The next morning, Bo Jiu set off early. This time, she took the main door, using Princess as a reason to head out.
Before she could leave the Courtyard, the grandfathers who were taking their walk were all greeting her. "The little kid is out again."
"He isn't climbing walls this time, though he seemed rather skilled the previous time."
"He must have been punished."
"Where are you going so early in the morning?"
At this point, Bo Jiu was well acquainted with the Courtyard grandfather's enthusiasm. They were firm and relentless but still carried a hint of youth.
"I'm bringing Princess out." Bo Jiu had prepared a reason beforehand. She tugged on her jacket, exposing Princess's big face. He was looking strong and mighty, his expression serious as though he was on a big project.
One grandfather teased, "Does your big brother know you are going to walk the cat out of the Courtyard?" Everyone in the area knew him as the younger brother of the Qin family.
Bo Jiu replied firmly, "He knows." For the first time, she didn't need to hide.
Meanwhile in the study room of the Qin family's house, the person who had been around Qin Mo appeared. "Young Master, do we still have to follow Young Master Jiu?"
"We don't have to be around here." Qin Mo used his knife to slice the fried egg, his voice faint. "She doesn't like being watched, it's best to give her some space to better gauge her next steps." His words carried two meanings.
The man glanced over to the book beside his Young Master's hand. The Art of War; to retreat is to advance. It wasn't a bad move.
Bo Jiu had calmed down. After she alighted from the cab, she placed Princess on her shoulders, allowing him to fend for himself. As an innocent cat that rarely left the Courtyard, Princess found such excursions an insult to his noble blood. However, since this weird youngster had been feeding him dried fish, he would unwillingly take a look around.
Coco and Feng Shang hadn't expected Bo Jiu to bring a cat with her.
They tested out their moves several times. Finally, they tested their moves with the music.
Princess watched as the few humans bounced and leaped in front of him. He stood by the side, tapping onto a big device that kept producing sounds. It finally quietened during lunch.
The strange youngster wasn't that bad, he made sure to feed him little anchovies before picking up a lunch box for himself. Were humans this poor nowadays that they had to eat lunch boxes?
The four of them were indeed having lunch boxes as they had gone to a K-pop dance studio and brought Princess along.
"Don't you think we can form a group and debut?" Coco remarked as he glanced at his reflection. "Aren't I good looking? I'm not going to look anymore. If this continues, I'm going to be sucked in by my own handsomeness."
Feng Shang turned over, knocking his head. "W-Wake up!"
The two of them used their hands to fight.
In the end, they quietened down and glanced over at Lin Feng.
Coco leaned against the big mirror; his voice lowered. "Is this how Supreme Alliance will be from now on?"
Feng Shang didn't reply. He knew that all good things would come to an end and not everything would progress as planned.
"W-we will s-still be here." Feng Shang's problem hadn't improved. "Wai-ting for everyone to be back."
Coco tapped his long legs. "You are right. Since I'm rich, I'll be waiting for them to be back."
They knew it was words used to comfort themselves. Yun Hu was heading overseas, Lin Feng had to take over the family business, and their captain would no longer be around. They wouldn't be able to return to how they were.
They were well aware, which explained their seriousness during the training.
At 5pm, the four of them took charge. They confirmed the tempo and actions and familiarized with the lyrics.
"Are you ready?" Bo Jiu asked the other three.
Lin Feng pointed to his eyes. "Do we really need the eyeliner?"
"Stage makeup." Bo Jiu chuckled mischievously. "The lighting isn't great. We will wait in the car and begin at 6pm."
Coco tugged on his clothes. "Am I too cute?"
"Isn't that the style you were going for?" Bo Jiu glanced down at his lit-up phone. "It's Feng Yi."
The other three of them immediately shut their mouth, glancing up towards the mirror.
"Hello." Bo Jiu stood up. "The grounds are ready? Alright, we are ready as well. We will be heading out now."
Once she was done, the other three stood up.
Just then, Feng Yi added, "I don't think this event is energetic enough; it lacks a special feature. Could you think of something more we can add?"
Bo Jiu turned on the speaker phone, for everyone to hear.
Lin Feng was tidying his hair. "As long as it's not crossdressing, I can accept anything." But what Lin Feng hadn't expected was that the youngster chuckled.
"I'll wear it."
Three words were enough to knock Lin Feng off his feet. He must be dreaming. Was this child crazy? He must be hearing things after losing sleep for the past two days. He was willing to wear a female outfit? What was up with him?
"Little Spade, don't think you can escape by agreeing and don't think I would sacrifice myself since you made a sacrifice. I will never wear that female outfit," Lin Feng replied firmly.
Over at the side, Coco and Feng Shang finally calmed down. Since they were still naive, they were only left with one thought, Spade Z, their idol, was going to cross-dress!
Bo Jiu remained oblivious while she stuffed her hand into her pockets and forced Princess back into her arms with the other. With a faint smile, she left the room. She had once said, if she left, she would do it openly.
The other three eyed each other, confused about the situation.
The four of them stood tall and upright in their uniform, attracting the attention from all corners.
Bo Jiu was still wearing her face mask but just as she was about to enter the nanny car, she caught sight of a figure.
There were many peddlers in the area since the train was nearby.
It was a familiar figure that made her take a second look.
"Little Spade, what are you looking at? Let's go." Coco tapped Bo Jiu's shoulders.
"You can board first. I'm going to get something." Her voice sounded slightly nasal through the face mask.
Coco boarded the car and wore his headphones, practicing his lines.
