Chapter 76 Poker-Face’s Farewell

Poker-Face and I found a table by the window at the restaurant next door. The sky outside was gloomy, overcast, and cloudy. The dark clouds looked especially depressing and it seemed like it would rain soon.

Poker-Face was as silent as ever, but luckily, I was used to his indifference. When I finished ordering alone, I saw him silently looking out the window.

I knew that if I didn’t speak, this state of his would continue until he left. He would never speak first just to break the awkward silence.

After getting buffeted by the cold wind of West Lake for about five or six minutes, I lit a cigarette as the first dish was served and asked him, “Have you finished your business?”

“Mmm.” He nodded his head and I realized that it was true. The persistent aura in his eyes had disappeared and was replaced with a deeper indifference. This deeper indifference was different from the time when he lost his memory in that it came from an extreme peace of mind.

“Is everything finished?” I asked him.

He turned to look at me, “It’s over.”

“What are you going to do after this? Is there any place you want to go? Or are you planning to stay in Hangzhou?” I asked him, privately calculating my assets. Recently, housing prices in Hangzhou had been rising very fast. If this poor man wanted to buy a house here, he’d certainly ask me to lend him some money! I didn’t know where all of his money had gone, as I had never seen him with any large bills in his pocket. Damn it, I didn’t have enough money at all. If he really wanted to borrow money from me to buy a house, I’d better persuade him to rent for a while instead.

“I have to go back to where I’m supposed to be,” he said.

“Where’s that? Is it far?” I asked him. He picked up the chopsticks, silently took a mouthful of food, and nodded his head.

“Then you’re here…” I seldom chatted with him so seriously and felt particularly embarrassed since I had to follow his words and ask for them one by one.

“I came to say goodbye to you,” he said. “It’s all over. I thought about it—about my connection to this world—and it seems that the only one I can find now is you.”

“It’s ok, you can call me in the future or even write to me. You can’t type but you can write, can’t you?” I asked. “In modern society, there’s no such thing as long distance.”

He didn’t respond and just continued to eat.

Poker-Face’s movements were very light, as if he didn’t need to use any strength at all. This was actually the reason why his wrist strength was extremely strong and his movements were so accurately controlled. When I had dinner with him before, there were always various people around and I didn’t pay much attention to him, but now, I felt very amazed looking at him.

The atmosphere was silent again and I began to miss Fatty a lot. The main reason why I never felt awkward before was because Fatty always silently paid so much attention to the atmosphere. But now that it was just the two of us, I really couldn’t help it.

“Speak, where are you going? After all we’ve experienced, we must be life-long friends at this point. Just keep in touch,” I said. “If you need anything, don’t hesitate to ask me. Although I’m not rich, I can still support you with a basic life.”

“I’m going to Changbai Mountain,” he said.

“Oh, that’s a very cold place,” I responded. “I hear Jiangnan’s nice. It’s a good place to live since it has four clear seasons and a humid climate.”

“I can only go there.” He put his chopsticks down as he said this.

We didn’t have a decent conversation again after that. In the ensuing silence, we finished eating quietly, but I didn’t feel embarrassed anymore. He eventually put his chopsticks down, looked at me, and then said, “Goodbye.”

With that said, he stood up, picked up his bag, and went downstairs. I was a little surprised and cried out, “We haven’t finished our food yet!”

But he was already downstairs by that point, so I sullenly smoked a few cigarettes, stood up, and leaned against the window. I saw that he was far along Gushan Road.

I sat down and asked myself, what kind of situation is this? Is he afraid of the embarrassment because he doesn’t have any money to pay the bill? But that was impossible. There were times when we didn’t have money before and it didn’t seem to bother him. But after stewing over what he said just now, I found it a little odd. I couldn’t shake the sense that there was an especially inexplicable feeling to his words.

“I came to say goodbye to you. It’s all over. I thought about it—about my connection to this world—and it seems that the only one I can find now is you.”

I immediately stood up from my seat as I thought of one of his titles—professional missing person.

He never said a word when he up and left before, nor did he say anything like this at Banai when he told us he was leaving. It seemed unlikely that a professional missing person would say something like goodbye, but this time, he had come all the way to find me from who knows where to say it.

This farewell had to be different from his previous departures.

