After work, Xu Qin went to the outpatient department of the burn surgery on the ninth floor to look for Professor Xu Ken. Last night during the surgery, she had some doubts, hence she wanted to consult the professor.

At 8:00 am, Xu Ken wasn’t at the hospital.

Xu Qin asked the nurse and realized that she remembered the wrong date. Professor Xu Ken is always off on Saturday. She thought today was Friday — recently she has been so exhausted. Xu Qin aggressively rubbed her nose with force, then went to the elevator. When she passed the washroom, she unexpectedly heard her own name. 

“I heard when Xu Qin returns from the emergency department, she will be promoted to attending physician.” That’s Yang Sijia’s voice. She and Xu Qin entered the hospital at the same time. They were interns together and were promoted to resident physicians together. 

“What?! Attending physician?” Zhu Xian is their senior, she clearly sounded unhappy: “Based on what? Just because she studied abroad in the US? She’s just here for a few years, does she have enough experience?” 

“So she was sent to the emergency department, I guess it was done to fool people. Indeed— By the time she’s done, she would be the attending physician. It’s not proper, but no one would find fault with it, it only becomes an exception.” Yang Sijia washed her hands and looked at Zhu Xian with eyes full of pity. “I feel that it should be your turn. You are older than her, you have more experience than her. But what can you do, she has connections.” 

Zhu Xian snorted and said: “Everyone can find a connection, depending on who you find. There are a few who came to Third Military Hospital without any connections.” 

Yang Sijia shook her head: “Oh, but her family background is not ordinary. I heard her family name is Meng, but because she doesn’t want to make it public, she changed her family name.” 

“MENG?’” Zhu Xian hesitated for a while: “The chief of staff’s…. daughter?” 

Yang Sijia shrugged her shoulders. 

Zhu Xian said nothing and just vented her dissatisfaction by washing her hands with exerted force. She then took the tissue to wipe her hands. After some time, she just threw the tissue into the trash can. “She doesn’t want to make it public? It’s too hilarious. If she doesn’t want to do it then she shouldn’t have gone through the ‘back door’. I have enough of her, yet I will still be working at the same place as her, I…….” 

Zhu Xian choked, Xu Qin watched her from the slightly open door. Xu Qin was so calm and cold. 

Xu Qin asked indifferently: “You don’t want to work with me, should I help you to talk to the head of department?” Because she was so tired, her voice was hoarse. 

Zhu Xian looked at her with trembling lips, begging for mercy in shame. 

Xu Qin exerted a little force on her elbows, pushed herself to stand up straight from the wall, raised her chin, glanced at her, then turned and walked away. 


When leaving the hospital parking lot, the security guard friendly greeted her: “Doctor Xu, getting off work?” 

Xu Qin smiled and nodded. She drove her car quickly out of the parking area. 

The early morning sun was shining so splendidly, it was so bright that Xu Qin felt it was hard to open her eyes. 

The Meng family’s courtyard was located in the west of the city, it was quite far away from the hospital. Her father felt distressed to see her working so hard so he bought her an apartment at Zong Lu Gardens area, a block next to the hospital. It was a 10 minute drive to make it easier for her to commute to and from work. 

The house was very new, it faces south, and the space was large. Xu Qin lived alone in an empty space, but she had no sense of loneliness. Having been away for many years, what she was best at was living alone in the urban jungle. 

Maybe because she continuously stayed up late, Xu Qin had a sore throat. She remembered that she has a kettle at home yet she had forgotten where she placed it. 

She searched for it in the kitchen cupboard for a while. Then she took it out and tore open all the plastics. She washed the kettle clean and poured two bottles of water inside. When she was about to heat it up, she noticed that the plug of the kettle was an English style plug. 

Xu Qin held it and stood there for a few seconds, she sighed and also didn’t know where the butler bought it from. She tried to find whether she had another adapter for the plug. 

Finally she just let it be, and opened up a bottle of water. The cold water somehow made her throat hurt. She frowned yet she finished the water anyways, then she went to the bathroom to take a shower. She dried her hair before heading to bed to sleep. 

Xu Qin slept so soundly, yet in a daze she could hear a siren. She knew that it wasn’t an ambulance so she didn’t wake up. 

Till the next moment, there was a bell ringing. It sounded urgent, the person also knocked very hard on her door. “Ms. Xu?! Ms. Xu?!” 

Xu Qin suddenly woke up, there was the sound of a siren outside. 

She opened the door and saw that it was the security guard from this apartment complex, he looked anxious and terrified. He was sweaty: “Please go down quickly, Wu Fang Street is burning. Your car is blocking the passage for the firefighters.” 

Xu Qin sobered up, and quickly wore her shoes: “I’ll go down now.” 

“Bring your car key!” 

Xu Qin closed her door and then she asked: “That part is part of the firefighter’s route? I see that the residents parked their cars there.” 

The security guard pulled a long face: “Yes, everyone is blocking that path, which is a major issue. Hurry up, I still have a lot of residents I haven’t contacted yet.” 

The security guard ran away: “It’s over, it’s over. This time it’s so over.” 

Xu Qin took the elevator, looked at the window and noticed a thick cloud of smoke not too far away. 

Xu Qin’s apartment was located in Zong Lu Gardens, which was a famous high-end community. The apartment there cost two to three times higher than the area surrounding it. It was a new area that had everything available all around. 

