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137 The Vital Orb



It took only a split second for Li Yundong to realize that Su Chan wasn't pouncing on him, but on something behind him. When Su Chan flew past him, Li Yundong didn't turn. Instead, he ran forward, using his body as a shield to block the green flash he'd noticed earlier. Something solid rammed into his chest, but he held on, then pushed back with all his might. The green light disappeared, and the living room went dark once again. A petite figure stumbled to the floor and skidded along the floor until it hit the wall.

Ruan Hongling was up on her feet in an instant. "Out of my way, you fool!"

Li Yundong ignored her and turned around to check on Su Chan.

Su Chan was weaving agilely around Lin Youfa, dodging all of his vicious punches.

"Damn it! I thought you said you'll handle this girl!" Lin Youfa yelled when another one of his punches missed. "You said you'll take on the girl while I duel Zhenren Li! That was the deal!"

Clenching his jaw, Li Yundong turned around to face Ruan Hongling again. So those two were in cahoots after all. Ruan Hongling pulled something out from behind her back. Li Yundong activated his telescopic vision and squinted through the darkness. The object was small and thin, though he couldn't make out what it was; Ruan Hongling had quickly hidden the object behind her palm.

"Don't worry about me, Yundong!" Su Chan's voice sounded behind him. "I can handle him!"

"How dare you underestimate me, girl!" Lin Youfa growled.

Before Li Yundong could turn around to see what was going on, one of Ruan Hongling's arms rose, after which she gave her hand a sharp flick. The movement was so subtle and quick that Li Yundong almost missed it. Thin rays of green light streak through the air towards Su Chan. Li Yundong reacted instinctively by stepping into the rays' path with his palms raised. There were three of rays in total, but Li Yundong only managed to block two of them with his palms; one of the rays whizzed past his ear.

"Ahhh!!!" Su Chan screamed in pain.

Shit! Li Yundong whipped his head around and saw Su Chan kneeling on the floor with one hand holding on to her shoulder.

"Hah! You've let your guard down, girl!" Lin Youfa's leg swung out in a roundhouse kick aimed at Su Chan's head. Li Yundong burst forward and once again used his body as a shield.

CRACK! He grunted when a powerful force slammed into his ribs. Li Yundong wrapped his arm around Lin Youfa's leg, trapping it against his ribs. With one leg raised, Lin Youfa's balance and defense was compromised. "Take this, you son of a bitch!" Li Yundong kicked Lin Youfa in the groin as hard as he could, then sent Lin Youfa away with a hard shove. Lin Youfa stumbled, fell, and then rolled on the floor a few times.

Alas, it didn't seem like Li Yundong's attacked did much damage at all. Lin Youfa got back up in no time.


"Come! Let us have our duel, Zhenren Li!" Lin Youfa burst forward and tackled Li Yundong.

Li Yundong lowered his center of gravity and pushed back against Lin Youfa's shoulders. Li Yundong knew he shouldn't allow himself to be taken down to the ground; Lin Youfa's size and strength would give him a huge advantage in a ground fight.

The following few seconds was a battle of raw strength with Li Yundong trying his best not to let Lin Youfa overpower him.

"Oh no, you don't, demon witch!" Ruan Hongling shouted.

A split second later, Su Chan was right beside him. Her hand shot out and struck a spot on Lin Youfa's chest. The force pushing back against Li Yundong's body weakened almost instantly. Li Yundong gritted his teeth and pushed his legs harder. Just a little bit more…

A green ray whizzed past his head and struck Su Chan's back.

Su Chan's body sagged to the floor, where she lay completely motionless.

"Nooooo!!!!!" Li Yundong's blood boiled inside his veins. "Dieeee!!!!!!" He drove forward with his legs.

Lin Youfa gasped, clearly taken by surprise by Li Yundong's sudden burst in leg strength.

"Arrrgggghhh!!!" Li Yundong pushed harder, forcing Lin Youfa backwards. Eventually, they stumbled through the sliding door into the balcony. Li Yundong lowered himself even more and drove his shoulder into Lin Youfa's groin. Then, he roared, and hoisted Lin Youfa's 2-meter-tall body into the air. "Go to hell!" Li Yundong hurled Lin Youfa's body over the railing.

Li Yundong turned around and re-entered the apartment. A golden radiance lit up the living room the moment he walked in. He glared at Ruan Hongling who was staring back at him fearfully. Without taking his eyes off Ruan Hongling, Li Yundong kept walking until he reached Su Chan's body. A red spot had already formed on Su Chan's shirt. His princess was moaning and groaning as her body twitched and rolled in a series of violent convulsions. She looked like someone having a seizure.

