Mad Dog: Chapter 1
Nightmare on the screen is an extremely handsome teenager
11 years ago
On a winter night, the wind blew as sharp as a knife on the skin.
There was only the sound of a man's hurried and heavy breathing on the dirty and silent road in Shimada District.
The tall figures were all buried by the darkness and only a small body could be vaguely seen, that was constantly struggling from being squeezed between a man’s thick arms
“F*ck, don't f*cking move.” The man was sweating in the cold night.
His wolf-like eyes were soaked with sweat.
He looked fierce and anxious and couldn't stop scolding, “Move again, I will kill you!”’
Damn, if it wasn't for the 'goods' that needed to be delivered tomorrow and the loan shark’s threat to break off his arm, he wouldn't have done such desperate work.
Zhiqi woke up after being jolted by someone.
The little girl's mouth was tightly covered with tape and she couldn't make a single sound.
She could only cry silently, her tears smearing her face and quickly condensing into ice on a winter night.
She was cold and frightened.
She didn't understand why she woke up in such a state from a good sleep.
She struggled unconsciously and got viciously yelled at by the man who was holding her.
Zhiqi didn't dare move any longer.
Although she was young, she was already ten years old and a 'big child' in the fourth grade.
The little girl vaguely understood that she may have been kidnapped.
Once she grasped the situation, a deep chill spread all over her from the soles of her feet to the strands of her hair.
An unspeakable and indescribable sense of fear hit her heart.
The little girl's hair stood on the end which was no longer caused by the cold air outside.
In Zhiqi's memory, she was held by a man for a long, long time.
The bumpy ride almost made her vomit from being tossed around.
The man had wanted to transfer Zhiqi out of the city, however, he could only agonize because of the patrol and security checks at various toll gates in the middle of the night.
He had to temporarily hide the girl on a dilapidated truck carrying cabbages.
Disregarding her life-or-death situation, the man took his big padded jacket at the back of the truck, wrapped it up into a bundle, and went to sleep in the front seat.
Zhiqi was scared to death.
Her teeth rattled behind the sealed tape.
Her big, bright eyes were even brighter after being damped with tears, especially inside the dark trunk of the cabbage truck.
She couldn't see anything clearly, there was only the faint smell of a cold, rotten vegetable leaf at the tip of her nose.
That was the first time Zhiqi encountered that particular smell.
From then on, she never liked to eat cabbage very much.
It was the most terrifying and long night in Zhiqi's memory.
Her hands and feet were tightly bound for a long time, this resulted in her becoming numb, bruised, and paralyzed.
In contrast, the gangster who bound her was snoring loudly like thunder and sleeping soundly like a baby.
Ten-year-old children can't fathom profound questions as to why they encounter such misfortunes.
They can only be afraid and tremble helplessly.
Zhiqi couldn't remember how many times she cried making her face frozen with tears.
Her big eyes were fixed on the roof of the trunk.
Unfortunately, she couldn't see anything at first.
Until an unknown amount of time passed.
There was suddenly, a slight rustling sound that came from outside the truck.
The truck carrying Chinese cabbage was not sealed with steel, it was only supported by curtains that hung all around it.
Now, the curtains were being lifted gently to the side which made light appear inside the truck from the bright morning.
Zhi Qi immediately curled up in fright, her eyes looking terrified.
She was afraid that it was the man who was finally going to 'kill' her.
For a moment, she seemed to hear ringing in her ears, ignoring the thunderous snoring which continued.
She suddenly saw a person's head emerge from the corner of the opened curtain.
That moment was the first time she saw Jiang Qi.
She never thought that the 'unparalleled hero' who saved her from the fire and water1 would be a little boy about her age.
But he was.
The boy with a pale face with sharp eyebrows despite his young age, saw a little girl tied up in a ball inside the truck.
Yet his expression was calm.
“Don't make a sound.”
Jiang Qi's voice was very low, almost speaking in an airy tone. His movements neatly removed the restraints on the girl's hands and feet. He appeared very skilled in dismantling things frequently.
After getting free, the stagnant blood returned to her small hands and feet.
However, the numbness almost made Zhiqi cry out.
Fortunately, Jiang Qi seemed to have known that would happen and did not take off the tape on her face.
The boy turned his back on her and said softly, “Climb on my back.”
Zhiqi's hands and feet were sore that she almost lost consciousness, but perhaps it was because she was desperate to survive, or maybe because she was too scared that she managed to crawl onto Jiang Qi's back.
