Chapter 1146 – Someone’s Story
He Province, Zheng City.
Right after Tang Xiu arrived in Zheng City with Wolf Head and took a cab, Wolf Head whispered to him, “Boss, I have a comrade-in-arms here, but he retired earlier than me due to the serious injuries he got from a mission. I’ve read the intel on He Province and found his name on it, so I know that he has family in Zheng City.”
“Which family?” asked Tang Xiu.
“The Fans,” said Wolf Head in a whisper.
Tang Xiu had read the information on He Province before coming. He knew that only a few intel agents had been assigned to this province, hence the cause of the scarce information. It would indeed a good option to have some locals who were familiar with the situation here.
“Contact him and arrange to meet him.”
“He used to be my comrade-in-arms, Boss. You can say that we’re brothers for life, but I have no idea if the current him has changed since I never met him in the last six years,” said Wolf Head.
Tang Xiu pondered for a while and replied, “I can understand your concerns. The situation you faced in the army was very different as it was much simpler. Even those who used to be unyielding and such may have changed their mindset after entering society. But you mentioned him to me, which means you still believe in him. Just contact him! You can naturally find out whether or not he has changed.”
“Understood!” Wolf Head complied and fished out his phone.
Yuhong Alley, Zheng City.
Fast Leisure and Relaxation Motel was said to be the best motel and pub in Yuhong Alley that provided the best service and entertainment. Its owner, Fang Gang, was well-known as a popular and respected figure due to his sense of justice, kindness, and loyalty—a perfect blender in society who could socialize with all walks of life.
At this time, the general manager’s office of the Fast Leisure and Relaxation Hotel was full of smoke, its pungent smell filling every corner of the room. However, the curtains inside were still closed even though the sun was already high in the sky, sending its light to illuminate the room.
“Playing with you is no fun, Brother Gang. You won nine times in a row, you know that? Do you really want to poach everything from your brothers or something?” A man with a bareback full of tattoos dropped his mahjong cards on the table and wryly smiled.
Another big man with a black vest and clamped a cigarette in his mouth echoed. “I know you got lucky today, Brother Gang, but this is way too much, isn’t it? Even if you’re that lucky, it’s way too suspicious to make us throw the game like this!”
“Yea, my thoughts exactly!”
Fan Gang, who wore a sleeveless sweater and a thick gold chain around his neck, let out a smile on his tough face while sweeping away some stacks of notes on the table in front of him. He quickly grinned and said, “Your nephew is gonna go to the primary school this year, but why do I have to earn him some money to pay him his tuition? Well, how much did you lose? Come on, stop bickering noisily and just quickly shuffle the cards! I’m gonna set a ten-game winning streak record here.”
“You got enough money to send my nephew to school on the moon.”
“You really got a black heart, dammit!”
Fan Gang simply ignored their expressions and just lit up his cigarette while smiling.
Ring, ring, ring…
A cell phone on the table suddenly rang and Fan Gang quickly grabbed it while one of the men shuffled the cards. He looked at the number displayed on the screen and found it unfamiliar. As he was about to reject the call, he suddenly remembered that he hadn’t returned home for dinner tonight and also forgot to tell his wife. Therefore, he directly connected the call and planned to call his wife after taking this call.
“Fan Gang here, who is this?”
“It’s me.” Wolf Head’s low and deep voice replied from the phone.
The voice made Fan Gang dazed for a second. It felt familiar, though he couldn’t remember whose voice it was. After hesitating for a moment, he asked, “And… who are you?”
“Wolf Head,” the voice replied again.
Fan Gang seemed to recall something and his expression dramatically changed the moment after. He abruptly pushed the table in front of him and immediately got up and called out, “You’re… Cap’?”
Fan Gang’s face instantly turned red and he excitedly shouted, “W-where are you now… Cap’? I’ve been really missing you all these years!”
The three strong men around immediately exchanged glances after seeing his expression. Fan Gang was someone who always looked collected and calm in their eyes. It was the first time they saw him lose his cool.
“I just arrived in Zheng City. You got someplace to meet?”
Fan Gang turned around and headed outside and hurriedly asked while striding to the door, “You’re in Zheng City now? That’s great. I’m in Yuhong Alley. Where are you? I’ll catch up with you right away.”
“Just text me your address and I’ll come to your place.”
Fan Gang hung up, then quickly typed a text message and sent it out. He turned back to the room and saw that everyone’s gazes were trained on him. While suppressing his excitement, he spoke in a deep voice, “I can no longer play mahjong since I got something important to tend to, Brothers. I’ll invite you for a meal and drink as an apology later, okay?”
The man with a tattoo on his bareback curiously asked, “Who was it that can make you lose your cool, Brother Gang?
“An old friend I haven’t seen for many years,” answered Fan Gang. “He just came to Zheng City and I need to meet him.”
“Ah, I see.”
The men no longer said anything and those who lost interest left.