"You think I won't hurt you just because you're a woman?!" Li Yundong yelled. The living room flashed in gold. "Again and again... You come in here and try to hurt us..." Li Yundong raised his gaze sharply. "No more... This ends now."

"I'm sick and tired of this bullshit…" Li Yundong growled, stepping towards Ruan Hongling. "I'm going to end this tonight. I'm going to end you..."

Ruan Hongling backed away from Li Yundong fearfully. "Y- You..."

"What! What about me?! What the f*ck do you people want!" Every piece of glass in the apartment shattered. The Jindan's aura radiated outwards from Li Yundong's body like a golden blaze. Li Yundong kept moving forward, forcing Ruan Hongling out onto the balcony. When Ruan Hongling's back hit the balcony's railing, he stopped.

"I've warned you time and time again not to bother us..." Li Yundong growled. "And yet you keep coming back."

Defiance replaced the fear in Ruan Hongling's eyes. "Wake up, you blind fool!" she yelled. "That a look at that girl you're so obsessed with! She's a fox spirit! She's manipulating you! She'll drain your Yang Qi one day and then leave you to die!"

Li Yundong reached into his pocket and pulled out the talisman.

"You leave me no choice..." Li Yundong said coldly. The talisman glowed with a green light the moment it came in contact with the golden aura emanating from his body.

There was a gasp. "T- That's... Th- The... Five Thunders Spell..." Through the golden light, Li Yundong could see that Ruan Hongling's face had grown pale.

Before he could get another word out, Ruan Hongling disappeared from the balcony in a flash of green light.

***

Li Yundong laid Su Chan on his bed. Su Chan's body was still convulsing violently. Her lips were chapped and her face pale. She looked like she was in unbearable pain. Li Yundong cupped her cheeks. "Su Chan! Talk to me. How can I help? Tell me what to do?"

Su Chan whimpered and rolled around on the mattress. Li Yundong went into full-blown panic mode. God damn it all to hell! Li Yundong punched his thigh. He looked around the bedroom. Should he perform the massage again? Maybe take her to the hospital? Li Yundong leaped up from the bed. "Hang on, okay? I'm taking you to the hospital." Li Yundong ran to his wardrobe, wanting to retrieve the rest of his cash.

"Yun... Yun...dong..."

Li Yundong turned away from the wardrobe and ran back towards the bed. He grasped Su Chan's cold hands. "What? What? What can I do, princess? Just tell me what to do…"

Su Chan shook her head a few times, then released a sharp cry. Her hand shot out to grab his collar. "N- No... Hos...pi..tal... Don't..."

"I'll give you the massage." Li Yundong moved to stand up but was yanked back down by his collar.

"Use...useless... Take me... t- to... motel..." Su Chan's eyes rolled to the back of her head. "Too... Dangerous... H- Here... Zi... Zi Yuan... might come..."

"But you're in pain!" Li Yundong yelled.

Su Chan's breathing turned ragged. "N- needle... in pocket."

Li Yundong patted her pocket, then pulled out a long, dark needle.

Su Chan's body twitched a few times, the veins and cords on her neck pulling taut against her skin.

"Okay... I've got the needle. What now?" Li Yundong wiped away the sweat on Su Chan's forehead.

"B- Bai...hui... L- Ling..."

"Lingtai?" Li Yundong said.

Su Chan nodded.

Li Yundong got to work immediately. The convulsions stopped the moment Li Yundong poked the needle into her Lingtai. Slowly, her breathing evened out. And when Li Yundong poked the needle on her Baihui, the colors returned slightly to her face.

Li Yundong put the needle away. "Are you still in pain?"

Su Chan nodded. "Need to hurry... Have to push the aura out... C- Can't do it here..."

Li Yundong didn't waste time arguing with her. He picked her up from the bed and ran out of the bedroom towards the door.

"Wait..." Su Chan said when they were at the doorway.

"What is it?" Li Yundong asked.

"F- Forgot... something..." Su Chan pointed at something on the floor.

Li Yundong glanced to his right and saw the Hello Kitty piggy bank lying on the floor.

Li Yundong sighed, then walked over to pick up the piggy bank. "You're practically half-dead, and you're still worried about this thing?"

