Li Yundong stared stupidly at the girl, his anger dissipating at light speed. Without him even knowing it, his arms had gone slack, so Wu Hui's body slid back down to the ground as a result.
"You, you..." Li Yundong couldn’t even get his lips to function properly.
Li Yundong had never expected this girl to chase him all the way here. It was like his mind suddenly had a mind of its own, bombarding him with countless thoughts.
What is she doing here? Did something really happen between us when I was drunk and now she's here to castrate me? Or is it because... I... I... Argh. F*cking hell. What am I supposed to do now?
The little fox had followed Li Yundong's scent all the way here and voila! Here he was, the walking "Renyuan Jindan," right in front of her very eyes. The little fox could barely contain her joy.
However, wariness quickly took over.
No, I shouldn't get ahead of myself! she chastised herself inwardly. If she let her guard down and the guy smelled something fishy, then she would be in big, big trouble.
The little fox recalled something that her master had told her back in the mountains: If you don't want him to start asking questions about your past, you only need to do one thing. And it works every time!
Behold, the secret art of manipulation: acting pitiful!
The little fox tamped down the urge to sprint over and grab Li Yundong. Instead, she put on a sulky expression and moved towards him in a slow trot. When she finally stopped in front of Li Yundong, she glanced up at him with huge, sparkling, puppy dog eyes, eyes that could melt the hearts of even the toughest men into a pile of goo.
Wu Hui could barely take his eyes off the girl in front of him. How! How could such a beautiful girl exist!
Indeed, the little fox's beauty was men's undoing. For millennia, it was unheard of for a mortal to be able to resist the lure of a fox spirit.
One only has to look at history to verify that statement: King Jie of the Xia dynasty, King Zhou of the Shang dynasty, King You of the Zhou dynasty. Which one of them didn't fall to the feminine wiles of a fox spirit? King Jie fell to Mo Xi; King Zhou, along with the Shang dynasty, crumbled at the feet of Daji; King You met his end because of Bao Si.
If kings and emperors of antiquity couldn't resist fox spirits, who else could? A lowly university student?
Wu Hui had gotten his ass kicked a moment ago. Not that it was on the top of his "things to give a shit about" list since his current priority seemed to be "acting like a hero to impress this knockout of a girl."
Blushing, Wu Hui raised his voice and said, "Hey, pretty girl. Listen to me, you need to stay away from him. He isn't a good guy. Just now he tried to—"
"F*ck off!" Li Yundong said, pressing down hard on Wu Hui's head, causing the poor guy to fall flat on his butt.
All the students in the area were currently watching both Li Yundong and the little fox with interest. Those who were in groups were even whispering to each other with their heads close together, no doubt speculating about the nature of the relationship between Li Yundong and the little fox.
"The way I see it? This Li Yundong guy must've done something awful to that pretty girl!"
"I'm with you, brah! Just look at that guilty look on his face!"
"Bullshit! Are you guys f*cking blind? Man, look at the girl! She's so pretty that even Fan Bingbing would look like crap if you put them next to each other! You think she'd fall for a bum like Li Yundong?"
"F*ck you! You're the one who's blind! Didn't you hear what I just said? I said Li Yundong must've done something awful to the gal. When did I ever say that she has a thing for Li Yundong?"
"What the hell? What does being blind have to do with whether I heard you correctly? There isn't even a logical connection!"
"Yeah, yeah, whatever. Just shut up and enjoy the show."
Every single speculation made by the students who were watching the scene had a common theme: this pretty girl was here to settle a score with Li Yundong because Li Yundong must have done something terrible to her.
Some of the guys there immediately felt their sense of justice swelling up like a balloon when they saw the little fox's pitiful expression. If it turns out that Li Yundong really did violate her somehow, I'm going to beat him up later!
However, what ensued a moment later had all these people scrambling to pick up their eyeballs from the ground.
The little fox pinched the sleeve of Li Yundong's shirt between her fingers before tugging it from side to side. "Why did you leave just like that?" she mumbled with her head low.
Li Yundong's premonitions flew out of the window the moment he heard her. His mind short-circuited, like he was experiencing some kind of cognitive "Blue Screen of Death." He could barely react to her question. A confused "huh?!" was all he could come up with.
The little fox raised her head and gave him a pity-arousing look.