A strong sense of foreboding had me feeling like I was sitting on pins and needles. Did this mean that one of my only friends was going to leave the city? No! Then the place that he was leaving…was it this world?

“Changbai Mountain?” I dumped all my cash, told the waiter to send the change to Xiling Printing House next door, grabbed my jacket from the chair, and ran after him.

I chased him all the way to Beishan Road. I was sweating all over but didn’t manage to catch up with him in the end. There were only countless empty taxis shuttling back and forth.

I ran back to my shop, threw some things in my luggage, carried it back out, and said to Wang Meng, “I’m going out.”

Wang Meng immediately turned pale and grabbed me. When I asked him why, he said, “Boss, when this kind of situation occurred before, there was only one person in the shop and you had to leave in a hurry. Now you’re going to leave for a long time. You have to explain.”

I didn’t have time to explain, so I said to him, “If anyone comes to find me, just say that I’ve gone on vacation and you’ll take care of everything. If there’s any big deal that isn’t specially insured, don’t do it. We’ll talk about it when I come back.”

“Will you really come back?” Wang Meng asked.

“Why do you ask?”

“Didn’t you say you’d never leave again? Normally, on TV dramas, all the masters are bound to die if they’re called out again after retiring from the business. Boss, you must be careful,” he said to me.

I patted him while thinking to myself, bastard, I’ll come back to clean up that crow beak of yours.(1) No longer listening to him, I just turned around and ran out.

Poker-Face didn’t have an ID and couldn’t fly, so he either had to take a bus or a train. There were definitely trains running here, so I checked the timetable on my phone while I was in a taxi. I immediately discovered that he couldn’t take a train since the one running to Jilin only ran very late at night. It seemed that his only option was to take a long-distance bus.

I asked the taxi to take me to the long-distance bus station. In this way, even if I couldn’t find him there, I still had time to go to the train station. It wasn’t like he could walk there, could he? When I thought of this, I felt like my plan was quite solid.

I didn’t know if it was the peak transportation period, but when I got to the bus station, there were a bunch of people. I squeezed into the crowd and started looking for him. I felt as if I saw him several times, only to discover that that wasn’t the case at all.

Then I ran to the bus entrance and continued to search nearby, but I still didn’t see him. I was sweating all over as I asked myself, was it the taxi driver’s fast speed? Did I actually pass him and arrive here first? Or is it true that Little Brother doesn’t have any money and didn’t take a taxi at all, but walked? It would be good if he’s just reached the intersection of Yan’an now.

After a few laps, I found it impossible to find him under such circumstances, so I looked at the bus departure schedule. I only found that there wasn’t a single bus going to Jilin because the route seemed too far. My heart immediately settled down, but just as I was about to say that the train seemed to be his only option left, I saw a bus parked outside. He was sitting inside, and I watched in a daze as the bus started up and drove past the waiting room’s window.

I cried out in surprise, what kind of situation is this?! I knew that there weren’t any buses going in the direction of Jilin so I immediately went to ask the attendant, who said that this was a bus to Beijing.

Shit, it’s this kind of situation. No matter what bus, as long as it was going in one direction, he would definitely get on it first. This was Poker-Face’s logic. Only he knew all of his actions; they had nothing to do with reason.

I ran out of the station. The bus exit was far away from the waiting room, so by the time I arrived, I couldn’t even see the taillights. I gasped for breath and told myself to calm down. In a city like this, I wouldn’t lose to a person with a grade nine disability when it came to living capabilities.

I took a taxi back to the shop where Wang Meng was happily playing “Minesweeper”. When I entered, he almost fell off his seat in fright.

“Boss, you’re back so soon this time.”

“Cut the crap.” I kicked him out of his seat, booked a plane ticket online, and then quickly checked the bus schedule on the internet. Depending on where and when the bus arrived, he might continue to take that route. After writing it all down, I ran all the way to the airport.

After flying to Beijing, I arrived at least five hours earlier than the bus. I bought some tea eggs to eat at the exit of the bus station as I waited for Poker-Face’s arrival. The whole time I was thinking, how should I persuade him?

I couldn’t beat him at all, and I couldn’t even run. If he was really determined, then there was nothing I could do but waste my breath here. Or, I could take advantage of his unpreparedness and sneak attack him from behind. I found a brick on the side, weighed it, and looked at the tea egg seller nearby. His was about the same height as Poker-Face, so I imagined a few scenarios.

