"Interesting" was the best word to describe the current look on Li Yundong's face. He couldn't face anyone right now; not the gobsmacked professor, and definitely not his classmates who looked like they were seconds away from losing their shit. So, he grabbed Su Chan's hand and hightailed it towards the exit.
Su Chan couldn't seem to see through the fog surrounding the situation.
Li Yundong had barely taken two steps out of the door before roars of laughter erupted from inside the lecture hall.
Li Yundong's cheeks felt as if they were on fire. If only the sounds of laughter from the lecture hall could create a fissure on the floor in front of him, then he would jump right in and never come out again.
Argh, f*ck this shit, Li Yundong thought, stomping his foot. I'm skipping this class. I'm not going to stand around and be everyone's laughing stock!
He ran out of the campus with Su Chan in tow, completely ignoring the fact that he still had lectures to go to.
Attendance and semester credits be damned.
Dragging Su Chan along, Li Yundong sprinted all the way home, giving Usain Bolt a run for his Olympic medal. At this point, even Su Chan (no matter how clueless she was) had begun to notice that something was amiss. After they barged through the door of the apartment and stopped, Su Chan lowered her head and snuck a tentative glance at Li Yundong.
"Did I say something wrong?" she asked timidly.
The incredulity that Li Yundong was feeling at that moment was beyond any adjectives he could possibly think of.
"What do you think?" he said exasperatedly.
At that moment, Su Chan's face looked as if someone had just stolen another Renyuan Jindan from her. She pushed her lips out into a pout.
"But I'm not wrong! Cucumbers do have a cooling effect!"
Li Yundong snatched the cucumber from Su Chan's hand.
"Cooling effect, my ass! How about I stab you to death with this cucumber!"
Su Chan flinched at Li Yundong's outburst. She stole a quick glance at Li Yundong and then lowered her head back down. The soft pitter-patter of her tears filled the apartment. Master was damn right about the people outside of the mountains. They're all so evil! Death and murder come out of their mouths so effortlessly! And this guy is the worst! Hmph! Just you wait. Once I get you past the Zhuji phase, I'll suck out every single ounce of your Qi until there's nothing left in you! (T/N: The Zhuji phase is the fourth phase of Cultivation)
None of the rage she felt showed on her face, which had the you-can't-help-but-shower-me-with-love look. Sure enough, Li Yundong's heart softened the moment he saw that look.
"Alright, alright, don't cry. You'll turn into a kitten if you keep crying like that!" It was such a cliche statement, and he knew it. But, he didn't know what else to say. He reached out to wipe her tears but stopped short when he saw the sheer perfection of her beauty. His hand hovered in mid-air as tremors shook his heart. Even when crying and looking pitiful, this girl was gorgeous.
Sensing that Li Yundong's anger had dissipated, Su Chan raised her head boldly. "You're not mad at me anymore?"
The corners of Li Yundong's lips twitched as he forced himself to smile.
"No, I'm not mad."
Where did this chick even come from? he thought. How can anyone be so innocent?
Nobody could come across a girl like this nowadays. I bet I could even make millions if I sell her to the museum. She's like a frigging long-lost national treasure!
From the way she talks... I'm guessing she's from the mountains? A country lady?
Tsk, tsk, tsk. Dayum. Which village in the country could produce such a fine-looking lady? Like seriously, did they use aphrodisiac as soap or something?
Li Yundong's thoughts went rampant inside his head.
However, no matter where his thoughts ran off to, they always returned to one thing, which he quickly decided was a major pain in his ass.
A long huff of frustration escaped his lips, then he reached up, grabbed two fistfuls of his hair, and began pacing back and forth in his living room.
"Argh. I'm screwed. How the hell am I supposed to attend class tomorrow? Those f*ckers are going laugh at me."
Su Chan's head shot up. Her nose scrunched up, giving her appearance a somewhat menacing quality.
"Who's going to laugh at you? I'll" — Su Chan swung her fist — "beat them up!"
Li Yundong gave Su Chan's figure a quick once-over. Well, she was rather tall, he would give her that. Then again, height wouldn't do shit in a fight for anyone with her type of build: slender limbs, a narrow waist, and (of course he'd notice) a round bubble-butt. Heck, she could go a few rounds with a chicken and still come out on the losing end.
Su Chan bristled. And what is that supposed to mean? She was a frigging three-tailed fox spirit, for goodness’ sake. She was already at the Shentong phase of Cultivation, thank you very much. Technically, the Shentong phase itself was divided into nine dans, and she was currently at the fifth dan of the Shentong phase. To be fair her powers were no match for those master Cultivators who were currently lying low in the mortal world. But against a normal human, she'd be like a God. (T/N: Shentong is the fifth phase of Cutlivation)
"Are you belittling me?" Su Chan snarled.
