Raising a Fox Spirit in My Home Chapter 56(New)
Chapter 56 Showtime!
Once Li Yundong got out of the shower, he and Su Chan rushed out of the apartment and took a cab to Tiannan University. They didn’t even eat.
Alas, their cab’s movement was anything but fast. They were either forced to stop at a red light, or slowed down by traffic. It was like the Universe had a vendetta against Li Yundong.
Meanwhile, Feng Na and Sun Li were like cats on a hot tin roof. They paced around the backstage, alternating between holding their foreheads and pulling their hair.
“Omigod, omigod! We’re up next, and he isn’t here yet!” Feng Na said, rubbing her sweaty palms against the stage curtain. Then, she pulled the curtain slightly and peeked at the audience. Heads were all she saw. The entire grand hall was filled with students. Sitting in the front row, with much grandeur and pomp, were the university’s leaders and the representatives from the city council.
Feng Na pushed away from the curtains and approached Sun Li. “Call him again!” she said anxiously.
“I called like three minutes ago,” Sun Li said, her voice trembling in panic. “He said he’s stuck in traffic!”
Feng Na pulled her hair. “Oh, my Gawdd!!! You have gotta be shitting me!”
“Hey, Nana, calm down, alright?” Cheng Cheng said. “He’ll be here soon, you’ll see!” Cheng Cheng had left her seat among the audience and sneaked backstage earlier.
“You guys from the Taekwondo Club, get ready! You’re up next!” A female professor, who was the event’s planner and coordinator, entered the backstage.
Feng Na shared a few glances with Sun Li and Cheng Cheng. Seconds later, she decided to just bite the bullet. She took a deep breath, then exhaled. “Professor Ma,” Feng Na said carefully, “one of our performers isn’t here yet.”
“What?!” Professor Ma’s eyes widened in panic. “Good Lord! Do you understand what you’re saying? You have two more minutes, then you’re up! And now you’re saying that one of your performers is still missing? Are you joking with me right now? What’s this person’s name? Which department is he from? This is absurd!”
“Professor Ma, he’s on the way,” Sun Li hurried out an explanation, “but he’s stuck in traffic!”
“Stuck in traffic? You call that an excuse? Today is such an important event for the university! Yet he’s running around playing hide and seek instead of being here early to get ready for his performance?” Professor Ma scoffed. “This is just ridiculous! Now, I’m going to ask you again. What. Is. His. Name!”
Feng Na knew that the odds were stacked against her at this point, so she had to do something fast. Feng Na did a quick scan of the backstage. Suddenly, she noticed Zhuang Hui, who was standing nearby and looking at them gloatingly. A light bulb went off inside Feng Na’s head. “Professor Ma, I assure you that our performer would be here shortly. Might I suggest that you move Zhuang Hui’s performance ahead of ours? That should buy enough time for him to get here.”
The professor knew that her top priority was to find a solution to this crisis. Arguing with her students further wasn’t the solution. She looked towards Zhuang Hui and said, “Zhuang Hui, your performance will be pushed forward. Prepare to go onstage!”
“B- but professor!” Zhuang Hui spluttered. “Our club’s performance was supposed to be the grand finale!”
“Finale? There won’t be any finale if the entire event is ruined! Enough chatter, gather your performers. Now!”
Zhuang Hui glared daggers at Feng Na, who just pretended that she didn’t notice.
Zhuang Hui threw her cosmetic case to the floor and yelled at her dancers: “Get ready!”
Professor Ma followed Zhuang Hui and the other dancers with her eyes until they reached the right wing of the stage to speak to the MC. Moments later, the stage began to dim until, eventually, it was engulfed by total darkness.
“That star performer of yours better make it time, or else…” Professor Ma said threateningly, then stormed off.
Sun Li and Feng Na shared another glance.
“Arrrgggh! What am I gonna do now?” Feng Na said.
Sun Li balled her fist, then stomped her foot. “Li Yundong! You’re such an asshole!” she growled.
“Wow… ” A loud and clear voice drifted through the darkness of the backstage. “Is this how you repay a guy who is kind enough to rush here just because you asked? By mocking him behind his back?”
Sun Li and Feng Na turned their heads towards the entrance of the backstage. Relief coursed through them when they saw Li Yundong standing there. They both rushed over, then started smacking and kicking at him.
