Su Chan twisted her body and slipped out of Ruan Hongling's grip. Behind her, Ruan Hongling cursed, but Su Chan didn't care. Reaching up with one hand, Su Chan pulled out a strand of her hair and sprinted towards her beloved. She had to get to Yundong before it was too late. Yundong hadn't passed the Zhuji phase yet. He didn't have a Vital Orb to help keep all his Qi inside his body. If the Jindan's Aura went berserk, all his Qi might leave his body and he would—
Su Chan's world spun around when a powerful force—like a shockwave from an explosion—smacked into her body, pushing all the air out of her lungs. A flash of golden light blinded her eyes, and her arms rose instinctively to shield her face.
A second later, Su Chan's right side rammed into something hard and abrasive. Groaning, she lowered her arms from her face.
Not far from where she lay on the ground, Yundong stood like a glowing beacon. A golden radiance bathed his body from head to toe.
"He Shao!!!! You're dead!!! You're f*cking dead!!!!" Yundong screamed in a voice that sounded completely foreign to her ears. No. Please, no... This isn't my Yundong... "I'm going to destroy you, you piece of shit!"
Su Chan yelped when another golden flash dazzled her eyes. The force of the blast caused Su Chan's body to roll further away from where Yundong was standing.
Su Chan gasped. She reached up with both hands and clawed at her chest as her throat constricted. She couldn't breathe. Oh, God... I'm suffocating... I'm—
A dark shadow appeared in front of her. Suddenly, she could breathe again. Su Chan took a huge gulp of air and blinked away her haze.
Why did she save me?
Su Chan slowly got to her feet and started limping towards Zi Yuan, who was standing elegantly about ten feet in front of her. Dozens of small talismans circled Zi Yuan's right arm, which was raised in front of her. Green light shone from her palm to form some kind of curved rectangular screen. Su Chan knew what that was.
A Qi repelling spell...
Su Chan stumbled towards Zi Yuan and grabbed the woman's left arm.
"Please! You have to help him... Please! He hasn't—"
"I'm aware that he hasn't passed the Zhuji phase yet," Zi Yuan said without taking her eyes off Yundong.
Yundong's body was still engulfed in a golden blaze.
"Then you must help him! At this rate—"
"Calm down, Su Chan."
"No! I know what's happening! His Qi will—"
"I must say that I'm impressed with the depth of your understanding, Su Chan. Seems like your master has taught you well."
Su Chan took a step forward but stumbled when Zi Yuan pulled her back.
"Relax... His Qi reserve is vast. It won't deplete that quickly. He's fine for now." Zi Yuan gave her a sidelong glance. "Now you on the other hand won't be so lucky, especially if you charge in blindly like what you were about to do just now. You haven't forgotten the basic Yin-Yang Principle now, have you?"
No. Su Chan hadn't forgotten. She knew the risks. She just didn't care.
"You must remain behind this shield," Zi Yuan continued. "The area surrounding him is filled with the purest form of Yang Qi. If you get too close..."
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Her Yin Qi might be sucked out of her body as dictated by the Yin-Yang principle. Yada, yada, yada. Who cares? She was willing to risk everything as long as she could help Yundong. Besides, she already passed the Zhuji phase, so maybe—just maybe—she might be able to make it out in one piece...
Wait, why am I floating?
Su Chan flailed her arms and kicked her legs in the air. "Put me down!" she snarled, glaring at Zi Yuan.
"You really need to calm down and let me handle this," Zi Yuan said in a flat tone.
Su Chan pouted and kept struggling to no avail. This was no doubt some kind of levitation spell. Grr!
A moment later, Su Chan realized that she was floating—back towards Ruan Hongling, who was standing in front of Zhou Qin. Ruan Hongling's right arm was also circled with tiny talismans. The same green shield emanated from the surface of her right palm.
Su Chan landed right beside Zhou Qin. When their gazes met, Su Chan could detect the shock and fear in Zhou Qin's eyes.
"So this is the true power of the Jindan's Heir..." Ruan Hongling said.
"Not even close," Zi Yuan replied casually.
"My God, Elder Sister... What on earth am I seeing?"
"Do you see now why I wanted us to stay back and observe before we act?" Zi Yuan said in a reprimanding tone. "You were foolish to take Master's prophecy lightly."
Su Chan frowned. "What prophecy?"
Zi Yuan turned around sharply and regarded Su Chan for a moment.
"Ten years ago, my master wrote down a prophecy. And according to the prophecy, a great Cultivator shall rise and become the true heir of the Renyuan Jindan. That's all you need to know."
Su Chan opened her mouth to speak.
"Enough. Now give me that thing," Zi Yuan said, holding out her right hand.
"The needle you're hiding in your palm," Zi Yuan said patiently. "Give it to me now. I need it to help him." Zi Yuan jerked her head towards Yundong.
Su Chan handed Zi Yuan the long needle reluctantly.
"T- The L- Lingtai... and—"
Zi Yuan's eyes shone with amusement. "Who do you think I am, Su Chan?" Zi Yuan took the needle from Su Chan. "I know what to do."
