“That’s right.” Yue Wen Wen had had enough. Resting his chin on his arms, he laughed and chimed in, “Such a big man, how could you let a woman chug your drinks? That’s so unsightly, young master Gu.”
Gu Zhen froze. He didn’t expect that Ji Ran would actually get five of a kind with a simple wave of his hand.
“When did you learn such a trick?” Gu Zhe laughed, his expression stiff. “To actually be able to obtain this hand, it couldn’t be that you’ve rigged it?”
“You overestimate yourself. It’s just a drink, do you have to be like this?” Ji Ran shrugged, “It’s just ten glasses yet you want to back out? You really want your woman to help you drink?”
Although his words sounded like a question, the mockery in his tone couldn’t be concealed.
“What’s there to back out on?” Gu Zhe’s smile disappeared. Shrugging his shoulders, he ruthlessly threw off Lily and picked up a glass, “I wasn’t serious about letting her drink. Wasn’t it just because I wanted to find a unique way to play?”
The glassware used by the club wasn’t particularly big but the alcohol content in it was potent. In order to ruin them, Gu Zhe had specially ordered a drink with high alcohol content. With the two types of liquor mixed together, ten cups was more than enough to leave someone intoxicated.
“Finish it.” Ji Ran raised his chin and pointed towards the remaining liquid in the glass, “You left so much. Are you intending to leave it for the fishes?”
Gu Zhe suppressed his fury and picked up the glass once more to finish it. Although Lily hadn’t known him for long, she knew his temper when he got drunk. If she let Gu Zhe return home with this pent up anger, the one to suffer would be her. Therefore, she picked up the bottle to pour the drinks, intending to use some tricks so as not to fill the glass to the brim.
However, Gu Zhe raised a hand and blocked her.
He had already drunk a few glasses beforehand, and in addition to the ten glasses of hard liquor, he was beginning to feel rather intoxicated. His courage undoubtedly increased and so his gaze fell on Qin Man.
“Boss Qin, it must be boring to just sit there,” Gu Zhe slurred, “come, pour me a glass.”
Everyone’s gaze instantly landed onto Qin Man.
They only saw Qin Man glance upwards, his eyes neither hot nor cold as they swept past Gu Zhe. He didn’t move an inch.
Ji Ran’s brows furrowed when he heard this and instinctively turned towards Qin Man. The usual cold and aloof expression flashed across his distinct facial features, disappearing quickly.
Seeing his lack of reaction, Gu Zhe urged him, “Hurry up, don’t hinder our drinking.”
Just as Qin Man opened his mouth to speak, he was cut off by Ji Ran’s following words.
“Why should he pour drinks for you?” Ji Ran smiled, but no one could tell if it was a joking one or one of anger. “Don’t you have hands, or are there no waiters here?”
Ji Ran had originally wanted to question, “Do you think you’re worth it?” but felt that the implication behind these words was putting Qin Man on a high pedestal, so he hurriedly changed it at the last moment.
Qin Man depicted a typical case of a tiger being bullied by a dog and Ji Ran admitted to being that evil dog, the kind to hit him when he was down. But Qin Man was his prey. So, even if he was able to lure this tiger back into his home before cutting him up, he wasn’t willing to sit back and watch as others took a bite of his prey. Especially not if the person was Gu Zhe.
No matter how stupid Gu Zhe was, he could still hear that things weren’t right, “Ji Ran, what are you trying to say?”
“Don’t you understand what I’m trying to say?” Ji Ran couldn’t be bothered to beat around the bush with him, straightforwardly telling him, “Gu Zhe, we’re not really close enough to sit together and then slip away after drinking.”
Gu Zhe had already consumed too many glasses. Having his sore spot be poked by Ji Ran instantly made his face redden in anger, “So you’ve been playing me?”
Ji Ran shrugged, “Do I look like I have time to play with you?”
Gu Zhe leapt to his feet, “You—”
“These two big bosses!” A manager of the club, who’d been standing to the side for a long time, saw that the situation was growing out of hand and hurriedly went forward. “Why are you two sitting together? Isn’t it too cramped? Young master Gu, we’re still holding onto your seat from earlier. Why don’t you go back first?”
Gu Zhe stood up, his face green. Since his reputation was shredded by Ji Ran in front of so many people, he wouldn’t be able to stay in this crowd if he swallowed this indignance.
The expression of the club’s manager grew bitter as he stood on the spot, at a complete loss. These two arrogant young masters possessed nasty tempers, he couldn’t afford to offend either of them.
Yue Wen Wen tried to signal Ji Ran with his eyes, telling him to leave Gu Zhe a path to retreat. After all, a powerful dragon cannot crush a snake in its old hunting grounds. Gu Zhe’s father dealt in the unscrupulous underworld. They might really not be able to outdo him.
However, Ji Ran completely didn’t receive the signal.
