Chapter 191: Martial Artist Association
"Pan Chengyun? The guy who's beaten by my cousin?" Yan Zheke's eyes lifted once trying to remember who her boyfriend's opponent was.
If Hongluo Martial Arts School had not been mentioned, she deﬁnitely would not have remembered what happened then. After all, she was rubbing Lou Cheng's bruises with ointment in the locker room at that time without seeing for herself the ﬁght between Lin Que and Pan Chengyun. All she knew was her cousin beat his opponent with mere two blows.
"It may well. We read the information of Hongluo Martial Arts School before the ﬁght between Lin Que and him. I have an impression that one of their leading players is Pan So-and- so. It would probably be him." Lou Cheng smiled.
He gets a fair treat. An ordinary ﬁghter of Amateur First Pin he was when competing with us. In less than three months, he managed to possess professional-to-be strength and advance in group competition..." Yan Zheke enviously said with a tinge of emotion, "The actual combats in the preliminaries helped him a lot." "It was a pity that I merely went on stage for three times and gained experience of ﬁve actual combats." She thought.
"It might be attributed to his good luck in grouping." Lou Cheng answered casually and did not seem to care.
He did not expect their team advancing in preliminaries. So he paid no attention to the details of other rounds of ﬁghts, shooting a glance at the results at most. When Songcheng University Martial Arts Club won the competition in a row and showed promise of taking the ﬁrst place in the match, there was only one opponent left for them, Azure Dragon Squad. Once they won, the results of other ﬁghts were of little signiﬁcance.
In this case, Lou Cheng would rather keep his girlfriend company and work on his studies than follow the ﬁghts of Hongluo Squad if his time and energy permitted.
"Right..." Yan Zheke mused and nodded before going into a cute pout intentionally. "But you can't be negligent anyway. There's still more than one hour left for you to watch his ﬁght videos in preliminaries. Understand?" "Yes! Coach Yan is right!" Lou Cheng answered beamingly. They came to two seats far away from the ring hand in hand and started to search for Pan Chengyun's ﬁght videos respectively.
Pan So-and-so, an ordinary ﬁghter of Amateur First Pin, was not searching for the opponent's information as he always did. He buried his face in hands, full of depression and afﬂiction.
There was no need for him to search for Lou Cheng's information, whose every ﬁght in preliminaries had been stamped upon his mind. He witnessed Lou Cheng's progress from an ordinary ﬁghter to top-notch one of Professional Ninth Pin, seeing him grasp Tremor Punch and Ice Sect Force step by step.
How can I defeat him?
How can I defeat him? In the early preliminaries, Pan Chengyun still had conﬁdence in winning with a sufﬁcient understanding of his opponent. But for now, he had lost every faith before Lou Cheng, for him who was like a mighty ﬁghter of Professional Eighth Pin in Dan stage. He could only put hopes on Lou Cheng's negligence and underestimating the enemy, accidents before the ﬁght or his poor performance then and there.
Beneﬁting from the injury of Senior Brother Jiang, I got the opportunity to gain much experience in the preliminaries. If I had not encountered the old enemy and been restrained by her style, I would have won the ﬁrst place and advanced in the group competition. But my progress appears insigniﬁcant in comparison with Lou Cheng's!
"I have little means of whittling down his Ice Sect Force. No choice but defend against his attack with my body head-on... I can't take his Tremor Punch more than twice..." Pan Chengyun let a breath out before calming his nerves and starting to think about the upcoming ﬁght.
I won't give up my Professional Ninth Pin Certiﬁcate close at hand! More than a few competitions were held in and around Songcheng last year, which provided the opportunity for many ﬁghters to go through the qualiﬁcation review. The number of ﬁghters who achieved the level of Professional Ninth Pin amounted to ﬁfteen in the past one year. It was a rare chance for ﬁghters of real strength. In some extreme cases, there would be just a few number of ﬁghters who were authorized to participate in the Ranking Event of the Professional Ninth Pin, such as the top students in the martial arts school who had acquired the certiﬁcates or the competitions that held in the last year was insufﬁcient in number.
The extreme case in the Ranking Event held in Songcheng in the past decades was that only twenty-odd ﬁghters passed the qualiﬁcation review and fought for two places of Professional Ninth Pin. It made many ﬁghters with professional strength ﬁght recklessly with each other.
I have to keep moving and dogﬁghting without explosion and collision...
Pan Chengyun made his ﬁnal decision. He had no choice but to resort to the style he was not good at!
"Eh? He possessed the strength of professional level long ago." Yan Zheke exclaimed below her breath when watching the videos and turned to Lou Cheng.
She held the tablet with mobile WIFI expressly bought for such circumstances beside her.
"He hid deep his strength. Was he caught unawareness by your cousin's Meteor force?" Lou Cheng laughed, touching the stubble on his chin.
He would become on full alert to his opponent after knowing Pan Chengyun's real strength if the ﬁght happened in the past. But for now, Lou Cheng did not bother to care about whether he was of professional strength or not. "Perhaps..." Yan Zheke moved her eyes and laughed suddenly. "Pan Chengyun may want to catch my cousin's unawareness. Much to his surprise, he was beaten before bringing his strength into play. He must be depressed and aggrieved..."
She suddenly felt the poor Pan Chengyun was cute with the word "aggrieved" to describe him.
"No matter how aggrieved he was, I have to ﬁght him seriously..." Lou Cheng grinned.
He was fasting-forward the video and stopped it at some scenes.
"What're you looking at?" Yan Zheke craned her neck, leaned over and asked curiously.
"As you said, Pan Chengyun is most likely to keep moving and dogﬁghting in the ﬁght with me. So I'm looking into his habitual dodging direction." Lou Cheng smiled. It was the very habit problem that his master had told him. Just like he was apt to make the dodge to the left in daily life, if he kept the habit and the like in ﬁghts, the opponent might become aware of it and set a trap against him. It might put him in danger. Fortunately, his master had pointed it before he
formed a habit in actual combats.
"Habit..." Yan Zheke slightly opened her mouth and came to a realization.
She looked at Lou Cheng's proﬁle, feeling again her boyfriend's talent for ﬁghting.
"I have to watch my own habit..." She opened her eyes wide and turned to Lou Cheng's phone screen. "Any discovery?" she asked.
"Sure!" Lou Cheng felt a little proud. "Pan Chengyun most probably chose to dodge to the right if circumstances permit."
"Cheng..." Yan Zheke shouted briskly all of a sudden. "What?" Lou Cheng turned to her and asked confusedly.
"You're great!" Yan Zheke clapped with a smiling face.
"Hey! Don't be so exaggerated!" Lou Cheng broke into a laugh.
"I learned it from you!" Yan Zheke pursed her lips and said with a smile.
Lou Cheng stepped in the ring at 3 p.m., standing on each side of the referee with Pan Chengyun.
"Honestly, I didn't know you have reached the professional level." Lou Cheng said with emotion. Pan Chengyun nearly came to be full of tears. "You should have known!" he thought.
"I never thought I would run into you in the ring." Pan Chengyun took a breath, keeping serious and sharp.
Would the God like me to remain the title of Amateur First Pin?
Lou Cheng closed his eyes and started to adjust his physical state without any words to irritate his opponent.
After a while, the referee looked at his electronic watch, raised his right hand and swung it down with a large force before announcing.
Lou Cheng stamped his feet and straightened his knees. He moved forward as if a ﬁerce wind, shortening the distance with the opponent in a twinkle.
Pan Chengyun was as calm as water. He wiggled his muscles on his back and made a sliding step to the right to avoid a head- on collision with Lou Cheng.
However, Lou Cheng moved his weight to the left with a bounce of his spine, as if a dragon rolling its body. He was even faster than the opponent!
All this was in a second. Pan Chengyun turned out to throw himself into the net. Lou Cheng stepped on the ground violently and swung his lower back swiftly. His ﬁst was about to slam forward.
"Gosh!" Pan Chengyun exclaimed in his heart. All he could do was to bite the bullet. He instantly visualized the image of Flaming Body in his head. His buttocks were subconsciously clenched as he exerted his muscles, pushed his tailbone, spurred his back into a bounce and induced his legs into an abrupt leap to the side. Lou Cheng did not give up on pursuing. He stepped his feet on the ground, smashing the black bricks, and pounced towards his opponent again simultaneously.
Pan Chengyun perceived Lou Cheng had come very near as soon as his feet landed. He lowered his weight and bloated every muscle to strike the ﬁrst burst of the Fire-like Invasion Move.
He used the recoil to turn around all of a sudden with his right arm thrusting back as if a spear.
Lou Cheng shook his well-prepared ﬁst with an ice-bound river visualized in his mind. He could feel the cold waves surging in his body.
The two ﬁsts collided. Lou Cheng wobbled once, while Pan Chengyun felt the cold aura spreading from his arm to the whole body, freezing his muscles and fascia. His face turned pale and his body trembled unconsciously. He intended to throw out his last strength to dodge the fast and ﬁerce attacks from Lou Cheng, but it turned out impossible because the move of his legs became obviously slower than before.
Lou Cheng shook his arm with the ﬁst reaching out and stopping at Pan Chengyun's throat. The announcement from the referee came into his ears.
"Lou Cheng wins!"
Pan Chengyun trembled, recalling his failure in the ﬁght with Liu Que, who beat him with mere two attacks too.
Why it's also two attacks this time despite my hard work in more than two months...
It was an expected victory for Lou Cheng. He showed some relax instead of wild joy this time. After celebrating with Yan Zheke at a distance, Lou Cheng nodded his head to Pan Chengyun and turned around to step down the ring. He did not say anything, because he believed that any word meant harm to Pan Chengyun.
"He indeed dodged to the right..." Yan Zheke took a glance at Pan Chengyun in the ring with a sympathetic look. But she soon let it go and hugged with Lou Cheng to celebrate with her eyes sparkling with excitement.
Lou Cheng had taken the form from the inspector. "His master perhaps didn't warn him of his habit," he half-jokingly said.
They cheerfully walked to the ofﬁce of Martial Artist Association hand in hand without looking back to the ring.
The employee took over the form and found his ﬁght video.
After conﬁrming the result, the employee smiled.
"Lou Cheng, as a ﬁghter of Professional Ninth Pin, you automatically become the member of Martial Artist Association. Do you want to withdraw?" "No." Lou Cheng was not a fool.
The employee started to read the clauses. "As an ofﬁcial member of Martial Artist Association, you have to pay one thousand yuan as the membership fee. The Association will organize lectures for high-level ﬁghters without a ﬁxed schedule, as well as solve problems for you, for instance, coordinating law resources. In a word, you'll receive many services."
"As for your obligation, the ﬁrst is to protect the reputation of the Association and the second is to cooperate with the Association to serve as a referee in tight-scheduled competitions. Of course, we'll give you some salary or contribution points of the same value. You can exchange the points for martial arts information collected by the Association, including but not limited to martial arts unique skills."
"You got any problem with that?"
"No." Lou Cheng shook his head. Lou Cheng felt that he had become a real ﬁghter of Professional Ninth Pin after hearing what the employee just said.
Chapter 192: The Beginning of Professional Martial Arts
After submitting the membership fee and snapping a photo, Lou Cheng successfully obtained his Professional Ninth Pin certiﬁcate. One could inquire about his rank by searching for his name and number through the ofﬁcial website now.
"Why does my photo look so dumb?" He stared at the photo on the certiﬁcate in dissatisfaction.
There wasn't a single photo among his certiﬁcates that was photogenic!
Yan Zheke said with a lively tone,
"This is what they call being practical and realistic~!"
She didn't give Lou Cheng the chance to speak. She took out her cell phone and said with a little bit of excitement, "Stand properly. Your coach is going to snap a photo to commemorate this moment. From today onwards, you're a professional ﬁghter~"
"From today onwards, I'm a professional ﬁghter..." suddenly, Lou Cheng felt a ripple in his heart when he heard this.
From today onwards, I'm a man who can bear the heavy burden of life even if I drop out of university, if my father loses his job again, or if my family experiences misfortune once more!
He didn't know why, but he could feel himself getting solemn and respectful all of a sudden. He saw Yan Zheke taking a few steps backward and cutely imitating a professional's pose while bringing him into the camera.
"One, two, three..." the girl shouted clearly.
Click! The ﬂashbulb lit up, and Lou Cheng's solemn appearance as he held his Professional Ninth Pin certiﬁcate was frozen in the frame just like that. He quietly said in his heart, "I'm a Professional Ninth Pin ﬁghter now, but this isn't enough. If I want to bear Ke's life on my shoulders, and if I want to make her live a better life, achieving Danqi State and becoming a Professional Eighth Pin ﬁghter are the most basic requirements I must fulﬁll!"
Among the thousands and tens of thousands of people in Songcheng including the police department, martial arts school, martial arts club circle, professional tournament club and the medical and insurance company that shared a tight relationship with martial arts, there were only seventy to eighty or Dan stage experts in their prime and old age. If he could step into their ranks, then he absolutely could be considered an elite among the elites!
There were two ways to obtain the qualiﬁcation of Professional Eighth Pin. The ﬁrst way was to transform one's body into a big dan, and cause qi to arise from within the body. As long as a ﬁghter was veriﬁed to have stepped into Danqi State, then they could obtain their certiﬁcation immediately. The second way was to submit proof and data that the relevant ﬁghter had beaten an Eighth Pin expert before and passed through the Ranking Event. Examples like this were few, but not exactly rare. This was due to the existence of supernatural abilities.
Therefore, Songcheng might produce seven to eight newly ascended Eighth Pin experts in a year, or none at all. On average, four Eighth Pin experts would be produced per year in Songcheng. A portion of them came from martial arts school and would leave their hometown to enter the military. The other portion would go to the capital, Huahai, etc. or the domains of schools and forces such as Shangqing Sect or Daxing Temple. Many more ﬁghters who approached equal or higher rank attempted to improve themselves and pursue a higher and further martial arts goals.
Meanwhile, Lou Cheng's current small goal was to enter into their ranks!
Only then he felt like he could face the Queen Mother and the others with greater calm and conﬁdence.
"Let's take one more picture, Cheng. Come on, don't be so serious. Give me a smile~" Yan Zheke seemed to be happier than himself that he had acquired his certiﬁcate. The corners of Lou Cheng's mouth turned up as he looked at her. The solemnity and respectfulness he assumed before swiftly faded away as he regained his usual cheer.
