Wen Qing was studying in the college's library when she noticed her phone lighting up with a text message. She thought it was her brother Wen Ning at first, letting her know that he had made it to Granny Wen's house safely. He had joined her earlier, then left after finishing the essay he had to work on.
However, after glancing at the screen, she saw that it was from her boyfriend Jiang Cheng. He must have just finished visiting his foster brother Wei Ying and his fiancé Lan Zhan with his family. He mentioned that he was going to see them after a brief talk with him after their classes. Wei Ying had to be taken to the hospital last night after being attacked after a fight.
She read the message, hoping that he wasn't too injured. While she would never have any trouble admitting that he often got on her nerves, she would fight tooth and nail for him if the situation required it. They were good friends when he wasn't.
Jiang Cheng didn't mention anything about his condition, though, much to her disappointment. The message he sent was brief.
Hey. I'm home. I know you're studying right now, but I need you to come home too, as soon as possible. Please. It's serious.
Wen Qing's scowled. She knew that the reason why he wanted her to was not good.
"It just better not be anything stupid, or anything that he couldn't have fixed or taken care of himself. I don't want to have stopped what I'm doing for nothing," she muttered to herself, putting her belongings away. She checked out the books she had been perusing after donning her coat and left the school.
The drive to the one-story house they lived in wasn't long. When she opened the door, all she could smell was the smoke from the cigarettes that her boyfriend liked to smoke. She turned to see him frowning at the wall as he frowned at the wall.
"Jiang Cheng! How many fucking times have I asked you to open a damn window when you're smoking?" she growled as she lifted one up.
"Sorry. I forgot," he remarked in an angry, matter-of-fact voice.
She realized then that he looked more furious than she had ever seen him. "What is it? How's Wei Wuxian? Did he talk to you and your family when you visited him and Lan Wangji?"
"Yeah," he replied shortly. "And speaking of which, I need to ask you something."
Jiang Cheng's scowl became even more pronounced. "Do you happen to know the places your sick excuse of a cousin hangs around?" he demanded.
This question caught her off guard. He only mentioned Wen Chao whenever they heard of him getting into trouble. He had nothing short of contempt for him because he used to bully her and Wen Ning. Not only that, but he would harass him, Wei Ying, and their sister Jiang Yanli when they were in school.
"I know some, but not many of them. Why?" she inquired in confusion.
"Because I need to find him so I can beat his fucking face in, that's why!"
Wen Qing was taken aback at this. "For what? What did he do? Does this have something to do with your brother?"
"You're fucking right it does." He lit yet another cigarette, then got up to pace back and forth. "And I'm not going to have a moment of peace until I deal with him."
He turned to her. "Because he's was the one who Wei Wuxian fought with and was attacked by last night."
She was outraged. "What?!"
"Yeah. It was him! And...it gets even worse."
"What do you mean?"
Jiang Cheng made her sit down and joined her. "What I'm about to tell you right now won't be easy to hear, but you need to know."
Wen Qing nodded. "What happened?"
He took a drag of his cigarette before answering her.
Wei Wuxian had ran into Wen Chao as he was going home last night. Her cousin was drunk and tried to have a "friendly" conversation with him, but the former tried to brush him off since he wasn't in the mood to talk to him. However, Wen Chao wouldn't leave him alone, and eventually started to harass him.
They fight began after Wei Wuxian threatened to get him out of his face if he didn't stop bothering him. Wen Qing frowned in disgust at the thought of Wen Chao telling Wei Wuxian that he smelled good in the middle of trying to choke him. He was truly insane for that.
It got "even worse" then, as Jiang Cheng said earlier. Wen Chao tried to pull him into an alleyway, but Wei Wuxian managed to get away from him. However, Wen Chao went after him again and smashed his head into a wall.
Jiang Cheng glared at the wall a second time. "He pulled him back into the alleyway after that, and then he...he fucking himself on Wei Wuxian while holding a knife to his neck! He forced himself on my gege!" he roared.
If Wen Qing had been holding anything at the moment, she would have dropped it right then.
