Chapter 170: Big Boobs. No Brain.
“Qianlin!” The shout startled her, and she turned to see Tang Mi racing towards her. But her escape was cut off by a particularly pushy journalist.
Lan Jue frowned in agitation. “This isn’t acceptable. This concert shouldn’t be affecting our students’ ability to study. I’m going to find Director Wu.”
“No need, I’m already here.” Wu Junyi’s bassitone voice interrupted him. Lan Jue then saw the serious looking older Director approach. He arrived with an entourage of security guards.
With a flourish of his hand, they rushed out the gates and forced the numerous congregated reporters to either side. This opened up a path for the students to enter unmolested.
“I apologize Professor Lan. I hadn’t expected this level of trouble for hosting the concert. Just this morning we had over five hundred reporters at our gates. And I hear there are twice as many on the way. From the school’s perspective, we already regret opening our doors to Gobi Entertainment.” Wu Junyi himself appeared helpless to do much against the onslaught of the media. The higher-ups of the university all underestimated the people’s response, and Wu Junyi as one of their number felt equally responsible. It had been a long time since any of them had been chasing their idol’s coattails, so they hadn’t imagined Poseidon’s following would be so massive.
Lan Jue smiled disarmingly. “It is what it is. It’s too late to turn them down now. We’ll make the best out of it, and try to keep order. I think if we requested further police from the authorities, things would be better.
Wu Junyi nodded his agreement. “Just so. Go on in, Professor. I’ll handle this.”
Lan Jue continued into the campus. Tang Mi and Zhou Qianlin where nowhere to be found.
“Qianlin, what were you doing with Professor Lan?” Tang Mi chattered ceaselessly besides Qianlin as they walked through the sea of forget-me-nots.
“We just ran in to each other on the road.”
Tang Mi stuck out her tongue impetuously. “Who believes that! It isn’t the first time I’ve seen you two together. Go on! There’s something between you two, isn’t there?”
Qianlin shot her a look. “Yup.”
“Really?!” Tang Mi’s eyes looked as though they were ready to pop out of her head. “Prfoessor Lan really isn’t bad looking. Still, I’ve been thinking, and I still prefer Zeus. The Professor has class, but he’s no good in a fight. I heard he got yelled at again by your Savage Goddess. They say he was lagging behind in Taihua, and nearly got Professor Tan and another instructor killed. Hummm. Men must at least have the strength to protect a woman, otherwise how are they supposed to feel safe! So, I decided to give up my fantasy with Professor Lan.”
Zhou Qianlin could only cast her helpless gaze towards her friend. “Alright, we get it. Don’t turn in to some bimbo.”
Tang Mi’s voice dropped to a whisper. “So is there really something going on between you two? I’ll tell you, Richard is pretty offended. If there isn’t anything going on, you should really stay away from the Professor for a little while. One look at Richard and you can tell he’s a jealous sort, you don’t want to bring any trouble on Professor Lan.”
Qianlin stopped in her tracks. “Tang Mi, I’m honestly surprised at how smart you’re becoming.” 1
Tang Mi glared at her. “Huh? You’re saying I wasn’t smart?”
Qianlin snickered, her face bright with malicious intent. “You know what they say. Big boobs, no brain.”
“Ahh! You’re begging for a beating! Qianlin!”
Lan Jue lazily pushed his bike along the campus paths towards the electives building. The trek struck him speechless. He couldn’t imagine where Gobi Entertainment even got all of these flowers. They likely picked them because their blue color, which matched Poseidon just fine. The amount of money to pull this off…
Lan Jue’s eyes fell to his communicator as it buzzed.
“You here A-Jue?” Hua Li’s voice crackled out towards him.
Lan Jue’s response was less than friendly. “Don’t you think all of this is a little excessive? You’re poisoning this university’s scholastic atmosphere. The school’s already dissatisfied with all this nonsense.”
Hua Li laughed. “Take it easy. There’s no one in the known galaxy with more experience in this sort of thing than us. Mo Xiao has already sent over five hundred additional security personnel as backup. They’ll be there in half an hour. They’ll keep the peace. We’ve also been in contact with the local police authorities, so they’ll be helping too.”
“I heard the concert’s free for students,” Lan Jue said. “I thought this was a benefit performance. Where are you going to get donations?”
It was Hua Li’s turn to get annoyed. “You’re an idiot when it comes to this stuff, guy. You think those reporters aren’t paying to come in and broadcast the show? Are you at all aware of how many sponsors have already committed to this? On top of that, twenty percent of the total profits from Sounds of Nature are going directly to Taihua for help and recovery. It’s a pretty astronomical figure.”
Lan Jue’s response was inquisitive. “Astronomical seems a bit dramatic. How much can you really expect from twenty percent?”
