#NEW# Recommendations-Raising a Fox Spirit in My Home

Chapter 1 Renyuan Jindan

 

"Look, I'm sorry. You're a nice guy, but I really don't think we're a good match for each other..."

Those words were decidedly the bane of Li Yundong's existence. Even now, when he was drunk as a skunk, they were still replaying in his mind over and over again like a broken record. "Argh! F*ck!" Li Yundong yelled, putting an end to his thoughts. "She rejected me," he mumbled incoherently. "And she did it in the most half-hearted and cliched way imaginable." Li Yundong grunted. "The nice-guy speech again. Give me a f*cking break."

Li Yundong thought back to his failed love confession in front of the campus building this morning. Before he knew it, the misery associated with that memory hit him like a truck. A sudden feeling of tightness crawled up his chest. "Am I really that pathetic?" he thought bitterly. "Twenty-one. Twenty-one nice-guy speeches already. And this is just my first year as a university student. You've got to be sh*tting me."

A loud ding jolted Li Yundong out of his thoughts. The elevator doors slid open. He stumbled out and made his way unsteadily towards his door. At the door, he took out his keys and began fumbling with the lock. Several failed attempts later, a wave of frustration flowed through his system like an electric current. When it reached his brain, it was like a fuse was blown; something inside him snapped. "You know what? Fuck you girls and your snobby attitude!" he said. "You think you're so great? One of these days I'm going to find a girl that's prettier than all of you combined!"

Li Yundong was just a young child when his parents divorced. His father found companionship in the arms of a tall and busty blonde after the divorce and was now having the time of his life at God knows where. His mother wasn't exactly wallowing in loneliness and self-pity either; she met an Australian dude and had long since immigrated to Australia to lead her own life of depravity and hedonism. Li Yundong was left alone in the country to fend for himself. His only consolation was the woefully inadequate "social grant" provided to him by the government. So much for parenting.

The lack of parental guidance proved disastrous for Li Yundong's growth as a person; he'd been undisciplined and aimless ever since his third year of middle school, coasting through life in idleness and apathy. With that kind of attitude, it would have taken a miracle for him to accrue enough credits to get into a good university. Tiannan University was already the best school he could get into, despite everyone's claims that it was only a third-rate university.

But hey, even third-rate universities had their own perks. The Fine Arts Department of Tiannan University, for instance, was a force to be reckoned with; a lot of stars and celebrities were produced there, believe it or not. Ever seen a beautiful, fluffy, white cloud on a sunny day? Well, the beautiful women in Tiannan University were like the water droplets that form such a cloud; they came in large numbers and, when gathered in a condensed space, they were a beautiful sight to behold. Li Yundong (still very much a virgin) had lost count of the number of times he had gawked at the ladies in his university until his eyes hurt. Alas, the laws of science dictate that polar opposites attract; thus, places with a lot of beautiful women would typically be teeming with handsome men too. If a group of beautiful women was a cloud, then handsome men would be the rain. Where there are a lot of clouds, there will be a lot of rain; ergo, where there are a lot of beautiful women, there will be a lot of handsome men. It's science.

Then again, when a dense cloud brings rain, it typically pours. Simply put, the raindrops (handsome men) were having all the fun, while other mere mortals (like Li Yundong) were left to deal with the gloomy weather. To be fair, Li Yundong wasn't considered ugly; but he wasn't good-looking either. So, no sunny days for Li Yundong and Co. No sunshine and rainbows for those who got the short end of the stick when God was sorting out humanity's gene pool.

Nowadays, if you're a guy and want to make an impression, you either have to look handsome or you have to look weird as f*ck. If you're just an average-looking guy? Well, sorry, bro. No dice. The nice-guy speech has your name written all over it.

If there was one thing Li Yundong had in abundance, it was pride. Case in point: the women he'd professed his undying love to were all beauty queens and, quite frankly speaking, out of his league. That, in fact, was how he'd managed to receive twenty-one nice-guy speeches in a row this year. This fruitless cycle of "confess, get rejected, repeat" had turned Li Yundong into the university's laughing stock.

Images flooded Li Yundong's mind as he kept fumbling with the lock. He remembered the looks of ridicule he received from those who'd been watching his failed love confession this morning. God, he loathed every second of it. What he hated the most, though, was the fact that the f*ckers didn't even have to say anything; their eyes said it all: "Dude, you should probably take a good look at yourself in the mirror. This is what happens if you go for someone so far out of your league! Hah! Loser!" Li Yundong gnashed his teeth and let out a low growl. "And why isn't this f*cking key working?"  

"Son of a b*tch!" Li Yundong yelled, throwing both hands into the air. As he did, the keys fell to the floor with a loud clink.

Squinting, Li Yundong bent down to pick up the keys. All thoughts about the keys were forgotten because he saw something on the floor right in front of his door. It was a dog, a Japanese Spitz covered in scarlet fur (T/N: A Japanese Spitz's appearance resembles a fox). Leaning in, he took a closer look and noticed the red blots staining its hind leg. Obviously, the poor thing was injured.

The Spitz cocked its head to one side and started licking its wound. While doing its thing, the poor thing gazed up at Li Yundong with piteous eyes.

Li Yundong's heart melted right then and there. He picked up the dog from the ground, then cradled it against his chest and said, "So, your owner abandoned you, huh? Poor doggie. Hey, you want to know something? We're kind of similar, you and I. My parents abandoned me too! After that, life pretty much went to sh*t. Everyone thinks I'm a nobody. Nobody sees any good in me. Are you going through the same thing as well? Aww. I bet you are. But don't worry. Don't cry. Because I'm here for you buddy. I'll look after you from now on. I won't abandon you, ever!"

Some time later, he managed to get the door open. The first thing he saw was his living room, which was separated from the balcony by French windows with a thin muslin curtain hanging from the top of the windows.

A carpet was spread over the center of the living room where a glass coffee table sat. On top of the table, there was a PlayStation 2 console with a stack of game CDs lying next to it, and beside the CDs was a bowl of half-eaten instant noodles.

Li Yundong stumbled through the doorway, carrying the dog with him. By the time he reached the center of his living room, he was too out of it to remain upright; he plonked himself down on the carpet. A moment later, his body tilted sideways and his head thudded into a spot on the carpet beside the coffee table. The room was soon filled with the sounds of his snores.

Inside his arms, the dog (fox, really) began to tremble, but the trembling gradually subsided. Under the clear moonlight, its eyes became brighter and brighter. With its snout, it nudged Li Yundong's jaw a few times to test if he was really asleep.

More poking and nudging ensued until the little fox was convinced that Li Yundong was truly dead to the world. At this point, the little fox curled its body into a bundle. Moments later, its body started to glow, releasing a pale, green luminescence into the darkness. The light rose from the little fox's body and floated into the air like threads of loose gossamer. These threads drifted towards Li Yundong and, when their ends came in contact with his skin, were slowly absorbed into his body. A moment later, the threads emerged from Li Yundong's body, except that this time they were no longer green; their color had changed into a brilliant scarlet. The threads drifted back towards the little fox's body where they were slowly reabsorbed. When they emerged moments later, they were green once again.

The little fox repeated the process several times in a row, absorbing Li Yundong's Yang Qi until it regained its strength. Each time after a thread had turned from scarlet to green, there was a noticeable improvement in its psyche, not to mention that its eyes also became clearer and more focused. Soon, even the bleeding on its hind leg stopped. Once it had recovered enough, it leaped off Li Yundong's chest and landed on the floor, where it spun around several times on the same spot. Gone was the dog with scarlet fur, and in its place was a girl wearing a scarlet dress.

The girl looked to be about fifteen or sixteen years old. At full height, she was about 165cm tall. Her gorgeous eyes were brilliant, sharp, and filled with intelligence; it was as if her dark pupils could give out a light of their own.

The girl glanced around the room warily. After a while, when she was convinced that the place was secure, she heaved a sigh of relief. "Phew, that was close" she whispered, patting her chest. "I nearly died here. And to think that my master went through all that trouble to help me steal the Jindan. It would be atrocious if I were to die here before I have the chance to use it."

The girl spent a moment studying Li Yundong's sleeping form, then she crouched down with her head tilted to the side and continued her scrutiny of the man who had been spouting drunken gibberish while carrying her inside just now. For some strange reason, she was hit by a pang of emotion.

"This guy's life reminds me of my own."

However, the girl's maudlin mood only lasted for a brief moment. "Time to get out of here," she thought, rising to her feet.

At that moment, though, it occurred to her that her enemies were still hunting her, not to mention that her wounds had yet to fully recover. What if she left now and got caught?

"Screw it. I might as well just take the Jindan now!" she said. From her pocket, she took out a golden pill. The pill was spherical in shape and was about the same size as a thumbnail. Slowly and gently, she slid the pill to the center of her palm, allowing it to rest there. Then, she gazed at the spherical object with so much reverence that it was as if she was holding the greatest treasure in the universe.

A golden radiance permeated the apartment as soon as the Jindan was out of her pocket. In an instant, the apartment became so bright that it was as if someone had switched on the light.

She had been on the run ever since she stole the Jindan. Until now, she hadn't found a single chance to consume and assimilate the Jindan.

All of a sudden, she saw something from the corner of her eyes: two bursts of green light outside the French windows. She visibly blanched and her body grew taut.

"Crap, crap," she said, looking towards the French windows frantically. "How did they even find me?"

"Don't these people ever give up?" she thought. "They're always on my tail no matter where I run to."

The girl's mind was racing. "Come on, think! Think fast!"  She could already feel the swift approach of two powerful Qis towards her location. Then, amidst her panic, a sudden thought hit her. "Could it be the Jindan's aura that has been attracting these Cultivators? Yes! That's it! That must be why they were able to track me down every time!"

She made a split-second decision; in a blink of an eye, she was right beside Li Yundong. She reached down, cupped his cheeks with her fingers, and squeezed. Then, she slid the Jindan into Li Yundong's open lips and transformed herself back into a fox. She crawled towards Li Yundong's body and curled up in his arms.

Her plan was undeniably ingenious. By placing the Jindan inside Li Yundong's mouth, she was planning to utilize Li Yundong's Adolescent Yang Qi to mask the Jindan's aura.

Adolescent Yang Qi is Yang Qi in its purest form. It is the finest part of the human body's Yang Qi, though it is hidden away in the Huiyin, an acupoint found in the perineum. Only Yin Qi (a type of Qi only women possess) has the ability to draw it out of the Huiyin.

Adolescent Yang Qi has many uses, one of which is to mask various types of Qis and auras: Yin Qi in its strongest form, various types of evil and unholy Qi, and even the unique auras emitted by divine objects.

She wasn't too concerned about keeping the Jindan inside Li Yundong's mouth. After all, the Renyuan Jindan wasn't like chocolate; it wouldn't melt inside his mouth. Besides, Li Yundong was obviously severely intoxicated. Humans typically wouldn't swallow the things in their mouths when they were in a drunken state. Unless she poured water down Li Yundong's throat, she didn't have to worry about Li Yundong accidentally swallowing the Jindan.

Li Yundong's Adolescent Yang Qi could mask not just the Renyuan Jindan's divine aura, but also her own Yin Qi. Her brilliant idea had just killed two birds with one stone.

Sure enough, the green light outside the window stopped moving the moment she leaped into Li Yundong's arms. Two human-shaped figures materialized on the balcony. The figures were slender and thin, and they moved with feminine grace.

A voice sounded from the balcony. "Weird, how come it's gone just like that?" The voice was hushed, emotionless, and undoubtedly feminine.

"What's going on, Elder Sister Zi Yuan? Could it be that we've been following the wrong trail?" Another voice sounded; this one was livelier and more innocent.

"That's impossible!" said the woman with the cold voice vehemently.

"Then allow me to go inside and have a look," said the lively girl. "This is the aura's last location before it vanished!"

The little fox had been listening in to the conversation from the start. At first, she thought that her plan had worked. The mere thought of having these Cultivators fooled by her quick thinking brought her so much joy that she could barely keep her tail down. That feeling of smugness didn't last though. Soon, she heard one of them saying something about barging into the house. Frightened, she curled up into a trembling bundle and held her breath.

The woman with the cold voice spoke again. "Nonsense," she said in a reprimanding tone. "People like us aren't allowed to barge into the lives of normal people and scare them."

"But we can't just return empty-handed," the girl argued.

Silence filled the balcony.

The little fox was scared out of her wits. Her heart pounded in her chest and she kept praying: "Dear God, please make them leave soon. Don't let them come in! I'll kowtow to you!"

Amidst her internal turmoil, a sudden moan escaped Li Yundong's lips. He swallowed a mouthful of saliva to help ease the dryness of his throat.

The spherical Jindan slid down Li Yundong's alimentary canal until he suddenly winced in discomfort; the pill was stuck. Dazed, he sat up slightly and supported himself with one elbow on the floor. With his other hand, he began reaching blindly for something on the coffee table.

At that moment, the little fox's eyes were so wide and round that they would give the Jindan's sphericity a run for its money. Horror filled her eyes the moment Li Yundong's hand found the half-eaten bowl of instant noodles. Before she could do anything, Li Yundong raised the bowl and gulped down the rest of its content like a hungry pig. The content of the bowl was, unfortunately, liquid. Li Yundong swallowed the cold soup and, together with it, the Jindan...

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  • Chapter 2 Suck Him Dry!

     

    The alarming sight of Li Yundong swallowing the Jindan had the little fox's blood running cold. She was floored, quite literally, since she was seconds away from having to pick her jaw up from the floor. On the surface, she seemed nonplussed and tongue-tied. In her mind, however, her inner voice was bouncing around like a wrecking ball. "Oh, you just had to pick now of all times to swallow your stupid spit! Goddamit! Why didn't you just choke to death, you asshole!"

    No matter how much she wanted to act, to do at least something to prevent her hard work from going up in flames, she forced herself to stay completely still. Two renowned members of the Cultivation world were standing right outside. She'd be screwed if they discovered that she was here.

    The soup had worked wonders for Li Yundong's throat, as evident from the contented smile adorning his face. Like an oaf, he lay back down onto the carpet and went back to sleep with a piece of noodle hanging limply from the corner of his lips, as if he hadn't just swallowed one of the most powerful pills in the history of pills.

    The two women on the balcony froze when they heard noises coming from inside the apartment. "Forget it," the woman with the cold voice said after a while. "It doesn't seem like she's here. We'll head back first. That fox spirit would never be able to outrun us anyway."

    The other woman sighed. "Guess we don't have a choice then. What a bummer!"

    The two women morphed into two jets of green light and vanished from the balcony.

    Despite being on the verge of losing her mind, the little fox forced herself to lie still in Li Yundong's arms. "No. This isn't over. Not yet."

    Indeed, the two jets of green light returned to the balcony ten minutes later. After a while, the woman with the cold voice sighed. "Looks like she really isn't here..." she said. "Let's go."

    An indescribable disappointment colored the woman's voice. Two bursts of green lit up the balcony, then the two women were gone.

    The little fox leapt out from Li Yundong's arms shortly after. With a quick spin, she reverted to her human form. Then, she pounced on Li Yundong like a wild beast that had gone berserk. "You son of a b*tch!" she yelled hysterically. "Give me back my Renyuan Jindan!"

    The little fox sat astride Li Yundong's body, gnashing her teeth, wrapping her hands around his neck. "I'll kill him! I'll kill him and then rip his stomach open!"

    However, she didn't get the chance because she was sent flying to the side the moment her fingers began to squeeze his neck. Her body crashed to the floor and then rolled a few times.

    Through teary eyes, she observed Li Yundong from her spot on the floor. At first, there was nothing. Then, his body began to glow in a rainbow of colors. At that moment, she could feel nothing in her heart other than pain and sorrow.

    She knew the signs. Li Yundong's body had already begun its absorption of the Renyuan Jindan. The pill's curative power had already been activated and was now coursing through Li Yundong's veins, causing changes to his meridians, flesh, and blood (T/N: Meridians are pathways in the human body that Qi is said to flow through).

    This was so not what she had in mind when she was busting her ass to steal the Renyuan Jindan. Her plan was to use the Jindan to transform herself from a three-tailed fox spirit into a six-tailed fox spirit. Suffice it to say that her plan had blown up in her face. The most appalling thing of all was that this witless douche was reaping all the benefits of her hard work for free!

    Li Yundong's skin continued to glow. It was a strange sight to behold, as if some kind of glowing liquid had coated the surface of his skin. The pout on the little fox's lips grew larger and larger as she watched her efforts go up in flames. Tears swirled inside her eyes. "This is so unfair!" she thought. "I'm the one who's been running around and hiding with the pill! That stupid cat and mouse game left me so exhausted that I didn't even have the strength to activate the pill's curative power! And now look at this! This oaf is gobbling up the fruits of my hard work!"

    The more she thought about it, the more miserable she felt. Until finally, at one point, a wretched sob escaped her lips. The floodgates opened and she started bawling her heart out. It never even crossed her mind that her crying fit might draw the attention of those two Cultivators who were still out there hunting her.

    The little fox's sobs were loud, but the reinforced concrete walls of the apartment rendered it pretty much soundproof. She could cry as hard as she wanted and nobody would hear a single sound from outside. The two scary Cultivators who had been hunting her never appeared.

    Her crying fit lasted for a while before her sobs dwindled. In the end, it was the loud growling of her stomach that put an end to her relentless snivelling.

    She was hungry.

    It made sense. She'd been pursued for days and nights on end, with barely enough time to sleep let alone eat.

    How do you get an empty rice sack to stand upright on its own? Fill it with rice. Ergo, even legendary creatures have to eat!

    The thought of food intensified the little fox's resentment towards Li Yundong. She glared daggers at the man who had unknowingly screwed up her plans. If this guy didn't have the Renyuan Jindan's power coursing through his veins, she would've devoured him right then!

    She swiped her tears away and sniffed. Her eyes, now red and puffy, darted around the apartment in search of food.

    Eventually, her eyes landed on the bowl of instant noodles on the coffee table. She picked up the bowl and peeked inside. Li Yundong had drained all the soup, but several soggy pieces of onion still lay at the bottom of the bowl. She'd rather starve to death than eat those.

    Anger surged inside her; she hurled the bowl at Li Yundong. Qi gushed out from Li Yundong's body, forming what appeared to be an invisible wall, which the bowl bounced off of before hitting the floor and rolling to a stop.

    From what she had just seen, she knew that the Jindan's curative power had already been fully assimilated by Li Yundong's body. The Qi inside his body was now at the height of vigor. For the little fox, however, the only sign of vigor in her body was the lump in her throat, which had grown to a point where it became impossible to swallow. Her shoulders shook heavily as sobs wracked her body.

    She kept crying until her hunger became too intense to ignore. She sniffed and once again begun searching around the apartment for food. "Master was right about humanity," she mumbled. "Humans are evil, every single one of them. Look at what the first human I met did to me? He swallowed my Jindan!"

    Most people know dogs have a good sense of smell. A fox's sense of smell is right up there in the same league.

    Case in point: In her quest for food, the little fox's nose had successfully led her towards the kitchen, despite the fact that the refrigerator door was sealed shut.

    She was born and raised inside the mountains and had spent pretty much her entire life training with the Fox Sect. Her knowledge of the earthly world was limited at best, so she had no idea what a refrigerator was or what it does.

    She spent a moment prodding and poking at every available surface on the fridge before she opened its door warily. The interior of the fridge lit up, revealing all kinds of food inside.

    She couldn't quite figure out the kind of magic involved that would allow the inside of a box to light up when opened, but she didn't plan to dwell on it any further. She didn't even have the energy to feel sad, not when she was this hungry and food was right in front of her. With one final sniff, she reached into the fridge and began to feast.

    The Jindan's power had been running amok inside Li Yundong's body ever since he swallowed it. From his veins and arteries, it spread out to his flesh, skin, and bones, enhancing his cells and restructuring his tissues. In other words, Li Yundong was undergoing some kind of internal metamorphosis. He was about to be reborn.

    It was like a sage monk from one of those Wuxia novels was performing the sacred techniques from the Marrow-Cleansing and Tendon-Altering Sutras on himself.

    The little fox ate and ate until she was stuffed with food. Then, she sat down cross-legged beside Li Yundong and stared at him with resentful eyes.

    Li Yundong had been living alone since his second year of high school. His lifestyle of idleness and his lackadaisical personality had made him somewhat chubby. Then again, to say that the Renyuan Jindan had triggered an internal metamorphosis inside Li Yundong's body was no understatement at all; as the Jindan's power circulated inside his body, the little fox could discern the violent and rapid contractions of Li Yundong's muscles, even through layers of subcutaneous fat.

    That wasn't even the most eye-catching part of the process, believe it or not. The veins directly under his skin were bulging and contracting rhythmically, as if numerous tiny rodents were crawling through them. Ripples spread over his skin as his veins pushed out against it.

    The little fox knew that the curative power of the Jindan had reached its maximum potential by this point. Such a power was capable of not only cleansing one's body and enhancing one's physical strength, but also replacing any types of missing Qi that were fundamental to one's vitality.

    At the moment, Li Yundong's Qi was flourishing. With the Jindan's power acting as a catalyst, the Adolescent Yang Qi in his body was slowly drawn out from his Huiyin (T/N: The Huiyin is an acupoint located in the perineum), the result of which was the slow hardening of a certain body part that is unique to the male anatomy. Soon, a tent had been erected (pun intended) between his legs.

    Unlike Li Yundong, the little fox was not having a good time at all. Deep down, she resented her own carelessness. Not a single fiber of her being wasn't filled with regret. Then, she caught a glimpse of the towering, tent-like monolith between Li Yundong's legs. She froze for a moment. Then, it was a like a million light bulbs had lit up inside her head.

    "Wait a minute..." she thought. "This guy swallowed my Renyuan Jindan, right? So why don't I just wait for his body to fully absorb the Jindan's power, and then slowly guide him into the art of Cultivation? Then, after he reaches the Zhuji phase, I'll seduce him and absorb the Jindan's power by having sex with him! Literally sucking him dry!"

    "Ooh, isn't this method even better than consuming the Renyuan Jindan myself?"  

    At the thought, the little fox's face lit up and her tail started wagging.

    After that epiphany, the little fox decided to cast a protective spell on Li Yundong. She worked as quickly as possible since there was no time to lose. The assimilation process inside Li Yundong's body had already reached its most crucial stage.

    Little did she know that the whole process would take three whole days to complete!

    The long wait (dozens of hours and counting) soon became too unbearable for the little fox. The added stress and anxiety she'd experienced during the past few days only made matters worse. At one point, she finally couldn't stay awake anymore. She keeled over and fell asleep right on top of Li Yundong.

    While the little fox was still in slumberland, the colorful glow on Li Yundong's body slowly waned. He sat up, completely disorientated. "God, my head is killing me," he thought, rubbing his head, which felt as if it could detonate any second. With his other hand, he reached to the side to touch the floor.

    All of a sudden, he froze."Huh? When the heck did my carpet become so soft... It shouldn't feel so round and... what the-"  

    It was like a nuclear bomb had gone off inside his head the moment he turned his head to the side and glanced down.

    There on the floor, lying right beside him, was a beautiful girl. Her dark, silky hair was pulled into a double braid. From where he sat, her face looked outright angelic, like it had been extracted from a page of a master painter's canvas. And boy, he thought he'd never seen a pair of lips that pretty. Her lashes, long and thick, fluttered slightly in her sleep. Her eyes were shut tightly and her body was curled up like a cooked shrimp. From the looks of it, she was probably having a nightmare. Still, she was a sight for sore eyes, and he would bet his V-card on it.

    Of course, it didn't escape Li Yundong's notice that his frigging hand was resting (cupping) right on top of her breast. Still, the girl didn't rouse from his touch. Instead, she brought her arms up to her chest and hugged herself. Great, now his hand was trapped against her breast. He couldn't decide whether that was a good thing or a bad thing. Maybe it was both. Then, the girl's lips started to move. "Master, Chan'er is wrong," she mumbled. "I shouldn't have run off on my own. Please... Please don't punish me..."

    "What the f*ck!"

    "Wh- what the heck is going on?"

    That nuclear detonation in his mind just now must've really done its job, because Li Yundong's mind was now completely blank. It was like everything in his mind had been wiped out. There he sat, petrified, unable to move a single muscle. It was like he had just been turned into a lifeless stone gargoyle. Was it raining? No? It sure as hell felt like it was, considering how hard he was sweating.

    "How the hell did I end up with a girl so pretty sleeping beside me?"

    Li Yundong wracked his brain and tried to remember the things that had happened before he conked out. He remembered his failed confession to a beautiful girl from university. After that, he went to a roadside stall and got himself piss drunk. Other than those few things, he remembered nothing. Thanks a lot, alcohol.

    Heck, he couldn't even remember how he got home!

    "So, what, did this pretty chick carry my drunken ass home? Is that what happened?"  

    Once again, Li Yundong found his gaze drifting towards the girl beside him; he couldn't help himself.

    The girl was wearing a long, traditional Chinese-styled dress. "What's it made of? Silk?" Li Yundong thought. Upon a closer look, he thought it looked a lot like satin too. Not that it mattered, since the fabric couldn't hold a candle to the smooth, snowy white skin under it. Because of her shrimp-like posture, Li Yundong was unable to guess her body height. Not that he needed to know her height to figure out just how well-endowed this girl was. The softness under his palm said it all.

    "When did I ever get so lucky with women?" Li Yundong's mind was in turmoil. His male instincts prevented him from yanking his hand away from her body. In fact, it was telling him to explore other parts of her. He jumped at the sudden ringing of his phone, then retracted his hand guiltily.

    When Li Yundong answered his phone, he nearly had his ear blasted off his head by a voice. "Li Yundong! Do you know that you've already skipped class three days in a row! Do you still want your credits for this semester? Do you still want to graduate?"

    Li Yundong spent the next few moments in a daze. "C-class rep?"

    The voice on the phone suddenly went up several decibels. "You don't say! Who else could I be!"

    Li Yundong couldn't seem to find his way out of the fog inside his head. "Did I get drunk and sleep for three days straight?"

    He chuckled awkwardly. "Um, class rep, what's today's date?" he asked tentatively.

    "It's the 23rd of May, you moron! Did you hit your head or something?" The voice in the phone sounded calmer this time, but Li Yundong wasn't fooled. It was the calm before the storm, and another storm was brewing.

    Li Yundong glanced at the clock on the wall beside the TV. He learned, much to his surprise, that he had, in fact, slept for three days straight!

    "Alright, alright, I'll come to uni right away!" he shouted before hanging up.

    He scrambled into the bathroom and hurried through his morning routine. Then, he quickly took off his shirt, which reeked of alcohol. After that, he put on a blue T-shirt and rushed out the door.

    Endless streams of thoughts coursed through Li Yundong's mind as he rushed to the university: "Who's that chick in my house? How did she end up in my house? Did I somehow get laid without knowing it? Oh, sh*t, I hope the cops don't come to arrest me for rape later."

    Some time after Li Yundong had left the apartment, the slumbering little fox rolled to her side. A moment later, her eyes shot open.

    She blinked and realized, much to her horror, that the room was empty!

    All the color drained from her beautiful face. "Don't tell me he's made a run for it?"

    Her palms and feet went ice-cold when this thought crossed her mind. All that planning would've been for naught if he escaped from her!

    She reached down and ran her palm over the carpet. "Still warm," she thought, "which means he hasn't been gone for too long." She calmed down a little at the thought. Then, her nose twitched a few times. "His scent still remains in the air!"

    The little fox rose to her feet and began following Li Yundong's scent.

  • Chapter 3 "Hair-Raising" Anger

     

    It was 8:30 AM by the time Li Yundong arrived at the campus. Upon entering the compound, he made a beeline towards the main academic building, but he had barely taken a few steps when he noticed a bespectacled girl wearing thick, black-rimmed glasses standing near the building. She was hugging a stack of books to her chest and glancing around frantically. One would think that she was expecting someone to suddenly jump out and steal her precious books.

    Well, it turned out that he had been right before about another storm brewing; the girl stormed towards him the moment she saw him. "Li Yundong!" she snarled. "Do you have any idea what you've done! While you were AWOL for three days, someone from the State Education Commission came to our class and conducted an inspection! And you! You and your self-imposed sabbatical cost our class valuable honor points!"

    The girl went on and on at him like a machine gun, which wasn't that far from the truth since he felt as if his ear was about to be blasted off at the moment. With every cadence of her voice, Li Yundong found himself wincing. "Class honor points? What does she think this is? High school?"

    Words kept pouring out of the girl's mouth and as her passion escalated, so did Li Yundong's urge to roll his eyes. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Sun Li, the Einstein of Tiannan University's Department of Chinese Language and Literature. And no, he wasn't really kidding about the Einstein part. At the end of her first year, this egghead actually received the country's top scholarship. By then, she was already famous enough to shake hands with the mayor. Yeah, she was just that good.

    Li Yundong did hear some vague rumors in the past about Sun Li. Apparently, she was consistently in the top three students from Tiannan City throughout her high school years, but then she "flunked" her National College Entrance Examination, only receiving second-tier marks.

    It actually shouldn't have mattered since there was a first-tier university that was willing to make an exception and admit her into their program. But she balked at the offer, claiming adamantly that she wouldn't accept handouts. Then, with all the spunk and resolve she could muster, she graced the halls of Tiannan University with her presence.

    Sun Li was one helluva tough girl. She was bold, fearless even. She was the type of girl with actual backbone and, in a non-anatomical sense, cojones. She was the classic "chili pepper" or "jalapeno" type of girl with a fiery personality; bite her, and your mouth would be on fire before you could even say the word "hot." Her face was round above her cheekbones, though it tapered gradually along her jawline, like an egg or a melon seed. Her features were flawless. Then again, if there was a single flaw in her appearance, it would be those godawful glasses that she wore all day long. Those Bibi Zhou glasses didn't suit her at all. And, if that wasn't bad enough, she wore a headband which looked so out of fashion and démodé that one would think she had time-traveled from the past.

    Li Yundong suddenly began to wonder what this girl would look like the moment she removed the glasses and headband.

    "Well. No matter what she looks like, she still wouldn't be as pretty as that girl I saw at home this morning, that's for sure."  

    The moment Li Yundong thought of that mysterious girl at his home, it was like some kind of valve had opened in his mind, allowing endless streams of thoughts to gush into his head:"Who on earth is that girl? How the heck did she end up in the apartment. Wait a minute... Sh*t! I just left her alone at home without any supervision! She wouldn't steal anything, right?"

    "Err... Nah. Such a beautiful doll can't possibly be capable of theft... right?"

    "Argh! Screw it! If a pretty girl like that steals from me, then I- I'll just suck it up and embrace my sh*tty luck!"

    From there, Li Yundong's mind began wandering off towards the other end of the universe: "Who is she? What's her background? Did I lose my V-card to her when I was drunk? God, I sure hope not. Or do I?" Imagine a pot of boiling porridge. That's what Li Yundong's mind was like at this moment, muddled and messy.

    Sun Li had been giving Li Yundong a roasting for quite a while now. At one point, she noticed Li Yundong spacing out right in front of her. "Has he been listening to anything I said?" Just like that, Sun Li's anger was taken up a notch. She removed one book from her stack of books and shouted, "Hey!" as she slammed the book against Li Yundong's chest.

    Well, she really shouldn't have done that. Enhanced by the Jindan's curative power, the Qi inside Li Yundong's body was like an automatic defense mechanism, which was activated at the exact moment the book hit. That kind of Qi could generate a force capable of propelling a human-sized object like the little fox/girl a meter away, let alone a book.

    Smack! It was instantaneous retaliation, and the book never stood a chance; it spun in the air like a shuriken and fell to the ground. Poor Sun Li didn't fare much better either. She had been holding on to the book when it struck Li Yundong, so some of the Qi's propulsion force was transferred to her body as well. "Ah!" Sun Li's body lurched backwards slightly while the rest of her books fell out of her hands and tumbled to the ground.

    Sun Li immediately crouched down and began to gather her fallen books. She didn't even bother to curse at Li Yundong. That alone proved just where her priorities lay.

    When the books fell, Li Yundong had chalked it up to Sun Li's own clumsiness. Not that anyone could blame him for having such an assumption. He was, after all, unaware of his own bodily changes. Watching Sun Li on the ground, scrambling to pick up her books, Li Yundong sneered inwardly. "What is it that they always say? Karma's a b*tch? I wonder who'd even want to marry her with that kind of bitchy attitude."  

    Despite the nasty thoughts coursing through his mind, Li Yundong kneeled down to help Sun Li with the fallen books.

    Li Yundong grabbed two Psychology textbooks before rising to his feet, then handed the books to Sun Li.

    Sun Li, of course, had her own ideas about what happened just now. She thought Li Yundong had deliberately pushed back against her book, so she glared at him and said, "Why are you such an asshole?"

    Something inside Li Yundong snapped. "What? How am I an asshole? Would I have helped you pick up your books if I was an asshole? Yeah, that's right. No! I wouldn't have! Oh, and you want to know what an asshole would've done? Huh? Want me to tell you what I would've done if I was an asshole? I'll tell you! I would've stomped all over your books, that's what!"

    Sun Li's brows rose to her hairline. "F*ck you and your ancestor's tablet! I dare you to try it!" Wow, even her native accent was coming out now. (T/N: It is common in the Sichuan dialect to mention the coffin/tablet of someone's ancestors as a form of insult)

    Li Yundong's eyes flared in anger and a stifling tightness tugged at his chest. He glared at Sun Li, huffing and panting as the redness on his face spread all the way down to his neck.

    Sun Li noted the state of Li Yundong's eyes, which were red with threads of blood vessels that looked like they could burst any second. She'd be lying if she said that Li Yundong didn't look intimidating right now. Still, she tightened her neck muscles and met Li Yundong's gaze with firm defiance.

    Some time in the middle of their staring contest, a voice sounded beside them. "Yo, look who's here? If it isn't the King of Love Confessions."

    Li Yundong's head snapped to the side and he saw two women standing there, looking back at him mockingly.

    The redness on Li Yundong's face turned several shades darker. One of the girls was Zhou Qin, a f*cking bombshell of a girl who was also the most beautiful girl in Tiannan University. Oh, and did he mention that she was the girl whom he had confessed to three days ago?

    With her willowy figure and her smooth alabaster skin, Zhou Qin's beauty was undoubtedly one in a million. The fabric of her pale yellow shirt flowed loosely around her body, billowing in the morning zephyr. "Fashionable" and "youthful" were the two words that best described her current appearance. Zhou Qin's eyes were bland and aloof as she studied Li Yundong, as though she hadn't just shoved a nice-guy speech down Li Yundong's throat three days ago. However, hidden within the depths of her eyes, amidst layer upon layer of aloofness and indifference, was an iota of disdain and contempt.

    The other girl, the one who taunted him just now, was Ding Nan.

    Li Yundong's lack of a comeback reduced Ding Nan to hoots of laughter. "Hey, are you deaf? I'm talking to you," Ding Nan said after her laughter had subsided. "You're now famous, you know? And guess what? That video of your confession has the highest click count on the university forums!"

    In an instant, a supernova of emotions exploded in Li Yundong's chest in the form of anger, humiliation, embarrassment, and shock. "What did you just say? Who recorded it!" Li Yundong screamed at Ding Nan.

    By the time his gaze landed on Zhou Qin, his eyes were already filled to the brim with rage. "I can't believe you would do something like that. So despicable."

    Zhou Qin remained unperturbed by the accusation, as evident from her unchanging expression. Her eyes scanned over Li Yundong's body from head to toe. She didn't even try to explain herself or deny the accusation. Perhaps this proved just how little she thought of him; it was as if the act of explaining herself to him was beneath her.

    "Hey, watch your tone," Ding Nan said. "You think you're so great? Fine, take it up with Young Master He then! He was the one who recorded the video. What are you going to do about it, huh?" Ding Nan snorted. "You have the balls to confess but not the balls to let your confession be seen? What a pathetic loser. You should take a good look at yourself in the mirror, loser. Who do you think you are anyway? Actually, no, don't answer that. I already know who you are. You're a stupid toad trying to have a taste of swan meat. Hah! Let me tell you something. With your looks? No girl would want you even if you pay them to be with you! So don't ever bother Zhou Qin again, you hear me?"

    Everyone has a temper. Even a monk who spent years meditating in a cave would get mad if sufficiently provoked let alone a normal guy like Li Yundong. The fact that Li Yundong's Qi had been enhanced to mind-blowing levels by the Renyuan Jindan was nothing but an accelerant to the flames of his anger.

    An overabundance of vitality tends to make a person quick-tempered. Needless to say, quick-tempered people are ticking time bombs who aren't above picking fights over inconsequential matters, so something as humiliating as what Li Yundong was currently experiencing would most certainly lead to a fight.

    He felt it first in his lower abdomen, then a ball of intense heat surged up to his chest a split second later. It was as if a firestorm was raging inside his ribcage, roiling and torching everything inside. Then, two things occurred in tandem: he heard a popping sound (like bubbles in a pot of boiling water) in his ear; he felt the opening of a gate of some kind inside his sternum, causing the firestorm in his chest to rise to the top his head!

    Qi gushed out from the top of his skull, causing the strands of his hair to stand erect as if they were being held up by some kind of invisible force.

    His eyes were opened so wide that his skin might actually tear across the bridge of his nose in a horizontal line, and the capillaries in his eyeballs bulged as blood pumped through them. The Qi inside his chest tumbled out of his mouth like a raging thunderstorm: "Say that again! I f*cking dare you!"

    No amount of Ding Nan's arrogance and Zhou Qin's composure could bear up against an outburst of such caliber; they were both girls after all. Especially since the Jindan's enhancements had taken Li Yundong's anger to a whole new level: eyes that were like lightning, seeming to be capable of bringing instantaneous death to anyone who looked upon them; a wild and feral demeanor that put a tiger to shame. Even a strong man would cower in fear in the face of such a menacing presence let alone two delicate girls.

    Terrified, both Ding Nan and Zhou Qin backed away from Li Yundong. Terror filled their eyes, though Zhou Qin's held an extra tinge of surprise. The surprise in her eyes, however, quickly changed into mortification and anger.

    Zhou Qin squeezed Ding Nan's palm furtively. Ding Nan's head turned to the side, then she gave Zhou Qin a look of understanding.

    Ding Nan started yelling at the top of her lungs. "Hey! What do you think you're doing! We're at school! Help! Help! Somebody help! Someone's trying to kill us!"

    Morning classes were about to start, and a lot of students were on the compound, making their way to their respective classes. Needless to day, Ding Nan's shout drew everyone's attention, so it only took an instant for a crowd to gather around the four of them.

    Emboldened by the crowd, Ding Nan laughed tauntingly, arms akimbo. "Come on then! Weren't you acting like a brute just now? Ooh, look at you, squeezing your fists, huh? You want to hit me, don't you? Come on! Hit me" — Ding Nan showed off one side of her face and poked her cheek with her finger — "right here! Hit me if you're a man! Hah! Just look at your pathetic face. I bet you'd get rejected even if you confessed your love to every woman in the world!"

    Driven by fury, Li Yundong took a large step forward and cocked his fist backwards.

    Ding Nan screamed, flinching in fear; she took a step back, dragging Zhou Qin with her.

    Like Zhou Qin, Ding Nan was a beautiful woman with legions of knights in shining armors at her command.

    It was just a matter of time before someone among the men who held torches for these two women stepped forward.

    "Hey! What do you think you're doing, you bum?" Wu Hui, a tall and muscular man, stood in front of Li Yundong. This champ wasn't just anybody; he was the department rep of Tiannan University's Department of Physical Education. The guy's face resembled Nicky Wu (T/N: Nicky Wu is a famous Taiwanese singer), so his fangirls gave him a nickname: Little Nicky.

    It just so happened that Wu Hui was one of Zhou Qin's relentless pursuers. Given such an opportunity to shine, why wouldn't he step up?

    However, as soon as Wu Hui stopped speaking, Li Yundong's hand shot out and seized his collar. Before he knew it, he had been lifted off the ground by a guy who was at least half a head shorter than him.

    "What am I doing? I'm f*cking you up is what I'm doing!" Li Yundong's wrath stunned every student in the compound. None of the bystanders could comprehend the terrifying amount of arm strength that Li Yundong must possess in order to lift a six-foot-tall guy off the ground.

    "Holy sh*t! Is he Schwarzenegger?" A guy gasped in fear.

    Wu Hui gasped for air, with his face turning purple as he squeezed out the words, "L- Let go!"

    Li Yundong's feral grin transformed his slightly chubby and gentle face into that of a blood-thirsty beast. "You want me to let go? Fine!"

    Li Yundong was moments away from flinging Wu Hui into the air when he suddenly heard a feminine voice that was laced with joy and surprise. "Oh, there you are!"

    That voice was as clear and distinct as a lark soaring across an empty valley. At the same time, it was sonorous and melodic, like the chime of a silver bell in the wind. No words could fully describe the true extent of the voice's beauty. It was like a spell, spurring the human instinct to respond to it and to wonder: "Who could be the owner of such a beautiful voice?"

    Li Yundong turned his head, and his eyes widened at what he saw. Almost instantly, his hair went limp and slowly sagged down from its upright position.

    "Isn't she the same girl I saw when I woke up just now?"

    The girl was dressed in a traditional Chinese-style red dress, like something out of a costume drama. Most women would look ugly in such a dress. But on this girl, it was like she was the beau idéal of traditional beauty, the description of which transcended the power of words; it was as though the work of a master painter had come to life.

    God must love melon seeds very much to create a face this beautiful based on their geometry. Every feature of that face was flawless. Those eyes, shaped like peach blossoms, were made to mesmerize. Her dark pupils were like twin black holes of tenderness and affection, sucking everything in with their irresistible pull. And when her red, water chestnut lips curved into a smile, a row of perfect white teeth was revealed. It was like some kind of sorcery, one that robbed the guys in the surrounding area of their ability to hold their saliva in their mouths.


  • Chapter 4 The Cooling Effect of Cucumbers

     

    Li Yundong stared stupidly at the girl, his anger dissipating at light speed. Without him even knowing it, his arms had gone slack, so Wu Hui's body slid back down to the ground as a result. "You, you..."

    Li Yundong had never expected this girl to chase him all the way here. It was like his mind suddenly had a mind of its own, bombarding him with countless thoughts. "What is she doing here? Did something really happen between us when I was drunk and now she's here to castrate me? Or is it because... I... I... Argh. F*cking hell. What am I supposed to do now?"

    The little fox had followed Li Yundong's scent all the way here and voila! Here he was, the walking "Renyuan Jindan," right in front of her very eyes. The little fox could barely contain her joy, but wariness quickly took over.

    "No, I shouldn't get ahead of myself!" she chastised herself inwardly. If she let her guard down and the guy smelled something fishy, then she would be in big, big trouble.

    The little fox recalled something that her master had told her back in the mountains: "If you don't want him to start asking questions about your past, you only need to do one thing. And it works every time!"

    Behold, the secret art of manipulation: acting pitiful!

    The little fox tamped down the urge to sprint over and grab Li Yundong. Instead, she put on a sulky expression and moved towards him in a slow trot. When she finally stopped in front of Li Yundong, she glanced up at him with huge, sparkling, puppy dog eyes, eyes that could melt the hearts of even the toughest men into a pile of goo.

    Wu Hui could barely take his eyes off the girl in front of him. "How! How could such a beautiful girl exist!"

    Indeed, the little fox's beauty was men's undoing. For millenia, it was unheard of for a mortal to be able to resist the lure of a fox spirit.

    One only has to look at history to verify that statement: King Jie of the Xia dynasty, King Zhou of the Shang dynasty, King You of the Zhou dynasty. Which one of them didn't fall to the feminine wiles of a fox spirit? King Jie fell to Mo Xi; King Zhou, along with the Shang dynasty, crumbled at the feet of Daji; King You met his end because of Bao Si.

    If kings and emperors of antiquity couldn't resist fox spirits, who else could? A lowly university student?

    Wu Hui had gotten his ass kicked a moment ago. Not that it was on the top of his "things to give a shit about" list since his current priority seemed to be "acting like a hero to impress this knockout of a girl." Blushing, Wu Hui raised his voice and said, "Hey, pretty girl. Listen to me, you need to stay away from him. He isn't a good guy. Just now he tried to-"

    "F*ck off!" Li Yundong said, pressing down hard on Wu Hui's head, causing the poor guy to fall flat on his butt.

    All the students in the area were currently watching both Li Yundong and the little fox with interest. Those who were in groups were even whispering to each other with their heads close together, no doubt speculating about the nature of the relationship between Li Yundong and the little fox.

    "The way I see it? This Li Yundong guy must've done something awful to that pretty girl!"

    "I'm with you, brah! Just look at that guilty look on his face!"

    "Bullsh*t! Are you guys f*cking blind? Man, look at the girl! She's so pretty that even Fan Bingbing would look like crap if you put them next to each other! You think she'd fall for a bum like Li Yundong?"

    "F*ck you! You're the one who's blind! Didn't you hear what I just said? I said Li Yundong must've done something awful to the gal. When did I ever say that she has a thing for Li Yundong?"

    "What the hell? What does being blind have to do with whether I heard you correctly? There isn't even a logical connection!"

    "Yeah, yeah, whatever. Just shut up and enjoy the show."

    Every single speculation made by the students who were watching the scene had a common theme: this pretty girl was here to settle a score with Li Yundong because Li Yundong must have done something terrible to her.

    Some of the guys there immediately felt their sense of justice swelling up like a balloon when they saw the little fox's pitiful expression. "If it turns out that Li Yundong really did violate her somehow, I'm going to beat him up later!"

    However, what ensued a moment later had all these people scrambling to pick up their eyeballs from the ground.

    The little fox pinched the sleeve of Li Yundong's shirt between her fingers before tugging it from side to side. "Why did you leave just like that?" she mumbled with her head low.

    Li Yundong's premonitions flew out of the window the moment he heard her. His mind short-circuited, like he was experiencing some kind of cognitive "Blue Screen of Death." He could barely react to her question. A confused "huh?!" was all he could come up with.

    The little fox raised her head and gave him a pity-arousing look. "Do you not want me anymore?"

    Not everyone in the crowd had caught the little fox's first statement, but the second statement was loud and clear!

    "Am I seeing things? She's the one pursuing him?! What in the actual f*ck?!"

    A hullabaloo broke out among the crowd.

    It was like the guys there had instantly transformed into a bunch of mules in a rut. With the way they were glaring at Li Yundong with their red eyes, it was a wonder that they hadn't started leaking testosterone through the pores of their skin. They were all biding their time, waiting for four magical words to come out of Li Yundong's mouth: "I don't want you." And, if Li Yundong uttered those four words, they would finally let their bubbling testosterone go rampant: "Me! Me! Here I am! Look at me! I want you, pretty girl!"

    Li Yundong thought the doctors might've been lying about the brain being a solid object, because the one inside his skull definitely felt like goo at this moment. Heck, his IQ points might've already dropped to a negative value for all he knew. As Li Yundong stared at her, he tried to speak, to say something, to say anything, but his lips just wouldn't move.

    The little fox's eyes began to turn misty, and the surface of her eyes rippled as tears welled up inside them. It was this sight, the sight of her almost in tears, that finally brought Li Yundong out of his stupor. "Hey, hey, it's alright. Don't cry, okay? We can talk about this back at home!"

    Ding Nan's eyes went wide in disbelief. She walked up to the little fox. "Hey, don't you know that this guy is-"

    "F*ck off!" Ding Nan suffered the same fate as Wu Hui, but this time, courtesy of the little fox as she mimicked the exact same move Li Yundong had used against Wu Hui just now.

    Ding Nan fell flat on her ass. Although she wasn't as pretty as Zhou Qin, she was still one of the most beautiful girls in her department, so something as mortifying as this was not something that she could just shrug off.

    Ding Nan sat on the ground, completely dazed. She stared at the little fox and Li Yundong with a blank look on her face, as if her mind couldn't process the events which had led up to this point.

