"Here," Li Yundong said, putting the thermos back into the waiter's palm. "You better put that away before someone gets hurt."
The waiter nodded stupidly and held on the thermos with both hands.
"Impressive," Shi Neng said, clapping his hands a few times. "It appears that you have fully mastered the art of Qi control. Impressive indeed."
Li Yundong ignored the praise and began scanning the banquet hall for President Cao. He was in charge of President Cao's personal safety tonight, so he couldn't afford to be distracted by meaningless showboating.
Li Yundong located President Cao in a far corner of the hall. She appeared to be chatting animatedly with some guy. Alright, then. Time to ditch these people and get back to work—
"How about we do some point sparring?" Shi Neng said.
Li Yundong stared at Shi Neng through narrowed eyes. "I'd rather not cause a scene if you don't mind." He glanced in President Cao's direction. President Cao appeared to be totally engrossed in her conversation. Li Yundong take a step back. "Now if you'll excuse me—"
Li Yundong reacted instantly the moment he felt a strong pressure on his wrist. He dropped his elbow low, then swung his forearm in an upward arc while stepping forward and to the side—at about 45 degrees—of Shi Neng.
Li Yundong's movements caused Shi Neng's arm to twist into an awkward angle around the elbow and shoulder joints. Shi Neng hissed, but he still didn't let go of Li Yundong's wrist.
Li Yundong's eyebrows rose to his hairline. "From what I've seen, you're clearly an experienced martial artist." Li Yundong's cold gaze zeroed in on Shi Neng's pained expression. "So you must know that this is a Chin Na joint lock."
The entire hall was now silent except for Shi Neng's heavy breathing.
"You're lucky that I didn't break your arm," Li Yundong said after the brief pause. "Consider this mercy." Li Yundong raised his free hand, then struck Shi Neng's forearm, pulling his arm free at the same time. Shi Neng yelped and stumbled backwards. A few guys—who were clearly Shi Neng's acquaintances—moved in to prevent Shi Neng from falling flat onto his ass, but everyone else seemed too stunned to move.
Li Yundong smoothed out the sleeves of his jacket. "Are we done here?"
When nobody answered, Li Yundong turned towards Guo Peng and stepped into his personal space. He patted Guo Peng's chest a few times. "I suggest you do more research before you start making claims about what real Kung-Fu looks like, pal."
Ignoring Guo Peng's gobsmacked expression, Li Yundong turned towards Su Chan.
"Come on, princess. Let's get outta here."
"Oh," Su Chan said.
Li Yundong took her hand led her towards President Cao.
"Where on earth did you find a guy like that, President Cao?"
Cao Kefei turned away from the crowd and focused her attention on Director Zhang, who seemed impressed by how Li Yundong had handled Shi Neng's challenge.
Suddenly, Director Zhang chuckled. "Well. Looks like your boy over there has some problems getting along with Shi Neng."
Cao Kefei followed Director Zhang's gaze and noticed Li Yundong twisting Shi Neng's arm into a weird angle. A second later, Shi Neng was stumbling backwards into the arms of several guys. Cao Kefei smiled. "That's normal I suppose. They're both hot-blooded young men, after all."
Director Zhang slapped his thigh. "Dang! Too bad we didn't manage to capture what he did on camera..." He lowered his voice to a mumble. "I bet my team would love to have that on tape..."
Smiling, Cao Kefei said nothing and took a sip from her flute. She didn't have to say much, to be honest. From she was seeing, Director Zhang was pretty much sold on Li Yundong's potential to become a super star.
"You know..." Director Zhang's pensive voice made Cao Kefei lower her flute.
Cao Kefei smiled. "Yes, director?"
"It's quite common for great martial artists to get a movie role..." Director Zhang said.
Admittedly, there was a hidden agenda behind Cao Kefei's assignment for Li Yundong tonight. Well, in her defense, she really did need Li Yundong here to keep her safe—she was still receiving death threats every now and then—and to act as her bodyguard. But of course that wasn't the only reason she'd given Li Yundong this assignment. The other reason was to expose Li Yundong to the world of showbiz. With his looks and abilities, it was just a matter of time before Li Yundong caught someone's attention, preferably someone with deep pockets.
Director Zhang was just the first of many. Of that, Cao Kefei had no doubt.
If she played her cards right, Li Yundong would rise into stardom very soon. And if she could get Li Yundong to sign a contract with Huasheng Studios...
Cao Kefei whirled around and saw Li Yundong and Su Chan heading over towards her.
Speak of the devil... Cao Kefei shared a glance with Director Zhang, then gave Li Yundong a smile.
"Yes?" Cao Kefei said once Li Yundong stopped in front of them. "What is it?"
"Is it okay for Su Chan to grab a bite?" Li Yundong pointed towards the long table where the food was served. Suddenly, Li Yundong leaned in and lowered his voice into a whisper. "I mean, I know I'm supposed to be on duty. But Su Chan is hungry..."
Cao Kefei chuckled. "By all means. If she wants to eat, I've got no problems with that."
Li Yundong smiled brightly and gave her a nod. "Thanks, boss."
After that, Li Yundong led Su Chan away again.
"My God..." Director Zhang whispered.
Cao Kefei turned her head slightly and regarded the director. The director's slack-jawed expression looked a little funny, so Cao Kefei followed his gaze. Director Zhang was staring after Su Chan.
A smirk tugged Cao Kefei's lips. Looks like I've picked the right dress for the girl. Not that Su Chan needed a dress to make her look good. Even in normal clothes, the girl exuded beauty in spades.
"Hell… President Cao… If we can sign them both..." Director Zhang mumbled, still staring at the leaving couple.
Cao Kefei took another sip from her flute. "All in good time, director," she said. "All in good time."
"Oww! Meanie! You stepped on my foot!"
Li Yundong smiled and pinched Su Chan's cheek. "Oops. Sorry. Didn't do it on purpose."
After squeezing their way through a huge crowd of well-dressed people, they had finally arrived at the long table.
"It was totally on purpose, you meanie!"
Li Yundong laughed when Su Chan made a face at him.
"Alright, alright. Quit messing around and let's go grab a plate. You must be starving." He took her hand and started pulling her towards the table.
"Of course I'm starv—"
Li Yundong felt a resistance in his hand, as though Su Chan had stopped following him. Li Yundong turned around with a frown. "What's wrong...?"
Su Chan's was pointing towards the banquet hall's entrance. "Hey... Isn't that Zhou Qin?"
Li Yundong looked in the direction of the entrance.
"I thought they hated each other now…" Li Yundong said, not taking his eyes off the entrance.
Through the open door, Li Yundong saw Zhou Qin and Ding Nan standing in close proximity to each other. Ding Nan was whispering something into Zhou Qin's ear.
After a moment, the pair started walking towards the elevator.
"Maybe they made up?" Su Chan suggested.
Li Yundong frowned. Something felt off.
Someone patted Li Yundong's shoulder.
Li Yundong turned and jumped in surprise.
"Oh, hey! It's you! What are you doing here?"