Chapter 6: Zhou Qi the Candy Man
The system loved the new name.
Ding! Please check your new status.
A system message rang on his ears. Zhou Qi shuddered. He almost fell from his bed. Zhou Qi showed an awry smile.
"System? Could you please at least pick a better time?" He forced his droopy eyelids to open. Of course, he received no reply from the proud system.
Zhou Qi sat on his bed, headache and dizziness followed. He cursed the system in his heart.
“System. Show Status.”
Name: Zhou Qi
Main Class: Scale Breaker (New), Gangster
Sub-class: Civilian Lv. 1 (20/50)
Attributes: Strength 5, Dexterity 5, Endurance 5, Intelligence 6, Mystery 1, Charm 6, Luck 6
Unassigned Stats: 0
Grade: G (Mortal)
[System Notes: A sleep-deprived piece of trash with a bit of strength. Someone living like a stupid boss in the middle of the slums. Is this the place you wish to die, punk? Strive harder!]
Health points: 25/30 (Still Unhealthy Lungs)
Influence: -10 (Infamy)
Skills: Street Boxing (Intermediate), Blunt Weapon Mastery (Expert)
The System – Scale Breaker.
Sharp Mind: +20% better understanding and processing information.
Hard worker: +10% faster improvement in learning.
Will of Mercy: +5% charm power.
In the past four months, Zhou Qi discovered that the system wasn’t like a simple program. It wasn’t also a higher being. It was more like a motivator during a marathon run. It will curse and anger you to death if it could make you ran longer. It was like a fan that you would both hate and love.
A selfish bastard.
“The heck! You wake me up for this?!”
Zhou Qi yawned, closing the status panel. He hugged his pillow, cursing the system for being too vain. The sleep-deprived Zhou Qi closed his eyes and fell asleep.
This time for real.
No one could stop him.
Early in the morning.
The Law Bar's door was closed like any other bar out there. Only alcohol addicts would dare to knock on the doors during this time.
Of course, Fatty, an early bird would wake-up for them. Every morning, Fatty would open the door and welcome two types of alcoholics.
For the responsible ones, he would give these individuals an alternative, a cure. His addictive yet healthy non-alcoholic cocktails. Its very taste would make them stop talking about alcohol.
For the foolish drunkards, he would give them special alcohol. Fatty Jhin's special cocktail drink. A with a mysterious special anti-drunkard drop. The moment a drunkard drinks the drug-laced alcohol. He or she would experience an extreme but not-so-deadly headache.
They would feel their head ballooning. Then, for at least an hour, the drunkard wouldn't be able to move, hear, see, taste, or feel anything except for the headache.
Every morning, many wives would come, bringing their husbands at the bar. They enticed their other half with free wine. While others would bring them under the guise of a threat.
Fatty's success rate against drunkards was 100%.
Fatty acted as if he was treating patients with terminal diseases. A white coat and some instruments were enough for the slums to believe that he was a doctor. His bulging belly showing how healthy he was.
Well, the only patients he took were alcoholics.
The passerby threw curious gazes at the bar. In the morning, it’s like a makeshift clinic but in the evening it’s like a high-class bar.
Aside from that, they also knew that the boss was a loan shark. They even saw him crippling a young boy due to debt.
They also saw the death of the bar’s notorious former owner. The menace known as Stupid Bu. He died not under a gun or a sword. He died under the bat of the loan shark.
Well, at least, the new owner was not as brutal and impulsive as the former owner. In that, they thank the heavens. He was somewhat reasonable. The little kids even like him for some reason.
The loan shark also patrols the neighborhood, beating the sense out of some nasty syndicates around the slum. In some sense, the families and businesses in the slum were indebted to him. Though, what they know was limited.
Though they fear him. They don’t hate him.
Even so, in their eyes, the bar was still a big mystery.
Zhou Qi woke up at 10:00 am.
After washing his face and brushing his teeth, Zhou Qi took his breakfast. He took some light exercise and stretching.
Zhou Qi walked towards the bar. It was now turned into a makeshift hospital. As he passed through, he saw a familiar face frothing as he lied in the hospital. It was one of the well-known drunkards in the slums.
Fear flashed before his eyes, he wondered if Fatty would lace his drinks someday.
Zhou Qi followed his usual routine. With his trusty wooden bat, he strolled around the neighborhood. He was like a police officer with a wooden baseball bat as a baton. A plague for criminals and to-be-criminals.
Some of the kids would walk towards him. The curious little ones all looking at the loan shark's wooden bat.
“Gangster brother? What are ya doing?”
In reply, Zhou Qi would say: “Ball-bus-, I mean. Catching bad guys.”
Then, he would give some mango flavored candies to the kids. In the eyes of the kids, he was an odd candy man. Not a loan shark or scary gangster.
Not a baddy at all.
Zhou Qi would check all the nooks and crannies of the slums. Though, he might not be able to roam the whole slums. He knows where the wicked guys lurked. When he discovers them, it’s only a matter of time.
[Hidden door detected.]
Whistling, he would enter some hidden doors and dark alleys. With a wooden baseball bat in tow, he was unstoppable.
The stupid guys could never figure out what was happening. No matter where they hide, the loan shark always comes on their doorsteps. Coming as if he was about to collect a big debt from them.
Zhou Qi would weed them out from time to time.
Zhou Qi never shows mercy. He would first beat them up. Then, collect evidence later. He would take all their dirty money with a big smile. Soon, the sounds of a police car would ring in their ears.
Even before they know it, they’re already either dead or caressing the cold prison bars. Well, that’s depending on how they would act in front of the loan shark.
In the slum's underground world, he was known as ‘The Blight’.
Zhou Qi was one of the reasons why the slums were in order.