    Sun Li, on the other hand, seemed so much calmer. "Say, are you guys filming one of those Chiung Yao's dramas? If you are, please go somewhere else! This is a university, not a movie set!"

    Li Yundong smiled at Sun Li placatingly. Not that he had any other choice. Like it or not, she was still the class rep. Even if she wasn't part of the university's higher-ups, her authority shouldn't be taken lightly.

    For one, his total credits for this semester was in her hands. The thing about being a class rep was that it would put you right in the middle of the authority spectrum. Saying that a class rep was powerful would be foolish, but so was saying that a class rep was completely without authority. A class rep was in charge of taking everyone's attendance every day, and attendance constituted a student's total credit points for that semester. If Sun Li decided to abuse her authority? Well, this entire semester would've gone to waste.

    Li Yundong was at a complete loss as to the most appropriate way to interact with the little fox. Like it or not, he was still a man, so when a beautiful girl threw herself at him, he'd be lying if he said that it didn't make him feel good. He cleared his throat, then said, "Wait for me back at home, okay? We'll talk once I get home."

    After saying that, he began walking towards the campus building nonchalantly, as if he was some kind of eunuch who was completely immune to any form of feminine wiles.

    However, when he arrived at the lecture hall and took his seat, a feminine fragrance assaulted his nose. It turned out that the little fox had followed Li Yundong all the way into the lecture hall. When Li Yundong took a seat, she plopped down beside him.

    When Li Yundong was walking away from the "movie set" (according to Sun Li) just now, he secretly wished for the girl to follow him into the building despite his outward aloofness. Now, seeing that his wish had come true, his heart was filled with joy and surprise. "Why did you follow me in here?"

    The little fox took Li Yundong's words as a dismissal; tears pattered against the back of her hand like a mini shower. "Don't send me away..."

    Li Yundong's heart melted right then and there. "Hey now, nobody's sending you away, okay?"

    The little fox raised her head. When she looked at Li Yundong, her eyes were filled with fear, anticipation, and wariness. "For real?"

    "Of course!" Li Yundong said, nodding repeatedly like one of those bobbleheads that people put in their cars.

    The little fox's eyes curved into two crescent shapes as she beamed at him. "Oh, Chan'er is so happy!"

    Li Yundong was piqued. "Chan'er?" he asked.

    The little fox's grin grew wider if that was even possible. She tapped her index finger on the tip of her nose. "Yes, Chan'er," she said. "My master gave me that name."

    "Your master?"

    Something tightened inside Su Chan's chest, though she feigned an innocent and naive look. "Mmhm!"

    Much to her relief, Li Yundong let the matter drop. Instead, he smiled at Su Chan and said, "I'm Li Yundong."

    The students (eavesdroppers) who were sitting near Li Yundong and Su Chan ground their teeth in anger and incredulity. "Weren't these two acting like they couldn't live without each other just now? And now, what? Apparently they didn't even know each other's names! I can't believe this sh*t!"

    Some students couldn't even describe the sadness and anger they were feeling. "How on God's green earth could a girl of such peerless beauty fall for the most pathetic and inept guy in our university? The King of Love Confessions of all people! Seriously! What does he have that I don't? I'm better looking than him, sexier than him, more talented than him. Hell, my dad's wallet is bigger than the douche's f*cking potbelly! And yet this girl is head over heels for the guy? Have the laws of physics finally broken down? Does nothing in this universe makes sense anymore?"

    The first step of Su Chan's plan was finally complete. "Worm my way into his life and then find a way to stay by his side. Check."

    Now it was time for the second step: Capturing his heart!

    "What was it again that master told me last time?" Su Chan thought. "The first step to capturing a man's heart is submission! I must obey, no matter what he says!"  

    "But how can I be obedient? He... He hasn't even made any demands!"

    The solution came to her quickly. "Ugh, I can't believe I'm so dumb. Can't I just ask him what he wants?"

    A fawning smile adorned Su Chan's beautiful face. "Yundong, are you cold?"

    "Yundong?" His bones might have just melted a little when he heard Su Chan utter of his name. He looked at Su Chan strangely.

    Su Chan held Li Yundong's gaze timidly. "Do you dislike the way I just called you?"

    Li Yundong's eyes scanned across the lecture hall, noting the testosterone-filled looks of jealousy and disdain he was receiving. He ignored them and returned his gaze to Su Chan. "Hell no! I love it!"  Safe to say that his male ego had just received a good amount of stroking.

    The smile on Su Chan's face could light up a room. "Yundong, are you cold?"

    Li Yundong chuckled inwardly. "Tiannan city is in the southern part of the country, and it's the end of May right now. But you're asking me if I'm cold?"  

    "No, I'm not cold," he answered casually.

    Apparently, the guy sitting behind Li Yundong disagreed. The guy shuddered, deciding that Su Chan's bone-melting voice was his undoing. "Yeah? It sure feels like a f*cking blizzard in here with all the chills you two are giving me," he muttered under his breath.

    Su Chan ignored Mr. Sour Grapes' quip. Her original plan was to cuddle up to Li Yundong if he said he was cold. "But he said he isn't cold... Hmm..." Su Chan's eyes gleamed. "Then, do you feel hot?"

    Laughing and crying at the same time was, Li Yundong decided, absent from a human being's emotional repertoire. Hello? Didn't she see the frigging air conditioner in the room? "Nope. I don't feel hot either," Li Yundong said.

    Su Chan nearly pouted when she heard Li Yundong's response. "Ugh! Impossible man! You're not cold, but you're not hot either. What the heck is it that you want?"

    Then again, Su Chan's personality was nothing if not persistent. She was like a peach: soft and pretty on the outside, but tough as hell on the inside. She wouldn't have been able to steal the Renyuan Jindan if she wasn't. "Then... are you hungry?" she asked again.

    As if on cue, Li Yundong's stomach growled. His bones and tissues had been transformed and remolded by the Renyuan Jindan, a process which took three whole days to complete. Unless the Jindan possessed some kind of mysterious nourishing power, his stomach would naturally be empty by the end of the process, but he didn't realize his hunger until just now because his mind was too occupied. Su Chan's question was like a signal for his stomach to start protesting.

    Li Yundong didn't see any point in denying the fact that he was starving. Not that he could; the sounds of the God of Thunder wreaking havoc inside his stomach gave it all away. Li Yundong nodded and said, "I'm famished!"

    Su Chan's face lit up in joy. "Then, shall I bring you some food? Is that okay?"

    Li Yundong's smile betrayed his gratitude, but he felt really unaccustomed to having a beautiful girl care for him like this, so he shifted uncomfortably in his seat as he replied, "Um, okay then."

    "Finally! A chance to show just how caring and attentive I can be!" Su Chan thought, sprinting out of the room in a cloud of smoke.

    Li Yundong stared after her sprinting form. "Hey! I haven't given you any money yet!" he yelled.

    Su Chan charged out of the lecture hall and careened down hallways, turning heads everywhere she passed. By the time she left the campus, a cloud of dust wasn't the only thing lying in her wake; the infatuated sighs and starry eyes that she left behind were pretty damn real too.

    Outside the campus, Su Chan stopped short, glancing to her left, then to her right. "Where am I supposed to go to buy food?"

    Of course, this problem was obviously not a match for her tenacity. Suddenly, her nose wrinkled. She could detect the scent of meat in the air. "Let's see where this leads me to," she thought as she began following the scent to its source.

    Indeed, there was a marketplace beside Tiannan University. Following the scent in the air, Su Chan successfully found her way to it.

    Although Su Chan had never been to a marketplace in the mortal world, that didn't mean that she had never heard of them.

    She ran up to a butcher's stall, smiling as if she had just discovered a huge pot of Renyuan Jindans. A thought hit her when she was about to make a purchase: "Fish induces phelgm, and meat is hot in nature. I can't buy this!"  (T/N: Traditional Chinese medicine expounds the four natures of food; cold, cool, warm and hot. These "natures" are determined by the effect foods have on the human body)

    The Renyuan Jindan had enhanced the three treasures (Essence, Qi, and Blood) of Li Yundong's body to a level beyond the limits of any mortal being, so the added vitality of his Qi would generate an extreme amount of internal heat.

    Thus, the consumption of meat would only bring harm, since it is of a hot nature (T/N: Foods of the "hot" nature raise the body's temperature).

    Unfortunately, in her obsession to butter up Li Yundong, Su Chan forgot to consider things from a normal person's point of view.

    "Do mortals consume raw pork?"

    Thank God for the dialectical methods that Su Chan had picked up during her training in Cultivation. Because of that, she didn't end up buying several pounds of raw pork to bring to Li Yundong. If she did, the poor guy might end up dying from disbelief, if he didn't starve to death first.

    Having decided (wisely) not to buy raw pork, Su Chan left the butcher's stall and kept strolling through the market until she reached a vegetable stall. She paused in front of the stall and pondered her options. "If he can't eat foods that are hot in nature, then I should get him those of the opposite nature!"

    Carrots and bok choy!

    Su Chan walked up to the vegetable stall and took stock of all the vegetables on display. After a while, she held up a thick carrot with a relatively wide girth. Then, with the carrot in hand, Su Chan paused and thought. "Might as well get some bok choy too." After holding up a thick bunch of bok choy, another thought hit her. "But I can't stomach raw bok choy at all. This guy probably can't as well, right?"

    Su Chan abandoned the bok choy and went on to consider other options. She glanced to her left and then her right. Finally, she held up a long and thick cucumber, deciding that she had found the perfect choice. Filled with glee, Su Chan inwardly recited a lengthy statement that she had read a long time ago in a textbook of nutritional therapy: "Cucumbers are cold in nature, sweet in taste, stimulate the salivary glands, alleviate thirst, have a calming effect, and can reduce body heat!"

    "It can fill his stomach and balance out the excess heat in his body! It can even be eaten raw!"

    "Hah! I'm a genius!"

    Su Chan never thought she was capable of feeling glee and satisfaction in such epic proportions. If she was in her fox form right now, her tail would be wagging so hard that she might actually start elevating.

    The owner of the vegetable stall was middle-aged lady with enough muscles that she looked like she could snap a person's bone in half with her bare hands. In fact, she might do just that considering the way she was glaring at Su Chan. "Boy, would you look at her. How could anyone be so pretty! And so foxy! If that man ever saw her, she'd be completely ravished."

    It didn't escape the stall owner's notice that all the men in the area were now staring at Su Chan with hungry looks on their faces and drool all over their mouths, like they were a bunch of starving cats who had just caught a whiff of fish. It was a miracle that they hadn't already pounced on Su Chan and swallowed her whole.

    "Hmph! What a slut!"

    At this moment, the stall owner turned her head and noticed, much to her chagrin, that her own husband was among the men drooling over Su Chan.

    Rage took over. Her hand shot out and she twisted her husband's ear. "Want me to bring her to the house so you can take a closer look, hm?"

    This man was obviously henpecked. A placating smile formed on his face immediately after he was caught ogling Su Chan by his wife. He dared not stare at Su Chan openly again after that. But that didn't mean he wouldn't sneak furtive glances here and there...

    The vegetable stall lady began muttering under her breath, exhausting her entire swearing lexicon. She saw Su Chan picking up a carrot, then reaching for a cucumber. For some reason, she could do nothing except watch. Deep down, she felt a twinge of annoyance, like something was bothering her. "Something's wrong here, but I don't know what it is," she thought as her eyes followed Su Chan's gradually diminishing figure. Apparently, Su Chan's beauty had affected her too.

    Then, the penny finally dropped, but only after Su Chan was already too far away from her stall. She slapped her thigh. "That little sl*ut! Goddamn vixen! She never paid!"

    Li Yundong's mind was currently filled with images of Su Chan's facial expressions, every single one of them, from sadness to joy. Judging from the loopy and dreamy look on his face as he sat there staring off into space, it was pretty obvious that Su Chan had stolen his soul.

    However, a poke on his back snapped him back to reality. "Huh? What?"

    "Would you care to repeat the things I said just now, Mr. Li Yundong?" The voice came from the podium in front, where the professor stood with a dark scowl.

    Deciding to just bite the bullet, Li Yundong stood up walked to the front of the lecture hall, continuing until he reached the podium. Then, he took his position at the podium and willed the words to come out. Words? Hah. Could he even form a sentence when his entire vocabulary was suddenly reduced to "girl", "pretty", "scarlet dress"? Served him right for spacing out. Now he couldn't come up with a single thing to say.

    The professor for the History of Ancient Chinese Literature course was a balding middle-aged man. Li Yundong's inability to repeat the contents of his lecture earlier was the final straw. Then, in what appeared to be an impressive mimicry of Old Master Q, the professor started reprimanding Li Yundong harshly. The professor's words (and the shame it brought) were like tiny bullets blasting into Li Yundong's ears but never actually making it out, which made Li Yundong's head heavier and heavier with each word. At one point, it got so heavy that Li Yundong actually found it a bit difficult to raise his head.

    The professor ended his diatribe and was prepared to order Li Yundong back to his seat, but Su Chan entered the lecture hall before he could do that.

    From his position at the podium, Li Yundong saw Su Chan glancing around the room for a bit. Her eyes brightened the moment she saw him, but a bad feeling formed at the pit of his stomach when he saw Su Chan bounding towards the podium. "Oh, sh*t..."

    Before Li Yundong could say anything, he saw Su Chan thrusting her left arm into the air gleefully, like she was showing off the fruits of her efforts and was asking him to reward her. Then, her crisp and melodious voice rang out like a silver bell: "I bought you a carrot! Look! I even washed it! Hurry up, eat!" She shoved the carrot into Li Yundong's hand. Clearly, she wasn't taking no for answer.

    .

    A dark look formed on the professor's face. It was like he was sucking all the heat in the room into his heart and then using the heat to fuel the fire of his anger; the temperature of the room dropped instantly.

    Every student in the lecture hall stared stupidly at the scene, mouths agape.

    Sweat slid down Li Yundong's back, and the corner of his eye twitched repeatedly as he desperately tried to send signals to Su Chan with his eyes.

    Su Chan blinked a few times, then walked past Li Yundong and stopped short when she noticed the balding professor. She flashed a beguiling smile at him and extended a polite greeting before turning back to face Li Yundong. "Go on, dig in! Why aren't you eating? Don't you like carrots?"

    "Oh! That's okay! I've got something else for you!" Su Chan declared. What came out of her mouth next, however, was an earth-shattering and heaven-splitting statement that would undoubtedly go down in the annals of Tiannan University.

    "These days, you... um... you might be feeling a bit hot inside... So, I bought a cucumber to cool you down!"

    Su Chan proudly raised her right hand in the air. In her grasp was a long and thick… cucumber!

    "Pindrop silence" wouldn't even come close to describing the hush that fell over the lecture hall at this moment.

    Li Yungdong secretly wished he could cry a river and drown everyone in it so that he wouldn't have to look at the smug expressions on their faces.


  • Chapter 5 Robbing People in Broad Daylight?

     

    "Interesting" was the best word to describe the current look on Li Yundong's face. He couldn't face anyone right now; not the gobsmacked professor, and definitely not his classmates who looked like they were seconds away from losing their sh*t. So, he grabbed Su Chan's hand and hightailed it towards the exit.

    Su Chan couldn't seem to see through the fog surrounding the situation. "What's wrong?"

    Li Yundong had barely taken two steps out of the door before roars of laughter erupted from inside the lecture hall.

    Li Yundong's cheeks felt as if they were on fire. If only the sounds of laughter from the lecture hall could create a fissure on the floor in front of him, then he would jump right in and never come out again.

    "Argh, f*ck this sh*t," Li Yundong thought, stomping his foot. "I'm skipping this class. I'm not going to stand around and be everyone's laughing stock!"

    After thinking that, he ran out of the university with Su Chan in tow, completely ignoring the fact that he still had lectures to go to. Attendance and semester credits be damned.

    While dragging Su Chan along, Li Yundong sprinted all the way home, giving Usain Bolt a run for his Olympic medal. At this point, even Su Chan (no matter how clueless she was) had begun to notice that something was amiss. After they barged through the door of the apartment and stopped, Su Chan lowered her head and snuck a tentative glance at Li Yundong. "Did I say something wrong?" she asked timidly.

    The incredulity that Li Yundong was feeling at that moment was beyond any adjectives he could possibly think of. "What do you think?" he said exasperatedly.

    At that moment, Su Chan's face looked as if someone had just stolen another Renyuan Jindan from her. She pushed her lips out into a pout. "But I'm not wrong! Cucumbers do have a cooling effect!"

    Li Yundong snatched the cucumber from Su Chan's hand. "Cooling effect, my ass! How about I stab you to death with this cucumber!"

    Su Chan flinched at Li Yundong's outburst. She stole a quick glance at Li Yundong and then lowered her head back down. The soft pitter-patter of her tears filled the apartment. "Master was damn right about the people outside of the mountains. They're all so evil! Death and murder come out of their mouths so effortlessly! And this guy is the worst! Hmph! Just you wait. Once I get you past the Zhuji phase, I'll suck out everything until there's nothing left in you!"

    None of the rage she felt showed on her face, which had the you-can't-help-but-shower-me-with-love look. Sure enough, Li Yundong's heart softened the moment he saw that look.

    "Alright, alright, don't cry. You'll turn into a kitten if you keep crying like that!" It was such a cliche statement, and he knew it. But, he didn't know what else to say. He reached out to wipe her tears but stopped short when he saw the sheer perfection of her beauty. His hand hovered in mid-air as tremors shook his heart. Even when crying and looking pitiful, this girl was gorgeous.

    Sensing that Li Yundong's anger had dissipated, Su Chan raised her head boldly. "You're not mad at me anymore?"

    The corners of Li Yundong's lips twitched as he forced himself to smile. "No, I'm not mad."

    "Where did this chick even come from? How can anyone be so innocent?"  

    "Nobody could come across a girl like this nowadays. I bet I could even make millions if I sell her to the museum. She's like a frigging long-lost national treasure!"

    "From the way she talks... I'm guessing she's from the mountains? A country lady?"

    "Tsk, tsk, tsk. Dayum. Which village in the country could produce such a fine-looking lady? Like seriously, did they use aphrodisiac as soap or something?"

    Li Yundong's thoughts went rampant inside his head.

    However, no matter where his thoughts ran off to, they always returned to one thing, which he quickly decided was a major pain in his ass.

    A long huff of frustration escaped his lips, then he reached up, grabbed two fistfuls of his hair, and began pacing back and forth in his living room. "Argh. I'm screwed. How the hell am I supposed to attend class tomorrow? Those f*ckers are going laugh at me."

    Su Chan's head shot up. After which, Her nose scrunched up, giving her appearance a menacing quality. "Who's going to laugh at you? I'll" — Su Chan swung her fist — "beat them up!"

    Li Yundong gave Su Chan's figure a quick once-over. Well, she was rather tall, he would give her that. Then again, height wouldn't do shit in a fight for anyone with her type of build: slender limbs, a narrow waist, and (of course he'd notice) a round bubble-butt. Heck, she could go a few rounds with a chicken and still come out on the losing end.

    He guffawed. "You?"

    Su Chan bristled. "And what is that supposed to mean?" She was a frigging three-tailed fox spirit, for goodness' sake. Her powers were on par with the Shentong phase of Cultivation. Technically, the Shentong phase itself was divided into nine stages, and currently she was at the fifth stage of the Shentong phase, Jufa. To be fair her powers were no match for those master Cultivators who were currently lying low in the mortal world. But against a normal human, she'd be like a God.

    "Are you belittling me?" Su Chan snarled.

    "Okay. Now she's mad," Li Yundong thought, stifling his laughter. He cleared his throat and said, "Of course not. Do you know how scary you are? You just caused everyone in my class, including the professor, to lose their shit. And all you needed was a cucumber. That's how scary you are. Only a fool would cross you."

    Mortified, Su Chan snatched the cucumber back from Li Yundong and began stabbing him with it. "I'll kill you!" The cucumber drew first blood on Li Yundong. "Say that again!" Double kill. "Say it!" Triple kill.

    Li Yundong turned his head around and ran, leaving peals of laughter in his wake. Su Chan chased after him relentlessly as if the word "quit" didn't even exist in her vocabulary. More laughter filled the apartment, punctuated by the fiery statement "I'll kill you" and the occasional sounds of cucumber meeting flesh. Li Yundong ran into the bedroom and crouched down beside the footboard of the bed. He raised his hands above his head and waved as though he was holding two white flags in them. "Mercy, your Highness! Mercy! Your humble servant has learned his lesson."

    Biting her lip, Su Chan launched another cucumber attack. Snap!

    In a feat that would make the Flash proud, Li Yundong grabbed the broken section of the cucumber that was falling from her hand before it hit the floor. Then, an evil grin formed on Li Yundong's face. "Hehehe. See that? It broke. Now it's my turn!"

    Su Chan was cucumber-stabbed twice in her waist, which also happened to be the most ticklish spot on her body. She giggled and then began retaliating with her own cucumber. "You dare fight back? Is that how you want to play it? Oh, you're on!"

    Su Chan was playful by nature, so the moment she started this 'play fight' with Li Yundong, she couldn't stop. Her playfulness was like a bowling ball rolling on a frictionless plane; it would never stop unless acted upon by an external force. Then again, having a cucumber pressed up against the soft mound of her chest definitely fit into the external force category. "Ah!" Su Chan recoiled, staring at Li Yundong wordlessly with her arms wrapped around her chest.

    Having realized his mistake, Li Yundong smiled at her sheepishly. "What are you even supposed to say after you accidentally touch a beautiful woman's boob with a f*cking cucumber of all things?" Hell if he knew. Li Yundong's smile subsided and, for a moment, they both just stared at each other.

    Hints of regret begun to take form in the darkest recesses of Li Yundong's heart. Getting all handsy with her was reckless to say the least. What if this drop-dead gorgeous girl ran off because she got scared? "Shit."

    Meanwhile, Su Chan was having her own internal turmoil. "What's with this vague feeling of happiness I felt when I was chasing him around just now? And why don't I hate him as much when I look at him now?"

    "Uh-oh. This is bad. I've let my guard down. This guy consumed the Renyuan Jindan, which means that his Yang Qi is at its strongest right now. What if it gets drawn out by my Yin Qi and he gets all horny? My plans would be ruined if he tries to have sex with me before he reaches the Zhuji phase..."

    .

    "No. It's best if I keep him at arm's length until he's made some progress in his training."

    At that thought, the smile on Su Chan's face slowly faded. A brief moment passed as she pondered her next move. Then, she lowered the broken cucumber and said, "I... Um, it's true that I have nowhere else to go... Even so, you shouldn't bully me like this..."

    Those words tugged at Li Yundong's heartstrings until they literally unraveled. Warmth filled his eyes and his gaze softened, then he stood up and cleared his throat. "Are you hungry?"

    As if on cue, Su Chan's stomach growled.

    Su Chan blushed and nodded. "Of course I'm hungry, you dunce! I just spent three days watching over you without eating and drinking anything! I even brought food for you, but you didn't even appreciate my efforts! Ugh! This ingrate drives me mad!"

    "So you're hungry, huh?" Li Yundong smiled. "Good. Because I'm pretty famished myself. I'll whip something up for us."

    Su Chan looked at Li Yundong as if he'd suddenly grown ten heads. "You can cook?"

    It was true that Li Yundong had adopted a lackadaisical attitude ever since his parents' divorce. But, even a lazy and aimless person had to eat in order to survive, so Li Yundong's culinary skills had been forged out of necessity. At this moment, Li Yundong rolled up his sleeves while looking smug and complacent. "Hah! Let me show you what I've got."

    He quickly left the bedroom and headed to the kitchen. However, his eyes nearly popped out of their sockets when he arrived at the kitchen and opened the fridge.

    He had never seen anything so messy in his life. It was as if a mini cyclone had wreaked havoc inside. There was literally nothing edible left. Even the jar of fermented tofu had been emptied.

    "Did someone break into my place?!"

    When Su Chan walked in and saw the gobsmacked look on Li Yundong's face, she was instantly reminded of the feast she'd had a few days ago. Heat rose to her cheeks as her beautiful features morphed into a sheepish look. Then, she inched closer to Li Yundong until she finally reached his side. When she finally spoke, her voice was so soft that even a mosquito would sound loud in comparison: "It- it was me. I ate everything..."

    Li Yundong pulled in a deep breath. "Did you f*cking starve to death in your past life? Two New Orleans style roast chickens, three bottles of coconut milk, a bag of cupcakes, four loaves of bread, three boxes of pudding, and half a watermelon. F*ck, even the fermented tofu. You finished all that, and you're still alive? What the hell is your stomach made of? Super durable condoms?"

    However, Li Yundong suppressed his anger when he saw Su Chan looking back at him with those pitiful, puppy dog eyes. "Oh, what the hell," Li Yundong thought with a sigh. "Not even the best chef can produce anything without ingredients. Time to do some grocery shopping!"

    Sensing that Li Yundong was letting her off the hook, Su Chan nodded and followed him like an obedient puppy.

    Li Yundong suddenly turned around and looked at her strangely. "You're not going to wait for me at home?"

    Su Chan's hand grasped Li Yundong's sleeve almost as soon as she heard his question. Her head shook vigorously and, with her two braids swinging wildly around her face, she looked just like one of those Chinese pellet drums being spun. Then again, pellet drums wouldn't give Li Yundong a "don't abandon me" look. Nor would they speak to him in a tone so pitiful that it sounded like he had abused her or something: "I'm going with you."

    Li Yundong smiled at her, then said, "Fine. But please don't go out looking like that. People would think that I abused you or something."

    Su Chan instantly felt reassured, so she raised her head and smiled sweetly.

    The pair left the apartment and walked for seven or eight minutes before arriving at the market.

    The moment they entered the market, Li Yundong saw the vegetable stall lady storming towards him, looking like she wanted to strangle him with her bare hands.

    The woman started shouting at them even from afar. "You little slut! How dare you show your face here with this pretty boy after stealing from me!"

    Li Yundong frowned at the woman's bitchy attitude. Then, he schooled his features into a neutral expression and shielded Su Chan behind his body. "What's the problem? Can't you speak nicely?"

    The woman jabbed a finger at Su Chan. "She took some vegetables from my stall earlier, but she never paid! This little slut is already doing bad things at such a young age. Imagine what she'll become in the future! A good-for-nothing bitch!"

    Li Yundong felt a surge of anger inside his chest. He glared at the woman. "How much did the vegetables cost? I'll pay."

    Although Li Yundong looked like an Average Joe, his eyes were intense and terrifyingly sharp. The stall owner trembled slightly, feeling as if Li Yundong's gaze had pierced through her heart like two daggers. Because of that, she quickly averted her gaze.

    At first, the woman planned to settle things amiably. After all, only those with an amiable and forgiving temperament could succeed in business. However, that plan flew out of the window the moment she saw Su Chan, who was hiding behind Li Yundong like a hurt puppy. As for the men's incessant ogling and drooling? Well, that was the final straw for her.

    She remembered how her own husband had cheated on her when she was pregnant with his child. The bastard had fallen prey to the feminine wiles of a temptress. If it hadn't been for the child in her stomach back then, she would've divorced him immediately.

    Although it had happened a long time ago, that didn't mean that she had gotten over it. Even now, the sight of any beautiful woman would still incite feelings of resentment and bitterness inside her.

    A scheme formed inside her mind when she saw Li Yundong's willingness to pay. She held out her palm and let avarice take over. "One hundred yuan!"

    Li Yundong's laughter was filled with rage. "A hundred yuan for a cucumber and a carrot? What, do you think your vegetables are made of gold or something? Will we start shitting gold after eating them?"

    The woman's eyes bulged. "What, you got a problem? She stole from me earlier. Haven't you heard of the tenfold penalty? If you steal something, you have to pay back ten times the amount."

    "Even with a tenfold penalty, it still wouldn't cost up to a hundred yuan! You charge ten yuan for just a carrot and a cucumber? What kind of illegal business are you running? You're basically robbing people in broad f*cking daylight!"

    Li Yundong's outburst drew attention from everyone in the surrounding area. Soon, a crowd formed around them, and the vegetable stall owner was starting to feel a little edgy. However, her son came running over with a kitchen knife a moment later. "Mom! What's going on? Are these people giving you trouble?"

  • Thanks for reading. Any feedback would be appreciated.
  • The first chapter was good and very well done.
  • Qi

    Qi, also known as “vital energy” or “life force”, is basically energy in the most general sense. Qi gives life to all things, and to the Ancient Chinese, Qi is the underlying reality of all things physical. According to traditional Chinese Medicine, life is defined as a “gathering of Qi.”

    Yin Qi

    In Chinese Medicine, Yin Qi is a form of Qi that are relatively material, substantial, condensing, solid, heavy, descending, cold, moist, cooling, dark, passive and quiescent.

    It also refers to a woman’s Qi.

    Yang Qi

    A form of Qi that is relatively immaterial, amorphous, expanding, hollow, light, ascending, hot, dry, warming, bright, aggressive, and active.

    Adolescent Yang Qi

    The purest form of Yang Qi in the world. It is also the most essential part of the Yang Qi in the human body. Stored in a person’s Huiyin (an acupoint located on a person’s perineum) Only a woman’s Qi is able to draw it out from the Huiyin.

    Cultivation

    Cultivation/the art of Cultivation is the art of cultivating oneself in order to achieve spiritual transcendence. The end goal of cultivation is for a person to achieve unity or “be one” with the Tao. A practitioner of the art of Cultivation is known as a Cultivator. In the novel, the art of Cultivation isn’t practiced by just mortals, even magical beings like fox spirits could practice it.

    The author describes 9 phases of Cultivation – Sutai, Lianqi, Ningshen, Zhuji, Shentong, Huaying, Jinshen, Leijie, Feixian (Each of these phases has 9 stages of their own)

    Shenxian

    A being who possesses magical powers and who is immortal. Becoming a Shenxian is the goal of Cultivation. A Cultivator who successfully unites with the Tao will achieve spiritual transcendence and become a Shenxian.

    The Tao

    The natural order/principles that govern everything that exists. Lao Tzu emphasized the impossibility of capturing the essence of The Tao by linguistic means. The best way to think of The Tao is as some kind of “law” or “essence” that governs everything in the natural world, and that keeps the Universe balanced and ordered.

    Acupoints and Meridians

    Traditional Chinese Medicine suggests that the human body runs on Qi. Qi flows and circulates through the body, thus sustaining life functions. Meridians are the pathways (lines) through which Qi flows in the human body. Acupoints are just points on the Meridians.

    Fox Spirit

    When a fox undergoes training in the art of Cultivation, it attains magical powers and becomes a Fox Spirit. They have the ability to shapeshift and take a human form (a woman).

    Jindan

    A type of medicinal pill obtained via Waidan (aka External Alchemy).

    Renyuan Jindan

    A type of Jindan.

  • Chapter 6 Why Are You So Nice to Me?

     

    The vegetable stall owner felt emboldened by her son's presence.

    Her husband had betrayed her when she was pregnant. So, after her son was born, she had showered her son with all the love she was capable of giving, including the love that she once had for her husband. As a result, she ended up spoiling the child rotten. Literally, in this case, because her affections had turned him into an arrogant kid who neglected his studies in favor of picking fights and fooling around with women. He was the type of guy who would settle any disagreement, no matter how inconsequential, with his fists.

    Anger swirled inside Li Yundong's chest like a ball of hot gas, and the feral glint in his eyes grew brighter and brighter as the sharpness in them intensified. However, before he could move in and show the knife-wielding douche who was boss, he felt a tug on the back of his shirt.

    Li Yundong turned around and saw Su Chan shaking her head at him. "Forget it," she said. "Let's just go."

    Su Chan didn't want to cause any more trouble than she already had. If things escalated into a fight, she'd be forced to use her powers, which would most definitely draw the attention of her enemies. Needless to say, she'd be totally screwed if her enemies knew she was here.

    Li Yundong tamped down his anger. From his pocket, he fished out a hundred-yuan bill and tossed it at the woman. "Here's your filthy money," Li Yundong said. "I hope you can still sleep at night while knowing that you're nothing but a swindler!"

    Er Lu, the vegetable stall owner's son, was practically undressing Su Chan with his eyes when Li Yundong was fishing out the hundred-yuan bill from his pocket. However, the lust and amazement in Er Lu's eyes vanished when he heard Li Yundong's snide remark. He took a step forward, his eyes wide and round. "What did you just say?" he said menacingly. "Are you tired of living, punk?"

    The ball of anger inside Li Yundong's chest could no longer be contained. It was like some kind of valve inside his sternum had opened, causing a gush of heat to surge towards the top of his head with an unstoppable momentum. Li Yundong burst forward with a powerful step while his hands moved in tandem with the left hand reaching for the Er Lu's knife-wielding hand and the right for Er Lu's neck. In the blink of an eye, the knife was wrenched out of Er Lu's hand and Er Lu was raised several inches above the ground in a single-handed chokehold. Swish! Slam! Er Lu's butt crashed onto the stall's countertop. Then, Li Yundong raised his hand into the air and brought it down swiftly.

    Zing! The tip of the rusty iron knife plunged into a spot on the cement slab between Er Lu's legs. Amidst the multitude of rolling cabbages and flattened tomatoes around the stall, the bystanders stood completely still, aghast at the sight of the blade which was now lodged more than three inches deep into the slab.

    A moment later, Li Yundong's thundering voice shook the entire marketplace. "Who's tired of living now!!!" To say that Li Yundong looked like he was about to commit murder was an understatement; he looked more like he was about to skin someone alive.

    Li Yundong had scared the living sh*t and, apparently, the faculty of speech right out of Er Lu.

    Seeing that Er Lu had nothing else to say, Li Yundong sneered and left the stall with Su Chan in tow. When Li Yundong and Su Chan were about three meters away from the stall, Er Lu finally snapped out of his stupor. He quickly examined himself and found that aside from his wounded pride, he was otherwise unharmed. Mortified, he leaped down from the countertop and reached for the iron knife that Li Yundong had stabbed into the cement earlier.

    He yanked on it, but the knife wouldn't budge at all. It was as if roots had grown out from the tip of the blade and had extended into the cement!

    Er Lu's head was spinning due to his anger. Without thinking, he grabbed another knife from the counter and charged towards Li Yundong.

    Like everyone else, the owner of the vegetable stall had witnessed the whole thing right from the start. She had already begun to regret her actions up to this point. She wouldn't allow her son to go around swinging a knife for a measly hundred yuan. It just wasn't worth it. She stepped forward and wrapped her arms around her son before he could take more than two steps away from the stall.

    His mother's desperate attempt to hold him back gave Er Lu the perfect excuse to avoid a fight (that he wasn't sure he could win) without losing face: "Hah! See? I didn't go after him because my mom's stopping me. I'm not a coward, just a son who listens to his mother!" Even so, that didn't stop him from mumbling and cursing at Li Yundong for humiliating him. It wasn't until Li Yundong and Su Chan had left the marketplace that Er Lu remembered the knife that was still firmly lodged in the cement slab.

    Er Lu studied the knife and tried pulling it out from various angles, but nothing he tried worked. In the end, he got desperate and began pulling it with all his might. Crack! The blade snapped in two with a part of the blade still stuck inside the cement.

    "F*ck!!!" Er Lu hurled the broken knife away as hard as he could, then began staring intently at the section of the blade still lodged inside the cement. For a while, he kept staring at it unblinkingly. It was like he had turned into the cement himself, lifeless and unmoving. The only signs of life in him were the sporadic flickering of his eyes and the seamless change in his expression which was becoming more and more violent by the second.

    Everyone in the area, stall owners and grocery shoppers alike, soon crowded around the cement slab to study the knife: "Holy cow, just how much force does it require to stab the knife in so deep?"

    Er Lu was brought out of his trance. "What are you looking at!" Er Lu yelled at them. "I can do it too!" Then, he raised the knife in his hand and stabbed it down with every ounce of his strength.

    Clink! Crack! A minuscule white dot formed on the cement, but the body of the blade failed to withstand the tension and snapped in half.

    Hoots of laughter rang out. "What are you guys laughing at! I'll f*cking chop up anyone who laughs!"

    That threat of bodily harm dispersed the crowd.

    Meanwhile, Li Yundong and Su Chan were on their way back to the apartment. "Those money-grubbing f*ckers!" Li Yundong yelled. "It's like they've never seen a banknote before! Motherf*ckers even had the balls to threaten me after they tried to rip me off! If I didn't show them that I'm a tiger, they'd think I'm a f*cking Hello Kitty or something!"

    "What's a Hello Kitty?" Apparently, not even a Jindan-enhanced outburst could hinder Su Chan's curiosity.

    Li Yundong glanced at her pretty face. And, just like taking the lid off a pot filled with hot steam, his anger dissipated instantly. "Oh, it's just a cat. I'll buy one for you next time!"

    Su Chan stuck out her tongue. "What would I need a cat for? Aren't cats everywhere? Why do you even have to buy them?"

    Li Yundong burst into laughter, the unhappy episode at the market just now all but forgotten. Rip-off? What rip-off? "Fine, fine. I'll pick up a Hello Kitty from the streets next time. Happy?"

    Seeing that he was no longer mad, Su Chan smiled at him. "Um... Just now, it was all my fault. This only happened because I didn't pay for the vegetables. I'm sorry..."

    Li Yundong waved off her apology. "Nah, it's fine. People forget things. It's part of being human. It's totally normal!"

    "Wait a minute... Don't tell me that this girl has no money on her?" Li Yundong thought. "Well then. Guess I have to find a chance to give her some cash. You can't survive in this world nowadays without having some form of money on you at all times..."

    Li Yundong began working his magic once they got home. Despite the hundred-yuan incident, the trip to the market wasn't a complete waste. Li Yundong managed to buy 250 grams of meat, a whole carp, 500 grams of tomatoes, 500 grams of eggs, and some bok choy. Using all those ingredients plus the cucumber that Su Chan had "bought", Li Yundong whipped up three dishes: stir-fried cucumber and meat; scrambled eggs with tomatoes; bok choy flavored carp soup.

    Inside the kitchen, Su Chan's eyes were sparkling with admiration as she watched Li Yundong perform various culinary tasks (chopping, sauteing, seasoning, pan flipping) with practiced ease. "Wow, that's amazing..." Su Chan said. "So you really know how to cook, and it smells so good!"

    Vain is a man whom a woman praises; needless to say, Li Yundong's vanity had just gotten substantially juiced-up. "Yeah? Just wait till you actually taste it! You know, these are actually nothing. Just simple dishes. I'll make something better next time. I'll make you a feast!"

    The gleam in Su Chan's eyes was probably brighter than a thousand suns. "Really?"

    "Reel-ly real," Li Yundong said smilingly, transferring the food from the wok into a bowl.

    Su Chan watched Li Yundong prepare dish after dish, the aromas of which were so tantalizing that she was practically drooling.

    She had spent her entire childhood deep inside the mountains, training in the art of Cultivation. Needless to say, life inside the mountains was primitive. She had never even seen, let alone tasted, such delicious dishes.

    At long last, Li Yundong brought out the final dish on the menu for the night. Dinner was officially served. The two of them sat in the living room, one sitting on the couch while the other sat cross-legged on the carpet.

    Su Chan was already eyeing the dishes eagerly with her chopsticks in hand. Despite being utterly famished, Su Chan had suppressed her hunger and forced herself to wait (submission!) for Li Yundong. Su Chan stole a glance at Li Yundong. "Can we eat now?"

    Li Yundong nodded with a smile. However, a moment later, he decided that he'd been right earlier about a mini cyclone having wreaked havoc inside his fridge. Because, this right here? This was a cyclone right in front of him. An adorable and gorgeous-as-hell cyclone true, but destructive nonetheless, especially considering the way she was literally cleaning out the food on the coffee table. Seriously, when did she have her last meal anyway? Eight-hundred years ago? F*ck.

    At first, Li Yundong could still watch the whole cyclone thing with an amused smile. But a while later, the only expression he seemed to be capable of was a scowl. "Hey! That's not fair! Leave some for me, will you! F*ck! What am I supposed to eat if you gobble up everything!"

    Well, he really shouldn't have said that. Because it was a waste of precious time; another portion of food on the table was gone by the time he finished speaking. Li Yundong gasped, appalled at Su Chan's behavior. "Holy sh*t! This girl! She doesn't even care!"

    At that moment, Li Yundong came to a decision: chivalry be damned. He might as well be having air for dinner if he kept acting like a gentleman. No, a gentleman wouldn't stand a chance against this cyclone of a pretty girl on her feeding warpath. To hell with it. He was going to fight tooth and nail for every piece of meat and every drop of soup.

    And that was how a simple meal got turned into a warzone with clashing chopsticks and ricocheting saliva. In just ten minutes, an entire pot of rice and table of food was wiped out.

    The disappointment in Su Chan's face was plain as day when she finished her last piece of meat and saw that there was nothing left on the table. Then, she glanced longingly at one of the plates, which contained some leftover gravy. She picked up the plate and literally licked the gravy dish clean.

    Once the plate was squeaky clean, her eyes swept across the table to look for more plates that required cleaning. Only then did she notice the look of amusement that Li Yundong was giving her.

    Su Chan blushed and lowered the plate sheepishly. With the back of her hand, she wiped the lingering oil stains on her lips. "Just... It was just too delicious..."

    Pride coursed through every fiber of Li Yundong's being, culminating in the form of a warm sensation blooming inside his chest. Despite being nowhere near full, he felt like he had achieved something worthwhile today. Li Yundong laughed heartily. "Alright! If it's that good, then how about I cook for you every day!"

    "Every day?" Su Chan's sparkling eyes were filled with delight and gratitude.

    "What? Is that so weird? If I'm not going to cook, then who else is going to do it? You?" Li Yundong said. Then, he caught a glimpse of some oil stains on the corner of her lips, a spot that she had missed just now. He grabbed a napkin and, with as much tenderness and warmth he was capable of, dabbed it against the corner of Su Chan's lips.

    His actions threw Su Chan into a daze, causing her to stare back at Li Yundong blankly. After a while, she found herself asking the question that she had been dying to ask: "Why are you so nice to me?"

    Li Yundong smiled. "I could ask you the same, you know. Why are you even following me around? Believe it or not, you're actually the first girl who liked me on her own accord." However, those words never made it past his lips. Instead, he asked, "Has no one ever been nice to you?"

    Silence filled the room as Su Chan pondered his question. Loneliness crept into her countenance and she shook her head slowly.

    "Me neither," Li Yundong said with a wry smile. "I didn't even have anyone to take care of me. Which is why I've always wanted to find a girl who would be nice to me, and whom I can be nice to..."

    Su Chan raised her head and stole a glance at Li Yundong. Her voice was barely audible when she spoke next. "Aren't you going to ask where I come from and who I am?"

    Li Yundong thought over her question briefly. "I just assumed that you'll tell me when you're ready."

    Something flickered inside Su Chan's eyes, a hint of surprise and gratitude. She rose to her feet, keeping her head low. "I'm going to bed," she said. "Where am I sleeping?"

    Li Yundong pointed to his bedroom. "Take my bed," he said. "I'll just sleep outside."

    They started dinner early, so the sky wasn't dark when dinner concluded. Even so, neither of them decided to do anything other than go to bed. The apartment was silent with two of its occupants staying in different rooms. One lay on the bed, struggling with ambivalent feelings and conflicting thoughts while the other lay on the carpet, using his forearm as a pillow, staring up at the ceiling.

    "Somehow, a beautiful girl ended up moving into my place," Li Yundong thought. "But I have no idea what's going to happen in the future..."

    It wasn't that he didn't want to ask Su Chan about her past or about who she was. He was actually dying to know, just that he dared not ask in fear that she might head for the hills once he started to push. The fact that he was still the proud owner of his V-card implied that he had never before been this close to a woman, let alone one this beautiful. God, she was so beautiful that everything almost seemed surreal, like this was all just a dream. All of a sudden, he was struck by a sense of fear; he feared waking up from this wonderful dream.

    "If this really is a dream, then I don't ever want to wake up..."

    Li Yundong allowed his eyes to flutter closed, though a smile still adorned his lips as his mind drifted off into a universe of possibilities.

    Lying there with his eyes closed, Li Yundong began to mentally recite "Sidixiang," a beautiful poem by Wei Zhuang about a teenage girl's passionate pursuit of romantic love. Looking at his current circumstances, he couldn't help but notice the similarities between the poet's portrayal and Su Chan's sudden appearance in his life. There was now a teenage girl who was crazy enough about him to be chasing after him, and even crying at the first sign of him leaving. All was right in the world.

    While Li Yundong was indulging in mental poetry, Su Chan was curled up into a bundle on his bed, hugging a pillow to her chest. "Master, the outside world is indeed scary, but not all of them are bad people," Su Chan mumbled. "This guy is so nice to me. But... I have no choice but to... to suck him dry. Why did he have to swallow my Renyuan Jindan..."

    "But master, why is it that I feel so guilty and sad whenever I think about this?"

    A series of rustling sounds ensued as Su Chan rolled back and forth on the bed in a fit of frustration. Then, she covered her ears with the pillow and engaged in a bout of self-hypnosis: "He stole my Renyuan Jindan... He stole my Renyuan Jindan!"

    She recited the mantra several dozens of times before she managed to calm her tumultuous heart. "Yes! That's it! This guy stole my Renyuan Jindan, so I must suck him dry!"

    Su Chan's heart lightened after strengthening her resolve, then a sly glint formed inside her eyes, brightening with each chuckle she released.

  • mm38910 said:
    The first chapter was good and very well done.
    Thanks. We'll keep releasing 3-4 chapters per week. More chapters if more readers.
    For early updates——https://www.patreon.com/raisingafoxspiritinmyhome
  • Glossary of Terms(Ongoing Updates)

    Qi

    Qi, also known as “vital energy” or “life force”, is basically energy in the most general sense. Qi gives life to all things, and to the Ancient Chinese, Qi is the underlying reality of all things physical. According to traditional Chinese Medicine, life is defined as a “gathering of Qi.”

    Yin Qi

    In Chinese Medicine, Yin Qi is a form of Qi that are relatively material, substantial, condensing, solid, heavy, descending, cold, moist, cooling, dark, passive and quiescent.

    It also refers to a woman’s Qi.

    Yang Qi

    A form of Qi that are relatively immaterial, amorphous, expanding, hollow, light, ascending, hot, dry, warming, bright, aggressive, and active.

    Adolescent Yang Qi

    The purest form of Yang Qi in the world. It is also the most essential part of the Yang Qi in the human body. Stored in a person’s Huiyin (an acupoint located on a person’s perineum) Only a woman’s Qi is able to draw it out from the Huiyin.

    Yuanyang

    According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Yuanyang is the most essential and important component of the human body’s Yang Qi. Practitioners of TCM believe that they are stored somewhere near the kidneys (two viscera located on the small of the back, one either side of the spine).

    Baihui

    An acupoint located on the top of a person’s head. The only acupoint capable of raising someone’s Yang Qi when stimulated (manually or with acupuncture needles)

    Shenting

    An acupoint located at the center of one’s forehead. Typically massaged with the middle finger.

    Taiyang

    An acupoint located at a person’s temples.

    Three-Pronged Flower Gathering

    A massage technique practiced by Cultivators. Done with both hands: thumbs on the top of the head (Baihui), middle fingers pressing on the center of the forehead (Shenting) and pinkies on the temples (Taiyang). If done properly, it causes Qi to flow the same was as performing the Xiao Zhoutian.

     

    Xia Dantian

    The lower part of dantian. Located below the navel (about three finger widths below and two finger widths behind the navel), which is also called "the golden stove".

     

    Cultivation

    Cultivation/the art of Cultivation is the art of cultivating oneself in order to achieve spiritual transcendence. The end goal of cultivation is for a person to achieve unity or “be one” with the Tao. A practitioner of the art of Cultivation is known as a Cultivator. In the novel, the art of Cultivation isn’t practiced by just mortals, even magical beings like fox spirits could practice it.

