Chapter 142 (Click to show "spoiler" title)
Chapter 142 – Sent Flying
Guo Huai, Hao Cheng, and Zhao Li were in high spirits as they discussed the future of Asskickers United. In the meantime, Tang Yao became increasingly full of hot air, proclaiming, “What’s Radiant Sacred Flame? I’ve never heard of them before! Victorious Return? We’ll wipe their assess off the floor and become the top guild in the empire!” Listening to his rampant boasting, the others couldn’t help but roll their eyes. They hadn’t even enacted any of their plans, yet he was already acting like they had accomplished everything.
Nie Yan chuckled. This was just part of who Tang Yao was. His carefree and happy-go-lucky personality would always liven the mood wherever he went.
While they happily chatted, a tall and slender woman with an enchanting appearance walked over. With skin as fair as jade, she wore a beautiful qipao that did well to accentuate her elegant figure. Her name was Shen Yue, their class president back in middle school. She was also fully deserving of being called the prettiest girl in their class, having no less than ten secret admirers. Among the five in their group, Guo Huai also happened to be one of them.
“Oh? Class Pres, is there anything you need?” Zhao Li smiled at Shen Yue after noticing her coming over.
Just a moment ago, Guo Huai was perfectly fine, but as soon as he raised his head and saw her walking over, his face blushed red all over and he grew timid and reserved. Noticing his reaction, the rest of the guys laughed and smiled. Nie Yan was also sympathetic. The feelings a person had for their first love were usually the hardest to forget.
“Haven’t you five been hiding in this corner for long enough? We have at least thirty classmates gathered here, yet none of you are going over to talk to them. Look over there. You can’t keep our young ladies waiting forever, can you? They’re starting to get impatient. Nie Yan, you’ve sure grown tall and—Oh? Guo Huai, what’s wrong? Your face is all red. Do you have a fever coming on?” Shen Yue asked in a concerned manner.
“Ah, don’t worry. He was just happy to see everyone again after such a long time, including you, Class Pres, so he drank a bit of alcohol.” Nie Yan and the guys replied in his place. How could they abandon him in this kind of situation?
Guo Huai shot over a grateful glance at his four brothers. This was what being true friends was all about. Even though they constantly poked fun at one another in private, if trouble ever arose, they would have each other’s backs. If one of them encountered a powerful foe, then they would all band together to fight that foe.
Their strong bond was formed by persevering through many hardships together.
“Guo Huai, don’t drink so much,” Shen Yue scolded half-heartedly.
“Yeah, I’ll keep that in mind.” Guo Huai was flustered but still managed to somehow get his words out smoothly.
“Anyway, you guys should get off that couch and talk with everyone else. The gathering is about to start. It’s better if we don’t dally any longer since many people here still have to work in the afternoon,” Shen Yue said. Although they were still high schoolers, many of them worked part time or even held multiple jobs to earn money, so their free time was quite limited.
Nie Yan was the first to stand up and said, “Come on, let’s go over right now.”
The other four also stood up.
“Hey, Nie Yan. If those girls over there surround me, you’ll help pull me out, right?” Zhao Li asked with a wry smile.
“Eh, now how could I do that? There’s no way I can deprive those young ladies of your presence. You can handle this one by yourself. Who told you to be so popular?” Nie Yan chuckled. Back in middle school, there was no shortage of assertive and lively girls. Even Zhao Li’s social prowess couldn’t save him from being overwhelmed by all these girls.
“Nie Yan, please don’t hang me out to dry like this!”
“Hey, you don’t know how well you have it. Some of us can’t ever be this popular with the ladies. Just take a look at Tang Yao,” Nie Yan replied.
Their small group chatted while they walked toward the others. In the past, their group of five only hung out together because they seemed to get along well. However, now, a subtle change had occurred. Nie Yan seemed to have become the core of the group.
Guo Huai, Zhao Li, and Hao Cheng were amazed to discover that their group dynamic had changed. The atmosphere surrounding Nie Yan had completely changed. He was now able to easily influence those around him, and they were starting to take note of his suggestions and opinions. Although he had also been a person with strong viewpoints back in middle school, he never really conveyed them and rather kept to himself instead.
