The following day, when Li Yundong was about to leave the apartment to go to class, Su Chan barged out of the bedroom and grabbed the hem of Li Yundong's shirt.
"I'm coming with you!"
Oh, for the love of God... Li Yundong thought exasperatedly.
"Seriously, missy? Are you sh*tting me right now? Do you want me to die of embarrassment? Hey, let go of my shirt! No! You're not coming with me. Everyone's going to laugh their heads off if you pull the same stunt again. Hey, I said let go! I'll chicken out and end up skipping class if you keep this up."
Su Chan's pout was so pronounced that even her cheeks were puffed out.
"Who's going to laugh at you?" Su Chan said angrily. "I'll teach them a lesson!"
If anyone ever said that anger and amusement don't mix together, they were lying, because at the moment, Li Yundong was feeling plenty of both.
Eventually, amusement won out and he patted Su Chan's head.
"Come on, be a good girl and wait for me at home, okay? I'll bring back some food after class.” A strange look flitted across Li Yundong’s face. “Hey, how come your braids didn't come loose even after you got out of bed?"
Su Chan tilted her head and dodged another one of Li Yundong's attempts to pat her head. Clutching Li Yundong's shirt like a vice, she said, "No way! I'm going with you no matter what!"
Not even Su Chan herself knew exactly why she was so hell-bent on following this guy everywhere he went. She thought that maybe it was because Li Yundong was the only thing she was familiar with in this foreign mortal world. He was her anchor, making her feel safe when everything else in this world was alien to her.
The thought of not having him by her side made Su Chan feel insecure, so she held on to his shirt as if her life depended on it, which, in this case, might just be true. Every single one of Li Yundong's attempts to dissuade her were met with a head shake.
Resigned to his fate, Li Yundong released a long sigh.
But a moment later, it was like he had suddenly discovered the secrets of heroism and valor.
"Argh! To hell with it!" he yelled like some kind of badass superhero about to make a self-sacrificial play. "Fine! Come along if you want! Let those motherf*ckers laugh! I don't give a f*ck what they think! I'll hit on whichever girl I... ahem! I mean, I'll walk my own path! And nobody's going to stop me! Yes! That's it! Come on, then, missy! Time to charge into battle!"
On the way to the campus, Li Yundong saw a lot of students walking out of the rental apartments near campus in pairs. Typical university couples doing their usual PDA shit: the ladies acting all cute and adorable, leaning against their men, hanging on to their every word; the guys parading around proudly with gorgeous women in their arms.
Yeah, what else is new? Li Yundong thought.
Of course, there were also several pairs who did things the other way around with pussy-whipped dudes following their girls around like puppies.
Li Yundong would be lying if he said that he didn't have the desire to partake in some PDA stuff himself. In particular, he was hoping that Su Chan would stop walking behind him and just grab on to his arm already, damn it! Or maybe he should just grow a pair and make the first move by wrapping his arm around her waist. However, he knew it would be a bad idea to do that; the poor girl might head for the hills the moment he gave his nether regions full reign over his actions.
As they walked, Li Yundong kept turning his head around to look at Su Chan. Every time he did, he could feel her breath on his face because of how close their bodies were. He also noticed that she was matching his pace with painstaking accuracy, as though she was some kind of automaton. Eventually, Li Yundong's attention was drawn to the extra bit of weight he was feeling on his shirt. He glanced down and noticed her hand that was tugging gently at the hem of his shirt. It suddenly occurred to him that she might have been holding on to his shirt since she grabbed it back at the apartment. She was like a little kid that was afraid of getting separated and lost in the crowd.
Her current appearance made Li Yundong laugh.
Li Yundong and Su Chan began turning heads the moment they walked past the campus gates. Guys openly ogled at Su Chan, completely captivated by her beauty, as evident from the awestruck expressions on their drooling faces. A few guys (no doubt the more resilient ones) actually managed to take their eyes off Su Chan to look at Li Yundong, and it was like one of those opera face-changing performances — the look on their faces changed from awe to jealousy in a split second. Even someone with the emotional intelligence of a snail would have a rough idea of what they were all thinking: How could such a beauty be with a guy like that? What does this guy have that I don't? Damn it! I hate this! What a shameless and despicable guy!
The ladies, on the other hand, never let their gazes linger on Su Chan for more than a second. But that didn't mean their hearts weren't filled with curses: F*cking vixen! Slut! How dare she prance around here with such a slutty appearance!
Most of the girls were actually looking at Li Yundong with interest.
What's so great about this guy to have such a beautiful girl following him wherever he goes?