    The author describes 9 phases of Cultivation – Sutai, Lianqi, Ningshen, Zhuji, Shentong, Huaying, Jinshen, Leijie, Feixian (Each of these phases has 9 stages of their own)

    Shenxian

    A being who possesses magical powers and who is immortal. Becoming a Shenxian is the goal of Cultivation. A Cultivator who successfully unites with the Tao will achieve spiritual transcendence and become a Shenxian.

    The Tao

    The natural order/principles that governs everything that exists. Lao Tzu emphasized the impossibility of capturing the essence of The Tao by linguistic means. The best way to think of The Tao is as some kind of “law” or “essence” that governs everything in the natural world, and that keeps the Universe balanced and ordered.

    Acupoints and Meridians

    Traditional Chinese Medicine suggests that the human body runs on Qi. Qi flows and circulate through the body, thus sustaining life functions. Meridians are the pathways (lines) through which Qi flows in the human body. Acupoints are just points on the Meridians.

    Du Meridian

    One of the human body’s eight extraordinary meridians. Also known as the Governing Vessel.

    Ren Meridian

    One of the human body’s eight extraordinary meridians. Also known as the Conception Vessel.

    Xiao Zhoutian

    A technique practiced by Cultivators to mobilize the Yuanyang in their bodies to form a complete circuit. The path: lower dantian, Huiyin, anus, Weilyu, Jiaji, Yuzheng, Baihui, Yingxiang, Queqiao, dantian

    Fox Spirit

    When a fox undergoes training in the art of Cultivation, it attains magical powers and becomes a Fox Spirit. They have the ability to shapeshift and take a human form (a woman).

    Pulse Diagnosis

    A technique practiced in Traditional Chinese Medicine in which the doctor uses three fingers to take the patient’s pulse at three positions on each wrist simultaneously.

    Shenkui

    A condition or syndrome characterized by symptoms such as brainfog, chills, nausea, flu-like symptoms, anxiety, dizziness, insomnia, sexual dysfunctions, etc. According to Chinese Traditional Medicine, it is believed to be caused by a loss of semen and orgasm.

    Jindan

    A type of medicinal pill obtained via Waidan (aka External Alchemy).

    Renyuan Jindan

    A type of Jindan.

  • Chapter 7 An Angry Fox

     

    The following day, when Li Yundong was about to leave the apartment to go to class, Su Chan barged out of the bedroom and grabbed the hem of Li Yundong's shirt. "I'm coming with you!"

    "Oh, for the love of God..." Li Yundong thought exasperatedly. "Seriously, missy? Are you sh*tting me right now? Do you want me to die of embarrassment? Hey, let go of my shirt! No! You're not coming with me. Everyone's going to laugh their heads off if you pull the same stunt again. Hey, I said let go! I'll chicken out and end up skipping class if you keep this up."

    Su Chan's pout was so pronounced that even her cheeks were puffed out. "Who's going to laugh at you?" Su Chan said angrily. "I'll teach them a lesson!"

    If anyone ever said that anger and amusement don't mix together, they were lying, because at the moment, Li Yundong was feeling plenty of both. Eventually, amusement won out and he patted Su Chan's head. "Come on, be a good girl and wait for me at home, okay? I'll bring back some food after class. Hey, how come your braids didn't come loose even after you got out of bed?"

    Su Chan tilted her head and dodged another one of Li Yundong's attempts to pat her head. Clutching Li Yundong's shirt like a vice, she said, "No way! I'm going with you no matter what!"

    Not even Su Chan herself knew exactly why she was so hell-bent on following this guy everywhere he went. She thought that maybe it was because Li Yundong was the only thing she was familiar with in this foreign mortal world. He was her anchor, making her feel safe when everything else in this world was alien to her.

    The thought of not having him by her side made Su Chan feel insecure, so she held on to his shirt as if her life depended on it, which, in this case, might just be true. Every single one of Li Yundong's attempts to dissuade her were met with a head shake.

    Resigned to his fate, Li Yundong released a long sigh. But a moment later, it was like he had suddenly discovered the secrets of heroism and valor. "Argh! To hell with it!" he yelled like some kind of badass superhero about to make a self-sacrificial play. "Fine! Come along if you want! Let those motherf*ckers laugh! I don't give a f*ck what they think! I'll hit on whichever girl I... ahem! I mean, I'll walk my own path! And nobody's going to stop me! Yes! That's it! Come on, then, missy! Time to charge into battle!"

    On the way to the campus, Li Yundong saw a lot of students walking out of the rental apartments near campus in pairs. Typical university couples doing their usual PDA shit: the ladies acting all cute and adorable, leaning against their men, hanging on to their every word; the guys parading around proudly with gorgeous women in their arms. "Yeah, what else is new?" Li Yundong thought. Of course, there were also several pairs who did things the other way around with pussy-whipped dudes following their girls around like puppies.

    Li Yundong would be lying if he said that he didn't have the desire to partake in some PDA stuff himself. In particular, he was hoping that Su Chan would stop walking behind him and just grab on to his arm already, damn it! Or maybe he should just grow a pair and make the first move by wrapping his arm around her waist. However, he knew it would be a bad idea to do that; the poor girl might head for the hills the moment he gave his nether regions full reign over his actions.

    As they walked, Li Yundong kept turning his head around to look at Su Chan. Every time he did, he could feel her breath on his face because of how close their bodies were. He also noticed that she was matching his pace with painstaking accuracy, as though she was some kind of automaton. Eventually, Li Yundong's attention was drawn to the extra bit of weight he was feeling on his shirt. He glanced down and noticed her hand that was tugging gently at the hem of his shirt. It suddenly occurred to him that she might have been holding on to his shirt since she grabbed it back at the apartment. She was like a little kid that was afraid of getting separated and lost in the crowd.

    Her current appearance made Li Yundong laugh.

    Li Yundong and Su Chan began turning heads the moment they walked past the campus gates. Guys openly ogled at Su Chan, completely captivated by her beauty, as evident from the awestruck expressions on their drooling faces. A few guys (no doubt the more resillient ones) actually managed to take their eyes off Su Chan to look at Li Yundong, and it was like one of those opera face-changing performances — the look on their faces changed from awe to jealousy in a split second. Even someone with the emotional intelligence of a snail would have a rough idea of what they were all thinking: "How could such a beauty be with a guy like that? What does this guy have that I don't? Damn it! I hate this! What a shameless and despicable guy!"

    The ladies, on the other hand, never let their gazes linger on Su Chan for more than a second. But that didn't mean their hearts weren't filled with curses: "F*cking vixen! Slut! How dare she prance around here with such a slutty appearance!"

    Most of the girls were actually looking at Li Yundong with interest.

    "What's so great about this guy to have such a beautiful girl following him wherever he goes?"

    As the old adage goes: "The strength of a man can be gauged by looking at his opponents, his character from looking at his friends."

    Then again, the women here preferred another method, an easier one that could determine both the strength and the character of a man simultaneously: looking at the woman beside him.

    Quality men attract quality women. End of story.

    So what on earth were this guy's qualities?

    They had long since heard about him being Tiannan University's King of Love Confessions. His unprecedented feat of receiving 21 nice-guy speeches in a single year was nothing new to them.

    But, what they saw today just added a mind-boggling twist to their previous assessments of Li Yundong: if he was good enough to have such a beautiful girl eating out of the palm of his hand, why would he receive 21 nice-guy speeches to begin with?

    The ladies wracked their brains and pondered over the question to no avail. One thing about these women, they liked to be seen as women of depth. They enjoyed walking around with an air of mystery and intrigue about them; they liked to be seen as an enigma, as someone with lots of profound layers. And to do that, they had to assume a reserved disposition at all times. So, no matter how curious they were about the secrets behind Li Yundong's sudden romantic breakthrough, they would never take the initiative to seek out the answer, not even when the object of their curiosity was standing a few feet away from them. Of course, their penchant for aloofness wasn't the main reason preventing them from walking up to Li Yundong and demanding an answer from him. The main reason was that Su Chan was right beside him.

    Su Chan was dressed in her usual traditional style red dress. Seeing her walk around the campus compound was like a juxtaposition of the ancient and the modern setting. It was as if she had literally just walked out from a TV screen that was playing one of those costume dramas. In other words, she stood out like a sore thumb, but in a good way of course. It was as if the clothes were made for her, or as if she was born to bring out the best of the traditional style.

    The pair spent a while strolling around the campus compound until Li Yundong's worst nightmare finally came true.

    "Aha! Isn't that the Lord of Cucumbers from yesterday's class?" Hoots of laughter ensued, courtesy of the students who were in the same class as Li Yundong yesterday.

    Hell, Li Yundong's skin could be as thick as the Great Wall of China and he'd still end up blushing after that taunt. In spite of the burning sensation he was feeling on his cheeks, Li Yundong stiffened his neck muscles and forced himself to look straight ahead. He strode forward, ignoring the mocking look on the faces of the students he passed. "F*ck you guys. At least I have a pretty girl with me. What about you?"

    Some students were apparently still in the dark about Li Yundong's crowning as the Lord of Cucumbers, so they began asking those who knew. Alas, those who knew were the nosey type who seemed to have all the free time in the world; slowly and patiently, they began to enlighten their ignorant peers about how this epic coronation came about. Apparently, one of the students wasn't as ignorant as he thought he was: "Lord of Cumcumbers... Wait, wait! Oh! Is he the one from that thread in the university forums? The one with the highest click counts?"

    "F*ck! How the hell did it end up on the forums again?" Li Yundong thought.

    All of a sudden, a guy shouted, "Yo, yo! Li Yundong! How's the cucumber? Is it good? Did you enjoy its cooling effect?" Roars of laughter erupted. "What the hell? I can't believe the girls are laughing even harder than the guys! This is bullsh*t!" Li Yundong thought.  

    "Hahaha! Cucumbers have a cooling effect, huh? That's new! Hahaha! Is it on the Discovery Channel yet?"

    "Hahaha... Owh... My stomach is killing me... Hahaha. So, cucumbers have a cooling effect... Pfft. Hahaha. Now I know what to do next time my dad gets pissed off. I'll just shove a few cucumbers down his throat!"

    The corners of Li Yundong's eyes twitched with each of these taunts. "F*ck! Calm down, man. I have to f*cking calm down! Those f*ckers are just jealous of me. I'm sure of it!"

    Li Yundong could live with it (barely) if laughing at him was all they did. But no, these f*ckers actually took their bullying to the next level. Instead of laughing at the pair and then leaving them alone, these bullies actually followed them around, teasing and laughing as they did.

    Li Yundong and Su Chan were already surrounded by people by the time they made it to the bottom of the academic building. Li Yundong was practically foaming at the mouth at that point. "F*ck! Haven't these assholes had enough?"

    But Goddammit he couldn't do sh*t to these people no matter how mad he was. Left with no other choice, Li Yundong clenched his jaw and suppressed his anger.

    Naturally, Li Yundong's anger didn't go unnoticed by Su Chan. "What should I do now?" Su Chan thought as she studied the huge crowd around them. Suddenly, she remembered something that her master once taught her: "Remember, Chan'er. If you want a man to remember you and feel indebted to you for the rest of his life, you must stand up for him when he needs you most. You must be prepared to protect him, even if you might get hurt in the process."

    And so, Su Chan went on the warpath.

    Su Chan stomped angrily towards a guy whom she thought was smiling the brightest. She stood before him, arms akimbo, and then gave him a quick once-over.

    The guy wasn't tall, and he was quite handsome. His most notable quality was his peach-blossom eyes, which most women found endearing. When he saw Su Chan storming towards him with a vengeance, he thought he was about to add another beautiful woman to his list of acquaintances, so he quickly put on his best smile.

    "What the-" His wrist was suddenly yanked away from his side, and the next thing he knew, the girl was giving him a... pulse diagnosis? The guy spent the next few moments in utter confusion as the girl messed around with his wrist. His confusion deepened when a set of feminine fingers squeezed his cheeks harshly. A second later, the girl yelled at him: "Open your mouth!"

    Puzzled, the guy opened his mouth subconsciously.

    Su Chan gave his tongue a quick glance and then smirked. She wasn't planning to go easy on the guy. Not at all. "Your face is pale, you have minimal tongue coating, and your pulse is weak. And, look at your lifeless eyes, so sunken and hollow. Not to mention the dark circles around your eyes. And those lips?" Su Chan gestured with her finger. "So pale. What, did you eat chalk for breakfast? Your hair is pretty shiny, I'll give you that, but your eyebrows are too thin for your age." Su Chan's smirk widened. "Do you know what these signs mean?"

    The guy was utterly flummoxed by Su Chan's verbal onslaught. "Wh- what d- does it mean?" he stammered.

    "You have significant renal Yin deficiency!"

    The guy had a vague idea that this diagnosis wasn't a good one. He blushed. "Yin deficiency? What does that even mean? What kind of nonsense are you talking about?"

    Su Chan cupped her hands around her mouth and yelled, "It means you're experiencing withdrawal symptoms caused by the loss of semen! Shenkui! Get it?" (T/N: Shenkui is a syndrome identified by practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine. For more information, please refer to the novel's glossary of terms: https://www.patreon.com/posts/glossary-of-30325496)

    The crowd went into an uproar. It was as if Su Chan's words had set off a bunch of landmines simultaneously. Damn, that comment was ruthless!

    In an instant, the crowd's eyes shifted from Li Yundong to the unfortunate victim of Su Chan's diagnosis. Poor Shenkui guy was blushing so heavily that his face was actually starting to turn purple.

    Blood rushed into Shenkui guy's head, and he was hit by a wave of vertigo. His vision blurred a little, mirroring the foggy state of his mind. For a moment there, he thought he might actually pass out. Still, he forced himself to keep talking. His pride and dignity were at stake after all. He didn't even care when he ended up stuttering and his voice came out hoarse. "Th- that's slander! Y- y- you're the one wh- who has Shenkui! I'm young and strong! How is it possible that I have... that!"

    "Young and strong?" Su Chan sneered. "Haven't you heard of skilled swimmers drowning in rivers? And heroic men dying by the feet of their own steed? Young and strong. Hah! That's exactly your problem! You think you can overexert yourself because you're young and strong. You had sex with a woman yesterday, didn't you? And weren't you insatiable?"

    Sex? Insatiable?!

    Holy sh*t! Her words were getting more and more ruthless! If the things she said before were landmines, then this would be a frigging hydrogen bomb!

    Shell-shocked, the crowd stared at Shenkui guy in surprise.

    As it turned out, Shenkui guy did get laid last night. In fact, he and his girlfriend had gone for enough rounds to make several dozen babies. The pretty girl was right about everything. Shenkui guy's heart squeezed, and he gasped. Then, his eyes rolled to the back of his head as he crumpled to the ground. The poor guy passed out.

    A commotion broke out among the crowd again. "Hey, hey, something's going on over there! Move, move! Let's go check it out!"

    The onlookers jostled and elbowed each other, trying to force their way towards the unconscious guy. But Su Chan got there first. She stood there with her hands on her hips, glaring at the approaching crowd. Her powerful voice rang out a moment later. "Stay where you are!"

    The jostling stopped.

    Su Chan crouched down and pressed her finger on a spot below Shenkui guy's nose and above his upper lip. That was Renzhong, an acupoint commonly involved in resuscitation procedures. Shenkui guy came to moments later.

    Su Chan rose to her feet and scanned through the crowd. After a while, she found her next target: a tall, burly guy who was dressed in a long-sleeve shirt and long dress pants. Su Chan marched over with quick steps.

    When Burly guy realized that he had just become Su Chan's next target, his pulse started racing, not because of her beauty but because of fear. "I'm going to f*cking kill myself if I get diagnosed with Shenkui..."

    Su Chan stopped in front of Burly guy and said, "Show me your hand."

    Burly guy panicked and quickly hid his hands behind his back. "No!" he yelled

    "Open your mouth then!"

    Burly guy shook his head vigorously and shut his mouth tightly; hell, he'd sew his lips together if he could.

    Su Chan scoffed at him. "You think that's enough to stop me from diagnosing you?"

    Su Chan's hand shot out and squeezed Burly guy's shoulder. Then, she spun his body around so that his back was facing her.

    Su Chan jabbed her thumb into a spot on Burly guy's second lumbar spine, about 1.5 inches away from his Mingmen. "Does that hurt?" she asked loudly.

    "What do you think I am, an idiot? If I tell you that it doesn't hurt, you'd just keep poking until you find a spot that hurts! Plus, I don't even fucking know whether it's supposed to hurt or not!"

    He decided to put on a brave front and keep his mouth shut.

    "Oh, so you're not going to talk, huh?" Su Chan said. "Fine, then. I'll just start making things up. Let's see how your friends look at you after I tell them that you have erectile dys-"

    "Hurts! It hurts!"

    "Hurts? I'm pressing down on your Shenshu. What do you take me for? A fool?" Su Chan thought.

    "I want the truth!"

    "Okay, fine! It doesn't hurt!"

    "Tsk! Does it hurt or not?"

    "It didn't just a moment ago, but now it hurts."

    Su Chan snorted and then eased up on the pressure from her fingers. "And now?"

    Having learned his lesson, Burly guy decided to just come clean. "No. Just a little sore."

    After that, Su Chan began poking at several other acupoints on his back, asking him whether he felt any pain every time. At the end of her examination, Su Chan began listing out the symptoms she thought the guy might be experiencing: "Let me guess. You've been sleeping poorly these days? Dizziness? Ringing in your ears? Pain in your lower back? Oh, and also, coldness in your hands and feet. Am I right?"

    Burly guy's jaw went slack. "H- how did you know all that?" He shuddered and gave Su Chan an imploring look. "C- could it be that I have Yin deficiency too?"

    Su Chan snorted. "Of course not," she said. "Yours is Yang deficiency! It's a different form of Shenkui!"

    "Balls! Another case of Shenkui!"  Sighs and groans washed over the crowd.

    At that moment, Burly guy felt as though someone had deprived him of his most prized possession; he was crushed by the loss, but that didn't mean he wasn't going to fight tooth and nail to get it back. "What! But I don't even have a girlfriend!" he argued and then paused in hesitation. "I- I- I'm still a virgin! Shenkui?! That's impossible!"

    Su Chan sneered. "Who told you that you need to have an overactive sex life to suffer from Yang deficiency?" Su Chan said. There was a pregnant pause as Su Chan let her previous statement sink in. The silence was shattered a moment later by Su Chan's sharp reprimanding tone. "You!" she said, causing Burly guy to flinch. "You stay up late all the time and then sleep a lot during the day. Your circadian rhythm is way off! That's why the Yang Qi inside your body has slowly depleted. Isn't that obvious? Just look at yourself in the mirror! You're built like a bear, yet your face is paler than a lady's!"

    While Burly guy was teetering on the brink of a mental breakdown, not a single onlooker there was able to hide the gobsmacked look on their faces. What they were seeing defied every bit of common sense they had! How could a guy who looked like he could take down a bull with his bare hands suddenly turn into a submissive lamb? A tough guy being kicked around, and by a delicate lady no less? Had hell just frozen over?

    Apparently, this firecracker of a lady wasn't done yet. With one hand on her hip, she pointed at Burly guy. "You!" she said. "Get your life in order from now on! Sleep when it's time to sleep. And, start taking Six Flavor Rehmanni every day."

    "And you!" Su Chan pointed at Shenkui guy lying on the floor. "Show some restraint in the bedroom! According to the New Compilation of Materia Medica, there's a remedy for your condition. Supplement your diet with winter gourd soup flavored with sheep lungs. It will take some time, but you'll get better."

    Su Chan raised her head to look at the crowd. "Now, is there anyone else who doubts the cooling effect of cucumbers? If you do, step out now so that I can convince you!"

    Su Chan's voice, crisp and sharp, cut through the crowd like a razor-blade. In an instant, the din from the crowd vanished and was replaced with the sounds of footsteps as students retreated in fear.

    "Like hell anyone's going to answer you!"

    "F*ck! My university life would be over if this chick pulls the same 'Shenkui' stunt on me!"

    With her hands planted firmly on her hips, Su Chan sized up the crowd, taking note of the looks of fear on their faces. She sneered. "Yeah, that's right. Keep your mouths shut if you don't know what you're talking about. What do you guys know anyway? I bet you idiots don't even know that there are four medicinal texts that can verify that claim. 'Materia Medica in Daily Use', 'Luchuan Materia Medica', 'Southern Yunnan Materia Medica', and 'Validation of the Materia Medica', they all state the same thing about cucumbers. Cucumbers are cold in nature, so they have cooling and heat-releasing properties. They alleviate thirst and have a calming effect. They can even be used to treat burns! You people know nothing, yet you treat your ignorance like some kind of joke! You people should be ashamed of yourselves!"

    The entire crowd was now filled with red faces and sheepish looks after the tongue-lashing that Su Chan had given them. Silence filled the area, even though Su Chan's words echoed in the students' minds.

    For some, it wasn't shame that they were feeling, but utter amazement. "This pretty girl looks like she's only fifteen or sixteen years old... How on earth does she know so much about medicine?"

    Sensing the students' doubts, Su Chan ran towards Li Yundong and stopped in front of him, after which she grabbed his arm. Su Chan beamed at him and said, "Yundong, was I right about everything I said?"

    Alas, Li Yundong's brain had already shrunk down to the size of his balls the moment Su Chan began showing off her medical prowess; his stared at Su Chan blankly without saying a word. Not wanting Li Yundong to ruin all the good work she had done, Su Chan began shaking Li Yundong's arm and giving him eye signals. Only then did Li Yundong snap out of it. "O- Oh! Yes, yes! You're absolutely right!"

    Gone was Dr. Akimbo Spitfire with the badass attitude; in her place was a pretty girl who looked like she couldn't even cross the road without her man holding her hand. Su Chan's face lit up like the sun. "It's all because I have a good teacher!" Su Chan announced, shifting her body closer to Li Yundong's side to make sure that everyone got her message.

    "Huh??" Murmurs of disbelief sounded among the crowd. It wasn't long before they all began to cast doubtful looks at Li Yundong.

    "Li Yundong knows traditional Chinese medicine?? But he doesn't look the type at all! Maybe he's just modest and doesn't like to show off his talents?"

    "Hm. Makes sense though. Maybe that's how he did it, how he has this beautiful girl eating out of his palms. Yes, yes! That's very likely!"

    Despite their doubts, everyone kept their mouths shut. If this chick dropped another "Shenkui" on them, they might as well just head to the nearest bathroom and bathe themselves in excrement. No man could endure having their dignity and masculinity tainted like that. Hell, not even women could just shrug off such a humiliating diagnosis!

    Much to Su Chan's annoyance, the crowd still refused to clear out. Instead, they were whispering to each other with their heads close together. With a low growl, Su Chan stepped away from Li Yundong's embrace, and just like that, Doctor Akimbo Spitfire was back again. "What are you guys still standing around for, huh? Step forward if you're still unhappy. If you're not, then beat it!" The crowd still made no movements when Su Chan stopped talking. Su Chan's brows rose to her hairline. "Oh, I see! You still want me to examine you guys, is that it?"

    Su Chan's last comment was like a salvo fired in the middle of a rainforest, causing the crowd to flee like a bunch of frightened birds.

    Only Burly guy, Shenkui guy, and their respective buddies stayed behind.

    All of a sudden, Shenkui guy leaped to his feet, and his stupor gave way to hysteria. "Argh! I don't want to live anymore! I'm moving to Foxconn City!" (T/N: Foxconn City is an industrial district known for its high suicide rate)

    For a while, Shenkui guy kept squawking and kicking up a fuss, hoping to get a reaction from the others. Much to his chagrin, silence was all he got. Annoyed, he turned his head around and yelled, "Hey! You guys could at least try to stop me you know? Are you morons really my friends?"

    Apparently, that got a reaction out of the others. "Stop you? Why the f*ck would we want to stop you? Go ahead! Leap off a building if you want!"

    "F*ck you guys! I'll drag you knuckleheads down with me, even if it kills me!"

    The moment Shenkui guy stopped bitching, someone stepped forward and pointed at both Shenkui guy and Burly guy. "Among the two of you, one has Yin deficiency while the other has Yang deficiency. You two are perfect for each other! The balance of Yin and Yang! You two can make up for each others' flaw! It'll solve all your problems if you hook up, not to mention all the attention you'll be getting. I can almost imagine the title in the forums. Tiannan University's Couple of the Year. This is practically Hall of Fame stuff!"

    Roars of laughter shook the area as men and women held on to their convulsing stomachs for dear life. At that moment, Shenkui guy and Burly guy both decided that they would start packing their bags and move to Foxconn City tonight. Hell, they might not even have to, since they might just drop dead due to sheer mortification.

  • Chapter 8 Massage During Class

     

    Li Yundong was having another lecture today. Once they were both comfortably settled in the last row of the lecture hall, Li Yundong studied Su Chan in amusement. Not that one could blame him, since Su Chan looked completely out of place with the way she was sitting cross-legged in the lecture hall's fixed seating. "You know Traditional Chinese Medicine?" Li Yundong asked after he had gotten over his amusement.

    "Of course," Su Chan answered, batting her eyelashes at him. "All of us know!"

    "Us?" Li Yundong thought. "Oh, right. She must mean the people in the mountains." Little did he know that Su Chan was actually referring to Cultivators in general; namely, those who cultivate themselves in order to be one with the Tao.

    All of a sudden, a light bulb went off in Su Chan's head. "Hey... Why don't I take this opportunity to start easing him into the art of Cultivation?"  Thrill coursed through every cell in Su Chan's body, but she forced herself to calm down; Li Yundong was going to feel suspicious if she got over-excited. "I have to ease him in slowly," Su Chan thought. Keeping her features neutral and her voice even, she said, "Nine out of ten people who seek to unite with the Tao know Chinese Medicine. Take Sun Simiao, for example. He's someone who united with the Tao and achieved spiritual transcendence and immortality. Basically, he became a Shenxian. But that's not all he is. He's also the King of Medicine." Su Chan paused, letting her words sink in. A moment later, she took a deep breath and picked up where she left off, "There were many more like him. A lot of great historical figures like Peng Zu, Ge Xuan, Zuo Ci, and Ge Hong all became Shenxians. But, at the same time, they were also masters in the art of healing."

    Li Yundong was taken aback by her sudden digression. However, surprise quickly gave way to skepticism, and he snickered. "Look, I'm aware that Sun Simiao is the King of Medicine and all that. He wrote the 'Qianjin Yaofang' after all. But uniting with the Tao? A Shenxian?" Li Yundong let out a little snort. "Who did you hear that from anyway?"

    "My master!"

    Li Yundong guffawed. "What, so your master is part of the woo-woo crowd?"

    Su Chan puffed out her cheeks in anger. "Don't you dare speak ill of my master!"

    "Alright, alright, I won't," Li Yundong said, raising his hands in a gesture of surrender all the while trying his best to keep his laughter at bay.

    Su Chan's anger went away as swiftly as it came. Her huge, round eyes flickered with anticipation and tension. "Do you... Do you want to learn? I mean, I can teach you if you want..." she said tentatively.

    Li Yundong smiled and waved off her suggestion. "Medicine?" Li Yundong snorted. "No thanks. My brain's definitely going to fry if you ask me to memorize all those ancient texts. I mean, I don't want to end up with Yang deficiency after spending nights going through all that stuff." After that, he began laughing at his own joke.

    Su Chan summoned her courage. "Here goes..."  She pulled in a deep breath and said, "No, I was referring to the art of Cultivation! Being one with the Tao!"

    Li Yundong paused mid-laugh and gave Su Chan a strange look. "You mean like what you've been doing in the mountains?" Li Yundong groaned. "Oh, come on. Spare me, please. My life's fine right now. Why would I suddenly be interested in Cultivation? Hell, I don't want to end up as a Taoist priest or some kind of monk a few years down the road."

    "I'm still hoping to get you naked, thank you very much. If I become a monk, the only naked body part I'll be seeing for the rest of my life is my own hairy balls."

    Frustration coursed through Su Chan at her failed attempt. "I'm not asking you to be a Taoist priest, you moron! I just want you to get closer to the truth! That's what being one with the Tao means!"  

    However, Su Chan decided to keep those thoughts to herself; she didn't want Li Yundong to start feeling edgy or wary around her. "It's better to play it safe and take things slow..."

    Their conversation came to an end when the professor tapped the surface of the lectern a few times with his pointing stick and began today's lecture.

    As the lecture droned on, Li Yundong's mind could only register bits and pieces of what the professor was saying. A few words here, and maybe one or two pieces of jargon there: ideologies; states; vanguard; revolution; Marx; Lenin. Even those sounded like a bunch of gobbledygook to him to be honest. The fact that he was even awake at this point was a miracle in and of itself.

    While Li Yundong was struggling to stay awake, Su Chan was studying him relentlessly. "Ugh! This sucks! This guy has no idea how lucky he is!" she thought. "If Cultivators like us consumed the Renyuan Jindan, we would've hidden in a quiet cave right away and spend years to properly absorb the Jindan's power."

    "But this clueless guy is happy to just allow the Jindan to enhance his constitution and leave it at that? What a waste! He could've done so much more by converting his vigorous essence, Qi, and blood into Yuanyang with the use of Cultivation techniques!" (T/N: Yuanyang is the most essential component of a person's Yang Qi)

    "If he's willing to train himself in the art of Cultivation under my guidance, I'm sure he could complete the Zhuji phase by the end of his first year, the Shentong phase by the end of the second, and the Jinshen phase by the end of the third!"

    "Argh!!! This is so not fair! I can't believe this clueless dunce is getting all the benefits! And through dumb luck no less! Yet, here he is, wasting them! Argh!! Damn it, damn it, damn it! Damn it all to hell! Why is it that the good stuff always falls into the hands of the inept?!"

    After spending a while cursing and complaining, Su Chan's thoughts began to take a different direction. Instead of whining, she began to consider the repercussions of her current situation. "No, no, no. I can't allow things to drag on like this. The Jindan's effect will slowly diminish with time, so will the potential to convert his essence, Qi, and blood into Yuanyang. He needs to start training immediately, otherwise the effects would be greatly reduced even if he managed to reach the Zhuji phase later! If that happens, there's no way I'll be able to reap the full benefits of the Jindan even if I have sex with him."

    "What should I do?"

    All of a sudden, an idea struck her and, in a disgustingly sweet voice, she said, "Yundong, I'm going to give you a massage, okay?"

    A surge of electricity shot up Li Yundong's spine. "God, that voice..." It had to be some kind of sorcery that allowed him to remain upright at this moment considering that his bones had just been reduced to dust. His chest tingled uncomfortably as conflicting emotions flooded his heart. "I want to say yes, but..." It was as though there were suddenly hundreds of claws scratching his heart at the same time. Li Yundong gave Su Chan a strange look. "I don't think that's a good idea," he said, pointing towards the lectern, where the professor was still droning away about state capitalism. "I'm in the middle of a lecture."

    Su Chan, however, wasn't looking for his permission. She stood up before Li Yundong could even blink and then walked around the seating so that she was standing directly behind him.

    Any words of protest were immediately forgotten when Li Yundong felt the pressure of Su Chan's hands on his scalp. At that moment, heat began gathering into a ball in the lower regions of his stomach, somewhere below his navel. A split second later, the heat surged to the top of his head, instantly revitalizing him. It felt similar to all the times he stretched himself out first thing in the morning, only a hundred times better. After reaching his head, the heat spread out swiftly towards his extremities. Tension eased away from his muscles and his body plunged into total relaxation. It was like taking a dip in a hot spring or taking a hot bath but, again, a hundred times better. Li Yundong's eyes fluttered closed.

    The spot that Su Chan had just pressed down on was known as the Baihui. Out of all the acupoints found on the human body, the Baihui was the only one capable of raising a person's Yang Qi levels when stimulated. Many practitioners of acupuncture would poke a needle into their patients' Baihui as a means of resuscitation, since doing so would cause a spike in the patients' Yang Qi levels and could even save their lives.

    In the movie "The Message", there was a scene where "Old Ghost", a mole in the government, was tortured by Mr. Six with a bunch of acupuncture needles. When Old Ghost was about to die from the torture, Mr. Six stuck a needle into Old Ghost's Baihui to prevent him from dying.

    .......

    Su Chan's thumbs began rubbing gentle circles on Li Yundong's Baihui while her other fingers spread out to both sides of his head. Her middle fingers settled on an acupoint located on the center of his forehead called Shenting, while her pinkies reached all the way to the side to rest on Li Yundong's temples.

    The Shenting is a crucial acupoint on the forehead; Qi flowing along the Du Meridian to the head will always pass through it. Because the Shenting is located on the forehead, which is a tough part of the skull, its stimulation requires the application of a significant amount of pressure. Thus, it is common practice to massage the Shenting with the middle finger, since it is the strongest finger of the hand.

    The Taiyang is located on the temple, one of the human skull's softer parts. For that reason, even a weak finger like the pinky could provide enough stimulation.

    As Su Chan worked her magic, her hands hovered above Li Yundong's head like a pair of three-prong forks. In the world of Cultivation, this hand position was known as the "Three-Pronged Flower Gathering."

    In the art of Cultivation, there was a saying which called upon Cultivators to "wear the crown of three flowers." Explanations for what constituted the "three flowers" could be found in the written works of Cultivators in the past. Alas, the explanations given by the ancient texts were profound at best and utterly mystifying at worst. However, scholars had long since analyzed and interpreted the texts to come up with a simpler explanation. In today's Cultivation world, the "three flowers" represented: Essence, Qi, and Blood! This understanding thus gave birth to the saying "wearing the crown of three flowers." The underlying principle of this phrase implies the gathering of one's Essence, Qi, and Blood in one's head.

    By performing the "Three-Pronged Flower Gathering" on Li Yundong, Su Chan was, quite literally, "gathering" Li Yundong's "three flowers" (Essence, Qi, and Blood) with her hands (three-pronged fork).

    At this point, Su Chan had successfully mobilized the Yuanyang inside Li Yundong's body. Starting from his lower dantian, Li Yundong's Yuanyang flowed towards his Huiyin and anus. Then, from his anus, it traveled up his body, via the Du Meridian, along his spine to his Weilyu, Jiaji, and Yuzheng, before reaching his Baihui on the top of his head. From his Baihui, the Yuanyang flow would split into two different paths, moving down to his ears, then forward along the cheeks to reach his Yingxiang, the two acupoints located right beside his nostrils. The two paths then converged at an acupoint on the roof of his mouth, known as the Queqiao, before moving down to his chest and abdomen, through the Ren Meridian, and then back to his dantian.

    Having his Yang Qi thus mobilized was almost equivalent to having him perform a technique in the art of Cultivation known as Xiao Zhoutian, which would require the practitioner to move their Qi through the same path Su Chan just did for Li Yundong. Essentially, Li Yundong was indirectly training in the art of Cultivation. Of course, the effects of such indirect training weren't the same as undergoing the actual training itself. Even so, there would be no difference in terms of the physical sensations resulting from either method since they both involved the flow of Qi through the meridians.

    Why were Cultivators capable of sexual abstinence?

    Well, when performing the Xiao Zhoutian or Da Zhoutian, Cultivators were able to mobilize the Yuanyang inside their bodies, getting it to flow in a complete circuit through the meridians. This flow of Qi would provide Cultivators with a stimulation of utmost intensity, especially when Qi arrived at their Huiyin.

    The pleasure resulting from the process was no different than that experienced through sexual intercourse. Sometimes, it might even be better!

    Li Yundong had never experienced something like this before. No words could describe the euphoric sensation pulsating inside his body at that moment. It started out gentle, like a tiny brook inside his core, where the pleasure trickled out before spreading to other parts of his body. But, with each stroke of Su Chan's fingers, the sensation intensified and the brook quickly became a vast, boundless ocean which engulfed him completely!

    Once the intensity subsided, Li Yundong felt himself floating back up to the surface of the ocean. When he finally broke through the surface, the ocean was warm and calm. From there, he allowed himself to drift in this ocean of euphoria as pleasure and happiness pervaded his body, invigorating him right down to his hair follicles!

    However, as Li Yundong drifted along and wallowed in pleasure, the sensation intensified once again. All of a sudden, he could feel something brewing inside his chest. He didn't know what it was, just that it was intense and that the only way he could find release was by shouting at the top of his lungs.

    The students sitting near him had been watching the whole display from the start, their eyes wide in disbelief and their teeth clenched in envy.

    Sure, they had seen people showing off before, but never to this extent!

    "He just asked a pretty girl to give him a massage right in the middle of a lecture?! What the f*ck?!"

    "F*ck, I can't stand this sh*t anymore. None of this even makes sense! Man, look at the bastard's face! It's like he's showing off just how much he's enjoying the massage and all we can do is watch! God, I feel like shoving my foot down his throat!"

    Suddenly, the entire lecture hall plunged into silence. Behind the lectern, the professor stood stock-still with a face as dark as the bottom of a scorched pan, his lecture on Marxism-Leninism all but forgotten. Oh, he'd heard things from his colleague, alright. Yesterday, the Professor of The History of Ancient Chinese Literature mentioned something to him about a cocky sophomore from the third class of the Department of Chinese Language and Literature, something about fooling around with a beautiful woman in the middle of class!

    Today, he'd seen with his own eyes just how brazen this brat was. Asking a beautiful woman to give him a massage during a lecture? The nerve of him!

    "Son of a b*tch," the professor thought. "Where does he think he is? A massage parlor? He thinks he owns the damn place?"

    "I've seen my fair share of impudent students. But this! This is a whole new level of arrogance!"  

    A crack formed on the chalk that the professor was holding in his hand. Tightening his jaw, the professor stepped down from the lectern and walked past rows of seats towards Li Yundong. When he was only a few feet away from Li Yundong, Su Chan's fingers stilled and she looked up from Li Yundong's head.

    Su Chan smiled at the professor and pressed her index finger to her lips in a silent gesture, then added a playful wink.

    The professor stopped short.

    Professor Liu was a man in his mid-twenties who had taken a teaching position at the university immediately after he completed his postgraduate research. Being a man in his prime, his mind stood no chance against the flirtatious wink that the young beauty had just given him. His mind went completely blank as he stood rooted on the spot, not knowing what to do.

    The professor was in a serious predicament. On one hand, he wanted to put an end to the pair's inappropriate behavior, but on the other, he couldn't seem to find it in him to deny this pretty girl's wish. Why did she have to look so beautiful, damn it! No man would be able to deny her!

    "But there are more than a hundred students watching me..." he thought. "I can't just stand around and do nothing. There's no way I'd be able to teach this class again if I allow this."

    Professor Liu was at his wits' end. There he stood, a few feet away from Li Yundong, with a pained and panicked look on his face.

    All eyes in the lecture hall were now trained on the professor, who honestly looked like he was about to sh*t his pants. Then, when the students saw the look of utter bliss on Li Yundong's face, they ended up struggling between amusement and shock. None of them dared to laugh, though.

    Su Chan retracted her fingers from Li Yundong's scalp, then patted the top of Li Yundong's head with the center of her palm to redirect his Yuanyang back to his meridians.

    Li Yundong shuddered and let out a long sigh. "God, that's feels so good!"

    Under normal circumstances, Li Yundong's voice wouldn't have drawn anyone's attention. Alas, the lecture was completely silent moments before he uttered those words. Besides, he had just completed Xiao Zhoutian, which meant that his body was overflowing with Qi, including the splenogastric region. When he spoke, his voice came out loud and clear, as if he had spoken through a megaphone. Naturally, everyone in the lecture hall heard him.

    Li Yundong had yet to notice that anything was amiss after his utterance of pleasure. However, when he opened his eyes, he nearly fell off his seat.

    "Wh- what?" Li Yundong's eyes went wide. "Pro- Pro- Professor Liu! Wh- what are you doing?"

    "Wahahahaha!" Roars of laughter tumbled out of the mouths of all students in the lecture hall. Everyone began pounding their chests and stomping their feet like a bunch of laughing gorillas.

    Professor Liu's cheeks twitched with every passing second of laughter he heard. When the laughter subsided, he growled one word at a time, "Enjoyed yourself enough?"

    Those words triggered another round of laughter.

    Li Yundong forced out a smile. "E- enough!"

    Professor Liu pointed at the exit. "Get out of my sight!" he snarled. "I don't welcome students like you in my class!"

    Li Yundong gaped at Professor Liu, unable to speak. Beside him, Su Chan felt as though they had both been unjustly treated. However, Li Yundong held her back before she could say anything. "Fine, fine," Li Yundong said. "I'm leaving now."

    Dragging Su Chan with him, Li Yundong fled the lecture hall, leaving gales of laughter in his wake. "Why are you afraid of him?" Su Chan said angrily when they were far away enough from the lecture hall. "Let's go back! I'll give him a piece of my mind!"

    Li Yundong groaned, almost in tears at this point. "I'm screwed," he said. "F*ck! I'm pretty sure I'm in the Hall of Shame now!"

    Su Chan rolled up her sleeves. "Come on!" she said, dragging Li Yundong back towards where they came from. "I'll teach him a lesson!"

    Li Yundong stopped her quickly, his eyes widening into a glare. He was just about to go on a tirade when he remembered Su Chan's gentleness when giving him a massage. He sighed inwardly. "Everything that she did was for my sake, wasn't it?"

    His anger evaporated instantly. "Nah, none of this is her fault," he thought. "I only have myself to blame!"  

    Li Yundong lowered his head dejectedly. "Forget it. Let's just go home. They won't let me go back to class anyway," he said. "We shouldn't make this any worse than it already is, otherwise I'd be expelled."

  • Chapter 9 Clash

     

    Su Chan stared at Li Yundong as though he'd grown a second head. "What's so great about this xuetang anyway? From what I see, that man is more like a barbarian than a schoolmaster!" (T/N: Xuetang is an archaic Chinese term for 'school')

    That statement just about fried every single one of Li Yundong's brain cells. He stared at Su Chan in utter disbelief and said, "Xuetang? Schoolmaster? My God, woman. Which era are you from! Did you time travel here from ancient times?"

    Su Chan blinked at him in confusion. "What do you mean?"

    Once again, Li Yundong was thrown into speechlessness. "What am I going to do with you..." he thought. After a while, Li Yundong released a long, despondent sigh. "Argh, forget it. You wouldn't understand. Look, just," Li Yundong grabbed two fistfuls of his hair and sighed again. "I can't afford to get expelled, okay? I won't get a single cent from my parents if I do!"

    "Then... Did I do something wrong just now? Did I cause you trouble again?" Su Chan asked timidly.

    Li Yundong shook his head and said, "No. You didn't do anything wrong. It was all me."

    Li Yundong breathed in deep and then exhaled. In an instant, his chest felt lighter, as if his frustration had been expelled from his body via his breath. He was a born optimist, so it didn't take him long to recover his mood. When he did, he smiled at Su Chan and said, "How about I take you on a tour of my university?"

    It was a little past ten and most classes were still ongoing. Li Yundong didn't feel like going home just yet, so he gave Su Chan a nickel tour of the campus. Eventually, they arrived at a footpath lined with trees on both sides. Above the path, the canopy of thick foliage provided ample shade, making it a good place for a stroll. Soon, the pair was promenading along the path.

    Although he wasn't allowed to hold Su Chan's hand as they walked, Li Yundong couldn't find any faults in his present circumstances. Here he was, sharing a walk with a drop-dead gorgeous woman on a sunny day, with speckles of sunlight flickering on his shoulders like some kind of dynamic mosaic pattern, and whiffs of feminine fragrance mixed with a grassy scent tickling his nostrils. What fault could he possibly find in that? Life was pretty good as far as he was concerned.

    Along the way, Li Yundong and Su Chan passed by quite a few students, all of whom did double takes when they saw Su Chan. Indeed, she had that kind of effect on people; she looked like a little angel, a perfect amalgamation of chaste, innocence, and cuteness that would captivate anyone who laid eyes on her. As they walked, Li Yundong secretly revelled in the effect Su Chan had on everyone they passed by. The looks in their eyes said it all, like they had never seen anything so beatiful in their whole lives.

    "Wow, your xuetang, ah, I mean, your university, is so huge!" Su Chan remarked as she glanced around with curious eyes.

    Li Yundong's lips curved into an amused smile. "Well, this is just some crappy, third-rate university anyway," he said. "You haven't been to the country's top university yet. Its campus is way larger than this one."

    "Really? I feel like going there to see for myself one day," Su Chan said in an envious tone.

    Li Yundong laughed and said, "So. You're the type who likes noisy crowds?"

    Su Chan suddenly became quiet. For a moment there, Li Yundong wondered whether she had even heard his question. But when he turned to the side to look at her, he noticed that she was deep in thought. When she finally spoke a moment later, her voice came out soft and wistful. "Maybe? I mean, I don't really know," she said. "Maybe I've been living in the mountains for too long. Sometimes it would be years before I even see a single soul." At this point, they had nearly reached the end of the footpath. Several feet ahead, there was a copse of trees that spread out like some kind of dense thicket.

    Li Yundong was just about to speak when he heard a voice. "Zhou Qin, I really, really like you. I would do anything for you." The voice came from the copse.

    "Hm? A love confession?" he thought.

    "Ha. In the past, I was always the one who confessed and got humiliated. F*ck, I even made it to the university forums! Well, I guess the tide has turned..."

    Joy coursed through Li Yundong's veins. Pressing his index finger to his lips, he whispered, "Shh! Let's go check it out."

    Su Chan's very existence revolved around mischief; it was an inborn trait. Needless to say, Li Yundong's sudden cloak-and-dagger behavior kicked her innate penchant for mischief into overdrive. Grinning like a Cheshire cat, Su Chan mimicked Li Yundong's shush gesture.

    They shared a look with each other, both grinning like there was no tomorrow.

    Then, they slowly crept towards the edge of copse until they arrived at a low hedge, where they crouched down and kept their heads low. The confession was happening inside a gazebo not too far away from where they were crouching. Alas, neither of them could see past the dense greenery well enough to get a clear view of the confession, so they settled for eavesdropping on the conversation.

    "Zhao Yujian, we really aren't right for each other..." Zhou Qin's voice was as melodious as ever. If it weren't for the aloofness and indifference that it contained, it would've been angelic.

    "But Zhou Qin, you've never even given me a chance to prove myself. Please, give me a chance. What do I lack that makes me undeserving of your affections? Tell me! I'll change! I'll improve myself! I'll do anything!" Zhao Yujian implored.

    Another voice sounded. "Hey! Stop your babbling! Do you know how annoying you are? What do you lack, you asked?" There was a derisive snort. "Wrong question, pal. The real question is, what do you even have that makes you deserve to be with Zhou Qin?" Li Yundong's brows shot to his hairline. "This voice... Ding Nan?"  

    Li Yundong poked his head around the side of the hedge and peeked towards the gazebo. He couldn't help it; he had to see what was happening.

    Zhou Qin's figure caught his eye immediately. She was standing with her back to him, dressed in a pale green blouse with medium-length sleeves. And, as if the blouse wasn't pretty enough as it was, it had to be lace-trimmed around the cuffs and neckline. Her dark hair, long and straight, cascaded past her shoulders with their ends reaching around mid-back level. A long, beige lace-trimmed skirt flowed from her waist down to her ankles.

    The gazebo looked like an ancient architectural masterpiece. The weight of its roof was borne by pillars whose ends were fitted with brackets constructed from interlocking wooden blocks. The roof was no less remarkable, with cornices which curved upwards like a bull's horn. And, with Zhou Qin standing there amidst the antiquated ambience, the whole scene seemed like some kind of tableau. The rustling of foliage announced the arrival of a breeze which swept across the gazebo a second later, causing Zhou Qin's skirt to billow out around her legs. At that precise moment, Li Yundong thought a goddess had just arrived on earth in the form of Zhou Qin. After all,  how could a woman of such ethereal beauty and elegance be anything less than a goddess?

    Not even Su Chan could help the sound of praise that came out of her mouth after witnessing such ethereal beauty. "So beautiful!" Su Chan had met Zhou Qin before, though all of her attention was focused on Li Yundong during that time. Hence, Su Chan had never really given Zhou Qin's appearance its due attention until now.

