"Wait!" Someone squeezed Li Yundong's forearm . Turning around, he saw President Cao staring at him with pleading eyes . "Where are you going?" she hissed . "You have a job to do . You can't just leave . "
Li Yundong shrugged . "I don't think it's gonna work, President Cao . Your clients don't trust me . " Li Yundong gave her a strange look . "Isn't that the whole point? Isn't that why they demanded my service in the first place? Because I managed to handle Wang Yong's incident?" Li Yundong snorted . "Clearly, they've changed their minds . " Li Yundong's face twisted in distaste . "And because of my appearance, no less . "
President Cao sighed . "Listen . I can convince them, but you can't just leave me here . I've got nobody else I trust enough for this job! I've seen you in action . If something happens, you can keep them safe . I know you can . "
Li Yundong shook his head . "It's going to cause problems, you know? I doubt they'd listen to anything I say if they think I'm incompetent . It's hard to keep someone safe if they won't even follow your instructions . "
President Cao took a step close . "You just need a chance to prove yourself, that's all . They'll respect you once they see what you can do . "
Li Yundong sighed . "But—"
"Will you stay?" President Cao squeezed Li Yundong's forearm . "Please?"
Li Yundong regarded the woman for a second . "Fine . But I wanna a damn raise . " Li Yundong glowered at the booth where Tan Fei and Zhang Guozheng were sitting . "Do you know how shitty it felt to sit there and listen to people talk shit about you?"
"Done," President Cao said quickly . "You get a ten percent raise . Deal?"
Li Yundong stared at President Cao . A moment later, he nodded . "Deal . "
President Cao dragged Li Yundong back to the booth .
"This young man is the best I've ever seen," President Cao said confidently . "And you ought to take my word for it . "
"Your word?" Tan Fei snorted . "No offense, President Cao . But your word lost a great deal of credibility the moment you showed up with this . . . " Tan Fei glanced at Li Yundong . "I mean, this kid doesn't even look like he's thrown a punch before . "
Li Yundong released a low growl . President Cao's fingers tightened around his forearm as though she was afraid he would barged out of the cafe any second . Whatever . A 10% raise wasn't so bad . He needed the money anyway .
"Let me share with you a story about a real badass," Zhang Guozheng said excitedly . "One time I was filming this Wuxia movie, and one of the actors knows martial arts . In between filming, we asked him to do a demo . Back then, we had a bunch of bricks on set . Real bricks, you know . " Zhang Guozheng gave each of them a pointed looks . "As in the ones produced in a kiln . Anyway, the director stacked up three of the bricks and challenged the guy to break all three of them without the use of any tools . So the guy walked over to the stack and smashed his elbow right through the stack . " Zhang Guozheng mimicked the motion with his own elbow . "Like, holy shit! All three bricks broke apart! You see? That's what I call badass . " Zhang Guozheng paused in his spiel and gave Li Yundong a pointed look . "Think you can do the same?"
Li Yundong couldn't take it anymore—he burst into laughter . Smashing bricks . Li Yundong could dodge bullets and generate shockwaves with his fists, and this fool was sitting there talking about bricks .
Zhang Guozheng frowned and looked towards Tan Fei for support . "What's so funny, huh?" Zhang Guozheng growled . "Are you making fun of me?"
Li Yundong stopped laughing and took a deep breath . "My apologies," he said, clearing his throat . "You're absolutely right, Mr . Zhang . That is an impressive story . "
"Yeah," President Cao jumped in, no doubt trying to salvage the situation . "Tell us more! What else did he do?"
Zhang Guozheng gave Li Yundong a passing glance before going back to story . However, as Zhang Guozheng droned on, Li Yundong could feel Tan Fei's eyes on him, drinking him in . Like Li Yundong, Tan Fei didn't seem too interested in Zhang Guozheng's story either .
