While Guan Tianyu bullied Zong Yang, he glanced at Yun Ruoyan from time to time. In the end, he was still somewhat afraid of Li Mo—but if he couldn’t bully Yun Ruoyan directly, then he would instead bully those close to her, like Zong Yang.
The other students sitting by Yun Ruoyan detected his true motives almost immediately, and they hurriedly left Yun Ruoyan’s table with their trays of food, in case they became the next target. Zong Yang wished he could do the same: he was sick of being bullied, and would often take long detours just to avoid this tyrant.
However, it was too late now.
Guan Ruliu stayed put. As an experienced student with some backing in her own right, she didn’t fear Guan Tianyu as much as the other students did. However, that didn’t mean she would provoke him for no reason.
“Senior, I’m already full,” Zong Yang refused the meatball in front of him. Eating a frozen meatball in winter wouldn’t be a comfortable affair.
“Then you won’t eat it?” Guan Tianyu continued to smile before facing Lin Qingchen. Lin Qingchen was vegetarian, and her tray of food was filled with leafy greens.
Guan Tianyu sneered. “I hate to see others waste food, so if you won’t eat it, then how about you, junior sister?” He held the meatball in front of Lin Qingchen.
Lin Qingxue slapped her chopsticks down on the table and was just about to jump up when Yun Ruoyan caught her and did so herself. With her small stature, the tip of her head barely reached Gaun Tianyu’s shoulder, and she seemed far less imposing than he.
However, Yun Ruoyan didn’t seem fearful of Guan Tianyu at all. Instead, her gaze was filled with disdain. This greatly incensed Guan Tianyu, and his eyes glinted dangerously.
To the onlooking crowd, it looked as though these two were about to fight. Those who had been jealous or envious of Yun Ruoyan internally mocked her for overestimating her own capabilities, to dare to pick a fight with the tyrant of the northern college himself. On the other hand, those who felt goodwill toward her silently sent her a prayer. Everyone was certain that, if the two of them really were to fight, that Yun Ruoyan would be completely countered.
“I’ll eat it, I’ll eat it!” Just as the atmosphere grew more and more tense, Zong Yang suddenly shouted. “Wasting food bothers me too, so I’ll have it.”
Zong Yang reached out for Guan Tianyu’s icy meatball with his chopsticks, frowning as he brought it toward his mouth.
“Senior Zong Yang, please wait.” Yun Ruoyan suddenly stopped Zong Yang and reached out for the chopsticks in his hands. “This meatball is cold, so please allow me to heat it up for you.”
Zong Yang could feel a pulse of warmth travel down Yun Ruoyan’s finger, through the chopsticks, and into the icy meatball. Quickly, its icy exterior melted, and it became steaming hot once more.
“Here you go, Senior Brother.” Yun Ruoyan removed her fingers from his chopsticks.
“Thank you, Junior Sister.” Zong Yang looked at the heated meatball in shock, then popped it into his mouth with a smile.
“Ah, it isn’t raw,” he muttered indistinctly, the meatball still in his mouth. “It tastes great!”
He chewed, then swallowed, then wiped his mouth as the crowd stared at him.
When Guan Tianyu saw Yun Ruoyan’s facility with her fire-attuned spiritual energy, he suspected that there was something wrong with his eyes. As an absolute rookie, how could someone like Yun Ruoyan have such delicate control over her spiritual energy?
“Senior Guan, are you satisfied now?” Yun Ruoyan smiled icily at him.
Yun Ruoyan had easily resolved the incident he was about to use to start a fight, leaving him even more dissatisfied than before.
“You’re not bad, but you’re so ugly that it pains my eyes just to look at you!” Guan Tianyu made a revolted expression as he focused on Yun Ruoyan’s birthmark. “I heard that you, Rong Yueshan, and Yi Qianying are all from noble families in the Li kingdom, aren’t you? Why are they so much more beautiful than you are? And even if you’re ugly, fine—but you’re not even trying to hide it? How did you even get into Kongming Academy, and what could Master Mo have seen in a nobody like you to want to take you as a disciple?”
Despite Guan Tianyu’s manly physique, his insults were as poisonous as a woman’s.
“Yo-you, do you know basic etiquette at all?!” Lin Qingxue stood up and yelled back at him, finally having had enough. This time, even Lin Qingchen began to frown. Even though they knew that Yun Ruoyan was just pretending to be ugly, they couldn’t stand Guan Tianyu’s scathing tone.