Bo Jiu headed towards the hunched figure.
The hunched figure wasn't aware of Bo Jiu's presence. Her hair was slightly grey and a wooden cupboard looking item hung over her neck; those were common amongst peddlers. There wasn't much on the cupboard, just a few packets of cigarettes and several bottles of mineral water.
It was a painful job, particularly as the scorching sun hung high above. She would have to walk endlessly until someone in need of a cigarette or water stopped her. This was convenient for those who just alighted the train though.
"Here's your change." She lowered her head, a smile across her face. She was probably in her fifties. The bangle around her wrist was no longer there. She had probably already sold it off.
As she glanced up, she recognized Bo Jiu immediately. Her eyes lit up instantly but she couldn't seem to remember her name. Instead, she exclaimed, "Child, what are you doing here?"
If it hadn't been for Bo Jiu, she would have never won her daughter's trial. Hence, she could recognize the youngster even when half her face was covered with a face mask.
Bo Jiu carried a cat in her arms, her gaze falling on a packet of cigarettes. She pulled out her wallet, prepared to pay for it.
But the woman stopped her. "No, I can't sell you this, you aren't old enough to smoke."
With that, she passed Bo Jiu a bottle of mineral water. "It's hot, have some water."
Bo Jiu took the bottle but didn't open it. Instead, she asked, "I remember your daughter has some remuneration for her scripts."
"Oh, that." She grabbed onto her clothes, hesitating before speaking. "Those kids have been following behind me all this while. Trials aren't cheap and it was difficult to get evidence. It was my fault. I didn't want others to accuse me of being a gold digger. Money wasn't the reason I persisted with the case, so..."
Bo Jiu cut her off. "I understand."
She chuckled, wiping the sweat on her forehead. "I haven't thanked you. If it hadn't been for you, I would have been at a loss since I'm illiterate."
"Mmh." Bo Jiu reached out to open the bottle.
"Are your friends looking for you?" She pointed towards the car with Coco and the others. "Hurry on, just one look and I can tell you're well taken care off, you don't want to get a tan."
Bo Jiu watched her.
"Jiu, remember, you have to be the voice for the weak. The weak aren't those that claim to be innocent after inflicting harm. The real weak are not able to seek justice even after being hurt."
Bo Jiu stood there in the jarring sunlight. She understood.
It had been many days, going from a small county to the provincial capital before moving to Jiang City. Three trials and all of them had been dragging on endlessly. Effort and money had been wasted. The number of sleepless nights and the desire to comfort themselves with death before facing another round of questioning the next day; no one cared about all of this.
There was a strange movement in China. There would always be a devastating criticism for those that sought justice.
That person was definitely doing it for money.
Why was she so troublesome?
It's already over, can't she move on?
It was probably just mere words to them. However, to the victim, it was the last thread.
Even until this day, there were still some people who were unrepentant about their mistakes. No one cared about this either. They weren't bothered about the lives of those that had been hurt. After all, the weak would never complain because all they wanted was justice.
Hence, when the trial was finally over, the mother still insisted on her compensation of one dollar because she knew, anymore and she would be branded as a gold digger.
The endless speculations would always be changing but in the end, the perpetrators would always claim innocence.
However, for this profession, there were many who plagiarized while accusing the original author and when it all went down, they would act as though nothing had happened since the plagiarist had supporters.
Those that had inflicted harm were relentless.
Wasn't it fair for victims to take back what was originally theirs? Wasn't it right to ask for justice after lives were lost? If there had to be a compensation, how much was enough for a daughter's life?
There were some who had delayed this justice.
Bo Jiu watched as the hunched figure walked away. She had considered reuniting with the Almighty and had considered remaining in Jiang City. But in this moment, those thoughts were washed away by the sunrays.
She needed to be Z. She had to return to where she was needed, to do the things she was meant to do.
The car was pulled open, cutting off all her thoughts. Bo Jiu sat in the passenger seat, she sent Hoshino a text. It was a simple message; to indicate her return.
When he glanced down and caught sight of the message, Hoshino stilled his gaming hands. He knew that starting from today, Z would only be Z. She would no longer be associated with the name Young Master Fu. It had finally ended.
Bo Jiu managed to conceal her emotions well, not allowing anyone to see through the differences. Or rather everyone else was focused on their portion. Moreover, ever since Bo Jiu had boarded the car, she had been listening to her music, which was less conspicuous.
The nanny car drove into an institutional school. They had chosen this location because of the course they offered: esports.
This would be the future force behind Supreme Alliance.
Feng Yi had chosen the location, and since it was a farewell party, they had to make it grand. Supreme Alliance had never been a low-profile team after all.
The audience grew exponentially as this institutional school was a gathering ground for neighboring schools. No.1 Middle School and No.2 Middle School were located nearby.
Thus, high school students formed the main bulk of their students. The atmosphere carried the feeling of an original campus environment. It seemed like an orientation party.
The equipment was set up on the grass as the professionals tested the audio.
There were balloons around the grounds, decorating the area, and the buffet table was covered with delicious food. The presidents of the fan clubs ushered the attendees in. The entire scene was set.
Some of the students that passed the area glanced over in envy. The grounds were completely revamped. Everyone was curious and took another look.
"Is someone coming? Is a celebrity holding an event?"
"Why would they choose an institutional school? It isn't possible."
"Doesn't seem very likely, I heard an esports player is coming..."
As the discussion continued, the sky started to dim. A car drove in and the event officially began...