"Great... The government big wigs are here again," Li Yundong mumbled as he stared out of the cab's window. Their cab hadn't moved an inch for fifteen minutes now and there were traffic police everywhere.
The cabbie turned around from the driver's seat. "Oh? So you're aware of that as well? I heard it's a leader from the provincial level this time."
Just one day after their battle with Lin Youfa? Could this be a coincidence? Or had the bureaucrats caught wind of what happened? Li Yundong sighed. No point worrying about it now... He would just have to cross that bridge when he got to it.
"When will the roadblock be removed?"
The cabbie chuckled. "Who knows."
The roadblock lasted for half an hour.
When Li Yundong and Su Chan arrived outside the academic building, they saw Feng Na standing in front of the entrance. Feng Na smiled the moment she saw them. "Hah! There you are, O Hero of Tiannan University. Now. Return my DVD." Feng Na held out her hand.
"I don't get you at all," Li Yundong said. "What's with that cloak and dagger act yesterday? It's just a soap opera."
Feng Na snorted. "What I do with my stuff is none of your business. Besides, that's a newly released DVD. It hasn't even hit the market yet!"
Li Yundong snickered. "Bullshit. I own a copy of Cohabitation with A Flight Attendant at home too. I've had it for a long time."
Feng Na's eyes were a mixture of surprise and disbelief. "That's impossible! My friend had to pull a lot of strings to get me that DVD."
An evil smirk formed on Li Yundong's lips. "You don't believe me? Okay. How about I lend it to you some day?"
Feng Na eyed Li Yundong warily. "Nah... I don't trust that look on your face. It's probably just something dirty."
Li Yundong widened his grin for effect.
Feng Na rolled her eyes. "Stop dallying! Return my DVD! I have to get back to class."
Li Yundong laughed. "Oh? You still remember you have your own classes to attend, do you? I mean, you've been coming to our classes so often that you might as well repeat your second year and join our class!"
Feng Na looked affronted. "As if! I'll have you know that I'm a good student! In fact, I'm a proud scholarship holder." A teasing glint formed in Feng Na's eyes. "Unlike some people who skipped classes and got into fights all the time."
"Hey!" Now it was Li Yundong's turn to look affronted. "I've been coming to classes these days, you know. I even had to take a cab ride every morning!"
Feng Na smiled. "Serves you right!"
Li Yundong frowned. "Excuse me? Serves me right? What did I do?"
"You could've stayed at the dorms. But no, the dorms aren't good enough for the mighty Hero of Tiannan University. He had to stay at his own place with his beautiful girlfriend."
The bitterness in Feng Na's tone made Li Yundong pause. "Whoa there... I didn't know you have a problem with my living arrangements."
Feng Na shook her head. "Did you bring the DVD or not?"
Li Yundong glanced at Su Chan with a raised brow.
Su Chan nodded and began rummaging through Li Yundong's backpack. Seconds later, she pulled out a DVD and handed it to Feng Na.
Feng Na smiled the moment she saw the DVD. "Thanks!" Feng Na grabbed the DVD and put it into her handbag.
Li Yundong chuckled at Feng Na's enthusiasm. "Seriously. It's just a soap opera..."
Feng Na rolled her eyes. "You're a guy. I don't expect you to understand."
Li Yundong smiled. "You're right. I don't. But for what it's worth, the show's pretty good."
Feng Na had a look of surprise. "You actually watched it? The whole thing?"
Li Yundong laughed. "No. But this one did." He pointed at Su Chan. "In fact, I think she got a little addicted to it."
Feng Na studied Su Chan for a moment. "At least she's got good tastes." Feng Na gave Li Yundong a sidelong glance. "Unlike somebody."
Li Yundong raised his palms. "Alright, alright. You can stop mocking me now. I bow to your superior cinematic tastes..."
Feng Na laughed. "Alright. I'm gonna go. Oh, wait. One more thing. Come back to the Taekwondo Club if you have time, would you? We need a new president."
Li Yundong narrowed his eyes. "No thanks. You're just gonna get me into trouble again."
Silence fell between them. Feng Na's expression no longer held amusement. Instead, she was scrutinizing him intently as though he was a puzzle she was trying to figure out.
Moments later, Li Yundong could take it anymore. "What?"
"Sometimes I wonder if you're even human." Feng Na shook her head. "All that stuff you did..."
Yeah... Join the club...
All of a sudden, Feng Na looked at him sharply, her eyes slightly narrowed. "You're not some kind of superhero who leads a double life, are you? Or some kind of legendary martial arts master?"
