Chapter 406: Spoiled Goods
Chu Cheng laughed in surprise. “Before I’d have no way to answer your concern. Now, though, this isn’t a problem. You’re right – I am a descendant of the Hades bloodline. However my uncle had already broken through to Paragon. Eventually we’ll have someone to content with Satan himself. If I get Paragon, than the prince of devils will not be leading the Dark Citadel for long. Your family has always followed strength, so our enmity isn’t with you – it’s with Satan and not his brood. There exist no conflict between our dark families, and I hope that if we should wrestle control from Satan, then Dracula will follow the Dark Citadel as he always has.”
Chu Cheng was certainly chasing a dream, whether it was what he said or simply to spend time with Lina was hard to say. Inwardly he chuckled – he may have lost the tournament, but it wasn’t for nothing.
Lina sniffed. “Anyway, I’m not interested in spoiled goods.”
“Spoiled…. Spoiled goods?” Chu Cheng looked at her with wide eyes. “You’re calling me defective?”
She smirked at him. Although she was clearly hurt and tired, the smile still bore a vibrant, devilish charm. “By your own admission you’ve had many women. How could something so thoroughly used not be broken down? I come from a noble house, and have no interest in poor quality. Let me go, I’ll walk myself home.”
Chu Cheng’s heart lurched. His heartfelt and protracted speech had been for nothing. It was like a slap to the face – this chick let it go in one ear and out the other! Not everything he’d said was a lie. In fact a good chunk of it was totally genuine. It didn’t have the desired effect, though.
“Never mind. Even if you aren’t interested the least I could do is send you home.” Chu Cheng sighed.
“Then can you take your hands off my ass?” She snarled back. “I don’t want to have to chop it off.”
“Heh.. ehm, habit. It’s a habit, my bad. I’m sorry.” The unfortunate truth was it really was his habit. The ultimate goal of putting his arms around a woman, presumably.
No wonder she wouldn’t give him a chance. Righteous words, sure, but idle hands…
Chu Cheng didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. He reeled back like he was shocked. She wouldn’t have to worry about cutting her ass off if he cut these devil hands off, first.
Chu Cheng walked with her to the entrance of the Nice Hotel 1. He looked at her, full of sincerity. “I’m sorry to have caused you trouble. I promise I never had any ill intentions. I hope that the next time we meet, I’ll have bested Satan and gained control of the Dark Citadel. Maybe even we’re still unattached, we could give it another shot. Goodbye.”
With that said, Chu Cheng began the lonely walk back. He might have been an… amorous youth, but he didn’t mean any harm. The lady had clearly expressed her disinterest, and he wouldn’t press her. In this regard, he kept to a very strict moral code.
“Hey!” Lina’s sharp voice challenged from behind.
“Hm?” Chu Cheng stopped, and half turned to look back at her.
She looked at him for a moment. “I’m hungry, and I need to have these wounds looked at. Go get me something. There wasn’t any command in her voice, more like one would address an old acquaintance.
Chu Cheng’s eyes lit up. In his experience, half the battle was getting passed the door.
“Only because you gave up the tournament for me,” she quickly added. “That’s the only reason you get to hang around, right, so don’t get any ideas.”
Chu Cheng pressed his right hand to his breast, and delivered a very gallant bow. “It’s my honor,” he said with a smile.
Lan Jue saw Chu Cheng chase Lina out of the arena as he left the field. He saw his friend step out and forfeit with his own eyes. He caught Chu Dong’s expression out of the corner of his eye. No doubt he knew what his son was up to.
Lan Jue wanted to help his friend, but that was out of the question. He was done, but the Pharmacist was still here. She waved at him as he left the ring. Lan Jue made his way over to where she stood, stopping a few feet away. There was nothing preventing contestants from watching other fighters from the sidelines.
“What up?” Lan Jue asked.
Frowning, the Pharmacist asked, “What’s going on with your Discipline? Yesterday I thought that business with the Barber was on purpose, but from what I saw today I can’t help but suspect something. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have had such a hard time.”
“No big deal,” Lan Jue assured. “I did drop a few ranks, but we’ll talk more about it later.” It was important to remember that he was Zeus here. It wouldn’t do for the famous ex-mercenary and Divine Monarch to be seen speaking at length with an Avenue woman. The Pharmacist recognized this as well, and said nothing further.
On the VIP platform.
The Terminator held Jun’er, and they both watched the fights from their overhead vantage. He explained events to her as they unfolded. To have a Paragon as a personal narrator was a blessing little Jun’er couldn’t even begin to appreciate.
“That was an interesting fight, that one. The masked man is very smart, and has great control over his power. He wasn’t as strong as the girl, but his use of Discipline was shrewd and ruthless. He never gave her a chance to catch her breath. At the end she managed that final gasp, but it was her relative inexperience that lost her the fight.”
“Mmm, hmmm.” Jun’er thoughtfully nodded her head as though carefully considering the giant man’s words.
The Terminator continued through a bemused grin. “After all that all you have to say is ‘mm hmm’? Tell me, Jun’er… you’ve seen three days of the tournament. Who do you think will win?”
“Mmm, let me think,” she muttered. She shut her eyes tight and pondered.
The Terminator couldn’t keep the ghost of pity from showing on his face, just for a moment. What was the difference if she had her eyes opened or closed?
A moment later, however, his pity turned to shock. Jun’er was different as well.
As she closed her eyes, a small but distinct pulse of energy arose. It burst outward like a ripple on a lake. In its wake was a strange field of energy that looked… almost like a Paragon’s Domain.
For this little girl, with no perceivable Discipline, to reveal such a power was inconceivable. Domains were pure protogenia, so how was it possible this child could do it?
The little pocket dimension vanished as quick as it had come. Her eyes popped open, but she looked drawn.
“Hard to guess, but they were familiar… maybe mommy or daddy. That’s gunna be the winner.” Jun’er tittered as she ‘looked’ out over the field.
- Unrelated to the story, but China has a funny habit of being very on-the-nose with their naming sometimes. The Nice Hotel is a real place, I think, but it’s not out of place in China. In my town we had a chain of pizza joints called Best Pizza. Much to my amusement, it was later bought out by another franchise, OK Pizza. The quality of the pizza remained poor. ↩