Just because he didn’t provoke Gu Zhe, it didn’t mean that he was scared. In the short span of a few minutes earlier, he’d already understood. This person constantly ran over to bother him every few days, it was only a matter of time before they had a fallout.
So, they’d just have to do it now.
Yet he was supposed to leave Gu Zhe a path to retreat? It was already benevolent of him to not kick this fool in the back.
“It’s truly quite crowded. Since you already had your own seat, why did you run over to someone else’s?” Qin Man surprisingly spoke up, his voice flat, “Don’t tell me you’re lacking this little bit of money used for drinking?”
No one expected Qin Man to suddenly speak. Even Gu Zhe froze, his eyes widened in shock, “I lack—”
Before he could get his words out, Qin Man abruptly leaned towards Ji Ran, his tone neutral, “Since you’re old friends, why don’t you help him settle this bill?”
Ji Ran leaned against the sofa languidly, his attitude nonchalant. Hearing these words, he took a moment to respond by waving his hand, as if he was offering alms to the needy, “Put it on my tab.”
“You think I lack your rotten money? You two are doing this on purpose, right?” Gu Zhe burst out laughing in anger, choosing to attack the weaker side first, “Qin Man, who allowed you to interrupt? Who do you think you are? Do you really think you’re the same big boss from the past? Are you confident that I won’t send you out on a stretcher?”
What Ji Ran hated the most was others pretending to be overlords and throwing their weight about, “Who are you kidding…”
“If you really were that great,” Qin Man didn’t show any change in his reaction, “how could’ve your legs been broken half a year ago?”
Once those words were out there, everyone froze. Even Gu Zhe’s voice had died, the shock written on his face was even greater than before.
In the past, he had caused some problems in a different night club and provoked someone he couldn’t afford to anger. As a result, his legs had been broken and he’d been forced to recuperate at home for several months. It was only recently that he started going out again.
The most infuriating part was that the person had great authority. Forget him, even his father dared not offend them. He could only swallow this grievance.
However, he’d been alone that night and matters hadn’t spread either… How could Qin Man know about it?
This was an extremely shameful matter and if it developed further, he wouldn’t need to show his face outside again in the future.
Gu Zhe’s appearance as he left could only be described as nearly pissing his pants in terror.
Yue Wen Wen was overjoyed. Once that demonic group of freaks left, he quickly scooted beside Ji Ran and asked, “Qin Man, what’s the story behind his broken leg? You need to tell us!”
“It’s nothing much,” Qin Man laughed, “he touched someone he couldn’t afford to and had his legs broken.”
“Seriously? That’s hilarious, why didn’t I know of this before?” Yue Wen Wen was stupefied. He took out his phone and went onto his WeChat group, “Has laoniang’s 99 gossip group died?!”
Qin Man answered, “Maybe there’s a problem with your intelligence personnel.”
“Definitely. They’re always up to no good, looking at handsome men all day.” Yue Wen Wen clutched his cellphone and turned towards Qin Man, wiggling his brows, “Big brother Qin Man, now that you’ve officially taken part in our gossip circle, are you interested in joining?”
“Is Ji Ran a member?” Qin Man asked.
Ji Ran raised an eyebrow, “What’s it got to do with me?”
Yue Wen Wen’s peach blossom eyes curved, “He doesn’t want to join because he thinks we’re too noisy.”
Qin Man smiled, “Then, I also won’t join.”
Ji Ran, “…”
Yue Wen Wen also laughed, blinking slowly at him, “Sure, just send me a message whenever you change your mind.”
Yue Wen Wen couldn’t part from excitement. After the show ended, he immediately headed for the dance floor.
With the space beside him empty, Ji Ran clicked his tongue, “Using such a matter to threaten others with, isn’t it too childish?”
From the very start, he’d been prepared to exchange blows with Gu Zhe. However, he never expected matters to end in such a peaceful manner.
“As long as it works,” Qin Man answered. “The security in this club is all under Gu Zhe’s father’s orders. If you get into a fight with him, you’ll be the one at the losing end.”
Just as he said this, a man standing not too far away suddenly ran up to them. He bowed towards Ji Ran, “Brother Ran! Thank you so much for last time, the mechanic you recommended to me is amazing, they have everything. I honestly thought my car was a goner. That car has been with me for so many years, I really couldn’t bear to part with it.”
Ji Ran replied, “No problem. Take note when you’re making a turn in the future, you’re too hasty each time. It’s easy to skid out of the tracks.”
“Okay, but it’s only because I wanted to be like you, landing a beautiful drift. Anyway, let me offer you a toast.”
“Don’t learn from me, you can’t do it.” Ji Ran picked up his cup and knocked glasses, finishing it in one go.
“Hahaha, alright, you’re too amazing. Also…” That person poured out another cup and passed Ji Ran, offering it to Qin Man, “Hello, brother Man. It’s an honour to meet you.”
Having witnessed the entire situation earlier, the man didn’t expect Qin Man to show any sort of reaction. Just as he prepared to drink by himself, he felt the cup in his hands be lightly tapped.
