There weren't any lacking of warriors in the world, only heroes. Warriors might be able to risk their lives and fight, but it’s heroes that decided the outcome of the battle. Wang Guofeng could be considered as a warrior since he lost. Furthermore, it wasn’t his first time, either. He has fallen from shouldering the burden of the entire country’s confidence and trust. It was akin to falling from a cliff.
Wang Guofeng gulped down red wine in glasses in the room. Although he wasn’t especially fond of drinking, he wished to be drunk right now. If he blanked out, perhaps he would be able to stop thinking about the humiliations and all his troubles.
The disdainful gazes of Hamasaki Masaki and Kim Jung-ho constantly flashed in his mind. It wasn’t an outcome that he could accept. According to his plan, this Three States Forum Exchange was meant for him to wash the shame of his loss in the Physician King Tournament. It was meant to announce to everyone that he’s the protagonist, the hero of TCM.
As Wang Guofeng’s vision started to blur, his phone suddenly rang. It was from his master, so he answered the call with a hiccup, “Master, sorry that I’ve disappointed you.”
His master was the Sect Master of the Medical Dao Sect. He sighed from the other side and patiently comforted, “Guofeng, losing isn’t fearful as long as you can find your position. I have already reminded you that your path has been too quick; you need to calm down and solidify your foundation. Furthermore, TCM is not an arena. We bear the responsibility of saving lives, and no matter how far you go in the future, you must remember this principle.”
Ridiculing his master for being old-fashioned, Wang Guofeng half-heartedly replied, “Failure is the mother of success. Master, don’t worry, I will remember your teachings.”
The Sect Master of the Medical Dao Sect helplessly shook his head. He knew this disciple of his too well. Despite the appearance that Wang Guofeng showed to others, he’s actually extremely prideful in his heart. Thus, his series of defeat injured his confidence. Strength could be complemented with hard work, but complementing your lack of confidence was as hard as surmounting the skies.
Thus, the Sect Master could only continue to reply, “After this trip, come back and go into seclusion for some time.”
Despite the reluctance, Wang Guofeng could only obey the orders of his master. “I understand.”
His Master continued, “As for your marriage with Ruochen…”
“We’ve broke up!” Wang Guofeng gritted his teeth as he continued, “I was the one that let her down.”
The voice from the other side of the phone sighed, “Well, you youngsters will handle your matters, an old man like me will not interfere.”
After hanging up the phone, Wang Guofeng slammed his fist on the desk. The bottle of red wine fell onto the ground and shattered. Staggering to stand up, Wang Guofeng walked towards the washroom with unsteady feet. When he saw his haggard appearance on the mirror, Wang Guofeng roared and he swept everything to the ground.
“Kim Jung-ho, Hamasaki Masaki, and Su Tao! One day, I, Wang Guofeng, will return all the humiliation that I have suffered!” Wang Guofeng punched the mirror and cracks spread out like webs from the centre of force with blood dripping from his fingertips.
Yuhang City was the capital of Zheyuan Province. Yuhang City had developed into one of China’s economic centres together with Yinzhou City of Huainan Province to form the wings that guarded Yunhai to push China’s development.
It took roughly three hours to travel from Huainan’s Hanzhou City to Yuhang City. Despite driving at 100km/h throughout the whole journey, night had already fallen by the time they arrive in Yuhang, and the forum exchange had already ended. Even the representatives from South Korea and Japan have left their hotel for the next destination.
Seeing the travel-worn Su Tao, Liu Ruochen felt sour in her heart. When she came in contact with Su Tao in the past, she felt that he was a frivolous person. She even suspected if such a young man could shoulder the entire burden of China’s TCM. But right now, Su Tao had given her a different feeling; it was a seriousness.
She sat to the side as Su Tao and Xia Yu ate on the third floor of the hotel. The medium-well done steak emanated a fragrance. The spaghetti and pumpkin soup was also refreshing to taste. Liu Ruochen broke the awkward silence with a smile. “Actually, there’s no need for you to come. The TCM Association has abandoned you, so it’s not your responsibility.”
Su Tao sighed as he bitterly smiled. “You’re treating it too simple. Everyone in this field would pay attention to the Three States Forum Exchange. Despite being in his seventies, Mr. Tang Nanzheng cried when he heard of your failure. As a man, how can we blame someone else to comfort ourselves?”
Luo Ruochen was left speechless. Su Tao did not swear, but every word of his stabbed into her heart. Although there were many from the TCM Association that came forth to comfort the representative team after the tournament, was their failure really forgivable?