"Do you not want me anymore?"
Not everyone in the crowd had caught the little fox's first statement, but the second statement was loud and clear!
"Am I seeing things? She's the one pursuing him?! What in the actual f*ck?!"
A hullabaloo broke out among the crowd.
It was like the guys there had instantly transformed into a bunch of mules in a rut. With the way they were glaring at Li Yundong with their red eyes, it was a wonder that they hadn't started leaking testosterone through the pores of their skin. They were all biding their time, waiting for four magical words to come out of Li Yundong's mouth: "I don't want you." And, if Li Yundong uttered those four words, they would finally let their bubbling testosterone go rampant: "Me! Me! Here I am! Look at me! I want you, pretty girl!"
Li Yundong thought the doctors might've been lying about the brain being a solid object, because the one inside his skull definitely felt like goo at this moment. Heck, his IQ points might've already dropped to a negative value for all he knew. As Li Yundong stared at her, he tried to speak, to say something, to say anything, but his lips just wouldn't move.
The little fox's eyes began to turn misty, and the surface of her eyes rippled as tears welled up inside them. It was this sight, the sight of her almost in tears, that finally brought Li Yundong out of his stupor. "Hey, hey, it's alright. Don't cry, okay? We can talk about this back at home!"
Ding Nan's eyes went wide in disbelief. She walked up to the little fox. "Hey, don't you know that this guy is—"
Ding Nan suffered the same fate as Wu Hui, but this time, courtesy of the little fox as she mimicked the exact same move Li Yundong had used against Wu Hui just now.
Ding Nan fell flat on her ass. Although she wasn't as pretty as Zhou Qin, she was still one of the most beautiful girls in her department, so something as mortifying as this was not something that she could just shrug off.
Ding Nan sat on the ground, completely dazed. She stared at the little fox and Li Yundong with a blank look on her face, as if her mind couldn't process the events which had led up to this point.
Sun Li, on the other hand, seemed so much calmer. "Say, are you guys filming one of those Chiung Yao dramas? If you are, please go somewhere else! This is a university, not a movie set!" (T/N: Chiung Yao is a popular Chinese romance writer)
Li Yundong smiled at Sun Li placatingly. Not that he had any other choice. Like it or not, she was still the class rep. Even if she wasn't part of the university's higher-ups, her authority shouldn't be taken lightly.
For one, his total credits for this semester was in her hands. The thing about being a class rep was that it would put you right in the middle of the authority spectrum. Saying that a class rep was powerful would be foolish, but so was saying that a class rep was completely without authority. A class rep was in charge of taking everyone's attendance every day, and attendance constituted a student's total credit points for that semester. If Sun Li decided to abuse her authority? Well, this entire semester would've gone to waste.
Li Yundong was at a complete loss as to the most appropriate way to interact with the little fox. Like it or not, he was still a man, so when a beautiful girl threw herself at him, he'd be lying if he said that it didn't make him feel good. He cleared his throat, then said, "Wait for me back at home, okay? We'll talk once I get home."
After saying that, he began walking towards the campus building nonchalantly, as if he was some kind of eunuch who was completely immune to any form of feminine wiles.
However, when he arrived at the lecture hall and took his seat, a feminine fragrance assaulted his nose. It turned out that the little fox had followed Li Yundong all the way into the lecture hall. When Li Yundong took a seat, she plopped down beside him.
When Li Yundong was walking away from the "movie set" (according to Sun Li) just now, he secretly wished for the girl to follow him into the building despite his outward aloofness. Now, seeing that his wish had come true, his heart was filled with joy and surprise. "Why did you follow me in here?"
The little fox took Li Yundong's words as a dismissal; tears pattered against the back of her hand like a mini shower. "Don't send me away..."
Li Yundong's heart melted right then and there. "Hey now, nobody's sending you away, okay?"
The little fox raised her head. When she looked at Li Yundong, her eyes were filled with fear, anticipation, and wariness. "For real?"
"Of course!" Li Yundong said, nodding repeatedly like one of those bobbleheads that people put in their cars.
The little fox's eyes curved into two crescent shapes as she beamed at him.
"Oh, Chan'er is so happy!"
Li Yundong was piqued. "Chan'er?" he asked.
