After Xie Fei and his punks left, Li Yundong turned back around to face the campus gates and saw Zhou Yu standing there, looking utterly spooked. Li Yundong smirked at him.
"Well? Didn't you say you wanna go a few rounds with me?" Li Yundong said, raising his right hand with the back of his palm facing Zhou Yu, then curled his fingers. "Come on, then. What are you waiting for?"
A chill traveled down Zhou Yu's spine.
He'd just witnessed Li Yundong taking down an entire horde of gangsters, so he knew he wouldn't stand a chance. Even so, his male ego prevented him from fleeing the scene right then and there. He just had to find a legitimate excuse to extricate himself from this f*cked up situation without making himself look like a coward.
"You just got out of a fight," Zhou Yu said, trying his damnedest to keep his voice steady. "It wouldn't prove anything even if I beat you!"
Li Yundong laughed incredulously.
"First you wanna fight, now you're just acting like a drama queen!" Li Yundong said, turning away from Zhou Yu to face Su Chan. "Let's get out of here, shall we? I've had enough of this f*cking place! God knows how many more nutcases we might run into if we stay around!"
"Oh," Su Chan mumbled obediently. They were just about to leave when another voice sounded, a voice Li Yundong had recently deemed to be a huge pain in his ass.
"Li Yundong! Hold it right there!"
Oh, for the love of everything that's holy... Gimme a break!
When Li Yundong turned around, he wasn't surprised at all to see Feng Na running towards him looking like she had about a hundred scores to settle with him. No, he did not want to see this chick. At all. In fact, the mere sight of her made him want to shoot himself in the head.
Li Yundong released a long groan.
"Dammit, girl! What the hell is your problem this time?"
One really had to give it to Feng Na for having enough cojones to put tough guys like Zhou Yu to shame. Even after witnessing the epic ass-kicking Li Yundong had dished out earlier, she still didn't seem the slightest bit afraid of him. She pounced on Li Yundong and grabbed his arm.
"You lied to me before!" Feng Na screamed in Li Yundong's face. "You said you knew nothing about Taekwondo! You're a liar!"
Li Yundong released a long sigh and allowed his shoulders to sag.
"Would you have believed me if I told you I picked up those moves yesterday?" he said in a tone of resignation.
"Ha. I don't know, do fish live on land?" Feng Na bit back sarcastically.
Li Yundong pressed his palms together as though he was praying, then bowed slightly.
"Please, I beg you,” he said. “Just spare me already."
Feng Na mimicked Li Yundong's hand gesture and bowed.
"Please, I beg you. Wouldn't you do your first fangirl a favor and say yes? Please?"
If he had a gun, he swore to God that he would put a bullet in his head right about now.
"How about I treat you as my idol and become your first fan. After that, you can stop bothering me!"
"Li Yundong!" Feng Na pointed a finger at Li Yundong's face. "You're the one who put Zhao Yujian in the hospital. That won't change no matter what you say! Like it or not, this is your responsibility as a student of this university!"
Li Yundong chuckled humorlessly.
"Yeah? Well that's about to change soon," he muttered bitterly.
"What?" Feng Na froze. "What's that supposed to mean? Are you transferring?"
Li Yundong smirked impenitently.
"Well, let's just say that someone's been trying really hard to have me expelled."
"Who is it!" Feng Na said angrily. "Now of all times?! What a fool! They should at least wait until the exchange visit is over before expelling you!"
Beside Feng Na, Cheng Cheng cleared her throat harshly.
Feng Na froze again, then blushed when she realized that she'd said the wrong thing. Oops... she thought, cringing inwardly. Time to make amends...
Feng Na glanced at Li Yundong, who was staring back at her with raised brows. She laughed awkwardly then said, "Oh, come on. Who's been trying so hard to expel you? You can tell me, you know."
When Li Yundong's brows rose even higher, she quickly added, "I mean, I'm a member of the student council. So whoever's been trying to have you expelled might listen to me if I go talk to them!"
Li Yundong looked away from Feng Na and noticed the growing crowd around them. He sighed, then took a step closer.
"It's Director Qian," he said in a low voice.
"Oh..." Feng Na said, her eyes widening. "Oh!" There was now a look of understanding on Feng Na's face. "I got it. I'll go talk to him and see what I can do about your problem. But," she said, raising a finger. "I'm gonna make something clear right now. If I manage to convince him not to expel you, you must return the favor by replacing Zhao Yujian for the performance. Deal?"
After a moment of thought, Li Yundong realized that it wasn't that bad of a deal at all. For a moment there, he almost said yes, but then something else made him stop.
