Normally in this sort of situation, Huo Ran would take five steps forwards at most before Xu Zhifan stopped him.
Jiang Lei even called Xu Zhifan Daddy Xu for a while.
But today, Xu Zhifan didn’t stop them, and they were there to help Xu Zhifan.
All Huo Ran felt was anger as he rushed over.
It’s not like he didn’t sympathize with the neighbours, if it were him, he would also be worried with no way to vent his feelings.
But now, when nobody knew the truth about what happened, Xu Zhifan was just as innocent and he chose to endure it.
Faced with the same situation, Xu Zhifan always considered the other party and held himself back.
Huo Ran wouldn’t tolerate how they treated Xu Zhifan so aggressively despite all of that.
Xu Zhifan jumped down the stairs and out the door, with Li Ling’s brother and his friends right behind him.
When the slightly chubbier one of them reached out to grab Xu Zhifan, he only grabbed air.
Worthy of his title as the hundred metre sprint champion, Huo Ran had already rushed to Xu Zhifan’s side and pulled him away.
Then, Kou Chen grabbed the other guy’s hand before he could pull it back.
Everyone took their places behind them, forming a half circle with the tacit understanding from who knows where.
The atmosphere changed immediately, feeling a little tense.
Huo Ran could almost hear the background music playing.
Every time they went to karaoke, Jiang Lei would sing: “What is justice What is invincibility What is right, and what is wrong Who has the right to decide No matter what! Maybe all it takes is a hand to sway the world, even if I open my mouth, the air will tremble…”
Though he never understood why Jiang Lei loved the song that was even older than him so much.
“It’s cool.” Was what Jiang Lei usually said.
“I’m warning you.” Kou Chen caught the other guy’s hand with one hand, and pointed the other one at his nose.
His voice was cold as he said, “I’m not Xu Zhifan.
Make a move against me, and I’ll send you to the hospital right here.”
“Who wants to fight How long has he been sitting here!” Li Ling’s brother came to save his friend.
He tried to tug his arm out of Kou Chen’s grip to no avail, and his face turned ugly, “Let go, or I’ll call the police!”
“Sure, hurry up.” Huo Ran said.
“Tell them about how you beat up a minor while you’re at it.”
“Go on.” Kou Chen lifted his chin at him.
“Fucking let go!” The guy suddenly raged, and he pushed Kou Chen harshly before thrashing his arm to get free.
Kou Chen’s grip was tight, and the other guy couldn’t pull free.
As he was about to kick Kou Chen, he suddenly raised his hand and let go of him.
He immediately lost balance, and kicked the air before falling over.
Neither Li Ling’s brother nor the other dude could catch him in time.
“I just want to ask Aunt Hu if she knows anything about my mom.” Xu Zhifan said.
“I don’t care about anything else, they left together, and now Aunt Hu came back alone…”
“Do you still think my mom is in the wrong” Li Ling’s brother exploded, “She just woke up, and now you’re trying to push her for answers about your mom! What kind of person are you! She’s still in pain, she can’t even talk!”
Xu Zhifan was probably also at his limit now, and he yelled at Li Ling’s brother: “If it’s really my mom’s fault then she can say it out loud! If something happens to my mom because she won’t say anything, then I’m never forgiving her!”
“Say that again!” His words probably riled Li Ling’s brother up, and he glared at Xu Zhifan as he stalked over.
“Are you **ing deaf!” Huo Ran really couldn’t bear it anymore.
Just thinking about Xu Zhifan’s injuries made the one hundred fuses on his body light up, and he aimed a punch at Li Ling’s brother.
I’m going to **ing beat him up!
Don’t even try to stop me!
In that situation with someone making the first move, it was like the first gunshot during a gang negotiation.
Everyone reacted immediately, not wanting the opponent to gain the upper hand.
But they were only three people, and Kou Chen didn’t even need to lift a finger for them to win.
The mess didn’t last long, and Huo Ran felt that he barely got two punches in before he got pushed out of the pile of bodies, and then the security arrived.
“What’s going on Calm down! This is a hospital!” The security guards yelled as they pulled them apart.
“Don’t think you’ll get another word out of our family now!” Li Ling’s brother’s clothes and hair were messed up.
He didn’t bother to straighten himself out before pointing at Xu Zhifan, “Go **ing ask around somewhere else!”
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
“I didn’t even get any information apart from your complaints!” Xu Zhifan said.
“Vjnf sbeg rtlaas lcobgwjalbc obg sbeg ojwlis agff!” Aljcu Ofl rqja.
“P’nf cfnfg rffc rbwfbcf rb ecgfjrbcjyif ktb atlcxr atfs’gf atf oemxlcu nlmalwr!”
“Ofa wf ufa atlr ragjluta.” Bbe Jtfc rjlv.
