While Li Yundong was marching away from the campus with his head held high, Su Chan didn't share his bravado at all. The time she spent with Li Yundong had long since changed her. No longer was she the reckless girl who jumped into things without thinking them through.
"I've caused you trouble again, haven't I..." she mumbled, pulling them to a stop before glancing up at Li Yundong timidly.
However, Li Yundong's reaction surprised her. He wrapped an arm around her shoulders and pulled her against his side. Then...
"Oww..." Su Chan pouted and rubbed the top of her head where Li Yundong's knuckles had just rapped.
"Don't be silly," he said. "None of this is your fault. Educators these days are just unethical!"
Li Yundong's statement made Su Chan feel a tad better, but it wasn't enough to make the frown on Su Chan's brows go away.
"B- but will you be expelled?"
Much to her surprise, Li Yundong burst into laughter. She didn't understand why he was laughing. He was the one who told her that him being expelled was a bad thing.
"They can expel me if they want," Li Yundong said. "I couldn't care less about getting a degree from a third-rate university."
"B- but... But didn't you accept that man's challenge the other day? Today is the exchange visit... which means you're supposed to fight him today."
"Pfft! Hahaha. You know that they are the ones who kicked me out, right?"
Su Chan lowered her head, scuffing the ground with the welt of her sandal.
Li Yundong felt a sharp pang inside his heart. While Su Chan was admiring the on-campus decorations earlier, Li Yundong had been fantasizing about making her happy. He'd vowed that he would make her smile like that one day, yet look at her now, frowning and looking so dispirited that it was as though she was worried about him abandoning her again.
Maybe she was.
Li Yundong reached over and cupped his hand on the underside of her jaw, then lifted her chin so that she was looking at his face instead of the ground.
"Why the long face, my dear little princess?" Li Yundong said with an exaggerated grin. "Come on, give me a smile!"
When Su Chan didn't react, he feigned a hurt look. "Still not smiling?" he said, pouting a little. "Okay. How about I smile for you?"
He released her jaw, then placed his index fingers on each side of his lips. With his fingers, he pushed his cheeks upwards, producing a smile which put his lips in a weird and distorted angle.
"PFFT!!! Hahaha... You look so ugly!"
Li Yundong dropped his hands and feigned an offended look. "Oh? My smiling face is ugly, is that it?" he said. "Okay. Why don't you show me how it's done then. Give me your prettiest smile!"
When Su Chan's lips stretched out, pushing the slightly rosy skin of her cheeks towards her sharp cheekbones... Lord Almighty.
Li Yundong's heart was beating so fast that he thought his chest might explode. God, she's beautiful... he thought. He really deserved a pat on the back, or a f*cking medal, to be living with her under the same roof yet keeping their relationship platonic. Talk about a test of willpower. Damn.
Li Yundong cleared his throat. "Alright, alright, your smile is the prettiest my dear little princess. Seeing you smile puts me in a good mood as well, so..." Li Yundong suddenly spread his arms wide. "Wanna go somewhere fun? A day of fun and games! How does that sound?"
"Yayy! Yayy!" Su Chan grabbed Li Yundong's arms. "Where are we going! Where's fun! Where's fun?!"
Maybe making her smile wasn't as hard as he thought it was. Come to think of it, all he had to do was prepare a feast for her.
Li Yundong grinned. "Come on! I'm taking you to an amusement park!"
"Yayyy!!!!!" Suddenly, Su Chan's face scrunched up in confusion. "What is an amusement park?"
Li Yundong chuckled and pinched her cheek. "How can you act so happy when you don't even know what kind of place it is! You're so stupid sometimes..."
Su Chan flinched away, then pouted. "Don't call me stupid," she grumbled. "I'm not stupid!"
Li Yundong laughed and reached out to pinch both of Su Chan's cheeks despite her protests. "Nope. You're not stupid," he said. "You're just silly!"
Su Chan slapped Li Yundong's hand away. "Meanie!"
All of a sudden, Su Chan's eyes lit up curiously. "Yundong..."
"Yes, my little princess?"
