Chapter 2 - Aunt Wu
Li Yiming sat on a bench at the park, staring at the crowd in the distance as he played around with his little metallic orb.
‘There’s nine of them including the one in the taxi.’ Bai Ze warned.
‘Are they here for me?’ Li Yiming glanced at the taxi driving slowly in the distance.
‘Heaven’s Laws has made its move. It’s obvious what happened to Liu Meng and the others. But these people…’
‘They’re from three different teams too… Quite the treat for me, isn’t it?’
‘Well, you’ve been a thorn in the side of Heaven’s Laws for a while now…’ Bai Ze commented.
‘Aren't they worried that I’ll kill them all? This isn’t a domain…’ Li Yiming squeezed on his small metallic ball.
‘What’s your plans from now on?’
‘I…’ Li Yiming froze. Just like Liu Meng and his friends, these guardians were at the mercy of Heaven’s Laws, so they were innocent to a certain degree. On top of it, this was all happening in the real world, meaning that Li Yiming did not have the freedom to do whatever he wanted without facing consequences.
‘We’ll see…’ Li Yiming let out a sigh of frustration.
“Is something troubling you?” A gentle voice was heard. Li Yiming looked up in surprise, only to find a middle-aged woman sitting down right next to him. She wore a red shirt and yellow baggy pants, her loose clothing unable to conceal her opulent body. Li Yiming quickly recalled seeing the woman during the morning calisthenics. Just like every other middle-aged housewife, she had a shopping bag in one hand and a fan in the other.
‘When did she get here? How did I not sense her coming??’ Li Yiming was now on high alert.
“If you don’t mind, you can share your worries with me. I’m no one special, but I’m a good listener,” Aunt Wu said as she put her fan into her shopping bag and took out a small towel to wipe away the beads of sweat on her forehead.
“Aunt Wu! You’re still here? There’s an event at the supermarket today. They’re giving out free soap!” Just as Li Yiming was concocting an answer, a woman along with other people who seemed to be Aunt Wu’s friends arrived and said to Aunt Wu.
“I’ll just sit here for a bit. You can go ahead, I’ll come right away.” Aunt Wu smiled and dismissed her friend.
Li Yiming scrutinized Aunt Wu’s friends as they walked past him. ‘They’re all normal people…’ Bai Ze said.
‘What about… her?’ Li Yiming looked at Aunt Wu.
‘I don’t know.’ Bai Ze’s answer made Li Yiming uneasy.
Even without Bai Ze’s remark, Li Yiming knew enough by now to tell that Aunt Wu’s friends were the most ordinary of people. However, the middle-aged woman herself was still a mystery for Li Yiming. Li Yiming had dealt with his fair share of sages, and even people who possessed strength beyond that of a sage, such as Mr. Kong. Even the latter was unable to hide himself away completely from his attention.
‘But this woman…’ Li Yiming thought.
“If you looked at me the same way thirty years ago, I would’ve given you a slap.” Aunt Wu adjusted her baggy pants and put down her shopping bag. She still had a smile, but was obviously disturbed by Li Yiming’s intense and rather disrespectful stare.
“I…” Li Yiming did not answer. He looked away from Aunt Wu, but extended his senses to pay attention to her every action.
“Are you Li Yiming?” A man with a tall figure and a confident smile suddenly approached Li Yiming. Despite the baking heat, he wore a suit and a pair of leather gloves.
‘Are they here to fight?’ Li Yiming frowned. He could see the light being reflected at him from the rooftop of two skyscrapers nearby. ‘So two snipers…’
“I am,” Li Yiming said.
“You know, I’ve been watching a TV show these days. It’s a story about a young CEO, who decided to disguise himself as a normal worker so he could court a female worker in his company…” Aunt Wu did not seem to have caught onto the tenseness in the air and took out two peaches from her shopping bag. She offered one to Li Yiming and took a bite from the other.
Li Yiming turned around and declined politely. For some strange reason, he could not imagine Aunt Wu showing any kind of hostility to him.
