Mingxi left school for a short while during the afternoon. As the syllabus of the International Class was different from that of the Normal Class whereby there were more bilingual teaching courses, she felt the need to buy some reference books.
After making her payment, she turned and immediately saw Zhao Yuning entering the cybercafé from across the street with a few delinquents from another school who had ear piercings.
He’s entering the cybercafé at this hour. Is he cutting class again?
When Zhao Yuning and his friends turned, they also saw Mingxi.
“Isn’t that girl with the mask your sister?” A blonde-haired guy beside Zhao Yuning said with furrowed brows. “Is she here to stop you again? Why the f*ck are your family members so nosy?”
Prior to this, Zhao Mingxi had bumped into them a few times while they were skipping school, and every time she would drag Zhao Yuning back to school.
The blonde-haired guy and the rest already recognized her.
“You should leave now before your sister glares at us too—”
But before the blonde-haired guy could finish his sentence, Zhao Mingxi had averted her gaze, turned and left with her plastic bag full of reference books.
Wait a minute. She left just like that?
The blonde-haired guy, Zhao Yuning and the rest were stunned. “Amazing! Did your sister go through a change in personality today? She obviously saw us yet she didn’t come over!”
“Let’s go. Since your sister is in a good mood today and decided to let us be, let’s seize the opportunity and enjoy ourselves.”
However, Zhao Yuning’s gaze was stuck on Zhao Mingxi’s retreating figure. He was frozen on the spot while his mind buzzed.
Zhao Mingxi actually left in such an unconcerned manner despite seeing him with these delinquents?!
This was even more unbelievable than when he got blocked!
How did she used to reprimand him? You are a product of your environment. When she saw him hanging out with these kinds of people, she would get so angry that she would instantly drag him back to school.
But why was she acting like this today?!
—Even if she was now on bad terms with their family, she didn’t need to go to the extent of treating him like a stranger, right?!
Zhao Yuning used to hate it when Mingxi would butt into his affairs. He even once ridiculed her by saying that she really thought she was his sister.
But now that she was really ignoring him, he felt a sense of irritation.
As if he was suddenly going to lose something.
“You guys go in first. I have to deal with something.”
“What do you have to deal with? You can’t be f*cking trying to bail on us, right?” The blonde-haired guy was unhappy.
When Zhao Yuning saw that Mingxi’s figure was about to disappear from his field of vision, he swatted the blonde-haired guy’s hand away from his neck, ignored how his expression darkened and ran hurriedly after her.
Mingxi walked very quickly.
Zhao Yuning was panting heavily as a result of chasing after her. It wasn’t until they almost reached the Year 3 floor did he manage to stop her.
“Zhao Mingxi!” Zhao Yuning blocked her path. He was panting with his hands on his knees. “Jie, when will you stop being angry at us? Da ge* said that he already sent you a text. Even da ge has apologized to you, is that not enough? I know that we’ve wrongly accused you as being the person behind this incident, but you can’t keep staying in school. Where will you go during the holidays?”
Da ge = eldest brother
Mingxi knew that she had nowhere to go.
Even so, she didn’t want to go back.
”You stopped me just to say this? I have places I can go. Thank you. There’s no need for you guys to worry about me. I’m gonna go upstairs now.”
Seeing as how Mingxi was about to turn and leave, Zhao Yuning felt flustered and exasperated.
However, he knew that they were in the wrong this time for falsely accusing her. So it made sense for Mingxi to still be indignant about it.
Therefore, he tried his best to control his temper. He chased her to the bottom of the steps and said with a soft voice, “Jie, I beg you. Stop being angry at us. Mom always speaks with a sting in her words, but she really does care for you— I want to apologize as well for saying such disrespectful words to you when you left.”
“We are a family. What issues can’t we resolve? There’s no need for us to stay in a cold war just because of such a small matter.”
The more Zhao Yuning spoke, the more he felt wronged. He began to act coquettishly. “You ignored me, blocked me and pretended not to see me just now just because of a small matter?”
Mingxi quietly looked at the grass beside the academic building’s walls. She couldn’t understand what exactly was a small matter or a big matter.
