Chapter 467: Joint Progress

    Chapter 467: Joint Progress

    The Pharmacist eventually left, and Lan Jue could breathe again. She hadn't seen him unclothed, thankfully. Embarrassment averted, he returned to the bedroom and released Qianlin. He covered her in a blanket.

    Later, when Qianlin had changed clothes, she came bounding in to the small living room where Lan Jue waited. He was feeling much better since yesterday. Though he still ached, it was much better than it had been.

    "I broke through." Qianlin revealed to Lan Jue.

    "Oh?" He looked at her in surprise.

    Two delicate fingers popped up, and she waggled them at him. "Rank two."

    A look suddenly passed his face as he thought of something. If he himself participating in the tournament benefited her, then of course it would be that much better when she fought, too! He thought back to the battle, remembering that it was largely by virtue of Qianlin's defense that he survived.

    "What was that last strike you hit him with? It was strong! To me it felt like it was almost Paragon level." Qianlin noted.

    He nodded. "That was a crucial moment, Titan's strength is incredible. Talk about Paragon-levels, my martial art could only deflect so much. Some of that attack had to be borne by my body. If he'd have kept it up, I would have lost. At that point there was nothing I could do about it. A Paragon would likely have to work to break through his Impenetrable Defense."

    "Luckily, I figured it out. Taiji is more than just deflecting, but reversing, too. I could turn that overwhelming power back on him. I was only going to give it a try, then I saw how effective it was. I couldn't face him directly so I had to take advantage of everything I could."

    "I guess you can say I won with Titan's help. His own redirected energy, thunderbolt and lightning, and all of that behind one of the nine strikes of Taiji. It almost reached a Paragon's level of destructive force. That was the only way to get passed his defenses. And don't be mistaken, he couldn't get off the floor because he was exhausted - not because of any damage I did. I had only managed to break the shield. If anything, he might have felt a little numb. Thankfully, it looks like his sudden breakthrough had its limits."

    Lan Jue's explanation, as well as her own experiences there in the ring with him, helped her understand just how dangerous that fight had really been. However, both had learned a lot, especially about force. It was the toughest fight Lan Jue had faced yet. He'd only barely avoided being ground to dust.

    Lan Jue's wrist buzzed and he lifted his communicator to see who was calling. The first thing he noticed was the number of missed calls flashing on the screen. He answered.

    "Boss." A woman's voice, clearly trying to keep her excitement quiet.

    "Yeah," he answered.

    "Are you feeling alright?" Another voice asked from the other line.

    "I'm fine, you can relax. How are things going?" Lan Jue urged.

    "Taken care of. We've placed several bets and won one hundred and eighty-seven billion dollars. That's over two hundred and seventy billion NED. Boss, we're rich! We could buy a mothership and then some. Wa-hahaha, we're rich!"

    Lan Jue chuckled. "Careful, not so loud - I know. No more bets. I need to get better."

    "Alright, I don't want to push it either. The two of us will go shopping, there's a laundry list to get through. With this much money there's no excuse for anything but the nicest toys! Hehehe!"

    "No doubt!" Lan Jue added, then cut the connection.

    Qianlin had looked down at her own communicator, and was staring oddly at it.

    "What is it?" Lan Jue asked.

    She smirked back at him. "What else? Everyone knows who you are now. Little Mi has sent me over ten messages already trying to find out if it's true."

    This made him chortle. "Things have a way of sorting themselves out. Revealing my identity may not be entirely bad. At least anyone thinking of causing you trouble will think twice."

    She turned her eyes back to him. "Are you still going to teach when we go back?"

    He sighed. "That was my plan, but now the situation appears to have changed. At the very least I won't be able to continue the etiquette classes. The A.R.C. classes shouldn't be a problem since its small scale. It's hard enough making sure these kids have a shot at being great."

    Qianlin nodded. "It would be best if you didn't leave. Anyway, you've already agreed to the terms of service."

    He smiled at her. "I did! I am your bodyguard, by your side at all times - how's that? Hell I couldn't escape even if I wanted to, right? One thought and here I am."

    She couldn't help but giggle. He was right, he had nowhere to run. Until they both became Paragons, each one was at the other's beck and call.

    "I'm hungry, let's go get something to eat." Qianlin pulled at his hand, smiling prettily.

    "Alright, let's go foraging." Lan Jue had already changed his clothes and was ready to go.

    However, they only got so far as the lobby before they had to turn back. What he had managed to do was not something many were capable of, beating the Terminator's disciple. To people in the East he was a hero, but to Northerners he was an affront to their pride! When it came to issues of nationalism, there were few with their heads screwed on right. An old woman even pelted him with some fruit when he dared show his face downstairs. Now he was starting to understand Hua Li's misfortunes.

    Luckily he also had the benefit of listening to Hua Li complain. Using power lines to sneak away from the hotel, the first thing he did was bring Qianlin to a nearby shop and purchase a hat, facemask and sunglasses for her. Once the pair were suitably incognito, they went out for a bite to eat.

    They chose a nondescript restaurant serving sea-food. He ordered them a bottle of white wine, then set about answering the messages on his communicator.

    "A-Li, come get some food and hang out."

    "A-Cheng, want some grub? Come and chill for a bit."
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