After they were done throwing away the trash, as they were walking back to class with the empty trash can, Fu Yangxi was caught by the dean who had just come out from the academic building.
The dean wanted to talk to him about what he did this morning during the Flag Raising Ceremony.
Fu Yangxi pulled a long face. He had no choice but to give the trash can to Mingxi and ask her to go up on her own first.
Mingxi was glad that Fu Yangxi wasn’t around. She took the trash can and walked upstairs slowly. She counted the amount of tiny buds in her flower pot. As this was the first time she had helped Fu Yangxi throw rubbish, three little buds grew.
Up until now, there are 79 buds.
As Mingxi felt motivated once more, her whole body seems to have been refreshed. She smiled all the way back to the International Class.
In the end, before she could enter her class, as she was walking upstairs, she raised her head and saw Shen Liyao and the other five from the School Representative Team.
The students from the Gold Medal Class would normally use the left stairway of the academic building, but for some reason they left from the right stairway today.
When a group of them saw Zhao Mingxi, they all appeared awkward. They instinctively looked towards Shen Liyao.
The moment Shen Liyao saw the smile on Zhao Mingxi’s face, he felt as if the sight had pricked his eye. He couldn’t help but to clench the fingers in his pocket tightly.
He saw everything in the upstairs corridor.
He saw how Zhao Mingxi and Fu Yangxi went off to throw rubbish together. The two of them talking happily all the way.
Fu Yangxi even helped her tie her shoelaces.
Shen Liyao couldn’t help but to look down at Zhao Mingxi’s shoes. An emotion akin to anxiousness filled his heart.
He subconsciously took a step forward, but was held back by Ye Bai’s hand on his shoulder. Ye Bai whispered in his ear, “She might have done that on purpose. God Yao, control yourself.”
However this time, Shen Liyao directly slapped Ye Bai’s hand away.
His mind was like a tightrope, filled with only images of Zhao Mingxi and Fu Yangxi together. He couldn’t calm down nor could he control himself.
What in the world is she trying to do?
Even though he was not around, she would still talk with Fu Yangxi.
He even saw them holding hands before the exams.
Shen Liyao’s fists were tightly clenched in his pockets. He tried to maintain his composure as he stood in front of Zhao Mingxi. “I received some news today that the Dong family will be returning this Saturday. Did you know about this? If need be—”
There was a pause. Shen Liyao raised his gaze and with all his might, he tried to speak in an indifferent tone, “I can go and pick them up with you.”
Shen Liyao had met the Dong family two years ago. He also knew about the relationship between the Dong family, the Zhao family and Zhao Mingxi.
“What?” Mingxi was stunned for a moment. She belatedly realized that after the Dong family struck gold, they had most likely found themselves in the social circles of the Zhao and Shen families. Thus, it was not surprising for the news of them returning to their country to reach Shen Liyao’s ears.
She hurriedly shook her head. “It’s alright. There’s no need for you to do so. Thank you for your reminder, but I can pick them up on my own.”
Shen Liyao’s brows furrowed instantly. “Why?”
Mingxi answered, “What do you mean ‘why’? What if they mistake you as my boyfriend?”
Shen Liyao couldn’t understand what was going on with Zhao Mingxi lately, just as how he couldn’t understand why Zhao Mingxi didn’t want others to mistake him as—
The feeling of annoyance could not be dispersed from his heart. He was no longer able to control himself. “Isn’t that what you want?”
“...” Mingxi got it now. Shen Liyao thinks that she still likes him.
Although it wasn’t a good place to talk about this, since Shen Liyao was the one who initiated it, Mingxi decided to make everything clear once and for all.
Or else was she to spend more time asking him out to the nearby café?
After all, her pursuit of Shen Liyao was a really casual thing. He had never shown her any affection, so he probably didn’t think of it as anything significant.
“I don't like you anymore.”
Mingxi looked at Shen Liyao with a serious expression. “I might have liked you because you helped me once. But since I was young back then, if I have offended you, please do not take my actions to heart.”
Mingxi could not get any clearer.
The stairway fell into a bout of silence, as if only the sound of the wind could be heard.
Ye Bai was so shocked that his jaw fell open.
Shen Liyao watched as Zhao Mingxi said the four words ‘don’t like you anymore’ in a clear tone. His stiff expression was akin to that of a plaster figure.
