Hehehe! That was fun! Of all the spells Su Chan knew, hallucination spells were definitely her favorite! She liked hallucination spells because of how versatile they were. There was so much room for imagination when casting hallucination spells. Like, the caster could literally generate any effect with them. Granted, hallucination spells weren't her strongest spells, since she was a fox sprit who was naturally gifted in seduction spells. But against a silly mortal like Liu Chuan, even a weak hallucination spell would do the trick.
"WAAAAHHHH HAAAAHHHH... Helllpppp! Somebody helllp!!! GAAAHHHH! Get them away from me!!!" Liu Chuan clambered his way to the front of the classroom and then—SMACK—ran facefirst into the chalkboard, no doubt having mistaken it for the door.
Su Chan giggled a few times.
Behind her, Yundong chuckled. "What on earth is the matter with that cuckoo?"
Su Chan feigned ignorance. "Eh... Who knows... Maybe he's allergic to flowers."
Zhou Qin chuckled. "What kind of idiot buys flowers knowing that he's allergic to them?"
"The same kind who got tricked into paying other people's meals," Yundong said.
Yundong and Zhou Qin were still talking to each other, but Su Chan was no longer paying attention to what they were saying. Did I use enough Qi for the spell? The spell's effect wouldn't last if she didn't. Then that silly man would come bother Yundong again. Grrr. Su Chan moved her Qi to her Shenting and began sifting through the ambient noise. Seconds later, she heard Liu Chuan's screams. Ah... So he's still in the building... He was still screaming as he ran. It had been, what, three minutes since she cast the spell? A good sign. Definitely a good sign. From the looks of it, the spell would last for a least fifteen minutes unless he got startled—like if someone suddenly punched him in the face, for instance.
"Shall we go, then?" Zhou Qin said. "Seeing as we've gotten rid of the annoying pest and all."
Yundong laughed. "Good idea. Hey, why don't we just grab lunch at the cafeteria? I heard that the great Miss Zhou had yet to grace the cafeteria with her presence. Tsk, tsk! What would the cafeteria's staff think? They must be feeling so shitty right now thinking that you have deemed their place unworthy of your presence."
"Says the one who doesn't even stay at the university dorms," Zhou Qin said dryly, "O Hero of Tiannan University."
Yundong burst into laughter. "Touche."
Su Chan's Eryue was still active as the three of them were leaving the classroom. On the way out, she could make out some of the students' whispers amidst the buzzing in her ears. Out of curiosity, Su Chan focused on those voices.
"God... He's so hot... Even the way he laughs is sexy..."
Hey... I know that voice...
It was the girl who fell down on stage during the rehearsals. Back then, Yundong told her that those people were "dancing" on the stage. Truth be told, Su Chan still had trouble seeing it. No matter how she looked at them, those moves looked like they were taken from a bunch of shamanistic rituals...
There was a laugh, a derisive one. "You're out of mind, Zhuang Hui."
Su Chan knew that voice too. It belonged to the same woman who'd made fun of her clothes the other day at the school restaurant. Su Chan had accidentally knocked over the woman's tray that day, spilling soup and juice all over her Dee-Oh or Dee-Ooh clothes.
"What? I was just telling the truth!" Zhuang Hui said. "Don't you find him hot?"
There was a derisive snort. "Him? Please. Didn't you see what happen just now? He couldn't even settle his own problems! His woman had to step up and deal with the problem for him. I can't believe you're swooning over such a wuss."
Zhuang Hui sighed. "Looks like you've been out of the loop for way too long, Ke Lu. That's because you haven't been to campus for the past few days. Do you even know who he is? He's the Hero of Tiannan University!"
"Pfft! Don't even get me started on all that nonsense on the forum," Ke Lu said. "Dodging bullets? That's bullshit. This is real life, Zhuang Hui. Real life. Not some scene from an action movie."
