The street was only dimly lit as he ventured through it in the night, looking forward to reaching his apartment. He was taken by the feeling of eyes raking through his frame from behind, the tell-tale sign that he was being followed by someone. His steps became faster upon that realisation. He fixed his glasses with an opened palm, not risking a glance backwards. It was not that he was afraid of what he would see, but rather he didn’t want to give his chaser the idea that he had the advantage.
He eventually made a U-turn into a dark alley that he usually used as a shortcut. The lack of light could help him lose whoever was coming after him, he would just have to be silent, so he wouldn’t give away his position. His steps became slower, more carefully thought out and he attempted to avoid anything on the ground that could make any noise as well as any source of light in that place. A door opened and closed a few steps behind him, which would help with him losing the person tracking him, and so he was flooded by a small sense of relief. Just a couple more meters and he would reach the end of the alley, and then his apartment would be just around the corner in the same street.
Mild anxiety hit him like a wave as he approached the other end of the alley. The closer he got to it, the farther it felt, and when he finally reached Crown Street, he was grabbed by the bicep by a man that was leaning against the wall, a lollipop in his mouth and a serious yet laid back expression colouring his beautiful features. He was momentarily stunned by the beauty of this man, but also by the sense of recognition he brought upon him. Had they met before?
He quickly yanked his arm away from the other man’s grasp and pushed him away by pressing a palm to the centre of his chest. Despite being a mere archaeologist, he wasn’t weak and could fend for himself; he just preferred to avoid this kind of situation. Gratuitous violence was not his style. His chaser was obviously stunned by the sudden turn of events; he could see it by the expression on the other’s face. “Who are you?” He used an opened palm to adjust his glasses, more out of habit than of necessity. His expression was harsher now, full of scrutiny as he stared at the man that had been following him with narrowed eyes, gaze filled with suspicion.
“I’m Private Detective Kun Lun, and you are Shen Wei.”
“What’s a scrawny little thing like you doing in a place like this?” All the colour drained from his face as he saw the words being whispered directly to his ear. Goosebumps run down his spine, making him swallow dry. The man’s voice sounded so threatening and ominous that he couldn’t help feeling scared of him. Initially, he didn’t dare to turn his head to look at the other man, he was visibly shaking because of the threat, but eventually, curiosity won him over and he turned on his heels to face the ‘aggressor’. What he found was a man, older than him, wearing an almost smirk on his lips as he stared down at him.
He nervously grasped the stripe of his bag and lowered his gaze to avoid eye contact. “I-I’m doing research… f-for my book.” The words left his lips in a rushed manner and a stuttering mess. He had never dealt well with confrontation or anything social, which was why he stuck with writing and reading. It was easier and didn’t require many social skills from him. The other man grunted at him, almost as if he was displeased by the response. “And what are you writing about?” The other man asked in the same condescending tone he used before, which forced the shorter of the two to look up at him. He finally noticed the other’s rugged beauty.
As if he had forgotten about how this conversation had even started. He smiled at the taller man and started rambling passionately. “It’s a romance about a lonely boxer that had never known love, but on a fateful day, he met a girl that changed everything. At first he didn’t want to get close to her or to fall in love, so he was rude and cold, but he eventually warmed up to her, and they started taking things slow, and I want to observe some of the matches for accuracy and maybe pick one of the guys to use as inspiration for this character. I want it to be realistic, so people won’t be too…” He finally stopped when he felt a palm coming against his mouth. “You talk too much.” The other man said in a single breath and then pulled his hand back. Without another word, the scary man turned his back on him and started walking towards the locker room, an area restricted to any outsiders. The ‘scrawny little thing’ pouted a little, he didn’t even have a chance to ask the other’s name.
Sighing sadly, he started walking towards where everyone was gathering to watch the next fight. The referee was very enthusiastic, calling for everyone to come closer. Two of their best boxers were going against each other that night. On one side they called Bai Long. The man that walked from the right was all muscles and brute face, snarling at all and everyone to scare them off, but it was just a playful joke, because soon he was smirking and waving at the crowd. From the other side, they announced Chu Shu Zhi, and he saw the man from earlier entering the ring. His face was painted with a blank expression and he didn’t regard the crowd even once, but still received many cheers. It was clear who the favourite to win this match was.
And the young writer Guo Changcheng, well, he had found the one would be using as a muse for his book.