“Li Yundong! You ass! Do you know how close I was to freaking out?” Feng Na hissed.
Li Yundong entered the backstage.
A chorus of cheers sounded. Apparently, the entire Taekwondo Club was glad to see Li Yundong’s arrival. Yes, even those senior members who disliked Li Yundong.
Feng Na scrambled towards a table and grabbed a neatly-folded Taekwondo uniform. She hurried back towards Li Yundong. “Hurry up and get changed!” she said, tossing the uniform at Li Yundong.
Li Yundong caught the uniform and hurried towards the changing area. When he stepped out of the changing area, he looked at Feng Na strangely. “Black belt?” he asked as he adjusted the collar of his uniform.
“Oh, it’s Zhao Yujian’s. I’m just borrowing it, ” Feng Na said in an offhand tone.
Li Yundong chuckled. “He’d probably be pissed off to death if he ever finds out.”
“Yeah? I know you nearly made us die from anxiety earlier,” Sun Li muttered.
“Well, I’m here now, aren’t I?” Li Yundong said, smiling at his class rep.
Li Yundong turned to Su Chan and pointed to a few empty chairs that were pushed up against a corner of the backstage.
Su Chan flashed a grin at him, then shuffled towards one of the chairs and sat down.
Knowing that Li Yundong was here, Feng Na and the others were finally at ease. Everyone sat backstage, waiting for the Taekwondo club’s performance to begin. Zhuang Hui’s dancers flitted and skipped about on the stage, drawing the attention of the audience. For the girls backstage, however, Li Yundong’s presence was much better entertainment than whatever was happening on the stage. The Taekwondo uniform, which accentuated Li Yundong’s sunny appearance, made him look more handsome than ever. Then the whispers began…
“Hey, you wanna know what I heard?”
“I heard that guys who are hairy down there are good at… you know.”
“Good at what?”
“Tsk! Don’t play coy now.”
“Hehehe… You don’t really have to count the number of hairs he has down there to know that he’s good. Just look at him! Those eye brows, and those eyes, gawwd! I wonder if his girlfriend can handle his… oomph?”
“Haha, you slut. You’re feeling horny aren’t you? Why, are you gonna step up to the plate and offer your honeypot to him when his girlfriend is indisposed?”
“Shut up! I bet you’re the one who wants to do that.”
“You know what? I actually do!”
A round of muffled giggles sounded.
Little did these girls know that Li Yundong could hear their whispers. Yep. Every single word. The Renyuan Jindan had enhanced Li Yundong’s senses, not to mention he had made significant progress in his Qi control which heightened his senses further.
Li Yundong blushed at how open these girls were. My girl and I haven’t even gone further than a kiss! he thought, his cheeks burning.
However, Li Yundong didn’t have time to think about he and Su Chan’s lack of nocturnal activities as Feng Na nudged him from behind.
“Hey, you’re up,” Feng Na said in a low voice.
Li Yundong’s heart paused for a moment. Fear and excitement coursed through his body.
“Now, the next performance has more… action in it,” said the MC.
“Woohoo!” someone among the audience cheered.
“Are you guys ready for some action!” said the MC.
“Let’s go! Let’s go!”
A round of whistles sounded.
“Then let us welcome the members of Tiannan University’s Taekwondo Club as they give their action-packed performance!!”
It was showtime.
The grand hall exploded in cheers, applause, and whistles as Li Yundong made his way onto the stage. The stage lights came to life, flickering and flashing, bathing Li Yundong in a myriad of colors as he jogged. By the time he got to the center of the stage, Li Yundong could barely open his eyes.
Moments later, Li Yundong’s eyes adapted to the light, and he slowly opened his eyes. Unlike the stage, which was dazzlingly bright, the audience’s area was engulfed in darkness. Through the darkness, Li Yundong discerned movements: gesturing fingers; nodding heads; waving hands. The front row was occupied by ten or so foreigners. Even though it was dark, Li Yundong could tell that they were blonde and that they had green eyes. Some of the foreigners were young while others were much older. Clearly, they were the visiting students and professors from the University of Pennsylvania.
Li Yundong’s heart pounded against his ribcage, his own heartbeat thrumming in his ears. Somehow, Li Yundong had this vague feeling that the old him, the useless homebody, would go weak in the knees if placed in the same situation. That said, he was different now. Su Chan had changed him, and it was time to make her proud.
