of a provincial governor. There was no question he was steadily seated as number one. She, Hu Jiaojiao, was a silk pants, however, Chu Zhaonan was even more of a silk pants than her!***

If he said he was number two in the province, none would dare to call themselves first! Concerning Chu Zhaonan's command, she was simply without the will to resist. It was like a bellwether giving orders to a flock of sheep. She could only nod her head with the utmost of effort.

"Hah…" Gao Ye's exhaling voice came from behind: "I've heard you mention this young beauty a good few times. Aren't you pretty good to her?  Are you really willing to hit her?"

Chu Zhaonan laughed and scratched his thumb across Hu Jiaojiao's face: "Listen, I don't owe you anything." He looked at Xu Yangyi in passing: "But I owe him a life."

Hu Jiaojiao's scalp tingled madly! If she were this close in the past, she would surely be rather happy. But now, she was shivering from head to toe in fright.

How was this possible! This classless plebeian was actually capaable of making her big brother owe him a life? Was he deceiving her? 

Chu Zhaonan loosened his hand, and Hu Jiaojiao presently cared nothing for face. Almost weeping as she crawled before Xu Yangyi, she half knelt as she wiped her tears and bawled, her voice hoarse: "I was wrong! Mister! I…"

"His last name is Xu." Chu Zhaonan said quietly from behind her.

"Hiccup…" Hu Jiaojiao's sobbing voice paused in breaks. Subsequently, she bawled even louder: "Mr. Xu! I'm sorry! I was wrong! I was really wrong! Please… boohoo, boohoo… please forgive me…"

The people in the surroundings soon became stupefied. What was going on in this drama? This reversal was too fast! Director, are you certain the screenplay you wrote is without problem?

"W-what is going on?" A driver took a drag of his cigarette, the muscles on his face trembling: "This is… forcing someone to apologize in style, and then afterwards, an even more awesome person makes this bad ass apologize?"

"This is frickin' marvelous!" On the contrary, the students were enjoying the drama without weariness: "This reversal has standard and adversity!"

This reverse sweep in plot was too abrupt. So unexpected that the surrounding people started to silently enter their cars and drive with their spirits rejuvenated. 

Yes… Although the time was a bit late, they had unexpectedly watched a good show. Hue hue, they could post it on their WeChat Moment's to get likes.****

"I put my fucking money on it! That floating hair scene is absolutely going to net me a thousand likes!"

"Why the heck are you playing with such a bleeding heart?" As car after car drove past at their sides, Xu Yangyi looked at Chu Zhaonan, not knowing whether to laugh or cry: "You don't owe me… Oh, that's right, get up."

The sound of Hu Jiaojiao's weeping came to an immediate stop, yet she carried a sense of terror and promptly jumped into the car. 

"I owe you." Chu Zhaonan answered, his face bereft of emotion. 

"Let's walk first, Brother Xu." Luo Sanfeng came over and rolled up his sleeves and rubbed his fists: "I've been carrying the grudge of that kick for a long time… Just you wait… you, y-you're at the fuckin' middle stage of Qi Condensation?!"

He couldn't control this shriek. Just as his anger riled, it immediately drained away. Xu Yangyi laughed: "I was lucky. Nothing but a fluke."

"As if!" Luo Sanfeng flipped off Xu Yangyi vindictively. He didn't make a sound.

"Apart from me just entering the middle stage of Qi Condensation half a year ago, they're all at the initial stage." Chu Zhaonan chuckled: "Didn't all of you listen that you should be earnest in cultivation? Do you realize the disparity now?"

"This isn't the place to talk." He leaned his head: "A lot has happened in these three years. Moreover, I can't stay around here for long. Brother Xu, you're situation is somewhat delicate. We'll be headed out first."

As the other set forth, Chu Zhaonan raised his hand to stop them: "There are some matters that all of you are better off not knowing."

"It's a JQ!" A baby-faced cadet glowered at the other. Xu Yangyi vaguely remembered this person had been oppressed by Chu Zhaonan.*****

What answered him was a middle finger, and Chu Zhaonan and Xu Yangyi jumped, landing directly in a farming plot at the side. Finding a farming path, they sat down.

"You sent me on a good chase." Chu Zhaonan passed over a cigarette: "My time is tight. There are a few words I must say to you."

Xu Yangyi nodded, the deep emotion in his heart was like a tide. Three years… A three whole years. These were genuine old friends. Originally, they could even be said to hold some animosity. However, there was a matter that caused them to walk together, devoid of the most meager apprehensions.

They were both people who had survived amidst a holocaust. True comrades-in-arms.

In an unseen place, every person strove with their best efforts to live on. In the end, of thirteen people, only seven remained.******

T/N: Tons of cultural references in this chapter. Wish there was a better way I could do the linking, but forums aren't great. Next chapter is 88. Author skips 87. 

* Master Xing is referring to famous Chinese director/actor Stephen Chow. 

** Ip Man was a famous martial artist known for being the master of Bruce Lee. In recent cinema, he has become very popular. This reference to "he can fight ten men" is talking about a scene in the first movie. If you have the time, watch all three! The ones with Donnie Yen in it. 

*** Silk pants is a term for very, very rich in China. An idea that, well, your pants are made of silk. 

**** Hue hue = 呵呵哒. To my understanding, this is a Chinese forum slang kinda like lol/lmao/rofl, but with a different context. More like a mischievous/aloof laugh. So I thought hue hue would work. 

***** JQ is Chinese internet slang. I thought about localizing, but it's hard to get a close meaning in English. JQ is the first letters of the pinyin of Ji Qing = 基情. This phrase is used somewhat jokingly by straight dudes to suggest homosexual relations. I guess if you really wanted you could say something like "No homo" kinda.

****** Just a reminder that there were thirteen champions from each city branch in Nantong Province. We got confirmation that of the thirteen, six died during the Vermilion Snow incident. 

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