To those students who were passionate about Taekwondo, Su Chan's statement was like a slap to their faces. No martial art is invincible, but this fat, untrained guy is?
What an insult!
However, those students kept their mouth shut despite the anger raging inside them. No, it wasn't the weak and delicate-looking Su Chan whom they feared; it was Li Yundong, the guy who had just taken down the best fighter in the club with a single punch!
"But that's not how it goes," one of the guys mumbled, "I thought it's supposed to be speed that's invincible. No martial art system under the sun is invincible, but with speed, anything is invincible. That's the saying. Godlike strength? Never heard of that."
His buddy beside him snorted. "Dude, you're so ignorant! Haven't you watched Jet Li's 'Fist of Legend' before?"
"Of course I have. But what's that got to do with anything?" said the first guy.
His buddy then looked at him as though he was a retard. "Tsk! Have you forgotten what Jet Li's character said in the movie? He said that before you learn how to fight, you need to learn how to take a beating. You see, if you're in a fight, and your opponent could take a hundred punches and still remain standing? Then you better run like hell coz you've got no chance of winning. And it's even worse if you're a sissy who can't take a beating, coz all it takes is one well-placed hit and you're done for. This is exactly what happened just now. The prez landed like, what, twenty kicks on Li Yundong, but the guy just walked it off. And then, bam! One punch by Li Yundong and the prez is down..."
"Okay, yeah, yeah. That totally makes sense," the first guy said.
His buddy kept going, "Also, did you see where he punched the prez? The base of the foot! Man, that's like the shittiest punch ever. Nobody punches people there! It just won't do enough damage! But damn! It was still enough to take down the prez! You know what, bro? I think I'm starting to believe that the machine really ain't broken. If he could take down a guy with a punch to the foot, 1500 pounds sounds pretty damn feasible to me."
"But you have to admit it's a little crazy, bro. Almost 1500 pounds! More than Mike Tyson. Mike f*cking Tyson!" said the first guy.
"Well... f*ck. You're right. That does sound a little crazy."
Meanwhile, on the other side of the ring, Ding Nan gaped at the scene in front of her. She couldn't believe what just happened. One moment she was cheering inwardly about getting a new handbag, then the next, Zhao Yujian (along with her hopes) was crashing into the floor like a ragdoll. Ding Nan clenched her jaw tight. Come on, come on. Get up! Get! Up! But no, Zhao Yujian remained on the floor, writhing and moaning. Ding Nan's hopes returned a little when she saw Li Yundong's woman did something to Zhao Yujian which caused him to stop moaning like a wuss. Yes! Now get back up and fight! Then, she waited with bated breath for the fight to continue, ignoring the whispers and mumbles from the guys who had already launched into a discussion about some Jet Li movie. She just wanted Zhao Yujian to get back up so that she could win the bet. After a while, when Zhao Yujian still showed no signs of getting back up, Ding Nan cursed and lowered her head, looking utterly crestfallen.
"Zhao Yujian is such a loser!" Ding Nan grumbled.
Zhou Qin was beside Ding Nan on the mat, sitting in seiza with her back perfectly straight and both hands resting on top of her lap. Unlike everyone else in the dojo, Zhou Qin only gave a slight reaction when Li Yundong struck down Zhao Yujian. Her eyes had widened slightly, and she might have straightened her posture just a tad. But other than those, she didn't show any other physical reactions. Even in the face of a shocking event, Zhou Qin exhibited the elegance and poise befitting of her status as a daughter from a powerful family.
Zhou Qin angled her head slightly and glanced at Ding Nan. Her aloof eyes now held a hint of condescension and arrogance.
"Ding Nan, haven't you learned after all these years we've known each other? You think it's that easy to take my things away from me?"
Ding Nan's expression hardened instantly, but she quickly covered it up with a sheepish smile.
"Well, it's just... I've wanted that handbag for a long time..."
From the corner of her eyes, Ding Nan could see that Zhou Qin was studying her intently. The whole staring thing went on for about a few minutes or so until a point where Ding Nan was starting to feel a little creeped out.