“You don’t like peaches?” Aunt Wu was surprised.
“I don’t like the taste. Thank you.” Li Yiming said while glancing at the man standing in front of him.
“Well, that’s okay then. These peaches are expensive too…” Aunt Wu muttered and put her peach back into the bag.
“So, as I was saying. That CEO really wanted to be with that young girl. It’s only natural, given how pretty she looked. There was a whole bunch of men trying to go after her. So no one was really happy when another competitor showed up.”
Li Yiming looked at Aunt Wu, who continued talking about her TV show, and suddenly let go of his nervosity. He concluded that the nine guardians who tried to hunt him down were of no threat to him, and the issue at hand was how to deal with Aunt Wu appropriately.
“So the young man goes through all sorts of trouble, having to endure all kinds of hardships. Guess what happened at the end?” Aunt Wu took a big bite out of her peach and asked.
“They lived happily ever after?” Li Yiming was not sure of what Aunt Wu was getting at, but he knew that it was a common thing for TV shows to have this kind of plot.
“The girl ran away with another ordinary young man. The CEO’s troubles were all in vain…”
“Uh…” Li Yiming scratched his head and thought about how unusual it was for him to feel his hair at their normal length again.
“You know, I think it was a mistake for the CEO to disguise himself as a normal worker in the first place. Life would have been a lot easier for him if he just made it clear that he was a successful, wealthy young man. Even if that doesn’t impress the girl, at least the girl’s parents will be on his side, and it would be a lot easier for him to get the hand of his beloved.” Aunt Wu took another bite of her peach.
“Aren’t you confident…” The man wearing a suit said in a cold voice. After observing Li Yiming for a long time, he and his partners finally decided to confront their target directly. They had thought about many possible ways by which the events could unfold, including setting up a date for a later duel or even fighting on the spot, but he did not imagine Li Yiming ignoring him completely and chatting casually with a middle-aged woman instead. The man’s mood worsened faced by the humiliation, and his teammates were readying themselves for a fight to erupt.
With his mind still occupied with deciphering Aunt Wu’s intentions, he also noticed the atmosphere growing tenser by the second.
“Do you get what I’m saying?” Aunt Wu interrupted his thoughts once again.
“What?” Li Yiming did not pay enough attention to Aunt Wu.
“You know, it’s pretty simple. If the CEO didn’t conceal his true identity, then I don’t even think that his rivals would have had the courage to compete with him. After all, it takes people with comparable strength to start a fight, right?” Aunt Wu finished her peach, wiped away the juice on the corners on her mouth, and threw the core into her shopping bag.
“Oh?” Li Yiming turned back and stared at Aunt Wu. His eyes lit up as he rummaged over what she just said.
Aunt Wu was now rummaging in her shopping bag and paid no mind Li Yiming.
“Hey, I’m talking to you kid.” The man standing in front of Li Yiming finally burst out in anger. It was the first time he had been humiliated in such a way since he had become a guardian. A black glow started shining at the soles of his shoes as he prepared his attack.
“I heard you the first time. What do you want?” Li Yiming turned around and smiled. He extended his arm, and his body was suddenly enveloped by a dome of light.
“You’re a sa… sa…” The man stammered and his preparations for an attack halted instantly.
“A Boundary… Shit! He’s a sage.” The man’s friends were all terrified and fled for their lives, some of them even saluted Li Yiming before they left.
“Do you have business with me?” Li Yiming said calmly.
“Then go away.”
“Yes!” The man bowed down and quickly ran away.
“You don’t like peaches, but what about bananas?” Aunt Wu suddenly pulled two golden bananas out of her shopping bag.
“Thank you, but could you tell me who you really are?” Li Yiming stopped his boundary and looked at Aunt Wu with a severe countenance.
“She’s Aunt Wu!” A voice came from behind. It was Li Huaibei, who stopped at a distance to bow down in Aunt Wu’s direction.