"Oh, come on! Why must we pick a tall building? We can stay anywhere as long as it's got a roof, walls, electricity, and water! Why does height matter?" Li Yundong said as he led Su Chan out of the rental agency's office.
"Because—" Su Chan stopped short.
She had nearly gone on a spiel about the Feng Shui principles to ensure an ideal Cultivation setting, but then stopped when she realized how stupid it'd be since it would lead him to all kinds of questions, questions that she wasn't ready to answer yet. How do you know all this stuff? Did your master teach you all these? Who is your master anyway? Hey... come to think of it, where did you stay before we met? Oooh, I know! Why don't you take me back to your place and maybe we can stay there for the time being?
Good luck answering those, Chan'er.
"Well? Because what?" Li Yundong asked. They moved away from the building to the streets. "You better have a damn good reason because it's gonna be a huge pain in the ass climbing up twenty floors if the elevator malfunctions..."
"Because... Because... Don't you think that living in higher places helps improve the mood!" There was a brief pause. "Elevated home, elevated mood?" Su Chan said, then forced out a few laughs. Ugh! So lame!
Li Yundong pondered her words for several moments, then smiled.
"You know what, that actually makes sense..." Li Yundong said.
It does? Su Chan thought, staring at him, wondering if he was about to start making fun of her again.
"I guess we'll be looking for high-rise condos then," Li Yundong said. "I mean, since you prefer staying in higher places."
"Mm!" Su Chan nodded in relief. Thank the Tao that she was able to convince him to go along with her advice. After all, there was a reason why all Cultivators in the past were so particular about their homes. For Cultivators, greatness starts from the home, where they spend most of their time in training! After they left the motel earlier, Su Chan had come up with a list of criteria that their new home must meet: located on the north with the door facing the south; a window facing the east; surrounded by clean and fresh air; provided wide field of vision; and most importantly, the place must have sufficient altitude.
Su Chan followed behind Li Yundong as they walked away from the building they had just exited, sniffing the air a few times. Such poor air quality! she thought. Nobody would be able to reap the full benefits of Cultivation here! Unless... she dragged Li Yundong into the mountains? Su Chan had to suppress a giggle at the thought. The poor guy would probably lose his mind.
The pair traveled around town and checked out several places, all of which were brutally shot down by Su Chan. Not enough altitude. Too noisy. Not enough scenery. The door faces the west!
Li Yundong, on the other hand, was pretty patient. It didn't really matter to him where they stayed. His primary concern was to ensure that Su Chan was happy with their new home. In fact, he found this house-hunting thing pretty fun. A small part of him felt as though they were on a date.
Around noon, they grabbed some burgers from McDonald's, then made their way towards a newly-established residential area called Xin An Garden, eating and chatting as they walked. Yep. Definitely a date.
However, Li Yundong heard a familiar voice the moment they entered Xin An garden.
"Ugh!! Gawd!! What's the matter with you people?! I've already told you whom I'm looking for! Zheng Youming! Didn't you hear me the first time!"
Li Yundong turned towards the source of the commotion. Hey, isn't that... Li Yundong took a closer look. Indeed, it was the woman who'd checked out his old apartment with that douchebag, Boss Zheng, last night. Lili, Li Yundong thought with a chuckle. Was that even her real name? Or was that a collective term for "girl who f*cks another woman's husband?"
"I! Don't! Care!" Lili yelled again. "Get him down here right this instant!" She appeared to be engaged in an argument with the security guard of an apartment building.
Well, whatever. It's none of my business, Li Yundong thought. Time to get on with his date.
However, when Li Yundong turned, he saw Su Chan gawking at the apartment building, burger forgotten. Lili was screaming something again, but he didn't care. He was too focused on Su Chan.
"What is it?" Li Yundong asked.
"I like this place!" Su Chan said, her eyes sparkling in delight.
"Well, well, well! Would you look at that! Her Royal Highness has finally made her choice!" Li Yundong said. He glanced up at the apartment building, then smiled wryly. "Too bad this is a new residential area, which means most of the apartments here are for sale, not for rent!" Li Yundong gave Su Chan a look. "You shouldn't get any ideas, okay? I can't afford it."
