Published at 4th of January 2019 10:09:57 PM
Chapter 100

December 25, 20XX (Tuesday)

Zhao Manor & Hidden Headquarters

Mei Li was once again on the largest sofa in the living room of the Manor . It was only 3:29 am and she had only slept for two hours when the flames started to devour her and setting every piece of her body aflame . She could feel the pain of being burn alive while being unable to do anything to fight back . She woke up after what felt like hours of torture with heavy breathing and heart beating fast . She hastily moved away from Yue's sleeping figure and stood in front of Yang's door but she could not bring herself to knock and ask for his comfort so she moved to the living room where he had always discovered her .

Mei Li did not know how long she had sat idle . What she did know was that she prayed so hard that Yang would notice that she was awake just like before .

"This is the third time that you woke up this early . . . "

She turned towards the source of the voice with a weak smile . He had never failed to show up when she wanted him too . She fluttered her eyelids as the light on the hallway momentarily blinding her . The painter covered her eyes as she murmured, "Yeah . . . "

Yang immediately switch off the lights, making the light of the moon their only source for aid in their sight . He approached her and sat beside her left side like he always does but this time Mei Li did not sit on his lap and nuzzle his neck, instead she grabbed his right arm and wrapped that single arm to grasp the small of her back and she snuggled into his right side with her head resting on his chest .

"Can't go back to sleep?" Yang's right hands on her back had stayed still but his left hand swept the lock of hairs that fell in her face, distracting his view of her beauty .

" . . . I keep seeing fire and feeling myself being burned alive . " Mei Li curled up into a ball, her arms wrapping her bent legs but her head still leaned on his chest . Yang kissed the top of her head, making the painter blush . Her little hands strayed into the fabric of his shirt on the side as she had held it tight .

"Try to go back to sleep . . . I'll be here with you . " Yang said before he hummed a soft lullaby that made his chest vibrate with every hummed sound causing Mei Li to be lulled into a peaceful dreamland where no signs of fire were going to start .

They stayed at that position for more than an hour when Yue had stumbled into the room looking for her best friend that had left their bed but has not returned, "Big brother, have you seen Mei-" Yue was interrupted when Yang had shushed her while his pointer finger was placed vertically to his lips .

"Oh," Yue awed when she saw how close the two people in front of her were . This level of intimacy was far too different than what they had before . Her brother was making large progress, as expected!

"She has nightmares about the fire," Yang informed Yue, who's face crumpled with hatred . Yang was a little surprised when he saw his little sister's expression, she had always been that cherry and smiling woman .

"Whoever caused that fire should be punished!" Yue hissed like a venomous cobra, loud enough to make her anger show but soft enough to not disturb the sleeping beauty .

Yang nodded in agreement, "Don't worry about that, I'll take care of that . " Yang was proud to know that Yue was just as loyal to Mei Li as Mei Li was to her . His little sister had found a wonderful best friend just as Mei Li had found her greatest best friend . He finally understood why the two had become best friends; both were loyal to a fault .

Yue stood awkwardly at the door and sighed . Sometimes, her brother was hard to read especially when he grew silent . She turned around to go back to Mei Li's room to sleep while saying to Yang, " . . . I'm going back to sleep . "

"Come here," Yang called out to his little sister .

"What?" Yue turned around to face him again .

"My left side is empty," Yang patted the sofa on his left side .

Yue's face brightened like the sun rising . Her footsteps almost skipped when she closed the distance between them . She gently sat on the sofa, careful not to wake Mei Li and then copied the painter's position .

"Good night, big brother . "

"Good night, annoying little sister . "

Yang's smile was not seen by anyone except Mother Zhao who was the first to discover them when she had woke at five am to exercise . She took a photo on her phone before she softly woke them up and sending them to their rooms .

Yue stumbled like a drunkard to her room while Yang carried Mei Li on his arms to where she assumed was her room . Mother Zhao had squealed after they were gone from hearing distance .

When the clock rang at 12, Mei Li was surprised to see Yang on his business suit, ready to go somewhere important .

"Are you going to work?" Mei Li asked with Yue at her side cocking her brother a questioning look .