Having not seen them in over ten years, Nie Yan only had vague impressions of his classmates from middle school, so he could only recall them by going off of brief interactions. Nevertheless, being as well-versed as he was, he was able to converse with them with ease.
His classmates were amazed by his transformation. In the past, he was scrawny, an excellent student, and had a personality that could be regarded as good-natured, but he was often lost in his own world and rarely interacted with others. However, now, he was much more robust. They could even faintly discern the outlines of his muscles underneath his shirt. This led to many of his female classmates, who were normally quite bold and daring, being struck in a daze. Moreover, he was chatting with others in a carefree manner, and his temperament appeared to have completely changed.
Such a stark contrast caused even Guo Huai, Hao Cheng, and Zhao Li to view Nie Yan in a new light. With this change, they began believing that their plan of establishing a guild might actually succeed.
“Hey, Guo Huai! Long time no see.” A muscular youth in a white jersey with somewhat handsome features walked over to Nie Yan and his group while carrying two glasses of orange juice.
Upon seeing the person that called out to him, Guo Huai’s expression immediately darkened.
When Nie Yan saw this person, although they seemed a little familiar, he just couldn’t recall who they were.
“Who is he?” Nie Yan asked Tang Yao in a low voice.
“You forgot him? He’s Chu Zhenfei from Class 11. He was part of the basketball team. I heard he learned some Muay Thai. He’s also one of the guys chasing after Class Pres. When he heard she was organizing a class reunion from some of our classmates, he decided to invite himself in,” Tang Yao whispered back.
Nie Yan suddenly remembered that there was such a person. If he recalled correctly, Chu Zhenfei’s family owned a car dealership. Even though he was somewhat wealthy, he was far from being anywhere near Guo Huai’s level. Only, no one knew this because Guo Huai didn’t like to reveal his family background.
He also recalled that a certain incident had occurred during the class reunion in his past life because of Chu Zhenfei. Ever since catching wind that Guo Huai liked Shen Yue back in middle school, Chu Zhenfei would always give him a hard time for it. Fast forward to the class reunion, Chu Zhenfei had asked around and found out that Guo Huai had been allergic to oranges since childhood. So, for the express purpose of making trouble for Guo Huai, Chu Zhenfei had sought him out and forced him to toast to a glass of orange juice.
At that time, for the sake of not losing face in front of Shen Yue, Guo Huai had downed the whole glass. Even though he appeared fine for the rest of the reunion, after returning home, he fell seriously ill and ended up hospitalized for two full days. However, Guo Huai wasn’t the type of person to take grievances lying down. He didn’t let Chu Zhenfei off lightly either. Immediately after being discharged from the hospital, he brought some hired help to ambush Chu Zhenfei and beat him so badly that he had to lay in a hospital bed for several months. That was when Chu Zhenfei finally came to learn of Guo Huai’s background. Even though their son had been beaten half-to-death, Chu Zhenfei’s family didn’t dare to let out so much as a fart for fear of further retaliation, and Chu Zhenfei himself developed a deep fear of Guo Huai. Whenever they encountered each other after that incident, Chu Zhenfei would always make himself scarce. The most dangerous dogs tended to be the ones that didn’t bark before biting. Even though Guo Huai was normally quite reserved and easy-going, that definitely did not mean he was easy to bully. When he truly got angry, everyone should be afraid.
Nie Yan actually admired Guo Huai’s temperament because it somewhat resembled his own. In his past life, Cao Xu had brought his family to ruin. Both of his parents passed away, and even after that, Cao Xu continued to suppress him. Under those circumstances, it was reasonable to believe that Cao Xu would never allow him to rise back up. So, he endured everything and secluded himself. He pretended to have given up, boozing himself up by day without a care for his own health and loitering around bars by night. He gradually got Cao Xu to lower his guard, and then finally, on that fateful day, he bit back and ended Cao Xu’s life with a bullet through the head.
What was the method of a truly formidable character? It was the ability to patiently bide their time for that perfect moment, seek out an opportunity to launch a counterattack, and then finish off the enemy with a single strike!
Tang Yao, Hao Cheng, and Zhao Li didn’t know Guo Huai was allergic to oranges. They only knew that he generally did not eat or drink anything with oranges in it. Otherwise, when they saw Chu Zhenfei walking over with a glass of orange juice to give Guo Huai trouble, to say nothing of Nie Yan, none of them would have let him make that toast.
