They were just asking for a beating.
Just listen to that self-righteous tone.
The two lines of people immediately crashed together in a scuffle and fought relentlessly. Zhou Dalei wished he could strip off his shirt, bare his shoulders, and burn up all the energy in his body. Just show them what comes of pissing him off. “You steal my violet weapon, you steal my violet weapon, I’ll let you steal my violet weapon!”
“We didn’t steal anything! Is this considered stealing? If your skills aren’t as good as ours then just admit it. Fuck, don’t hit someone’s face!”
Amidst the chaos—
With wide eyes, Xie Yu saw the masked teenager who had initiated the fight, and who emanated an aura of being the chief of this lot, quietly minding his own business. He gradually left the battlefield while minding his own business. His ‘minding my own business’ skill was very good; no one discovered him as he quietly left.
As he left the arena, he even raised a hand to tidy his hair.
He was very concerned with appearances.
On this hot summer day, he wore long sleeves and pants, and even wore a mask so that his features couldn’t be seen.
He was clearly making for the shade beneath the trees. He glanced around at the surroundings and saw only the area where Xie Yu was standing was devoid of sun, so Xie Yu soon found someone else next to him.
Mask was fairly tall, about half a head taller than Xie Yu.
He and Xie Yu stood shoulder to shoulder watching the fight, then he leisurely pulled a lollipop from his pocket. Pink strawberry, Zhen Zhi brand. He unwrapped it in three movements. It was very hot and the sugar had melted some, and Xie Yu smelt a cloying sweetness spreading through the air.
He pulled aside the mask, the black material hanging loosely at his chin, and ate the lollipop for a while. He didn’t seem to have any patience for the sweet; after sucking for a while, he crunched it to pieces with his teeth. Only when he looked for somewhere to throw away the rubbish did he realize the person standing next to him might also be a challenger from the opposite side who had come to demand the violet weapon.
Xie Yu endured it for a while then couldn’t hold back any more: “What are you looking at?”
After surreptitiously watching someone and then being directly called out by said person, the guy didn’t seem uncomfortable at all. Without any change in expression he put the mask back on, his fingers a stark contrast against the black fabric they were curled in. His complexion seemed unnaturally pale. “You’re with that lot, too?”
Xie Yu said, “So what if I am.”
Mask thought for a while and said, “Friend, let’s go a couple rounds?”
On the other side, the fight was going terribly. Frankly, Xie Yu found it embarrassing and didn’t really want to join in. “Friend, I advise you to value your life.”
Mask folded up his sleeves twice, revealing slender wrists: “What a coincidence, I like courting death.”
Two rounds later, Xie Yu had to admit that this person was unexpectedly good.
His fighting moves were very clean: done in a single breath, quick, vicious, and accurate. Accidentally taking one of his hits would hurt from flesh right down to the bone.
Xie Yu had tussled with a lot of people since he was young. When he was small he had taken a lot of hits; after turning ten, it had basically just been him hitting other people. He very rarely experienced the other side getting the advantage of him.
When Xie Yu was about to use a dirty move to trip Mask onto the ground, with just a moment’s effort from Mask, the battlefield became the ground. Mask held their position for a long time, then pinned Xie Yu’s arm. He tried to get up from under Xie Yu but suffered another blow from Xie Yu’s knee to his stomach.
“Wait a moment—” Mask said, “Do you know what the ground temperature is today?”
There had been a heatwave for the past few days. The temperature was in the red warning zone, and every day there were people doing sunny-side-up egg experiments on the ground.
Xie Yu was about to say, Surely a grown man such as yourself isn’t that sensitive?
Just as Xie Yu was distracted, Mask pushed him and flipped them over. The positions of the two were instantly reversed, and Mask lifted an eyebrow; his eyes were deep-set and close together, his gaze deep and unfathomable.
He was very close, one hand supporting his weight next to Xie Yu’s neck. He said, “It’s quite warm. Feel it.”
“Feel your grandpa.”¹
On the floor, the two didn’t even manage to go a few rounds.
Xie Yu felt the weight on his body suddenly disappear. Mask had swiftly got up off of him, dusted off his trousers, and stretched out a hand to Xie Yu to pull him up, suddenly spouting nonsense: “… Friend, how could you be so careless? Tripping on flat ground? Be careful when you walk. If you’re like that, how can I let you go walking around the park alone?”
Xie Yu really couldn’t understand this development. “Are you an idiot?”
Mask said, “You’re the idiot.”
Then Mask yelled to the other side, “Stop—don’t fight any more, the cops are here.”
Only now did Xie Yu faintly hear the sound of a police car. Immediately after, he saw five or six police officers in full attire getting out of the cars one by one on the other side of the road, yelling across the street: “On your knees! Hands on your head! Don’t move! Brawling in public! You’ve got guts, have you!”
They were some distance from the public brawl and Mask’s reaction was very quick. He had already pulled Xie Yu to a standing position before the officers got out of their cars, and the police did not suspect that beneath the trees were two fish that had escaped the net, fighting one-on-one while enjoying the shade.
Mask slung an arm across Xie Yu’s shoulders. From afar, the two looked like good friends taking a stroll through the park at 10:30 in the morning. “No need to thank me. My hearing’s pretty good. How about this, let’s coordinate our statements. What sort of persona do you want? I’ve already thought of something for me. I’m an innocent bystander who ate too much for breakfast and came to the park for a stroll.”
Xie Yu said coldly, “I can’t be bothered with you.”
Xie Yu continued, “You came out to fight and you’re afraid of the cops?”
”Not afraid.” Mask shrugged and said with indifference, “It’s just annoying.”
The two should have been fortunate enough to watch the police take the other ten away, but man proposes, God disposes.