“Hello.” Qin Man’s expression was natural as he drank it all.
Overwhelmed by the attention, he hurriedly drank it, “Brother Man, you probably don’t know me but I… I-I’ve seen you before at a reception.”
“I have a vague recollection.” Qin Man put down his cup, adopting a purposeless tone as he asked, “The race track you just mentioned…”
“Oh, you don’t know? Brother Ran and I recently joined a racing club. We were bored to death and decided to go for a couple of laps, it’s all legal stuff. Is brother Man interested?”
“Why are you telling him so much?” Ji Ran sat up and interrupted his explanation, “Come, accompany me to play dice.”
“I don’t dare play with you, these dice can kill me.” The man laughed, “Brother, Gu Zhe has always been following behind your ass for so long, why doesn’t he know how amazing you are? It’s hilarious how he actually dared to look for you to play dice with.”
Ji Ran snorted, picking up the dice and shaking it before covering it with a cup, “Don’t joke, just two rounds.”
Qin Man sat by the side, watching him. The dim lighting of the club bounced off the side of Ji Ran’s face, defining his silhouette.
The fierce and stubborn person from earlier now wore a uniquely gentle face. His exquisite features made him much more attractive than numerous idols on TV.
Something vibrated inside his pockets. Qin Man retracted his gaze and took a look at his cellphone before getting up, “I’m going to the toilet.”
After he left, the man from earlier finally advised, “Brother Ran, let me tell you, Qin Man isn’t someone you can afford to provoke. You… really shouldn’t push him too much. When I saw him at the reception, do you know who he was talking to?”
Ji Ran bit a cigarette and asked, “Who, the emperor?”
“You’re not wrong, I’m really not exaggerating.”
“I don’t care who it was. Right now, he’s under me.” Ji Ran paused for a second, “Drink up, don’t try to escape.”
Qin Man walked into the bathroom stall and picked up the call, “Mom, what is it?”
“You’re not asleep?” A middle-aged woman’s voice came from the other side, sounding rather tired. “What’s that sound? You’re outside?”
“Mn. I have an appointment.” Qin Man asked, “You’ve reached America?”
“Yes, your father and I just got here. We finished tidying up the flat, when are you coming?”
“There’s no rush, you two can settle in first. I’ll visit when I have the time.”
Mother Ji nodded, “Alright then, I’ll take care of the flowers in the garden and wait for you to return. Don’t spend all of your time at social gatherings. Your dad finally got some time off with much difficulty but now, it’s your turn to be busy. Remember, your body is important. Sleep earlier and remember to eat your three meals.”
“Okay, I will.”
After hanging up, Qin Man turned around and headed to the sink.
He looked up and saw a familiar person standing behind him in the mirror. It was the young, new boss of a certain company.
“It’s really you,” the young boss had an expression of mild astonishment littered with pleasant surprise. “Why are you here? It’s such a coincidence, I was going to look for you in another two days.”
“It is. I came with some friends.” Pulling out a piece of paper towel and wiping his hands, Qin Man smiled, “Why were you looking for me?”
“Right… I’m really sorry to hear about what happened to your family.” The young boss looked around. Although there were few people in the stalls, there were still a couple of drunkards in the area. “How about we find somewhere quiet to talk?”
Qin Man refused, “Let’s just do it here, I still have to go back.”
“Sure,” The young boss replied. “Then, I won’t beat about the bush. Qin Man, since your family is already in such a predicament, have you considered… developing in a different direction?”
“This isn’t the best place for such a discussion, so I’ll cut to the chase. My company is going to be involved in a big project at the end of the year. As long as you’re willing to join us, it’s yours. I can give you this percentage of the cut.” The young boss’s hands sneakily made a couple of gestures by the side.
Qin Man swept a glance over him, “Your company is quite generous.”
“How’s this generous? I know many companies are trying to recruit you, this isn’t much.” The young boss’s eyes lit up, “So, you’re saying…”
“Unfortunately, I have to apologise.” Qin Man smiled, “I currently have a pretty good deal and I plan to rest a little. I don’t intend on resuming an official position for the time being.”
Qin Man returned to the booth and found that Ji Ran wasn’t there.
He asked the waiter from earlier, “Where’s Ji Ran?”
The man froze before explaining, “Brother Ran just got a phone call. It looked pretty urgent so he quickly left. What… he didn’t tell you?”
The night breeze was chilly.
Qin Man walked out of the club and hailed a cab.
Just as he gave the address of a hotel, the phone in his hand vibrated.
[Daddy Ji transferred 1000 yuan to you.]
Following that was a voice message that was a couple of seconds long. It sounded like the other side had the windows rolled down. The noisy wind rushed by as the man’s voice was heard from amidst the chaos, “Tch… something came up, I have to go. Use this money to take a cab back.”
Qin Man received the money without batting an eyelid and immediately forwarded it to a friend he knew that ran a charity.