Su Chan halted her steps halfway down the corridor. Then, she turned around and stormed back towards the door of the classroom. Grrr... How dare she make fun of my Yundong! Su Chan already had the perfect idea for a nice little hallucination spell she would cast on that insolent, foul-mouthed swine. Let's see how you enjoy having your breasts shrink to the size of a grain of rice! Hah! Su Chan yanked the door open—
She was stopped by a hand on her shoulder.
"What's wrong, princess? Did you forget something?" Yundong was back looking at her with concern.
Su Chan glanced into the classroom through the open doorway. "That girl over there is making fun of you." Su Chan jerked her chin towards Ke Lu.
Neither Zhuang Hui nor Ke Lu seemed to have noticed them yet.
Yundong was now saying something to her, but Su Chan wasn't listening to him at all; her attention was fully focused on Zhuang Hui and Ke Lu's conversation.
"...A lot of people saw him dodge those bullets, you know! Even the foreigners swore by it!"
"Right. And there are a lot of people who swore they'd seen UFOs and the Loch Ness Monster, but that doesn't make UFOs or the Loch Ness Monster real! Wake up, Zhuang Hui!"
"Say, Ke Lu, I really don't get it. What is it about him that rubs you the wrong way? Why do you hate him that much?"
"He's just a gigolo," Ke Lu said snidely. "Just look at the way Zhou Qin was throwing herself at him like some kind of sugar mom."
Su Chan could feel Yundong tensing up beside her.
Zhuang Hui looked affronted. "I won't speak to you anymore if you keep talking bad about him!"
"Wait... You're not ending our friendship because him, are you? Him? That useless gigolo?"
Su Chan growled. Alright, that's it! I've had it with her! Time to show that foul-mouthed swine what the Fox Zen School's hallucination spells are made of! A strong grip wrapped around her arm before Su Chan could take a single step through the doorway.
Su Chan turned sideways and saw Yundong staring at those two girls. "Remember what I said about ignoring shallow people?" Yundong said without taking his eyes off the two girls.
Su Chan opened her mouth to protest, but Yundong cut her off again. "It's the quality of our actions that determines our worth." Yundong released her arm and began walking away. "Let them talk."
Su Chan stole one final glance at the classroom. Ke Lu's face was now as pale as a sheet. She looked as though she had just seen a ghost.
Liu Chuan ran out of the academic building, his hands flailing in the air to swat away a swarm of hornets that only he could see. When he stumbled out of the campus gates, a man grabbed Liu Chuan by the shoulder and then delivered a harsh kick on his butt.
Liu Chuan crashed headlong onto the concrete pavement and then rolled around a few times. "Help!!! Help!!! Get them off me!! Please!!"
He Shao stared down at Liu Chuan, who was still rolling on the ground like some nutcase high on drugs. He Shao kicked Liu Chuan's butt with the tip of his dress shoes. "Hey! What the hell is the matter with you! Get your shit together!"
Liu Chuan grabbed the fabric of He Shao's pants. "Bees!! Bees! There are so many of them!!!"
He Shao growled and yanked Liu Chuan up by the collar before slapping Liu Chuan's cheeks four times. "Snap out of it, you f*cking idiot! What bees? There aren't any bees around, you nutjob!" He Shao released Liu Chuan's collar and shoved him away. Liu Chuan stumbled and ended up falling flat on his ass.
Indeed, He Shao's slaps had shocked Liu Chuan enough to break Su Chan's spell. Liu Chuan sat on the ground in a daze.
Moments later, Liu Chuan reached up with a shaky hand and began patting his face. "No bumps..." Liu Chuan muttered. "No swelling... Hey! Hahaha! I'm fine! Hahaha!"
He Shao rubbed his temple a few times. "Why do I keep running into idiots these days," He Shao mumbled. "First Xie Fei, and now this f*cker?"
He Shao bent down and yanked Liu Chuan up by the collar again. "Hey! What are you mumbling about, you numbskull! I asked you to teach that Li Yundong a lesson! Have you done it yet?"