Though, only a few know.
“Help! Help me! Whahh, Help!”
Today was somewhat different for Zhou Qi. For some reason, the dumbasses were the ones trying to find him today.
Hearing the cries coming from the dark ally, Zhou Qi ran. Jumping from roof to roof, he tried searching for the source.
Zhou Qi saw a man getting beaten up. He was already about to help when a van came, picking up the man.
Within a few seconds, they were already gone.
Zhou Qi was still a few roofs away. He saw the van dashing away.
“Tsk, the smell of trouble. Time to get serious.”
Zhou Qi followed and tracked the car. With furrowed brows, he sped up. His plan was simple, find the base then beat everyone up.
Soon, Zhou Qi managed to catch up. Even so, he accidentally damaged a lot of roofs, especially the galvanized iron sheets. He put a lot of shoes-sized holes on those types. Feeling guilty, he promised to return and pay for those.
He could even hear the curses and roars coming from people below. A rush of shame reached his thick face.
“Damn, my luck is crap today. Fatty would toast me with his stinky tongue again.”
Zhou Qi looked at the van from a rooftop. He saw the man again, unconscious. He was being dragged towards a large warehouse. He also saw a lot of other guys equipped with guns.
They were loaded.
Zhou Qi’s face turned serious, his easy-going smile gone.
“One, two, three, four…Nevermind, I’m not going head-to-head.”
Zhou Qi decided to enter stealthily. He knew that he managed to catch on something big. He picked up a few stones lying on the ground. With his strength at Lvl. 5, he could throw rocks like a bullet.
He threw it at some boxes lying around outside. It looked like barricades. His aim to gather attention. He was also counting the number of enemies.
The stupid guys were like disturbed bees running everywhere to take cover.
The pebbles struck the boxes alerting the guards. He saw the faces of the fools. They were panicking, shouting for back up. Several armed men ran to the barricades to take cover. Aiming their guns, at the god-knows-where direction.
“Success.” Zhou Qi smiled. He continued throwing pebbles at the barricades. Then stopped after assuring that the fools were hiding behind the boxes. He stayed still for at least two minutes. Every time a head would come up, he would throw a stone at the boxes.
Zhou Qi circled the warehouse. He moved like a wind. He searched for a way in. He saw an open window and managed to climb like a parkour expert. Well, all thanks to his stats. After entering, he found a big box and hid.
He took out the chewing gum Fatty gave last night. Popping it on his mouth to relax his nerves.
“For nerves indeed.”
Zhou Qi used the boxes to hide. It seemed like he was inside a wide room.
Storage or something?
“No. No. Please! Awahhh.”
Zhou Qi heard the cry of the man. Peeking a little, he saw the man. He was stripped of all his clothes except for his boxers.
Zhou Qi was about to reach out for his wooden bat when he heard something. He heard the craggy sound of a machine. It was a red forklift. The heavy-duty machine was carrying an iron cage. There were three more listless sets of eyes inside the cage.
Zhou Qi clicked his tongue. “Human trafficking.”
Zhou Qi stopped and looked. He reached out to his phone and recorded it.
“This stupid brat!”
“Peh! Keep your balls shut!”
“Men, I hate noisy dimwits! Rough him up!”
“No please. Mom! Mom! Help! Anybody.
Under a few minutes, his voice was gone.
Covered in bruises and bloodied, they threw the man inside the cage. The pitiful man cried with tears of blood. But no sounds came out. The other captives inside the cage only looked at him. Their eyes, soulless and empty.
“Wanna call mommy baby? Haha.”
“Come on, call mommy for me.”
“Peh! Let’s go.”
“I wish it’s a girl next time.”
“Haha, me too! You’re starting to learn our way brat!”
The man shivered inside the cage. The armed men spat at the man’s face before going away. Then, they closed the door. Turning off the lights. Outside, they waited for their next victim.
Zhou Qi’s face was black. He was burning in anger but kept it at the moment. He stopped the recording. Playing with his phone, he checked a few numbers. Fatty Chin, Cheng Cheng, Sasalamander, and Big Boss Chu. He then sent the video.
Soon, his phone lit up.
Fatty Chin: F*ck them up! (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻
Sasalamander: Burn them up! (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡
Cheng Cheng: Dead Meat! ╰(⇀︿⇀)つ-]═───
Big Boss Chu: Kill! Send me your location. (˚Õ˚)ر ~~~~╚╩╩╝
He then sent the picture of the rooftops he destroyed to Fatty Jhin. The message was laced with an ‘I’m sorry’ meme.
Fatty Chin: What the heck? (☉_☉)
A few minutes passed, Zhou Qi heard something. It was getting louder and louder. His heart caught by the sounds. It was echoes of crying…
Of many children…
Zhou Qi picked up his phone again. He sent his location and another message to the four.
Fatty Jin, Cheng Shi, and Sasa ran towards the kitchen. The moment they saw each other, they moved to the underground storeroom. Fatty Jin entered a number code. Cheng Shi and Sasa ran inside and picked up their weapons.
Fatty Chin gave them some small earphones and smart devices.
“Get ready to dive.”
Fatty sat on the couch. He then whispered: “Code: Lord Jhin’s Stool.”
The couch transformed into a command center. Various screens appeared in front of Fatty.
Sasa looked at Fatty Jhin with a thumbs up.
Despite seeing the transformer couch in the past, Sasa still loved to see it again and again.
Ding! Ding! Ding! Three sounds echoed at the same time.
You have a message. You have a message. You have a shitty message!
The three picked up their phones, they saw an address.
“White Stone Street, the largest warehouse. About 50 men, armed and dangerous. Take care.”
Another message came seconds later.
Zhou Qi: Something changed! Goin first! (◣_◢)