Wen Chao...that fucker...
He had done the unthinkable...the unimaginable...to one of her friends. Hell, to someone who was practically family to her!
From that moment onward, Wen Chao was no longer a part of it. Not after this. Never again.
For once, she could not speak. She was too shocked, too furious to say anything. And she hurt for Wei Ying...she didn't even want to think of all of the pain he was going through.
Jiang Cheng took that opportunity to tell her about what happened afterwards. That that monster threatened to hurt Wei Wuxian and their loved ones if he said anything. About what happened when he made it home, and their trip to the hospital.
Wen Qing had long since begun to tremble with rage by the time he finished telling her everything. Like he had earlier, she stood up to walk back and forth. She couldn't believe that Wen Chao had the nerve to even think of doing that to Wei Ying. She was ready to strangle him. To punch his face in like her boyfriend also wished to do. Nothing would satisfy her more.
"What I wouldn't give to know where he is so I can to fuck him up!" she yelled through gritted teeth.
"You and me both. Tell me the places where you know he spends at, and we can look for him right now!" Jiang Cheng declared.
But she shook her head. "No. As much as I would love for us to, I don't want you to go to jail."
She couldn't afford to go either. Wen Ning and Granny Wen depended on her, and even though her boyfriend pretended otherwise, he did too.
Not only that, they could be expelled from school. And even though she would happily give up being a nurse for Wei Ying in this instance, she knew that he would never want her to.
Then again, it would be worth it...
"Qingqing, what are you talking about? I don't care if I get locked up! He's more than earned a good ass-beating!" Jiang Cheng protested, interrupting her thoughts.
"I agree! But no. I don't want you to get in trouble, and your brother wouldn't want you to either. And besides the bars and his father's and girlfriend's house, I honestly don't know where he would spend his time. I've always wanted as little to do with him as possible since I was old enough to know better! He never did anything except make life hell for me and A-Ning - not to mention for almost every other person in town - and his father is no better."
Jiang Cheng was highly irritated. "Fine. I'll just do it myself, then. And I won't care how long it takes to find him!"
He made to leave then before she could say or do anything else. However, the house phone rang just as he was about to open the door. He answered it.
"Hello?" he said. "Yes, A-Niang, I'm still here...oh, come on! But...!"
"No! Stay there!" Wen Qing heard Madam Yu shout.
"What did I just say, Jiang Wanyin?! Do NOT make me have to come over there, because I swear, if I find you gone...!"
He huffed. "Fine, fine! I'll stay."
She hung up.
Jiang Cheng slammed the phone down so hard that he nearly broke it, much to Wen Qing's displeasure. After that, he stormed into their room and threw himself on the bed.
She sighed heavily and followed him. "He will get what's coming to him soon, A-Cheng," she remarked as she laid next to him. "Trust me. He will pay for what he did to Wei Wuxian one way or the other, whether the police get to him first or not."
He cracked his knuckles. "Yeah. But I'd rather that it was me first. I want to teach him a lesson."
"I know. So do I."
They grew quiet for a while before Jiang Cheng shifted.
"So, what now?" he asked.
"I don't know. But we have to tell A-Ning about this before someone else does, or before finds out another way. I'm not looking forward to it, though," Wen Qing replied.
"Me neither. His heart is going to be broken," he said.
Both Wei Ying and Wen Ning had been close friends since they had first met.
"Yeah," Wen Qing sighed.
In spite of her telling him and Wen Ning not to confront her ex-cousin, they were arrested for it the very next day.
Even though she was greatly upset about it, she never blamed them. She secretly felt a vindictive pleasure as she watched a video that was sent to her of them beating him bloody. Of course, she didn't let Madam Yu know this as she was bailing them out.
It also floored her to see Wen Ning being so violent. Her astonishment rivaled the shock she felt the previous evening, when he practically exploded after they told him about what happened to Wei Ying.
Her only regret - somewhat - was that she hadn't been able to join them due to being at the hospital for her internship. She still wanted to throttle or sedate him, just as she told Wei Ying she would if she saw him.