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  • Chapter 108 Movie Night

     

    "Believe what you want, okay. I've already told you the truth." Li Yundong gave Feng Na a hard stare. "Not that I have anything to explain to you. Whether or not Su Chan and I have done the deed is none of your business."

    Feng Na looked away awkwardly.

    "Hey, relax Li Yundong, she was just joking," Cheng Cheng said. "Hey, by the way, you don't have classes this afternoon if I'm not mistaken."

    Li Yundong eyed Cheng Cheng suspiciously. "You seem to know our schedule pretty well."

    Cheng Cheng chuckled. "It's impossible not to know."

    "Huh?" Li Yundong frowned. "What does that mean?"

    "It's all up on the forum," Cheng Cheng said.

    "What the heck?"

    Cheng Cheng rolled her eyes. "You're pretty much a celebrity around here. People are posting all kinds of things about you. Your schedules, your classes, where you have lunch, everything."

    Li Yundong shook his head in disgust. "Great," he grumbled. "There are paparazzi on campus now."

    "Anyway!" Cheng Cheng continued in a cheery tone. "You should join us at the media room tonight. We're screening a movie."

    Li Yundong arched his brow. "Since when did that become a thing?"

    "Oh, it's recent!" Cheng Cheng said proudly, then patted Feng Na on the shoulder. Feng Na's face had taken a deep shade of red.

    "All thanks to Nana, of course!" Cheng Cheng continued. "It was her idea."

    Li Yundong glanced at Feng Na. "Really now?"

    "Yep," Cheng Cheng said. "To spice up campus life, she suggested the screenings of movies and TV shows every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday!"

    Li Yundong nodded. "Wow. Interesting idea. I'm impressed."

    Feng Na was still blushing, much to Li Yundong's amusement. "So?" Feng Na asked. "Are you joining us or not?"

    Li Yundong thought for a moment. He wondered if he would be able to pass the Zhuji phase tonight. Su Chan had told him repeatedly that the Zhuji phase was pivotal in any Cultivator's training. Okay, maybe he wouldn't be able to complete it in one night, but it'd be better if he started as early as possible. Li Yundong shook his head. "Don't get me wrong. I think it's a great activity you've got going there. But I can't join you guys tonight."

    Feng Na's face fell. "What? This is my first time! You're not even going to be there to show some support?"

    Her first ti—

    Students swiveled their heads around to give them funny looks. Li Yundong did a face palm. "Would you please stop saying shit like that? It's going to give people wrong ideas, dammit!"

    Feng Na frowned. "What? What did I…" She blushed.

    Li Yundong shot her a glare. "Yeah, that's what."

    Feng Na sneered. "There's nothing wrong with what I said. You dirty-minded people are the ones who jumped to conclusions!"

    As if it was even possible for people not to jump to conclusions when she said things like that.

    Cheng Cheng leaned herself against Feng Na. "Come on, Li Yundong. Are you going to show up or not?"

    Suddenly, a hint of suspicion formed in Li Yundong's mind. His eyes narrowed into slits. "Tell me. Why is it so important that I show up?" Feng Na was starting to squirm under his gaze, but Cheng Cheng was still smiling at him without a care.

    "To show your support, of course!" Cheng Cheng said. "You're our friend, right?"

    Li Yundong smirked. Seriously? Can you girls be any more obvious? Li Yundong raised his hand. "Enough. I know what you two are planning, okay?"

    Cheng Cheng gave him an innocent look whereas Feng Na was now looking at anywhere but him. Gotcha…

    "Plan? What on earth are you talking about?" Cheng Cheng asked.

    Li Yundong's smirked widened. "This is a publicity ploy! You just want to use my"—Li Yundong did air quotes—"celebrity status to increase student turnout."

    Cheng Cheng looked sheepish now. "Oops?"

    Li Yundong studied the two women until Cheng Cheng caved in.

    "Oh, come on..." Cheng Cheng smiled. "Just show up? Please? At least for one night..."

    Li Yundong's eyes grew wide in an instant. More strange looks were cast towards them. God damn it. These two really had no filter at all. None. Li Yundong sighed. "Will you stop bugging me if I agree?"

    Cheng Cheng nodded excitedly.

    "Fine. What movie?"

    "Nope. Not telling you." Cheng Cheng winked. "You'll just have to be there to find out!"

    ***

    Around 6 PM, their cab pulled up in front of the campus. Li Yundong paid the cabbie and got out of the car with Su Chan.

    "Yundong... Why are we here at school again? Do you have classes at night?" Miss Clueless, it seemed, could no longer contain her curiosity. Yundong took her hand and led her past the campus gates.

    "We're not here for classes, princess."

    "Then... Are we here to fight? Or to watch shamanistic rituals again?"

    Li Yundong pulled them to a stop and stared at her. Shamanistic rituals? Fight? What on earth was she talking about?

    Su Chan seemed to have realized as well that she had said something silly. She blushed and stared down at her feet. "I- I mean... I- Isn't that what we did last time when we came to school at night?"

    The penny dropped. Li Yundong guffawed. Oh, she was talking about the performance night! And by shamanistic rituals, she probably meant the dance performance. Li Yundong stopped laughing and stared at her warmly. Cute. So damn cute.

    "W- What?"

    Li Yundong patted her head. "No, silly. We're not here to fight. We're here to watch a movie!"

    Su Chan's smile could probably light up a football field. She jumped slightly. "They have TV boxes here?"

    Li Yundong chuckled. "Probably. But I don't think they'll be using TVs in the media room."

    Su Chan stared up at him blankly. "Then what will they be using? Will there be a stage? Or people with costumes?"

    Li Yundong laughed again. "No silly, that's a Chinese opera! Geez!"

    "Oh."

    "They'll probably use a projector and a huge screen."

    Su Chan was staring at him like he had just told her that fish live on land. A confused Su Chan was a cute Su Chan. Okay. Scratch that. Any Su Chan was a cute Su Chan. Yes, even when she was kicking people in the nuts and blowing up kitchens. God give him strength against her lethal cuteness.

    "Well, there won't be a stage," Li Yundong said as they began to walk again. "There will probably be a huge piece of flat, white cloth hung in front. And the images would appear on the white surface."

    "Oh. So it's a flat TV..."

    Well, when she put it that way... He shrugged and said, "Yeah. I guess you can think of it that way."

    "Do these flat TVs have the rectangular blocks too?"

    Li Yundong's steps faltered. "Rectangular blocks?"

    "The one with buttons."

    "Oh! A remote!" Li Yundong thought for a moment. "Maybe they do? I don't know."

    They passed the academic building and made a right turn.

    "Yundong..."

    "Hmm?"

    "These flat TVs won't explode like that stupid stove, right?"

    ***

    The media room was crammed when they walked in. Indeed, a massive projector screen was set up in front of the room. At the center of the room, a metal mount hung down from the ceiling with a sophisticated projector sitting on it. Li Yundong scanned the room for Feng Na. It took him a few seconds, but he located her at a corner of the room, where some kind of workstation was set up. Cheng Cheng and a few other seniors stood around her. They all seemed busy, probably with setting up the projector.

    Li Yundong nudged Su Chan and gestured towards Feng Na. Su Chan tore her eyes away from the projector. The device had held her fascination from the moment they walked in. She nodded, and together, they made their way towards Feng Na. Although she would still sneak glances at the projector once every few steps she took. Li Yundong found himself wondering at some point which one was brighter: the light emitted from the projector's lens; or the sparkle in Su Chan's eyes when she gazed at the projector.

    Students filled the seats, munching on popcorns and melon seeds while chattering away at each other. Some demanded autographs from him. A few even requested him to take selfies with them. Li Yundong ignored all of them and made a beeline for Feng Na and Cheng Cheng.

    Thanks to the students enthusiasm, Feng Na noticed their arrival before he could greet her; she waved at them as soon as she saw them walking over.

    Li Yundong returned Feng Na's wave. "So. This better be worth my time. Since you practically coerced me here."

    Feng Na chuckled. "Why don't you take a seat and find out?"

    Li Yundong narrowed his eyes. "Come on. Spill. Tell us what movie you're playing."

    Feng Na rolled her eyes. "So impatient," she grumbled. "Fine. We'll be playing a soap opera today."

    Li Yundong groaned and did a face palm. But before he could say anything, Su Chan did a cheer. "Yay! Soap shows! Soap shows!" Li Yundong's body pitched sideways when Su Chan gave his arm a strong tug.

    Li Yundong straightened himself. "Sorry to burst your bubble, princess," he said. "But we're going home. This is a waste of time."

    He pulled Su Chan towards the exit, ignoring Feng Na's protests.

    Su Chan resisted. "But I like soap shows!"

    Li Yundong smiled at her. "You can watch it at home."

    "Hey! Li Yundong!"

    Li Yundong turned around to see Feng Na storming over. "You're already here! So why leave? You might as well stay and watch the film."

    Several tugs on his hand made him turn, after which he was struck by the full force of Su Chan's puppy-dog eyes. "Yundong... Can we stay and watch the soap show? Please?"

    Or maybe we can go home and you teach me how to pass the Zhuji phase?

    Su Chan's puppy dog eyes shone under the lights. Li Yundong found his resolve wavering. A minute later, Li Yundong hung his head low and sighed. "Alright, alright, you win..."

    Li Yundong scanned the room. "Are there even any seats left for us? The place is packed."

    Feng Na stepped forward and grabbed his arm. "Don't worry. I've reserved two places for you. VIP seats." Feng Na led them to a row in the middle of the room.

    "There," Feng Na told them once they had both taken their seats. "These are the best two spots in the room. Reserved just for you two."

    Li Yundong leaned back in his seat. He didn't doubt that this was the best spot in the entire room. The seats were positioned at just the right distance from the screen so that they could look straight ahead without having to bend or crane their necks to see the screen. Bags of popcorns were already prepared beside their feet.

    "Wow. Not bad." Li Yundong nodded appreciatively. "Not bad at all."

    Feng Na smirked. "Told you, you wouldn't regret joining us."

    "Well, thanks for—" Pieces of popcorn sprayed his face before he could finish. It was like being hit by a popcorn shower.

    He turned and saw Su Chan staring blankly at the bag of popcorn she'd just ripped open. Half of the popcorn had spilled from the bag: strewn all over their seats, laps, and the floor.

    Su Chan shot him a sheepish look. "Hehehe... Oopsie?"

    Why? Why me? Why the hell me? Why the f*cking hell me? Li Yundong sighed. "Sorry about this," he told Feng Na, who was now giggling into her palm. "Look, you go do your thing. I'll clean this up." He gestured at the popcorn mess.

    Feng Na stopped giggling and smiled. "Alright then. Sit tight. We'll dim the lights soon."

    Li Yundong watched Feng Na walk away, then shook his head.

    By the time he turned back to deal with the litter of popcorn, most of the popcorn on their seats were already gone. All thanks, of course, to Su Chan the chipmunk.

    With a sigh, Li Yundong bent down to pick up the rest of the popcorn from the floor. One of these days, he was going to drill some table manners into that girl. He just hoped that he could live long enough to see some actual progress.

    ***

    Fifteen minutes later, the students were getting restless. The lights had already been dimmed ten minutes ago, but the film wasn't playing yet. And Su Chan, of course, was already devouring her second bag of popcorn.

    What's the hold up? Li Yundong glanced towards the little workstation Feng Na and her friends had set up at the corner of the media room. Through the darkness, Li Yundong could make out dark figures bustling around Feng Na, who was gesturing her hands wildly. It almost seemed like she was panicking. Li Yundong sighed. Maybe this was a waste of time after all. Nothing was being shown on the screen except for the projector's brand logo—the default welcome screen. The students were booing and hissing. Clearly, their patience was wearing thin as well.

    Seriously, what the heck is the matter? Li Yundong moved his Qi towards his Shenting and sorted through the buzzing in his ears.

    "... I've already tried many times! I'm telling you it isn't working!!" someone said. One of the seniors, no doubt.

    "Dammit!" Feng Na hissed. "What are we gonna do? I didn't prepare a spare!"

    "I got it!" Another voice sounded. This time, it was Cheng Cheng.

    "What? What is it? You got an idea?" Feng Na said anxiously.

    "C'mon, Nana! Isn't it obvious? Just play that secret DVD you got from your friend!"

    There was a pause following Cheng Cheng's statement. Seconds later, Li Yundong heard a resigned sigh. "Fine," Feng Na said. "Looks like we have no other choice. Cheng Cheng, go grab it for me, will you? It's between the pages of a book on my desk. The third book from the left."

    "Got it!" Cheng Cheng said, sounding way too happy for someone who was supposed to be dealing with a crisis.

    Li Yundong tuned out the voices and returned his Qi back to his lower Dantian; the buzzing disappeared. Moments later, Feng Na made an announcement on the microphone. "Sorry guys, due to some technical issues, we won't be playing the original soap opera."

    A chorus of boos and hisses filled the room.

    "This is bullshit!"

    "What a waste of time!"

    "You mean we came here for nothing? Seriously?"

    "Now, now, calm down people," Feng Na continued in a sweet tone. "I didn't say we won't be playing anything tonight. Like I said, there'll be a change of plans due to technical issues, so tonight we'll be watching Cohabitation with A Flight Attendant!"

    A round of—mostly feminine—cheers sounded. A moment later, the door of the media room opened and Cheng Cheng ran back inside with a DVD.

    Li Yundong glanced at Su Chan and raised his brows. "Still wanna stay?"

    "Mmhmm!" Su Chan said.

    Li Yundong's brows rose higher. "You sure? It's going to be boring, you know."

    Su Chan's nose scrunched up adorably. "Why?"

    "Because they are playing the soap opera you were watching that night."

    "Oh." Su Chan stared blankly at the screen in front, then turned back to him. "I can watch it again!"

    Li Yundong groan inwardly. "Alright, alright. As you wish, milady."

    Li Yundong turned his attention to the screen. The opening credits were already showing. Hey... isn't that...

    Li Yundong nearly fell off his seat. His blood ran cold. Oh shit... He shot a panicked look towards Feng Na and her friends. He wanted to run over and tell them to stop playing the DVD, but it was already too late.

    Li Yundong stared at the screen in horror as the entire media room went into a ruckus: the guys were cheering; and the girls were shrieking and covering their eyes.

    Oh f*ck.

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  • Chapter 109 Shit Just Got Real

     

    When Sola Aoi started an onscreen strip tease, Li Yundong burst into action. He sprang to his feet and began making his way towards the end of the middle row. On his way out, he snatched an empty popcorn bag from the floor. Two seconds later, he reached the end of the row and stepped onto the center aisle where the projector hung directly above his head. He folded the popcorn bag a few times while channeling his Qi to his legs. Then, he made an explosive vertical leap and, while in the air, he shoved the folded popcorn bag into the hollow of the projector's lens. Darkness suffused the media room as the images playing on the screen vanished into nothingness. Curses and screams of protest followed suit, but Li Yundong didn’t care. He was already making his way towards Feng Na and the seniors in charge of the screening. He reached Feng Na in record time and hit the "space" key on the laptop to pause the video before closing the window of the video player application.

    "F*ck!! Why the hell did it stop playing?!"

    "Oh c'mon! Keep playing it! We're just getting to the fun part!"

    "F*cking killjoys! Put it back on, goddamnit!"

    "Argh!! Maria Ozawa hasn't even appeared yet!"

    Well, this is what happens when your porn stash is being played in a room full of horny guys. Before he knew it, Su Chan was right beside him. Li Yundong forced himself to take several calming breaths. "Su Chan... It was you, wasn't it? You gave Feng Na the wrong DVD yesterday."

    Su Chan didn't say anything, though she really didn't have to; the look on her face said it all. Li Yundong grabbed two fistfuls of his hair and released a low growl. "What the f*ck? How the hell did this even happen? You were supposed to give back Feng Na's DVD! Why did you give her mine instead?"

    Su Chan stared down at her feet, still not answering his question.

    "Explain!" he hissed, causing Su Chan to flinch.

    "I- I broke hers..."

    "What?!" Feng Na and Li Yundong said in unison.

    "A- And then... and then I found another one inside your room. They looked exactly the same, s- so I thought... I swapped it..."

    "Oh, for f*ck's sake..." Li Yundong rubbed his temples. "There's a label! Didn't any of you read the label?" He glanced towards Feng Na.

    Feng Na snapped out of her stupor and moved towards the laptop. She removed the DVD from the laptop and studied it for a moment. "But it says Cohabitation with a Flight Attendant! That's the same name as my soap opera!"

    Li Yundong shot her an exasperated look. "But yours didn't come with a label in the first place, did it?"

    Feng Na scowled. "How was I supposed to know! I thought you watched it and then labeled it for me!"

    Cheng Cheng gasped. "So it's true... Y- You gave the DVD to him that morning... You lied to me Nana! And you! Li Yundong! How could you—"

    "Enough!" Feng Na and Li Yundong both said. "Not now, okay?"

    Feng Na groaned. "Why... Why on earth did you label your porn collection with such an innocuous name!"

    "C'mon... Seriously? You want me to write 'hardcore sex' on my porn DVD? Even teenagers know not to do that!" Li Yundong sighed. "You know what, this isn't helping." Li Yundong paused and turned to face the crowd of students who were still cursing and complaining. He shook his head. "We need to find a way to deal with this mess."

    Feng Na sighed. "It's too late for that now. We're screwed. No. I'm screwed."

    Li Yundong turned away from the students to look at Feng Na. "It can't be that bad, can it? Even if the students talked, there's no real proof. Unless someone recorded this on their phones?" Li Yundong hung his head low, then raised his head again. "But I think I managed to stop the video before anyone could get their phones out. Everyone seemed surprised, so I don't think they expected any of this... What?" Li Yundong stared at Feng Na's grim expression.

    "You don't understand," Feng Na said. "Director Qian already knows."

    "The media room is being monitored," Cheng Cheng said with a grim tone.

    Feng Na sighed. "That's how I got the teachers to agree to all of this in the first place. We can screen movies as long as it's done under a teacher's supervision." Feng Na chuckled wryly, then gestured at the students. "Just look around you. Do you think the teachers would allow this bunch to watch movies in a dark room unsupervised?"

    Li Yundong let his chin drop. "Shit..."

    Feng Na tossed the DVD onto the desk where the laptop had been set up. "That's it... I'm gonna be expelled."

    Feng Na's devastated tone brought a stab of guilt to Li Yundong's chest. Li Yundong stepped forward. "Hey... That won't happen."

    There were tears in her eyes when Feng Na turned back around. "Don't bother... It's too late."

    "No," Li Yundong stated firmly. "Just let me handle this—"

    The door of the media room burst open. "You delinquents!" The lights immediately came back on, and the room fell silent. Director Qian stormed along the aisle towards them. "Who! Whose idea was it to play pornographic films on campus!"

    Director Qian stopped in front of them, his eyes bouncing from person to person. Finally, he glared at Feng Na. "Well? Was it you, Feng Na?"

    Feng Na paled. "N- No sir, this isn't—"

    "I did it," Li Yundong said, his voice loud and resolute. He took a step forward. "This has nothing to do with senior Feng Na." Li Yundong stared into the beady eyes behind Director Qian's gold-rimmed glasses. Like hell he was going to allow Feng Na to take the blame. Li Yundong's reputation as a student was already ruined anyway; one more issue wouldn't exactly make a difference. But Feng Na had always been a good student with a clean record. It would follow her for the rest of her life if she took the blame today. And God knew what Director Qian had up his sleeves. Li Yundong certainly wouldn't put it past that slimeball to attempt to cut a "deal" with Feng Na—sleep with me and this thing will never see the light of day. Li Yundong clenched his jaw. Over my dead body.

    Li Yundong took a breath. "This is my fault. I brought the DVD by mistake." From the corner of his eye, Li Yundong noticed Su Chan's lips moving as though she wanted to say something. Keeping his hand hidden behind his back, he reached over and pinched Su Chan's hip. When Su Chan glanced at him, he sent her a warning glance: Do not say a word.

    Su Chan lowered her head and went back to staring at her feet.

    A moment later, Director Qian released a sneer. "Well, well, well. Look at you, playing the hero again, Li Yundong. Are you that desperate for attention?"

    Li Yundong squared his shoulders. "You're mistaken." He looked at Director Qian steadily. "This has nothing to do with me trying to play the hero. It's called having the courage to admit my own mistakes." He smirked. "Not that someone like you would understand it."

    Director Qian seemed to have caught on to Li Yundong's insinuation as he paled immediately. However, Director Qian regained his bravado a few seconds later. He laughed mockingly. "Admitting your own mistakes? What about the other trouble you've caused? Are you ready to claim responsibility for those too?"

    Li Yundong bristled and opened his mouth to argue, but Director Qian silenced him with another derisive laugh. "You brought this upon yourself, Li Yundong." An evil glint formed in Director Qian's eyes. "I've been waiting for this day, you little troublemaker. Now I will finally make you pay."

    "No!" Feng Na shouted all of a sudden. "I- I mean, s- sir... I can explain..."

    Li Yundong turned around abruptly and gave Feng Na a look. Feng Na looked extremely pale, like she was about to pass out. Li Yundong gave her a reassuring look. I've got this, he mouthed the words to her. Then, he gave Cheng Cheng an eye signal. Cheng Cheng took the cue and quickly pulled Feng Na away.

    Li Yundong turned around to face Director Qian once again. The old bastard was looking all too smug now, but Li Yundong didn't care. He wasn't about to let Feng Na take the fall for his negligence and mistakes. None of this would've happened if he: A) didn't collect pornography in the first place, and B) paid more attention to the DVD instead of letting Su Chan handle it.

    Yes, it definitely sucked to give Director Qian the satisfaction of having the power to decide his fate as a student. But it didn't matter, because this wasn't about him. This was about honor.

    Time to put his pride aside and do the right thing.

    Li Yundong took a deep breath before letting out a long exhalation. He gazed into Director Qian's eyes steadily. "There is nothing to explain," he said with a tone of finality. "I'm supposed to bring the DVD for tonight's screening. But I took the wrong one. It was an honest mistake. An accident."

    "An honest mistake? An accident?" Director Qian snorted. "You expect me to believe that? After all the trouble you've caused?"

    "I don't expect you to believe anything," Li Yundong said calmly, then paused to look at Feng Na. "However, I expect you to make a fair judgement based on the facts." Li Yundong returned his eyes to Director Qian. "Senior Feng Na is a good student. A responsible one, in fact. Her grades are impressive, and she has never done anything to discredit the university. Considering these facts, do you think it's likely that she would pull a stunt like this?"

    Seconds passed in silence until Director Qian snorted. "I suppose not." Then, the bastard smirked. "You, on the other hand..."

    Li Yundong gave him a nonchalant shrug. "I've already said it from the start. This is my fault. But..." Li Yundong paused and held up a finger. "I must emphasize that I didn't do it on purpose."

    Li Yundong honestly didn't know why he even bothered. The old bastard was out to get him from the start, so it was pointless to justify anything. The others students remained silent in their seats, though Li Yundong could feel their pitiful gazes on him. They all knew what was coming. It was pretty much inevitable at this point.

    Director Qian's laughter broke through the silence. "Hah! It's official, then! Li Yundong! You don't have to come to class starting tomorrow. The university council will hold a meeting to finalize your expulsion."

    Gasps filled the room. A couple of students rose to their feet in protest.

    "Oh, come on! That's not fair!"

    "Yeah! He said it was an accident, didn't he?"

    "This is an abuse of authority!"

    "Yeah! We can file a complaint against you!"

    "Silence!!!!!!" Director Qian's yelled. When the room fell silent once again, he continued, "Does anyone else wants to get expelled?"

    More silence ensued.

    "That's what I thought," Director Qian said.

    While Li Yundong appreciated the students' sentiments, he also realized that it was pointless to reason with Director Qian. This was bullshit right from the beginning. Which student in their right mind would bring pornographic films to campus and then play them on a large screen in front of so many students? Anyone with a functioning brain could see that the whole story didn't hold water. Why would Li Yundong, who was already on the verge of expulsion, do something so incriminating? None of it made any sense. Director Qian probably knew it too. He was just too much of a scumbag to care about something like truth and justice.

    "Whatever," Li Yundong said. "Consider me expelled, then."

    Director Qian sneered. "You're a disgrace, Li Yundong. And the university is glad to finally be rid of you."

    No. It was actually the other way around. Li Yundong was glad to finally be rid of this stinking place ran by morally corrupt people.

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  • edited January 20

    Chapter 110 Job Hunt!

    So. Li Yundong was expelled. Now that it had finally happened, it didn't seem so bad. In fact, he found it to be a rather freeing experience. Now he no longer had to deal with Director Qian's toxic schemes, early and boring lectures, or Liu Chuan's obnoxious taunts. Surely, that counted for something. But, of course, he had to find a way to make money now. He wondered what he could do. Maybe become a bodyguard? It wouldn't be a terrible idea. With Eryue, Mingmu, Xianjue, and all his Qi-control training, he was confident he could become a decent bodyguard. Then again, would anyone even hire him? What should he even put on his resume? Catching two girls who had fallen off a seven-floor building? Dodging bullets? If Zhou Qin was willing to vouch for him and act as a reference, then maybe someone would hire him...

