The Most Dangerous Boyfriend
After dinner, Big Brother Hai wanted to invite Ning Ning to a hotel to for a drink. Haha, go to a hotel just for a drink?
“No, I have to work tomorrow.” Ning Ning rejected the love scene that would have followed and tried to change the topic on top of that. “Right, what did Little Ke say to you?”
Ning Ning had only heard the front part of the argument between father and son. The two of them had used their hometown vernacular towards the end, it was a dialect that was foreign to her—it was like doing a level 6 English listening exam!
“He will not bother you again.” Big Brother Hai said smugly, “Otherwise, your Big Brother Hai would cut off his water supply! Cut off his food supply! Would you believe me when I say that he would not even be able to afford a packet of Want Want Shelly Senbei1 without your Big Brother Hai around?”
I believe it! Economic sanctions from the father!
“I would even send him back to our old home! There are more beasts than humans over there—he can switch careers to be a veterinarian!”
“Wait!” Ning Ning said with surprise, “He’s a doctor?”
“Heh, not quite, a medical student.”
Medical student! Help! Number one of the top ten most dangerous professions for an ex-boyfriend!
Ning Ning returned home anxiously and fearfully. It was pitch black in her house, she had flicked the light switch on, the bright light expelled the darkness in front of her and gave her a fright!
Because someone was standing in front of her! A stranger!
“Wh…” Ning Ning took a step back out of fright. Just as she was about to ask who the person was and whether he was after her money or her body, she saw that he looked at her with a single tear rolling down from his right eye, seamlessly falling to the ground like a pearl.
He was a handsome young man—a handsome young man who looked like someone who knew her. A pendant was hanging on his neck, but it was not a crystal nor Buddha, it was the key to Ning Ning’s house!
Thus, Ning Ning changed her words halfway through, “…Why didn’t you turn on the lights?”
“I’m afraid of looking at your face.” The handsome young man said coldly.
Pain suddenly shot through her chest. Ning Ning looked down and saw that a scalpel had been forcefully stabbed into her chest…
She slowly looked up and asked quaveringly, “Little Ke?”
“Don’t say my name with your dirty mouth.” Little Ke scolded her ferociously. He pulled the scalpel out. “You actually had a thing with my father! How could there be a woman as disgusting as you in this world?! Go to hell!!”
Before he could stab again with his scalpel, he heard a slap, Little Ke was dumbfounded.
He watched as Ning Ning slapped herself with one hand then another in quick succession continuously. She used so much force that the wound on her chest started to spurt out blood which sprayed out on Little Ke’s entire face. He looked at her in a daze as she shouted while slapping herself, “Medical student! Number one of the top ten most dangerous professions for an ex-boyfriend! Out of all the people to offend, I just had to offend a medical student! Do you believe that he will stab you three hundred times? Every stab would be non-lethal, finally they would be declared as minor injuries…”
Collapse of character designation!
Back to the beginning!
Ning Ning stood breathless at the door to her house, holding a key in her hand that was already slotted into the keyhole.
Should she open this door?
…Forget her house, forget the person inside as well! Oh that was not right, she was still muddled from being murdered. The person inside was not hers at all, he was the responsibility Zhang Xin Ai had left behind, she refused to take it up!
Ning Ning turned around and left, holding her chest as she walked away. The hole in her chest had now closed up but she still felt a dull pain. She even glanced down from time to time as she walked down the stairs, afraid that she would see blood the moment she took her hand off her chest.
Down the stairs, as she tried to take a step out of the entrance, Ning Ning abruptly stopped in her tracks , staring at the view in front of her.
It was not a road with heavy traffic in front of her, it was a door instead.
On the door a bunch of keys was dangling—the keys to her house. She had returned to the entrance of her house!
Ning Ning refused to believe it! She ran downstairs a few more times… Alright, she believed it!
The route would always lead to the same place—the entrance to her house. The beginning of this scene, a world without end, a world with no escape.
Ning Ning had no choice but to reach out for the door in front of her. Her fingers were trembling as she pushed open the door to reveal a crack, darkness spreading out from within like a tide.
She walked into the door and closed it back up.