What came next was the long-awaited May 1st trip!
Back at the beginning of April, the travel guide he made had already been approved by Yan Zheke!
In just a few days, it was April 30th already. Geezer Shi lived up to expectations and gave everyone in the special training a holiday, allowing them to reorganize their weary feelings for holding out for so long and welcome the award money split and lot results of the knockout matches after the holiday!
When the ﬁnal class during the afternoon had ended, and after he had hastily eaten dinner with Yan Zheke, Lou Cheng returned to the dormitory and inspected the luggage from head to toe once more. He conﬁrmed that he had not forgotten the items he should be carrying with him. He carried the luggage and arrived at the entrance of the dormitory three. He didn't wait long before he saw a girl pulling an orange-colored, seventeen-inch-long suitcase and exiting the unit's doorway.
By now Yan Zheke had already changed her clothes into a white T-shirt, faint-colored jeans, green knitted garment and white sports shoes. It was a simple but beautiful attire that made her brim with lively youth.
Lou Cheng didn't spare any of his loving gazes and took the suitcase from the girl's hands. He gripped her palm and said with high spirits,
Yan Zheke pursed her lips and smiled. She turned her head to the side.
I'm not talking with this boastful fellow! They didn't go to the bus station. Since it was a holiday, there groups of long queues waiting for their turn to get on the bus. There was no way they were getting on the school bus without waiting for more than half an hour.
Naturally, Lou Cheng wouldn't allow the beautiful trip to become shrouded with unpleasantries. He had booked a car through a software a long time ago. He didn't mind paying a little more.
When the duo exited the school gates, the car they booked was waiting for them already. Lou Cheng ran back and forth busying himself with things and set all the luggage in place. Then, he sat beside Yan Zheke.
He had just closed the car door when he suddenly heard a ring from his cell phone. He picked it up and saw that it was a phone call from Jiang Fei.
"Fatty Jiang?" He chose to accept it in puzzlement. Jiang Fei's familiar voice rang out of the phone. "Cheng, I'm coming over to seek shelter from you!"
"Ah?" Lou Cheng was completely confused. Beside him, Yan Zheke had also looked over in curiosity.
"It's the May 1st Holiday, isn't it? I ﬁgured I have no places to go, and I don't want to play games inside my room all day. So I plan to ﬁnd you and play around Songcheng for two days!" Jiang Fei said in great excitement.
Lou Cheng stared at the bewildered Yan Zheke and chuckled.
"Fatty Jiang, can't you bring up this kind of stuff a few weeks earlier? I'm not at Songcheng right now! Of course, I wouldn't have stayed in Songcheng even if you did tell me in advance."
What a classic Fatty Jiang style of action—acting immediately to his thoughts! "What the heck, Cheng, are you still my brother?" Jiang Fei said both in annoyance and amusement, "Shouldn't you be turning around immediately after you received my call? Say, where are you heading? Can you bring me along with you?"
"Do you think it's fun being the third wheel?" Lou Cheng cruelly turned down Fatty Jiang.
What a joke, he spent a lot of effort setting up this two- person trip. There was no way he was going to add in a third wheel!
"Third wheel..." Fatty Jiang wasn't an idiot. He immediately came to a realization and said, "You got her? You even got her out on a trip?"
"Hehe." Lou Cheng could only reply to this with laughter.
"Wow, that's awesome. You're the earliest to escape bachelor status out of all of us!" Jiang Fei said in envy and ruefulness, "When are you going to introduce us to your wife?" "You know her..." Lou Cheng said this on the inside and smiled, "When the chance presents itself."
Things like this weren't something that he could decide on his own, and must be approved by the 'head' of the family ﬁrst!
"Fine, I won't disturb you now. Teach me a few moves when you come back, okay? I want a girlfriend too!" Jiang Fei wailed before hanging up the call.
Yan Zheke had been smiling and looking at him all this time, and it was only now she asked, "Jiang Fei?"
She had heard Lou Cheng bringing up his high school pal several times in the past.
"Yeah, he suddenly decided he wanted to come to Songcheng to play, but was turned down mercilessly by me!" Lou Cheng beamed. Yan Zheke pursed her lips into a smile and said, "Speaking of him, I remember that girl, Song Li. She complained twice to me that big mouth Jiang Fei caused her relationship with Du Liyu to spread to most of the students in the two classes."
"We have a part in this matter too." Lou Cheng exchanged gazes with the girl and smiled.
After chatting idly for a while, the duo tossed the matter of Jiang Fei to the back of their minds and began discussing their itinerary.
Lou Cheng had chosen Yangtai, a less popular spot compared to its surroundings to avoid a massive crowd.
That tourist spot imitated the famous scenic spots within the country and had just recently built up a canyon bridge that was completely made of glass. It looked fascinating and exciting, not to mention that there were fewer tourists since the promotion efforts hadn't caught up yet. This was the arrangement they had for the ﬁrst day. There were eating, drinking and merrymaking to be done later at the ancient town later.
By 8:30 p.m., the duo reached Yangtai on a bullet train.
While waiting for the taxi, Lou Cheng noticed that Yan Zheke's complexion was a little pale. He hastily asked in concern,
"Are you feeling uncomfortable? Are you carsick?"
"I'm ﬁne." Yan Zheke shook her head to indicate that she was ﬁne. Then, she extended a hand and held onto Lou Cheng's free arm.
Sensing that she was maybe tired, Lou Cheng didn't ask any more questions and simply did his best to hold up her weight with his shoulders.
More than twenty minutes later, the taxi stopped at the entrance of 'Yangtai Tomorrow Hotel'.
This was the accommodation Lou Cheng had selected with great care. He didn't want to cause Yan Zheke any grievance during this trip from the bottom of his heart, and he didn't want her to stay in a cheap place that cost a few hundred RMB. Therefore, he chose the best rooms he could afford with his private money. The two rooms cost about four thousand RMB over three nights.
After grabbing the room key, he beamed at Yan Zheke and said, "Yangtai's night market is said to be pretty good, and our dinner just now is a little hasty. Do you want to grab supper later?"
"Sure." Yan Zheke nodded with a smile, "Come and look for me after you put down your luggage. The sooner we eat, the sooner we can go to bed. You have to wake up early for training tomorrow~" "Alright!" Lou Cheng answered joyfully.
When he found his room, put down his backpack and took care of all personal issues, he returned to the girl's door and knocked.
After knocking for a few times, Yan Zheke opened the room door looking even worse than before. There was a vague hint of pain in her expression.
"What's wrong?" Worry clenched Lou Cheng's heart as he asked anxiously.
He had just said this when an idea ﬂashed across his mind, and he pointed at the stomach, saying, "Is it that time?"
"Mm..." Yan Zheke frowned and nodded.
Lou Cheng hurriedly said, "Give me a moment to grab something!" After saying this, he ran back in haste to his own room and took out a few bags of items. Then, he returned to the girl's room once more.
"What's this?" Yan Zheke asked with curious eyes while clutching her stomach with one hand.
While Lou Cheng was busy washing the electric kettle, he smiled faintly and said,
"Ginger and brown sugar tea. I've prepared it speciﬁcally for you."
Yan Zheke looked startled as she asked in astonishment, "You, know that I'm going to have my period for the next few days?"
"Yeah, isn't it obvious? You had your period during February 14th Valentine's Day, and the normal menstruation cycle is 26 days. Therefore, shouldn't the next few cycles be on March 12th, April 7th, and May 3rd? However, your period on April was two days earlier than expected, so it's likely to happen during these few days this month. That's why I haven't arranged any kind of rafting event." Lou Cheng said with a 'why would you think I don't know about this' expression.
His hands didn't slow down just because he was speaking. he had already begun boiling water when he smiled depreciatingly at himself and said, "I was actually worried earlier that you wouldn't be willing to go on a trip because of your menstruation."
Yan Zheke's eyes suddenly turned a little red as she watched him work neatly and tightly and heard his matter-of-fact tone. She clenched her teeth once before saying, "Actually, actually it's because I'm having a period that I agreed to come with you."
Lou Cheng, who was washing a cup, was startled by this. He turned sideways to look at the girl and asked in half amusement and unexpected grievance,
"What, you're afraid that I'd lose control during the trip?" Am I that untrustworthy?
Yan Zheke bit her bottom lip softly and nodded seriously.
When she said this, she suddenly turned a little agitated.
"The main reason is that you acted especially lustful every time we're alone for the past few times. You, you make me feel as if I'm just an outlet to vent your desires!"
When she said this, she exhaled as if she had vented every drop of negative emotions she had been accumulating inside her heart.
Chapter 193: Running-in
Lou Cheng was waiting for his girlfriend to be touched by his attentiveness and consideration while washing the cup. He had not expected to be met with such words at all. For a time, he was dumbfounded, aggrieved, and a little confused by the situation.
If I thought of you as an outlet for my desires, then why had I held back so painfully every time?
If I thought of you as an outlet to my desires, then why had I bothered testing the waters before daring to take a step further every time?
He turned around and saw those complex and indiscernible emotions were mingled in the girl's eyes. Then, he inhaled a mouthful of air and worked hard to keep himself calm. He tried not to turn the explanation into an argument. "There's no way I'd think of you like that kind of tool. Plus, the reason why I dared to go forward is only that you didn't turn me down every time. If you dislike it, you can tell me or express it directly. I'll hold back and not force you to do things you don't like!" When he said the last line, he felt that his emotions were a little out of control and in turmoil. Therefore, he repeated the words 'calm down' and 'communicate' to himself.
Yan Zheke seemed to have calmed down already and shaded the tiny bit of agitation she displayed earlier. Her nose sounded a little stuffy as she said with a hasty tone,
"That's not what I meant. I mean, whenever we're alone together, you reacted rather strongly as if you're only and always thinking about those things. You responded in a way that made me feel d-desires are the only thing left between us whenever we hang out alone..."
Her explanation was a little messy, but she didn't avoid Lou Cheng's eyes. She pursed her lips again and said, "Sometimes, I don't really want to do it, but I can feel that you like it and desire it a lot. I was afraid that you'd be disappointed and unhappy, so I would accept it."
At this point, she stopped herself, sucked the snot in her nose, and her eyes reddened a little more. To be honest, Lou Cheng did feel a little disappointed and hurt. However, he could feel her grievance, tolerance, and concession in her later words. The unpleasant emotions in his heart immediately dissipated by a lot, and he began seriously reﬂecting his own performance of late.
It... did seem like he would unintentionally turn their intimate moments into what was ﬁlled with the smell of hormones and desires.
He expelled the murky breath from earlier and said, "You're saying that you don't like it to be that way every time, and that I react like I'm only thinking about those kinds of things on the inside? You hope that we can do a little something different whenever we're alone?"
"Ke, you must show it if you don't like it. I may be somewhat attentive regarding other things, but I'm still very slow when it comes to this kind of things. I'm not that keen. If you don't say or deny it, I'll think that you like it a lot too..."
While speaking, he felt a little amused and rueful. This was because he recalled a line from student Little Ming: sometimes, a girl's consent was an expression of fondness, and their dissent was an expression of dislike. But sometimes, their consent was not necessarily an expression of fondness, and their dissent was not necessarily of dislike.
As expected, a girl's mind really was very complicated. No wonder Casanova always said that the biggest test came after a couple had truly associated with each other...
"Mm." Yan Zheke nodded. A tinge of redness appeared on her pale white face as she looked a little embarrassed, but still she looked at Lou Cheng directly with a slight tremble rippling over her body. "Cheng, it's not that I dislike us getting closer and closer, and I'm not looking to act so conservatively that we'll do it only during our wedding night. However, right now you're too impatient and your reactions too strong. It makes me very afraid and panicky. So please, can you take it slow."
She paused and inhaled. Her eyes were watery, and she looked both delicate and fearful. However, she also said both ﬁrmly and stubbornly,
"Take it slow, and wait for me..." "Take it slow, and wait for me..." When he saw Yan Zheke like this, when he heard her words, the last negative emotions in Lou Cheng's heart had dissipated entirely. He pursed his lips and promised seriously, and said,
"I'll control myself!"
"I'll wait for you!"
While the electric kettle was ringing, he put down the cup, took a step forward, grabbed Yan Zheke's hand and pulled her into his arms. He didn't kiss her. He simply hugged her quietly.
Yan Zheke wrapped her hands around his back. She buried her face into his shoulders and said gently after a while,
"During my ranking event, I was actually pretty touched and happy when I saw that you were able to hold back for my sake. However, I couldn't help but let my imagination run a little wild because you looked like you were always thinking about those things. It so happens that I have my period during May holiday, so I thought I could check out your reactions and see whether you'd be disappointed, dejected, cold, or something else. As it turned out you knew about this a long time ago, and was not disappointed at all, you even did your best to take care of me. You've even prepared the ginger tea..."
"I feel a bit guilty, and I thought I misunderstood you. So I gathered my courage to tell you my thoughts. I want to communicate with you. I don't want these things to hurt our relationship bit by bit."
She raised her head and looked a little embarrassed and reluctant to speak. However, she ultimately pursed her lips together and stared sincerely at Lou Cheng, saying, "I'm sorry, Cheng. What I said earlier was a little severe. No, it's not what I think. It's just that I considered several ways of expressing it, but they were either too tactful or too coquettish. They wouldn't transmit to you my true attitude, and I was worried that you wouldn't take it seriously. That's why I said it that way. It's not what I think."
"There's no need for apologies between us..." Lou Cheng caressed her hair, thought for a moment and said, "I was a little hurt at the beginning. I couldn't believe that's how you see me. But after I heard your grievances and concessions, I thought that my own grievances are minor..."
Plus, this happened during a girl's period. It was completely understandable.
Yan Zheke's eyebrows soothed, and she ﬁnally revealed the tiny hint of a smile. She bowed her head and buried her face into Lou Cheng's shoulders, speaking in a low tone, "This is nothing. It can't be one side showing tolerance and investing time and energy alone in a relationship. I can feel your attentiveness, so I want to be attentive too..."