"Take my handbag tomorrow," Zhou Qin said all of a sudden.
Ding Nan whipped her head around and looked at Zhou Qin in surprise. "Wait, what? You're giving me your handbag? But I didn't win the bet..."
Zhou Qin looked away from Ding Nan.
"Oh, so you don't want it? Okay, fine then—"
"I want it! Of course I want it!" Ding Nan cut in. "Only an idiot would say no to a limited edition handbag which cost more than ten thousand yuan!"
Keeping her eyes on the sparring ring, Zhou Qin nodded and extended her palm towards Ding Nan. "Phone," she said.
Ding Nan was on her feet in an instant. She flashed Zhou Qin a fawning smile and said, "Gimme a minute, I'll go grab it from the locker room."
However, the smile on Ding Nan's face was gone the moment she was facing away from Zhou Qin; in its place was a look of humiliation and hatred. Once she entered the female locker room, she growled and balled her fists, her breaths escaping her nostrils in angry puffs.
After a while, Ding Nan calmed down and took out Zhou Qin's phone from one of the lockers. She slammed the locker door shut and fastened the lock. She took a deep breath, then exhaled. She was smiling again when she left the locker room.
Zhou Qin dialed the hospital's number the moment she got her phone. When the call got through, she immediately asked for an ambulance, then gave the dispatcher a brief rundown on the situation.
While she was on the phone, Zhou Qin's eyes never left Li Yundong. Admittedly, Zhou Qin couldn't quite put her finger on Li Yundong's behavior. For one, the guy hadn't moved an inch from his spot since the fight ended, which seemed a bit unusual to Zhou Qin. He had just defeated a black belt. Shouldn't he be all over the place, cheering, fist-pumping, or doing whatever it was that guys do to celebrate a victory? Why was he standing there doing absolutely nothing? What baffled her the most, however, was the blank look on his face. She expected to see at least some emotion there, like joy and smugness of having triumphed over a black belt, or even fear of the possibility that he might've just crippled a man with a single punch. But there was none of that. He just stood there like nothing.
Then it hit her. Thanks to her sharp intuition, she suddenly had an insight into Li Yundong's current behavior: that of a person who had just arrived on an alien planet where everything was confusing and unfamiliar.
There he stood, staring down quietly at his fist as if he was in a world on his own. Maybe he was, since nothing seemed to be able to get through to him, not the looks of jealousy, reverence, fear, hatred, and rage from the guys, nor the looks of admiration from the girls.
Zhou Qin's lips curved into a smile as she hung up the phone. It was clear to her now that this harmless-looking guy wasn't as inept as she thought he was.
Director Qian burst through the entrance of the dojo, sweating profusely. His small, beady eyes darted around the dojo from corner to corner before they locked on to Li Yundong.
"You again!" Director Qian yelled as he made his way towards Li Yundong.
This kid! Director Qian thought. Why don't they just let him leave this school with a Degree in Troublemaking and be done with it! How could anyone cause so much trouble in two days!
Director Qian's voice snapped Li Yundong out of his daze. When he turned his head and saw Director Qian heading over towards him, his heart actually stopped a little.
Oh shit... It’s that evil geezer again... F*ck! Li Yundong thought.
As the Director of Tiannan University's Office of Academic Affairs, Director Qian had the power to determine whether a student was allowed to remain in the university. The worst thing that could happen to problematic students like Li Yundong was to end up on Director Qian's shitlist, because the old geezer could easily have them expelled without making himself look bad in the process. All he really had to do was cite one of the many troubles that those students had caused, then claim that it had done irreversible damage to the university's reputation. Everyone would then see it as a valid justification for the student's dismissal. Nobody would suspect him of official misconduct or abuse of power just because he expelled a few problematic students.
Wiping the sweat off his forehead, Director Qian squeezed his way through the throng of students gathered beside the sparring ring. Then, he moved past Li Yundong to check on Zhao Yujian. The students from the University of Pennsylvania will be here next week for an exchange visit, yet these kids still think it's a good idea to fool around like this?