“P tjnfc’a obgubaafc jybea sbe jcv sbeg oglfcvr yfjalcu eq We Itlojc.
Tbe yfaafg kjamt sbeg yjmxr ogbw cbk bc!”
“You think you’re so scary, huh I’m I supposed to be **ing scared of a high schooler” Li Ling’s brother said.
“You better be.” Kou Chen lowered his voice, and said calmly.
“As around about the Second Kou, if I want to cause you trouble, it won’t matter where you hide.”
Li Ling’s brother stared at him without saying anything.
Kou Chen’s words really were quite scary, and he probably couldn’t come up with a reply at the moment.
“And you two.” Kou Chen looked at his two friends.
“I’m not done with you either.”
After a few seconds of silence, the security guards finally reacted, “Stop causing a scene here, get out! You’re disturbing the patients!”
“Come on.” Kou Chen murmured, “There’s a police car outside, we shouldn’t get their attention.
There’s nothing more to say to them anyways.”
They all agreed with Kou Chen, but Kou Chen’s earlier words gave them a lot of confidence.
They turned around stiffly, before finally heading outside.
It was starting to snow.
The cool fight background music was still sounding.
“The higher you go! The faster you change, the crazier you get! How can one person win single handedly…”
Huo Ran felt like each step he took was to the beat.
“To have such a temperament! To have all kinds of monsters! Say that justice is too old with a smile! Righteousness is too old! Heaven and Earth cannot be without! No matter what your excuse is!”
All the way to the road, the snow got heavier and heavier, and they had to duck into a nearby supermarket, and that’s when the music stopped.
A New Years song was playing inside, a “it’s always the same few songs from your parents’ generation to yours, what can I do”
“Who’s the Second Kou” The first words out of Hu Yi’s mouth when the entered the supermarket was the question everyone had been holding in.
“My dad.” Kou Chen said.
“Your dad Your dad does stuff like that” Jiang Lei was a bit shocked.
“The kind of name that everyone knows”
“No,” Kou Chen said as he headed towards the counter.
“Seven servings of oden with meatballs, and seven hot hogs.”
“Then…” Jiang Lei kept asking.
“Second Kou is my dad’s nickname, the family calls him that.” Kou Chen got his phone out to pay.
“And you told them to ask around about it” Wei Chaoren was shocked.
“What if they don’t get anything”
“Are you stupid They wouldn’t be able to get anything about anyone.” Kou Chen turned his head to him in disdain, “Do they look like they know anyone They’re just just ordinary working youths.
They wouldn’t even know where to ask.”
They all looked at Kou Chen.
Kou Chen turned around and leaned back onto the counter with his arms crossed: “I was just bluffing, got it When you know that they have no way of making sure, you can say whatever you want.
I was gonna say Black Tiger Kou, but I’ve been thinking about Second Kou these days so it just came out.”
“Excuse me,” The cashier nudged him.
“Don’t block the way, you can sit over there, we’ll get you your food when it’s ready.”
“Thank you.” Kou Chen said.
They took a seat around a small table, and stayed silent.
The cashier brought them their oden and hot dogs, and the Huo Ran asked Xu Zhifan: “You haven’t left the hospital these few days”
“Pretty much,” Xu Zhifan said.
“But I did eat and sleep.”
“You won’t be able to get anything out of them now, right” Xu Chuan frowned.
“Li Ling told me some stuff, Aunt Hu hasn’t said anything since she came back, except for ‘I’m sorry’.” Xu Zhifan said.
“And then she took the meds.
She just woke up today.”
“Sorry for what For scamming the family out of money, or for scamming your mom” Jiang Lei grit his teeth.
“I don’t know.” Xu Zhifan said.
“But I think my mom should be okay, or else Aunt Hu wouldn’t have come back.
She’s pretty timid and afraid of stuff like this.”
Xu Zhifan’s phone dinged, and he looked at him.
Huo Ran and Kou Chen couldn’t help but lean over to see.
Xu Zhifan didn’t hide it either, and he put his phone on the table.
It was a message from Li Ling.
-I’ll ask tonight, but she hasn’t said anything since waking up, I don’t know if she’ll say anything
Xu Zhifan replied with an ‘okay’, and put his phone back in his pocket.
“We’re pretty much sure that it’s a pyramid scheme now, as well as the general area.” Huo Ran said.
“But we don’t know the exact location nor Auntie’s situation.”
Xu Zhifan nodded.
“Let’s go after the parent teacher conference.” Kou Chen said.
“No more waiting, no matter what information comes out now.”
They all nodded.
“We don’t have clues to go off of, it’s basically trying to find a needle in a haystack.” Kou Chen said.
“If we can find more clues, then it’ll be easier to report it to the police too.”
I agree.” Wei Chaoren nodded.