It was like she was dreaming.
He was only a little taller than her, yet he carried her on his back in the cold and deserted early morning in Shimada District.
He ran like a mad man just to get as far away from that place as fast as possible. Leaving that place was leaving those nightmares and pain…
The first time she saw Jiang Qi, he saved her.
Since then, she has only dreamed of Jiang Qi from when he was a boy to a teenager.
His pale face, and black and sharp eyebrows, left her in trance.
The boy was running with her on his back. Zhiqi's blue and purple arms were wrapped around his neck.
Despite being in a dangerous situation, she inexplicably felt at ease.
Until the bumpy road tossed her stronger and Jiang Qi suddenly grew taller and his face looked ruthless and fierce.
Zhiqi was stunned for a moment, then subconsciously straightened up and took her hands away only to find her white hands were covered with warm blood…
it was a bright red.
Zhiqi sat up abruptly, sweating all over almost soaking her chestnut hair on her forehead.
At the same time, the lights in the bedroom also turned on and the soft warm-colored lights broke the heavy feeling and hard atmosphere in the dark.
Her roommate Meng Chunyu only vaguely heard Zhixi's cry and sat up suddenly.
She turned on the bedside lamp, rubbed her eyes, and asked confusedly, “Xiqi, are you having nightmares again?”
Zhiqi was still immersed in the endless nightmare and after a long while, she blinked her eyes dully.
“…Sorry.” She turned her head and her soft bright voice was now hoarse.
She said slowly, “Chun Yu, you should continue to sleep.”
She hasn't recovered from the nightmare yet and Zhiqi's hands and feet were numb.
It wasn't until the desk lamp went out and the bedroom was plunged into darkness again that Zhiqi slowly curled up on her knees and wrapped her arms around it – just like a baby seeking a mother’s protection.
Zhiqi murmured, “Jiang Qi…”
She misses him.
Every time she dreamed of Jiang Qi, she wouldn’t be able to sleep and could only stare at the dawn with her eyes open.
Meng Chunyu, who was in the next bed, woke up and went to wash up.
She came back and found that Zhiqi was awake too.
“Xiqi, are you awake?” Meng Chunyu sat at the table and smeared her face with cosmetics.
She couldn't help but smile when she opened her eyes, “You had a nightmare again last night.”
The reason why the word 'again' was because throughout the three years of university and living with Zhiqi in the same dormitory, such situations frequently occur and Meng Chunyu was not surprised anymore.
“I'm sorry.” Zhiqi didn't explain that she hadn't slept the whole time and simply sat up straight.
With a soft and peaceful smile on her pale face, “Did I disturb you again?”
“No, no.” Meng Chunyu waved her hand indifferently, took the opportunity to 'eat tofu’2 and squeeze Zhiqi's face, “Tsk, it's so tender, you also know that I've always slept like a dead pig.
Therefore, after living together for three years, Meng Chunyu never heard the name Zhiqi called whenever she had a nightmare.
Zhiqi smiled, lowered her eyes, and said nothing.
She was lucky to have met such a good roommate because she didn't want to break free from her nightmares.
After all, it's always good to see Jiang Qi even in a dream.
“Xiqi, do you still want to go to the library this weekend?” Meng Chunyu took a bun at breakfast and asked her vaguely, “Why don't you relax this week.
I think you like having nightmares on weekdays.
It’s because the pressure is too great.
How about we go to the movies? They said that the new film directed by Shen Lei was just released and although the theme isn’t deep, the movie is very beautiful!”
Meng Chunyu is an uncompromising star-chasing girl and whenever she mentions things related to the entertainment industry, she can't help but brighten up.
This made Zhiqi curious about why she chose the same major as herself in the field of 'Wildlife and Nature Reserve Management.
Their major is only offered at Lin Lan's Forestry University and only about 40 undergraduates are enlisted each year.
Among them, there are very few female students.
Moreover, it was only her and Meng Chunyu who got accepted this year.
Zhiqi felt majoring in 'media' was more suitable for Meng Chunyu.
“Okay.” She acquiesces, not wanting to dismiss Meng Chunyu's interest.
She agreed, thinking that she hadn't relaxed for a long time, “What time?”
“Well, there is a game at noon, let's go see that.”
Meng Chunyu bowed her head to buy tickets and when she was done, she looked up to see Zhiqi sitting by the window and looking down. She was reading a book, her white teeth biting the straw of a cup looking very focused.
