Chapter 37: The Legend of the Bald Wolf
This operation had been a fight to the death that both exhilarated and terrified the entire police bureau. In one fell swoop, all of the Xue Triad’s operations across the city had been simultaneously raided by the police. All thirty-eight members of the Xue Triad were either killed or captured that night, with the sole exception of Xue Wanchun’s right-hand man and comrade-in-arms, Xue Guangliang, or as some called him, the Bald Wolf.
In their rush to celebrate this momentous victory, the police had had no time to worry about the sole gangster who got away. What these celebrating officers didn’t realize at the time was that this sole survivor would soon leave them a gift that they would never be able to forget.
A month after the Xue Wanchun case had been closed, the entire city had more or less forgotten about the entire episode. Everyone went about their own ways and did their own things. No matter how glamorous a case may have been, it was all in the past now. Until one day, a set of human remains appeared on the sidewalk in front of the municipal police headquarters.
It was the remains of an adult male. The corpse had already been charred black, most of the bones had been broken, and little flesh remained on them. The hands and feet were tied together by razor wire, and the skull had been smashed in at multiple places. It was quite clear that this man had suffered greatly in his last hours. In the end, his body had been doused in gasoline and burned.
Zhao Yongjun, the deputy commander of the sub-bureau’s investigative task force, had incidentally gone missing that same day. It didn’t take long for people to put two and two together and realize that this corpse was Zhao Yongjun. And over the next few days, multiple officers who had participated in the Xue Wanchun manhunt were killed off one after the other. Luckily, Jiang Zhengkai had been sent by the bureau to Beijing for training, so he was able to escape this rampage.
However, the gangster did not abandon the opportunity to seek revenge on Jiang Zhengkai. By the time that Yao Tianyu had realized that this criminal might go after Jiang Zhengkai’s family, Su Jing and Jiang Xinyi were already dead in Jiang Zhengkai’s home.
The officers who had arrived on-scene didn’t have the heart to describe what they’d seen. His wife and daughter had been placed in a large oil drum. The oil inside had already been burned up. The girl was tied to Su Jing’s chest; she seemed to have been killed by smoke inhalation, as her body was not very badly burned. However, Su Jing’s body was another story. Her lower body had been burned to a crisp, with little more than charred bones remaining, although her upper body was relatively unsinged. It appeared that the oil drum had not been filled to the brim; rather, it was mostly likely only a quarter full. The gangster had placed Su Jing into the oil drum standing up and then lit the oil inside.
While the oil burned, Su Jing could only writhe in pain while mostly standing erect. But she must have maintained that position the whole time before she’d passed out from the pain or the toxic fumes, since if she had allowed himself to drop down, her daughter would have caught on fire as well. In the end, she was burned alive as she struggled through the pain and suffering.
Right next to the oil drum, a dagger pinned a piece of paper onto the table. On it were written five large words: “Blood debt paid in full.”
By the time Jiang Zhengkai had returned, the remains of his wife and daughter had already been cremated. No one had had the courage to tell him just how his wife and daughter had died, but he’d still managed to somehow find photographs taken of the crime scene. No one knew how he’d been able to recover from that pain and grief. Maybe it was the thought of revenge that kept him going.
After the death of Jiang Zhengkai’s wife and daughter, the city was finally at peace. Although all evidence pointed to these crimes as the handiwork of Xue “The Bald Wolf” Guangliang, the man had simply evaporated into thin air.
That is, until two years ago, when the Bald Wolf once again appeared in the midst of a Triad war. That year, Xue Wanchun’s son was killed by a member of a rival Triad, Sui Dequan. As a result, the Bald Wolf killed every single member of Sui Dequan’s family, including Sui Dequan himself. This time, however, the police responded very rapidly, and in the course of his escape, the Bald Wolf was shot through the abdomen. But then during the ensuing manhunt, the man once again pulled off a miraculous disappearing act.
The officer in charge of the manhunt back then had been none other than Jiang Zhengkai. That operation may have been the closest he had ever gotten to the Bald Wolf. The one thing that still haunted Jiang Zhengkai’s soul was not having been able to bring this man to justice.
Had the Bald Wolf really resurfaced now, after all these years? Why had he killed that scum of a man? Did Wei Xin have some kind of a connection with Xue Wanchun? Or perhaps it was A-Jiao or Feng Lina?
