Chapter 29 Zouhuo Rumo
The intensity behind Li Yundong's stare knocked the wind out of Liu Chuan. Liu Chuan's heart clenched and, all of a sudden, he felt a stifling sensation inside his chest. It was like he was looking into the eyes of the Devil, eyes which held the promise of death and eternal suffering. Liu Chuan quickly looked away from Li Yundong. He had to, or else he would wet himself and ruin his Armani pants.
Liu Chuan clenched his jaw and pulled out his wallet again. This time though, he took out all the cash from the wallet, then waved it at the guy sitting behind Zhou Qin.
"Dude! I'm buying your seat! You gonna take the deal or what?"
The guy glanced at the colorful stack of cash being dangled in front of his face. He did a quick calculation and realized that the cash was worth at least a few thousand yuan. All he had to do was get his ass off this stupid seat and... cha-ching! Hah! This was a no-brainer. He stood up and ripped the money from Liu Chuan's hand, then gave Liu Chuan a fawning look.
"Boss!" said the guy. "Can I call you boss? Scratch that, I think I will, since I'm going to be your follower from now on!"
The guy might as well be having dollar signs for eyes at this point.
Liu Chuan waved the guy off as though he was an annoying insect. Once the guy left, Liu Chuan made a great show of taking a seat, with haughtiness and smugness leaking out of him in spades as the glanced around a few times: Look how great I am! There's nothing I can't buy!
Blinded by his own narcissism and self-conceit, Liu Chuan failed to notice the looks of scorn and contempt that Ding Nan and Zhou Qin were giving him.
What a disappointment! Ding Nan thought. Can't believe I used to see him as a good choice for a dating partner. Well, he is rich. And he's got a sunny personality too. But I was so wrong about him being cultured and civilized that I must have been blind! He's nothing but a barbarian! Not only that, he's stupid as well. Tsk, tsk. But... that Li Yundong...... He's usually so low-key. Maybe there's more to him than meets the eye...
Ding Nan nudged Zhou Qin with her elbow. "Say, Liu Chuan is pretty good at throwing his money around, isn't he? So. Did he earn more brownie points from you? Or is it the other way around?"
Zhou Qin gave Ding Nan a cryptic smile. Her eyes, however, were so penetrating that it was as though she had seen through Ding Nan's thoughts.
"Why are you looking at me like that?" Ding Nan asked, smiling sheepishly.
"It's nothing," Zhou Qin said, turning away. "Class is starting now. The professor's here."
Liu Chuan leaned forward in his seat until his head was hovering between Ding Nan and Zhou Qin's shoulders. He turned to Zhou Qin and smiled fawningly. "Qinqin, I'm throwing a party at my house the day after tomorrow," he said. "Why don't you and Nannan join us?"
Zhou Qin turned around in her seat and said, "I'm sorry, I don’t think we know each other that well."
The rejection Liu Chuan saw in Zhou Qin's eyes and body language hit him like a truck. It was as though Zhou Qin had put about a thousand miles of distance between them with just a single glance. Blood gushed out from his wounded ego into his cheeks, turning his face purple in an instant. He released an awkward laugh, then cleared his throat to regain his composure.
"Come on, Qinqin..." he said. "How can you say that? Like it or not, we're still childhood friends!"
If Zhou Qin's eyes looked like pools of cold water before, then they looked like ice now, as though they had been glazed in verglas. She gave Ding Nan a sidelong glance. Ding Nan took that as her cue to start doing her viper thing.
"Can't you tell that Zhou Qin is rejecting you, Young Master Liu? I suggest you bow out gracefully before the harsh words come out, pal. Coz there's no guarantee that you'll walk away with your dignity intact when that happens." Ding Nan sighed wistfully, though her eyes were filled with condescension. "You know, people should really have more self-respect and take the hint when it's clear that the other party isn't interested. Otherwise, they'll just become a nuisance!"
Li Yundong shook his head slightly. Ding Nan is gorgeous, I'll give her that. But that mouth of hers is going to get her into trouble one of these days. F*ck. What is that tongue made of anyway? Snake venom? Then again... Gotta admit it feels pretty damn good to see her tear that dipsh*t apart!
Liu Chuan balled his fists in anger. The only thing preventing him from passing out due to mortification was the pressure in his palms where his nails were digging into. He glanced up and saw Ding Nan staring back at him condescendingly. Zhou Qin had already turned to the front while Ding Nan was still throwing insults at him just now. The only view he had of Zhou Qin now was the back of her head, which might as well be an ice block considering how cold it seemed. Still, he refused to accept the rejection, and he knew that Ding Nan was the only person who could convince Zhou Qin to come to his party.
