By Ning Meng Huo Yan,柠檬火焰,檸檬火焰

Bounded Chapter 1

Bounded Chapter 1



As soon as Qi Yi walked into the bar, his eyes automatically locked onto the man standing by the window. With his tall body and upright posture, he stood out from the rest of the crowd. In a relaxed place such as this, his face remained emotionless while he continued to stand stiffly like a rifle. His eyes, however, were hawkish as he gazed outside.

With great interest, Qi Yi smirked and probed the man with his penetrating stare. He was about 1.8 meters tall with a stylish short haircut. His facial features were delicately contoured. Between his slender fingers was a cigarette. Under the dim light, his honey-colored skin faintly glowed.

He possessed this mysterious aura — cold and authoritative yet made one want to gently embrace him. Qi Yi knew right away that this man suited his appetite. He had never encountered someone so delectable. Not to mention, he was very attractive.

Normally, Qi Yi’s eyes displayed little emotion, but now, excitement radiated as if he were a panther who had just spotted his prey. Content, he sipped his ice cold beer, leaned back in his chair, and declared, “Baby, you’re mine now.”

The moment Qi Yi’s heated gaze fell upon him, Han Xuanfei felt his presence, but he didn’t know that it would persist. Could it be that he gave himself away? Memories of his recent communications with headquarters flashed by. No, it couldn’t be. He was very careful and did little to cause problems that would draw any bit of attention towards him.

At 25 years of age, he had been infiltrating the Qing mafia as an undercover cop for half a year already. Using his combat skills and intelligence, he quickly gained the trust of the boss and became his private bodyguard. Relying on his network and knowledge in computer science, he acquired a large amount of criminal evidence against the Qing. With backup from headquarters, the Qing was repeatedly assaulted. Eventually, the final strike toppled the mafia over. With nowhere left to go, the Qing boss sought out help from Asia’s largest firearms dealer, Zong Heng.

Xuanfei knew that this ruffian was Zong Heng’s second-in-command, Qi Yi, a 31-year-old man.

On the surface, Zong Heng was an international trading corporation, but secretly, they were weapon smugglers. This massive mafia organization caused a great headache for the government. Their dealings remained highly secretive. Up until now, they left no traces of evidence that could be used against them. They were just too elusive.

Han Xuanfei didn’t understand why Qi Yi kept looking at him. It was as if he was suddenly stripped naked. The feeling was extremely uncomfortable. He lightly knitted his brows, discarded his cigarette, and silently walked out.

Qi Yi’s gaze followed him until he disappeared. His face revealed a hidden smile. “What a beauty!”

Qi Yi’s eyes scanned his every move. He unwittingly took a deep sigh and nudged his elbow against his ‘little brother’, wishing that it would calm down. The lecherous expression on his face seemed as if Qi Yi was about to hungrily drool. He had a pretty face at best. It wasn’t as if he was so good-looking that he could bring down cities and kingdoms. Was he really that bewitching?

The fact that the Qing boss had asked Zong Heng for help meant that he had no other option left on the table. Simply put, he wanted to get rid of whatever was left and flee. Only Zong Heng had the capacity to swallow the large number goods all at once. Because the Qing were desperate, it would be stupid of Zong Heng to not take advantage of the situation and buy them at a cheap value.

Qi Yang had already calculated everything. Without any mercy, he pressured the Qing boss to keep deflating the price. In great disbelief, the once high-handed boss furiously wiped away his sweat even though the room was well air-conditioned. He begged Qi Yang not to lower it any more but to no avail. Both parties refused to budge.

Qi Yang was in no hurry. He knew that no matter what, the other party would give in. Suddenly, Qi Yi broke the silence. “I’ll add you 10%, but there’s one condition…”

Qi Yang groaned in displeasure, “Ugh… my money…”

Not to his surprise, Qi Yi said, “I want one of your men, the tall one who was standing by the window. Also, I want all of his info. I must see him by tomorrow! As for the rest of the details, Chen Junyi will take over.”

“Deal! It’s a deal! Gonna send him over to you tomorrow. I’ll go talk to Mr. Chen now. Thank you, Mr. Qi. Thank you!” Like a lifeline that had been thrown to him, he agreed to the conditions. Afraid that the brothers would take their words back, he left swiftly.

Qi Yang glared daggers at his brother and shook his head. “That boy sure is expensive. The Qing are gonna crash anyway. There’ll be no one there for him. If you really want him, there are other ways…”

“Don’t wanna risk it.” Qi Yi cut him off. Not wanting to anger his brother, he inquisitively glanced at Qi Yi and said no more.

Han Xuanfei looked up at the tall building that housed Zong Heng Corp’s headquarters. Hesitating to go in, he couldn’t fathom why Qi Yi was so desperate to see him.

Zong Heng was located north of the city park, right in the center of the most prosperous district. There was no mistake in the address. One could feel the power and wealth radiating from within. More importantly, Zong Heng was the mafia itself. Many valiant undercover policemen had tried to uncover its secrets but all were discovered and eliminated. Perhaps this time… he could be the lucky one.

Yesterday, he relayed the escape route of the Qing Boss to headquarters. He would soon be locked up for a lifetime. Han Xuanfei grinned to himself. Undercover mission complete! He then resolutely walked into Zong Heng Corp, stated the purpose of his visit, and was led directly to the managing director’s office.