In front of the apartment, Lili turned away from the security guard when she thought she heard a familiar voice. She turned, then froze when she saw Li Yundong standing not too far away from the building.
Lili pulled out her phone from her LV handbag and glared at the security guard. "You're not gonna let me in, is that it?" she said, but with a much softer voice this time. "Very well. I will call him right now and by the time he gets here, you'll be out of a job!"
The poor security guard, who was merely doing his job, grimaced at the threat. Before he could speak, however, a clear voice sounded: "Oh, it's you, Lili! What are you doing here?"
Lili glanced ahead and saw Zheng Youming exiting the building. "To look for you, of course!" Lili roared. "I doubt I'd even be about to find you if I didn't come here."
A hint of annoyance flickered in Zheng Youming's eyes. However, his annoyance disappeared when he saw Li Yundong and, of course, Su Chan, standing near the building. A feral grin formed on his face as his eyes traveled down Su Chan's body hungrily. "Hahaha!" Zheng Youming brushed past Lili and headed towards Li Yundong. "It's you again! What a small world!"
Li Yundong sighed. "Yep. Small world indeed," he said, shaking Zheng Youming's hand.
So we're buddies now, Li Yundong thought, resisting the urge to roll his eyes. Great. And no, he did not miss the fact that Zheng Youming was ogling at Su Chan while shaking his hand. Son of a bitch was practically undressing the girl with his eyes!
Zheng Youming released Li Yundong's hand and offered his hand to Su Chan.
Eugh!!! Get away from me, you buffoon! You smell! Su Chan thought, keeping her hand behind her back and hiding herself behind Li Yundong. Then, she peeked around Li Yundong's shoulder and made a face at Zheng Youming.
Because of Su Chan's beauty, Zheng Youming wasn't offended by her behavior at all. In fact, he found her even more endearing now. Instead of an impudent and rude girl, Zheng Youming saw a coquettish girl. He was dying to get his hands on her.
Zheng Youming gave Li Yundong an enthusiastic smile. His eyes, however, held nothing but disdain. "So! What are you doing here, young man? Lookin' for a place?"
Prick, Li Yundong thought.
"Nope. Just passing by," Li Yundong said with a smile. Then, he gestured at the building. "You own this place?"
Zheng Youming laughed. "Just a little business. Nothing too big!" he said smugly. "Why don't you come in and check out the building? If you want, I can sell it to you at a special price! It's all negotiable!"
Special price? Li Yundong sneered inwardly. I bet you would. But it wouldn't be because of me.
Su Chan beat Li Yundong to a response. "How much will it cost to buy a unit on the top floor?"
Delight coursed through Zheng Youming at Su Chan's expression of interest. He took a deep breath. "13 thousand yuan per square meter. Ah!" Zheng Youming raised a palm. "Of course, there would be a discount for a pretty girl like you. 10 thousand yuan per square meter! How about that! This is a great deal! I guarantee that you won't find a deal like that anywhere in this city!"
10 thousand yuan per square meter? Li Yundong thought, his lips twitching. The only thing I can afford in that apartment is a f*cking toilet...
Su Chan's face fell. She knew Li Yundong only had around 80 thousand yuan left in his bank account after he'd paid the obnoxious landlady. They couldn't afford a place here.
But this place is so nice! she thought, glancing around. Wide field of vision, check. Minimal air pollution, check. The building is built at a good location... and the top floor has enough altitude...
"We can't afford to make a purchase," Su Chan said. "Are the units for rent?"
"Rent?" Zheng Youming said, then burst into laughter.
Annoyed, Su Chan grabbed Li Yundong's arm. "Let's go, Yundong!" she said, dragging Li Yundong away.
"Hey, hey! I never said anything about not renting to you!" Zheng Youming yelled.
Su Chan stopped, then turned around. "You'll rent a unit to us? At what rate?" she asked.
After considering it for a moment, Zheng Youming thought, I can't let this beauty leave. If I do, I'll regret it. It's fine to lower the price if it will convince her to stay here. As long as she doesn't leave, I will definitely be able to take her from this pauper.