This time, Ning Ning did not immediately turn on the lights. She leaned on the door and contemplated in the darkness for a while, before abruptly shouting out, “Old scoundrel! I can’t wait for you to die!”
After shouting it out, she waited for a few seconds… She did not go back to the beginning! This sentence fit the character specification of Zhang Xin Ai! It was something she would say when she was alone!
No wonder. Although Big Brother Hai was rich, he was too old, not as young and attractive as his son, Little Ke. Men were not the only ones who coveted good looks, women were the same. The more attractive and the richer the better. From how Zhang Xin Ai was two-timing the father and son pair, Ning Ning suspected that she had a thought—if Big Brother Hai died, Little Ke would be able to inherit his riches, becoming a rich and handsome man who was firmly tied to her apron strings.
“…If you were dead, Little Ke and I would be out of your clutches.” Ning Ning sighed, her eyes gazing at the darkness in front of her.
She knew Little Ke was standing in front of her with a scalpel in hand, holding his breath with a grim expression. Like an executioner on the execution platform, he was ready to swing the blade down towards her neck anytime.
Buddha would not be able to make him put down the scalpel in his hand, begging for her life would not be able to make him put down the scalpel in his hand, the relationship they had would not be to make him put down the scalpel in his hand… What exactly should she do so as not to end up as a victim to his blade?
“I just want to be together with Little Ke…” She stared at the darkness in front of her.
“Heh.” A cold laugh suddenly emerged from the darkness.
Ning Ning remained silent for an instant before probing out, “Little Ke?”
“Why didn’t you turn on the lights?” Ning Ning asked.
“I’m afraid of looking at your face.”
These words sent chills into Ning Ning’s bones. She guessed that at the moment she turned on the lights, history would repeat itself, the scalpel in the other party’s hand would once again be embedded into her body.
What should she do? Quickly think of something!
Since Zhang Xin Ai could live till the weekend, it meant that she had successfully duped Little Ke. How did she do it?
“If I were Zhang Xin Ai,” Ning Ning asked herself, “what would I do?”
She did not like Zhang Xin Ai, her lifestyle and her outlooks were completely different from Ning Ning. But at this moment in time, for survival, to successfully advance the plot, Ning Ning had to abandon her body and mind so as to accept this role.
In the darkness, a woman seemed to be hugging Ning Ning from the back.
“What’s so difficult about two timing?” She said softly by Ning Ning’s ear, her voice was languid and charming, “What’s hard to come by is that these two pairs know each other—a father and son, a pair of brothers, next door neighbours. Tsk tsk, it’s so delightful and exciting.”
Aren’t you afraid of getting found out?
“I’m a cautious person, they won’t find out.” The woman started laughing with self-confidence. “So what if they found out? As long as I used the right method, they would forgive me. For example, this little brat in front of you. Think of his age, then think about his relationship with his father…”
As the woman continued to speak, her lips started to curve upwards.
If the room had been lit up, one would be able to see that the person who had their lips curved up (in a smile) was not that woman, but Ning Ning herself.
“What a coincidence, I am also afraid of looking at your face.” She said with a laugh, “Let’s just talk like this.”
Little Ke, “…”
A child was rebellious. With a flick, he turned the lights on. The light illuminated his face, it also illuminated her face, both faces were crying.
Little Ke was startled. He had heard her laugh, but he did not expect her to be crying.
“I told you, don’t turn on the lights.” Ning Ning brought her hands up to cover her face. She said while laughing, “I don’t look good right now.”
If Little Ke’s action was rebellious like a child, she looked like a mature adult, forever maintaining a smile, not allowing herself to cry.
“…” Little Ke fell silent for a moment before suddenly asking, “What did my father do to you?”
“Nothing.” Ning Ning said, her hands remained on her face.
“Nothing—then why did you scold him and cry so hard?”
Little Ke’s attitude had already mellowed a lot from what it originally was. Seeing that she was avoiding the question, he slowly started to feel exasperated. He gripped the scalpel behind his back tightly as he asked with a grim tone, “Weren’t you just cursing for my old man to go to hell? Why are you not telling me anything now? Are you afraid that I will tell him?”
