After getting in the car, Zhou Xiao chain-smoked cigarettes one by one, forcibly lifting his energy, but he began to cough even harder. At a certain moment, he covered his mouth with his hand and coughed up some strands of blood. Then, he wiped his mouth and lit another cigarette. Tao Yueyue imagined that his trachea was probably hardened like a rubber hose.
"Where are we going?" Tao Yueyue asked.
"We’re going to the city and find someone casually, follow them home, kill them, and then live in their house." Zhou Xiao replied lightly.
"But your current state..."
"You don't need to worry about me!" Zhou Xiao roared with bloodshot eyes.
Tao Yueyue took the dead person's wallet out of the bag and found a receipt from it. "This courier note has an address. It should be where they live. We can go and stay there for a bit."
Zhou Xiao grabbed it, took a look, and agreed.
Two hours later, they arrived at an old housing community, found the apartment, and Tao Yueyue picked the lock.
The house was small, dirty, and smelly. Three large bowls were stacked on the coffee table. There was some soup and cigarette butts floating in it. Tao Yueyue frowned in disgust. Actually, the plan was very simple. When Zhou Xiao fell asleep, she’d put him under control and then go find the police nearby to arrest him.
Zhou Xiao moved to the sofa and sat down with difficulty. Tao Yueyue stood at the door. Zhou Xiao secretly held the knife in his hand. "Yueyue, come here."
His voice was gentle, but Tao Yueyue shuddered. She remembered a story Chen Shi had told her before. When an old rich man was about to die, he summoned his beautiful concubine to his side and disfigured her with a smoking pot because he didn't want his concubine to be possessed by others after his death.
Tao Yueyue discovered Zhou Xiao's movement of hiding the knife. She guessed that he was going to kill her to avoid future troubles.
"I won't run." Tao Yueyue vowed.
"I'm asking you to come over! Do you hear me?!"
"I'll buy you medicine. What do you need?"
Zhou Xiao angrily stabbed the knife on the coffee table. "No going out!"
"Why don’t you believe me?"
"Why should I believe you?!" Zhou Xiao looked around. "Go to that room and stay there."
Tao Yueyue shook her head. "You want to lock me up again? If I wanted to run, I’ve had many opportunities just now. You want to train me to be people like you, but you don’t trust me and guard me everywhere. Did Teacher Zhou train you like this previously?"
Zhou Xiao seemed to be persuaded. The illness weakened his judgment a lot. He suspiciously asked, "Don’t you hate me for the thing regarding Gu You?"
"Of course I hate you, but you also saved me last night. I will seek revenge from you in the future, but right now, I need to pay back your favor because I don't want to owe you anything." Tao Yueyue lied, feeling her own logic was very unconvincing.
Zhou Xiao reluctantly believed her. "Glucose, infusion tubes, anti-inflammatory drugs, syringes... a lot of painkillers, and cigarettes!"
"You’ll really die if you smoke like this."
Zhou Xiao gritted his teeth and stabbed the knife into the coffee table. "I don't need you to educate me on how I live!!! Hurry and get lost!!!"
Tao Yueyue opened the door and left. Under fresh air and sunshine, she felt refreshed physically and mentally. First, she had to find a place to make a call. She saw a man in the community and said, "Hello, uncle, I want to borrow your mobile phone."
The man waved his hand desperately before speeding up his pace and walking away.
Then, she said to a woman, "Hello auntie, my cell phone is dead. I want to call my family. May I borrow your cell phone?"
The woman looked at her suspiciously. "I'm sorry, my phone is out of battery as well." Then, she also left quickly.
Tao Yueyue immediately discovered the reason for her rejections. Her clothes and face were dirty, and her face was injured from getting beaten. Such an appearance would naturally be rejected when talking with strangers. People in the city were very vigilant, especially in Long’an.
If she didn't go back soon, with Zhou Xiao's vigilance, he would immediately move out.
Zhou Xiao was now like a sick cat. He could be handled with just a sleeping pill.
Tao Yueyue got to a nearby pharmacy and walked between the stands looking for sleeping pills, but there were no sleeping pills she knew of, at least, not on the shelves.
The pharmacist came over and asked vigilantly, "What do you need, little girl?"
"Pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, saline bottles, infusion sets, syringes, and mineral water."
"Do you have a prescription?"
"Why do I need a prescription?"
"Of course you need a prescription to buy prescription drugs. We can't sell them without a prescription."
"Could you be accommodating?"
"Sure!" the pharmacist answered readily, "but it will be slightly more expensive than the hospitals. After all, we’re at risk, you know!"
"Oh, okay then…"
After spending the few hundred yuan in the dead man’s wallet in exchange for a large bag of medicine, she left the pharmacy thinking about whether to buy rope.
However, Zhou Xiao may not be asleep right now. If he found the rope, the plan would be ruined. She said to herself that as long as Zhou Xiao trusted her, there would be plenty of opportunities over the next day.
Be patient! Be patient!
Going back to the apartment and pushing the door open, Tao Yueyue found that Zhou Xiao was missing, and there was a bloody smell coming from somewhere.
Turning her head, she discovered the source of the bloody smell. Zhou Xiao was leaned up against the wall next to the door, holding a knife in each hand, one of which was a kitchen knife from the kitchen. His wrist was dripping blood.
The inflammation and high fever made his eyes red. He glanced at the bag in Tao Yueyue's hand and said, "You actually bought medicine."
"I said I wouldn't run."
Zhou Xiao returned to the sofa. Tao Yueyue saw the new wound on his hand. It was cut by himself. He brought himself back to consciousness through bleeding because he was afraid that Tao Yueyue would rush in with a bunch of police officers. Even if he were to be arrested, he didn't want to be pointed at by a gun, hugging his head and kneeling on the ground shamefully. Instead, he’d kill a few policemen and be shot to death indiscriminately, just like a hero.
"Go to the bedroom to rest!" Tao Yueyue persuaded.
Zhou Xiao glanced at her, ignored her, took out the medicine from the bag one by one, and saw the anti-inflammatory drugs in the capsules. He said, "What I want is injections!"
"There’s not enough money!" Tao Yueyue lied.
Zhou Xiao held ten anti-inflammatory drugs and ten painkillers in the palm of his hand and put them in his mouth. Instead of drinking the mineral water Tao Yueyue bought, he gulped down a large glass of tap water.
After taking the medicine, he attached the saline bottle and inserted a needle into himself. He asked Tao Yueyue to get a clothing hanger to hang the saline bottle up.
Tao Yueyue realized in shock that he didn't intend to sleep. This man was too vigilant.
As the salt water entered his body drip by drip, his physical strength would gradually recover. At this moment, she should act immediately, hitting him with something to make him pass out, or find a way to tie him up.
But there was only one chance, and she wouldn’t be able to turn back if she failed. She didn't dare to take any risks before she was sure she would succeed.
Tao Yueyue clenched her fists, annoyed that she hadn’t desperately looked for more people to borrow a phone from while she was outside. She walked around the lounge looking for things she could use...
"Will the police rush in from this door later?" Zhou Xiao asked as a joke, but his eyes were sharp.
"What?" Tao Yueyue was startled. "You still don't trust me?"
"I just don't understand. I'm so weak right now. Why don't you call the police and take action? Or do you not dare to?"
1. This is the nickname given to Xue Yong, who’s a powerful character in the novel “Water Margin”.
2. I know it mentioned that he did this already. Perhaps he drew it out and did it again to make a point?
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