"Does faarrking means stupid too?"
Li Yundong choked on his spit and started coughing.
Su Chan gave Li Yundong a strange look and began patting his back. "What? Is that a strange question? Just now, before we left your school, you called that teacher a faarking lowlife. I know that he's a lowlife, and he seems pretty stupid. So does faarking mean stupid?"
Li Yundong's coughs turned into guffaws.
Su Chan pouted and smacked Li Yundong's arms. "Stop laughing and explain!" she grumbled.
"Oh, my God," Li Yundong said in between chuckles. "You're a national treasure, I swear." He stopped laughing, then cleared his throat. "Well, technically, f*cking means—" Li Yundong stopped himself all of a sudden.
"Means what?" Su Chan asked with her beautiful brows raised.
Li Yundong cleared his throat harshly and quickly backtracked. "No, f*cking doesn't mean stupid. It's a bad word, actually. It's used for emphasis, usually when you're scolding people. For example, the difference between stupid and f*cking stupid is the degree. One is just stupid, while the other is... well, stupid to the point of being retarded."
"Oh..." Su Chan said with a contemplative look on her face.
Li Yundong looked at her sternly. "Like I said, it's a really bad word. I don't want you to start throwing it around, you hear me?"
Su Chan beamed, then stuck out her tongue. "Mm!! I won't say it if you don't want me to!"
"Good girl," Li Yundong said, stroking her cheek. "Oh! There's a cab!"
Children's Day would fall on the 1st of June, which, to those running the amusement park, meant more business. Hence, every year during the end of May, Tiannan City's amusement park would be completely revamped, which made sense, since children probably wouldn't find much appeal in an amusement park without flashy and colorful lights.
Technically, Su Chan wasn't a child. Physically at least. Mentally, however...
Well, let's just say that she was practically floating in the air like those colorful balloons all over the amusement park when they arrived. And they hadn't even made it past the entrance yet...
"Oh! Yundong!! These floating things are so cute!!!"
"Yundong! Yundong! Look! Food! I think there's food in those stalls!"
Li Yundong grabbed Su Chan's arm before she could charge into the amusement park without a ticket. "Hey, slow down!" he said, chuckling. "You should eat later. Otherwise you'll end up puking!"
"Huh? Why would I puke?"
Li Yundong smirked, then pulled her towards the ticket booth. "You'll know soon enough!"
There was a queue at the booth, though it wasn't a very long one. Fifteen minutes later, Li Yundong bought two tickets, then led Su Chan to the gates.
Once they were through the gates, Li Yundong pulled to a halt, then gave Su Chan an evil grin. When Su Chan gave him a quizzical look, Li Yundong pointed towards the tallest and most conspicuous amusement ride in the entire amusement park — "Space Shuttle."
Before Su Chan could ask him what that was, Li Yundong broke off into a sprint, pulling Su Chan with him.
Half an hour later, they got settled into the Space Shuttle. With both hands clinging to the shoulder harness of his seat, Li Yundong angled his face to the side and gave Su Chan an evil smirk.
"You can scream if you're scared!" he said. "I promise I'm not gonna make fun of..." Li Yundong swallowed hard the moment he noticed the way Su Chan's voluptuous mounds were pushing out against her shoulder harness.
When he quickly averted his gaze, he saw, much to his annoyance, that he wasn't the only one who had noticed Su Chan's well-endowed assets. A few guys were practically salivating as they ogled Su Chan relentlessly. On second thought, don't scream, Li Yundong thought with a scowl. Yeah right. As if he would want other men to hear her scream. The only one who got to hear her scream damn well better be him, Li Yundong. And hopefully in a place with a mattress and some goddamn privacy, thank you very much.
"Why do I have to scream?"
Su Chan's voice pulled Li Yundong out of his thoughts. He turned and saw Su Chan staring at him with wide, blinking eyes.
Li Yundong chuckled. "Because you're gonna be scared, that's why!" He paused. "Didn't you hear those people screaming before our turn?"
"Oh..." Su Chan said nonchalantly.
