Chapter 38 A Kept Woman“s Abode
For all his swagger, this man's ego took a huge blow the moment he laid eyes on Li Yundong. Indeed, not even his bulging fanny pack and the bling around his neck could prevent the feelings of inadequacy from arising as a result of Li Yundong's charismatic aura and handsome appearance. When he turned to look at the woman who had stepped into the apartment before him, he felt even worse.
The woman, his woman, couldn't take her eyes off Li Yundong! His woman was checking out another man, right in front of him no less! The lust-filled and curious look in the woman's eyes drove him mad, because she had never looked at him like that before. She looked as though she were a hungry wolf with a piece of fresh meat dangled in front of her.
His jealousy fueled his anger. His wounded ego couldn't take the beating anymore, so he had to find a way to boost it. He swaggered forward, then wrapped his arm around the woman's waist possessively. He glanced around the apartment a few times, then said, "Place seems kinda shabby, don't you think?"
The landlady's fawning smile turned her double chin into a triple chin.
"Oh, come now, Boss Zheng! Surely you don't believe that! How can it be shabby when it was just renovated last year! Here, let me show you something." The landlady took a few steps forward and pointed at the ground. "Check out this fur carpet! I got it for five thousand yuan, you see!"
All of a sudden, the landlady bent down to examine the carpet. Then, she straightened and glared at Li Yundong.
"Li Yundong! What on earth did you do to my carpet! So much missing fur!" She wagged a finger in front of Li Yundong's face. "I don't care! You have to pay for the damage. I'm going to take it out from your deposit!"
Li Yundong glanced down at the carpet.
Missing fur my ass... You're just nitpicking!
Well, at least the landlady hadn't found out about the real stuff that was missing...
The landlady returned her attention to Boss Zheng.
"Look at it this way, Boss Zheng. This place is built at a great location! And it's got quality lighting as well. I assure you it's definitely worth the price. You might want to consi—"
"But I didn't say that I'm terminating my lease, Madam He." Li Yundong said, interrupting the landlady's spiel.
The landlady turned around and appraised Li Yundong condescendingly. You? Why should I lease my place to a penniless student who couldn't even afford to extend his lease for more than two months and who pays his rent on a monthly basis! Boss Zheng, on the other hand...
Boss Zheng would sign a two-year lease and then pay the total rent upfront.
"Is that so?" the landlady said in a strange tone. "Then I have to remind you that the rent has been raised substantially starting from this month. Also, there's been a change in the payment policy. I'll be collecting the rent once every six months starting fro—"
"I'll still take it!" Li Yundong said.
The landlady nearly choked on her own spit. She hadn't expected to see this kind of decisiveness from Li Yundong. All of a sudden, she couldn't bring herself to say the words that had been on the tip of her tongue moments ago. Although she was profit-driven, she wouldn't go as far as to force her tenants to move out. Doing so would only give her a bad rap; nobody would want to rent from her again if it ever got out.
The landlady shot a helpless look at Boss Zheng.
Boss Zheng strutted forward, stopping only when he was in front of Li Yundong. Up-close, Li Yundong found the man to be rather short in stature. Boss Zheng took out a pack of cigarettes and offered one to Li Yundong.
Li Yundong waved his hand and smiled at Boss Zheng politely.
"Thanks, but I don't smoke."
"A man who doesn't smoke," Boss Zheng said, then sniggered. "Well, that's a first."
Boss Zheng brought the cigarette to his lips and took out his lighter.
"Lemme tell'ya something, young man," he said, flicking the lighter. "A man who doesn't smoke would be at a position of disadvantage in society. Well, I suppose you might not know this since you're still young and haven't entered society yet. But once you get out into the world, you'll realize how useful a cigarette can be."
Seconds passed with Boss Zheng sharing his manly "wisdoms" with Li Yundong. Li Yundong was honestly expecting him to start talking about how every "real man" should cheat on his wife too. F*ck, he'd rather sit through ten hours of Director Qian's grilling rather than listen to this asshole brag about his profound insights into various cigarette brands.
F*cking show off, Li Yundong thought with a frown, surreptitiously distancing himself from the man.