Right. Of course. She was speaking with the most powerful Cultivator in the younger generation after all. Stupid, stupid, Chan'er...
"Yes, Elder Sister Zi Yuan!"
"Watch them both." Zi Yuan pulled out more talismans from her pocket. "The shield stays up, got it?"
Zi Yuan turned towards Yundong. "Now let me show you how it's done."
A sharp prick between his shoulder blades made Li Yundong turn around. Worry and disappointment coursed through him when he noticed that the person standing in front of him wasn't Su Chan but Zi Yuan instead. Li Yundong looked past Zi Yuan's shoulder and found relief a moment later.
There she is, my princess...
Su Chan was kneeling on the ground right beside Zhou Qin. Ruan Hongling was standing in front of the both of them as though she was… protecting them? Wait, what?
Li Yundong took stock of their surroundings and immediately noticed the tiny pieces of paper strewn all over the ground. What the hell?
"You really need to learn how to master the Jindan's Aura unless you have a death wish, Li Yundong."
Li Yundong looked towards Zi Yuan sharply, then down at his own hands. His entire body was glowing.
All of a sudden, he remembered. Everything came back. The twins' deaths. All that blood. The heat. The anger. The injustice.
With a low growl, Li Yundong looked past Zi Yuan's shoulder towards Zhou Qin.
"It was He Shao..." Li Yundong said. "That son of a bitch did this..." He gestured at Deng Jiao's body with his hand. "He killed them both!"
"What?" Zhou Qin was up on her feet in an instant. "Are you sure?"
"I saw him!" Li Yundong yelled, pointing towards the building. "He was right there, on the same balcony where Deng Jiao fell."
Zhou Qin suddenly went pale. "You saw him..."
"Yeah... With my own eyes..." Li Yundong growled, looking up again.
He Shao was no longer on the balcony.
Li Yundong tore his gaze away from the building and looked towards Zhou Qin.
"Which floor was he on when you saw him?"
"Fifteenth," Li Yundong growled.
"Fifteenth..." Zhou Qin whispered, then closed her eyes. "Oh, God..."
"Wait a minute… Are you saying…?" Understanding dawned on Li Yundong. He took a step closer, his eyes narrowing. "You know which floor he's staying on, don't you? It's the fifteenth floor, isn't it?"
Zhou Qin didn't answer. Hell, she didn't need to. Li Yundong had seen enough. He'd counted the f*cking floors, for God's sake.
"Give me his room number! I'm gonna make that son of a bitch pay!" Li Yundong turned around and stormed off. He strode quickly towards the corner of the building where he knew would lead him to the hotel's main entrance.
"Li Yundong! Wait!" Zhou Qin yelled.
Li Yundong felt a hand his shoulder, then heard a loud gasp. He stopped walking and turned around again. Zhou Qin was kneeling on the floor, holding her right hand with her left. There was a pained expression on her face. Su Chan appeared beside Zhou Qin. "Let me—"
"It's okay. I'm fine." Zhou Qin said, cutting her off. Then, Zhou Qin stood up with Su Chan's help and walked towards Li Yundong.
"Stop this, Li Yundong! You need to let the police handle this. Otherwise you'll just get into trouble."
Li Yundong bristled. "The police!" A golden flash lit up Zhou Qin's face. "That son of a bitch would've been tossed into jail ages ago if the cops did their jobs in the first place!" Li Yundong paused, shaking his head. "No, Zhou Qin. The cops are useless. There's too much politics involved. Say the cops arrest him now and he goes to jail. And then what? Weeks later, he'll be out parading the streets like a king!"
"You don't know that," Zhou Qin stated firmly.
"You think I'm stupid? You think I don't know how things work when it comes to people like him?" Li Yundong sneered. "Bribes? Dirty cops? Dirty judges? A team of fancy lawyers? Toss a bit of money around and he can have everyone running around doing his bidding!"
"Not this time," Zhou Qin said steadily. "This time I'll personally make sure that he gets the punishment he deserves."
"The punishment he deserves?" Li Yundong chuckled humorlessly. "Can you put him on death row? Can you? Hmm?"
When Zhou Qin didn't answer, Li Yundong snorted. "Yeah. That's what I thought." He turned around and kept walking.
"And what are you planning to do! Beat him to death?" Zhou Qin yelled.
He stopped. Footsteps sounded behind him. Zhou Qin had caught up to him.
"What about Su Chan? Who's going to be there for Su Chan if you end up in jail for murder?"
Li Yundong's gaze found Su Chan, who was staring back at him with piteous eyes. Damn it! He sighed and unclenched his fists. The glow of his body began to wane.
"That's it, Li Yundong. That's it... Take it easy. He won't get away with this. I'll make sure of it."
A loud screech of tires sounded. Seconds later, a black BMW shot out from Shengyuan Hotel's underground parking lot.
"Darn it!" Zhou Qin cursed and started tapping on her phone's screen.
The black BMW hurtled past them towards the front gates.
Just like that, the flame of ire rose inside Li Yundong once again.
"Oh, hell no…" Li Yundong growled.
That son of a bitch was making a run for it.