Li Yundong shared a glance with Su Chan. Subtle though it might be, Su Chan's headshake was unmistakable. This was one of those times where he had to lie and deflect to keep his consumption of the Renyuan Jindan a secret. Li Yundong cleared his throat and feigned a look of exasperation. "Argh. Damn it." He slapped his thigh, then allowed his shoulders to sag. "Looks like I've been discovered after all."
Feng Na seemed to believe that he had something to hide—well, he did—as she perked up instantly. "Ooh... So there is a story there."
Li Yundong released a dramatic sigh. "Actually... My name is Li-El, and I'm from the planet Krypton. I was sent to Earth 500 years ago to serve as its savior and protector. My goal has always been the same. To fight for world peace!" He had surprised even himself when he managed to say all that with a straight face.
There was a moment of silence.
Then, Feng Na slapped a hand to her mouth and started giggling. "Superman? That's the best you can come up with?"
Li Yundong shrugged. Feng Na stopped giggling and cleared her throat. "Guess you should start wearing your underwear outside then."
Li Yundong wagged his finger in front of Feng Na's face. "Tsk, tsk! Insolent earthling! I'll have you know that we Kryptonians have a wonderful fashion sense!"
Feng Na burst into laughter. "Whatever you say, pal. Whatever you say." She gave him a wave. "See you, then."
After Feng Na disappeared into the academic building, Li Yundong sighed. "Well. That was close."
There was a tug on his sleeve. "Yundong... Who is this Superman? Is he really formidable?"
Li Yundong smiled, took Su Chan's hand, and made their way into the academic building. "He is pretty tough."
"How do we defeat him?"
"Well, you see... There's this green rock..."
Five minutes later, the pair walked into the lecture hall. The immediate silence following their arrival had long since become a norm now: strange looks; the relentless stares. Yeah. What else is new?
Li Yundong pulled Su Chan to the back of the lecture hall and took their seats in the last row. The gazes of his fellow classmates had followed them all the way to the back of the room, and Li Yundong was really starting to feel a little fed up with their behavior.
"Yundong... Can't you switch schools? You're drawing a lot of attention here."
Switch schools. What difference would that make anyway? Trouble seemed to follow him everywhere. "I'd rather not go to school if I have the choice." Li Yundong sighed. "But I can't. I'll stop receiving money from my parents if I drop out. Besides, I'll probably need a university degree to get a job in the future. I still have to feed you and your ridiculously huge appetite."
Su Chan released a heavy sigh. "Money is such a pain..."
Li Yundong pulled out his textbook.
"Yundong... Why don't you ask Zhou Qin for help?"
Li Yundong raised his brows. "Excuse me?"
Su Chan lowered her voice. "You can't really focus on your training if you have money troubles."
Li Yundong poked Su Chan's head. "Tsk! That's not nice, you know? You can't just ask people for money just because they are rich."
Li Yundong felt like pinching Su Chan's adorable pout. Or kiss it.
Su Chan rubbed her head. "M- Maybe you can... take her as your disciple?"
Li Yundong thought he'd misheard her. He leaned in and whispered, "What? I thought you're the one who wanted me to keep a low profile."
Su Chan twiddled her fingers. "B- But we don't have a choice now, do we? We need more money..."
Li Yundong leaned back with a sigh. He wished the professor would come to class already so he could be spared from this uncomfortable conversation. "Don't worry, princess. I'll find a way." Li Yundong looked at Su Chan pointedly. "It's best to lay low for now. We don't want another Lin Youfa incident."
"Maybe... Maybe we can ask Zhou Qin to keep it a secret?"
Zhou Qin entered the lecture hall before Li Yundong could reply.
Zhou Qin scanned the room, stopping only when her eyes had landed on him. She smiled at him and walked down the long aisle towards him.
"Yes? What can I do for you, Li Yundong?"
Li Yundong cleared his throat. "Nothing."
Zhou Qin eyed him skeptically. "You were staring."
Yeah... Because you were walking towards me and I was balls deep in trying to prevent you from becoming my disciple.
Li Yundong cleared his throat again. "Where else was I supposed to look? I'm sitting in the last row and you were walking towards me from the front, so…" Li Yundong shrugged, and then winced when he replayed his own words.
Lame. So lame.
"No. I don't think that's the case at all." Zhou Qin studied him for a few seconds. "Come on. What is it? You can tell me."
Su Chan suddenly leaned over. "Oh. Actually, we were just thinking of taking you as—Mmph!" Li Yundong muffled the rest of her sentence with a hand against Su Chan's mouth.
"Shush!" He glared at Su Chan.
"Mmph! Mmph! Mmph!" Su Chan struggled against his hand.
