No Protection Tonight
Chapter 9: If You Don’t Apologize, I’ll Beat You till You Cry
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The other two holding down Tangge looked uneasy. “F**k, you can’t even get rid of a kid, what the hell are you guys doing?”
“Watch and learn, my karate is not to be underestimated!” The bald-headed man in sportswear lunged forward with a knifehand strike. I stepped aside, dodged his attack, grabbed his elbow, and pulled. His body lurched and fell down the stairway.
“How could a piece of crap like you talk trash about others?” I glanced unhappily at Tangsao’s haggardness. Her pale neck was smudged with a bruise, and I felt really angry at their violent treatment towards her. If Tangsao wasn’t there, I would’ve broken their legs in two.
“Eh.” The rest of the men probably thought it had been a fluke just now, but after the baldy got thrown down the stairs, fear blossomed on their faces.
They seemed to be hesitant, waiting for the baldy’s orders. “Go, go.” He seethed in anger but didn’t have the courage to challenge me again.
“Yes.” They prepared to dash, but I set my palm on the door, blocking their way.
“Kid, what are you getting at?” The baldy furrowed his brows.
“Apologize to my tangsao, you gave her a fright.” I was adamant.
He seemed stunned for a second and broke out chuckling. “Kid, you’re really f**king funny, aren’t you?! All my life, I’ve never heard of apologizing while collecting a debt.”
“Yeah, it’s their fault for owing money in the first place.”
“Oh, so you guys aren’t apologizing?” I narrowed my eyes and asked.
“No sh*t, don’t think you’re something just because you have some skill. My reputation isn’t—” Before he could finish, I slapped him hard across the face. Tangsao and Tangge weren’t fast enough to stop me.
Crack. The baldy was too slow and caught it full on. He had a dirty look on his face. “Motherf**ker, you hit my face?”
“Yep. If you don’t apologize, I’ll beat you till you cry.” I chuckled, and everyone gasped. The atmosphere had turned bizarre.
Suddenly, a light flashed from the baldy’s fists—a switchblade! “No!” Tangsao cried out. Her care and concern for me were beyond my expectations, and my heart soared in excitement. Was it really alright to ignore Tangge like that?
The baldy seemed to deliberate. Even though he had a weapon, he couldn’t hurt me. I grabbed his wrist and pushed down. The blade sank into his shoe, and he wailed in pain. The sight looked almost comedic.
“Do you f**king know who I am?” The baldy’s face reddened in fear and surprise.
I didn’t answer immediately but slapped him again instead. “I don’t care who you are, but you have no right to bully my tangsao… and tangge.”
It would’ve been awkward if I left Tangge out of the equation, so I quickly added him on.
Thankfully, they were still frozen in astonishment and didn’t seem to notice the pause.
The baldy’s face was swelling from my strikes. “Alright, alright. Young man, I apologize.”
Just like that, they all took turns apologizing to Tangge and Tangsao. In no time at all, they scattered like ants.
Only the three of us remained in the room. Tangge sighed, “Feng, you got too ahead of yourself. They’re still reputable people in society.”
I felt a little awkward, but before I could respond, Tangsao shrieked, “So you think everyone is like you, not lifting a single finger while your wife was about to be ruined?!”
“Hey, what could I have done? It should be your fault for not turning in your two hundred thousand*! I almost got my hand chopped off!” Tangge put his hands on his hips, trying to pressure her.
Tangsao had been scared of him before, but after knowing that he cheated on her and owed a debt, and in addition to receiving a great shock, she found new courage to fight back. “I gathered those savings by myself, why should it be used to return your stupid loan?!”
“Li Chunmei, you’re my woman, and that includes your money. But there were some things I shouldn’t have kept from you. Last year, I invested in a business and lost a few hundred thousand, and I had to take out a loan to fill it up. Isn’t this all for you to live a better life? Now I’ve failed and hit rock-bottom. If even you don’t trust me anymore, then it’ll really be over for me.”
Tangge really could tickle at people’s feelings. Not only did he admit his mistake, but also victimized himself, his bearing full of exasperation and remorse.
Tangsao’s position in the household was always low, and it was rare for Tangge to humble himself like this. Saozi’s voice softened, “Hmph, I’ve told you from the very beginning that business isn’t easy, why didn’t you listen to me?”
“Yes, I know that, but I wanted to prove myself. I wanted to buy a big house for you so you won’t have to worry about anything in the future. Of course, this goodwill ended up being my downfall. Ah, wife, the picture isn’t what you think it is, either. I was drunk, and you know how mischievous my friends can be, they took that picture themselves. Really, I can swear to the heavens, I didn’t cheat on you! Don’t’ you understand my situation?” Tangge pleaded.
It didn’t sound completely ridiculous, and it made sense. With such a sexy and beautiful wife at home, he really would be a retard to cheat.
Saozi pursed her lips and didn’t say a word. Seeing her wavering self, Tangge cut to the chase, “Ah, Meimei, it’s really my fault for earlier. They were too harsh while collecting the debt, and you wouldn’t give me any money when I came to you. There was too much pressure and I snapped. Don’t be angry that I hit you, okay? Have you forgotten, when we were still in school, I still bought you presents even when I didn’t have more than ten bucks of change in my own pockets.”
He really was a master at coaxing, and I stood beside them with my jaw open. Tangge spent the next few days doing chores around the house and cooking for our meals. Some of my own duties were relieved, but I still wasn’t comfortable. I couldn’t be alone with Tangsao anymore.
Ah, how I longed for the next time Tangge went on a business trip.
To be honest, I didn’t really know what “liking” a person meant. It didn’t have a set definition. Seeing Tangsao happy made me feel the same way, but I always felt that Tangge was lying.
Because of Tangge’s presence, I took evening studies at school every day. I could’ve gone home since I was a non-boarding student, but I didn’t want to anymore. I didn’t want to see them together.