Zhao Yuning could not believe his eyes.
Does Zhao Mingxi know how long he spent on picking the gift?!
For a moment there he was so angry that his mind was buzzing. He subconsciously took the gift out of the trash.
The morning dew was moist to begin with, and the bottom of the trash was filled with dirty water.
The moment the gift was taken out, it was dripping with black water. A few drops splashed on Zhao Yuning’s pants.
Quite a number of girls who had come downstairs hand-in-hand gave him odd looks as they passed him by. They all unanimously avoided him.
The other two guys who came along with Zhao Yuning scratched their heads. They felt a little awkward as they walked over to pat on his shoulder. “What happened? She didn’t even open the package. Could it be that the lady in charge of the dorms didn't actually pass it to your sister?”
Zhao Yuning stared at the Kraft paper at the bottom of the box which was now soaked by the dirty waters in the trash. Even if he picked it up, it was useless. The dirty water would have completely soaked the gift.
He sighed. Finally, he had calmed down a little. He let go, turned and ran toward the reception at the lowest floor of the dorms— Yes, it must be so. It must be that the lady in charge of the dorms had not given it to Zhao Mingxi.
He rushed there, but before he could say anything, the lady by the window raised her head and recognized him. “Oh, it’s you. Don’t you dare ask me if I have passed the gift to that girl. I gave it to her personally the moment she came back yesterday. I even extended my shift for this!”
Zhao Yuning placed his hands on the windowsill. He was in disbelief. “Then why did it appear in the trash?! It hasn’t even been opened yet!”
“She tossed it in herself! She took it from my hands, and without even glancing at it, she turned, walked down the steps and threw it away!”
When the lady finished speaking, she gave Zhao Yuning a suspicious look. “You’re not her younger brother, right? She told me to reject everything you give her after this, regardless of what it is.”
Zhao Yuning was about to pass out from anger. “How can I not be her younger brother?”
The lady said, “If you are her younger brother, then why would she reject your things?! Get going. Don’t loiter around the girls’ dorms. Also, I advise you to focus on your studies—”
The lady took a glimpse at the nameplate on Zhao Yuning’s chest. “You are only in Year 1, yet you’ve already learned how to pursue your seniors. How could someone in Year 3 be free enough to entertain you? Allow me, as someone who has experienced this, to tell you one thing - it won’t work!”
Zhao Yuning, “...”
Zhao Yuning’s heart was filled with so much anger, yet he had nowhere to vent it to.
Aside from the frustration from being embarrassed due to his two friends seeing his gift awkwardly tossed out, there was also a sense of questionable fear and annoyance.
He swung his arms and left.
His two friends hurriedly chased after him. One of them said, “Your elder sister sure has a bad temper. She has left home for quite a while already. I’m actually wondering what has this got to do with you? Just leave it. It’s fine if she wants to stay in school. She’ll still have to come home during the New Year. Speaking of which, isn’t it your mother’s birthday soon? She’ll have an excuse to come home then.”
“You’re the one with the bad temper!” Zhao Yuning said in exasperation. “You don’t know anything about what’s going on in my family, so shut up!”
It was no longer something as simple as her leaving home. Now, Zhao Mingxi wanted to sever all ties with them!
There was never a situation when he would fail to coax Mingxi after giving her gifts and ingratiating him with her.
This was truly the first time.
Another guy consoled him, “I, too, think you shouldn’t be so anxious. Your elder sister will be fine after a while. I pick fights with my elder sister frequently too. The most extreme one was when she even bought a ticket and went overseas. But in the end, we’re still a family so she stopped being angry after a while.”
Zhao Yuning stopped walking. He massaged his temples, “You guys don’t get it. The situation in my home is really complicated. She and I… are different from you and your elder sister.”
Although there was nothing between him and Zhao Mingxi for many years, a lot of things happened for the past two years.
During Zhao Mingxi’s absence for the past few weeks, the images of everything that had happened for the past two years kept on appearing uncontrollably in Zhao Yuning’s mind.
His room was the closest to Zhao Mingxi’s room. There were a few times when he would fall asleep on the floor in front of the sofa while in the middle of playing games. He realized that Zhao Mingxi who would go to the bathroom in the middle of the night would enter his room, drag a chair, stand on her toes and take a duvet from the top of his closet before draping it on top of him gently.
