“Nope.” Lan Jue refused without hesitation.
What is guarding? Day in and day out with the client, always by their side, constantly on your toes. The key factor was time, because poor timing could mean someone’s life.
Zeus, the untouchable master of the mercenary world, had served before as a body guard for two years. It was intolerable.
Why did he become a mercenary in the first place?
A Ninth Level Talent, God-Ranked Mecha-Pilot, infinite possibilities… why choose the life of a mercenary? It was simple, really – freedom.
Thus Lan Jue rarely returned home, he couldn’t stand the constraints.
Simply said this condition set by Zhou Qianlin went against his very nature, indeed he couldn’t comply.
He took up the enameled pot, pouring himself another small cup of tea. He replaced it and took another sip.
“Something else,” Lan Jue said in ill temper. When in her presence, even if he didn’t realize it, he hardly seemed like a noble.
“No need.” Zhou Qianlin stood. “A man who fails to keep his promise, what use could I have for him?”
As she spoke, she moved towards the door to leave.
“You!” Lan Jue jumped to his feet, grabbing her wrist. “What on earth do you want?!”
She glared cruelly at him. “What do I want? I told you what I want, but since you can’t agree then forget it.”
“Then what happened between us…” he began in hesitation.
Zhou Qianlin yanked her hand away and stood toe to toe with him, staring fiercely in to his eyes. Lan Jue unconsciously took a step back.
“It was like being sat on by a pig.” She spat the sentence at him, turned on her heel and left.
Lan Jue felt like a victim of his own Lightning Discipline, standing there frozen for a long while.
“Stop!” After a few moments he finally reacted, running outside. He ran nearly headlong in to the waitress.
“Sir, you haven’t settled the bill.”
He paid hurriedly and hastened outside. He finally caught up with Zhou Qianlin at the door to the Luo Yun teahouse.
“Stop right there!” Lan Jue shouted at her.
Zhou Qianlin lin spun around, regarding him calmly. “You have something to say?”
“Y-you…!” lightning rippled in Lan Jue’s eyes, clearly on the verge of erupting.
She lifted her head, scorn evident in her beautiful sky-blue eyes. “What’s the matter? Ashamed?”
Lan Jue loosened his tightened fists, stepping back. “Ask for something else!”
Zhou Qianlin turned once again and began to walk off.
This time Lan Jue did not pursue, watching her slender form vanish around a nearby corner. He couldn’t stop his fists from clenching once more. He was finding it difficult to contain his emotions.
Around the corner Zhou Qianlin had stopped when out of sight, leaning against the wall. She covered her red face with her hands, gasping headily through her open mouth.
The pressure was immense, and she felt as though in that moment there still burned the heat of those two large hands pressing down on her shoulders.
And then a laugh burst unbidden from her lips. The whole scene was too much! Sat on by a pig!
Hah! He’s got to be so pissed! What choice does the honorable and respected Zeus have?
In the same instant Lan Jue was returning to Zeus’ Jewelry Store.
Seeing his infuriated face, Xiuxiu and Ke’er gulped. The expression in his eyes was stranger still.
Lan Jue said not a word, going directly to his room. He needed to think.
“Who’s he so upset with? He looks so… ugly,” Ke’er said, wide-eyed and open-mouthed.
Xiuxiu shook her head. “It’s the first time I’ve seen him this angry.”
As he entered the room Lan Jue flopped down atop his bed, his head resounding with Zhou Qianlin’s pleasant voice.
“Sat on by a pig!”
The two phrases echoed over and over in his mind. He knew that had someone else spoke to him like that he’d have incinerated them. But not Zhou Qianlin, she was his Jinyu’s sister, and he still…
Only, this request was nearly impossible to accept. To be beside her every day as a bodyguard. How could anyone who values freedom live like that? And it was more than two years – the length of her schooling, at least two years and three months.
No, impossible! Regardless of the circumstances, impossible!
Yet to refuse was to go against his own moral code. In the heat of the moment they never discussed terms. Moreover he was the one that had taken her innocence. If he didn’t make recompense it would be like a thorn in his heart forever, like a fish bone caught in the throat.
At the same time Zou Qianlin was also lying in her bed, covered by a light pink gauze curtain. Her room was constructed like an ocean of flowers. Lying atop the soft bed, her eyes were hazy, filled with several emotions, her mind in a constant state of flux.
Will he accept? If he doesn’t, what then?
Beep, beep, beep!
Zhou Qianlin nearly leapt from the bed, but sputtered when she saw he number on her communicator.
“Little Mi, what is it?”
“Tang Mi!” came the agitated shout from the communicator.
“Fine, fine. Tang Mi,” Zhou Qianlin responded helplessly.
“I heard you’ll be returning to classes next week. Are you sure everything’s alright?”
Zhou Qianlin responded, “What do you mean alright?”
“Your mood,” Tang Mi said. “After something like this you certainly can’t forget it right away.”
Zhou Qianlin snorted. “I forget about it ages ago. I’ll return to class next week. Let me copy your notes.”
Tang Mi chuckled. “You really want to forget then that’s fine. I’m telling you though, you aren’t allowed to have any sort of relationship with my idol. I’ll be a mercenary myself, the beautiful woman chasing the every step of the Mercenary King, you wont be able to compete with me.”
“Go then, meet a man and lose all your friends.” She unceremoniously hung up the communicator.
Beep, beep, beep the communicator rang anew.
Zhou Qianlin impatiently answered. “I won’t compete with you, alright? He’s all yours!”
“Compete with what,” a surprised voice answered from the communicator.
Zhou Qianlin sat up. “Is it you?”
The response was low, simple, like it required a great deal of courage to utter.
“You’re request… I accept.”