After supper, Beverly and her mom cleaned the bowls and plates in the kitchen, leaving Zhang Tie and her dad in the parlor. Before entering the kitchen, Beverly even glanced at Zhang Tie with a worried look. Zhang Tie replied to her with a reassuring smile.
"Bennie always talks about you at home. I know she likes you!" Beverly's dad sized up Zhang Tie's expensive costume with a fastidious and complex gaze through a pair of thick, crystal glasses, like he was reviewing a nice balance sheet. As accountants were always censorious, they usually paid more attention to the internal key logical connections instead of the surface. "I know how rich men live. I might not be able to afford your clothes for many years. I also know the attitudes of those rich people toward women. You only need to answer me this: Will marry my daughter in the future?"
Soon after this question came a clanging sound from the kitchen. A metal plate fell on the ground.
Beverly's house was less than 100 square meters, only three bedrooms with one parlor. Beverly's father didn't lower his voice. He didn't ask this question at the table in front of Beverly and her mom because he might not have wanted to make Beverly embarrassed. However, if he asked Zhang Tie at this moment, Beverly would not feel embarrassed anymore. Additionally, Beverly could also find out Zhang Tie's opinion.
Zhang Tie had not been prepared for her dad to ask such a sharp question at the beginning of their talk. He understood the hidden meaning clearly——why would a father believe in the nonsense of a man who had not even shown responsibility for the future of his daughter and left Blackhot City?
Zhang Tie became silent for a while. The sounds in the kitchen returned to normal. However, Zhang Tie knew that Beverly must've been very tense in the kitchen.
"Mr. Joan, perhaps you don't believe in my words. However, I don't care how much my clothes are worth at all. This is meaningless for me. It's not because I have enough money, but because I only care about whether I can survive!"
The moment Zhang Tie opened his mouth Beverly's dad was stunned. The movements in kitchen also slowed down.
"Before coming to Blackhot City over 2 months ago, I almost died. I was hunted by a LV 10 strong fighter. Perhaps Mr. Joan doesn't understand the concept of LV 10 strong fighters. According to my knowledge, before Blackhot City was merged into the territory of the Norman Empire, there were less than 5 strong fighters across Blackhot City. I couldn't beat him. Therefore, I was struck off a peak of a mountain, which was thousands of meters high. Fortunately, I didn't die. In the process of rolling down, thanks to the twigs and vines in the valley, I finally fell into a pond and survived by myself..."
"After that, two strong fighters hunted me as my head was to be rewarded with 5000 gold coins. I almost died!"
"I joined Iron Blood Camp, Division No. 39 and stayed for over one year, during which period, I almost died many other times. I was shot by bolts covered with blue frost and almost died. In Kalur theater, Iron Blood Camp Division No. 39 was surrounded and outnumbered by Black Feathers Corps of the Sun Dynasty. Although we finally broke out of the encirclement, I almost died there too. That time, I suffered 186 wounds and 47 bone fractures all over my body. Finally, I was struck by the sky battle qi of a LV 8 military officer from Black Feathers Corps. As a result, my guts were severely wounded. My brothers of Iron Blood Camp sent me to a field hospital. When one doctor caught sight of how much fresh blood and wounds were over me, he told my brothers that I was already dead. My brothers of Iron Blood Camp even put blades to the doctors' necks and forced them to rescue me! Finally, I survived. I thought I was lucky. After that, I found out that a respectable officer of Iron Blood Camp sacrificed himself in order to save me!"
"When I returned to Jinyun Country, I almost died twice too. One time, I was betrayed by a person and was hunted by many killers in Dragon Cave. I was almost thrown into the magma. Thankfully, my master saved me. Another time was the event in Heavens Cold City. You might have heard about this event. As one who participated in and experienced this event, I know how it felt when the troop was surrounded by millions of demonized puppets. You would never know how risky it was when a person was surrounded by tens of thousands of demonized puppets that were not afraid of pain or death like machines. The demonized puppets left 137 wounds on me. These ones have just recovered in the last few days!"
Zhang Tie was very calm, as if talking about other people's affairs.
"I'm not showing off. I'm just telling you what I've experienced and the risks that I've faced in my life. To be honest, although I'm sitting here and talking with you, I'm not sure if I'll still be alive and talking with you and Bennie in half a year, because I don't know what the next danger is. I'm not sure whether I can survive each and every danger. Therefore, I really don't know how to answer you, as I don't know whether I'll still be alive by then."
"I don't want my family members to live in fear and concern every day. Wives are worried about losing their husbands. Kids are worried that their dad will not come back after going out! The biggest responsibility of a man, a husband, is to keep his family free from fear, instead of bringing fear to them. Pitifully, I cannot make it so!"
"As long as I'm alive, as long as I am with Bennie, I will exert my full effort to protect her, treasure her and love her. As long as I'm with her, she will never be bullied by others. I will let her be happy and treat her happiness and smile as my pride and achievement. I can promise you that if I am alive in the future, when I feel I'm qualified to be a husband, I will marry her if Bennie would still like to marry me at that moment. I will be happy to have Bennie as my wife."