    Standing beside Zhou Qin was none other than Ding Nan. Although Li Yundong was looking at Ding Nan from the side, he could still make out the cute Hello Kitty sketch printed across the chest of her white sports singlet. Below, a pair of Daisy Dukes left nearly every inch of her long, white legs open to view. If there was one thing that those sorry excuse for shorts did extremely well, it was to accentuate the outline of her round, firm, and curvy bubble-butt; which, by the way, was amazing.

    No matter how much Ding Nan's usual behavior revolted Li Yundong, he had to admit that the woman was every bit deserving of the title "Belle of the Foreign Language Department." Within her youthful beauty, there was a sexiness and sultriness to be found. If Zhou Qin could cause a guy to daydream, then Ding Nan could give them wetdreams.

    With her choice of outfit, Ding Nan seemed, in every sense of the word, cute. Until she opened her mouth, that is. With her mouth open, Ding Nan was a f*cking viper, spewing venom everywhere.

    "Ha. Before, there was this Li Yundong guy, who's just a stupid toad lusting after a swan, and now there's you! Say, are you guys super annoying or what? Seriously, do you guys not own mirrors or something? What makes you believe that you even belong in the same league as Zhou Qin? Let me tell you something. You little shits don't even have a right to look at her!" See? Viper. Not even an outsider (sort of) like Li Yundong could stop himself from frowning at those acrimonious words.

    Su Chan stuck out her tongue in distaste. "What a mean woman," she mumbled. "I can't believe she dragged you into this as well!"

    Li Yundong smiled at Su Chan and then jerked his head slightly at the gazebo. Su Chan got the message and immediately returned her attention to the conversation, which, in all honesty, felt more like an all-out ass chewing rather than a love confession at this point.

    Li Yundong stared at Zhou Qin and Ding Nan for a little while longer before finally turning his gaze towards Zhao Yujian. The moment he did, Li Yundong was reminded of just how much of a preferential little sh*t genetics could be. Here he was, sporting a spare tyre around his waist while the guy over there was practically a 183cm tall walking beefcake. Tall frame and lean muscles aside, he had to have a handsome face as well! In a suit and tie, he could easily pass himself off as Takuya Kimura.

    "Wait a minute... I think I know this guy. Zhao Yujian... Zhao Yujian... That name sounds so familiar." Then, everything clicked. This Takuya Kimura lookalike was none other than the president of Tiannan University's Taekwondo club and Tiannan city's Taekwondo champion. Li Yundong was honestly surprised that he hadn't recognized him sooner, because this was the Zhao Yujian, the one acknowledged by pretty much everyone to be the most handsome student in the university. Well, if Li Yundong was the King of Love Confessions, then Zhao Yujian had to be the King of Love Letters since he had already received love letters from more than thirty females students!

    "Heh... so even a guy like Zhao Yujian would be rejected by Zhou Qin, huh?"  

    "Well, I'll be damned..." Deep down, Li Yundong was nothing if not shocked. As far as he was concerned, Zhou Qin was an enigma. Well, he did hear from somewhere that she came from a powerful family, but that was it. Other than that, her true status remained a complete mystery to him. Not that people cared, since the woman was nothing short of outstanding even when her background was taken out of the equation. Brains, looks, poise, and prestige, she had it all in spades. Other than her infuriating aloofness, she was basically flawless.

    But, seriously, what was even her type? She just turned down Zhao frigging Yujian! What the heck!

    Meanwhile, Zhao Yujian seemed appalled by Ding Nan's harsh words. It was as if Ding Nan had just delivered a roundhouse kick to his face, one that he never saw coming. Tremors ran through every part of his body: his lips; his index finger that was currently pointing at Ding Nan; even his voice when he finally recovered enough from his mortification to speak. "You, you, you-"

    Ding Nan cut off his stammering with a cold sneer. "Me? What about me? Oh, you want my advice, is that it? Sure, I have two words for you. F*ck! Off! While you're at it, go dig a hole in the ground and bury yourself in it! Stop embarrassing yourself here!"

    Zhou Qin stopped the viper's onslaught with a few pats on her hand. "Xiaonan, that's enough," Zhou Qin whispered. "Stop talking."

    After that, Zhou Qin looked Zhao Yujian right in the eye and said, "Zhao Yujian, please don't look for me anymore. A relationship between us won't work."

    Seconds later, Zhou Qin and Ding Nan walked away from the gazebo, leaving a devastated Zhao Yujian staring after them in a stupor. At that moment, Li Yundong thought the poor guy looked like a sculpture standing amidst the remnants of a war-torn city: unmoving, broken, and covered in ashes and glowing cinders.

    Zhao Yujian kept staring after Zhou Qin until something inside him finally snapped: "Zhou Qin! You'll regret this!"

    Zhou Qin's steps never faltered, nor did she look back at Zhao Yujian. It was as if she never even heard him.

    Ding Nan turned around with a sneer, then flipped him the bird.

    A spasm of rage contorted Zhao Yujian's handsome countenance. All of a sudden, he burst forward but stopped immediately after his first step with his fists tightly clenched and his body as stiff as a post. Seconds later, he began pacing around the gazebo like a lion about to go berserk. When he finally stopped pacing a while later, he stared out of the gazebo, his eyes filled with menace. However, a moment later, he just stormed off in an angry huff.

    Li Yundong and Su Chan crawled out from under the hedge after Zhao Yujian's angry departure. Li Yundong was still trying to process whatever the heck it was that he'd just witnessed. It was like reliving his own experience but from a different point of view; so close, yet so far. "Well, shit," Li Yundong thought. "It didn't seem all that bad when it happened to me... But to see it happen to someone else? Damn. I must have f*cking balls of steel to do it twenty-one times over!"

    Regardless, what he just saw hit too close to home, and Li Yundong was no longer in the mood to carry on with the tour. After a moment of thought, he said, "Come on then. Let's head home and I'll whip up a couple of nice dishes for you. How about that?"

    Su Chan's face was practically glowing when she heard his suggestion. For a moment there, Li Yundong thought she looked like the hungriest chicken he'd ever seen, what with the way her head was bobbing up and down as if she was desperately pecking at every piece of poultry feed she could find. Was that drool he saw at the corner of her lips?

    Li Yundong burst into laughter and started walking away. "Come on! Time to get some groceries!" He halted his steps and turned around to look at Su Chan. "How about you do the buying this time?"

    Su Chan's smile faltered. "But... I'm worried that I might cause you trouble again."

    Li Yundong waved off her concern with a smile. From the pockets of his pants, he took out a wad of cash, which consisted of dozens of red hundred yuan notes, and shoved it into Su Chan's palm.

    Little did Su Chan know that this was actually Li Yundong's ploy to give her some extra money to keep on her in case of emergency. Any normal person would've smelled a rat immediately. Tens of thousands of yuan, just for groceries? What, were they going to feed a town? Then again, Su Chan didn't exactly fall into the "normal" category.

    "How much are these red papers worth?" Su Chan thought, blinking a few times. She didn't even know this was what money looked like in the mortal world. However, she didn't let herself dwell on the question for any longer as she tore her gaze away from the money in her hand and looked up at Li Yundong instead. "Oh," she said, tightening her grip on the cash.

    They left the campus and went to the marketplace nearby.

    At the marketplace, Li Yundong led Su Chan to a butcher stall. "I'm going to tell you what to do, okay?" Li Yundong said when they were both standing in front of the stall. "Now. Tell him that you want 500 grams of pork belly and a piece of pork bone."

    Su Chan repeated what Li Yundong had told him to the letter. Struck by her beauty, the butcher shot a few furtive glances at Su Chan. After receiving Su Chan's order, the man deliberately selected the finest cuts of pork belly he had for the day and then packaged them up for Su Chan in a plastic bag. Yeah, beauty could be the downfall of a man, but if a man is lucky enough to have one by his side, it could be pretty damn fulfilling as well.

    Su Chan took the bag and then turned around to leave. "Hey, hey," Li Yundong said, grasping her arm before she could take a single step. "You haven't paid yet."

    Su Chan stuck out her tongue and gave the butcher a sheepish look. "Oops. I forgot," she said, fumbling around in her pocket.

    She shoved the entire bundle of cash in front of the butcher's face.

    The butcher nearly jumped out of his skin when he saw that much money being dangled in front of his face. "But this is way too much!" he exclaimed.

    Cringing awkwardly, Li Yundong pulled out one note from the bundle in Su Chan's hand and then handed it to the butcher. Moments later, he took the change from the butcher and reached for Su Chan's other hand.

    Li Yundong stuffed the change into her palm and said, "Groceries doesn't cost much at all. One of these" —Li Yundong pulled out a note from the original bundle—"can get you quite a bit of groceries. Well, it'll be a different story if you eat out, of course. You'll definitely need more than one if you eat at a restaurant."

    "Do restaurants have delicious dishes? Are they as good as yours?"

    Li Yundong stared into Su Chan's eyes, amused by the excitement he detected in them and the rapid batting of her lashes. Then, he laughed and said, "Well, that's hard to say. Each has its own merits, I guess." Li Yundong nodded at the butcher and left the stall. When Su Chan fell in step beside him, Li Yundong grinned at her and said, "You haven't tried the best of my cooking though. I've still got a couple of special dishes up my sleeves."

    After leaving the butcher, the pair headed for the vegetable stalls.

    As they drew nearer to the vegetable stalls, Li Yundong felt as if they were being watched. From the corner of his eyes, he noticed that the vegetable stall lady who had tried to rip him off last time was staring at them. Well, glaring would be the more appropriate term.

    Li Yundong, being an unforgiving person, met her glare with a glare of his own.

    He got an eye roll in return.

    Li Yundong didn't have a lot of achievements, but what he lacked in accomplishment he made up for in pride. Some would say that perhaps his pride was his greatest achievement. There were several vegetable stalls in the marketplace, which was fortunate since Li Yundong had long since decided that he'd rather starve to death than do business with that hoodwinker again.

    After getting what they needed from the other vegetable stalls, the pair left the marketplace with several bags of groceries.

    However, on the way home, something caught Li Yundong's eyes. That douchebag whom he nearly came to blows with a few days ago was standing nearby, watching them.

    Er Lu shot a murderous glare at Li Yundong, then let his eyes wandered to Su Chan.

    Li Yundong could discern the lust in the guy's eyes as they lingered on Su Chan. Hell, the douchebag was practically undressing Su Chan with his eyes. Then, Li Yundong saw douchebag turning his head to utter a few inaudible words to another dude who was young, blonde, and dressed in jeans.

    This young dude, who looked like he'd just robbed a convenience store of all its hair dyes, cast a glance at Su Chan after he heard Er Lu's words. A lewd smile formed on his face as he nodded. "Mmhm. Ooh yeah, she's definitely a fine-looking young thing," said blonde dude. "I must say you've got good tastes, you son of a gun!"

    Li Yundong's face turned grim in an instant. He moved closer to Su Chan and did a quick scan of their surroundings. "F*ck," Li Yundong thought when he saw five guys approaching them from behind, all of whom were carrying long objects concealed in rolled-up newspapers.

    Li Yundong's heart sank to the pit of his stomach because he knew they were in big trouble now, even more so when he suddenly recognized who the blonde dude was. Xie Fei, a third-year from Tiannan University's Department of Economics. He was a hooligan with a bad rep, as well as a predilection for picking fights and harassing women.

    Li Yundong transferred the grocery bags to one hand and then grabbed Su Chan's wrist with his free hand. "When I say run, you run, got it?" he whispered.

    "Huh? Why run?" Su Chan said, her face scrunched up in confusion. She was a Cultivator, for the love of the Tao. These goons weren't even a threat.

    Li Yundong almost laughed at her question. "Why run? Are you f*cking kidding me? We're surrounded by seven guys! You want us to stay behind and get our asses kicked?"

    Alas, Li Yundong had no idea that he'd been enhanced from head to toe by the Renyuan Jindan. And he sure as hell didn't think of himself as a badass like Jet Li or Donnie Yen.

    Apparently, Xie Fei had heard Su Chan's question too since he began laughing out loud. "That's right, pretty lady. There's no reason for you to run. It's not like we're going to do something to you or anything. Just have a meal with us!"

    Li Yundong's fingers tightened around Su Chan's wrist. "Go f*ck yourselves!" Li Yundong flung the grocery bags at Xie Fei and then yelled, "Run!"

  • Chapter 10 The Greatest Traceur in History

    Xie Fei and Er Lu were caught off guard by Li Yundong's sudden retaliation. They never thought Li Yundong had the balls to make the first move.

    Swish! Smack! Xie Fei managed to block the incoming grocery bag with his forearm. However, a second later, he felt a strong force slam into his chest, pushing all the air out of his lungs. Before he could even scream, he was in the air with his arms and legs flailing. After which, Xie Fei's body finally crashed into ground about two meters away from where he'd been standing.

    Er Lu's eyes flashed menacingly at the sight of Xie Fei on the ground, hands on his chest, writhing in pain and gasping for air. Reaching behind his back, Er Lu pulled out a long melon knife and swung it at Li Yundong.

    Tiannan City had been thriving economically in recent years and was now considered a second-tier city. Alas, old habits die hard. Notwithstanding the city's recent economic success, and the resulting boost in living standards, the barbaric ways of its citizens endured. Minor disagreements still led to blows and, sometimes, even knife fights.

    Skirmishes on the streets still happened on occasion, especially in the city slums. These violent bouts typically involved gangsters beating the crap out of each other with metal sticks. Of course, there was also a bloodthirstier bunch who resorted to melon knives and the like. Needless to say, Tiannan City remained a breeding ground for organized crime, with gangs and the mafia running rampant. In all fairness, it wasn't that the police were deliberately leaving these gangs unchecked, just that they had neither the manpower nor resources to deal with them.

    Er Lu and Xie Fei were members of such gangs. Ruthless and merciless, they were both mean sons of b*tches who walked around carrying knives at all times. Whenever they struck, they struck hard, and there sure as hell would be blood involved.

    Er Lu's brutality was obvious from the way he swung at Li Yundong with the melon knife. The attack was aimed at Li Yundong's arm, the one that was holding on to Su Chan's wrist.

    Although Li Yundong had been granted superhuman strength by the Renyuan Jindan, he had no idea how to put that strength to good use. Li Yundong's current situation was, in fact, similar to one portrayed in the Wuxia novel series by Jin Yong; when Zhang Wuji first started his training in the Jiuyang Martial Arts system, he was completely clueless as well.

    If Er Lu's strike found its target, not even the Jindan's power could prevent Li Yundong's arm from being hacked off at his shoulder.

    The first thing Li Yundong felt after he landed his kick on Xie Fei's chest wasn't satisfaction. Instead, it was a sense of dread, of imminent danger. He looked behind him and froze at what he saw. "Shit!" Li Yundong thought, instantly breaking out in cold sweat. The moment Li Yundong saw Er Lu standing behind him with a f*cking melon knife raised overhead, he knew he was probably going to lose an arm today. Yet, he couldn't do anything at that moment except stand there like a pig waiting to be slaughtered. All of a sudden, he saw Su Chan making an abrupt one-eighty, then a beautiful leg shot out from under her skirt to deliver a powerful kick which sent Er Lu flying a few feet away.

    Alas, Li Yundong didn't have time to marvel at Su Chan's timely kick because he saw three more guys charging at them from the front. And, if that wasn't bad enough, the five guys he saw earlier were now removing their weapons from inside their newspaper rolls: five shiny melon knives.

    Li Yundong didn't even have to think about his next course of action as he grabbed Su Chan's hand and broke off into a sprint.

    However, he had barely taken two steps before he felt Su Chan freeing her hand from his grip. Alarmed, Li Yundong turned around and saw Su Chan charging back towards the five knife-wielding thugs, looking like she wanted to skin those guys alive. Li Yundong lunged forward and seized Su Chan's bicep. "Let me go!" Su Chan yelled. "I'm going to teach these guys a lesson!"

    "Are you out of your f*cking mind?!" Li Yundong yelled back. "There are so many of them! And they've got knives!"

    Enhanced by the Jindan, Li Yundong was definitely a match for Su Chan in terms of physical strength. Li Yundong gave his hand on Su Chan's bicep a quick jerk, pulling her towards him. Su Chan's face smacked into his chest and she squeaked in surprise. Without giving her a chance to protest, Li Yundong hooked an arm under her knees and picked her up in a bridal's carry, then ran hell for leather towards the campus.

    "Grab him! F*cking chop that son of a b*tch into pieces! And bring the girl to me!" Xie Fei yelled from the ground.

    Su Chan struggled relentlessly against Li Yundong's tight hold. "Put me down! I'm going to kick their asses!"

    Her voice was, unfortunately, heard by those thugs who were chasing them. Rage filled their hearts as they tightened their grips on their weapons. The sinister smiles on their faces left their clenched teeth open to view. "Let's just see who will be the ones getting their asses kicked!"

    Su Chan felt as light as a feather in Li Yundong's arms. The sudden threat had instantly activated Li Yundong's fight or flight response. Tension coursed through every inch of Li Yundong's body as he ran, his muscles contracting forcefully with every firing of his neurons. His heart pounded rapidly against his ribcage, pumping adrenaline throughout his system, and his skin burned as though the blood inside his veins was boiling.

    Once every few steps, Li Yundong's eyes would dart around to observe his surroundings while his mind calmly worked out possible escape routes.

    They were currently on a straight two-way street with shops on both sides. "Three in front and five behind. They're closing in. I've got to get off this street," Li Yundong thought. "Right? Or left?"

    Li Yundong made a split-second decision and sprinted towards a fried dumpling shop on his two o'clock.

    "Shit..." Li Yundong thought when he saw that the three thugs in front had gotten to the dumpling shop in time to intercept his path. He looked behind his back and saw the other five thugs hot at his heels. Returning his eyes to the front, he noticed that the three thugs in front of the dumpling shop already had their knives out. It was already too late to pick another route, so Li Yundong made yet another split-second decision."Here goes nothing..." Using all the momentum from his sprint, Li Yundong leaped straight at the wall which formed the side of the shop, narrowly avoiding a slash by one of the thugs. He planted his foot on the surface of the wall, using it to propel himself further up the wall. Step! Step! Step! Li Yundong landed on the ground behind the three thugs and took off in a sprint once again.

    The three thugs turned around simultaneously and stared in shock as Li Yundong landed on the ground behind them before sprinting off again. All that, and the f*cker was carrying a woman in his arms!

    Xie Fei stood up from the ground, still rubbing his chest with his hand. "Hey! What are you guys still standing around for?" he growled. "Go get that son of a b*tch!"

    The thugs roared and ran after Li Yundong.

    This particular street was just the right width. Along it were restaurants, cafes, and delis, all of which were frequented by students. Needless to say, the street was currently teeming with students because it was their lunch break.

    Today, these students were granted a break from the mundane as they watched a slightly chubby dude running around with a chick in his arms. That wasn't the only thing that left them gaping in awe though; it was the speed at which the dude was running and the superhuman agility that he must possess to execute those superhuman dodges and leaps. It was like one of those parkour stunts they saw on TV.

    Then again, traceurs usually dress in light clothing whenever they practice parkour, and they sure as hell never did backflips or ran along walls while carrying someone in their arms.

    Some students were so amazed by what they were seeing that they began reaching for their phones, hoping to capture the whole thing on video. But, by the time their phones were out, they realized that Li Yundong was already more than ten meters away. All they could capture at this point was Li Yundong's back. "What the... How could anyone be that fast? And while carrying a person?"

    A ruckus interrupted the students' musings a moment later, at which point they saw a bunch of gangsters running past them like a gust of wind, cursing and brandishing their knives as they ran.

    Li Yundong ran around for a while with Su Chan in his arms. From the corner of his eyes, he caught side of Tiannan University's front gates nearby, and an idea struck him. "These bastards wouldn't dare follow me onto the campus, right?"  

    With that, Li Yundong changed course and ran towards the campus.

    However, Li Yundong regretted his decision the moment he arrived at the gates.

    Morning classes had just ended, and a lot of students were leaving the campus grounds through the gates. Those were the students who preferred to have lunch in the cafes and restaurants nearby rather than the campus' canteen.

    Li Yundong looked ahead and noticed a large group of students leaving the gates. Slowing down wasn't an option since he was currently charging at top speed towards the gate, and turning around wasn't an option either because Er Lu and those thugs were already close enough behind him for him to hear their shouts. "Damn it!"   

    "Move! Move! Out of the way!" Li Yundong yelled in frustration.

    Needless to say, Li Yundong's voice drew the attention of the students, who were all looking towards him. Those who knew him thought, "Who are you to be shouting orders at us? You're just a sophomore." Those who didn't know him decided to just ignore him.

    Sun Li, who was among the group of students walking out of the campus gates, stared at Li Yundong in confusion. She noticed the anxious look on his face and also the fact that he was carrying a woman as he charged right at her like a mad bull. Before she could ask him what kind of games he was up to this time, she noticed about ten gangsters with knives chasing after him. Startled, Sun Li tried to step away, but she knew it was probably too late because Li Yundong was running too fast and he was already too close. Sun Li closed her eyes and waited for the impact to come.

    Li Yundong knew damn well that he would send Sun Li flying and break a couple of her ribs if he barreled into her at this speed.

    "To hell with this sh*t!" Li Yundong clenched his jaw tight and leaped into the air, landing about half a foot in front of Sun Li with both of his knees bent. Then, as though using the ground like some kind of springboard, he pushed hard with both legs and somersaulted over Sun Li.

    Gasps and shouts broke out among the crowd. "Holy f*cking sh*t! Did he just somersault over a girl who's 165cm tall while carrying a person?? Is he even human?"

    The impact that Sun Li had been expecting never came. Instead, she felt a strong gust of wind, which made her open her eyes. However, when she did, she only saw a shadow dart across her vision, then it was gone. By the time she regained her senses, she was already covered in cold sweat.

    Xie Fei, Er Lu, and the thugs arrived at the gates just then, their faces and eyes red due to exhaustion. Xie Fei didn't even care that they were right outside of the campus. Like some kind of homicidal maniac, he yelled, "Get the f*ck out of the way!"

    Not that he needed to shout though. The students had already begun stepping aside from the moment they saw the knives that the thugs were wielding. In an instant, a path was created through the sea of students.

    Turning his head around, Li Yundong looked behind him, then cursed inwardly when he saw that the thugs had actually followed him onto the campus. He kept running, never slowing his steps.

    All the students and teachers on the campus did a double-take when Li Yundong hurtled past them. However, they all blanched and began shouting in fear when they saw a bunch of knife-wielding thugs running after Li Yundong.

    Alas, Li Yundong had never been in a situation where he was on the run from a bunch of homicidal thugs. Eventually, he panicked, took a wrong turn, and found himself trapped in a dead-end path at the bottom of the men's dorms.

    A chill ran down Li Yundong's spine. He turned his head around and realized, much to his horror, that those knuckleheads were still chasing after him. Worse, they now seemed legitimately pissed off. "Oh, shit..." Li Yundong was pretty sure he was going to end up in the minced meat section of the supermarket if those ruffians ever caught up to him.

    Li Yundong's mind raced as he glanced around, searching desperately for a way to escape. "Come on man, think! There has to be a way out." Somehow, his gaze landed on a corner of the building where the wall of the balconies meet another wall at a right angle. "Wait a minute... If I can use that to get to the top..."

    Li Yundong began sprinting towards the wall before he even completed that thought.

    At this moment, Ding Nan and Zhou Qin were leaving the women's dorms, which was directly opposite the men's, so they saw Li Yundong the moment they walked out of their building.

    Ding Nan chortled. "Is he trying to run himself into a wall? What, is this a new way of committing suicide?"

    Zhou Qin's response never made it past her lips because she saw something that literally took her breath away.

    When Li Yundong was a few feet from the wall, he made a powerful leap off of one foot, then his body shot into the air as though he had springs attached to the sole of his shoe. Bam! His other foot slammed into the wall with a harsh kick, which was a remarkable feat in and of itself. It was as though all the blood in Li Yundong's body had amassed in that leg, causing his muscles to contract and relax in a quick explosion of strength, the effect of which was akin to the sudden release of a spring after being compressed to its absolute limit!

    There had to be at least a thousand pounds of force behind that kick!

    In fact, it was so powerful that it even left a dent in the wall.

    Li Yundong's body surged upward as a result of the kick. At the same time, he was being propelled away from the wall towards the balcony walls.

    There was only about a meter or so between the two walls. When Li Yundong reached the balcony, he delivered another strong kick to its wall, propelling himself back to the first wall.

    Bam! Bam! Bam!

    Like one of those Judas' belt firecrackers, Li Yundong's body kept rising higher, section by section. With the agility of a monkey and the leg strength of a pouncing tiger, Li Yundong leaped from left to right, rising higher with each iteration. In just a matter of seconds, he made it to the roof, which was a good four floors above ground level.

    The students on the ground floor were so shocked that their eyeballs nearly popped out of their sockets.

    It wasn't until Li Yundong had finally reached the roof of the building that they finally recovered from their stupor.

    "F*ck... Did you see that? Holy sh*t, that's f*cking badass. Is he even human?"

    "Of course he's human, man. Now, did you film that or what?"

    "Film? How about I film your ass, dipsh*t? I was too stunned to even breath let alone do anything else. Dude! Nobody's gonna film jack sh*t when there's a Spiderman running up walls in front of them!"

    "Argh, dang. That's too bad, brah. I tell you what, if you have it on video and we post it online? I'm gonna chop off my f*cking hand if it doesn't become a hit!"

    Zhou Qin and Ding Nan gaped at what they just saw. "Wh- what? How's that even possible? That's unreal," Ding Nan said stupidly.

    Something flickered in Zhou Qin's eyes. At that moment, the look she was giving Li Yundong was no longer as aloof as it used to be. Instead, it was filled with shock.

    Xie Fei and Er Lu had arrived at the dormitory just in time to see Li Yundong hopping between two walls like a cheetah to get to the roof. And no, it didn't escape them that Li Yundong was carrying a girl in his arms while doing so. The mere thought of the latter turned their faces pale.

    Panting and breathless, one of Xie Fei's lackeys said, "Brother Fei, that son of a b*tch really knows how to run. F*ck, he's like a monkey or something. How the hell are we supposed to catch him?"

    "Shut up!" Xie Fei yelled, glaring at the guy who just spoke.

    Then, Xie Fei shot Er Lu a menacing look. "How come you never mentioned that this guy is such a pain in the ass?"

    Er Lu scowled. "I didn't think it would be this tough."

    Xie Fei curled his lips when he noticed a bunch of teachers and the campus security guards heading towards them. Turning around to face his lackeys, he yelled, "Hey! Put the knives away you morons! You wanna get your asses carted off to jail?"

    Xie Fei raised his head and glared at the rooftop, where Li Yundong and Su Chan stood. "I don't believe for a second that he can run from us forever!" Amidst all the madness, Xie Fei never stopped to consider one crucial question: if this guy could get four floors above ground to the roof using just a wall, all the while carrying a person in his arms, what would happen if he was trained in hand-to-hand combat?

    Food for thought.

  • Chapter 11 Truth and Lies

    From the rooftop, Li Yundong saw the thugs stomp off in anger. He sighed in relief and finally put Su Chan back down.

    "You should've let me beat those guys up," Su Chan snarled.

    "God, woman. Have you been watching too many episodes of 'My Sassy Girl?'" Li Yundong said, teetering between tears and laughter. "You think it's appropriate for a lady like you to go around throwing punches and kicking people in the nuts?"

    "Girl's got a point though. We can't run around like this forever... Gotta fight back at some point," Li Yundong thought. "Dammit, I've really gotta learn a few self-defense moves."

    When the adrenaline rush finally subsided, Li Yundong's mind began to process everything that happened from the start of the chase until now. The more he thought about it though, the more he couldn't wrap his head around everything. First of all, he realized he'd just sprinted for miles on end while carrying a girl in his arms, yet he wasn't even tired! Heck, he even pulled off some crazy ninja moves and climbed up a four-story building using just two walls! How the f*ck did he do all that?

    "Could this be one of those hysterical strength cases?" Li Yundong thought, remembering a story he once heard about a frail woman who managed to lift a car during a life-and-death situation.

    "Have I gone through the same thing as well?"

    In the end, Li Yundong decided that that had to be it. There were no other plausible explanations for what he just did.

    Being fully aware of the Renyuan Jindan's effects on Li Yundong's body, Su Chan didn't think any of his "feats" just now were surprising at all. In fact, she was still pissed off and grumbling inwardly about the fact that Li Yundong had stopped her from beating up those thugs.

    While Li Yundong was busy processing his thoughts, Su Chan was sulking beside him with both cheeks puffed out. A while later, Su Chan yelled, "Oh, no! The money!"

    Her voice pulled Li Yundong out of his thoughts. He glanced at Su Chan and noticed the timid look that she was giving him. "I... um... I lost all the money you gave me," Su Chan said, showing him her empty palms.

    Li Yundong felt as though someone had put a stake through his heart. "One f*cking thousand yuan... Gone..."

    Still, he feigned nonchalance and said, "How did you lose it?"

    "I can't remember," Su Chan said, staring back at him apprehensively. A moment passed where neither of them spoke. Suddenly, Su Chan grasped the hem of Li Yundong's shirt and gave it several tugs. "You're not mad, are you?"

    Li Yundong had been receiving "living expenses" from his parents since junior high. Well, that, plus the fact that he'd never been much of a spender, meant that he had saved up a lot of money over the years.

    To him, a thousand yuan wasn't a huge loss, but it wasn't one that he could just shrug off either. Then again, he supposed the loss wouldn't affect him that much. After all, it wasn't like he had to work his ass off to earn that money or anything. He got it all for nothing.

    At this moment, Li Yundong couldn't get mad even if he wanted to. Su Chan's contrite expression and puppy dog eyes pretty much took that possibility away. He sighed and gave Su Chan a tiny smile. Reaching out, he patted Su Chan's head a few times as though all was right in the world. "Guess you must've dropped it while we were being chased, huh?" he said. "Meh. Forget about it. The most important thing is that you're safe and unharmed."

    "Oh," Su Chan said. The notion of money was completely alien to her, and she didn't understand money's value, so she saw no reason to be upset about it if Li Yundong himself had shrugged it off.

    Meanwhile, it was pretty much a hullabaloo below the men's dorms. A lot of students were gathered there with their phones out to snap photos of Li Yundong and Su Chan on the rooftop. "Hey! Hey! Come on, man! Jump! Jump back down!" Clearly, some of the students hadn't had enough of the show just now.

    "F*cking assholes! While I was running for my life, those little f*ckers were having the time of their lives!"

    Among the students gathered there were several of Li Yundong's ex-roommates. Apparently, one of them thought it was a great idea to bask in Li Yundong's reflected glory. His face was practically glowing with pride when he grabbed the arm of a beautiful girl beside him and said, "Hey, that's my roommate."

    The girl snorted and gave him a look of distaste. "Yeah, right. And I'm his girlfriend!"

    Another guy, who'd been listening to the exchange, burst into laughter. "You? Hah! I call bullsh*t! The girl beside him is worth more than a hundred of you!"

    Well, it was pretty clear to anyone who heard the guy that he had ridiculously low IQ and EQ levels. Sure enough, his words raised the girl's hackles. "What's that supposed to mean, you crazy asshole? Did you forget to take your meds this morning? If so, go home and take it instead of spouting nonsense here like a lunatic!"

    The guy flinched at the girl's angry outburst, his earlier bravado gone in an instant. "I was just telling the truth," he muttered under his breath. "Yelling at me won't change anything."

    "What did you just say?" the girl snapped.

    A voice from afar prevented a fight from breaking out. "Hey! What's going on over there! What happened!" Everyone turned and saw one of the university's staff and a security guard rushing towards the men's dorm.

    Wu Hui stepped forward and planted himself in front of the crowd. "Director Qian, you came just in time. Things would've gotten out of hand if you didn't come sooner," Wu Hui said, pouring fuel on the fire.

    Mr. Qian was the director of the university's Office of Academic Affairs. He was middle-aged and, apparently, had the art of looking like a cold-hearted SOB down pat. Seriously, the guy's face looked as though he didn't have much capacity for kindness at all. And it didn't seem like he had much hair either, though he covered it up pretty well with that miserable patch he called a comb-over. Like a bunch of windblown grass, the "comb-over" curved from the right side of his head to the left. One didn't have to be an Einstein to figure out which side he was balding on.

    "Ah, Xiao Wu..." Director Qian's expression softened considerably the moment he saw Wu Hui. "What happened here?" Director Qian asked, running his fingers through his "comb-over" as if he was in the middle of a photoshoot for a Playboy magazine.

    "It's like this, sir. Just now Li Yundong and a bunch of gangsters were having a brawl on campus grounds," Wu Hui said. "There were even knives involved, which"—Wu Hui glanced around at the other students—"I'm sure all students gathered here can attest to." Wu Hui had been holding a grudge against Li Yundong ever since the humiliation he suffered at the hands of the latter. Wu Hui knew that Director Qian was a friend of his father's, so he figured he could use today's events as an opportunity to settle his personal score with Li Yundong.

    Everyone understood the gravity of Wu Hui's statement and his obvious intent to backstab Li Yundong. That statement was, in fact, a serious accusation, not just one of those petty misdemeanors, but an actual felony.

    If Li Yundong was convicted, being expelled would be the least of his worries, since he might also be arrested and placed in criminal detention.

    Sun Li had rushed over from the gates earlier and was now among the students gathered in front of the men's dorms. Her brows shot to her hairline when she heard Wu Hui's accusation. "Wu Hui, that's nonsense! It was the gangsters who were chasing Li Yundong around with knives, and they kept chasing him even after he ran into the school compound! What do you mean by 'having a brawl?' How come I never saw anything fitting that description?"

    A chorus of "Yeah! Neither did I!" broke out among the other students.

    Wu Hui's expression changed instantly. He walked over towards Sun Li and whispered to her harshly, "Sun Li, you're joking with me, right? Don't you hate that guy's guts? I suggest you read the situation properly before you speak. Trust me, you don't want to pick the wrong side."

    Sun Li thought Wu Hui's tone sounded a bit odd near the end of his statement. Odd? Scratch that. She knew exactly what it was. It was a threat.

    Sun Li conveyed every ounce of the disdain she felt for Wu Hui through her sneer. She then took a huge step back from Wu Hui as though he was some kind of infectious disease. "It's true that I dislike the guy," Sun Li said. "But what I hate even more are those corrupt people who would masquerade personal revenge as legitimate business."

    Wu Hui's face contorted in anger. "Corrupt? Sun Li! Who are you accusing of being corrupt?"

    "You know damn well whom I was referring to," Sun Li said icily.

    All of a sudden, the look on Wu Hui's face became outright murderous. However, Director Qian's impatient tone interrupted them before things could escalate. "Xiao Wu, you just got here, so you couldn't have known all the details about what happened. This isn't your fault. But if things really happened as Xiao Wu said, Tiannan University would show zero tolerance to the offenders involved!"

    Director Qian, being the cunning old bastard that he was, managed to extricate Wu Hui from the potential disgrace. He even went a step further by hinting at the other students just whose side he was on.

    Ding Nan, who had been watching the whole thing coldly from the sidelines, suddenly had an idea. She brought her lips closer to Zhou Qin and whispered, "Zhou Qin, that bastard has been acting so full of himself ever since that slut started following him around, so why don't you... You know."

    Zhou Qin stared at Ding Nan blandly. After a moment of thought, Zhou Qin shook her head slowly. "Forget it," she said. "We must learn to forgive and forget. Besides, it's not like he wronged me or anything." Zhou Qin paused, giving Ding Nan a strange look. "You, on the other hand, seem to dislike him very much. Did something happen between you two in the past?"

    "I only dislike him because of you!" Ding Nan thought angrily.

    Instead of letting her anger show, Ding Nan smiled at Zhou Qin sheepishly and said, "Well, you're the one with the big heart, right? Guess I'm no match in that regard."

    Zhou Qin smiled at Ding Nan before heading over towards Director Qian.

    Ding Nan stared after Zhou Qin, her eyes dark and gloomy with hatred. "You evil, conniving b*tch! How dare you pretend to be all virtuous and chaste in front of others! You avoid all the bad things like the plague, leaving me to deal with them. It's always you who gets all the good things, and I don't get a single one! Hmph! I hate you, Zhou Qin!"

    Unaware of the murderous look that Ding Nan was giving her, Zhou Qin stopped beside Director Qian. "Director Qian, I know a bit about what happened," she said softly.

    Director Qian turned his head to the side when he heard Zhou Qin's voice. When he did, he was surprised to see that Zhou Qin was already standing beside him. In an instant, he went from looking like a mean SOB to an obsequious, tail-wagging dog who'd just been praised by his master.

    "Aha! Finally, someone with sharp eyes! Zhou Qin, you came just in time. Please, do tell us what really happened here!" Director Qian's attitude towards Zhou Qin was far more amicable and courteous than towards Wu Hui. The reason? Well, let's just say that Zhou Qin had bigger guns backing her than Wu Hui did. If Wu Hui's support was an AK-47, hers was a f*cking tank.

    The faint smile on Zhou Qin's face made her look like some kind of well-bred, multi-talented, virtuous woman whose existence pretty much revolved around quiet sophistication. But in reality, that smile was merely a tool to erect a thick wall of aloofness to keep people at arm's length. Zhou Qin's elegant lips began to move as the truth spilled from them. "Director Qian, everything happened exactly as Sun Li mentioned. I saw everything. I believe the others here can verify that as well."

    "Right?" Zhou Qin said, raising her head, glancing around a few times.

    "Right!" shouted all the guys in unison. These guys had been under Zhou Qin's spell from the moment she walked up to Director Qian.

    "Ah, I see. So that's what happened. Alright then, I understand. Er, where's Li Yundong?"

    Li Yundong already knew that there was a flight of stairs that connected the dorm's rooftop and the ground floor. But what surprised Li Yundong greatly was the fact that the door at the bottom of the stairs was actually unlocked. "Finally some luck," Li Yundong thought as he opened the door.

    A huge crowd had gathered in front of the door while Li Yundong and Su Chan were making their way down the staircase. Director Qian had to squeeze his way through the bodies of students just to get to the front, and was already sweating profusely by the time he did.

    The crowd grew quiet the very instant Li Yundong and Su Chan stepped through the door. Everyone there, including Director Qian, was utterly captivated by the sight of Su Chan.

    Zhou Qin stood beside Director Qian with a slight frown. "Director Qian, this is Li Yundong," Zhou Qin said softly. "You can ask him to give you a full account of what happened today."

    Zhou Qin's voice brought Director Qian out of his trance. With uncertain and confused eyes, he glanced at Su Chan who was standing meekly beside Li Yundong. After a brief moment of gawking, he tore his eyes away from Su Chan to look at Li Yundong. From there, everything pretty much involved Director Qian grilling Li Yundong about today's incident. At the end of his questioning, he ordered Li Yundong to submit a full report to the Office of Academic Affairs tomorrow.

    Before leaving, Director Qian gave Li Yundong one last glance, then walked away with a subtle shake of his head. "I don't get it. What's so great about this guy that a girl that pretty would be with him?"

    Li Yundong walked up to Sun Li with a smile after Director Qian left. "Thanks, class rep. It was you who did the right thing at the crucial moment."

    "You heard that?" Sun Li said in mild surprise. "But you were so far away, how could you possibly..."

    Li Yundong's smile widened. "Of course I heard it! The voice of justice is loud and resounding," Li Yundong said. "It's pretty hard not to hear!"

    Sun Li's lips curved upwards slightly as she fought back a smile, but she quickly returned to her neutral expression. "Like you said, I was just trying to do the right thing. You know, you've been leaving classes early for several days straight. Say, are you trying to throw away your credits or what? If you still want them, I suggest you get your act together, because at this rate nobody even has to try anything to kick you out. You're going flunk out on your own!"

    "So what?" Li Yundong thought. "There are a f*ckton of postgrads and degree holders these days, so it's not like having a degree from this crappy university is going to be of any help. I bet there are hundreds of university graduates fighting for a job as a honeywagon operator! University graduate? Right. Big deal."

    Heck, if it weren't for this so-called "arrangement" made by his good-for-nothing, child-abandoning parents, he wouldn't even have bothered attending this sh*tty university!

    Not that Li Yundong would actually voice out his thoughts, unless he was a masochist who was looking for another fight after he came this close to becoming minced meat a while ago. Li Yundong flashed Sun Li a polite smile and said, "I knew it, class rep. I knew you actually care about me. Listen, you really saved my ass today. What say we have dinner together? My treat."

    Sun Li's cheeks colored slightly. She stole a glance at Zhou Qin, who was now walking away from the crowd with Ding Nan. "Care about you? What kind of nonsense is that! I don't give a damn what happens to you. You could go kill yourself for all I care! But this!" Sun Li gestured at the space between them. "How could you be flirting with others when there's a beauty right beside you? You're despicable!"

    Li Yundong gave Su Chan an awkward look. "Oops," he thought. To be fair, it wasn't that he wanted to tease Sun Li or anything. Sure, this Sichuan chick had a great figure and all that, but Li Yundong only had eyes for Su Chan at this moment.

    Alas, Li Yundong had a bad habit of acting flirty around the women he interacted with. In particular, he had a thing for making a woman blush with just his words alone.

    If he were a handsome man, his flirting would definitely lead to blushes and racing hearts. Sadly, he wasn't a handsome man, so all the Don Juan stunts he pulled so far were met with eye rolls. Heck, he was honestly surprised that none of those women had called the cops on him, or kicked him in the nuts.

    Much to Li Yundong's relief, Su Chan didn't seem to have heard Sun Li's comment about flirting. In fact, he doubted that she had been paying attention to his conversation with Sun Li at all. At this moment, Su Chan was staring at something nearby with a curious glint in her eyes. Li Yundong followed her gaze and realized that she was staring at Zhou Qin. "Phew, guess she didn't hear it then."

    However, Li Yundong's relief was short-lived because he started berating himself a moment later."What the f*ck was I doing! Ugh! Idiot! Why did I have to say those things to Sun Li! Should've said it to Su Chan!"  

    "Look, if there's anyone you have to thank, it's Zhou Qin," Sun Li said, looking over at Zhou Qin as well. "She's the one who managed to convince the director about what really happened. If she didn't? I don't need to tell you the kind of trouble you'd be in right now."

    Li Yundong was taken aback by that revelation. "Zhou Qin? The Zhou Qin?"

    Sun Li arched an eyebrow. "Is there another Zhou Qin that you know of?"

    Li Yundong stared at Zhou Qin's retreating figure for a while. Then, he nodded and returned his gaze to Sun Li. "Well I'll be damned," he said in awe. "You mean the ice queen actually said something fair for once?"

    Sun Li snorted. "And now you are the one who isn't being fair," Sun Li said in distaste. "She defended you, yet you're speaking ill of her behind her back. Get over there and thank her properly! Now!"

    Li Yundong grinned at Sun Li. "Yes, Ma'am!" Li Yundong saluted. "You know what you should do after you graduate, class rep? Teach young kids! It'd be a waste of your talent if you don't!"

    "Why are you still standing around here talking about me? Go thank Zhou Qin!" Sun Li snapped. "She just rejected your confession, yet she's still helping you?" Sun Li snorted. "Who knows, you might actually get a second chance."

    Li Yundong laughed out loud.

    "I never confessed to you. So why did you help me?" Li Yundong nearly blurted out those words. Nearly. He managed to hold his tongue at the last minute when he realized just how flirty they sounded.

    Sun Li rolled her eyes at Li Yundong as though she had read his mind. "Li Yundong!" Sun Li said in a surly tone. "Let me give you a word of advice, pal. It's best if you don't behave so frivolously in front of your girlfriend next time."

    Sun Li turned around with a flick of her dark, silky hair and then walked away.

    Stunned, Li Yundong stood there, watching the sway of Sun Li's hips as her shapely figure approached the academic building. "I'm frivolous?" he thought. "Nah, that can't be right, can it?"

    He turned his gaze towards Su Chan, only to find that she was still staring at Zhou Qin. Holy sh*t, was that passion in her eyes?

    Perplexed, Li Yundong looked towards Zhou Qin again. "What's the matter with this girl? Why is she looking at Zhou Qin like that? And what's with the hungry look in her eyes?" All of a sudden, a dreadful thought occurred to him. "Sh*t, she's not a lesbian, is she?"

    Li Yundong stared at Zhou Qin relentlessly, his eyes filled with doubt. When Zhou Qin reached the entrance to the women's dorm, she suddenly turned around, and their eyes met.

    Li Yundong gave Zhou Qin a nod of gratitude but got only a look of indifference in return. Clearly, the ice queen was back again. This time, however, there wasn't as much contempt in her eyes when she looked at Li Yundong. Some of it had been replaced with curiosity.

    Little did Li Yundong know that while he was busy looking at Zhou Qin, another pair of eyes was glaring at him. After a while, Wu Hui stormed off with an angry huff.

  • the first five chapters are well done. I really love this little fox.
  • Chapter 12 Kill Five of Them!

     

    Li Yundong waited until Zhou Qin had entered the dorms before he turned back to Su Chan. Believe it or not, Su Chan was still staring at the front entrance of the female dorms as if Zhou Qin was still there. "Hey, she's gone. What are you still staring at?"

    Su Chan released a happy sigh and began mumbling to herself: "Hm, let's see, let's see. Perfectly proportioned figure, check. Thick brows and chiseled nose, check. High forehead, check. Wow, her facial features are basically perfect. Ooh, her Renzhong has the perfect width and depth too. Hm... what else? Narrow waist and wide hips, check. My, my, what an ideal dinglu!" (T/N: Renzhong is an acupoint between the nose and the upper lip)

    "Okay that, was creepy as hell," Li Yundong thought. "What's the matter with you?" he said, touching Su Chan's forehead. "What are you mumbling about? What's with all that ideal dinglu crap?"

    Su Chan tore her gaze away from the dorms and said, "Oh, I was just praising her."

    The look of incredulity in Li Yundong's face was as real as the sun in the sky. "Praising her? What do you take me for, huh? An idiot? I know what a 'dinglu' means, okay? I've watched the 'Lethal Weapons of Love and Passion' before."

    "Oh, so you already know then?" Su Chan said, batting her lashes. "That's splendid." Without ado, Su Chan grabbed Li Yundong's arm and began to drag him away from the crowd.

    Once they were several feet away from the crowd, Su Chan stopped suddenly and glanced around. Li Yundong saw a sly glint in her eyes when she leaned in to whisper into his ear: "Yundong, you should pursue her! Such a high quality dinglu cannot be missed!"

    As far as Su Chan could tell, Li Yundong didn't seem very interested in the art of Cultivation at the moment. She didn't want to keep pestering him about it either lest her true intentions be exposed. That was why she had to find another way to boost the Yuanyang inside Li Yundong's body before the Jindan's effects dwindled.

    When Su Chan observed Zhou Qin's physical attributes earlier, she came to the conclusion that Zhou Qin's body contained a rare and pure form of Yin Qi known as Chun Yin. On the other hand, the Jindan's Qi inside Li Yundong's body was Chun Yang, a rare and pure form of Yang Qi. If she could get Zhou Qin and Li Yundong to sleep together, it would bring huge benefits to Li Yundong through a process known as Yin Feeding. (T/N: Refer to the glossary of terms for Yin Feeding, Chun Yin, and Chun Yang)

    Having Li Yundong feed on Zhou Qin's Chun Yin was, beyond a shadow of a doubt, a good way to indirectly boost Li Yundong's Yuanyang.

    The only flaw in Su Chan's plan was that she had failed to consider the problem from a non-Cultivator's perspective.

    When Li Yundong heard Su Chan's suggestion, he nearly fell over.

    "What?! Pursue Zhou Qin?! What the heck is this girl even saying? How could she encourage me to hit on Zhou Qin?" Li Yundong thought, gaping at Su Chan.

    "Is she just testing me? Or is she really that simple-minded?"  

    "Or maybe she doesn't really give a shit about me... Why else would she encourage me to hit on other women?"  