    Li Yundong led Su Chan down the corridor towards the stairs. They had left the media room immediately after Director Qian declared his expulsion. There was no point in staying or arguing with that old bastard anyway. They descended the stairs and then headed for the building's exit. He walked in silence while Su Chan trudged along behind him. When they stepped into the crisp, night air, he suddenly stopped and turned around to face Su Chan. Su Chan clearly hadn't expected him to stop so abruptly, so she ended up bumping into him. His hands rose instinctively to steady her. Their gazes locked on to each other the moment his hands touched her shoulders. Su Chan's eyes were swimming with unshed tears and filled with remorse.

    "Come this way," he said, tilting his head. "We need to talk."

    "Oh."

    After several steps, Li Yundong made a sharp right. Moments later, they were both seated on a bench outside the building. Light from a nearby street lamp bathed them in an orange glow.

    "God... Do you know what you've done?" Li Yundong said, then sighed heavily. "If we didn't come here tonight, it would be Feng Na getting expelled, not me. Do you understand that?"

    "I'm sorry... I really didn't know what was inside that round thing."

    "No," Li Yundong said in a harsh tone. "That isn't the point and you know it!"

    Su Chan looked down at her lap. "I'm sorry... I shouldn't have swapped it without asking you first."

    "And you should've told me right away when you broke Feng Na's DVD."

    "I'm sorry... I thought you would leave me if... if..."

    "And you thought swapping the DVDs was a good idea? Seriously? Are you an idiot? People would realize it the moment they played the DVD!"

    "B- But they looked the same! I thought... I thought they are copies!"

    "Copies..." Li Yundong groaned and buried his face in his palms. He had really underestimated Su Chan's cluelessness about the world. And now his negligence had come back to bite him in the ass.

    "I'm so sorry, Yundong. I truly am. I was wrong..."

    Li Yundong raised his head. "Yes, you were."

    Su Chan lifted three fingers. "I swear I'd never have swapped it if I knew they weren't identical." Su Chan lowered her fingers. "And... I know I should've told you."

    Li Yundong sighed and patted her head. "No more next time, okay?"

    "Mmm..."

    They sat in silence for a while.

    "Is... Is Elder Sister Feng Na going to get into trouble?"

    Li Yundong looked to the side. Su Chan looked genuinely worried. "She's going to be fine. Director Qian's real target is me, not her."

    That f*cking son of bitch had been out to get Li Yudong ever since Su Chan kicked him in the nuts.

    "But... You were kicked out of school..."

    Li Yundong chuckled wryly. "Yes... Yes I was."

    "T- Then... are we going to end up as... as beggars?"

    Li Yundong pinched her nose. "No, silly. I won't let that happen." He let his hand drop. "I'll get a job. And then we can figure it out from there."

    "Oh, I know! I'll get a job too!" Su Chan piped in, looking cheerful for the first time since the shitshow began earlier.

    Li Yundong regarded her with amusement. "You? Nah. You're more likely to create more jobs for others than get paid," he said dryly.

    Su Chan's nose scrunched up in confusion. "Are you saying I'm inept?"

    Are you saying you're not? he added silently. Well, Su Chan would make a great masseur, he supposed. Then again, the idea of Su Chan putting her hands on other men... Nope. Not a chance in hell.

    The sound of an unfamiliar ringtone interrupted their exchange. Li Yundong glanced around a few times, but it was just the two of them on the bench. Nobody else was around. "Whose phone is that?" he muttered.

    "Oh! It's mine!" Su Chan began rummaging through his backpack. Seconds later, she pulled out the phone that Zhou Qin gave her the other day.

    Li Yundong chuckled. There was only one person who knew this number. So she heard about it already, huh? News sure travels fast.

    "Hello?! Hello?!" Su Chan yelled at the phone. When the phone kept ringing, Su Chan stared at the phone with a puzzled expression. She shook the phone a few times. "Helloooooooooo?!"

    Li Yundong shook his head in amusement. "Yundong…" Su Chan gave him a helpless look. "This rude phone is ignoring me…"

    Li Yundong burst into laughter. "Give me that." He held out his hand. When Su Chan passed him the phone, he turned the device around—she'd been holding it upside down the whole time—and showed her a button. "You gotta press this button to answer calls, you got that?"

    Su Chan nodded. "Mmm!"

    Li Yundong pressed the answer key and passed the phone over to Su Chan.

    "Hello?" Su Chan said gently, then shot Li Yundong a tentative glance.

    Li Yundong pointed at her ear. "You have to put it close to your ear," he whispered.

    "Oh," she said, then did as she was told.

    "Hello?" Su Chan spoke into the phone again. She listened to the voice on the phone for a few seconds, then passed the phone back to Li Yundong.

    "It's Elder Sister Zhou Qin," Su Chan said. "She wants to speak with you."

    Li Yundong took the phone. "So, Miss Zhou. I take it you've heard about the media room incident already?"

    "Yes. Senior Feng Na called and told me about it." There was a pause. "Seriously, Li Yundong... How on earth did you get into so much trouble in literally just... days?"

    Li Yundong released a long sigh. "How much did Feng Na tell you?"

    "Nothing specific, that's why I'm calling you," Zhou Qin said. "She just told me that something happened during the movie screening, and you got expelled." Zhou Qin sighed. "I guess I should've been there."

    Li Yundong grunted. "I'd rather you weren't. It wasn't exactly a pleasant business."

    "Tell me what happened?"

    Li Yundong spent the next few minutes recounting the whole mishap from the beginning.

    "My God, Li Yundong... What is it with you and these strange coincidences?" Zhou Qin said when Li Yundong was done talking. "It's like the forces of the Universe are conspiring to get you expelled."

    Li Yundong chuckled wryly. "Tell me about it..."

    "Hey... Come to think of it... I think I saw that DVD when I went through one of your books the other day. The label seemed pretty innocuous... I never thought it would be... you know..."

    Heat rose to Li Yundong's cheeks. "Can we not talk about my bad cinematic tastes, please?" Li Yundong cleared his throat awkwardly. "It wasn't one of my finest moments, okay? I'm not proud of it."

    Zhou Qin chuckled. "I guess that explains the innocuous label..."

    "Zhou Qin..." Li Yundong said in a warning tone. This was probably the most uncomfortable phone conversation he ever had. "I'd rather not talk about this anymore, if you don't mind."

    Zhou Qin laughed. "Relax... It's no big deal, okay? I'm not judging you."

    "Yeah. You're not judging. Just laughing at my expense..." Li Yundong muttered.

    Zhou Qin chuckled a few more times before clearing her throat. "Just let me handle this. I'll see what I can do to waive your expulsion."

    Li Yundong groaned. "Again? I always end up troubling you."

    Zhou Qin's tone suddenly turned serious. "It's no trouble, okay?"

    "You keep saying that, but you've done more than enough for me already. Is this about me saving your life again? You know you don't owe me anything, right?"

    Zhou Qin sighed over the phone. "I know my father's secretary spoke with you. And I know he has insulted you. I guess I want to make it up to you somehow."

    "It isn't your fault."

    "I know... But still. Just let me make it up to you. Please."

    Li Yundong sighed. "Alright. Thank you."

    Zhou Qin cleared her throat again. "So. What's your next step? I'm not sure how long it'll take to sort things out with the university. So you might be away from school for a while. "

    Li Yundong chuckled wryly. "My plans? Isn't that obvious? Job hunting, of course." He paused. "At first, I planned to wait until the summer holidays to get a job, but now I've got no choice." Li Yundong glanced at Su Chan. "I've got a chipmunk to feed."

    Su Chan blushed adorably and made a face at him.

    "Chipmunk? What are you..." There was a brief moment of silence. "Oh!" Zhou Qin's laughter rang out, which lasted for a few seconds.

    "I swear. Sometimes I think she eats more than twenty men combined," Li Yundong grumbled, then leaned his body away to dodge Su Chan's swipes.

    Zhou Qin's laughter subsided. "She has a healthy appetite, that's for sure..." Zhou Qin cleared her throat. "Anyway. If you're looking for a job, then I might be able to help you on that front..."

    Li Yundong fell silent. If Zhou Qin had a way to get him a job quickly, then all his problems would be solved. But how was he ever going to return the favor? Deep down, he knew what he feared the most—that this feeling of indebtedness to Zhou Qin would hang over his head forever. Worse, Zhou Qin might start demanding something for him that he could never give—his affection.

    Li Yundong must have stayed quiet for a long time, because Zhou Qin spoke again.

    "Hello? Are you still there?"

    Li Yundong sighed. "Yeah... Yeah, I'm still here."

    "Listen... It isn't compulsory, okay? It's just a job interview anyway. If you don't want to go, then that's fine as well."

    Li Yundong fell silent again. This was literally the solution to all his problems right there. He would be a fool to turn away such an opportunity. There were things more important than his pride to consider, things like paying rent and feeding Queen of Gluttony over there. "Which firm?" Li Yundong asked. Assuming that it was even a firm. Right. Who was he even kidding? This was one of Zhou Qin's connections. Of course it would be some high-end firm.

    "Dongsheng Realtors."

    "A real estate firm?" Li Yundong chuckled. "I'm sorry, but I don't think my skillset matches the job description..." Real estate agents didn't have to throw punches and kicks, or dodge bullets.

    "Well, it's up to the firm's President what position to give you. Who knows, maybe she'll want you as an assistant?" Hmm… Making coffee and carrying folders around didn't sound too bad. "Oh, by the way," Zhou Qin continued in a teasing tone, "the owner of that firm is a friend of mine. And she's a very beautiful woman. In fact, the entire firm is filled with beautiful women. So you might wanna keep your eyes in check. You don't want to break Su Chan's heart, do you now?"

    Li Yundong felt Su Chan's tug on his arm the moment Zhou Qin finished that statement. "No, no, no..." Su Chan mumbled beside his ear, shaking her head frantically. "I'm going with you! I'm going with you!"

    Li Yundong stared at Su Chan in shock. How did she hear... Then he remembered that Su Chan was a Cultivator. Must've used Eryue... Li Yundong felt a surge of warmth in his chest. The fact that Su Chan would feel jealous implied that he meant something to her. He reached over and flicked her forehead. "Fine, you can come along as long as you don't cause trouble."

    Zhou Qin must have heard his exchange with Su Chan, because she suddenly started laughing. "Hey, Li Yundong," she said. "Put me on loudspeaker for a sec."

    Li Yundong complied with a push of a button. "There, you're on loudspeaker."

    Su Chan seemed fascinated by the fact that the phone could speak as loud as a human now. "Hey... The box's voice just grew louder." Li Yundong just shook his head at her and smiled.

    "Su Chan..." Zhou Qin's voice rang out a second later. "You must find a way to secure Li Yundong's heart, okay? Or else other women might try to snatch him away from you." Li Yundong rolled his eyes. Yeah, right. As if that would even happen.

    Su Chan nodded with zest. "I know right!" She raised her fist. "He is mine! And I will not let another dinglu have him!"

    Li Yundong nearly choke on his own spit.

    "Dinglu?" Zhou Qin sounded way too amused now.

    "Mmm! It's—"

    Li Yundong silenced Su Chan with a glare.

    Zhou Qin sounded like she was trying hard to contain her laughter. "Anyway, that's the spirit, Su Chan. Li Yundong is quite the catch, so you must—"

    "Zhou Qin..." Li Yundong gritted out. "You're not helping. Keep that up and I won't even show up for the interview."

    "Relax... I was only kidding." Zhou Qin paused for a moment. "All jokes aside, I really think you should go to the interview. The pay is good."

    Li Yundong switched off the loudspeaker and put the phone back against his ear. "Seriously?"

    Zhou Qin suddenly laughed. "Got you there, pal. I knew you'd cave the moment I mentioned the high salary."

    Li Yundong blushed and rubbed the back of his neck. "Well... I won't lie. Money is a little tight these days."

    "But you—"

    Li Yundong cut Zhou Qin off. "I didn't take the money your father offered because it isn't the right thing to do, okay? It's bad enough that I've been relying on my parents' money all these years. I'm not about to add to that by taking your father's money for nothing. From now on, whatever money I receive has to be rightfully earned."

    Silence passed between them. Zhou Qin cleared her throat. "Um... Actually, I wasn't about to mention what my father did..."

    Li Yundong went still. "Oh." Then he blushed. "Sorry. What were you about to say then?"

    Zhou Qin sighed. "I was going to say... I have a lot of money saved up over the years... so... I mean if you really need money urgently, then I can lend you some. Ah, you can pay me back in the future if you want!"

    Another stretched of silence passed. "Thank you. It's kind of you to offer, but I'll have to decline," Li Yundong said.

    "But what if it's an emergency—"

    "How about this," Li Yundong cut her off, "I'll let you know if it ever comes to that. Sound fair?"

    Zhou Qin let out a long sigh. "Okay. Fair enough."

    "Look. I appreciate it, okay?" Li Yundong said. "Don't think I don't know how much you've done for me. But this is my problem, and I need to deal with it, with or without help. Can you understand that?"

    "Yeah. Yeah, I think I do."

    "Thank you," Li Yundong said. "Alright, then. It's getting late, so I'm gonna go."

    "Oh, okay. Good night, then. I'll text you the details of the interview later."

    Li Yundong nodded even though he knew Zhou Qin couldn't see him. "Alright. Thanks again. Bye."

    The line went off with a click. Li Yundong lowered the phone from his ear and turned to Su Chan. "Well, that was some conversation," he said as he put the phone back into his backpack.

    Su Chan was looking at him expectantly. "So... You've found a job?"

    Li Yundong zipped up his backpack and stood up from the bench. "Not yet. It's just an interview. I might not even get it."

    "Oh." Su Chan reached for his backpack, so he let her have it. She really liked carrying his backpack around these days. He wondered why.

    "What's the matter? You sound disappointed." He patted Su Chan's head after she had slung the straps over her shoulders. "There's still a chance I might get the job. So don't look so sad."

    Su Chan shook her head and stared down at her feet.

    Li Yundong hooked a finger under her jaw and lifted her chin. "What's up?"

    She used the tip of her shoe to play with a tiny pebble on the ground, causing it to roll back and forth. "It's just... A- Are you still mad at me?"

    Li Yundong smiled. "It depends."

    Hope shone on Su Chan's face. "On what?"

    "On whether you'd hide things from me again."

    "I- I- I'll try not to..."

    Li Yundong stared at her. Seconds later, he caved. "C'mere." He held his arms wide open.

    Su Chan's face lit up like a star. "Yayyy!" She crashed into Li Yundong's body and snuggled against his chest. "I know I'm a troublemaker," she said, her voice muffled by his chest. "But I'll try really, really, really hard not to cause trouble again. So... P- Please don't... don't leave me for other dinglus.

    Li Yundong pulled away from their embrace and looked at Su Chan. "That won't happen, okay?" He smiled. "I'm a one-woman man!"

    Su Chan giggled and climbed onto his back.

    "Hey! What are you doing?"

    "I'm holding on to you because you're mine! I won't let any other dinglu have you!"

    Li Yundong laughed, then smacked Su Chan's butt playfully. "Then are you going to be obedient from now on?"

    "Mmm!"

    "And you won't hide things from me?"

    There was a brief pause, like Su Chan was hesitating. "Mmm!" she answered before he could turn his head around to look at her face.

    "Alright then! Let's go!"

    "Hmm? Go where?"

    Li Yundong smacked her butt again. "Where else, silly! Home, of course!"

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  • Chapter 111 White-Collar

     

    Li Yundong slowly opened his eyes. A jet of white gas shot out from his mouth when he exhaled, vanishing in a poof the moment it collided with the living room's wall. The sun was already up, which could only mean one thing. Well, two things to be exact: one, he had spent the entire night in a meditative state practicing Qi control; and two, he had to attend the job interview at Dongsheng Realtors in a couple of hours.

    That job interview was the reason he ended up practicing Qi control for the whole night instead of lying in bed asleep. Not that he was antsy or getting cold feet about the interview or anything. He just couldn't stop wondering how he would fare in the interview. His ceaseless rumination had then led to a bout of tossing and turning in bed where he couldn't get himself to fall asleep. In the end, he gave up on sleep altogether and went into the living room to practice Qi control. 

    Now that he was awake, those pessimistic thoughts returned to his mind in full force. What if he didn't get the job? What possible skillset could he even offer to a real-estate firm? He wasn't well-versed in accounting or finance. Nor was he familiar with property deals or sales. Plus, he didn't have a way with words. Nor was he an eloquent speaker. Unless he wanted to go down in history as the world's most inept real-estate agent, this all sounded like a terrible idea.

    Should he offer himself to become the firm's security guard instead? But what if the people who ran the firm were snobs and ended up giving him the brush-off because he was some penniless university dropout? At some point, he began to wonder why he even care.

    Who was he even kidding. He cared because he was broke.

    Zhou Qin had literally thrown him a lifeline when she told him about the job interview. And he knew immediately that it was in his—and Su Chan's—best interest not to screw it up. The pay was high, according to Zhou Qin. So he'd be a fool if he didn't at least give it his best shot. Guess I'll just have to find a way to avoid screwing up then. Li Yundong stood up from the floor and did a quick stretch. Despite not having slept a wink, Li Yundong felt complete refreshed. Being a Cultivator was awesome.

    Li Yundong lowered his arms and glanced towards Su Chan's door, which was still closed. He wasn't surprised that she was still asleep even though she was usually up by this hour. She'd spent the whole night watching over him when he passed the Ningshen phase. Plus, last night had been an emotional night for her, so she must've been exhausted.

    He padded to the kitchen and opened the fridge. Leftovers were never a thing in la casa de Yundong, not when it housed a girl with an healthy appetite. Good thing he had some extra snacks stocked up then. There were a few apples and berries, a tub of Greek yogurt, some ice-cream, and a sandwich. Well, that takes care of Su Chan's breakfast...

    Satisfied, Li Yundong shut the fridge door and padded into the bathroom. He took a quick shower and brushed his teeth, then went to his room to get changed. From his wardrobe, he pulled out the same dark suit he'd worn to Zhou Qin's party. He was pulling out all stops today. Go big or go home, he thought as he put on the suit.

    Minutes later, he stood in front of the mirror and studied his own reflection. Some days he was still a little taken aback by how much his physical appearance had changed. And now with the suit, he couldn't deny that he looked great. Alright, Li Yundong! You can do this! Go break a leg! Figuratively speaking, of course. He turned away from the mirror and crept towards his bedroom door, making as little noise as possible as he walked. He didn't want to wake Su Chan up. Truth be told, he wanted to avoid having to deal with Su Chan's tantrums once she found out that he wasn't going to let her tag along to the interview. He planned to leave a note outside her door(Be home soon. Breakfast in the fridge. Love Yundong) and then sneak out of the apartment while she was still asleep.

    Which, of course, was far too much to ask for.

    They practically ran into each other outside Li Yundong's bedroom—she was about to step in when he was stepping out. A split second after their bodies collided, Li Yundong hands shot out to steady her. Su Chan rubbed her eyes sleepily and then did a double take when she noticed his attire.

    Su Chan stomped her foot and grabbed his arm. "Mmmm..." she whined, tugging his arm from side to side. "You were going to sneak out without me, weren't you!"

    Oh, shit... Li Yundong chuckled and rubbed the back of his neck. "Well... I have a job interview, so..."

    "Oh." Su Chan seemed contemplative all of a sudden. Li Yundong wondered what was going on inside that adorable head of hers.

    "Um... What kind of job will it be Yundong?"

    Hell if I know. Li Yundong cracked a smile. "I don't know yet. They didn't say. Like I said, it's just an interview."

    Su Chan pressed her index finger against her chin. "Washing dishes? Milking cows? Ooh! Counting coins?"

    Li Yundong burst into laughter. Where the heck did she get all these weird ideas from anyway? Geez. He ruffled her hair, then pinched her cheeks. "I don't know, princess. I have to pass the interview first."

    Su Chan clung to his arm and stared up at him with her puppy dog eyes. "Take me with you. Please? Pretty please, please?"

    Su Chan's stomach growled.

    Li Yundong laughed. "Looks like somebody is hungry." He stopped laughing. "C'mon. Be a good girl and wait for me at home, okay? There's food in the fridge."

    Su Chan's pout was so huge that it almost gave her those ridiculous chipmunk pouches again. "Meanie, meanie, meanie! You promised me you wouldn't leave me."

    Li Yundong chuckled. "I'm not leaving you, okay? I'm just going to attend the job interview and then be home as soon as I'm done."

    "R- Really?"

    Li Yundong cracked a smile. "Yes, of course! I've got my best girl waiting for me at home. Where else would I go?"

    Su Chan blushed. "Oh. T- Then... I'll wait for you a-at home."

    Li Yundong patted her head. "Good girl. I'll be back as soon as I can." He glanced towards the kitchen. "There's food inside the fridge. Should be enough to last you until dinner time."

    They parted ways at the door, but not before sharing a long and warm embrace which turned his insides to mush. He wondered if this was what it felt like to be happily married.

    When he stepped out of the apartment building, Li Yundong stopped beside the street and glanced up at the 20th floor. To his surprise, he saw Su Chan's tiny figure waving at him from their balcony. Li Yundong mobilized a portion of his Qi towards his Shenting, and zoomed in with his telescopic vision. Su Chan was looking at him longingly as she waved, and she seemed to be holding back tears. Her lips were moving as well. Li Yundong sorted through the buzzing in his ears until he could hear her voice. "Come back soon, beloved..."

    Li Yundong smiled and waved back at her. "I will," he whispered, knowing that Su Chan could hear her too.

    Yeah. Being a Cultivator rocked.

    ***

    Li Yundong strode into Dongsheng Realtors' main building with a confidence he didn't know he possessed, smiling at the receptionist the moment he reached the front desk.

    "Good morning, I'm here to see President Yin," Li Yundong said politely. "I have an appointment."

    The receptionist was a young—possibly in her early twenties—woman who was texting on her phone when he walked in. She returned his smile and lowered her phone. "Good morning, sir," she said, reaching for the keyboard. "You said you have an appointment?"

    Li Yundong nodded. "Yes. I'm here for a job interview."

    "Alright. Please give me a moment to check."

    Li Yundong smiled. "Will do."

    The receptionist turned to her computer screen and tapped on the keyboard.

    "So are you... Mr. Li?" she asked a few seconds later.

    "Yes."

    The receptionist smiled. "President Yin is waiting for you, sir. This way, please."

    The receptionist led Li Yundong through a hallway. At the end of the hallway, they made a right turn which led them to an elevator lobby. When they stopped in front of the elevator, the receptionist pressed the elevator call button.

    "Thank you for your help," Li Yundong said warmly. So far, he'd been treated politely and with respect. Returning the courtesy was the least he could do.

    The receptionist smiled. "You're welcome, sir. President Yin's office is on the 19th floor. Make a right turn after you exit the elevator and you'll see it."

    Li Yundong nodded. "Alright. Thanks again."

    ***

    Li Yundong adjusted his tie using the reflective surface of the elevator's metallic wall as a mirror. After that, he smoothed his palms down his pants and watched the changing numbers on the elevator's position indicator. He blew out a breath and began shifting his weight from foot to foot. Damn, he'd never been this nervous since... ever? How could he stare at the muzzle of a gun and remain unfazed yet be reduced to a nervous wreck by something as innocuous as a job interview? Admittedly, a huge part of his calmness during the gunfight was due to Qi control. But still, internal battles were almost always harder than external ones. The battle against the self is always the toughest to win. He reminded himself to move his Qi to his Lingtai later before he entered President Yin's office.

    The floor numbers continued to change. Li Yundong forced himself to stand still and stop fidgeting. On the elevator wall, his own reflection stared back at him, reminding him of how posh this entire building was—yes, even the elevators walls were that shiny. This entire building exuded a stylish and opulent air. Even the receptionist seemed very well dressed. But at least she didn't seem snobbish. That was a good sign, right?

    A loud ding made Li Yundong jump. He exhaled shakily. Geez Louise, he really needed to chillax. He was here for a job interview, not a cage fight. What's the big deal? The doors slid open in a painfully slow manner. A whiff of feminine perfume assaulted his nostrils. He raised his head and saw a tall—around 170cm—woman standing outside the elevator, waiting for him to step out. The woman was professionally dressed. Her dark business suit—pencil skirt, white blouse, and dark blazer—hugged her figure like a second skin. Li Yundong pushed away from the elevator wall and stepped out of the elevator, giving the woman a polite nod when their eyes met. The woman returned his nod and stared at him curiously for a moment. F*ck. Please don't tell me I have something on my teeth...

    Li Yundong hurried away from the elevator and took a right turn like the receptionist had told him earlier. Apparently, President Yin's office occupied an entire section on the 19th floor's massive floor plan; shortly after he'd made the right turn, he stood in front of a huge section separated from the rest of the floor by tall glass panels. An automatic sliding door slid open the moment he stepped closer.