The little fox's grin grew wider if that was even possible. She tapped her index finger on the tip of her nose. "Yes, Chan'er," she said. "My master gave me that name."
Something tightened inside Su Chan's chest, though she feigned an innocent and naive look. "Mm-hm!"
Much to her relief, Li Yundong let the matter drop. Instead, he smiled at Su Chan and said, "I'm Li Yundong."
The students (eavesdroppers) who were sitting near Li Yundong and Su Chan ground their teeth in anger and incredulity. Weren't these two acting like they couldn't live without each other just now? And now, what? Apparently they didn't even know each other's names! I can't believe this shit!
Some students couldn't even describe the sadness and anger they were feeling. How on God's green earth could a girl of such peerless beauty fall for the most pathetic and inept guy in our university? The King of Love Confessions of all people! Seriously! What does he have that I don't? I'm better looking than him, sexier than him, more talented than him. Hell, my dad's wallet is bigger than the douche's f*cking potbelly! And yet this girl is head over heels for the guy? Have the laws of physics finally broken down? Does nothing in this universe makes sense anymore?
The first step of Su Chan's plan was finally complete. Worm my way into his life and then find a way to stay by his side. Check.
Now it was time for the second step: Capturing his heart!
What was it again that master told me last time? Su Chan thought. The first step to capturing a man's heart is submission! I must obey, no matter what he says!
But how can I be obedient? He... He hasn't even made any demands!
The solution came to her quickly. Ugh, I can't believe I'm so dumb. Can't I just ask him what he wants?
A fawning smile adorned Su Chan's beautiful face.
"Yundong, are you cold?"
Yundong? His bones might have just melted a little when he heard Su Chan utter of his name. He looked at Su Chan strangely.
Su Chan held Li Yundong's gaze timidly.
"Do you dislike the way I just called you?"
Li Yundong's eyes scanned across the lecture hall, noting the testosterone-filled looks of jealousy and disdain he was receiving. He ignored them and returned his gaze to Su Chan. Hell f*cking no! I love it!
Safe to say that Li Yundong’s male ego had just received a good amount of stroking.
The smile on Su Chan's face could light up a room. "Yundong, are you cold?"
Li Yundong chuckled. Tiannan city is in the southern part of the country, and it's the end of May right now. But you're asking me if I'm cold?
"No, I'm not cold," he answered casually.
Apparently, the guy sitting behind Li Yundong disagreed. The guy shuddered, deciding that Su Chan's bone-melting voice was his undoing. "Yeah? It sure feels like a f*cking blizzard in here with all the chills you two are giving me," he muttered under his breath.
Su Chan ignored Mr. Sour Grapes' quip. Her original plan was to cuddle up to Li Yundong if he said he was cold. But he said he isn't cold... Hmm... Su Chan's eyes gleamed. "Then, do you feel hot?"
Laughing and crying at the same time was, Li Yundong decided, absent from a human being's emotional repertoire. Hello? Didn't she see the frigging air conditioner in the room?
"Nope. I don't feel hot either," Li Yundong said.
Su Chan nearly pouted when she heard Li Yundong's response.
Ugh! Impossible man! You're not cold, but you're not hot either. What the heck is it that you want?
Then again, Su Chan's personality was nothing if not persistent. She was like a peach: soft and pretty on the outside, but tough as hell on the inside. She wouldn't have been able to steal the Renyuan Jindan if she wasn't. "Then... are you hungry?" she asked again.
As if on cue, Li Yundong's stomach growled. His bones and tissues had been transformed and remolded by the Renyuan Jindan, a process which took three whole days to complete. Unless the Jindan possessed some kind of mysterious nourishing power, his stomach would naturally be empty by the end of the process, but he didn't realize his hunger until just now because his mind was too occupied. Su Chan's question was like a signal for his stomach to start protesting.
Li Yundong didn't see any point in denying the fact that he was starving. Not that he could; the sounds of the God of Thunder wreaking havoc inside his stomach gave it all away. Li Yundong nodded and said, "I'm famished!"
Su Chan's face lit up in joy. "Then, shall I bring you some food? Is that okay?"
Li Yundong's smile betrayed his gratitude, but he felt really unaccustomed to having a beautiful girl care for him like this, so he shifted uncomfortably in his seat as he replied, "Um, okay then."