One of the guys whose personality wasn’t that strong had broken down. He looked left and looked right and didn’t see his big bro, then he turned his head and saw his big bro standing under the tree. In a panic, he yelled like a chick looking for its mother: “—Zhao-ge!”
He Zhao was really cursing up a storm in his heart.
Xie Yu: “Zhao-ge? You?”
He Zhao said, “If I said I wasn’t, would you believe me?”
Xie Yu shrugged off the arm He Zhao had put on his shoulder. The act of brotherhood reached its end and he immediately did an about-face: “You should ask the cops if they believe you.”
Of course, the cops wouldn’t believe it.
They’d rather make an incorrect arrest than let someone go free. In any case, they’d take them back to the station first and then see.
The officer stood in front of them, looking first at one and then the other. For a moment, he wasn’t sure which one of them was “Zhao-ge.” “Zhao-ge? Who?”
He Zhao took the first step to acknowledge the name by which he was known in those circles. “Me. It’s me. Surname He, name Zhao. Written zhuo-yue, Zhao.”²
Before Xie Yu had even had a chance to save himself and distance himself from them, he heard the person who had just pulled him up from the ground and who had wanted to coordinate statements with him, introduce him to the officer: “Uncle officer, he’s the person I was fighting with.”
Xie Yu: “… Really, I have to say thank you.”
”Take them along! Take them all back!”
At the police station.
There were too many of them: seventeen or eighteen people lined up to enter, like a long line walking the red carpet. After reaching the designated spot, they split into two lines facing each other. They squat, hands over their heads, looking very much like criminals in a TV drama.
Zhou Dalei even thought this was quite novel. He nudged Xie Yu with his arm: “Old Xie, do you think we’re like drug dealers? I’ve only seen this kind of treatment on TV. Speaking of which, the cops of Black Water Street are quite nice, comparatively. They even gave us a bench to sit on.”
Xie Yu: “You still want to sit on a bench? Keep thinking about it.”
He Zhao, squatting opposite Xie Yu, couldn’t hold back a laugh.
The officer sitting right in the center of the meeting table now rapped the table. “What are you doing? Do you think you’re having a tea party? And you, what are you laughing at? And you’re still wearing that thing. You even know that you’re embarrassing yourself? Take it off.”
He Zhao obligingly removed the mask. “It’s not that. I’m sensitive to ultraviolet light.”
“Then you’re quite determined. Even came out to fight.”
He Zhao said, “Couldn’t help it, it’s for my subordinates. I’m actually a pacifist. I don’t like all this fighting.”
Zhou Dalei nudged Xie Yu with his arm again. He tried to hold it in but really couldn’t. “Damn, he’s a handsome devil.”
Xie Yu: “Zhou Dalei, do you think that it’s appropriate to get a crush on a guy while you’re squatting in a police station?”
He Zhao heard it, and in a good mood returned the compliment: “Brother, you’re quite good-looking, too.”
Zhou Dalei let out a snort of laughter. He felt that this guy was interesting: “Hey, are you mixed? You look a little western.”
Although the person in front of him was squatting, his strong presence didn’t diminish in the least. His hair was clean-cut, revealing half his forehead; the bridge of his nose was high, and his eyes were narrow and long. His double eyelids were cut deep; when he looked at others, his eyes seemed to speak. Deep and incomprehensible, both dangerous and careless.
”I’m mixed blood from eight countries. Ancestors lived three generations in Europe, then went towards Southeast Asia. My dad is Arabian, my mom is French.” Seeing Zhou Dalei’s expression become more and more worshipful, He Zhao stopped, then said incredulously “……you believed that? I’m Chinese. Pure, not mixed blood.”
Seeing these two about to overcome their enmity and form a friendship, the officer finally got to the point and strangled the friendship in its cradle: “Which of you is going to explain what all this is about? Why were you fighting?”
Zhou Dalei immediately jumped up: “Because they stole something from me! My violet weapon! The item of my courage and my faith!”
The officer motioned for him to stop. “Child five?³ And they stole something?”
Xie Yu’s head hurt from listening. He felt that the forthcoming content would really be a little embarrassing.
As expected, Zhou Dalei said earnestly, “It’s a precious sword used by Pangu when he opened the heavens and split the earth. It has 999+ defense and offense. With it, I can rule the world and sell it for money at that. Selling it for money is the important part.”
“We didn’t steal it.” The other group wasn’t happy. They all said, “How can this be called stealing? The Pangu God Sword fell on the ground. It didn’t have a name on it or anything.”
The officer wondered if he had caught a bunch of crazies.
In order to uncover the most genuine motive for the fighting, and to more deeply understand the series of events in this situation, the few officers downloaded the online game, ‘Genesis.’
How all this had happened was really laughable.
They said it was a public brawl but nobody was hurt, and by the time the police arrived they had already stopped, so no explosive scene had been seen.
“Who has the Pangu God Sword?”
Someone raised a hand: “Here. It’s with me.”
The officer had decided on a perfect punishment to fit the crime. “Log into your account.”
“I’ve logged in. It’s in that, my pack, it’s that violet one, that’s right…”
Then the officer took the mouse and, in the right-click menu, selected [Toss.]
“I’m showing you that in a harmonious society, the Pangu God Sword doesn’t count for anything.” The officer righteously turned around to face the group of ‘juvenile delinquents’ who were on the verge of crying and said passionately, “No matter how valuable it is, can it be more valuable than our country’s peace?”
Zhou Dalei: “……!?”
Xie Yu: “……”
He Zhao: “……”
 feel your grandpa: a curse (kind of like ‘feel, my ass’, but not quite as flirty.)
 zhuo: 卓 yue: 月 Put together they form the character 朝 from He Zhao’s name.
 ‘violet weapon’ (zi wu) sounds the same as ‘child five.’