491 8.08 – Hummingbird – Monster Heist
The stillness of the night was only interrupted by the occasional creak of the bushes and the rustling of leaves as a lone man made his way through the underground dungeons located beneath the academy.
Ru Quan carried a large bag with him as he opened the doors of a metal cage. From the bag, he took out several pieces of raw meat and placed them in front of a group of creatures that lay dormant in the shadows.
As soon as the meat touched the ground, the cat-sized creatures sprang to life, devouring the food ravenously. They had matted fur in shades of green and blue, a powerful, muscular build and razor-sharp teeth that glinted in the dim light.
He wanted to provide his wife with proper training and experience at first, but it became a source of amusement for him to see the students and other LADs struggling to deal with what seemed to be the weakest beasts in the lexicon chart.
‘Do you think it would be selfish of me to ask her for a date?’ Lu Kai asked, half hoping he’d get a negative answer. Instead, he got a positive reply.
Ru Quan, who had become a successful matchmaker, responded positively, ‘Some time apart is necessary to build longing.’
Xuan Mu shook his head, his voice carrying a note of caution, ‘But waiting too long can lead to missed opportunities and regrets. Just be respectful and considerate in your approach.’
Lu Kai sighed, ‘Take the charge, old man. I don’t think we can work it out with Nathaniel yet.’
‘I didn’t plan to have any connections with her, just in case things get complicated,’ Ru Quan observed the creatures’ behavior and movements closely as he let them roam around the man-made jungle after their meal.
He grabbed a bow from his back, and followed them around, noting their behavior and movements as he tried to shoot them with his arrows. ‘So, how do I make a move on Silvia, given my ties to Victor’s side?’
‘This is your forte, figure it out yourself, man.’ Both Xuan Mu and Lu Kai said at the same time.
Ru Quan’s actions revealed his routine of regularly increasing the dungeon’s difficulty, a ritual that he carried out with quiet efficiency. ‘Looks like you two are trying to set me up for a fall.’
Xuan Mu’s smirk spread across his face like wildfire, “Just trying to keep things ‘interesting’, you know how it is.’
“I don’t typically get tangled up in drama, but for you, I’ll bend the rules,” Ru Quan shot back at Xuan Mu with a sardonic chuckle. “Just don’t go running to me with tears if things get messy.” His words were delivered with a hint of edge, conveying a sense of confidence and caution that showcased his savvy and streetwise nature.
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Bing Shi tried her best to get through the day. After she lulled Stinky Bun to sleep, she returned to Silvia’s form. With everyone around her hard at work, it was challenging to relax.
Ziek had gone into intensive training, Xuan Mu was still absent from his journey, Lu Kai and Ru Quan were fully occupied with fulfilling their roles as a LAD and a male lead.
Bing Shi didn’t want to break their routine just for her entertainment and so, she decided to make her own routine.
‘How is your cultivation going? Do you need some help?’
‘~It’s doing fine. Stop connecting with me for a while, please. Your mind is distracting me and I need to focus.’
Bing Shi dropped her ears. She picked up her cane and walked towards the library to study, feeling bad for wanting to chill around. She passed by a music room and spotted something which looked like a piano.
She decided to go inside to play it in the hope it would melt away her uneasiness. Who knew, maybe a charming individual would stumble on her playing the piano and become entranced by the beautiful view of the moonlight outside the windows. Honestly, she was not the best to look at right now.
She avoided playing the piano in their home, afraid to find out how much out of practice she was. She sat down and took a deep breath. Her fingers fumbled awkwardly at first as she stumbled over the notes, remembering the tones of the new instrument.
° ‘Your daughter has a natural gift for music. If she put more effort into her lessons and trained more at home, she would have surpassed her seniors.’
° Was their daughter truly lazy and was not putting in enough effort at home? Bing Shi’s parents didn’t think so when they saw how much time she spent on the piano instead of helping them with the company.
Despite her perfect pitch, Bing Shi always struggled to keep up with the more complicated music pieces. She stopped mid-song before she gave herself an earful.
‘You survived without Dai An’s talents this whole time, why depend on them now?’
After calming her nerves, she started playing again, this time focusing on simplifying the melody instead of hitting the correct keys. Her fingers continued to feel slow and clumsy, discouraging her from playing further.
“What is that melody? It sounds familiar.”
Bing Shi froze as she heard a voice behind her. The sound was familiar; she had heard it many times before. It was the same person who had been treating Silvia coldly for the past few years, “Melodic whisper of the Wind. Our national anthem. Everyone should know it.”
“...” A wave of awkwardness swept over Nathaniel as he stood outside of the music room, leaning against the wall. Lu Kai couldn’t remember music at all unless it had lyrics. He could certainly hear music, he could understand it mathematically, and would compare it to a distinct type of background noise, “Your performance made it difficult for me to identify the piece you played.”
Bing Shi turned around slowly, her heart beating faster than a hummingbird, “Nathaniel?” He was so good at concealing himself that she hardly saw him as her husband. Her lips were trembling as she tried to form words, “I apologize for talking to you, please don’t cut off my tongue yet. May I ask...Was my performance not up to your usual standard?”
“I don’t really listen to music,” Nathaniel replied casually, “Next time, don’t forget to close the doors.” He then walked away from the door as Bing Shi watched him go, ‘You met your ex for the first time during a music performance too, right?’
Ru Quan reminisced, ‘I remember I wanted to kill whoever dared to interrupt my sleep in the middle of that night.’
- QT: Against My Will
- Chapter 491 - 491 8.08 - Hummingbird - Monster Heist