Zhao Yujian was supposed to do a demonstration on the day of the exchange visit. The Taekwondo Club was Tiannan University's pride, and as the club's president, Zhao Yujian was pretty much Tiannan University's only hope to leave a good impression. Now that he was injured, Tiannan University had nothing to show for...
Director Qian's glower was so dark that it was as if someone had splashed an entire bucket of calligraphy ink onto his face. Li Yundong watched anxiously as Director Qian rose to his feet and walked away from where he'd been crouching beside Zhao Yujian.
"What's the matter with you!" Director Qian yelled the moment he stopped in front of Li Yundong. "You'd go that far even when you're sparring with a fellow student? Don't you have any sense of etiquette or humility? This is a violation of the university's regulations! I could get you expelled!"
In an instant, Li Yundong's apprehension was replaced with anger.
"I'm the one who went too far? What about when Zhao Yujian tried to kick my head off my shoulders? Everyone here saw it!" Li Yundong yelled, flinging his arms out wide.
Li Yundong's outburst angered Director Qian further.
How dare this brat talk back to me! I'm one of the university's top leaders. Yet he didn't even bother to show me respect! This is outrageous!
Director Qian placed his hands on his hips. "Who can verify his claim! Step forward! Now!"
On the surface, Director Qian's statement sounded like a simple command. However, everyone who heard him knew that it was a veiled threat. Even though there were a couple of students there who hated Zhao Yujian's guts, none of them would risk pissing off Director Qian just for Li Yundong's sake! Why? Because they still wanted to be a student here, that's why! Getting on Director Qian's shitlist was even worse than pissing off the university's chancellor!
The moment Director Qian's voice rang out, most students began stepping backwards. There were, of course, one or two students who stepped forward instead, each wearing an expression of righteous indignation.
Yes! So there are still good people in this world after all! Li Yundong thought. Thank Heavens!
Then again, Li Yundong nearly had a f*cking aneurysm the moment one of those "righteous" students opened his mouth. "He's the one who started it!" said the shithead with his finger pointed right at Li Yundong.
The f*ck?! I'm the one who started it?! Li Yundong couldn't believe that this was happening.
Justice? What justice? This was devilry!
Li Yundong turned around and gave Su Chan an accusatory look.
This is all this girl's fault!
The accusation in Li Yundong's eyes instantly filled Su Chan with guilt. A moment later, she put her guilt aside and decided to take responsibility for her actions. She left Li Yundong's side by taking a huge step forward.
"I'm the one who started it!" Su Chan declared, arms akimbo. "I'll take any form of punishment, so do your worst! If I, Su Chan, so much as blink—"
Su Chan felt a strong grip on her forearm. Next thing she knew, her entire body was yanked backwards. "Oww," Su Chan mumbled, rubbing a sore spot on her head where Li Yundong had just rapped with his knuckle.
"Now you're playing the hero?" Li Yundong hissed. "Stop talking!"
"Oh..." Su Chan muttered, then tugged the hem of Li Yundong's shirt and hid herself behind him.
Director Qian had seen Su Chan before, but never this up-close. Now that he had taken a good look at her face, he finally realized just how absolutely gorgeous she was. He swallowed a mouthful of drool and said, "Which year and department are you from? How come I've never seen you on campus?"
Li Yundong didn't like the way Director Qian was looking at Su Chan. Not one bit. He straightened his posture and stepped forward to block Director Qian's view of Su Chan.
"She's my girlfriend," Li Yundong said. "She isn't a student here."
Girlfriend. That word, plus the fact that Li Yundong was getting in the way of his "admiration" of Su Chan, finally made Director Qian lose his shit.
"Not a student here!" Director Qian roared. "Yet she's running around on campus and causing trouble!"
Li Yundong tamped down the sudden urge to show Director Qian just how shiny his head could be once that comb-over of his was ripped off his scalp.