"In the future, if you don't like what I do, you absolutely must show it to me. I'm a very dumb guy, and I'm afraid that I might mistake your intentions. Even now I have no idea when I should kiss you, and when I shouldn't." Lou Cheng said with a little distress.
Yan Zheke pressed her beautiful face against his shoulders and laughed softly with a mufﬂed voice, "Idiot~ it's atmosphere and feelings, get it?" "No, I don't get it. What is the right atmosphere? What're the right feelings? Can we please have a more quantiﬁable criterion..." Lou Cheng sweatdropped and was just about to say something more when he suddenly heard the click of the electric kettle's switch.
He released his embrace and waited until the sounds of boiling had stopped. He used the boiled water to wash the cup once before tearing open the package of ginger and brown sugar tea and poured its content inside. He infused it with water and circulated his Power of Frost in the end so that the drink's temperature would drop to a level where it wouldn't burn the tongue.
As expected, a home use supernatural ability was pretty great!
Yan Zheke quietly watched him busying himself with the work as she stood at the side with sparkling eyes. The corner of her mouth looked like it was drawn into a seemingly warm and lovely curve.
"It's done." Lou Cheng passed over the cup. Yan Zheke accepted it with both hands and sat at the edge of the bed. She closed her eyes, took a deep sip before ﬁnally speaking with a faint smile on her face.
"I've always heard of this type of tea, but I didn't really like the taste of ginger. That's why I never bought it even though I put it in the shopping cart every time."
"Ah? So I picked wrongly then?" Lou Cheng asked, sounding a little upset.
He had paid attention to the girl's habits while they were dining together. He discovered that she didn't reject ginger pieces in her dishes and soup, so he thought that she could tolerate ginger tea. He couldn't ask this question directly either, since his intentions would be found out and it wouldn't be a pleasant surprise any longer.
With a smile on her face, Yan Zheke held the cup and took another sip. Her face turned red because of the warm air, and as she cast her gaze to the side she feigned a tone of normalcy. "I like it now..."
I like the boy who remembers my menstruation period. I like his attentiveness as he busies himself for me. I like his tolerance when I'm being stubborn and headstrong...
"That's great." Lou Cheng let out a sigh of relief and sat beside Yan Zheke. After a moment's thought, he said, "Ke, I need to talk to you about two things."
"What're they?" Yan Zheke blinked at him. There was still a bit of redness in her eyes.
Lou Cheng deliberated his words before saying. "You say that my reactions are too big, and that it makes you afraid. However, this is my instinctive reaction, and it isn't something that I can control even if I want to. You're incredibly beautiful and captivating to me, and I'm a hot-blooded young man who likes you so much. Even if I'm not thinking about anything dirty, there are plenty of moments I can't help but experience a physiological response. This isn't a sign that I wish to do something, or that I'm only thinking about taking advantage of you. I hope you can understand this. In any case I'll restrain myself and work hard to suppress it. I'll respect your wishes."
"Really?" Yan Zheke bit her lip and asked curiously.
Lou Cheng said sincerely, "It is. You can ask your best friends."
"Mm." Yan Zheke nodded thoughtfully. "What about the second matter?"
Lou Cheng smiled at her and said, "Actually, I think I'll be able to hold myself back at the end even if you're not having your period right now. The ﬁrst reason is that I feel like I couldn't shoulder your future on my back yet, not to mention that I've made a promise to the Queen Mother too. For some reason I couldn't shake the feeling that she's looking at me from afar. It's a great pressure."
"The second reason is that long distance relationship fears suspicion, jealousy, and lack of faith the most. Therefore, I wish to show you that I can restrain myself even when I'm facing the girl I love the most, and when there's no one around to stop me, much less when I'm confronted with those ﬂirtatious sluts out there, hehe. I hope that I can give you conﬁdence this way so our relationship may continue further. Er, am I thinking too far and deep into the future and looking a little dumb like this?"
Yan Zheke burst into laughter and she said with sparkling eyes,
I like your dumb look. I like you consider far and deep into our future!
She held the cup and slowly ﬁnished the ginger and brown sugar tea. She exhaled and said, "I feel much better now."
"Are we still going out for supper?" Lou Cheng asked. Yan Zheke pressed her right hand to her tummy, thought for a moment and said,
"Give me some more time."
When she said this, she pursed her lips and turned her head to the side. With a blush on her face, she humphed and said, "You made me feel so agitated today, so I'm going to punish you by making you rub my tummy!"
"Okay!" Lou Cheng was ineffably and pleasantly surprised.
Yan Zheke removed her shoes and showed her curled back to him. Her black hair covered the top of the white pillow.
Lou Cheng compared their postures and carefully lay sideways behind the girl's back. His left hand circled her waist and stretched towards her tummy.
It was at this moment Yan Zheke let out a soft humph. "You're pushing down on my hair!"
Ah... Lou Cheng hastily raised his upper body and allowed the girl to collect her hair. It was only until after she was done that Lou Cheng dared to lie down on the bed once more.
His left hand touched Yan Zheke's stomach through her T- shirt and gently rubbed that soft spot.
A while later, Yan Zheke suddenly said in a tiny voice,
"You can put your hand inside... your, your hand is warmer..."
Lou Cheng stared at her in astonishment. The girl continued to lie sideways and didn't turn her head around. Her black hair was like a waterfall, and her ears were so red, translucent and cute. He inhaled once, carefully lifted open her T-shirt and stretched his hand inside. However, the ﬁrst thing he touched was a paper-like substance.
"What's this?" he subconsciously asked.
Yan Zheke said in both embarrassment and annoyance, "Sanitary panties!"
"Ah?" Lou Cheng was confused. He had only heard of sanitary napkins before.
"It's, aiya, it's the upgraded version of a sanitary pad. It's leak-proof..." Yan Zheke explained with uncontrollable embarrassment.
"Oh, it's a sanitary pad that's been made into the shape of pants..." Lou Cheng came to realization and stretched a little deeper into her shirt. He touched the girl's tummy and began rubbing seriously. While inhaling Yan Zheke's scent and rubbing her soft and ﬂexible stomach, Lou Cheng couldn't help but feel a bit of physiological response. However, he quickly restrained his urge and cut off his imagination. He began recalling what happened earlier and thought through the girl's every word.
In the norm, Ke was an elegant and cultured girl who was sweet-tempered on the outside and charming on the inside. She was a mixture of intelligence, maturity, ignorance, and cuteness. But was this all of her?
No. She showed her own views, bottom line, courage and perseverance just now. No wonder the Queen Mother said that she was stubborn in her bones.
Moreover, she would consider what kind of language was best for the situation, and would choose effect over tone. More than a common girl's tactfulness, she was capable of speaking frankly when she needed to... No wonder there weren't many gossips ﬂoating around even though she turned down so many boys in the past. There weren't too many admirers who just refused to let go either... I'm still too immature. Thank goodness Ke for her willingness to communicate with me and not burying it inside her heart. Otherwise, even a small problem may transform into a big one.
While rubbing her stomach, he heard that Yan Zheke's breathing had become long. When he raised his head for a look, he discovered that the girl had fallen asleep already. The torment of the menstruation period and the tremors of emotions had worn out both her body and mind.
Lou Cheng watched her quietly and felt no dirty desires at all. He felt a little tired in this quiet and warm atmosphere, and he wanted to breathe at the same pace as Yan Zheke.
"Let's sleep for half an hour..." He subconsciously closed his eyes while rubbing her stomach.
When he woke up abruptly and picked up his cell phone for a look, the time was almost 1 a.m. already. Therefore, he forcefully extricated himself from the warm and fragrant blanket and carefully climbed down the bed. Then, he covered up the part where the blankets were kicked away by the girl's legs once more.
During this process, he hesitated whether to help Yan Zheke take off her pants. But he was afraid that he would be misunderstood again and held back the impulse. He turned off the room's lamp and tiptoed his way to the door.
"What time is it?" suddenly, Yan Zheke who had lost the warmth behind her back asked in a daze.
Lou Cheng stopped, turned around and said, "It's almost 1 a.m."
Yan Zheke turned on the bed lamp and struggled to her feet. She walked sleepily to the luggage and took out a set of pyjamas and a bag of something
When she passed by Lou Cheng and entered the toilet, she said softly with her head bowed, "You just sleep here tonight... you won't be able to sleep if you travel back and forth like this. Plus, plus you can help rub my tummy some more! Right, you can rub my tummy!"
Lou Cheng looked at her in astonishment. The girl's face was as red as blood, and with a clang she slammed the toilet door shut.
"Sleep with her?" Lou Cheng was stunned for a moment before great joy overcame him. He might not be able to do anything on bed, but it was still a very pleasant feeling.
Once Yan Zheke had changed into a new pair of sanitary panties, washed her face and brushed her teeth, she walked out of the toilet without daring to look at Lou Cheng. She simply let out a humph and said,
"Go wash yourself already. You stink!"
Lou Cheng laughed mischievously in reply. Sometime later, he had ﬁnished tidied himself and returned to the room. By now Yan Zheke had already lay back down sideways on the bed once more and been facing him with her back.
She had buried her body completely into the blanket, and her black hair looked like clumps of cloud. It made her oval face looked very small. Everything was so warm under the dim yellow light of the bed lamp.
Lou Cheng held his breath and arrived beside the bed. He hesitated whether to take off his outermost pants for a moment, and ultimately did just that carefully. He drew open the blanket and slipped inside.
A fragrant scent rushed into his nose, and he carefully lay down after inhaling once. Then he heard the girl let out a humph again.
"You're pushing down on my hair!"
"This is..." Lou Cheng wore a dumb look on his face. "Why does this keep happening? If there is a poll on what a man and a woman say the most on a bed, and the woman happens to have long hair, I'm going to choose, 'you're pushing down on my hair'..."
He raised his upper body once more and waited until Yan Zheke had collected her hair. Then he turned off the bed lamp, lay down sideways, circled his left hand over to her tummy and continued the rub from before.
It was surprisingly fragrant inside the blanket, and the girl's skin felt tender through her thin pyjamas. Lou Cheng couldn't control himself from having another reaction, and he was just about to shrink away from Yan Zheke. To his surprise, Yan Zheke leaned into him on her own accord and bumped into something as expected.
"I, I'll hold it in. It's just instinct..." Lou Cheng hurriedly explained when he sensed that the girl's body had turned stiff.
Yan Zheke didn't turn around. She simply said from inside the blankets, "I believe in you..."
"I believe in you..." When he heard these four words Lou Cheng immediately felt as if all of his earlier efforts, energy and time were worth it. His eyes reddened, and he put even greater care into rubbing her tummy.
The duo conversed idly with each other. Very soon, Yan Zheke sank into dreamland once more. Lou Cheng concealed his spirit and qi and fell into deep sleep as well.
At 5:30 a.m. early in the morning, he woke up naturally and saw faint light spraying in from outside and illuminating the room a little. Meanwhile, there was a soft body in his arms and a fragrant scent at the tip of his nose. It was an indescribably wonderful picture.
Holding back the throbbing of his heart, he extricated himself from the warm bed. He was planning to wash in his own room for fear that he would wake the sleeping girl. It was at this moment Yan Zheke subconsciously turned around upon sensing his departure. However, she caught nothing but air, and she opened her eyes in a daze. She asked half a beat slower than usual, "You got up?"
"Mm." Lou Cheng knelt at the edge of the bed, bowed his head and pecked her lips softly.
Yan Zheke raised both hands and circled them around his neck. She complained, "I haven't brushed my teeth..."
When he heard this, Lou Cheng chuckled inwardly and bowed his head once more. He parted her lips and kissed her deeply without a trace of lust.
When they were done kissing, Yan Zheke withdrew her arms and looked at him lovably, charmingly and lazily,
"Remember to buy me breakfast when you come back~" "Okay." Lou Cheng promised while beaming. He put on his clothes and left the room with light footsteps.
While walking through the dark corridor, he felt extraordinarily pleased and warm. He felt an indescribable sense of happiness, and the scene just now seemed something he had dreamed of for a very, very long time:
After the wedding; the early morning of every day.
Chapter 194: Invitation
After coming back to his room, Lou Cheng changed his clothes for the navy blue Longhu Club martial arts suit. He was about to walk out of the door when he suddenly turned back to the bed. He took out two one-hundred-RMB bills from his wallet and put them together with the room card.
Mobile payment applications freed people from the need to carry cash most of the time. However, it was still better for travelers to take some bills with themselves when they were outdoors. After all, who knows what might happen when they were in unfamiliar territory?
Lou Cheng went down the stairs, got out of the hotel and into the fresh air. He took two deep breaths and felt refreshed both physically and mentally. After identifying his path through the thin mist at dawn, he started jogging slowly along the street on the right side according to the map he had seen earlier. After passing through two streets, he reached a temporarily empty square.
Lou Cheng found a corner and squared off to exercise his stance. Today's stance training started from the Ying-yang Stance, with the main focus being the internal training of 'Thunder Roar Zen'.
He visualized thunderclouds in his mind, vibrated his stomach muscles and caused a series of rhythmic, low thunderous rumbles to exit his throat. His muscles tightened and stretched occasionally to the rhythm of the sound, producing a slight internal vibration that tempered the bones, marrow, blood, and organs.
Compared with the old Lou Cheng who was facing Mo Zicong's Elephant Trumpet, he now had condensed marrow and surging blood as if a wild river with natural exuberance, washing and polishing everywhere it ﬂowed.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
Lou Cheng controlled his heartbeat slightly, making it race up for a while and then slow down for another. He did it to exercise other organs to coordinate the vibrating thunder sound, completing simultaneous peristalsis. It was a sign of his martial arts penetrating into his bones and soon into his internals, the zenith of body reﬁning. By then, he would achieve the integration of in-and-out of his body and made his strength all over built up in the chorus. That would enable him to manipulate the muscles and bones
which were not easily controlled to realize something inconceivable.
For example, a ﬁghter of Danqi State was able to curl his outer ear to cover itself.
Training time was always ﬂeeting, ﬁfty minutes as if in a ﬂash. The moon left and the sun came, which lightened the sky and dispersed the mist. More and more morning exercisers, old and young, came to the square where there was only Lou Cheng here earlier.