Li Yundong sighed and said, "Look. I get that it's kinda my fault and everything. But you gotta be realistic here. What kind of performance can I give when I really don't know shit about Taekwondo? What do you want me to do, lie down with a huge-ass rock on my chest then have someone smash it with a hammer?" (T/N: The rock smashing on the chest is a common stunt performed in ancient China; it's called Xiongkou Sui Dashi)
"I bet lame-ass performances like that are all you have to offer anyway," Zhou Yu mocked.
Li Yundong's brows shot to his hairline.
"Oh yeah? How about you get your ass over here and we’ll find out what else I’m capable of!" Li Yundong shouted. "Let's see if it's still lame when I kick your ass!"
Feng Na shot a furious glare at Zhou Yu.
"Go away, you useless buffoon!!!" Feng Na roared. "You have no business here!"
Zhou Yu flinched and took a step back.
"Fine," Zhou Yu said with a huff, then glared at Li Yundong. "I guess I won't beat the crap out of you today out of respect for Nana."
Oh... Just come at me now, you punk. Give me a good reason to f*ck up your balls... Li Yundong thought, glaring back at Zhou Yu.
Feng Na's impatient voice pulled him out of his murderous thoughts.
"Hey, are you taking the deal or not? Yes, or no? Quit your dilly-dallying and give me an answer already!"
Li Yundong huffed in frustration, then reached for Su Chan's hand.
"Fine!" he said grumpily. "If you can convince the old geezer not to expel me, then I'll help you."
Li Yundong stormed off, pulling Su Chan with him.
"Hey! What kind of performance are you going to give? Splitting bricks? Kicking wooden boards? Or do you have something else in mind?" Feng Na yelled behind him.
Li Yundong waved a hand beside his ear impatiently.
"Whatever! I'll leave it to you," he said without turning back.
Feng Na turned away from Li Yundong and gave Cheng Cheng a thumbs up.
"Done!" she said proudly. "See? I told you there's nothing that I can't handle!"
However, Cheng Cheng's reaction wasn't what Feng Na had been expecting at all. Instead of sharing her joy, Cheng Cheng was cringing and desperately giving her eye signals. Feng Na quickly took in their surroundings and noticed the strange looks everyone was giving her.
Cheng Cheng sighed.
"Now you're officially screwed, Nana," she said. "I can already imagine the new thread that's gonna be up on the forum tonight. Feng Na, the hottest third-year finance student, falling head over heels for Li Yundong. Good luck trying to explain that to everyone."
"No! What- that's not! B- But that's not what we were—" Feng Na grabbed her hair and released a shriek of frustration. "It's all that bastard's fault!" she yelled. "Dammit! This is driving me insane!"
All of a sudden, she released her hair and looked at Cheng Cheng. "Hey, the enrollment form is with you right?"
"Huh?" Cheng Cheng asked.
"Tsk! For the performance," Feng Na said impatiently.
"Oh," Cheng Cheng said, then began rummaging through her satchel bag. "Yeah, I have it. Why?"
Feng Na gritted her teeth and said, "Put Li Yundong's name on it!"
Cheng Cheng froze for a few seconds.
"You're that confident you can handle Director Qian?"
Feng Na snorted haughtily.
"Hah! I assure you there's nothing that can't be handled as long as I'm involved," Feng Na said, then gave Cheng Cheng a pointed look. "Write his name in. Now. Then submit the form!"
"Oh, okay then," Cheng Cheng said, reaching for her satchel again. Then, her hand stilled. "But what should we put as his performance?"
Feng Na snorted again.
"Didn't you hear what he said just now?"
Cheng Cheng stared at Feng Na blankly.
"Huh? What did he say?"
"That rock smashing thing!" Feng Na said with an evil grin. "He said it himself right?"
Cheng Cheng's jaw dropped open.
"Wh- what! What era do you think this is? Nobody does that anymore!"
Feng Na glared at her bestie and took one step closer, all the while eyeing those F-cup melons threateningly.
"Hey... Are you going to write it down or not?"
Cheng Cheng sighed in resignation and agreed.
Li Yundong, of course, had no idea that he had just become the victim of Feng Na's revenge plot. He and Su Chan had already arrived back at his apartment for quite a while now. When they walked through the door earlier, he was still fairly pissed off. He'd calmed down quite a bit since then, but he was still in a sullen mood. Sullen, as in giving Su Chan the cold shoulder.
Su Chan had never left Li Yundong's side since they left his school. She never spoke a word, of course. She didn't dare lest she anger him again. She spent the silent journey home observing Li Yundong's facial expression, trying to work out his emotions. When they entered the apartment, he still looked pretty angry, much to her dismay. But that didn't mean Su Chan was planning to leave him on his own. Instead of going back to the bedroom when they got home, she followed Li Yundong to the carpet and sat down beside him.