    A silence fell upon the entire section the moment he passed the automatic door. He strolled past desks where white-collar women were giving him curious stares. He fought down the blush threatening to bloom on his cheeks and kept walking.

    He hurried past the desk until he reached a short hallway, where he made a left turn. The words "President" and "Yin Mengfan" carved onto the nameplate beside the door told him that he was at the right place.

    Li Yundong approached the door and knocked.

    The answer came almost instantly. "Come in!"

    Here goes... Li Yundong closed his eyes and moved his Qi from his lower Dantian to his Lingtai. Calmness suffused him when he opened his eyes. He exhaled and pushed the door open.

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  • Chapter 112 Misjudgment?

     

    The smell of leather greeted Li Yundong the moment he entered the large office. The room was bright thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows occupying the edge of the office. Directly in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows sat a huge desk, behind which sat a woman with long, dark hair. A golden nameplate sat on the table's front edge, glinting in the brightness of the room. He wondered if that thing was made from real gold.

    Li Yundong crossed the expanse of the office with long, purposeful strides. The woman behind the desk had yet to raise her head from a bunch of documents she was reading, but he kept walking until he was standing directly in front of her desk.

    Seconds later, when the woman still didn't acknowledge his presence, Li Yundong decided to take a moment to survey the large office instead of making his presence known. A matching leather couch and glass coffee table sat a few feet to his right—now he knew where the smell of leather came from.

    The rustling sound of a page being turned brought his attention back to the woman behind the desk. The woman was still completely absorbed in whatever she was reading. Li Yundong took a moment to study his potential boss's appearance: a blouse and a blue blazer; long, dark hair cascaded over her shoulders as she dipped her head to read her documents.

    Another page was turned, and then more silence. Li Yundong was starting to feel as though this was a test to see if he'd squirm. The woman clearly knew he was coming in—she answered when he knocked on the door. Which meant that she was ignoring him on purpose. What is this? A test of patience? He smirked. If this was a test, then he could pass it with flying colors. After all, he could stand there for hours on end performing Da Zhoutian and still appear as Zen as a Tibetan monk.

    At the end of his tenth Da Zhoutian circuit, the woman finally spoke. "So. You're Li Yundong..."

    Li Yundong opened his eyes and regarded the woman briefly. "Yes, I am," he said with a nod. "It's a pleasure, President Yin. And thank you for having me."

    President Yin nodded, seemingly impressed with what she'd seen. Well. So far so good.

    "Zhou Qin spoke highly of you," President Yin remarked out of nowhere.

    Li Yundong took a few seconds to consider his response. In the end, he went with, "Then I must thank her later."

    President Yin leaned back against her executive chair. Li Yundong could feel her appraising eyes roaming over his body from head to toe, as though she was trying to make up her mind about whether to hire him based on his appearance alone.

    A while later, President Yin smiled. "So—" She was cut off by a knock on her door. There was a flash of irritation in her eyes when she glanced towards the door. The sound of the door opening soon followed. Instead of turning around to see who had just entered, Li Yundong kept his back to the door and his eyes on President Yin. He didn't hear any footsteps, so clearly, the person was still standing at the door.

    The look of irritation vanished from President Yin's eyes. "Oh, it's you, Shen Hui!" President Yin smiled. "I'd like to hang out with you, but as you can see, I'm a little busy right now. Why don't I meet you later?"

    "Boo... Such a spoilsport, couz!"

    President Yin chuckled. "Some of us have jobs, you know?"

    The woman named Shen Hui giggled. "Alright, fine. I guess I'll just go find someone else to have fun with and let you get back to your boring job. Ciao!"

    The door closed with a click. President Yin chuckled and shook her head. A moment later, she regarded Li Yundong curiously.

    "So. How many tours?"

    "I beg your pardon?"

    "The military. You've served in the armed forces before, right?"

    "No, Ma'am. I've never been with the army." Li Yundong studied the woman for a second. "May I ask what gave you that idea?"

    President Yin gestured with her hand. "Your comportment, I guess? The way you stand with your shoulders squared and your back straight. The fact that you look fit and healthy. And just now, when my cousin poked her head in, you resisted turning around to look." President Yin steepled her fingers. "That kind of behavior implies focus and willpower. Well, I suppose a soldier would've at least looked to see if the newcomer is a threat."

    President Yin collected the sheets of paper into a neat stack before pushing it aside.

    President Yin waved at one of the chairs in front of her desk. "Please, have a seat. I apologize for making you wait earlier."

    Li Yundong stepped forward. "It's fine, Ma'am," he said, taking a seat. "Was that a test?"

    President Yin smirked. "I don't know. You tell me."

    Li Yundong smirked back and gave her a nod. "That's all the answer I need, Ma'am."

    The smirk on President Yin's face morphed into a genuine smile. "So. Since you're someone recommended to me by Zhou Qin, I'll cut to the chase." Her expression turned serious. "What's your area of expertise? I mean, you didn't send me a resume or a CV, so..."

    This was the question he'd been dreading since last night. It wasn't that he didn't want to come prepared. The truth was that he didn't know what to prepare. He couldn't tell the woman that he was good in pitching sales, or that he had a way with words, because those would just be outright lies. In the end, Li Yundong decided that honesty was the best policy in situations like this.

    "I know martial arts," Li Yundong began. President Yin's eyebrows rose just a tad. And I'm a goddamn Cultivator who can blow cars away with a punch. He kept that thought to himself. He was pretty sure he would be sent to a psychiatric ward the moment he said that.

    "Anything else?"

    F*cking hell. It was so damn hard to remain confident when he was sitting in front of a professional woman—who probably earns enough to feed an army for decades—and all he knew was how to throw punches and kicks. Especially when said professional woman was staring at him like he was nuts. And he wouldn't blame her for thinking that, to be honest—like, who the hell brings up martial arts during a job interview at a real estate firm?

    Talk about having his balls completely busted. Li Yundong resisted the urge to squirm in his seat.

    "Well?"

    Just be honest. Be true to yourself, he told himself. "I'm athletic. I have good reflexes. I can hear and see better than most people." Ha. If only she knew what he was truly capable of.

    President Yin nodded. "Do you have experience in accounting?"

    Li Yundong shook his head.

    "Know anything about finance?"

    Li Yundong shook his head again. President Yin was frowning now. F*ck... He was really screwing this up royally. What was Zhou Qin thinking, seriously? A real-estate firm? Come on.  

    "Sales?"

    "No, Ma'am."

    President Yin leaned back in her chair and looked at him in confusion. Then, she smiled. "I see. Give me a moment, please."

    She picked up the phone on her desk and pressed a button. "Xiao Jia, come in here for a sec."

    Moments later, a young lady entered the office. "What can I do for you, President Yin?"

    President Yin, who was already reaching for a stack of papers, gestured at Li Yundong with her free hand. "Escort Mr. Li to Elder Sister Xie. Tell her to assign a task to him."

    "Yes, president." Xiao Jia turned towards Li Yundong. "Follow me please, sir?"

    Li Yundong glanced at President Yin, who wasn't even looking at him now. He didn't have to be a genius to figure out that this was a dismissal. He stood up from his chair and smiled at Xiao Jia, who he guessed was President Yin's assistant. "Thank you, miss," he said. "And I'm sorry to trouble you."

    To her credit, Xiao Jia didn't seem dismissive at all. Instead, she smiled at him politely. "It's no trouble at all."

    It's okay, Li Yundong. One setback is nothing, he reminded himself as he watched Xiao Jia make her way towards the door. At least she's assigning a task to me instead of kicking me out… Probably just some menial task that didn't deserve the high pay Zhou Qin had mentioned. Maybe they wanted him as an errand boy.

    "Sir?" Xiao Jia's voice shook him out of his reverie. The door was already opened, with Xiao Jia standing at the doorway waiting for him to follow her.

    Li Yundong gave President Yin one final glance, then strode towards the door with his head held high.

    ***

    Li Yundong stood at the elevator lobby and watched the changing numbers above the elevator doors. After a while, he caught Xiao Jia sneaking glances at him, so he gave her a smile.

    "I hope the interview went well?" Xiao Jia asked.

    Li Yundong groaned inwardly. Great. Small talk. Another thing that he sucked at. He flicked a glance towards the elevator indicator again. The number had stopped at 9. He cleared his throat. "I'm not so sure, to be honest. But I guess it wasn't too bad?" He chuckled wryly. "Otherwise you wouldn't be asked to take me to wherever it is that we're going." The number was increasing again. 15, 16, 17...

    "Oh. We're going to look for sister Xie—" A loud ding sounded.

    A woman exited the elevator and smiled the moment she noticed Xiao Jia.

    "Oh, hey! Xiao Jia!"

    Xiao Jia bowed slightly. "Hello, President Cao."

    President Cao's eyes landed on him. "Say... Xiao Jia... Is this handsome young man a new employee here?"

    Xiao Jia turned and gave Li Yundong a smile. "Yes, President Cao."

    "I see..." President Cao drawled. She took a step towards him and held out her hand. "Hi. I'm Cao Kefei, the president of Huasheng Studios. We're an international entertainment company. And we occupy the ninth floor of this building."

    Li Yundong took the woman's hand and gave it a firm squeeze. "It's a pleasure, President Cao. I'm Li Yundong." Li Yundong released her hand. "Wait. Huasheng Studios?" He suddenly turned towards Xiao Jia. "I thought this building is owned by Dongsheng Realtors...?"

    President Cao chuckled. "Oh, yes it is. But it's also a multi-tenant building." President Cao gave him a wink. "Dongsheng Realtors rent out office spaces to other firms. Our company is one of the lucky ones."

    "I see." He didn't think Dongsheng Realtors would just allow any company to use their premises, so Huasheng Studios and Dongsheng Realtors must have some kind of connection. A subsidiary company, maybe? Li Yundong filed that information away.

    "Well then. It's a pleasure to meet you, Li Yundong," President Cao said. "Don't let me keep you." President Cao gave him a wave and headed over towards the automatic doors.

    Li Yundong followed Xiao Jia into the elevator. Zhou Qin might be wrong about him being a good fit in this place, but she was right about one thing—this building was teeming with beautiful women.

    ***

    "Hey! I'm back again!"

    At the sound of the familiar voice, Yin Mengfan raised her head from the pile of documents she'd been studiously going through. Her friend Cao Kefei was sauntering towards her desk like she owned the entire floor. Yin Mengfan sighed. "What is it again this time?"

    Cao Kefei smiled and plopped down in the chair that Li Yundong had vacated minutes earlier. "Oh. I just remembered that there are a bunch of heavy luggage that require moving in my office..."

    Yin Mengfan raised her brows. "So?"

    Cao Kefei's smile widened a tad. "So... I thought I'd come up here and see if I could tap into your firm's abundant human resources."

    Yin Mengfan narrowed her eyes at her friend. "You do know that most of my employees are female, right?"

    "Oh, come on... You have a few guys to spare. I know you have. Can't you help out a friend in need?" Cao Kefei whined. "Besides, it's not like I won't return them to you. Their limbs will be fully intact when I'm done with them. I promise!"

    Yin Mengfan burst into laughter. "What do you mean by when you're done with them. It sounded like you need them for something other than moving luggage!"

    "Well, a girl doesn't kiss and tell." Cao Kefei batted her lashes.

    Yin Mengfan chuckled. "Cut the crap already. I'm busy. What do you really want?"

    Cao Kefei gave her an innocent look. "I just told you, didn't I?"

    Yin Mengfan rolled her eyes. "As if I'm gonna buy that manual labor crap. If you really need manual labor, all you have to do is show your face around and bat those long eyelashes of yours. Do that, and you'll have every straight guy in this building eating out of your palm."

    Cao Kefei shrugged. "Oops." Then, she gave Yin Mengfan a fawning smile. "As expected from the great President Yin of Dongsheng Realtors. You're as sharp as ever."

    Yin Mengfan laughed. "Stop trying to butter me up. It won't work. So. Who is it? Which one of my employees are you planning to steal?"

    Cao Kefei smiled. Hmm… How about the handsome young man who just walked out of your office."

    Yin Mengfan stiffened. "Li Yundong?" She stared at Cao Kefei, who was nodding back at her.

    "Yep. That's the guy."

    Yin Mengfan shook her head firmly. "Oh, no, no, no... He's off-limits!"

    Cao Kefei's eyes narrowed as she studied Yin Mengfan's expression. Yin Mengfan tried her best not to squirm in her chair. "Gee... What's got your panties in a bunch, huh?" Cao Kefei said. "Ooh... Don't tell me... You and him...?"

    Yin Mengfan threw a paper clip at her friend and shot her a glare. "Tsk! Stop that. A friend of mind recommended him to me. So don't get any wrong ideas. And no. You're not allowed to fool around with him either."

    Cao Kefei snorted. "Fool around? Who says I'm gonna do anything to him? Sheesh!"

    "Uh-huh..." Yin Mengfan said, reaching for her coffee cup.

    "Besides... I'm pretty sure he's gay," Cao Kefei said.

    Yin Mengfan nearly spat out her coffee. She coughed, then set down her cup. "What on earth gave you that idea?"

    Cao Kefei leaned back in her chair and stared up at the ceiling. "Well, for one, he's immune to my charms..."

    Yin Mengfan threw another paper clip at her. "What?! You flirted with him already? Good God, you sure move fast."

    Cao Kefei snorted. "Yeah well, I tried to anyway," she muttered. "Not that it worked."

    Yin Mengfan laughed. "And you think he's gay just because of your flirting didn't work? C'mon. That's so vain."

    Cao Kefei glared at her. "Tsk! You weren't there, so you don't understand."

    Yin Mengfan leaned back in her chair. "Alright, fine. What'd you do?"

    Cao Kefei leaned forward in her chair. "I caressed him with my pinkie when we shook hands. Not just a simple caress. I stroked his palm. And then after that I even winked at him. And guess what? He didn't show a single reaction! Not even a blush! God, he's like a wooden block!"

    Admittedly, that revelation surprised Yin Mengfan a little. Never had she encountered any straight man capable of resisting Cao Kefei's charms. Maybe Li Yundong really was gay? Wait. No. Zhou Qin did mention something about him having a girlfriend the other night when she called.

    "... What's that guy's problem, seriously," Cao Kefei finished her rant, then arched her brow. "So. Is he gay?"

    Yin Mengfan smiled. "No. I don't think he's gay. He's already seeing someone. And..." Yin Mengfan shot her friend a warning look. "I'm pretty sure Zhou Qin is interested in him too."

    Cao Kefei's face fell. "Man... That sucks..." Suddenly, she looked up at Yin Mengfan. "But I still wanna borrow him."

    Yin Mengfan studied her friend for a moment, then smiled. "Sure. I'll call Xiao Jia later and ask her to bring him to you."

    Cao Kefei looked at her in surprise. "What? Just like that? No threats of lawsuits or bodily harm?"

    Yin Mengfan smiled. "Nope."

    "What, so you're not afraid I'm gonna drag him into the bathroom and have my way with him?"

    Yin Mengfan burst into laughter. "Stop goofing around already, okay?" Yin Mengfan's expression turned sober. "Besides, you know you're not allowed to engage in strenuous activity yet. How's your body anyway? Those rioters from a while back must have driven you up a wall with their protests, right?"

    Cao Kefei smiled and stood up. "I'm fine. But thank you for your concern. I'm much better now. I'm even allowed to stop taking my meds now. But yeah, the rioters were pretty bad... Anyway! Call Xiao Jia! Ask her to bring Mr. Hottie to my floor." Cao Kefei walked away and paused at the door to send her a few flying kisses.

    Yin Mengfan chuckled at her friend's antics and shook her head.

    Moments after, when Yin Mengfan ended her phone call with Xiao Jia, her door burst open again.

    "What the hell is that pervert doing here, couz!"

    Yin Mengfan leaned back in her chair and rubbed her temples. "Geez... Not so loud, please. And what are you even talking about Shen Hui? What pervert?"

    Shen Hui plopped down on the chair in front of her desk and started shouting like crazy. God, she really needed another cup of coffee. Seconds later, Yin Mengfan held up her hand. "Alright! Slow down! Stop acting like a drama queen and tell me what the problem is."

    Shen Hui huffed. "That guy you were interviewing! He's a pervert! A molester!"

    "What?" Yin Mengfan's eyes widened. "Are you sure?"

    But Zhou Qin spoke so highly of him

    Shen Hui's face flushed in anger. "He's the one who molested me at Uniqlo! He barged into my changing room when I was half naked and tried to touch my... my... my boobs!"

    Yin Mengfan gaped at her cousin. "Seriously? Do you have proof?"

    Shen Hui growled. "Of course I'm serious! I don't care! You have to fire him! He can't stay here unless you want every female employee here to be violated by him."

    Yin Mengfan rested her elbows on her desk and steepled her fingers. Was Zhou Qin wrong about him? Had Zhou Qin misjudged Li Yundong's character?

    "C'mon couz! What's there to think about? Just fire him—"

    The door of the office burst open again. A breathless and pale-faced employee ran in. Yin Mengfan knew instantly that something was up. She rose from her executive chair. "What's the matter?"

    "There's trouble, President Yin..." the employee said breathlessly. "There's trouble on the 9th floor."

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  • Chapter 113 Desperado

     

    Li Yundong stared at the huge throng of people gathered at the 9th floor's elevator lobby. "Um... President Cao? Not that I'm an expert in how entertainment companies usually function, but I don't think this crowd is the status quo. Has one of the movie actors your company is managing decided to drop in for a visit?"

    The woman beside him didn't answer, so Li Yundong glanced at her. President Cao looked extremely pale. Her breathing was a bit ragged, and one of her hands was pressed firmly against her chest. A dozen alarm bells sounded in Li Yundong's head. Is she about to hyperventilate? He reached out and touched her shoulder gently. The woman flinched as if his touch had burned her.

    "Are you alright, Ma'am?" Li Yundong asked.

    President Cao shook her head. Her eyes had cleared a little. "I'm fine... Just wondering what's going on, is all..."

    Li Yundong didn't buy that for a second. Her face didn't look fine; she looked ill. Li Yundong glanced around a few times. "Why don't we head over there?" Li Yundong pointed to a spot at the corner of the elevator lobby, where a tall potted plant sat beside a window ledge. "You look like you could use some air."

    President Cao nodded shakily. Then, under the pretense of guiding her away from the crowd, Li Yundong jabbed his knuckle into an acupoint between President Cao's shoulder blades—the Lingtai.

    By the time they reached the potted plant, the color had already returned into President Cao's face, and she was tapping furiously on her phone. Once again, Li Yundong was reminded of the fact that Su Chan really did know her stuff. Stimulating the Lingtai could probably calm an ADHD patient high on cocaine.

    President Cao released a frustrated growl and lowered her phone from her ear. "Damn it. My assistant isn't picking up. And nobody's answering the phones in the office."

    Li Yundong surveyed the crowd once again. What the hell are all these people doing here? If the floor plan of the 9th floor was anything similar to that of the 19th floor, then there would be a long hallway on the right side of the elevator lobby that would lead straight to the office. And judging from the fact that the elevator lobby was jam-packed, the long hallway was most likely crowded as well.

    Li Yundong turned towards President Cao, who was still trying to call someone on her phone. "Do you recognize anyone here?" he asked, gesturing at the crowd. "Maybe one of your employees?"

    President Cao shook her head. "Most of them are from different floors."

    Li Yundong frowned. Typical, he thought. People and their seemingly infinite nosiness. Without further ado, he grabbed a guy who had just stepped out from the elevator nearest to where they were standing. "Hey, buddy," Li Yundong said, trying to sound as friendly as possible. "Do you know what's going on? Why did you come up here?"

    "I'm not sure what's going on," said the guy. "They said something about an incident on the 9th floor. That someone died or something."

    "What?!" President Cao gasped. "Who died? What did you hear? Tell me everything."

    The guy blushed. "U- um... Hi, President Cao. The truth is I have no idea. That's why I'm here to find out."

    The guy walked away and quickly joined the crowd.

    "Oh, God... What a mess," President Cao said with a sigh.

    "Calm down, Ma'am," Li Yundong said. "I don't think we should jump to conclusions just yet."

    "Easy for you to say," President Cao mumbled. "It's not your job on the line here. Someone died, for God's sake."

    "That's just what one guy heard from his buddies, who might be just as clueless as you and I. I hardly think that counts as hard evidence."

    President Cao sighed. "Okay. Yeah. You're right." One of her palm moved to her chest again.

    Li Yundong continued as he scanned over the crowd with his eyes. "Based on the size of the crowd, it's likely this has been going on for quite a while now. If it's true that someone's life is in danger, why isn't the ambulance here yet? Surely, someone must've called."

    President Cao looked out of the window for a moment. "Yeah. You're right. No ambulance yet." She sighed. "I guess I'll have to go over there and find out. I'm the president after all."

    "Wait," Li Yundong said.

    President Cao turned back around with a raised brow.

    "Are you sure you're up for this?" he asked seriously. "Earlier, you looked like you were about to pass out." Something told him that President Cao had a chronic health problem. Call it a gut feeling.

    President Cao waved him off. "Nah. I'm fine. But do you mind coming with me? I could use some help."

    "Sure," Li Yundong said.

    They walked away from the potted plant and headed back to the crowded lobby. As soon as they joined the crowd, there was a ding. One of the elevators opened, and President Yin stepped out. There was a young woman with her which... Hey... Isn't that...? He groaned inwardly. Zhou Qin was right. What was it with him and these funny coincidences? Geez!

    President Yin had already reached President Cao's side. "What's going on here, Kefei?"

    "Hey, Mengfan." President Cao shook her head. "I'm not sure. I'm about to go check it out." Then, she pointed at Li Yundong. "And your brilliant employee is offering me his assistance."

    Li Yundong smiled at President Cao, then stole a glance at the young lady beside President Yin. The murderous glare she was giving him was a clear indication that she had yet to forget about the little "accident" at Uniqlo the other day. Li Yundong forced out a smile, which the lady answered with a snort.

    "What's the matter, Shen Hui?" President Cao said in a tone of suspicion, her eyes bouncing back and forth between Li Yundong and Miss Forget-To-Lock-The-Door-In-Fitting-Room. "You two know each other?"

    Shen Hui snorted, then glared at Li Yundong as though he wanted to skin him alive. "I'd rather die than be acquainted with a pervert like him." She jabbed her finger in Li Yundong's direction.

    President Cao's gaze snapped to him while President Yin did a face palm. Li Yundong clenched his jaw. He was done with this girl's bullshit.

    "Listen, Miss Shen. I don't appreciate you throwing out wild and unfair accusations like that," he said, taking a step forward. "It was a misunderstanding and you know it. You were the one who forgot to lock the door in the first place. And you could've answered me when I was calling my girlfriend's name outside that fitting room, but you didn't!"

    Shen Hui looked like she was about to argue, but a loud scream from the crowd made her stop. Li Yundong glanced towards the crowd, where a commotion seemed to be taking place. Li Yundong turned back to Shen Hui and shot her a warning glance. "We'll finish this discussion later. Now we have a problem to deal with." Li Yundong walked towards President Cao. "Stay behind me, Ma'am. I'll clear a way for us to get through."

    Li Yundong closed his eyes and began to feel the presence of his Qi at his lower Dantian. By the time he opened his eyes, his Qi had already been moved to his Shenting and Lingtai.

    A split second later, his clear voice sounded over the crowd's din. "Make way for the president!"

    ***

    They were still trying to squeeze past the crowd in the long hallway when a man's voice made them stop. "Cao Kefei! You f*cking bitch! Give me the money, or I'll paint the walls of your office with blood!" Li Yundong could feel President Cao stiffen beside him. Murmurs and whispers sounded in the hallway. Li Yundong pushed his way forward. "Make way, make way. Coming through," he said in a low tone. He turned back around and gestured for President Cao and President Yin to follow.

    "Cao Kefei!! Where are you!! Come out! Now!" Desperation colored the man's voice, which was a bad sign. Li Yundong knew how dangerous a desperate man could be; this was Zhao Yujian all over again.

    A series of screams rang out. It came from somewhere past the end of the hallway, where the office of Huasheng Studios must be located. "Ten minutes! I'll give you people ten minutes to get Cao Kefei to come up here! If she isn't up here in ten minutes, I'll start slitting throats!"

    So, he's got a knife, Li Yundong thought as he squeezed past a guy with a beer belly.

    Moments later, they reached the end of the hallway. A few people turned their heads when they saw them. One of them was about to shout, no doubt to announce President Cao's arrival, but Li Yundong quickly clamped his hand over the guy's mouth. "Shh," Li Yundong said. "Don't tell him we're here yet." Li Yundong held the guy gaze until he nodded. Then he gave the rest of the crowd—near the end of the hallway—warning looks. "Don't say a word," he whispered loud enough for them to hear. When he saw nods of compliance, he turned around to face President Cao. "Stay out of sight for now. That guy clearly has a problem with you."

    "But he said he'll start killing if I don't show up," President Cao whispered anxiously, then glanced down. "My phone's already ringing. Someone's calling me."

    Li Yundong shook his head. "Put it on vibrate. He gave you ten minutes, right? That's more than enough time for me to assess the situation first."