The low thunder sound was sent out from Lou Cheng's body, attracting passers-by's attention. The faces of those who knew the martial arts turned colorless. They looked at Lou Cheng with reverence and admiration. Long-time training did harm to the exercisers' body. Lou Cheng slowed down his rolling blood and peristalsis of his stomach.
In the beginning, he could hold onto the internal training for twenty minutes. But for now, forty-seven or eight minutes was ﬁne. It showed the improvement of his physique and the strengthening of his marrow, blood, viscera, and bowels.
He opened his eyes and started series of practice routines, from 24 Blizzard Strikes to Big or Small Hand Wrap, and to Thunder Roar Zen. He spent most of the time on the last one.
It seemed that no difﬁculties were on his way after crossing the threshold of Thunder Roar Zen. However, Lou Cheng had gained new understanding every day and dug out much inner aroma since he started practicing it. Until recently he thought he had mastered this skill a little bit.
Nevertheless, he underestimated the difﬁculty of integrating Thunder Roar Zen and Frost Force. He barely touched the threshold of Severe Warning, the killer move, with more than one-month hard work. But Lou Cheng was not anxious about it. He was clear that his physical body had not reached the zenith of body reﬁning, which was the basis of other improvements. His master had told him that Severe Warning was the simpliﬁed version of physical invulnerability moves, absolutely not that easy to grasp.
After he ﬁnished the whole set of routine exercise, he started to practice still stance again and cultivated Ice Mirror, because there were too many people passing by which made him unable to practice martial arts moves.
Lou Cheng tried again and again but failed as expected even with the help of the inward vision of Jindan. However, his sense organs such as eyes, ears, mouth, nose and his spirits were changing qualitatively in the long-time practices.
The young man let out a turbid breath and stopped his practice at 7:40. He wiped off his sweat and walked back to the hotel along the street with turned-off lamps, with high spirits, vigorous qi and blood and undeﬁned conﬁdence. Lou Cheng felt that his relationship with Yan Zheke was too beautiful to let him believe it to be true and feel safe from the very beginning. It was just like a dream without anything left once he woke up. However, after their intense conversation last night, he realized that Yan Zheke had sacriﬁced a lot to
keep their beautiful relationship with obedience, compromise,
and tolerance. It would have induced quarrels, disputes or even break-up between them, a process from a quantitative change to a qualitative one, if he had not been aware of it, allowed it to sustain and not conducted himself better.
Ke's words hurt him indeed. However, it was especially true that he would keep it in heart and every remembrance made him fear.
When the unreal veil of purity and beautifulness was raised up, the differences between men and women in thoughts and habits began to manifest themselves and they needed to run in with each other. Lou Cheng did not feel distressed, on the contrary, he felt peaceful because only in this way their relationship would last for long.
The fairy was always ﬂoating in the wind, far away to be touched. When his fairy came back to the earth as Yan Zheke, it would be the girl who he would spend the rest of his life with.
Yan Zheke talked it with him because she cared much about him and thought about their future.
Lou Cheng looked ahead conﬁdently and his sense of insecurity of losing Yan Zheke had been easing up a lot.
Walking for a couple of minutes, he saw rows of breakfast stalls outside the district ahead. The food was steaming, a taste of life.
"What to eat? What brought to Ke?" Lou Cheng looked around and selected a noodle stall. He had a look and ordered a bowl of noodles with soybean paste and a blow with simmering beef.
The stall owner had seen too many customers who had a huge appetite. He did not ask Lou Cheng whether the food he ordered was for one or two. He just shouted out once happily, picked up sufﬁcient noodles and put them into the big iron pot. Lou Cheng sit down at a table casually, watching the poor employees who had to do overtime pick and choose on the breakfast stalls and then rush about on their way to work. He felt more at ease for some reason he did not know.
Two bowls of noodles were served soon. Lou Cheng took a picture of them, not in his hurry to eat. He intended to send it to Yan Zheke and ask her what she wanted to eat as breakfast. If she did not wake up, he would decide what to do with it.
He gorged on the noodles with many sounds made. The noodles of this stall had adequate ingredients, well-simmered beef, and delicious sauce. It was pretty good except the noodles of poor quality.
Lou Cheng ﬁnished the two bowls of noodles quickly and pulled out bills after conﬁrming with the stall owner that he could not pay for the meal with mobile payment applications.
He then strolled about among the breakfast stalls at a leisurely pace, having a bowl of wonton and one portion of soup dumplings. It reminded him that the company where his father worked in almost went bankrupt in the later years of his primary school life and during his junior high school time. Life was also hard for people who lived in the same district with his family, some going out for work, some starting to run small stalls to make a living. Therefore, he could see many acquaintances when he strolled about among the breakfast stalls outside the district and his school. They served Lou Cheng with breakfast for free when he had a normal appetite, not like the one nowadays who was able to eat the food from one stall after the other.
Wang Xu developed early and was strong enough to eat food from three or four stalls as his breakfast. His family was more badly off than Lou Cheng's. He had to buy breakfast on credit sometimes, but he paid all back later. Even after he joined gangs, he was never a freeloader.
His good conduct in dealing with some details made Lou Cheng believe that he was not intrinsically bad.
When he was nearly full, Lou Cheng sent the picture to Yan Zheke on QQ and recommended the breakfasts that he identiﬁed as clean and tasty. He put away his phone after waiting for Yan Zheke's reply for several minutes. Lou Cheng came back to the stalls and ordered a portion of soup dumplings and a bowl of noodles with simmering beef.
He held the bags ﬁlled with two portions of food in his right hand and quickened his pace, trying to send it to Yan Zheke before it became cold and distasteful. When he was about to turn a corner, Lou Cheng suddenly heard somebody was shouting in panic.
"There's a thief!"
Uh... Lou Cheng turned around, raised his eyes and saw a girl in her twenties was staggering after a very thin young man.
Pursing his lips, he observed for a while and made two steps to the left. When the thief passed by, Lou Cheng stretched one of his feet to the side quietly. Pong!
The young man stumbled and lost his balance at once. He was a little bit late to restore balance with his two-bit martial arts and felt on the ground severely. The girl was a couple of feet away in a moment.
The thief stood up hurriedly and took out a dagger from his waistband. He waved the dagger in a ferocious manner.
Lou Cheng stamped the ground and sprang at the thief swiftly. His left hand grasped the thief by his wrist and twisted it with delicate force. The dagger fell on the ground immediately.
Lou Cheng then slanted his body and knocked onto the thief slightly. The thief was almost stopped breathing and fell again. The girl caught him and took back her phone from his pocket.
Many people gathered to help and the thief was temporarily unable to hit back. Lou Cheng turned around and went away in his hurry to send the warm breakfast to his girlfriend. His right hand kept the bags in balance in his smooth moves to ﬁght with the thief. Not even a drop of soup spilled out.
Some passers-by helped the girl press the thief. She turned around quickly and shouted at the back of Lou Cheng.
She was shouting while chasing after him. It seemed that she would like to thank the hero face to face.
Lou Cheng did not turn around. Instead, he quickened his pace, waved his left hand and said at ease,
"You're very welcome!"
Call me a red scarf! The girl was extremely worn out after chasing the thief for a long distance. She had to stop to catch her breath and seized the time to take a photo of Lou Cheng's back.
The girl saw Lou Cheng wore navy blue Longhu Club martial arts suit which prevailed on the street and took two packaging boxes with his right hand. She let out a long breath and posted this picture in her friend circle with some words written down.
"An awesome deliveryman!"
Lou Cheng saw Yan Zheke's reply when he almost came back at the hotel.
"Where are you, Cheng?" She sent a pathetic emoji. "You are missing me?" Lou Cheng replied with a cheeky grin.
Yan Zheke replied with a pathetic emoji holding a handkerchief with teeth. "Hum. I feel a little afraid when I wake up in an unfamiliar place. I'm a little... a little missing you... "
"Haha, I'm coming into the elevator!" It was the ﬁrst time that Lou Cheng felt the attachment from a girl, which put him in an excellent mood.
It seemed that our relationship had moved further after the conversation last night.
Stopping at the door of Yan Zheke's room, he knocked twice when the door was opened.
He saw Yan Zheke was smiling at him, wearing the set of light-color sleepwear with cartoon patterns on it. "I guess you bought me noodles, dumplings, and deep-fried dough sticks!" "You are right, except the deep-fried dough sticks!" Lou Cheng laughed, "we have an unspoken consensus!"
"Haha... " Yan Zheke laughed and took over the breakfast. She started to eat at table. Lou Cheng stood beside her and enjoyed watching his girlfriend gulping the meal.
He found Yan Zheke's eye sockets were still slightly red and swollen. He said unwittingly,
"I thought you might cry last night... "
Yan Zheke gently tapped her chin with the chopsticks. She said while thinking,
"I cry when reading novels or watching TV series, because it touches me. But I won't cry because of grievance or pain. My threshold is quite high."
"Humph, you want me to cry?" "No. I'm just curious. I have never seen you cry since I knew you." Lou Cheng smiled.
Yan Zheke took a soup dumpling and sent it to her mouth when she cast a glance at Lou Cheng.
After Yan Zheke ﬁnished her breakfast, Lou Cheng intended to come back to his room for a shower and to change his clothes. He planned to go into the mountain later.
Just a couple of steps he walked out of the door, he heard Yan Zheke called gently,
"Uh?" Lou Cheng turned around, seeing the girl leaning on the door and showing up half of her red face. "What I want is more getting-along between us like what we did last night... "
No desires, but heart-to-heart afﬁnity. "I like it, too." Lou Cheng looked back at the girl, smiling.
What Yan Zheke said last night suddenly occurred to Lou Cheng's mind for some reason that he did not know. "Sometimes, she doesn't like me to be too affectionate toward her."
So, for other times, she likes it?
Sigh, it was so complicated to make clear what girls were thinking about.
They smiled at each other and came back to their rooms respectively. Lou Cheng was about to take a shower when he heard his phone rang. He took the phone and found it was from the Casanova Little Ming.
"Talker, why are you not whispering sweet nothings to your girlfriend? Why do you call me early in the morning?" Lou Cheng taunted. Cai Zongming gave an evil laugh. "When will you come back to Songcheng? My girlfriend thinks you as a helpful friend, because you exert a good inﬂuence on me, making me give up smoking and alcohol mostly and giving me new target and motivation. She wants to treat you to dinner as thanks. Um, it's
exactly what she said, not my thoughts. It's me who is always teaching you as your affection adviser and helping you be mature, OK?"
"Holy crap! How arrogant you are... " Lou Cheng almost burst out laughing, but he said with a tinge of emotion,
"So we are friend and mentor for each other?"
It is lucky for one to have a good friend. They help each other forward.
Cai Zongming remained silent for a while and said, "Cheng, do you still have a normal head? Are you possessed by goals? I think it quite normal for you to taunt me, call me bitch or let me get out. But the words "friend and mentor" should be uttered by your mouth. It is sickeningly disgusting and makes my hair stand on end." Lou Cheng's sensation was thrown cold water on. He twitched his mouth. "I never see people ask for scolding rather than praise... "
"All right. When will you come back to Songcheng?" Cai Zongming yawned.
"The afternoon of the 3rd." Lou Cheng honestly replied.
"OK, I set the dinner at night. My girlfriend will come here by plane in the morning of the fourth. I give a warm welcome to Yan Zheke if she would like to. You will restrain yourself with her company. If you dare to say something bad about me, I'll tell her your dark history!" Cai Zongming added "ferociously" and hung up the phone.
Lou Cheng held the phone and smiled. He was interested in this invitation not for some special reason but merely out of curiosity. He wanted to see what the girl was like who was able to make the Casanova yield.
Chapter 195: Trip Diary
After a hot shower, Lou Cheng put on a white t-shirt, jeans, and navy sneakers. He looked into the mirror, ﬁnding himself clean and energetic, gentle and conﬁdent. Although not super handsome, he had an overwhelming imposing momentum between his eyes, which was caused by the vigorous qi and blood from reaching the peak of the body reﬁning stage.
"Don't know if Ke wears a matching outﬁt?" He ﬁxed his hair before heading out but soon returned to take a light jacket from his backpack.
I'm hot-blooded. Chillness on top of the mountain won't be a problem for me. But Ke is having her period, weak and cold. She'll probably feel the canyon wind rather chilly at the glass bridge. This jacket can keep her warm then.
Hmm... It's important to be prepared.
Dong, dong, dong! He knocked at the girl's door. Yan Zheke quickly opened, carrying a sweet smile.
"A few more minutes."
She felt what she just said was against her philosophy of not letting others wait and rushed to explain, "My face has no color. I need to put some stuff on before going out."
There will be photos of them together on their ﬁrst trip together. She can't take it lightly.
"No problem." Lou Cheng smiled as he walked in, standing by the washroom door and watching her putting creams on her face. She did look pale from blood loss.
"What're you looking at? Go and sit in the room." Yan Zheke protested in a coquettish voice.
"I've never seen girls putting on makeup. It seems a complicated art to me." Lou Cheng laughed. I've never paid any attention to my mom's skincare and makeup. Am I a terrible son?"
Yan Zheke tied her hair up to the side, looking extremely lovely. She stared at her boyfriend and said, "I don't know much the makeup. I was not a good student whenever my mom tried to teach me..."
"A natural beauty doesn't need makeup." Lou Cheng complimented sincerely in a semi-joking tone.
Yan Zheke responded with a faint smile, revealing her dimples, pretty pleased with herself as she knew her boyfriend meant it.
Lou Cheng noticed the girl was also in a white t-shirt and jeans. Her shoes were white and her t-shirt had a black logo instead of yesterday's letters.
"We're matching." He sounded pleasantly surprised. It was just as he expected. Is it the so-called spiritual connection?
"I know. I saw it when I opened the door. You're so slow," said Yan Zheke lightheartedly to end the matching outﬁt topic.
"My attention was given to your face." Lou Cheng murmured to himself before giving her another compliment with a smile, "The reputed detective lives up to her reputation. Very observant!"
"Of course..." Yan Zheke raised her chin.
Lou Cheng ﬁnally felt at ease and stopped being over cautious, starting to ask random questions, "Ke, you seem to have many white t-shirts."
They're more or less the same. Don't you feel bored?
"Yeah," answered Yan Zheke casually, "Different styles, different patterns and differently tailored." "Sounds complicated..." Lou Cheng had nothing else to say.
