“You have to compensate us for our loss. Don’t even try to deny what you did. If you want to leave this place, then you’d better cough up some money right now!
“Pay us, and I will spare your life. You’re still young, after all. You can have a bright future ahead as long as you do the right thing. Now, give us the money, or I will tell the authorities everything. I have proof and witnesses, too. Don’t do anything stupid.”
Instead of grief, Xu Hong’s face was filled with pride and avarice.
Taking his cue from her, Liu Zhistepped towardYao Tangand shot her a menacing look. “Hurry and give us the money, or you’re going to regret it. I’ll call the police. You lot won’t be able to escape then.”
“What the hell are you doing?” Xu Xuancried out in anguish.
Grandma Xu might have passed out, but she knew that it wasn’tYao Tang’s fault. Her medical skills were never the problem.
But Liu Zhiwas right. Once the police got involved in this,Yao Tang’s reputation would suffer.Xu XuanandQin Jingwould be in big trouble as well.
In a bid to goad the girls further, Xu Hongbrandished her cell phone and made to dial the police hotline. Her eyes flashed with malice. It was clear that she had no intention of gettingGrandma Xuthe help she needed, or her first thought would have been to call the hospital.
Yao Tang was still eyeing the pill on the floor. When she spoke, her voice was calm and steady. “I look away for a few seconds, and you forget your place?”
She slowly corked the bottle and put it in her pocket.
Then, she rose and silently walked toward Xu Hong.
The air inside the room instantly became heavy.
Xu Hong herself shuddered, and she felt as if a great pressure was bearing down upon her.
“What are you doing now?”
She tried to put up a brave face, but she still stepped back, her eyes flickering with a hint of fear.
Without her knowing, she continued to inch away from the approaching Yao Tanguntil her back was pressed against the wall.
“So, you want us to give you money?” Yao Tangasked as she took another step closer.
Xu Hong took in the girl’s calm and emotionless tone and foolishly thought that she was merely bluffing. “What are you trying to do, huh?” she shrieked with renewed bravery. “This is my mother’s life at stake here!”
Yao Tang ignored her and asked again, “You want to call the police?”
“You little liar! You know what you have done! If I hadn’t stopped you from feeding your hideous pills to my mother, who knows what would have happened to her?”
Xu Hong pulled away from the wall and stepped forward in a show of courage, her stance meant to challengeYao Tang.
In truth, she was still a little flustered, but she told herself that the girls wouldn’t be able to do anything, anyway. Besides, her mother was already lying unconscious, probably on her deathbed.
It didn’t matter to her that the old woman was her own flesh and blood.
Yao Tang raised an eyebrow. “You said you would spare our lives?”
“That’s right. If you girls refuse to settle this in private, then we will go to the authorities right this instant. We have connections with the local police station. I assure you, you will rot in jail for this!”
Xu Hong was convinced that she wasn’t doing anything wrong. So what they were extorting these people? In the first place, her mother wouldn’t be in her current state if it hadn’t been for this girl. It was only right that they sought compensation.
The thought chased away whatever reservations she had left in her.
A high school student should be terrified of getting a criminal mark on her record, right? They were bound to give in to Xu Hong’s demands.
But she needed to give this some serious consideration first. How much should she ask? It would be nice if she could get two to three hundred thousand out of them.
Xu Hong’s lips curled in satisfaction as she dove into her musings, and she almost rubbed her hands together in glee.
Without warning, Yao Tangsuddenly lunged forward and seized her throat, pinning her against the wall.Xu Hongflailed around, unable to free herself from the vise-like grip.
Yao Tang drew close to the woman’s face, her eyes glinting dangerously. “Didn’t I already tell you to shut up?”
Xu Hong was turning purple from the lack of oxygen.
She tried to grab at Yao Tang’s wrists, but she didn’t have any strength left in her body. Even her line of thought seemed to be jumbled up.
“You wench!” she still managed to say through gritted teeth. “Let me go, or you’re all going to jail!”
Xu Hong’s eyes were wide and crazed, and spit dribbled from her mouth.
‘Just you wait! When we get to the police station later, I will make you kneel at my feet and demand double the compensation! Or you can just rot in jail for the rest of your life!’