Li Yundong took a deep breath, all the while picturing Su Chan watching him from the backstage. Then he exhaled, feeling so much better. It was as though he had breathed in confidence and exhaled his doubts out of his system. He stepped forward and positioned himself in front of the other performers from the Taekwondo Club. Facing the audience, he bowed.
Below the stage, everyone was studying the handsome young man that was currently onstage. The man’s sunny and charismatic appearance drew everyone in, even the foreigners.
The moment the young man straightened himself after his bow, another performer swung a wooden stick at him from behind. The blow was aimed at his head.
“Yo! Watch out!”
“Oh, no, no…”
The young man crouched down and twisted his body, thrusting his elbow backwards at the same time. The elbow strike found its target in the attacker’s waist. The young man had just avoided his attacker’s strike while retaliating at the same time.
The audience was just about to applaud when they saw the rest of the performers approaching the young man with sticks.
The air surrounding the audience was thick with tension. No one in the audience could imagine how the young man could possibly dodge his attackers’ strikes if all of them attacked at the same time.
The audience soon got their answer — he didn’t dodge. Instead, he unleashed a flurry of kicks on his attackers before their strikes could land. With his legs slicing through the air like battle axes, he performed one deadly kick after the other from Taekwondo’s arsenal: the scissor kick; the hook kick; the spinning hook kick; the side kick; the back kick; the roundhouse kick; the push kick; and the jump spin hook kick.
CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! One after another, the sticks broke.
When the last attacker tried to bludgeon him with the stick, he performed a crescent kick which landed on the attacker’s wrist; the stick spun up into the air. The audience waited with bated breath for what they knew was coming next.
Both Zhou Yu and Huang Yifei nearly jumped out of their seats in shock when they saw Li Yundong jump into the air and then break the stick with a single kick. He just broke a wooden stick in midair! And without anyone holding it!
The audience erupted in cheers and shouts while Zhou Yu and Huang Yifei just gaped at the stage.
If an object is supported on its ends, or even just one of its ends, breaking it would be much easier because the energy applied to the object won’t contribute to its motion or kinetic energy (since it’s held in a fixed position), but would all go towards overcoming the bonds between particles instead. On the other hand, if the object isn’t held in a fixed position, most of the strike’s energy would go into the object’s motion — the object would likely fly away upon impact instead of snapping.
The only way to break an object in midair is by generating so much momentum with the strike that it creates enough pressure to crack the object’s surface upon impact! This is why a ruler will eventually break even if it is bent slowly. Striking the ruler in midair, however, will only damage it when the strike has enough speed. Even if the ruler is damaged by the impact, it might just be a simple crack, or a chip on its surface!
Yet Li Yundong just snapped a thick wooden stick in half!
Just how much speed and momentum did Li Yundong generate with that kick?
Zhou Yu and Huang Yifei stared at each other in horror.
“This is impossible!” Zhou Yu yelled, then paused in thought. “He couldn’t have done it for real! This is a trick! It has to be! They must have broken the stick beforehand, and then glued it together to be used on stage! Not even Master could do what he did!”
Huang Yifei turned away from Zhou Yu.
“I don’t think it’s that simple,” said Huang Yifei, shaking his head slowly. “Did you hear the clear sound of the stick snapping just now? I don’t think it’s fake.”
“Then… isn’t it better for us to withdraw from the challenge?” Zhou Yu said, looking at Huang Yifei worriedly.
Huang Yifei chuckled darkly.
“So what if he’s strong?” Huang Yifei sneered, stroking the gold-plated iron bracelets on his forearm. “A bull is much stronger than a wolf, yet it is still devoured by the wolf in the end.” Huang Yifei turned and gave Zhou Yu a confident look. “Just sit tight and wait. I’ll give him an internal injury that will turn him into a cripple in three years!”
Relief coursed through Zhou Yu as he turned back to the stage where Li Yundong was standing like a superstar.
Cheers, whistles, and endless rounds of applause filled the hall. The foreigners even gave Li Yundong a standing ovation.
Li Yundong stood on the stage, bathed in the colors of the flashing stage lights and drowned by the cheers of the audience. At that moment, there wasn’t a single doubt in everyone’s mind whom the star of the night was. To think that this was the same person who was known as the King of Love Confessions just a few weeks ago!