Jiang Zhengkai sat there staring blankly at his deceased wife and daughter, but the wheels in his head were furiously turning. Finally, he stood up and said, “Honey, I’m going to go out for a walk. I need to clear my mind. But rest assured, the day of my revenge will soon be upon us.”
As Jiang Zhengkai walked past a high-end restaurant, he could not have imagined in his wildest dreams that the two people he most wanted to find in this world were throwing a party inside.
“Ganbei!” A-Jiao happily raised a glass of orange juice for a toast. “Thank you, Brother Tao!”
Sitting next to A-Jiao, A-Tao was smiling from ear to ear. He looked at her, then stood up and raised his glass as well. Seeing the two of them standing for a toast, everyone else at the table stood up as well. “Ganbei!”
“You guys did a good job on this one. I’ve got rewards for each and every one of you!” A-Tao smiled and said as he sat back down. “You’ve all worked hard, so go and have some fun!”
“Brother Tao, can we go get us some girls?” A-Biao joked.
“Haha, sure, just not this one,” A-Tao replied as he gently placed his hand on A-Jiao’s shoulder.
“Dream on!” A-Jiao squeezed her nose and made a naughty face at A-Tao. “I want to see which one of you fuckers has the balls to try and play me!”
The men at the table looked at one another before bursting out in laughter.
“Hey, A-Biao! You go first!” A-Meng goaded as he threw a pork rib at him. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!”
“Shit! If you’re so interested, why don’t you go for it then? I don’t want to end up like this thing here,” A-Biao said as he took a big bite out of the rib. “Fuck! Did you take a bite out of this already?”
“Haha!” The table erupted in another round of laughter.
“Alright, enough horsing around. Everybody stay alert. Don’t think this thing is over yet,” A-Tao spoke to his minions. His hand came off of A-Jiao’s shoulder as he pursed his lips and licked the corner of his mouth. “That pig Jiang isn’t someone you want to fuck around with.”
A-Jiao had been happily eating her food, but as soon as she heard A-Tao mention Jiang Zhengkai, her heart skipped a beat. However, she didn’t let anyone catch on to her surprise. Instead, she leaned back in her chair, held her glass of orange juice, and looked attentively at A-Tao as he talked.
“He and I have a history, so it is very possible he will look into the guy we just offed,” A-Tao said as he rubbed his bald head again. “Fuck, I was too careless.”
“I’ll bring a couple of brothers and kill that pig, too,” A-Biao said as he threw down his rib.
“Do you have shit for brains?” admonished A-Long as he kicked A-Biao in the shin. “This is a restaurant, not our hangout! Why don’t you yell louder? I don’t think the whole restaurant heard you!”
“It’s alright,” A-Tao waved his hand. “The beef between the two of us doesn’t concern any of you here.” He pointed his finger all across the table. “If any of you try going after that pig Jiang yourself, I will kill you.”
“Yes, Brother Tao!” they all said in unison.
“Good! Are you done eating, Jiao?” A-Tao asked, turning back towards her.
“Yep, I’m done here!” A-Jiao responded, still holding her glass. She knew they were about to discuss things that they didn’t want her to know, but she didn’t want to leave them tonight; she was afraid they were going to plot Jiang Zhengkai’s demise.
“Good. A-Meng, send Jiao back to her place.” A-Tao turned back towards the table and gestured towards A-Meng.
“Umm… Brother Tao, could… could you not hurt that pig?” A-Jiao nervously asked. She was afraid she wouldn’t have a second chance to ask that of A-Tao.
“Don’t worry, I’m not that stupid.” A-Tao shifted his attention back to an obviously conflicted A-Jiao. “Anyway, just go back home already. Don’t worry about me, okay?” He sounded especially warm and caring when he said these words, as if A-Jiao were his real baby sister.
“Alright, you promised!” A-Jiao exhorted one more time as she stood up to leave.
“Okay, okay!” A-Tao nodded as he waved her out. “Women, all they do is nag! I don’t know if I’ve gained a new little sister or a new mother.”
“Are you saying I’m annoying?” A-Jiao demanded as she forcefully pulled on A-Tao’s ear. “Say that again!”
“Hey, I’m sorry!” A-Tao begged as he was literally being pulled upward by A-Jiao. “I’ll never say it again, ma’am! Now could you please go home?”
“Yeah, fine! Don’t forget what I said!” said A-Jiao as she finally let go.
A-Tao rubbed his ear as he turned back towards his crew. “What the fuck are you all looking at?” he yelled as he quickly returned to his Triad boss form. “Okay, now where were we…”