For a moment there, he felt a slight sense of pain in his heart.
When his other teammates from the School Representative Team looked at his expression, they didn’t dare to even take a deep breath.
Although Shen Liyao had been able to make a guess about this lately, he still refused to believe it. But who knew that before he could convince himself, she had actually said it herself.
Shen Liyao didn’t know if he was supposed to compliment Zhao Mingxi for being so certain or something. Based on his memories of her, whenever she wanted to do something or if she made any decision, she had never been sloppy about it.
She was so decisive that her previous pursuit seemed like a joke.
Shen Liyao initially thought that Zhao Mingxi’s absence from his sight would cause him to let out a huge sigh of relief as he no longer had to spend time dealing with her.
However at this moment, he didn’t feel released at all. Instead, what came to him was a surge of painful emotions.
Never was there a time when he had felt such clear feelings of losing something...
Shen Liyao pulled a long face as he stared at Zhao Mingxi.
Zhao Mingxi assumed that she had embarrassed him, so she could only continue awkwardly, “I think that’s it? Bye, I still have to get back to class.”
After she was done, Zhao Mingxi quickly left without even looking at the reactions of Shen Liyao and his teammates who were behind him.
They stared at Zhao Mingxi’s silhouette for a few seconds.
Ye Bai was still in disbelief. “Is she joking? She stopped liking you just like that. When has there ever been a person who would not be dramatic when they go from liking to not liking at all? She must still be trying to get a reaction out of you, right?”
Shen Liyao’s mind was in a buzz. He didn’t have the mood to think about what Ye Bai said.
How did things turn out to be like this?!
He even started to think back. On the day she suddenly decided to leave him, did he do something?
But there was none. Shen Liyao couldn’t think of anything. The day when she decided to give up on him out of nowhere was just another ordinary sunny day.
The more it was like this, the more it made Shen Liyao’s stomach queasy.
Ye Bai said, “But just now when Fu Yangxi was tying her shoelaces for her, she unconsciously took a step back— She doesn’t seem to have moved on from you yet?”
“Leave me be for a moment.” Shen Liyao shook off his hand and turned to walk downstairs.
“God Yao, we have to conduct an experiment later, and marks will be counted for it!” a guy from the School Representative Team hurriedly reminded.
Ye Bai quickly caught up to him and said, “Do you like her? You can't possibly have fallen for her, right? If you don’t like Zhao Mingxi, then there is no point in you being bothered about what she said!”
Shen Liyao stopped walking. As if he had to force himself to say these words, he answered, “I don’t like her.”
Ye Bai said, “Exactly.”
Shen Liyao told himself, he didn’t like her. It didn’t matter. It’s fine. It’s nothing big.
So many people would stuff love letters on his table everyday. Her absence didn’t matter.
Although he admired her and that they could continue as friends— She just didn’t like him anymore.
But at this moment, Shen Liyao was still so lost that he couldn’t say anything else.
Everything was spiraling out of his control.
He didn’t have the mood to conduct some sh*tty experiment. He continued to walk downstairs and said coldly, “Don’t follow me.”
At the same time, in the office, a few teachers had formed a circle as they analyzed one exam paper in shock.
“The final question requires Linear Functional Analysis. This was a question which I had set in order to create a gap between their marks. This topic is beyond a high schooler’s syllabus. What was extremely relieving for me was that there were a total of seven people who managed to answer this with clear work, and there were even three among them who got the steps right. This shows that they have dabbled into many areas of study.”
Said the Gold Medal Class’ Mr. Jiang who was both their math teacher as well as their homeroom teacher.
“This is Shen Liyao’s paper. I’ve seen his handwriting for the past two to three years so I am sure that this belongs to him.” He waved the exam paper to his left, the happiness in his eyes apparent. Then, he waved the exam paper to his right. “This is our class’ Qiu Wei’s paper.”
When it comes to outstanding students, as teachers they were able to recognize their handwritings easily.
“Now the problem is, whose one is this?”
Mr. Jiang said, “I have never seen this student’s handwriting before!”
Although the exam papers have all been marked, they had yet to be unsealed so they couldn’t see their names. The three of them were extremely shocked and confused about this exam paper, so much so that they were discussing it over breakfast.