Su Chan's fingers trembled when she took the piggy bank and hugged it to her chest. "Y- You... need the money..."

Tears stung Li Yundong's eyes. He picked Su Chan up and left the apartment.

***

After they got into a cab, Li Yundong wanted to smack himself in the head. He'd forgotten to take the cash out from his wardrobe amidst trying to help ease Su Chan's pain. Now he didn't have enough cash left to pay for their cab ride. With a heavy sigh, he reached for Su Chan's piggy bank.

Su Chan pulled the piggy bank away from his reach. "No..." She shook her head. "There's some in my pocket."

Li Yundong pulled out a fifty from inside Su Chan's pocket. "I thought you've put everything in there." He pointed at the piggy bank.

Su Chan forced out a smile. "No. The money inside Hello Keedee is for some other purpose..."

"What purpose?"

Su Chan hugged the piggy bank tighter. "Just... I plan to use the money to look for you in case you abandon me one day..."

The tears that he'd been holding back since they left the apartment finally flowed. He sniffed and wiped his cheeks. "D- Don't be stupid..." Li Yundong sobbed. "I'll never abandon you..."

Li Yundong wiped his tears with his sleeve, then regarded Su Chan affectionately. "You'll always be my best girl."

***

"P- Please turn around while I do this..." Su Chan pleaded.

Yundong frowned and lowered himself onto the mattress. "What? Why?"

Su Chan shook her head weakly. "I don't want you to see me like this! Please... Yundong... Please..."

Yundong nodded and turned around to face the wall. "Okay... I won't look. Just... Will you feel better if... I mean after you do whatever it is that you're about to do?"

"Y- Yes..."

"A- Are you sure you don't need any help?"

Su Chan bit down on her lip. She could use some help, to be honest. But she didn't want Yundong to see her like this. Plus, if the removed her Vital Orb from her body, there was a chance that she would…

No. She didn't even want to think about that. Right now she didn't have a choice. She would die if she didn't flush the Divine Aura out of her body within the next hour.

"I can manage," Su Chan said shakily. "I just need you to look away... Please?"

"Okay."

"Promise me you won't look..." Su Chan gritted out.

Yundong sighed. "Okay, okay. I promise. Now hurry up and do your thing," he said. "God, you were in so much pain just now."

Su Chan got into a meditative posture on the bed. She stared at Yundong's back for a few moments, then took a deep breath. A bulge slowly formed on her lower abdomen. Her chest heaved, and the muscles in her throat constricted.

Seconds later, a colorful orb floated out from Su Chan's mouth. The orb glowed brightly, lighting up the entire hotel room.

"What the— Hey! What's with the glowing thing? What the hell is going on..." Yundong said.

"Don't!" Su Chan pleaded. "Don't turn around... Please, Yundong... I beg you... Please..."

Yundong's back stiffened, but he didn't turn around.

Su Chan sighed and removed her hands from her Vital Orb. The colorful sphere hovered in front of her, just a few inches away from her chest. Green tendrils rose from the sphere like a bunch of luminous seaweeds. The tendrils seeped into Su Chan's body. Su Chan sighed as a cooling sensation coursed through her meridians. Moments later, white tendrils rose from her skin, and she felt the last vestiges of her pain leave her body.

Relief coursed through her, until her body started to itch all over.

***

Li Yundong tamped down his curiosity and resisted the impulse to turn around. The fact that the whole frigging room was glowing like crazy didn't help.

He knew something was wrong the moment the bed started shaking. What the f*ck? "Su Chan?" Li Yundong said warily. "What's the matter? Why's the bed shaking?"

"I- I'm fine..."

Li Yundong clenched his jaw. "No! You're not fine! What the hell is going on?"

"No! Don't turn around!" Su Chan shrieked. "Just... Just gimme a minute, okay? I'm almost done...."

Li Yundong took a deep, calming breath and balled his fists. The bed stopped shaking, but there was now a series of scratching sound. Slowly, the bright lights in the room started to dim.

Li Yundong felt the mattress dipping behind him.

There was a loud gasp. "Oh, no, no, no..." Su Chan groaned.

Suddenly, the room dimmed as the colorful lights diminished.

"Su Chan...?" Li Yundong struggled not to turn around. "What's the matter Su Chan? You're scaring me..."

There was a snivel, which turned into sobs. That was when Li Yundong decided that enough was enough.
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He turned around. "No!!!!!" Su Chan screamed. "Don't look at me!!"

Li Yundong froze.

"Oh my God..."