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 One evening, in early May, Feng Yichen left her university campus and went to Brother Bin's nightclub to look for him. She was just in time to overhear some of the gang leaders.

"...When are those Big Circle Boys [1] going to beat it? They've been hangin' around for ages. They tryin' to take over our territory or somethin'?"

"Yeah, that's what I think, too. They've been here for more than a month now. We've been payin' for their food and expenses the whole dang time. The second we say somethin' they don't like, they pull out their guns and threaten us."

"Pfft! What's so scary about guns from the black market? Let them try steppin' on my toes - I'll smoke every last one of 'em!"

"Don't! It's money the Big Circle Boys are after, they don't actually want to kill us. And there may not be a lot of them, but any one of them can take on ten of ours, easily. We better not provoke them. Besides, it's money we want, too. No point shooting it out with them."

The occupants of the exclusive private room were gang leaders from the neighboring cities. They were all equal to Brother Bin in status; even so, they were afraid of these so-called "Big Circle Boys."

Feng Yichen could not help but listen to their conversation with great interest.

A man with bleached hair had just come out of the private room to have a smoke. He saw Feng Yichen walk over to him with a smile on her face, and immediately began to bow obsequiously as he greeted her: "Ma'am, very nice of you to come."

"Brother Bin hasn't been feeling well lately. I came to check on him, see if he's taken his medicine. Also, he shouldn't be smoking or drinking while on his medication, doctor's orders." Feng Yichen said all this casually, in a soft voice, but her voice was just loud enough for everyone inside the private room to hear her.

Brother Bin, his face split in a wide smile, called out to her from inside the room. He invited her in and introduced her to everyone in the room.

Feng Yichen was much more educated than everyone else in the room, to say nothing of her background and upbringing. Brother Bin was always more than happy to have her on his arm in public, and he was proud to show her off now.

The gang leaders in the room sang Feng Yichen's praises, before politely moving on to idle conversation. They did not bring up the Big Circle Boys again.

Feng Yichen was not in a hurry. She sat patiently next to Brother Bin and watched over him to make sure he did not drink any of the alcohol.

After the party was over, Feng Yichen returned to her house with Brother Bin. On the way back, she finally heard what she had been waiting for: Brother Bin gave a sigh, and said, "...Those Big Circle Boys are absolutely fearless. Armed to the teeth, too. Sure isn't easy dealing with them."

"Well, if they're as powerful as you claim, maybe you should ask them to stay..." Feng Yichen probed tentatively. A soft hand gently made its way to Brother Bin's brow and began to tenderly massage his temples.

Brother Bin had a migraine; he closed his eyes and patted Feng Yichen's arm. "I can't have them hanging about... this town just isn't big enough for the both of us. And anyway, the Big Circle Boys are very ambitious. This tiny city won't be enough to whet their appetite."

"Well, in that case, what are you worried about, Brother Bin? They'll leave, eventually." Feng Yichen's voice was even more gentle and sympathetic now. Her hands were now massaging Brother Bin's arm.

Brother Bin sighed, and moved Feng Yichen onto his lap as he folded her into his arms. "They don't have the money to leave..."

The Big Circle Boys needed a massive amount of money - much more than Brother Bin and his gang were willing to spare.

"...No money?" Feng Yichen suddenly understood. She smiled, and said, "The Big Circle Boys don't need any capital for the kind of business they're running, so what are you worried about?" She continued, lightly, "There's certainly no lack of wealthy people around here..."

Brother Bin yawned. "You're right. Let them take care of themselves!"

Brother Bin and Feng Yichen fell silent after this - but everyone inside the car was thinking about what Feng Yichen had just said.

It was true that C City had more than its fair share of wealthy people; in fact, if someone were to compile a list of the cities within the Empire with the largest concentration of rich people, C City would probably come in 1st or 2nd.

On top of that, most of the wealthy families here only had money to their name, unlike those in the imperial capital; over there, the rich also had the status and influence to match their bank accounts. It was therefore a lot easier to squeeze money out of the C City fat cats, compared to the capital city...

But still, no one could guarantee that the Big Circle Boys would be able to extort money from the rich without accidentally stepping on the wrong toes. That would depend entirely on their skills and good judgment.

