Leaning on the railing Big Gu looks up at Jack, “Does the Black Hawk bring you fish like that often?”
“That was a first. Well.. Jack didn’t bring that fat fish to me, the fucking asshole brought it to impress Feng LiMei.”
Big Gu laughs, “Stupid. A bird isn’t that smart. Haven’t you heard the expression ‘birdbrain’?”
Yang Chenxi pulls him over, “I wouldn’t insult Jack if you want to keep that pretty face of yours intact.”
Big Gu mockingly laughs, “Ridiculous. It was a coincidence that the Black Hawk dropped the fish at the little girl’s feet.”
Suddenly Jack swoops down from his perch high up on the mainsail. Furiously flapping his giant black wings, Jack screeches as he comes dangerously close to Big Gu’s face with his razor sharp talons. Big Gu puts his hands up in a defensive manner as he stumbles backwards. Very close to tumbling over the short railing he bellows, “WHAT THE FUCK! CONTROL YOUR GODDAMN BIRD!”
Jack lets out what almost sounds like a laugh and flies to Yang Chenxi’s outstretched hand. He was told earlier that he needed to deliver a message to the Old Master on the Island. In sharp contrast to his aggressive approach, Jack patiently waits while Yang Chenxi ties a tube containing the message to his talon. After Yang Chenxi feeds him a croaking frog from an open cooler Jack takes off in flight leaving Big Gu speechless.
Yang Chenxi sees the look of astonishment on his face and says, “Jack isn’t an ordinary Black Hawk. He was trained by Master Wong…he is well…a bit of a spirit beast. I thought it was a joke too when Master Wong gave him to me. I use Jack to communicate with him when I have a task. He doesn’t allow cell phones on the Island, I sent the bird with a message that Rui would be arriving if not tonight in the morning. I didn’t mention the wife, that will be a nice surprise for him.” He has a mischievous gleam in his dark almond shaped eyes. And a shocking surprise for the Snake Woman.
Big Gu scratches his beard, “I have heard many myths surrounding this Master Wong. Tell me, is the old man really as really as powerful as the rumors?”
“Wong Hu is an enigma. After spending many years as his disciple I still don’t know the depth of his knowledge and power.”
“It is hard to believe that little shit Wong Chao is his son.”
“Wong Chao couldn’t understand why his father didn’t teach him the Secret Arts and was always jealous of his relationship with Qiao Rui. I only know that from my observations… Master Wong is inscrutable. Got another cigarette?”
Big Gu takes one out of the pack then hands a cigarette to him. “Do you know what this treasure the Boss needs to get from him?”
“No idea. But if it is anything to do with the ancient books the Master possesses…well..” He holds the cigarette to his lips and cups his hands around it while Big Gu lights it. Yang Chenxi inhales deeply then says, “He won’t give them to that piece of shit no matter how much he cares about Qiao Rui.”
Big Gu gazes out at the vast ocean, “You like living on a boat?”
“Yeah. I find peace when I am out on the ocean, the purity of nature..the crystal blue water..the wind… the quiet…” He blows out a smoke ring. “No noisy people.”
“The Boss said you wanted to be a monk…he also said you are one of the most sought after assassins in the Underworld. When I questioned your abilities…you look like a bookish nerd. He brushes some ashes from his shirt. “You could give up the money and join a Temple?”
“Keyword..wanted… sometimes Buddha leads us in a different direction for some reason. Anyway, what about you? Do you like working for Rene? I could use a man with your skills.”
“I am retired. I had enough of that fucked up life. I was in bed smoking a big fat Cuban cigar getting a blow job from a fat blonde with big tits… happy as a motherf****er. Drunk on my ass and lovin life when that bastard Rene called in a favor. The only reason I am temporarily Feng LiMei’s bodyguard. When we get back to Pushong City I am hopping a flight back to my personal piece of paradise.”
Yang Chenxi furrows his bushy eyebrows then tosses the cigarette into a metal can. “Yeah, the waters have become too muddy in China. It is hard to navigate through the bullshit. It used to be much easier to tell your enemies from your friends.”
Big Gu laughs, “I never trusted anyone… friend or foe. If I did I wouldn’t be standing on this nice boat shooting the shit with you.” He lights another cigarette, “Money…too tempting for most men. Wave enough of it in front of some of those guys… they would slit their own mother’s throat and sell you their little sister.”
“I would like to disagree but I can’t. No loyalty. Do you want a beer?”
Yang Chenxi hands him one from a cooler, and Big Gu takes a big gulp. “Ahh..That’s good.” He looks out at the open ocean, “How long will it take to get to the Island?”
“The wind is fairly strong, maybe three hours.”
Big Gu drinks the beer, “So I can’t come on the Island? It would be my honor to meet Master Wong.”
“Sorry, you seem like a good guy but no. He hasn’t let anyone he doesn’t personally know on the Island ever since an incident a few years ago. A seaplane will take you back to the City before we reach the Island.”
Down below in Rui and LiMei’s cabin LiMei is sleeping soundly. Rui leans on his elbow watching her sleep, nestled in his chest like a small defenseless kitten. He traces his finger down her face, you look so peaceful… He frowns thinking about the possibility she might learn his secrets and become afraid of him. Maybe I made a mistake bringing you with me to the Island.
In a spacious courtyard of an ancient Chinese style mansion on Serenity Island Jack lands on a stone table in front of a little boy. The little boy’s eyes brighten and he puts down a chess piece and exclaims, “Jack!” He ruffles the Black Hawk’s feathers and feeds him a piece of lemon cake. “Is Uncle Chenxi coming for a visit?” Jack nods as he eats the deliciously sweet and moist cake.
Excited the little boy runs as fast as his chubby legs can carry him towards the garden. He skids to a stop in front of an old man on the ground pruning a bush. He claps his hands together and raises his milky voice in excitement, “Grandpa..Grandpa..Jack is here! Uncle Chenxi is coming!”
Wong Hu looks up at his grandson and pats him on the head, “Let’s go see.”
Baobei holds his grandfather’s hand, “I can’t wait to show him my new moves! I know I can beat Uncle this time!”
The old man twists his beard wondering why Yang Chenxi would be coming. The brat should be preparing for a mission.
When they arrive at the courtyard Jack’s beak is covered in crumbs and he has a guilty look in his golden eyes, you shouldn’t have left the plate by me… can’t resist Auntie’s cakes.
Baobei stomps his feet and puffs out his cheeks, “JACK!”
Jack moves a chess piece and Baobei forgets he was angry about the cake, “You are a genius! Checkmate Grandpa!”
Wong Hu shakes his head and gives Jack a look then chastises Baobei, “ Little boy you can only celebrate when the game is won by your own effort.”
The Snake Woman strolls into the courtyard, she saw Jack snatch one of her pet snakes. She throws a stone using all her internal force at Jack’s head. He dodges and the stone splits the trunk of a small tree. She clutches her hand into a fist and shakes it at the Black Hawk while screaming, “Fucking Bastard! I told you last time I would kill you if you ate any more of my little darlings!”
Wong Hu throws up his arms and a gust of wind knocks the beautiful woman to the ground, “ENOUGH! Woman, I told you to watch your mouth.”
Ignoring the fact she is disheveled and sitting on the ground covered in leaves and dust she complains, “Master, do you know how much I could have sold that rare Blue Binghi for in Tangiers? Will that little sh… man…compensate me for his obnoxious bird’s expensive lunch? Every time the hideous looking bird comes it is a money losing proposition for me! That bird is a glutton!”
The old man raises an eyebrow then retorts, “Jack is my Black Hawk have you forgotten who raised him? Are you saying I did a poor job?”
She widens her purple tinted eyes in fear then quickly gets on her knees bowing. She knocks her head on the ground, “No..no..of course not..forgive me Master.”
He growls, “Get up. If you don’t want your snakes natural enemy eating them..well.. take better care to protect them.”
Jack has a sly grin, I saw you chasing me as I swooped down and grabbed the tender looking morsel. The furious expression on your face made the rare delicacy even more tasty.
Baobei tugs on his grandfather’s black Tang suit, “Can I read the message?”
Wong Hu takes the tube and opens it then hands the piece of paper to Baobei.
The little boy holds in his chubby hand and unrolls the thin paper. Concentrating on the characters he squints his round eyes, “Will arrive tonight or in the morning. Bringing Brother..” his voice gets softer and he wrinkles his eyebrows. He points his jade like finger at the paper, ”Grandpa is this Ru..Rui.”
The Old Man nods and has a complicated expression wondering why Rui would come.
Baobei looks up at his grandfather, ”Who is Brother Rui?”
The Snake Woman rushes over and grabs the piece of paper from Baobei. Filled with desire her beautiful purple eyes flicker and her heart skips a beat. Qiao Rui is coming…I will finally get to see my love again!