Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Li Du told his parents where he was going and then drove the car towards Phoenix,
together with Sophie.
To help the new men learn the ropes as soon as possible, Brother Wolf brought them all
along. Together with Firecracker and Big Ivan, Li Du now had a total of eight
bodyguards with him!
Li Du started the Muscle Car Hellcat. As that car had been out of use for a while, he had
to work to start it.
According to the GPS, Hellcat had driven into an expressway named Colin Trail that
was in the main city. It was a poor area near Phoenix. The buildings were neglected,
and the roads were narrow and filthy.
Su Nan was staying in one of the motels there and had arranged to meet Li Du at the
Li Du saw Su Nan standing at the junction, clad in a thin, orange-red down jacket. He
was hugging his arms as he squatted by the road.
Seeing that, Li Du was shocked. That was not the Su Nan he remembered. In his
memory, Su Nan was always eloquent, lively, and cheerful. Now he sensed that Su Nan
was depressed and no longer bore the high energy that he used to radiate.
With a swish, Hellcat drove over and stopped by the roadside. Su Nan, who had been
squatting there, hurriedly stood up and ran aside, looking fearful.
Li Du was sad to see that. How did my old classmate end up in that state?
Li Du pushed open the car door and got out, shouting, “Canon Su, look here!”
Seeing Li Du, Su Nan revealed a look of surprise. “God, is that you, poet?!”
Li Du looked surprised as well. “Are you really Canon Su? I would have expected you to
say ‘d*mn’ instead of ‘God.'”
Su Nan smiled and walked over, patting Li Du’s shoulder. He said, “I am, after all, a
highly civilized member of society. I need to have some class. Is this your car?”
Li Du said, “Yeah, what do you think of it?”
Su Nan patted the car door and said, “Very good. Didn’t think that you’d be doing so
well. This car is a Mustang Hellcat, right? I’ve seen people driving it in school. But why
would you like this kind of showy car? Just now, I thought that it was some street
gangster who came over. I was so scared that I had to move aside.”
Saying that, he turned to look behind him and spoke again, “Stop your car at another
place. There’s a car driving over behind. Be careful, it’s another fancy piece.”
Li Du did not have to turn to know that Su Nan was talking about the Rolls-Royce that
Brother Wolf was driving.
It was a little high profile for bodyguards to be driving such a car. However, they did not
have a choice, as that car and the Hellcat were the two most suitable for that journey.
Other than those two, they had a pickup and a Ferrari. There were eight bodyguards,
and they would not fit into the pickup. A sports car would be even less suitable for the
bodyguards to drive.
Li Du called for Sophie to get out of the car and then said nonchalantly, “I’ve parked
within the white line. I can stop here, don’t mind them. Is being rich so great?”
Su Nan was not in a good situation, and Li Du did not want to agitate him. If Su Nan
knew that he had brought along eight bodyguards and they were riding the Rolls-Royce,
perhaps it would not be easy to continue their conversation.
Leading Su Nan away, Li Du said, “Let’s go, let’s find a place to eat or have coffee. We
can have a good chat. It’s been so long.”
Seeing Sophie, who had just gotten out of the car, Su Nan was stunned. Sophie
definitely stood out from the crowd with her beauty and elegance. If she were to enter
the entertainment industry, she could rely on her looks alone to earn a living.
The intimacy between Li Du and Sophie already suggested their relationship. Su Nan,
who never expected that Li Du would have a girlfriend like Sophie, was naturally in a
state of shock. However, Su Nan regained his composure quickly. He only froze for a
brief moment before he got hold of himself again. Smiling at Sophie, he nodded and
waved his hand to greet her.
Li Du introduced the two of them and at the same time waved his hands behind Su
Nan’s back, gesturing to Brother Wolf to stay in the car. Having worked together for a
long time, Brother Wolf and Li Du had reached a certain level of understanding. Seeing
Li Du’s gesture, everyone stayed in the car.
As it was around lunchtime, the three of them went to a small restaurant nearby. Brother
Wolf brought the rest of the people out and also entered the restaurant, pretending not
to know Li Du.
Li Du now had a rather high standard of living. He did not care for the typical sort of
beer and chose the specialty beer, which was also the most expensive in the restaurant.
The beer had just arrived in the restaurant that day and was the product of a famed
specialty brewery in Phoenix.
He had made the choice without thinking, but Su Nan noticed. He smiled and said,
“You’re doing well now, huh? Half a case of that beer costs four to five hundred dollars.
That’s how much I spend in a month.”
Li Du replied, “What are you talking about? I’m pushing myself to beyond my limit.
You’ve come to my area and as the host, I have to treat you with great hospitality, isn’t
Su Nan smiled. “Who cares about that? A regular cappuccino will do.”
Su Nan made to call out to the service crew but Li Du stopped him. He said, “Come on,
drink this. My second-hand goods business is not doing too poorly. I can afford this, and
besides, the government has compensated me with quite a sum of money.”
Su Nan said, “You mean the compensation from the jailing incident back in Miami?” He
knew about that incident. Every Chinese in America had paid attention to that case. As
the Florida government had dealt with the incident promptly, it had been seen as a
success in the power struggle for the Chinese.
At that time, Su Nan had also given support to Li Du. However, he had only shared his
views with his connections on Twitter and other similar social sites. There was not much
practical help in that.
Li Du nodded. “That’s right. I also bought the car with the compensation money. But
what about you? Why did you come to Phoenix from Philly?”
When the beer was served, Li Du opened a bottle and pushed one towards Su Nan.
Then they clinked their bottles, and Li Du took a sip. Su Nan was much more
enthusiastic and gulped down at least half of the beer in one go.
After he swallowed, he revealed a bitter expression and said, “Came over to look for a
job. I accepted a role in an export company, but they changed the terms when I came
over. I was so angry that I didn’t turn up.”
“We agreed that the weekly salary would be eleven hundred dollars. However, they
reduced it by more than half. The monthly salary would not even reach two thousand,”
Su Nan lamented.
Li Du frowned and said, “That’s really lame. Master’s degree graduates should get more
than that, right?”
Su Nan sighed. “He gave me just the minimum wage. It’s not that my expectations are
high. I did some calculations and concluded that that amount would not be sufficient to
live on in Phoenix. I’d need to rent a house and eat, and also send some money home.
How would that be enough?”
Reeling from the effects of alcohol, he started to complain. “Previously, I’ve thought
about America in too simplistic a manner. For us, the Chinese, it’s too hard to survive
alone here without a backer. D*mnit, Old America treats us as – oh, sorry, your girlfriend
can understand Chinese, right?”
Sophie smiled gently and said, “I understand the bitterness in your heart. The current
policies in America are not friendly for young professionals. It’s not just you guys, the
foreign students. I can be considered a local, right? And I have not found a job since
Hearing her words, Su Nan slapped his thigh and looked as though he had found his
muse. He got excited and exclaimed, “Isn’t that so? Isn’t that so? It really is, even if you
have a Master’s degree, it’s too difficult to survive!”