"Is there a rule that prohibits non-students from entering the campus?" Li Yundong said. "Besides, we aren't the ones who were running around causing trouble. It's the other students who were picking on me!"
"Oh, is that so? Who's picking on you? Can anyone verify that?"
"I can..." A sweet, melodic voice sounded. Everyone turned and saw Zhou Qin walking over in a leisurely pace.
Her again? Why is she everywhere? Director Qian thought, sensing a headache coming.
"Oh, Zhou Qin," Director Qian said amicably. "When did you join the Taekwondo Club?"
Really, Director Qian could make all the Sichuan opera houses go out of business if he wanted to. Those face-changing artists had got nothing on Director Qian's skills to go from looking like a murderous tyrant to looking like a humble servant in just nanoseconds.
Zhou Qin smiled at Director Qian. "I've been a member for more than a year. I just didn't show up often, that's all."
Director Comb-over gave Zhou Qin an awkward smile in return.
"So... You’re saying that you saw everything that happened here today?"
Zhou Qin nodded, then gave the director a full account of everything that happened, starting from the strength tester until Zhao Yujian's defeat. When she reached the end of her account, Zhou Qin glanced at Li Yundong briefly, then returned her gaze to Director Qian.
"That's basically what happened," Zhou Qin said. "I trust that you will handle everything justly, Director Qian?"
All of a sudden, Director Qian felt as though his insides were overwhelmed by a deluge of hatred, like a Niagara Falls of hatred or something. Why does Zhou Qin keep standing up for this good-for-nothing brat every time? First with the gangsters, and now this?
All of a sudden, a horrifying thought came to Director Qian. Damn... Don't tell me that Zhou Qin has fallen for this dunce...
Director Qian turned away from Zhou Qin and began a thorough appraisal of Li Yundong, which was a huge mistake because what he saw pissed him off even more.
What's so good about this guy? Why on God's green earth is there a beautiful woman following him around like a puppy? Now even Zhou Qin has taken a liking to him? Hell, I'm more handsome than he is! Why are these chicks falling at his feet instead of mine? Why!
Suffice it to say that middle-aged men, especially a relatively successful one like Director Qian, often conceal ardent desires for beautiful women behind their calm and composed exterior.
Director Qian's gaze followed Zhou Qin's figure until she was out of the dojo. Then, he shot a murderous glare at Li Yundong.
"Follow me to my office!" he roared, doing that disgusting thing again where he flicked his comb-over with his finger.
"You!" Director Qian pointed at Su Chan. "Come along too!"
After that, Director Qian stormed off.
When Li Yundong began moving, Su Chan followed behind him timidly. A few steps later, she reached forward and hooked her index finger around Li Yundong's pinky.
Li Yundong turned around the moment he felt the soft touch on his pinky. When he did, he saw Su Chan mouthing the words "I'm sorry" to him.
Li Yundong smiled and pinched Su Chan's nose.
Su Chan giggled, then slapped his fingers away.
Thanks to Zhou Qin's intervention, Direction Qian's plan to expel Li Yundong was thwarted. However, that didn't mean he wasn't allowed to bring Li Yundong into his office and give the good-for-nothing brat a piece of his mind. In fact, not doing so would only make him look like a wuss: "Hey, check out Director No Balls who yielded the moment Zhou Qin opened her mouth!"
Inside Director Qian's office, Li Yundong was subjected to a "spit storm", quite literally. God, this old geezer seriously needed to learn how to keep his saliva in his mouth unless he was planning to live out the rest of his miserable life with a bad case of halitosis on top of his chronic hair problems.
Despite the distinct possibility of his ears falling off, Li Yundong was happy to let Director Qian scream his head off.
Oh, my Lord Director, scream and spit at me all you want. Just don't expel me...
After giving Li Yundong the gazillionth threat of expulsion, Director Qian glared daggers at Li Yundong.
"Now, with regards to your situation, the Office of Academic Affairs will have a meeting with the university's Administrative Council to decide if you'll be expelled! Also, if you cause any more trouble again in the next few days, and I mean any trouble, you're dead meat! Nobody will be able to save you!"