Yan Zheke was pretty much done with her face, her lips rosy pink, making up for her pale face. Lou Cheng was very tempted to give her a long kiss. He tried hard to control himself.
"Complicated?" Yan Zheke tilted her head and chuckled. "You'll ﬁnd out how complicated a girl's closet can be in the future!"
"I read a post before about this matter. Those leggings are pretty much the same for the boys but they can be thick or thin, with wool or without, see-through or not, and anything between them." Lou Cheng found it very complicated but he liked it when Yan Zheke said in the future. It sounded as eternal and unchanging as the universe.
Yan Zheke pursed her lips and nodded thoughtfully.
"Just like that!" She went on to make fun of him. "That's why I think most of you boys are living a really rough life. Hi, rough man!"
Lou Cheng was speechless. He thought about it and admitted it in silence while watching his girlfriend put on her jacket and take her bag, ready to go.
"Ke, I just got a phone call from Talker. His girlfriend wants to treat us to dinner on the third of this month to thank me for spurring on her boyfriend." Lou Cheng brought it up as they were getting closer to the elevator.
Yan Zheke looked up with her black eyes. "Sure. I'm quite curious about her."
A member of the martial arts special training, Cai Zongming was no stranger to Yan Zheke. Also, her boyfriend had pretty much shared all his previous awkward moments with her.
Of course, Lou Cheng would never mention Cai Zongming's contribution to his pursuit after Yan Zheke. It was something hidden deep in his heart, waiting for their gray days to share. They went to Yangtai Tourism Distribution Centre to buy tickets for the express bus to Mofeng Mount and started climbing.
Taking the girl's period into consideration, Lou Cheng kept his pace slow with frequent stops to rest and take photos. They breathed in the clean air and enjoyed their time in this strange environment. The glass bridge across the canyon appeared in front of them when it was almost noon.
The tourists were not too many, but still they had to queue for a dozen minutes to get on the bridge.
Lou Cheng volunteered to step on the bridge ﬁrst. Under his feet were void, mist and clouds, a roaring river and tiny buildings like ants at the foot of the mountains, giving him an urge to jump off and a fear of falling.
"Didn't know I was afraid of height until now..." Lou Cheng sneered at himself, converging his thoughts to freeze water to ice, subsiding his fear. Looking around at other tourists shivering and holding on to the railings afraid of advancing, Lou Cheng found it amusing. He reached his hand out to Yan Zheke, ready to protect her.
"Will Ke shake, scream, feel weak at feet or feel too scared to move?" Lou Cheng was kind of looking forward to her reaction.
It'll be the moment for me to show my manly side!
Yan Zheke jumped on the glass bridge like a deer without grabbing Lou Cheng's hand after ﬁxing her hair. She looked down with great interest.
She strode back and forth, turning to Lou Cheng, excited.
"It feels great!"
Dumbfounded, Lou Cheng blurted out, "Ke, you're not afraid?" "Of course not!" Yan Zheke shook her head proudly and stared back down at the terrifying scenery under her feet. "Maybe because I was very sick when I was little and often worried I was to die. Then I got used to thinking about death. It becomes something I'm no longer afraid of. I think a man who dies after a glorious moment has nothing to regret."
She tucked her sentiment in and smiled. "I'm not even afraid of death. Should I be afraid of height?"
Lou Cheng said quietly, "Coach Yan, you're correct. Could you please give me a hand?"
Err? Yan Zheke looked up, seeing Lou Cheng holding on the railings, legs weak and body shaking.
"Seriously? Cheng is so afraid of height?" Yan Zheke held back her laugh and stretched her hand out to save the hero. Lou Cheng suddenly stood up straight, smiling.
"I was kidding!" Yan Zheke's fearless side was very cute but also pitiful. He played weak to change the atmosphere.
I probably have to wait a long time to see this side of her without this trip to this strange place.
Of course, I'm a little bit afraid of height...
Yan Zheke burst into a laugh. She said casually as her eyes rolled,
"Cheng, I really liked it when you stood there waiting for me to save you."
Hmm... That's satisfying!
Lou Cheng hugged himself like a good boy being assailed by obscenities, shivering. "Come and save me then!"
Yan Zheke laughed hard, squatting down to save herself from losing her bearing.
They teased each other a bit longer and moved on to cross the bridge. In the middle a kind-hearted passer-by took many photos of them, hugging against the blue sky and beautiful clouds.
The beauty of their relationship was framed. It was their very ﬁrst photo together.
Lou Cheng picked a fairly priced restaurant in the tourism area according to his trip plan as they would visit more places that afternoon. They continued their journey hand-in-hand after lunch. Praying in a temple, visiting mountain houses and everything they did together seemed interesting and fun.
They went back for the express bus at 5 p.m. sharp and returned to the city of Yangtai. They easily found the restaurant Yangtai Fish and Shrimp House they had reserved.
"It's not crab season but this place is best known for their crabs. Let's order two." Yan Zheke browsed at the menu.
Lou Cheng was shocked. "I thought you couldn't eat it."
"How do you know?" Yan Zheke looked at him, very adorable.
"When I searched for Brown Sugar Ginger Tea, I saw girls couldn't eat cold food during their period. Crabs were listed there," explained Lou Cheng.
Yan Zheke moved her head away. Between her eyes was a smile. "It's for you."
Steamed crabs were soon brought to their table, alongside their secret soy sauce.
Lou Cheng had never had a whole crab before. He had no clue where to start.
"Let me help you." Yan Zheke smiled with her hand covering her mouth and took a crab. She pulled the crab professionally. The meat of those big crab legs could be easily sucked out.
"You're professional..." Lou Cheng felt very sweet from watching her and couldn't help complimenting.
"Crabs are the favorite in Jiangnan. I'm used to it." Yan Zheke pushed the plate of crabs to Lou Cheng with a bright smile.
Lou Cheng picked one, dipped it in the sauce and took a bite.
He immediately commented, "Good. Very tasty!"
Food with love is so much tastier!
Yan Zheke suddenly straightened her face upon hearing his comment.
"Wrong answer. Zero point."
"Ahh?" Lou Cheng was puzzled.
Yan Zheke revealed her two dimples.
"You should have said 'you pilled so well!' This is the correct answer!"
"A very different game..." Amusement soon replaced Lou Cheng's confusion. "This is how I should handle this kind of situation!" ...
They took a wander in the Yangtai Handicraft Night Market after dinner but didn't buy anything as they both knew how ridiculous things were priced there. A few times Lou Cheng was tempted to buy something as a token of this trip but Yan Zheke stopped him.
It was already past nine when they got back to the hotel. Yan Zheke yawned with her hand covering her mouth.
"Take a shower and sleep early. Tomorrow I'll go with you to the morning training. We can't miss it."
Lou Cheng nodded. A different expectation seeded in his mind. He asked using a euphemism, "Is your belly still hurt?"
"Not much. I don't experience much pain from the second day." Yan Zheke answered honestly. Lou Cheng added, perturbed, "Do you need me to rub your belly?"
Yan Zheke was lost for a second but soon came to realize what he meant. Her face turned red.
"No wonder Dirty Tong always told me most men were shameless, and you give them an inch and they'll take a yard."
Cheng wants to sleep here tonight!
Before Lou Cheng could make promises that he wouldn't do anything and he technically couldn't do anything, Yan Zheke turned her red face away and murmured,
"You must behave yourself."
"Bring, bring your stuff over..."
Chapter 196: Spending a Night Together
"Ahh?" Lou Cheng looked completely dumb, surprised by the "behave yourself" and "bring your stuff over" after the "shameless" and "give them an inch and they will take a yard."
The contrast is a bit too big, isn't it?
Hang on a minute. What do the last two lines mean?
He suddenly came to the realization and ecstasy exploded in his heart. The joy was too huge that he fell at a loss.
"OK. Of course."
Yan Zheke has agreed to sleep with me tonight?
Although they would just sleep together, it was still a big leap in their relationship. It was something Lou Cheng had been longing for so badly. Lou Cheng didn't ask why the girl suddenly changed her mind—he was smarter than that. He could foresee how annoyed Yan Zheke would be if he dared ask. She might kick him out of the room directly.
"Something that can be done but can't be said..." said Lou Cheng silently to himself. He turned around, running towards his room gladly.
As the door shut behind him, Yan Zheke raised her hand to feel her red face as if the words had drained all her strength. She murmured to herself,
"why did I give in to him..."
"Hmm... He cannot do anything anyway."
… Running all the way to his room, Lou Cheng took out changing clothes and a martial arts suit for tomorrow's morning training from his backpack.
His hands stopped as an idea suddenly came to his mind. He thought about it for a few dozens of seconds before putting everything back in his backpack, including his dirty laundry in a separate bag.
As long as I behave myself tonight, she'll let me stay tomorrow night for sure. In this case, why not bring everything over? No point making another trip.
Besides, we can save a few hundred bucks by checking this room out tomorrow.
Lou Cheng seemed very conﬁdent in his good behavior tonight. She was having her period, her belly painful and body weak and cold. How could he take advantage of her like this? Any human being wouldn't do such a thing. He inspected the room thoroughly, making sure no item was left behind. Carrying the backpack on his shoulder, he took out the key and ran towards his light, Yan Zheke's room.
Knock-knock... He tried hard to control his excitement, preventing the knock sounding hurried.
After the third knock, Yan Zheke opened the door, making way for him to enter.
She'd tied her hair up with a hairpin, looking a few years younger than her actual age, like a middle school girl.
As her eyes ranged over Lou Cheng's backpack, Yan Zheke's lips slightly opened. Then her eyes dropped as well as her head, rushing into the washroom.
Lou Cheng laughed in his sleeve, feeling out her current thought. She must be saying "give knaves an inch and they'll take a yard." She said yes to tonight and he brought everything over, planning for tomorrow.
Since Yan Zheke had the washroom door locked from inside, Lou Cheng couldn't watch her remove her makeup. He put his backpack next to her suitcase and took a seat on her bed, waiting patiently with a bright smile with no interest in playing with his phone or browsing online forums.
The sound of the shower came from the washroom, as if every drop of water fell on his heart, making Lou Cheng feel parched with thirst.
He opened a complimentary bottle of water and took a big sip, experiencing this extreme challenge. Knowing he shouldn't do anything and couldn't do anything, still he couldn't restrain his mind from roaming.
Err... Didn't they say girls during their period can't take a shower? He felt puzzled about the inconsistency of his knowledge and reality.
I'd better consult my life mentor Coach Yan later!
It didn't take her long to ﬁnish the shower. Lou Cheng immediately sat upright, stiff and proper to prove he hadn't been going off into wild ﬂights of fancy.
The bathroom door slipped open. Yan Zheke stepped out, her hair tied up, her ﬁne neck exposed, her entire body shrouded by a faint layer of heavenly air, extremely attractive and beautiful. Lou Cheng was stunned, almost forgetting his question.
"What're you looking at?" She turned her head away, avoiding his eyes.
"Looking at a fairy!" Lou Cheng complimented in a joking tone after drawing in the pleasant fragrance and suppressing his impulse. Yan Zheke's eyes still had a blurry feeling from the shower.
She threw a glare at him.
"Go and wash up!"
Her face ﬂushed as she added, "Wait a few more minutes."
I just ﬁnished my shower. It feels weird if Cheng goes in now.
Lou Cheng was stroked by her glare, almost losing control over himself. He didn't notice her subtle abnormality and tried to distract himself with a question. "Ke, aren't you having your period? How could you take a shower?"
"Why not?" answered Yan Zheke, gazing at him strangely. "I usually take a shower after the ﬁrst one and a half or two days, and then take one every other day. But I won't wash my hair. Otherwise, I can smell blood from myself."
She felt shy and didn't continue to explain more. "I see..." Lou Cheng gained some new knowledge and smiled. "Coach Yan deserves to be my life mentor."
Yan Zheke was amused, chuckling.
"Be a good student then. You've got loads to learn."
They chatted a few more minutes until Lou Cheng got permission to enter the washroom with his changing clothes. He could smell the remaining warm fragrance.
He swallowed some saliva, pressed his restlessness down, brushed his teeth and took a quick shower. He suddenly felt unsure towards the end. "Should I go out in my boxer briefs, or put my jeans back on?"
New to this scenario, Lou Cheng felt shy as well. Eventually, he walked out fully dressed. In the dim light, Yan Zheke lay on her side, facing the washroom, her entire body buried inside the duvet except for her small face and beautiful long hair. Her big clear eyes opened wide, watching Lou Cheng approach quietly.
"You don't have sleeping clothes?" Yan Zheke suddenly opened her mouth, her eyes twinkled as if she had discovered some big secret.
Lou Cheng laughed. "Boys are not that exquisite. I never wear sleeping clothes..."
I wear cotton jerseys when it's cold and I'm half naked when hot. Who needs sleeping clothes? Changing clothes is so troublesome. It's not like I have someone to meet in bed...
"Rough men indeed." Yan Zheke chuckled. She didn't seem to care this different habit in life.
She planned to buy two suits of sleeping clothes for Cheng and started to train him. But in case he didn't like it, it was no big deal. "When two people get together, it's normal for their ideas and habits to be different. Catch the main ones to work on and ignore the minor ones or they'll both feel restrained..." This was Yan Zheke's opinion, based on books she had read. She wasn't sure it was right or not.
Lou Cheng laughed to admit he was one of the rough men. He was about to take off his jeans when he noticed Yan Zheke's beautiful eyes were still on him, full of curiosity.
"Damn it... I've never stripped in front a girl before. Especially I have nothing inside but a pair of boxer briefs..." Shameless as Lou Cheng still felt uneasy. He coughed as a signal for his girlfriend to turn around.
Yan Zheke blinked and kept on to stare like a curious baby with no clue what that cough was about.
"whatever... I'm not the one losing here." Lou Cheng took a deep breath before opening his belt and revealing his boxer briefs under his jeans. Yan Zheke's ﬁne face ﬂushed, with a faint grin hidden at the corner of her mouth. She pointed out in her soft voice.
"Cheng, your legs are so hairy."
She had noticed it before when she put ointment on Lou Cheng's body but today it was direct and impressive.