    A long moment passed with neither of them saying a word, until Li Yundong suddenly turned around and walked away. When he did, the look on his face was as though he was holding a thousand lemons inside his mouth.

    Puzzled by the sudden change in Li Yundong's demeanor, Su Chan followed behind Li Yundong obediently. "Did I say something wrong again just now?" she muttered under her breath. "But I didn't say anything wrong at all. That beautiful woman carries Chun Yin inside her body. She's definitely a one-in-a-million dinglu. Any Cultivator who practices Karmamudra would kill for a dinglu like her..." (T/N: Karmamudra means the art of Cultivating through sexual intercourse. Refer to glossary of terms for a more in-depth description)

    "Wait, could it be that he isn't attracted to her?" Su Chan thought. "No, no. That can't be right at all. The girl is so beautiful! Master said that all men are lustful creatures..."

    While Su Chan was driving herself crazy with her thoughts, Li Yundong was damn near the point of insanity as well. The entire journey through the campus ground was spent in a stifling silence with the both of them grasping at straws to figure out what was going on in the other's head.

    Passing through the campus gates, Li Yundong suddenly slapped his thigh. "F*ck! Our groceries are now gone because of those sons of b*tches!" he yelled. "What the hell are we supposed to eat tonight!"

    It was as though a giant boulder had been lifted off Su Chan's shoulders the moment she heard Li Yundong's voice. "At least he's still talking to me," Su Chan thought, heaving a sigh of relief. "Can't we just buy them again?" Su Chan asked.

    Li Yundong released a cynical laugh. "Go back to that market again you mean?" Li Yundong said. "Forget it. I'll never set foot in that f*cking place again!"

    Su Chan's thought patterns were different than those of a normal human being, which was why she usually came across to others as being slow-witted. However, that couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, she already had a vague sense that she was the reason behind Li Yundong's foul mood.

    Li Yundong halted his steps the moment he felt a gentle tug at the hem of his shirt. He turned around and saw Su Chan staring up at him guiltily. "I'm sorry," Su Chan said, looking down at the ground. "You ran into so much trouble because of me..." Moments passed in silence. Li Yundong didn't even know what to say. Suddenly, Su Chan raised her head and stared at him with those huge, puppy dog eyes which Li Yundong decided would be his undoing. "Just yell at me then," she said.

    Li Yundong sighed inwardly. "Don't be stupid. How could I ever yell at you?" It was true. Li Yundong wouldn't be able to yell at her no matter how mad he was. Not after seeing that piteous look on her.

    Li Yundong smiled and said, "Come on. Let's not eat at home today. Let me take you to McDonald's."

    "McDo...nald? What's a McDonald?"

    Li Yundong laughed. "Fast food. Ever heard of fast food?" When Su Chan didn't answer, Li Yundong explained, "Think of it as the simplest and most convenient type of food you can get."

    "Is it delicious?"

    Li Yundong paused in thought. "It's okay, I guess," he said. "You'll know after your first try."

    Without further ado, Li Yundong led Su Chan towards the nearest McDonald's, which was only a ten-minute walk from Tiannan University.

    It was noon, and the sun hung in the sky like a massive, glowing roulette. The weather was stifling hot, so much so that the surface of the ground was actually steaming a little.

    As she followed closely behind Li Yundong, Su Chan took in her surroundings and indulged her curiosity. While doing so, she marveled at the contrast in the topography between the city and the mountains where she came from. Here, there were as many skyscrapers as there were greeneries in the mountains. While wild beasts crawled along muddy paths and leaped across trees inside the mountains, metal containers with wheels rolled along the roads here. Everything was almost antithetical to the environment she was raised in.

    Rather than feeling overwhelmed by the unfamiliarity of her surroundings, Su Chan found herself feeling excited. To her, everything she was experiencing at that moment was new and fresh. The novelty of the experience stoked the flames of her curiosity, which manifested itself in the bright grin on her face as she dragged Li Yundong around, bombarding him with endless questions.

    Su Chan's excitement affected Li Yundong positively as well. Her smile was like a balm, cooling and refreshing him despite the heat of the sun. Soon, the frustration and doubts he'd been feeling earlier were gone.

    The pair spent the journey laughing and chatting merrily as though they hadn't been chased down by a bunch of knife-wielding thugs a while ago.

    Eventually, McDonald's came into view, so they stopped their chatter and made a beeline towards the restaurant. A long bench was set up beside the restaurant's glass door. McDonald's signature mascot sat on top of the bench, and beside the mascot's yellow-clad thigh was some kind of box. Li Yundong ignored the red-haired clown and reached for the door handle. Li Yundong had just opened the door by an inch when three things happened simultaneously: the clown leaped up from the bench; the lid of the box popped open, and the head of a mouse sprung out from inside the box; Su Chan jumped.

    Smack!

    The clown's head snapped backwards, and he fell flat on his butt. The jack-in-the-box clattered to the floor where it lay with its lid open. The spring-loaded mouse head bobbed in and out of the box endlessly.

    Li Yundong couldn't believe his eyes when he saw that Su Chan had just delivered a mean right hook to the poor clown's nose. Li Yundong released his hold on the door handle and hurried towards the fallen mascot. "Hey, are you alright?" he said, crouching down.

    If Li Yundong had not tried to help the clown up from the ground, he wouldn't have realized just how skinny and petite the costume wearer was. The red-striped fabric of the costume collapsed inwards like a punctured balloon the moment Li Yundong's fingers wrapped around the clown's arm, proving just how tiny the arm was. However, it all clicked a moment later when he heard the clown's moan. "Oww..."

    "Hm? A girl?"

    Li Yundong felt even worse now that he knew it was a girl behind the clown costume. Giving Su Chan an exasperated look, he said, "What are you still standing there for? Apologize."

    Su Chan pouted, her lips protruded outward and upwards, almost like the chamber of a tobacco pipe. "She's the one who startled me," Su Chan grumbled.

    McDonald girl removed the fake nose from her face and massaged her real nose, which was now red and sore. "It's fine, I'm used to it anyway," she said softly. "I probably won't be needing the fake red nose if this happens a few more times."

    Li Yundong chuckled, surprised by the girl's ability to joke about her brush with a broken nose earlier. "You're too forgiving for your own good," Li Yundong said. "I bet it'd take a lot to piss you off. Why did McDonald's hire a girl to become their mascot anyway? And it's like a furnace out here, yet you're wearing that thick costume. You sure you can handle it?"

    Crack lines spread across the white paint on the girl's cheeks and forehead when she smiled. "Well, you do what you've gotta do to earn a living!" the girl said. "It's all good. I'm fine now. You guys should head inside. Just order more food if you really want to make it up to me."

    Li Yundong returned the girl's smile. "We will," Li Yundong said, then paused in thought. "How about we buy yours too? After all, we're the ones at fault here."

    The girl waved him off. "Nah, I'm good. Thanks though."

    "Well, guess she's really alright." Li Yundong stood back up and walked towards Su Chan. Stopping in front of Su Chan, Li Yundong stared at her face for a while, then sighed. "What am I going to do with you..."

    Su Chan stood there with her head hung low, raising her head occasionally to steal glances at Li Yundong. She looked like a child who'd just been caught doing something wrong.

    Su Chan felt that she'd been treated unfairly. "It wasn't even my fault!" she thought, peeved by the fact that everyone was acting as though she was guilty, which she definitely was not. None of this made sense! She had merely spent a few days in the mortal world, yet she'd already made more mistakes than she had over the decade she'd spent in the mountains! Yep, totally ridiculous.

    Su Chan felt a gentle pat on her head. She raised her head and saw Li Yundong sighing. "Forget it," he said. "Let's go grab a bite."

    When they entered, the place was jam-packed with customers. Li Yundong walked past the long queue at the counter towards the tables with Su Chan following him like a puppy. Needless to say, Su Chan had begun turning heads the moment she walked through the door. Men leered at her, fascinated by her innocent charm and the sultriness she exuded in spades. She was the only woman they'd seen who could walk around in a traditional dress and still looked sexier than a half-naked bikini model.

    Ignoring the looks of envy —pretty hard to ignore— from the men, Li Yundong led Su Chan to an empty table near the Play Place. (T/N: McDonald's Play Place is playground thing for children ages 3-9 and are located inside most McDonald's restaurants around the world) Once they were both seated, he said, "Wait here for me, okay?" He then stood back up and went to queue up at the counter.

    Li Yundong left the counter with a tray containing two Big Mac Combos and two ice cream cones. He set the tray down on their table and took a seat across from Su Chan. "Try this," he said, handing Su Chan an ice cream cone.

    Su Chan took the cone and studied it curiously for a few moments. A grin formed on her face the moment she licked it. "So sweet!" she said.

    Li Yundong chuckled. "That's true," he said. "McDonald's uses imported ingredients for their ice cream cones. That's why theirs are way better than the ones you find in KFC."

    Not that Su Chan was paying attention to what Li Yundong was saying. She was too busy destroying her ice cream with her tongue.

    Li Yundong stopped talking immediately when he noticed Su Chan's ice cream induced oral fixation. At first, he thought she looked totally adorable with her small tongue darting all over the surface of the ice cream. Until his nether regions started to take over, that is.

    The white surface of the ice cream was a huge contrast to the redness of Su Chan's lips and tongue. And when Su Chan's tongue began swirling around the ice cream, and her mouth sucking gently, Li Yundong damn near creamed his pants.

    A lewd smile formed on Li Yundong's face. "I wonder if you'd lick me the same way..." Li Yundong mumbled softly. "F*ck, I'd probably die if that ever happened... There are worse ways to go, though..."

    "What? I didn't catch that," Su Chan garbled, her mouth full of ice cream.

    Li Yundong didn't answer until he heard a loud crunch when Su Chan bit off half of the ice cream's wafer cone. Li Yundong cleared his throat and put on a serious face. "It's nothing! Let's eat!" Li Yundong adjusted his suddenly-very-tight pants and squeezed his legs together. "This woman is gonna be the death of me," Li Yundong thought when he considered the case of blue balls which awaited him. Heck, his balls were already hurting a little.

    Su Chan gave him a strange look. "Such a weird guy," she mumbled.

    Li Yundong rolled his eyes inwardly. "I'm weird?!" he thought. "Hello? I think you're weirder!"  

    By the time Su Chan finished the cone, the lower part of her face, including her cheeks, was covered in ice cream, the sight of which filled Li Yundong with amusement. "Wipe," Li Yundong said, handing her a napkin.

    Su Chan's face scrunched up in puzzlement as she took the napkin. "Why?" she asked.

    "Oh what the hell," Li Yundong thought. Then, he stood up and bent over to clean Su Chan's face with the napkin.

    Su Chan giggled and allowed Li Yundong to clean up her face. "You look so silly right now," she said.

    Li Yundong chuckled and sat back down. "I'm silly?" he said, tossing the crumpled napkin onto the tray. "I think you're sillier, like a silly little kitten."

    Su Chan snorted. "I'm not silly. I'll have you know that I'm the Fox—" She paused, her head snapping up to look at Li Yundong. Then, she cleared her throat. "I mean, I'm the smartest among my people. Even my master praised me!"

    Su Chan turned away with a grimace, sticking her tongue out. "Crap! Can't believe I nearly gave my secret away! Idiot!"

    Li Yundong chuckled and said, "You're smart? Is that so? Okay, then. Here's a question for you. Let's say there are seven birds on a tree. If I shoot one dead, how many birds will be left on the tree?"

    Su Chan glared at Li Yundong. "You're testing me with a question that simple? Are you trying to piss me off? Six birds of course!"

    Li Yundong burst into laughter. "No, silly. There won't be any birds left on the tree! The dead bird will fall off the tree while the rest will get scared and then fly away!"

    Su Chan gaped at Li Yundong, her eyes as wide as saucers.

    A moment later, she bit down on her bottom lip in displeasure. "That doesn't count. Give me another one."

    "I swear, you're the only one who would get all excited when you hear lame jokes like this. People usually just roll their eyes," Li Yundong thought. He cleared his throat and said, "Fine then. Seven birds on a tree. Shoot one dead. How many birds are there left?"

    Su Chan was fuming at this point. "But that's the same question! There won't be any birds left, of course!"

    Li Yundong chortled. "You idiot! There's one bird left! The one lying at the bottom of the tree!"

    Su Chan slapped the table and sprang to her feet. "Now you're just messing with me! You told me the first time that there won't be any birds left!"

    "Ah," Li Yundong said. "But in the second question, I asked how many birds are left, not how many birds are left on the tree. Which means you have to count the dead bird at the bottom of the tree!"

    Su Chan stared back at him stupidly. "How can it work like that?"

    Seeing her blank expression, Li Yundong laughed and said, "Okay. So there's one dead bird at the bottom of the tree, right? Do you know how that bird died?"

    Su Chan felt an instant surge of anger. "Didn't you just tell me that it was shot to death?"   

    Su Chan opened her mouth and was about to start yelling, but something made her pause. "It's another trick..." she thought, her anger dissipating in an instant. "H- how did it die?" she asked instead.

    Li Yundong guffawed. "Oh, you silly girl! It died of silliness, of course!"

    Su Chan went into a daze, which lasted for quite a while. Her beautiful face was scrunched up in confusion when she spoke next: "But it was shot to death! How could it have died of silliness?"

    At this point, even the people sitting at the other tables burst into laughter.

    "Because you're so silly you could die, you silly bird!" Li Yundong said, reaching out and pinched her nose. (T/N: It is common in Chinese to call someone a 'bird' when joking or scolding)

    "Ow!" Su Chan smacked Li Yundong's hand away and sat back down with an angry huff. "I'm ignoring you. You're just a bully! You're the silly bird!"

    Peals of laughter resounded in the whole restaurant courtesy of Li Yundong and the other customers. With each chuckle, the blush on Su Chan's cheek deepened a shade.

    The glass door of the restaurant opened and in came mascot girl. This time, she was carrying a fruit basket instead of the jack-in-the-box. From the door, she headed straight towards the Play Place, where thirteen kids were having fun. Once there, she spoke to the kids: "Hey, guys. See what I have here? There are eight apples! But there are thirteen of you! Hm... I wonder how we should split them up..."

    These kinds of activities were common in McDonald's and KFC restaurants. The girl's intention was to give the kids a moral lesson about respecting the elders and loving the young. At the end of the day, it didn't matter whether the older kids gave up their apples to the younger ones out of love or the young ones gave up theirs out of respect. Those who didn't get an apple, in the end, would be given an apple too.

    Alas, Su Chan wasn't too happy with Li Yundong's teasing earlier. She refused to accept Li Yundong's claim that she was a silly bird. In other words, she had an ax to grind.

    Clang! Su Chan stood up so abruptly that her chair slid a few inches away from her legs. "I know how to divide the apples!" she announced proudly.

    Mascot girl looked at Su Chan strangely. However, social decorum dictated that she play along. "How should we divide them then?"

    Su Chan's face lit up in glee. "Kill five of them!"

    The effect was instantaneous. It was as though someone had pressed a mute button on a remote — the entire restaurant plunged into silence.

  • Chapter 13 Just Spare Me Already!

     

    Li Yundong literally fell off his seat the moment Su Chan announced her so-called "rationing policy." Sounds of laughter escaped his lips before his ass even hit the floor. Mascot girl started laughing as well, though hers sounded way too forced, kind of like a duck being strangled.

    Within seconds, the entire restaurant was filled with sounds of laughter and people smacking their hands on table tops.

    Having realized that everyone was laughing at her expense, poor Su Chan glanced around the restaurant in complete puzzlement. She had a feeling that she had said the wrong thing again. She sat back down bashfully, trying her best to prevent her cheeks from combusting right then and there. "But I wasn't wrong, was I? That's how it works in the Cultivation world! If there are thirteen people fighting for eight magical items, they'll keep fighting until five of them are dead!"

    Amidst the roars of laughter, Su Chan sat there quietly, playing with her fingers as she sulked. One could probably hang an object around her lips which were protruded in a huge pout. When she felt a sting in her eyes, she drooped her head to hide her tears. Anyone who looked at her now would assume that she was a victim of home abuse or something.

    Li Yundong had been laughing so hard that his abs were actually starting to cramp a little. Rubbing his stomach, Li Yundong got up from the floor and returned to his seat. "Alright, alright, that's enough now. Just eat and don't talk." Another laugh escaped his lips. He quickly suppressed it, then cleared his throat. "It's best if you keep quiet anyway. That way you won't say the wrong thing again."

    "Oh," Su Chan answered in a small voice and reached for her Big Mag. Well, silly bird or not, at least the girl knew how to channel hurt feelings into her appetite. She made a short work of the burger and managed to finish it in just three bites.

    Li Yundong dragged Su Chan out of McDonald's the moment they finished lunch.

    On the way home, there were a few times when Li Yundong suddenly remembered what happened back at McDonald's. Every time he did, he ended up laughing uncontrollably with both hands on his stomach and his back arched backwards. Su Chan, on the other hand, spent the entire journey with her head hung low and her face as red as a tomato.

    After they entered the apartment, Su Chan halted her steps suddenly. Li Yundong turned around and saw her standing there, looking down at her feet. Moments later, she raised her head, and that was when Li Yundong noticed the tears in her eyes. Her next question, however, was one that tore his heartstrings to shreds: "Am I really stupid?"

    "Holy sh*t..." Li Yundong thought. "Don't tell me she's starting to doubt her own intelligence because of those stupid brain teasers?"

    All of a sudden, it occurred to Li Yundong that he might have been too carried away in all his laughing just now. "Poor girl... I've obviously hurt her feelings... God, I'm such an asshole..." Li Yundong sighed. "You're not stupid at all. Those questions are just designed to trick people," he said. "They were meant as a joke anyway. You're very smart, really."

    "You're lying!" Su Chan yelled, her beautiful eyes cloudy with unshed tears.

    Li Yundong raised his right hand swore an oath. "I shall be struck by the Five Thunders of Heaven if I'm lying to you!"

    Su Chan sniffed. "Fine. I believe you," she said, wiping her tears with the back of her hand. In the world of Cultivation, there was nothing more fearsome than being struck by the Five Thunders of Heaven. (T/N: Being struck by the Five Thunders of Heaven is a Chinese saying which conveys the idea that heavenly judgement will eventually befall those who conduct evil deeds)

    Li Yundong sighed in relief. "Now that's more like it," he said. "My Su Chan is so beautiful and smart. She's like the living embodiment of beauty and wisdom! Stupid? Pfft! That's impossible!"

    Su Chan made a snorting sound that sounded like something between a laugh and a sob. "Who are you referring to as 'yours?' You're shameless!" Su Chan snapped and quickly averted her gaze.

    Li Yundong studied Su Chan's face for a moment and noted the faint blush coloring her cheeks. Despite her harsh tone, Li Yundong knew she wasn't really mad at him. Okay, maybe she was a little mad at him, but only because she was shy about being called his. Then, when he noticed the way she was biting down on her bottom lip to fight off a smile, Li Yundong's heart skipped a few beats. For a moment there, he thought he'd died and gone to heaven, and was now staring at the face of an angel.

    Eventually, Su Chan recovered enough of her composure to risk looking at Li Yundong again. The moment she did, she was thrown into a daze by the heated look Li Yundong was giving her, and she couldn't breathe. The intensity of his gaze stole her breath, like some kind of vacuum inside her lungs, sucking all the air away.

    The pair gazed at each other deeply, supercharging the air around them with lust, intimacy, and warmth.

    Li Yundong suddenly felt a strong urge to pull Su Chan into his arms. In his mind, he'd hug her tight, then kiss her, adore her, and love her. However, he didn't have the courage to risk it lest he scared the girl away. It was as though she was a beautiful bubble that would burst and disappear into oblivion the moment he touched her.

    Su Chan held Li Yundong's gaze. Slowly, she began inching closer towards him, and with each step she took, her unique fragrance teased his nostrils. "Plum blossoms," Li Yundong thought. "She smells like plum blossoms." All of a sudden, Li Yundong's throat felt parched. He was thirsty like hell, though his thirst was for something other than water.

    Something inside Li Yundong's heart ignited. Next thing he knew, the sizzling heat of arousal was spreading all over his body. The sudden tightness between his legs reminded him of the fact that he wanted something to happen, preferrably right this moment. He wanted to act, to move his damn body so he could finally end this stalemate between them. He had no idea what was going to happen next, but he was kind of hoping that it wouldn't involve much clothing.

    Eventually, Su Chan got close enough to him that he could feel her breath tickling his face, and he couldn't help but wonder how anyone could look so beautiful just by breathing. Like a moth to a flame, Li Yundong found himself drawn to Su Chan's large and bright eyes. Those eyes captivated him and filled him with awe, because for the first time in his life, a girl was looking at him like he was actually worth a sh*t.

    To hell with love confessions. Actions speak louder than words, so Li Yundong was going to show her how he felt. His hand rose from his side to touch her, but then Su Chan's lips moved. "Can I ask you a question?"

    Li Yundong swallowed and let his hand drop back down, his heart pounding wildly in his chest. "Wh- what is it?" he stammered.

    Su Chan's lashes fluttered a few times. "Why did the bird die of silliness?"

    "Oh, for f*ck's sake..." Li Yundong turned around and began banging his head against the wall. Su Chan looked at him strangely and said, "What's the matter with you?"

    "Kill me now, somebody," Li Yundong thought. Turning away from the wall, he cleared his throat and said, "It's nothing."

    Li Yundong didn't have afternoon classes today, so he spent the afternoon sitting in the living room, staring off into space, processing the events from the past few days. Of course, his musings would occasionally be interrupted by Su Chan, who had embarked on a quest to discover the hidden truth behind "why the bird died of silliness."

    When night came, Li Yundong was still lying on the fluffy carpet in his living room with his hands behind his head, eyes closed, and mind racing. "What happened today only feels scary," he thought. "But thinking about it now, we weren't really in any danger at all. Those f*ckers never even got close. But how? How did I suddenly have all these skills? Holy sh*t... I climbed up four floors without using the stairs. How?"

    "Hell, crazy sh*t like that wouldn't even have crossed my mind in the past!"  

    "Or maybe... maybe being with a beautiful woman helped unleash my full potential?"

    "Yeah. That's gotta be it, right? I met a girl, ran into a bunch of bad guys, then went into super saiyan mode in order to save her... Which means I can only use my body's full potential when I'm in danger..."

    "No, that's not enough. I gotta learn how to fight or else I'll end up being chased around again like today. Besides, I'm pretty sure those f*ckers will be back again."

    Deep down, Li Yundong knew that he would likely be facing more danger in the future. Even before Su Chan came into his life, he had quite a knack for running head-first into trouble. Now, after adding Su Chan into the picture? That chick's troublemaking ability could probably topple an entire nation let alone the life of a lowly university student! F*ck! He'd be a dead man walking if he didn't pick up a few self-defense moves!

    "I guess Taekwondo isn't a bad choice?" Li Yundong thought. Out of the many clubs and societies at Tiannan University, the Taekwondo Club was the only combat-related club. Presided by Mr. Handsome Beefcake, Zhao Yujian, the Taekwondo Club also happened to be the club with the highest number of beautiful women as members. Most guys who walked into the dojo usually came out looking a bit dazed, not because they had taken a roundhouse kick to the face during practice, but because they'd been utterly bewitched by the sight of beautiful women performing high kicks with their legs raised in the air. But hey, not that he had any right to judge since he himself was one of those guys too. Well, probably not anymore since he had Su Chan now. Speaking of Su Chan...

    "Su Chan's going to support my decision to join the Taekwondo Club, right?"  Yeah, she probably would. Taekwondo involved a lot of showy performances after all. "Yeah, there are a lot of fancy demonstrations, competitions, and stuff... I bet she loves those..." Li Yundong rolled onto his side and shut his eyes. "Whatever... Time to get some sleep..."

    Something tickled his cheek.

    Li Yundong's eyes snapped open. "What the-"

    Su Chan's face was hovering above his and she was hugging a pillow to her chest. Through the curtain of her dark, silky hair, Li Yundong could see the sharpness and intensity of her eyes, which seemed to glimmer in the dark like rubies.

    Li Yundong exhaled. "What are you doing here? Jeez, don't you make any noise at all when you walk?"

    Su Chan blinked a few times, then smiled. "Yundong," she said with a husky voice, causing the tightness between his legs to return. "I still don't get it. Why did the bird die of silliness?"

    Li Yundong groaned and reached for the pillow beside him. He pressed the pillow against his face and said, "Just spare me already!"

    Li Yundong woke up the next day looking like a panda; the dark bags under his eyes proved just how relentless Su Chan had been in her quest to turn a stupid brainteaser into an epic whodunnit. And by relentless, he meant the balls-out, I'm-going-to-fucking-pester-you-for-the-whole-night type of relentless which nearly drove him out of his damn mind! Ugh! Worse, the little minx wouldn't accept any explanation he gave her.

    Groaning, Li Yundong pulled his pillow out from under his head and hugged it in front of his chest. "Argh... This sucks..."Li Yundong said, rolling around the carpet. "God, I feel like shit... I just wanna sleep..."

    Su Chan, on the other hand, had woken up, gotten dressed early, and was sitting cross-legged on the bed in a meditative posture. After she had completed the two Zhoutians, Su Chan left the bedroom in high spirits.

    After walking into the living room, Su Chan stopped short when she saw Li Yundong rolling around on the carpet. She then walked over and crouched down beside him. "What's the matter with you? Don't you have to go to xuetang today?" she asked.

    Li Yundong stopped rolling and released a long groan. "It's called going to class, dammit! Not xuetang. It's the 21st century for f*ck's sake! Nobody uses xuetang anymore!"

    "Oh," Su Chan mumbled and began inspecting the bags and dark circles around his eyes. "You didn't manage to get a good rest last night?" she asked.

    Li Yundong sat bolt upright. "Pfft! As if! Look at me now!" He flexed his bicep. "I'm in top form! I feel even more energetic than a dragon and a tiger combined!"

    Su Chan covered her mouth and chuckled. "Your breath stinks!"

    Li Yundong's face fell. "Embarrassing myself in front of a lady first thing in the morning... Wow, that's a new low, even for me," Li Yundong thought as he made his way to the bathroom.

    They left the apartment after Li Yundong made himself presentable.

    The whispers began the moment he stepped through the campus gates. Everyone was pointing fingers at him and giving him strange looks.

    Li Yundong suddenly stopped walking, causing Su Chan to stop too. She turned around and gave Li Yundong a curious look. "Is there something on my face?" Li Yundong asked, touching his cheek.

    Su Chan studied his face for about half a minute or so. "Your eye sockets are sunken, and the skin at the center of your forehead is dark-"

    "The hell?" Li Yundong said, cutting her off. "Dark center what? You're not saying that I'm dying, are you?"

    "These are signs that your kidneys and heart are out of sync with each other," Su Chan explained. "I wouldn't go so far as to say that you're dying though."

    Li Yundong rolled his eyes.

    He had another morning lecture today, so he brought Su Chan to the back of the lecture hall like usual. Throughout the lecture, students, male and female alike, kept glancing towards the last row. This time, however, Li Yundong was the object of their interest instead of Su Chan.

    When the students whispered to each other, Li Yundong could vaguely hear words like "King of Parkour", "walking on walls", "badass", and et cetera.

    Some of them even commented on the dark circles around his eyes, some kind of nonsense about "overdoing it in the bedroom" and "having his way with her."

    Whatever. Li Yundong didn't give a sh*t about those comments. He was too f*cking exhausted to care. Heck, he could barely keep his eyes open.

    Li Yundong had used up too much of his strength yesterday. Even with the Jindan's enhancements, before he managed to convert the Jindan's Yuanyang into his own Yuanyang and reach the Jinshen phase, strenuous physical activities would still wear him out.

    Not long after the lecture began, Li Yundong slumped over his desk and fell into a deep sleep.

    Seeing that Li Yundong had fallen asleep, Su Chan rose from her seat and walked around to stand behind him. Like last time, she performed the Three-Pronged Flower Gathering technique to mobilize Li Yundong's Qi.

    When performed correctly, the Three-Pronged Flower Gathering would produce effects similar to that of Xiao Zhoutian, which involved mobilizing the Qi inside the human body in such a way that could significantly reduce fatigue and exhaustion. Su Chan's hands hovered above Li Yundong's head as she worked, her fingers moving nimbly against his scalp in an undulating motion, massaging all the vital acupoints on his head: Tianzhu; Chenglin; Fengchi; Yuzhen.

    The guys who were sitting around Li Yundong weren't having such a fun time though. What they saw pissed them off to no end, especially with how gentle and loving Su Chan was with Li Yundong.

    By the time Li Yundong woke up, Su Chan's massage had already ended. So no, no disgusting moans from him this time.

    Much to Li Yundong's relief, Su Chan had stayed quietly beside him until he finished all his classes in the afternoon. "Guess what happened yesterday must've affected her quite a bit..."

    Li Yundong didn't go home after class. Instead, he and Su Chan headed to the west side of the campus where the university multimedia building was.

    That building's second floor housed the Taekwondo club's dojo.

    The moment they stepped through the entrance, Li Yundong saw the building's directory board, which consisted of several bronze plaques arranged in rows. One of the plaques had these words engraved on it: "Tiannan City's Taekwondo Association - Tiannan University Branch"

    When Li Yundong was still in his first year, there was actually another dojo here ran by the Karate Club. Sadly, the club got disbanded after its president had his ass kicked by Zhao Yujian.

    That was, in fact, how Zhao Yujian made his name in Tiannan University and gained the massive fanbase he had today.

    Despite having spent two years in Tiannan University, Li Yundong had never actually set foot in the multimedia building until now. He moved passed the directory board and kept walking until he reached a corridor filled with rooms on both sides. He stopped, then glanced around for a while. The vague sounds of a piano playing confirmed what he had read on the directory board earlier; the first floor of the multimedia building housed Tiannan University's Music Club. Most of the students walking out of these rooms were women. Correction: beautiful, elegant, and artsy women whose bodies looked like works of art as well.

    In the past, this is what would've happened if Li Yundong stepped into this corridor: he would stop and stare, start drooling, then receive looks of disdain from these women.

    Now? Hah. None of these women, whom he'd once deemed as "peerless beauties", could even hold a candle to Su Chan. The girl was in a league of her own and hands down the most beautiful woman he'd ever laid eyes on, bar none.

    Admittedly, he was acting like one of those pretentious, nouveau-riche people who scorned their previous way of life after attaining sudden wealth. No doubt it wasn't something that he was proud of, but he couldn't help himself.

    Moving along the corridor, the beautiful ladies of the music club all did a double-take when they saw the pair. A storm of emotions flashed inside their eyes: shock and surprise when they saw Su Chan; doubt and suspicion when they looked at Li Yundong.

    Here was a guy whose looks were nothing to write home about, a guy so average that his name might as well be Joe. Yet, standing right beside him, was perhaps the most beautiful woman they had ever set eyes on. Mindblowing stuff indeed.

  • Chapter 14 Damn, That Dude Packs a Wallop!

     

    Li Yundong left the corridor and made his way to the second floor, ignoring the strange looks from the people he passed by. At the second floor, he was greeted by a cacophony of shouts, the ones that martial artists do whenever they were about to strike their opponent. Kiai, he believed that was the term.

    Taekwondo and Karate are kind of similar in this regard: their practitioners like to intimidate their opponents during combat using their voice.

    More kiais rang out. Li Yundong followed the sound by taking a right turn, which brought them to the entrance of the dojo. He knew because the kiais just got louder.

    Entering the dojo, Li Yundong saw a banner hanging on the wall adjacent to the door. He stopped and studied the banner, which had a print of Taekwondo's signature logo: a faceless practitioner dressed in a white gi performing a high side kick. Footsteps sounded ahead, so Li Yundong turned away from the banner to the front, where he saw a reception counter. A beautiful, round-faced woman was approaching them from the counter. "Hello! So are you here to —"

    The girl squeaked, then covered her mouth. "Are you Li Yundong?"

    Li Yundong's eyes nearly popped out of their sockets. "You know me?"

    Miss Round Face grinned at him and said, "Are you kidding? There isn't a single person in Tiannan University who doesn't know you! You're the guy who went from being the King of Love Confessions to the King of Parkour!"

    All of a sudden, the girl leaned closer to Li Yundong and nudged him with her elbow. "Hey, can I have your autograph?"

    Li Yundong laughed. "An autograph? From me? Okay. This has to be some kind of prank. Are you messing with me? Are there cameras hidden somewhere?"

    However, Miss Round Face was nothing if not persistent. "You know, someone captured the whole wall-climbing thing you did the other day on video and posted it on the university forum. And guess what? It's now the most-viewed thread in the entire forum! Trust me, you're going to be sooo popular! It's gonna happen soon! I just know it! How do I know, you might ask? I know cuz' I was there that day! I saw the whole thing! You were carrying a pretty chick in your arms, then you did the whole spiderman thing. Like, God! Do you know how badass you were? Jumping between two walls to climb up four floors?! Four! Jackie Chan's got nothing on you, pal. Nothing! I myself couldn't believe my own eyes when I saw it. Too bad I didn't manage to capture the video for myself. But I suppose I could download it from the forum..." The girl kept on rambling.

    Li Yundong's eyes twitched with each cadence of the girl's voice. "F*ck my life... I made it to the top of the motherf*cking forum again? F*ck! Why don't those dipsh*ts go f*ck themselves if they have so much free time on their hands!"

    For the next few minutes, Miss Round Face went from rambling about how awesome Li Yundong was to begging him for an autograph. However, after Li Yundong's nth refusal, she finally gave up and led Li Yundong and Su Chan towards the reception counter. "You're here because you want to join the Taekwondo club, right?" She pulled out a piece of paper from the brochure stand in front of the counter and handed it to Li Yundong. "Fill out this form first."

    The girl froze the moment her eyes landed on Su Chan. The infatuated look in her eyes vanished in an instant and was replaced, first with shock, then with envy. "Damn... I knew she was pretty when I saw her the other day... but I didn't expect her to be this beautiful up close... No wonder Li Yundong was so gung-ho about protecting her..."

    "Hey pretty girl, are you here to register as well?" she asked Su Chan.

    Su Chan glanced at Li Yundong as though she wanted him to make the decision for her. Good call, since she didn't even know what Taekwondo was.

    "Just tag along with me for now," Li Yundong said. "You register later on if you're interested."

    Li Yundong grabbed a pen from the counter and started filling up the form. Miss Round Face watched him from behind the counter until, all of a sudden, her eyes twinkled. She smiled to herself, then waited for Li Yundong to finish filling up the form. When he did, she grabbed another form from the brochure stand and said, "Please fill out another one. We keep dual copies."

    Once Li Yundong completed the second form, Miss Round Face grabbed the form and then burst into giggles. "Yay! Look! Look! Now I got your autograph!" she said, doing a quick victory dance.

    Li Yundong was too stunned to even react. "This is your first autograph, right?" she went on, pumped her fist all of a sudden. "Yes! I'll definitely be able to make a fortune once you become popular!" Another round of giggles ensued. "Woo-hoo! I'm your first fan!"

    The girl kept dancing around him, waving the second form which, indeed, contained his signature. Li Yundong shook his head and chuckled. Then, he did a Bao Quan Li and said, "Fine, you win. You're persistent, I'll give you that." (T/N: A Bao Quan Li is a common greeting used in Chinese Martial arts. It is performed by raising both hands to chest level, then placing the right fist against the left palm)

    Miss Round Face stopped dancing and grinned at Li Yundong. "Yep, you bet!" she said, then paused. "So are you gonna pay the 200 yuan registration fee now? Or, do you want to go through the club's trial period?"

    "What's the difference?"

    "If you pay first, then you'll become our member straight away, obviously. Which means you're allowed to join all club activities. Oh, and if you perform well during those activities, the club would even recommend you to join competitions. Next, we have the trial period, which doesn't require you to pay any registration fee. But of course, it means that you're not an official club member yet. You can come to practice for one month without any charges. Oh, but you have to rent a Taekwondo uniform on your own though. After the one-month trial period, you can still leave the club if you find that you don't like it."

    Li Yundong nodded and pulled out 200 yuan from his pocket. "Then I'll pay now," he said. 200 yuan was nothing to him anyway.

    After the payment was settled, Miss Round Face brought Li Yundong into the dojo. Inside, they moved along the edge of the sparring mats where students were shouting and kicking at each other. Li Yundong had no idea where they were heading to until they stopped in front of a guy who was in a full Taekwondo uniform with a red belt tied around his waist. "This is our new member, Li Yundong," Miss Round Face said.

    Considering his tall and muscular physique, this guy would've been one hell of a fitness model if it weren't for his face, which was riddled with pimples. Seriously, there were bumps and knobs everywhere: his forehead, his nose, his cheeks, and even the underside of his jaw. Imagine taking a piece of dough the size of the human face, then dumping it into a pan of hot oil. Deep-fried dough. That was perhaps the most concise and elegant description for pimple dude's face.

    Pimple dude had noticed Li Yundong the moment he stepped into the dojo. Correction: pimple dude had noticed Su Chan the moment she stepped into the dojo. And like any other mere mortal, he didn't stand a chance against Su Chan's captivating beauty. He couldn't take his eyes off her, and all of a sudden, his entire vocabulary was reduced to "beautiful", "pretty", "yummy", names of deities, and some colorful terms involving body parts. Miss Round Face had to repeat her statement twice to finally snap him out of his lustful thoughts.

    Pimple dude stepped forward and stopped right in front of Li Yundong, his tall frame towering above Li Yundong as he sized up the latter. A few seconds later, he snorted and said, "So, you're the new member?"

    Li Yundong frowned at the guy's tone. "What's your f*cking problem, asshole?" He didn't like the way pimple dude was looking at him. And the guy's condescending tone made him want to rip the f*cker's throat apart. "Chill, man. Chill. Think of the bigger picture here. Learning how to fight is more important." Li Yundong took a deep, calming breath and said, "Yeah, I am. I'll be in your care from now on, senior."

    An awkward silence ensued as pimple dude looked over Li Yundong's body from head to toe. "F*ck, did I sound too much like a suck-up earlier?" Li Yundong thought, cringing inwardly. Before Li Yundong could say anything else, pimple dude turned around and walked away. "Follow me, then," he said.

    Li Yundong and Su Chan followed pimple dude until they reached a corner of the dojo where lots of equipment was set up, almost like a mini gym. Most of them were pieces of fitness equipment (cable machines, squat racks, leg presses, pec decks), but there were also a few strength testing machines, which were set up against the wall. Also against the wall, right beside the strength testing machines, was a water dispenser and a vending machine.

    While Li Yundong was checking out the fancy equipment, pimple dude was checking out Su Chan. He kept ogling and gawking, turning away only when Su Chan gave him a huge eye roll. Suddenly, a devious glint formed in pimple dude's eyes, and he walked over to the strength tester. He then rapped the machine's surface with his knuckle and said, "Hey! New guy!" Li Yundong stopped his perusal of a barbell and looked over at him. Seeing that he had Li Yundong's attention, pimple dude kept going, "This is a strength tester. And, see this thing over here?" He pointed at some kind of pad attached to the machine. "This is to measure how hard you can punch." Pimple dude paused to let his words sink in. Li Yundong stared, waiting for him to continue. A second later, pimple dude smirked and said, "Here. Let me do a demo for you."

    It just so happened that a number of female club members were having a drink near the water dispenser when pimple guy was introducing Li Yundong to the strength tester. Needless to say, they all cast contemptuous glances at pimple dude when they heard pimple dude's offer to do a "demo."

    They knew very well that this "demo" was completely unnecessary. The guy just wanted to show off in front of the beautiful woman beside Li Yundong!

    What pissed them off the most was the fact that some of the other guys in the dojo were also gathering around the machine, each offering to do this "demo."

    This kind of childish behavior annoyed the women to no end. Admittedly, the source of their annoyance probably had less to do with the guys' immaturity, and more to do with their own wounded pride. Just moments ago, every single one of those guys had been worshipping the ground they walked on! But now, these blockheads were treating them as if they were invisible!

    This was outrageous! Insufferable!

    Despite their annoyance, these women didn't walk away but chose to stay and watch the "demo."

    Pimple dude stretched his neck, tilting his head from side to side. Then, he rotated his wrists several times as he approached the machine. Stopping in front of the pad, he got into his stance by pushing his right leg forward and bending it slightly at the knee. He then took a deep breath and stared at the pad with the intensity of a tiger.

    Wham! Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! 498 pounds!

    Gasps and cheers filled the dojo, after which the guys launched into a discussion.

    "Holy sh*t! Brother Zeng's punching power just increased again!"

    "Hell, yeah! It was only 476 pounds last time!"

    "Sh*t! That's like 226 kilos! Damn, if you get hit by that? It's not just gonna mess up your face, dude. It's gonna kill you!" 

    Pimple dude straightened up and turned around to give Li Yundong a shit-eating grin. "Hey! New guy! Your turn!" pimple dude said, stepping away from the machine. "Hit it as hard as you can. But, of course, try not to compare yourself to me. It takes years of practice to get to my level." Pimple dude smirked. "I'd consider it a pretty good score if you can reach, say... 300 pounds?"

    "F*cking show-off!" Li Yundong thought, balling his fist. Oh, he felt like punching something alright, but it sure as hell wasn't going to be the stupid machine. "How about I punch you in the face and rid you of your acne problems once and for all, asshole?" Li Yundong clenched his jaw. From the corner of his eyes, he noticed that everyone was now staring at him, seeing what he'd do. Clearly, backing down wasn't an option at this point; he'd be seen as a coward if he did.

    Li Yundong exhaled slowly and looked towards a bunch of guys who were standing nearby. Big mistake. The slighting looks he saw in their eyes pissed him off to no end.

    Nothing could be worse than the looks he received from the girls though. Pity. The girls were all looking at him with f*cking pity.

    Li Yundong would've lost it right then and there if it weren't for a light touch he felt on his forearm. Su Chan's scent assaulted his nose, and a second later, he heard an angelic voice which was a balm to his heart, calming him down instantly. "Hit it, Yundong. You'll beat him. I'm sure of it."

    Warmth filled Li Yundong's heart instantly, and with warmth, came courage. At the crucial moment, Su Chan was the only one who showed him that she had faith in him. He'd be damned if he let her down.

    Li Yundong mirrored pimple dude's earlier movements by stretching his neck and rolling his wrists. Then, he approached the machine and got into the same stance. "I can do this," Li Yundong thought, pulling in a deep breath, then holding it in his lungs. He closed his eyes and cocked his right fist back. "It's just a punch. I just have to hit it with everything I've got, that's all." Li Yundong's eyes shot open at the same time he thrust his fist forward.

    At that precise moment, Li Yundong thought, no, he knew, that he was experiencing the same thing he did when he was running around doing parkour stunts the other day. There was no mistaking that sudden ball of heat which rose from his lower abdomen before spreading to all parts of his body.

    The entire process took only microseconds as heat flowed from his lower abdomen to his arm, wrist, and fist.

    BAM! Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! 1456 pounds!

    Hisses and gasps filled the dojo courtesy of the guys followed by the screams of shock from the women. "Holy sh..." a guy said, looking as though he'd just seen a ghost. Another guy yelled, "1456 pounds?! What the f*ck! Mike Tyson only made it to 1257! How's this even possible?"

    Another girl piped up, "That's impossible, right? Maybe the machine is faulty?"

    The girl's statement shook pimple dude out of his stupor: "Yeah! The machine has to be faulty! Nobody can hit that hard!"

    Not even Li Yundong himself could believe it. He stared at the blinking figure on the display for a while, then glanced down at his right fist. "What did I do?"

    Needless to say, Su Chan didn't seem surprised at all. "Yundong's body had been reformed by the Jindan, you ignorant fools," Su Chan thought. She knew better than anyone else what Li Yundong's body was truly capable of. Even though he was a ways away from his true potential, his strength had already surpassed human limits!

    "Fools, you think the Renyuan Jindan is a joke? It isn't called a Xiandan for nothing," Su Chan thought, looking so smug that it might as well have been her who made the punch just now. (T/N: Xiandan is a generic term referring to pills made by gods, goddesses, and other celestial beings)

    Pimple dude narrowed his eyes and spent the next few minutes appraising Li Yundong's build. When he was done, he shook his head forcefully and turned to Miss Round Face. "Feng Na, put a note in the equipment logs. The strength tester is malfunctioning. Ask the maintenance guy to have a look at it tomorrow."

    "Sure," Feng Na said in acknowledgment, though the disdain in her eyes was plain as day. She then turned to Li Yundong and spoke loudly so that everyone could hear her: "Don't worry, I've got your back! I'm your first fan, after all. There's nothing wrong with the machine, I'm sure of it!"

    Li Yundong smiled at her.

    Pimple dude scowled. "What did you just say, Feng Na?"

    Feng Na gave pimple dude a quick sidelong glance. "So, what, the machine isn't faulty every time you set a new PR on it, but it is the moment it shows that others have broken your record?" Feng Na snorted. "Talk about double standards." Then, Feng Na smirked. "Don't you know that he's the guy who did all those parkour stunts on campus yesterday?"

    "Wait a minute, he's Mr. Parkour?!" someone yelled. "B- b- but look at him! He doesn't even look like he could sprint fifty meters without throwing up!"

    "I know, right! I mean, look at his face. Dude's so chubby that he even has a double chin! How can we possibly tell from the way he looks!"

    "Him doing parkour? Please. How about I'm the next Donnie Yen!"

    "Say, aren't you guys pathetic?" said a girl. "Just because you are a loser doesn't mean that others are too. Why don't you pick me up from the floor right now and sprint across the dojo? Let's see if you can still stand after doing that."

    "Yeah, that's right. You guys are so pathetic!" another girl piped up. "Didn't your moms ever teach you guys not to judge a book by its cover?"

    The debate went on and on. With each barb thrown, Li Yundong grew even more uncomfortable. He himself couldn't understand it either. For once in his life, there were actually a bunch of girls standing up for him! He should be feeling happy, but instead, all he felt at that moment was awkwardness.

    All of a sudden, Li Yundong felt a strong grip on his shoulder. He turned around and saw pimple dude glaring at him. "Hit it again," pimple dude said, pointing at the machine. "They're saying that the machine isn't broken, but I'm not buying it. Hit it again!"

    Smack! Pimple dude's hand dropped away from Li Yundong's shoulder. "I'm here to learn Taekwondo, not punch some stupid machine!" Li Yundong roared, his eyes flashing like lightning.

    The Renyuan Jindan had reformed not only Li Yundong's physical attributes, but also his overall comportment and bearing. In an instant, Li Yundong went from a chubby, harmless guy to a badass, don't-mess-with-me-or-I'll-mess-up-your-face guy. That transformation surprised the girls as well, whose eyes were now gleaming with admiration. Only now did they realize that this guy actually had some machismo in him. Perhaps it wasn't that surprising after all since there was a beautiful woman who was head over heels for him.

    Startled by the intensity in Li Yundong's eyes, pimple dude took a step back. However, fear quickly gave way to anger as he glared daggers at Li Yundong. Pimple dude released a sharp exhalation and said, "Fine then. Let's head to the sparring mats."

    "I'm gonna kick your ass so hard you'll go home crying to your mama!" pimple dude thought as he walked away from the machines and headed towards the center of the dojo.

    Li Yundong was already entertaining thoughts about leaving the dojo. "But the registration fee... Argh. F*ck this sh*t!" Li Yundong thought, then followed pimple dude to the center of the dojo.

  • Chapter 15 Double Flight!

     

    Everyone in the dojo, boys and girls alike, could sense that Li Yundong and pimple dude were about to butt heads. Hey, hey, check this out! Looks like there's going to be a show. Grab the popcorn!

    The people of this country loved a good show. They just couldn't help it; it was innate.

    Even those who had changed out of their gis and were about to leave the dojo changed their minds about leaving; they, too, had sensed that a show was about to happen and, like everyone else, they didn't want to miss it. So, they rejoined the crowd at the sparring mats. Some of them sat down while others preferred to stand.