Why did everyone from the Zhao family use the same words, “just because of a small matter”?
When she first arrived at the Zhao family home, she touched Zhao Yuan’s piano and was berated by her er ge* Zhao Mo. He said, “Don’t touch her things, you country bumpkin.”
Er ge = second eldest brother
Were those incidents minor matters as well?
However, she no longer wanted to think about who was right and who was wrong, or who was biased and who was fair.
Mingxi decided to clear things up once and for all. She turned and looked at Zhao Yuning. “I am not in a cold war with you guys.”
Zhao Yuning let out a breath of relief. “Then why don’t you come home—”
“I don’t plan on going back there anymore.”
Zhao Yuning froze.
“You guys were living well as a family before I came two years ago. My arrival later on was just redundant and really unnecessary.”
Zhao Yuning couldn’t think of a response. He widened his eyes. “What do you mean?”
“What I mean is that you no longer have to come find me. I wish to sever all ties with you all and for everything to return to how it was two years ago.”
Mingxi lowered her gaze, made a mental calculation and came up with a number.
“For the past two years, your family has spent some money on me. It should be about 130,000 yuan including the school fees.”
“Obviously as of now I don’t have the ability to return all this money at one go. I will slowly return them after my graduation. You guys have never given me a single cent for the first 15 years of my life and I cooked for you guys for the past two years. I will consider this as returning the debt of giving birth to me. I don’t owe you guys anything else beyond that.”
She still had to spend time to change her ending, so she could not spare any more time to deal with the Zhao family.
“Therefore, I’m going to have to trouble you to relay this message back to your family. Please give me more time. Don’t rush for me to repay the debt everyday.”
Even if Zhao Yuning turned the gears in his mind to the point of explosion, he would not have thought that this was what Mingxi was thinking. For a moment there he couldn’t determine if Mingxi said all this due to anger or if it was the truth.
He was dumbfounded.
A short while later.
“What debt?! You are part of our family. We spent so much time and effort to bring you home. Who wants you to return a debt?!”
Zhao Yuning was so angry that his eyes were bloodshot.
Mingxi looked at Zhao Yuning quietly. She couldn’t explain what happened in her past life to him.
Besides, she was too lazy to fight with him.
“Please relay my message to them.”
Since she was done clearing things up, Mingxi turned and walked upstairs.
Zhao Yuning was in disbelief. On one hand he was trying his best to assure himself that Zhao Mingxi said all this due to anger. Who cares if she comes home? If she doesn’t come home then so be it. When she sees how everyone no longer cares about her, she will definitely come home crying.
On the other hand, he looked at Zhao Mingxi’s figure which appeared so cold, and thought about how she didn’t care about him at all just now when they were outside school. A sense of panic began to bubble up in his heart—
What if Zhao Mingxi was speaking the truth?
It had never crossed Zhao Yuning’s mind that Zhao Mingxi would truly leave this home and never return.
The sun shone harshly on Zhao Yuning as he stood there with his mind empty.
It wasn’t until he realized that class was about to start that he turned and walked toward the Year 1 floor.
Zhao Yuan who was about to go for P.E. class at the sports field saw him and Zhao Mingxi standing at the bottom of the academic building.
She thought he was scolding Zhao Mingxi.
In the end when Zhao Yuning walked over, she realized that they didn’t have a fight. Zhao Yuning appeared to be flustered, even his eyes were red. He looked as if he got dumped by Zhao Mingxi.
“What happened? Did you go and look for Mingxi? What did you guys talk about?” Zhao Yuan casually called over a guy and asked him to help her carry some of the equipment she was holding in her arms.
Zhao Yuning took a glimpse at Zhao Yuan.
“Zhao Mingxi said—”
Zhao Yuning stopped his sentence mid-way. Was he really going to relay the words Mingxi said out of anger?
If Mom hears of this and becomes infuriated, wouldn’t this make their family’s conflict even worse? Furthermore, what if Zhao Mingxi changes her mind later on?
“Nevermind, it was nothing.”
Zhao Yuan furrowed her brows slightly. She couldn’t understand what was going on. After she came home from her reunion yesterday, everyone in their family acted as if they owed Mingxi something. It wasn’t until she asked that she found out that the person who triggered her allergy was E Xiaoxia and not Zhao Mingxi.
