Chapter 43 Missing You
After the “little incident” on the highway where he had not encountered anyone but had lost a large patch of paint on his car, Yu Donglai grew much more solemn while driving.
His somewhat excited feelings returned to its original numb state, as it had been for many years.
Li Tianlan looked absolutely normal, but his thoughts were all over the place. Even he himself did not know what he was thinking about. Even though the weakness brought about by his injuries had slowly stabilized, it did not look good. He had barely traveled half of the journey before his eyelids fought to stay open.
Li Tianlan, who had always been very cautious and seemed to have the natural ability to guard against anyone, did not fight the sleepiness this time. He sat at the passenger seat, clutched at the safety belt and fall deeply asleep.
Yu Donglai looked at Li Tianlan, who seemed to have relaxed entirely, and smiled. He slowed down the car silently, allowing the car to travel with more stability. After a few dozen kilometers, coupled with Yu Donglai’s intentional slowing down, they traveled for almost two hours, moving and stopping with the flow of the cars.
Li Tianlai dreamt throughout the journey, his dreams a jumble, just like his thoughts. The car stopped near the Yu’s Restaurant. Li Tianlan still felt slightly disoriented after being woken up by Yu Donglai.
In the dream that seemed to have lasted a long time, appeared his grandfather and the border soldiers he had seen as a child who were buried in their graves. He also dreamt about Qin Weibai, Ning Qiancheng, Li Baitian, and Wang Yuetong. These people appeared in his dreams in a logical manner and it had seemed right. However, when he woke up, Li Tianlan felt disoriented and that his thoughts were jumbled. He felt a slight headache and his breath stifled.
Li Tianlan left the car, taking with him his blood-splattered camouflage clothing and wearing only a combat singlet. He shivered the moment he left the car.
Li Tianlan sniffled and laughed at himself. It looked like he had a fever.
The aftereffect of forcefully raising his realm had started. The fever was just the first stage and was an unimportant matter. He had forcefully raised his realm twice-fold. The strength of the Fire-flaming Realm had already disappeared. When his muscles relaxed and returned to their normal state, that pain would be truly crucifying.
Li Tianlan touched his muscles and suddenly said, “Senior Yu, is there a place to stay here? I’ll stay here tonight.”
Yu Donglai replied blandly, “I’ll ask Qingyan to clean up. You can stay as long as you like.”
“One night would be enough.”
Li Tianlan answered softly. He estimated that his muscles would only completely relax in the evening. His condition should improve after one night.
Li Tianlan had never experienced the supposed state of “death is better than living”, and did not know if he could endure it. Even if he could, he guessed that he would not be able to drink with Li Baitian and Ning Chengqian tonight. He might as well stay at Yu Donglai’s place and go to Qin Weibai’s tomorrow to retrieve the information after he recovered tomorrow before meeting up with the two.
“One night then.”
Yu Donglai entered the alley and pushed open the door, and walked through it. He said, “Our meal is about ready. Your injuries are quite serious, so rest for a while after eating. I’m going for a walk in the Garden Party.”
Li Tianlan’s step paused.
Yu Donglai seemed to know what he wanted to ask, and he said without hesitating, “We have to know who the attacker is. Furthermore, didn’t you not want to owe that girl Yuetong anything? I’ll bring some reward back, and you can return what you owe her. But about the life debt, she’d be the one to owe you. That’s not too great either. Today, I shall let the both of you truly not owe each other anything.”
Li Tianlan fell silent and then answered indifferently, “That’s good too.”
Yu Donglai, whose back was facing Li Tianlan, smiled slightly. His smile looked odd. Wang Yuetong was such a beautiful girl. The boy was truly heartless.
Yu Qingyan, who was preparing their meal in the kitchen, saw Li Tianlan walking into the yard and felt slightly happy. She smiled coyly and ran out, calling out, “Brother Li”. Her gaze was innocent and was filled with gratitude.
Winning second place in the entrance maneuver and receiving a reward of 50 credits was a complete surprise to her.
Yu Qingyan’s strength was not weak. She had entered the Ice-condensing Realm at her age, and would almost definitely be an expert at the Fire-flaming Realm before she was 25. Barring any accidents, it would not be an issue for her to enter the Thunder-shocking Realm during her peak. However, everything she had learned was for killing people and she could not use it during the entrance maneuver.
As such, being able to get second place in the entrance maneuver was like a gift falling from the sky to Yu Qingyan. In the original plan, she would have been very satisfied if she managed to place in the top 50.
Yu Donglai was known as the Poison Physician, and as such his unique skill had something to do with poison. Yu Qingyan had accepted the impartation of his skills. However, these skills were not very useful outside of killing someone.
If there was not a rule that one could not kill during the entrance maneuver and if Yu Qingyan was vicious enough, those Ice-condensing Realm experts would all have fallen in a moment. Even experts in the Fire-flaming Realm had to be careful.
Li Tianlan smiled and nodded, looking at Yu Qingyan’s innocent gaze. He sighed softly. Yu Qingyan was talented and skilled, but if she wanted to change her character, it was not something that could be done overnight. There was plenty to worry about in the future.