Liu Chuan's face paled at the mere mention of Li Yundong's name. He jumped up as though someone had shoved a durian up his ass. He Shao was, needless to say, not impressed by Liu Chuan's show of wimpiness. He Shao smacked Liu Chuan upside his head. "You f*cker! You failed me, didn't you? You f*cking failed me, just like that good-for-nothing Xie Fei!" He Shao raised his hand again to strike Liu Chuan but the latter threw his arms up just in time to shield himself from the blow.
"Argh!!! He Shao! He Shao! I can explain! Please! Let me explain!"
He Shao lowered his arm and adjusted his jacket. "Talk!"
"Look, He Shao... I don't think Li Yundong is a guy you wanna mess with... Something's not normal about the guy, you know. It's like there's some supernatural stuff—"
He Shao smacked Liu Chuan's head again. "Super"—SMACK—"natural! Is that the best excuse you've got? Huh?! That he's into some voodoo stuff?"
"B-but it's true! Weird shit keeps happening around him!"
"F*ck you and your nonsense! You can't even do one thing right! I just asked you to provoke him a little, and then force him to assault you. And you can't even accomplish that simple task? F*cking useless piece of shit!"
"H- He Shao... I don't think I'm the right guy for the job..." Liu Chuan gave He Shao a fawning smile. "Wh- why don't you look for someone else..."
He Shao glare nearly made Liu Chuan melt into a puddle of Armani. "Find someone else," He Shao said, then laughed incredulously. "Find someone else! Oh, you've gotta be shitting me."
The second part of He Shao's statement wasn't that far from the truth since Liu Chuan was pre-tty close to losing his bowel control at that point.
"I- I'm telling you that something's off about that guy, He Shao! Weird shit keeps happening to me every time I ran into him! It's like a curse or something!"
"A curse..." He Shao stared at Liu Chuan incredulously. "You're losing your shit because you think he cursed you..." He Shao raised his hand to slap Liu Chuan. "How about I beat you to death right here and now, huh! I bet that's scarier than a stupid curse!"
Liu Chuan flinched back in fear. However, the blow never connected. He Shao's withdrew his hand at the last minute and pinched the bridge of his nose. Moments later, He Shao exhaled harshly through his nose and seized Liu Chuan's shoulders.
"Listen to me, you moron," He Shao growled, shaking Liu Chuan's shoulders a few times. "Try again this afternoon. But this time, I'll be there watching. I guarantee you that he won't harm you as long as I'm there. And if he does, I'll f*ck him up for good."
The colors returned to Liu Chuan's face. "Really? You have a way to deal with him?" Liu Chuan said tentatively. "B- but He Shao...Li Yundong isn't some guy you can just mess with. I swear there's something weird about him."
He Shao huffed out in frustration, then motioned with his hand. When Liu Chuan brought his ear closer, He Shao began speaking to him in whispers.
When He Shao was done talking, Liu Chuan jumped away in fright. "H- He Shao... I don't think that's a good idea... I mean, I just received an earful from my dad yesterday!"
He Shao's eyes went wide in anger. "What? You saying you have a problem with my plan?"
"U- uh... I- it's nothing! I- I'll find a way..."
Li Yundong stood up from the last row of the lecture hall after what felt like days—or weeks—of torturous boredom. If there was a way to transform boredom into cash, he was pretty sure would've settled his bank debts by now. Li Yundong stretched his arms above his head, then glanced down at Su Chan. His princess was still doodling on a page of his notepad. Upon a closer look, Li Yundong noticed a bunch of Mac Dee logos strewn all over the page. There were other things too, of course: French fries; cheeseburgers; several cones topped with at least twenty layers of ice-cream; chicken drumsticks; and huge bowls filled with soup and some strange-looking blobs.
That last one looked suspiciously like his stewed duck in beer.
Li Yundong chuckled and ruffled Su Chan's hair. "Ready to go home, princess?"