Li Yundong shrugged without saying anything.
"Now get out of my sight," Director Qian said, giving Li Yundong a dismissive glance. "I'll have a word with this lady... what's your name?"
Su Chan's face scrunched up in confusion.
Why does this man want to speak with me? she thought.
Deciding to be magnanimous, she said, "I'm Su Chan."
Director Qian nodded. "Su Chan, please stay. I need to have a word with you."
Li Yundong was surprised by Director Qian's strange request, though he kept his surprise to himself. His top priority right now was to avoid getting expelled.
Li Yundong nearly jumped out of his damn skin the moment he stepped out of Director Qian's office. A crowd had gathered outside the door, the majority of which consisted of the members of the Taekwondo Club.
As soon as the door closed behind him, Li Yundong was swarmed by these busybodies who began bombarding him with all kinds of questions.
Son of a bitch! Are these people for real? Li Yundong thought angrily.
The furious look on Director Qian's face vanished the moment Li Yundong left his office. In its place was a kind and gentle expression. Then, he actually stood up from his chair and started serving tea and drinks to Su Chan, all the while sharing some silly anecdotes about his life.
Su Chan studied Director Qian as he went on and on about tea quality and the subtle nuances of tea brewing. When the man walked around his desk to grab the teapot from the coffee table, Su Chan finally had enough.
What is this foolish old geezer trying to say! That's it! I'm leaving! she thought.
However, she stopped herself at the last moment. Argh! This sucks! Yundong would be in trouble again if I just storm out of here. Fine! I'll stay... Stupid old fool... I wouldn't even bother with you if not for Yundong's sake...
Director Qian's rambling went on for minutes before he finally got to the point. "Say, Su Chan... From your appearance, I think you're pretty young, right?" he said. "Hm. Guess that makes sense then. You're too young to be a good judge of character, I suppose. No wonder you would..." Director Qian trailed off.
Although Su Chan was clueless about the ways of the mortal world, she wasn't an idiot. She had a pretty good guess at what the old geezer was getting at.
"So what are you saying?" she asked, testing the waters.
Director Qian suddenly sat up straighter, then looked Su Chan right in the eye. It took every ounce of Su Chan's willpower not to jump up from her seat and then punch that patronizing look off his face. Just when Su Chan thought that things couldn't possibly get any worse, the man opened his mouth to speak: "Well, I can certainly understand why people would find young men appealing. They are active, energetic, and full of life. But for a girl like you who is young and beautiful, you should put more thought into your choice of dating partners. Now, there are of course certain criteria that you should prioritize more. For instance, you should choose a man who is mature, dependable, and who has a stable career..."
Su Chan would be an idiot if she still didn't understand what this man was so blatantly suggesting.
This old geezer is hitting on me! Su Chan thought angrily. This man must be tired of living. How about I put him out of his misery and end his life!
In all fairness, Director Qian's lust had rendered him incapable of clear thought. After all, Su Chan had that kind of effect on people. What is it again that people always say about fox spirits? That they're the downfall of men and the ruination of nations? Hah. Yep, that's the one. Seriously, any man who set eyes on Su Chan would instantly experience a reduction in their intelligence by 50 percent; in other words, men turned into halfwits around Su Chan.
Director Qian was clearly one of those halfwits since he was actually starting to think that his "come-on" attempt had worked. In his half-witted delusions, young and beautiful women like Su Chan would most likely go for guys who were mature and dependable. Mature and dependable like him, that is. At that thought, Director Qian did that hair-flicking thing again. If only Director Qian could read Su Chan's mind at that moment, he most definitely wouldn't be sitting there entertaining lustful thoughts about her. He would be running for dear life.
Meanwhile, Su Chan was doing everything in her power to suppress her rage.
For Yundong's sake... For Yundong's sake...
Su Chan took a breath, then batted her eyelashes a few times.