"I'm just average." Lou Cheng kept the dark t-shirt on as his sleeping top in case the girl felt too shy. "Some guys are much hairier than me. Their legs are pretty much wearing a pair of hairy pants."
He was thinking about Qiu Zhigao but didn't feel necessary to name him.
"Hairy, hairy pants..." Yan Zheke chuckled after a moment of confusion. "A very good description. Very good." Lou Cheng decided to brazen it out and dived into bed in his boxer briefs, moving closer to the girl.
"Move your hairy legs away!" Yan Zheke complained, requesting her boyfriend to lie down on his back. She put her little feet on his legs and hands on his belly under his t-shirt.
The cold, silky feeling turned Lou Cheng on. The girl took the initiative, making him swallow some saliva, struggling.
"Ke, what're you doing?"
"Didn't you say you want to warm my hands and feet?" Yan Zheke opened her eyes wide, giving Lou Cheng her innocent looks.
Today you promised to warm my hands and feet when you found out girls would feel cold at their limbs during their period. Lou Cheng tilted his head, looking at her clear eyes, and took a deep breath.
"I was shocked by the chill..."
"Ha-hah. Pretty cold, isn't it?" Yan Zheke's right hand slid across Lou Cheng's belly. "Your six-pack is very obvious."
For some reason, a well-known line said by the role of an overbearing CEO came to Lou Cheng's mind, "Woman, you are playing with ﬁre."
"Ke, you're giving me an erection..." He heaved out a sigh and carefully warned in case Yan Zheke accidentally touched his male parts and misunderstood him.
Scared by his words, Yan Zheke quickly withdrew her hands and looked at Lou Cheng timidly. "You react to these moves?" "Yeah. I'm very hot-blooded..." Lou Cheng made up an excuse. "Bring it. I can handle."
"Ohh..." Yan Zheke placed her feet and hands on his body with great care and didn't move around at all.
Lou Cheng was enjoying her pleasant smell and relieving his reaction when she asked all of a sudden, "Cheng, did you help catch a thief this morning?"
"Yes. How do you know?" Lou Cheng turned his head, confused.
Yan Zheke smiled and said, "It's in the news already!"
She took her right hand back and reached out to her mobile under her pillow, which she handed to Lou Cheng after unlocking the screen. "I browsed a web portal during your shower and found this in the local news section. I clicked on this amusing one and found Cheng." Lou Cheng took the phone and saw a phone of himself taken from behind under the title
"Deliveryman stepped out for justice. White-collared girl caught a thief"
"Deliveryman?" Lou Cheng blurted out.
When did I become a deliveryman? Where do I look like a deliveryman? Have you seen a deliveryman of Professional Ninth Pin?
Chapter 197: Uncontrollable Laughter
Skimming through the news, Lou Cheng found that it basically told the truth about the case except that he was described as a deliveryman. Since it was the local news, there were only a few comments on it, which were all under various aliases.
"Which company has such an amazing deliveryman?"
"Is he a martial arts school student working a part-time job?"
"It shouldn't be them. The catering companies we know would have their deliverymen wear uniforms with logos. This one is obviously working for a private restaurant!"
Beside him, Yan Zheke buried half her face into the pillow to smother her laughter while punching the bed softly with her right ﬁst.
"Deliveryman… deliveryman… deliveryman!" Lou Cheng also felt that it was ridiculous but he could do nothing about it. Recalling he was carrying the girl's breakfast then, he exhaled and said,
"Yeah, I'm a deliveryman, your private deliveryman…"
Yan Zheke's laughter suddenly quietened and gradually stopped. Raising her head to gaze at her boyfriend with watery eyes, she moved her lips to repeat Lou Cheng's words soundlessly,
"My private… deliveryman…"
Her eyes gradually lit up like a dreamy star ﬁlled sky. Gazing at Lou Cheng in this way, she was too shy to say a word.
Lou Cheng felt a silence fall on the room, as if all the noise from the passing vehicles and pedestrians outside the window were suddenly blocked out of his world. There was only the gorgeous Yan Zheke and him, the lucky boy. All he saw was the girl's glittering eyes and plump soft lips. Sensing the atmosphere and their beating hearts, Lou Cheng suddenly realized he should do something even before the girl could say anything. He turned to lie on his side, supported himself with one arm, and gradually leaned over.
Yan Zheke's eyelashes were ﬂuttering as she slowly closed her eyes.
Holding her in his arms while breathing in her scent and breath, all Lou Cheng could see was her attractive lips.
It was at this moment Yan Zheke opened her eyes and let out a soft humph.
"You're pulling on my hair…"
Her words awakened Lou Cheng as if freeing him from a spell. He immediately raised his arm to change his posture, and then froze. For a second, all Lou Cheng's romantic thoughts were dispelled while the outside noise poured into the room, shattering the dreamworld illusion and bringing him back to earth.
Looking at each other in bewilderment, both Lou Cheng and Yan Zheke burst out laughing, for the funny way in which the romantic atmosphere was broken!
Of course, Lou Cheng felt a little upset. What a feeling and atmosphere! How could it be destroyed by such simple words as "You're pulling on my hair…"!
Was it the so called "dissolving into uncontrollable laughter during a performance"?
She laughed for quite a while, which made her face ﬂush. Lou Cheng could do nothing but look at her helplessly, waiting for her to calm down.
When she ﬁnally stopped laughing, she pursed lips and turned her gaze towards Lou Cheng. "I, I'm easily amused, ha ha…"
After saying this, she laughed again, feeling that the situation just now was so funny.
Lou Cheng lay back and again put her right hand on his belly, trying to warm her.
Yan Zheke used his momentum to approach him and then lay huddled up beside. Blinking her eyes, she raised a question,
"Cheng, what did you look like before, when you were in Junior middle school and elementary school?"
She suddenly felt an urge to know more about Lou Cheng.
Recalling the past, Lou Cheng smiled and said, "I was so short in elementary school, that the others kept calling me the Square Root of 2 even in Grade six. Luckily, I began growing after entering Junior middle school and crossed the barrier of 1.7m within three years. Though in Senior High I hardly grew any taller, it seemed I am again growing recently thanks to my training and exercise."
He could only make an estimation of his present height since he hadn't measured it for months.
"It must have been so easy to bully you in elementary school~" Yan Zheke smiled as if she was imagining Lou Cheng as a little boy in her mind.
Lou Cheng burst out laughing. "How could that be true? No one bullied me then!"
Smiling with her eyes and eyebrows, Yan Zheke bit her lower lip and said,
"Cheng, I'll tell you a secret." "What?" Lou Cheng immediately became interested in it.
Yan Zheke curved her lips, smiling gently.
"When I was in Grade Four in elementary school, I once beat a boy to tears…"
"Beat him to tears?" Lou Cheng asked in astonishment. It was unbelievable that his girlfriend, who was always delicate and gentle, could have done such a terrifying feat!
Smiling with beautiful dimples, Yan Zheke pouted and said,
"That boy sat behind me and always played tricks on me, like poking me in the back, knotting my hair, etc. In other words he was so annoying! I told him seriously that if he did it one more time that I would tell the teacher, but he called me a coward that could do nothing but hide behind the teacher's back. Out of anger, I told him that I wouldn't tell the teacher but directly beat him the next time!" "So he did it again?" Lou Cheng smiled.
Yan Zheke raised her head. "Of course~ Though I was still suffering my illness then, I had been learning Martial Arts from my uncle-in-law for two years and could at least use some showy but not very practical movements. My ﬁrst blow hti his abdomen and he burst out crying immediately, which shocked me as it seemed that he was badly injured…"
"And then?" Lou Cheng asked with curiosity.
He could not help but wonder if that guy actually admired Yan Zheke, since it was common to see boys playing tricks on the girls they admired as an awkward way to hide their feelings and thoughts.
"Seeing he was crying, someone went to tell our teacher about it, so it was me who was ﬁnally scolded. But I took this opportunity to change my seat, while from then on he kept away from me like a mouse." Yan Zheke smiled in embarrassment. "It made me feel proud of myself for a long time…" Lou Cheng asked with a thoughtful expression, "He also exchanged school yearbook with you when you graduated from elementary school, didn't he?"
"How do you know?" Yan Zheke opened her eyes wide in surprise.
"Such actions are so easy to see through." Lou Cheng smiled. "It's obvious."
Yan Zheke gave him a stare and continued, "He did ask me to sign his school yearbook, and I did it in a swordswoman manner, since I thought he was trying to convert the enemy into a friend. After graduation, we entered different Junior High school and thus seldom saw each other. I remembered one day when we were in Grade three, he came to confess his love for me, but I refused him without hesitation."
"Ha ha, he deserved it!" Lou Cheng expressed his joy in brief words. Yan Zheke withdrew her right arm, which was on Lou Cheng's belly, to wrap it around Lou Cheng's arm. Then she said joyfully, "I've told you one secret and it's your turn now~ Cheng, you told me you had a crush on me since Senior High…"
Recalling this, the girl couldn't help smiling. She paused to calm down and then continued, "So what about Junior High? Elementary school? Have you ever fallen in love with any girls or vice versa?"
"Nope," Lou Cheng answered without hesitation, he sighed and continued, "I was quite ignorant at that time and had been devoting myself into study. Besides, since I was thin and short, no one would take a fancy to me. Before long, the school morals had declined as a lot of girls were proud of dating bad boys related to gangs. As a result, I usually kept away from them."
"How I wish I could have a look at a thin and short Cheng~" Yan Zheke pretended to feel so sorry for him. "Do you have any old photos or albums in your home?" "Of course. They even took nude photos of me when I was having a bath at the age of three…" Lou Cheng could not help laughing.
Yan Zheke's eyes suddenly lit up. "Show me your photos when we return to Xiushan during summer break!"
"Okay, okay! Do you have any photos of your childhood?" Lou Cheng was also eager to see a cute little girl.
"Quite a lot. Dad used to take photos of me anywhere and anytime, so I have gotten dozens of albums!" Recalling the past, Yan Zheke put on a sweet smile.
Exchanging old stories and secrets, they chatted and laughed, letting their mood rise as they shared in the intimacy of the moment. When they realized it was dark outside, it was already a half past ten.
"It's time for bed…" Yan Zheke checked the time on her cell phone and announced reluctantly. Immersing himself in the wonderful feeling of being able to share anything with each other, Lou Cheng wanted to go on sharing. But he ﬁnally nodded with great self-restraint and willpower. "Just go to sleep."
At this moment, Yan Zheke bit her lower lip and turned her watery eyes to look to the ground.
"Cheng, I liked the way we shared with each other just now. I really liked it."
Repeating to emphasize her words, Yan Zheke thought it was exactly what she wanted. For her, intimate behavior was not necessary since it was already very pleasant for them to hug and talk with each other.
"I like it, too." Lou Cheng looked back at the girl, smiling.
Being afraid that the girl might reject intimate behavior from now on, he added in a subtle way. "Ke, in my mind, a couple without this is not complete…" Yan Zheke knew what he meant and soon replied with a ﬂushing face.
"Cheng, turn around. Just turn around~"
Lou Cheng turned around in confusion, and then he heard the girl's shy soft voice. "Although I told you not to think about that all the time, it doesn't mean you're forbidden from doing it…"
Her voice gradually faded away. Lou Cheng felt so pleased and turned around abruptly, only to ﬁnd that she had already turned her back towards him and buried her face in the pillow, so he could only see her red ears.
Being greatly moved, Lou Cheng only felt her warmth without any sexual desire. He switched off the bedside lamp and moved closer, holding her in his arms. Then he pulled her close, placing his chest onto her back.
Yan Zheke froze for a second but soon relaxed and even leaned back without much prompting since Lou Cheng didn't take any further action.
Smelling the girl's fragrance and feeling her warm soft body through the thin nightgown, Lou Cheng was unable to control a physiological reaction.
Yan Zheke felt this and again froze in a shy manner. Lou Cheng hurried to comfort her in a low voice.
"Don't worry about it…"
Misery would usually be accompanied with happiness.
Yan Zheke didn't struggle as she heard Lou Cheng was cooling himself down with his special breathing method. She put on a faint and shy smile while quietly thinking to herself:
"Cheng, I was too shy to tell you my feelings just now… Sometimes I also enjoy the physical contact between us, while your desire for me actually made me glad…"
Taking a deep breath, she snuggled up in Lou Cheng's arms to enjoy his warmth, and then put on a big smile.
"Cheng, good night."
Chapter 198: A Tacit Thought
At 5:20 a.m., Lou Cheng naturally woke up. It was a little earlier than his usual biological clock because he didn't sleep well all night. He was dreaming, all erotic dreams related to Yan Zheke.
Erotic dreams were ﬁne, but at the critical moment, his subconscious seemed to think this was wrong and forced him to stop whatever he was doing!
"I controlled myself in reality and also in my dreams... Can this really happen?!" Lou Cheng silently smiled. For the ﬁrst time, he realized that his will power was so powerful, that it could even affect his dreams.
Carefully thinking about it, he felt that this should be caused by his subconsciousness. With the warm and soft body in his arms, he was worried that he would have 'wet' dreams and that the dream would be reﬂected in reality. If he unconsciously touched Yan Zheke, it could result in misunderstanding and resentment. He was worried that he would have to change his underwear at midnight and leave her with a bad impression. So he had been self-controlled, even in his dreams. He tightly held Yan Zheke's waist, feeling his beloved in his arms. But he moved his lower body away, as he could not control his morning erection.
Suddenly, he found that her posture seemed not to have changed all night. She was always turned back to him, and curled up to sleep, quiet and restrained.
"She was also embarrassed in her sleep, and did not turn around?" Lou Cheng's mouth curved and smiled. Suddenly there came a little tacit understanding in his heart.
He supported his upper body so that he could see Yan Zheke's sleeping face. Her face was fair and delicate, mouth slightly pouted. Was it because of worry, joy or both?
Lou Cheng enjoyed this scene for several minutes until he saw Yan Zheke slowly reach out, wipe her mouth, and then stick her ﬁnger in her mouth like a baby.
"So cute I could explode..." Lou Cheng mind was swirling. When he ﬁnally remembered to take a photo, she had felt his searing gaze. She restlessly moved, turned her body, and slowly woke up. Her eyes innocently looked at Lou Cheng, while quietly asking, "What time is it?"
