Lihao, third floor.
In the private room, the man was groping Lan Xin with his greasy hands, while she was entertaining him perfunctorily and pushing him away, drinking one glass after another. This guy could hold his liquor well and was not drunk at all, but her own head slowly got dizzy while accompanying him to drinking. Seizing the opportunity, the man hugged her tightly and kissed her face intimately with his bearded mouth. There was a strong smell of alcohol and bad odour mixed in his breath, and his hands moved indecently to her chest, kneading randomly. Lan Xin felt sick. Aware that it couldn’t go on like this, she covered her mouth with a hand and made a retching sound. “Boss Dou, I’m dying. I’m going to the bathroom.”
The man was dissatisfied, but afraid she would really vomit on him, he squeezed her butt tightly and said, “Go ahead.”
In the bathroom she threw up all the wine she had just drunk by sticking a finger down her throat and leaned on the sink to rest exhausted. There was a slight vibration in the small leather bag she carried with her. She took out the phone to check the number, and threw it aside in disgust. The phone kept vibrating on the counter. The same number was displayed again and again. She frowned, picked up, and asked coldly, “What’s the matter?”
“Smelly girl, you fucking don’t answer Lao Tzi’s call! Fuck you, fucking bitch! Come back to see if Lao Tzi doesn’t fuck you…” the swear words kept pouring.
Lan Xin shook with anger while holding the phone and gritted her teeth. “Zhao Jun, are you done? I told you not to call me when I am at work.”
“What kind of work are you doing? Are you flirting and letting them touch you, or are you spreading your legs for them? Don’t your guests think you are loose underneath?” the drunk man said. “You actually moved. Did you think I won’t find you after moving? Ha! Guess where I am now?” Then she heard the cries of her daughter, Yuanyuan.
With bloodshot eyes, Lan Xin yelled on the phone, “Fuck you, Zhao Jun! Don’t touch her! She is your daughter!”
“You sleep with other men all day long, heaven only knows if she is my daughter,” the man said. “I won’t touch this little bastard if you give me money, ok?”
As she listened to the little girl’s cries on the phone getting louder and louder, she felt as if a knife was stabbing her in the heart and burst in tears. “You forced me to become an escort girl! You forced me! I have already given you all the money. You’re… Zhao Jun, please, let our child go, please…”
“You have no money? Then take this little bastard to work in that place with you. Mother and daughter paired up together, your customers will definitely like it even better.”
“Damn it! You’re not human!”
“That’s right, I’m not human. You are human. You have to be nice to our daughter.” Zhao Jun laughed. “I am waiting for you at home. You must bring the money back before I finish drinking this bottle, otherwise, If I accidentally lose control of myself, she will be sent to the hospital again. Not much, I only want 20,000. Give me 20,000 and I will leave and never bother you again. Wife, come back soon.”
He hung up the phone. The exhausted Lan Xin lay on the sink and burst in tears. The tears smeared the heavy makeup on her face, making her look both funny and miserable. However, crying wouldn’t solve anything. She still had Yuanyuan, and she had to find a way to raise enough money to fill this bottomless hole. She raised her spirits, washed her face with cold water, fixed her make-up, smiled in the mirror, and walked back to the private room.
After a while, the door of the private room was fiercely kicked open and Boss Dou walked out angrily. Lan Xin threw herself at his feet and begged, “Boss Dou, please, lend me 20,000 yuan! I am willing to work like an ox for you. You can play however you want…”
“Fuck you!” Boss Dou gave her a hard kick. “I’m here to have fun, not to do charity. Get lost!”
Almost crying, Lan Xin grabbed his foot. She had no choice. Zhao Jun liked to drink and gamble and owed a lot of money. He came to ask her for money every couple of days, and would beat her and Yuanyuan if he didn’t get it. A while ago, loan sharks even broke into their rental room, scaring the two women hiding in the closet into shaking. She hurriedly moved, thinking she could get rid of the scumbag, but she didn’t expect him to show up at her door again now. She had borrowed money everywhere she could, and no one had been willing to lend her money any more for a long time now, so she could only ask her customers. Boss Dou had called for her many times, and was considered a regular customer of hers. She didn’t expect he would refuse to help her. She clung to the other person’s leg, feeling like she was holding onto her last straw.
“Not letting go?” Boss Dou’s drunkenness took over. He grabbed her hair, raised his hand, and was about to slap her, but his hand was caught halfway through. He became all the more violent, turned his head and said, “Who is this? So full of himself that he is meddling in other people’s affairs!”
The young man who grabbed him looked at him coldly with dark brown eyes, and said, “Don’t lay a hand on women!”
“Fuck you…” Before Boss Dou could finish speaking, he received a fist in the face, and fell backwards, landing heavily on the ground. It was the person following behind the young man who punched him just now.
Lan Xin looked up stunned, saw the man standing before her, and said somewhat perplexed, “…A-Zhou?”
Chu Yunhan stretched out his hands to help her up. When he was about to touch her, he paused, and his lips tightened, before grabbing her arm and helping her up. The disgust of physical contact was still there, but it had improved a lot under his restraint and self-control.