Ning Ning, “Yes.”
Little Ke’s face turned pale, his eyes showing a murderous intent.
“Little Ke.” Ning Ning suddenly put her hands down and smiled at him. “Do you want to kill me?”
Little Ke was shocked by her words.
“It’s written on your face.” Ning Ning reached out to grab his arm. He was not prepared, the hand behind him was pulled towards her, the scalpel that was in his hand was exposed to her—but she just took a glance before smiling at him, the smile had a sense of indulgence and helplessness. “Look. You are a person who cannot hide your feelings, you would always speak your mind, I…am quite envious of you.”
Little Ke looked at her while stopping himself from speaking.
He was a simple and straightforward person, even his plan to murder a person was simple and straightforward. He switched off the light, she would switch on the light, kill—it was just three steps. But Ning Ning had disrupted his plans every step of the way. He had only taken the first step, not being able to take the next two steps at all.
“Take a seat.” Ning Ning turned her back towards him and walked towards the fridge, seeming like she was not afraid of him rushing up to her from behind at all. The refrigerator door was opened, cool air greeted her, she asked, “What would you like to drink? Juice? Beer? Tea?”
“…I’m not here for your food and drinks?” Little Ke said.
Ning Ning closed the fridge and returned to the living room with a bunch of beers in her arms. She placed them on the table before opening a can and taking a sip, then she sighed again. “I’ll have some if you won’t, I heard that a drunk person wouldn’t feel pain when they get killed.”
Little Ke looked at her with a complicated expression.
The empty beer cans on the table were increasing, her face was turning more and more red. Just as she was about to open the next can, a hand reached out from beside her.
“Enough.” Little Ke held her hand, his eyes were filled with anger and heartache.
Ning Ning slowly cast a sideward glance at him. Her face was red, her eyes were also red, her pair of beautiful almond eyes had tears that were on the verge of falling, giving off a pitiful vibe. He gave her hand a forceful tug, her whole body fell meekly towards him like catkins in the wind, fleabanes floating on the water, her head gently leaned on his shoulder.
As she leaned on him, she felt his body froze. After some hesitation, he still did not back away in the end.
That did it, she thought.
Murder required a spurt of energy. Unless the person was a professional killer or an executioner, it would be very hard to go through with it once the impulse had disappeared.
However, she was not satisfied with just getting out of the current predicament. She had to plan for the days ahead. Thus, she continued to lean on his shoulder and said in a meek and pitiful voice, “You know the kind of person your father is, you also know the kind of person I am. Add his temper on top of that, how can I go against him? He is a tyrant.”
Little Ke did not say a word, but he must have thought the same way.
Just by looking at how he had argued with Big Brother Hai, the father and son pair were like fire and water. When they went off at each other they would refer to themselves in a proud way, neither of them would give in to the other. As a father, Big Brother Hai’s heart nevertheless had anger; yet, as the son, the anger in Little Ke’s heart was estimated to not be small either.
“He is always like this.” Sure enough, Little Ke started to give a cold account of his father. “Always relying on his stinky money as if he was the most important person in the world. All I did was to talk back at him a little bit, he threatened to stop providing me food and water, toss me back to the countryside to live with the farm animals.”
Ning Ning laughed. “He is your father, he is also the person who is providing for me. The two of us are his golden sparrows—locked in cages, unable to live outside of them, so neither of us could go against him.”
The more she said, the worse Little Ke looked. Once she finished speaking, he even started laughing coldly.
Ning Ning did all of that deliberately.
Having a fierce confrontation with his father, liking a woman who was a lot older than him—one who just had to be his father’s woman—oedipus complex, also known as mother complex. Did Little Ke have a mother complex? She was not sure, but she was sure of one thing, which was that: There were things that became more commonplace the more forbidden it was, there were things that were more talked about the more forbidden it was—the more forbidden something was, the more charming it became. It made people shudder, yet it also made people unable to resist them.
At least, from the looks of it, Little Ke had accepted her now, he was no longer angry because she was his father’s woman.
“That old fart will eventually die. I’ve seen his medical examination report, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease…that’s right.” Little Ke suddenly turned and looked at her without an expression. “Did you get together with my father first, or did you get together with me first?”
