“There’s at least a dozen of them!” Yu Qi shouted as she called for Jun Wei. They were a considerable distance apart, so they would take some time to get here.
“No time! Hao Ting!” Shao Fei shouted as he took cover behind one pillar. Zi Xuan crouched low and took out his colt to aim.
“We’ll hold these guys off, you have to find them!” Shao Fei instructed. Hao Ting nodded as he put on the bullet proof vest Shao Fei brought. “I saw tractor tracks and dirt leading into the plant. Follow it,” Shao Fei was about to say more when he was shot at by Rick Lam. Hao Ting pieced the information together and wasted no time in sprinting off to find the tracks.
Shao Fei watched him go with a heavy heart but chose to trust that the training they had done would be enough to pull through. He focused on taking out the henchmen, leaving Zi Xuan to take out Rick.
“Here, Zi Xuan,” Shao Fei told him, Zi Xuan following the angle of Shao Fei’s aim. He waited for Rick to emerge and take a shot at Shao Fei, then adjusted his gun to pinpoint the man’s location.
“People are a creature of habit, Zi Xuan. If a shooter is backed against a wall and is aiming for someone, he or she will likely keep coming out from the same position until his target is dead,” Jack told him as he fixed his gaze on the target. It was one of those cuckoo clocks set to go off every hour. As the clock struck 3, the bird came out and shrieked its signature ‘cuckoo’.
“Your best chance is to lay low, under the target and wait for the shooter to shoot,” Jack stated, aiming his gun.
“Then once you’re sure…,”BANG!
Zi Xuan looked to see the bird was blasted, leaving only the legs.
Shao Fei retracted, making Zi Xuan tense as he knew Rick would come out to try and shoot Shao Fei. As Rick’s hand emerged with the gun, Zi Xuan pulled the trigger!
“AHH, SHIT!” Rick shouted, gun thrown far as Zi Xuan’s bullet zipped into his shoulder.
Hao Ting arrived in a large warehouse meant to keep apples. He followed the trail and ran the last few meters once he spotted the giant tractor. A few stray dirt particles were still bouncing off the tipper, so he wasted no time in dropping low and digging with his hand.
“There’s so much dirt!” Hao Ting grunted, feeling despair. “Xi Gu!!”
As he dug around, he saw a thread tied to a pebble. He pulled the thread and dug following the trail, careful to not break it. Suddenly two more pairs of hands joined him. Hao Ting looked up but didn’t stop his digging to see both Sheng Zhe and Zi Xuan digging where he was.
All three of them focused on digging until Hao Ting touched some hair.
“It’s Xi Gu! I recognize this soft fluff anywhere!” Xi Gu renewed his effort. They followed the shape of the head, uncovering Xi Gu’s face with his nose upwards. As soon as he could cough dirt out, Xi Gu shouted to the guys.
“They’re here! Hao Ting stop kissing me! Everyone is around me! Hao Ting!” Xi Gu whined, but let out tears of happiness as Hao Ting dug but kept trying to give him CPR.
“There’s 9 of us in here!” Xi Gu told them as he bit Hao Ting to make the man stop. “Hao Ting to my right!” Hao Ting dug and uncovered the man Xi Gu was helping stood up.
“Here! It’s Yi Jie!” Zi Xuan shouted, making Sheng Zhe shift his position. Sheng Zhe cursed while digging.
“If you die without marrying me Shi Yi Jie, I’m going to marry that guy who gave me the love letter in the library!” Sheng Zhe grunted, uncovering the dirt covering Yi Jie’s face. Yi Jie coughed and glared (as best as he could) at his lover.
“Over my dea..huk! Body!” Yi Jie coughed out. Sheng Zhe hit his head hard, to show his dissatisfaction.
“Yeah, you were this close!” Sheng Zhe complained then asked him if there was anyone nearby.
“Yeah, the guy I helped is right there, a bit further..yup! Hey, come back here and dig me out so I can kiss you!”
“NOT THE TIME SHI YI JIE!”
Xi Zuan dug and uncovered the man Yu Hao was with, and the man mustered all his energy to pinpoint where Yu Hao was. He changed his angle so that he could dig out both the man and Yu Hao. Once the man’s head was fully free up to his neck, Zi Xuan focused on freeing Yu Hao.
Yu Hao opened his eyes then smiled as he saw his boyfriend.