No! With such a heavy burden on their shoulders, they could only afford to win and not lose!
Suddenly realising that his words were too intense, Su Tao switched the topic. “Anyways, why did you send Mo Sui’er to the Three Flavour Hall?”
Liu Ruochen also wanted to escape from the negative emotions, so she replied, “Actually, the atmosphere in TCM has been restless, and I think that the situation in Three Flavour Hall might be simpler, and Mo Sui’er will be able to learn real things there.”
“What eloquence.” Su Tao helplessly smiled.
Xia Yu kept quiet as he ate his steak, but his gaze would occasionally peek at Liu Ruochen’s face. He wasn’t thinking anything about TCM. He was thinking about how Su Tao was able to meet peerless beauties wherever he went.
Swiftly finishing his food, Xia Yu found an excuse to leave, leaving Su Tao and Liu Ruochen by themselves. When the two of them finished their coffee, they felt a little bored from staying there, so Liu Ruochen suggested that they walk around.
Cars swiftly shuttled past on the streets that were fully lit up; it was a prosperous sight to behold. The two of them walked closer to each other, since they weren’t familiar with this city. Su Tao could feel his arm brushing against the corner of Liu Ruochen’s clothes and an urge to grab that hand rose up in his heart. However, his rationale told him that if he really did that, then he would have to expect a slap from her.
“You want to hold my hands?” Liu Ruochen suddenly stopped.
Su Tao turned to look at Liu Ruochen. Her beauty was indescribable under the hazy light. Su Tao suddenly felt dizzy with his heart pumping wildly. He wasn’t a superficial person who would be attracted by a woman’s appearance. However, her appearance and bearing made Su Tao feel an uncontrollable urge to get close to her, despite knowing that it's a foolish action.
“Yes! Not only do I want to hold your hands, I even want to hug you as well.” Su Tao faintly smiled.
After a brief hesitation, Liu Ruochen stretched her hand out. “Hold it, then.”
Su Tao was taken by surprise, since he never expected that Liu Ruochen would give her hand out so easily. He held onto her hand as he wished, it wasn’t as soft as he had imagined. On the contrary, it felt rough. This was the hand of a veteran Physician. Not only did they practice their acupuncture techniques, but they also had to learn massage and other typical TCM skills.
Sensing the warmth from her hands, Liu Ruochen smiled. “Compared to mine, your hand feels more like a woman’s, it’s soft and tender. It feels like touching rubber!”
Su Tao smiled. “Now I know, you’re the one that wanted to hold my hand!”
Nodding her head, Liu Ruochen answered, “Half of it was my curiosity, and the other half comes from the emotion in my heart.”
Su Tao felt a little constrained as he looked at her pure eyes. For some reason, this woman could purify the heart of others, so he smiled. “Have you perhaps fallen for me?”
Liu Ruochen smiled and spoke her the truth to her heart, “Love is out of the question; it’s just a good opinion. It’s like the joy of finding a friend amongst the sea of crowds.”
“Are you sure that I’m your friend? We actually don’t understand each other too well. Now that I think about it, this might be the first time that we got to know each other further.” Su Tao also felt the same as her, it’s just that he chose not to say it.
As the autumn breeze blew, it lifted Liu Ruochen’s hair. She gently combed her hair with her other hand and smiled. “We’ll know after we look at each other’s eyes and see if we understand each other.”
Su Tao was amused as he smiled, “Then look into my eyes and tell me what I’m thinking.”
Looking back at Su Tao’s eyes, Liu Ruochen replied, “You’re now thinking, why is this woman so pretty? How can I get her to my bed?”
Su Tao widened his mouth. Liu Ruochen had actually guessed out his thoughts. But hearing those vulgar words coming from a fairy like her, it was such a significant blow that even someone with skin as thick as Su Tao felt an unprecedented shame.
He turned his gaze away as he awkwardly stuttered, “Y-yo-you guessed it wrong! I was thinking how gorgeous this woman before me is, and it would surely be my fortune if I could get her as my wife. That narrow-minded Wang Guofeng isn’t worthy of you.”
Liu Ruochen had a mild character that didn’t like to start a dispute with others. Since Su Tao had denied it, then so be it.
Looking at the few stars in the nightscape, Liu Ruochen slowly said, “If I said that I’ve viewed marriage lightly, would you find it weird?”
Nodding his head, Su Tao smiled. “Naturally. Although marriage is a wall, it’s essential. Do you think that even a fairy like you can disregard the norms?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter