Chapter 1: Rear-End Collision

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April 9, 2023Merchie

On the third day of the Lunar New Year, Li Yangxiao was driving his father’s little Xiali, worming his way through the chaotic stream of traffic with difficulty.

His deskmate and secret crush in high school, Song Chang, was sitting in the passenger seat, holding up a diamond ring and examining it with squinted eyes.
After a long while, he commented: “The diamond doesn’t look as shiny as it did in the store earlier.”

“The lights in the store are pretty bright,” Li Yangxiao cast the ring a sidelong glance, “It’s not bad though, it was 50,000, after all.
My sister-in-law has a discerning eye for the value of goods.”

Song Chang carefully placed the ring back into its box.
His fingers brushed over the box’s crimson velvet surface, and he laughed in embarrassment: “Mm… it’s actually pretty disturbing.”

Li Yangxiao also laughed.
Just as he was about to reply, Song Chang’s phone rang.
Song Chang answered the call, and spoke in a silky tone to the person on the other end:

“I’m with Yangxiao… Mm, we drank a bit… No, I was just happy to see my buddy … Ah? You cut your hand, are you all right? Why weren’t you more careful… does it still hurt?”

Li Yangxiao stared at the rear of the car in front of him, and his brows knitted almost imperceptibly.
He felt the urge to turn on the car radio, but fearing that it would expose the annoyance at the bottom of his heart, he restrained himself.

The faint scent of alcohol was spreading through the car; it was coming from Song Chang.

The two had not seen each other in a year and a half.
When they met for lunch, Song Chang had brought a bottle of red wine with him.
Li Yangxiao had driven, and his tolerance for alcohol was not the best; when he drank too much, he would break into rashes, so he sat at the side and watched Song Chang drink.

Song Chang drank until his cheeks were flushed red.
He poured his heart out to Li Yangxiao; in the end, he dropped a bombshell, saying that he was planning on proposing to his girlfriend, Cai Shan.
Li Yangxiao’s smile immediately dropped, and he was thoroughly stunned for a few seconds.
But he tried his best to keep up appearances1 and endured the sadness in his heart.
Not only did he congratulate him profusely on the spot, but he also warmly offered to accompany Song Chang to the jewelry store to pick out an engagement ring after lunch.

When Li Yangxiao was picking out the ring, his thoughts were not nearly that pure.
He purposely picked an expensive one: 50,000 yuan; for Li Yangxiao, who was in an assload of debt, this was already very pricey.
He could not explain what was going through his head at the time either; perhaps he wanted to see a hint of embarrassment flit across Song Chang’s expression, so as to degrade the grand image of Song Chang he had in his mind.
Perhaps he wanted to hear Song Chang express even the slightest bit of reluctance, so that he could prove that Song Chang did not love his girlfriend that much.

But Song Chang did not even blink, and quickly swiped his card.

“Let’s go with this one.
Yangxiao, your eye’s better than mine… I trust you.” Song Chang had said this before he swiped his card.

“I’ve prepared a surprise for you… That’s right, you definitely won’t be able to guess what it is! Ai, no… wrong, still wrong, you’re such a dummy, stop guessing…” Song Chang’s phone call dragged on and on.

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Li Yangxiao grew more and more annoyed as he listened, and thought to himself: people who are in love really do find idiots to be delightful.

The rear of the car in front of them finally moved a short distance away.
Li Yangxiao lightly stepped on the accelerator; the little Xiali drove slowly for less than 10 meters, before Li Yangxiao stomped on the brakes and stopped the car.

In the next second, an extremely loud “bang–” sounded, and the car shook furiously for a moment.

Beside him, Song Chang was still holding his phone.
He shot a shocked glance at Li Yangxiao, “W-what exploded?”

“Fuck!” Li Yangxiao quickly figured out what had happened, and glanced back as he said, “Damn it, we’ve been rear-ended!”

Song Chang was probably very intoxicated at this point.
His face was full of confusion, and he froze for a moment before he regained his senses.
The faint sound of someone’s voice came from the phone, and Song Chang turned toward it and said: “It’s fine, it’s fine, we got rear-ended, we’re fine…”

It had happened so suddenly.
Li Yangxiao was stunned for a few seconds, before he felt a slight pain in his heart2.
He had probably been frightened by the thunderous noise earlier.

Li Yangxiao’s terror had calmed slightly, but rage immediately rushed up into his throat.
When he saw that beside him, Song Chang was still murmuring into his phone: “It’s okay, it’s okay, babe…”, his fury flooded out.
He angrily shoved open the car door and walked quickly toward the car behind them.
He cursed: “Fuck, how can you drive like that, are you blind?! My…” He had not finished speaking when the owner of that car stepped out.

That man had a buzz cut.
His shoulders were wide, and his legs were long; he was at least 1.85 meters.
The contours of his face were sharp, and his eyes looked especially fierce and cutting.
He wore a slight frown, his expression filled with the same irritation as Li Yangxiao’s.

At the same moment, Li Yangxiao also caught a full view of the car–it was a black Porsche Cayenne.

So, his anger immediately subsided quite a bit, and he said his next few words with a pale face: “… The bumper’s been crushed to pieces…”

However, Li Yangxiao quickly realized that he was in the right in this situation.
Although the man in front of him did not look like someone to mess with, he had no way to vent his rage, so Li Yangxiao planned on going all out–and give the owner of that Cayenne a thorough scolding.

Li Yangxiao had just opened his mouth, but before he could utter a single word, Chi Mingyao–the owner of that Cayenne–spoke first, in a tone that was also filled with suppressed anger: “The car behind me hit me.”

“Ah?” Li Yangxiao froze.

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Chi Mingyao did not answer him, instead walking to the rear of his car and glancing over it.

Li Yangxiao’s gaze passed over to the area behind the Cayenne; only then did he realize that this was a chain of rear-end collisions–three cars had crashed into each other, and the Cayenne had become the filling of the sandwich cookie.
He walked over as well, and caught a clear view of the culprit: it was a Honda.

At this moment, the driver of the Honda also stepped out of the car, wearing a distraught expression.
He looked quite young, like a high school student.
The other two teenagers who came out also looked panicked, staring at the Cayenne’s rear, at a loss.

As the unlucky filling of the sandwich cookie, the Cayenne actually had not sustained too much damage during the crash.
There was only a slight dent on the bumper, and a small patch of paint had been rubbed off.
Compared to Li Yangxiao’s little Xiali, the damage to the Cayenne was minimal.
But with the price dangling over its head, fixing minimal damage would probably cost more than a dozen little Xialis.

Chi Mingyao bent over and stared at the dented area for a few seconds, before he straightened up and took out a cigarette.
He slowly lit it, blew out a puff of smoke, before he asked that group of boys: “What happened?”

“Ge3, I really didn’t do it on purpose…” The boy who had been driving looked like he was about to cry, “We’ve never been out in the world before, so when we saw there was a Cayenne in front of us, we started joking around.
We weren’t paying attention for a second and we crashed… I’m sorry, Ge… All of us are still students…”

“Got it.” It was obvious that Chi Mingyao did not want to listen to his nonsensical excuses.
He tapped the ash out of his cigarette and interrupted him, “It’s no use crying to me

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