“What’s the matter? I’m only speaking the truth!” Guan Tianyu chuckled like a hooligan. Well? What’re you going to do about me?
“That’s right! If you don’t want anyone to comment on how ugly you are, then don’t come out and frighten us all!” Li Furong added.
Rong Yueshan and Yi Qianying both looked on mockingly.
“Ha.” On the other hand, Yun Ruoyan didn’t seem to mind Guan Tianyu’s words at all. “Senior Guan, Kongming Academy admits students based on their skills, not on their appearance. I came to Kongming Academy to train and learn, not to take part in a beauty contest. If you want to look at pretty girls, there are brothels all around—or just look around you!”
Yun Ruoyan smiled as her gaze swept over Rong Yueshan and Yi Qianying. “They’re no worse than the prostitutes at a brothel, after all.”
Rong Yueshan, Yi Qianying, and Li Furong’s faces turned ugly.
“What do you mean?” Li Furong thundered. “To compare us to prostitutes…!”
“Did I?” Yun Ruoyan covered her mouth in faux shock. “Miss Li, you must be overthinking things. I was just using an example to praise your good looks.”
“Exactly,” Lin Qingxue jumped in. “The brothels of the capital are filled with courtesans famous for their beauty. Based on appearance alone, you three might even lose out to them!”
“That’s reasonable,” Lin Qingchen continued icily. “Senior Guan, if you’re interested in beauty, feel free to tour a brothel.”
Zong Yang let out a half-laugh before he quickly covered his mouth with a hand, but his desire to laugh was so strong that his body was shaking and his eyes almost tearing up. Yun Ruoyan seemed to be one of those cold, aloof types, but her barbs were even sharper than Guan Tianyu’s, and her two cousins weren’t too bad either.
Even Guan Tianyu was gaping.
“Yun Ruoyan, how dare you!” Rong Yueshan exclaimed, her face flushed. “I’m the niece of the empress, and Yi Qianying’s the concubine of the crown prince! You dare belittle us with your crass insults?”
Rong Yueshan had failed to defeat Yun Ruoyan at the plaza, and hadn’t dared to make any other moves against her on account of Li Mo. However, her hatred and desire to teach Yun Ruoyan a lesson had only grown and grown.
Today, she had hoped to make use of Guan Tianyu to finally knock Yun Ruoyan down a few pegs, but even he wasn’t a match for her! At the very least, she had now found a good excuse to engage her. Given such an insult, the second elder would probably punish her if he knew that she hadn’t done anything to defend her honor.
“If I don’t teach you a lesson today, I don’t deserve to be a member of the Rong family!” Rong Yueshan yelled out, sweeping a hand in Yun Ruoyan’s direction and launching two icy daggers at her.
“Be careful!” Zong Yang pulled Lin Qingxue behind him, and Guan Ruliu shielded Lin Qingchen.
Yun Ruoyan grabbed a bowl on the table and tossed it at the icy dagger. The dagger cracked the bowl, and the soup it contained spilled toward the three girls. Rong Yueshan and Yi Qianying were agile enough to dodge the projectile, but Li Furong ended up drenched in soup.
Before Lin Qingxue could laugh at Li Furong’s souplogged appearance, Rong Yueshan threw out two more daggers. This time, Yun Ruoyan didn’t dodge. She raised her right hand, and a fireball emerged from her palm. Before the icy dagger could reach her face, she tossed it out.
As the fireball encountered the two daggers in midair, it burst into flames, enveloping both daggers. Instantly, the daggers melted.
The fireball technique, Guan Tianyu murmured to himself. This ugly girl really does have some skill…
In just a few days, Yun Ruoyan had managed to counter her new spiritual technique which had been so effective against her at the plaza! “You’ve learned an external spiritual technique too!”
“Ha, you’re not the only one with a master,” Yun Ruoyan replied. She raised her right hand again, manifesting a second fireball. “Didn’t you want to fight? I’ll satisfy you.”
Yun Ruoyan threw the fireball in Rong Yueshan’s direction. As Li Mo had attested, the fireball technique perfectly countered Rong Yueshan’s icy daggers: the fireball could melt the daggers, but the daggers were ineffective against the fireball.
Rong Yueshan watched the fireball draw near with alarm and fright on her face—but just as it was about to hit her, Guan Tianyu finally made his move.Previous Chapter Next Chapter