I bet she's mocking those people for being cowards, Li Yundong thought. Hehe... Just wait till you experience it for yourself, my dear little princess.
At the same time, he secretly hoped the ride would be so scary that the other guys wouldn't pay attention to Su Chan's screams...
Then again, Li Yundong supposed he didn't have anything to worry regarding the Space Shuttle's scariness. He'd ridden it before, so he knew how terrifying it was; he'd seen tough guys keeling over, hurling out their stomach's contents after the ride.
Suddenly, music blared out from the PA system installed around the Space Shuttle, followed by a voice. A DJ in the control room was giving out some kind of pre-launch speech. Apparently, the operators thought it was a good idea to get everyone in the mood. The Space Shuttle shot up several hundred meters into the air without warning, then plunged down to ground level.
The temporary feeling of weightlessness made Li Yundong feel as though his heart and stomach were floating inside his body.
"AAARRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!" Li Yundong screamed along with the other riders as though they were a bunch of pigs being slaughtered.
Li Yundong sighed in satisfaction when the ride was over, then turned to check on Su Chan.
He smirked when he saw the vacant look on Su Chan's face, like she was staring off into space. Hehehe... I bet she was scared senseless!
Li Yundong waved his hand in front of Su Chan's eyes. "Hello? Anybody home?" He snapped his fingers a few times. "Wake up! Ride's over!"
Su Chan turned to the side and gave Li Yundong a bored look. "What? It's over? So soon?"
Li Yundong would've fallen off his seat if it weren't for the shoulder harness. "What do you mean so soon? You haven't had enough?"
"But I didn't even feel anything!"
Li Yundong nearly choked on his spit. "Damn..." he said, gaping at Su Chan. "You really have nerves of steel!"
Admittedly, he'd been hoping that Su Chan would throw herself into his waiting arms after she got utterly scared by the ride. But look at her now! The girl was barely fazed!
No! This wouldn't do! He refused to believe that she wasn't even the slightest bit scared!
"Why don't we go for another round?" he asked after they had both gotten off the Space Shuttle.
Su Chan thought for a moment. "Okay!" She walked back towards the seat where they had just vacated.
"Whoa, whoa! Slow down," Li Yundong said, grabbing her arm. "We have to queue up first!"
Once they got into the queue, Li Yundong, whose evil plan was to get Su Chan to cry in his arms after the ride, began to explain to her the "proper" way to enjoy the ride.
However, after their second ride, Su Chan remained utterly unfazed, much to Li Yundong's disappointment. When they got off, she even gave Li Yundong a blank look and asked him: "Where's the thrill in this ride?"
So, they went for a third round.
Li Yundong nearly vomited blood all over his shoulder harness when he saw the same vacant expression on Su Chan's face at the end of their third round.
"Hurry up, slowpoke! I wanna go for another round!" Su Chan said, pulling Li Yundong towards the queue.
Li Yundong's feet wobbled a little as he allowed himself to be dragged along by Su Chan. I can't believe this! Li Yundong thought. A macho man like me is actually going to lose to a young girl? No! This cannot be! This is impossible!
Li Yundong patted his chest a few times. "Fine! Let's go for another round!" Li Yundong said with as much bravado as he could muster.
Little did he know that he would come to regret that decision later.
For the life of her, Su Chan couldn't understand why the other riders were screaming. Even though she'd never ridden something like this before in the mountains, she barely felt anything during their first ride. Admittedly, that was because she had sealed her Lingtai, which allowed her Dantians to be secured by her Qi. In other words, she never felt the "weightlessness" that she was sure the others must be feeling during the ride. No wonder Li Yundong mentioned earlier about puking and throwing up. Those poor mortals must've been feeling pretty bad after having their internal organs tossed around during the ride.
Su Chan was sure that Li Yundong was affected too, though not as bad as the other mortals. Even though he had mastered Da Zhoutian, he was still bound by the limitations of his physical body. No amount of willpower and conviction could allow a Cultivator to completely avoid the sensations resulting from any form of physical afflictions. A Cultivator's willpower would help them endure the pain, yes. But they would still feel the pain no matter how strong-willed they were. The only way for a Cultivator to transcend their physical limitations was by completing the Jinshen (eighth) phase of Cultivation.