Okay. Now she's mad, Li Yundong thought, stifling his laughter.
He cleared his throat and said, "Of course not. Do you know how scary you are? You just caused everyone in my class, including the professor, to lose their shit. And all you needed was a cucumber. That's how scary you are. Only a fool would cross you."
Mortified, Su Chan snatched the cucumber back from Li Yundong and began stabbing him with it.
"I'll kill you!"
The cucumber drew first blood on Li Yundong.
"Say that again!"
Li Yundong turned his head around and ran, leaving peals of laughter in his wake. Su Chan chased after him relentlessly as if the word "quit" didn't even exist in her vocabulary. More laughter filled the apartment, punctuated by the fiery statement "I'll kill you" and the occasional sounds of cucumber meeting flesh. Li Yundong ran into the bedroom and crouched down beside the footboard of the bed. He raised his hands above his head and waved as though he was holding two white flags in them.
"Mercy, your Highness! Mercy! Your humble servant has learned his lesson."
Biting her lip, Su Chan launched another cucumber attack.
In a feat that would make the Flash proud, Li Yundong grabbed the broken section of the cucumber that had fallen from her hand before it hit the floor. Then, an evil grin formed on Li Yundong's face.
"Hehehe. See that? It broke. Now it's my turn!"
Su Chan was cucumber-stabbed twice in her waist, which also happened to be the most ticklish spot on her body. She giggled and then began retaliating with her own cucumber.
"You dare fight back?” Su Chan said. “Is that how you want to play it? Oh, you're on!"
Su Chan was playful by nature, so the moment she started this 'play fight' with Li Yundong, she couldn't stop. Her playfulness was like a bowling ball rolling on a frictionless plane; it would never stop unless acted upon by an external force. Then again, having a cucumber pressed up against the soft mound of her chest definitely fit into the external force category.
"Ah!" Su Chan recoiled, staring at Li Yundong wordlessly with her arms wrapped around her chest.
Having realized his mistake, Li Yundong smiled at her sheepishly.
Moments passed with neither of them saying a word.
What are you even supposed to say after you accidentally touch a beautiful woman's boob with a f*cking cucumber of all things?
Hell if he knew.
Li Yundong's smile faded and, for a moment, they kept staring at each other.
Hints of regret begun to take form in the darkest recesses of Li Yundong's heart. Getting all handsy with her was reckless to say the least. What if this drop-dead gorgeous girl ran off because she got scared?
Shit, he thought.
Meanwhile, Su Chan was having her own internal turmoil: What's with this vague feeling of happiness I felt when I was chasing him around just now? And why don't I hate him as much when I look at him now?
Uh-oh. This is bad. I've let my guard down. This guy consumed the Renyuan Jindan, which means that his Yang Qi is at its strongest right now. What if it gets drawn out by my Yin Qi and he gets all horny? My plans would be ruined if he tries to have sex with me before he reaches the Zhuji phase...
No. It's best if I keep him at arm's length until he's made some progress in his training.
At that thought, the smile on Su Chan's face slowly faded. A brief moment passed as she pondered her next move. Then, she lowered the broken cucumber and said, "I... Um, it's true that I have nowhere else to go... Even so, you shouldn't bully me like this..."
Those words tugged at Li Yundong's heartstrings until they literally unraveled. Warmth filled his eyes and his gaze softened, then he stood up and cleared his throat. "Are you hungry?"
As if on cue, Su Chan's stomach growled.
Su Chan blushed and nodded.
Of course I'm hungry, you dunce! she thought. I just spent three days watching over you without eating and drinking anything! I even brought food for you, but you didn't even appreciate my efforts! Ugh! This ingrate drives me mad!
"So you're hungry, huh?" Li Yundong smiled. "Good. Because I'm pretty famished myself. I'll whip something up for us."
Su Chan looked at Li Yundong as if he'd suddenly grown ten heads. "You can cook?"
It was true that Li Yundong had adopted a lackadaisical attitude ever since his parents' divorce. But, even a lazy and aimless person had to eat in order to survive, so Li Yundong's culinary skills had been forged out of necessity. At this moment, Li Yundong rolled up his sleeves while looking smug and complacent.
"Hah! Let me show you what I've got."
He quickly left the bedroom and headed to the kitchen. However, his eyes nearly popped out of their sockets when he arrived at the kitchen and opened the fridge.
