A loud smack interrupted Li Yundong and Su Chan's enjoyment of their 100 thousand yuan dish. Li Yundong glanced towards Liu Chuan's table.
"This is outrageous!" Liu Chuan's table shook after his fist pounded into it. Liu Chuan was now up on his feet, pointing an accusatory finger at the restaurant manager who clambered back a few steps.
"Pl- please c- calm down, sir... Like I said, we will serve you and your friends another dish, and it will be on the house..."
The back of the manager's legs hit the edge of an unoccupied table after Liu Chuan shoved the poor guy’s chest.
Li Yundong frowned and lowered his spoon. He pushed his chair out slightly and shifted his legs so that his feet were no longer under the table. Seriously? This moron was going to start a fight here? In an upscale restaurant? Clearly, wealth wasn’t an accurate measure for class and sophistication.
"How dare you people cancel my order without my permission!" Liu Chuan roared.
"Sir, please calm down. There will be a refund—"
"I don't give a f*ck about your refund. I want an explanation! I ordered it first. So how come they got the dish?" Liu Chuan jabbed a finger towards their table.
Okay. Enough was enough. Time for him to intervene. The poor manager was probably going to end up with a black eye if he didn't step in.
Li Yundong moved to stand up, but then something he saw made him stop. Looks like there's no need for me to intervene after all. Li Yundong smirked and leaned back in his chair. Oh, this is gonna be fun to watch...
The manager was still desperately trying to calm Liu Chuan down.
"... Like I said, sir. We apologize. But due to certain unforeseen circumstances, we had no choice but to cancel your order. I assure you we—"
"Unforeseen circumstances?" Liu Chuan sneered. "Then how do you feel about having your restaurant shut down due to unforeseen circumstances as well?"
The manager paled. "Sir, we truly meant no disrespect. But the other customer had been very insistent that—"
Liu Chuan released a derisive sneer. "Who?! Who has the balls to cancel my order. And I'm gonna bet all my assets that it wasn't that penniless loser over there!" Liu Chuan jerked his chin towards Li Yundong.
"I canceled your order," said a cold voice. "You got a problem with that?"
Liu Chuan huffed out in anger, then turned around.
"Of course I have a prob—" Liu Chuan gasped. "Z- Zh- Zhou Qin? Wh- what are you doing here?"
Li Yundong crossed his arms in front of his chest. God, seriously. The drama never ends with these rich people. It never does...
Zhou Qin stopped right beside Liu Chuan's table, then leveled a cold gaze at Liu Chuan. Her LV purse hung from one elbow while a large shopping bag hung from the other.
"I'm treating my friends to lunch, of course," Zhou Qin said. "Why? You have a problem with that too?"
Liu Chuan smiled fawningly. "O- of course not, Zhou Qin. Why would I have a problem with that? But you could've just called me and let me know if you wanted to try the Beluga caviar. I'll let you have it. I mean, for old times' sake and all..."
There was a subtle lift of Zhou Qin's chin.
"Did you just say let me have it?" Zhou Qin smirked. "I'm going to make one thing clear. The things that I want, I get. Nobody has to let me have it."
Okay. That comment was pretty badass. Li Yundong could admit that much. Spoken like a true femme fatale...
Li Yundong tried to picture in his head what Zhou Qin's future husband might look like. Whoever he was, he had to have some serious cojones to go toe to toe with Zhou Qin. Yeah. Serious cojones. Balls of steel, in fact. How else could the poor guy endure having his balls busted by Zhou Qin all day long?
Liu Chuan was blushing to the tip of his ears at that point. Zhou Qin seemed like she was so done with the conversation. Indeed, she turned away from Liu Chuan and gave Li Yundong a smile.
"Sorry to keep you guys waiting!" Zhou Qin said.
"It's fine," Li Yundong said, though his eyes were focused on Liu Chuan's friends, who were now whispering among themselves.
Li Yundong closed his eyes. When he felt the ball of heat in his lower abdomen, he willed his Qi towards his Shenting. The buzzing returned to his ears instantly.
By the time Li Yundong re-opened his eyes, sounds of their whispers filled his ears.
"God... Look at her... She's so gorgeous when she smiles..." a guy said.
"I know right? She looked so cold just now that I almost thought she never smiles..." the second guy replied.
"Tsk. You're wrong, brah. Women like her will only smile for people she likes..."
Zhou Qin pulled out her chair and sat down. Li Yundong smiled at her and tuned out the voices from Liu Chuan's table.
Ten minutes later, Zhou Qin pushed her plate away. "Um... Li Yundong..." she said in a low voice.
Li Yundong glanced at her. "Yeah? You alright?"
"I'm fine, I just..." Zhou Qin leaned forward. "Do you think we can eat somewhere else?"
Li Yundong regarded Zhou Qin for a second and noted how uncomfortable she looked. Then, he flicked a glance towards Liu Chuan's table. Every occupant at that table, including Liu Chuan, was staring at their table. I see…
Li Yundong returned his gaze to Zhou Qin and studied her for a while.
Did she mean switching to another table or...?
Li Yundong took stock of their table. Zhou Qin had barely touched her food and, truth be told, she looked like she wanted to be anywhere but here. Su Chan, on the other hand, was busy stuffing food into her mouth because she was being... well, Su Chan.
So much for having a feast.
Li Yundong laid down his chopsticks on his plate. "Here's an idea," he said. "Why don't I cook for all three of us?"
Zhou Qin's eyes snapped to his. "Are you suggesting that... that we... go to your... place?"
Li Yundong shrugged. "The mood's ruined anyway," he said, jerking his chin towards Liu Chuan's table. "All thanks to those assholes."
Su Chan preferred his cooking anyway, so there was no point in staying. Plus, they wouldn't have to worry about wasting money since their food had already been paid for by rich idiot over there.
"Are you serious?" The sparkle returned to Zhou Qin's eyes for the first time since her return from the ladies room.
Li Yundong smiled. "Yeah, I'm serious. I mean, if you can stomach my lowly and humble cooking, then sure, I don’t mind cooking for you."
Zhou Qin was already waving for the waiter. "Nonsense. I'd be honored to try your cooking." Zhou Qin smiled at Li Yundong, who was trying very hard not to laugh.
"Actually... our food has already been paid for."
"Y- you took care of the bill?" Zhou Qin said.
Li Yundong would've felt offended by the look of disbelief on Zhou Qin's face if it weren't so funny, not to mention completely justified.
"No. He did." Li Yundong pointed towards Liu Chuan.
"Oh." Zhou Qin shot a quick glance towards Liu Chuan's table. "Thanks," she said, then turned away just as quickly.
She probably didn't catch Liu Chuan's smile, which, if Li Yundong would venture a guess, was meant to be charming. Sadly, it only made Liu Chuan's face look like a case of plastic surgery gone horribly wrong.
Zhou Qin picked up her LV purse. "Shall we go then?" She looked at Li Yundong.
Li Yundong eyed the remaining food on their table. "Not planning to get a takeaway box?"
The corner of Zhou Qin's lips lifted slightly. "Don't think that's a good idea. It wouldn't taste as good if you keep it overnight."
That was when Li Yundong saw that sudden twinkle of mischief in Zhou Qin’s eyes again. When Zhou Qin practically shouted her next words, Li Yundong immediately understood why.
"Liu Chuan paid for our food, right? Why don't we just let them have the rest?"
Amidst the buzzing in his ear, Li Yundong could make out the sound of someone spitting out their drink. (T/N: The buzzing is a result of Eryue; a Cultivation skill that enables long-range hearing; activated when Cultivator's Qi is at their Shenting) Li Yundong stole a glance at Liu Chuan's table, and zoomed in with his vision. Liu Chuan's groupie was desperately wiping the front of Liu Chuan's expensive-looking suit jacket with a napkin. Liu Chuan didn't even care; he was too busy glaring at Li Yundong.
Li Yundong shook his head, then turned back to his own table. When he did, what he saw nearly made him fall off his chair. Su Chan's mouth was stuffed with so much food that her face looked like a frigging chipmunk!
When Miss Chipmunk reached for another piece of shellfish (despite her full mouth), Li Yundong smacked her forehead hard.
"Mmmph!!!" Miss Chipmunk glared at him indignantly. Some kind of dark sauce dribbled down from the corner of her mouth. Good Lord Almighty have mercy on my soul... Please. Please.
A feminine giggled sounded. Li Yundong turned and saw Zhou Qin hiding her face behind her hand, her shoulders quivering violently. No words could describe how much Li Yundong wanted to kill himself right now. None. He almost wished Zhao Yujian would return from the dead and then put a bullet in his skull. At least he would be free of this torture.
Li Yundong smacked Su Chan's forehead again.
More sauce escaped those massive chipmunk pouches.
"Enough of that!" Li Yundong hissed. "Stop eating and let's get out of here already! God! You're such an embarrassment!"
"Buuuhhh eeep wood bee a wuuuaishh eeeshh wee doon fuwineesh duh fooo."
Lord God Almighty. O Great Buddha. O my Lord Confucius. Or any other Shenxians who are kind enough to heed my plea. Kill me now. Release me from this torture... Li Yundong pressed his palms onto his eyes and sighed. Then, without further ado, he yanked Su Chan to her feet.
"Wuuueefff! Shhteel not doon yeff!"
Li Yundong smacked Su Chan's hand when she tried to reach for the remaining Beluga caviar.
"Enough!" Li Yundong hissed.
They were out of the restaurant in record time. Leaning against a streetlamp, Li Yundong banged his head against the lamppost a few times before letting out a long groan. Now that they were outside, the buzzing in his ears grew louder. Not loud enough, however, to muffle that annoying little voice at the back of his mind which was urging him to go kill himself. Li Yundong glanced at Zhou Qin, who was—thank God— no longer laughing her head off. As though sensing his eyes on her, Zhou Qin looked up at him and cleared her throat. "I'll go get us a cab," she said, her voice surprisingly aloof.
When Zhou Qin left, Li Yundong turned to Su Chan, a reprimand already at the tip of his tongue. His words stilled when he saw Su Chan staring longingly into the restaurant through the glass window. Li Yundong followed her gaze; the waiter had already begun clearing up their table.
Li Yundong sighed. "Should've gotten that takeout box after all..."
"What's a takeout box?" Su Chan asked without taking her eyes off the glass window.
"It's a box that—" Li Yundong sighed heavily. "Never mind..."
The buzzing in his ears droned on as he and Su Chan observed the restaurant. The waiter was now pushing the serving cart away from their table. Surprisingly, the waiter stopped when he reached Liu Chuan's table. For some reason, the waiter seemed a bit stressed out. Wait. What's going on in there? When Li Yundong zoomed in his vision, he saw Liu Chuan saying something to the waiter. The waiter squirmed and kept pulling at his bowtie. Seconds later, the restaurant's manager appeared from the back of the restaurant and was slowly approaching Liu Chuan's table.
Piqued, Li Yundong focused his hearing on the sounds coming from inside the restaurant. His telescopic vision now provided him with a blown up view of the manager's face as he approached Liu Chuan's table cautiously. The poor guy was sweating bullets. The waiter continued to squirm.
The manager wiped his sweat off his brow when he stopped beside Liu Chuan's table. "Sir... The Beluga caviar has barely been touched. Would you like to..."
There was a dull clack; Liu Chuan had practically slammed his flute against the linen covering his table. "Are you— Are you shitting me right now! You're serving me leftovers from another table? How dare you!"
The manager wiped his forehead again. "N- n- no... that isn't what I..."
There was another voice. It was soft and barely audible. Li Yundong focused harder until the voice became audible. "... nothing wrong with that, Brother Liu. You said it yourself that this stuff is worth 100 thousand yuan! What a waste to just throw it away! Those guys barely tasted it! Plus, this stuff is in short supply, right? You had to wait for months just to order it! We can't let this opportunity go to waste, Brother Liu!"
Li Yundong zoomed in on Liu Chuan's face. The guy looked conflicted now, like he was about to cave.
Suddenly, Liu Chuan scowled. "You guys have it if you want! Like hell I'm gonna eat someone else's leftovers like some kind of…" Liu Chuan's face twisted in distaste. "Some kind of beggar!"
Li Yundong rolled his eyes. I'm never gonna understand what goes on in that idiot's mind...
"Come on... just take it, Brother Liu..."
"Yeah. You paid for it... At least try some of it..."
The cajoling and wheedling went on for about a minute before Liu Chuan caved. Liu Chuan waved at the manager impatiently. "Whatever. Serve it up then." Liu Chuan glared at the manager. "Don't ever cancel my order again. Have I made myself clear?"
"Y-yes sir..." said the manager. Li Yundong heard a sigh before the manager indicated nodded at the waiter.
The waiter lifted the plate containing the caviar from the serving cart and begun lowering the plate onto Liu Chuan's table... what the—
"Hey!" Li Yundong yelled when Su Chan shook her hand free from his tight grasp.
He tried to make a grab for her. Yeah, tried. Somehow, Su Chan had managed to cover the distance between the lamppost and the restaurant's entrance in less than a second. Holy f*cking shit! Sh- she's fast! Knowing that it was pointless to chase after her, Li Yundong looked through the glass window into the restaurant, then zoomed in. Su Chan was already inside, and was charging towards Liu Chuan's table as though her life depended on it. Su Chan's rapid footsteps resounded in his ears. Then, he watched in horror as Su Chan yanked the plate from the poor waiter's hand. The poor guy didn't stand a chance and nearly keeled over onto Liu Chuan's table. Su Chan activated Chipmunk mode and gobbled down the caviar in three seconds.
She didn't even use a f*cking spoon.
Su Chan licked her fingers and dumped the plate onto the serving cart. At least she didn't lick the f*cking plate. Thank the Universe for small favors, really. She turned and shot a sheepish look at everyone seated at Liu Chuan's table. "Sorry guys... I forgot to eat that just now... Well. Bye..."
Seconds later, Su Chan was out of the restaurant and standing beside him again. Li Yundong stared at her in disbelief. O Great Buddha... Am I in heaven now? Have I achieved nirvana? Surely I must be getting pretty close after all that torture I'd been put through...
Li Yundong's hearing was still focused on the sounds coming from inside the restaurant, though he didn't even know the point in him doing that. The entire restaurant was so silent that it was as though nobody was even breathing.
Li Yundong groaned into his hands, then looked up at Su Chan.
She looked genuinely puzzled, and gosh darn it to hell, why did she have to look so f*cking adorable?
"What's the matter, Yundong?" Su Chan asked quizzically.
Li Yundong pointed at the restaurant. "Why did you do that just now?"
Why? Why the f*ck indeed?
"Oh. Master told me to never waste food..."
Li Yundong just stared at her without answering.
"Hey, guys! Our cab's here. I don’t know your address so you have to— what?"
Li Yundong turned and saw Zhou Qin standing there looking at the both of them. Zhou Qin's phone was out.
Li Yundong closed his eyes and released his Qi from his Shenting.
When the buzzing disappeared, he opened his eyes.
Zhou Qin's gaze was bouncing between him and Su Chan.
"What? What did I miss?"