Chapter 412: The Nightclub

    Chapter 412: The Nightclub

    Lan Jue and Zhou Qianlin rose to their feet as the other couple entered. Qianlin was fetching in a simple white gown. The pelagic pearl twinkled prettily at her wrist, and on her neck the Soul Caller gem glowed with its own light. There wasn't much to the outfit, but that was to her benefit, and allowed her natural beauty to shine. Lina was sure she was quite pretty, but Qianlin's beauty was something almost supernatural.

    Her hair was raven black, framing crystal blue eyes. Her skin was a flawless cream. She could easily be mistaken for a sculpted masterpiece. Lina, even being a woman, enjoyed looking at her.

    Qianlin greeted the vampire princess with a warm smile and a nod. Lina was not so dismissive to women as she was to men, so she answered with a friendly smile of her own. There was an air of haughtiness around her, but it wasn't disdain.

    "Here, let me introduce you." Chu Cheng stepped forward and signaled Lan Jue with his hand. "This is my very close friend, Lan Jue, and his girlfriend 1 Zhou Qianlin."

    Che Cheng swung his eyes back to Lina, and they could see the tenderness in them. It was like he was looking upon some delicate treasure.

    "This is Lina Lee. She's from the West."

    Lan Jue smiled. He was suddenly reminded of the conversation he had with Chu Cheng before they'd arrived. His old friend threatened to have him hung if he showed up dressed nicer than He. Tonight Chu Cheng had to appear the hero.

    That was why, today, Lan Jue had chosen to come in a pair of white ninth pants 2, with a long-sleeve blue sweater and blue leather pants. Refreshing and simple.

    "Hello, I'm honored to meet you." He extended his hand to shake in the Eastern fashion. In the West they often preferred to kiss hands.

    Her eyes grew sharp. "The same Lan Jue that's always giving you those bad ideas?" She asked. Chu Cheng was unpleasantly surprised by her open challenge. He'd hoped she would keep that little fib quiet.

    Lan Jue, certainly confused, looked questioningly at Chu Cheng. The apologetic smirk on his friend's face said it all, and all he could do was nod. "I... guess that's me."

    Her brows furrowed. "And where have we met before? You seem familiar."

    "I don't think we've ever met," he said, absently rubbing his nose. "Qianlin and I are just here on vacation to see the tournament. I've never been out this way before."

    Lina didn't press it. Instead she offered a smile. "I've happy to meet you as well. I know your friend here exaggerates terribly. You didn't even try to defend yourself when I called you out - I can tell you're a good friend, and a better man than this guy." She jabbed a thumb toward Chu Cheng.

    Under attack, Chu Cheng's eyes went wide. "Don't fall for it, Lina, this guy and his false halo."

    "I'll am I'm going to say," Lan Jue quietly interrupted, "is that the eyes of the masses are sharp."

    "Don't give me any **," she said, fixing Chu Cheng with a hard stare. "I know your type. You'd take a knife for a friend but put two in a woman. I knew you were no good the second I set eyes on you."

    "I-..." Chu Cheng sputtered stupidly at her, blindsided by the situation.

    Lan Jue couldn't help himself, he shot Lina a big thumbs up. "At long last A-Cheng makes a good decision! My deepest respect, Lina. You have a discerning eye."

    The vampire covered her mouth and stifled a life. She shot the beaten Chu Cheng a sideways glance, full of mirth at his expense.

    A cruel look came over his companion's face. "I thought we were brothers? You know, just mess around a little bit? Don't make me start letting things slip."

    Lina interrupted again. "What? That he's Zeus? Jewelry Master of Skyfire Avenue? Or what about his lightning and thunderbolt Disciplines? Oh, or maybe that he's the one that beat me this afternoon."

    "You know?" Chu Cheng looked at her slack-jawed.

    She cast him a dismissive sideways glance. "You men are such smug bastards. Always underestimating the intelligence of women. Most people guessed you were Zeus already, and you think I wouldn't do a little digging in to who beat me?"

    Chu Cheng sighed. "I'm sorry, you're absolutely right. Lan Jue, I'm starting to understand why you never take advantage of these powerful women following you around. I just can't compete with ladies this smart! I pine for the ones with big tits and no brains."

    "Having regrets?" Lina cooed, fixing him with a smoldering look. "Go on then, now's your chance."

    Chu Cheng huffed in irritation. "You think you can just own me, woman?! We live in a nation of laws!"