Before the start of their second ride, Li Yundong had told her where the thrill of these rides lay. So, during the second ride, she had released her Lingtai and refrained from using her Qi to hold her organs in place; she wanted to have a taste of what the mortals felt during these rides.
She had to admit that she liked it.
At the end of their seventh round, Su Chan could tell that Li Yundong had had enough. His face was pale, and he looked like he couldn't walk straight.
"Damn! You're good!" Li Yundong said. "I can't believe you're not even the slightest bit affected! What are your nerves made of? Steel wires?"
Su Chan nearly snorted. You haven't seen me fly in the air yet, she thought. "Affected? Why would I be affected by this? This is nothing," she said, staring at him with blinking eyes.
"Fine! You win!" Li Yundong said, then paused. "There has to be something in here that can scare you. There has to be!"
Before Su Chan could reply, she was dragged forward by Li Yundong towards some kind of spiral track hanging in mid-air with a long cart zooming along it.
The roller coaster! Li Yundong bet this one would faze her at least a bit.
Li Yundong buckled his own shoulder harness before he did Su Chan's. "Don't cry at the end of the ride!" he taunted.
Su Chan made a face at him. "Hmph! Let's see who's going to be the one crying later!"
The roller coaster started to move, and Li Yundong could feel the chaotic flow of his own Qi. As the roller coaster climbed up the track and slowly gained altitude, his temples began to pound with the same rhythm as his heartbeat. For some strange reason, his Qi was gushing towards his head. When he took a shaky breath, Li Yundong finally realized that he was nervous.
"Hehehe... Are you nervous?" Su Chan said.
Li Yundong nearly turned and glared at Su Chan. Alright, Li Yundong... Calm the f*ck down. This is just a ride. There's nothing to be nervous abou—
The little minx was actually laughing while he was losing his shit!
When they got off the roller coaster, Li Yundong felt as though his legs had turned into jelly. He patted his chest a few times and exhaled. "Guess this is what I get for skipping class..." he said, then went on to mutter something about karma.
Alas, just when he thought he was finally free from this torture, he felt a tug on his arm.
"Yundong! Again! Again! I'm not satisfied yet!! I want to ride it some more!! Let's go for another round!"
Li Yundong decided to soldier on. He had to, for the sake of salvaging his masculinity, which was pretty much in shambles at this point. He breathed in deep, then exhaled. He grinned at Su Chan, his face pale and his lips bloodless. "Alright, then, my lady! Since you want it so badly, let's go for another round! Your wish is my command, and your pleasure my responsibility!"
Giggles and chortles sounded from around them.
Li Yundong glanced around and noticed the men giving them knowing looks while the women giggling into their hands. He replayed his own words in his mind, then blushed. Good, he needed the blood on his face if he wanted to survive this.
"Yundong, what are they laughing about?" Su Chan asked.
"Nothing," Li Yundong said, then pulled her towards the queue.
He wasn't planning on explaining to the poor girl that his promises of ensuring her pleasure might be a Freudian slip. Nope. No sir, not a chance in hell.
At the end of their third roller coaster ride, Li Yundong's face was as white as a sheet. When they got down, he actually bent over and started dry heaving! How the mighty had fallen.
No, he didn't want to see Su Chan's energetic and glowing face; seeing it would make him feel as though his balls had shrunk down into nothingness.
Alas, the girl refused to let him go. "Mmmmmm," Su Chan whined. "One more round... I'm still not satisfied... One more round! Just one more!"
Li Yundong sat down on the ground and shook his head repeatedly. "That's exactly what you said last time!" Li Yundong said, panting. "No! Absolutely not!"
Su Chan gave Li Yundong a few gentle shoves. "Mmmm.... Please...? I just want to go one more round... I want it so bad..."
Li Yundong groaned as he stared up at the sky.
What he wouldn't give for them to be in a bedroom right now, preferably without their clothes on. If they were, those words would take on an entirely different meaning.