They spent a long while in silence with Li Yundong glowering and Su Chan looking at him timidly. At one point, Su Chan noticed a change in Li Yundong; although he was still scowling, the anger in his eyes earlier had vanished.
"Yundong..." Su Chan said. "Please stop being mad..."
Li Yundong's eyes darted to her face briefly, then snorted.
None of this sh*t would've happened if this chick knew how to keep her mouth shut...
When Li Yundong didn't answer, Su Chan shifted closer towards Li Yundong and grabbed his arm.
"Stop being mad... Please? Pleeeease?" Su Chan shook his arm gently. "I'll keep my mouth shut from now on..."
Li Yundong gave her a sidelong glance. Yeah, right. I'll be the next Mr. Olympia if you could pull that off...
Seeing that Li Yundong was still ignoring her, Su Chan puffed out her cheeks in disappointment. Then, all of a sudden, she sat up straighter. But will it work? she thought. She stole a glance at Li Yundong, who wasn't even looking at her.
"Then... Will you stop being mad if... if I give you a kiss?" she asked tentatively.
Now that, to Li Yundong, was decidedly the best statement he'd heard in his whole life. His anger vanished in an instant, and he had a sudden urge to scream "Yes!" until cracks formed in the soundproof walls of his apartment. But then something held him back. Will I sound too desperate if I agree immediately? he thought. Nah... I'll wait for a few seconds... Argh! Screw it!
He mumbled something that sounded like an "okay."
Su Chan's scent overwhelmed his senses, then he felt a quick and gentle brush of her lips on his left cheek. Despite its brevity, the kiss was enough to turn Li Yundong's insides into mush.
Su Chan sat back down on the carpet after she kissed him, then took his arm again.
"Are you still ignoring me?" she asked, staring down at the carpet.
When she didn't receive a response, she looked up at Li Yundong and found that he was rubbing a spot on his left cheek with his hand — the spot that she had just kissed.
Su Chan blushed and looked back down at the carpet.
"Wh- what are you thinking about?" she tried again.
"I'm thinking..." Li Yundong said, causing Su Chan's head to snap back up.
Su Chan watched Li Yundong's face expectantly. He was still rubbing the same spot on his cheek, but at least his scowl had vanished.
Seconds later, Li Yundong let out a sigh and said, "I'm thinking which street would have a higher probability of success when we go to beg for food."
"Pfft... HAHAHAHA!" Su Chan released Li Yundong's arm and rolled to the carpet in laughter. "You're pathetic! Hahaha! Why would you be thinking about stuff like that?"
Li Yundong snorted loudly.
"Why wouldn't I be thinking about that when I have a troublemaking minx like you hanging around me? Okay. Let's do some math and look at how much damage you've done. That TV you ruined would've cost me five to six thousand yuan to replace. Then I covered for those gangsters' medical fees just now. Poof. Another five hundred gone. Those alone add up to nearly seven thousand already... Then Zhao Yujian... Well, technically he was the one who started the fight, but I'm pretty sure they're gonna ask me to cover for his medical fees anyway. F*ck, I don't even know how much that would cost—"
Li Yundong stopped talking instantly when he caught a glimpse of Su Chan's face. There they were, those puppy dog eyes, staring back at him, tugging at his heartstring like some kind of mechanical winch.
"You're tired of me already, aren't you?" Su Chan said in a shaky voice.
And boy oh boy was that voice Li Yundong's undoing.
I must've lost my f*cking mind... Li Yundong thought, overwhelmed by a sense of regret. Why do I even care about these material things when a girl as beautiful and kind as Su Chan is willing to stick with a loser like me? She deserves to be loved and spoiled by a man, yet I'm blaming my own failures on her. God, I'm such an asshole...
The next thought he had though, nearly devastated him: F*ck... I'm not even a man... Isn't a man supposed to shoulder all the burden and give his woman nothing but happiness and comfort?
Well, time to make things right... Li Yundong thought, sighing inwardly. He'd realized now that none of these petty things even mattered, so he did the only thing that made sense — letting them go. He reached out and pinched Su Chan's delicate and straight nose.
"Of course not, silly girl. I'll never be tired of you!"
Su Chan shrieked and turned her face away.
She stared at Li Yundong for a few seconds.
"Then... are you broke?"
Li Yundong burst into laughter. He didn't expect Su Chan to bring up the subject of money.
"Nah. I still have some money saved up, don't worry!"
Li Yundong's parents gave him quite a sum of money when he was young. Thanks to the frugal lifestyle he'd been leading, he still had about a hundred thousand yuan in his savings account now. Even after he covered the expenses he'd estimated earlier, they still wouldn't end up on the streets.
Su Chan was a fox spirit who hadn't been to the mortal world until recently, so she had no notion of how hard it was for mortals to earn their keep. Needless to say, when Li Yundong told her not to worry, she took his word for it and beamed.