"Oh, I understand. I'll think about it," Su Chan said with all the innocence and charm she could muster.
The shit-eating grin on Director Qian's face showed just how much he liked Su Chan's response.
"Not bad, not bad," he said, reaching for Su Chan's shoulder. "You definitely have a good head on your shoulders."
Su Chan twisted her torso and avoided Director Qian's touch.
Alas, the supple way Su Chan's body had moved intensified Director Qian's lust for her as he began to imagine other activities during which her body's flexibility would come in handy. Still, he managed to keep it in his pants. Looking dignified and serious, Director Qian stood up and headed towards the door. Su Chan didn't need to be told to leave; she'd been waiting to get the hell out of this place the moment she stepped in. She was out of the office the moment Director Qian yanked open the door. Director Qian held the door open and gave Su Chan a heated look.
"Su Chan," he said. "You're a good kid. So I trust that you'll make the right call, yes?"
Li Yundong's eyes traveled between Su Chan and Director Qian suspiciously.
Su Chan ignored Director Qian and skipped her way towards Li Yundong.
Stopping in front of him, Su Chan took his hand and said, "Yundong... Can I ask you a question?"
Li Yundong didn't even hesitate. "Sure! Go ahead!"
Su Chan feigned a look of confusion. "What would you do if someone talked bad about you behind your back?"
Li Yundong froze. "Wait a minute. Who did that? F*ck! Who's been saying weird stuff about me behind my back?" Li Yundong's gaze swept past Su Chan and landed on Director Qian.
Sh*t, don't tell me this old geezer told Su Chan something bad about me? Li Yundong thought. Was that why he wanted to speak with Su Chan alone? How can anyone be that low?
Li Yundong tore his gaze away from the old geezer when he felt another tug on his hand. "If! I said if!" Su Chan said.
"If someone talks bad about me, I'll sock them in the face!" Li Yundong answered bluntly.
Director Qian's expression changed the moment he heard Li Yundong's answer. All of a sudden, he had a bad feeling in his stomach.
"Oh, okay," Su Chan said. "What about if someone tries to seduce your woman and steal her away from you?"
The mere thought of that ticked Li Yundong off. No human being with a pair of functioning testicles would be able to tolerate that!
"Then I'll break his testicles!"
Su Chan nodded zealously.
"Can I do it for you then?" she asked, beaming at Li Yundong.
"Sure!" Li Yundong answered almost immediately. "But why are you ask—"
The ends of Su Chan's hair brushed against Li Yundong's jaw when she turned around abruptly. The next thing he knew, Su Chan was charging towards Director Qian, who was still standing in the doorway. All he could do was yell after her.
"Hey! What are you—"
Li Yundong watched in horror as Director Qian slowly bent over at the waist with his legs squeezed together and his hands holding on to his crotch for dear life. The poor guy's face was completely red with veins popping out on his forehead by the time his knees crashed into the floor. Then, his body fell sideways until his right cheek touched the floor. When he began writhing like a worm on the floor, his comb-over flopped over his eyes to reveal his bald patch.
A ruckus broke out among the students gathered outside the office. A few guys winced when they saw Director Qian writhing on the ground. They squeezed their legs together as though they could feel Director Qian's pain as well.
"S- Su Chan, wh- what did you just do..." Li Yundong said breathlessly.
Su Chan raised her chin proudly.
"I broke his testicles!"
The corner of Li Yundong's eyes twitched violently and he felt as though his brain had just short-circuited.
Su Chan lowered her head and looked up at him from under her lashes timidly. "Did I do something wrong again?"
Li Yundong glanced at the floor, where Director Qian was still twitching about, gasping for air.
Then, Li Yundong released a fake laugh. "N- no. You didn't."
Su Chan's head snapped back up. "Then what's that look for?"
Oh shit... You've done it, missy. You've really f*cking done it. I'm gonna be expelled...
Li Yundong grimaced and tore his gaze away from Director Qian to look at Su Chan. He forced a smile and said, "It's nothing. Just... I think my balls are hurting a little..."