Volume 49: All Is Lost
Outside the window was the endless rain in the night sky. The house was brightly lit and the nice smell of alcohol filled the house.
"Master Lie, I’ve helped you get rid of the police officer named Han Luoxi. This is the evidence she has collected on you."
Lie Guoxiao put down the red wine glass in his hand, opened the envelope, and laughed, "Naughty little girl, seeking death. She dared to investigate me! Cooperating with Mr. Zhou is really easy and enjoyable. Every time I say a name, you will surely make them disappear. Mr. Zhou is really godlike!"
Sitting on the sofa, Zhou Tiannan smiled humbly. "By the way, about this Han Luoxi, her boyfriend is the policeman who’s been causing us trouble. I took advantage of the situation. Has Master Lie read today's police announcement?"
The subordinates immediately searched with their mobile phones and handed them to Lie Guoxiao. The police had just issued a wanted warrant on Weibo. The suspect was Song Lang, formerly the captain of the second city criminal police team. He was suspected of shooting and killing two colleagues. Now, he had escaped. Those who provided clues could get the reward of 100,000 yuan.
Lie Guoxiao frowned, "Shooting a colleague? What a heinous crime. Greet their chief. As a good citizen, I am willing to give another million as a reward!"
This was just a joke. Zhou Tiannan and Lie Guoxiao both laughed. After laughing, Lie Guoxiao said, "Mr. Zhou's methods are really clever, framing a criminal police captain. However, I think it's better to get rid of him. People are the most terrifying when they’re filled with resentment. They might make a comeback in the future."
Zhou Tiannan looked out the dark window. "No, in this absurd world, living is the real torture. Imagine his current situation. Hiding around, sneaking about where even survival cannot be guaranteed. Survival will force him to give up boring principles. He will eventually become the person he once hated the most. I’m excited just thinking about it. He can't threaten me at all. He couldn't in the past, and he can't now. If he really threatens me, it'll be extremely easy to get rid of him. Before that, let him continue to suffer!"
"Haha, Mr. Zhou seeks something. This old man is just a rough fellow who only knows how to make money."
An uninvited guest came out from Goupi Alley. His face was covered with thick bandages. Underneath the bandages, traces of blood could be seen. Only two eyes were exposed, and he was wearing a shabby overcoat. It was raining heavily that day, and the uninvited guest was standing outside Kaowei’s door, knocking on it rhythmically.
As soon as Kaowei opened the door, the tea cup in her hand almost fell in fright. She thought he was a bad person and was about to close the door. The bandaged man grabbed her arm. His hand was strong and powerful, but not rough. Before Kaowei was about to yell, the bandaged man pointed to the paper pasted on the wall.
"You want to rent the attic?"
The bandaged man nodded.
"Wait... I'll talk for my husband to come back to discuss it first!"
"You don't have a husband." The other party said in a hoarse voice. His vocal cords seemed to be injured.
"How could you tell?!" Kaowei did indeed lie just now. She was afraid of this person.
The bandaged man pointed at her shoes, her knees, and her fingers. Kaowei didn't understand what this meant, but the bandaged man didn't seem to want to talk much.
She could only let him in and give him a tour of the attic. It was a dilapidated attic with a low ceiling and only one mattress. You had to use a toilet bucket to go to the toilet, then go to the public toilet in the alley to empty it. It was hot in summer and cold in winter. When it rained, there were water leaks. The conditions weren’t much better than prison cells.
Kaowei only rented it out to supplement her finances. She felt embarrassed to show people around and said, "The price can be negotiated..."
The bandaged man took out a wad of banknotes and handed them to Kaowei. It was exactly enough for one month. Kaowei asked, "You want to stay here for a month?"
The bandaged man nodded.
She originally wanted to tell him that it couldn’t be rented for short periods, but this man was scary and the attic really couldn’t be rented out. She could only agree. She wasn’t used to being a landlord all of a sudden. She said, “If you want to drink water, you can go downstairs. I can help you order takeaway for dinner, but you have to pay for it. You can go in and out but you’re not allowed to move things around downstairs. You can’t go out past 10:00 in the evening. Also, don’t smoke..."
The bandaged man had already taken out his cigarettes and started smoking. Kaowei pouted, "I’ll give you a jar as an ashtray. Try not to smoke in the house. It’s easy for this place to catch on fire."
She went downstairs. Kaowei’s house was an old tiled house. There was a room on the upper and lower floors and the living room and bedroom weren’t separated. She just used curtains to cover her sleeping area. Poverty was the norm in Goupi Alley. This was one of Long’an’s dirtiest and chaotic areas.
After gaining that money, she was going to pay off the debt she had with her neighbor, Ms. Zhang. Kaowei sighed. She had a large number of debts. Some were large, some were small, and there were also huge debts where she could only pay interest on every month. The meager income she had would never pay off her debts. She could only try and get by every day.
When she got to Ms. Zhang’s house, Ms. Zhang wore a big smile when she got the money. She also lectured her on a few life principles. "Little Wei, you young people don’t know how to live and just spend lots of money. You know how much I spend in a day? Ten yuan! I put the bucket under the faucet every night, twist it lightly, and have it drip drop by drop so that the water meter doesn’t tick away. I can have a big bucket just by doing this at night. I haven't needed to pay the water bill for half a year now. There’s also a nearby vegetable market. At night, I follow all the old ladies and collect all the vegetable leaves thrown away from the stalls. We don’t have to spend money on food. Of course, financial management isn’t only about cutting expenditure, but also open source. You should put your money into Caiguangguang. You’ll get returns on your money every month. I made fifty yuan this month! Don’t look down on this amount. That’s because I only have five people below me. When there’s more, it may be five hundred or five thousand. Aiyo, when that happens, I can just lay at home every day and count the money."
Ms. Zhang kept talking about the suspicious financial products she participated in every three sentences. She wanted to develop Kaowei into someone who worked below her. Every time she mentioned it, her face was red and her eyes glowed, as if she had eaten ginseng.
"No, no, I don't earn enough money to spend. I won't consider financial management for the time being." Kowei smiled and declined.
"Haii, if you don't manage money, the money won’t care about you!" Ms. Zhang felt sorry for her.
There was a nasty movement from the poorly soundproofed wall. Ms. Zhang rolled her eyes and slapped the wall angrily, "You damn old man, keep your voice down. Isn't it disgusting in the daytime?!"
An old tailor lived next door. He wore a gray suit all day long, combed his shiny white hair back, and always tucked a neatly folded handkerchief in his chest pocket. He often visited various weathered entertainment areas. Due to this, he owed various high-interest loans to loan sharks.
Recently, he discovered a "seduction" method. By making small skirts and dresses that young people liked, he could use it to seduce young girls. Old tailors bought this kind of book and followed suit so that they could seduce young girls every few days to go to their stores.
They often stayed for over ten minutes, wearing beautiful new dresses when they left, while the old tailor lit up a cigarette and took a piece of chalk to record another tally on the wall.
There were sirens in the distance, and the perverted movement next door suddenly stopped. The old man panted as he said, "Hurry up and put on your clothes... put on your original ones!"
"Grandpa is a liar. You said after we finished doing the deed, you’d give me the dress."
"But we haven’t finished?"
"You've already X, so why doesn’t it count?"
"I've finished physically, but that doesn't mean I've finished psychologically... Don't talk nonsense and get dressed quickly!"
Ms. Zhang also hurriedly put away the leaflets and pamphlets about Caiguangguang on the table, and asked Kaowei to go outside to see if the police were coming over. Kaowei took a look outside and said, "They’re here!"
1. Pyramid scheme.
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