    President Cao thought for a moment, then nodded.

    Li Yundong gave President Yin a pointed look. "This is your building. Do you want the cops involved?"

    President Yin and President Cao shared a look with each other.

    Li Yundong sighed. "You know what, I'll let you two decide." Then, he held out his hand to President Yin. "Give me your phone."

    "Why?" President Yin looked at him warily.

    "Just trust me," Li Yundong said.

    President Yin pressed her phone into Li Yundong's hand. Li Yundong unlocked the phone's screen and launched the camera app. He gave the two women a final glance. "Stay here. I'll be back."

    Li Yundong crept towards the convex corner at the end of the hallway. "Psst, psst. Guys, make way." He shouldered past a few guys and peeked out from the corner of the wall. Other than a huge entrance sign with the Chinese characters "Huasheng Studios" carved onto it, he couldn't see the entrance. I have to get closer. He stepped around the corner and crept towards the entrance sign, using the crowd as his cover. The buzzing was loud in his ears—too many noise within a confined space. It would take too long to sort through the buzzing, so he didn't bother. He crouched behind two onlookers, then slowly raised himself until he could see past their shoulders. A beefy man stood blocking the entrance of the Huasheng Studios and, as expected, the guy was armed with a knife. The man's attire stuck out to Li Yundong; it seemed totally out of place. Li Yundong might not be a fashionista, but he was pretty sure that no one would dress in a thick trench coat during summer. He's hiding something under that coat... Li Yundong zoomed in with Mingmu and tried to identify any bulges on the coat. Well, at least he didn't see any signs of a gun. When Li Yundong switched back to normal vision, something caught his eye. A woman lay unmovingly at the man's feet. He switched to telescopic vision again. The woman's eyes were closed, but she was still breathing. There were no signs of blood. He raised President Yin's phone to snap a picture of the scene.

    Moments later, Li Yundong returned to the end of the hallway where President Cao was waiting for him anxiously. "What did you see?" she asked.

    Li Yundong handed her the phone instead of answering. President Cao took the phone and gasped when she saw the photo. "Oh my God... Is she..."

    "She's alive," Li Yundong said. "Still breathing. No noticeable wounds. Probably just unconscious."

    "Six minutes, Cao Kefei!" the man yelled. "You've got six minutes before I start slitting throats! I know you're hiding in your office like a coward!"

    Several loud slams followed suit. "Open the damn door! And come out!"

    Li Yundong regarded President Cao seriously. "How do you want to handle this?"

    A deathlike pallor formed on President Cao's face. "I- I'll have to talk to him. See what he wants."

    "Kefei..." President Yin grabbed the other woman's shoulder. "Are you sure..."

    President Cao's face held a steely resolve. "I'm sure."

    President Yin nodded and glanced at Li Yundong. "The cops are on the way." President Yin jerked her thumb at somewhere behind her back. "And my security team's on standby."

    Li Yundong was a little surprised that President Yin was even telling him all this instead of just taking charge—after all, she owned the whole building. But for some strange reason, she was letting him, a total stranger, call the shots.

    There was only one plausible explanation he could think of—this was another test.

    "The cops can't do anything here," Li Yundong said firmly. "Maybe they can send a hostage negotiator, but I'm not sure if that will help. And with all due respect, I don't think there's anything your security team can do either." Li Yundong peered over President Yin's shoulder towards a few uniformed men armed with sticks standing nearby. Li Yundong looked President Yin in the eye. "The bad guy seemed pretty desperate. He might start attacking people if the cops or your men show themselves. Also, I think he's hiding something under his jacket. We don't know what he's hiding or what he's planning. It's best not to provoke him."

    President Yin nodded her agreement. "So, what's the plan, young man?"

    Li Yundong's eyes slid towards President Cao. "Can you distract him, Ma'am? Just keep him talking."

    "And then?" President Yin asked.

    Li Yundong looked at the other woman. "I'll sneak up on the guy and disarm him."

    A look of alarm formed on both women's faces.

    "And preferably knock him unconscious before he can try anything funny," Li Yundong added.

    "Are you sure you can do all that?" President Yin asked.

    "Yes." Li Yundong squared his shoulders and took a breath. This was no time for self-doubt. "Yes I can."

    "What if you fail and he becomes aggressive? What if he starts attacking people?"

    "Then I suppose I have to try my best not to fail."

    President Yin stared at him for a moment before she nodded. Li Yundong gave her a pointed look. "President Yin, I think you should accompany President Cao when she talks to the guy. I think she's unwell."

    Surprise flashed inside President Yin's eyes, but it was quickly replaced with resolve. "I will," she said with a nod.

    Li Yundong turned to Shen Hui. "Look, Miss Shen. I know we got off on the wrong foot, but right now I need your help. Can we put aside our differences and work as a team?"

    Shen Hui huffed. "Fine. What do you need?"

    "Thank you," Li Yundong said. He took President Yin's phone and passed the device to Shen Hui. "Show the photo to President Yin's security team. Brief them on the situation. Tell them to start dispersing the crowd. These nosy idiots will just get in the way, not to mention give the bad guy more hostages to pick from."

    "Fine," Shen Hui said grudgingly.

    "Tell them to do it quietly," Li Yundong said. "Like I said, the bad guy is unstable. We don't want to provoke him in any way."

    "Three minutes! Come out you cowardly bitch!"

    The eyes of the onlookers nearby were trained on President Cao. Li Yundong rolled his eyes. "You know what? You guys might as well make yourselves useful." He raised his brows. "You guys like to make noise, right? Well. Go ahead. Yell. Announce President Cao's arrival."

    Li Yundong turned back towards President Cao. "Alright. Time to move. Are you up for this?"

    President Cao took a deep breath, then exhaled. "Yes."

    "Don't worry, Kefei. I'll be there with you the whole time."

    Li Yundong moved around the corner, then crept towards the entrance sign. The onlookers had begun shouting. "President Cao is here! President Cao has arrived!"

    "Silence!!" the man yelled. The crowd fell silent. Li Yundong crouched lower and kept moving forward through the crowd, squeezing past shoulders while keeping track of the bad guy's position.

    "Where is she?! Where is that bitch?"

    "I'm over here..." President Cao's voice sounded somewhere behind Li Yundong. He looked behind him and spotted President Cao and President Yin standing at the end of the hallway amidst a sea of onlookers.

    "Excuse me. Let me through," Li Yundong whispered, squeezing past a few guys. He slowly crept forward, making sure to stay hidden behind the bodies of the onlookers. The whole place was too crowded for Li Yundong to charge at the bad guy and then do a takedown. Obviously, Li Yundong had to sneak up on him and then take him out from behind.

    "I'm here now," President Cao said loudly. "I'm here to listen to your demands. But please put the knife away first."

    "My demand is simple! Cash!"

    "What's your name?"

    Good. Keep the bastard talking. Li Yundong tapped on the shoulders of the two guys in front of him, then pressed a finger to his lips when they both turned around. "Let me through," he whispered.

    "My name? Why the f*ck do you care? Just give me the money!"

    "How do I know if I'm paying the money to the right person if you don't identify yourself? For all I know, you could just be some random guy looking to extort money from my firm."

    Li Yundong squeezed past the two guys in front.

    "Fine! You want my name? It's Wang Yong! And I'm here on behalf of the people your company owes money to! You can call them and check if you don't believe me."

    Several gasps sounded. Suddenly, the crowd was shifting. The people in front of Li Yundong were now retreating. 

    "Out of the way!" Wang Yong yelled, drawing more gasps. The crowd started moving and jostling again.

    Wang Yong was slowly making his way from the entrance towards the hallway where President Cao and President Yin stood. Li Yundong moved his Qi towards his legs and arms, just in case he needed to make any explosive movements. Then, he stayed hidden within the crowd and waited. Moments later, Li Yundong started moving towards the front of the crowd again. Wang Yong had already moved past him, so Li Yundong would end up somewhere behind Wang Yong the moment he stepped out from the crowd.    

    "Please... Put the knife away... Please…" President Cao said.

    "Shut up!" Wang Yong screamed. "Where's the money!"

    "I was told there is a two-day grace period—"

    "I don't have two days, you bitch!" Wang Yong yelled. "They're gonna kill me if I don't collect the money from you today!"

    Li Yundong stepped out from the crowd, wincing when the girl beside him squeaked in surprise. Fearing exposure, Li Yundong quickly took a step back and blended back into the crowd while keeping his eyes locked on Wang Yong.

    Wang Yong was now standing a few feet in front of the two presidents. HHis back facing Li Yundong, and he didn't turn when the girl squeaked. Li Yundong sighed in relief and stepped away from the crowd again. This time, none of the onlookers were stupid enough to make a sound.

    "Calm down... please... Let's just talk..." President Cao was losing her cool.

    Li Yundong kept walking. He had to go really slow to prevent the heels of his dress shoes from clicking too loudly against the floor. After a few steps, he came to a halt; it was too damned hard to walk quietly in these shoes. He bent down to remove the shoes, then tucked one of them into the waistband of his pants. Just in case he needed a way to launch a long-range attack.

    "I'm done talking!" Wang Yong screamed. "Now give me the money or I'll stab this knife through your heart!"

    President Cao gasped, then whimpered. President Yin had clearly noticed Li Yundong already as she was now looking past Wang Yong's shoulder and straight at him.

    Li Yundong pressed his finger to his lips and make a circular motion with his other hand. Keep him distracted, he mouthed the words to her. He tiptoed forward, moving much quicker now that he was barefoot.

    "Hurry up! I want it in cash!"

    "B- But I can't give you the money because I don't have that much cash right now!"

    Li Yundong stepped over the body of the unconscious woman and kept moving.

    "Looks like I have no choice but to take things to another level!"

    Wang Yong was now gripping the knife with an icepick grip, and the knife hand was raised above his head. Both President Yin and President Cao screamed.

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  • edited January 25

    Chapter 114 Suicidal (Part1)

     

    "Hey!!!" Li Yundong hurled the dress shoe at Wang Yong. The shoe hit Wang Yong in the back with a loud smack. The impact caused Wang Yong to stumble forward, but it wasn't enough to knock him out. A second later, Wang Yong was up on his feet again.

    "What the f*ck?!" Wang Yong turned around angrily, scanning over the crowd with murderous eyes.

    "You!" Wang Yong pointed the knife at Li Yundong. "Did you throw something at me, punk?!"

    Li Yundong removed his suit jacket and dropped it to the floor. "So what if I did?" Li Yundong said, rolling up his shirt sleeves. From the corner of his eye, he saw a lady pick up his jacket from the floor and then hold on to it.

    Li Yundong advanced towards Wang Yong, smiling confidently as he did. Behind Wang Yong, President Yin was slowly pulling President Cao away to the side.

    "You're that eager to die, punk?" Wang Yong growled.

    Li Yundong answered the taunt with a smirk. He stopped walking and curled his finger at Wang Yong. "Stop yapping and come kill me already," Li Yundong said, then quickly activated Xianjue's clairvoyant mode. A second later, he was back in normal mode again. His smirk widened just a tad.

    "Have it your way!" Wang Yong lunged at Li Yundong. Having already anticipated when and where Wang Yong's attack would come, Li Yundong grabbed Wang Yong's wrist mid-slash, and then applied one of Lin Youfa's wristlocks on Wang Yong's wrist. Wang Yong screamed, and the knife clanged to the floor a second later.

    Li Yundong released Wang Yong's hand and then bent down to pick up the fallen knife. Wang Yong scrambled away on his knees.

    Li Yundong straightened up and stood over Wang Yong. He held the knife in front of Wang Yong and then bent it until it snapped at the hilt. He dropped the hilt to the floor, then snapped the blade in half again.

    "It's over," Li Yundong said, tossing the broken pieces aside. "You're done. And your prison cell awaits you."

    Wang Yong recovered from his shock at the mention of prison.

    "It's only over when I get my money!" Wang Yong growled and climbed back to his feet.

    Li Yundong shook his head and narrowed his eyes. What the hell is he planning? "Listen, dipshit. How is she supposed to give you the cash when she doesn't have it?"

    "She's lying!!!" Wang Yong screamed. "She's rich! So she must have it!"

    Li Yundong rolled his eyes. Ever heard of something called a bank? F*cking moron.

    "And you think stabbing her is gonna get you the money?" Li Yundong snorted. "How stupid are you?"

    "Shut up!! That stab wasn't meant to kill. She'll give me the money once she experiences a little pain!"

    Li Yundong rolled his eyes. What kind of stupid logic was that?

    "It is over." Li Yundong took a step towards Wang Yong. "You're gonna come with me now. I will hand you over to the security guards and they are gonna escort you downstairs. Don't try anything funny, or I swear to God I'll break your legs."

    Wang Yong started to back away. At the same time, he was reaching for something inside his trench coat's pocket. A moment later, he pulled out a palm-sized cylindrical object.

    A dozen of alarm bells rang inside Li Yundong's head. "Hey! What's that in your hand! I said no funny business!"

    All of a sudden, Wang Yong dropped the trench coat. "Give me the cash! Or everyone here dies!"

    For the first time since the whole mess began, Li Yundong saw Wang Yong as real threat.

    The bastard was wearing a suicide vest.

    ***

    Li Yundong stared at the cylindrical object in Wang Yong's hand, which he now knew was the suicide vest's detonator.

    "Not so smug now, huh? Punk?"

    Li Yundong tore his eyes away from the detonator and studied Wang Yong's face. "Who put you up to this? A debt collector with a suicide vest? Come on..."

    Li Yundong clenched his jaw. Was it He Shao again? Or was it Zhou Qin's father?

    Wang Yong sneered and kept backing away until his back hit door. "It doesn't matter. Either I get the money, or I die." Wang Yong pushed the door a few times. It was locked. "Damn it!" Wang Yong pounded the door with his fist. "Who has the keycard!"

    Keycard? Li Yundong's glanced around until he saw a tiny scanner attached beside the door.

    "I'm gonna ask one last time... Who. Has. A. Keycard! Step out now, or I'll blow up this goddamn floor!"

    Whispers washed over the crowd. Seconds later, a man stepped out. "H- Here... I have the c- card..."

    "Stop! Stop moving! Throw the card towards me!" Wang Yong held out his hand. Suddenly, he was looking towards the hallway. "Hey! Stay where you are! Nobody runs unless you want to get blown into pieces!" Wang Yong brandished the detonator in the air.

    Li Yundong glanced towards the hallway. Those in the hallway had been jostling their way towards the elevator before Wang Yong's warning, no doubt trying to sneak away. But at Wang Yong's warning, they all stopped moving. Li Yundong returned his gaze to Wang Yong, who was now picking up the keycard from the floor.

    There was a loud beep followed by a green flash on the scanner. Wang Yong pushed the door open with his back and slowly backed his way into the office. Shrieks and yells sounded from inside. "Silence! Gather around over there! And sit down!"

    Seconds later, Wang Yong emerged from the office. "Cao Kefei!! Get your ass over here!"

    Li Yundong turned around. President Cao was sitting on the floor. She looked dangerously pale and she was holding her chest with both hands. President Yin suddenly bent down and whispered something into her ear. After that, President Cao stood up on shaky legs.

    Li Yundong shook his head and refocused his attention on Wang Yong. There was only one way out of this situation—he needed to get his hands on that detonator. But how?

    The crowd stirred as President Cao and President Yin made their way towards the door. Wang Yong was watching the two women's approach with murderous eyes. C'mon Li Yundong. Think. How can I get the detonator?

    Wait. What if he didn't try to take it from him, but force him to drop it instead?

    A tiny smirk tugged at Li Yundong's lips. He reached into his pocket and took out a coin, then held it inside his palm. When President Yin was walking past him, he whispered, "Stick close to him. And stay on his right side. When he drops the detonator later, kick it away."

    President Yin stiffened for a moment, and then walked on ahead. Wang Yong opened the door wider. "Get in! And shut the door after you!" he yelled, then slipped back into the office. President Yin paused at the door and gave Li Yundong a fearful glance. Remember what I told you, stay on his right side, he mouthed the words to her. She nodded and entered the office,

    Seconds later, the door closed with a loud bang. Li Yundong turned to the crowd. "Another keycard," he said, glancing around. "Quickly!"

    A girl stepped forward. "Here. Take mine."

    Li Yundong took the card and turned to the rest of the crowd. "The rest of you should get outta here. And tell the security guards to evacuate the building."

    Once the crowd began to move, Li Yundong turned around and walked towards the door. Su Chan once told him that the Renyuan Jindan had enhanced his reflexes and hand-eye coordination to superhuman levels.

    It was time to put that claim to the test.

    ***

    Li Yundong shut the door as quietly as possible. A group of women huddled together near a desk. Wang Yong and the two presidents were nowhere to be seen. Li Yundong crept towards the women first. There were seven of them in total, all of whom shot fearful glances at him when they saw him approach. Li Yundong lifted a hand to calm them down.

    "Where?" Li Yundong whispered.

    "I-Inside President Cao's o-office..." a girl with a pony-tail answered. "Who are you?"

    "I'm a new employee," Li Yundong said. "And I'm here to help."

    "B- But how?" another woman with short hair asked.

    Li Yundong thought for a moment. This wasn't what he had originally planned, but he had to improvise. He turned to Miss Ponytail. "Can you take me to her office?"

    Miss Ponytail nodded, then moved to stand up.

    "No, wait. I changed my mind" Li Yundong said, pulling her back down. Then, he turned to face the other six women. "Do you girls know what's going on here?"

    "The guy has a bomb..." Miss Ponytail said.

    Two of the women burst into tears.

    Li Yundong held up his hand. "Girls, calm down. I've got a plan. But I might need your help."

    The girls looked at each other fearfully.

    "W- What can we do?" Miss Ponytail asked.

    "Okay. Here's the thing." Li Yundong looked pointedly at Miss Ponytail. "Yes, you're right, the guy has a bomb. And he's got a detonator in his right hand." Li Yundong looked at all seven women again. "The detonator looks like a cylinder with a red button on top. Do you follow me so far?"

    When the women nodded, Li Yundong continued, "Alright. Tell me about office. Is it big?"

    Miss Ponytail nodded. "Very."

    "Is there a way for me to sneak in quietly?"

    "Um... Yeah, I think so. It's pretty big, and it's got an L-shape floor plan. The door leads into the shorter leg of the L-shape, and the desk occupies the end of the longer leg."

    "Anything else? Furniture? Balconies?" Li Yundong asked.

    Miss Ponytail nodded. "A sofa set. Oh, and a coffee table. All those are set up at the bend of the L-shape. And then there's a balcony beside the long end of the L-shape."

    "Okay. So if I walk through the door, I'll see the sofa set straightaway. And then if I take a left turn at the corner, I'll see the desk at the end?"

    "Yes..."

    "Alright, that will do," Li Yundong said with a nod, then rose to his feet.

    "So what's the plan?" Miss Ponytail asked.

    "Just a sec, okay?" Li Yundong walked to a random desk and poked around it for a while. He needed something larger and heavier than a coin. He took a stapler from one of the drawers and then walked back to the girls.

    "Alright, listen up. Here's the plan..."

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  • edited January 25

    Chapter 114 Suicidal (Part2)

    Thank God the bastard didn't lock the door, Li Yundong thought as he slowly opened the door of President Cao's office. Once there was a large enough gap, he poked his head into the office.

    Xiao Zhang—Miss Ponytail—was accurate in her description. The sofa set and the coffee table were the first thing he saw. Wang Yong and the two presidents were nowhere to be seen, which meant they must both be at the long end of the L-shape. Probably somewhere at President Cao's desk...

    Li Yundong turned back around to face the girls. "Okay... Remember the plan?"

    The girls gave him grim nods.

    "Whatever you do, do not touch the red button. And make sure you spread out to cover more area. That will increase the chances of one of you grabbing it."

    The girls nodded again.

    Satisfied, Li Yundong opened the door wider and went into the office first. The girls went in one by one after him. The floor inside the office was carpeted, so he didn't have to worry about the clicking of the girls' heels. President Cao probably preferred a quiet environment. Li Yundong walked in front and stopped at the bend of the L-shape. Peeking out from the corner, he saw Wang Yong standing in front of a huge executive desk, on top of which lay a black duffel bag. The bag was filled with cash and Wang Yong was counting the cash with his left hand. His right hand hung at his side with the detonator tightly clutched in it. True to her promise, President Yin stood on Wang Yong's right side. Where's President Cao...? President Cao was sitting behind the desk, so she was partially blocked from view by Wang Yong's body.

    Li Yundong clutched the stapler tighter and turned back around. Xiao Zhang and the other six girls were all looking at him expectantly, waiting for his instructions.

    Li Yundong waved them over, then pointed at sofa set. "Three of you hide behind the long sofa," Li Yundong whispered. "The rest of you be on standby."

    The girls nodded.

    Li Yundong peeked around the wall again to make sure that Wang Yong's back was still to them. Then, he turned back around to give the girls the go-ahead. Xiao Zhang and two other girls sneaked out and hid behind the long sofa. "You guys are the backup, got it?" Li Yundong whispered to the rest of the girls. "Just grab the damn thing if it's close to you."

    Li Yundong stepped quietly around the corner and slinked over towards the cabinet lining one side of the office. The cabinet should provide him enough cover if Wang Yong suddenly turned around to look over his shoulder. President Yin had already spotted him, but she didn't do anything to give his presence away. From the cabinet, Li Yundong glanced towards the sofa and saw no signs of the girls, which meant that they were all well-concealed. Li Yundong peeked out from the edge of the cabinet and dropped into a crouch. He tested the weight of the stapler in his palm, and then mobilized his Qi to his right arm.

    Li Yundong activated his telescopic vision and zoomed in on the back of Wang Yong's right elbow. The ulnar nerve. Hitting that spot would cause Wang Yong to loosen his grip for sure, but the problem was that it was a difficult target to hit. Should he go for a simpler target such as the head, or the back? Or should he trust Su Chan's claim that the Renyuan Jindan had enhanced his hand-eye coordination and reflexes? In the end, he decided to stick with the original plan to go for the ulnar nerve. Calmness washed over Li Yundong. You can do this...

    He activated Xianjue and predicted 5 seconds into the future just to make sure that Wang Yong didn't make any unexpected movements. A second later, Li Yundong cocked his hand back and hurled the stapler at Wang Yong.

    There was a loud yelp.

    The detonator dropped to the floor. President Yin reacted instantly and kicked the detonator, causing it to roll towards the sofa set. All seven girls ran out from their hiding places and scrambled for the detonator. Wang Yong ran after the detonator too, but he was too late. One of the girls had gotten to it first.

    "No!!!!" Wang Yong lunged for the girl with the detonator, but Li Yundong was quicker; he pounced and grabbed Wang Yong by the throat with one hand. "Secure the detonator!" Li Yundong yelled as he dragged Wang Yong towards the balcony.

    Li Yundong crossed the balcony's threshold and headed for the railing. The railing trembled when Li Yundong slammed Wang Yong's back against it.

    "Don't move!!" Li Yundong growled. Then, he began to rip the vest off Wang Yong's body, taking extra care not to touch any of the explosives attached to it. Seconds later, the vest was off. Li Yundong shoved Wang Yong aside and stepped towards the railing. He had to dispose of the vest just to be safe. Leaning against the railing, Li Yundong scanned the ground floor desperately. Where... where... where...

    He spotted the company's swimming pool on the ground floor. The swimming pool was unoccupied, which made sense since it was still office hours. Without further ado, he flung the vest downwards and watched it fall until he heard a loud splash. The vest floated on the pool's surface.

    Li Yundong turned away from the railing and glared at Wang Yong, who looked completely crushed. "Stay there..." Li Yundong pointed a finger at him. "I'll deal with you later."

    Li Yundong walked back into the office. "Where's the detonator?"

    One girl raised her hand. Li Yundong nodded, then turned towards President Yin. "I've dropped the bomb into the swimming pool downstairs. The pool is unoccupied and the water might soften the blast if the bomb goes off."

    President Yin sighed in relief, then nodded. "Good work."

    Suddenly, there was a commotion at the door. Seconds later, Shen Hui and several uniformed security guards appeared inside the office.

    "Oh my God, couz!" Shen Hui's shrill voice rang out. "What happened?"

    President Yin waved her off. "It's all over now." President Yin shot Li Yundong a glance. Was there a hint of awe in her eyes? Before Li Yundong could read any further into it, he was interrupted by a series of gasps and shrieks.

    "Oh my God! What is he doing!" Xiao Zhang shouted, pointing towards the balcony.

    Li Yundong whipped his head around. "Son of a bitch!" he yelled, his legs already moving.

    Wang Yong was now sitting astride the railing, looking down towards the ground floor. Li Yundong charged towards the balcony. But by the time Li Yundong cleared the balcony's threshold, Wang Yong's body was slowly tipping over the railing. Knowing that he only had a split second to act, Li Yundong did the first thing that came to mind.

    He leaped.

