The leader had no clue if this kid could be trusted, but he wasn’t worried. The boy wanted them to return the stolen goods. Just that fact alone proved that the evidence of theft would be removed and he, the hostage, would be released. As long as they returned the items, the worst that could happen was to be caught by the police and detained for a mere few days. Trains were the perfect place to commit crimes and the reason was simple: there was no way for any of the tourists to stay behind and testify.
They dug into the woven bag that was bulging with stolen items. Sifting through it was troublesome, but Zhang Yang could pick out any item from the bag and immediately identify who it belonged to. This uncanny ability of his saved a lot of time. Without him, the half an hour they had left wouldn’t be enough time to return everything.
Like this, the bulging bag was emptied. The tourists’ eyes shone and they thanked Zhang Yang for his actions—regaining something that they lost drew looks of gratitude from the masses.
“Alright,” Zhang Yang said. “Uncles, aunties, brothers, and sisters—these guys are here looking for work to put food on the table. Since everything was returned safely and no one suffered any damage, let’s give them a way out. Wait for them to give my girlfriend the knives as everyone can see that I don’t want to give them trouble. I had promised to speak on behalf of them, and a man of character ought to stand by his words. With this in mind, I hope that everyone can give me some face.” Zhang Yang pleaded on the criminal’s behalf. “Of course, if they decide to take out weapons and start spewing out threats, no one has to worry. Beat them within an inch of their life. We’re already at the train station, and we have close to two hundred people. It’s not like they can run away.”
Hostility towards the robbers wafted from Zhang Yang as he pushed the knife into the leader’s neck. Tears streaked down the bulky man’s face as the knife dug further into his throat. The man didn’t dare move. No way would he risk a misunderstanding with Zhang Yang. His life was very literally in that kid’s hands. The robbers collectively gulped and didn’t dare speak. As one, they nodded their heads in agreement. They wouldn’t risk hurting anyone. Plus these tourists came from all over the country. Even without Zhang Yang saying anything, there were many who could take initiative. And thanks to Zhang Yang’s efforts, the restless tourists finally calmed.
The leader endured through the pain and ordered his men. “Thank you. Give the knives to the girl. Quickly.” He wanted to get away from here as soon as possible—particularly from the kid. He had revealed a sinister side to him that made the robber extremely uncomfortable.
The other four robbers moved to advance on Zhang Yang.
“Stop!” Zhang Yang yelled. “Stretch out your arms. Do not walk over. Turn over the blade and hand it over to my girlfriend.”
A chill shivered down the leader’s spine. He had just thought of using the girl to force the kid to let him go, but just as the thought had occurred, the kid had put a stop to it. At a mere thought. Dread pumped hard at the leader’s heart. This boy was meticulous. The robber had traveled for ten years and had built his fortune from nothing, but in front of this ruthless boy, he was helpless. Couldn’t even resist. With the dagger at his throat, everything was under Zhang Yang’s control.
Just as Zhang Yang expected, the train slowly rolled into the platform, the adjacent train cars becoming noisy. The people in this carriage grabbed their luggage. If it weren’t for the robbers, the passengers would have already been crowding the doorway.
“You can go. Oh, yeah…” Zhang Yang said. “You won’t retaliate against me. Right?”
“No no no,” the lead robber said. “Of course not.”
“That’s good.” Zhang Yang released a mouthful of air and relaxed. He removed the dagger from the man’s throat.
“Many thanks.” The man didn’t have much to say as he clasped his fist in his other hand as a sign of respect. His subordinates rapidly surrounded another carriage door. By the time they disappeared from the doorway, Zhang Yang faintly saw a few of the men, bare to the waist, take out dark colored tank tops from the inside of their pants pockets. Fully clothed, they integrated themselves into the crowd and disappeared from sight.
The train was still slowing down. Zhang Yang’s body crumbled into the seat and a wave of exhaustion washed over him. Even though he never truly fought, he completely wore himself out standing up to those robbers. With him collapsed in the seat, many tourists expressed their gratitude, but he didn’t have the strength to reply. Sitting in the seat, he leaned heavily against the girl. Zhang Yang didn’t even think of taking advantage of her—he was completely and utterly drained.
“Sorry, classmate Zhang Yang,” the girl said. “I have to leave the train.” She blushed a bright red as she mumbled out the words.
“Ah,” said Zhang Yang as he propped himself up. Color returned to his face as he asked, “Do you go to XX College of Arts and Sciences?”
“Mhm. I am in the second-year Chinese language department. A year lower than you.” The girl couldn’t meet Zhang Yang’s eyes. Lowering her head, she fiddled with the four serrated knives sitting on top of her lap. Her soft, snow white fingers and the hard, steel daggers made a stark contrast.
A gale burst out of the carriage as Zhang Yang stepped off the ground and disappeared without a trace.
“Your wallet…your wallet!” The girl yelled from the carriage. Unfortunately, Zhang Yang had already left without a trace. The only people remaining in the crowds were just people milling about. They had no clue what had just happened.
Somewhere in the distance, Zhang Yang urgently paced in circles. His coffee shop uniform had been blown to pieces so the clothes he now wore were a temporary measure. As such, he had no luggage or anything else of his own to worry about. So, naturally he swaggered unencumbered.
“What to do, what to do…” he asked out loud. “Taking care of his junior’s voluptuous body, how terrible. How terrible!” Zhang Yang stood with his head in his hands—a look of absolute grief carved into his face.
“Shit, this grandpa was just having some fun. But I really shouldn’t take advantage of somebody and be so perverted! But it’s no big deal! Having a little fun isn’t worth shit.” Zhang Yang once again perked up and raised his head.
With a sleazy expression on his face, Zhang Yang looked around before hastily ducking his head down and taking off like a frightened bird afraid of being caught. He sprinted past the ticket gate where five men were on the lookout. It was the same five robbers from before.
“Boss, make ‘im pay!” A man with a fierce face glared at Zhang Yang’s retreating figure.
In immediate response, a sharp crack echoed across the train station. A man with a neck covered in bandages slapped the whining man across the face.