Su Chan looked up from the page and nodded. "Mmm!"
They packed up and left their row. At the first row, he suddenly stopped. Zhou Qin was standing there, smiling at them.
"How about I give you guys a ride home?" Zhou Qin asked.
Okay. It seemed like Zhou Qin had taken this repayment thing a tad too far.
Li Yundong returned Zhou Qin's smile and waved his hand a few times. "Nah... It's okay. We don't live far. Besides, we don't want to trouble you."
Zhou Qin's smile widened. Li Yundong heard gasps somewhere behind him. And if he turned around, he'd probably see a bunch of hanging jaws too.
"Why are you still acting so formal with me," Zhou Qin said. "Aren't we friends?"
Friends. With the enigmatic Miss Zhou, the Ice Queen of Tiannan University. They were friends now. Friends, as in "let's all hang out after class and treat each other to meals" friends.
Li Yundong was still trying to get used to that idea.
A month ago, Zhou Qin wouldn't even look at him, let alone offer to give him a ride home. Then again, a month ago, he couldn't even climb out of bed without feeling like he'd pulled about a hundred muscles. Now he was dodging bullets and climbing walls.
Weird is the new normal.
Li Yundong sighed. "Well... Okay then... Wait. You actually drive yourself around?" Admittedly, he had assumed that Zhou Qin would be chaperoned around town by a legion of drivers who had no doubt mastered the art of limousine driving. Seemed like this was another stereotype that he had to throw away.
"Yes, I do."
"But I've never seen your car."
"Oh. I don't usually park on campus. I don't want to draw attention, so..."
"Wow... You're a completely different kind of rich from Liu Chuan." Li Yundong gave her a thumbs up. "Low-key. I like that."
Zhou Qin blushed a little. "Is that a compliment? If it is, then I'll gladly accept."
Li Yundong chuckled. "Well, then consider yourself complimented!"
Su Chan tugged his arm a few times. "Yundong, Yundong... Can we go now? I'm hungry."
Yeah. What else was new?
Li Yundong stopped short when they reached the campus gates. "Hey. What's happening over there?"
A huge crowd had gathered at the kerb not far away from the campus gates, and as far as he could tell, most of them were students. It seemed like the students had formed a circle around something.
Li Yundong turned to his left, wanting to ask Zhou Qin if she knew what was going on. However, he was surprised by how pale her face seemed. Her posture seemed tense too.
"Hey, Zhou Qin," he said. "You alright?"
Zhou Qin shook her head slightly, then smiled. "I'm fine. Let's go check it out." Zhou Qin strode over towards the crowd without waiting for them to catch up.
Li Yundong took Su Chan's hand and followed Zhou Qin. As they neared the crowd, the crowd's whispers became clearer.
"Wow... whose limo is this?"
"I don't know. But damn, look at that! It's a Mercedes!"
"So cool... Ooh! I think it's got scissor doors!"
"Seriously... whose car is this..."
"I bet it belongs to some rich guy..."
"Yeah... maybe he's here to pick up his date..."
Some of the students turned around as though sensing their approach. The students stepped away when they saw Zhou Qin. The crowd parted to reveal a dark and sleek limousine parked at the kerb.
The sight of the limo made all three of them stop short. From the corner of his eye, Li Yundong saw Zhou Qin's shoulders sag with relief.
"What, don't tell me that's your car?" Li Yundong asked even though he knew the answer already.
Zhou Qin gave him an amused look. "No. I don't go for the showy models."
The crowd raved on about how awesome or cool the car was. Their comments made Li Yundong want to roll his eyes. Li Yundong studied the crowd, and when he did, he noticed a few familiar faces. Some of his classmates were there. He even saw Zhuang Hui and her bitchy friend admiring the car beside it.
When he turned to Su Chan, he laughed out loud.
Su Chan's head was tilted by ninety degrees as she studied the car. "Yundong... How come it's so long? And why didn't they put more wheels in the middle?"