“Long time no see. It looks like you are not doing very well,” he said.
The unexpected concern made the heart originally covered in hard armor suddenly turn fragile, and tears started rolling down. Lan Xin absent-mindedly wiped her face with the back of her hand, choked with sobs, and said, “Not so well.”
“Little brat, you dare to beat people here, without even caring to ask whose turf this is!” Bai Yang had given him a black eye and Boss Dou didn’t dare to step forward. He just sat on the ground, covering his face with his hands and cursing.
“Oh? Whose turf is it?” Chu Yunhan raised an eyebrow and looked at him.
The man said viciously, “Hey, your kid is violent, he dares to cause trouble in the Black Hawk Club. Very soon, you’ll be kneeling down at Lao Tzi’s feet to apologize!”
He smiled and saw Cao Kun and Luo Ning hurriedly rush over from the elevator into the corridor, but did not speak. Lan Xin turned pale. She suddenly grabbed his wrist and said, “Don’t say anything, I will take responsibility for everything.”
She knew that the guests here had all sorts of complex social relations. Judging from their previous contact, even though this Boss Dou was called boss, he felt more like someone’s lackey, but even if he wasn’t involved in gang activities, they couldn’t offend a small fish like him. Furthermore, Lihao was Golden Eagle’s territory. To put it bluntly, to be able to run this kind of gray business smoothly, the forces and managers behind it were by no means upright. She had seen how troublemakers ended in Lihao. Now, A-Zhou and his friend had injured someone because of her, so she couldn’t let them stand up for her again. She quickly wondered how to explain it, but couldn’t think of a good excuse and trembled all over with tension and fear.
This woman hadn’t changed. She was obviously scared to death, yet she had to put on a bold face and stand in front of him.
Chu Yunhan still remembered that when he was hiding in Lihao as a waiter, he once accidentally spilled wine on a guest. She was in the private room with him and stepped in front of him, apologizing and laughing. Later, the guests deliberately made things difficult for her, making her take off her clothes. After touching and kissing her, the incident was forgotten. She didn’t want him to thank her afterwards, and waved it off with the sentence “I’m used to being touched”. Later, the two got closer and he got a vague impression of her family situation. A heavy drinking husband addicted to gambling, a five-year-old daughter, the whole family relied on her to make money. She always applied heavy make-up to conceal the bruises on her face. Back then, he only tried to keep a low profile and could not do much for her, but now things were different.
Chu Yunhan took off his thin coat and put it on her. Then he took out a handkerchief and wiped her face gently and carefully. He used to be a playboy before and still knew how to treat girls. Lan Xin was overwhelmed by his actions. She looked at the nightclub executives who stood aside anxiously. She was about to say something, but saw General Manager Cao Kun walk to him and say with a smile, “Young Master Yun, I didn’t know you were here. Not coming down to welcome you was very rude of me.”
“Let’s skip the formalities. I don’t have much time. To make a long story short,” Chu Yunhan was a bit impatient, “this guest wanted to use violence on the woman, so he was beaten up by Mr. Bai Yang next to me. If the police want to arrest someone, they should just arrest him.”
“Master…” Bai Yang didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
“But I have worked here, and I know Director Luo’s outstanding capability. He must have a way to ‘persuade’ this gentleman to give up calling the police and handle everything properly.” He turned to Luo Ning and asked with a smile, “Am I right?”
Luo Ning was a member of the Intelligence Department of the Black Hawk Club and the person Chu Yichen arranged to manage Lihao. Chu Yunhan knew his identity from the time he was hiding in Lihao. The obvious threat in his words implied that if he didn’t handle it well, he would settle accounts with him later. Luo Ning understood this and, standing neatly with his hands alongside his body, said, “Yes.”
Seeing Lan Xin stare at him in shock, Chu Yunhan smiled, “Let’s go.”
Boss Dou, who finally stood up with difficulty, saw the group of three who had beaten him walk away and asked Cao Kun furious, “You let him go like this? He beat me! Is that how you treat guests? How is this possible in the Black Hawk Club? Absolutely useless…”
“This guest, I think you’d better pay attention to your words.” Luo Ning’s tall body stood before him, blocking most of the light above his head. Cao Kun said helplessly, “Now, let’s talk about your compensation Mr. Dou. Please follow me.”
“Have you made a mistake? Why should you compensate me when it was him who hit me?”
“Because this nightclub is one of his properties,” answered Luo Ning with an expressionless face.
It was almost autumn, and the temperature dropped at night. Lan Xin, who walked out of the nightclub, said softly, “A-Zhou, you…”
“My name is Chu Yunhan.”
She silently repeated the name to herself, and smiled reluctantly. “Thank you, I…I have to go back.”
“What do you need 20,000 yuan for?” he asked.
She lowered her head and was silent for a moment. Then she said, “To save my daughter… and myself…”
In fact, Chu Yunhan already had a rough guess in mind and only asked her for confirmation. He turned to Bai Yang, “Go gather a few bodyguards and then find me the person in charge of this area.”