Xu Zhifan didn’t say anything, still a bit hesitant.
“Strength in numbers,” Xu Chuan said.
“It’s a lot safer than you going alone, and we can come up with more ideas.”
“You’re keeping it from your parents,” Xu Zhifan said.
“Can you be more like a high schooler” Huo Ran sighed.
“Don’t overthink it, it’s just gonna be a fun field trip.”
Xu Zhifan stayed silent for another moment, before picking up a meatball: “I won’t say anymore thank yous, there’s no point in that.”
“That’s more like it.” Kou Chen said.
After the parent teacher conference would be their break.
Before, when their marks came out, it would no doubt make some parents happy and some angry.
This time with Old Yuan’s insurance, The Seven of them could hold back their sighs when seeing their lackluster grades.
“Did you really pass everything” Kou Chen laid on Huo Ran’s bed and watched him tidy up.
“Were you really looking forward to me failing so I can keep you company” Huo Ran asked.
“No,” Kou Chen said.
“I feel like you don’t really listen in class either… Are you studying every night behind my back”
“If I studied behind your back every night, then would I just barely pass everything” Huo Ran said.
“Nice,” Kou Chen said.
“That means you’re saying you’re just smart.
You don’t study, but you still pass everything.
“I still learn it more or less,” Huo Ran said.
“I’m still listening when you fall asleep in class.”
“Do I sleep during class” Kou Chen furrowed his brows.
“For the whole class.” Jiang Lei said.
“You don’t know”
“And you do” Kou Chen stared at him.
“Why wouldn’t I know” Jiang Lei said.
“Every time I turn around I see you sleeping.”
“Why do you keep turning around” Kou Chen asked.
“…I get bored.” Jiang Lei said.
“Stop distracting our Ranran,” Kou Chen pointed at him.
“You don’t wanna learn and you’re even distracting other people.
Just sleep like me if you’re bored.”
“I…” Jiang Lei opened his mouth, “Fine, I’ll sleep.”
Kou Chen laughed happily.
“Did you finish your letter” Huo Ran asked.
“Yup,” Kou Chen nodded.
“A little bit, I’ll continue it later.
It’s around three, four hundred characters.” Huo Ran said.
“Same as me” Kou Chen said.
“I thought you were gonna do at least eight hundred, one thousand or something.
“It’s not an essay.” Huo Ran laughed.
He looked around then scooched towards Kou Chen.
“Did you insult Second Kou”
“Yup.” Kou Chen nodded.
“Lemme see.” Huo Ran whispered.
“It’s just a couple sentences, what’s there to see” Kou Chen laid back on his arm and laughed.
“I’ll keep it a secret,” Huo Ran said.
“But it’s fine if you don’t wanna…”
Kou Chen took the piece of pink letter paper out of his back pocket and handed it to him: “Here.”
Huo Ran smiled and he looked around again.
Then he unfolded it carefully.
The first line made him laugh: “You really wrote Second Kou”
“Mhm, feels good to.” Kou Chen raised an eyebrow.
Hello, Second Kou.
I’m your son.
I won’t say anything else, since we’ve known each other for over ten years, we’re familiar.
Second Kou, Second Kou, Second Kou, Second Kou.
I’ve always wanted to call you that, but I never dared.
I don’t think there’s much of a generation gap between us, we just don’t get along all the time.
You’re my dad, and I don’t think I got too unlucky in that regard.
I’ve never thought about replacing you either, since I know you love me a lot.
There’s a saying, that I admit too.
But I always thought that maybe it’s because I’ve never said it, so you don’t know
So sometimes I really worry, what if you want to replace me
But I still want you to know that I probably won’t ever become the son that you wanted.
Like First Kou, Kou A, Kou B, Kou C, Kou D, and them.
Someone that others will look up to.
Are you disappointed
Nothing you can do about that.
I was born, I’ve been beaten, been yelled at, so it doesn’t matter.
You gotta bear that burden now.
Men should be responsible, that’s what you said.
I’ll comfort you a bit.
Although I didn’t grow up to be what you wanted, I’m still your son.
In any case, there’s no other choice, so we should get along in the future.
You probably won’t read this letter, so I’m gonna start the insults now.
Who said I’m good for nothing! I got a bunch of first places on Sports Day! How am I good for nothing! Do I have to get good grades! And! I like to cry! I’ll cry if I want to! I can’t cry when you’re yelling at me! I can’t cry when I’m sad! I can’t cry for no reason!
Last warning to you.
I can grow into whatever I want, I don’t need your opinions! As long as I’m not mutated, It doesn’t matter if I want to grow into a beanstalk or a baobab tree!
Second Kou! Second Kou! Second Kou!
But I still admit that you’re a good man.
I am too, just in a different way.
So stop yelling at me! Yell at me again and I’ll run away from home!