At one point, Li Yundong felt a light touch on his foot . The touch lingered on his foot for a few seconds before moving up his leg . Someone was trailing their foot up his calf, and Li Yundong was pretty sure he knew who it was . Li Yundong frowned and shifted slightly in his seat . Minutes later, Tan Fei leaned forward to grab her coffee cup . And he felt it again—a gentle caress, moving up from his calf to his inner thigh, straight towards his crotch . Li Yundong angled his body and shifted his legs slightly to the side . When he glanced up, Tan Fei was sipping her coffee like nothing had happened . Then, as if sensing Li Yundong's gaze, Tan Fei leaned forward to put down her cup . The movement caused the front of her dress to dip, revealing her deep cleavage . Li Yundong quickly looked away, shaking his head slightly .
Moments later, when he felt another one of Tan Fei's attempts at playing footsie with him, Li Yundong decided he'd had enough of this shit . He cleared his throat and stood up from the booth . Zhang Guozheng stopped talking, whereas President Cao was now looking at him questioningly .
"Excuse me," Li Yundong told President Cao with a slight tilt of his head . "The men's room . "
President Cao smiled and gave him a nod . Li Yundong forced out a tight smile and got out of the booth .
Alas, Li Yundong was stopped by a voice just as he was about to enter the men's room .
"Aww, come on, handsome . Why are you so cold? Are you mad at me because of what I said earlier?"
Li Yundong closed his eyes and sighed . When he turned around, Tan Fei was standing a few feet away, smiling coquettishly at him .
Li Yundong raised a brow . "Do you mind, Miss Tan Fei? In case it isn't obvious, I'm going into to the men's room . So if there's anything you wish to discuss, it'll have to wait until later . "
Tan Fei inched closer to Li Yundong . "What's the hurry, handsome? I just want to ask you a question, that's all . " Tan Fei winked . "Security isn't the only thing you're doing for Cao Kefei, isn't it?"
Li Yundong frowned and took a step away .
Tan Fei moved closer again . "Come on, you can tell me . How much is Cao Kefei paying you a month for . . . you know, extra services?"
"Ex-cuse me?" Li Yundong growled .
Tan Fei waved nonchalantly . "I can pay you the same amount . . . and then some . " Tan Fei gave him a salacious wink . "Why don't you be with me instead? I'll make it worthwhile . "
Li Yundong glared at Tan Fei . "I am not an escort . And you've just insulted me . " Li Yundong turned around and stormed into the bathroom .
The door of the men's room swung open just as Li Yundong was stepping away from the urinal . Zhang Guozheng walked in and paused when he saw Li Yundong . Zhang Guozheng smirked and approached the urinal, patting Li Yundong's shoulder when he walked past him . "A word of advice, young man . " Zhang Guozheng positioned himself in front of the urinal and unzipped his pants . "It's tough to survive in this line of work, you know . Without talent, looks, and—"
Li Yundong silenced him with a finger . "Do you smell that?"
Zhang Guozheng frowned . "What?"
Li Yundong sniffed the air a few times . "Something's burning . . . "
Zhang Guozheng zipped up his pants and stepped away from the urinal . Li Yundong lowered himself into a crouch .
"What the heck are you doing man," Zhang Guozheng said with a laugh .
Li Yundong ignored him and kept sniffing .
Zhang Guozheng let out another incredulous laugh . "Are you out of your mind—"
"Shh!" Li Yundong said harshly, then pointed towards an occupied stall at the far end of the bathroom .
Li Yundong motioned Zhang Guozheng to be quiet, then crept towards the stall . Smoke rose from the stall's partition towards the bathroom's ceiling .
Li Yundong stopped in front of the door and knocked . "You alright in there, sir?"
There was no answer . Li Yundong knocked two more times . "Sir?"
Zhang Guozheng had moved away from the urinals and was now standing behind Li Yundong, watching the stall curiously . Li Yundong was just about to knock again when a loud smack—like someone hitting their bare chest—sounded from inside the stall . Then, he heard a series of gurgles, as though someone was choking .
The next thing Li Yundong heard made his blood run cold .
" . . . Maoshan Jida Zhen Shengong . Bada Yuanshuai Xian Shentong! Hearken to me, O Great Celestial Lord of the Three Realms! Come to me! Show me your power! I offer you my body as a vessel . . . "
"Get down!!!!" Li Yundong tackled Zhang Guozheng to the side just as the stall exploded .