“Qingyan, how’s the food going? This boy suffered some injuries. Take out that ice bead I kept in the cellar and stew it. Add another soup to lunch.”
Yu Donglai smiled and said. Then, he turned to Li Tianlan and explained, “This little girl has inherited all my cooking skills and is even better than me. This private home cuisine center of mine is not big, but there are plenty of reservations. There were several times we had important guests and the little girl was the one who did the cooking. Give it a taste, I’m certain you’ll be satisfied.”
Li Tianlan made a sound of agreement. He looked at Yu Qingyan’s slender back. She had turned away and jogged to the cellar. He said bluntly while smiling, “Senior Yu, you’ve placed the precious ice bead in your cellar? Can it still be eaten?”
The ice bead was an extremely precious plant. It liked the cold and was shaped like a lotus. It grew year around in the snow and was an item that would provide great nourishment. Making soup with it was just one of its uses. Li Tianlan had once read on a book at the border campsite about the records of the ice bead. If consumed with other plans, the medical properties of the ice bead would be like the legendary Gold Core. It was the best halidom for healing.
“Relax, I’ve done something to the cellar. When you’re healed, I’ll take you down there and you’ll see.”
Yu Donglai smiled and led Li Tianlan into the dining hall in the courtyard. He brought out a vat of wine from the corner and then went to the kitchen, bringing out two side dishes.
“Let’s drink, and then eat when we’re about done.”
He sat across Li Tianlan and smiled. He opened the wine vat and poured the wine into the ceramic bowl in front of Li Tianlan.
He used a bowl instead of a cup, showing how he intended to be bold and generous today. Even though Li Tianlan was injured, he did not want to be a wet towel. He lifted the bowl and took a sip. The wine was fragrant and was a quality wine.
Then, he paused.
The wine entered his stomach. He did not feel a burning sensation. Instead, there was an extremely thick herbal scent. The wine flowed down his throat, and Li Tianlan, who had originally felt weak and tired, felt his body warming up. He felt an inexplicable sense of comfort.
“How is it?”
Lu Donglai picked up a mouthful of food and said softly, “This wine is more than 20 years old. Your father had just entered the Invincible Realm and the international situation was chaotic. Your grandfather, father and a few of us old brothers all liked to drink. That’s how we have this amazing brew today. You can drink wine and also be healed. I brewed this wine. With the status of the Li family back then, they could offer any kind of resources. I added more than 10 precious medicinal herbs in each of those vats. Using the saying of the Dark World, this is medicinal.
“For example, the ice bead is only one type. And it is also not very expensive. Because Third sister is female, and women liked to look pretty, I also added several iced lotus seeds. In the end, nobody could tell which vat of wine was for what. They could heal, perk you up and can even goddamn beautify you. Why would you care so much? Just drink it.
“Back then, I brewed 50 vats, but we drank almost all of them within a month. Healing? Heal my foot. We didn’t even wait for that time to come. I was petty then and hid two vats. I had wanted to find a chance to take them out to give my brothers a surprise, but who would have thought that there wouldn’t be a chance to anymore.
“After His Highness left for the borders, I became a chef in Hidden Dragon Sea. Back then, there were many senior officials who eyed these two vats of wine. Even Wang Tianzong wanted them. I could not bear to give them any. This was a piece of friendship; how could I just give it to anyone? And who deserved such wine?
“I came to Huating a few years ago and opened this little restaurant. Then, Little Bai came on her own accord shortly after. I was really happy that day and opened a vat. This one today is the last one. It is usually hidden in the cellar. I knew that you were coming today and brought it out to sit earlier. I guess the flavor would be just nice.”
Li Tianlan was silent as he took another sip. The wine was fragrant and thick. It was slightly cooling as it seeped into his heart and lungs. The thick medicinal scent flowed up and then down, enthralling his taste buds.
Li Tianlan nodded slightly and said softly.
“Eh, Sister Yuetong? Didn’t grandpa say you weren’t coming?”
Yu Qingyan’s sweet voice suddenly rang inside the courtyard.
Li Tianlan’s brows raised subconsciously. He did not do anything.
Yu Donglai however, turned around to look. Wang Yuetong stood inside the small yard biting her lips, looking somewhat hesitant.
She looked troubled and worried, looking extremely beautiful. It made those who saw her feel pity for her.
Yu Donglai suddenly smiled and said softly, “I already said that you were popular with women. Look, isn’t the little princess here to look for you?”
Li Tianlan sipped his wine, not saying anything.
“Don’t be so bothered by it. It’s not difficult to understand why the little girl likes you.
“I heard Qingyan saying that your performance at the entrance maneuver was indeed eye-catching. You performed the Wind and Thunder Veins and crossed the border to kill your enemies. No matter how high Wang Yuetong’s status is, she is still a girl who still has thoughts about romance. Even if she didn’t fall in love at first sight at her peer’s extraordinary performance, there’s nothing weird about her admiring you and wanting to get close to you.