This question, one bad answer would probably mean that she would be greeted with the scalpel.
But did she need to answer him? Little Ke asked her a few more questions then gave her a push. That was when she opened her eyes and looked at him. “What did you say?”
Little Ke suspected that she was acting dumb, but her breath smelled like beer and there was actually a table of beer cans. Even if she was acting dumb, what could he do about it? Could he see through her acting skills with his eyes? If he could have done so, he would not have been dancing on her palm.
“Sigh.” Little Ke sighed as he cradled her in his arms and brought her to the bedroom.
When he stooped to put her down, the scalpel fell out of his pocket and landed by her hand.
Ning Ning held the handle and raised the scalpel.
Little Ke took two steps back and looked at her with slight suspicion. Was she actually drunk or was she acting dumb?
Ning Ning raised the scalpel in front of her, looking at it blankly for a long while before turning her head and reaching out towards Little Ke. “Give.”
Little Ke breathed a sigh of relief. It looked like she was actually drunk.
He took the scalpel out of her hands. Before he could put it back into his pocket, he heard Ning Ning say, “Quickly kill me.”
Little Ke was startled. “Why would I kill you?”
“I’m giving you my life.” Ning Ning chuckled, her smile was charming. “I’ll live if you want me to live, I’ll die if you want me to die… Remember to take the scalpel with you, don’t let people find out that you were here. Tell your father what happened when you get back, get him to help you deal with the repercussions.”
Little Ke was even more confused after hearing what she had said. He did not know whether she was sober or drunk, smart or stupid?
“I’m so envious of you.” Ning Ning turned her head away and laid flat on the bed. The charming smile remained on her face, but tears were rolling down the corner of her eyes. “You can say anything, you can love anyone… I cannot say anything, nor can I love anyone.”
She stopped speaking, as if she was sound asleep. She looked like a lamb on an altar, waiting to be dealt with by him.
Why didn’t she beg? Why didn’t she retaliate? One stab would end her, why weren’t you doing it? Little Ke held onto the scalpel tightly, he used so much force that his hand started trembling.
“I cannot say anything, nor can I love anyone.”
Indeed, how could she speak or love freely? She was from a very poor family. Her four family members were all relying on her to be the sole breadwinner. She was a pure female star on stage, she wasn’t allowed to be in a relationship off stage so as to preserve her image. For the sake of getting investments, she even had to go to dinners frequently—the people at dinner were all like his father who had nothing else but their stinky money.
“You know the kind of person your father is…how can I go against him?”
Who was he to reprimand her? Because he himself could not go against his father either. The difference was, besides the mountain that was his father, no one else could try to climb above his head. But it was different for her, there were too many people she could not go against.
“I’m giving you my life.”
Nothing belonged to her. Her clothes, jewelry, apartment, including her love—only her life belonged to her, and it was now in his hands…
The lamb on the altar had finally arrived at its final ending.
What fell upon it was not a blade, but a kiss.
The executioner had given up on the blade in his hands, hugging the lamb tightly.
Their lips parted, he then slowly got up and caressed Ning Ning’s cheek. He said softly, “I will think of something, I will definitely think of something…”
The moment his footsteps went away, the moment the sound of the closing door rang out was when Ning Ning breathed a sigh of relief and opened her eyes.
Her back was drenched (in sweat)!
“The first and the second were both the same.” Ning Ning placed a hand on her forehead and laughed bitterly. “Then the third and fourth would probably not be too different… You’re killing me.”
Why did Zhang Xin Ai plan to break up with them? Was it because she had felt their murderous intent? The reason she picked the fourth person, was it because he was truly in love with her? Or was it because the fourth person had enough power to protect her and help her avoid death?
Ning Ning indulged in flights of fancy for a long moment, only falling asleep at two in the morning. It was almost noon when she woke up the next day. Her phone had a few missed calls. She might have slept too deeply the day before, she didn’t even hear any of those calls. She got up and brushed her teeth as she returned the calls.
“Hello.” She said, “Little Ke…I got drunk yesterday, did I say anything weird?”
