213. Bite the Hand That Feeds You
“If anyone runs away, I’ll stab right through her neck!” Yan Miao screeched. Her hand swiped down and Kong Wen’s neck, delicate and well taken care of, was marred by a thin line of blood.
Yan Cheng nearly fainted from fright. “Yan Miao!” he hollered. “Don’t you dare!”
“I don’t have anything anymore,” Miao said, grinning wide. “I was even locked up by you, my so-called family. What wouldn’t I dare to do, my dear brother?”
Compared to Cheng, the old Mr Yan appeared much calmer. He slowly stood up from the foyer stool. “Yan Miao,” he asked, “do you know what you’re doing?”
“Of course I do,” replied Miao. “I’ve been preparing a long time for this day. I’ve torn off my skin sharpening this toothbrush. Father, don’t you love me the most? Look at my hands. Does your heart not ache for me?”
The old Mr Yan stepped forward, partially blocking Cheng’s body from Miao’s view. One of his hands formed the shape of a phone behind his back as he answered, “Miao, I’ve loved you for half of my life, even when you only ever cared for He Yuan, even when you refused to visit me as I was ill and near death, even when I was thoroughly disappointed in you. However, I still ensured you had justice when you were bullied. I was even going to transfer my shares to you so that you could be happy. Is this how you’ll repay me?”
When Cheng saw his father’s hand gesture, his mind finally calmed down. He silently reached his hand into his pocket for his phone. However, it was impossible to accurately call anyone on a phone that operated solely on touch screen without looking down at it. All Cheng could do was call the last person he had contacted via muscle memory. Before he was certain he had pressed on the “dial” button, he heard Miao call out.
“Cut the chatter,” said Miao. “Both of you, throw out your phones. Then, all of you move to the wall! We can continue reminiscing later. Hurry!”
When Cheng stayed still, Miao pressed down once more on Wen’s neck with her sharpened toothbrush. “Are you calling someone?” she shouted. “Throw your phone away! Now!”
Cheng was helpless. He had to pull out his phone and throw it away. Miao’s sharp eyes instantly noticed the lit-up screen of his phone.
“You were actually calling someone!” she shrieked. “Don’t you want your wife to live?”
Cheng’s eyes slid shut. He could only cut off the call and throw the phone aside. The old Mr Yan heaved a sigh and threw his phone to the floor as well.
“Now, everyone to the wall with your hands up!” Miao shouted.
“Yan Cheng!” Wen called out. “Why are you taking Father away from here? She can’t stop you!”
“If you dare run, I will kill her!” Miao coldly stated. “Brother, I definitely can’t stop you if you were to run. Now, you have a choice before you. Your father or your wife?”
Cheng clenched his jaw. “Yan Cheng, are you mad?” Wen loudly interrupted. “She’s crazy! Even if you stay, she might not let me go! You and Father might even die here!”
Cheng looked at the two bright red lines of blood on his wife’s neck. His eyes went red. The old Mr Yan had already started shuffling towards the wall.
“Father!” Wen shouted.
The old Mr Yan patted his son on the shoulder. “Are you a fool? There are no knives by the wall. What can happen to us by standing near there? If you step through those doors, your wife will be dead. Wen’s right. Miao’s gone insane. She was already prejudiced against Wen. I guarantee she would really do it.”
“Father, you are so right,” Miao laughed.
Tears streamed down Wen’s cheeks as she whispered, “Father…”
“You are a good kid,” the old Mr Yan warmly said. “I’m an old man. It would be worth it, even if I have to give my life in exchange for yours. Don’t be scared. Cheng and I will save you.”
Miao said nothing. She merely smirked.
Once everyone was standing by the wall, Miao spoke, “Mrs Liu, go find a rope and tie them all up now.”
Mrs Liu had been sobbing softly the entire time. She glanced at the old Mr Yan, afraid to move.
“Go,” the old Mr Yan said. Only then did Mrs Liu have the courage to walk to the storage room, legs trembling the whole way.
Worried for his wife while also afraid that his father might get too agitated, Cheng’s face was no longer an expression that could be simply described as unpleasant.
As if he knew what Cheng was thinking, the old Mr Yan calmly said to his son, “Don’t worry about me. She’s no longer my daughter. What is there to be angry about?”
“Have you ever thought of me as your daughter?” Miao scoffed. “Who would lock their own daughter up?”
Cheng was about to shout back in rage when the old Mr Yan pressed a hand firmly down on his shoulder.
“There’s no need to talk to her about this anymore,” said the old Mr Yan. “You can’t get through to her.” He then sat down on a chair Cheng had dragged over before looking up at Miao. “There’s also no need to speak of father-daughter love between us anymore. Now, tell me. Just what do you plan to do? You should know that after this, we can no longer coexist in peace.”
“You’re not going to play the love card now?” Miao coldly asked. “Very well. I don’t want to hear your hollow reasoning anymore. As for my goal today, well, you’ll know soon enough.”
As the two conversed, Mrs Liu had returned with a bundle of nylon rope in her arms.
“Good,” said Miao. “Now, tie them all up.”
Mrs Liu glanced at the old Mr Yan once more.
“Tie us,” the old Mr Yan said with a nod.
Mrs Liu slowly shuffled over. Her conflicted emotions clear in her eyes.
“Wen is still in her grasp,” the old Mr Yan softly said. “She’s gone mad. Don’t aggravate her.”
Tears flowed down Mrs Liu’s cheeks once more. As she cried, she began unwinding the bundle of rope.
“Tie up that Liu guy, the guard, first,” Miao said. “Then, Cheng. Tie them all up in a chain. Make it tight. Hurry up.”