The room was installed with full height glass panels that overlooked the large, green park. The scenery cleared away signs of uneasiness. Despite being preoccupied with worries, he couldn’t help but be captivated by the view, fully immersing himself. It wasn’t until he suddenly felt that uncomfortable stare that he discovered Qi Yi was already standing behind him.

The Qi Yi before him was different than the Qi Yi from last night. His tall stature projected his mighty bearing and his eyes lit up with intense heat. Han Xuanfei had never experienced such a domineering presence. His resolve slightly wavered. He didn’t wait for his superior’s permission before making the move. Was the decision right or wrong? Of course, none of his thoughts were written on his face. He calmly stood still and let Qi Yi eye him up and down.

Not bad… Qi  Yi closely inspected Han Xuanfei. His desire to embrace him grew stronger and hotter. His mannerism, his appearance, and his body made him unable to look away. He wanted to take him right there and then.

“Han Xuanfei. Dropped out of high school. Jailed for murder. Because you were underage, you only served 7 years. In prison, you met the Qing’s 3rd. After you were freed, you joined the mafia. Because of your excellent performance and promotions, you quickly became one of the leaders of the new generation…” Qi Yi fluently recited his background history without averting his gaze.

“It ain’t nothing! Dear Mr. Qi, may I know what you want from me?” Han Xuanfei knew that his profile was nearly flawless so he reassuringly responded.

Qi Yi kept quiet and unrelentingly bored his eyes into him. Just when Han Xuanfei could no longer tolerate it and was about to turn away, he steadily asserted, “I want you!”

Han Xuanfei stood there befuddled. He blankly stared at the overconfident man before him. From the look in his eyes and his tone, ‘I want you!’ could only meant possession. What the hell was this? Not to mention, it sounded as if it was a declaration! Could it be… Is this second-in-command gay? But he had never heard of any rumor? Han Xuanfei wondered if he had heard wrong.

He unconsciously took a step back, touching the glass window. Coming out of the daze, he asked, “Whaddya mean?”

Qi Yi moved forward and cornered him with both hands to the sides above him. He once again leered at Han Xuanfei. As if half a day had passed by, he finally drawled, “You are so beautiful. How rare for a man to have such fine skin.”

At this point, Han Xuanfei was 100% sure that Qi Yi was a gay. He raised his hand and pushed him away. With a straight face, he announced, “Sorry, I’m not gay.”

“Homophobic?” asked Qi Yi, his face unchanging.

With confidence, Han Xuanfei answered, “No. I don’t hate gays, but I’m not a homosexual either!”

“Don’t worry. I’ll turn you into one.” Qi Yi mischievously smiled. He took delight in frustrating him. His cold demeanor was seductive. The way his brows drew together was alluring. Qi Yi wondered what he would look like if he had smiled. Probably very irresistible… His thoughts wandered while ignoring Han Xuanfei’s darkening mood.

After hearing such nonsense and knowing that whatever he said would be rendered useless, he abruptly turned to leave. Qi Yi didn’t stop him. He just watched him walk out.

Puzzled over why Qi Yi let him go so easily, he soon got his answer. Standing by the elevator were a couple of burly men in suits. “Damn it! Need to fight again.” Han Xuanfei, undaunted, walked towards them.

One of the men politely said, “Sorry, Mr. Han. Mr. Qi wants you to stay put!”

“I ain’t gonna stay. Whatcha gonna do about it?” With nothing more to say, Han Xuanfei readied himself.

“Then forgive us. We’re just obeying orders.” Right after he said that, a few of them reached their hands forward to grab Han Xuanfei.

Without making a sound, a leg shot up and kicked one of them. A fist hurled at another. Twisting his body, he locked a person and slammed his elbow into him. After seeing their comrades fall, the remaining ones gave each other an eye signal and then they all charged at Han Xuanfei. Without looking behind, he bent his back, body-slammed into the guy, and threw him 3 to 4 meters. The others were equally badly beaten by Han Xuanfei. They had no choice but to retreat.

Soon, the elevator arrived at the floor. As he was about to go in, a strong force pulled him back. Han Xuanfei instinctively stepped on the person’s foot and aimed for his abdomen. His plan was to end the fight as soon as possible so that he could have enough time to run to safety.

However, the unthinkable had happened. His attacks landed empty. He turned around in shock. Qi Yi continued to gawk at him like a piece of meat.

“Nice moves! You turn me on even more!” Qi Yi smiled wickedly. “You can’t escape. You belong to me!”

Han Xuanfei held his breath. Wanting to counterattack and knock his teeth off, the back of his head was suddenly knocked by a heavy object. Pain radiated throughout and his vision blurred. He had fainted.

Qi Yi looked at Qi Yang who was carrying a bat and yelled, “Whatcha do that for?! What if he’s brain damaged?!”

“Aw, are you butthurt now? Look at how strong he is. You think he can’t handle something like this? What are you worrying about? Jeez… Why’d you gotta make this so complicated? Just one knock and it’s done.” Qi Yang ignored Qi Yi’s death stare, swung the bat over his shoulder, and casually walked back to his office.


There really isn’t such a thing as gangster talk in Mandarin because Standard Mandarin is really standard. In writing, it’s almost nonexistent. It’s difficult to discern unless dialectal phrases and terms along with vulgarity are mixed in. I did my best. I don’t want to ruin Xuan’s and Yi’s character.

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