"What about you, Nannan?" Liu Chuan asked hopefully. "Will you show up?"
Ding Nan smiled at him. "Why should I go if Zhou Qin isn't going?"
The corner of Liu Chuan's eyes twitched. Time to bring out the big guns... He smiled patiently.
"There'll be a lot of celebrities there," Liu Chuan said. "I've invited Jiang Liren, Shen Yu, Cheng Weidong, and another rockstar, Dong Fangyou. It's too bad if you can't come. You'll miss out on a lot of fun."
Dammit, dammit, dammit! They're all top celebs! Ding Nan thought, biting her bottom lip. Ding Nan turned around and looked at Liu Chuan in surprise.
"Not bad," Ding Nan said, impressed. "They're all first-rate celebrities."
Ding Nan turned back and leaned in closer to Zhou Qin.
"Are you going?" she whispered.
Zhou Qin's lips moved gracefully, but the one word that fell past them was like a hammer blow: "No."
Ding Nan turned around and gave Liu Chuan a helpless shrug. "Well, guess it can't be helped then. Have fun with those celebrities."
Liu Chuan scowled, then glared at Zhou Qin and Ding Nan's backs. F*cking slut! F*ck you and your holier-than-thou bullshit! One of these days I'm gonna strip you naked. Let's see how holy you are then!"
All of a sudden, Liu Chuan felt as though he was being watched. He turned and saw Su Chan watching him with curious eyes.
Liu Chuan took in Su Chan's face greedily. Wow. So beautiful... How come I've never seen her before?
Su Chan spoke before Liu Chuan could put on his best I'm-gonna-get-you-to-spread-your-legs-for-me smile.
"Your Yintang is dark and your eyes are sunken," Su Chan said, then squinted at him. "Your Renzhong lacks depth and width... You must have a lot of lustful thoughts about women?" (T/N: Yintang is an acupoint between the eyebrows; Renzhong lies between the bottom of the nose and the upper lip)
Liu Chuan's face fell, his whole body trembling with anger. The sound of muffled laughter from the other students only stoked the flames of his ire.
Li Yundong tried everything in his power to keep a straight face when he pulled Su Chan closer to him. "Don't talk," he said. "Just go to sleep if you're bored."
Anger raged inside Liu Chuan's eyes as he glared daggers at Li Yundong's back. How dare you act like an arrogant punk when you're just a nobody! I'm gonna f*ck you up one of these days!
All of a sudden, an idea struck Liu Chuan. An evil grin formed on his lips as he snickered and leaned back in his seat. He didn't try to flirt with anyone after that.
This was a Social Psychology lecture. Although the professor was doing a good job presenting the minutiae of social influence and group dynamics, it all sounded like gobbledygook to Su Chan, who fell asleep ten minutes after the lecture began.
Zhou Qin stood up during the middle of the lecture to go to the bathroom.
Su Chan stirred slightly and twisted her body aside to make room for Zhou Qin to pass. After that, she curled herself up in her seat and went back to sleep.
Bored out of his wits, Li Yundong turned to check on Su Chan.
He chuckled at what he saw. Look at her... so adorable, Li Yundong thought when he noticed the subtle twitch of Su Chan's ears as she slumbered. All of a sudden, he felt an impulse to try out the Qi-control techniques that Su Chan had taught him earlier, so he closed his eyes and began mobilizing his Qi.
Little did he know that mobilizing his Qi in his present state was dangerous if unsupervised. It was okay earlier because Su Chan was there to keep his Qi flowing in the right path when he slipped up. But now...
If someone jostled him and made him lose focus, his Qi would go rampant, which would lead to a disaster!
Li Yundong's Qi was moving past his Danzhong when Zhou Qin returned from the bathroom. (T/N: Danzhong is an acupoint located at the midpoint between the nipples)
"Li Yundong, please excuse me," Zhou Qin whispered, wanting to move past him to return to her own seat.
Li Yundong was going through Xiao Zhoutian at that moment, so he couldn’t hear Zhou Qin's voice.
Zhou Qin frowned when Li Yundong didn't react to her request. She didn't want to force her way past Li Yundong, so she patted his shoulder gently.
That was a mistake.