“Zi Xuan! Tang Yi! Tang Yi is next to me, about a meter on my left!” Yu Hao shouted. “Hurry! There’s three of them!”
Xi Zuan wanted to properly dig his lover out, but abandoned him and went on to dig Tang Yi out. Hao Ting had just finished digging out the man Xi Gu had helped, came down and helped to dig out Tang Yi. He passed by Yu Hao and gave an evil smirk.
“Hao Ting you fuck! You better not!” Yu Hao warned, struggling to get out. He wiggled until part of his shoulder was out. Hao Ting whistled as he sat between Yu Hao and Zi Xuan and dug out so that the dirt he swept would hit Yu Hao.
“Xiang Hao Ting! You asshole! I just got out!” Yu Hao growled, evading his head so it won’t be hit by the dirt. He heard Zi Xuan give a shout to Sheng Zhe, who left the man he had just uncovered and helped free Tang Yi and the two men.
Kuo Gang was chasing after the brat that had followed the trail, intending to finish him off before he could find Tang Yi.
That sounded like Rick. Huh. Kuo Gang contemplated whether to either keep following Hao Ting or go back to Rick. He decided that Rick had enough men to back him up. He kept on chasing Hao Ting but was tackled by another person from the side just as he was about to take off again. His gun flew off somewhere, so he had to punch the person away.
“Ow!” Zhao Zi cried out, holding his cheek. He backed up from Kuo Gang, keeping a safe distance. Kuo Gang hissed and felt around his pocket for other weapons he might have had. He felt the tips of his fingers touch a knife and took it out.
Kuo Gang lunged for Zhao Zi, making the small man shout out as he braced the incoming knife from piercing his shoulder.
“Hi! It’s me again!” Zhao Zi greeted, and Kuo Gang grunted his reply.
“Shut up,” Kuo Gang demanded, inching his knife closer to Zhao Zi.
“Did you see the picture that I sent for the auction? I look better right?” Zhao Zi huffed as the knife grazed his shirt. Kuo Gang shifted the knife’s trajectory to evade the bulletproof vest. He vaguely recognized this black-handled knife, but then focused on stabbing Zhao Zi.
“Shao Fei looked hotter,” Kuo Gang grinned. Zhao Zi’s eyes took on a dangerous glint and suddenly he laxed his hand, letting the knife penetrate his skin halfway. Blood seeped from the knife wound, staining his shirt.
Kuo Gang was so surprised that he stopped pressing the knife into Zhao Zi.
“What the? Are you NUTS?!” Kuo Gang shrieked, pulling the knife out. Zhao Zi held onto his bleeding shoulder, laughing lowly.
“No. You're nuts for not recognizing that butterfly knife,” Zhao Zi huffed out. “The last time its owner lost him everyone almost died,”
“WHO TOOK HIS KNIFE!?”
“JUN WEI TAKE COVER!!”
“And you even stabbed me, his beloved husband too…,” Kuo Gang paled as he heard footsteps approaching them at high speed. He clutched the knife close, hoping that it would somehow save him from the Armageddon feeling he was getting. The footsteps stopped behind him, and Zhao Zi suddenly turned from a hell-bent demon to a meek hurt kitten persona.
“Honey! He stabbed me with your knife!” Zhao Zi whined. Kuo Gang turned around to deflect the accusation but was too scared when he saw Jack covered in blood. The man was soaked! Half of the man’s face was covered in the crimson liquid, dripping slowly onto his black leather jacket. He took one look at Zhao Zi and then at the knife in Kuo Gang’s hand.
“Is that my knife?” Jack asked, grinning. Kuo Gang shivered as he clutched the knife like a lifeline.
“Gee thanks for worrying about me! Jack, you should really consider your priori..Jack. What are you doing? Jack, don’t put away the gun. SHIT. Jack! Just shoot him! No, don’t use your bare hands..No, don’t! Jack!? JAAACKKKK!!!”
“WHO TOOK HIS KNIFE!?”
“JUN WEI TAKE COVER!!”
“I told Zhao Zi that wasn’t a good idea,” Shao Fei grumbled as he sped to Hao Ting’s place. He reached there and saw Hao Ting, Zi Xuan, and Sheng Zhe digging next to Yu Hao’s head. He breathed a sigh of relief once he saw Yi Jie and Xi Gu, both wriggling to get free.