    "Alright, alright you two," Lan Jue scolded. "Save the flirtatious banter for when you go home. The waits have been waiting, let's order."

    Lina was instantly all graceful smiles. Chu Cheng put his acting talent to work, also suddenly the charming gentleman.

    Northern food was defined by its lavish cuisine. Huge steaks were a common sight dinner, or plates of giant oysters. These were paired with bottles of red or white wine and a hefty salad. That was traditional fare up here.

    The meal was amusing. Chu Cheng and Lina would occasionally trade barbs or bicker over some comment. Their war of words kept things fresh and entertaining.

    Lan Jue and Qianlin exchanged bemused glances, and ate quietly as the others bickered. Despite the sharp exchanges and long diatribes, though, they all finished at the same time.

    "Let's go." Lina rose to her feet and stretched, causing her dress to outline her fine figure.

    "What are you doing?" Chu Cheng asked, looking at her.

    "We're off to a club for round two!" She said matter-of-factly.

    "You guys have fun," Lan Jue quickly said. "We won't be going out."

    Lina rolled her eyes at him. "I figured you for the boring type. How often do you come up to the North, huh? If you only think about the tournament then it's a waste of a trip. Northern bars are quite a lot of fun, but we need more than just two. Come on, let's go!"

    She had wandered over to Qianlin's side by now and pulled her to her feet.

    Lan Jue slowly drew his eyes to Chu Cheng. "You're in to slave drivers now then, yes? Some kind of masochism thing?"

    He could almost see his friend's face tic. "I'm starting to have second thoughts. It's like I threw myself in to the net on this one. But come on, a little fun never hurt anyone. It's good to relax from time to time."

    Luo had a district set aside for entertainment. The streets were lined with bars and rooms with red lights. No one lived here so the party just kept going. Under Lina's direction they went to the biggest nightclub they could find.

    The sun had gone to sleep by now, and the nightlife was beginning to kick up. The bar was already beginning to fill with revelers. Giant speakers thumped raucous house music that was loud enough to wake the dead.

    Sturdy gentlemen tasked with maintaining order stood at various parts of the club, while women in scanty bikinis milled around serving drinks. They were surrounded by the sounds of celebration, with cigarettes and wine and pulse-pounding music. All of it swirled together in to that unique nightclub atmosphere.

    As they pressed further inside with Lina in the lead, the scene unfolded before them in strobe flashes and laser light. Clearly it was not Lina's first time here. She spoke  few words with a bouncer, and a moment later a scantily-clad woman lead them to the second floor.

    This upper level was marginally quieter than the ruckus below. It was still a party atmosphere, but there were significantly fewer people. Arced booths were set against a glass wall that gave patrons a chance to look over the chaos below.

    Lan Jue didn't have much love for this sort of place, but at least he found the second floor more palatable. It didn't have the pressing crowds of the club below.

    "Hey!" Lina called to Lan Jue. "You guys order drinks!" She yanked Chu Cheng out of his seat at gave him a commanding look. "We're gunna go dance."

    He could only sigh. "Alright." He removed his coat and placed it on the cushions before following her to the dance floor.

    When they were out of ear-shot, Qianlin leaned in close. "You don't like these places, do you? Should we stay for a while then go?"

    Lan Jue laughed. "No, it's fine. I just prefer something quieter. Since we're here, let's enjoy it. Lina was right, too. We're always cultivating, and you just finished that rough training. We need to relax a little. Despite its flaws these places really know how to get you excited. If you want to dance I'll go with you."

    She timidly waved her hand. "I can't dance, and there's so many people. I'm happy just watching. Look, they're down there."

    They're booth was suspended directly over the dance floor 3 below, giving them an unobstructed view of the writhing masses. It was oddly shaped, with a dais in the center hosting a couple alluring dancers.

    They could see Lina pulling Chu Cheng along behind her on to the floor. She had already begun to sway and move with the rhythm of the music. Certainly not one to be bent by rules, she pushed to the dais and let out a scream so loud even the music couldn't completely drown it out.

    Just as eyes were drawn to her she leaped up on to the dais.

    There were unspoken rules to these places, one of them being that the platforms were off-limits for normal guests. If you had the balls to jump on one, you better dance better than their professionals, otherwise you'd be booed out of the place.

    1. It's important to note that in Chinese girlfriend and 'friend who is a girl' can use the same characters.

    2. I've never heard of ninth pants, but I guess these are them? If that's 'noble' style, well....

    3. They call it a 'dance pool.'
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