“Furthermore, you were a hero today who had saved her, how can you stop her from being moved? Wang Yuetong will have to get married one day, and how many people can match her status in the entire Zhongzhou State? Even if there is someone, with her father’s pride, he might not like them either. But you are different, as long as you join the Wang family of Beihai, you will become an expert in the Invincible Realm in the future. You will be well matched with Wang Yuetong. Otherwise, no matter how much Wang Tianzong dotes on his daughter now, he’d still have to arrange her marriage for her when it is time for her to marry.
“In such a situation, if Wang Yuetong can find someone she truly admires with limitless potential, she would not reject it. Now that she has set her sights on you, it’d be a natural progression.
“However, if things are just simply like this, then that’s not an issue either. Even though you’ve saved her once, she might not be in a rush to gift herself to you. At the most, she might just be interested and try to get close to you. But you lad, you saved her just now and wanted to make things clear with the Wang family of Beihai immediately. It’s true that you really want to do that, but, how is this method different from playing cat and mouse? This is such an intelligent idea but you’ve messed up an otherwise perfect plan. Even powerful women who have weathered storms would have been enthralled by you, much less Wang Yuetong. Look, didn’t she come to find you right after you arrived? I suppose that the girl might have even fought with Wang Xiaoyao regarding this matter.”
The corner of Li Tianlan’s lips twitched. He suddenly felt that the good wine before him was tasteless. He lifted the bowl and then put it down, smiling bitterly. He said, “I have not enthralled her.”
“It doesn’t matter what you think in these sorts of things. The fact is like so, and it’s useless for you to say anything else.”
Yu Donglai smiled sweetly, looking as if he was laughing at Li Tianlan’s misfortune.
Li Tianlan looked dazed, his thoughts wandering.
In the yard, Wang Yuetong, who had spoken with Yu Qingyan for a while, finally mustered up her courage. She walked into the restaurant step by step. The sound of her high heels clicking against the floor grew closer and closer.
She finally entered.
The little princess of the Wang family of Beihai had changed into new clothes. She stood quietly at the entrance, mouth pursed, looking a little troubled and uneasy. She looked at Li Tianlan, her gaze burning.
Li Tianlan felt overwhelmed, and he turned away intentionally, not looking at her.
Wang Yuetong hesitated again and then, she finally walked up to Li Tianlan, step by step. The girl’s natural fragrance drifted over slowly. Wang Yuetong’s somewhat troubled tones rang beside Li Tianlan in her soft voice.
“Senior Brother, how…how are your injuries?”
Li Tianlan felt many conflicting emotions. He had wanted to say something, but upon thinking of the possible complications it might bring in the future, he gritted his teeth and steeled himself. His expression was cold and he did not say anything.
Wang Yuetong waited for a while but did not receive a reply. She bit her rosy red lips hardly and tears seemed to be swirling in her eyes. She said, “Why are you treating me like this? Have I made you angry?”
Li Tianlan drank all the wine in the bowl and kept silent.
Yu Donglai could not bear to see such a beautiful girl looking so troubled. He coughed and wanted to help to lighten the situation.
The sound of high heels clicking on the floor sounded again from outside the door.
Everyone looked up at the same time.
Yu Donglai’s expression was odd.
Wang Yuetong’s tiny mouth opened slightly, seeming to be a little shocked.
Li Tianlan, however, stood up immediately with a look of surprise and delight on his face. He had forgotten himself.
An ethereal woman who possessed an indescribable beauty walked into the yard indifferently.
She wore a black women’s suit, a white blouse, pants and high heels.
Her beautiful black hair cascaded down her shoulders casually. She looked forward, her face devoid of any makeup and neither did she wear any accessories. Yet, she looked as beautiful as a painting.
She was extremely attractive.
Her steps were a little hurried. She stepped over the flowers in the yard, bathed in the sunlight outside, and entered the restaurant.
Her beauty could cause countries and cities to fall, and her beauty was incomparable.
Li Tianlan stared at her dazedly; he was dumbfounded.
Wang Yuetong bit her lips, feeling even more upset.
She even felt as if she were an ugly duckling standing before a white swan. This was the first time she felt ashamed of herself.
She might not lose by much, in terms of appearance, to the woman who had suddenly appeared. However, the other girl possessed an elegant and silent grace and gentleness, which was something a girl of Wang Yuetong’s age would not be able to have.
Such beauty was sufficient for any man to fall in love with her immediately.
Wang Yuetong recognized the woman.
She was the woman who Second Uncle thought about all the time but had failed to woo.
In the past, Wang Yuetong had only admired her unparalleled grace. But at this moment, she had unexpectedly felt a little jealous.
Qin Weibai entered the restaurant. She did not look anywhere else, but walked straight towards Li Tianlan, her eyes shining brilliantly.
Wang Yuetong, who stood the closest to Li Tianlan, took a step back subconsciously. Then, she suddenly reacted and felt angry like a cat whose tail had been trodden on. Her face grew red.
Li Tianlan finally regained his wits and stuttered. He looked at the beautiful woman in front of him, not knowing what to say at all. He raised his hand and scratched his head subconsciously and laughed dazedly.
Qin Weibai’s gaze was so gentle that it was intoxicating. She held Li Tianlan’s palms, making him cup her face. She said softly, “I miss you, so I came to give you a surprise. I’m glad you’re happy.”