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C8 Bar

Zhang Cheng told a small fib; the money he had previously amassed had dwindled to just over 380,000 yuan.

"No, that won't work. They said I have to go by myself..."

"Don't worry about it. Just tell them I'm the one who put up all the money."

Ultimately, Zhao Qingya transferred her two hundred thousand yuan to Zhang Cheng.

Zhang Cheng was overjoyed. With an additional two hundred thousand yuan in his pocket, life felt good. Money certainly made things better.

Noticing his glee, his sister-in-law chided him, "That money is for saving lives. What's there to be so happy about?"

"Oh, it's nothing," he replied, quickly wiping the smile off his face.

After leaving the Liwen Park, they hailed a taxi on the street.

It was only then that Zhang Cheng learned his sister-in-law's Maserati had been pawned to the bar, which was why she could come up with the cash.

Eventually, the taxi pulled up to a bar in the city center named Nightmare Tavern.

The bar was empty; the owner had sent all the patrons away.

Inside, a tattooed man in a tank top was sweeping up the cluttered floor.

Further in, nearly a hundred young people stood with defiant looks. Their hair was dyed in a riot of colors, and tattoos adorned most of their arms.

Then, the only seemingly reasonable person there turned to look at them.

"Did you get the money? I told you to come alone!"

The man's hostile tone made his sister-in-law shudder.

"This... This is my brother-in-law. The money... it's his," she stammered.

The bar's boss turned his gaze to Zhang Cheng.

Zhang Cheng's eyes, meanwhile, were fixed on the young people being held down by the others, their faces bruised and swollen, with several women quietly weeping.

No wonder his sister-in-law had been so anxious to return.

"I've brought the money; it's all on the card. Let them go," Zhang Cheng spoke up.

With so many of his own people around, the bar owner wasn't worried about Zhang Cheng pulling any stunts, so he signaled for the release of the sister-in-law's classmates.

The young people, with faces marked by their ordeal, quickly exited the bar, not one of them acknowledging his sister-in-law.

Such a lack of gratitude...

Zhao Qingya's expression soured. She had put up the money to rescue them, and a simple thank you was the least they could do. Instead, they completely ignored her...

At that moment, Zhao Qingya was terrified and silent, clinging tightly to Zhang Cheng's arm.

She was relieved that she hadn't come alone, unsure of what she would have done facing these thugs by herself.

A young man approached with a laptop.

"Alright, time to transfer the money."

Zhang Cheng offered a slight smile.

"Hold on."

The bar's ruffians paused, puzzled by Zhang Cheng's intentions.

Even Zhao Qingya, his sister-in-law, gave him a questioning look and squeezed his arm—a clear sign she was eager to leave.

"What's the problem? Can't make the transfer now?" A burly man with an eagle tattoo on his shoulder asked darkly.

Zhang Cheng slowly shook his head, chuckling, "The issue isn't the transfer. I simply have no money."

"You're playing games with me!?"

The bar owner's face darkened with anger.

The gangsters below scrambled to arm themselves with anything they could find.

"I guess you don't want to leave here breathing!" yelled another.

Zhao Qingya was beside herself with worry, tears streaming down her face.

"Zhang Cheng, please, let's just pay them. You said you had the money. I'll pay you back when I can."

"Don't worry, I'll get us out of here without spending a dime."

Zhang Cheng assured her with confidence.

In that instant, Zhao Qingya grasped his plan.

"You're insane!"

She looked at the menacing, tattooed thugs, her fear intensifying. She knew Zhang Cheng was capable, but with so many of them, how could she believe they could leave without paying?

Zhang Cheng could feel Zhao Qingya's trembling through his fingertips, holding her arm even tighter.

"Attack him!"

The bar owner bellowed with fury.

In the blink of an eye, the thugs charged, some brandishing beer bottles, others wielding metal stools.

Zhao Qingya was petrified with fear.

Zhang Cheng let out a low chuckle. His Spiritual Force had been depleted when he intercepted Zuo Kun's finger, but even in his current state, he could easily handle these regulars who spent their days carousing, even if their numbers doubled.

With one arm, Zhang Cheng protectively encircled his sister-in-law's delicate waist, while his other hand nonchalantly grabbed a nearby metal stool.

And so, the melee ensued.

The bar echoed with the clang of metal and the agonized screams of the injured.

Zhang Cheng kept a tight hold on his sister-in-law, guiding her swiftly to dodge the onslaught. When evasion wasn't an option, he used the stool to block or counterattack.

His legs lashed out with every step, his kicks relentless.

The fight grew fiercer.

Zhao Qingya clung to Zhang Cheng like a terrified rabbit.

Watching him use the stool to fend off attack after attack, sometimes even shielding her with his own arm, stirred a strange, poignant feeling in her heart.

In that moment, as she gazed at Zhang Cheng's unwavering, composed face, she felt an odd sense of safety wash over her.

The brawl raged on, and Zhang Cheng sustained a few scrapes and bruises. No matter how nimble he was, his real-world fighting experience was somewhat lacking, especially while exerting himself to guard his sister-in-law.

Zhang Cheng's strikes grew more forceful, aiming to incapacitate his opponents with a single blow.

Meanwhile, the bar owner watched in dismay as his men were taken down one by one, yet the young man, despite protecting another, had only suffered minor injuries.

Panic set in. Who was this person capable of such combat prowess?

For the first time, the bar owner was stunned to realize that someone in real life could take on a hundred adversaries, even with a burden in tow.

He couldn't fathom what kind of force of nature he was witnessing.

In a flurry, he snatched up his phone and dialed a number.

It wasn't until he received a positive response from the other end that the bar owner's tension eased slightly.

As time ticked by, nearly half an hour passed, and aside from the bar owner, there wasn't a soul left unscathed.

The thugs lay scattered on the floor, their groans of agony reverberating through the space. The noise was so pervasive, it wouldn't have been surprising if it reached the ears of passersby outside.

Witnessing the fallen figures, Zhao Qingya's admiration for Zhang Cheng soared to new heights.

Pressed closely against Zhang Cheng, she could sense his rapid heartbeat and the rough breaths escaping his nostrils, causing her cheeks to flush with a rosy hue.

"Are you... are you alright?" she asked, concern lacing her voice.

"I'm fine, just a bit worn out. That stool was heavier than it looked," Zhang Cheng replied, discarding the battered metal bench with a resonant clang that filled the room.

Startled by the sudden noise, Zhao Qingya instinctively snuggled closer into Zhang Cheng's embrace, her heart fluttering wildly.

Zhang Cheng could distinctly feel the softness of her body pressing against him in two particular spots.

He inhaled the subtle, pure fragrance that seemed to emanate from her, his sister-in-law.

In that moment, Zhang Cheng couldn't deny the sheer comfort of holding such a lovely woman in his arms.

"Shall we go now?" he asked, turning to the bar owner with an easy smile.

Libre Baskerville
Gentium Book Basic
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