As the old adage goes: The strength of a man can be gauged by looking at his opponents, his character from looking at his friends.
Then again, the women here preferred another method, an easier one that could determine both the strength and the character of a man simultaneously: looking at the woman beside him.
Quality men attract quality women. End of story.
So what on earth were this guy's qualities?
They had long since heard about him being Tiannan University's King of Love Confessions. His unprecedented feat of receiving 21 nice-guy speeches in a single year was nothing new to them.
But, what they saw today just added a mind-boggling twist to their previous assessments of Li Yundong: If he was good enough to have such a beautiful girl eating out of the palm of his hand, why would he receive 21 nice-guy speeches to begin with?
The ladies wracked their brains and pondered over the question to no avail. One thing about these women, they liked to be seen as women of depth. They enjoyed walking around with an air of mystery and intrigue about them; they liked to be seen as an enigma, as someone with lots of profound layers. And to do that, they had to assume a reserved disposition at all times. So, no matter how curious they were about the secrets behind Li Yundong's sudden romantic breakthrough, they would never take the initiative to seek out the answer, not even when the object of their curiosity was standing a few feet away from them. Of course, their penchant for aloofness wasn't the main reason preventing them from walking up to Li Yundong and demanding an answer from him. The main reason was that Su Chan was right beside him.
Su Chan was dressed in her usual traditional style red dress. Seeing her walk around the campus compound was like a juxtaposition of the ancient and the modern setting. It was as if she had literally just walked out from a TV screen that was playing one of those costume dramas. In other words, she stood out like a sore thumb, but in a good way of course. It was as if the clothes were made for her, or as if she was born to bring out the best of the traditional style.
The pair spent a while strolling around the campus compound until Li Yundong's worst nightmare finally came true.
"Aha! Isn't that the Lord of Cucumbers from yesterday's class?"
Hoots of laughter ensued, courtesy of the students who were in the same class as Li Yundong yesterday.
Hell, Li Yundong's skin could be as thick as the Great Wall of China and he'd still end up blushing after that taunt. In spite of the burning sensation he was feeling on his cheeks, Li Yundong stiffened his neck muscles and forced himself to look straight ahead. He strode forward, ignoring the mocking look on the faces of the students he passed.
F*ck you guys, Li Yundong thought. At least I have a pretty girl with me. What about you?
Some students were apparently still in the dark about Li Yundong's crowning as the Lord of Cucumbers, so they began asking those who knew. Alas, those who knew were the nosey type who seemed to have all the free time in the world; slowly and patiently, they began to enlighten their ignorant peers about how this epic coronation came about. Apparently, one of the students wasn't as ignorant as he thought he was: "Lord of Cucumbers... Wait, wait! Oh! Is he the one from that thread in the university forums? The one with the highest click counts?"
F*ck! How the hell did it end up on the forums again? Li Yundong thought.
All of a sudden, a guy shouted, "Yo, yo! Li Yundong! How's the cucumber? Is it good? Did you enjoy its cooling effect?"
Roars of laughter erupted.
What the hell? I can't believe the girls are laughing even harder than the guys! This is bullshit! Li Yundong thought.
"Hahaha! Cucumbers have a cooling effect, huh? That's new! Hahaha! Is it on the Discovery Channel yet?"
"Hahaha... Owh... My stomach is killing me... Hahaha. So, cucumbers have a cooling effect... Pfft. Hahaha. Now I know what to do next time my dad gets pissed off. I'll just shove a few cucumbers down his throat!"
The corners of Li Yundong's eyes twitched with each of these taunts.
F*ck! Calm down, man. I have to f*cking calm down! Those f*ckers are just jealous of me. I'm sure of it!
Li Yundong could live with it (barely) if laughing at him was all they did. But no, these f*ckers actually took their bullying to the next level. Instead of laughing at the pair and then leaving them alone, these bullies actually followed them around, teasing and laughing as they did.
Li Yundong and Su Chan were already surrounded by people by the time they made it to the bottom of the academic building. Li Yundong was practically foaming at the mouth at that point.
F*ck! Haven't these assholes had enough?
But Goddammit he couldn't do shit to these people no matter how mad he was. Left with no other choice, Li Yundong clenched his jaw and suppressed his anger.
Naturally, Li Yundong's anger didn't go unnoticed by Su Chan.
What should I do now? Su Chan thought as she studied the huge crowd around them.
Suddenly, she remembered something that her master once taught her: Remember, Chan'er. If you want a man to remember you and feel indebted to you for the rest of his life, you must stand up for him when he needs you most. You must be prepared to protect him, even if you might get hurt in the process.
And so, Su Chan went on the warpath.