Zheng Youming raised his index finger.
Li Yundong gasped. "10 thousand per month?" What the heck?
"No..." Zheng Youming smirked. "One thousand yuan per month! Lemme' tell ya something, young fella. This meeting between you and me? This is fate!" Zheng Youming laughed, then clapped his hands together. "I tell you what, you can pick any unit, house, or whatever in this whole area. If you find one you like, go to the sales office and tell them you'll rent the place at the rate of a thousand yuan per month. Everything will be settled the moment you mention my name."
Moments passed in silence as Li Yundong stared at Zheng Youming with narrowed eyes. Still not convinced, eh? Zheng Youming thought. "Ah, you're probably worried about the furnishing costs, right?" he said, waving his hand casually. "Don't worry, buddy. There's a fully furnished luxury suite on the top floor. TV, couch, bed, whatever. Everything's there. And it's got an awesome interior design! Ever heard of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Yeah, this suite has a similar design. Oh, and the best part?" Zheng Youming held up a finger. "You can move in right away! So? What do you say, eh?"
Li Yundong sneered inwardly. A luxury suite? he thought. For a thousand yuan per month? Bastard's taking me for a fool...
Indeed, Li Yundong knew what this SOB was up to the moment the rental rate was announced. A thousand yuan per month? Even the rent for his old apartment cost 1300 yuan per month. And this was a luxury suite!
Not that Li Yundong hadn't suspected the guy's ulterior motive before the rate was announced. The lewd gazes that the f*cker had been giving Su Chan ever since he came out of the building were a dead giveaway.
This piece of sh*t wanted to steal his woman.
Li Yundong balled his fists in anger.
However, before Li Yundong could tell Zheng Youming to shove his cheap rates and ulterior motives up a place where the sun doesn't shine, he felt a tug on his arm. Following that, he heard a sweet, angelic voice which melted his anger away.
"Yundong! Yundong! Let's check out the place! Please? Pleeeeassee?"
Li Yundong turned, then studied Su Chan's face for a while. If it was up to him, they'd be out of here faster than anyone could blink. Then again... she seemed so excited. Running around town under the sun must be pretty tough for her too... Oh what the hell...
Li Yundong let out a helpless sigh. "Okay, fine," he said, then shot Zheng Youming a dark look. Wanna steal my woman? Over my dead body!
Zheng Youming's face looked as if he had just won the lottery ten times in a row. He turned towards the security guard and said, "Escort my buddy here to the sales office."
Lili had been watching the entire exchange from the sideline. She'd come today with one sole purpose in mind — to bust Zheng Youming's balls. Apparently, he had found another lover recently.
However, after witnessing the scene earlier, she was finally able to see Zheng Youming for who he truly was — a fickle and heartless bastard!
Lili had been with Zheng Youming for quite a while now, yet he wouldn't even hesitate to kick her to the curb the moment he found a new target.
What a heartless and cruel man.
Lili glanced towards Li Yundong and Su Chan, who had gone quite some distance away with the security guard. Emotions flickered inside Lili's eyes, not jealousy, not envy, but admiration. She was amazed at what the pair had achieved; even amidst a society filled with corruption and depravity, their love had remained pure. I wish, from the bottom of my heart, that you'll stick to each other through thick and thin, through happiness and sadness. I wish for your love to remain pure for the rest of your lives.
Footsteps pulled Lili out of her thoughts. She turned and saw Zheng Youming approaching her.
"I'm surprised that you still remember me," Lili said when Zheng Youming finally stopped in front of her.
"As if I could forget about you," Zheng Youming said in a tone of annoyance. "What do you want?"
The spectacle she witnessed earlier had changed her mind about kicking up a fuss and busting Zheng Youming's balls. She'd seen through everything now: his lies; his so-called promises; his shamelessness. Now, she wanted absolutely nothing to do with this man.
"Oh well. I guess I just missed you, that's all," she said with a casual wave of her hand. "Wait! How come I've never heard about this luxury suite of yours? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon? That's fabulous! Now I definitely have to check it out!"
With that, Lili glanced around, then headed off in Li Yundong's direction after she had spotted him.