Brother Bin had suffered the Big Circle Gang's presence in his territory for more than a month. Now, his eyes opened and gleamed in the dark interior of the car as he gave a silent and ruthless snort.

This time, Brother Bin and his gang would sit back, relax - and watch the police and the Big Circle Boys go for each other's throats.


A few days later, one of the sub-chiefs in the Big Circle Gang approached their boss, Yang Dawei, with what seemed like a promising lead: "Brother Dawei, the C City boys just gave us a tip. One of the senior classes in C University's law department will be going to Dufeng Mountain Resort Villa for their graduation trip."

"College students on a graduation trip? Lame. What's in it for us?" asked Yang Dawei incredulously. He threw one of the playing cards in his hand onto the table. "Four of a kind!"

They were playing poker.

"Oh, there's lots in it for us." The sub-chief moved closer to Yang Dawei, and whispered in his ear, "...I hear most of them are heirs to family fortunes worth billions. Some of them are poor, of course. We'll just have to think of them as sides for the main dish..."

"Really?" Yang Dawei was immediately interested. "You have the details?"

"I have a list of the students, with additional notes on their family background. I had to pay big bucks for this. Have a look, Brother Dawei, it looks really promising..."

Yang Dawei tossed the cards in his hand. "Here, take my place for this round." He took the list and carefully looked it over.

His eyes flashed when he saw that the Mei family, Wang family, and Cao family were on the list.

These were distinguished families - they were famous even in the five neighboring provinces!

"Check their backgrounds carefully. Make sure all they have is money - we don't want to mess with them if they're well-connected behind the scenes." Yang Dawei was a cautious person. Although his interest had been piqued, he was not the type to make rash decisions.

"I checked, these three families are wealthy, but they don't have a lot of pull. As for these families..." The sub-chief circled several names. "They're not as rich as the first three, but they're still a lot richer than most. They'll be able to cough up a million or two."

"Really?" The other card players were no longer interested in their game; they threw their cards down, and gathered round to join the discussion.

Eight members of the Big Circle Gang had come to C City, all of them exceptionally powerful and skilled. They called themselves the Eight Mighty Warriors; it was no exaggeration to describe them as veterans of the battlefield.

But they had attracted too much attention with their "talents" and could no longer afford to remain inside the Empire; they were wanted by the police all over the country. The eight of them had therefore decided to find a way to leave the Empire and set up a territory of their own in some other country.

But getting out was not so easy.

They were wanted criminals, and did not have valid IDs. The only way to get out of the country was to have someone smuggle them out.

If they were to be smuggled out, they would have to pay the smuggler a considerable sum of money. On top of that, they could not leave without first making sure all eight of them would have enough money to get settled in at their destination.

They each had families, parents and children to support; times eight, that would amount to at least 10 million yuan to cover their initial expenses when starting over abroad. With the smuggling fee included, that would mean 20 million yuan at minimum - in cash.

"They'll be conveniently gathered in one place. Easy pickings for us, we won't even have to split up. If we can pull this off, we'll have enough to cover everyone's resettlement and smuggling expenses." Yang Dawei's second-in-command, Warrior No. 2, looked at the photos on the list, a lusty glint in his eyes. "There are six female students. Check out this face, and these curves. These babes are just as smokin' as Brother Bin's mistress."

"Well, let's get ready then! Some of us have been itchin' for some work to do!"

"Oh man, I can't wait. I'm getting a boner just looking at this photo..."


A few weeks passed, and it was now the last weekend of May. It was the day of the graduation trip for the students of Class One.

They had made a reservation for one of the courtyards in the Dufeng Mountain Resort Villa. There were seven rooms in it: six were furnished to serve as bedrooms, while the remaining room functioned as a large living room.

There were exactly 24 students in their class: eight girls and sixteen boys, four to a room. It wasn't even necessary to draw lots to decide who would be rooming with whom; it would be just like their usual living arrangements back in the school dormitories.

[1] "Big Circle Boys", also known as "Big Circle Gang", is an actual Triad (think Chinese Mafia). For more information: