Chapter 4 - Sensual Pleasures
Sai Gao stood tall in his white skintight pants and black batwing coat. Charmful as ever, he was the center of attention in the small town he stayed in. However, he had no time to mind the scrutiny of those around him — it took all of his focus to repress his urge to leap at the throat of the man standing in front of him.
“You’re alive?” Yun Yiyuan looked at the man whose demeanor did not match his appearance.
"I’ve disappointed you.” Sai Gao smirked and slid his hand over the turtle shell he held. The shell had shrunk from pot-sized to about as big as his palm, and it had a smooth surface comparable to jewelry.
“Not disappointed. I’m simply surprised that you’re a guardian. I thought that you were a mythical beast.” Yun Yiyuan replied calmly, feeling unthreatened by Sao Gao’s presence. However, he was more concerned by the possibility that Li Yiming as also roaming nearby, since Sai Gao fought alongside Li Yiming in Lianyun City.
“I hope for your sake that your path ahead will be an easy one.” Sai Gao smiled coldly and turned around. He still remembered the pain from when Yun Yiyuan’s spear nailed him to the city’s wall. Contrary to Yun Yiyuan’s supposition, he was not a guardian, giving Sai Gao leverage over the latter. However, their personal conflict had to be set aside for a later date, as he did not have the confidence to strike first. Sai Gao decided to wait patiently and strike when the time was right, knowing that Yun Yiyuan was not looking for a fight, either.
“Li Yiming…” Yun Yiyuan whispered a name he would never be able to forget. ‘Just how strong are you? Three hundred guardians, all wiped out after dueling me. How come I’ve never heard of such a person before?’
* * *
Li Yiming picked up a glass of martini from a waiter. He removed the little decorated umbrella from the glass, briefly shifting his attention away from the women in bikinis nearby as he settled down more comfortably on his long chair. There were three days left until the start of the auction, and the guests on the Pandaria were using the time to relax and enjoy themselves.
Although the cruise ship was equipped with a myriad of facilities to entertain the guests, the main attraction remained the sea. A party had been organized on the deck, and it continued on even as night fell. One thing that Li Yiming noticed during his time on the cruise was that even though the men all looked fairly normal, the women were all extremely attractive.
Li Yiming had been quietly minding his own business, but in the span of less than half an hour, more than three girls had tried to start a conversation with him. ‘Well, I suppose that’s the purpose behind all the efforts put in to make more money in life… These women, they’re part of the rules as well…’
“I’m sorry, is this seat occupied?” As another female voice rung from behind, Li Yiming smiled and shook his head.
Just as Li Yiming was about to answer, he realized that this woman was different from the three before. ‘She looks familiar… Did I see her on television before? Maybe she starred in some kind of obscure TV show before. Her looks don’t stand out, at least not here. And unlike the other women, she seems to be cooler and much more reserved. She’s either an invited guest, or she came here to accompany someone’
“Feel free to use it.” Li Yiming smiled. He was not in a position to refuse if it involved another guest.
The woman sat down on the long chair without while glancing at Li Yiming. ‘No watches, no jewelry, and ordinary clothes? What a joke. Cheap shirt and slippers that were provided in the cabin. How did someone like him even get on this cruise? What kind of person even comes to a pool party dressed in a shirt and jean shorts?’
The TV actress started to apply sunscreen on herself while Li Yiming contemplated the models by the pool. Although Li Yiming was not interested in them in the slightest, it was still a pleasant sight to behold.
With his eyes hidden by his sunglasses, Li Yiming could look wherever he wanted. The women in the pool had fit, well-proportioned bodies which came in and out of sight as they emerged from the water. They were the epitome of youth, physical appeal, and sensual pleasure, but Li Yiming suddenly found it all very tasteless; he knew that these girls were here with a specific motive in mind, and their attractive appearances were nothing more than a tool to achieve their goals.
Despite what he thought of them, Li Yiming understood that the young women on this ship all had the freedom to make their own lifestyle choices and set their own goals in life. However... these young women bathing in lust for the material reminded Li Yiming of someone that he would rather forget about.
Li Yiming emptied his martini and looked at the TV actress, who had finished applying lotion on herself. She seemed to be waiting for someone and was growing more impatient by the second.
The next moment, the actress, who seemed to have burned through all of her patience and composure, jumped up from her seat and rushed toward the pool. In her hurry, she bumped into a young model who had just emerged from the water.
The model was kneeling down right by the pool, busy removing the water from her hair as the actress rushed toward her with a knee to her face.
Two screams of pain were heard as the model fell back into the water and the actress knelt down with her hands around her knees.
“Are you blind?” The woman shrieked an insult before the model even reemerged from the water.
Li Yiming frowned. ‘You’re the one who’s blind. How does she even have the nerve to blame the other woman?’
“Come up here!” The actress seemed to have found an outlet for her irritation. She pointed at the model, who had just emerged from the water, confused and in pain. The sudden blow and insult
“Did you not hear me? You slut! I told you to come up here!” The actress yelled, attracting the attention of the nearby guests. The attention she received seemed to fuel her anger as she burst out. The model, who recognized the actress, seemed terrified as she swam toward the edge of the pool. Those who were playing with her all kept their distances now, and some even seemed to be laughing at her misfortune.
Li Yiming frowned once again, unsure of whether he should involve himself.
“What’s going on here? What’s all the commotion?” A voice came from behind. A well-built man wearing sunglasses made his way through the crowd.
“Where were you? Someone hurt me…” The woman’s fury vanished the moment the man appeared, and she feigned a soft voice that made Li Yiming shiver.
‘Holy crap… She’s damn good at acting… There’s not even a slight sign of her anger left...’ Li Yiming thought.
“Hurt you? Where? Who?” The man asked worriedly, putting his hand on the slightly red kneecap of the actress.
“Crap! It’s red…” The man hurriedly knelt down in front of her and started to blow air with his lips framed by a poorly trimmed beard. From his expression, he would have been licking the woman had there not been a crowd of people around him.
‘Well, this man is certainly… special.’ Li Yiming was repulsed by the behavior of the man and thought the affair to be concluded since the actress had achieved what she had in mind.
“Are you still hurt, babe? Tell me, who was it?” The man looked at the actress and asked.
“Her!” The actress pursed her lips and pointed at the model with her plump finger.
“What did you do? Can’t you be more careful? What if you injured her?” The man turned toward the model with irritation.
“I…” The girl, who had just climbed out of the pool, was too afraid to respond
“What? Kneel down and apologize to her!” The man roared.
‘Kneel down? He’s overdoing it…’ Li Yiming squinted. ‘To make her kneel in front of everyone, even if it was her fault...’
“Wow, what a show we have here!” A lazy voice came from the direction of the pool. Li Yiming turned around to see a woman that decisively stood out from the rest like a shining star.
She wore a blue silk robe, and beneath it a blue bikini decorated by shell-like patterns. Although she was not as tall as the models by the pool, she had an air of elegance and refinement that conferred to her a unique beauty that made her the center of attention instantly.
“Fang Shui’er?” Li Yiming’s heart tightened.