Su Chan stomped angrily towards a guy whom she thought was smiling the brightest. She stood before him, arms akimbo, and then gave him a quick once-over.
The guy wasn't tall, and he was quite handsome. His most notable quality was his peach-blossom eyes, which most women found endearing. When he saw Su Chan storming towards him with a vengeance, he thought he was about to add another beautiful woman to his list of acquaintances, so he quickly put on his best smile.
His wrist was suddenly yanked away from his side, and the next thing he knew, the girl was giving him a... pulse diagnosis? The guy spent the next few moments in utter confusion as the girl messed around with his wrist. His confusion deepened when a set of feminine fingers squeezed his cheeks harshly. A second later, the girl yelled at him: "Open your mouth!"
Puzzled, the guy opened his mouth subconsciously.
Su Chan gave his tongue a quick glance and then smirked. She wasn't planning to go easy on the guy. Not at all.
"Your face is pale, you have minimal tongue coating, and your pulse is weak. And, look at your lifeless eyes, so sunken and hollow. Not to mention the dark circles around your eyes. And those lips?" Su Chan gestured with her finger. "So pale. What, did you eat chalk for breakfast? Your hair is pretty shiny, I'll give you that, but your eyebrows are too thin for your age." Su Chan's smirk widened. "Do you know what these signs mean?"
The guy was utterly flummoxed by Su Chan's verbal onslaught. "Wh- what d- does it mean?" he stammered.
"You have significant renal Yin deficiency!"
The guy had a vague idea that this diagnosis wasn't a good one. He blushed. "Yin deficiency? What does that even mean? What kind of nonsense are you talking about?"
Su Chan cupped her hands around her mouth and yelled, "It means you're experiencing withdrawal symptoms caused by the loss of semen! Shenkui! Get it?" (T/N: Shenkui is a syndrome identified by practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine; Shenkui are caused by the loss of semen through orgasm)
The crowd went into an uproar.
It was as if Su Chan's words had set off a bunch of landmines simultaneously.
Damn, that comment was ruthless!
In an instant, the crowd's eyes shifted from Li Yundong to the unfortunate victim of Su Chan's diagnosis. Poor Shenkui guy was blushing so heavily that his face was actually starting to turn purple.
Blood rushed into Shenkui guy's head, and he was hit by a wave of vertigo. His vision blurred a little, mirroring the foggy state of his mind. For a moment there, he thought he might actually pass out. Still, he forced himself to keep talking. His pride and dignity were at stake after all. He didn't even care when he ended up stuttering and his voice came out hoarse.
"Th- that's slander! Y- y- you're the one wh- who has Shenkui! I'm young and strong! How is it possible that I have... that!"
"Young and strong?" Su Chan sneered. "Haven't you heard of skilled swimmers drowning in rivers? And heroic men dying by the feet of their own steed? Young and strong. Hah! That's exactly your problem! You think you can overexert yourself because you're young and strong. You had sex with a woman yesterday, didn't you? And weren't you insatiable?"
Holy shit! Her words were getting more and more ruthless! If the things she said before were landmines, then this would be a frigging hydrogen bomb!
Shell-shocked, the crowd stared at Shenkui guy in surprise.
As it turned out, Shenkui guy did get laid last night. In fact, he and his girlfriend had gone for enough rounds to make several dozen babies. The pretty girl was right about everything. Shenkui guy's heart squeezed, and he gasped. Then, his eyes rolled to the back of his head as he crumpled to the ground. The poor guy passed out.
A commotion broke out among the crowd again.
"Hey, hey, something's going on over there! Move, move! Let's go check it out!"
The onlookers jostled and elbowed each other, trying to force their way towards the unconscious guy. But Su Chan got there first. She stood there with her hands on her hips, glaring at the approaching crowd.
Her powerful voice rang out a moment later.
"Stay where you are!"
The jostling stopped.
Su Chan crouched down and pressed her finger on a spot below Shenkui guy's nose and above his upper lip. That was Renzhong, an acupoint commonly involved in resuscitation procedures. Shenkui guy came to moments later.
Su Chan rose to her feet and scanned through the crowd. After a while, she found her next target: a tall, burly guy who was dressed in a long-sleeve shirt and long dress pants. Su Chan marched over with quick steps.
When Burly guy realized that he had just become Su Chan's next target, his pulse started racing, not because of her beauty but because of fear.
I'm going to f*cking kill myself if I get diagnosed with Shenkui too...
Su Chan stopped in front of Burly guy and said, "Show me your hand."
Burly guy panicked and quickly hid his hands behind his back.
"No!" he yelled
"Open your mouth then!"
Burly guy shook his head vigorously and shut his mouth tightly; hell, he'd sew his lips together if he could.
Su Chan scoffed at him. "You think that's enough to stop me from diagnosing you?"
Su Chan's hand shot out and squeezed Burly guy's shoulder. Then, she spun his body around so that his back was facing her.
Su Chan jabbed her thumb into a spot on Burly guy's second lumbar spine, about 1.5 inches away from his Mingmen. "Does that hurt?" she asked loudly.
What do you think I am, an idiot? Burly guy thought. If I tell you that it doesn't hurt, you'd just keep poking until you find a spot that hurts! Plus, I don't even fucking know whether it's supposed to hurt or not!
He decided to put on a brave front and keep his mouth shut.
"Oh, so you're not going to talk, huh?" Su Chan said. "Fine, then. I'll just start making things up. Let's see how your friends look at you after I tell them that you have erectile dys—"
"Hurts! It hurts!"
Hurts? I'm pressing down on your Shenshu. What do you take me for? A fool? Su Chan thought.
"I want the truth!"
"Okay, fine! It doesn't hurt!"
"Tsk! Does it hurt or not?"
"It didn't just a moment ago, but now it hurts."
Su Chan snorted and then eased up on the pressure from her fingers.
Having learned his lesson, Burly guy decided to just come clean.
"No. Just a little sore."
After that, Su Chan began poking at several other acupoints on his back, asking him whether he felt any pain every time. At the end of her examination, Su Chan began listing out the symptoms she thought the guy might be experiencing.
"Let me guess. You've been sleeping poorly these days? Dizziness? Ringing in your ears? Pain in your lower back? Oh, and also, coldness in your hands and feet. Am I right?"
Burly guy's jaw went slack.
"H- how did you know all that?"
He shuddered and gave Su Chan an imploring look.
"C- could it be that I have Yin deficiency too?"
Su Chan snorted.
"Of course not," she said. "Yours is Yang deficiency! It's a different form of Shenkui!"
Balls! Another case of Shenkui!
Sighs and groans washed over the crowd.
At that moment, Burly guy felt as though someone had deprived him of his most prized possession; he was crushed by the loss, but that didn't mean he wasn't going to fight tooth and nail to get it back.
"What! But I don't even have a girlfriend!" he argued and then paused in hesitation. "I- I- I'm still a virgin! Shenkui?! That's impossible!"
Su Chan sneered.
"Who told you that you need to have an overactive sex life to suffer from Yang deficiency?" Su Chan said.
There was a pregnant pause as Su Chan let her previous statement sink in.
The silence was shattered a moment later by Su Chan's sharp reprimanding tone. "You!" she said, causing Burly guy to flinch. "You stay up late all the time and then sleep a lot during the day. Your circadian rhythm is way off! That's why the Yang Qi inside your body has slowly depleted. Isn't that obvious? Just look at yourself in the mirror! You're built like a bear, yet your face is paler than a lady's!"
While Burly guy was teetering on the brink of a mental breakdown, not a single onlooker there was able to hide the gobsmacked look on their faces. What they were seeing defied every bit of common sense they had! How could a guy who looked like he could take down a bull with his bare hands suddenly turn into a submissive lamb? A tough guy being kicked around, and by a delicate lady no less? Had hell just frozen over?
Apparently, this firecracker of a lady wasn't done yet. With one hand on her hip, she pointed at Burly guy.
"You!" she said. "Get your life in order from now on! Sleep when it's time to sleep. And, start taking Six Flavor Rehmanni every day."
"And you!" Su Chan pointed at Shenkui guy lying on the floor. "Show some restraint in the bedroom! According to the New Compilation of Materia Medica, there's a remedy for your condition. Supplement your diet with winter gourd soup flavored with sheep lungs. It will take some time, but you'll get better."
Su Chan raised her head to look at the crowd. "Now, is there anyone else who doubts the cooling effect of cucumbers? If you do, step out now so that I can convince you!"
Su Chan's voice, crisp and sharp, cut through the crowd like a razor-blade. In an instant, the din from the crowd vanished and was replaced with the sounds of footsteps as students retreated in fear.
Like hell anyone's going to answer you!
F*ck! My university life would be over if this chick pulls the same 'Shenkui' stunt on me!
With her hands planted firmly on her hips, Su Chan sized up the crowd, taking note of the looks of fear on their faces.
Then, Su Chan sneered.
