Shout-out to Joseph Lawrence for supporting me on patron!!
Nik had created quite a fan base for himself once he defeated Huyan Xiong without the use of martial spirit. In the eyes of the commoners, all the aristocracies are evila story preceding in every world. Rich is wicked and miserable the underdogs. Not that Nik minded it. His presence in the late-night market brought a wave of uproar. Multiple individuals in the market at such a late hour already boast themselves for their information network. Nik's presence in their system would bring them a rush of prestige.
Aside from a section contributed towards an assortment of items, weapons, and inscriptions, multiple entertainment centers filled the rest of the market. But none of the so-called 'entertainment' sites could present the wildness in the bars of Nik's homeworld. Out of the three places Nik frequented, all three of them were filled with oily men, presumably the upper echelons of the other institutions, enjoying the sight of fully clothed women singing a graceful song.
And they were drinking tea at night!
Nik turned away from the three establishments instantaneously. His misconceptions that he could find a hook-up in such late hours within a traditional world was a joke a fact Nik knew now.
Torn with the guilt of missing training and the hope of making his night better, Nik decided to give another Inn one last try. This time, Nik chose one of the expensive establishments of the market street encircling the Holy Orchid Institute. It was named the Star Restaurant.
With the entrance adorned in gold and luxurious velvet spirit beasts hide covering the floor, Nik's vision was dazzled with the sheer lavishness of this place.
Extreme lavishness that bordered to the realms of disgust.
"Welcome, Sir. Which floor are you interested in?"
A thin-mustached middle-aged receptionist inquired with a polite tone. With three prior visits, Nik understood the man's words. Whether Nik wished to avail premium services or dine down with the middle-level of the society depended on the tip that Nik can give.
Taking out a demon spirit card with the value of 1000, Nik placed it on the counter, and the receptionist smiled accordingly before leading Nik through the heavily-guarded stairs. The interior of the first floor was somewhat soothing, a surprising fact when Nik considered the overwhelming feeling near the entrance. The hall was spacious, and the tables were placed sparsely. Nik's arrival attracted the attention of a few well-informed men, but none took an initiative to approach Nik.
Even Nik couldn't focus on them for his eyes were instantly attracted to a lonely figure sitting on one of the tables alone. The delicious platter in front of her failed to arouse her hunger, and the vat of Grizzly Lemon Vine was unable to make her gulp in anticipation.
Her dazed gaze remained focused on nothing of particular.
Nik's smile grew wider. Forget a hook-up. Dinner date with Shen Xiu sounded even more impressive to him.
As Shen Xiu played with her thick locks using her index, a soft cough interrupted her session of 'Nik's recollection' and instantly aroused her irritation and fury.
"You won't mind me joining, would you?"
The moment her gaze landed on Nik's smiling face, Shen Xiu's eyes widened in a stupor. Such a reaction satisfied Nik, and he knocked on her able twice, "You're drooling now."
Shen Xiu's gaze fluttered, and she closed her parted lips instantly. She nodded silently and finally inquired the moment Nik sat in front of her, "What are you doing here?"
"I thought that I should treat myself in an expensive place. What about you?"
Nik asked with a smile, and for the first time, Nik could see a layer of smugness Xiu's smile, "I own this, as you call expensive place."
It was Nik's turn to feel astonished, and he glanced at all the spacious hall once again.
"Wow, I guess I can eat here for free then."
Nik remarked while Xiu frowned and asked out, "You are a man."
"Hey, eating for free isn't illegal."
Nik shrugged and raised his arm to call for the waiter standing in attendance at the entrance of the hall. While the waiter made his way towards Nik and Shen Xiu, the flaming red-head puckered her lips and replied, "I have no reason to treat you."
Nik, meanwhile, rolled his eyes, "Oh, come on. I thought we were friends?"
"The word 'friend' disgusts me. I don't have any friends," Xiu remarked calmly and matched Nik's gaze without shying away.
Nik raised his eyebrow in amus.e.m.e.nt and grinned, "I see. Well then, I'll just sit with you and eat the food you treat me. Of course, we are strangers. You will be treating me food out of your kind heart."
Nik's grin grew broader as he instantly ordered the most expensive dishes. Heck, Xiu owns a freaking restaurant! Nik would be damned if he didn't come here every day to fill his stomach!
Xiu's expression grew darker as she heard Nik's order and grimaced when he made the waiter double everything.
"Why would you double your order?"
Xiu inquired with a frown as Nik replied with an impudent expression that deserved a beating.
"Oh, when I train you guys, I get hungry. So, I will have the second portion packed for later."
Xiu snarled as Nik pointed at the food in front of her, "You should start eating, too."
Xiu turned her head and snorted, "I'll wait."
For the next hour, Nik and Shen Xiu ate their meal rather peacefully. There were a few prying eyes, but none seemed of Nik's concern as the two did not even chat that much. What surprised Nik was Shen Xiu's tolerance towards alcohol. She could drain the contents and would not even flinch for a moment. While no such concept as alcohol addiction existed in this world, Nik now came to understand that Xiu was addicted to alcohol just like another red-head in his life Souko Souma.
"Haa! This was fulfilling!"
Nik remarked with a pleased expression as he patted his abdomen. He leaned back on his chair while Shen Xiu observed him from head-to-toe. A thought suddenly entered her mind, which made her feel hesitant. While she felt calm in Nik's presence, she still couldn't believe Nik with her eyes closed. She did not care if she would end up with a virtuous saint or a vile philanderer. As long as her future man treated her right, she could accept it.
For now, Nik had brilliantly treated her the way she wished to even when she didn't say anything. It was as if Nik's reason for existence was to 'click' with her's. But Shen Xiu feared that all of it might change once a large amount of wealth under her name is added to the equation.
Finally, she bit her lips then let her plump lips go before inhaling deeply.
I am planning to donate all the estate under my name back to the family. What do you think? Should I go with it?"
Nik's stomach was full, and he hadn't slept for almost three days. IT was a dangerous moment for Nik, and he felt his mind buzz slightly.
"I mean, it would be a shame since you can eat here everything for free. But hey, if you do forsake everything and find yourself in need for some assistance, you know where to find me.
It might not look like it, but I am loaded."
Shen Xiu's expression turned strange since she expected Nik to reply in a clear and concise Yes or no.
Looking at his slightly fulfilled expression and the drowsiness in his eyes, Shen Xiu's expression finally softened for the first time in forever.
"I understand," She remarked and stood up, "Can you walk back to the institute?"
She inquired while pulling an amused smile from Nik, "Nah. You look like a proper lady. Walk me home, will you? I am sure that you wouldn't do anything to me."
A/N: To make it clear now, Nik's current physique is comparable to Broly's in the latest super movie. The standard form, of course.