With a husky yelp from the man, the woman also stopped her motion. Sweat trickled down her silky skin, dropping onto his chest.
"Hong Hong, you little succubus. You're sucking my bones dry."
The man had a sallow face and puffy eyes. He was panting heavily.
"You were the one wanting it every time. Don't blame me."
Du Hong 1 got off the man and carefully cleaned him with gentle hands. Her rosy, fair body sat at an angle on the bed, reminding one of a ripe, juicy peach.
"I just can't get enough of you. Oh my, I really should not come here this often. It's killing me."
The man struggled to sit up after a long rest, sighing while getting dressed.
"Why, I was going to make you some stewed soup tonight. Since you're on a 'diet', I guess I'll just have it all for myself." Pouting, Du Hong feigned an angry face. Despite her thirty years of age, the expression did not look off on her at all. Instead, it strangely worked well with her features.
"Tsk, tsk. I was just kidding. I'd drink it all even if you made slops for me."
The man buttoned his shirt and held her between his arms. "Seriously, I may be very busy lately and won't be able to come as often. Go check the shop if you feel boring. You're the boss, after all."
"Gosh, I'm so not the businesswoman type. Xiao Wu is watching out for me over there and my mind is at ease."
"At ease or not, you've got to check the accounts, the bills, and other things."
"Okay, okay! I'll do as you say!"
The cloying prattle seemed neverending when Du Hong gave the alarm clock on the table a glimpse and chuckled. "Hey, don't you have a meeting this morning? Don't be late."
"Oh, right. I almost forgot."
The man rose to his feet right away and went to the living room first to fetch a jar of medicinal liquor. He poured himself a little cup, downed it, then moved on hurriedly to wash his face and brush his teeth.
The liquor was concocted from a secret recipe that nourished the kidneys. The ingredients contained a dozen materials including golden eye-grass, honeycomb, desert-broomrape, du zhong (Eucommia ulmoides), ox knee (Achyranthes bidentata), Dipsacales, suo yang 2 (Cynomorium songaricum Rupr.), etc. They were soaked in boiling water first and put into a container after cooling down. A large quantity of liquor was than poured in to "ripen" the materials. The liquid was then edible in two weeks.
He had to do something. He felt his life expectancy had shortened by thirty years since he was with this woman. He had to try to make it up in some way!
Around eight o'clock, the man was all appropriately dressed and ready to leave. Du Hong went to see him off all the way to the front gate of the villa, where she seemed to remember something all of a sudden and chuckled. "By the way, that rice is almost finished. Could you bring me some more?"
"Well, my quota is very limited… let me figure it out."
The reply sounded awkward, but the man did not refuse her outright. After giving her cheek a peck, the man pushed the door open and left. A car was waiting outside, whose driver acted as if Du Hong did not exist. He stepped on the gas and the car was out of the residential area in no time.
Du Hong watched the car driving out of sight and flashed a dubious smile. She then strolled back upstairs.
After leaving the massage house, she had been working for that Cheng Gang, who then introduced her to Director Zhao. Who then packed her up and gave her to Director Li after having enough fun with her. Before long, Director Zhang became her acquaintance...
Such was how life worked for her—she was in no position to fight it whatsoever.
She had accepted it all by now. Since she had the advantage, why not use it? As a result, with the skill she learned from that shabby book, she was climbing up the ladder like a rocket. In less than two years, she had made it to the circle of core leading members of Le Zhou.
As for the man just then, he was called Tang Yu. A well-connected man and the youngest among the core members. The two of them hooked up a few months ago.
Du Hong knew what she could potentially gain from the man and had put on the best show for him. As expected, the man fell head over heels for her, following her words like a lamb to the slaughter.
It was from him that Du Hong for the first time heard about Taoist skills, Phoenix Mountain, the spiritual rice… she was even lucky enough to taste a little.
Bold and clever, she soon made the connection between what was happening and that shabby book, especially the drawing on the last page, and practiced it following the instruction. She was vaguely aware of the nature of this thing and dared not use it carelessly.
When sleeping with Tang Yu, she would use the method one out of ten times. Even so, the effect was apparent: as she grew fairer, the man was wearing out.
So much so that had it not been for the man's background, she would rather go out and have fun on her own. The taste was so scrumptious that she wished she could have it every single day.
Le Zhou, the municipal government.
Before anyone realized, the first half of this year had passed. Since the discovery of the recovering spiritual essence, the authorities had shifted from cautious exploration to acting freely, then to the generation of a thorough strategy—the process had taken them roughly fifteen months.
Today was the first day of July and a Monday.
The municipal government building was restless and bustling ever since early in the morning, for a major conference was being prepared. It was a little past nine o'clock when the door to the conference room was tightly shut and the leadership team was all present, Tang Yu included.
"Leadership team" was a somewhat intriguing term. It would be almost impossible for an outsider to figure out the relationships among the members.
In Le Zhou, this team included the first and second officials in command of the city, a few deputies, directors in charge of organization, propaganda, agriculture, culture and education, police affairs, etc. Oh, one more new member was added this year—the departmental head of the Operation Department, Bashu Province sub-bureau of the BIMAUP.
"Ok, we're all here. Let's begin."
The big boss roamed his eyes around the room and cleared his throat. "In the afternoon the day after tomorrow, the scientific research team organized by the central government is moving into Mt Emei. We have been through multiple times on the relevant logistic and supportive services. I will emphasize it again today.
It is a thousand men we're talking about here and the constituent is very complex. The city of Mt Emei is only capable enough to provide them with the most basic daily necessities. Everything else—machines, installation, materials, and so on and so forth—falls on us to prepare in advance, so that they will have everything when needed.
Comrade Tang Yu, you will go onto the mountain with them and run the frontline operations. Keep us posted."
"No problem." Tang Yu nodded.
The head added, "And about the propaganda, that's a very important aspect. Mt Emei has been sealed off and we need to keep a closer look on the management and control over public opinion. Comrade Wang Bin is very experienced in this field and has come up with one of those, um, what's that called again…"
"Steering group on unusual internet public opinions," reminded one of the officials on a lesser seat.
"Yes, that. That is a very good idea!"
Knocking the table with his knuckles, he said, "There is this interesting term used by the netizens—'leading the pace'. We should not take it as a derogatory expression only. It all depends on who was leading the pace and how it could be led, which is our task. We should steer the public opinion towards a better, positive angle. Especially the middle-aged and elderly population, whose minds are more rigid. We need to provide them with a peaceful buffer period until they can accept these novelties...
All right, enough on that point. Agenda number two is our main focus today."
He briefly talked the first point through and stopped there, then moved on. "The document has been sent out and I presume you've all read it thoroughly. The emphasis of our discussion today will be on how to carry out our new task rationally and effectively."
With that, a picture flickered into sight on the big screen in the front. On the white background was a line of bright red text.
"The Three-year Plan on National Cultivation Personnel and Social Development."TL/N: See Chapter 103 if you can't remember who this one is TL/N: meaning "seal Yang"