"Half past ﬁve..." Lou Cheng would not say that he had looked at her for nearly ten minutes.
Yan Zheke's eyes gradually became more alert and she said,
"You can wash ﬁrst. I want to lie for a while longer. The bed has kidnapped me."
Lou Cheng had never seen her like this before. His heart felt like bursting. He paid attention to her posture, how she stretched her arm out and buried her head.
Aware of the shadow that blocked the light, Yan Zheke's face showed a burst of faint red. She closed her eyes, lazily stretched out her hands and held Lou Cheng's neck like a child wanting a hug. Four lips connected, ﬁrst gentle, and then passionate. Her tongue came and went after Lou Cheng sucked on it.
Lou Cheng's hands were clinging to the bed, afraid of the slightest movement. Because after a night her pajamas were disheveled, revealing a lot of snow white skin. He was afraid that he would be unable to control himself if he touched her.
With no idea of how much time had passed, Lou Cheng raised his head. Seeing her charming and shy face, with wet and red lips and playful eyes, he kissed her once again.
Yan Zheke once again closed her eyes, but found her boyfriend did not go too deep but only lightly kissed the traces of their last kiss.
A warm feeling arose spontaneously from her heart. She opened her eyes. She looked at Lou Cheng, who was looking at her too. With shyness, she said, "Good morning."
"Good morning." Lou Cheng got up with great effort. He took out his martial arts suit and went into the bathroom. After changing, he came out in high spirits. Yan Zheke was sitting on the bed. Her black hair was loose, and she looked at him tenderly yet strangely.
"What's wrong?" Lou Cheng asked with bewilderment.
Yan Zheke seemed to have recovered. She tied her hair up, looking pure and innocent she shook her head.
She hurried out of bed and opened the suitcase. Holding a lot of things, she went into the bathroom and locked the door. She only showed an embarrassed smile.
She would not tell Lou Cheng that from waking to the present she felt comfortable, like an old couple!
... The morning exercise started ten minutes later than expected, so the end of the exercise was delayed. When he was visiting the early stalls with Yan Zheke, Lou Cheng found that she was lively like a deer, which she had never shown before.
"Let's eat rice dumplings! I especially want to eat this, okay? " Yan Zheke holding the arm of Lou Cheng, said helplessly.
"Alright, alright!" How could Lou Cheng refuse such a request?
Sitting down, she had a meat dumpling and a rice dumpling.
Lou Cheng doubled her food.
"I used to want to eat rice dumpling outside, but unfortunately I never had a chance." Yan Zheke smiled.
Lou Cheng was tempted. "Do you mean the rice dumpling outside No.1 middle school?" This was really something they shared due to their common high school experience.
"Right, you've eaten them?" Yan Zheke nodded in surprise.
"It's so famous, how could I not eat it? I passed by every day. I love their glutinous rice dumpling with chili sauce and a variety of spices most after that is the glutinous rice dumpling with brown sugar. When I'm tired of that, then I'll eat the meat and rice dumpling." Lou Cheng recalled his early school days.
"Well, a lot of people in our class said that this was good. I especially wanted to eat that. But everyday mum made me breakfast, and my appetite was small, so I never had a chance." Yan Zheke said pitifully.
Lou Cheng grinned and immediately replied, "In fact, fried dumplings from the cafeteria of No.1 middle school are also super delicious. The dumplings are golden yellow, while inside the meat is very tender. They're particularly fragrant." That rice dumpling store was still open. During the summer holidays, he would take advantage of his morning exercise to buy a few. He would deliver breakfast for Yan Zheke like a deliveryman!
"I have eaten this before! Once Song Li bought a bag, so I tried one, and then I couldn't stop..." Yan Zheke answered excitedly as if ﬁnding a fellow glutton.
They talked happily. They had an enjoyable and fun breakfast. Yan Zheke rarely ate at the roadside stalls, but now she happily stuffed her face.
When they returned to the hotel and stepped into the lobby, Yan Zheke suddenly paused after two steps. She turned to look to the side, with her cheeks ﬂushed.
Her eyes looking around, she said in an ordinary tone,
"Cheng, it's a waste of money to leave your room empty..." Doesn't it cost hundreds of yuan?
Confused for a while, Lou Cheng slowly realized her meaning and said with a smile, "Right!" I'll go check out right now!"
I've got a place to sleep tonight!
Seeing Lou Cheng wanting to take her to the front desk, Yan Zheke was shy and anxious. She suddenly released his hand and ran to the elevator in a ﬂash, leaving only a pout of embarrassment behind.
"You go on your own!"
Lou Cheng was planning to check out and was carrying the room card. Right now, he looked at the girl's back with a smile and went to the front desk.
"Checkout." He handed the room card out. The front desk waiter took it, swiped it, and looked carefully.
"Is it this room?"
"That's right." Lou Cheng suddenly felt a little embarrassed.
It looked like they were going to be sleeping on the same bed...
The front desk waiter had seen this a lot, so he was discreet and quietly sent people to check the room, and then completed the checkout.
He had paid for two days so Lou Cheng breathed out, feeling his face becoming a little hot.
Next, he and Yan Zheke went to the nearby ancient town and bought some special food, shopping around a variety of old shophouses. Because the traditional Chinese clothing on Yan Zheke looked amazing, Lou Cheng originally thought of taking her to try out various classic clothing from previous dynasties in the ancient town. But the quality was too shoddy. The clothes were casually put together, so she didn't like them. Ultimately they chose to give up. Yan Zheke promised Lou Cheng that after returning to Xiushan, she would put on all her traditional Chinese outﬁts for him to see.
In the afternoon, they followed Lou Cheng's plan and went to a nearby leisure villa. First ﬁshing, then a barbecue. During this time, Yan Zheke became more relaxed in front of Lou Cheng and showed her lively side.
When she found her boyfriend's Listening Skill could be used while ﬁshing, she used sneaky tricks from time to time to ensure that she would be the ﬁnal winner. Also during the barbecue, she unearthed the "little barbecue energy"!
In the end, with a ruddy face, she sat in her chair with a little sweat on her forehead, watching Lou Cheng continue to barbecue. He could properly use the heat of the furnace. She watched Lou Cheng prepare things, then he approached her, picked up a paper towel, bent over and wiped her face little by little.
For a moment, Yan Zheke felt intoxicated.
Holiday time ﬂew by. Lou Cheng felt both joy and sorrow as the evening wore on. He wanted this feeling every day and every night. If he could only holding Yan Zheke, smelling her fragrance, feeling her body, talking a variety of interesting things with her, reminiscing about the past, and thinking of the future, life would be perfect!
At half-past two in the afternoon on the 3rd, the two sat on the bullet train to return to Songcheng. Holding each other's hand, they felt a delicate connection in their hearts for the ﬁrst time.
Feeling his girlfriend snuggled next to him, Lou Cheng recalled the memories from the tour. Every detail was so worth remembering. Their deep communication had made their hearts feel even closer. If a shallow kiss becoming a deep kiss was physical progress in love, then this was a similar progress at the spiritual and emotional level.
At this moment, he came up with an idea.
"The draw for the knockout stage will be published tomorrow... And the broadcast bonus will soon be delivered..."
"At that time, I'll send a ring to Ke..."
This is a vow for a lifetime.
Yan Zheke was leaning against her boyfriend, holding a shallow smile, and her eyes ﬂowing with colors and thoughts.
"When the bonus of the broadcast is delivered, I'll take Cheng to buy rings. He sends me one, I send him one..." Her white cheek suddenly ﬂushed, because she inexplicably thought of a phrase.
In pairs, in couples.
Chapter 199: One Pot Matches One Lid
Yan Zheke after dragging her suitcase turned the doorknob of her dormitory and found that Li Liantong was already home. She was busily tapping away on the keyboard.
"Haven't Ru and Pak Choi come back yet?" She asked casually.
Li Liantong stopped typing and turned to Yan Zheke. "I heard that they got stuck at the old campus."
Many schoolmates were returning back to school at this time after the holidays, so there were not enough school buses!
"Right." Yan Zheke chuckled. "Ru might as well skip classes for one more day."
May Day Holidays this year were from Wednesday to Friday. Skipping all the classes on Monday and Tuesday, including the previous weekend meant that Zong Yanru had given herself a super long seven-day holiday. Resting her chin on one hand, Li Liantong watched Yan Zheke open her suitcase and busily unpack the luggage. "Did you and Cheng not take the school bus?" She mused.
After Li Liantong had gotten to know Lou Cheng better, she had begun to use his nickname as well.
"Yep. He used an online taxi hailing service." Yan Zheke replied with a hint of a smile.
If we had taken the school bus, it would have been at least one or two hours before returning.
But calling a cab online was expensive since the ticket for the school bus only cost four yuan. We had spent 60 or 70 yuan on the cab. What a waste of money!
And this trip had already cost Cheng a fortune. The room rate alone was more than 3,000 yuan at least. Plus other miscellaneous expenses, I'm afraid Cheng had to spend nearly 5000 yuan on this... I wonder how much money he will have left...
She had come from a well-off family and money was never a problem for her, so she had never thought about saving money. However after she had been with Lou Cheng, she had unconsciously developed a habit of being more frugal. Guess love changes people.
Otherwise, she would never have reminded her boyfriend to cancel that extra room reservation. It was too embarrassing and humiliating.
Seeing Yan Zheke lost in her thoughts, Li liantong could not help teasing her.
"Ke, you look great~"
Coming out of her reverie, Yan Zheke rolled her eyes at her roommate. "Dirty Tong, there's nothing wrong with what you just said, but you speaking it makes me feel weird." Li Liantong was gifted in making everything she said sound dirty.
Li Liantong chuckled. "You're right about me, but I do have my manners. I will not invade someone's privacy on purpose and would never ask a thing about how much intimacy you have shared with Cheng. You look great. That's how I feel when I see you."
"Bah! What were you thinking? I just had my period." Yan Zheke suddenly came to the realization and stared at Dirty Tong, shy and angry.
Li Liantong stretched her hands out, smiling.
"Nothing works when it comes to lust, not even your period. Trust me, men could do anything just to get your pants off. Like, like, like..." Even if Li Liantong failed to give an example, Yan Zheke was stunned by her words. She and Cheng were too pure and innocent to think of something nasty like that.
She had read so many romance novels in which the love described was innocent and pure!
Astonished for a moment, she rubbed her forehead and said, "Dirty Tong, your mind was much dirtier than I could have imagined."
Who would believe that Li Liantong was a girl who had never been in a relationship before?
Li Liantong gladly accepted this remark as if it was a compliment for her, but her look became more serious when she started to talk again. "Ke, seriously, I have to remind you of something."
"What?" Yan Zheke asked blankly. "If you can't turn him on when you guys were together, then you must be careful." Li Liantong answered solemnly.
Yan Zheke blushed immediately upon hearing this. "What have you been watching recently? Sounds so weird!" She pouted.
"It's just that I saw posts where some scumbags hid their sexual orientation so as to commit marital fraud." Li Liantong sighed. "Looking at your blushing face, I guess you don't have to worry about that," said she with a smile.
"Mm." Yan Zheke responded with a voice as soft as a mosquito's.
Indeed, I don't have to worry about the problem like that. Cheng's sexual desire was so strong that we almost got into a ﬁght over this.
But she was too shy to continue with this topic, so she unpacked her suitcase, took out her clothes for laundry and started to pick her outﬁt for tonight's dinner. "Date night again? Come on, you guys just came back. Don't you think you've spent too much time together?" Li Liantong knew everything about being dirty but knew nothing about keeping a relationship.
Yan Zheke smiled when picking out her outﬁt. "His roommate, the closest one, invited us for dinner."
"There are other girls?" Li Liantong walked next to Yan Zheke as she gave her some advice on what to wear.
"Yep." Yan Zheke let out a laugh.
"No wonder…" With a smile, Li Liantong looked her roommate up and down and suddenly gave out a sign. "Ke, your beautiful collarbone makes me envy you so much. I would love such delicate collarbones."
"Your hobby sounds a bit weird..." Dirty Tong had mentioned her obsession with collarbones several times and Yan Zheke felt strange every time she talked about this. Li Liantong laughed. "Strange? I don't think so. What's wrong with my obsession? I love beautiful collarbones, many people in this world are obsessed with hands, feet, legs, long hair, short hair, ﬂat chests and so on. Everyone has their own fetishes. They're all normal people."
"What's my obsession?" This problem suddenly occurred to Yan Zheke when she heard Dirty Tong's explanation.
After a careful consideration, she found that she had no preferences. If she had to pick one, then she must be obsessed with fools.
"Silly Cheng..." She unconsciously revealed a smile. Then she thought of something else.
What's Cheng's obsession?
Obsessed with little fairies? ...
After washing and drying his clothes, Lou Cheng tidied himself up and conﬁrmed the time and place with Little Ming again.
According to his plan, he set out a little earlier and waited outside dormitory 3. Before long, his girlfriend appeared with a bag in her hand.
Yan Zheke wore a white T-shirt and a pair of black knee-high culottes, revealing her straight and fair-skinned legs. Her light- colored sneakers, simple yet not dull, made her look young and beautiful. With her makeup, she looked stunningly radiant and gorgeous.
"Wow, why so formal? I mean your dress tonight." Lou Cheng asked both in astonishment and disbelief.
As he recalled, Ke had never tried so hard to look good except for their ﬁrst date. With a big smile on her face, Yan Zheke lowered her head and said, "You know, sometimes girls make an extra effort dressing themselves when their dates are girls. Dating a boyfriend is much easier."
"Eh?" Lou Cheng had a dumb look on his face.
"Never mind, you boys would not understand this." Yan Zheke held his arm with one hand, smiling. "Let's go."
Instead of using an online car hailing service, they took the school bus to the old campus as usual. There was no need to wait in line at this time of day. Once they arrived at Songcheng, they heade straight to Tao Ran Ju, a restaurant nearby.
Tao Ran Ju was elegantly decorated. Tables were set between shelves on which all kinds of books and porcelain sculptures were placed. The layout was carefully designed so that every table would have privacy, and the lighting was fairly dim, what a perfect place for dating! "The Casanova picked the best place to eat!" This compliment came from the bottom of his heart. Then Lou Cheng, hand in hand with Yan Zheke, told the waitress their table number and let her guide them to Cai Zongming and his girlfriend.