The Evergreen Class’ Mrs. Ye Bing squinted at the International Class’ Mr. Lu who was sitting at the corner. She gave him a mysterious smile. “It can’t possibly be from the International Class, right?”
“I say, Mr. Lu, if your class continues on with these results, you’re all about to get kicked out of this building! Although your class does not need to join competitions nor are they required to obtain good results, and they only need to develop in all areas— but we can’t have a huge gap between us, right? Wouldn’t you guys fall into the category of a Normal Class then?”
“Also, look at your results this month. It has already been reduced by half due to that boy from the Fu family. Will the other half be reduced this month due to the monthly exams?”
Mr. Lu bit into his pancake. Although his face was full of anger, he did not dare to say a word.
What sin did he commit that he had to be stuck with this group of students from the International Class? Their results were only so-so, but they were the best in creating trouble for him.
Although he felt uncomfortable about this, he still retained a smile as he replied Mrs. Ye Bing, “I think it should be someone from the Evergreen Class. You should compare their handwritings.”
Mr. Jiang agreed, “It has to be someone from the Evergreen Class.”
Although Ye Bing could not determine which student in her class did this exam paper belong to, she agreed that it had to be someone from her class.
The corners of her red lips curled up. She picked that exam paper up and said, “Let’s not make any more assumptions. Hurry up and bring the other exam papers here. We’ll arrange their rankings.”
After a while, the teachers in charge of other subjects brought over their exam papers. When they sent it over, they all said that there was one student with a handwriting that they were unfamiliar with who seemed to have gotten rather good results. Their marks were very high as well.
Only the biology teacher didn’t say anything about this.
This piqued the interest of the three homeroom teachers. Even the teachers of other subjects felt that there was an unfamiliar handwriting?
Because they were paying a lot more attention to this student who not only had unfamiliar handwriting, they also scored full marks for their Math paper, while they were separating the papers, they also paid more attention as to the identity of this student.
When the seal was opened, the three homeroom teachers surrounded the paper.
Although Mr. Lu felt that this as none of his business, he still went over in a sour mood. He pretended to be a mere extra and that he was not jealous at all.
In the end, when the name was revealed—
Mr. Lu couldn’t believe his eyes!
Meanwhile, Mrs. Ye Bing and Mr. Jiang were stunned. “T-This, who is this Zhao Mingxi?”
F*ck, when it comes to his students scoring full marks, these two draw up a blank as to the identity of his student. Mr. Lu yelled out angrily, “She’s from our class! The student who just transferred from the other block’s Normal Class!”
“What’s going on?!” Mr. Lu was stunned for a good five seconds before he quickly flipped through Zhao Mingxi’s other subject papers. After merely going through Chinese and English, his hands were already shaking. He felt as if he had just struck gold as he was both in disbelief and fear. He was afraid that in the next moment, her marks for her other subject papers would be average—
In the end, after reading through all her exam papers, aside from her Biology paper which she didn’t complete and had scored an average mark on, the scores for her other subjects were extremely high, the total of which added up to 700.
“What the hell? A transfer student from the Normal Class? 700 marks?” Ye Bing couldn’t control her emotions. "This time’s Math paper was really hard! It’s as hard as last year’s Hundred School Tournament’s paper! Did you guys set easy papers for the other subjects?”
The other subject teachers all said, “No, we made it especially hard for our subjects as well.”
“Then what’s going on?” Ye Bing couldn’t believe it. She hurriedly turned back. “Quickly add the marks of the other students so that we can arrange their rankings.”
If someone who had just transferred from the Normal Class could get 700 marks, wouldn’t the other students from the Gold Medal Class and Evergreen Class be able to get scores of 700 and above then?
As it was merely a monthly exam, it was easy for the students in the Evergreen Class, hence no one paid any mind to it.
However, as this exam would determine who would be the host for the Annual School Celebration as well as being the first common exam taken by the new School Beauty as well as the previous School Beauty, everyone in the Evergreen Class couldn’t help but to pay attention to Zhao Mingxi’s results.
Previously, Zhao Yuan didn't care about these exams as well. After all, her results were good, so if nothing went wrong, her ranking would be around 20. Although it couldn’t be compared with the more intelligent School Representative Team, it was still enough to annihilate around 99% of students in their area.