“It’s Tang Yi!” Hao Ting shouted. Shao Fei rushed towards them and sank onto his knees, digging where Hao Ting was.
“Keep digging! TANG YI!” Shao Fei shouted as he clutched at the earth. Sheng Zhe uncovered the man with Tang Yi, but let out a cry when the man was unconscious and wasn’t breathing.
“He’s not breathing!” Sheng Zhe exclaimed. He dug some more so he could free the man’s lips.
“Sheng Zhe, NO! I forbid it!” Yi Jie warned his boyfriend. Sheng Zhe scolded his lover that a man’s life was at stake. He pinched the man’s nose and gave CPR, puffing into him. “His chest needs to be free so I can give compressions! Zi Xuan!” Zi Xuan left once he was confident the other man he had dug was going to make it and focused on freeing the one with Sheng Zhe. They managed to free his chest area, so while Sheng Zhe was puffing air into his mouth, Zi Xuan did chest compressions until the man let out a long cough. Both of them breathed a sigh of relief, then Sheng Zhe rushed to call an ambulance, ignoring Yi Jie calling him.
“Tang Yi!” Shao Fei shouted as he uncovered the man’s face. He cried out as Tang Yi seemed to not be breathing, making Hao Ting dug faster. By this time Yu Hao had escaped and joined in digging Tang Yi out, while Zi Xuan went to dig out Xi Gu.
“Sure, leave the old man to dig himself out,” Yi Jie complained, having only gained one hand to do it. Xi Gu thanked Zi Xuan as he was able to free both hands and start to dig. He gave a worried glance at Tang Yi, who had been uprooted from the pit and laid down on his back. Meng Shao Fei immediately administered CPR, alternating between chest compressions and air.
Shao Fei was about to breathe in more air as one hand shot up and grabbed his head, pressing him to kiss Tang Yi. The peck only lasted a few seconds before Tang Yi pulled Shao Fei away and coughed out dirt.
“Tang Yi! You!” Shao Fei whined, but closed his eyes and slumped onto Tang Yi’s shoulder. Hao Ting sat back on his ass, laughing with Zi Xuan. They were all worn out from digging, hands raw.
“What a touching reunion,” a voice boomed from behind them, a single gun aiming at Tang Yi. Shao Fei immediately went on the defense, Hao Ting ducking in front of Xi Gu’s half-exposed body, Yu Hao pulled Zi Xuan behind him and Yi Jie froze, only having dug until his abdomen. Shao Fei turned and saw Edward Ma, with a police uniform on.
“What a pity,” Ma grunted, glaring as Tang Yi sat up behind Shao Fei, clutching the man’s waist.
“You managed to track them right here? There were two sites,”
“You know why I chose this site,” Shao Fei growled, hands inching closer to his gun. “This land was registered under your name,”
“So you suspected me from the beginning,” Ma conceded.
“I won’t ever doubt someone I love for a person I barely knew,” Shao Fei replied, turning his body so that Ma wouldn’t see him slipping his gun out. Yi Jie slowly reached behind him to provide some distraction.
“Hands in plain sight, professor. Or do you want to make your daughter an orphan?” Ma warned. The move worked as Shao Fei was able to slide his gun out of its holster. He kept staring at Ma’s gun. Noticing that it wasn’t a standard police issue.
Ma was planning to kill all of them.
“Now, you leave me no choice,” Ma pointed the gun at Tang Yi, making everyone tense. “I would have taken good care of you, Meng Shao Fei,” he aimed the gun at Shao Fei the very last minute and pulled the trigger.
Three things happened at the same time.
Tang Yi pulled Shao Fei behind him and took the bullet to his shoulder. Yu Hao and Hao Ting sprung at Ma’s feet together. Shao Fei slid his gun out and cocked it.
Ma shouted as he went down, Yu Hao and Hao Ting subduing him. Zi Xuan climbed out and disengaged his pistol, throwing it out of reach. Then he went back and ripped his shirt to stop Tang Yi from bleeding.
Shao Fei took one look at Tang Yi, making sure he was not going to die before snarling in rage. Beelining towards Ma, he stabbed the mouth of the gun to Ma’s shoulder and shot him once. The captain let out a blood-curdling scream.
“Shao Fei-ge!” Xi Gu exclaimed, not believing what he was seeing. Yi Jie increased his efforts to free himself.
“Meng Shao Fei...you!” Ma was about to rant on how he was going to ruin Shao Fei but stopped once he noticed that the Meng Shao Fei he was seeing looked completely different from the virtuous Shao Fei he knew. This Shao Fei’s eyes were vacant but determined. There was no hesitation in his movements.
“Two things I don’t tolerate...corrupt cops,” Shao Fei hissed, teeth bared. He shifted the gun from Ma’s shoulder. Jack and Zhao Zi arrived at the scene to witness 5 unconscious strangers, Tang Yi lying on the ground with Zi Xuan trying to stop a bleeding shot wound, Xi Gu buried until his thighs, Yi Jie digging to get himself out.
Hao Ting and Yu Hao holding down Edward Ma. The man was half struggling with a bullet wound to his left shoulder.
Meng Shao Fei crouching down, looking manic as he aimed the gun at Ma’s head.
“Ah Fei!” Zhao Zi shouted, hoping to knock some sense into him. Shao Fei just gave a side glance, then focused back on Ma. Tang Yi tried to sit up and go to his boyfriend. Zi Xuan supported him as they made their way to the 4 men.
“Two things I don’t tolerate,” Shao Fei repeated, watching Tang Yi approach him. Tang Yi only stared at him, not stopping Shao Fei from doing what he wanted.
“...corrupt cops,” he cocked his gun again. Jack held back Zhao Zi, afraid that Shao Fei might mistakenly shoot his husband.
“...and someone who hurt my Tang Yi,”
Everyone held their breath, afraid to see the outcome. Zhao Zi pushed Jack away and rushed to Shao Fei. Hao Ting and Yu Hao cocked their heads to see if Ma’s brain was blown to bits. Xi Gu struggled to pull his feet out of the pit to rush to Shao Fei. Tang Yi reached for Shao Fei’s gun, pulling it away.
Zhao Zi reached them and gave a sigh of relief as Shao Fei had only shot 3 inches from Ma’s head, making the man pass out in fright. Jack smirked, looking at Tang Yi. Xi Gu dropped down to hug Hao Ting, both happy that Shao Fei had lived up to be the man they both knew and respected. Tang Yi gazed at his boyfriend, trailing his hands from Shao Fei’s shoulder to grip his nape, then slowly pull the man to give him a soft kiss.
“Well, at least no one will go to jail,” Yu Hao suddenly stated. Shao Fei pulled back from his kiss despite Tang Yi protesting.
“Oh, I’m going to jail. I shot him while he was down,” Shao Fei told them.
“No, you..hey!” Tang Yi growled as Yi Jie grabbed the gun and held it like he was going to shoot it.
“I think I shot him,” Yi Jie hummed. “ I clearly saw him about to shoot Tang Yi and then heroically saved Tang Yi’s ass,”
Tang Yi stared at Yi Jie, then tsked condescendingly. “What? My prints are on there, I shot him. Clearly, I did. You can’t even shoot a whiteboard 2 inches from your face, you damn stormtrooper,”
“Guys, that’s not a good idea,” Shao Fei protested, reaching for the gun again to keep further contamination. But he was beaten when Xi Gu reached for it first.
“I think I saw this gun on the floor near me, but I’m not sure who shot Captain Ma,” Xi Gu pondered out loud.
“It was me, I am the best shot out of everyone,” Zi Xuan insisted, putting on the safety.
“Wait, I clearly remember it was me who saved the day,” Hao Ting grabbed the gun next. “Why, Yu Hao was so awed by my prowess that he promised to treat me for 2 months for saving him,”
“Save me?! You tried to bury me again you cretin. No. Clearly, I was the one who shot him,” Yu Hao denied the allegations, taking the gun away from Hao Ting. Zhao Zi also took the gun and scolded them for not remembering what happened. Shao Fei watched as they all squabbled, his gun coming back to him with prints from nine men. He laughed as the sound of their quarrel resonated in the small warehouse, everyone seemed to forget that just minutes ago, 4 of them might have been lost to one man’s greed.
“You know that you all can face charges for tampering with the evidence, right?” Jack supplied, voice preppy, and that infuriating smile on his face. The other 9 men stopped their bickering and stared back at him.
“You can get fined and face jail time,”
They all looked at each other then at the gun in Shao Fei’s hand. The gun gleamed with an evil glint, promising bad fortunes and ill tidings.