    On the way to the sparring mats, Li Yundong took in his surroundings. He soon realized that this place was originally a huge lecture hall that had later been renovated into a dojo. At the center of the dojo, the flags of two countries hung overhead. Beneath the flags was a banner with a tiny, golden figure printed on top. The golden figure depicted one of Taekwondo's signature kicks, the high side kick. Further below hung three more white banners, each of which contained a line of Chinese characters written in impeccable calligraphy: Courtesy and integrity, perseverance and self-control, indomitable spirit! The three calligraphical banners presented the five tenets of Taekwondo.

    The dojo had an area of roughly 200 square meters; it was very wide and spacious. Shock-absorbent rubber mats were used as the flooring. On the mats, several white lines were drawn to divide the dojo into sections. Within these sections, club members were sparring with each other in pairs. Students dressed in white gis could be seen sitting cross-legged on the floor to watch the sparring sessions.

    Su Chan followed closely behind Li Yundong. Her eyes, filled with curiosity, darted around the dojo as she took everything in. The curious glint in her eyes vanished the moment she laid eyes on the students who were sparring on the mat; it was replaced by a look of intense disappointment and contempt.

    "So this is the martial art that Yundong is interested in learning?" Su Chan thought. "That's a joke, right? Can you actually strike anyone with these showy kicks?"

    All of a sudden, Su Chan felt a strong impulse to drag Li Yundong away and teach him herself. But when she raised her head and saw the look of excitement on Li Yundong's face, she suddenly didn't have the heart to ruin his fun. Instead of dragging him away, Su Chan remained by Li Yundong's side with a long face.

    When Li Yundong walked in with a noisy crowd in tow, everyone in the dojo stopped what they were doing and glanced towards the source of the commotion.

    Li Yundong's eyes were sharp. It didn't take him more than a quick glance to locate Zhao Yujian giving out guided lessons in the largest section of the dojo. Zhao Yujian, the same guy who had confessed to Zhou Qin (and got his ass totally rejected) before, was now dressed in his full Taekwondo uniform with a black belt tied around his waist.

    Dots of perspiration lined Zhao Yujian's forehead. With his tall and lean figure, muscular arms, narrow waist, and handsome face, Zhao Yujian was no doubt the paragon of masculinity. Most of the girls in the dojo were gathered around him like a bunch of star-struck fangirls. And judging from the utterly besotted looks in their eyes, it was doubtful that these girls could even remember their own names if asked. Heck, not even Li Yundong could smother the feelings of envy rising inside him when he saw Zhao Yujian who, for all intents and purposes, looked like a frigging Adonis right then. "What a waste of talent if this guy doesn't become a movie star one day," Li Yundong thought.

    Turning his eyes towards another section of the dojo, Li Yundong saw something even more surprising: Zhou Qin and Ding Nan, both dressed in Taekwondo uniforms, were sitting on the mat, staring right back at him.

    When Li Yundong met Zhou Qin's gaze, he was thrown into a daze. But he quickly recovered and gave Zhou Qin a brief nod as a gesture of gratitude for the help she had given him last time. Zhou Qin's countenance, on the other hand, was devoid of expression. Her eyes lingered on Li Yundong's face for a moment longer, but that was it. After that, she looked away and never looked at him again.

    Ding Nan was staring at Li Yundong with interest even after Zhou Qin had turned away. Ding Nan was sizing him up, he was sure of it. Then again, Li Yundong hated that mean woman's guts, so his eyes didn't linger on her for long.

    Pimple dude led Li Yundong to an empty section. Then, with both hands holding his belt, he spoke in a bold and uninhibited tone: "Since you're a new member of the club, I will handle your lesson for today. You got a problem with that?"

    "Yes, I do," Li Yundong said. "You have a prejudice against me. I don't want to be taught by you."

    Pimple dude snorted. "Then prove it! Prove to me that my prejudice against you is unfounded! After all, you're here for Taekwondo lessons, aren't you? Well, I'm the second best member in this club. You're lucky to have me as your teacher!"

    Yeah, right. As if Li Yundong's pride could stomach that kind of condescension. He released a cold sneer before turning around to walk away.

    "Hah! I knew you'd run. After all, isn't that the only thing you're good at? Running away like a coward?" Behind Li Yundong, pimple dude kept mocking him. "Don't think you're some kind of badass just because you know a few escape moves. Let me tell you something, dipsh*t. That thing you did the other day? It's called parkour, if you put it nicely that is. There's another term for it that doesn't sound as nice. It's called, 'fleeing for your life'!"

    The other students in the dojo were appalled by those words. The looks that pimple dude was receiving were now filled with disdain and contempt.

    Li Yundong, of course, was angered by those words, but he wasn't the only one; Su Chan was furious as well.

    "If you don't go back there and teach him a lesson right now, I swear I'll do it for you!" Su Chan said. On her face was look of fury that was rarely seen on her.

    Li Yundong reached out and held her back. Su Chan turned her head around and shot him a glare. "What the hell are you doing? Let go of me! I can't believe you can tolerate this kind of humiliation without doing anything about it! You're pathetic!"

    Li Yundong gave pimple dude a death stare. Then, he yanked Su Chan back and positioned her behind his own body. "This is between men," Li Yundong said. "Women should stay out of it."

    A chorus of cheers broke out in the dojo; clearly, the boys loved that line. At this point, there wasn't a single spot on pimple guy's face that wasn't imbued with mockery. He started clapping loudly. "Well said, well said! Come on, then. Let us settle this like men, shall we? Let's go a few rounds as practice," pimple guy challenged.

    Li Yundong stepped forward. "Oh yeah? How would you like to practice?" Li Yundong said with a cold sneer. "Whatever it is, I'm game!"

    At this point, anyone with a functioning brain could tell that a confrontation was imminent. Everyone, including Zhao Yujian, had stopped their activities and were now looking over towards Li Yundong.

    At first, Zhao Yujian had planned to step in and put an end to the confrontation. But when he saw Su Chan, who was standing beside Li Yundong, he literally froze. Dang! This chick's beauty was at least on par with Zhou Qin's if not greater! Besides, this girl actually had emotions. She looked absolutely stunning whether she was angry or happy. This added an extra facet to her appeal compared to Zhou Qin's aloof beauty.

    How could a babe of such caliber choose to be with a loser like Li Yundong? It was mind-boggling.

    Zhao Yujian was pissed off to the core, and his eyes sought out Zhou Qin subconsciously. If Zhao Yujian thought that the sight of Zhou Qin would make him feel better, then he had another think coming. Zhou Qin's eyes were trained on Li Yundong, and they were neither aloof nor cold; those eyes were sparkling with interest and curiosity.

    At that moment, Zhao Yujian's insides turned into a raging inferno of jealousy. He sneered inwardly and crossed his arms in front of his chest. Like hell he was going to step in and stop this confrontation. It was time to watch pimple dude humiliate Li Yundong in front of everyone.

    Zhao Yujian had a pretty good idea of pimple dude's current level of skills. Although the guy was a red belt, that was just his qualification from last year. This year, Zhao Yujian was pretty confident that the guy had improved to somewhere between a red and black belt; in fact, Zhao Yujian thought pimple dude was pretty close to his own level.

    The guy was born with a lot of raw strength. With just his bare hands, he could take out several guys at once without even breaking a sweat. Pit him against a fat, homebody in a one on one fight? Please. He'd win even with his eyes closed.

    With a wave of his hand, pimple dude signalled to a student standing on the side. The student came back moments later with a kick pad. Pimple dude took the kick pad and tossed it at Li Yundong. "Since you're interested in Taekwondo, then I shall demonstrate to you one of the most powerful kicks in Taekwondo. The spinning side kick!"

    The students expressed their surprise inwardly, though they were starting to fear for Li Yundong's personal safety.

    The spinning side kick was pimple dude's killer move. On his best day, he could generate a thousand pounds of force with that move! A normal person would be sent flying by the kick even if they were holding a protective kick pad.

    And yet the first thing pimple dude did was asking Li Yundong to hold the kick pad. Clearly, his intentions weren't pure.

    Li Yundong grabbed the pad and held it firmly in front of his chest. A bitter smile formed on Li Yundong's face when he thought about the situation he was in. "To hell with it," he thought. "I'd rather have my ass kicked than be a coward!" He repeated that thought in his mind like a mantra. Other than that, he thought of nothing else.

    Little did Li Yundong know that his present mindset was synonymous to a particular state of being that was well-known to those adept in the art of Cultivation; namely, the Pentaharmonious State. In the Pentaharmonious state, the five states of one's existence are in simultaneous harmony: one's heart is harmonious with one's will, one's will with one's spirit, one's spirit with one's Qi, and finally, one's Qi with one's strength. It is only in such a state that a person could unleash his or her full strength.

    Pimple dude rolled his head around his neck and loosened his wrists. Then, he began bouncing on the balls of his feet. After he was thoroughly warmed up, he curled his fingers at Li Yundong and said, "Hey, are you ready?"

    Li Yundong clenched his jaw. "I'm ready!"

    "Alright, then!" Pimple dude took a deep breath. A split second later, he spun around and unleashed a vicious side kick. The kick was a powerful one due to the mechanics of its execution. The form of the kick allowed pimple dude's body weight, the force generated by his muscles, and also the added momentum from the quick spin of his body, to be channeled into a single strike.

    Li Yundong held the pad with both hands, leaving several inches between the pad and his chest. Bam! A loud crash reverberated around the dojo as pimple dude's foot slammed into the pad, creating a dent so deep that the pad actually bent a little.

    A moment later, something amazing happened. It turned out that pimple dude didn't stop his body's momentum even after his kick had landed on the pad. Instead, he had followed through the kick by throwing the entire weight of his body onto his feet in an attempt to send Li Yundong flying; however, at the exact moment the pad struck Li Yundong's chest, a sudden burst of force radiated from Li Yundong's core. In an instant, pimple dude felt a shockwave travelling from the sole of his feet through his entire body. The next thing he knew, he was airborne.

    Su Chan failed to contain her laughter. She remembered all the times when she herself had been thrown away in a similar fashion after Li Yundong had consumed the Jindan.

    If the onlookers in the dojo were bespectacled, they would probably be picking up their glasses from the floor right about now. There they were, gaping at whatever the hell it was that they had just witnessed. Never in a million years had they expected that pimple dude would be the one flying away like a rag doll.

    Zhao Yujian, who had been watching the fight from the sidelines, frowned. "Hey, Zeng Qing! What the hell are you doing?" he roared.

    Zeng Qing climbed to his feet. At this point, he knew that backing away wasn't an option; he was already in too deep. Blushing to the tips of his ears, Zeng Qing glared at Zhao Yujian. "It's nothing," he said. "My foot slipped, that's all!"

    Zhao Yujian snorted derisively, clearly not buying the excuse. Still, he didn't call the guy out.

    Zeng Qing walked back towards Li Yundong and stood before him. "Do you even know how to hold the pad properly?" Zeng Qing snapped, angry at being humiliated just now.

    "How was I supposed to hold it, then?" Li Yundong bit back coldly.

    Zeng Qing ripped the pad from Li Yundong's hands and place it squarely against his own chest. "There! That's how you're suppposed to hold it," Zeng Qing yelled. "Don't resist the strike with your body, otherwise you'll get hurt!"

    "Yeah? It isn't the one holding the pad who got hurt from what I see," Feng Na said in a strange tone.

    Zeng Qing blushed and glared daggers at Feng Na. Then, he turned back to Li Yundong. "You do the kicking this time," he yelled. "Let me show you how you're supposed to hold the pad!"

    Despite his previous words, Zeng Qing was secretly grinding his teeth. "Payback time, you son of a b*tch! Let me give you a taste of your own medicine!"

    In kicking demonstrations like this where a person holds a pad while the other person kicks, it is easy for the kicking person to sprain his or her ankle if the pad holder pushes back against the kick instead of holding the pad still. Zeng Qing had been extremely lucky just now to have avoided any injuries. But now, he was dead set on f*cking up Li Yundong's leg. All he had to do was tilt the pad a little at the right moment...

    Hehe!

    Li Yundong took a few steps forward and stopped in front of Zeng Qing. "Can I start now?" Li Yundong asked with an impassive look on his face.

    Zeng Qing held the pad in front of him and got into a forward lunge position with half of his body facing Li Yundong. Of course, several students had already figured out what Zeng Qing was planning. Deep down, they all scorned Zeng Qing's despicable behavior.

    Even those students who hadn't seen through Zeng Qing's intention were skeptical about Li Yundong's chances of toppling Zeng Qing; they knew how much leg strength Zeng Qing had, not to mention his outstanding core strength. Those two aspects combined would make his stance immovable. The kick would have to generate at least several hundred kilos of force to budge Zeng Qing from his stance.

    Li Yundong eyes were focused on the thick pad in front of Zeng Qing's chest. Moments later, he copied Zeng Qing's earlier movement by spinning around and delivering a side kick. BAM! Li Yundong's foot slammed into the pad.

    Before Zeng Qing even knew what had hit him, he was flying across the dojo. The pad never even left his hands; he was still hugging it when he flew. Zeng Qing's body crashed into the floor about three meters away from Li Yundong and slid along the mat until it hit the wall at the far end of the dojo. When it was all over, Zeng Qing was cradling his arms, moaning and groaning.

    Li Yundong himself was a little bit taken aback by what he just did. He was finally convinced that something major had happened to his body. Something inside his body had changed. Now, he was pretty sure he was God knows how many times stronger that he used to be. How else could he have sent a frigging Taekwondo red belt flying away with just a kick?

    The entire dojo was in an uproar. Everyone was looking at Li Yundong with strange looks on their faces. What in the ever loving f*ck just happened? Did Mr. Chubby Face just send Zeng Qing flying several meters away with just a kick? What a terrifying sight!

    "How much strength do you reckon that kick packed? A ton?"

    "Beats the hell out of me, pal. But I think it's pretty close. I mean, holy sh*t, dude, did you see that? That's f*cking insane! Zeng Qing weighs like, what, eighty kilos? He was even in a lunge position with his quads fully engaged. And yet he was still kicked that far away!"

    "Hey, this is the second time, right? The second time that Brother Zeng was sent flying? Does this count as a double flight (T/N: in Mandarin, 'double flight' is a term for having a threesome')?"

    "Hah! Can't believe you came up with that, bro. You're a genius!"

    While the students were whispering with their heads together, Su Chan was watching Li Yundong on the sidelines. Moments later, she saw him blowing out a breath of frustration, which compelled her to do the same. Martial arts like this, which placed more emphasis on style rather than function, annoyed her. She walked across the sparring ring and grabbed Li Yundong's arm. "Let's go, Yundong," Su Chan said, tugging his arm. "What's there to learn here, anyway? All these fancy kicks are just for show, not practical use!"

    Su Chan's blunt statement angered the Taekwondo aficionados there, who were now casting angry glances towards them.

    Zhao Yujian, who had just finished ordering a few students to carry Zeng Qing to the university's health center, turned around as well. A snide smile adorned his handsome face. Behind the smile, however, was a bloodthirsty look. "Oh, so you're here to challenge the dojo, I see!"

  • Chapter 16 Invincible Godlike Strength!

     

    "What did you just say?" Surprisingly, his eyes were trained on Li Yundong instead of Su Chan, the one who actually made the mocking remark.

    For the life of him, Li Yundong couldn't have seen this coming. "I just want to get Taekwondo lessons. Is that so damn hard?" Li Yundong thought, casting a helpless look at Su Chan. Helplessness turned into utter despair when he saw Zhao Yujian pushing through the crowd, looking like he was seconds away from committing murder.

    Su Chan raised her chin in defiance, her beautiful face filled to the brim with disdain and arrogance. It was as if she thought she had just stated the most obvious and unassailable truths in the Universe just now.

    The pounding in Li Yundong's head was unmistakable. He could already feel a headache coming. This girl was literally trouble on two feet! In fact, he hadn't stopped running into trouble since the day he met her!

    What he didn't know, however, was that no good ever came to those who kept fox sprits in their lives. That had always been the case since antiquity.

    The records in history books could attest to that fact. The greatest thing in common between Xia Jie, Shang Cun and Zhou You wasn't the fact that they were all foolish tyrants, but the fact that they all had a fox spirit beside them who was keen on bringing destruction upon their kingdoms.

    Even if Li Yundong had no idea that the pretty girl beside him was, in fact, a fox spirit, he still knew enough about the history of humanity to know that trouble always followed the appearance of a woman. In fact, the prettier the woman was, the greater the trouble she'd cause. He could even state the principle in a scientific way: the trouble caused by a woman is directly proportional to her beauty.

    Li Yundong sighed. "I just want to take Taekwondo lessons... Is all this really necessary?"

    Zhao Yujian chuckled darkly and stopped in front of Li Yundong. "You've disrespected the art of Taekwondo," he said. "You have to apologize!"

    Alas, Su Chan beat Li Yundong to a response. "Was I really wrong? If the stuff you're doing here isn't just for show, what else are they for?" Su Chan challenged. "I bet Yundong could wipe the floor with you with just one hand!"

    "Oh, f*ck me. Are all women born with the talent to manipulate the truth?" Li Yundong thought. He had nearly jumped up to cover Su Chan's mouth just now. In hindsight, he really should've done that.

    In a fit of anger, Zhao Yujian raised his head to the ceiling and released a roar of laughter. Then, he jabbed a finger towards the sparring ring at the center of the dojo. "I'll be waiting for you right there!"

    Then, Zhao Yujian stomped angrily towards where he had just pointed.

    The students who were standing around the mat scurried aside, clearing a path for Zhao Yujian. There was a myriad of different expressions among the students. Some, like Zhao Yujian, were incensed. Then, there were those who actually looked happy and excited, like trouble was the only thing they lived for. Finally, there were those who looked completely calm and nonchalant. The last group was the typical be-a-fly-on-the-wall type; they didn't want to involve themselves in any way, but they still didn't want to miss the show.

    Li Yundong stared at Su Chan incredulously. Then, he released a groan of frustration. "My God, you must've truly gone bananas to have that much faith in me."

    Su Chan merely patted Li Yundong's shoulder in encouragement. "It's going to be fine," Su Chan said. "Didn't you sent that guy flying just now?"

    "But that wasn't sparring!" Li Yundong groaned. "Do you know who Zhao Yujian is? He's the city's Taekwondo champion, for God's sake! And me? I never even had a single day of training! Funny how you think I can actually beat him."

    Su Chan froze all of a sudden. "Hm, that's kind of true," she thought. "Even if Li Yundong's body was enhanced by the Jindan, it's not like he should just stand there and absorb all the hits."

    The gears in Su Chan's head turned quickly, and soon, she came up with a brilliant solution. "I know a way you can beat him," she said. "Do this, and victory will be yours."

    Piqued, Li Yundong brought his head closer to her. "What way?"

    "If he punches you, strike his fist," Su Chan said. "If he kicks you, strike his leg."

    Li Yundong didn't know whether to start crying or laughing at this point. What kind of stupidass advice was that? Victory was his, she said. Yeah, sure. If you count being used as a human mop to clean the dojo's floor a form of victory.

    Zhao Yujian was now standing at the center of the sparring ring over five meters away. There he stood, tall and proud, with both hands tugging the ends of his black belt. "Hey! You done talking or what?" Zhao Yujian sneered. "You mark my words! I'm going to beat your ass until you submit to me and apologize to everyone here!"

    Li Yundong was the type of guy who only gets along with those who conform to him. He was the stubborn type, so only the soft approach would work on him. Had Zhao Yujian decided to speak to him nicely, chances were that Li Yundong would have yielded and apologized to everyone on behalf of Su Chan. But, no, Zhao Yujian had decided to settle this with his fists. In that case, there was nothing else left to say.

    "You might be good, Zhao Yujian, but I assure you I'm no wimp either!"

    Lin Yundong would rather lose a fight than have his honor and pride tainted! If Zhao Yujian wanted a fight, then so be it!

    Steeling his resolve, Li Yundong drew his brows together and walked over to his opponent in large, purposeful strides.

    By the time the two fighters were facing off at the center of the ring, the other students in the dojo had already gathered around them in a circle. Like before, some of the students had chosen to sit down while others preferred to stand. Even Zhou Qin and Ding Nan, who never paid much attention to the business of other students, had stood up from where they had been sitting on the floor and were now looking towards the sparring ring with interest.

    "Who do you think is going to win?" Ding Nan asked Zhou Qin.

    "What do you think?" Zhou Qin asked in return.

    Ding Nan thought for a moment. "Don't get me wrong. I still find Zhao Yujian pretentious, hypocritical and downright annoying. But I think he's more likely to win in this case. I mean, he's the city's Taekwondo champion after all."

    Zhou Qin gave her a flat smile. "Dare to bet on that?"

    Ding Nan chuckled. "What do I get if I win?"

    Zhou Qin fixed her gaze on the center of the ring where the fight was about to begin. "You still want my handbag, right?" she said casually.

    Ding Nan's eyes gleamed. "You mean the Louis Vuitton 2009's autumn season limited edition handbag?" Ding Nan said. "You're on! I'm picking Zhao Yujian!"

    "I'll go with Li Yundong," Zhou Qin said with a tiny smile.

    Ding Nan stared at Zhou Qin in utter bafflement. "What on earth made you think that Li Yundong could win?"

    "Call it a gut feeling," Zhou Qin said nonchalantly.

    Ding Nan laughed. "I refuse to believe that your gut is right every time."

    Zhou Qin smiled and calmly turned her attention back to the sparring ring.

    Meanwhile, Zhao Yujian was already performing his warm-up routine beside the sparring ring. Zhao Yujian had no intention of underestimating his opponent. "Let's see what you're made of, you punk," Zhao Yujian thought as he studied his opponent carefully.

    Sympathetic glances were cast upon Li Yundong. The students gathered around the ring saw how serious Zhao Yujian was about winning, and they all pitied Li Yundong.

    The poor guy was about to have his ass handed to him.

    Su Chan, the cruel and heartless little minx that she was, cupped her hands around her mouth and yelled: "Li Yundong! Try your best! You'll definitely win!"

    Li Yundong turned around and flashed her a fake smile. Then, he turned back to face his opponent. He had to find that feeling again, that sudden surge of heat that he felt when he walloped the machine to kingdom come or when he sent Zeng Qing flying away not once but twice. Too bad it didn't work that way; that feeling would never appear if he willed it to come. This was exactly like Duan Yu's Six Meridians Supersword in the Chinese martial arts novel series, "Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils"; sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't.

    Zhao Yujian didn't wait for Li Yundong to find that mysterious feeling. He stepped into the center of the ring and stared at Li Yundong icily. "Are you ready?"

    Li Yundong decided to just bite the bullet. "Good to go," he said.

    Zhao Yujian didn't bother with the usual etiquettes such as bowing to his opponent before a fight. He figured it was pointless, since Li Yundong had already made it clear that he didn't respect the ways of the art. Bouncing on the balls of his feet, Zhao Yujian began moving around Li Yundong as if he were dancing.

    Indeed, Zhao Yujian lived up to his reputation as the city level Taekwondo champion. He was quick and agile on his feet. While he moved, his upper body kept swaying from left to right. Those were feigned attacks that he used in order to test his opponent. Below, his legs kept crossing each other forcefully like a pair of scissors. His movements were unpredictable like he was a massive foldable knife; his leg could spring out any moment in a strike.

    On the sidelines, the students could barely keep up with the movements of Zhao Yujian's feet with their eyes. A few infatuated fangirls covered their mouths and screamed: "That's the butterfly step!"

    Li Yundong's eyes followed Zhao Yujian's swift movements. True, Li Yundong didn't have much combat experience, but he sure as hell had enough common sense to know the most fundamental principle of hand-to-hand combat: always keep your opponent in front of you; never stand with your back to your opponent and leave your back, waist and stomach open to your opponent's attack.

    For a while, the two combatants circled each other around the ring. At one point, Zhao Yujian was starting to lose his patience. He dispensed with the feigned attacks and got into a sudden X-stance (Kyocha Sogi). A split second later, his right leg raised from the floor as if it had springs attached to it. Bam! A roundhouse kick slammed into Li Yundong's waist.

    Zhao Yujian's kick was lightning fast; as he moved, the fabric of his pants created a loud, whipping sound as it whirled through the air. Li Yundong couldn't react in time. One moment he was watching Zhao Yujian circling around him, then the next, he felt a sharp pain in his waist.

    The pain reminded Li Yundong of the tip that Su Chan had given him before the fight began. With a low, angry roar, Li Yundong aimed a punch at Zhao Yujian's leg.

    Then again, Li Yundong was no match for Zhao Yujian's lighting speed; Zhao Yujian had retracted his leg the moment his kick had connected. Then, his other leg lifted off the ground. Bam! Li Yundong was struck once again, this time on the other side of his waist.

    After the second kick, Li Yundong subconsciously tried to use his hands to block any further kicks. He managed to block the third kick, but that was about all he could manage as Zhao Yujian's other leg came flying at him a split second after the block was made.

    Zhao Yujian's legs lashed out like a pair of fast-moving whips. Bam! Bam! Bam! Zhao Yujian was like a human cyclone, landing one kick after another on Li Yundong's waist. Those who were watching the fight couldn't help but wince every time one of those vicious kicks landed. The sounds produced by those kicks literally had their hair standing on end.

    Ding Nan gave Zhou Qin a gleeful look. "Looks like I'm going to get a new handbag!"

    Zhou Qin looked completely unfazed. "The best kind of smile can only be found on those who remain smiling at the end."

    All of a sudden, Li Yundong made a complete one-eighty, as if he was trying to run away from his opponent. Zhao Yujian sneered and ran after Li Yundong. Swish! Zhao Yujian extended his leg with his heel above Li Yundong's head. Once his leg was fully extended, Zhao Yujian bent it at the knee with a hooking motion, snapping his heel downwards. It was powerful hook kick aimed straight at Li Yundong's skull.

    The students watching the fight were now on their feet. If that kick landed, a concussion was probably the least of the Li Yundong worries. Was Zhao Yujian out of his mind? Li Yundong wasn't wearing a headguard! Was he trying to kill the poor guy?

    It was as if Li Yundong had sensed that something was going on behind him; he turned back around and aimed a punch at Zhao Yujian's calf.

    Li Yundong never did forget Su Chan's advice. "If Zhao Yujian punches, hit his fist. If he kicks, hit his leg."

    Anyone who said that in front of those well-versed in hand-to-hand combat would've instantly become a laughing stock. It was complete horsesh*t. Still, Li Yundong had run out of options. What a pity. Li Yundong had the Jindan's power coursing through his veins, yet he had no idea how to unleash that power. In a way, Su Chan's advice was a band-aid solution; a desperate, last-ditch effort to perhaps enable him to walk away from this fight with his head still attached to his shoulders. In times of desperation, a dying patient would do anything just for a chance to get better, even if it meant seeking the help of charlatans.

    Zhao Yujian grunted when Li Yundong's fist hit his calf. The hook kick missed Li Yundong's head, but Zhao Yujian improvised. He folded his leg suddenly, changing its angle, and managed to land a hit on Li Yundong's neck. Li Yundong stumbled onto the mat.

    That move left the onlookers in awe. The students started cheering. "That's the move! 'The Descend of the Flying Swallow'!"

    If it weren't for the Jindan's protection, Li Yundong would probably be spending the next few months in a neck brace after that kick.

    If Zhao Yujian decided to end the fight there, the matter would've been resolved without any further damage. But alas, Zhao Yujian had subconsciously glanced at Zhou Qin moments after Li Yundong fell. He saw, much to his chagrin, that Zhou Qin was staring at Li Yundong instead of himself. He thought his eyes might've been playing tricks on him when he noticed the slight frown between Zhou Qin's brows. What the heck? Zhou Qin, the cold and aloof ice queen, was worried about Li Yundong?

    In that moment, it was like a fuse had blown inside Zhao Yujian's head, and he felt a sudden impulse to end the bastard's life with a single kick.

    Zhao Yujian clenched his jaw tight, a feral glint flashing in his eyes. He charged forward and made a sudden leap into the air. Everyone watching him knew which move he was about to execute. It was the jumping, spinning, side kick aimed directly at Li Yundong's chest.

    That move was considered to be the most powerful move in Taekwondo. In its execution, the practitioner would channel their bodyweight as well as the strength of their whole body into the kicking leg. That kick could generate a force equivalent to at least, what, 500 kilos?

    When he was falling over after that kick to his neck, Li Yundong became fully aware of the vast gap in skill between himself and Zhao Yujian. He was actually considering giving up the fight. After all, he wasn't hurt that badly yet, so he might as well just give up before things got worse.

    However, any thoughts of giving up were thrown out of the window when Li Yundong saw Zhao Yujian charging at him like a mad bull. In that moment, Li Yundong felt a tightness in his chest, as if something was rubbing and scratching against his ribcage. Then, a wave of heat surged upwards as anger erupted inside him.

    Even a saint would get mad if sufficiently provoked, let alone a normal guy like Li Yundong. For the life of him, Li Yundong couldn't comprehend how Zhao Yujian could still be so merciless despite having gained such a huge upper hand over him.

    That wave of heat originated from Li Yundong's lower abdomen, spreading quickly throughout his whole body like steam inside a pressure cooker. The heat gushed out from the top of Li Yundong's head. What ensued was a gravity-defying feat: strands of Li Yundong's hair were standing on end (literally) as if they were being held upright by some kind of unseen force.

    In that moment, Li Yundong could see Zhao Yujian's leaping movement clearly, frame by frame, as if he were watching a movie in slow motion.

    In the air, Zhao Yujian's body spun before his leg extended out in a side kick. At the right moment, Li Yundong ducked and delivered a heavy punch on the sole of Zhao Yujian's foot.

    Wham! The sound of the impact was low and muffled. Zhao Yujian's body was propelled outwards about a meter away before it crashed heavily into the floor. A series of gut-wrenching screams followed suit as Zhao Yujian held on to his calf for dear life.

    The students in the dojo were thrown into a state of stupor, utterly transfixed by what they had just witnessed. None of them could believe their eyes. This was beyond anything they could even imagine. How could Zhao Yujian, who had the upper hand just a few moments ago, suffer such a sudden and devastating loss?

    Their awe was taken further up a notch when they cast their eyes towards Li Yundong and saw the slightly elevated state of his hair. Li Yundong's hair floated above his skull for several moments before they slowly flattened out. No, they hadn't missed the way in which Li Yundong's hair had risen and stood erect moments before Zhao Yujian's spinning side kick landed. It was a fearsome sight to behold, one that filled each of them with amazement; how could they not be amazed when what they saw bordered on supernatural?

    While the crowd was still dumbstruck, Su Chan ran up to Zhao Yujian and crouched down beside him. Her nimble fingers worked quickly and pressed down on several acupoints on Zhao Yujian's calf and body; that was meant to help alleviate his pain.

    Before Zhao Yujian even had time to brace himself for the excruciating pain following Su Chan's touches, it was already over; Su Chan was done. He gave Su Chan a weak smile of gratitude, but Su Chan was already on her feet and walking towards Li Yundong. Su Chan stopped before Li Yundong, shaking her head. "No martial art in this world is invincible," she said. "Only one thing in this world is invincible." There was a pregnant pause. "Godlike strength!"

  • Chapter 17 I Think My Balls Are Hurting a Little...

     

    To those students who were passionate about Taekwondo, Su Chan's statement was like a slap to their faces. No martial art is invincible, but this fat, untrained guy is? What? Godlike strength? What an insult! However, those students kept their mouth shut despite the anger raging inside them. No, it wasn't the weak and delicate-looking Su Chan whom they feared; it was Li Yundong, the guy who just took down the best fighter in the club with a single punch!

    "But that's not how it goes," one of the guys mumbled, "I thought it's supposed to be speed that's invincible. No martial art system under the sun is invincible, but with speed, anything is invincible. That's the saying. Godlike strength? Never heard of that."

    His buddy beside him snorted. "Dude, you're so ignorant! Haven't you watched Jet Li's 'Fist of Legend' before?"

    "Of course I have. But what's that got to do with anything?" said the first guy.

    His buddy then looked at him as though he was a retard. "Tsk! Have you forgotten what Jet Li's character said in the movie? He said that before you learn how to fight, you need to learn how to take a beating. You see, if you're in a fight, and your opponent could take a hundred punches and still remain standing? Then you better run like hell coz you've got no chance of winning. And it's even worse if you're a sissy who can't take a beating, coz all it takes is one well-placed hit and you're done for. This is exactly what happened just now. The prez landed like, what, twenty kicks on Li Yundong, but the guy just walked it off. And then, bam! One punch by Li Yundong and he's down..."

    "Okay, yeah, yeah. That totally makes sense," the first guy said.

    His buddy kept going, "Also, did you see where he punched the prez? The base of the foot! Man, that's like the shittiest punch ever. Nobody punches people there! It just won't do enough damage! But damn! It was still enough to take down the prez! You know what, bro? I think I'm starting to believe that the machine really ain't broken. If he could take down a guy with a punch to the foot, 1500 pounds sounds pretty damn feasible to me."

    "But you have to admit it's a little crazy, bro. Almost 1500 pounds! More than Mike Tyson. Mike frigging Tyson!" said the first guy.

    "Well... f*ck. You're right. That does sound a little crazy."

    Meanwhile, on the other side of the ring, Ding Nan gaped at the scene in front of her. She couldn't believe what just happened. One moment she was cheering, about getting a new handbag, then the next, Zhao Yujian (along with her hopes) was crashing into the floor like some kind of ragdoll. Ding Nan clenched her jaw tight. "Come on, come on. Get up! Get! Up!" But no, Zhao Yujian remained on the floor, writhing and moaning. Ding Nan's hopes returned a little when she saw Li Yundong's woman did something to Zhao Yujian which caused him to stop moaning like a wuss. "Yes! Now get back up and fight!" Then, she waited with bated breath for the fight to continue, ignoring the whispers and mumbles from the guys who had already launched into a discussion about some Jet Li movie. She just wanted Zhao Yujian to get back up so that she could win the bet. After a while, when Zhao Yujian still showed no signs of getting back up, Ding Nan cursed and lowered her head, looking utterly crestfallen. "Zhao Yujian is such a loser!" she grumbled.

    Zhou Qin was beside Ding Nan on the mat, sitting in seiza with her back perfectly straight and both hands resting on top of her lap. Unlike everyone else in the dojo, Zhou Qin only gave a slight reaction when Li Yundong struck down Zhao Yujian. Her eyes had widened slightly, and she might have straightened her posture just a tad. But other than those, she didn't show any other physical reactions. Even in the face of a shocking event, Zhou Qin exhibited the elegance and poise befitting of her status as a daughter from a powerful family.

    Zhou Qin angled her head slightly and glanced at Ding Nan. Her aloof eyes now held a hint of condescension and arrogance. "Ding Nan, haven't you learned after all these years we've known each other? You think it's that easy to take my things away from me?"

    Ding Nan's expression hardened instantly, but she quickly covered it up with a sheepish smile. "Well, it's just... I've wanted that handbag for a long time..."

    From the corner of her eyes, Ding Nan could see that Zhou Qin was studying her intently. The whole staring thing went on for about a few minutes or so until a point where Ding Nan was starting to feel a little creeped out. "Take my handbag tomorrow," Zhou Qin said.

    Ding Nan whipped her head around and looked at Zhou Qin in surprise. "Wait, what? You're giving me your handbag? But I didn't win the bet..."

    Zhou Qin looked away from Ding Nan. "Oh, so you don't want it? Okay, fine then—"

    "I want it! Of course I want it!" Ding Nan cut in. "Only an idiot would say no to a limited edition handbag which cost more than ten thousand yuan!"

    Keeping her eyes on the sparring ring, Zhou Qin nodded and extended her palm towards Ding Nan. "Phone," she said.

    Ding Nan was on her feet in an instant. She flashed Zhou Qin a fawning smile and said, "Gimme a minute, I'll go grab it from the locker room."

    However, the smile on Ding Nan's face was gone the moment she was facing away from Zhou Qin; in its place was a look of humiliation and hatred. Once she entered the female locker room, she growled and balled her fists, her breaths escaping her nostrils in angry puffs.

    After a while, Ding Nan calmed down and took out Zhou Qin's phone from one of the lockers. She slammed the locker door shut and fastened the lock. She took a deep breath, then exhaled. She was smiling again when she left the locker room.

    ***

    Zhou Qin dialed the hospital's number the moment she got her phone. When the call got through, she immediately asked for an ambulance, then gave the dispatcher a brief rundown on the situation.

    While she was on the phone, Zhou Qin's eyes never left Li Yundong. Admittedly, Zhou Qin couldn't quite put her finger on Li Yundong's behavior. For one, the guy hadn't moved an inch from his spot since the fight ended, which seemed a bit unusual to Zhou Qin. He had just defeated a black belt. Shouldn't he be all over the place, cheering, fist-pumping, or doing whatever it was that guys do to celebrate a victory? Why was he standing there doing absolutely nothing? What baffled her the most, however, was the blank look on his face. She expected to see at least some emotion there, like joy and smugness of having triumphed over a black belt, or even fear of the possibility that he might've just crippled a man with a single punch. But there was none of that. He just stood there like nothing.

    Then it hit her. Thanks to her sharp intuition, she suddenly had an insight into Li Yundong's current behavior: that of a person who had just arrived on an alien planet where everything was confusing and unfamiliar.

    There he stood, staring down quietly at his fist as if he was in a world on his own. Maybe he was, since nothing seemed to be able to get through to him, not the looks of jealousy, reverence, fear, hatred, and rage from the guys, nor the looks of admiration from the girls.

    Zhou Qin's lips curved into a smile as she hung up the phone. It was clear to her now that this harmless-looking guy wasn't as inept as she thought he was.

    ***

    Director Qian burst through the entrance of the dojo, sweating profusely. His small, beady eyes darted around the dojo from corner to corner before they locked on to Li Yundong.

    "You again!" Director Qian yelled as he made his way towards Li Yundong. "This kid! Why don't they just let him leave this school with a Degree in Troublemaking and be done with it! How could anyone cause so much trouble in two days!"

    Director Qian's voice snapped Li Yundong out of his daze. When he turned his head and saw Director Qian heading over towards him, his heart actually stopped a little. "Oh sh*t... That evil geezer again... F*ck!"

    As the Director of Tiannan University's Office of Academic Affairs, Director Qian had the power to determine whether a student was allowed to remain in the university. The worst thing that could happen to problematic students like Li Yundong was to end up on Director Qian's sh*tlist, because the old geezer could easily have them expelled without making himself look bad in the process. All he really had to do was cite one of the many troubles that those students had caused, then claim that it had done irreversible damage to the university's reputation. Everyone would then see it as a valid justification for the student's dismissal. Nobody would suspect him of official misconduct or abuse of power just because he expelled a few problematic students.

    Wiping the sweat off his forehead, Director Qian squeezed his way through the throng of students gathered beside the sparring ring. Then, he moved past Li Yundong to check on Zhao Yujian. "The students from the University of Pennsylvania will be here next week for an exchange visit, yet these kids still think it's a good idea to fool around like this?"

    Zhao Yujian was supposed to do a demonstration on the day of the exchange visit. The Taekwondo Club was Tiannan University's pride, and as the club's president, Zhao Yujian was pretty much Tiannan University's only hope to leave a good impression. Now that he was injured, Tiannan University had nothing to show for...

    Director Qian's glower was so dark that it was as if someone had splashed an entire bucket of calligraphy ink onto his face. Li Yundong watched anxiously as Director Qian rose to his feet and walked away from where he'd been crouching beside Zhao Yujian. "What's the matter with you!" Director Qian yelled the moment he stopped in front of Li Yundong."You'd go that far even when you're sparring with a fellow student? Don't you have any sense of etiquette or humility? This is a violation of the university's regulations! I could get you expelled!"

    In an instant, Li Yundong's apprehension was replaced with anger. "I'm the one who went too far? What about when Zhao Yujian tried to kick my head off my shoulders? Everyone here saw it!" Li Yundong yelled, flinging his arms out wide.

    Li Yundong's outburst angered Director Qian further. "How dare this brat talk back to me! I'm one of the university's top leaders. Yet he didn't even bother to show me respect! This is outrageous!"

    Director Qian placed his hands on his hips. "Who can verify his claim! Step forward! Now!"

    On the surface, Director Qian's statement sounded like a simple command. However, everyone who heard him knew that it was a veiled threat. Even though there were a couple of students there who hated Zhao Yujian's guts, none of them would risk pissing off Director Qian just for Li Yundong's sake! Why? Because they still wanted to be a student here, that's why! Getting on Director Qian's sh*tlist was even worst than pissing off the University's Chancellor!

    The moment Director Qian's voice rang out, most students began stepping backwards. There were, of course, one or two students who stepped forward instead, each wearing an expression of righteous indignation. "Yes! So there are still good people in this world after all!" Li Yundong thought. "Thank Heavens!"

    Then again, Li Yundong nearly had a f*cking aneurysm the moment one of those "righteous" students opened his mouth. "He's the one who started it!" said the sh*thead with his finger pointed right at Li Yundong.

    "The f*ck?! I'm the one who started it?!" Li Yundong couldn't believe that this was happening. Justice? What justice? This was devilry! Li Yundong turned around and gave Su Chan an accusatory look.

    "This is all this girl's fault!"

    The accusation in Li Yundong's eyes instantly filled Su Chan with guilt. A moment later, she put her guilt aside and decided to take responsibility for her actions. She left Li Yundong's side by taking a huge step forward. "I'm the one who started it!" Su Chan declared, arms akimbo. "I'll take any form of punishment, so do your worst! If I, Su Chan, so much as blink—"

    Su Chan felt a strong grip on her forearm. Next thing she knew, her entire body was yanked backwards. "Oww," Su Chan mumbled, rubbing a sore spot on her head where Li Yundong had just rapped with his knuckle. "Now you're playing the hero?" Li Yundong hissed. "Stop talking!"

    "Oh..." Su Chan muttered, then tugged the hem of Li Yundong's shirt and hid herself behind Li Yundong.

    Director Qian had seen Su Chan before, but never this up-close. Now that he had taken a good look at her face, he finally realized just how absolutely gorgeous she was. He swallowed a mouthful of drool and said, "Which year and department are you from? How come I've never seen you on campus?"

    Li Yundong didn't like the way Director Qian was looking at Su Chan. Not one bit. He straightened his posture and stepped forward to block Director Qian's view of Su Chan. "She's my girlfriend," Li Yundong said. "She isn't a student here."

    Girlfriend. That word, plus the fact that Li Yundong was getting in the way of his "admiration" of Su Chan, finally made Director Qian lose his sh*t. "Not a student here!" Director Qian roared. "Yet she's running around on campus and causing trouble!"

    Li Yundong tamped down the sudden urge to show Director Qian just how shiny his head could be once that comb-over of his was ripped off his scalp. "Is there a rule that prohibits non-students from entering the campus?" Li Yundong said. "Besides, we aren't the ones who were running around causing trouble. It's the other students who were picking on me!"

    "Oh, is that so? Who's picking on you? Can anyone verify that?"

    "I can..." A sweet, melodic voice sounded. Everyone turned and saw Zhou Qin walking over in a leisurely pace.

    "Her again? Why is she everywhere?" Director Qian thought, sensing a headache coming.

    "Oh, Zhou Qin," Director Qian said amicably. "When did you join the Taekwondo Club?" Really, Director Qian could make all the Sichuan opera houses go out of business if he wanted to. Those face-changing artists had got nothing on Director Qian's skills to go from looking like a murderous tyrant to looking like a humble servant in just nanoseconds.

    Zhou Qin smiled at Director Qian. "I've been a member for more than a year. I just didn't show up often, that's all."

    Director Comb-over gave Zhou Qin an awkward smile in return. "So... You saw everything that happened here today?"

    Zhou Qin nodded, then gave the director a full account of everything that happened, starting from the strength tester until Zhao Yujian's defeat. When she reached the end of her account, Zhou Qin glanced at Li Yundong briefly, then returned her gaze to Director Qian. "That's basically what happened," she said. "I trust that Director Qian will handle everything justly?"

    All of a sudden, Director Qian felt as though his insides were overwhelmed by a deluge of hatred, like a Niagara Falls of hatred or something. "Why does Zhou Qin keep standing up for this good-for-nothing brat every time? First with the gangsters, and now this?"

    All of a sudden, a horrifying thought came to Director Qian. "Damn... Don't tell me that Zhou Qin has fallen for this dunce..."

    Director Qian turned away from Zhou Qin and began a thorough appraisal of Li Yundong, which was a huge mistake because what he saw pissed him off even more.

    "What's so good about this guy? Why on God's green earth is there a beautiful woman following him around like a puppy? Now even Zhou Qin has taken a liking to him? Hell, I'm more handsome than he is! Why are these chicks falling at his feet instead of mine? Why!"

    Suffice it to say that middle-aged men, especially a relatively successful one like Director Qian, often conceal ardent desires for beautiful women behind their calm and composed exterior.

    Director Qian's gaze followed Zhou Qin's figure until she was out of the dojo. Then, he shot a murderous glare at Li Yundong. "Follow me to my office!" he roared, doing that disgusting thing again where he flicked his comb-over with his finger. "You!" He pointed at Su Chan. "Come along too!" Director Qian stormed off.

    When Li Yundong began moving, Su Chan followed behind him timidly. A few steps later, she reached forward and hooked her index finger around Li Yundong's pinky.

    Li Yundong turned around the moment he felt the soft touch on his pinky. When he did, he saw Su Chan mouthing the words "I'm sorry" to him.

    Li Yundong smiled and pinched Su Chan's nose. Su Chan giggled, then slapped his fingers away.

    Thanks to Zhou Qin's intervention, Direction Qian's plan to expel Li Yundong was thwarted. However, that didn't mean he wasn't allowed to bring Li Yundong into his office and give the good-for-nothing brat a piece of his mind. In fact, not doing so would only make him look like a wuss: "Hey, check out Director No Balls who yielded the moment Zhou Qin opened her mouth!"

    Inside Director Qian's office, Li Yundong was subjected to a "spit storm", quite literally. God, this old geezer seriously needed to learn how to keep his saliva in his mouth unless he was planning to live out the rest of his miserable life with a bad case of halitosis on top of his chronic hair problems.

    Despite the distinct possibility of his ears falling off, Li Yundong was happy to let Director Qian scream his head off. "Oh, my Lord Director, scream and spit at me all you want. Just don't expel me..."

    After giving Li Yundong the gazillionth threat of expulsion, Director Qian glared daggers at Li Yundong. "Now, with regards to your situation, the Office of Academic Affairs will have a meeting with the university's Administrative Council to decide if you'll be expelled! Also, if you cause any more trouble again in the next few days, and I mean any trouble, you're dead meat! Nobody will be able to save you!"

    "Now get out of my sight," Director Qian said, giving Li Yundong a dismissive glance. "I'll have a word with this lady... what's your name?"

    Su Chan's face scrunched up in confusion. "Why does this man want to speak with me?"  Deciding to be magnanimous, she said, "I'm Su Chan."

    Director Qian nodded. "Su Chan, please stay. I need to have a word with you."

    Li Yundong was surprised by Director Qian's strange request, though he kept his surprise to himself. His top priority right now was to avoid getting expelled.

    Li Yundong nearly jumped out of his damn skin the moment he stepped out of Director Qian's office. A crowd had gathered outside the door, the majority of which consisted of the members of the Taekwondo Club.

    As soon as the door closed behind him, Li Yundong was swarmed by these busybodies who began bombarding him with all kinds of questions. "Son of a b*tch! Are these people for real?" Li Yundong thought angrily.

    The furious look on Director Qian's face vanished the moment Li Yundong left his office. In its place was a kind and gentle expression. Then, he actually stood up from his chair and started serving tea and drinks to Su Chan, all the while sharing some silly anecdotes about his life.

    Su Chan studied Director Qian as he went on and on about tea quality and the subtle nuances of tea brewing. When the man walked around his desk to grab the teapot from the coffee table, Su Chan finally had enough. "What is this foolish old geezer trying to say! That's it! I'm leaving!" she thought. However, she stopped herself at the last moment. "Argh! This sucks! Yundong would be in trouble again if I just storm out of here. Fine! I'll stay... Stupid old fool... I wouldn't even bother with you if not for Yundong's sake..."