When Zhang Tie left, Beverly sent Zhang Tie downstairs with red eyes. She hugged him tightly as she pressed her face on Zhang Tie's chest for a long time before letting him go.
If Zhang Tie slept in Bennie's home today, he would make her parents embarrassed. It was also improper if Bennie directly left with Zhang Tie. Beverly lied to her parents that she was playing with her friends last night. As she was already grown up, her parents would not keep her under their strict control. However, if Beverly didn't come back tonight with the same excuse, she must have underestimated her parents' intelligence quotient.
After leaving Beverly's home, Zhang Tie sat in the car alone and watched the gradually depopulating Blackhot City. He had to pass this New Year's Eve alone in the luxurious presidential suite in Black Gold Hotel.
The moment he returned to Black Gold Hotel, Zhang Tie caught sight of a familiar shadow getting out of the carriage outside the hotel. Given her black, short hair, beautiful face and the alluring, mellow shanks, Zhang Tie instantly recognized her.
When Zhang Tie got off the car, the beautiful female first lieutenant also caught sight of Zhang Tie. After that, they smiled at each other. Without saying anything, Zhang Tie offered his arm when the female came over, reached out and linked her arm with Zhang Tie's.
"First Lieutenant Zhang Tie, you're too audacious. How can you dare to stay in Blackhot City at this moment?" the female asked.
Hearing her question, Zhang Tie finally knew why she didn't come to him yesterday. She must have discovered his background. She must be a meticulous person.
Twenty minutes later, the female first lieutenant blushed after drinking some wine whilst inclining against the sofa in the bar of the luxurious presidential suite, which made her seem like she was waiting for Zhang Tie to violate her. Embracing her with one arm, Zhang Tie held a glass while rocking the liquid around in the bottom.
Mellow wine and beauties. Zhang Tie didn't know how long he could enjoy such a nice life. He looked a bit vacant. All the words that he'd said in Beverly's home were true. After experiencing so many dangers and partings between dead people and living ones, Zhang Tie really didn't know whether he'd still be alive in this world in half a year or one year. As the producer of all-purpose medicament, Zhang Tie was not sure whether a knight would suddenly flash in front of him and punched him to ashes.
At this moment, Zhang Tie finally understood the thoughts and mentalities of those military officers who were always spending their time on women and alcohol whenever they were free.
It was because they didn't know how long they could survive. As long as they were alive, they would enjoy and make full use of their lives.
"What...did you mean by asking me that in the reception room?"
"That what?" Zhang Tie guzzled down the wine before throwing it onto the carpet.
"You asked...whether I've gotten married or not?" The female first lieutenant turned around and watched Zhang Tie with fascinating eyes. "You men always like to play jokes. I thought...I thought you were kidding me...actually...actually I've already gotten married..."
After saying this, the female first lieutenant lay face down the sofa and kept her eyes closed, waiting for Zhang Tie to violate her.
She waited for one minute and received no reply. After another half a minute, she found that Zhang Tie had already helped her gather her clothes and kept his hands away from her.
She then turned around and found Zhang Tie had already sat down on the next sofa and was panting heavily. He opened a new bottle of liquor and poured half of it into his mouth.
"What's wrong?" the woman became dumbfounded as she didn't understand why Zhang Tie would stop at the most critical moment.
"It's too late. You'd better go back home." Zhang Tie raised his head and finished the remaining half of the bottle of liquor.
"Argh! But why?"
"You won't understand!" Zhang Tie shook his head as he didn't want to explain it. He then pulled the bell rope beside him. Soon after that, the steward appeared outside the door of the bar.
After seeing this, the woman could only turn around and sit up. As she tidied her clothes, she watched Zhang Tie with a confused look.
"Your excellency, what can I do for you?"
"Send this woman back home in my car!"
"Please, lady..." the steward made a gesture politely. After glancing at Zhang Tie with an embarrassed expression, the female turned around and picked up her overcoat before walking away in high heeled shoes, while rocking her buttocks.
After only one minute, the steward reappeared in front of Zhang Tie. "Your excellency, I've had the lady sent away. Do you have any other demands?"
Zhang Tie waved his hand, then the steward left silently. Sitting in the room alone, Zhang Tie forced a bitter smile. He knew that if what he did tonight was exposed, someone would swear at him as an idiot for sure. Perhaps other men would never have stopped in that situation. However, he had already crossed the line in his books.
In this age, many people had not treated their wedding banquets seriously. Neither did they treat others' marriages seriously. However, Zhang Tie regarded weddings as the most sacred contract to exist between humans. In his opinion, a wedding was the most sacred, inviolable contract between two partners.
