Heavy rain poured down and traffic flowed back and forth.
The silence of the car was broken by a ringtone that stopped and rang again. After it happened a few times, the driver looked into the rearview mirror of the car.
There was only one person sitting in the slightly empty back seat. He was wearing white trousers and his posture was casual. His arms under his sleeves were white and the blue veins were visible. He looked coldly at the name on the screen of his private mobile phone and there were no emotions in his eyes.
The man’s face already showed the traces of time but his natural bone structure still allowed him to maintain the good skin of his youth.
It was only when the ringtone rang for the fourth time that the call was answered.
The man pressed the speaker button and threw the phone onto the seat next to it. The moment it was connected, a grumpy and vulgar scolding emerged from the phone in a very penetrating manner, especially in the quiet car.
“Chen Qizhao, you are really brave. You hid it deeply enough. Aren’t you afraid of dying young after acting in such a sinister manner….”
The scolding continued and the voice on the other end of the phone became more impatient. “Oh yes, it isn’t that you have a short life. Rather, it is that your life is hard. Your father became seriously ill and died and your mother followed shortly after. Even your older brother committed suicide in front of you. Everyone in the Chen family was killed by you. How come a useless person like you lived?”
The cursing continued and the person on the other end of the phone vented his emotions in an extremely unpleasant manner.
It happened to coincide with a red light. The driver looked into the rear-view mirror without looking up and saw that the man in the back had a cold expression as usual.
The man in the back said, “Uncle Lin, a gentleman shouldn’t scold with such dirty words.”
He smiled and his tone was sincere like he was giving a greeting. “Is it raining over there? Have you brought an umbrella with you?”
The man on the other end of the phone couldn’t understand it so he cursed, “What nonsense about bringing an umbrella? Chen Qizhao, are you crazy?”
“It is raining over here where I am, it is raining heavily.”
Chen Qizhao looked sideways at the heavy rain outside the window and his voice didn’t contain any emotion. “It also rained on the day my older brother died.”
The person on the other end of the phone was silent for a moment. Chen Qizhao continued before he could speak.
“A rainy day is a good day.”
Chen Qizhao seemed to sigh. “It is a good day to sit in prison.”
He suddenly laughed and changed the topic. “Uncle Lin, I heard that your birthday is next week. This younger generation has nothing to give you so I will send you a blessing.”
“I wish you a long life and a lifetime of imprisonment—”
The scolding on the other end of the phone disappeared. The driver glanced at the rear-view mirror and found that Chen Qizhao had taken the initiative to hang up. His mood wasn’t affected at all like the other person’s scolding hadn’t happened.
Soon, the car turned at an intersection and entered the deserted outskirts.
It was raining heavily. The driver hurried out of the driver’s seat and opened the door to hold up an umbrella.
Chen Qizhao handed him a cigarette and told him, “Wait for me outside.”
The driver respectfully took it and watched the person in front of him walk into the rain curtain with the umbrella. He headed step by step into the cemetery in the mountains.
The cemetery was quiet and Chen Qizhao stopped at a certain place.
“I didn’t bring flowers.” Chen Qizhao looked calmly at the three gravestones in front of him. “Lin Shizhong can’t be saved. His accounts are very dirty and he can only spend the rest of his life in prison. It is just a pity that you didn’t see it with your own eyes. Don’t you think you died too early?”
No one responded. There was only the howling of the wind.
Chen Qizhao didn’t care about this. He lit a cigarette as he stood in front of the gravestones. “I bought a piece of land and I took the initiative to choose the place next to yours. I don’t know if you have reserved a place for me after I die.”
“Forget it, it doesn’t matter if you’ve left it or not as long as you don’t get angry at me again.”
Chen Qizhao quietly finished smoking the cigarette and looked through the rain curtain at the photos on the gravestones. It wasn’t until Chen Shiming’s face entered his eyes that he fell into a trance as he remembered a rainy day many years ago.
His older brother Chen Shiming also died on such a rainy day.
The day was chosen very well. It was the same day their mother died.