Wu Fang Street is near Zong Lu Gardens, it was widely known as a poor and old area. In the past, it was inhabited by craftsmen. But after, it gradually transformed into a small commodities street and was the lowest rung of society residence. 

A few years ago, Dong Cheng planned to develop Wu Fang Street, so they would need to demolish the buildings and relocate the inhabitants, but there were lots of people living there. Most of them had no property rights and the developer of that area wasn’t willing to give enough compensation. This led to those people having no place to live and both sides couldn’t come to an agreement. The developer had planned to use force to demolish it. 

Luckily there was a famous domestic director who found it to have a great view and made Wu Fang Street part of his film. The community started to appeal to protect that area of the city because of its culture and architecture. They wanted to leave the vintage image of Wu Fang Street. It created a great controversy. At last, Wu Fang Street turned into a famous scenic spot and couldn’t be demolished. 

Year by year, the area turned from plain to an impressive place — all around that area were great buildings with European style residences and a sub-central business district (SCBD). It had wide streets and was so crowded. The local people were bantering that the area had changed into “New York Central Garden”. 

Zong Lu Gardens was on the other side of Wu Fang Street, it was just separated by an alley. 

Due to the quality problems in the underground parking garage of Zong Lu Gardens, some areas were being repaired, and there was no place to park in the community, so some residents left their cars outside. The small alley at the back became their first choice. 

A long line of cars parked in the alley, leaving a one-way street, day by day without incident. 

Who would have thought that the fire trucks would have difficulties getting through? 

Xu Qin went out of her building from the back door and ran into the alley. The fire sirens were deafening, and the crowd rushed towards them. Everyone panicked and ran out. The men pulled women and children, and the young people supported the elderly and children. Several firefighters came to instruct them. Crowd evacuation: “Don’t push! Just walk! Don’t run!” 

Xu Qin saw thick smoke billowing from somewhere inside, blowing with the wind, and rushed towards the nearby SCBD building. 

Many car owners slowly moved their cars in the crowd. 

Several fire trucks were at the alley entrance, their red lights flashing. The driver of the fire engine was too anxious to swear: “Where is the property manager?! Hurry up! Ask people to move their car!” 

The car at the entrance of the alley moved out, the fire truck slowly moved in, after only two parking spaces, it was blocked again. 

Along the way, the screams of the women and the cries of the children were incessant. The ground was full of water, and the firefighters pulled the water hose but the length was limited, so they could only spray the water through the wall. 

Part of the high pressure water reflected back, splashed off the leaves on the wall, and wetted Xu Qin’s hair and clothes. 

She ran to the side of the car and took out the key. Just as she was about to press the door button, a woman ran past and slammed into her. The key fell on the ground and rolled underneath the car. 

Xu Qin knelt down and leaned beside the car. Dirty water was flowing under the car, she felt disgusted for a while, she gritted her teeth and took a breath, stretched her arms and tried to get the key, but she couldn’t reach it. 

Through the bottom of the car, she saw the shoes of the people on the other side running by. The two firefighters’ fire-resistant trousers were in sight — dark blue, with a bright yellow gold border. 

“It is estimated that the owners of the remaining cars cannot be contacted. What should we do?” 

The man’s voice was cold with a hint of anger: “Dammit, just lift them.” 

“How should we do it?!” 

“Don’t wait for it to burn to the ground? Everyone come over, lift the cars!” The man came over from the other side and ordered them. 

“Captain Song, look at these license plates, they are all…” 

“You dick, I’ll bear the responsibility.” The man said coldly, his voice close to Xu Qin’s head. 

Xu Qin lowered her center of gravity and finally fished out the key from the muddy water.  She grabbed the car door and stood up, only to hear an angry rebuke from behind, the man’s voice furious and angry:  “Is this your car? Did you know this is the fire trucks route!” 

Xu Qin pressed the button, opened the car door, turned around and apologized: “I’m sorry, I…” 

Song Yan was standing behind her in a dark blue firefighter uniform and a hard hat.  The man frowned and looked at her impatiently, even with a hint of disgust. 

Xu Qin’s mind was blank.  The moment she saw that face, she went completely blank.

Song Yan pushed her without any politeness and roared, “Dammit, why the hell are you still standing here?! Hurry up and drive away!” 

Xu Qin stumbled into the car and came back to her senses, there was chaos all around.  Looking back again, Song Yan strode towards another car. 

Xu Qin sat in the car and tried inserting the key several times before entering the keyhole.  She started the car, followed the crowd slowly moving away from the alley, and glanced at Song Yan as she passed by. 

Song Yan and several firefighters carried the car to the side of the road.  The men had blue veins stretched on their heads, their bodies strained, and there was a violent roar. The side of the car was lifted up and overturned onto the side of the road, hitting the trees with the leaves rustling. 

They didn’t stop and went to another unclaimed car. Behind them, the fire truck flashes its lights, creeping forward a little bit. 

He became smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror and disappeared. 

Xu Qin remembered that Song Yan’s home was on Wu Fang Street too. 

Xu Qin parked the car outside her apartment building, her heartbeat had calmed down.  Thinking back to just now, Song Yan didn’t recognize her at all, looking at her like an ignorant and stupid citizen. 

He didn’t remember her. 

She glanced at the running crowd in the rearview mirror, took out her mobile phone, and called the emergency center in the hospital. 

“There is a fire on Wu Fang Street, have you received a report of the fire?” 

“The ambulances are on their way.” 

Xu Qin put down her phone, tied up her loose hair with a rubber band, got out of the car, and ran to the alley again.