Li Yundong reached over and righted her head. "Do you like it?"
Su Chan's nose scrunched up adorably. "Eww... It's so long. And it feels like it would snap in half if a reeeaally fat guy sit in the middle."
Li Yundong guffawed. Oh God... Only you, Su Chan... Only you would say something like that.
"Hey, Su Chan..." Li Yundong said. "I'll work hard and earn enough money to buy you a nice car."
Su Chan looked at him like he was nuts. "What? Why would you want to waste money on garbage like that?" Su Chan lifted her chin proudly. "I assure you that your future mode of transport will be much cooler than that long thing over there."
Li Yundong chuckled and pinched Su Chan's cheek. "You really do have a lot of faith in me, don't you?"
Su Chan looked at him as though he'd just told her that fish live on land. "Of course!" she said. "You're the greatest!"
Before Li Yundong could come up with a reply, he caught a glimpse of Zhou Qin's frown. She was staring at the limo intently. Did she know the owner?
"What is it, Zhou Qin? You recognize that car?"
"Liu Changhe..." Zhou Qin said.
Li Yundong frowned. "Sorry who?"
"He's a famous businessman in the city." Zhou Qin suddenly looked at Li Yundong, her lips curving into a smirk. "And the father of your BFF, Liu Chuan."
Li Yundong's gaze snapped back towards the limo. As if on cue, the door of the limo slid open. Li Yundong shook his head. Great... Here we go again. Liu Chuan, dressed to the nines in a suit and a pair of shiny dress shoes, stepped out of the limo. Oh, how Li Yundong wanted to wipe that smug look off the bastard's face. Would the shockwaves generated from his punches work from this distance? Maybe he could try making Liu Chuan shit his Armani pants one more time.
"Grrr... What an annoying man," Su Chan said. "I'm going to get rid of him this time."
Li Yundong smirked. If Su Chan wanted to kick Liu Chuan in the nuts, he sure as well wouldn't try to stop her this time.
Li Yundong turned. Zhou Qin was staring at Liu Chuan like she meant business.
"Let me handle this."
Zhou Qin watched as Liu Chuan sauntered towards them as though he owned the place. Zhou Qin had had her suspicions before, but now she had no doubt that this drama queen and diva wannabe was doing somebody else's bidding. Someone else was pulling the strings here, and the only way for her to find out who was by loosening Liu Chuan's tongue and getting him to spill his guts.
Liu Chuan stopped before Su Chan and bowed slightly. "Oh, my beautiful Miss Su Chan. Would you make me the happiest man in the world by agreeing to go out on a date with me?"
Zhou Qin resisted the urge to gag. She could feel Li Yundong trembling beside her, so she placed a reassuring hand on his arm. "Let me handle this," Zhou Qin mouthed the words to Li Yundong when their gazes locked. Su Chan looked like she was about to slap Liu Chuan, but then Li Yundong took Su Chan's hand and pulled her to his side.
"Your beauty captivates me, Miss Su Chan. There isn't a night since I met you that I could close my eyes without seeing your beautiful face in my mind..."
Zhou Qin rolled her eyes. Enough is enough... She stepped forward and shielded Su Chan behind her.
Zhou Qin smiled snidely, pouring every ounce of contempt she felt for Liu Chuan into that smile. "Looks like your persistence rivals your stupidity, Liu Chuan. You even brought out your dad's car. Not that I'm surprised. That's all you're capable of, isn't it, Liu Chuan? Hiding behind your father's status and wealth?" Step one. Destroy the man's confidence. Judging from the blush on Liu Chuan's face, her taunt had found its mark. But she wasn't done yet. Not by a long shot.
"You might not want to scratch it though," Zhou Qin said. "I don't think Mr. Liu would take it well if you do. I hear he has a thing for spanking."
The tremble Zhou Qin saw in Liu Chuan's hands brought a surge of satisfaction to her. "Zh- Zhou Qin! Wh- why do you always have to... to get in my way!"