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  • Chapter 115 Dr. Pervert

    Screams erupted behind Li Yundong the moment his body flew over the railing. Instincts took over. He reached down as far as he could and wrapped his fingers around Wang Yong's ankle. Then, with his other hand, Li Yundong grabbed the bottom edge of the railing to stop their fall. Next thing he knew, he was dangling nine floors above ground while supporting the weight of an obese man. Sometimes, Li Yundong wondered if he was a masochist.

    Footsteps sounded above him. "Hey! Li Yundong!" Li Yundong glanced up. A moment later, President Yin's head appeared above the railing. Even from his position, Li Yundong could see the relief on her face when she spotted him.

    "Oh, thank God..." President Yin sagged against the railing.

    Seconds later, a few of her security personnel poked their heads out too.

    "Hang in there kid! We're gonna get you some help!"

    "No!!" Li Yundong hollered back. "Let me handle this for now! I'll let you know if I need any help! "

    Nobody else had to risk their lives.

    Li Yundong glanced downwards. Wang Yong was trembling in fear. Ha. Maybe the bastard wasn't that eager to die after all. Still, now he had to figure out a way to deal with this. Li Yundong shut his eyes. Okay, what now? A few options came to mind. The most obvious solution was to drop the guy onto the balcony on a lower floor. "Hey! Wang Yong! Look down! Do you see any balconies?"

    The only answer he got was a whimper. Li Yundong muttered a curse. This was starting to piss him off. Mostly he was mad at himself for being stupid enough to risk his life to save this piece of trash who had just threatened to blow everyone to kingdom come. What the hell was I thinking? Right. Of course. He wasn't thinking. He just reacted.

    Li Yundong glanced down and activated Mingmu's telescopic vision. Indeed, there was a balcony on the 8th floor. There was, however, one major problem. He wasn't sure if he could make the drop safely. It was too risky—the 8th floor's balcony didn't extend beyond the 9th floor, so if he let go, Wang Yong would just fall vertically downwards. Wang Yong would most likely fall past the balcony instead of onto it.

    What if I just drop him into the swimming pool? But the swimming pool wasn't within Wang Yong's vertical falling path too, so Li Yundong would have to swing Wang Yong in mid-air to create a trajectory that would—hopefully—get Wang Yong into the pool. And it certainly didn't help that: A) Li Yundong was dangling in mid-air; and B ) Wang Yong was fat.

    Clearly, the second idea was a no-go as well. Hey wait a minute... I don't even need a swimming pool

    "Hey!! Security guys!!"

    A middle-aged man poked his head over the railing. "Yeah? What can we do, kid?" The guy sounded a bit anxious.

    "How long do you think it'll take to set up an air mattress on the ground floor?"

    A look of recognition formed on security guy's face. "A Rescue Air Cushion?" He paused in thought. "It probably won't take long to set it up. Maybe a minute or two to fully inflate it? I don't know. But we'll have to call the firefighters to get one of those. And how long the firefighters might take to get here is another story. Can you hold on that long?"


  • He probably could, but that wasn't the problem. The real problem was whether Wang Yong could even last until the firefighters got here? Li Yundong might not possess any medical knowledge worth a damn, but he still had a bit of common sense. Hanging upside down for long periods of time can't be good—what with the blood rush to the head and all.

    There had to be another way.

    Maybe he should just let go and then do the same thing he did to save Ding Nan the other day. He could carry Wang Yong as they fell and then land on his feet. But sadly, that solution had its own set of problems—this time, he wouldn't be holding on to a slender woman as he fell. Shit. Were his arms even long enough to circle Wang Yong's wide girth? What if he lost his grip on Wang Yong while they were falling?

    Why? Why did he keep putting himself in these situations? Because you're a masochistic idiot with a hero complex, that's why, a not-very-helpful voice inside Li Yundong's head added.

    Li Yundong let out a frustrated growl. You know what? F*ck this shit. He glanced up at the railing again. "Hey! Sir!" He waited until the security guy poked his head out again.

    "Yeah?"

    "Clear the balcony!"

    The security guy seemed perplexed by that request. "What?"

    "Clear the balcony! Get everyone away from the balcony!"

    The security guy stared at Li Yundong like he was nuts. Li Yundong sighed. "Just do it. I know what I'm doing..."

    The security guy nodded. "Sure."

    "Thanks! Let me know when the balcony's clear."

    Security guy disappeared. Suddenly, Li Yundong felt the load in his arm twitching. Wang Yong was weeping. Li Yundong rolled his eyes. "Tsk! Pull yourself together, man!" Li Yundong said. "Nobody's gonna die today!" Not on my watch... he added silently.

    "Balcony's clear!!!"

    "Good! Make sure everyone stays inside! Do not come out until I say so!" Li Yundong hollered back.

    "Roger that!"

    "Hey! Wang Yong!" Li Yundong shook Wang Yong's ankle harshly. Wang Yong whimpered.

    "Listen, man," Li Yundong said. "I don't know what drove you to become the suicidal maniac you are. Maybe something happened to you. Maybe shit happened in your life, and everything sucks. But I'm gonna tell you this. Life is precious. If you wanna risk your life, make sure that it's for a worthy cause. Don't just throw your life away for nothing. Today, you've got a second chance, because I'm gonna save your ass. And you are gonna do time and pay for your crimes. Hopefully you can get your shit together by the time you get out of jail. Oh, and make sure you grab onto something if I miss."

    He got another whimper in response. Li Yundong snorted. Right. Guess he better not miss then.

    Li Yundong blew out a breath and closed his eyes. Su Chan once told him that the Qis of the five Zangs were much more powerful than the Qi generated from his essence at the lower Dantian. Maybe he could take advantage of that. Seconds later, Li Yundong's Yuanyang circled around his Lung, trying to draw out his Lung's Qi. Of all the five Zangs, he chose the Lung to draw Qi from because it was the Zang nearest to his right arm, where he needed the extra boost in strength to make the toss. All he had to do was guide his Lung's Qi to his right arm with his Yuanyang.
  • The difference was immense. He felt a surge of strength in his right arm like never before. He tightened his grip on Wang Yong's ankle and looked above him. The railing itself was slightly more than a meter tall, so there wasn't that much vertical height to clear. The trick, though, was when to release Wang Yong's ankle: too soon, and Wang Yong would fly away from the balcony instead of onto it; too late, and Wang Yong would smash right into the railing.

    Li Yundong swung his right arm a little to get a little bit of momentum going. With a grunt, he swung his arm upwards and released Wang Yong's ankle when his arm was at the 2 o'clock position. There was a scream followed by a loud thud seconds later. The railing tremored in his grip, and he sighed in relief. He did it. He made the toss.

    Climbing back up over the railing posed no challenge at all—it only took him seconds. When he landed on the balcony, everyone inside President Cao's office staring at him in utter disbelief. Weird was the new normal. He'd gotten used to receiving these looks by now. He walked over towards Wang Yong, who was now a heap of whimpering mess on the floor. He crouched down and patted Wang Yong's cheek a few times. "Hey! Breathe, man. You're fine now." When Wang Yong didn't react, Li Yundong jabbed a finger to his Renzhong—an acupoint between the nose and the upper lip. Wang Yong gasped and started gulping for air. Li Yundong rose to his full height and then stared down at Wang Yong. "This is your second chance. So I hope you get your shit together from now on. And don't worry. I don't think those guys can kill you once you're in jail."

    The balcony's sliding door slid open. The middle-aged security guy and his team stepped out. Li Yundong walked over and patted the middle-aged man on the shoulder. "Well. I'll leave him to you guys now," Li Yundong said, gesturing at Wang Yong.

    The man nodded. "We'll take care of it." He paused, then looked at Li Yundong with awe. "Holy sh*t, young man... What you did just now... Holy sh*t..." Suddenly, the man's eyes widened as if a thought had just occurred to him. "Do you have military background?"

    Li Yundong chuckled and shook his head. "No, sir. I'm not a soldier." Never was, and never will be.

    The middle-aged man gave a few hand gestures to his team. His men nodded and walked over to Wang Yong. He turned back to Li Yundong. "But how? The stuff you did just now... They're mind-blowing..."

    Li Yundong shrugged. "Well. Maybe I'm just a guy who likes Bruce Lee movies?"

    The man snorted at gave him a skeptical look. "Ha. Ha. Ha. Very funny." There was a brief pause as they both watched Wang Yong being hoisted up by two guys and then dragged away from the balcony.

    "Hey, um, listen," the middle-aged man said with a low voice. "If you want a job here, I can put in a good word for you with President Yin."

    Li Yundong stared at the man for a moment, then smiled. "That's very kind of you to offer. I'll leave the decision up to President Yin." Li Yundong patted the man on the shoulder twice, then walked back into President Cao's office.

    Inside the office, he noticed that President Yin had just gotten off the phone and was heading towards him.

    "Hey," she greeted. "Are you alright?"

    Li Yundong rotated his arms a few times and shrugged. "A little tired I guess? But I'm fine."

    President Yin studied him for a moment. "Good. Well, the police have recovered the suicide vest from the pool. They have to take it apart before they can figure out the estimated blast radius." President Yin held Li Yundong's gaze. "You've done a great job today. Thank you."

    There was a loud snort. Li Yundong glanced sideways and saw Shen Hui glaring at him. He sighed and turned back to President Yin.

    "You're welcome. It's not like I can just stand by and let everyone here die, you know?" Li Yundong paused for a while, then lowered his voice. "Listen. About your cousin. It really was just a misunderstanding. I swear to God, I wasn't trying to molest—"

    President Yin raised a palm. There was a look of amusement in her eyes. "I get it. She's a little… spoiled. Don't mind her."

    Li Yundong sighed in relief. Good then. He really wasn't looking forward to spending a few nights down at the police station for a crime that he didn't even commit.

    "And regarding your employment…" President Yin said.

    Li Yundong cleared his throat. "I have to be honest here," he said sheepishly. "I know next to nothing about real-estate, sales, and finance. Well, like I said, I know a bit of martial arts and I have good reflexes and stuff." Li Yundong rubbed the back of his neck. "I suppose you can call me all brawns and no brains…"

    President Yin opened her mouth to reply but was interrupted by a strangled moan. A loud crash followed suit.

    President Yin was already moving towards President Cao's desk before Li Yundong could figure out what was wrong.

    "Oh my God, Kefei!!"

    President Cao was lying on the floor with both hands clutching her chest. Her face was twisted in pain and she was gasping for air.

    Li Yundong was beside President Yin in an instant. "What's going on?" he asked, kneeling down beside President Cao's body.

    Instead of answering, President Yin turned around and yelled over her back. "Somebody call an ambulance! President Cao's having a heart attack!"

    Li Yundong's gaze instantly went to President Cao. "Shit…"

    President Cao clawed at her throat. Li Yundong quickly pried her hands away from her throat; those long nails could draw blood.

    "Hang in there, Ma'am," Li Yundong said. "Just hang in there, okay? Help is coming."

    President Yin kept barking out orders. "Xiao Zhang! Xiao Zhang! Where's Xiao Zhang!"

    Footsteps sounded nearby. A few seconds later, Xiao Zhang appeared.

    "Her meds!" President Yin yelled, her voice colored with desperation. "Do you know where she keeps her meds?"

    Xiao Zhang turned around and pulled out one of the drawers of President Cao's huge desk. She rummaged through the drawer for a while.

    "Come on, Xiao Zhang! The meds! Hurry up!"

    "I'm trying, President Yin! But I can't find them! I swear this is where she keeps them!" Xiao Zhang pulled out all the other drawers and rummaged through them as well.

    President Yin got on her feet and ran towards the desk. "You search the left drawers! I'll take the ones on the right!"

    President Yin stopped at the desk and turned to the others in the room. "Hey! What are you guys standing around for! Help me look for her medication! Go through that cabinet over there!"


  • "Y-Yes, Ma'am!"

    Li Yundong ignored the sounds of feet shuffling and hurried whispers. Instead, he focused his attention on President Cao.

    All of a sudden, President Cao stopped gasping. At first, Li Yundong thought that maybe the heart attack had stopped, but his blood ran cold a moment later—he could no longer hear President Cao's heartbeat with Eryue.

    "President Yin… I think her heart just stopped," Li Yundong said grimly.

    President Yin looked up sharply from the drawers she'd been going through.

    "Oh, no, no, no…" President Yin scrambled towards him and kneeled down. "She's not breathing either. Damn it! We need to start CPR." President Yin unbuttoned President Cao's blouse, then began a series of chest compressions.

    Li Yundong stood up to give President Yin more space to work. He glanced around and saw Shen Hui and other female employees standing there watching the scene.

    "An ambulance is on the way!" the security guy yelled from the balcony. "ETA 15 minutes."

    Did they even have 15 minutes to spare? Li Yundong glanced down at President Yin who was still pumping President Cao's chest furiously.

    "Come on, come on, come on…" President Yin muttered. "Don't do this to me, Kefei… Don't you dare do this to me…"

    Seconds later, President Yin stopped the compressions and bent down to breathe into President Cao's mouth.

    "Wake up! Damn it! Wake up!" President Yin was in tears. "Come on!" She began another round of chest compressions.

    President Cao lips had turned slightly purple. Li Yundong knew right then that he had to do something. He couldn't just watch this woman die.

    "Please…" President Yin's pressing movements were starting to slow down. "Please… wake up…"

    Li Yundong crouched down and put his hand on President Yin's shoulder. "Let me try," he said.

    President Yin looked up at him in surprise.

    "I can do it." Li Yundong gave her a reassuring nod. "I can save her."

    President Yin stopped pressing and stepped aside.

    Li Yundong stared down at President Cao's unconscious form. What he was about to do might very well expose his status as a Cultivator or—heavens forbid—reveal something about the Renyuan Jindan inside him. Heck, he honestly wouldn't be surprised if Lin Youfa suddenly showed up to challenge him again after this. But still, he had to do the right thing.

    Li Yundong looked towards President Yin. "Alright. Now listen to me carefully..."

    ***

    "Get her into a meditative posture," Li Yundong said. "And help me keep her body upright."

    President Yin quickly did as she was told without arguing. During the performance night, John had gone into cardiac arrest as well after he got hit in the chest by the shockwaves generated by Li Yundong's punch. Back then, Li Yundong had resuscitated him using the Three-Pronged Flower Gathering technique.

    President Cao was currently in cardiac arrest as well.

    This would work. It must work.

    Li Yundong rose to his feet and walked around to stand behind President Cao.

    "You mean hold her up like this, right?" President Yin asked, looking towards him. President Yin's composed, take-charge attitude was now back. "I hope you know what you're doing, Li Yundong."

    Li Yundong nodded. "Now make sure you don't move her—"

    He was interrupted by Shen Hui's voice. "I suggest you leave it alone, pal. If you do nothing, none of this will be your fault. But if anything goes wrong and something happens to President Cao, it will all be on you."

    "Shen Hui!" President Yin said, sounding completely affronted.

    Anger erupted inside Li Yundong like a volcano. "You heartless and selfish bitch!" His voice boomed, resounding through the huge office. He glared at Shen Hui, whose face had suddenly gone pale. "This is a person! Your cousin's friend! And you're telling me that you're more concerned about politics than her life!"

    Shen Hui's face contorted. Seconds later, she started bawling.

    Li Yundong sneered. "Yeah. Cry. Go home and cry to your parents. I'm sure they are so damn proud of the heartless creature they've raised. Get out of my sight. You disgust me."

    Shen Hui turned around and ran, her wails following her all the way to the door.

    Li Yundong turned back around and saw President Yin staring up at him in shock. Li Yundong shook his head and got into position again. They didn't have much time to lose.

    "Hold her still!" Li Yundong snapped, then glanced around the room. "Do not interrupt me, you understand? Don't speak. Don't yell. Don't touch. Don't do anything until I'm done."

    Li Yundong positioned his fingers on President Cao's Baihui, Shenting, and Taiyang—the standard finger positioning for the Three-Pronged Flower Gathering technique. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. The first step involved gathering his Yuanyang at his fingertips, which took him mere seconds to complete.

    Then came the hard part. He had to slowly channel his Yuanyang into President Cao's body and then use it to draw out President Cao's Qi. This was, of course, another application of the Yin-Yang Principle that Su Chan had so often expounded—using a man's Yang Qi to draw out a woman's Yin Qi or vice versa.

    However, after Li Yundong's Yuanyang had entered President Cao's body, he ran into another problem: he couldn't get her Yin Qi to come out.

    Li Yundong was stumped. From what he understood from Su Chan's lessons, it was supposed to be easier for Li Yundong to mobilize President Cao's Qi with the Three-Pronged Flower Gathering technique as opposed to mobilizing John's Qi because President Cao was a woman and her Qi was Yin in nature. Due to the inherent attraction between Yin and Yang, it is always easier to guide the movement of Yin Qi using Yang Qi or vice versa. When Li Yundong resuscitated John that day, he had had to force John's Yang Qi to move.


  • Out of desperation, Li Yundong circled his Yuanyang around President Cao's five Zangs, hoping to draw out the Qi of her five Zangs. After a moment, he got nothing. He couldn't even draw out the Qis of her five Zangs. What the hell was going on here?

    Okay… Last resort.

    He hadn't planned to do this, but now it seemed like he had no other choice. Li Yundong had asked Su Chan why he had this orgasmic feeling when she gave him the massage inside the lecture hall the other day. Su Chan had told him that it was because his Huiyin—an acupoint between the anus and the scrotum/vulva—was stimulated during the massage. That was when he learned that concealed within the Huiyin was the purest form of Qi inside a person body.

    But the problem was, if he tried that on President Cao…

    Great. Not only was he risking the exposure of his status as a Cultivator, but he might get arrested as well. Imagine the headline: Guy Brought Woman to an Orgasm by Touching Her Head. Nobody would buy that BS.

    Screw it. He had to try. At least President Cao wouldn't be dead if it worked. Perhaps he would be pardoned from these alleged sexual assault charges for the crucial role he had played in saving a woman's life?

    Argh. To hell with it…

    Li Yundong moved his Yuanyang down towards President Cao's Huiyin. A moment later, he felt it—President Cao's pure Yin Qi was drawn out. It worked. Now he just had to guide the flow of her Qi in Xiao Zhoutian's circuit. Once her Qi started to move, her blood would start to circulate and hopefully generate enough blood pressure to forcefully contract her cardiac muscles.

    Around the fifth Xiao Zhoutian circuit, Li Yundong could feel the heat emanating from President Cao's head. Good. She was wearing the Crown of Three Flowers now. It was working well so far. After a few more Xiao Zhoutian circuits, he could feel the trembles and shudders in President Cao's body. Despite Li Yundong's earlier request for silence, he could hear the sound of cheers and cries of relief all around him. Did it work? Was President Cao breathing again? Had President Cao's heart been jump-started?

    It must have. Why would everyone be cheering if it hadn't?

    The final step was to return the purest form of President Cao's Qi back to her Huiyin, which meant stimulating her Huiyin again.

    Seconds later, he heard the unmistakable sound of a moan, a feminine moan that could only be heard during the horizontal tango.

    President Cao just had an orgasm.

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  • Chapter 116 Employment

    Cao Kefei could feel herself drifting in and out of consciousness, like she was in some kind of strange limbo, teetering between existence and non-existence. The pain and tightness in her chest were now gone. Not only that, but she also felt strangely good. Her cheeks felt warm, and there was something solid and strong supporting her back. Am I dead?

    Light entered her eyes when she opened them. She blinked, and eventually, Mengfan's worried expression came into view. Oh, so I'm not dead yet… Cao Kefei shook her head until the ringing in her ears subsided.

    "Kefei…? Kefei?" Mengfan said. "Are you still in pain?"

    Cao Kefei coughed a few times. Her throat felt a little dry, like she'd been screaming for a long time. Someone patted her back. Cao Kefei found herself leaning into the warm touch.

    "M- Mengfan?" Cao Kefei said, clearing her throat again. "What happened?"

    "You scared the crap out of me is what happened," Mengfan said. "You had a heart attack and we couldn't find your meds."

    That's because I don't have any left. She'd stopped refilling her meds ever since her doctor told her she could stop taking them.

    "Uh-huh…" Cao Kefei said. "And then?"

    Mengfan was suddenly blushing like a school girl. "A-And then… h-he…" Mengfan cleared her throat. "Li Yundong resuscitated you. He saved your life."

    Mengfan pointed at something behind and above Cao Kefei's head. Cao Kefei turned and realized that she'd been leaning against Li Yundong's thighs all this time.

    "Oh… Thank you," Cao Kefei said with a smile, which turned into a frown a second later when Li Yundong refused to meet her eyes. He was also blushing heavily. Seconds later, she realized that he wasn't the only one blushing—everyone in her office was blushing and giving her strange looks. A few men were even leering at her.

    "Um… Mengfan…" Cao Kefei said, dropping her voice into a whisper. "What's going on? Why is everyone looking at me like that…?"

    Surely nobody would blush when someone just had a heart attack?

    "Mengfan…" Cao Kefei nudged her friend when she didn't answer right away.

    "Um… You… You had… You had an orgasm."

    A what?! Cao Kefei gasped. Good God! Was Mengfan trying to give her another heart attack? Cao Kefei could feel her cheeks burning. She shot Mengfan a pleading look. Please…Please tell me it's a joke…

    Sensing her discomfort, Mengfan quickly took charge. "Alright, everyone! President Cao is okay now! So get back to work! Xiao Zhang!"

    "Yes, President Yin?"

    "Head down to the security booth and get an update from the head of security. I wanna know the perp's deal."

    "Right away, president."

    "Xiao Li!" Mengfan said. "Make sure everyone gets back to work. I don't want anybody slacking off!"

    A second later, Mengfan was right beside Cao Kefei again. "Hey. Are you feeling okay? Do you need to go to the hospital? There's an ambulance on the way."

    Cao Kefei exhaled and felt around her chest for a while. When she realized that her blouse was unbuttoned, she blushed again. But other than her mortification and a wounded pride, she felt surprisingly well. It was strange.

    Cao Kefei shook her head. "I don't know how to explain it, but I feel fine right now. Just tired." She stole a glance at Li Yundong who was still standing behind her. What on earth did he do to me? An orgasm? How the hell did that happen? Oh God, don't tell me he had sex with me in front of everyone?! Cao Kefei quickly glanced down at her legs and was relieved to find that her skirt was still in place.

    Cao Kefei groaned into her hands. "Ugh… I think I need to lie down."

    Mengfan touched her shoulder. "Come on. Let's get you settled on the sofa." Mengfan rose to her feet. "Can you stand?"

    Cao Kefei nodded. "I think so."

    "Help me lift her up?" Mengfan said to Li Yundong.

    A second later, Cao Kefei felt an upward force under her armpits. Before she knew it, she was up on her feet and Mengfan was there supporting her on her left side. Li Yundong walked around from behind her and grabbed her right arm.

    Once they got her settled on the couch, Li Yundong left the office for a moment and then returned with a glass of water.

    "Here, President Cao," he said.

    Cao Kefei took the glass gratefully. "Thank you…"

    Li Yundong nodded casually, but President Cao stared at him intently.

    "Not just for the water, but for saving my life as well." And, apparently, for giving me an orgasm.   

    Li Yundong smiled. "No thanks necessary, Ma'am." Then, he turned towards Mengfan, who'd been watching their exchange quietly. "President Yin, is there anything else I can help you with? If not, I think I'll take my leave."

    "Nothing." Mengfan cleared her throat. "I mean there's nothing else for you to do here. Thank you for everything you've done. Oh wait. Before you go, the police want to take your statement."

    Li Yundong nodded. "Alright then." Then, he looked at Cao Kefei. "You take care of yourself, President Cao."

    Cao Kefei nodded weakly and stared at him until he walked out of her office.

    "Are you waiting for the water to evaporate from the glass, Kefei?" Mengfan's tone was colored in amusement.

    Cao Kefei tore her gaze away from the door and glanced at the glass she was holding. She hadn't taken a single sip yet. She blushed and finished the water in a few gulps. Mengfan took the empty glass from her and set it on the coffee table.

    "I can call him back here if you want…" Mengfan said teasingly.

    Cao Kefei covered her face and groaned. "Oh, God... Mengfan… Here I am, going through perhaps the most humiliating experience in my life, and you're there making fun of me!"

    Mengfan burst into laughter. However, the laughter quickly subsided. Mengfan pried one of Cao Kefei's hands away from her face. Cao Kefei glanced up and saw Mengfan's sober expression.

    "It was mortifying, yes," Mengfan said. "But you were also lucky. Your heart stopped. And I'm sure you would've died if Li Yundong hadn't done what he did."    
  • Cao Kefei stared at her friend for a moment. Then, she covered her face and groaned. "How am I supposed to face everyone at work from now on?"

    Mengfan pulled her hands away from her face once again. "Hey…" she said in a soothing tone. "What's important is that you're alive, okay? I'm sure people will forget all about your… ahem… pretty soon. You just have to give it time."

    Easy for you to say… It wasn't you who got off right in front of everyone.

    "What on God's green earth did he do to me?" Cao Kefei said. "How did I… How did he…"

    Surprisingly, Mengfan looked about as confused as Cao Kefei felt even though she had witnessed the whole thing.