Finally! A chance to show just how caring and attentive I can be! Su Chan thought, sprinting out of the room in a cloud of smoke.
Li Yundong stared after her sprinting form. "Hey! I haven't given you any money yet!" he yelled.
Su Chan charged out of the lecture hall and careened down hallways, turning heads everywhere she passed. By the time she left the campus, a cloud of dust wasn't the only thing lying in her wake; the infatuated sighs and starry eyes that she left behind were pretty damn real too.
Outside the campus, Su Chan stopped short, glancing to her left, then to her right. Where am I supposed to go to buy food?
Of course, this problem was obviously not a match for her tenacity. Suddenly, her nose wrinkled. She could detect the scent of meat in the air. Let's see where this leads me to, she thought as she began following the scent to its source.
Indeed, there was a marketplace beside Tiannan University. Following the scent in the air, Su Chan successfully found her way to it.
Although Su Chan had never been to a marketplace in the mortal world, that didn't mean that she had never heard of them.
She ran up to a butcher's stall, smiling as if she had just discovered a huge pot of Renyuan Jindans. A thought hit her when she was about to make a purchase: Fish induces phelgm, and meat is hot in nature. I can't buy this! (T/N: Traditional Chinese medicine expounds the four natures of food; cold, cool, warm and hot. These "natures" are determined by the effect foods have on the human body)
The Renyuan Jindan had enhanced the Essence, Qi, and Blood of Li Yundong's body to a level beyond the limits of any mortal being. However, the added vitality of his Qi would also generate an extreme amount of internal heat.
Thus, the consumption of meat would only bring harm, since it is of a hot nature (T/N: Foods of the "hot" nature raise the body's temperature).
Unfortunately, in her obsession to butter up Li Yundong, Su Chan forgot to consider things from a normal person's point of view.
Do mortals consume raw pork?
Thank God for the dialectical methods that Su Chan had picked up during her training in Cultivation. Because of that, she didn't end up buying several pounds of raw pork to bring to Li Yundong. If she did, the poor guy might end up dying from disbelief, if he didn't starve to death first.
Having decided (wisely) not to buy raw pork, Su Chan left the butcher's stall and kept strolling through the market until she reached a vegetable stall. She paused in front of the stall and pondered her options. If he can't eat foods that are hot in nature, then I should get him those of the opposite nature!
Carrots and bok choy!
Su Chan walked up to the vegetable stall and took stock of all the vegetables on display. After a while, she held up a thick carrot with a relatively wide girth, then paused in thought. Might as well get some bok choy too. She picked up a thick bunch of bok choy, then glanced around to see what else the store had to offer.
Another thought made her pause.
He said that he’s hungry now, so there’s no time to cook… Su Chan stared at the bok choy in her hand. But I can't stomach raw bok choy at all. This guy probably can't as well… Hmm…
Su Chan abandoned the bok choy and went on to consider other options. She glanced to her left and then her right. Finally, she held up a long and thick cucumber, deciding that it was the perfect choice. Filled with glee, Su Chan mentally recited a lengthy statement that she had read a long time ago in a textbook of nutritional therapy: Cucumbers are cold in nature, sweet in taste, stimulate the salivary glands, alleviate thirst, have a calming effect, and can reduce body heat!
It can fill his stomach and balance out the excess heat in his body! It can even be eaten raw!
Hah! I'm a genius!
Su Chan never thought she was capable of feeling glee and satisfaction in such epic proportions. If she was in her fox form right now, her tail would be wagging so hard that she might actually start elevating.
The owner of the vegetable stall was middle-aged lady with enough muscles that she looked like she could snap a person's bone in half with her bare hands. In fact, she might do just that considering the way she was glaring at Su Chan. Boy, would you look at her. How could anyone be so pretty! If that man ever saw her, he’d try to screw her until he runs out of jizz!
It didn't escape the stall owner's notice that all the men in the area were now staring at Su Chan with hungry looks on their faces and drool all over their mouths, like they were a bunch of starving cats who had just caught a whiff of fish. It was a miracle that they hadn't already pounced on Su Chan and swallowed her whole.
Hmph! What a slut!
At this moment, the stall owner turned her head and noticed, much to her chagrin, that her own husband was among the men drooling over Su Chan.