He had never seen anything so messy in his life. It was as if a mini cyclone had wreaked havoc inside. There was literally nothing edible left. Even the jar of fermented tofu had been emptied.
Did someone break into my place?!
When Su Chan walked in and saw the gobsmacked look on Li Yundong's face, she was instantly reminded of the feast she'd had a few days ago. Heat rose to her cheeks as her beautiful features morphed into a sheepish look. Then, she inched closer to Li Yundong until she reached his side. When she spoke, her voice was so soft that even a mosquito would sound loud in comparison.
"It- it was me. I ate everything..."
Li Yundong pulled in a deep breath.
Did you f*cking starve to death in your past life? Two New Orleans style roast chickens, three bottles of coconut milk, a bag of cupcakes, four loaves of bread, three boxes of pudding, and half a watermelon. F*ck, even the fermented tofu. You finished all that, and you're still alive? What the hell is your stomach made of? Super durable condoms?
However, Li Yundong suppressed his anger when he saw Su Chan looking back at him with those pitiful, puppy dog eyes.
Oh, what the hell, Li Yundong thought with a sigh.
"Not even the best chef can produce anything without ingredients. Time to do some grocery shopping!"
Sensing that Li Yundong was letting her off the hook, Su Chan nodded and followed him like an obedient puppy.
Li Yundong suddenly turned around and looked at her strangely. "You're not going to wait for me at home?"
Su Chan's hand grasped Li Yundong's sleeve almost as soon as she heard his question. Her head shook vigorously and, with her two braids swinging wildly around her face, she looked just like one of those Chinese pellet drums being spun. Then again, pellet drums wouldn't give Li Yundong a "don't abandon me" look. Nor would they speak to him in a tone so pitiful that it sounded like he had abused her or something: "I'm going with you."
Li Yundong smiled at her, then said, "Fine. But please don't go out looking like that. People would think that I abused you or something."
Su Chan instantly felt reassured, so she raised her head and smiled sweetly.
The pair left the apartment and walked for seven or eight minutes before arriving at the market.
The moment they entered the market, Li Yundong saw the vegetable stall lady storming towards him, looking like she wanted to strangle him with her bare hands.
The woman started shouting at them even from afar.
"You little slut! How dare you show your face here with this pretty boy after stealing from me!"
Li Yundong frowned at the woman's bitchy attitude. Then, he schooled his features into a neutral expression and shielded Su Chan behind his body.
"What's the problem, Ma’am? Can't you speak nicely?"
The woman jabbed a finger at Su Chan. "She took some vegetables from my stall earlier, but she never paid! This little slut is already doing bad things at such a young age. Imagine what she'll become in the future! A good-for-nothing bitch!"
Li Yundong felt a surge of anger inside his chest. He glared at the woman.
"How much did the vegetables cost? I'll pay."
Although Li Yundong looked like an Average Joe, his eyes were intense and terrifyingly sharp. The stall owner trembled slightly, feeling as if Li Yundong's gaze had pierced through her heart like two daggers. Because of that, she quickly averted her gaze.
At first, the woman planned to settle things amiably. After all, only those with an amiable and forgiving temperament could succeed in business. However, that plan flew out of the window the moment she saw Su Chan, who was hiding behind Li Yundong like a hurt puppy. As for the men's incessant ogling and drooling? Well, that was the final straw for her.
She remembered how her own husband had cheated on her when she was pregnant with his child. The bastard had fallen prey to the feminine wiles of a temptress. If it hadn't been for the child in her stomach back then, she would've divorced him immediately.
Although it had happened a long time ago, that didn't mean that she had gotten over it. Even now, the sight of any beautiful woman would still incite feelings of resentment and bitterness inside her.
A scheme formed inside her mind when she saw Li Yundong's willingness to pay. She held out her palm and let avarice take over.
"One hundred yuan!"
Li Yundong's laughter was filled with rage.
"A hundred yuan for a cucumber and a carrot? What, do you think your vegetables are made of gold or something? Will we start shitting gold after eating them?"
The woman's eyes bulged.
"What, you got a problem? She stole from me earlier. Haven't you heard of the tenfold penalty? If you steal something, you have to pay back ten times the amount."
"Even with a tenfold penalty, it still wouldn't cost up to a hundred yuan! You charge ten yuan for just a carrot and a cucumber? What kind of illegal business are you running? You're basically robbing people in broad f*cking daylight!"
Li Yundong's outburst drew attention from everyone in the surrounding area. Soon, a crowd formed around them, and the vegetable stall owner was starting to feel a little edgy. However, her son came running over with a kitchen knife a moment later.
"Mom! What's going on over there? Are these people giving you trouble?"