Nonetheless, as this month’s exam was joined by Zhao Mingxi, she felt a little nervous.
She had been waiting in her classroom ever since the end of breakfast. Although she appeared as if she was nonchalant while reading a book, her mind was focused on the door as she waited for their homeroom teacher to display their results on the screen.
Ye Bai and the rest from the School Representative Team were all quietly discussing what had happened to Zhao Mingxi as they had all witnessed Zhao Mingxi rejecting Shen Liyao this morning at the corridor.
Thus, they went from not caring about this monthly exam’s results — because no matter what they would always be the Top 6 — to paying a lot more attention to it.
As for Zhao Mingxi, she was obviously nervous about this.
She heard that they had yet to choose the team for this year's Hundred School Tournament. Usually, only 20 will be selected. Therefore, if she manages to get into the Top 20, she would be able to join the Hundred School Tournament.
God knows how much she wanted to join that Tournament.
This time when she took the exam for the first few subjects, she could happily feel that her ‘debuff’ had all but disappeared. She didn’t know if it was because of the dozen buds which had just grown before the exams.
But when it came to Biology, the familiar feeling of being unable to write and almost blacking out appeared once more. Thus, she couldn’t do her best in the Biology paper.
I wonder how it’ll turn out in the end.
She kept on looking at the clock. She turned back and asked Ke Chengwen, “When will the homeroom teacher for the International Class usually come to announce the results?”
“Before the start of the first period, around 8.50 a.m..” Ke Chengwen was playing a game while sitting on a table, his legs swinging. “Are you nervous, Little Mask?”
After he finished speaking, Fu Yangxi rolled up a book and swatted him on the leg heavily. He then looked at him with a threatening glare.
Fu Yangxi didn’t allow anyone else to use this nickname.
Ke Chengwen quickly switched it up, “Zhao Mingxi, are you nervous?”
“Of course I am.” Mingxi confessed honestly. This was the fastest way for her to earn money. “I want to join the Tournament.”
She couldn’t earn a lot of money by merely taking exams for others or tutoring them.
But if she joins the Tournament and gets into the finals, she heard that the school will give them 50,000 yuan as a cash prize.
And if she wins the Tournament, not only the school, even the city will give her money! She would get extra marks as well! She wouldn’t be able to find better benefits anywhere else!
Of course, winning the Tournament was not something Mingxi dared to hope for.
“But your results—” Ke Chengwen gave her a one over before speaking in a hesitant manner, “Are so-so, right?”
“What are you talking about?” Fu Yangxi smacked him again.
Ke Chengwen’s legs were swollen. He didn’t dare to sit on the table anymore. He quickly crawled back to his seat.
The guy who previously had the gall to ask what Mingxi looked like under the mask asked in a small voice, “When it comes to exams, the more important part is the fact that she joined it. I’ll be thankful if she doesn’t pull down our average marks.”
He originally thought that his voice was small enough that no one could hear him in this noisy classroom. Unfortunately for him, Fu Yangxi immediately stood up with a fierce look. “Tao Han, come here for a moment.”
Ke Chengwen couldn’t help but to say, “...His name is Wang Han.”
That guy instantly hid underneath his desk.
The class was in an uproar.
Fu Yangxi was about to angrily drag Tao Han out from behind Mingxi. When Mingxi recalled how he had been summoned by the dean this morning, she quickly blocked him.
When Fu Yangxi saw that he couldn’t get out from behind Mingxi, he pulled open the window to his right and was about to jump out.
At this moment.
Their homeroom teacher Mr. Lu suddenly rushed in!
Everyone watched as Mr. Lu with his bright face and confident steps walked over to Zhao Mingxi. The way he looked at her was as if he was looking at his own biological daughter!
He abruptly pulled her up and hugged her. Then, he mumbled, “Ah, I’ve finally made a comeback,” as he jumped a few times with Zhao Mingxi in his arms.
The dizzy Zhao Mingxi: …?
Fu Yangxi: !!!???
“Lu Zhangwei, what the f*ck do you think you’re doing?!” Fu Yangxi was exasperated. He quickly pulled Zhao Mingxi out of his arms.
ray’s note: you can obtain early access to the next chapter by donating here or at the link in the main page of this story!