Upon seeing them, Cai Zongming stood up in big smiles and began with the introduction.
"Cheng, this is my girl, Fang Yuan."
"Yuan, this is Cheng, and that's his girlfriend, Yan Zheke."
Lou Cheng and Yan Zheke greeted the girl standing next to Cai Zongming. "Nice to meet you."
Fang Yuan who was of medium height looked fairly ordinary, as her eyes were squinted due to her high myopia.
She wore a T-shirt, an ankle-high dress, and minimal makeup. She looked at Lou Cheng, smiling. "Nice to meet you, Cheng. Ming has mentioned you so many times. I know you're a gifted martial ﬁghter who has inﬁnite strength. But I can tell that what Ming admires the most is your perseverance and determination. With you as a model, he has gotten rid of so many bad habits."
Lou Cheng was smiling at the beginning of the conversation, but soon he noticed that Fang Yuan was not the kind of girl he had imagined. She was a lot more serious. The way she talked made him feel pressured as if he was talking with the school dean.
He took a breath and joked. "I can't believe what you just said. I thought he would only insult me. How's it possible for Talker to praise me? Does he admire me? That's impossible!"
Cai Zongming interjected with a smile. "Yuan, I told you. Cheng won't buy it. That's how men get along with one another. You confessing my admiration for him just freaks him out."
Their conversation amused the girls, livening the initially awkward atmosphere among them. They continued their small talk after settling into their seats.
Then Cai Zongming winked at Lou Cheng.
Upon getting this hint, Lou Cheng looked around right away and asked, "Where is the restroom?"
"I'll show you. Ladies please check out the menu ﬁrst." Cai Zongming cheerfully stood up and headed to the corner with Lou Cheng.
When they left, the two girls who did not know each other before this fell into silence immediately. However, the well- educated Yan Zheke started the conversation again. "I heard you're studying in the department of mathematics at Capital College, right?"
"Yep." Fang Yuan looked uncomfortable.
"Did Professor Smith give a lecture last month at your college?" Yan Zheke asked with great interest. Professor Smith was a top scholar whose research ﬁeld had shifted from mathematics to ﬁnance.
"You know that lecturer?" Fang Yuan's eyes lit up instantly.
"Yes. Could you tell me a little bit more about the lecture since I'm interested in that ﬁeld?" Yan Zheke asked with great curiosity.
By now, Fang Yuan had taken her as a bosom friend and soon opened up.
Inside the restroom, Lou Cheng looked at Cai Zongming in amusement. "Isn't it inappropriate to leave them alone there?"
It's not nice!
"I know, but I'm also afraid that you're going to put your foot in your mouth before her. Yuan is an old fashioned girl. She can't take the jokes that we used to play on each other," said Cai Zongming while washing his hands.
"Old fashioned?" Lou Cheng asked in surprise.
"What's wrong? I just love her being old fashioned," said Cai Zongming crossly.
"I did not know your type…" Lou Cheng continued. "When I talk with her, you have no idea what I'm imagining. Never mind, I'll keep it to myself…"
I have no problem insulting my friends, but insulting their girlfriend is different. It's not cool.
Cai Zongming signed. "Does she remind you of our school dean?"
"Holy crap, how did you know that?" Lou Cheng looked at the Casanova in astonishment. "We used to be deskmates for years. That's how we developed our relationship. At ﬁrst, I thought she was not my type. How could I fall in love with a girl who is bossy and old fashioned? But later my obsession with her got out of control." Cai Zongming continued with an ironic smile as he recalled the old
days. "Damn it. I hate my parents' supervision. I hate old fashioned people. However, everything changed when I met her, like Monkey Sun meeting Buddha. I just like her being bossy towards me. I like her serious demeanor..."
Lou Cheng was shocked for quite a while.
"Ming, you're so not you..."
I can't imagine that he is into this type.
Does he suffer from Stockholm Syndrome?
One lid matches one pot. They're exactly like this. As they spoke, they headed back to their table only to ﬁnd their dates having a nice chat.
Cai Zongming paused for a moment and said, "Now I regret asking you to bring your girlfriend..."
Girls gossiped when they became familiar!
Lou Cheng drew in his breath as well.
"I regret it too..."
Shu Rui, who was dating her boyfriend, suddenly got a call from the director.
"Can you work overtime tonight to ﬁnish that exclusive interview of Lou Cheng? We need to play it for the draw ceremony the day after tomorrow." The director instructed.
At this moment, Su Rui felt like smashing her cell onto the ground...
Chapter 200: The Draw
"Rui, what happened?" Cheng Mingqian who was sitting opposite noticed his girlfriend's hidden anger.
"It's our director. Damn it. I suggested a while back that we should play that exclusive interview during the draw ceremony for the knockout. Yet they failed to make a ﬁnal decision after several discussions. How weak! Why wait until the very last minute? If they had told me a little earlier, I'd have ﬁnished it before the holidays, and there would have been no need for me to work overtime." Su Rui complained.
Cheng Mingqian held her hands like he always did in school, smiling. "That exclusive interview with Lou Cheng?"
"You know about it?" Shu Rui's eyes lit up, and her attention was distracted as well.
Cheng Mingqian felt proud of himself. "I'm your boyfriend. How could I not know what my girl has been doing or what you have done? I remember everything you told me." Sui Rui laughed. "Yep. It's that exclusive interview. Sigh. You're also a leader. Do all leaders change their decisions at will?"
"I'm nothing like that." Cheng Mingqian thoughtfully replied. "Rui, you don't have to work so hard. I can support you. If you're interested in your current job, then I'm ﬁne with it. But if this job requires too much work and harms your health, why not be my housewife? If director Zhao calls you again, just tell him off. Let him work overtime."
Looking at her boyfriend, Shu Rui let out a sigh. "I wish that too. However, how could I be your housewife without marrying you and meeting your parents?"
Meanwhile, I don't like just being a canary.
Speaking of this, there was an embarrassed smile on Cheng Mingqian's fair-skinned and good-looking face. "Rui, I assure you that my mom cannot object once my company is on track. By then, I'll bring you to her. Just give me one more year. You have my word." Cheng Mingqian's mom was a famous 'iron' lady in the Songcheng business circle. She was bossy enough to arrange everything for his son, including his marriage. If he had no achievements, he would not dare bring his girlfriend to his mom.
"I trust you." Shu Rui answered with a smile.
She had heard something similar like this several times, and she had given similar replies several times.
Even when you plan to hang yourself, you need to catch a breath ﬁrst. So Shu Rui let her boyfriend drop her off at the television station after they had ﬁnished their dinner.
For tonight's date, she boldly tried a bohemian style gown with a pair of high-heeled sandals. Unfortunately these sandals which were rarely worn gave her blisters on her heels. When she got into the passenger seat, she couldn't help rubbing the wound as it hurt so much. Cheng Mingqian took a glance without saying anything and drove out of the underground parking lot.
A few miles down the street, he suddenly stopped the car by the roadside.
"What's wrong?" Shu Rui turned to her boyfriend, puzzled.
"Give me ﬁve minutes." Cheng Mingqian smiled at her.
He pulled the handbrake, opened the door and headed towards the pedestrian crossing. Because something obstructed her sight, she had no idea where he was going.
Several minutes later, Cheng Mingqian came back with a bag within which was a box. He pulled out a pair of white sneakers from the box, smiling. "You'll have to do with this pair temporarily. I think I got the right size." Shu Rui was touched by his thoughtfulness as her bright eyes swept across the shoes.
"I thought you didn't notice!"
When she changed into sneakers, her grievance for working overtime was relieved by quite a bit and she was willing to chat again. After small talk, they soon arrived at the building where the television station was located.
"Call me when you have ﬁnished, I'll pick you up." Cheng Mingqian said while putting his thumb and little ﬁnger by his ear and mouth.
For now, he had to head back and report in.
Shu Rui waved goodbye to her boyfriend with a smile and then walked into the building carrying a handbag. While waiting for the elevator, she sighed out loud. Her boyfriend was perfect, much better than her ﬁrst love who was naive and immature, and also better than her second who was a male chauvinist. Otherwise she would not fall in love with him out of so many others. She also would not have given up the offer from Huahai Satellite TV. She came to
Songcheng on her own just to be with him.
However, he was not exactly completely perfect since he was a mama's boy.
Forget it, there is no perfect man in this world…" Shu Rui could only console herself. She stepped into the elevator and arrived at the second newsroom where she ran into Yang Juan who had also arrived to put together Lou Cheng's exclusive interview.
"Juan, what're you thinking of?" Shu Rui noticed Yang Juan appeared distracted.
Yang Juan was startled by her sudden question. "Rui, don't you make any sound when you walk?" She spoke with her hands folded across her chest. "You were thinking too hard." Shu Rui chuckled.
Yang Juan turned to Shu Rui, hesitated for a while and said, "Rui, can I ask you something? My friend has fallen in love with a man and she wants to make the ﬁrst move. Can you give her some advice?"
Shu Rui could not hold back her smile. "Juan, I assume that friend is you."
Yang Juan blushed upon hearing this, knowing her story was too lame.
Shu Rui stopped smiling and said earnestly. "I can't say that every man is the same, but most of them are easy to seduce. Get his contact details and chat with him every day. Don't worry about the topic. Remember to be more active, optimistic and cute. But don't overdo it. Don't talk too long, but you should let him know that you are interested in him. Trust me, it'll take you three months at most to get him. As for whether he'll be your boyfriend or just a friend with beneﬁts, it depends on how he sees the relationship." "That simple?" Yang Juan looked shocked.
Shu Rui stretched her hands out and said, "But ﬁrst you have to learn how to apply makeup and dress yourself. At least you need to make yourself look attractive, and this only works for some men, not all."
"Have you tried this before?" Yang Juan blurted out.
"Nope." Shu Rui answered with an innocent look, "I have never made the initial move. My former roommate told me this and she successfully picked up several men."
"How did they end up?" Yang Juan curiously asked.
There was a twitch in the corner of Shu Rui's mouth. "I'm embarrassed to mention her because she only enjoys ﬂirting. When the man starts to take the initiative, she'll lose her interest and drop him." "Nothing is too strange in this big world…" Yang Juan sighed with complex feelings.
Shu Rui put down her handbag and picked up a glass. There was a curve at the corner of her mouth.
"Talk to me on Wechat if you have any problems. Now let's work on Lou Cheng's exclusive interview, so we can go home earlier."
At 9 o'clock on Sunday evening, Zong Yanru came out from next door and saw Li Liantong holding a glass, watching television while sitting on the couch.
"Dirty Tong, what're you watching?" She asked curiously.
LI Liantong laughed while changing the channels. "The draw ceremony for the knockout tournament is being held tonight." "What elimination round?" Zong Yanru was lost.
"The tournament for martial arts clubs, remember?" Li Liantong added.
"Right. I'd forget it if you had not reminded me," said Zong Yanru .
"Me too. Luckily Ke reminded me at noon." Li Liantong explained. "I do not understand the rules for this competition. The group competition ﬁnished in the ﬁrst week of April and it took organizers almost one month to hold the draw ceremony. Who would remember without paying special attention?"
Zong Yanru sat next to her and seemed unbothered. "I'm sure the school will publicize it."
Although almost ten thousand spectators were coming to the auditorium, most of them went there for fun. Few would follow the news when it was no longer in the spotlight. They gradually forgot about the competition since there was other things in their life, such as studying, dating, reading novels, video gaming, online shopping and so on. Also there were always new headlines and topics every day to draw their attention. Everybody was busy after all.
"Yeah!" Li Liantong took a sip from the glass and gazed at the screen. "Don't talk anymore. The ceremony begins now."
Few events like this had been held in Songcheng University, and forum users such as Yan Xiaoling and other Lou Cheng's supporters had already had a frenzied discussion, hoping Lou Cheng's squad would not meet powerful opponents.
Lou Cheng, Yan Zheke and other members who participated in the special training gathered in the already closed arena, watching the live show from the laptop in Geezer Shi's ofﬁce.
They gradually became nervous after the ﬁrst group of draws were performed and anxiously waited for the second group.
"The second group, Songcheng University Martial Arts Club." One female guest took out the ﬁrst ball. Inside the ofﬁce, everyone seemed to hold their breath. The upcoming draw determined how much revenue they would receive from the live broadcast.
The female guests took out another ball, carefully looked at it and announced loudly,
"Songcheng University Martial Arts Club versus Donglin Squad."
"Ohh..." Lou Cheng and the other members exhaled with relief upon hearing the result.
They did not get the worst draw.
Monday Squad from Songcheng had one ﬁghter of the Seventh Pin in Dan stage and one ﬁghter of the Eighth Pin in Dan stage. They aimed to advance during knockout and went for the preliminaries in the second stage.
Meanwhile, Donglin Squad came from Donglin city, which was another economic pillar in this province. The squad built upon a local sect with a thousand-year history. They were led by ﬁghters of the high-ranked Dan Stage. So Donglin Squad was regarded as the leading representative in the Donglin martial arts circle.
"Donglin Squad has one ﬁghter of the Eighth Pin in Dan stage and three of Professional Ninth Pin. Those ﬁghters are young representatives of Wensheng School, stronger than members of the Fearless Squad." Yan Zheke explained.
She had already gone through all the proﬁles of the ﬁnal eight. After all, it did not require much work.
"We still stand a chance..." Sun Jian smiled at Lou Cheng and Lin Que. The knockout used the host-guest tournament system. The squad which got the ﬁrst ball played on the road then at home. If each squad got a victory, then scores would be added up according to the number of wins. If their number of wins was the same, then competition would be held between substitutes
after the second match so that the overall strength of the squad would be measured.
"Another Mighty one in Dan stage..." Lou Cheng grew excited but also a little nervous.
Wensheng School's position in martial arts circle was proven by its long history, so by no means can we underestimate their disciples in the Dan stage.
Yan Zheke was about to say something when she saw video clips which introduced the ﬁghters from both sides being played during the interval.
They stopped talking and focused on these ofﬁcial proﬁles. While watching, Yan Zheke suddenly turned to Lou Cheng, amazed and exhilarated. "Cheng, is that the interview you mentioned before?"
Why did they release this video after so long?