"I need to meet up with the guys . Do you want to come with?" Yang fixed his cufflinks using just one hand to clumsily secure it into place . Small fingers took the cufflinks on his hands and did it for him faster than he could . Yang grinned at Mei Li who had also smiled at him in reply . Her hands still on his sleeves, neatly arranging the folds of his French cuff shirt .

"No thanks, " Yue answered for Mei Li, seeing as she was busy concentrating on her brother to answer the question, "Mei Li will have her hair cut!"

Mei Li froze for a moment before she remembered the food she had prepared for someone that Yang has to bring . She signaled Yang and said, "Wait a minute . "

The siblings watched curiously as the painter disappeared for a short while and appeared again carrying a blue glass mason jar large enough for Yang to use both hands to receive it .

"Here give this to big brother Chang Min for me . "

"What's in here?" Yang tried to shake the jar but Mei Li's hand immediately stop him . Yue shook her head on the side as her brother had behaved like a child . Wasn't it already obvious what is inside? The smell was a sure way of telling the contents .

"Cookies . . . I have a feeling you are in trouble with him . . . " Mei Li mumbled softly .

Yang grinned, triumphant . He had been worried to meet with his friends today because of the protective Chang Min . Yang knew that Chang Min must have heard from Aunt Qinyang about the night that they spent away from the Manor and Yang had been prepared to be beaten but he had not expected this great boon from Mei Li . With cookies that his little sister had made for him, Chang Min was sure to loosen up a little .

Yang smiled at Mei Li, "Did I tell you how much I like you today?"

The painter's cheeks colored red with Yue giggling at the side . Mei Li pushed Yang out while saying, "Shut up and get out already!"

Yang laughed before shouting, "I like you, my beautiful goddess!" and bolted into the parking lot for his sports car .

Arriving at their hidden hideout, Yang opened the door and was greeted immediately with a fist flying directly to his face .

Yang jumped to his right while blocking the incoming kick as the man who had positioned for a punch shifted swiftly into a taekwondo position for a high kick . Yang's hands grabbed Chang Min's right foot in mid-air with a smirk but he was caught off guard when Chang Min jumped using his left leg to pivot turn making Yang lose the firm hold he had on the foot . Chang Min shifted his dominant leg for kicking in midair and hit Yang with a roundhouse kick that had the sadistic CEO wheezing afterward .

"How dare you take advantage of my little sister?!" Chang Min hollered while he changed his starting form from Taekwondo to the Praying Mantis Kung Fu with One-foot stance ready to fire and attack .

"Wait, let me explain!" Yang readies himself with a defensive Karate stance; his right side hurt, dammit!

Chang Min charged at him with a side kick to Yang's right side and turning his body to Yang's left upper torso to feint a kick with his right foot . Chang Min then shifted his weight subtly and twisting his body to move his rear left foot to the front and striking with a swing of his right foot from side to head level and bringing, with his forceful downwards kick, the CEO to face plant on the floor .

"Ouch! Can't you listen for a moment?!" Yang wanted to return strike and attack but thinking of Mei Li's face when she will know how he had beaten up her brother had stopped him .

"I didn't do anything!" Yang shouted with both hands on either side of his head, successfully blocking another roundhouse kick with his arm .

Xue Chang Min had always been the best with long-range weapons but that doesn't mean he couldn't fight hand to hand, "Liar! Aunt Qinyang said you did not sleep at the Manor that night!"

"Here, " Yang hastily throw the mason jar on Chang Min's hands . "Mei Li made it for you!"

The hands that were going to throw the jar into Yang's way froze as Chang Min's Wushu Stance Gong Bu relaxed, "Oh?" Chang Min opened the jar and munched on the cookies as if nothing had happened .

Yang finally sighed . If the brother beats him with martial arts, will the father threaten him with guns? Yang prayed to God that the Bonaparte was not as bloodthirsty as his predecessor but somehow, he knew that his prayers were for naught .

He's going to die soon . Hopefully, Mei Li would shield him . Maybe she can make a cake when her father arrives since the cookies worked with Chang Min so a bigger pastry would work with a bigger opponent, right?

Yang turned to glare at his other friends, watching at the side happily munching on snacks they brought for themselves as if they were watching a movie . No one had helped him, these traitors!