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“Fang Shui’er left?” Yung Yiyuan made himself comfortable on the cane chair as he sipped his hot tea while Ying Mei gave him a shoulder massage from the back. Mr. Xie had invited him to the inner hall to have a private conversation.
“She’s gone. I don’t know why she would ever think about siding with Li Yiming.” Mr. Xie, who was still playing with his ring, occasionally glanced at Ying Mei.
“She’s doing it for the Seal, no doubt.” Yun Yiyuan closed his eyes as he enjoyed the sweet aroma of the fine red tea.
“Well, to each their own goals… Do you think Li Yiming came up with this spell?”
“Do not underestimate him. Why do you think he has such a bounty on his head?”
“The Seal of Spirit and Heart… That’s a hard one to handle. I’ve had three people record the exact same performance and upload it on the internet, but…” Mr. Xie said.
“Futile, wasn’t it…” Ying Mei smiled.
“Yes. Nothing. The same song, and yet…”
“I’ve recorded one version myself, and nothing.” Ying Mei pursed her lips.
“That young girl then…”
“She’s not one of us. I’ve tried it earlier, she didn’t even react to my attack, not her body nor her mind. She would have been dead if I intended it,” Ying Mei said coldly.
“That’s a mystery then. How did Li Yiming…” Mr. Xie could only think of Li Yiming as the man behind it all; somehow he had produced a song that enthralled the entire world through Shao Xian’s performance.
“What do you plan on doing in three days? Competition for his head is going to be fierce...” Mr. Xie glanced at Yun Yiyuan.
“I’m not interested,” Yun Yiyuan answered.
“You’re not planning on intervening?”
“The reward is hers.” Yun Yiyuan said as he picked up his teacup with his left hand and began stroking Ying Mei’s hand with his right one.
Ying Mei’s arm went stiff briefly before she wrapped her arms gently around Yun Yiyuan and kissed him lovingly.
“I should congratulate Ms. Ying on becoming a sage then.” Mr. Xie grinned.
“It’s a little early for that.” Ying Mei looked back at Mr. Xie coldly.
“Speaking of which, I haven’t received the information about the Boundary that appeared yesterday.” Mr. Xie changed the topic of the conversation.
“That was either Li Huaibei or Wang Liping. Both of them are here, I know for a fact.” Yun Yiyuan put down his cup and stared at the setting sun outside.
“Aren’t they Li Yiming’s allies? Why would they choose to attack Liu Meng?”
“Something’s wrong with Liu Meng.”
“You mean that Li Yiming’s teammates have betrayed him?”
“I’ll let you figure that out. Thank you for the tea. Let’s look forward to the show in three days.” Yun Yiyuan stood up and walked to the exit with Ying Mei in his arms. She glanced at Mr. Xie one last time before leaving.
“Forgive me for not seeing you off. My fragile health doesn’t allow it.” Mr. Xie kept his smile and saluted.
“Mr. Xie.” The young tailor entered Mr. Xie’s study after Yun Yiyuan’s departure.
“Are they gone?”
“Yes. They’ve returned to their hotel room.”
“Ying Mei is a capable one.” Mr. Xie put down his jade ring and poured himself a cup of tea. Before sipping it, he took the time to take a deep breath and appreciated its pleasing aroma.
“Yun Yiyuan has not committed himself.” The young tailor quickly refilled the cup of his master.
“He wouldn’t do so easily. You’ll never meet a sage who’s a fool,” Mr. Xie sighed.
“You mean he’s only using Ying Mei to his advantage?”
“They’re using each other.”
“Yun Yiyuan seems to be unaware of Wu Yun’s presence,” The tailor remarked as he put away Yun Yiyuan’s cup and began cleaning the table.
“And you believe the facade he’s put up?” Mr. Xie’s smile faded away as he remembered Yun Yiyuan’s scornful smile.
“What would be his reason for coming here?”
“To get something out of this fiasco, I presume. He would have killed Li Yiming if it weren’t for this seal, but he seems to be far more ambitious. Those who sit at the top see more than the rest of us.” Mr. Xie said.
“What should we do then?” The young tailor wiped his sweat as he could feel the mounting pressure in the room.
“He’ll have what he wants, I just want Li Yiming.”
* * *
On the stairs of the shopping mall, two people fell out of a gaping hole torn in space as a flash of light followed.
“This was my favorite pair of pants. I’ve only worn it once.” Sai Gao complained as he sought the support of the wall. He put away the black turtle shell he held, and the space ripples gradually dissipated.
“That shell is almost like a Boundary!” Li Yiming was sitting on the floor, panting heavily as he looked at Sai Gao.
“I’m just saying, if this is the extent of your strength, we’ll be dead in three days.” Sai Gao took a deep breath and seemed distraught at the sight of his damaged clothing.
“I just need more practice. Can we continue fighting tonight? I think I’m onto something.” Li Yiming laughed.
“Who do you think I am? Your personal trainer?” Sai Gao put a dark pink jacket on himself and walked out of the hallway while grumbling about the holes on his shirt.
Li Yiming slowly crawled up and decided to throw his battered jacket in a garbage bin nearby. He then looked at his pants, which resembled strips of fabric attached to his waist, and decided that he needed to get some new garments. He walked into a department store in a good mood, satisfied with the significant improvement that he had made with his new talent.
“Sir… ” The employee standing at the entrance had a strange look as she watched Li Yiming enter the store, ready to call security. He had a dumb smile on his face and he looked worse off than a person who had been homeless for an extended period of time.
“I don’t need a membership to go in, do I?” Li Yiming joked to the employee.
“What?” The employee did not get the joke, and she backed away as soon as Li Yiming approached.
“I look scary...” Li Yiming saw his own reflection on the glass doors. He ripped off his shirt and wiped away the dirt on his face.
“What are you doing?” The employee screamed while sneaking a peek at Li Yiming’s fit body.
“I’m buying clothes, of course. As you can see, I’m not doing too well right now.”
“Buying clothes?” The employee looked at Li Yiming’s muscle lines, and then at his smile, and could not bring herself to tell him off harshly.
“Yes. Could you find something for me so I don’t scare off other customers?” Li Yiming smiled.
“Oh.” The employee took a jacket from one of the hangers and gave it to Li Yiming after verifying its size.
“What are you doing? Are you crazy?” An angry voice came from behind as a man who looked like the manager arrived.
“Don’t you know to call security when there’s someone like that? What if he stains the merchandise? Are you going to pay for him?” The manager sputtered as he lectured the young employee, who lowered her head apologetically and regretted being blinded by Li Yiming’s charm.
Li Yiming smiled, amused by the treatment he received.
“What are you doing? Leave before I call security!” The manager stood up to Li Yiming, despite his obvious lack of physical strength compared to him.
“You’re Deng Xin’ai, right?” Li Yiming did not mind the manager and instead read out the young employee’s nameplate. She quickly took a step back to avoid being further entangled in the matter.Previous Chapter Next Chapter