Li Yundong gave Zhou Qin a smile. "It's nothing. It's really nothing."
Zhou Qin still seemed skeptical, but she didn't push. "Okay then..." She pulled something out from her handbag. It was a phone. "Here."
Li Yundong took the phone and immediately recognized the model from a TV commercial. And no, it wasn't a cheap model. Li Yundong frowned. "What's this for?"
Zhou Qin gave him a strange look. "You needed a new number, right?" Zhou Qin pointed at the phone. "There's a new SIM card in it."
You could've just given me the SIM card. "No." Li Yundong shook his head. "This is too much." He looked Zhou Qin in the eye and handed the phone back to her. "I can't accept this. It ain't right."
Zhou Qin sighed. "Listen. You saved my life. Will you please just let me repay you?" Zhou Qin looked at him earnestly. "Please?"
Li Yundong shook his head again. "You've done more than enough for me already, Zhou Qin. I'm not stupid you know. That Mercedes Benz limo I ruined yesterday..." Li Yundong shot her a pointed look. "I know you paid for the damage. That was the 'urgent business' you had to take care of yesterday, wasn't it?"
Zhou Qin looked away.
"I'm grateful for what you did. But I can't accept anything more from you. It wouldn't be right." Li Yundong sighed. "How about this. Either I just take the SIM card from this phone, or I get a new number myself this afternoon."
Zhou Qin sighed. "Fine. Yes, I paid for the car."
Li Yundong chuckled bitterly. "I doubt money is all they want."
"You don't have to worry about Liu Changhe. He knows you're friends with me, and he knows that I'm involved in the incident as well. He won't trouble you."
Li Yundong patted his chest. "Good to know."
Zhou Qin chuckled. "Seriously? You could dodge bullets and you're worried about Liu Changhe?"
Li Yundong snorted. "It's not him I'm worried about. It's money. I'm a debtor now." Li Yundong held up his hand and gave Zhou Qin a pointed stare. "And no. Don't even think about it. You've done more than enough for me."
Zhou Qin regarded him silently and then smiled. "Here's an idea. The summer holidays will be here soon. How about getting a summer job?"
Li Yundong gave her a wry smile. "That's pretty much a given considering my current financial state."
Zhou Qin's smile widened. "Good."
Li Yundong's eyes narrowed. "You're up to something…"
Zhou Qin kept smiling and took the phone from Li Yundong's hand. Then, she passed the phone to Su Chan.
"Su Chan, Li Yundong refused to accept this phone, so I'm giving it to you instead."
In a feat of strength that surprised Li Yundong, Su Chan unclamped his hand from her mouth. "Really?" His princess's eyes were practically sparkling right now.
Zhou Qin nodded. "Yes. Really. It's yours."
Su Chan accepted the phone gratefully and began turning it around in her hand.
Li Yundong glared at Su Chan. "Tsk! Have you no shame? You can't just accept lavish gifts like that, you know."
Su Chan made a face at him and went back to fiddling with the phone. Clearly, somebody had just found her new toy. Not that she knew how to use it.
Li Yundong sighed and flicked Su Chan's forehead. "Where are your manners? Aren't you going to thank her?"
Su Chan raised her head, her smile lighting up the room. "Hehehe... Thank you so much, Elder Sister Zhou Qin!"
"You're welcome, Su Chan." Zhou Qin smiled. "My number is in there. Please call me if you need anything, okay?"
"Mmm!" Su Chan bobbed her head.
Li Yundong suppressed a laugh. She'd more likely crack the screen than make a successful call.
The professor arrived, putting their conversation to an end. Zhou Qin took the empty seat beside Li Yundong.
Minutes later, the professor's voice filled the lecture hall, marking the beginning of several hours of boredom. It was a revision lecture, where the professor would go over previous lecture materials based on the tips he'd given a few days ago. If it wasn't for the attendance, Li Yundong wouldn't even attend the lecture. After Su Chan told him about his super memory, Li Yundong had memorized the textbook based on the tips, so he was pretty sure he could pass—if not excel—the exams just fine. Instead of listening to the professor's droning, Li Yundong amused himself by watching Su Chan figure out how to operate her new toy.
Near the end of the lecture, the monotony was broken by a commotion outside the lecture hall. Li Yundong went on high alert in an instant. Could it be Lin Youfa again?
He moved his Qi to his Shenting and watched the door closely. Seconds later, the door opened. But instead of Lin Youfa, a middle-aged man with a square-shaped face walked in surrounded by the members of the university council.
Beside him, Zhou Qin gasped.
Li Yundong turned and studied Zhou Qin curiously. "What's wrong? Do you know him?"
"What's my father doing here?"