    Director Qian's rambling went on for minutes before he finally got to the point. "Say, Su Chan... From your appearance, I think you're pretty young, right?" he said. "Hm. Guess that makes sense then. You're too young to be a good judge of character, I suppose. No wonder you would..." Director Qian trailed off.

    Although Su Chan was clueless about the ways of the mortal world, she wasn't an idiot. She had a pretty good guess at what the old geezer was getting at. "So what are you saying?" she asked, testing the waters.

    Director Qian suddenly sat up straighter, then looked Su Chan right in the eye. It took every ounce of Su Chan's willpower not to jump up from her seat and then punch that patronizing look off his face. Just when Su Chan thought that things couldn't possibly get any worse, the man opened his mouth to speak: "Well, I can certainly understand why people would find young men appealing. They are active, energetic, and full of life. But for a girl like you who is young and beautiful, you should put more thought into your choice of dating partners. Now, there are of course certain criteria that you should prioritize more. For instance, you should choose a man who is mature, dependable, and who has a stable career..."

    Su Chan would be an idiot if she still didn't understand what this man was so blatantly suggesting.

    "This old geezer is hitting on me!" Su Chan thought angrily. "This man must be tired of living. How about I put him out of his misery and end his life!"

    In all fairness, Director Qian's lust had rendered him incapable of clear thought. After all, Su Chan had that kind of effect on people. What is it again that people always say about fox spirits? That they're the downfall of men and the ruination of nations? Hah. Yep, that's the one. Seriously, any man who set eyes on Su Chan would instantly experience a reduction in their intelligence by 50 percent; in other words, men turned into halfwits around Su Chan.

    Director Qian was clearly one of those halfwits since he was actually starting to think that his "come-on" attempt had worked. In his half-witted delusions, young and beautiful women like Su Chan would most likely go for guys who were mature and dependable. Mature and dependable like him, that is. At that thought, Director Qian did that hair-flicking thing again. If only Director Qian could read Su Chan's mind at that moment, he most definitely wouldn't be sitting there entertaining lustful thoughts about her. He would be running for dear life.

    Meanwhile, Su Chan was doing everything in her power to suppress her rage. "For Yundong's sake... For Yundong's sake..." Su Chan took a breath, then batted her eyelashes a few times. "Oh, I understand. I'll think about it," Su Chan said with all the innocence and charm she could muster.

    The shit-eating grin on Director Qian's face showed just how much he liked Su Chan's response. "Not bad, not bad," he said, reaching for Su Chan's shoulder. "You definitely have a good head on your shoulders."

    Su Chan twisted her torso and avoided Director Qian's touch.

    Alas, the supple way Su Chan's body had moved intensified Director Qian's lust for her as he began to imagine other activities during which her body's flexibility would come in handy. Still, he managed to keep it in his pants. Looking dignified and serious, Director Qian stood up and headed towards the door. Su Chan didn't need to be told to leave; she'd been waiting to get the hell out of this place the moment she stepped in. She was out of the office the moment Director Qian yanked open the door. Director Qian held the door open and gave Su Chan a heated look. "Su Chan," he said. "You're a good kid. So I trust that you'll make the right call, yes?"

    Li Yundong's eyes traveled between Su Chan and Director Qian suspiciously.

    Su Chan ignored Director Qian and skipped towards Li Yundong. Stopping in front of him, Su Chan took his hand and said, "Yundong... Can I ask you a question?"

    Li Yundong didn't even hesitate. "Sure! Go ahead!"

    Su Chan feigned a look of confusion. "What would you do if someone talked bad about you behind your back?"

    Li Yundong froze. "Wait a minute. Who did that? F*ck! Who's been saying weird stuff about me behind my back?" Li Yundong's gaze swept past Su Chan and landed on Director Qian. "Sh*t, don't tell me this old geezer told Su Chan something bad about me? Was that why he wanted to speak with Su Chan alone? How can anyone be that low?"

    Li Yundong tore his gaze away from the old geezer when he felt another tug on his hand. "If! I said if!" Su Chan said.

    "If someone talks bad about me, I'll sock them in the face!" Li Yundong answered bluntly.

    Director Qian's expression changed the moment he heard Li Yundong's answer. All of a sudden, he had a bad feeling in his stomach.

    "Oh, okay," Su Chan said. "What about if someone tries to seduce your woman and steal her away from you?"

    The mere thought of that ticked Li Yundong off. No human being with a pair of functioning testicles would be able to tolerate that!

    "Then I'll break his testicles!"

    Su Chan nodded zealously. "Can I do it for you then?" she asked, beaming at Li Yundong.

    "Sure!" Li Yundong answered almost immediately. "But why are you ask—"

    Swish! The ends of Su Chan's hair brushed against Li Yundong's jaw when she turned around abruptly. The next thing he knew, Su Chan was charging towards Director Qian, who was still standing in the doorway. All he could do was yell after her. "Hey! What are you—"

    SMACK! Li Yundong watched in horror as Director Qian slowly bent over at the waist with his legs squeezed together and his hands holding on to his crotch for dear life. The poor guy's face was completely red with veins popping out on his forehead by the time his knees crashed into the floor. Then, his body fell sideways until his right cheek touched the floor. When he began writhing like a worm on the floor, his comb-over flopped over his eyes to reveal his bald patch.

    A ruckus broke out among the students gathered outside the office. A few guys winced when they saw Director Qian writhing on the ground. They squeezed their legs together as though they could feel Director Qian's pain as well.

    "S- Su Chan, wh- what did you just do..." Li Yundong said breathlessly.

    Su Chan raised her chin proudly. "I broke his testicles!"

    The corner of Li Yundong's eyes twitched violently and he felt as though his brain had just short-circuited.

    Su Chan lowered her head and looked up at him from under her lashes timidly. "Did I do something wrong again?"

    Li Yundong glanced at the floor, where Director Qian was still twitching about, gasping for air. Li Yundong released a fake laugh. "N- no. You didn't."

    Su Chan's head snapped back up. "Then what's that look for?"

    "Oh shit... You've done it, missy. You've really f*cking done it. I'm gonna be expelled..."

    Li Yundong grimaced and tore his gaze away from Director Qian to look at Su Chan. He forced a smile and said, "It's nothing. Just... I think my balls are hurting a little..."

  • Chapter 18 So Close Yet So Far

     

    Poor Director Qian had just received a massive groin kick from Su Chan. The fact was that Su Chan had already shown him some mercy by not kicking him with her full strength. Otherwise, Director Qian would no doubt be spending the rest of his days as a eunuch.

    Li Yundong glanced down at Director Qian again, who was still writhing and twitching on the floor like a maggot. "Oh, hell... I'm done for..." Li Yundong thought. Meanwhile, the other students were still kicking up a fuss and making noise. Some were laughing out loud, while others were making snide remarks. Then, one of the guys yelled at the top of his lungs, "Yo!! I think sh*t just got real!" Li Yundong turned and glared at the guy. Eventually, the commotion drew the attention of the teachers, who were now forming their own crowd outside Director Qian's office. Most of the teachers were shocked when they saw Director Qian on the ground.

    "My God. Which student did this?" whispered a female professor. "Hitting a teacher? This is no joking matter."

    Li Yundong knew that he was on the verge of expulsion. He had to figure out a way to fix this, and quick. All of a sudden, an idea struck him. He quickly feigned a look of anger and turned to Su Chan as though he was about to scold a naughty child. "Are you nuts? How could you hit a teacher?"

    Li Yundong's sudden outburst surprised Su Chan. "But you asked me to kick him!" she thought, pouting. She was just about to start throwing a hissy fit when she suddenly noticed the eye signal that Li Yundong was desperately giving her.

    Well, Su Chan wasn't an idiot. She vaguely understood that Li Yundong wanted her to play along, so she did. Su Chan snorted, then turned away with her chin raised high.

    "Phew... Okay... At least she got the message," Li Yundong thought. Crouching down beside Director Qian, he said, "Director Qian, I think there's been some kind of misunderstanding. I don't think she would hit you on purpose... don't you think so, sir?"

    Hatred filled Director Qian's heart. Admittedly, he never saw this coming at all. He'd never expected such an innocent-looking girl to suddenly kick him in the groin. Now he was down on the ground, twitching around like some kind of parasite. Oh, the humiliation! In front of so many students and teachers no less! The hatred inside Director Qian's heart intensified at that thought. Then again, Director Qian knew that there was nothing he could do at this point. If Su Chan started spilling her guts about the things that he'd just told her back in his office...

    None of the people gathered here were idiots. They'd know immediately that he'd tried to hit on an underage girl! His career at the university would be over!

    Director Qian gritted his teeth and glared at Li Yundong, conveying every ounce of the hatred he was feeling through his eyes. "Y- yes..." he gasped. "It's... a mis- misunderstanding..."

    Li Yundong sighed inwardly, then turned to Su Chan. "Su Chan!" he yelled. "Apologize to the director! Now!"

    Apologize? How about when hell freezes over? Su Chan stuck out her tongue and made a face at Li Yundong and Director Qian. Then she ran off without so much as a backward glance.

    "Oh sh*t..." Li Yundong thought, cringing. Then, he glanced down and gave Director Qian a sheepish smile. "Um...Director Qian," he said. "Shall I accompany you to the hospital?"

    "No need! Just... just g- get out of m- my sight!" Director Qian said through gritted teeth.

    Li Yundong didn't need to be told twice. He hightailed it out of there, leaving gasps and flabbergasted looks in his wake.

    ***

    He caught up to Su Chan at the campus gates, grabbing the girl's hand. Much to his dismay, she began struggling with all her might to free her hand from his grip. Li Yundong held on tight, refusing to let go. "Damn, this girl is strong..." Li Yundong thought, feeling as though his frigging arm was about to be yanked out of his shoulder joint. After a few more tugs, Su Chan stopped struggling — thank f*ck. She suddenly turned around and yelled, "He's clearly the one in the wrong! Why should I apologize to him!"

    Li Yundong released her hand and sighed. "Yes, of course it's his fault," he said, pausing for a moment. Su Chan stared at him expectantly, waiting for him to continue. Li Yundong growled and said, "Dirty old man. How dare he try to ruin my love life! Argh! I feel like cutting off his nutsack and then feeding his balls to the dogs!"

    Su Chan's anger turned into joy. "Great idea!" she piped up, then hesitated suddenly. "But... If that's what you really think, then why did you ask me to apologize?"

    Li Yundong reached out again, but this time to pinch Su Chan's cheek. Su Chan yelped and smacked his hand away. "Oh God, missy. You really don't get it do you," Li Yundong said, shaking his head.

    "What?" Su Chan asked.

    "Listen," Li Yundong said. "If I get expelled, I'll be broke! Where the heck am I supposed to get the money to feed you and your huge appetite?"

    Su Chan gave him a serious look. "We still have our hands and feet! We can do anything we want! So what if we run out of money? Worse comes to worst, I'll just go out on the streets with you and beg for food—" Su Chan stopped talking and gave Li Yundong a strange look when he suddenly burst into laughter. "What's so funny?" Su Chan asked, her face scrunched up in confusion.

    "I can't believe this sh*t..." Li Yundong thought, laughing heartily. Beautiful women nowadays practically worship gold. There isn't a single one of them who isn't covered in rubies and diamonds. Hell, they probably say Gucci and Prada more times than you breathe in a day. Oh, if you don't own a mansion or drive a sports car, they would be out your door so fast that you would be left wondering why they even need a sports car. Yet here she was, Su Chan, a woman of unparalleled beauty, looking at a loser like him right in the eye while saying: "Hey, we're broke. What say we beg for food on the streets?"

    Unreal.

    Still, Li Yundong was deeply touched by the gesture. "You're speaking as though we're broke right now," Li Yundong said, pinching her cheek again. "You know, if we really end up as beggars, then... I'll be Mr. Beggar, and you'll be Mrs. Beggar. How about that, huh? It's got a nice ring to it, doesn't it? Hah! We'll take the streets by storm and become the greatest moochers in history!"

    Su Chan giggled as she twisted her body to the side to avoid Li Yundong's hand. "Shameless," she said in between giggles. "Who would want to be paired up with you? Mister and missus? In your pathetic dreams!" Su Chan stuck out her tongue and made a face at him.

    "Oh, so you're making fun of me now, huh? Is this really how you want to play this?" Li Yundong said, feigning anger. Su Chan made another face at him, and it took him everything to suppress the smile threatening to form at the corner of his lips. "Very well!" he said. "You asked for it!" Li Yundong raised his hands and curved his fingers as though he had claws. "Take this!" Li Yundong made a swipe at Su Chan.

    "Ah!" Su Chan twisted her body around and dodged Li Yundong's playful swipe. She took a step away from him, then stuck out her tongue at him once again, this time adding a cross-eyed stare and a playful head-tilt. Then, she broke off into a sprint, the sounds of her melodious giggles echoing behind her.

    "Why you little—" Li Yundong took off after her, swinging his "claws" and growling playfully.

    Just like that, the two of them ran along the streets, cavorting and frolicking on concrete and asphalt. The sounds of their mirth drew the attention of everyone they passed by, though neither of them cared. They were both in a world of their own, a world where only fun and happiness existed. At that moment, all the schemes she had in store for Li Yundong slipped away from her mind. In the same way, Li Yundong barely remembered the threats of expulsions he'd received earlier.

    It was the early summer of May, and Tiannan City basked in the warmth of the sun. Shafts of sunlight cascaded down from the cloudless sky like a clear waterfall, a shower of warmth and radiance. Two figures frolicked along the streets, moving past buildings and trees, dancing amidst the mosaic of tree shades. What a pair they were, one stunning the cosmos with her striking beauty while the other sustained her beauty with boundless warmth and adoration. What a pair indeed.

    ***

    This catch-the-fox game of theirs lasted until Li Yundong suddenly came to a halt in front of the supermarket near his apartment. "Su Chan!" he yelled, then pointed his thumb towards the supermarket when Su Chan turned around. He waited in front of the supermarket until Su Chan came over. "Hey, enough, okay?" he said. "Let's grab some groceries, then head home." Su Chan nodded and followed him inside.

    Li Yundong walked into his apartment with a few bags of groceries. "Go take a break or something," Li Yundong said, removing his shoes. "I'm going to make dinner."

    Su Chan nodded and moved past him towards the living room, then sat cross-legged on the carpet.

    Su Chan spent the next fifteen minutes or so glancing around the place, taking in the various knick-knacks of Li Yundong's home. Her curious eyes sparkled as they darted around in their sockets. The clanking noise from the kitchen interrupted Su Chan's perusal of the apartment, and she was instantly reminded of the last time she tasted the product of Li Yundong's culinary skills. She distinctly remembered how plate-lickingly good the meal was and also the fact that it was the best meal she'd had in her entire life. Her stomach growled at that memory. She looked towards the kitchen and relished the pleasant aroma which had already begun wafting out. Until the guilt started trickling in. "I've been eating his food, staying at his place, and wearing his clothes. Yet in the end, I'm still going to devour his Qi..."

    After a moment of thought, Su Chan decided to check on Li Yundong in the kitchen.

    She got up from the carpet and crept towards the kitchen on her tiptoes. At the entryway, she poked her head around the edge and peeked into the kitchen. Li Yundong was facing away from her and appeared to be slicing meat. He was wearing some kind of strange garment too, one that was worn over his clothes and tied at the back. The garment covered the front of his body from the neck down.

    Su Chan bit her lip and smiled to herself. Slowly, she stepped around the edge of the entryway and crossed the threshold into the kitchen. "Let's see how well you can take a little scare—" Su Chan gasped when Li Yundong suddenly turned around to face her, waving the kitchen knife in his hand.

    "BOO!" Su Chan's heart nearly leaped past her throat at the sound of Li Yundong's voice. She screamed, then punched Li Yundong's stomach with all her might.

    Luckily for Li Yundong, his body had been reformed by the Jindan, so Su Chan's punch merely tickled him. Otherwise, he would have to spend weeks in ICU.

    Su Chan felt utterly mortified when she saw Li Yundong holding his stomach and laughing his head off. She blushed, then smacked Li Yundong's arm. "How did you know I was behind?"

    Li Yundong stopped laughing and cleared his throat. "You have a unique kind of scent," he explained. "I can smell you the moment you're standing behind me."

    Fox spirits were endowed with a certain type of beguiling scent from the moment of their birth. Usually, only the people around them who could detect that scent, not they themselves.

    Puzzled, Su Chan blinked at him a few times, then sniffed her forearm. "I don't smell anything," she said.

    Li Yundong smirked. "I was born in the year of the dog! Which means I have a keen sense of smell. See? You tried to scare me just now. But you failed!"

    Su Chan raised her chin indignantly. "Who's trying to scare you?" she snapped. "I was just checking in on you since I know you're working so hard. You're the one who tried to scared me, you ingrate! I'm ignoring you!"

    Su Chan crossed her arms in front of her chest, turned around, then strutted out of the kitchen. If she didn't keep turning her head back once every few steps, Li Yundong might actually believe that she was genuine about leaving. With the way she was acting right now, she might as well be wearing a neon sign saying, "Please ask me to stay."

    Amused, Li Yundong turned around and went back to slicing meat.

    Su Chan strutted slowly towards the kitchen's entryway. "Say something! Ask me to stay, you idiot!"  Eventually, she reached the threshold of the entryway, and Li Yundong had yet to say a word. She turned around and saw that Li Yundong was quietly slicing meat as though he'd forgotten all about her. "You dense, obtuse little..." Su Chan thought, gritting her teeth. In a fit of anger, she made a face at Li Yundong, then swung her fists around as though she was trying to punch him.

    However, she realized moments later that all her fist swinging was pretty much useless, since Li Yundong couldn't see a damn thing! Deflated, Su Chan left the entryway while muttering under her breath, something about ingrateful oafs and obtuse ingrates. She had barely taken two steps out of the kitchen when an idea struck her. She walked back towards the entryway with a mischievous sparkle in her eyes. Peeking in, she saw that Li Yundong was still slicing meat. "Payback time..." she thought.

    Li Yundong was about to slice another piece of meat when he heard a long, horrifying scream. If anyone heard it from the outside, they would've no doubt called the cops and reported a gang rape. Clang! The knife fell to the floor, and Li Yundong was out of the kitchen within seconds. He saw Su Chan immediately after he passed the entryway. She was standing two feet away from the entryway with her head hung low. He pounced and grabbed her shoulders. "Hey, hey, what's the matter?" he asked anxiously.

    Li Yundong saw her smug expression the moment she raised her head. Next thing he knew, she was laughing her head off while pointing a finger at his face.

    "Hah! I got you now! I gave you a fright—" Su Chan gasped at the same time her eyes widened. "Ah! You're bleeding!"

    Li Yundong glanced down and saw that his index finger was indeed bleeding. He put his wounded finger into his mouth and sucked while reaching out with his other hand to ruffle Su Chan's hair. He smiled at Su Chan and said, "Nah. It's fine. Guess I cut it accidentally when I heard your scream. Jeez. You sure gave me a fright though. I really thought something happened to you."

    The concern in Li Yundong's voice filled Su Chan's heart with guilt. She bit her lip, then grabbed Li Yundong's hand, raising it until his wounded finger was level with her lips.

    The next thing Su Chan did nearly drove Li Yundong out of his godd*mn mind. The girl was blowing on his wounded finger. Correction: The most beautiful woman he'd ever seen in his pathetic life was blowing on his finger while he was trying his best not to imagine other ways in which she could use that oh-so-sexy mouth of hers. "God, she's beautiful..." How anyone could come this close to perfection was beyond anything he could fathom. Pretty much everything about her was perfect: Her dark, silky hair which fell past her shoulders; the way her luscious lips were pursed together as though she was trying to kiss his finger rather than blow it; the gentle caress of her breath on his finger; as well as her unique scent. Every facet of her existence aroused him, fanning the flames of desire in his heart. He moved purely on instinct, lowering his head to bring their lips closer.

    Su Chan sensed rather than saw the shift in Li Yundong's body. Thinking that she might've hurt him, she raised her head abruptly and — SMACK! They both yelped the moment Su Chan's forehead crashed into Li Yundong's jaw. They both crouched down, with Li Yundong holding the left side of his jaw and Su Chan her forehead.

    Li Yundong's heart was beating a mile a minute and he was looking at anywhere other than Su Chan. Although their "head-on collision" moments ago had broken the spell, he wasn't sure what he'd do if he looked at her again. Su Chan wasn't faring any better herself either. She'd realized by then that Li Yundong had tried to kiss her just now. At that thought, Su Chan's heart began to wreak havoc inside her chest, beating out rhythms of joy, excitement, thrill, and lust. She bit her lip and quickly looked away from Li Yundong, trying her best not to think about what would happen if they had actually kissed.

    Li Yundong rose to his feet, pretending to be calm. He then glanced down at Su Chan who was still on her knees, staring awkwardly at the floor as though it was the most fascinating thing in the universe. He tore his gaze away. "I'll just..." Li Yundong cleared his throat harshly. "Dinner. I'll start making dinner now. Why don't you wait in the living room." Li Yundong strode to the living room and picked up the TV remote from the coffee table. "You can watch TV if you're bored," he said, switching on the TV.

    The introductory music of some kind of war documentary filled the living room. Li Yundong set the remote back down on the coffee table. He turned around and saw Su Chan standing near the edge of the carpet with her chin touching her shoulders and hands clutching the fabric of her dress.

    Awkwardness filled the air, and the tension in the air was so thick one could take a blade and slice through it. Li Yundong sighed and ran his hand through his hair. "I'll go make our dinner," he said, then went into the kitchen.

    Su Chan lowered herself to the carpet and sat in seiza. Only when Li Yundong's figure disappeared into the kitchen could she finally breathe normally. She took a deep breath in, then exhaled. "Why was it so hard to breathe around him just now..."  

    "Argh! This is bad! Bad! He's already trying to mate with me... But if we have sex in his current state... then the Renyuan Jindan isn't the only thing that will go to waste, his life will as well! Oh, no... what should I do? What in the name of the Tao should I do?"

    In the end, there was only one solution she could think of, which she then repeated to herself like a mantra: "I have to keep my distance..."


  • Chapter 19 Jindan Awakened!

     

    A stern voice from the TV interrupted Su Chan's rumination. "In 1941, Hitler announced the start of the Second World War, and German troops launched a blitzkrieg on Poland..."

    Su Chan jumped at the voice, and then turned to look at the TV screen with wide eyes. "What in the name of the Tao? That box actually talks?" she thought, slowly rising to her feet.

    Driven by a sense of wonderment and curiosity, she crept forward, stopping when she was close enough to touch the TV. She then reached out a tentative hand, then touched the flat surface with moving colors and changing faces. When the box didn't start emitting Qi or shoot lightning, Su Chan became bolder. She took another step forward and began knocking and poking it at various places.

    During her training in the mountains, her master did mention to her about certain special objects in the mortal world; metal boxes with wheels and megastructures with wings were among those things. But talking boxes! That was totally unheard of! Wow! It could even change its face! One second it looked like a man with a toothbrush moustache, then the next it changed into a large metal box with a long tube poking out on top! Amazing!

    However, her wonderment was short-lived as her mind quickly went back to her Li Yundong dilemma.

    BOOM!

    Su Chan jumped slightly at the sound. She turned and glared daggers at the TV. "How dare this box startle me!" On the screen, a tank was tearing down some kind of village. "You'll pay for this, you stupid box!"  Su Chan cocked her fist back, then—

    CRACK! Her entire arm pierced through the TV screen. Feeling a bit ticklish, Su Chan yanked her arm back harshly. CRASH!

    Li Yundong charged out from the kitchen. "Son of a..." His jaw dropped at what he saw. His f*cking TV had fallen off its mount on the wall. TV? More like pieces of junk metal with sparks flying out of them. Sparks!

    "What the f... What did you do?!" Li Yundong said without once taking his eyes off the TV which had broken into two halves.

    Su Chan jabbed a finger at the pile of junk metal on the floor and yelled, "This box scared me! I think there's a bad guy living inside it!"

    Li Yundong nearly passed out due to exasperation. "Oh for f*ck's sake, it's just a TV!" Then he paused as if a thought had just occurred to him. "Holy sh*t... You don't know what a TV is, do you?"

    Su Chan gave him a puzzled look. "Um... no..."

    Li Yundong felt like stabbing himself in the heart and just dying. Even if he ended up in hell, it'd probably still be better than having to deal with this sh*t. "Don't know what a TV is?! What a load of bull! She just wanted to pay me back for trying to kiss her! It's just a kiss, for God's sake! Do you really have to go this far?!" Li Yundong thought, gripping two fistfuls of his hair, then stared down at the two broken halves of the TV. Well, at least the sparks were gone.

    "Are you mad?" Su Chan asked tentatively when she noticed Li Yundong's scowl.

    Li Yundong looked away from the ruined TV towards Su Chan, and goddammit, why did she have to look so adorable! She looked just like a child who was scared of being punished after doing something wrong. Punish? Yeah, right. Li Yundong couldn't even bring himself to yell at her when she looked at him that way, let alone punish her. He forced a smile and said, "No. I'm not mad."

    Li Yundong sighed and began cleaning up the mess on the floor. Once he had gathered all the broken parts of the TV in a large bin bag, he headed towards the door with a storm cloud hanging over his head. He had to sneak downstairs, then toss the bag into the dumpster where nobody could see. "I'm screwed if the landlord finds out about this..." Li Yundong thought. "Great. Now where the f*ck am I supposed to find another TV of the exact same model and size? Do they even sell this model anymore? Should I just buy any TV? Argh! "

    Needless to say, dinner mood was ruined the moment the TV met its demise. Technically, it was ruined only for Li Yundong, since Su Chan was still wolfing down her food as though she hadn't eaten in centuries. Li Yundong, on the other hand, might as well be eating candle wax at this point considering how sour his face looked with each mouthful he took.

    Knowing that she had caused trouble again, Su Chan observed Li Yundong's long face across the table. At some point, she couldn't take the guilt anymore, so she stood up and hid herself in the bedroom.

    After dinner, Li Yundong cleared the table, then tidied up the kitchen and living room. When he was done, he went back to the living room and lay down on the carpet. As he lay there, he stared up at the ceiling, his intense gaze following the gentle sway of the pendant light. His thoughts, however, had nothing to do with the light, but everything to do with the events of the past few days.

    He kept replaying in his mind all the things he'd done during the past few days. Generating 1500 pounds of punching force on that machine? Sending Zeng Qing into the air with a kick? Punching Zhao Yujian into the air? Running up walls? And all those ninja stunts? None of those things were even humanly possible. It was like one of those dreams where he suddenly became a superhero with cool powers.

    At this point, Li Yundong had already dismissed the hysterical-strength-plus-unlocking-hidden-potential theory. Well, for one, that kind of thing only happens to a person perhaps once or twice in a lifetime, if it even happened at all! Yet, here he was, unlocking cool abilities and performing superhuman feats practically all day long. No. Something inside him had changed, something fundamental.

    Well, Li Yundong did know of a similar case involving an elite special forces soldier who once generated over one ton of force using just his thumb and index finger. It wasn't just talk though. The guy had actually proven it by crushing an ice cube the size of an adult human thumb between his fingers!

    Even so, that soldier had achieved that feat by tampering with his body's endocrine system in order to cause a huge adrenaline spike inside his body.

    Needless to say, messing with the body's endocrine system comes at a cost. If done frequently, there might even be a risk of death!

    But how many times had Li Yundong performed superhuman feats within a short day? Dozens at least! If his source of strength was the same as that special forces soldier's, shouldn't he be dead by now considering the risks?

    But no, not once had Li Yundong felt as if he could drop dead at any moment. Not even close! In fact, it was the other way around! He felt so energetic and full of vitality! That alone convinced Li Yundong that something inside his body had changed, though he couldn't put a finger on what it was. What changed? What made him so strong and fast?

    Doubts and uncertainties aside, there was one thing that Li Yundong was damn sure of: This was a good change!

    As he lay there on the carpet, fantasizing about the things that he could do from now on, a wave of energy gathered inside his chest, and he was hit by a sudden impulse to put his newfound abilities to the test. He'd never felt so energetic before in his life! It was like every cell inside his body was energized, and he thought he might actually burst into flames if he didn't run ten laps around Tiannan City to burn it off.

    Li Yundong sprang to his feet, then punched the air.

    SWISH! The force of his punch stirred the air. If the meridians inside Li Yundong's body were water pipes, then that punch was like some kind faucet, allowing all the Qi inside his body to start flowing. At that moment, Li Yundong felt as though the stuff flowing through his veins and capillaries wasn't blood, but hot magma instead. He was on fire!

    Li Yundong put his right leg forward, then bent it slightly at the knee. Yep, he believed that was the stance he'd used when he walloped the strength tester. SWISH! He threw another punch, stirring the air once more. He was so focused on the raw strength he felt in his arm that he'd entirely missed the fact that his hair was standing erect on top of his head!

    ***

    Su Chan rose from the bed when she heard noises coming from outside the bedroom. She crept to the door, then opened it slowly until there was about an inch's gap between the door and the door jamb. She peeked out and saw Li Yundong punching the air with zest. Delight flooded her heart instantly. "Has he finally noticed the Jindan's power inside him? Yay!!!"

    Su Chan's grin widened further when she noticed the erect state of his hair. She knew that this was because the Qi inside his body had reached the peak of vitality. Imagine a covered pot of water. At first, the water is still. But once energy is added to the water via heat, it will start to boil and turn into steam! If Li Yundong's body was the pot, then the Renyuan Jindan's power would be the heat, and his Qi the water!

    Now remove the lid from the pot. Qi would escape Li Yundong's body from his Baihui at the top of his head in the same way steam would escape the pot.

    Cultivators from every Taoist school that Su Chan knew of agreed that the human body consists of three essential elements, Essence, Qi, and blood — the Three Flowers. They also believed that there are three Dantians inside the human body: the lower Dantian, located below the navel near the pubic region; the middle Dantian, located at the level of the heart; the upper Dantian, located at the level of the brain. (T/N: Please refer to the 'Three Flowers' section in the novel's glossary to get a deeper understanding of the concept behind Essence, Qi, and blood. I have also added an analogy as part of the explanation)

    The Dantians can be thought of as containers. As such, the lower, middle, and upper Dantians are responsible for storing a person's Essence, Qi, and Spirit respectively. (T/N: Essence, Qi, and Spirit are regarded by Taoists as the three elements/aspects of human life; together, these three elements are called the Three Treasures; note that the Three Treasures are different from the Three Flowers, a detailed explanation of that difference can be found in the novel's glossary)

    Cultivators believed that it is possible to transport one's Essence and Qi via the blood to one's head, where the upper Dantian lies. When this is achieved, one is said to be wearing the crown of three flowers (the Three Flowers are gathered on top of one's head, like wearing a crown). From there, the Three Flowers would be refined and converted into Spirit. This entire process is known as Xiao Zhoutian.

    When Su Chan performed the Three-Pronged Flower Gathering technique on Li Yundong at his school the other day, she had indirectly put Li Yundong through Xiao Zhoutian.

    Of course, no indirect training could produce an effect as potent as the real thing.

    "Woo-hoo! Now that's more like it! Keep punching! Go! Go! Go!" Su Chan thought, cheering inwardly. Although Li Yundong was merely swinging his fists around, the physical activity would get his blood pumping. In other words, more blood would flow into his brain! And not just any blood, but blood carrying his Jindan-enhanced Qi and Essence!

    Su Chan giggled."He's performing Xiao Zhoutian, yet he doesn't even know it..." Then, she smirked. "And the best is yet to come too... It'll still have to wait until he knows how to convert his Three Flowers into Spirit though..."

    Once Li Yundong reached a certain level in Xiao Zhoutian, he would be ready to begin another process known as Da Zhoutian, which involved the convergence of five Qis. (T/N: The convergence of five Qis requires that the Qi from the five "organs" defined by Traditional Chinese Medicine come together as one. Please refer to the novel's glossary for more details)

    Xiao Zhoutian and Da Zhoutian are the prerequisites for the Zhuji phase. Once Li Yundong completed those, he would enter the Zhuji phase and become a true Cultivator. (T/N: Zhuji is the third phase of Cultivation)

    And after he passed the Zhuji phase, Su Chan could finally absorb the Jindan through an epic Yang Feeding! (T/N: Yang Feeding is when a woman feeds off a man's Yang Essence through sexual intercourse; details can be found in the novel's glossary)

    Su Chan grinned at the thought.

    However, her grin faded a few seconds later. "But he's been so nice to me..." All of a sudden, she felt a vague tug in her heart and a stifling sensation inside her chest, like she was gradually suffocating. She swallowed the lump in her throat and began chanting inwardly: "He stole my Renyuan Jindan... He stole my Renyuan Jindan..."

    After repeating the chant dozens of times, she felt a bit better.

    Su Chan's internal struggles were, of course, unknown to Li Yundong. The only emotion he was capable of feeling at that moment was thrill. His body trembled with each breath he took as he relished the strength coursing through his veins. He'd never experienced something like this before, like there was so much energy inside him that he might start swelling up like a balloon. Heck, he wouldn't even be surprised if he suddenly started breathing fire or something. He felt as though he was a nuclear warhead on the verge of detonation!

    At one point, he couldn't take it anymore. He had to do something. Anything.

    SWISH!

    Li Yundong's right leg shot into the air as he mimicked the same kick that Zhao Yujian had used when he tried to bash Li Yundong's head in.

    SNAP! Li Yundong bent his raised leg at the knee and brought his heel downwards in a powerful snapping motion to complete the hook kick. The form was so perfect that it would put a 9th dan Taekwondo blackbelt to shame.

    "Holy f*cking sh*t! Did I just do that?" Excitement and joy coursed through him. In the past, he couldn't even perform a half split without feeling like his nutsack was about to rip in half! Now he could perform ninja kicks as though they were nothing! Boo-ya!

    What is it that they say about being over-excited? Yep, it leads to all kinds of delusions. "Hah! I'm invincible!"

    SWISH! He performed another kick, this time with his left leg. SWISH! Then another. After a few more tries, he came to the conclusion that the standing hook kick was a far cry from what an invincible badass like him was capable of. He wanted something a bit more challenging. "Let's see..." he thought, glancing around. When he found nothing on the floor to satisfy his inner Bruce Lee, he raised his head towards the ceiling. "Aha!" The shade of the pendant light was at least two meters above his head. "Take this! Jump, spin, hook kick! WA-TAAAAAH!"

    SWISH! Li Yundong's toe grazed the lampshade, causing the pendant light to sway like a pendulum.

    Li Yundong landed on the ground with a loud thud, then did a fist pump. "YES!!!!" he yelled at the top of his lungs, noise complaints be damned. Meh, his walls were pretty much soundproof anyway. But more importantly, holy sh*t! He couldn't believe he just —

    Li Yundong suddenly looked up. "Son of a—"

    CRASH! Li Yundong yelped when the whole lamp landed on his face. He raised his arms and managed to grab hold of the lamp and prevent it from crashing to the floor, but then he lost his footing in the process. Another crash sounded as Li Yundong fell flat on his ass with his arms still hugging the contraption that interior designers called a lamp these days. So much for being an invincible badass.

    The sound of giggles made Li Yundong turn his head. The door of his bedroom was ajar, and he saw Su Chan's gorgeous face through the gap. And, of course, that little minx was laughing at his expense. Li Yundong glared at her, but that only made her laugh harder. Li Yundong's cheeks heated up. Soon, giggles turned into chuckles, then into full-blown belly laughs.

    Feigning a menacing look, Li Yundong growled and tossed the stupid lamp onto the carpet. He got to his feet, then pounced at the door. Su Chan shrieked and shut the door with a loud bang. And, of course, being the invincible badass that he was, Li Yundong ran face-first into the door.

    "Oww..." Li Yundong stood in front of the door, rubbing his forehead and nose. After a while, he turned around and walked away from the door in an angry huff. He stopped at the edge of the carpet, then glanced up at the hole in the ceiling. "F*cking hell... First the TV, now this? At this rate, I'll probably be broke before I even get expelled..."

  • Chapter 20 Wait, Guys! It's Not What You Think!

     

    The next morning, Li Yundong walked out of the door of his apartment with a trash bag containing the broken pendant light. Locking his door, he shook his head and sighed. "Can't believe I nearly tore down the whole place in just a single night," he mumbled.

    Behind him, Su Chan stuck out her tongue sheepishly.

    After disposing of the trash bag at the dumpster, Li Yundong left his apartment block with Su Chan and had breakfast at some cafe before heading to campus.

    Upon his arrival at the campus, Li Yundong realized, much to his annoyance, that his fellow students had taken their finger-pointing and whispering up a notch.

    "Psst! Hey, see that guy over there? That's Li Yundong, the one who took down Zhao Yujian yesterday!"

    "Yeah, right. He doesn't even look like he can throw a punch. Maybe Zhao Yujian slipped and fell?"

    "Dude, have you got shit for brains or what? You wanna show me how you could slip and fall, then end up with a fracture?"

    "No shit? He got f*cked up that bad?"

    Li Yundong's auditory senses had been enhanced by the Renyuan Jindan as well, so he could hear everything that the students were whispering about when he walked past them. "Fracture? I didn't punch him that hard, did I?"

    Li Yundong turned to the side and looked at Su Chan. "The guy I punched yesterday fractured his leg bone," he said. "Do you think I should visit him at the hospital?"

    Su Chan was by no means a cold-hearted person, just that she'd been involved in the world of Cultivation for so long that the notion of "survival of the fittest" had been drilled into her. The strong feed on the weak. That was how it had always been in the world of Cultivation. The idea of pretending to show concern for one's enemies after taking them down was not something she could fathom, let alone accept.

    Su Chan snorted and raised her chin defiantly. "Serves him right for being so arrogant despite his lack of abilities!"

    Li Yundong pondered Su Chan's words for a moment, then nodded. "True. He wouldn't have gotten hurt if he hadn't acted like an aggressive asshole yesterday..."

    They stepped into the lecture hall and walked all the way back to the last row. Once they were seated, Li Yundong saw the class rep, Sun Li, approaching them from the front. He thought Sun Li should add another A-plus to her list of A-pluses, this time for Mocking Smile 101.

    Sun Li took her seat, then said, "Congratulations, Li Yundong. Your status has risen once again, you're practically a legend now."

    "What did I do this time?" Li Yundong asked innocently.

    Sun Li felt like smashing her books against Li Yundong to wipe that innocent look off his face. "What did you do?" Sun Li laughed incredulously. "You've been running amok in the university for the past few days, that's what! Breaking one of Zeng Qin's ribs? Fracturing Zhao Yujian's tibia? Kicking Director Qian? What's next, huh? Castrating the chancellor?"

    Li Yundong didn't like the tone that Sun Li had used on him. "What, it's my fault now?" Li Yundong snapped. "They're the ones who started it! What was I supposed to do? Lie down and let them beat me up? Is that your idea of being reasonable?"

    Sun Li was so startled by Li Yundong's sudden outburst that she actually choked a little. But then she quickly recovered with a defiant raise of her chin. "What about Director Qian then? Did he try to beat you up too?" she challenged. 

    Li Yundong sighed. "That was just a misunderstanding. Look, even Mr. Qian himself has decided not to pursue this matter further, so why are you here getting your panties in a bunch over it?" Misunderstanding? Right. If you call trying to steal his woman a misunderstanding, then sure. However, Li Yundong decided to keep that information to himself lest he piss off Director Qian again. Not that he wasn't already on the old geezer's shit list, which, in hindsight, was all the more reason for him to keep his mouth shut.

    Sun Li stood up in anger and pointed a finger at Li Yundong. "Oh, so you're not going to pursue the matter further, is that it? Let me tell you something, tough guy. Director Qian already called the chancellor yesterday to ask for your expulsion. So good luck with that!"

    "Wait, what? He called the chancellor?" Li Yundong stared back at Sun Li in shock. "How do you even know that?"

    Sun Li snorted. "How do I know? I think you're the only one who doesn't know! No wonder you look so relaxed."

    After that, she gave Li Yundong a dismissive glance before she turned around and walked away. Dazed, Li Yundong's eyes followed the bounce of Sun Li's ponytail until she took a seat at the front row of the lecture hall.

    For a long while, Li Yundong just sat there with a blank look on his face, not even realizing it when the professor entered and began today's lecture. He was in a world of his own, a world where he went broke and ended up begging on the streets.

    He finally snapped out of it when a girl took the seat beside him and poked him in his side.

    It was Feng Na, the girl from the Taekwondo Club who had asked for his autograph the other day.

    A wave of frustration rose inside him, culminating in the form of a mocking laugh. "What, so you're here to pick on me as well?" he asked.

    Feng Na flinched a little, looking nothing but confused. 'What? What do you mean? Who's been picking on you?"

    Only then did Li Yundong realize that he'd taken out his anger on the wrong person. He sighed, then turned to give Feng Na an apologetic look. "I'm sorry. I thought you were someone else," he said, coming up with a lame excuse. Then, he cleared his throat. "So. What can I do for you?"

    Feng Na sighed and leveled a serious stare at Li Yundong. "You know about the exchange visit right? A group of students from the University of Pennsylvania will be here in seven days."

    Li Yundong tilted his head to the side, then said, "Yeah, I think I heard about it. Why?"

    Feng Na released another sigh, this time a longer one. Then, she stared at Li Yundong resentfully, which lasted for a few minutes until Li Yundong felt totally creeped out. "Hey, just spit it out, will you?" Li Yundong said. "And stop looking at me like I've done something unforgivable to you."

    Feng Na gave Su Chan a sidelong glance, then looked back at Li Yundong again. "Yeah... As if you'd even be interested in the likes of me when you've got such a pretty girl with you," Feng Na said in a small voice.

    "But you have such a prominent forehead!" Su Chan cut in all of a sudden, causing Feng Na and Li Yundong to look at her. Su Chan batted her eye lashes a few times, then began studying Feng Na's face. "Let's see... Well, your Renzhong isn't long, but it's got width and depth." Su Chan's eyes travelled upwards. "Your hair looks dark and healthy, and you've got really thick eyebrows. Ooh! Your eyes are sharp and bright! That's definitely a good sign." Su Chan leaned back and nodded in approval. "Well, you're no match for the ideal dinglu I saw last time." Su Chan raised her palm as if she anticipated some form of protest. "Can't blame you though. That one is one-in-a-million. She's got Chun Yin. But hey, based on your qualities, I'd say that you're a pretty good dinglu. You should fornicate with Li Yundong. I won't mind!"

    Fornicate!!

    What the fornicate!!!

    At that moment, Feng Na was staring at Su Chan with bulging eyes whereas Li Yundong gaped at her. THUD! Some guy at the front row fell off his seat. The dude turned around and gave Li Yundong a thumbs up. "Dude, where did you find this chick, anyway? She's so awesome!"

    The corners of Li Yundong's lips convulsed awkwardly. He let out a few fake laughs, then turned to Feng Na. "This girl has no filter," he said. "Just pretend you didn't hear her."

    Then, he shot Su Chan a glare and hissed, "Shut up, missy! Don't let me hear that nonsense again!"

    "It's not nonsense!" Su Chan argued indignantly, then pointed a finger at Feng Na. "Just look at her! Isn't she a good dinglu?"

    That comment pissed Li Yundong off to no end. "How does she even resemble a good dinglu?" Li Yundong opened his mouth, wanting to voice out that exact thought, but then closed his mouth again the moment he saw the other students gaping at him. Hell, he was pretty sure they all thought he was some kind of serial rapist!

    Li Yundong blushed under the scrutiny of his classmates. Maybe he should punch a hold in the floor using his super strength, then jump right into it. Then again, no hole or crevice could possibly save him from the filterless mouth of Su Chan who, apparently, wasn't even done talking! That girl was unstoppable! "Look at how thick her eyebrows are! The roots of her eyebrows are so close together and have yet to spread out! Clearly, her maidenhood still remains..."

    Maidenhood!!!

    A series of gasps sounded. All of a sudden, the students were all looking at Feng Na in a completely different way.

    Li Yundong pounced and clamped his hand over Su Chan's mouth. If he had a thread and a needle, he would sew her lips shut, honest to God! "If you don't stop talking now, then I swear to God I'll put you over my knees when we get home and spank you!"

    Su Chan struggled against Li Yundong's hand. "I'll keep talking even if you spank me!" she said, her voice muffled by Li Yundong's hand.

    Li Yundong laughed. "Then I won't cook for you. I'll let you starve for two days straight. How about that?"

    Su Chan stopped struggling all of a sudden. She looked up at him with her puppy dog eyes and said, "You don't like Chan'er anymore?" Su Chan sniffed. "Why would you starve Chan'er for two days?"

    A guy who was sitting nearby said, "Don't worry, doll! I like you a lot! I'll feed you to your heart's content!"

    Li Yundong's foot slammed into the back of the dipsh*t's chair. "F*ck off!" he growled.

    Turning back to Su Chan, Li Yundong whispered, "If you sit quietly and don't speak, I'll like you. You hear me?"

    "Okay," Su Chan mumbled, hugging her knees and pressing her cheek on her kneecap. Although she didn't speak again after that, Su Chan's eyes were still trained on Feng Na. "I'm not wrong, dammit! She is a good dinglu. Why won't anyone believe me!"  

    Beside Li Yundong, Feng Na was blushing so hard that she might actually start bleeding from the pores of her skin. She would've fled the scene a long time ago if it wasn't for the urgent business she had with Li Yundong.

    Li Yundong was actually surprised that Feng Na was still there. "Well, she's just like that, so just ignore her," Li Yundong said, smiling at her sheepishly, then cleared his throat. "You, um, you have something to talk to me about?"

    Feng Na raised her head, revealing her deep blush. "This is all your fault!" she said, glaring at Li Yundong.

    Li Yundong groaned inwardly. "What did I do this time?"

    Never in her life had Feng Na been teased this badly before, and her mortification turned into anger, which she then took out on Li Yundong. "I wouldn't even come here to talk to you if it weren't for what you did!"

    What you did?

    What did you do? Knock her up?

    Well, those were the thoughts going through the minds of all the guys sitting near Li Yundong at that moment. Clever bunch, aren't they?

    A series of rustling sounded where students, boys and girls alike, shifted in their seats and brought their ears closer to listen to the exchange. The grapevines of Tiannan University, it seemed, had just grown another inch.

    "But we've only known each other for a day! What could I have done to you!" Li Yundong said exasperatedly.

    Feng Na gasped, aghast by his refusal to acknowledge his own actions. "You know damn well what you did yesterday!" she said loudly.

    The looks on the students faces were... interesting.

    The guys looked as though they were about to lose their shit: "You've only known her for a day, yet you've already managed to get her pregnant?! What the f*ck? Is your dick equipped with a sniper scope or something?"

    The girls, on the other hand, gave Feng Na sympathetic glances: "Poor girl. How unfortunate of her to fall for a loser like Li Yundong. And what about the other pretty chick? She's so young, yet she's as beautiful as a fox spirit! She could have any guy she wants, but she chose Li Yundong?! Seriously, are they blind? What do they even see in this guy? He's broke and has no accomplishments. Even if they don't care about money and accomplishments, they should at least find a guy who's handsome! Now look how things turned out. One of them got knocked up. Tsk, tsk. Pretty sure that carrying the child of a guy like that isn't something to be proud of. What will she do now? Get an abortion, I bet. That loser is too broke to feed the child..."

    Of course, the more experienced girls looked at the scene with skepticism: "This makes no sense. No girl can tell that she's pregnant only one day after sex..."

    A lecture hall is where knowledge is gained and ideas are born. Or so they say. How could knowledge be gained when not a single student there was even looking at the blackboard in front?

    No. There was no knowledge to be gained on this day, not when the young professor of History of Modern Chinese Literature was left standing pathetically at the lectern, having a pretty interesting conversation with the walls. Eventually, the professor began to realize that his students' attention was elsewhere — the walls never responded to his questions.

    The professor stood awkwardly at the lectern and sighed. "Kids these days are just a bunch of degenerates compared to the great scholars of old..."  

    They really should give him a raise for having to put up with this crap.

  • Chapter 21 Stop Talking! You're Making Things Worse!

     

    Apparently, the ongoing spectacle inside the lecture hall was interesting enough to make the professor forget all about the minutia of Chinese literary works. Lecture forgotten, the professor joined his students in their appreciation of real-life Desperate Housewives. Everyone in the lecture was getting a buzz out of it. Well, buzz might be an understatement because, honestly, these people looked outright manic with their eyes bouncing back and forth between Li Yundong and Feng Na.

    Alas, Feng Na hadn't been in her right mind since Su Chan's dinglu comments earlier, and Li Yundong's refusal to take responsibility for his actions yesterday was the final straw. Something inside her snapped. "What's the matter with you!" she yelled at Li Yundong as though there weren't about fifty pairs of eyes watching them at that moment. "How dare you act as though nothing happened after all that fooling around you did yesterday!"

    Fooling around!!!

    Several guys, the more innocent ones no doubt, stared at Feng Na in awe. To them, Feng Na's loud declaration didn't sound odd at all. Instead, they were impressed by Feng Na's candidness. "Wow, she's fearless right? So bold... What a kickass senior!" These guys probably deserved medals for being the world's least dirty-minded men. Really, they were such rare creatures who deserved to be honored.

    Meanwhile, a few girls, who had no doubt spent way too much time watching melodramas, gasped into their hands before shooting glares at Li Yundong. "What an asshole! How could he toy with a girl like that? This is just unforgivable!"

    The rest of the guys had already caught on to the suggestiveness behind Feng Na's remark and were now sharing knowing glances with each other. One didn't have to be a rocket scientist to have a rough idea what kind of scenarios they had conjured up in their filthy minds. Their facial expressions were a dead giveaway, not to mention their lewd chuckles which would make old Master Roshi seem like a harmless grandpa.

    Then there were those girls who were more in touch with their carnal side. Well, let's just say that their lack of filter rivaled Su Chan's own, though in a completely different way: "Psst! Psst! What do you think it is? A threesome? Maybe some kinky fifty-shades stuff? Ooh! I know! Anal play! Haven't done that stuff in a while... Hey, hey, girls, you know he's the parkour dude, right? Do you think he's that energetic in bed as well? Damn! I bet he'll be a total beast! He'll be like a dragon and the girl will be like a phoenix..."

    Li Yundong knew what Feng Na's statement must sound like to others. He glanced around the lecture hall and, sure enough, saw all kinds of different looks from everyone: shock; surprised; appreciative; knowing; envious; anger. Li Yundong groaned into his hands. "Say, hottie, don't you think you should look around you and see where you're at before you drop that kind of bomb? F*ck! Do you even realize what it sounds like to others?"

    Feng Na glanced around and blushed almost instantly. "H-hey, um, l- let's take this somewhere else," she said.

    "A little too late, don't you think?" Li Yundong thought. Apparently, the other students agreed: "Oh, no! Stay! This is a good place to chat! By all means, keep going!"

    "Yeah, senior. You should take this opportunity and expose this bastard's wrongdoings in front of everyone! We've all got your back, senior!"

    "That's right, senior! We want the truth!"

    The brouhaha went on until a loud and clear voice silenced everyone: "Show us a picture!!"

    All eyes fell on the lectern, where the owner of that voice stood.

    The professor wasn't intimidated by the students' stares at all. He cleared his throat, then adjusted his collar. "There won't be any proof without photos, right?" he said nonchalantly, shrugging.

    The looks on the students' faces were as though the professor had just provided a simple solution to an age-old puzzle. "Yeah! We need photos as evidence!"

    Then, some asshat sitting at the last row thought he was being funny: "Give us a magnet link too!"

    Apparently, Mr. Asshat was funny, since every student inside the lecture hall was currently laughing their heads off because of his magnet-link comment. (T/N: Magnet links are urls that allow a computer to connect to a Peer to Peer file sharing network; the author thinks that there's a joke here because in China, P2P file sharing is usually used to access pornographic materials)

    Li Yundong was dangerously close to having a brain aneurysm at this point. "Argh! I've had it with this sh*t!" Li Yundong sprang to his feet and grabbed Feng Na's arm, then hightailed it towards the exit while dragging Feng Na with him. Su Chan took that as her cue to leave as well, so she stood up and ran after him.

    "Yeah, keep laughing assholes. Wail till I tear down this chickensh*t university and then shove every single brick up your asses!" Li Yundong thought, glaring at a few sniggering guys when he ran past the fifth row. Su Chan was right on his heels, giggling as she ran.

    Li Yundong nearly lost it when he saw the professor laughing at him from behind the lectern. The frigging professor! Even the professor was goofing off in class! What happened to setting a good example and sh*t? "Shame on you, professor. Good luck finding a new job after I blow this place to kingdom come," Li Yundong thought as he tore past the lectern.

    Feng Na's feet were moving on their own as Li Yundong dragged her to the front of the lecture hall. As they hurried past rows of seats, she vaguely realized that the students were saying something. What photos? What proof? She didn't understand what they meant at all. It was like she had turned into a robot whose microcontroller had short-circuited. When they made it past the lectern and reached the door, she heard some kind of commotion behind her. The students were yelling and protesting, banging on their desks.

    The door slammed shut behind her, and she was dragged away into the corridor outside the lecture hall. A few steps into the corridor, a gust of wind assaulted her face, and she finally snapped out of it. It was as though the wind had blown away the fog inside her mind. She wrenched her arm free from Li Yundong's grip, causing Li Yundong to stop and turn around to face her. "Why are you dragging me!" she yelled at his face.

    "You think I want to drag you? Do you even realize what kind of sh*t you've been saying back there? You're ruining both of our reputations!" Li Yundong yelled, giving back as good as he got.

    Feng Na froze and thought over the things she'd said inside the lecture hall. Deep down, she knew she'd messed up, but she didn't want to admit it to Li Yundong. "It's all her fault!" Feng Na argued, pointing at Su Chan. "She provoked me!"

    Su Chan puffed out her cheeks defiantly. "I didn't say anything wrong," she said, glaring at Feng Na.

    Sensing the imminent catfight, Li Yundong decided to intervene. If these two pretty chicks ended up pulling each other's hair and strangling each other, so help him God, he would lose his sh*t. "Hey, hey, that's enough," he said, placing himself between the two women. "Now isn't the time to be arguing about whose fault it is." He looked at Feng Na. "Senior Feng Na, I've got nothing against you. We're cool, so let's just forget about what happened today, okay? Now. Don't you think it's about time you tell me the reason you came to see me? Must be pretty serious if you're willing to sit through all that crap in there."

    "Zhao Yujian is bedridden because of you!" Feng Na said angrily. "But the exchange visit is in seven days! His demonstration is supposed to be the highlight of the entire event!"

    Li Yundong smiled wryly. "But what does that have to do with me?" he said. "Can't you just... I don't know, find another guy to replace him?"

    Feng Na snorted, then glared at Li Yundong. "A replacement? The only one good enough to replace him is Zeng Qing, and guess what? He's bedridden because of you too!"

    Li Yundong's jaw went slack. "Oh shit..." he said. "Then what are you guys gonna do?"

    Feng Na placed her hands on her hips. "What are we gonna do?" Feng Na sneered. "I'll tell you what we're gonna do. We're gonna ask the one who caused this mess to take responsibility!"

    Li Yundong gave Feng Na a blank stare. "The one who caused the mess..."

    Then, his eyes went wide, and he jumped slightly. "You want me to replace Zhao Yujian?!"

    Feng Na's expression was that of a proud teacher who had just heard her student saying something clever. "Exactly!"

    "No way in hell!" Li Yundong protested loudly. "I don't know a thing about Taekwondo!"

    Feng Na grabbed Li Yundong's forearm when she saw that Li Yundong was about to flee. "Yeah, right. You must've had some training in the past if you could take down Zhao Yujian," Feng Na said. "There's no way you'd take him on if you didn't know what you were doing. No. I don't buy it."

    Li Yundong let out a bitter laugh. "Yeah, as if I'd have my ass kicked that badly if I knew what I was doing. Come on! It was just dumb luck! I got lucky!" he said as he tried to pull his arm free. "Hey! Let go already. Jeez. What would everyone think if they see us?"

    Feng Na tightened her fingers around his arm. "I don't care! I won't let go until you agree! This is on you. You caused this mess, so you must take responsibility!"

    Li Yundong was sweating rivers at this point. He panicked and took an unconscious step backwards, his sweat-stained shirt clinging to his back. Teachers and students walking along the corridor were now staring at them. All of a sudden, his other arm shot out and he pointed at the sky. "Holy sh*t! Look, a plane!" he said.

    Feng Na snorted. "What do you think I am? A child?"

    "But I really don't know a thing about Taekwondo..." Li Yundong said dejectedly. "Look, if I replace him, I'm not just gonna make a fool out of myself, I'm gonna end up embarrassing the whole university!"

    Feng Na froze, causing her grip on Li Yundong's arm to slacken. "You really don't know?"

    Li Yundong looked Feng Na right in the eye. "No, I don't. But I wanted to learn, that's why I went to the dojo yesterday," he said earnestly, then snorted. "Didn't expect to receive such a warm welcome though. Look, I swear I didn't mean for any of that stuff to happen yesterday. But what was I supposed to do? Let them kick my head in? If you wanna blame me, fine. I don't expect you to understand anyway. But think about it for a second, will you? You're asking me, someone with no background whatsoever in Taekwondo, to replace a blackbelt? Tell me that none of this is going to backfire."

    Feng Na studied Li Yundong's face intently as though she was trying to decide whether Li Yundong was just bullsh*tting her. After a while, she released his arm with a huff and looked away. "Fine! You win! I'll let you off the hook for now, but," she said, pausing for emphasis, then shot him another glare. "I assure you that this isn't over!"

    Li Yundong pressed his palms together as though he was praying, then bent slightly at the waist. "Alright, alright! Fine! Would you please stop talking now, your Highness? Look around. You're drawing attention to us again!" Li Yundong pointed at the lecture hall windows behind Feng Na.

    Feng Na turned around, then gasped, jumping slightly.

    Never in Feng Na's life had she seen so many faces crammed into a window frame. Geez. How many were faces there? Twenty? Some of those faces were squashed so badly that they even looked distorted.

    Feng Na turned back around and glared at Li Yundong. She took a deep, calming breath before turning around and walking back into the lecture hall.

    The students at the window turned towards the door when Feng Na entered.

    Feng Na cleared her throat and bowed to everyone. "I'm sorry to have disturbed you guys," she said.

    "Oh..." Voices of students filled the lecture hall. Satisfied, Feng Na straightened up.

    To her dismay, the students were still giving her strange looks. She blushed, then cleared her throat once more. "Um... As- As you all know, students from the University of Pennsylvania will be here in seven days for an exchange visit. I came to see Li Yundong about that. So, um, please don't get the wrong idea. There's nothing going on between me and Li Yundong."

    At the door, Li Yundong did an epic facepalm. "Kill me now, somebody..." He was starting to think that, in women, beauty was truly inversely proportional to intelligence. Heck, just look at Su Chan! That girl was gorgeous enough to put every beauty pageant in the world out of business, yet she was running around saying things that make her seem as though she had ten loose screws in her head! And now this Feng Na chick! Why was she even trying to explain anything to these knuckleheads? Didn't she know that it would only make things worse? "Seriously, what is the matter with these girls!"

    The skeptical looks of the students had Feng Na's stomach in knots. "I swear there's nothing between us!" she said. "We just met yesterday!"

    Li Yundong growled and gripped two fistfuls of his hair, all the while imagining the number of ways he could mess up Feng Na's pretty face with his fists.

    "Oh!" The students in the lecture hall now had knowing looks on their faces. Some of them were even nodding their heads.

    Feng Na's panic went into overdrive. "Look, how can I make you guys believe me!"

    "Easy!! Share a photo!! We need proof!" a student yelled.

    "Photo proof! Photo proof! Magnet link! Magnet link!" every student in the lecture hall chanted in tandem like they were a bunch of kids reciting a choral speaking script.

    "That does it!" Li Yundong thought, pushing himself away from the door and charging into the lecture hall. "I'm gonna torch this goddamn place tomorrow and rid the world of these hopeless perverts!" He grabbed Feng Na by the collar of her shirt, then dragged her out.

    Li Yundong started yelling the moment they were out the door. "Are you an idiot? Why are you even explaining sh*t when you know it's only going to make things worse! F*ck! Do you even have a brain? Or is your skull filled with maggots? Do you know what will happen if this kind of stuff can be explained satisfactorily? World peace, that's what!"

    The hurt and panic that Feng Na was feeling drove her to the point of tears. "But there really isn't anything between us!"

    Li Yundong did another facepalm. "God save my soul..." Li Yundong groaned. "How did I run into a woman this dumb!"

    "I'm dumb?" Feng Na bristled. "You're the one who's dumb!"

    Li Yundong glared at Feng Na angrily. "Right. You're not dumb. Everything you said just now deserves a f*cking Nobel prize. Congratulations, genius," Li Yundong said, his tone dripping with sarcasm. Then, he sneered. "People say that women with bigger boobs are dumber. I think that's bullsh*t. You and your flat chest are living proof of that! Maybe all the fat tissue in your boobs went to your brain, that's why you're so dumb!"

    Feng Na gasped at Li Yundong's harsh words. Although she wasn't a member of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee, she was still only a C-cup. If Li Yundong implied that she was one of those dumb women with melons for boobs, then fine, she could live with that — at least she had boobs. But what did that little sh*t say? That she was a flat-chested idiot? That was implying that she had neither boobs nor brains! A double insult!

    Incensed, Feng Na shoved her chest out. "I do not have a flat chest!"

    Li Yundong opened his mouth to make another barb, but then closed it when he saw the faces at the window. It was like they were waiting for Li Yundong and Feng Na to come to blows right then and there.

    Li Yundong sighed and wave his hand a few times. "Whatever. I'm done with this conversation," he said. "My own IQ points might start to drop if I keep listening to you talk."

    Then, he turned to the side and waved at Su Chan, who was crouching on the floor giggling like there was no tomorrow. "Hey, stand up already! Let's go!" Li Yundong said. Su Chan got up and came over to him, though she was still giggling. "Tsk! Stop laughing already!" Li Yundong said, poking her head. "Don't you feel embarrassed at all staying in this godforsaken place? Jeez." Li Yundong walked away.

    Su Chan wiped her tears and released two final giggles. She cleared her throat and rubbed her cramping stomach, then ran after Li Yundong.

    Feng Na was left standing there alone with her hackles raised. She stared after Li Yundong and Su Chan, grinding her teeth. After a while, another girl walked up and stopped beside her. "Nana," said the girl with a small voice, "he really wiped the floor with you, didn't he? Guess you've met your match, huh?"

    Feng Na snapped out of her stupor and glared at the girl beside her. A second later, she went back to shooting daggers at Li Yundong's back with her eyes. "Shut up!" Feng Na said angrily. "I'm going to kill that son of a b*tch! God! This is driving me insane! How dare he walk all over me like that! Argh!"

    Feng Na was acknowledged as the most beautiful third-year female student in the university's Department of Finance and had a decent family background. Despite having been treated like a princess and showered with endless affection ever since she was born, Feng Na was by no means soft and weak. She was a lively and carefree girl who was used to winning arguments, or, more accurately speaking, used to other people letting her win. Li Yundong's insult was definitely not something she could shrug off just like that.

    Being called flat-chested and dumb at the same time! That, to Feng Na, was even worse than if someone stole her man or even murdered her father!

    Feng Na tore her gaze away from Li Yundong. From the corner of her eyes, she noticed that those second-year idiots were still staring at her through the lecture hall's window. She looked away and stormed off, muttering under her breath and cursing Li Yundong in a manner that would make a sailor blush.

    A few steps later, Feng Na stopped short and looked at her bestie. "Chengcheng, are my boobs really that small?"

    Instead of commenting, Chengcheng sighed and pushed out her F-cup melons.

    Feng Na went berserk. "Argh!!!" she screamed, raising her trembling fists in the air. "I'm gonna murder every single woman with boobs bigger than mine!"

    Chengcheng shied away from Feng Na with both hands pressed against her chest. She gasped and feigned a look of fear. "Oh, no... You'll be the only woman left in this world then."

    "What did you just say!" Feng Na pounced on her. "You're dead meat! Get over here, you b*tch! I'm going to squeeze your boobs until they burst!"

    Chengcheng burst into laughter and broke off into a sprint. The two girls sprinted away, vanishing around the corner of the corridor.

  • Chapter 22 No Medicine Can Cure a Retard!

     

    The third-year finance students didn't have any classes this morning, so after they had their fun chasing each other around in the university corridors, Feng Na and Chengcheng entered an unoccupied lecture hall to do some self-studying.

    Not that Feng Na could actually study, since her mind kept going back to that mortifying conversation she'd had with Li Yundong earlier today. The more she thought about it, the more pissed off she was, and the redder her face became. At one point, she couldn't take the anger and embarrassment anymore, so she buried her face against the pile of books on her desk, then released a long groan of frustration. "God! I'm so embarrassed I wanna die! How am I ever gonna show my face around here after today!"

    Moments later, a guy took the seat beside Feng Na. This was no ordinary guy. With arms as thick as tree trunks and a burly physique, this guy could totally give The Rock a run for his money. The fawning look on his face at that moment was a far cry from badass though. In fact, he looked like one of those flunkies hoping to score a fat check from a politician. "What's wrong, Nana?" he asked smilingly.

    Feng Na raised her head from her books, then rolled her eyes when she saw the annoying guy whose favorite pastime seemed to be pestering-poor-Feng-Na-until-she-drops-dead-out-of-frustration. "Go. Away. Zhou Yu," Feng Na growled. "Can't you see that I'm in a bad mood? I don't want to see your face!"

    Zhou Yu flinched, surprised at her harsh tone. Displeasure flickered in his eyes, though he didn't lose his smile. "Who pissed you off, Nana?" he asked. "Tell me now, and I'll beat them up for you!"

    Feng Na waved him off grumpily. "Scram!" she yelled. "Can't I just be having PMS? Geez. Now go away and leave me alone!" Feng Na pointed at the door, glaring at Zhou Yu. When Zhou Yu didn't move, Feng Na retracted her hand and said, "You don't want to leave? Fine! I'll leave!"

    She stood up and packed her stuff noisily, then bolted out of the room with a dexterity that couldn't possibly be attained by women on their period.

    "Holy sh*t... Did she wake up on the wrong side of the bed today?" Zhou Yu whispered, stunned by Feng Na's outburst. Then, he turned towards Chengcheng. "What happened?"

    Chengcheng chuckled. Then, all of a sudden, an idea struck her. She looked at Zhou Yu, her eyes glinting deviously. "Take a guess," she said, raising her hand to make a money gesture at Zhou Yu.

    Zhou Yu chuckled and said, "God, what would I do without you. Now. Tell me what happened to Nana."

    Chengcheng poked Zhou Yu's arm a few times. "Two VIP tickets to the Golden Years!"

    The look on Zhou Yu's face was as though someone had just emptied out half of his bank account. When Chengcheng noticed Zhou Yu's reluctance, she stood up to pack her stuff. Zhou Yu reached out and pulled her back down. "Fine, fine," he said. "Two tickets, you said? No problem! Now talk!"

    When Chengcheng told Zhou Yu about the "bullying" that Feng Na had suffered at the hands of Li Yundong, Zhou Yu leaped a good three feet into the air, then charged out with his sleeves rolled up to his elbows.

    Outside the lecture hall, Feng Na was waiting for Chengcheng to come out so they could leave together. When her bestie finally came out, Feng Na glared at her. "What did you tell Zhou Yu? Why did he charge out of here like a mad bull?"

    Chengcheng smirked. "What do you think I told him?"

    Feng Na thought for a moment, then gasped. "You... You told him about what happened with Li Yundong?"

    Chengcheng snapped her finger. "Bingo!" she said gleefully. "Guess what we got out of it?" Chengcheng struck a victory pose. "Two! Two VIP tickets to Golden Years!"

    Feng Na's jaw dropped open, aghast at Chengcheng's actions. "Are you out of your mind?" she hissed. "Zhou Yu is a practitioner of the Iron Wire Fist! He's just as good as Zhao Yujian. My God, what have you done..."

    "My, my, look at you, worrying that lover boy would lose to Zhou Yu," Chengcheng said, then snorted. "Please. You remember what Li Yundong did to Zhao Yujian, right? He nearly crippled the guy, that's what."

    Incensed, Feng Na reached out and squashed Chengcheng's boob. "What did you say? Lover boy?!" she hissed. "You have a death wish, b*tch! Let me grant you your wish! And I'm gonna start by squeezing your boobs until they burst!"

    Chengcheng backed away, laughing merrily. "Fine, fine," she said. A teasing glint formed in her eyes again. "Ooh. I see what this is about." Chengcheng pointed at Feng Na. "You're worried about Zhou Yu! Tsk, tsk! Boy, look at you! Usually you're so cold to him, but you're secretly holding a massive torch for him!"

    Feng Na burst into laughter. "You slutty b*tch!" she said in a half-accusatory tone. "I don't give a damn about either of them! They could both die together for all I care." Feng Na paused in thought. "You know what? I wish they both end up killing each other. That way, I won't have to deal with either of them again."

    That comment reduced the two girls to guffaws, which lasted for minutes. When they were done laughing, Chengcheng straightened herself and patted her chest. "I suggest you worry more about yourself, Nana," Chengcheng said, sounding slightly out of breath. "You're the student council member in charge of Arts and Literature, right? How are you planning to replace Zhao Yujian?"

    Feng Na's mood turned sour almost instantly. "Yeah, I know..." she said with a long face. "Damn, what am I gonna do..."

    "Oh! I got it!" Chengcheng said, clapping her hands together. "There's this girl in the second year, Zhou Qin. She's also the prettiest student in our university, not to mention her powerful family background. If I'm not mistaken, Li Yundong tried to confess to her before. Why don't you ask her for help? Li Yundong might change his mind if Zhou Qin pleaded with him."

    Feng Na gave Chengcheng a huge eye roll. "What kind of silly idea is that?" Feng Na said, then snorted. "You think some inexperienced chick can do my job for me? Please."

    Chengcheng snickered. "Look at you, acting like some wise matriarch when you're just a year older than her."

    Feng Na gasped and poked Chengcheng hard. "You wanna die, b*tch? How dare you pull the rug out from under my feet!" Feng Na raised her chin defiantly. "I won't ask for her help, and that's final!"

    "Okay, okay. I'll shut up now," Chengcheng said, raising her palms in surrender. A second later, she added, "Look, if you're not gonna ask Zhou Qin for help, then fine. But what if Li Yundong and Zhou Yu got into a brawl and... one of them got hurt?"

    Feng Na froze, her face going pale in an instant. "Yeah, you're right," Feng Na said, already starting to move away. "Let's go check on them!"

    Li Yundong decided to skip the rest of his lecture. He wouldn't step into that lecture hall again even if his skin was as thick as the Great Wall of China. Well, at least for today. However, he didn't know where else to go, so he decided to loiter around on campus with Su Chan, and maybe finish that tour they didn't manage to complete last time.

    Li Yundong spent almost the entirety of their stroll ruminating on his current predicaments. One in particular was a huge burr up his ass — Director Qian's intent to expel him.

    Eventually, their aimless stroll brought them to the campus gates. Li Yundong had only just stepped out of campus when he heard a loud voice: "Li Yundong! There you are, you son of a b*tch!"

    Zhou Yu had been running around the campus earlier to track down Li Yundong. Finding out Li Yundong's class and department was the first thing he did. But when Zhou Yu went to the lecture hall, he didn't see Li Yundong there, so he left to look elsewhere.

    The fact that Li Yundong was somewhat of a legendary character in the university made it easier for Zhou Yu to find him; a lot of students knew the guy, and what he looked like. But, of course, the pretty chick who'd been following the guy around was also part of the reason so many students knew him. After dishing out lots of "which way did he go" and receiving helpful directions from students, Zhou Yu managed to find Li Yundong at the campus gates.

    ***

    "Li Yundong! There you are, you son of a b*tch!" Zhou Yu's voice caused Li Yundong to freeze on the spot. Turning around, he saw a burly, six-foot-tall guy with thick arms storming over towards him. "Do I know this guy?" Li Yundong thought, squinting slightly to see the guy's face. Not that he had to see the guy's face to smell trouble. The guy's outstretched, clawlike hand was a dead giveaway, not to mention the fact that he was swiping down at Li Yundong's shoulder. "Oh sh*t..." Li Yundong retreated hastily, but it was already too late since the guy was moving too fast, so Li Yundong raised his arms to protect himself.

    SMACK!

    "Huh?" The blow Li Yundong had been anticipating never came. He lowered his arms and saw Su Chan holding down the guy's hand.

    "What do you think you're doing!" Su Chan bellowed, staring angrily at Zhou Yu. Su Chan's sharp eyes had allowed her to detect the threat from a mile away. When Zhou Yu tried to grab Li Yundong's shoulder, she quickly stepped in and slapped Zhou Yu's hand away, then held it down with her strength.

    Zhou Yu's eyes nearly popped out of his head when he realized that his attack had been stopped by a girl. A girl!

    Zhou Yu ignored Su Chan and turned his attention back to Li Yundong. "Hey! What did you do to Feng Na today?"

    "Feng Na?" Honestly, at this point, the mere mention of that name made Li Yundong want to kill himself. He groaned loudly and said, "Would you believe me if I told you that I didn't do anything to her?"

    Zhou Yu noticed the way Su Chan was clinging tightly to Li Yundong's arm. "Guy's probably a Fu'er Dai who tosses his money around to trick little girls!" he thought. "How dare you mess with Feng Na when you're with a girl this beautiful! I'm gonna f*ck you up real bad today, you son of a b*tch!" (T/N: Fu'er Dai is a Chinese term for nouveau riche; it is pronounced as Foo-Err-Die; I will add this into the novel's glossary)

    "You didn't do anything?" Zhou Yu said, then released a cold sneer. "Then why was she so pissed off the last time I saw her!"

    Li Yundong rolled his eyes. "Look, pal. She's the idiot who said a bunch of idiotic things," he said. "Can you blame me for the things she said?"

    Li Yundong's dismissive tone angered Zhou Yu further. "You!" Zhou Yu said, shaking his finger at Li Yundong. "You bastard! You did a girl wrong, yet you blame it all on her? Are you even a man!" Zhou Yu spread his arms out wide. "Come on, then! Get over here if you have the balls! Let's go a few rounds, man to man!"

    Li Yundong threw his head back and guffawed like there was no tomorrow. For nearly a minute, he kept laughing and laughing with both of his hands on his stomach. A moment later, when he saw that Zhou Yu looked as though steam was going to blow out of his ears, Li Yundong forced himself to stop laughing. Then, he cleared his throat and looked Zhou Yu right in the eye. "Look, buddy," Li Yundong said, trying his best not to laugh. "Let me give you some free advice. Walk straight from here for 50 meters, then make a right turn. After that, walk for another 100 meters until you reach the bus stop. From there, take the 5-3-3 bus and get off at the hospital, then make an appointment with a psychiatrist. You need to have your head examined."

    Zhou Yu balled his fists. "What did you say?!" he yelled, cocking his fist back.

    Li Yundong jumped slightly when he saw the swift and powerful haymaker coming right at his face. But, before he could do anything, Su Chan was already in front of him, slapping the punch aside.

    "What the—" Zhou Yu flinched back in shock. "Twice already..." All of a sudden, Zhou Yu stood up straighter and studied Su Chan with vigilant eyes. "This chick is definitely trained in combat. I gotta be more careful..." Then, when Zhou Yu noticed the stinging pain in his arm where the girl had smacked it away just now, another horrifying thought crossed his mind: this chick might even be better in combat than he was!

    Zhou Yu knew it was a bad idea to take on Su Chan, so he switched tactics. He jabbed a finger at Li Yundong and said, "Hah! You're not even man enough to fight me! All you're doing is hiding behind a woman!"

    Su Chan could no longer tolerate Zhou Yu's insults. "That's rubbish! As if Yundong would be afraid of the likes of you! Even I could take on ten of you let alone Yundong."

    Zhou Yu's brows shot to his hairline. "What did you just say?" he growled.

    Su Chan stuck out her tongue tauntingly. "I said I could take on ten of you and still kick your asses!"

    "Shut up!" Zhou Yu yelled.

    "You shut up first!" Su Chan retaliated.

    "SHUT UP!!!" Li Yundong was now glaring at Su Chan. "Haven't you caused me enough trouble?"

    Su Chan jumped at Li Yundong's voice, then went from being a fierce tigress to a frightened kitten. She lowered her head and hid behind Li Yundong.

    Li Yundong looked back at Zhou Yu. "You know there's a phrase in the Compendium of Materia Medica that describes someone like you perfectly."

    "What phrase?"

    Li Yundong chuckled darkly. "No medicine can cure a retard."

    Su Chan instantly burst into laughter.

    Zhou Yu was just about to take another swing at Li Yundong when he heard a yelling voice. Correction: yelling voices.

    Zhou Yu turned his head and, sure enough, saw a frigging army of gangsters charging towards them. Some of the gangsters were reaching for some kind of object hanging on their waists. When those objects were pulled out, Zhou Yu realized that they were either metal pipes or spanners. "You little sh*t! I'm going to f*cking kill you today!" one of the gangsters yelled.

    Li Yundong knew damn well who these f*ckers were: Xie Fei, Er Lu, and their gang.

    When the gangsters were about fifty feet away, Zhou Yu knew it was time for him to haul ass out of there. Sure, he had his Kung Fu and all that, but to take on an entire army with pipes? No thanks. Besides, these goons clearly weren't after him; they were after Li Yundong!

    Zhou Yu quickly leaped aside, putting as much distance as he could between himself and Li Yundong. Then, he gave Li Yundong a gloating look. "Hey, f*cker! Hurry up and run to your mama," he taunted. "I won't laugh at you!"

    Zhou Yu's taunt was like a spark that kindled the fire inside Li Yundong. Li Yundong clenched his teeth and turned around to face gangsters. This time, he had no plans to run.

    Once again, he remembered all the extraordinary feats he'd performed: Generating nearly 1500 pounds of punching power; sending Zeng Qing into the air with a kick; shattering Zhao Yujian's bones with his bare hand; and that powerful sensation he experienced in his living room last night.

    Li Yundong's blood started to boil, hurtling through his veins with the ferocity of a wild beast. Gallons of energized blood gushed into his thigh muscles, moving down towards his calves, then his toes. At that moment, Li Yundong knew something for a fact — he was powerful. Then, three things happened simultaneously: his pupils constricted; millions of neurons fired in his legs, causing all the muscle fibers in his legs to contract; his body rose into the air.

    In the air, his legs moved in tandem, with the left leg extending fully until it was completely vertical and the right cleaving downwards like a battle axe. It was a classic move, a move found in every Chinese fighting systems — the tornado kick!

  • Chapter 23 Say That Again, I Dare You!

     

    Feng Na and Chengcheng had been asking around for Li Yundong's whereabouts after they left the lecture hall. By the time they arrived at the campus gates, it was already recess and the whole place was bustling with activity. Hungry students scurried past the gates towards the convenience store nearby to buy snacks, drinks, or whatever might catch their fancy. In the academic building directly facing the gates, students could be seen hanging around the corridors outside the lecture halls. Some were chatting with their friends while others were swiping at their phones. Such was the modern definition of "getting some air," in the world of academia, at least.

    Feng Na felt a prod on her ribs. She turned and saw Chengcheng pointing her finger at something. "Hey, look who that is," Chengcheng said.

    Feng Na followed Chengcheng's gaze and saw Zhou Qin and Ding Nan walking out of the campus gates, each carrying an umbrella.

    Those two women were a sight to behold. One of them clearly knew her way around the fashion world and, apparently, the way into a man's pants, considering how openly she was dressed. Every piece of fabric (or lack thereof) screamed sex appeal. The other woman, on the other hand, was dressed simply but elegantly. Her clothes accentuated her youth and physical beauty, which, of course, she had in spades.

    Although Feng Na was aware of her own beauty, she was also aware of its limitations. She knew that her own level of attractiveness was a far cry from Zhou Qin's. "Why are we even looking at her?" Feng Na grumbled. So she was jealous. Sue her.

    "Don't you find it weird at all?" Chengcheng asked.

    Feng Na looked at her best friend strangely. "What?" she asked.

    "Don't beautiful women usually choose a plain-looking woman to be their companions. I mean, it would make them seem prettier in comparison, right? But why is Zhou Qin hanging around someone as beautiful as Ding Nan?"

    "A woman like Zhou Qin doesn't need to resort to those kinds of lowly tactics. Why would she even bother? She's beautiful enough as she is, and she knows it!" Feng Na said, then sighed. "Only a wilted flower like me would need to hang around a little girl like you to bring out my good looks..."

    Then, Feng Na feigned a piteous look, causing Chengcheng to burst into laughter.

    However, a sudden commotion outside the gates stopped their chatter.

    Chengcheng glanced towards the source of the commotion, then jumped at what she saw. "Hey, that's Li Yundong!" she half-shouted.

    Feng Na followed Chengcheng's gaze. When she did, what she saw made her jump in fright. A large group of gangsters, each wielding either a spanner or a metal pipe, were charging straight at Li Yundong.

    "Li Yundong!!! Run!!! Get out of—"

    Feng Na never quite finished her sentence. She couldn't, not when she'd just witnessed the frontmost gangster taken out by one of the most impressive kicks in Chinese martial arts: the tornado kick!

    ***

    One of the most fundamental principles of Sanshou is: defend with the arms and attack with the leg at the same time! (T/N: Sanshou, also known as Sanda, is a Chinese fighting system)

    The legs are longer than the arms!

    Li Yundong's foot slammed into the gangster's body, causing the poor guy to fly away like an oversized rugby ball before the metal pipe could even touch Li Yundong.

    But Li Yundong didn't stop there. He repeated the same move over and over again, his entire body spinning around like an actual tornado, unleashing a powerful kick with every revolution. Not only were the kicks powerful, but they possessed deadly accuracy as well. Each time a kick was delivered, a guy would be sent flying.

    The students at the gates were utterly transfixed by what appeared to be a human tornado wreaking complete havoc amidst a large group of gangsters. Their hair stood on end at the sound of each kick, and they could hear everything, from the swishing of the leg as it cleaved through the air to the loud crunch of breaking bones when it landed. The most terrifying thing was that if they were to close their eyes and just listen to the sound of the kicks, the only image they could conjure in their minds was this: Hercules himself swinging a battle axe around!

    A sharp tug on her arm brought Feng Na out of her stupor. "Hey, are you sure they aren't filming an action movie over there?" Chengcheng asked in awe.

    Xie Fei and his gangster friends had been trying to track down Li Yundong ever since the day Li Yundong escaped from right under their noses. Knowing that Li Yundong was a student at Tiannan University, they'd been staking out the campus' vicinity, biding their time until he showed up. When he walked out of the gates with that chick today, they knew that their opportunity to finally settle their score with him had come.

    But once again, Li Yundong blew all of their minds with even more crazy stunts! The f*cker was fighting back like some kind of beast on super steroids! And those deadly tornado kicks! The gangsters froze on the spot after seeing their buddies flung away like ragdolls by Li Yundong's kicks. Although they had Li Yundong surrounded on all sides, they dared not make a single move. Instead, they looked at their fallen buddies who were moaning and writhing on the floor. "F*ck! Should've brought knives!"

    Xie Fei stomped his foot angrily when he saw all his goons staring at the enemy like a bunch of idiots. "What are you f*ckers still standing there for! Go get that son of a b*tch! F*cking cowards! Why are you afraid of him when there are so many of us!"

    Naturally, that prompted the gangsters to take action. They charged at Li Yundong from all sides, yelling while swinging their metal pipes.

    "Big mistake, assholes," Li Yundong thought with a sneer, eyeing the nearest gangster in front of him. "You first," he thought, charging towards the guy. When he was about five feet away from the guy, Li Yundong twisted his body to the left, then thrust his right leg upwards until his foot was level with the gangster's head. In the next instant, two things happened at once: the gangster raised his arm to protect himself; Li Yundong bent his right leg at the knee in a snapping motion. SMACK!

    "Oh my... that's... that's the hook kick!" Feng Na said.

    The gangster tumbled forward and smashed face-first into the ground the moment Li Yundong's heel contacted with his forearm.

    Li Yundong made a quick turn and began bouncing on his feet, weaving and dancing his way around the other gangsters who were trying to surround him. Li Yundong moved around his assailants with unbelievable dexterity, his legs crossing each other repeatedly and his body swaying from left to right. BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! A flurry of kicks were unleashed, causing the gangsters surrounding Li Yundong to fall like bowling pins. Those kicks were so fast that not a single one of the many onlookers was able to see their execution. Li Yundong stood there amidst the moans and groans of the fallen gangsters, his sharp eyes staring right at Er Lu and Xie Fei.

    ***

    "My God... d- did you see that...?" Chengcheng said in a breathless tone. "The way his feet were moving... the crossing and bouncing.... wasn't that the butterfly step? But that's Zhao Yujian's... how did he even..."

    Feng Na looked like she was about to murder someone. "That son of a b*tch!" she growled. "He lied to me! He lied! Right to my face! He told me he didn't know a thing about Taekwondo!"

    ***

    Near the gates, Zhou Qin and Ding Nan stared at the scene in front of them. Neither of them could believe their eyes. Li Yundong was standing about twenty feet away from them, tall and strong, with a bunch of gangsters lying at his feet! "S- s- so strong!" Ding Nan said.

    Zhou Qin didn't comment, but the look of shock in her eyes was unmistakable.

    Zhou Qin was there when Li Yundong fought Zhao Yujian at the dojo. At the time, she thought Li Yundong was clumsy and unskilled since he couldn't dodge any of Zhao Yujian's attacks. Even at the end of that fight, Zhou Qin thought that Li Yundong hadn't won by skill, but by pure strength.

    But what she saw today proved just how wrong she'd been. The way Li Yundong fought just now was anything but clumsy. He was fast and decisive in his kicks. Not once did he hesitate when he attacked, and his movements were so natural that it was as though he'd been practicing those kicks for years!

    "How can this be?" Zhou Qin thought, utterly shaken deep down. "Just yesterday it didn't even seem like he knew any Taekwondo at all!"

    Zhou Qin agreed with Su Chan's assessment regarding Taekwondo's weaknesses and combat applicability. It was indeed hard to win fights with just Taekwondo alone, especially in armed combat. Even so, Zhou Qin thought it was still a useful skill to learn to defend oneself against bullies and gangsters.

    As a martial art, Taekwondo does have the 'art' part down pat with its fancy and flowery kicks. That was also one of the reasons Zhou Qin had decided to join the Taekwondo club.

    Although she had rarely shown up for the club's activities, Zhou Qin had a few opportunities to see Zhao Yujian in action. And, based on what she'd seen so far, she would agree that Zhao Yujian was a very good fighter. But now that Zhou Qin had seen Li Yundong in action, she couldn't help but wonder if Zhao Yujian could even last one minute if Li Yundong fought him now...

    ***

    Xie Fei stared at his fallen cronies in shock, then looked back at Li Yundong fearfully. "I refuse! I refuse to believe this! I won't f*cking believe that this is the same guy who was so scared that he'd climb up walls just to avoid us! There's no way that p*ssy could be this strong!"

    Xie Fei pointed a shaky finger at Li Yundong. "Y- y- you... Wh- who the hell are you! State your name!" Actually, what Xie Fei really wanted to do right now was haul his skinny ass out of there. But what kind of badass gangster would he be if he didn't at least get a few last words in?

    Li Yundong laughed mockingly. "My name? My name is none of your f*cking business."

    Xie Fei kept at the tough guy act. "H- h- hah! You wanna d- die?" Xie Fei yelled shakily.

    "I've already taken care of so many of you punks... I guess one more wouldn't hurt," Li Yundong thought with a smirk.

    A harsh voice prevented Li Yundong from moving in to kick the crap out of Xie Fei. "Don't move! I'll f*cking break her neck if you so much as move an inch!"

    Li Yundong turned around abruptly and saw Er Lu standing behind Su Chan with his thick arms wrapped around her neck in a rear naked choke. All of a sudden, there was an audible pop, which came from somewhere inside Li Yundong's chest. A powerful surge of heat rose from his chest straight to his brain, causing his hair to stand erect above his scalp.

    "Touch her and I'll f*cking rip you to shreds!" Li Yundong roared, his eyes glinting menacingly.

    The students were terrified. To them, Li Yundong was no longer a man. He was a beast, a tiger who was seconds away from devouring its prey!

    Er Lu's heart stilled the moment he saw the look in Li Yundong's eyes. Never in his life had he seen eyes that terrifying before. It was like looking at the eyes of the Devil himself, which held the promise of death. The first thought that crossed Er Lu's mind was to flee. But then he changed his mind when he realized that he was actually in a position of advantage — he had a hostage. His courage returned, and he slowly calmed down. Seconds later, he smirked at Li Yundong. "Oh, I'm gonna touch her alright. What are you going to do about it, you p*ssy?" he taunted.

    Seeing that the tables had turned, Xie Fei began to laugh. "Hey, Er Lu, you sly dog!" Xie Fei said. "What say we take this chick after this and let our brothers have some fun with her?"

    Li Yundong released a low growl. "You're dead! You're all f*cking dead!!!" Li Yundong thought, charging at Er Lu. However, he'd barely taken two steps when he saw Su Chan elbowing Er Lu in the sternum. When Er Lu bent over in pain, Su Chan's right leg swung upwards in a 180-degree arc until her toes smashed into Er Lu's forehead. Er Lu's head snapped back, then he fell flat on his back.

    After that, there was an instant uproar.

    "Holy sh*t!!! That was such a badass move!"

    "Have they trained in the Shaolin temple before? F*ck! One sick move after the other?! What's next? Is one of them gonna fly?"

    "Man! This is some Bruce Lee sh*t! Wait a minute, is this a movie set? Do you see cameras anywhere? Where's the director?"

    Ignoring the ruckus, Li Yundong hurried towards Su Chan. He didn't give a f*ck about anything else. He just wanted Su Chan to be okay. "Hey... are you hurt?" he asked anxiously when he reached her.

    Su Chan gave him a sweet smile. "I'm fine!" she said, then turned around to give Er Lu's spreadeagled form two more harsh kicks. "You dare put your filthy hands on me?" Su Chan raised her right foot about two feet above the ground. "You're dead!" She brought her foot down and stomped on Er Lu's crotch.

    The male onlookers squeezed their legs together. Goodbye, sex life. Hello, life as a eunuch.

    Meanwhile, Zhou Yu felt as though he had just dodged a bullet. When Su Chan suddenly looked towards him, he quickly averted his gaze. Sh*t, if he'd tried taking on that girl earlier... Just thinking about it made his balls hurt.

    Li Yundong quickly yanked Su Chan back before she could make yet another attempt to reduce the male gene pool. "Alright, alright, that's enough," Li Yundong chastised. "I'm the one who's going to have to pay for his medical fees if you turn his nutsack to mush."

    When Li Yundong turned his head, he immediately saw Xie Fei trying to quietly sneak away. Anger rose inside Li Yundong when he remembered the disrespectful remark Xie Fei had made about Su Chan. "Oh no you don't, you piece of sh*t..." Li Yundong charged at the blonde guy. When he caught up to Xie Fei, Li Yundong yanked him back by the collar. "What did you say just now!" Li Yundong growled with one hand gripping the front of Xie Fei's shirt.

    Xie Fei knew that he couldn't possibly escape from Li Yundong's grip — it was too strong. Still, he refused to yield. "You dare touch me? Do you know I am?" he shouted into Li Yundong's face.

    Li Yundong chuckled a few times before a menacing look replaced the smile on his face. SMACK! One of Xie Fei's teeth was knocked out and rolled on the ground, leaving a bloody trail. "I don't give a f*ck who you are! I want you to repeat what you said earlier! I f*cking dare you!"

    "You hit me?!" Xie Fei roared, his bloody spit flying everywhere. "You just hit me! Hah! You're a dead man walking, I'm telling ya! You're dead!"

    SMACK! SMACK! SMACK! SMACK! Two blood splatters formed on the ground, one on each side of Xie Fei. Amidst the crimson mess on the floor, lay several broken teeth. Xie Fei swayed on his feet, then slumped forward, his lips bloody and battered. Li Yundong grabbed Xie Fei by the collar and lifted him off the ground. "What. Did. You. Say. Earlier," Li Yundong growled. "Repeat it! I dare you!"

    "Great..." Xie Fei said, his voice unclear due to his blood in his mouth and his newly-acquired dental problems. "Great hit! Go ahead and beat me to death! If you let me walk away alive, then I swear this won't be the last time you'll hear from me!"

    That taunt had finally tipped Li Yundong's anger over the edge. He reached over, grabbed a fistful of Xie Fei's blonde hair. When Li Yundong finally met Xie Fei's eyes, he was smiling, and it was the kind of smile that would make even the most battle-hardened soldier wet his pants. "You wanna die?" Li Yundong said in a murderous tone. "Then today's your lucky day!"

    With that, Li Yundong's palm began to apply pressure on one side of Xie Fei's head. He was trying to snap the guy's neck.

    Xie Fei fought back against the pressure with everything he got, but he knew it was pointless. There was no way his neck muscles could match the strength of Li Yundong's arm.

    Then, Xie Fei looked into Li Yundong's eyes. That was when he knew he was truly done for, because he knew that look far too well. He'd seen it over and over again in men with the intent to kill.

    Xie Fei was scared. He was honest-to-God scared. For the first time in his life, he truly knew what fear was. He had gotten in way over his head this time, and there was nothing he could even do to save himself except maybe to beg for his life like a wimp. Even if he had ties to the mafia, none of it would matter if he couldn't walk away from here alive.

    Xie Fei could feel the increasing pressure of Li Yundong's palm on the side of his head. It was as though Li Yundong's palm was pushing him closer and closer towards the Grim Reaper.

    Xie Fei could feel the warm wetness in his crotch, though he didn't care. "No! Please!" he yelled at the top of his lungs. "Don't kill me! Please! I was wrong! I was wrong! I'm sorry! Spare me! Please! Please....!"

    Li Yundong removed his hand from Xie Fei's head. "So you admit that you're wrong?" Li Yundong said, staring sternly at Xie Fei.

    Xie Fei risked a glance at Li Yundong. The ferocity in Li Yundong's eyes once again reduced him to a shuddering mass. Xie Fei lowered his head. "Yes... I was wrong. Spare me this once. I'll never give you trouble again."

    The thing to know about Li Yundong's anger is that it comes as quickly as it goes. In other words, Li Yundong wasn't a merciless person. Upon Xie Fei's show of remorse, Li Yundong released his grip from Xie Fei's shirt, but not before giving him a final kick. "Take these punks with you and get out of my sight!"

    Xie Fei didn't make the mistake of looking into Li Yundong's eyes again. He'd already wet himself. He didn't want to sh*t himself too. Keeping his eyes on the ground, Xie Fei bend down and helped up one of his fallen goons. Then, he walked away with one hand covering his face. Though, if he was honest with himself, there wasn't much point in that since his dignity was already beyond saving.

    "Hey!!"

    Li Yundong's voice made Xie Fei shudder. He stopped and turned back around. "Wh- wh- what is it?" he asked, staring anywhere other than Li Yundong's eyes.

    Pap! A wad of cash landed beside Xie Fei's feet. "There's about five hundred yuan there," Li Yundong said, causing Xie Fei to look up. "Take those guys to the hospital."

    Xie Fei glanced back down at the wad of cash beside his feet. He gritted his teeth and bent down to pick it up. "Thanks," he mumbled.

    Just like that, the show was over with Xie Fei and his gang limping away.

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