Rage took over. Her hand shot out and she twisted her husband's ear. "Want me to bring her to the house so you can take a closer look, hmm?"
This man was obviously henpecked. A placating smile formed on his face immediately after he was caught ogling Su Chan by his wife. He dared not stare at Su Chan openly again after that. But that didn't mean he wouldn't sneak furtive glances here and there...
The vegetable stall lady began muttering under her breath, exhausting her entire swearing lexicon. She saw Su Chan picking up a carrot, then reaching for a cucumber. For some reason, she could do nothing except watch. Deep down, she felt a twinge of annoyance, like something was bothering her. Something's wrong here, but I don't know what it is, she thought as her eyes followed Su Chan's gradually diminishing figure. Apparently, Su Chan's beauty had affected her too.
Then, the penny finally dropped, but only after Su Chan was already too far away from her stall. She slapped her thigh. "That little slut! Goddamn vixen! She never paid!"
Li Yundong's mind was currently filled with images of Su Chan's facial expressions, every single one of them, from sadness to joy. Judging from the loopy and dreamy look on his face as he sat there staring off into space, it was pretty obvious that Su Chan had stolen his soul.
However, a poke on his back snapped him back to reality. "Huh? What?"
"Would you care to repeat the things I said just now, Mr. Li Yundong?" The voice came from the lectern in front, where the professor stood with a dark scowl.
Deciding to just bite the bullet, Li Yundong stood up walked to the front of the lecture hall, continuing until he reached the lectern. Then, he took his position at the lectern and willed the words to come out. Words? Hah. Could he even form a sentence when his entire vocabulary was suddenly reduced to "girl", "pretty", "scarlet dress"? Served him right for spacing out. Now he couldn't come up with a single thing to say.
The professor for the History of Ancient Chinese Literature course was a balding middle-aged man. Li Yundong's inability to repeat the contents of his lecture earlier was the final straw. Then, in what appeared to be an impressive mimicry of Old Master Q, the professor started reprimanding Li Yundong harshly. The professor's words (and the shame it brought) were like tiny bullets blasting into Li Yundong's ears but never actually making it out, which made Li Yundong's head heavier and heavier with each word. At one point, it got so heavy that Li Yundong actually found it a bit difficult to raise his head.
The professor ended his diatribe and was prepared to order Li Yundong back to his seat, but Su Chan entered the lecture hall before he could do that.
From his position at the lectern, Li Yundong saw Su Chan glancing around the room for a bit. Her eyes brightened the moment she saw him, but a bad feeling formed at the pit of his stomach when he saw Su Chan bounding towards the lectern.
Before Li Yundong could say anything, he saw Su Chan thrusting her left arm into the air gleefully, like she was showing off the fruits of her efforts and was asking him to reward her. Then, her crisp and melodious voice rang out like a silver bell: "I bought you a carrot! Look! I even washed it! Hurry up, eat!"
She shoved the carrot into Li Yundong's hand.
Clearly, she wasn't taking no for answer.
A dark look formed on the professor's face. It was like he was sucking all the heat in the room into his heart and then using the heat to fuel the fire of his anger; the temperature of the room dropped instantly.
Every student in the lecture hall stared stupidly at the scene, mouths agape.
Sweat slid down Li Yundong's back, and the corner of his eye twitched repeatedly as he desperately tried to send signals to Su Chan with his eyes.
Su Chan blinked a few times, then walked past Li Yundong and stopped short when she noticed the balding professor. She flashed a beguiling smile at him and extended a polite greeting before turning back to face Li Yundong.
"Go on, dig in! You said you’re hungry, right? So why aren't you eating? Don't you like carrots?"
Seconds passed in silence before Su Chan broke it.
"Oh! That's okay! I've got something else for you!"
What came out of her mouth next, however, was an earth-shattering and heaven-splitting statement that would undoubtedly go down in the annals of Tiannan University.
"These days, you... um... you might be feeling a bit hot inside... So… Ta-daaa!!!"
Su Chan raised her right hand into the air. In her grasp was a long and thick… cucumber!
“I bought a cucumber to help cool you down!”
"Pindrop silence" wouldn't even come close to describing the hush that fell over the lecture hall at this moment.
Li Yundong secretly wished he could cry a river and drown everyone in it so that he wouldn't have to look at the smug expressions on their faces.