    "I have no idea…" Mengfan said, her eyes glazing over.

    "Did he... Did he touch me down there?" Cao Kefei stole a glance at Mengfan who appeared to be deep in thought.

    Mengfan shook her head. "No, he didn't. All he did was pressed down on a few spots on your head, like he was giving you a head massage…"

    "What? He got me off by giving me a head massage? Come on! You're messing with me!"

    "No! I'm not messing with you! That really was all he did! I swear to God!"

    "But… But I've never heard of a woman getting off just from a head massage! Is that even possible?"

    Mengfan sighed. "When I couldn't revive you with CPR, he told me to get you into a meditative posture and keep your body upright. Then he started doing this weird posture with his fingers and pressing them onto your head. Next thing I know, your face no longer looked pale and you were breathing again. And near the end of it, you started twitching and moaning like you were having sex."

    Cao Kefei groaned. "I can't believe this…"

    "Yeah? Guess that makes two of us," Mengfan muttered.

    Silence stretched between them. About a minute later, Cao Kefei stared at Mengfan with narrowed eyes. "Spill it, Yin Mengfan. Where the hell did you find a guy like that?"

    Mengfan rubbed her temples and kicked off her heels. Then, she settled herself comfortably in the sofa. "I've already told you. A friend of mine, Zhou Qin, recommended him to me."

    Cao Kefei's eyes went wide. "Zhou Qin? You mean Zhou Keqiang's daughter?"

    Mengfan smiled. "Mmm-hmm. The very same."

    Cao Kefei pondered her friend's words for a moment. "Zhou Qin and Li Yundong… Are they an item?"

    Mengfan smirked. "Nah. I don't think they are."

    Cao Kefei glared at her friend. "Don't give me that look. I was just… curious."

    Mengfan's smirk widened. "Yeah. Keep telling yourself that."

    "Shut up…" Cao Kefei mumbled.

    "Besides, haven't you heard? Zhou Qin is engaged."

    Cao Kefei's gaze snapped to Mengfan. "Seriously?"

    Mengfan nodded. "Yeah. She's engaged to He Shao."

    Cao Kefei curled her lips. "A political marriage. How typical."

    Mengfan chuckled, then nudged Cao Kefei with her feet. "So. How about it? You were flirting with him earlier, right? Are you interested in him? Age is just a figure, you know?"

    Cao Kefei blushed, and then shot her a glare. "Shut up! Who says I'm interested in him?"

    "Oh. Then I suppose you won't be too disappointed to know that he's already seeing someone…"

    Cao Kefei's raised her head so quickly that she might've torn a neck muscle. Mengfan—that smug bitch—was smirking at her.

    "Not interested, huh?"

    Realizing that she had walked right into that one, Cao Kefei looked away. After a while, Mengfan nudged her again.

    "Hey. All jokes aside, are you really okay? You gave me quite the scare, you know?"

    Cao Kefei sighed and stared up at the ceiling. "I don't think I've ever felt this good before…"

    Mengfan burst into laughter.

    Cao Kefei glared at her friend. "Tsk! I wasn't talking about… about… that."

    Mengfan covered her mouth with a hand. "Sorry. Sorry. I just couldn't help it." Seconds later, Mengfan cleared her throat. "Yep. Go on."

    "It's hard to describe… But I think I felt lighter in here." Cao Kefei rubbed her chest with a hand. "It's like a weight has been lifted off my chest."

    "At first, I thought Zhou Qin was exaggerating when she told me that he's a powerful person." Mengfan held Cao Kefei's gaze. "She told me that he's the closest thing to a superhero in real life. And I'm starting to believe her. The stuff he did today was mind-blowing…"

    Cao Kefei nudged her friend. "So you gonna hire him?"

    Mengfan looked back at her as though she'd grown two heads. "You're joking right? Of course I'm gonna hire him! I'd be an idiot to throw away a talent like him."

    "Dang. I thought I could snag him up for myself if you aren't hiring him."

    "You wish." Mengfan snorted. "With Li Yundong as my employee, I don't think I even need a security team."

    "Hey… Mengfan…"

    Mengfan gave her a sidelong glance, then narrowed her eyes. "What? What are you planning?"

    "You know my company has been running into a lot of trouble lately, right?" Cao Kefei smiled fawningly. "Why don't you let me borrow him for a few days?"

    Mengfan's eyes narrowed to slits.

    "Come on… Won't you help out a friend in need?"

    Mengfan suddenly smirked. "Hmm… You see, one of my firm's commercials ran into some problems during its screening… so…"

    Cao Kefei laughed. "Fine… Consider it done."

    "Alright then, President Cao. It seems like we have a deal. Li Yundong will be your employee for two days."

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  • Chapter 117 Repayment

    Yin Mengfan left Kefei's office after the paramedics had checked all her vital signs and declared that she was fully healthy. Kefei had declined the paramedics' offer to take her to the hospital for a full checkup. Which, in hindsight, was totally understandable. She probably wasn't in the mood to answer any questions about how she went from being in a cardiac arrest to having a mind-blowing orgasm.

    How indeed. How the heck did Li Yundong pull it off? It was like magic.   

    The elevator doors opened to the 19th floor, and Yin Mengfan stepped out. On the way to her office, she stopped by her assistant's desk. Xiao Jia, who seemed a bit shaken by the incident earlier, rose to her feet the moment she saw Yin Mengfan heading over.

    "Xiao Jia, are you alright?"

    "Yes, president. I'm fine."

    "Has Li Yundong finished giving his statement to the police?"

    "I'm not sure, president." Xiao Jia reached for her phone. "But I can check."

    Yin Mengfan nodded. "Do that. And if he's done, tell him to come to my office."

    "Will do, president."

    Yin Mengfan entered her office and sat down behind her desk. Exhaustion washed over her. She closed her eyes and let out a sigh. Her phone vibrated against her desk. Someone was calling her. At first, she planned to ignore the call. But then she changed her mind when she opened her eyes and caught a glimpse of the caller ID.

    "Hey, Zhou Qin," Yin Mengfan spoke into the phone.

    "Hey, Mengfan. Are you free now?"

    "Yeah… Yeah, I'm free."

    There was a long pause.

    "Mengfan…? Are you alright? You're not in a meeting now, are you?"

    Yin Mengfan frowned and shook her head. "I'm fine. And no, I'm not in a meeting. Why do you ask?"

    "You sound a little strange. Like you were preoccupied or something."

    Yin Mengfan chuckled. "That's because I was preoccupied."

    "With what?"

    Yin Mengfan sighed and stared up at the ceiling. "With this powerful person you've introduced me to, of course!"

    There was another long pause. But this time, Yin Mengfan had to check the screen to see if the call was still connected. It was, so Yin Mengfan put the phone back to her ear and waited for Zhou Qin to speak.

    "How is Li Yundong? Is he doing okay at your company?"

    Yin Mengfan snorted, then mumbled, "To tell you the truth, I have no idea."

    Zhou Qin rambled on as though she hadn't heard her. "And I think I forgot to mention something the other day. He's got quite a bit of a temper. But that's just part of his personality. Please be patient with him, okay?"

    Yin Mengfan laughed. "Oh, trust me, I know about his temper."

    "What's that supposed to mean? What did he do?" There was a hint of wariness in Zhou Qin's voice.

    "Do you know Shen Hui?"

    "Yeah. Your cousin. Shen Conghai's daughter. The daughter of the Shen family. Why?"

    "He bit her head off right in front of everyone." Yin Mengfan chuckled. "Not that she didn't deserve it, of course. But you should've seen the look on everyone's face when Li Yundong yelled at her."

    Zhou Qin's chuckles drifted from the phone. "That definitely sounds like his style. From what I see, he tends to blow up whenever he sees injustice. Shen Hui didn't take it well, I presume?"

    Yin Mengfan rolled her eyes and snorted. "She ran away crying, of course. Typical Shen Hui."

    There was a moment of silence.

    "Say, Zhou Qin… How did you come across a guy like him? He's a bit…"

    Zhou Qin sighed. "Mengfan… Something happened today, didn't it?"

    Yin Mengfan waved her hand even though Zhou Qin couldn't see it. "Yeah well. You'll know all about it from the news tomorrow anyway. But God… Is that guy even human?"

    Zhou Qin chuckled. "I was expecting that kind of reaction to be honest. See? I told you, didn't I? He's extraordinary."

    "You can say that again," Yin Mengfan mumbled.

    "What did he do though?" Zhou Qin's tone was colored in curiosity. "He must've done something to give you that impression."

    Where to even begin? Tossing an obese man over his head while hanging from the edge of a balcony? Giving a woman an orgasm with just a head massage? Talk about mind-blowing.

    "He—"

    A knock on the door interrupted her. "Hey, Zhou Qin. Give me a sec."

    "Sure."

    "Come in!" Yin Mengfan hollered.

    The door swung open and Xiao Jia walked in. "Li Yundong is here as you requested, president."

    "Alright. Thanks, Xiao Jia. Send him in."

    Xiao Jia turned around and walked out. Yin Mengfan spoke into her phone. "Listen, Zhou Qin. I gotta go. I'll talk to you soon, okay? Mmm. Bye."

    Moments after she hung up, her door opened again. Li Yundong strode in confidently. He stopped in front of her desk. "You wish to see me, President Yin?"

    Yin Mengfan nodded and gestured at the chair in front of her desk. Li Yundong sat down and waited for her to speak.

    "Did the police give you a hard time?"

    Li Yundong smiled. "Nah. I just told them the truth."

    Yin Mengfan arched her brows. "And they believed you?"

    His smile turned into a smirk. "Well, there were other witnesses, so…" He shrugged.

    Yin Mengfan nodded. "I already gave them my statement earlier. I told them the truth as well. I'm sure the stories will match up. Anyway. How are you?"

    "I'm fine. Just a little tired."

    Yin Mengfan leaned back in her chair. "Good." Then, she stared into Li Yundong's eyes. "You're hired."

    A smile lit up Li Yundong's handsome features. "Really?"


  • Yin Mengfan couldn't help but smile back. "Yes, really. Come to work tomorrow. 9 AM sharp. Don't be late."

    Li Yundong saluted her. "Yes, Ma'am."

    Yin Mengfan chuckled and glanced at the time. "Well. It's five-thirty now. So you can go home after this."

    Li Yundong stood up and smiled at her brightly. "Thank you so much for giving me a chance, President Yin."

    "You're welcome. Now off you go."

    Li Yundong nodded and headed towards the door. Then, he paused mid-stride and turned back around. "Umm… What is my job specifically? And what about my work attire?"

    Yin Mengfan looked up from the papers on her desk and rubbed her temples. "I've already asked Xiao Jia to send you an email, but since you asked, I'll tell you now. I planned to put you on my security team, but that's not what you'll be doing tomorrow."

    Li Yundong's eyebrows rose.

    "Tomorrow, you'll be shadowing President Cao. She has a few matters that might require your assistance."

    "But President Cao runs an entertainment company…"

    Yin Mengfan nodded. "Well, our companies are collaborating on several projects, so sharing human resources is the norm here."

    Li Yundong regarded her for a moment, then nodded. "Okay. But what will I be helping President Cao with?"

    Yin Mengfan shrugged. "You'll have to ask her that, I'm afraid."

    "Alright, then. Have a good evening, President Yin," Li Yundong said, then left the office.

    ***

    "President Cao?" Li Yundong stopped short outside the building when he saw President Cao leaning against the wall beside the door.

    "Hey," President Cao said, walking over. "Heading home?"

    "Yeah," Li Yundong said. "Are you feeling better, President Cao?"

    President Cao smiled. "Yes. Thanks to you."

    Li Yundong smiled. "No thanks necessary. Well, I'm glad you're alright. I'm gonna go. See you tomorrow…" Li Yundong smirked. "Boss."

    Li Yundong brushed past President Cao, but a hand on his forearm made him stop. "Wait!"

    "Yes?"

    "Let me treat you to dinner," President Cao said. "To repay you for saving my life."

    Li Yundong gently freed his forearm from President Cao's grip. "I appreciate it, but that's not necessary President Cao. I have to get home to cook dinner for my girlfriend."

    A look of surprise flashed across President Cao's countenance. However, a second later, she was smiling again.

    "How about this," she said. "You join me for dinner, that way you can even bring home some food for your girlfriend. My treat."

    "But—"

    "What kind of cuisine does your girlfriend prefer? Chinese food? Western food?"

    "You really don't have to do this President Cao…"

    "Oh, but I insist."

    Li Yundong sighed. "Fine… I'll join you for dinner." But only because I don't wanna piss off my new boss on the first day of my employment.

    "Great! Let's go then! I'll drive you!"

    "Wait. Can I borrow your phone? I have to call my girlfriend and let her know that I'll be home a bit later."

    "Sure. You can use my phone in the car."

    When President Cao led him to the building's parking lot, Li Yundong wasn't at all surprised to learn that she drove a Lamborghini. President Cao pressed a button on the fob, and the car beeped.

    Soon, the Lamborghini was pulling away from the building. Li Yundong took President Cao's phone and dialed Su Chan's number. Su Chan must've been waiting for his call because she picked up after the first ring.

    "Yuuuundoooonnng… Why aren't you back home yet? It's so late already!"

    Li Yundong laughed. "How did you even know it's me?"

    "Hehehe… Because I'm smart!"

    "Oh yeah? Why don't you tell me how you figured it all out then, my wise princess?"

    "You told me how these boxes work, remember? You said that each box has a unique number sequence, and too make a call, you have to press a bunch of numbers to form the sequence! But you and Zhou Qin are the only ones who know my number."

    Li Yundong cracked a smile. God, it feels good to hear her voice… "How did you know it isn't Zhou Qin?"

    Su Chan giggled. "Because Zhou Qin's face will show up on the box when she called. That's what happened last time. But her face didn't show this time, so it can't be her. Which leaves only you."

    Li Yundong chuckled. "Okay, okay. I'm sold. My princess is clever. For that I think you deserve a reward!"

    "Yayy!" Su Chan cheered. "What reward?"

    "It's a surprise!"

    "Mmmmm… Tell meeeee…."

    Li Yundong chuckled. "Nope. Not telling ya… Did you behave yourself at home?"

    "Of course!"

    "You didn't break the TV did you?"

    "Of course I didn't, you meanie!"

    Li Yundong smiled warmly. "Alright, then."

    "When will you be home? I miss you."

    Li Yundong stole a glance at President Cao. Although she was keeping her eyes on the road, he knew she was probably listening.

    "I have to join my new boss for dinner. So I'll be back a bit later, okay?" Li Yundong paused. "Go ahead and have dinner first. I'll bring home supper for you."

    "Mmm! Don't take too long…"  

    "Okay. Bye, Su Chan."

    He hung up and passed the phone to President Cao.

    "So. That's your girlfriend, huh."

    "Yep."

    "But it sounded like you were speaking to a child."

  • Li Yundong smiled wryly. That's because she is a child… Behavior-wise at least.

    "Is she pretty?" President Cao asked.

    "To me, she's the most beautiful woman in the world."

    They drove in silence for the next few minutes. Eventually, curiosity won over. "Where are you taking me?"

    President Cao smirked. "Su An road."

    Li Yundong nearly choked on his own spit. "B- But… That's Tiannan City's red-light district!"

    President Cao burst into laughter. "Relax… There's a great Sichuan restaurant there. I hope you can stomach spicy food?"

    Li Yundong turned in his seat and smiled. "Spicy? I don't even know what that term means?"

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  • Chapter 118 Alcoholic

    "Okay! I think that's enough baijiu, President Cao." Li Yundong pried the bottle out of President Cao's hand. Somewhere between her first and second bottle, President Cao had ditched the glass and begun drinking straight out of the bottle. And God that woman could drink.

    "Shuddup!" President Cao pointed her finger at him threateningly, though with her loopy expression, the woman look about as menacing as Hello Kitty. She giggled, then snatched another bottle from the table and guzzled down more baijiu.

    Li Yundong groaned inwardly. Apparently, this was his job for the night—chaperoning his inebriated boss. What the f*ck was wrong with this woman? Seriously? Getting her pretty ass drunk in a red light district while in the company of a stranger? Had she no common sense at all? Or did the heart attack mess up her brain? And she was supposed to be the driver, for f*ck's sake! How was she supposed to drive them back in her current state? Li Yundong blew out a breath. Great. Now he needed a drink. Li Yundong poured some baijiu into his glass and took a swig.

    Truth be told, Li Yundong could've ditched President Cao and went on his way a long time ago. But then he couldn't bring himself to do it. He might have a temper and might be a bit impatient at times, but he was never cruel—he didn't have the heart to leave a completely defenseless President Cao to fend for herself in this dreadful place; he might as well just throw her to a pack of hungry wolves if he did. Case in point: President Cao had been receiving countless lecherous looks ever since they got out of the Lamborghini.

    The waiter appeared beside their table with a bag of takeout boxes. Li Yundong had ordered some of the things that he thought Su Chan might enjoy for supper. And to be honest, he felt a little guilty for leaving his princess alone at home for so long. He figured he could make it up to her with food. Maybe he should stop by McDonald's on the way home and grab a few ice-cream cones too.

    President Cao slammed the bottle down on the table. "Hey… you!" she slurred, pointing at the waiter. "Another… boddle of… of… fffff…."

    "Another bottle of baijiu, miss?"

    "Yes!! Shoo! Shoo! Shoo!" She waved at the waiter, then slumped onto the table, knocking over an empty glass with her forehead.

    Li Yundong righted the glass with one hand and grabbed the waiter's arm with the other. He gave the waiter a headshake. "She's had enough," he whispered. "Can I have the check please?"

    "It's already been taken care of, sir," the waiter answered politely. "Miss Cao told us to charge everything to her credit card."

    Li Yundong sighed inwardly. Good. Because the only thing he could afford at this point was a couple of cab rides. God, he couldn't wait for the day he got his first paycheck. The waiter left their table after Li Yundong thanked him. Li Yundong stood up and grabbed President Cao's handbag from her seat. He took out her phone, unlocked it, and then scrolled through her contact list.

    He tapped "Yin Mengfan" on the screen and placed the phone to his ear. Come on, come on… pick up… The call went to voice mail. Li Yundong lowered the phone and sighed. A moment later, he tried again.

    While the call rang, Li Yundong began to wonder who he should call if President Yin didn't pick up. Should he call Zhou Qin again? Damn. This sucks…  

    "What's up, my favorite bitch? Your heart isn't acting up again, is it?" President Yin's voice drifted into his ear. Li Yundong sighed in relief.

    "Hello, President Yin, this is Li Yundong."

    "Li Yundong?! What the hell? Why do you have President Cao's phone? Did something happen?"

    "Well… It's a long story. But President Cao is drunk right now. Can you come pick us up?"

    There was some kind of background noise—papers being shuffled. President Yin was probably packing up her stuff.

    "Where?"

    "At this restaurant called Spicy Memory…"

    There was a brief pause. Everything was silent on President Yin's end. Even the background noise had stopped.

    "Wait a minute… Isn't that…" President Yin muttered a curse. "God, that idiot! What the hell is she doing in Su An street?! And after she'd just recovered from a heart attack? Geez. What the hell was she thinking?"

    Li Yundong chuckled wryly. Beats the shit out of me too, Ma'am…

    "Wait…" President Yin drew out the word, her tone laced with suspicion. "Why on earth are you with her? Are you two alone?"

    Li Yundong sighed. "Like I said, it's a long story. But she's totally conked out right now. How fast can you get here?"

    "Fifteen… maybe twenty minutes?"

    "Alright then. I'll stay and keep an eye on her."

    "And for God's sake keep the bottle away from her," President Yin said sternly. "She's an alcoholic."

    Right. Now that made a shit ton sense.

    "Alright then," Li Yundong said. "I think I'll let her sleep for now. She wouldn't be tempted to drink again if she's asleep. Can you send a text to her phone when you're almost here? I'll wake her up then."

    "Sure…." There was a pause. "And Li Yundong… Thank you."

    "You're welcome."

    The call ended with a click. Li Yundong lowered the phone from his ear and stared at the screen.

    Yeah. His first paycheck really couldn't come soon enough.

    ***

    Li Yundong lifted the President Cao's phone when he heard the ping. He tapped on the notification banner to read the text.

    Almost there. Five mins.

    "About damn time," Li Yundong muttered. He stood up and placed the phone back into President Cao's handbag, then scanned the table and seats to make sure that President Cao didn't have other items lying around.

    "President Cao…" Li Yundong shook her a few times. "Wake up, President Cao. Time to go home."

    President Cao slapped his hand away. "Shuddup…"


  • Li Yundong shook her harder. He didn't even get a reaction this time. "I thought adults are supposed to be responsible…" he muttered.

    Li Yundong turned President Cao's face towards him, then jabbed his index finger on her Renzhong—an acupoint between the upper lip and the nose. When she didn't react after a few seconds, he increased the pressure of his finger. A few more seconds passed, and President Cao suddenly sat bolt upright.

    "W- Wha- What? Who…?" She turned her head around in confusion, stopping when her eyes landed on Li Yundong. "Oh. It's you…" President Cao smiled brightly. "My savior…"

    Li Yundong pushed away President Cao's attempt to hug him. "Okay… President Cao. You're drunk. President Yin is coming to take you home, okay? Do you want some water?"

    "Ugh… I don't want water…"

    Li Yundong stood up and returned to his seat. "Then rest up for a while, okay? President Yin will be here soon."

    And so is your massive hangover, he added silently.

    "Tell me…" President Cao said, placing her elbows on the table and her chin in her palms. She was staring back at him with glassy eyes.

    "Tell you what?"

    "Tell me how you saved life…"

    Li Yundong blushed and rubbed the back of his neck. "Err… It's kinda hard to explain…"

    "Tell me how you made me come with your fingers."

    Li Yundong choked on his on spit. Someone started coughing a few tables away. Li Yundong took his glass and took a huge gulp of baijiu.

    "Would you please keep it down," Li Yundong hissed after putting his glass down.

    President Cao giggled. "Why? Don't tell me you're shy… Didn't think you'd be that shy after what you did to me…"

    Why? Why me?

    Li Yundong sighed. "Alright, enough. You've had too much to drink…"

    "Yo… Look who's here… If it isn't President Cao of Huasheng Studios… What a coincidence."

    Li Yundong turned around at the voice. Two men were standing behind him, both of whom were dressed in business suits. The only difference between them was that one of them had a bald patch while the other had a full head of hair.

    President Cao sat up straighter. Wariness crept into her eyes. "P- President Zhao? What are you doing here?"

    The man with the full head of hair flicked a glance at Li Yundong, then flashed a smile at President Cao. "I have some business to attend to," he said. "Ah, right. Allow me introduce you to President Xie of Jiahe Timber."

    The man with the bald patch stepped forward and took President Cao's hand. "It's a pleasure to meet you, President Cao. I've heard a lot of great things about you."

    Li Yundong did not miss the way both men had given President Cao's body a thorough once over. It wouldn't take a lot of imagination to figure out what sort of "great things" President Xie had heard about President Cao. Uh-oh… These two men smelled like trouble.

    Suddenly, President Zhao's eyes were on Li Yundong. "And this is…?"

    President Cao chuckled. "Oh. He's one of President Yin's employees that I borrowed."

    President Zhao nodded. "And you're here as…?"

    "Bodyguard." Li Yundong's answer took President Cao by surprise.

    President Zhao's brows drew together. He looked a little confused. Seconds later, he turned to President Cao with a raised brow.

    "O- Oh, yeah! That's right! Well! You know about the riots and protesters right? President Yin thought having a bodyguard is better for my personal safety. So…"

    President Zhao regarded Li Yundong for a few seconds, then extended his hand. "Zhao Yougen. President of Guotai Electonics."

    Li Yundong shook the man's hand. "I'm Li Yundong."

    The handshake ended as quickly as it began. Zhao Yougen's attention was once again on President Cao. "So, President Cao. How about we have a couple of drinks together?"

    Uh-oh… Li Yundong rose from his seat. "I don't think that's a good idea, sir. President Cao has had a lot to drink already."

    Zhao Yougen frowned at him. "I asked the lady, not you."

    Li Yundong smirked. "But it is my duty to protect her, sir." From perverts like you.

    Zhao Yougen didn't look impressed. "Are you serious?" He turned to President Cao. "Is he serious?"

    President Cao seemed too stunned—and, to be honest, too inebriated—to speak.

    Li Yundong stepped forward. "Yes, sir. I'm dead serious. Now if you'll excuse me. I have a job to do."

    Zhao Yougen opened his mouth to say something, but he was cut off by another voice.

    "Kefei!" President Yin appeared beside their table, then sighed in relief. "Oh, thank God…"

    "What? Mengfan?" President Cao squinted her eyes in confusion. "What are you doing here?"

    "I'm here to pick you up," President Yin said sternly, then turned to give each of the two men a smile.

    "President Zhao. President Xie. Fancy seeing you both here."

    The two men nodded. "President Yin."