After the old Mr Yan’s words, Mrs Liu no longer dared to dawdle for fear of enraging Miao. She had to tie up Liu Yu but she didn’t know how to tie someone up. All she could do was tie the man’s hands behind his back before looping the rope around him several times and tying a knot. When her arms reached behind the man, she sneakily stuffed something small into Liu Yu’s hands. The man merely turned his hand to hold the object tightly in his fist, face as still as ever. It was a small pocket knife, the kind that’s not very sharp and was actually akin to a child’s toy. It was a toy Yan Hui had played with as a naughty kid. When Wen found her son playing around with something so dangerous, she confiscated it and lectured the boy hard. The knife was handed to Mrs Liu for disposal. However, Mrs Liu couldn’t bear to throw it away. It was an intricate pocket knife that was also liked by Hui. In the end, she left it on a shelf in the corner of the storage room. When Mrs Liu went for rope, she suddenly remembered the pocket knife and secretly brought it back. Thankfully, the knife was so tiny that an adult’s fist didn’t look off while holding it.
Through teary eyes, Mrs Liu tied up Cheng and the old Mr Yan as per Miao’s orders. However, she tied their hands in the front instead.
“Tie your hands up as well,” said Miao.
Mrs Liu did not hesitate this time. She looped the rope around her hands several times and tied a double knot with the help of her teeth.
“Not bad,” Miao said, satisfied. “Throw me the end of the rope now.”
Mrs Liu did as commanded. Miao walked closer to the group with Wen and pressed Wen into a chair. She then tied the woman up using the rope. Letting out a sigh of relief, she disappeared into the kitchen before reappearing with a fruit knife and a jug of oil.
Miao slashed the jug open before throwing it on the floor. She then walked back to Wen.
“You know what I want to do now, right?” Miao said, smiling as she mimed slashing Wen’s face and neck over and over again with the knife.
Liu Yu had been trying to cut the rope off with the pocket knife since the moment he had his hands on it. However, Miao was a very alert woman. He didn’t dare be too obvious about his actions. Not only that, but the knife was also too small and too blunt. It was the kind of knife that never had an edge to it. It was a difficult task. When he saw Miao entering the kitchen without Wen, Liu Yu knew it was the perfect opportunity. He worked so hard that his veins were popping. Even so, the pocket knife was too weak. He couldn’t complete the task by the time Miao had returned. When he finally cut the ropes off, Miao had returned to Wen’s side once more. Liu Yu’s teeth were grinding against each other with fury but he didn’t dare let it show. Fortunately, he wasn’t tied up now. The ropes had yet to fall apart because he was holding them taut. They could wait for another chance to appear.
“Brother, look at the men you hire,” Miao mockingly laughed upon seeing the thin sheen of sweat on Liu Yu’s face. “The old man hasn’t even reacted but your man has already broken out in a cold sweat. How can he be trusted with that attitude?”
Cheng turned to look at Liu Yu. They were sitting next to each other but Cheng’s seat was slightly further back. From his angle, he could see the cut ropes in Liu Yu’s hands, held tightly to prevent them from falling. In one of those fists was a tiny, intricate toy knife. Blood stained the ends of the rope and the knife. The other man must’ve hurt his wrists in the heat of the moment.
Cheng turned back to Miao and calmly replied, “At least, he knows gratitude. He has never made a mistake in working for me.”
A chuckle burst out of Miao’s lips. “That’s because he’s paid. If you don’t pay him, would he still obey you?”
Glancing at the blade Miao held against Wen’s neck, Cheng darkly said, “Father raised you from the moment you were born. He didn’t just give you money. He even taught you the basics of humanity. Whatever you wanted, he’d provide as long as it was possible for him. When you create trouble, he cleans up your messes. I’ve never once seen you obey him. Instead, you bite the hand that feeds you. If you ever took a word of his to heart, you wouldn’t have fallen from grace this badly.”
“He is my father,” Miao coldly laughed. “You are my brother. Isn’t it your duty to do that for me? If you don’t want to raise me, be good to me, then don’t give birth to me.”
“People say that one can never grow to truly appreciate their parents without raising a child first,” Cheng said. “You have children but you still don’t appreciate your parents. Do you treat Ying-Ying and He Rong like Father treats you? From the moment you gave birth to them, you left them to the nannies. When you’re happy, you’ll hold them for a few minutes. When you’re upset, you’ll throw them to one side and just do whatever you usually do. The two children’s existence had no effect on your daily activities. It’s as if you just gained two new toys. Well? You gave birth to them. Shouldn’t you be good to them?”
“What kind of family are we?” Miao loudly rebuked. “We have a horde of nannies and servants. Must I take care of the children too? They never lacked anything. How am I bad?”
“Yes,” said Cheng, “they lacked nothing. But how much time have you spent by their sides? This year, Ying-Ying is already ten. Have you ever paid attention to how she grew up? Why don’t you think about what your childhood was like? You were always clinging to Father. If he has to work, you’ll cry and shout. You made a mess of his stationery and filled his paper with doodles. He was unable to fulfil your sudden request to go to the theme park due to work, so you intentionally broke the blue and white pot he loved the most. There are countless similar occurrences. Has he ever scolded you, blamed you? If it were you and Ying-Ying instead, could you have held back your temper? All in all, you’re just selfish and cold-hearted in your core. You hold double standards when it comes to how you should be treated compared to how others should be treated. It doesn’t matter how you treat everyone else, but no matter how nice other people were to you, they would be hated forever if they didn’t grant your wishes just once. You are a living example of what people call white-eyed wolves that can never be tamed. Don’t speak as though everyone has wronged you. You are where you are now because of your own actions. What right do you have to begrudge Father?”