Alas, Boss Zheng had a problem with Li Yundong from the moment he walked into the apartment and saw Li Yundong in his handsome glory. Apparently, his idea of fixing his problem was by trying to make Li Yundong feel small. Perhaps he thought that doing so might allow him to fill up the crater-sized hole in his ego that appeared courtesy of Li Yundong. As he lectured on, he noticed Li Yundong subtly moving his feet backwards in order to put some distance between them. Nice try, kid, Boss Zheng thought, taking a step forward to close the distance.
It went on and on until Li Yundong didn't even bother to step away anymore. He just stood there and listened to Boss Zheng's incessant blabbering.
Boss Zheng took another pull from his cigarette, then blew out a smoke ring.
"Eh! This Furong Wang's taste is getting blander and blander," he said, pulling back slightly to look at the cigarette between his fingers. Then, he looked back at Li Yundong again and smirked. "I prefer cigars! Last time, I brought back a pack of cigars from Columbia. I'm telling you, kid. The taste! Tsk, tsk. It isn't something you can—"
"Oh for goodness' sake, will you just stop bragging already?" said Boss Zheng's lady friend. She'd noticed Li Yundong's attempt to distance himself from Boss Zheng earlier. Clearly, this hottie wasn't interested in this oaf's bragging, but was just too nice and polite to brush him off. Since she had taken a liking to Li Yundong, she decided to step in and help get Li Yundong out of this uncomfortable situation. Maybe later they could...
"Come here, babe!" said Boss Cheng, waving at the woman.
The woman went over to Boss Zheng reluctantly. She stole another glance at Li Yundong when she walked past him and, all of a sudden, the idea of standing beside a man like Boss Zheng seemed utterly revolting to her.
The woman sauntered towards Boss Zheng, swaying her hips in the process. She walked slowly, delaying her approach on purpose. If she had a choice, she didn't even want to go over to that revolting man at all.
Boss Zheng wrapped his arm around the woman's waist the moment she was within his reach.
"This is Lili," he said smugly. "Do you know who she is?"
Lili glanced at Li Yundong furtively the moment she felt Boss Zheng's touch. She blushed and immediately tried to free herself from Boss Zheng's grasp.
"What are you doing! Tsk! Stop! We're in public!"
Boss Zheng laughed out loud and pulled Lili into his arms, then went on his tiptoes to kiss Lili.
Wow... This is shamelessness on a whole new level... Li Yundong thought.
Lili pushed Boss Zheng's face away and stepped away.
"I'm gonna get mad if you don't behave!"
Boss Zheng seemed pretty unconcerned by Lili's outburst, though he no longer tried to bother her after that. He turned to Li Yundong and took a long drag from his cigarette.
"Lili was the runner-up in Tiannan City's beauty pageant, you know? Before that, she was also a serious undergrad student!"
Li Yundong sneered inwardly. So what? She was still snagged up by a pig like you.
Li Yundong glanced at Lili and found that she was looking at him too. Their gazes met briefly before they both looked away.
Now that he had Su Chan, Li Yundong no longer lusted after other women like he used to, no matter how gorgeous they were. As such, he didn't feel any desire at all when he looked at Lili. In fact, it was the opposite; he found women like Lili, who would sell themselves to a sugar daddy to live a life of ease, repulsive.
Women are sensitive creatures, even more so if they have a skeleton in their closet. Like being a man's mistress, for instance. When she met Li Yundong's eyes earlier, Lili felt a weight crash down on her entire existence — the weight of shame. When she averted her gaze, her eyes were downcast and filled with regret. Dazed, she stood meekly beside Boss Zheng.
However, Boss Zheng didn't seem to notice anything wrong with Lili's demeanor, mostly because he was too occupied with bragging about Lili's beauty. "I mean, holy shit! I'm telling you man, you have no idea how it felt when I first laid eyes on Lili," he said, spit flying everywhere. "I was like... F*ck! This woman is an angel! You know that feeling right? Like your eyes are about to fall out of your head? Let me give you some advice, young man. You gotta work your ass off and become stinking rich." Boss Zheng snorted. "These days? No woman would want to be with a man who didn't have deep pockets. Don't you think so?"
"Yes. Yes, of course," Li Yundong said, smiling politely even though he was secretly picturing himself strangling the asshole with that thick gold necklace of his.
The kitchen door opened just then, and Su Chan poked her head out. When she saw that they had company, she froze.
The entire apartment plunged into silence as Su Chan studied their guests curiously. She blinked a few times, then turned to Li Yundong.