    Zhao Yougen smiled at President Yin. "We were just asking President Cao to join us for drinks. Would you like to join us too President Yin?" Zhao Yougen's eyes darted to Li Yundong briefly. "The bodyguard can join too, of course."

    If President Yin was surprised that Zhao Yougen had referred to Li Yundong as President Cao's bodyguard, she didn't show it.

    Instead, a cold look formed in President Yin's eyes. For some reason, those eyes reminded him of Zhou Qin.

    "Thank you for your offer, President Zhao," she said. "But President Cao has had enough to drink for one night, so we'll pass." Then, without waiting for the two men to reply, President Yin turned to Li Yundong. "Carry her to my car. I'll grab her stuff."

    "Hey! I can walk…" President Cao argued weakly.

    President Yin rolled her eyes. "Ignore her. It's much quicker if you carry her."


  • Li Yundong suppressed a smirk. "Yes, Ma'am."

    Maybe there was more to President Yin Mengfan than meets the eye.

    ***

    "Thank God you were there, Li Yundong," President Yin said after she had started her car. "Zhao Yougen has been pursuing Kefei for ages now. The man doesn't know how to take a damn hint even after the countless times Kefei has rejected him."

    Li Yundong turned away from the backseat, where President Cao lay fast asleep.

    President Yin held Li Yundong's gaze intently. "That man would've taken advantage of Kefei tonight if you hadn't been there. So, thank you."

    Li Yundong nodded. "You're welcome." Then, he smiled. "I kinda saw it as my job already, you know?"

    President Yin returned his smile. "I know. You introduced yourself as Kefei's bodyguard, right?"

    Li Yundong chuckled sheepishly. "Yeah. It was the first thing that came to mind."

    They pulled away from the restaurant and drove along Su An street.

    "So you and President Cao are pretty tight, huh?" Li Yundong remarked. It was probably weird to make small-talk with his superior—even more so considering how terrible he was at making small-talk—but he couldn't stand the silence anymore.  

    President Yin sighed. "Yeah. We're like sisters." She gave Li Yundong a wry smile. "But I think you figured that out already."

    Li Yundong nodded. "You pretty much freaked out earlier when she was dying."

    They stopped at a set of traffic lights. "Kefei… Usually, she likes to flirt around and act promiscuous. But deep down, she's a good woman."

    "I see."

    President Yin turned her head and regarded Li Yundong seriously. "People say that she sleeps around, but that couldn't be further from the truth. She rejected a lot of men who came on to her. And trust me, there were a lot of those."

    The lights turned green, and they drove off once again.

    "We're about to leave Su An street," President Yin said. "Where to?"

    Li Yundong laughed. "As if you don't know my address already."

    President Yin just smirked.

    "Are you sure you don't want to take President Cao home first?"

    President Yin snorted. "What difference does it make? Just look at her. She's pretty much dead to the world already."

    Li Yundong chuckled. "Good point. Hey, wait. What about President Cao's car? It's still parked outside the restaurant."

    "I'll just ask a couple of my security guys to pick it up for her tomorrow."

    "Oh. Okay." It was a Lamborghini though. He wondered if it would still be there tomorrow.

    "So? Where to? Do you want me to take you to New Hongsheng District straightaway?"

    Li Yundong thought for a moment. A slow smile formed on his lips. "I'd like to make a stop first, if you don't mind."

    "Where?"

    "McDonald's."

    ***

    These soap shows were a lot more fun to watch when Yundong was around. At the moment, two women were arguing on-screen about something. Usually, Su Chan would be all over the place trying to figure out what they were arguing about, or what an "alimony" means. Tonight, she just wasn't in the mood.

    Su Chan grabbed the remote from the coffee table and pressed a button on its top-left corner. The colors disappeared from the TV's surface, leaving only darkness. The apartment felt empty and quiet. Without Yundong, Su Chan's life felt empty.

    The remote bounced a little when Su Chan dropped it onto the couch. She stood up and grabbed her phone from the table. Like the TV, the phone's surface was black. It didn't glow brightly or played the weird, shamanistic music whenever someone was calling. She hadn't gotten any calls from Yundong since the last one they shared. Was Yundong's boss working him hard already? Was Yundong so busy that he didn't have time to call her? Or maybe he did call and the phone was just too rude to let her know that he had called.

    Should she leave the apartment and go look for him? Maybe fly around the city for a bit? Oh don't be silly Chan'er… The Zhengyi School was still on the hunt for her. She had exposed herself enough already during that fight with Lin Youfa. If the Zhengyi School got wind of where she was, if they found her, it wasn't just her life that would be in danger. Yundong's life would be put at risk as well. So, no. No flying.

    What if she walked? But the city was so big. Where should she even begin the search? Yundong didn't tell her the location of his new job, so she was pretty much in the dark. Maybe I should call Elder Sister Zhou Qin and ask her about it…

    There was a soft rustle. Su Chan turned around and looked towards the living room's sliding door. Must be the curtains... She should close the sliding door. With her phone in hand, Su Chan padded towards the sliding door and closed it. The curtains stopped moving instantly.

    Actually, there was a good way for her to do away with this constant fretting. She could have Cultivated while waiting for Yundong to come home. But then she didn't want to miss his return because she was in a meditative state.

    A soft swish sounded behind her.

    Su Chan swiveled around with a frown. That didn't sound like the curtain at all. Did she forget to close the sliding door in her room? Just when she was about head to her room to check, she heard another swish above her. But when she glanced up, she saw nothing.

    A sharp pain on her back caused her to scream. Something clattered to the floor, and the living room began to spin. A second later, her head smashed into something solid. The coolness pressed against her right cheek made her open her eyes. Blinking a few times, she saw her phone lying beside her face on the floor.

    Her head pounded, and she couldn't breathe. Something was inside her, squeezing the life out of her, disrupting the flow of her Qi. Divine aura. She had just been exposed to divine aura.

    Have to… get my needles… Have to stay awake… Have to hide…

    She let out a strangled gasp. "Yun…dong…"

    Everything went dark.

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  • Chapter 119 The Hunter vs The Hunted

    Darkness greeted Li Yundong the moment he stepped into the apartment. "Princess, I'm home," he hollered, shutting the door behind him. He stood at the door, waiting for an answer. There was none, only the echoes of his own voice.

    He moved away from the door and stopped beside the couch. The TV was turned off and the remote was lying on the couch. "Princess?"

    Had she gone to bed already? Li Yundong frowned and padded into the kitchen. That made no sense; it wasn't her bedtime yet. It was only 9 PM when President Yin dropped him off.

    Li Yundong placed the bag of takeout boxes on the dining table, then walked over to the fridge. Most of the food in the fridge was gone, which meant that Su Chan most likely had her dinner already. He placed the two cups of ice-cream beside the Greek yogurt tub before shutting the fridge.

    A slow smile spread across Li Yundong's face. "Su Chan… You can come out now, you know. I know you're trying to scare me. It won't work." His smile grew wider when he remembered the last time she had tried to sneak up on him. They were still staying at their old apartment back then. She tried to scare him while he was cooking in the kitchen but got startled by him instead.

    "Come on, Su Chan… Enough games. Come out and eat! I've bought supper!" he yelled, fully expecting to hear the pitter-patter of Su Chan's footsteps as soon as those words left his mouth. Food always worked on Su Chan. Always.

    Not this time, apparently.

    Seconds turned into minutes. Still, there were no signs of his princess. A sinking sensation formed at the pit of his stomach. Where the hell is she? He left the kitchen and headed for her room. He knocked on her door a few times. When he didn't get an answer, he tried the door knob and found that the door was unlocked. Su Chan's scent assaulted his nostril the moment he pushed the door open. He walked in and came to a halt when his eyes landed on the empty bed. The sinking sensation grew.  

    "Come on, Su Chan… Quit messing around!" Li Yundong yanked open her wardrobe, half-expecting to see Su Chan pouncing on him or tackling him to the floor. However, instead of a beautiful girl with childlike innocence, he was greeted by the sight of dresses and blouses—an entire row of them, hung neatly on hangers.

    If this was her idea of scaring him, it was working. It was f*cking working.

    He slammed the wardrobe shut and glanced around frantically. He hurried towards the corner of the bedroom and drew the curtains apart. Light from the city trickled in, highlighting the evidence of Su Chan's absence: the neatly-made bed; her pajamas hanging on the clothes rack.

    He unlocked the sliding door, then poked his out. No signs of Su Chan on the balcony either. "F*ck… Where is she?" he muttered. He shut the sliding door, then leaned his back against it. Maybe she's in the bathroom...

    The thought had him scurrying out of the bedroom. Moments later, he stood outside the bathroom with his heart in his throat. She'd checked both bathrooms and came up empty.

    What if she left the apartment to look for him? He ran back into the kitchen and then grabbed his phone from the kitchen counter. With shaky hands, he switched on his phone. The phone pinged with dozens of missed call notifications, thanks to his "fans." He ignored the notifications and dialed Su Chan's number instead. Horror filled his chest when Su Chan's ringtone drifted into the kitchen. He exited the kitchen, following the sound of the ringtone.

    A soft glow lit up a corner of the living room near the curtains. No… No… F*ck… No… He bent down and picked up Su Chan's phone from the floor. The back cover was a little loose, and there was a chip on the phone's edge.

    Something must have happened here. Was Su Chan attacked? He glanced around like a maniac, looking for any signs of a struggle or forced entry. But the living room was immaculate. Nothing seemed out of place. So why would she drop her phone here? And where the hell is she?

    Li Yundong got to his feet and started pacing the living room. Alright man… Calm down and think… Suppose that Su Chan was indeed attacked. And right now, he couldn't find her anywhere inside the apartment. What did that imply? Obviously, Su Chan was no longer inside the apartment, so either she had managed to escape from the apartment, or someone had kidnapped her. He prayed that it was the former. He prayed and prayed as he moved past the living room towards the front door. His throat constricted the moment he checked the shoe rack.

    Su Chan's shoe was still there, which meant she hadn't escaped. She'd been taken. Someone came into the apartment and took her. The intruder must have knocked her out because there were no signs of a struggle. That must also be why Su Chan dropped her phone. A swish sounded above him, throwing Li Yundong into high alert. He'd heard that noise before, like someone waving a flag or a piece of cloth.

    "Who's there?!"

    Who indeed? Lin Youfa? Those Zhengyi wackos?

    Another swish. This time it came from the kitchen. Li Yundong eyed the door of the apartment. Should he make a run for it? Okay, say he managed to get out of the apartment. And then what? Go to the police and report Su Chan missing? That thought made him sick to the stomach.

    Again, another swish. The bathroom! Without ado, Li Yundong charged towards the bathroom—the one beside Su Chan's room—and slammed the door shut before locking the door from the outside.

    Got you now, you son of a bitch

    "Where is she?" Li Yundong yelled from outside the bathroom. "Where the hell did you take her? I know you—"

    Wait a minute… Wait a f*cking minute…

    Li Yundong backed away from the bathroom and hurried back into the living room. If the intruder had succeeded in kidnapping Su Chan, why would they still be here lurking around in the apartment? Hope kindled inside Li Yundong. The intruder is still here. Which means… Su Chan might still be hiding inside the apartment. Li Yundong moved his Qi to his Shenting and walked to a spot in the living room where he knew would put him right at the center of the entire apartment.

    When the familiar buzzing returned to his ears, Li Yundong began to sort through the ambient noise. The noises from the neighborhood were muffled since all the sliding doors were closed. If he heard anything at all, it would most like come from inside the apartment.

    Clock ticking… the fridge's humming… Come on, princess… make some noise… Water dripping… That goddamn swishing sound again… His own breathing… Come on…

    Then he heard it. A whimper. He focused harder and isolated that noise from the rest. Oh God…

    Li Yundong charged into his bedroom and yanked open the door of his wardrobe. Su Chan's limp figure fell out and collapsed into his arms. Her face was pale and her forehead was covered in sweat. She was barely breathing.


  • ***

    Li Yundong's mind was racing. Never in his life had he felt so terrified. His heart was beating so rapidly that it was like his chest could burst open any second. Cradling Su Chan in his arms, he ran out of his room and placed Su Chan on the couch. Hang on, princess. Please hang on… With all the haste he could muster, he opened the living room's sliding door and hurried back to the couch.

    Then, he picked up Su Chan's limp form and placed her on the floor, where he got her into a meditative posture. Using his knees to keep her body upright, he pressed his fingers on Su Chan's head and performed the Three-Pronged Flower Gathering technique. Barely a minute into the massage, Su Chan whimpered and slumped sideways to the floor. Li Yundong dropped to his knees and tried to help her into a sitting position again. Su Chan groaned.

    "Shh… Hold still, I'm not done yet," he whispered.

    Su Chan pushed his hands away. "No…" she said weakly. "R- Run… Leave me…"

    "Don't be silly!" he growled. "I'm not f*cking leaving you."

    There was that annoying swish again. What the f*ck? Li Yundong's gaze snapped to the bathroom, whose door was still closed. "How the hell did it…"

    "Look out!"

    Li Yundong's body skidded along the floor after Su Chan shoved him away. The explosiveness and strength behind that shove took him by complete surprise. Before he could react, Su Chan's body flew across the living room and crashed into the wall at the far end.  

    "No!" Li Yundong was up on his feet in an instant. When he reached the wall, Su Chan was coughing and struggling to sit up.

    "Su Chan… Are you alright? Tell me where it hurts?"

    Su Chan shook her head weakly. "E- Eyes… on… t- the… the enemy…"

    Li Yundong rose to his feet, making sure to put his body in front of Su Chan. What the f*ck happened? Something had clearly struck Su Chan, but he didn't see anything just now. It was like some kind of invisible force had rammed into Su Chan. And what the f*ck was causing that swishing noise? I thought I'd trapped it inside the bathroom… Could there be more than one intruder?

    Get out. They had to get out of the apartment first.

    Li Yundong crouched down and picked up Su Chan's body from the floor, then made a dash towards the front door.

    "You're not going anywhere, you demon witch!"

    All of a sudden, Su Chan's body was ripped away from his arms. Next thing he knew, he was falling forward as though he had tripped over some kind of invisible object. Light exploded behind his eyes when the back of his head smashed into the wall.    

    By the time Li Yundong climbed back to his feet, Su Chan's body was floating in midair, her arms dangling limply from her shoulders. Long strands of her dark tresses hung down vertically like a dark waterfall around her head.

    A ball of heat formed inside Li Yundong's lower belly. "Let. Her. Go!"

    "Stay out of this, you filthy man! My business is with this demon witch, not you. And if you get in my way, I'll destroy you too!"

    Li Yundong growled. "Give her back!" Li Yundong jumped forward and activated Xianjue at the same time. Su Chan's body drifted to his left, just like he'd predicted. He wrapped his arms around Su Chan's waist and yanked her towards him with all his strength. A loud swish sounded and Su Chan was once again back in his arms.

    He placed Su Chan down on the floor and jabbed his finger into her Renzhong. A moment later, Su Chan gasped and blinked her eyes open. The loud swish sounded in three rapid successions, like it was angry.

    "You will regret this, you prurient fool!"

    The curtains fluttered harshly.

    "You have two options," Li Yundong said coldly. "You either show yourself or you get the hell out of our home."

    A strong gust of wind ripped through the living room. Then, he saw it. Something materialized in the air slightly below the ceiling. It was a piece of red cloth. No. Not just any cloth, it was a piece of damask, a three-foot-long damask which glowed in a greenish light.

    A familiar voice came out from the red damask. "I'm going to say this one last time, demon witch. Hand over the Renyuan Jindan! Or suffer the full wrath of the Zhengyi School!"

    "We don't know any Renyuan Jindan," Li Yundong said coldly. "Now get the hell out!"

    A contemptuous laugh blared out from the damask. "Another lecherous fool that this demon slut had bewitched…"

    Anger flared inside Li Yundong. "Watch your mouth…"

    "And now you're about to die for that demon witch. How pathetic."

    There was a sudden flash of red light. The red damask whizzed forward like an arrow travelling at the speed of a bullet.  

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  • Chapter 120 The Heir

    Light permeated the apartment. The walls, the furniture, and the floor, they all glowed like embers. Li Yundong growled and pushed back against the tip of the spear-like damask. Scarlet rays radiated from the tip of the damask. The rays spread along the length of the damask like the tail of a falling meteor.

    Li Yundong's feet slid backwards as the tip of the damask pushed harder against his left palm. The white glow in his palm was waning, and he knew it wouldn't be long before the damask pierced through his skin. Out of sheer desperation, Li Yundong lifted his free hand and tried to grab the other end of the damask. It didn't work. For some reason, his hand kept encountering some kind of resistance the moment it got close to the damask—his hand couldn't reach past the red glow surrounding the damask. Eventually, his attempts to grab the damask with his free hand turned into punches. He delivered punch after punch, all of which were repelled by the damask's red aura.

    Feminine laughter echoed in the room. "Using your Lung's Qi, huh? Not bad for a pathetic fool."

    Thanks to Xianjue, Li Yundong had predicted the damask's trajectory way before it even hit. He knew that it was aimed at his heart. Even so, he decided to stop it with his palm because dodging wasn't an option—that f*cking thing would've hit Su Chan if he dodged.

    "This damask can pierce through thick boulders and solid metal, but you think you can stop it with your bare hands?" Snide laughter rang out. "What a fool!"

    The damask spun like a drill. The white glow surrounding Li Yundong's palm dissipated instantly. A stinging sensation at the center of his palm caused him to scream. No. He was mistaken. The pain didn't come from his palm; the pain was inside, like some kind of aura had forced its way into his body, tearing him apart from the inside.

    "Since you're a fellow Cultivator. I have no reason to hold back! Now, die!!"

    Li Yundong's insides were on fire, but he clenched his jaw and held on. Don't give up... Keep fighting...

    A strange sensation washed over Li Yundong, and somehow, it felt familiar. Yes, he'd felt this before. H experienced this exact sensation when he sent Zeng Qin flying after the latter had kicked the pad he'd been holding. A strange surge of strength radiated from Li Yundong's core, and he roared. The enemy's scream rang out, and the damask was instantly forced away from his palm. The pain inside his body was gone, but something else was happening to him, something strange. Li Yundong raised his arms, which were now emitting a golden radiance. No. It wasn't just his arms. His whole body was emitting a golden radiance. (T/N: The perfect imagery will be Goku's Super Saiyan first form)

    Li Yundong raised his gaze and glared at the damask hovering a few feet away in the air.

    "Th- This... aura..." Gone was the enemy's bravado. The voice that came out from the damask was the voice of a frightened girl.

    "What did you do to me!" Li Yundong growled. "Why am I like this?!" A sudden burst of light filled the living room, bathing the walls and furniture in gold. Li Yundong stepped forward. "Answer me!!"

    "How could this... How could the Jindan's aura be... Oh my God... The prophecy... It's you… You are the Heir..."

    "What Heir? What the hell are you talking about?"

    "Listen to me! Abandon that demon witch! Abandon the dark side and join us! You belong with us, the force of good! We can help you achieve your full potent—"

    "Shut the hell up! And get off your high horse!" Li Yundong roared. "You break into other people's homes and assault them, and you have the nerve to call yourself the force of good? You're nothing but a crook!"

    Li Yundong advanced towards the floating damask while it retreated.

    "D- Don't come any closer! S- Stay back! I'm the disciple of the Zhengyi School! Y- You don't wanna mess w- with me!"

    The damask tried to fly away, but Li Yundong reached out and grabbed one of its ends. The damask's protective aura fought against his grip but was eventually overwhelmed by the golden radiance of his hand.

    The damask suddenly coiled up and slithered along Li Yundong's right arm. Li Yundong tried to rip it away with his left hand, but the damask slipped down his legs and floated back into the air again.

    "Tell your stupid organization to leave us alone and never bother us again!" Li Yundong yelled.

    "S- Stupid organization!" The ire returned to the girl's voice. "How dare you! The Zhengyi School will not tolerate such utter disrespe—"

    "I don't give a flying f*ck!" Li Yundong pounced on the red damask and ripped it from the air with both hands. The red aura resisted, but Li Yundong squeezed as hard as he could. Inch by inch, the red aura diminished under Li Yundong's grip until it dissolved into nothingness. A green apparition floated up from the damask, which was now lying limply in Li Yundong's hands. The apparition took the form of a frightened teenage girl. It was Ruan Hongling.

    "Get out!!" Li Yundong stepped forward again. The apparition shrieked, then disappeared in a flash of green light.

    Li Yundong sighed and moved his Qi to his Lingtai. Calmness suffused him, and the golden radiance subsided along with all the stress and tension of battle. He turned around and scrambled towards the girl lying on the ground. Su Chan seemed to be holding on to the last threads of consciousness. "Su Chan! Talk to me! How can I help? Tell me what I can do to make it better..."

    Su Chan whimpered and moaned.

    "What? What is it?"

    "Mmm... M- Ma...sss..."

    Something clicked in Li Yundong's mind. The massage.

    "Alright. Got it." He picked up Su Chan from the floor and carried her into the living room, then positioned her on the floor so that her back was leaning against the couch. After that, he settled himself on the couch behind her and clamped his thighs on both sides of her shoulders to keep her upright.

    "Hang on, princess. Don't die on me..." he muttered as he positioned his fingers on Su Chan's head.


  • ***

    A flash of green light appeared on the foot of Mount Longhu. A moment later, Ruan Hongling's figure appeared on the flight of stairs leading up to Mount Longhu. Like everything else in the area, the stairs—covered in blue flagstones—looked elegant in a quaint and picturesque sort of way.

    Ten years. Ruan Hongling had had that red damask for over ten years. And now it was taken from her by that vile, and wicked man, that pathetic slave of a fox spirit. How could she allow this to happen? How could she? No. She didn't allow it to happen. The man had taken the thing from her by force. His Spirit was so powerful that it had broken the connection between her Spirit and the damask. And now the damask no longer answered to her. Oh, the shame. How could she live with herself from now on?

    A sob escaped Ruan Hongling's lips. She pressed a hand to her mouth to stifle it. Good thing she didn't fly straight into Mount Longhu. She didn't want anyone to see her like this. Well, other than Elder Sister Zi Yuan, of course.

    Once she had regained control of her emotions, Ruan Hongling took the flight of stairs and began making her way into Mount Longhu. Halfway up the mountain, Ruan Hongling stopped beside a small Taoist temple. When she raised her knuckles, poised to knock on the door, it swung open.

    "Elder Sister Zi Yuan!!!" Ruan Hongling wailed and threw herself into the woman's arms.

    "Good God, Hongling. What on earth is the matter?"

    "My damask... Someone took my damask from me!"

    Ruan Hongling rubbed her eyes and met Elder Sister Zi Yuan's gaze. A tiny smile graced her ever-beautiful features. "C'mere Hongling."

    Tears stung Ruan Hongling's eyes again and she couldn't help the sob that escaped her lips a moment later. It was like Elder Sister Zi Yuan's gentle pats on her back had broken the dam holding back her emotions.

    "Now, now... Stop crying, okay? It's just a red damask, what's the big deal? I'll get you another one for you later!"

    Ruan Hongling sniffed. "But it isn't the same! That thing has been with me for ten years! Master gave it to me himself!"

    Elder Sister Zi Yuan just smiled and said nothing. Minutes later, Ruan Hongling's sobs petered out.

    "Elder Sister Zi Yuan..."

    "Yes?"

    "You opened the door when I was about to knock..."

    Elder Sister Zi Yuan smirked.

    "How did you know I was returning?" Ruan Hongling asked.

    Elder Sister Zi Yuan chuckled. "Well. Let's just say that I read your fortune before I returned. So I know that you'd run into trouble today. I've been waiting for your return, you see."

    Ruan Hongling giggled, feeling joy for the first time since she left New Hongsheng District. "You could predict that far into the future? You really are awesome, Elder Sister Zi Yuan!"

    Elder Sister Zi Yuan smiled and dried Ruan Hongling's tears gently. "Look at you. Crying like a baby even though you're already a big girl."

    Ruan Hongling pouted. "That damask is precious to me, you know..."

    "I know. Come. Tell me, then. Who took it from you? Didn't they know that you're from the Zhengyi School?"

    "It was a man," Ruan Hongling growled. "A vile, repulsive, and lecherous man!"

    A slight frown marred Elder Sister Zi Yuan's features. "Oh?"

    Suddenly, Ruan Hongling went into a panic. She grabbed Elder Sister Zi Yuan's arms. "There's something else, Elder Sister Zi Yuan... That man... He... He's the Jindan's Heir!"

    Elder Sister Zi Yuan's demeanor changed in an instant. Gone was the calm and composed woman. "What?! Are you sure, Hongling? Are you absolutely positive?"

    Ruan Hongling nodded. There could be no mistake. "I'm sure of it, Elder Sister Zi Yuan! He unleashed the Jindan's aura. That's how he managed to take the damask from me!"

    "How could..." Elder Sister Zi Yuan went pale. For long while, she just stood there, gaping like a fish. Ruan Hongling shook her arm. "Elder Sister?"

    Finally, after minutes of silence, Elder Sister Zi Yuan spoke. "Hongling. Go to my room and grab the jade plate and the mirror."