There were two times when Zhao Yuning woke up suddenly. He would then force Zhao Mingxi to play games with him. Zhao Mingxi would be unwilling, citing that she had to go to school the next day, and he would threaten her with an angry tone, saying that he would teach her. Zhao Mingxi knew that she could not win against him, so she agreed.
The two of them locked the door, put on their earphones, lowered the volume and played through the night with a guilty conscience.
When the words ‘Game Over’ appeared on the flickering blue screen, the two of them would feel defeated. When they succeeded in beating the level, they would laugh softly and give each other a high five.
Although Zhao Yuning was just 14, he knew that Zhao Mingxi was purposely ingratiating herself with him due to her hope of blending in well with them.
He despised it at first.
But seeing as how there was constantly no one at home as his elder brothers were busy with their careers while Zhao Yuan had to tend to her hobbies, he didn’t have anyone else to play with. There was only Zhao Mingxi who had just arrived in this city, hence the both of them spent a lot of time together.
Therefore, as the days went by, Zhao Yuning became used to playing together with Zhao Mingxi.
Furthermore, after he turned 15, he gradually stopped following Zhao Yuan. Instead, the first thing he did when he got home was to search for Zhao Mingxi.
He and Zhao Mingxi even picked up a stray kitten which had been curled up underneath a car at the villa’s parking lot during summer last year.
Zhao Yuan was allergic to many things like cat fur and peanuts. Thus, no pets were allowed in their home. They couldn’t bring the kitten home, but they were also afraid that if they left the two-month-old kitten here, it would be burned to death by the hot summer weather.
Therefore, the two of them bought a tent, cat food, a feeding bowl, a litter box, etc. and brought the kitten to a cooler area which was at the mountains at the back of their neighborhood.
They took care of it for two months.
After the summer holidays, that kitten grew up. It could run and jump; it was no longer weak and skinny.
Zhao Mingxi was in charge of contacting a family who would want to adopt it. On the first day of school, the two of them secretly sent the cat over.
He recalled it clearly even now. It was a very hot day. The two of them did not dare to ask their driver to drive them, hence they booked a ride. They were waiting under the hot sun.
Back then, Zhao Mingxi’s face had yet to be injured. The driver of the ride they got kept on looked at the pale and long legs below her hot pants. Although Zhao Yuning feigned a look of nonchalance, he was actually really nervous. He leaned forward and covertly blocked his view of her.
When the four-month-old cat figured out that it was about to be sent away, it mewled loudly in the car.
After they sent it away, both he and Zhao Mingxi felt empty. The two of them then went to have some Häagen-Dazs ice cream.
This was his and Zhao Mingxi’s little secret.
During the period of her absence, Zhao Yuning came to realize that he really had a bad mouth. Sometimes, he would even uncontrollably lean in favor of Zhao Yuan. He always thought that that was the way he and Zhao Mingxi communicated. Since Zhao Mingxi came later, she should be okay with losing out.
But now, Zhao Mingxi decided that it was better for her to leave with honor than to stay in disgrace. She would rather lose everything than to only have one portion.
It was as if she wanted to cut him off completely.
She no longer wanted anything to do with him.
Although Zhao Yuning had a furious expression on his face, he was actually really lost.
What was he supposed to do?
The three of them continued walking to the Year 1 academic building. When his friends saw how miserable he looked, they gave him an idea, “Didn’t you say that your elder sister has a crush on Shen Liyao? Why not play the matchmaker? If it works, your elder sister just might make peace with you.”
“What the hell. What kind of bad idea is this?” Zhao Yuning felt that this friend of his was especially unreliable.
“I think I’ll just ask my eldest brother about this.”
Zhao Mo was currently overseas filming for his show. Furthermore, out of all of them, he was the one who despised Zhao Mingxi the most, so it was impossible to talk to him about this. As for their father, he was now on a business trip overseas. He doesn’t even know that Zhao Mingxi is staying in school right now. If he finds out, he will definitely go into a fit of rage. So he is also definitely out of the question.
Zhao Yuning could only make a call to Zhao Zhanhuai, urging him to figure out a solution as soon as possible.