“No.” Little Ke’s voice was cold and bland. “Since you are up, let me ask you something.”
What was it? He was fine when he left yesterday, why did he suddenly sound cold and bland? Did something happen again? Ning Ning concentrated and carefully asked, “What is it?”
“Whom did you give your house keys to?” Little Ke asked.
Ning Ning thought about it. Based on Zhang Xin Ai’s cautiousness, she could not have given her house keys to anyone. Now that she thought about it, the fact that her keys would be with Little Ke was a little strange. This fellow was young and rash, he had no filter on his mouth, he was even a medical student who dared to bring a sword to see the emperor. The person who was most unsuitable to give her keys to was him—what was the difference between that and giving up her life?
“I didn’t give them to anyone.” Ning Ning answered, “Speaking of this, the keys around your neck…”
She didn’t complete her sentence and let it end equivocally. It could be interpreted as—the key around your neck was the only one I had given out, it could also be interpreted as—where did the key around your neck come from?
“…” Little Ke remained silent for a moment before saying, “When I went to your house, the key was on the door. I thought that you were at home, I went in and forgot to remove the keys from the door.”
“…Then?” Ning Ning asked?
“Then I went in to look for you.” Little Ke said.
Heh heh, what do you mean “went in to look for you”? It was clearly “went in to take your worthless life”.
“I did not find you after a while and I heard the sound of someone coming up the stairs…I knew that it was you from the sound of the footsteps.” Little Ke said, “I returned to the doorway and turned off the light to wait for you.”
Ning Ning, “…”
“Hello? Hello? Are you still there?” Little Ke asked.
“…I’m listening.” Ning Ning stared at herself in the mirror. “You’re not playing with me, right? The key was really at the door before you were here?”
“Of course, why would I lie to you?!” Little Ke asked hesitantly after shouting, “Little Ai, say….who do you think left the keys on the door? Do you think…someone went into your house?”
Ning Ning looked at her reflection in the mirror.
She was half asleep when she got out of bed, she had only been concentrating on brushing her teeth when she entered the bathroom, it was only when she was on the phone that she looked up at the mirror. She brought her long hair behind the shoulders and revealed a snowy white neck, on it was a butterfly-shaped bruise—butterfly-shaped as in the shape of a pair of hands holding onto her neck, the mark left behind from trying to strangle her to death.
She did not even wake up after being strangled like this?
She did not wake up even after so many missed calls?
Ning Ning’s whole body trembled. She did not know if she would see needle marks if she were to roll up her sleeves. Maybe someone had given her a dose of anesthesia and she had truly become a lamb to be slaughtered on the altar.
“Hello? Hello? Hello?” Little Ke’s voice turned a little frantic. “Little Ai, are you alright?”
“I’m fine.” Ning Ning continued to brush her teeth as she talked on the phone, bubbles formed on her teeth as she brushed them with the toothbrush. She laughed with a lisp. “I think you’re overthinking it. If there really were a bad guy in here, I probably would have already been robbed and raped.”
Someone had definitely come last night!
Ning Ning suspected that the person was one of the three lovers that Zhang Xin Ai had wanted to get rid of!
If not, how would one explain the person letting her go after attempting to kill her?
“But I won’t stop you if you insist on coming over.” Ning Ning said with a laugh, she was actually hinting to him to quickly come over. Quickly come over! Someone came last night, he is probably still here!
But Little Ke did not manage to read between the lines, he breathed a sigh of relief instead. “Glad to hear that you’re fine. I’m currently negotiating with my father, but if you really want me to go over, I will.”
“…It’s fine.” Ning Ning laughed, her eyes were fixed on the mirror in front of her. A tall man was standing behind her. He opened up both his hands like a butterfly behind her neck, then he slowly held her slender neck. She swallowed, her voice was dry. “You should attend to your matters, we can just meet next time.”
She hung up and at the same time fell backwards into the arms of the man.
“…I knew you wouldn’t be able to bear killing me.” She looked back and gave him an indescribable cunning and enchanting smile.
Pei Xuan looked down at her and smiled.
1Want Want Shelly Senbei is a popular rice cracker snack in Asia. Image included below.