It didn’t take too long for the manager to return with Li Xinwen’s card along with the jade bracelet which the staff carefully packed for him. After saying his gratitude, Li Xinwen left the shop with Xue Rui.
The two men had not gone far when Li Xinwen turned to face Xue Rui and asked with a serious expression. “Alright, spill it. What brings you here?”
It was only now that he remembered to ask Xue Rui this question. He forgot to ask sooner because he was too preoccupied with the altercation involving Xue Liang. The fact that he even existed was a complete surprise. Then, on top of it all, Li Xinwen had to find the missing parts of Lan Yu. He was also worried that Xue Rui might be injured and hence unable to join them this weekend and in the end, he also had to pick out a gift for his mother.
“I just… wanted to see you,” Xue Rui answered with a slight hesitation. “Then, when I arrived, an officer came out of the alley and when he saw me, he was surprised. After questioning him for a bit, I realized my brother was with you and…” Xue Rui’s hands clenched into tight fists as he recalled what he saw and heard earlier. “Xinwen, I’m sorry. I didn’t know that my brother… was like that with you.”
Li Xinwen couldn’t answer and just stared at Xue Rui, trying to come up with a reply. ‘It’s not my place to forgive him… how am I supposed to reply to this?’ he thought, as he racked his brain for an answer. After a while, he could only sigh. “It’s already in the past. From now on, he won’t be able to take advantage of me,” Li Xinwen finally replied. “Anyway, I still have somewhere to go. You should return to your work now. Don’t laze off,” Li Xinwen said as he turned around, about to walk away.
He barely took two steps forward when Xue Rui grabbed his wrist and stopped him. “Where do you plan to go? How about I take you there before I return to work?” Xue Rui asked. Somehow, he still felt uneasy after knowing that his second brother was back in the country, especially after he found out that Xue Liang had entangled himself with Li Xinwen.
“No need. I want to walk around the city and exercise. Don’t worry about me and get back to work, as you can see, I’m not that weak,” Li Xinwen said before he shook off Xue Rui’s hold. “I’ll see you on the weekend. Just don’t forget,” he added before he walked away once more, leaving Xue Rui to stare at his figure as he walked towards the city center.
Xue Rui only moved after Li Xinwen disappeared from his sight and walked to his car. He was feeling extremely dejected but when he remembered the worry on Li Xinwen’s face because he was injured, he couldn’t help but smile. After a while, he took out his phone and scrolled through his contacts. He stopped when he saw a familiar name then pressed the call button. The line connected to the other party after two rings.
“Brother, second brother is back. Did you know?” Xue Rui didn’t bother beating around the bush. After all, his eldest brother didn’t like having to play guessing games.
“Did he? He didn’t inform me. Where are you now? I’ll go there immediately.”
“He already left. I don’t know where he is now… and brother, I think you were right. I should’ve just confessed as you advised rather than follow Liang-ge‘s idea…” Xue Rui mumbled in a soft voice. The other side was silent for a while and Xue Rui thought that he called while the other person was busy. Just as he was about to speak again, the other person on the line spoke.
“Tonight, 7pm at Fluorescene Club, I’ve already booked a private room. Big bro will accompany you to drink so you can tell me everything later.”
“Alright. Jun-ge, thank you…”
“En. Don’t be late.”
Xue Rui stared at his phone for a while after the other party cut off the call. “Always straight to the point,” Xue Rui sighed before he started his car and finally drove off.
Li Xinwen had walked some distance when he checked the time on his phone. He still wore his disguise and now that he was in an open street where pedestrians were walking around, he no longer looked suspicious. ‘The bank opens around this time, I should hurry there. Let’s see… the nearest branch is…’ Li Xinwen opened his map application once more to check for the nearest bank location. The original had decided to put his savings in the Aegis Bank System, and luckily, Li Jinghua also had a savings account there.
It took Li Xinwen roughly half an hour before he finally reached the bank. Unfortunately, when he tried to enter, the guards standing by the entrance stopped him from entering.
“I’m sorry, sir. If you wish to enter, please take off your sunglasses and mask. If you have a cold, you can wear them again after you get past the door,” the guard said in a polite tone. Li Xinwen didn’t oppose and removed his sunglasses and mask. “Ah, it’s actually Mr. Li. You can go in now. I apologize if I have offended you,” the guard said as soon as he saw Li Xinwen’s face.
“It’s alright. I know you were only doing your job. Keep up the good work!” Li Xinwen said with a smile on his face. After that, he entered the bank and didn’t bother to cover up again. He went to get his queue number, then looked around for an empty seat. While waiting for his turn, Li Xinwen sent a message to his sister, told her that he was already at the bank and asked for her bank account details.
In less than a minute, Li Jinghua replied with the account name and account number. She also told him to be careful and to check before leaving the bank. Li Xinwen gave a short reply, telling her not to worry then returned his attention to the screen above the counters. He was lucky that he came early and was the third person in the queue. And although there was hardly anyone in the bank, the problem was, there was only one teller working while the rest were still preparing.
‘How inefficient…’ Li Xinwen complained in his mind as he continued to wait. Fortunately, he didn’t wait too long for his turn. Li Xinwen went to the counter and sat down but when the clerk saw him, her face turned red and started to squeal.
“Umm… excuse me, but you are the actor Li Xinwen, right?” she asked.
“Ah, no. But I do get that a lot… but I am not him,” Li Xinwen lied, putting on an awkward expression as he did, as if this was actually a normal occurrence whenever someone mistook him for himself. When he said that, the disappointed clerk put on her professional expression once more. “Anyway, I’m here to make a money transfer to my elder sister.” Li Xinwen advised, and then leaned in to whisper to the clerk “It’s a huge amount.”
“A huge amount?” the clerk glanced at Li Xinwen worriedly. “Sir, are you sure it is your sister? These days, there are scammers going all around posing as relatives…”
“I am sure,” he assured the clerk. “I even talked to her last night, face to face.” Li Xinwen added when the clerk seemed to want to try advising him again.
“Oh, I see. Very well. Can I please ask for your ID and your bank book or your account number?” she inquired as she began to work.
Li Xinwen provided everything, including the account number that Li Jinghua gave him earlier. After confirming the recipient details and the amount, the bank employee proceeded to transfer the amount to Li Jinghua’s account.
“The amount has been transferred but due to our policy, the beneficiary won’t be able to use it until three days later since the amount you transferred is more than 5 million yuan,” the clerk informed Li Xinwen while she returned the ID to Li Xinwen. “Is there anything else you’d like to do?”
“That’s alright. I’ve done what I’ve come for. Thank you for the hard work,” Li Xinwen gave the employee a smile and the employee’s face turned red once more.
“Hey… are you sure that you’re not the actor Li Xinwen? Even the name is the same, you’re not playing with me, right?” she asked once more and this time, Li Xinwen just placed a finger to his lips, quietly telling her to keep it a secret. Upon realizing that it was indeed her idol in front of her, she timidly slid a notebook and a pen to Li Xinwen. “A signature to buy my silence,” she said in a shy manner.
Li Xinwen chuckled and signed the notebook. “Don’t tell anyone, alright? At least not until I’m out of the building,” he reminded the employee before he put on his disguise once again.
As soon as he stepped out of the building, his phone rang. Taking it out of his pocket, Li Xinwen stared at the caller ID before answering the call as he continued to walk.
“Hello, Hua-jie, what’s wrong? Is there a problem with the transfer? The bank employee said that because of the amount, you can’t use it until three days later,” Li Xinwen explained as soon as he answered the call, thinking that was Li Jinghua’s reason for calling.
“Ah‘Wen, that’s not it… why did you transfer eight million? I only asked for half a million, ah! This amount is too much!” Li Jinghua said, and Li Xinwen could hear the distress from her tone.
“But Hua-jie, you said it yourself. During the apocalypse, money has no value. So might as well give it all to you!” Li Xinwen replied in a relaxed manner. “I’ll leave everything to you, Hua-jie. All the early preparation and all of those things that I am not good at, I’m sure you have a better idea.”
Li Xinwen could hear the female sigh on the other end before he picked up her voice again. “Alright. Leave everything to me. I promise you that you will not suffer during the apocalypse,” Li Jinghua said and Li Xinwen unconsciously nodded his head.
“By the way, is there anything else that I would need? Maybe like umm… underwear?” Li Xinwen asked, the last word barely audible, like a whisper.
Li Jinghua was actually hiding in one of the employee toilet cubicles of her company in order to call Li Xinwen. Upon hearing Li Xinwen’s remark, she had to cover her mouth to stop herself from laughing out loud and to avoid causing suspicion. “Hua-jie?” she heard Li Xinwen call her out when she didn’t answer for a while. She calmed herself down before she replied.
“Yes, yes. You should prepare those. But not too much. Maybe 500? I can help you store them in my space first,” Li Jinghua said while she tried her best to hold back from laughing.
“Alright. Thank you, Hua-jie!” Li Xinwen said before the call was cut off.
Li Jinghua stared at her phone before finally breaking into a giggle. “Xinwen, ah… why are you trying to sell meng to your own sister?” Li Jinghua mumbled softly while shaking her head.
Li Xinwen: Hua-jie, do I need anything else? What about underwears?
Li Jinghua: Pfft-!
Li Xinwen: Hua-jie, what’s wrong? Are you okay?
Li Jinghua: Haha…wait… hahaha! Ah‘Wen, I’ll call you again later, okay?
-Li Jinghua cut off the call and started to laugh at Li Xinwen’s silliness-
Li Xinwen stared at his phone with a questioning look: Did I say something wrong? Hua-jie was laughing earlier, right?