Zhou Qin arched her brow, a well-practiced move that would cause even the most confident man to waver in his beliefs. "Getting in your way?" Zhou Qin said, turning around to look at Su Chan.
Interestingly, Su Chan was looking back at her with so much awe that Zhou Qin was starting to wonder if Su Chan had been serious yesterday when she said she wanted Zhou Qin as an elder sister. It certainly wouldn't be bad to have an adorable little sister like Su Chan.
Zhou Qin gave Su Chan a smile. "Su Chan..."
Zhou Qin pointed a finger at Liu Chuan. "Are you interested in that man?"
Su Chan shook her head a few times, her double braids swinging adorably.
Zhou Qin raised a brow. "Not even a little?"
Those braids swung around again.
Zhou Qin turned around to face Liu Chuan again. "You see?" Zhou Qin smirked. "How am I getting in your way when the girl isn't even interested in you?"
"Y- you... you!" Liu Chuan sputtered.
Zhou Qin had to side-step a little to avoid getting Liu Chuan's spit all over her clothes.
"I suggest you think things through before you act, Liu Chuan. Otherwise, you're just going to end up embarrassing yourself and your father. You don't want that, do you?"
Liu Chuan didn't seem to be capable of speech at this point. Good, because Zhou Qin wasn't done yet.
"What is it that you like say, Liu Chuan? That everyone should know their own place? I suggest you take your own advice and stop lusting after a woman who is clearly out of your league!"
The ashen look on Liu Chuan's face was the final confirmation Zhou Qin needed to know that she had utterly demolished Liu Chuan's bravado. Now it was time to get him to talk—
"I think you should know your place, too, Miss Zhou."
Zhou Qin's body went taut instantly. That voice... It can't be...
Zhou Qin looked past Liu Chuan's shoulder towards the limo. Another man had just stepped out of the limo and was now heading over towards them. Zhou Qin frowned slightly. Calm down, Zhou Qin... You can handle this...
"What brings you here, He Shao?" Zhou Qin said, keeping her voice as cold as possible. I should've known that he's the one behind this...
"What I do here is none of your business, Zhou Qin," He Shao said, though he wasn't even looking at her. Instead, this vile man was staring at Li Yundong like he was just a piece of trash.
Anger coursed through Zhou Qin, cold anger, which turned her voice into something colder than ice. "It is my business if you're interfering with my affairs."
He Shao finally tore his eyes away from Li Yundong. "Your affairs? I don't see how a guy trying to ask a girl out concerns you, Zhou Qin..." He Shao said. "Aren't you being a bit too controlling here?"
"He Shao, seeing as our families have a good relationship with each other, I'm gonna give you one piece of advice. No evil deed goes unpunished. I'd watch my six if I were you."
He Shao burst into laughter.
Zhou Qin suddenly had a bad feeling in her stomach. "Well said! Well said! I don't have any advice to give you, Zhou Qin. So I will return the favor by telling you a simple fact. No matter how much you despise me, you are my fiancé. You are my woman. Mine! And nothing you do or say can change that!"
Whispers and chatter erupted from the crowd, but Zhou Qin didn't care.
Her eyes snapped towards the only person whose opinion she cared about.
Li Yundong was staring back at her, his eyes guarded and unreadable.
Ignoring the heat in her cheeks, Zhou Qin glared at He Shao.
"I would rather die than marry you, He Shao."
He Shao started laughing again, and Zhou Qin had to ball her fist tightly to prevent herself from slapping that abominable man.
"You'd rather die than marry me. Is that so?" He Shao sneered. "Then who are you planning to marry? Him?" He Shao pointed at Li Yundong. Before Zhou Qin could come up with a response, He Shao was already moving past her towards Li Yundong.
"Listen up, you bum," He Shao said, once he had gotten in Li Yundong's face. "Zhou Qin is my woman. Mine! And if you touch her, I will destroy you!"