Zhang Tie's opinion about weddings originated from his parents. His parents established a family through marriage. Although his dad and mom always lived calmly in Blackhot City, sometimes they even quarrelled with each other and didn't speak to each other for a few days. All this didn't influence Zhang Tie's views about marriage from his parents and his respect about the sacred marriage between man and woman.
Zhang Tie could not imagine how his family would be if one of his parents had betrayed their marriage during the past dozens of years. As the old Chinese proverb went——don't impose on others what you don't desire. Similarly, what he didn't want his own family to face should not be imposed on other families.
In Zhang Tie's eyes, the contract of marriage between a man and a woman was more sacred and solemn than any other laws. He preferred to violate the laws and regulations of the Norman Empire than to destroy the sacredness and solemnity of a contract of marriage.
Therefore, no matter how much he liked a married woman, he would not touch her. Because Zhang Tie thought these women were protected by their sacred contract of marriage. Even if this contract became trivial in the eyes of the ones who'd established it, Zhang Tie still considered it inviolable.
Additionally, even though Zhang Tie had not met the female's husband, regardless of the man's looks, job, experience and talents, Zhang Tie felt men should at least respect each other, even if they didn't know each other or were enemies. With this respect, one man would not steal another man's object. No matter what, men should have some common values.
Zhang Tie didn't think he was noble. From the beginning, he still felt that he was a man and had his morals. Therefore, he stopped at the most critical moment. There were so many women in the world, but Zhang Tie was not a love king. He would not touch those women who had gotten married. If a thing was pleasant, it should not hurt others.
This was a respect given to both others and himself.
In many people's eyes, this moral standard was hilarious. However, Zhang Tie didn't care. He wanted to satisfy himself.
Zhang Tie immersed himself in the icy bath pool for one hour before recovering his composure.
Zhang Tie cultivated himself silently over the long and deserted New Year's Eve in the empty room of the luxurious presidential suite of Black Gold Hotel.
When Zhang Tie and his brothers of the Hit-Plane Brotherhood reunited with each other after New Year's Eve, everything started to run rapidly.
After meeting Zhang Tie, Barley's father was the first one who determined to leave Blackhot City. The family members of Doug, Hista and Leit also agreed to leave the city after Zhang Tie's visit. Although some of them were still a bit hesitant to leave, they were finally moved when Zhang Tie told them to just take it as a vacation to the seaside if they didn't like the idea of leaving Blackhot City, and that they could come back in three months if they wanted. Even Beverly's parents agreed to take a look in Jinyun Country. If they were not used to that place, they could come back in three months.
Everything was panning out well. After the best private detective in Blackhot City told Zhang Tie about Miss Daina's recent situation, Zhang Tie started to make a clear plan.
It wasn't until then that Zhang Tie discovered Miss Daina had grown up in a single parent family. After her father died, the only family she had left was a paralyzed elder brother who lay on a bed for many years. Because of her elder brother, Miss Daina didn't get married for many years. She just made money to cure her elder brother's disease.
It would cost her a lot to cure her elder brother and employ two people to look after him. Therefore, even on vacations, Miss Daina still worked two part-time jobs.
In one job she was hired as a private teacher by a rich lady. Another job was as the instructor of the No. 4 Female Middle School in Blackhot City on holidays.
With the two part-time jobs, Miss Daina could gain another two gold coins and 74 silver coins. With her income from No. 7 National Male Middle School as a teacher, she could make over 40 gold coins a year. However, she had to spend over 30 gold coins on her elder brother.
Although Miss Daina looked as brilliant as a goddess, she didn't live well in her daily life. She had to bear a great amount of pressure from the cost of living. However, she didn't expose her stress to others or complain about it. Instead, she just bore it silently. She buried all her troubles in fascinating smiles. She looked elegant whenever Zhang Tie saw her in or out of the camp.
After knowing this about her, Zhang Tie thought Miss Daina was respectable. Besides being beautiful and independent, Miss Daina was strong-willed and kind.
On January 5th, the atmosphere of the New Year gradually faded away. On the same day, Zhang Tie met Susan and Fiona of the Rose Association.
When they saw Zhang Tie again, the two girls didn't smile. Instead, they just put many rings on Zhang Tie's hand.
——To my beloved baby Angel——Zhang Tie
——To my beloved baby Sharapova——Zhang Tie
——To my beloved baby Hiltina——Zhang Tie
——To my beloved baby Nya——Zhang Tie
——To my beloved baby Mia——Zhang Tie
Reading those words on the insides of the rings, Zhang Tie felt that something bad had happened. "What's wrong?"
"They're dead!" Susan and Fiona cried at once. "Before death, Angel told us to hand these items to you. She said you understood it!"
'Dead?' Zhang Tie became stunned for a second before he burst out into tears.
"How did they die? Tell me what happened!" Zhang Tie uttered in a terrifying voice as tears flew down his face.
"Soon after you left Blackhot City, Master Abyan's manor recruited some assistants. After hearing about the good treatment over here, they came given that their conditions were satisfied..." Fiona wept as what happened gradually became clear to Zhang Tie...