Twenty-seven years ago on one autumn night.
In the backyard of a simple house, Hao Gang prepared a table of dishes to dine and drink with his comrades Han Wenjun and Gao Yang. Hao Gangs son, Hao Jiajun, was one-month-old. This meal was to celebrate the first month of his sons life. Although it was a happy occasion, the ambience at the dinner table was really depressing. Hao Gangs wife, Ah Jun, had recently been diagnosed with aplastic anaemia, a form of leukaemia. It was a death sentence.
"Brother Gang," Gao Yang could tell Hao Gang miserable and suggested, "why dont we get some money and bring Ah Jun to the hospital in the city? Who knows, there might be a cure?"
"Sigh!" Hao Gang drank the wine and grieved. "Thats useless! None of the big hospitals could help! Ive asked. The only way to save her is to send her overseas for surgery! But...money!"
"Brother Gang, how much do you need? You tell us!" Gao Yang patted his chest and said, "We will find a way to get it!"
"No way! It wont be enough!" Hao Gang shook his head. "The surgery itself would cost at least four-hundred thousand! Even if the three of us sold our houses, it would still be far from enough! Oh my God! Why is my life so difficult! Will my son have to lose his mother after just being born?!"
" Brother Gang!" Gao Yang said, "God blesses good men. Who knows, the doctors might have wrongly diagnosed her. My parents sell herbal medicine, do you want them to recommend her to a Chinese doctor?"
"Wait!" Han Wenjun, who had been quiet, suddenly put his cup down and said to Hao Gang, "Brother Gang! I have a quick way to get money. I dont know whether you are willing to try. But if it works, you will have money for sister-in-law to consult doctors overseas, and maybe even have enough to live a good life too!"
"What is it? Quick! Tell me!" Hao Gang seemed as though he found his lifes savior. He grabbed Han Wenjuns hand. "Ah Jun and I have been together since we were young. We grew up together! I would do anything to save Ah Jun!"
"Wenjun," Gao Yang was worried, "what kind of job? Is it illegal?"
"How could we do anything illegal?" Han Wenjun said. "Have you heard about Cheng Sanli? He contracted a large mining area and is filthy rich now!"
"A contracted mine tunnel? Is it legit?" Gao Yang was worried.
"How is it not legit?" Han Wenjun explained, "I was in the mine exploration team. I heard news saying that there are way more silver deposit left that have yet to be mined. Whoever chooses a good mine tunnel will be secured with a big fortune!"
"Recently, I heard, "Han Wenjun continued, "Cheng Sanlis contracted mine tunnels had about two to three left, and those are more difficult to mine. They would need to import new machines in order to mine them. Cheng Sanli had earned enough, and he thought it was too complicated, so he announced that he would contract it to whoever wants to take up the mine tunnels. I could easily contact them.
"Brother Gang! It requires more capital! But once you mine silver, not only will sister-in-law be saved, but the three of us will also be rich!" Han Wenjun finished.
"Mm" Hao Gang asked, "How much is the initial capital?"
"The contract fee is at least fifty-thousand, and the machines are about another fifty to sixty-thousand!" Han Wenjun answered.
"So much? We dont have enough." Gao Yang felt difficult.
"Go for it!" Hao Gang said firmly. "To save Ah Jun, I would bet everything on this! I could just sell the house!"
"Oh, okay then!" Gao Yang nodded. "I will borrow some money from my parents too!"
Four months later at the Yinpan mining area.
Hao Gang and the other two went through a lot of trouble and finally got the machines. They started mining the tunnel that they had contracted from Cheng Sanli . After more than ten days of mining, there was good news. They were really lucky! They had found a huge, rare silver deposit! Once it was successfully mined, they could make millions in profit! Hao Gang was overjoyed! He knelt down and cried! He mumbled, "Ah Jun is saved!"
But when Cheng Sanli heard about this, he was overwhelmed by greed. Cheng Sanli brought people to crash into the mining area, tore the contract, and refused to acknowledge their contract!
Hao Gang and the other two were pissed and wanted to negotiate with Cheng Sanli, but Cheng Sanli was a powerful man. He beat up the three of them and returned their contract fees and the cost of importing machines. But Hao Gang had already sold his house by then! The trophy was right in front of him, but he had run into Cheng Sanli, a cunning person! Hao Gang looked for different ways to discuss terms with Cheng Sanli, but he failed miserably.
At that time, the bad news came! His wife died because of a cerebrovascular rupture, and doctors failed to save her. Hao Jiajun then lost his mother at the age of one. From the moment of his wife died, Hao Gang felt entirely hopeless! The seed of hatred had been planted inside of him. From then on, he only held one thought: to take revenge on Cheng Sanli, on behalf of his wife!
So Hao Gang sent his son to a distant relatives house. Then he teamed up with Han Wenjun and Gao Yang and prepared to fight to the death with Cheng Sanli. Han Wenjun and Gao Yangs money had all been take by Cheng Sanli too. They were cornered and they hated his guts.
The three of them hatched a plan to kidnap Cheng Sanli and demand a huge ransom from his family. The three of them researched Cheng Sanlis daily life, and planned to act when he was on his way back to Mafang town. However, the three of them had never kidnapped anyone before. They realized that they would need a car if they wanted to kidnap Cheng Sanli. But the three of them did not know how to steal a car, and they had no money. So in the end, they decided to just steal a car.
They were on a highway near Mianlin Town. They went in Hujia tunnel and hid, waiting to steal a car. They did not see any other car beside the red van that Niu Weiguang was driving. The three of them wore masks. When Niu Weiguang drove through the tunnel, they stopped the car and rushed in with knives.
Gao Yang was the first one that got into the car. As this was his first time robbing people, he was rather nervous. He shouted in the car, telling everybody to get down!
But something that made him breakdown happened. Liu Hongxiang, who was in the car, could recognize his voice. He yelled at him, "Uncle! Why are you here?!"
Suddenly, the atmosphere in the car was frozen. The three of them then realized that everyone in the van were all primary school kids! Gao Yang thought it was a big mistake and that the three of them should run away! But Hao Gang was furious and commanded Han Wenjun to hold the knife to drivers neck while he threatened the kids not to move. Then the van started moving under Hao Gangs command.