"Yeah, that's right. Keep your mouths shut if you don't know what you're talking about. What do you guys know anyway? I bet you idiots don't even know that there are four medicinal texts that can verify my claim. 'Materia Medica in Daily Use', 'Luchuan Materia Medica', 'Southern Yunnan Materia Medica', and 'Validation of the Materia Medica', they all state the same thing about cucumbers. Cucumbers are cold in nature, so they have cooling and heat-releasing properties. They alleviate thirst and have a calming effect. They can even be used to treat burns! You people know nothing, yet you treat your ignorance like some kind of joke! You people should be ashamed of yourselves!"
The entire crowd was now filled with red faces and sheepish looks after the tongue-lashing that Su Chan had given them. Silence filled the area, even though Su Chan's words echoed in the students' minds.
For some, it wasn't shame that they were feeling, but utter amazement.
This pretty girl looks like she's only fifteen or sixteen years old... How on earth does she know so much about medicine?
Sensing the students' doubts, Su Chan ran towards Li Yundong and stopped in front of him, after which she grabbed his arm.
Su Chan beamed at him and said, "Yundong, was I right about everything I said?"
Alas, Li Yundong's brain had already shrunk down to the size of his balls the moment Su Chan began showing off her medical prowess; his stared at Su Chan blankly without saying a word.
Not wanting Li Yundong to ruin all the good work she had done, Su Chan began shaking Li Yundong's arm and giving him eye signals.
Only then did Li Yundong snap out of it. "O- Oh! Yes, yes! You're absolutely right!"
Gone was Dr. Akimbo Spitfire with the badass attitude; in her place was a pretty girl who looked like she couldn't even cross the road without her man holding her hand.
Su Chan's face lit up like the sun.
"It's all because I have a good teacher!" Su Chan announced, shifting her body closer to Li Yundong's side to make sure that everyone got her message.
Murmurs of disbelief sounded among the crowd.
It wasn't long before they all began to cast doubtful looks at Li Yundong.
Li Yundong knows traditional Chinese medicine?? But he doesn't look the type at all! Maybe he's just modest and doesn't like to show off his talents?
Hm. Makes sense though. Maybe that's how he did it, how he has this beautiful girl eating out of his palms. Yes, yes! That's very likely!
Despite their doubts, everyone kept their mouths shut. If this chick dropped another "Shenkui" on them, they might as well just head to the nearest bathroom and bathe themselves in excrement. No man could endure having their dignity and masculinity tainted like that. Hell, not even women could just shrug off such a humiliating diagnosis!
Much to Su Chan's annoyance, the crowd still refused to clear out. Instead, they were whispering to each other with their heads close together. With a low growl, Su Chan stepped away from Li Yundong's embrace, and just like that, Doctor Akimbo Spitfire was back again.
"What are you guys still standing around for, huh? Step forward if you're still unhappy. If you're not, then beat it!"
The crowd still made no movements when Su Chan stopped talking.
Su Chan's brows rose to her hairline. "Oh… Still not convinced yet, I see? How about I give out a few more diagnoses then?"
Su Chan's last comment was like a salvo fired in the middle of a rainforest, causing the crowd to flee like a bunch of frightened birds.
Only Burly guy, Shenkui guy, and their respective buddies stayed behind.
All of a sudden, Shenkui guy leaped to his feet, and his stupor gave way to hysteria. "Argh! I don't want to live anymore! I'm moving to Foxconn City!" (T/N: Foxconn City is an industrial district known for its high suicide rate)
For a while, Shenkui guy kept squawking and kicking up a fuss, hoping to get a reaction from the others. Much to his chagrin, silence was all he got.
Annoyed, he turned his head around and yelled, "Hey! You guys could at least try to stop me you know? Are you morons really my friends?"
Apparently, that got a reaction out of the others.
"Stop you? Why the f*ck would we want to stop you? Go ahead! Leap off a building if you want!"
"F*ck you guys! I'll drag you knuckleheads down with me, even if it kills me!"
The moment Shenkui guy stopped bitching, someone stepped forward and pointed at both Shenkui guy and Burly guy.
"Yo, check it out. Among the two of you, one has Yin deficiency while the other has Yang deficiency. You two are perfect for each other! The balance of Yin and Yang! You two can make up for each other’s' flaw! It'll solve all your problems if you hook up, not to mention all the attention you'll be getting. I can almost imagine the title in the forums. Tiannan University's Couple of the Year. This is practically Hall of Fame stuff!"
Roars of laughter shook the area as men and women held on to their convulsing stomachs for dear life. At that moment, Shenkui guy and Burly guy both decided that they would start packing their bags and move to Foxconn City tonight. Hell, they might not even have to, since they might just drop dead due to sheer mortification.