“Not much, only about enough to buy an Expedition Warship,” Hua Li stated tepidly.
Lan Jue was silent for a time. “Hua Li, be my sugar daddy. You got the money for it.”
Hua Li chuckled. “Alright! Your wish is my command.”
“Ugh, forget I said anything.” Lan Jue laughed softly as he cut the connection. He shook his head with a mirthful sigh. Poseidon and his people were definitely worthy of their title as the richest business group in all the alliances. Discussing money with them wasn’t annoying, it was downright nerve-wracking.
When Lan Jue arrived at the electives offices, no one was to be found, evidently because they were given the day off. He was happy to have the opportunity to prepare his next few lessons in peace.
However, plans changed when, after only a few minutes of work, his mind started to wander and an uncomfortable sensation overcame him. He leaned back in his chair, fingers netted behind his head, and he stared out the window to the gardens beyond.
Yesterday he and Qianlin had visited the old folks home once again. They worked well together, organized and efficient without much need for talk. The entire ordeal left him feeling replenished.
Their grateful smiles, inquiries over his health, and familial actions were all very warming to the spirit.
He still had two years of service as Qianlin’s bodyguard, and now more than ever it was clear he wouldn’t be able to completely extricate himself from her. But so long as things were like this, peaceful and easy, then he could live with it.
National Eastern University Reception Hall.
The building was well decorated, like a hotel. It was expansive, and was used primarily to welcome guests to the university. Currently the teachers and students of Lir University called it home.
The Assembly Room.
Lir University’s Director Shi was seated before a long table, in the place of honor. The various students and teachers taking place in the competition were sat on either side.
“All of our mechas have arrived safely?” Director Shi turned his head just enough to address the elderly professor at his elbow.
“They’re all here. In this area at least, the NEU does a passable job. There haven’t been any problems, deliberate or otherwise.”
Director Shi nodded his head sagely. “Today is Poseidon’s concert. Tomorrow, the competition. This year’s games have been separated in to two sections; academic, and martial. We are always criticized for picking on them, since they aren’t a mecha university. So we must trounce them, in both categories. There must be no doubt who the superior school is. The dean will also be in attendance tomorrow, for the entire thing. I don’t imagine I have to spell out for you what this means. Not to mention rewards for students and staff who distinguish themselves.”
“Xiao Han!” Director Shi’s eyes swept towards the far end of the table. There stood the young man who had harassed Zhou Qianlin earlier, pale as a sheet.
“Director Shi.” He stood straight as a statue, his face a mask.
The Director growled at him. “You are our school’s trump card, so act like it. I want you to save that energy for the games, and then destroy them – especially in simulations. Let them know what an absolute defeat tastes like.”
A cold light flickered through his eyes. “That’s what I’m good at.”
Director Shi smirked, and nodded his head. He waved for the youth to sit. His attention then turned to another, a man in his thirties who looked as normal as any other. He spoke warmly to him. “Professor Su, we’ll be relying on you in the instructor’s matches.”
“Mnh.” Professor Su said nothing further, only nodding his head. He made no motion to rise.
Strangely, Director Shi didn’t seem to mind the disrespect, though there was a shine to his eyes.
As the Lir University faculty were having their clandestine collectives, members of the NEU were also eloping to secret meetings.
“Tang Xiao. Tang Mi. You two better put on a good show this time. Our investigations show that Lir has brought no less than three Emperor-Class pilots with them this time. Tang Xiao, you’re already close to first rank. And Tang Mi, you’ve got the strength for a second rank. You two, constitute our main force. Along with Geng Yang, you are our wild cards. It’s your first time entering in to the games, so make sure you work to earn it!”
Geng Yang was a young man not far removed in skill from Tang Xiao. He looked experienced, but young and handsome. He had a head of fiery red hair, which complemented his smoldering crimson eyes. He nodded in agreement.
Wu Junyi swung his head from side to side, regarding his fellow instructors. “Professor Tan, we’ll be relying on you for the instructor’s matches. We’ll simply have to make the best of our situation in the combat arena. Just make sure you don’t get hurt. Luckily we’re a shoe-in for the academics portion. Ziqian, you were in charge of this. What have you got?”
Le Ziqian was the deputy director of Mecha Construction and Maintenance studies, and the director of the R and D Department. He was thirty-five this year, and being honored as the youngest accomplished researcher at the university. He was the famed name behind their school.
He once represented the whole of the Eastern Alliance at a scientific exchange between the other two groups. Thanks to his vision and innovation he was widely lauded by the community.
He was a citizen of Skyfire, actually. This was fortunate, for of course there was no end to the universities that wanted him, or their promises. However, in the end he went with his home, and decided to stay on Skyfire as part of the NEU. It wasn’t excessive to call him the school’s greatest treasure.
- Best. Friend. Ever. ↩