Chapter 13 - Yunding Tower
‘Yunding Tower… Who would have thought that I’d be back here again…’ Li Yiming sank into his thoughts as he looked at the imposing tower in front of him. He looked at the newspaper stand nearby, the spot where he parked the bicycle he never came back to retrieve.
“These are our people,” Lin Lu noticed Li Yiming’s stare and was impressed at Li Yiming’s keen observation.
Li Yiming nodded. In reality, he was simply a little disappointed at not being able to find the old man who watched over his bicycle for him.
“We’ve only a few people right outside of the building. Most of our reinforcements are at least two blocks away.” Lin Lu revealed the entire set-up to Li Yiming, since his cooperation was necessary for the smooth sailing of the operation.
Lin Lu had been having a hard time understanding Li Yiming. When she worked with him in the past back in Tianshan, she remembered him as being a bright, positive individual. However, in his current state, she could only describe him as lifeless.
“Let’s go inside.” Li Yiming snapped out of his memories and led the way toward the venue. Lin Lu, after sending one last signal to an agent who was disguised as a security agent on the other side of the street, gave Li Yiming her hand and followed.
“Hello, may I…” A security guard came to greet them warmly as soon as they entered the building and became suspicious as he laid eyes on Li Yiming.
“We’re here for the banquet.” Li Yiming showed him the invitation.
The security guard had his doubts as Li Yiming was certainly not someone he could recognize. However, after a quick check confirming the authenticity of the invitation, he quickly saluted the two politely and moved out of the way.
Li Yiming looked at Lin Lu as the two entered an elevator. The last time he came to this building, he was wearing the exact same outfit, and yet he was stopped. He believed the difference to be due to his coming with Lin Lu, who proved his social status this time around.
The venue was as sumptuously decorated as ever, only the theme color chosen this time was much less flashy, with a giant cloth banner hanging from the ceiling at the center of the hall depicting a silver and blue spear.
“Why don’t we go find a place to sit?” Li Yiming looked around and found only staff members rushing to set up the venue instead of other guests.
“If you’ll excuse me, I need to go to the washroom.” Lin Lu squeezed out a smile, her hand holding her purse clearly stiff.
“Go ahead, we still have plenty of time.” Li Yiming tried to reassure Lin Lu, whom he thought was simply nervous.
After entering the bathroom, Lin Lu locked the door to her compartment and took a deep breath to compose herself. After hesitating for a minute, she took out a miniature camera camouflaged as a decorative pin. Despite Li Yiming’s having instructed her not to bring any recording equipment in, she thought of this as a golden opportunity to gather valuable intelligence on the inner workings of Yunyu Group.
Li Yiming, who waited in the main hall, killed some time by sipping his red tea and inspected the rest of his building with his senses.
‘Thirty-two… Thirty-two guardians? That many?’ Li Yiming was shocked by the discovery.
In a luxurious suite at the top of the building, Yun Yiyuan, who was observing Ying Mei as she put on her makeup suddenly frowned and looked at the power outlet on the wall right next to him.
“What is it?” Ying Mei, having noticed the disturbance in Yun Yiyuan’s aura, turned around and asked.
“He’s here…” Yun Yiyuan let out a smile.
“He?” Ying Mei put down her makeup and stood up with a severe countenance.
“Seems like he’s a bit different than what you expected. Interesting!” Yun Yiyuan let out a laugh as he whiffed his cigar, exhaling a ball of smoke.
Ying Mei snorted coldly before sitting back down, but she was visibly disturbed by the revelation.
As the luxurious cars came one by one, attracting the attention of the pedestrians, in a corner across the street, a man covered in grease looked up at the tower.
“Looks like this isn’t the right time…” He said as he rubbed his gloved hands to spread out the grease evenly.
“Young man, maybe you be more realistic with your goals… Ambition is good, but it can also ruin you.” An old man who happened to walk nearby noticed him staring dumbly at the skyscraper. Envy, jealousy and greed was a common disease among young people, especially those who were looking desperately for a get-rich-quick scheme rather than working earnestly toward their dreams. A majority of them were much too ignorant to understand that wealth was not a panacea for all problems in life, and that people who had attained financial freedom had their own set of problems to deal with.
“Thank you. But we all need a goal in life to move forward, don’t we?” The man chuckled and nodded at the old man.
“Good for you then.” The old man smiled and walked away.
“Now then, where am I going to find my goals?” Wu Yun looked at the old man walked away and sighed.
“Li Huaibei is busy drinking himself to death, Stargaze is hiding from me, these old people are still stuck above the clouds… Seems like you two are the only ones left.” Wu Yun tapped some dust off his dirty outfit and slowly vanished into the shadows.
As the invited guests arrived one by one, the main hall became bustled with energy. The male guests all came with their female counterpart, who were mostly young, beautiful and chit-chatted with each other.
‘CEO? VP? What’s going on? Why are the guardians occupying the important roles in this company? What exactly is Yun Yiyuan up to?’ Li Yiming was surprised as he listened to the conversations around him.
“Did you find anything?” Lin Lu whispered as she leaned close to Li Yiming. She had already walked around the hall but found nobody of importance.
“He’s going to come, don’t worry.” Li Yiming knew precisely what this gathering of guardians meant for the person Lin Lu was after.
“Excuse me, sir…” A voice was suddenly heard. An old man approached Li Yiming and raised his cup in his direction.
Li Yiming was sitting quietly in his own corner hoping that no one would bother him as he posed as a newly-recruited guardian occupying an insignificant position.
However, Lin Lu’s approaching him so intimately attracted the attention of many in the hall. While she was touring around the hall, looking for her target, her unique temperament had already made a good impression on many of the guests. Now that she was seen whispering into his ears, many began to wonder about Li Yiming’s identity.
Those who were invited into the banquet were, without an exception, wealthy and influential businesspeople or guardians who were particularly useful to Yun Yiyuan. To attend the show dressed in such a nonchalant way was either an attempt at attracting attention or complete disregard for the importance of the event. From the way Lin Lu dressed, the guests judged Li Yiming to likely belong to the latter category. In addition, the veteran guardians who had awakened before the drastic change in Heaven’s Laws all had the impression that they had seen Li Yiming somewhere before.
“Li Yiming? Didn’t you refuse the invitation?” A happy cry was heard from Wu Jia.
‘Li Yiming? He’s Li Yiming?’ The guardians who were observing Li Yiming were shocked at hearing the name, especially those who felt a strange familiarity upon seeing his face.
After all, Li Yiming was by now a name told only in extraordinary tales. Many knew about the bounty Heaven’s Laws itself had put on Li Yiming’s head, and yet here he was, alive and well, while those who had decided to undertake the task of eliminating him were mostly dead.
What terrified the guardians even more was that none of them perceived Li Yiming’s true identity before hearing his name, which was already an impressive feat worthy of his name.
The atmosphere in the venue quickly took a turn for tenseness as many looked at Li Yiming cautiously. Even those who were not guardians, upon noticing the odd behavior of those around them, began observing Li Yiming surreptitiously.