"Who are our guests, Yundong?"
The apartment remained silent.
Nobody was capable of words at that moment: Not Boss Zheng, who was too stunned by Su Chan's beauty to realize that his precious cigarette had slipped from his hand onto the carpet; not Lili, who was struggling with the fact that her own beauty was woefully inadequate compared to Su Chan's; not Madam He, the landlady, who was too busy comparing Su Chan to a fox spirit to realize that a cigarette was burning a hole in her precious five-thousand-yuan carpet; and definitely not Li Yundong, who was trying to figure out a way to extract Su Chan from this shitty situation before she opened her big mouth and spilled the beans about the two missing items in the apartment.
Among them, Lili was especially shocked by the naive and innocent look in Su Chan's eyes, eyes unclouded by the lust for money and material possessions.
Li Yundong was the first to recover. Gotta do something about this, quick! he thought, then cast a glance at Su Chan, who was still staring at him questioningly. He held her gaze for a moment, giving her a pointed look, then shook his head slightly.
Do not say a word, Li Yundong thought, as though he was trying to send the message telepathically.
Thankfully, Su Chan got the message and kept quiet. They maintained eye contact for another moment or two. That was when Li Yundong saw Su Chan subtly tilting her head towards the kitchen.
He shook his head again: No. Stay right there. Don't go back into the kitchen.
Su Chan's presence would distract everyone enough until Li Yundong could figure out a way to get these people out of the apartment without raising suspicion.
Once he was sure that Su Chan was staying, Li Yundong made a quick assessment of the situation. Boss Zheng seemed to have recovered from his lustful admiration of Su Chan earlier and was now looking anywhere except towards Li Yundong. The douchebag's face had turned scarlet.
Li Yundong sneered inwardly. Not so smug now, huh? See if your beautiful Lili could top that.
There was a loud gasp. Li Yundong turned and saw the landlady bending down to pick up the cigarette from the carpet.
Oh, no, no, no, no......
Li Yundong watched in horror as the landlady straightened herself. She was now, unfortunately, facing the wall where the TV mount was attached.
Oh sh*t... Li Yundong thought, then covered his ears.
"Ahhh!!!!! Where the hell is my TV!!!!"
Li Yundong sprang to his feet.
"Look, Madam He, I can explain! It's like this, you see. I broke the TV a few days ago. By accident, of course! But don't worry! I'll definitely replace it with a new one!"
The landlady placed her hands on her plump hips and let her spit fly: "Tomorrow!!!! You better replace it tomorrow!!! I want the exact same model, you hear me! And don't you dare make any delays! I'll drop by again tomorrow for an inspection!"
Seeing no way of justifying his position, Li Yundong nodded compliantly.
"Yes, yes! Tomorrow. Exact same model. Got it, ma'am."
A look of suspicion formed on the landlady's face right then. Li Yundong made the mistake of wincing, which caused the landlady to start glancing around to look for more reasons to toss his sorry ass out.
Li Yundong knew he was f*cked the moment the landlady looked up at the ceiling.
"Ahh!!!! The light!!! Where is the pendant light!!!!"
Li Yundong smiled bitterly.
"It... It fell off the ceiling two days ago." Li Yundong cleared his throat. "But don't worry! I'll replace it! It'll look exactly the same as before! I promise!"
The flab under the landlady's chin trembled.
"You..." she growled menacingly, pointing at Li Yundong. "You're out!!! I'm not renting this place to you anymore!!"
"I'll take it! I'll take it!" Boss Zheng cut in, seeing this as a good opportunity to rub his wealth in Li Yundong's face. "How much is the rent? I'll pay it now!" Boss Zheng unzipped his fanny pack and took out a huge wad of cash.
Lili couldn't take the drama anymore.
"I'm not staying here," Lili said with a frown, then charged out the door.
Li Yundong thought he saw tears on the corner of her eyes when she walked past him.
"Um... What just happened?" Su Chan finally broke her silence.
Having learned his lesson on just how destructive Su Chan's mouth could be, Li Yundong waved his hand at Su Chan desperately.
"Go back to the kitchen. Do your thing, okay? Let me handle this."
Su Chan obeyed and went back into the kitchen, while Boss Zheng gaped at Su Chan's meekness.
What a stark contrast from his woman who came and left as she wished!