After sending off his three friends, Fan Gang turned very excited and dialed a cell number and said aloud, “Hey, Old Wei, send me those God’s Nectar you have in stock. I’ll pay you ten times the price for them.”
“No shit! Go to hell, will you? I only got two bottles left…”
“Please, Old Wei. Count it as a begging from your bother, okay?” said Fan Gang aloud. “I need to entertain a very special and important brother here, so I need God’s Nectar. It’s very important. I’ll owe you one, okay?”
The person was silent for several seconds and then slowly said, “Alright, I’ll send someone to deliver it to you.”
Fan Gang hung up, then dialed another number and quickly said, “Send me a full set of Daoxiang dishes and 18 other specialties. Remember, send it right away!”
He made several calls in succession. After giving some orders, he came to the first floor and approached the manager. “A distinguished guest will come to our place soon. Assign someone to seal off the third floor after he arrives. No one can go up without my permission. Those who want to go up will have to ask his consent. But if someone wants to…”
After half an hour, Fan Gang stood in Yuhong Alley with eyes kept looking at the road in the distance, while recalling the most brilliant moments in his life under the hails of bullets and the smell of gunpowder…
Armed with a rifle to snipe the enemies… a conviction, faith, as well as his obsession.
Unfortunately, fate ordained the opposite and he had to live that olive-green place and put down his rifle, while losing half of his heart ever since, as the other was left with the band of brothers who had spent days and nights while fighting side by side.
It had been 6 years. It seems so long yet feels so short. Time may elapse but this brotherhood feeling never decreased and was even more intense as he missed them more day by day.
Suddenly, his burly figure slightly trembled and an excited expression overflowed from his eyes. He looked at the corner of the nearby street where two men were walking slowly, one of whom was his former brother and former captain… Wolf Head.
At that moment, Fan Gang dashed towards Wolf Head with tears rolling down from his fierce eyes, giving Wolf Head a tight hug a few seconds later. Both men’s fists hit each other’s back, yet neither of them spoke.
Tang Xiu glanced at them as they hugged each other before his eyes landed on Fan Gang’s right leg. With his eyesight, he was naturally able to see the problem with the man’s right leg. Fan Gang’s speed may look very fast, but the movements looked somewhat unnatural, obviously lacking steadiness and support.
After both men released each other, Fan Gang spoke with red eyes, “It’s been 6 years and 3 months we brothers last saw each other. I’ve always been dreaming to see you and the rest of our brothers again all these years.”
Wolf Head could feel that the words came from Fan Gang’s heart. He heavily patted his shoulder and said in a deep voice, “Little Wu, Big Zhuang, Qiang Kid, Ah Long, Little Dongbei… all of them died, whereas the rest went their own way.”
Little Wu, Big Zhuang, Qiangzi, Ah Long, and Little Dongbei… gone?
Fan Gang suddenly looked up, unable to control the tears trailing down his eyes. After some time, he asked with a slightly hoarse voice, “What about the rest of our brothers? Where are they?”
Wolf Head turned to look at Tang Xiu, shook his head and said, “Lemme introduce you to him, Gang. He’s my Boss, as well as the Boss of the rest of our brothers who’re still alive, Tang Xiu.”
An incredulous look painted Fang Gang’s face. He looked at Tang Xiu and shifted to Wolf Head. After seeing the latter nod to him, he accepted the fact and said, “Tang Xiu, as in the owner of the Magnificent Tang Corporation and also famous as China’s young Divine Doctor? Boss Tang, I’m Fan Gang, Wolf Head’s and the others’ life-and-death brother.”
Tang Xiu shook hands with him and smilingly asked, “What about now?”
Fan Gang instantly realized Tang Xiu’s meaning. He shot out a fierce stare and replied in a deep voice, “Be it in the past, present, or in the future, they are always my brothers! We’ve sworn to live and die together and each of us can sacrifice our life for the other.”
Tang Xiu patted his shoulder and smiled lightly. “Alright, please lead the way! We’re your guests. You can’t let us chat with you on the street, right?”
Fan Gang suddenly realized and turned to look at Wolf Head, showing an apologetic face, and said, “Well, the feast and wine have been waiting. Come with me.”
While following next to Fan Gang, Tang Xiu’s eyes swept over the man’s leg again as he asked, “If my guess is correct, your right leg should be a prosthetic, right?”
Fan Gang’s expression stiffened and he nodded in silence.
He was carrying out his mission overseas at that time. He wouldn’t have been discharged from his service early had it not been for the blast that took away his right leg. The incident had become the source of his depression that always brought him pain.
“Well, this is the first time we met, so I’ll heal your leg and let you recover as a gift,” Tang Xiu said with a smile.
Fan Gang halted his pace and looked right in Tang Xiu’s eyes for some time. Then, he let out a forced smile and shook his head. “Please don’t joke with me, Boss Tang. My leg is gone already, so how can I grow it again? But thanks for the goodwill and intention, though.”