    Ruan Hongling's eyes widened. "Seriously?"

    Elder Sister Zi Yuan nodded. "Do you know where I keep them?"

    Ruan Hongling nodded.

    "Go and get them. We'll leave the mountain immediately."

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  • Chapter 121 You're Stuck with Me!

    "I'm okay now, Yundong... Really."

    Li Yundong put the glass of water on the floor and looked at Su Chan worriedly.

    "Are you sure? Coz... Fifteen minutes ago, you really looked like you were about to die." Li Yundong's heart clenched at the memory.

    Su Chan stood up and started jumping up and down. "Hehehe... See! I'm fine... Woohoo! Weee—"

    Li Yundong pulled her into a crushing hug. "I'm so sorry... Su Chan... This is all my fault. God damn it. I should've come home as soon as I left the company. I should've been here! I shouldn't... I shouldn't have let you go through all that alone..."

    A moment later, Li Yundong felt the light strokes of Su Chan's finger on his scalp. He closed his eyes to savor the feeling. He could've lost her tonight, but he didn't. She was still here, alive. And that was all that mattered.

    "It's okay, Yundong... You came back in time. You saved me. I'm alright now. See?" Su Chan pulled away. And good God, that smile could light up his whole world.

    Li Yundong lifted his hand and let his fingers trailed along the planes of her cheek. "Are you really okay? I don't know what the hell she did, but she hurt you really bad. I've never seen you so…" So lifeless. So debilitated. "I mean, that was the worst shape I've ever seen you in."

    Su Chan shook her head gently. "The damage isn't physical. It's..."

    Li Yundong jerked back in surprise. "What? What do you mean it's not physical? Are you hurt elsewhere?" He scanned Su Chan's body up and down.

    Su Chan looked away. "It's the aura. I was incapacitated because I was exposed to its aura." Su Chan pointed at the red damask lying on the floor.

    Li Yundong stared at the damask while secretly entertaining thoughts about burning the damn thing to ashes.

    "Don't bother. You can't destroy it," Su Chan said as if reading his thoughts.

    Li Yundong shot her a worried glance. "But... Is it... Is it still affecting you?"

    Su Chan shook her head. "No. The magic is gone."

    Li Yundong lowered his head with a sigh. Moments later, he glanced at Su Chan again. "How are you feeling?"

    "Tired..." Su Chan said. "But I'm fine. You mobilized my Qi when you gave me the massage. The movement of my Qi helped expel the aura from my body."

    Li Yundong huffed, then ran a hand through his hair. "This is all on me. I should've done something." He paced back and forth in the living room. "I should've told you something about the noise instead of just dismissing it." He stopped pacing and stared at Su Chan. "Remember that day when Ruan Hongling visited us?"

    Su Chan nodded meekly.

    Li Yundong shook his head in disgust. "Yeah. That's the first time I heard the swishing noise. Heard it after Ruan Hongling left. It sounded like someone waving a flag. Now we know what was causing it." He glared at the red damask.

    Su Chan sighed. "It doesn't matter Yundong. It has a stealth mode where it turns invisible."

    "So she's been spying on us... since...?"

    Su Chan shrugged. "My guess? Since the day she knocked on our door."

    "Right... Wait. Is that why you hid inside your room that day? Not because..." Not because we made out like a bunch of horny teenagers and you got scared, he added silently.

    "Yeah... But I was listening to your conversation..."

    Li Yundong frowned. Something felt off. "Those guys have been hunting you since you stole the..." Li Yundong pointed at his chest.

    Su Chan smiled wryly. "You can say it, Yundong. It doesn't matter anymore."

    Right. Their cover was blown anyway. Li Yundong cleared his throat. "When Ruan Hongling came by the other day, it didn't seem like she knew you were here. She kept introducing herself to me. Then she asked me about my school and who my master is." Come to think of it, Lin Youfa kept asking him the same thing as well. Maybe it was a Cultivator thing.

    Su Chan toyed with her sleeves. "That's because she really didn't know that day. I hid my aura well." Su Chan looked him in the eye. "I think she came that day because she was curious about you."

    "Me? But how could she possibly..." Li Yundong sighed and let his chin drop to his chest. "Right. Because I roared in the middle of the night like some nutcase."

    "She must have traced your roar to this area," Su Chan said pensively. "Only a Cultivator can roar that loudly and for such a long period of—"

    Li Yundong groaned and slapped his forehead. "Damn it, I'm such an idiot..."

    "What?"

    Li Yundong stared at Su Chan. "She didn't have to trace the roar here. She lives in this area. I actually saw her the first day we moved here."

    Su Chan frowned. "What? Where?"

    Li Yundong sighed. "At the gazebo near the gates. I didn't tell you back then because I didn't think it was significant. She lives in the block just opposite ours. Remember that morning when I first experienced Xianjue? She's the one I saw on the balcony!" Li Yundong sighed again. "After that I guess it just slipped my mind, what with all the crazy shit happening around us. Zhao Yujian, Lin Youfa, and all that crap..."

    Su Chan sat there quietly with a thoughtful look on her face. Moments later, she closed her eyes and pounded her head with her fist. "Of course... Of course she would be living here..."

    Li Yundong grabbed her fist and ended her bout of self-harm. "What?"

    "Don't you see? She's a Cultivator! Of course she would pick this place as her home. This is the ideal place for a Cultivator to stay!"

    All those strange criteria Su Chan had when they were apartment hunting suddenly made a lot of sense.

    Su Chan chuckled. "Ruan Hongling and I were both thinking like Cultivators. So it's no surprise that we end up staying in the same area."

    Li Yundong shook his head wryly. "I guess it's just shit luck then..."

    Su Chan snorted. "She must have felt dissatisfied after her first visit." Su Chan stared at Li Yundong. "You practically dismissed her."

    Li Yundong rolled his eyes. "I thought she was nuts. Can you blame me though? None of the stuff she said made any sense. I even did a search on the internet afterwards."

    Su Chan look adorably puzzled. Silence spread between them, and the look of puzzlement on Su Chan's face deepened.

    "What?" Li Yundong asked.


  • "But we didn't have fish that day... or the day after."

    Now it was Li Yundong's turn to look confused. "What? Fish?"

    "You said you searched in a net. I thought..." Su Chan blushed. "I thought that's... that's what they use to c- catch fish..."

    Li Yundong's laughter expelled every ounce of tension in his body. "Oh, God... Seriously, Su Chan. I adore you to death... Hahaha... You really are something else, you know that?"

    "S- Sorry..."

    Li Yundong reached over and ruffled her hair. "Don't be sorry. I like this innocent side of you." He sighed. "It's so tiring to deal with schemes and ulterior motives all the time. Being with a girl like you makes life better."

    "E- Even though I'm a troublemaker?"

    Li Yundong chuckled. "Yes. Even though you're a troublemaking chipmunk."

    Su Chan pouted and swiped at him.

    Li Yundong caught her hand and held it firmly in his palm. "Which means she found you when she was trying to spy on me…"

    Su Chan's expression turned grim. "That's partly my fault I guess..."

    Li Yundong gave her a funny look. "What? Why is it your fault?"

    "I got careless. Didn't conceal my aura well enough... And you weren't here."

    "Me?"

    "Your presence alone can act as a smoke screen," Su Chan explained. "Remember when I told you about the night we first met? I hid the Jindan in your mouth and stayed close to you. Your Yang Qi can mask auras."

    "Is that why you insist on tagging along wherever I go?"

    Su Chan nodded. "But that was before."

    Li Yundong's expression softened. "And now?"

    "Now it's because I can't imagine my life without you."

    ***

    "I think we're all set," Li Yundong said, zipping up the suitcase. "Anything else you wanna bring, princess?"

    Li Yundong heaved the suitcase off the bed and placed it on the floor. "Princess?" he said, turning around. Su Chan was sitting on her bed, staring off into space. She was hugging her pillow to her chest.

    Something tugged inside Li Yundong's heart. "Do you want to take that pillow with you?" he said, keeping his tone light.

    Su Chan's lips quivered. Moments later, she sniffed. Dark spots formed on the pillowcase. Li Yundong walked over and sat down on the bed. "What's the matter, princess? Are you sure you're not hurt anywhere else?"

    Su Chan shook her head and rubbed her eyes. "I... I'm gonna miss our home..."

    Li Yundong's features softened. Su Chan had insisted that they stay somewhere else tonight lest Ruan Hongling returned with more reinforcements. Apparently, Su Chan thought they didn't stand a chance against the Zhengyi School, not even with the Jindan. Li Yundong pulled her into his arms. "It's gonna be alright," he said, stroking her hair. "Whatever happens, it's gonna be alright."

    They left the apartment with two suitcases in tow. Li Yundong decided to keep the lease of their apartment until they sorted this mess out, though to be honest, he hadn't a single clue what "sorting things out" would entail. Was the Zhengyi School open to negotiations? Would they leave Su Chan alone if he allowed them to remove the Jindan from his body?

    They took a cab to town and wandered around for a bit. Two hours later, they walked into a dingy motel, deciding that it was going to be their place of stay for the time being. They walked up to the reception and booked a single room. With the last of Li Yundong's savings, it was all they could afford.

    Li Yundong sat down on the bed with a sigh and pulled Su Chan into his arms. "Looks like it‘s us against the world again."

    Su Chan wrapped her arms around his waist and snuggled into his chest. "I'm sorry..."

    Li Yundong stroked her head. "Don't be silly. You've got nothing to be sorry for."

    "You got into this mess because I came into your life," Su Chan said.

    Li Yundong chuckled wryly. "My life was a mess before you came into my life. A meaningless mess." Li Yundong held her gaze and cupped her cheek. "At least now I've got you."

    Su Chan closed her eyes as though she was feeling his touch. Suddenly, she opened her eyes and pulled his hand away from her face. "You're hurt!"

    When Li Yundong followed her gaze, his eyes landed on the circular wound at the center of his palm. The wound had stopped bleeding. It didn't even hurt anymore.

    Li Yundong gave her a reassuring smile. "Nah. Don't worry about it. It's just a scratch."

    Su Chan looked at him like it was nuts. "It's not nothing. You were injured by a magical object."

    Li Yundong pulled out the red damask from his pocket and held it out in front of them. "I wonder how this thing works. I mean, right now, it looks just like an ordinary piece of cloth."

    Su Chan took the damask and stared at it in awe. "This thing is made from the Rainbow Cirrus."

    Li Yundong shook his head. "The rainbow what?"

    "The Rainbow Cirrus. It's a magical substance found in the Heavenly Lake."

    "The Heavenly Lake. So, what, is that like Cultivators' favorite fishing spot or something?" Li Yundong joked.

    Su Chan giggled and smacked his arm. "No, dummy."

    Li Yundong smiled. He loved making Su Chan happy. "This Rainbow Cirrus thing… What does it look like?"

    "Well... It's a thin, fog-like substance. Just like a thin cloud—a cirrus, basically. And it's colorful. If I'm not mistaken, the former Head of the Zhengyi School had extracted the Rainbow Cirrus from the lake and then made this." Su Chan handed the damask back to him.

    Li Yundong took it and waved it in the air a few times. "What is this thing capable of? I mean other than invisibility and drilling holes into flesh."

    "Well, it's basically indestructible. It is resistant to physical damage. Fire. Wear and tear. All that stuff. And it'll never get dirty."

    Li Yundong stared at her with raised brows.

    Su Chan pointed at the nightstand.

    Li Yundong reached over and grabbed the half-empty can of coke.

    Su Chan took the can. "Hold it away from the bed."

    Li Yundong moved the damask to the side and hold it up beside the nightstand. Su Chan crawled to the edge of the bed. "Now watch."


  • Su Chan splashed the coke on to the cloth. The liquid flowed down the length of the damask without wetting it, like one of those hydrophobic materials.

    Li Yundong whistled.

    Su Chan placed the empty can on the nightstand and crawled back into his arms. "You can try pouring other substances on it. Dirt. Mud. Oil. It will never get stained. Not even corrosive substances can damage it."

    Li Yundong ran his hand over the red cloth. "How does it work though?"

    "In its natural state, the damask has thin layer of protective aura surrounding it. The aura repels physical objects. That's why no substance can stain or damage it."

    Li Yundong frowned. "But how come I can still hold it?" He patted the damask for emphasis.

    "Take a closer look at where you're touching it."

    Li Yundong brought the damask closer to his face. "Hey... that's..." Li Yundong's gaze snapped towards Su Chan, who nodded.

    "You're not actually touching it. Your skin is actually hovering slightly above it." Su Chan shrugged. "Maybe a quarter of an inch or so, I guess? But with magic, the protective aura can be enhanced. That's why Cultivators use it as a protective shield against physical attacks and spells."

    Li Yundong nodded. He remembered trying to punch the damask earlier, but none of his punches got through.

    Su Chan shook her head. "This is one of Zhengyi School's best magical artifacts. A lot of Cultivators would kill for something like this..." Su Chan turned around and stared at him in disbelief. "And yet you grabbed it out of the air just like that. That's amazing…"

    Li Yundong chuckled and rubbed the back of his neck. "I don't even know what the hell I did, you know? I think it's because of the Jindan."

    Su Chan nodded. "The wound. The Jindan's protective mechanism was activated the moment the damask pierced your hand. You were able to grab the thing after the Jindan's aura was unleashed." Su Chan looked at him. "When activated using magic, the damask's protective aura is strong. But it's still no match for the Jindan's aura. But that's wasn't all you did. You managed to deactivate the damask."

    "Because of the Jindan's aura?"

    "No. That was because your Spirit is much stronger than Ruan Hongling's Spirit."

    "My Spirit?"

    Su Chan nodded. "Ruan Hongling's Spirit was connected to the damask. That's how she was able to control it. But the connection between her Spirit and the damask was severed the moment your Spirit overwhelmed hers." Su Chan suddenly turned around to face him. "You saw Ruan Hongling with your Xianjue that morning, right? It makes sense now. Your Spirit is stronger than hers. That's why your Xianjue worked."

    Li Yundong folded the damask into a neat square. "There," he said, presenting the folded damask to Su Chan.

    Su Chan stared at him blankly. "What?"

    Li Yundong smiled. "It's yours."

    "Wha...? Are you giving it to me?"

    Li Yundong chuckled. "Of course!"

    "B- But it's yours! You took it!"

    "What's mine is yours too, isn't it?"

    "But..." Su Chan stared at him with tears swimming in her eyes.

    All of a sudden, Su Chan started to sob. Li Yundong placed the damask on the nightstand. "Hey... What's wrong? Why are you crying all of a sudden?"

    Su Chan wrapped her arms around his neck and buried her face against his chest. "Don't leave… Don't leave me… You can't ever abandon me Yundong! You're stuck with me forever!"

    Warmth bloomed inside Li Yundong's heart. "I'm happy to be stuck with you. You're the best thing that's ever happened to me."

    "R- Really?"

    Li Yundong dropped a kiss to her forehead. "Yeah. You are the cutest, the prettiest, and the most adorable......"

    Su Chan was looking at him expectantly, her eyes sparkling with hope.

    "... Chipmunk that I've ever met."

    Su Chan's face fell. "Y- You..." She gaped like a fish. "Meanie! Meanie! Meanie!" She smacked his chest. "I'm not a cheap monk!"

    Li Yundong burst into laughter, then pulled her into his arms. "It's gonna be okay, Su Chan. I've got a job now. We'll work it out."

    Su Chan tensed up the moment he mentioned his job. He wondered why. "Are you sure you're okay?" he asked. "How are you feeling?"

    "A little sore."

    Li Yundong frowned. "Where?"

    "My foot, I guess?"

    "What? Did you sprain it?"

    "I don't think I did. But I might not have landed right when I crashed into the wall."

    Li Yundong's eyes glinted with delight.

    "Aha! How about I give you a foot rub?"

    ***

    "I don't get it," Li Yundong said as he stared at Su Chan's delicate and beautiful foot.

    "Get what?"

    Li Yundong chuckled wryly and kneaded the arch of Su Chan's foot. Su Chan let out a breathy moan, causing him to look up. Su Chan stared back at him with glassy eyes, her bottom lip pulled between her teeth. Li Yundong cleared his throat. "I mean I don't get how beautiful girls like you have such nice feet."

    Su Chan gasped and withdrew her feet. "What do you mean beautiful girls like me! Whose feet have you touched? Which girl is it?" she growled.

    Li Yundong laughed and pulled her foot back. "Just yours milady! Just yours! So don't be jealous."

    Li Yundong tickled the base of her foot, causing her to giggle.

    "Kyaa!!! S- Stop... Stop it! Kyaaa... hahaha... Please..."

    Li Yundong took pity on her and stopped his tickling. "Don't move," he said sternly.

    "Oh."

    The next few minutes passed in comfortable silence with Li Yundong gently kneading the soft skin of Su Chan's foot and Su Chan letting out a moan or two.

    A while later, Li Yundong could feel Su Chan's eyes on him. He looked up from her foot and smiled. "You're staring."


  • Su Chan smiled back at him sweetly. "You're so nice to me, beloved."

    Li Yundong chuckled. "Of course." A teasing glint formed in his eyes. "Like I said, you're the cutest chip—"

    Su Chan kicked his chest gently. "Do not say cheap monk!"

    Li Yundong laughed and trapped her foot against his chest. Then, he gave her a genuine smile. "Of course I'm nice to you. You're my best girl."

    Su Chan blushed and looked away.

    Li Yundong went back to rubbing her foot.

    A moment later, Su Chan spoke again. "Aren't you curious?"

    Li Yundong kept his eyes on her foot. "About what?"

    "Ruan Hongling kept calling me a demon witch," she said with childlike tentativeness. "She associated me with the dark side. Aren't you gonna ask what she meant?"

    Li Yundong snorted. "Those people from the Zhengyi School... They act all high and mighty, like everything they do is righteous. But the truth is that they are nothing but bigots. Extremists. They would probably label anyone who holds different views as evil."

    "B- But... What if... What if one day I turned into a demon... Would you still..."

    Li Yundong laughed. "So? I don't give a damn even if you turn into a demon."

    "But… why not?"

    "Well… Because I know you. I've seen your actions. And based on what I saw, I know you have a good heart."

    "Do I?" Su Chan suddenly pulled her foot back and hugged her knees. "All I did was cause trouble for everyone..."

    Li Yundong shook his head and climbed onto the bed. "You care, Su Chan," he said, cupping her cheeks. "You care about people, even when you don't realize it. You care about me, about Zhou Qin, and even Feng Na." He paused to let that sink in. "After that DVD incident, you asked me whether Feng Na would get into trouble because you were worried about her." Li Yundong held her gaze. "See? You care. And during the fight with Lin Youfa, when the bastard kicked the car towards me, you were willing to risk your life to help move those injured students away. You even came back for me when you could've left."

    Li Yundong pulled her into his arms. "You're a good person, Su Chan. Never doubt that."

    Su Chan pulled away, and their gazes met. Su Chan's eyes were filled with unspoken emotions.

    "People can call you a demon witch or whatever. I don't give a damn. To me, you'll always be my best girl."

    "I love you, Yundong."

    Li Yundong smiled. "I love you too."

    Su Chan leaned in, and their lips met in a blaze of passion. Su Chan's hands went to his hair, tugging and pulling. Li Yundong responded with equal fervor, pouring every ounce of affection he felt for this woman into the kiss.

    Minutes later, they parted for air. "Yundong... We can't continue," she said, panting heavily. "Not yet."

    Li Yundong leaned forward until their foreheads touched. "I know. And you didn't take my advice."

    "What advice?"

    Li Yundong chuckled. "I told you, remember? If I ever go too far, just kick me in the nuts."

    They stared into each other's eyes, their foreheads still touching. A moment later, they both started laughing.

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  • Chapter 122 The Hero's Fate

     

    "So... Do you wanna shower first?" Li Yundong asked.

    "Hehehe... Why don't you go first?"

    Li Yundong narrowed his eyes at her, then chuckled. "Fine, I'll go first," he said, tapping Su Chan's nose. When Su Chan slapped his hand away, he laughed and got out of bed.

    Li Yundong paused at the bathroom door with his clothes and towel in hand. An evil grin formed on his face. "Hey, I'll leave the door open. So don't peek!"

    Su Chan giggled, then stuck out her tongue. "Who would want to look at you. Eww, eww, eww. So gross. So hairy."

    Li Yundong laughed and stepped into the bathroom.

    Fifteen minutes later, when Li Yundong stepped out of the bathroom, his eyes bugged out at what he saw. Su Chan the adorable chipmunk was staring at the wall socket, giggling whenever she poked her finger into one of the socket's terminals. The TV was unplugged and shifted to the side.

    Li Yundong rushed over, nearly tripping over the suitcase on the floor. "Su Chan!" he hissed. "What the hell are you doing! That's dangerous!"

    Su Chan turned around and giggled. "Hehehehe...  Brrrr…" Her shoulders moved up and down as she shuddered. "Yundong! That thing is sooooo fun!"

    "Are you out of your—" Li Yundong huffed. "It's a goddamn wall socket!"

    Su Chan gave him a puzzled look. "But it's fun! You get this weird tingling when you poke your finger in." Suddenly, her expression turned contemplative. "I wonder what kind of spell does that..."

    Li Yundong did a face palm. Seconds later, he started to laugh. Su Chan shook his arm. "What? What's so funny?"

    Li Yundong stopped laughing and patted her head. "Don't do that again, okay? It's dangerous."

    Su Chan stared at the wall socket longingly. "Oh."

    A slow smile formed on Li Yundong's face. "You know... If you crave a tingling sensation... You can always come to me..." He wiggled his eyebrows.

    Su Chan blushed. "Hmph! Who needs you, you pervert! Hmph!"

    Li Yundong chuckled and pulled her to the bed. "I was joking." He caught a glimpse of the red damask on the nightstand. He reached out and grabbed it. "You really don't want this thing?"

    Su Chan stared at the damask for a moment, then shook her head. "No. You keep it. You'll probably need it in the future."

    Li Yundong studied the cloth in his hand. A moment later, he smiled. "Give me your leg," he said, patting his lap.

    Su Chan frowned. "Why?"

    "Come on," he urged, patting his thigh again.

    Su Chan slid her foot onto his lap. Li Yundong wrapped the damask around her ankle.

    Su Chan gaped at him. "What are you doing?"

    Li Yundong chuckled. "It's mine, right? So I'm using it as I please." He winked, then secured the damask around her ankle with a knot. "There," he said, leaning away to admire his work. "Beautiful."

    Su Chan shook his head in amusement. "The Cultivators of the Zhengyi School would flip out if they ever find out how their precious magical artifact is used."

    Li Yundong shrugged. "Who cares." A surge of anger coursed through him. "At least it wouldn't hurt others if I use it like this. Just look at how the Zhengyi School used it. They gave it to some juvenile girl and let her run amok with it." Li Yundong stared deeply into Su Chan's eyes. "She could've killed you, you know."

    Su Chan lowered her gaze. "Not until they have the Jindan. They would've tortured me until I handed it over to them."

    Silence spread between them. Once again, the mood had turned heavy. Li Yundong sighed. Everything was going to shit again. Now they were fugitives from some Taoist organization, which meant they might even have to terminate the lease of their apartment at New Hongsheng District.

    Money had always been an issue. And now even accommodation had become an issue. Li Yundong did a quick calculation in his head. By his estimation, the money he had left would last them for about half a month or so. Well, at least he got a job now. That was a silver lining, right?

    Li Yundong sighed and patted Su Chan's foot. "Go on and take a shower. After that let's head to bed. I have wake up early tomorrow to go to work."

    "No!" Su Chan was shaking her head desperately. "You can't go to work tomorrow. You can't leave!"

    "What? But—"

    Su Chan pounced and grabbed his arm. "The Zhengyi School has spies all over the place. Their influence goes beyond just the Cultivation world, Yundong. They have power in the mortal world as well."

    "But what am I supposed to do? I've got the job..." Li Yundong sighed, then levelled a stare at Su Chan. "Besides, are we really going to hide from them forever? You know that's not gonna work…"

    Su Chan deflated and let go of his arm. She stared thoughtfully at the sheets. "Two days. At least wait for two days." After that, she climbed out of bed without waiting for him to respond. She strode to the suitcase and bent down to take her clothes.

    A moment later, the door of the bathroom slammed shut. Li Yundong lay down on the bed and stared at the ceiling. Technically, it shouldn't even matter. Ruan Hongling had already seen their faces. If it was really like Su Chan said, that the Zhengyi School had influence outside the Cultivation world, then it would be easy to track them down. It really didn't matter whether they hide or not. What were the chances that the Zhengyi School's influence extended to the higher-ups in Tiannan University? Or the police? The police had resources that would make tracking them down mere child's play. He'd checked his bank balance at an ATM near the motel just now, and the ATM had a security camera. What were the chances that the police already knew that he was here?

    No. Hiding here wasn't the way to go. But he couldn't just leave Su Chan alone and go to work either. The best solution was to let Su Chan tag along with him to work. Li Yundong glanced towards the bathroom door. Now he just had to get Su Chan to agree.


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