The night was dense like ink, and it could not be dispelled.
Zhang Dashan stopped his car on a hilltop on the outskirts of the city. The two men leaned against the hood as they reveled in the view of Jiangcheng below.
Shrouded in the dark of night, the city was like a creature with its head on the ground and a glimmering body whose brilliance illuminated half of the sky. The flickering neon lights were ever so enthralling. Sometimes, they cascaded down from the crowns of skyscrapers. Other times, they pursued each other like playful elves or became kaleidoscopes that dazzled the eye.
“That was a nice beating! It’s been a while since I felt this good.”
Zhang Dashan let out a long sigh, then turned to look at Xiao Luo and asked, “Xiao Luo, how are you doing? You weren’t injured just now, right?”
“Injured? How could I be injured?” asked Xiao Luo.
“Well, you make a fair point. Surviving that literally made you into Superman. You know, the guy who wore his red underpants over his clothes. Your opponents should be the ones getting injured.” Zhang Dashan took out a cigarette, lit it, and pressed it between his lips. He delighted in the pure fun of blowing smoke rings.
“It’s late now, so I should get going. Or else, the dorm’s gate will be locked.”
“Bro, do you really still think of yourself as a university student? Are you actually worried about being locked out?”
After glancing at his phone, Zhang Dashan’s face became a little twisted. He said, “This very moment marks the beginning of the nightlife, and you’re actually telling me that you’re going back? What the h*ll, bro?”
“My principles haven’t changed. Go by yourself if you want. Get in the car and take me back to the Huaye campus.”
Xiao Luo sounded very determined. This was the only thing that he was insistent on not doing together with Zhang Dashan because of the education he’d received from his family since he was young. He also wanted to stay pure for his own reasons.
Zhang Dashan knitted his eyebrows and sighed, “Fine, fine. I’ll leave you out of this. When I get myself a girlfriend in the future, I’ll definitely quit this bad hobby as well.”
“Stop b*llshitting. You have no self-control,” Xiao Luo snorted dismissively.
“You know nothing about it! You have no right to talk since you’ve never tried it bef—”
“F*ck off, man. No more pervy talk!” Xiao Luo interrupted with a frown. He grabbed the pillow off his seat and hurled it at Zhang Dashan.
At 10 o’clock that night, aside from the gathering places of night owls, the number of people and vehicles out and about in Jiangcheng’s avenues and streets was significantly reduced.
“D*mn this dumb a*s app! It took us to a dead-end!”
Zhang Dashan was sitting in the driver’s seat and cursing at the navigation app on his phone. The app’s monotonous voice was still repeating the sentence ‘go straight,’ which irked him to the extent that he tossed away his phone. “Look at this dumb a*s app asking me to go straight when there’s a d*mn wall in front of us. Ah, I’m so frustrated.”
Xiao Luo glanced at his phone, then shook his head and said, “It’s not the software. It’s your brain. You’ve gone the wrong way. The street shown on the map is actually at the next intersection, parallel to this alley. It’s not far away.”
Zhang Dashan grabbed his phone in disbelief. He looked at the map again after enlarging it and finally admitted to the fact that he had gone the wrong way. His face turned red, but his lips, however, remained in a state of denial. “What the f*ck? It’s all because this dumb app failed to distinguish between the street and the alley. It’s really inaccurate, is it not?”
“Stop b*llshitting, hurry up, and turn around!” said Xiao Luo solemnly.
“I know, bro.”
Zhang Dashan sighed and slowly turned the car around.
Just then, they saw a few figures lurking around the alleyway’s entrance. Taking a closer look, helped only by the light of a nearby streetlamp, they counted a total of six people. Five of them were men, and the sixth was a woman with a graceful figure.
“What in the world? Tormenting woman? In broad daylight? Under the bright sun and moon?” Zhang Dashan exclaimed while glancing at Xiao Luo.
Broad daylight? Bright sun and moon?
Excuse me? It was nighttime!
Xiao Luo really wanted to jump on him.
“Holy moly! How savage and brutal! These beasts are preparing to force themselves on her!”
Zhang Dashan fixed his eyes on the group. Then he looked at Xiao Luo and asked, “Save her? Yes? No?”
When Xiao Luo was about to reply when Zhang Dashan answered, “Of course, we should! Good cabbage shouldn’t fall into the hands of those beasts!”
As soon as his voice fell away, he switched the car’s headlights from low to high beam.
The dazzling headlights were like messengers from a world of light. They illuminated all the filth otherwise hidden by the darkness.
The five men violating the woman were startled. One pulled out a sharp dagger from his waist and shouted fiercely in Xiao Luo and Zhang Dashan’s direction, “Who the f*ck is that? Are you seeking death? Turn off your headlights!”
Then two more men wordlessly took out their knives and ran straight toward Zhang Dashan’s car.