It seemed as if Zhao Mingxi had successfully obtained the pity and guilt of the whole family due to this matter.
“Can’t you tell me what you guys talked about?” Zhao Yuan said in a joking manner. “You guys are beginning to keep secrets from me already?”
Zhao Yuning didn’t even ask her about how things were so awkward between her and E Xiaoxia today.
She didn’t like this feeling of everyone’s attention being taken away from her.
“I already said that it was nothing. Stop asking me. You’re annoying.” Zhao Yuning walked toward the Year 1 floor in annoyance.
He was feeling troubled and had no intention of answering Zhao Yuan’s questions.
Zhao Yuan looked at his retreating figure. She was so shocked that she was frozen on the spot.
Zhao Yuning and her were stuck together like glue ever since they were young. He followed her everywhere. It was common for him to listen to everything she said. Even at school, whenever he heard that she was being bullied, Zhao Yuning would immediately go into a fit of anger.
But now Zhao Yuning was actually calling her annoying because of Zhao Mingxi?
Mingxi rubbed her forehead. She felt that she had already cleared things up with Zhao Yuning. According to the proud personalities of everyone in the Zhao family, no one should approach her for a while after this.
She carried the plastic bag upstairs. She originally wanted to return to her class quickly so that she could rest a little more. However, she bumped into Kong Jiaze and Shen Liyao at the entrance to the corridor.
Were her stars misaligned today? Why did she keep on bumping into people she didn’t want to see this afternoon?
Kong Jiaze was a famous school beauty and top student of their neighboring public high school, She knew how to dance ballet and had once joined a competition with Shen Liyao as her partner.
The two of them were standing opposite each other. Shen Liyao’s gaze was lowered as he accepted some forms given by Kong Jiaze.
Mingxi immediately understood what was going on. It must be about the approaching Hundred School Tournament.
This tournament took place once a year and only 20 students could join from each school. The teacher who led them would usually only pick students from the Gold Medal Class and Evergreen Class. If there were still spaces left, they would bring some students from the International Class who were good in English.
Honestly speaking, Mingxi wanted to try joining the tournament as well. After all, if she managed to enter the top 20%, A High would give them some cash rewards. She was in need of money and thought it would be good to try competing against so many outstanding people.
However, she had just changed classes. When she gave it some further thought, she figured she would never be chosen.
When love rivals meet, they would be enraged. Thus the moment Kong Jiaze saw her, she furrowed her brows slightly.
She didn’t need to guess. Based on Kong Jiaze’s gaze, she must’ve thought that Mingxi transferred to Sheng Liyao’s class, hence her appearance at this floor.
Shen Liyao was about to follow Kong Jiaze’s gaze.
Kong Jiaze suddenly took a step closer to Shen Liyao and smiled as she gently placed a hand on his arm. “God Yao, can you tell me who will be joining from your class this year?”
Shen Liyao immediately pushed her away and took a step back with furrowed brows.
He subconsciously looked over at Mingxi who was at the entrance to the corridor.
However, Zhao Mingxi didn’t even bother observing them any further. She lowered her head and hastily walked passed them toward the International Class. As she was wearing a mask, Shen Liyao couldn’t even see the expression on her face.
Seeing as how Mingxi was about to reach the entrance of the International Class, she let out a breath of relief.
Damn that was awkward.
Looks like from now on I’ll have to come up from the other flight of stairs.
But before she could enter, she was called by Shen Liyao who had walked over to her.
Shen Liyao’s tone was as cold as ever.
Considering how he helped her yesterday, Mingxi could only turn and give him an awkward but polite smile. “You guys can continue.”
Shen Liyao almost choked on his own saliva. For some reason, a flame was ignited in his heart.
When Mingxi saw how he didn’t say anything else, she thought that he was just greeting her— But did the sun come up from the west today? Shen Liyao actually greeted her voluntarily upon bumping into her!
“I’ll be going first.” She turned and was about to enter class again.
Shen Liyao looked at her figure and said coldly again, “Don’t make He Yang return the notebooks for you next time.”