The sunlight coming through the window illuminated her, reflecting her porcelain-white skin that looked almost transparent as if filled with a layer of milk.
Her pupils were extremely black and her facial features were exquisite.
She’s like a princess that has yet to see the light in an ivory tower.
For some unknown reason, this adjective would often pop up in Meng Chunyu's mind every time she was astounded by Zhiqi's beauty.
She knew that Zhiqi was different from her and the other girls in the whole school.
The longer she got along with her, the more she felt this way.
Zhiqi might look well-behaved, submissive, and plaint, but Meng Chunyu knew that apart from her, Zhiqi refuses to communicate deeply with other people. As if…
she is completely insecure.
For the past three years in college, Zhiqi spent most of her time studying.
They have full scholarships and their grades are surprisingly high.
Their course in particular is considered a 'hard major'.
In addition, they also have to take many other professional courses, including going abroad for internships and flying all over the world doing experiments…
Therefore, Zhiqi never spends her time in places she frequents as someone who is a dedicated uncompromising star-chasing girl.
While Meng Chunyu admired her wholeheartedly, she also knew in her heart that she could never become a princess like Zhiqi.
Zhiqi can be viewed as a princess by her appearance but she was a diligent and hard-working fairy.
On the other hand, Meng Chunyu can be the 'knight' who guards the fairies.
Meng Chunyu took Zhi Qi's arm with a smile and pulled her out of the door.
At the cinema, Meng Chunyu was talking about how awesome this cutting-edge director Shen Lei is and how many film festivals his work has been shortlisted for, and so on.
Zhiqi didn't understand this and although she was confused, she was very serious in listening. But a question from time to time made Meng Chunyu speechless.
Zhixi asked solemnly, “You said that the movie we will watch today is a murder story of a criminal with a seven-person psychosis, but now the review is strict, will this kind of movie have bloody scenes? If it is deleted, it will not really convey its meaning, right??”
Meng Chunyu, who had never investigated this, was speechless.
After a while, she said weakly, “Should…
In a suspenseful thriller crime film, with a seven-person psychopathic criminal as the protagonist, what's the point of not having any bloody scenes?
When Zhiqi heard it, her original attitude of going with the trend aroused a little interest in her.
For her, this kind of movie was much better than any romance movie.
There was a bit of traffic jam on the road.
So, when the two arrived at the cinema it was only three minutes before the film started and they almost flew to the screening hall.
Perhaps the film directed by Shen Lei is a hit and the pitch-black screening hall is full of people.
The two of them sneaked to their seat quietly.
As soon as Zhiqi sat down and raised her head, a close-up shot suddenly appeared on the big screen almost filling her line of sight.
On the screen is a very handsome young man.
His hair and eyebrows are black, it looks ordinary yet sharp.
His glass-colored eyes are hollow and emotionless.
His face is pale, but his lips are very red…
His whole person is handsome and wicked.
Zhiqi was stunned when she saw him and for a moment, her brain crashed and her whole body seemed to have been electrocuted.
Her breathing became heavy followed by the closing and opening of her eyes.
That's right, she will never forget that face on the screen, it's Jiang Qi!
Zhi Qi stood up abruptly.
Following her unconscious movements, there was an uproar behind her.
“Ah, Xixi, why are you standing up?”, Meng Chunyu was startled and hurriedly pulled her.
With a low voice, “Sit down quickly.”
Zhiqi was pulled by her like a puppet and sat down mechanically.
A thin layer of sweat quickly dripped from her palms and she stared at Jiang Qi on the screen without blinking, but her voice asked Meng Chunyu next to her: “This is…
Who is this?”
“He is a rookie actor named Jiang Qi, who was discovered by Shen Lei.” Meng Chunyu the 2G star chaser explained to her in a low voice—
“The industry has always praised Director Shen for his good vision. That man does look deadly handsome.
This is his debut movie and he was able to play in Director Shen Lei's film from the start of his career.
I thought he had a backer, but guess what, some netizens discovered it some time ago.
He has been in prison before!”
“Oh my god, this news is so explosive.
I didn't believe it at first, but the evidence is so solid that no one can deny it…
Tsk tsk, the world truly depends on a good-looking face.”
Meng Chunyu's voice lingered in her ears, like an obscure rope that could pull people back to the past.
Zhiqi suddenly felt extreme pain.
The pain made her close her eyes, however, she was reluctant to miss every scene of Jiang Qi.
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