The Chen family went bankrupt and his parents died one after another. In the end, his older brother committed suicide. It had been so many years but Chen Qizhao still remembered entering his brother’s residence and seeing his only relative left sleeping peacefully on the sofa. The only sound was the dripping of rain outside the window.
At that time, the sound of the rain was a bit quieter. It was a lot less than now and even the sound couldn’t be heard clearly.
That person was indeed right. Everyone in the Chen family was dead and he was the only one left in the end.
“I’ve sent everyone who deserves it to prison and have paid off the Chen family’s debts.” Chen Qizhao’s lips were pulled into a smile as he sat down beside Chen Shiming’s gravestone and laughed at himself. “I’ve been working hard for the past 10 years without any merit. It is best to leave a spot for me.”
There was only the sound of the wind and the rain. Night shrouded the entire cemetery and there seemed to only be a few lonely lights lit up in the rain curtain.
Rain poured down on his face and the cold gradually eroded his limbs.
Chen Qizhao closed his eyes.
In the debauched and corrupt environment, the flickering lights had a subtle rhythm and noisy sounds came and went.
The silence receded like a tide. The next moment, there was a rush of piercing sounds.
Chen Qizhao was woken up by the sound. The cold of the rain and the heat of the alcohol repeatedly wrapped around him and made his mind chaotic. He seemed to have fallen asleep in the cemetery… the rain was so heavy. Had he given himself a fever?
It was so noisy. Who was talking?
“It isn’t easy to talk about the matter of your desired major for the college entrance examination…”
“It is just managing your desired major now but it isn’t known what else he will manage later.”
“By the way, Xiao Zhao really needs to have a little bit of a sense of crisis. It is your family’s things. You can’t just hand it over to your older brother in the future, right?”
…College entrance examination? Desired major
Chen Qizhao abruptly opened his eyes.
The lights were extremely dazzling and noisy sounds came from all directions with a huge amount of information mixed in. The sharp, pinprick-like headache dragged him back from his chaotic thoughts. Chen Qizhao looked at the unfamiliar scene in front of him and scanned the people around him in a scrutinizing manner. Regardless of whether they were familiar or unfamiliar, they all looked immature and young.
Where was this? Wasn’t he in a suburban cemetery? Was it a bar? Even if he developed a fever in the rain, he wouldn’t be sent to a place like this.
There were five or six boys in the booth of a bar. At this time, they were touching their wine glasses together and talking. The first one Chen Qizhao noticed was the boy sitting diagonally opposite him wearing white clothes and glasses. He had a bookish air about him and seemed incompatible with such a scene.
The boy in white clothes saw that Chen Qizhao didn’t reply and asked, “Qizhao, what do you think? Your desired major is one thing, but do you have any other ideas for the future?”
Chen Qizhao didn’t speak. What should he think about?
“We are talking about the desired major. How did it change to other matters?”
“Isn’t Brother Qin giving Qizhao ideas?”
“Yes, Qizhao has told us about this matter so we can’t just sit back and ignore it, right?”
“Brother Xingfeng is right. You don’t get along with your older brother and he hardly cares about you in normal times. Now he suddenly intervened before you filled out your application and persuaded you to study finance or management. Don’t you think it is a bit strange?”
“You fool. Chen Shiming is currently flourishing. Then once Qizhao graduates and enters the group, Qizhao will be under his eyes. He can act out the image of a good brother in front of other people and will profit on the surface and behind the scenes. In the end, Qizhao will still be suppressed by him.”
Chen Qizhao noticed the details in the other peoples’ words and pierced together a name that was strange yet familiar.
Qin Xingfeng… Chen Qizhao hadn’t heard that name in eight years.
The last time he heard this name was when Qin Xingfeng’s financial crimes were reported in the media. In a way, Qin Xingfeng in his early years was indeed one of Chen Qizhao’s ‘good friends’, a type of good friend who cheated him.
The college entrance examination’s desired major, the bar, Qin Xingfeng… this should’ve happened 17 years ago when he was 18 years old.
Was he dreaming…?