Mingxi was confused. She asked, “What’s up with He Yang?”
Shen Liyao had one hand tucked in his pocket while the other was holding the application forms. His gaze was cold as he stared at her. “She is your friend, not your lackey!”
Mingxi didn’t know why Shen Liyao hated her in both lifetimes. Although she always pursued him, she had never done anything out of line to him.
She could only answer softly, “Got it.”
Mingxi paused. After some thinking, she said, “But I won’t be borrowing your notes anymore.”
Shen Liyao furrowed his brows. “The speed of the International Class is different from that of the Normal Class. Are you sure you can keep up?”
Mingxi said, “Then I’ll borrow from my friends in the International Class. Besides, the speed of the International Class and Gold Medal Class are different as well. All in all, you can rest assured as I won’t bother you every Tuesday anymore.”
She thought that after saying this Shen Liyao would act as if he was freed from a burden. But for some reason Shen Liyao was glaring at her.
For some reason the air in the atmosphere became really stiff.
Shen Liyao’s expression was so cold that it was scary. He suddenly scoffed. “Your friends in the International Class? Fu Yangxi?”
Shen Liyao wanted to open up Zhao Mingxi’s head to see what she was thinking. She would bother other people just to make him jealous? Did she ever think of what would happen if she fails to get rid of people like Fu Yangxi after successfully gaining his attention?
“Not him.” Mingxi looked at Shen Liyao in confusion. “His results are not good.”
Rely on the Fu family’s Young Master’s results which are always at the bottom? He had never even written down a word of notes in his three years of high school.
Shen Liyao’s expression seemed to have brightened a little.
He gave an application form to Mingxi. His voice was steady as he spoke, “This is the application form to register for the Hundred School Tournament. Aside from filling up your information, there are a few questions as well. You can try answering them, then find a way to return it to me this Saturday before I submit them. If you want to join the Hundred School Tournament, there is a chance you will be chosen if you manage to get all of them right.”
She might not be able to go even if she filled up this application form, and the teacher leading them would also personally choose the participants. Mingxi figured she won’t be able to go for sure, but she didn’t reject this opportunity.
She accepted the form. “Thanks.”
She was about to turn and leave when Shen Liyao paused before saying in a cold tone, “I can tutor you on the areas which the tournament will cover this Saturday at the library.”
This was the most surprising thing Mingxi had heard all day. She even wondered if Shen Liyao had eaten the wrong medicine. Previously when she asked Shen Liyao to go to the library with her, he would always glare at her as if he was hoping it could kill her.
But she quickly came back to her senses. Could it be that Shen Liyao decided to help her out of pity because he found out that she had a fight with her family and was now living in school?
Mingxi quickly replied, “No need.”
She couldn’t accept Shen Liyao’s help.
Shen Liyao’s expression turned cold again. “Fine by me. It’s better if you don’t come. I’m busy anyway”
Only when Mingxi saw Shen Liyao leaving without even looking at herself and Kong Jiaze did she feel that Shen Liyao was back to normal.
She sucked in a deep breath, turned and entered class.
Beside the windows, Ke Chengwen watched as Fu Yangxi peeked out half his head and stared at the nearby Zhao Mingxi and the next class’ Shen Liyao as they spoke at the corridor. He couldn’t help but to say, “Xi ge, stop staring. She’s coming in.”
Fu Yangxi instantly sat down and pretended as if nothing happened as he put on his noise-cancelling headphones. He opened up a book and placed all his focus on it.
After two seconds, Zhao Mingxi had already sat back in her own seat in the last row. However, she didn’t even look at him— In fact, she didn’t approach him at all today.
The imaginary fur around Fu Yangxi were all spiked up. He wanted to pick a quarrel with her but he had to restrain himself from doing so. He couldn’t help but to throw the book aside. “Who was the one talking to the transfer student? A friend she used to know?”
When Ke Chengwen recalled what he heard about in the afternoon, he gulped as he was too scared to say anything.
In his mind he was thinking, friend?
A friend who was involved in thousands of fierce rumors?
What will happen if you find out that you might’ve been used as a tool to make someone else jealous?
You will probably bring a bomb to school tomorrow.