Knowing their history together, Hao Cheng frowned when he saw Chu Zhenfei walking over and was looking for an appropriate time to take action.
“Guo Huai, I know we’ve had some conflicts in the past, but we’ve both already graduated. Let bygones be bygones. What do you say? I came here today to apologize to you. Here, let’s have a toast,” Chu Zhenfei offered the glass of orange juice. “Alcohol is bad for our health, so we’ll substitute with orange juice instead,” Chu Zhenfei said as he pretended to act in a sincere manner.
“Right, it’s better to drink less alcohol. Other beverages are perfectly fine to toast with,” Shen Yue chimed in. She knew Chu Zhenfei had feelings for her, as did Guo Huai, so she was worried a conflict might occur. She never expected Chu Zhenfei had actually come over to apologize to Guo Huai. Honestly, she was a little impressed, and her unfavourable impression of him began to somewhat change.
“Chu Zhenfei, are you sure you want to make me drink this orange juice?” Guo Huai coldly stared at him.
Seeing the expression in Guo Huai’s eyes, Chu Zhenfei suddenly felt a slight chill run down his spine. However, he wasn’t willing to back down as he said, “I came here to sincerely apologize to you. I don’t wish for the both of us to linger on our past grievances even after graduating.”
“Guo Huai, since Chu Zhenfei is apologizing, I think you should just forgive him,” Shen Yue said while standing by Guo Huai’s side. Even though they hadn’t met in a long time, she still had a favourable impression of him in her heart. From her memory, he was a gentle person who was always willing to forgive others.
Nie Yan had been observing everything this whole time. In the end, Guo Huai was only a teenager. Regarding matters of affection, he was still too young and inexperienced. For the sake of preserving Shen Yue’s opinion of him, he wouldn’t refuse this toast.
“Fine, I’ll toast.” Guo Huai reached out and grabbed hold of the glass of orange juice.
Just as he was about to drink it, Nie Yan stepped in and stopped him. After taking the glass from his hand, he smiled at Chu Zhenfei and said in an unhurried manner, “I’ll drink this glass on Guo Huai’s behalf. You know perfectly well that he’s allergic to oranges, yet you’re still trying to make him drink it. Aren’t you being a little too insincere?”
“Who are you? Mind your own goddamn business!” Chu Zhenfei cursed. He didn’t expect his true intentions to be seen through so accurately.
“Guo Huai, is this true?” Shen Yue stared at him with a surprised expression.
“Of course. He’s been allergic to oranges since childhood,” Nie Yan replied.
Shen Yue wasn’t dumb. After this fact came out, she was pretty quick on the uptake. Stamping her feet, she berated Guo Huai. “Guo Huai, how could you be so dumb? If you can’t drink orange juice, then wouldn’t it be fine if you just refused?” She then turned around and coldly stared at Chu Zhenfei. “Chu Zhenfei, you’re no longer welcome here. I ask that you kindly leave.”
“Dammit, you bastard! This is all your fault!” Chu Zhenfei only wanted to mess with Guo Huai. He never expected to be caught in the act. With his plans backfiring on him, he flew into a fit of rage and pinned everything on the one who had stopped him. In his anger, he sent a kick to Nie Yan’s head. Chu Zhenfei was a pretty big guy, so the power coming from such a kick would be absolutely terrifying.
When Hao Cheng saw Chu Zhenfei act, he was about to intervene and beat him up. However, he was halted in his tracks as he saw an amazing scene suddenly occurring before his eyes.
Nie Yan effortlessly dodged Chu Zhenfei’s kick and countered with a spinning back kick. As his foot planted itself into Chu Zhenfei’s stomach, he sent Chu Zhenfei’s body flying into the air before it finally crashed into the liquor table half-a-room across from him.「Crash!」The sound of bottles shattering and wood breaking filled the air. The table had split in half from the force of Chu Zhenfei’s body crashing into it. Suddenly, the entire place turned deathly silent.
Everyone wore shocked expressions.
“Holy crap!” Hao Chen was astonished by Nie Yan’s kick. To send a man of that weight flying halfway across the garden, just how much force was required? Even he, who had trained in mixed martial arts for so long, found such a scene inconceivable!