Chapter 267 – Preparation
The door to the small building was tightly shut. Mu Chen gently eased it open and peeked inside at the spotless interior. Then, he stepped through the entrance and slowly opened the door to Luo Li's room.
A faint fragrance wafted through the doorway — the kind that could captivate anyone who caught its scent. Mu Chen turned his eyes towards the window, where a young woman lazily reclined. She wore only a thin wrap that showed her pale, glossy legs.
Her slender jade-like arms were wrapped around those legs, and her exquisite porcelain-like face was resting against one knee. Her long hair, usually tied up, was currently draped loosely over her shoulders, like a bright splash of the Milky Way.
She was asleep. So relaxed and peaceful.
Mu Chen looked at her with deep affection in his eyes. He slowly stepped closer.
She sensed his presence the moment he entered her space. The tightly-shut eyes snapped open and her clear pupils flushed with alarm.
But that tension and alarm quickly dissipated when she laid eyes on the handsome youth at her side. A smile crept over her face as she exhaled a weak question that was filled with immeasurable joy. "You've returned?"
Mu Chen studied her exquisite face — she was definitely looking a little pale. It didn't look like it was anything serious, but his heart still ached for her, and his anger towards He Yao boiled hotter.
"I heard that you were injured?" Mu Chen asked as he moved a hand to cup Luo Li's tender cheek.
Luo Li shrank from his cold touch and shook her head with a smile. "No, I wasn't."
"Are you lying to me?" Mu Chen raised an eyebrow as he wrapped one arm around her slender waist, and the other below her knees, and pulled her into his embrace.
Luo Li softly cried as she wrapped her jade-like arms around Mu Chen's neck. She stared at him in embarrassment and pouted her small lips, "You just got back, and already started bullying me?"
Mu Chen's heart pounded as he stared at the young woman pouting her small lips. It was a rare sight for the calm and distant Luo Li to show such a feminine side.
Luo Li noticed that Mu Chen was staring at her rosy lips and flushed a light pink. She twisted around his his arms with a displeased expression. "What are you trying to do?"
"Absence makes the heart grow fonder. What do you think I'm trying to do?" Mu Chen teased. Before Luo Li could react, he bent down and kissed, gently tasting the sweet and fragrant delicacy.
Luo Li stiffened at the sneak attack, but then surrendered to it. She loosened her hold around Mu Chen's neck and allowed him to do as he wished.
Mu Chen enjoyed the warmth for a good moment, before putting her down. He couldn't help grinning as he looked at Luo Li, who was now gasping for breath and flushed deep red. "What a delicious taste. I must inform you that this taste now belongs to me. As for how long… an eternity!"
"You rogue! Dream on!" Luo Li's face became a deep red from his embarrassing words.
"Do you want me to bully you even harder?" Mu Chen grinned as he hugged her a little tighter.
Luo Li glared at him and turned away, fuming.
Mu Chen gently smiled as he laid Luo Li back on the soft bed. However, her arm was still around him, refusing to let go. Finally, he looked into her eyes and furrowed his brows. "How are your injuries?"
Luo Li lightly shook her head, "It’s nothing much. I just exhausted myself. They had the advantage of numbers, but if I'd been fighting seriously, then they wouldn't have gained an advantage."
"The experts of the Demon's Gate might be strong, but they're nothing we can't handle. The only problem is their Boss, He Yao. While you were gone, I always had to make sure I saved enough strength to guard myself against him."
Not even Mu Chen had an accurate gauge of Luo Li's strength. But since she could challenge more than ten experts of the Demon's Gate all alone, then she should've at least reached the Heavenly Transformation Stage. However, He Yao still hadn't made a move, so Luo Li had to keep her guard against him. That's why she'd held back and gotten injured by the other experts.
"He Yao…" Mu Chen's black pupils flared with a chill. However, he quickly smiled again. "If that guy isn't going to act like a decent human being, then I don't have to treat him like one."
"What are you going to do?" A look of concern flashed across Luo Li's face. The Demon's Gate and He Yao weren't that easy to deal with.
Mu Chen snorted. "They dared to hurt my woman. What kind of man would I be, if I simply took that?"
Luo Li flushed red again and rolled her eyes at him. However, a soft arc rose at the corner of her mouth.
"Then, I'll go with you." Luo Li said flatly. He Yao wasn't weak. If Mu Chen went alone, it'd be hard for him to win.