A huge mistake.
All of a sudden, Li Yundong's body started convulsing. Inside his chest, at his Danzhong, his Qi strayed from Xiao Zhoutian's path, spreading to other meridians and acupoints like a group of galloping horses charging wildly after hearing a gunshot.
This was a physical state highly feared by all Cultivators — Zouhuo Rumo!
At best, the afflicted would end up paralyzed or losing their mind, and at worst, death.
Li Yundong's body kept twitching and convulsing as his Qi wreaked havoc inside his body, careening through his meridians at random. Inside his body, his meridians swelled and expanded as though they would explode at any moment. Li Yundong had become, quite literally, a human bomb.
Zhou Qin could already sense that something was amiss. Worried, she took a step closer to Li Yundong.
"Are you okay?" she said, shaking Li Yundong's shoulder gently.
Again, big mistake.
Li Yundong's head snapped up at the same time his eyes shot open. His eyes were bloodshot. No. they weren't just bloodshot; they were bleeding. It was as though the blood vessels in his eyes had burst, causing patches of crimson to leak into the white of his eye. Those eyes didn't even look human; they looked like they were the eyes of a demon.
Zhou Qin went weak in the knees and fell, butt-first, into the floor right in front of Li Yundong.
"H-h-hurry! G-g-get away..." Li Yundong's voice came out strained as though he was being strangled. Although his body was in the Zouhuo Rumo state, he was still conscious enough to try to regain control of his Qi.
Instead of moving away like Li Yundong had asked, Zhou Qin just sat on the floor while staring at him. She was too stunned to move.
Li Yundong released a groan of agony.
"G-get out of my way! Now!"
Zhou Qin snapped out of it and scrambled away.
Li Yundong shot up from his seat. Water... water... water... I need water, he thought. He had to find some water to douse himself with, because he literally felt like he was a human torch right now.
Liu Chuan, however, saw the whole situation as his opportunity to become Zhou Qin's knight in shining armor. He stood up and smacked Li Yundong's head, hard.
"F*ck you! Why are you raising your voice to a beautiful woman like that?"
Unfortunately, Liu Chuan's hand had struck Li Yundong's Baihui earlier, and it was as though Liu Chuan had slapped a "Qi magnet" onto Li Yundong's Baihui — all the Qi inside Li Yundong's body was drawn to his brain in an instant!
Li Yundong's control snapped. A loud, bestial roar shook the entire lecture hall. Li Yundong's face turned purple with veins bulging in his forehead as though they could burst at any second.
Then there was the blood, which was flowing out of his eyes, nose, ears, and mouth.
When a person enters the Zouhuo Rumo state, what follows is a three-stage process. The beginning of the Zouhuo Rumo state is marked by a complete disruption of the afflicted's Qi flow. Following that, the afflicted would start bleeding from all seven openings of their head. Then comes the final and most devastating stage — all Qi in the afflicted's body moves towards their Gaohuang, destroying it. When that happens, the afflicted would be beyond saving. Not even a Da Luo Jinxian could save them. (T/N: Gaohuang are two acupoints located on the edge of the shoulder blades; Da Luo Jinxian is a Shenxian who lives in the Great Overarching Heaven; there are 36 heavens in Taoism)
Startled by Li Yundong terrifying appearance, Liu Chuan took a step backwards. However, a moment later, he decided not to back down. What, it's not like he's gonna try to kill me or anything...
Liu Chuan puffed out his chest.
"Ooh... What's the matter, tough guy?” Liu Chuan taunted “Wanna fight? Hah! Why don't you come over here and try it then! Let's see if you have the balls!"
The menace in Li Yundong's eyes intensified, culminating in bloodlust. He was going to kill the first person who was foolish enough to piss him off without regard to the consequences of his actions.
The lecture hall had long since plunged into silence with all students and the professor watching Li Yundong in horror.
The chalk fell from the professor's hand.
Li Yundong pounced, grabbing Liu Chuan by the throat in a single-handed choke hold, lifting him into the air. Liu Chuan gasped for air, his feet kicking out desperately.
Li Yundong moved as though there were springs attached to his soles, leaping past three rows of seats and —
Liu Chuan's back smashed into the wall so hard that the lecture hall actually shook a little. Seconds passed as Li Yundong pressed Liu Chuan against the wall while the latter gasped for air. Li Yundong cocked his fist back, then released an evil laugh. He let his fist fly towards Liu Chuan's head.