Chapter 6 - Rising Storm
Lin Lu was greeted by the sight of Li Yiming minding his own business as soon as she entered the shop. She glanced at the window panel, surprised that such a ruckus outside did not attract Li Yiming's attention.
“Have you been sitting like this for the entire day?” Lin Lu put the flower basket down and asked. Of course, she already knew the answer to the question as Li Yiming had been monitored the entire time.
“Help yourself!” Li Yiming invited Lin Lu to have a taste of the confections on the table. He had picked up some durian cake from the shop Liu Meng used to love. The sole purpose of it was to remember her, since eating was no longer a need for him.
“What?” Li Yiming suddenly realized something as he stared at the pile of desserts on the table.
At first, he thought that losing the ability to feel emotions came from the fact that his attainment of being a sage. However, when he thought about Li Huaibei and Stargaze, their temperament obviously contradicted this theory. In addition, although emotions about every other thing in life were gone, he could still feel the longing for Liu Meng burning deep within him.
“Is this all you have to offer?” Lin Lu sat down and accepted gladly.
“How's the taste?“ Li Yiming stood up and refilled the tea kettle.
“Not bad, where did you get this?” Lin Lu gulped down the confection rapidly. She glanced at the plate, seemingly wanting a second serving, but thought of it as bad manners.
“Please, if you like it, go ahead.” Li Yiming was rather happy at seeing Liu Meng’s love for the snack shared by someone else.
“Then, if you don't mind… I promise I'll invite you to hot-pot after this,” Lin Lu said.
“Thank you.” Li Yiming looked at the street outside. By now, a few patrol cars had arrived and were bringing the thugs to custody.
“It's only my duty.” Lin Lu seemed to have gotten a bit of a dry throat after eating so many confections. After seeing that the tea kettle was empty, she looked around. She noticed three teacups which were all half full, one next to Li Yiming and the other two on the other side of the table. When she remembered Mr. Ma and the purple-haired hoodlum, she decided to drink from Li Yiming’s cup.
“It's going to be an easy thing to deal with the thugs outside, but we’ll have more trouble with the land developers,” Lin Lu let out a sigh of satisfaction. She then looked at the patrol cars and the police officer retreating away. ‘I didn't think that I sent this many people just to keep an eye on him. I hope that this doesn't displease him.’
“I've heard that developers are called Yunyu Group,” Li Yiming said. Once Mr. Ma revealed that the CEO of the group was Yun Yiyuan during their conversation earlier, Li Yiming had a feeling that something was amiss. The removal of the limitations imposed by Heavens Law’s on the guardians was bound to initiate severe social disruptions and create chaos within the country.
“Yes. The backstory of this group is quite strange. It seems like the group suddenly appeared one day and accumulated capital at an incredible speed. It took barely more than half a year for them to become involved in a multitude of industries. At this point, they’re no less than what Yunlong was.” Lin Lu frowned as she told what she knew. All things considered, the rise of Yunyu was, without a doubt, extraordinary.
‘Yunlong… Yunyu… To shape clouds with one hand and rain with the other. Yun Yiyuan… What are you up to exactly?’ Li Yiming pondered. [Note: This is a commonly used Chinese idiom.]
“Do you know anything about the chairman of the group, Yun Yiyuan?”
“What? Is that why you bought this tea shop?” Lin Lu asked as she could not figure out why Li Yiming would agree to buy the tea shop for a price far above its current market price
“You're thinking too much. I just have... fond memories about this place. All right, enough about me. You didn't come here to eat a few desserts and congratulate me on opening my shop, did you?” Li Yiming said as he looked at the street outside. Everything had resumed back to normal, which meant that his shop was once again under the close scrutiny of National Security.
“I'm sorry, but before you agree to our offer, we’ll have to keep an eye on you.” Lin Lu knew that the people she set up outside had no chance of escaping Li Yiming’s perception.
“I understand. Let’s talk business then.”
“We need your help,” Lin Lu started.
“I've made my conditions very clear.”
“We have already sent all the people we could afford to search for Liu Meng. We even have satellites dedicated to the job. Surely you must understand that it takes time to find a single person among billions.”
“Fine. Then, let’s talk about what you came for.” Li Yiming understood how hard of a task it was to find a single person, especially when that person was most likely no longer in this world.
“We caught someone this afternoon at the antique market,” Lin Lu said.
Li Yiming filled both teacups and waited.
“He was a college student. He was selling gold items.”
“Selling gold at times like this?”
“Of course, it's perfectly legal to sell gold. However, this student had been selling a massive collection of items made of pure gold. Items such as cups, pens, scissors, and even cell phones. We had someone disassemble the cell phone and we found out that everything, from the screws to the circuit board, was made of pure gold.” Lin Lu pulled out a file folder from her bag and laid out some photos on the table.
It was clear to Li Yiming from these pictures that all of the mundane items have been produced by a guardian whose talent was to turn items into gold.
“It's impossible for these items to have been produced by an artist. Even if that was the case, it would be highly unlikely for such items to end up in the hands of a poor college student.
“What did that student tell you?”
“That's exactly the reason why we came to you. He told us everything. According to him, he simply woke up and found himself blessed with the ability to turn anything into solid gold,” Lin Lu said as she took out another picture, which displayed a pair of handcuffs made of pure gold, “This was from a demonstration he performed before I came here.”
“Let me go see him.” Li Yiming knew that if what Lin Lu said was true, he was dealing with a newly awoken guardian.
“He's at the station, you can come whenever you want.” Lin Lu was happy at seeing Li Yiming jump on the opportunity.
“Let's go then.” Li Yiming stood up from where he sat.
* * *
“Mr. Ma has been arrested by National Security.” Ying Mei looked at Yun Yiyuan, who sat across the table with a young model in his arms.
“Oh? National Security? What did he do again?” Yun Yiyuan looked at Ying Mei lazily. He had found a twisted pleasure of playing around with other women in front of Ying Mei.
“Because of the tea shop in The Old City neighborhood,” Ying Mei said as she looked at Yun Yiyuan’s hand with disgust.
“Didn't he say he could handle that old man? What happened? Also, since when does National Security take care of city planning?” Yun Yiyuan continued his fondling as the young model began moaning and squirming on his lap. Everything was just a game to him, and the only reason why he continued the conversation was to observe Ying Mei’s reaction.
“The old man sold the tea shop.”
“He sold it?”
“Yes. To Li Yiming.” Ying Mei stared at Yun Yiyuan in the eyes.
“Ah!” The young model in Yun Yiyuan’s embrace suddenly emitted a cry of pain, as Yun Yiyuan clasped her breasts. However, she sank back into a dead silence the next moment, when she saw Yun Yiyuan’s icy cold expression.
“He woke up?” Yun Yiyuan asked.
“Yes. Three days ago. He’s in his shop right now.”
“Li Yiming…” Yun Yiyuan started his massage once again. To appease the young girl he had just scared, he pressed his lips right below the young girl's chin and began kissing her neck, but the hair that suddenly stood up on the back of his neck did not escape from Ying Mei’s sight.