"You're the worst!" she said teasingly. "Always scaring me like that!"
The smile on Su Chan's face filled Li Yundong's heart with warmth. All of a sudden, he felt as though he was right where he belonged, and that he had nothing to fear, not even if the sky were to crash down on him. But that didn't mean he wouldn't at least try to get things under control. He gave Su Chan a stern look.
"Then are you going to listen to what I say and be obedient from now on?"
Su Chan nodded enthusiastically, like one of those adorable bob heads.
"Chan'er will be a good girl!"
Su Chan's sudden compliance lit up a fire in Li Yundong's heart. He cleared his throat harshly.
"Hm. I don't think I can believe you, unless you give me another kiss," he said with a straight face.
Su Chan giggled.
"But haven't I already kissed you once just now?"
Li Yundong couldn't hold back his smile anymore.
"Then kiss me again!"
Su Chan jumped to her feet and made a beeline to the bedroom, giggling as she ran.
Mr. Invincible Badass, it seemed, was going to get another bump on his forehead since his badassery wasn't enough to prevent him from running face-first into the door, which Su Chan had so kindly decided to shut in his face.
Oww... Li Yundong thought.
Su Chan's voice rang out from inside the bedroom before he could speak.
Nope! No more kisses! Definitely not!"
Li Yundong sighed and let his head droop until his chin touched his clavicle. He turned his head to look at the carpet, then looked back at the tightly-shut bedroom door. Why do I get a feeling that this is gonna happen a lot from now on?
Su Chan stood with her back against the bedroom door. He's doing it again... he's doing it again. Argh! Things can't go on like this... I need to keep my distance, keep my distance! Su Chan raised her head suddenly. But... why do I find it so hard to keep my distance? Every time I tried to look cold and unapproachable... I always ended up smiling...
Argh! Su Chan gripped her hair and crouched down.
"What am I gonna do... I hate this... I hate this..." she mumbled to herself.
Little did Su Chan know that an attraction between herself and Li Yundong was inevitable. According to Chinese philosophy, all entities that exist in the universe has both Yin and Yang properties. However, for some entities, their Yang properties are more prominent than their Yin properties; these are called Zhi Yang entities. For Zhi Yin entities, the converse is true.
The essence of Su Chan's body was that of a fox, and foxes are Zhi Yin entities. The Renyuan Jindan, on the other hand, is a Zhi Yang entity, so after consuming it, Li Yundong's body became a Zhi Yang entity as well. The inevitability of the attraction between Su Chan and Li Yundong was simply due to an immutable law of nature known as the Yin-Yang Principle: entities of the Yin and Yang nature attract each other.
Even a normal man and woman would be drawn to each other if they stay under the same roof for a long time. If a Zhi Yin woman and a Zhi Yang man stayed together...
"Su Chan... Su Chan... Hey! Su Chan... Are you in there?"
KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!
Su Chan jumped to her feet.
"Wh- what is it?" she asked.
"D- did...um…" Li Yundong cleared his throat. "I mean, just now... did that guy... did he... hurt you?"
Su Chan snorted.
"Those weaklings?" she said haughtily. "I can take on a hundred of them without breaking a sweat! So... don't worry..."
A silence ensued.
Su Chan stood at the door, waiting with bated breath for Li Yundong to speak again. About a minute later, Li Yundong finally spoke. "Su Chan... don't take unnecessary risks next time, you hear me? If... If you run into trouble... You can come to me and... I'll be there for you."
Su Chan opened her mouth to protest, but then something made her stop — a warm and tingling sensation in her chest.
"Oh..." she said, biting her lip. "I understand."
"Good, then," Li Yundong answered, then paused for a moment. "Well, I'm gonna take a nap. I've still got class in the afternoon."
Su Chan placed her ear against the surface of the door and listened to Li Yundong's diminishing footsteps. She stayed there until the only thuds audible were the rapid poundings of her heart, then retreated from the door and walked towards the bed.
As Su Chan lay on the bed, staring up at the ceiling, she replayed the events from earlier. Eventually, she got to the part where that punk from the vegetable stall managed to sneak up on her from behind. She could've taken him out instantly, but something she saw back then surprised her so much that she hesitated. It was the change she saw in Li Yundong the moment that punk yelled to get his attention. Li Yundong looked different. It wasn't just the way his hair stood erect because of the Jindan, but it was his facial expression and the pure anger she saw there. He almost seemed protective.
The smile on Su Chan's face (when did it even get there?) became warmer and warmer as her thoughts lingered on Li Yundong. Her large eyes sparkled, and her heart was flooded with emotions yet unknown to her. She didn't know what this feeling was or what it meant. She just knew that it felt good. It was warm, sweet, and caused a mysterious sense of excitement which made her heart race!