Mu Chen shook his head. A chill flickered in his black pupils.
"No. Let me handle this."
At that, Luo Li knew that Mu Chen had already drawn his plans. There was nothing else she could do, so she unhappily rested her head against Mu Chen's chest and curled up in his arms like a kitten. Her long eyelashes blinked once, then closed as she absorbed his warmth and slowly fell asleep.
Mu Chen gently smiled at her — she was sound asleep. But when he raised his head again, a chill clouded over his charming face.
"He Yao… I originally intended to let you be. But, since you brought the fight to me, then don't blame me for getting impolite."
A deep night had settled over the compound. Mu Chen quietly stepped out from Luo Li's room and made his way to the roof. He twitched his fingers and the the Spiritual Value Point Card appeared. A faint light illuminated the set of glittering icons on its surface.
Mu Chen's eyes glazed over as he swept his eyes over the inventory, searching for the items he needed.
He was furious. If he did nothing, then this would happen again. Since He Yao thought he had nothing to fear from him, then he'd teach him a good lesson.
Even a Heavenly Transformation Stage Late Phase expert like Bai Xuan had died by Mu Chen's hands. He had nothing to fear from a single He Yao.
His eyes finally pinpointed the items he needed. Then, he stowed away the card, turned into a streak of light, and flew towards the Spiritual Value Hall.
The next day, Mu Chen left the house after saying goodbye to Luo Li. Zhou Ling and the others had already done as instructed, and passed Mu Chen's message to the Demon's Gate.
The message caused some disturbance within the ranks of the Demon's Gate, but the majority of those experts were only laughing at it. True, Mu Chen had left a deep impression at the Spirit Battle Stage, but no one thought he could compare to the top 10 of the Heavenly Ranking. Not to mention that the Demon's Gate had He Yao, Rank 4 of the Heavenly Ranking. What could a single Mu Chen possibly do to them?
They simply laughed it off. In fact, some of them even hoped that Mu Chen would actually pay them a visit. Did the boy really think that by receiving three moves from Li Xuantong, he would qualify to challenge their boss, He Yao?
The members of the Demon's Gate acted like they were watching a show. Everyone had heard the news. After all, both Mu Chen and the Demon's Gate were well-known within the Academy.
Everyone remembered the freshman who'd managed to take three moves from Li Xuantong. But if Mu Chen really went through with it this time, He Yao wasn't going to let him off with only three moves. How would Mu Chen handle it then?
In just two or three days, everyone heard Mu Chen's announcement. But the strange thing was that Mu Chen, the protagonist of the event, had suddenly vanished without a trace. Some suspected that Mu Chen had hidden himself out of fear.
In the Goddess Luo Association, not even Zhou Ling could find a trace of Mu Chen. But they never had any doubts about him. As someone who dared to challenge even Li Xuantong, he definitely wouldn't do something like run away.
There must be a reason why Mu Chen had vanished without a trace.
And time rapidly passed under all the boiling suspicions…
The headquarters of the Demon's Gate was located at the north end of the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy. It was a place filled with pavilions. Everyone there was a member of the Demon's Gate. You could say it was the Demon's Gate's territory within the Academy grounds.
Right now, there was quite a crowd gathered in the main hall of the largest and central pavilion.
At the head of the hall sat He Yao, casually sipping from a teacup. On his right, stood Yang Hong and a number of the Demon's Gate core members.
"Boss, tomorrow is the fifth day. What kind of game is Mu Chen trying to play? He still hasn't shown himself." A lean man asked in a low voice. His name was Chen Hou, ranked 18 in the Heavenly Ranking, and a Heavenly Transformation Stage Initial Phase. Just a few days earlier, he'd lost to Luo Li.
The others nodded. As the deadline drew closer, their curiosity grew stronger. Could Mu Chen have really run away?
He Yao faintly smiled and looked down into his tea. A white mist was curling up from its surface — the entire cup had frozen over as ice. He tightened his grip and the cup, frozen tea and all, shattered into pieces.
"What is there to guess about? We'll find out tomorrow. A freshman who managed to take three moves from Li Xuantong… haha, I'd really like to see what he'll do…"
Mockery filled his eyes.
"If he dares to show himself, then I'll make him understand that in this Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy, there isn't a single person single person who can mouth-off at my Demon's Gate."