The image of Poker-Face kicking me directly against the wall came to mind. He was too alert, so I figured the probability of a successful sneak attack on him was too low. Moreover, on the off chance I did succeed, if I hit him too hard and killed him, I’d end up going to jail and facing a firing squad. If I went to the underworld and saw him again, I wouldn’t even begin to know how to explain it to him.


I wondered if modern sleeping pills had any effect on his constitution. If it was useful, I’d get him to go to a place to rest first and then say that I had a particularly important matter to discuss with him and that I hoped he could help me. After that, I could put sleeping pills in his drink, and when he passed out, I could tie him up firmly, ask Xiao Hua for a car, and send him directly back to Hangzhou.

An image popped into my head of Poker-Face turning away without any response when he heard that I wanted to discuss things with him. If I went up to grab him at that time, he would definitely turn around and kick me against the wall.

I had a splitting headache, but couldn’t come up with anything no matter how hard I thought about it. Even if I tied him up and brought him back to Hangzhou, I had no way to keep him. Unless I made an iron cage to lock him up, he’d definitely leave.

It may be possible if he was put in a psychiatric hospital, but his skill was too good. I didn’t think he could be trapped anywhere, and then the doctors and nurses in the hospital would be involved.

Just thinking about it brought a chill to my heart and I realized that it was impossible. I couldn’t change his mind, but I would try my best.

I also wondered if Poker-Face just wanted to settle down in the village under Changbai Mountain, look at the snowy mountains every day, smoke old cigarettes, and prepare to spend his old age in that place.

But it didn’t matter. Even if that was the case, the most I would do was make a fool of myself, which didn’t matter at all.

When I came back to my senses, I saw the tea egg seller looking at the brick in my hand and hurriedly closing the stall to leave. Maybe my expression was very strange as I was thinking about it just now. In any case, I had already made a decision in my heart so I quickly threw the brick away. This was the last time. If I couldn’t persuade him, I wouldn’t insist.

But Poker-Face would never act according to my wishes. I waited at the station until the bus arrived in the early morning and found that he wasn’t on it.

I watched all the people get off one by one and leave. I looked behind them for a long time and finally made sure that Poker-Face really wasn’t there. I immediately got on the bus, grabbed the driver, and asked where Poker-Face had gone.

It took a long time for him to realize what I was talking about. He told me that Poker-Face got off at a toll station midway. I shook the driver and asked him, “Are you sure he got off the bus instead of going to the toilet for too long?” The driver said that what Poker-Face told him absolutely couldn’t be wrong.

I asked for the location of the toll station before finding an internet cafe nearby, opening all the maps, and checking for myself. I found that there was a small town not far down from that toll station, where there was a bus that could lead to Erdao Baihe.(2)

I called Xiao Hua and asked him to arrange a car for me directly. I paid all the expenses and rushed to Erdao Baihe directly, my heart filled with emotion. I had really underestimated this grade nine disabled Little Brother. He was obviously quite clear about the shortcuts to certain places, whether they be ancient tombs or modern society.

There wasn’t any small talk on the way, and the next morning, I arrived at Erdao Baihe. After getting out of the car, I immediately asked the local people about the drop-off point for any vehicles. When I arrived there, I saw Poker-Face walking in a certain direction with his luggage on his back.

I immediately called out to him, and he turned and looked back at me, slightly surprised. He didn’t ask why I had followed him, but just turned around and continued to walk away. I immediately stumbled to follow.

<Chapter 75> <Table of Contents><Chapter 77>


TN Notes:

(1) Someone who makes inauspicious remarks

(2) Jilin is the province. Erdao Baihe is a town at the foot of Changbai Mountain


Updated 8/8/2021


5 thoughts on “Chapter 76 Poker-Face’s Farewell

  1. This was hilarious to read xD Last time he wanted people to attack and torture him to stop him from leaving and now he wants to sneak attack him ;D

    Liked by 1 person

  2. He’s mind start working properly, that he is memorizing the routes and every station in the midway of his trip.
    Ha ha ha His plan was funny and all of them end up with Xiao Ge kick him to the wall!!🤣
    Poor tea egg seller what kind of face he sees with a brick in his hand.😆


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