Pu Shuang didn't think that Zhao Mingxi's parents would come just for this. She shrank and defended, “This is not what you think it is. We were just joking among friends."
Zhao Yuning became even more angry. “Joking with my friends? Then am I joking with you if I throw you into a smelly ditch?! Would you like to give it a try?”
As Zhao Yuning spoke, he angrily came over and pulled Pu Shuang.
Although Zhao Yuning was young, he was still a boy. With a bit of brute force, he really pulled Pu Shuang into the smelly ditch next to the hotel.
Pu Shuang stepped one foot on empty air while the other stepped into the ditch. The cold and smelly sensation immediately spread from her toes.
Angry and anxious, she gave Zhao Yuning a push. “Zhao Yuning, what are you doing? We know each other!”
Zhao Yuning said angrily, “Yes, you also know that we know each other. If I had known that you took the lead in bullying Zhao Mingxi, would I still have let you in my home?”
Seeing that the two children were about to fight, Mr Zhao thought of how indecent it would be for a boy and a girl to fight at the entrance of a hotel, Mr Zhao scowled. "Enough!"
Pu Shuang pushed Zhao Yuning away angrily and came up from the ditch. She was supported by two girls on each side and barely stood firm.
Mr Zhao stared at Pu Shuang and said, “You’re Pu Shuang, right? I'll talk to your homeroom teacher later. Did you really think that Zhao Mingxi is without family? Do you know that this is called school violence?! And you would even dare call this a joke. Should older students like you be playing this sort of joke?!”
Pu Shuang's face went pale immediately.
Before she and another girl did this, she didn't expect the Zhao family to come. Today is not a special day. Why did the Zhao family come over? What's more, it's just a matter of throwing a school bag, and there was barely any conflict. Didn't Zhao Mingxi already execute revenge?
—Could it be that Zhao Mingxi told her family about this little thing? She would never tell them before.
If Zhao Mingxi's father really talks to Ye Bing, the homeroom teacher, then wouldn't I be asked to bring my parents over as well?
Her family has always been strict. If her family knew about it, she would have to be punished!
Pu Shuang was so flustered that she quickly looked at Zhao Yuan.
If it were not for Zhao Yuan, Zhao Mingxi and she would have no grievances with each other. She would not do such a thing.
Zhao Yuan's heart was beating even harder. Irritability and anxiety came to her heart together. While resenting Pu Shuang's inability to use her mind and dragging her through the mud as well, she was angry and anxious at the same time. Why did her family make such a fuss about a small matter? Now all her classmates were watching and knew that her family valued Zhao Mingxi— Maybe it will be passed around the school tomorrow that she has fallen out of favor at home.
Zhao Yuan's first reaction was to clear up the relationship with Pu Shuang, although it meant disposing of her friend to protect herself. She immediately panicked to Mr Zhao, Zhao Zhanhuai, Madam Zhao and Zhao Mo. “What happened?!”
Then, she turned to Pu Shuang in shock. “I wasn’t in the classroom this afternoon. You threw Mingxi's school bag in the trash can? Shuang Shuang, how could you do this?”
Pu Shuang and the other three girls: “...”
Zhao Yuan changed her attitude so quickly that it made their brains buzz and they couldn't respond at once.
Just when they couldn't react, Zhao Yuan quickly stood behind Mr Zhao and said to Pu Shuang with an ugly expression, “You need to apologize to Mingxi. If you do this again in the future, we will no longer be friends.”
When the Zhao family saw that Zhao Yuan didn't know about it, their expressions looked a little better.
If she knew and allowed her friends to bully Mingxi— then she really wasn't the Zhao Yuan they knew.
Only Zhao Yuning and Zhao Mo couldn’t believe that Zhao Yuan had nothing to do with this matter.
Zhao Mo crossed his arms and stroked his chin. He looked at Zhao Yuan's expressions and movements. No matter how he looked, he felt like she was performing. This acting was a bit clumsy. If she really didn’t know, why is she panicking?
"Liar!" Zhao Yuning pointed at Zhao Yuan. He turned to Madam Zhao, Zhao Zhanhuai and the others. “Dad, Mom, last time I said she lied about Zhao Mingxi in front of the teacher of the Literature Department in order to steal the opportunity of becoming the host. You guys didn't believe it. This time you should—”
Zhao Yuan interrupted Zhao Yuning, “Yuning, now is not the time to turn over old accounts and bring up our previous conflicts.”
She turned around, furrowed her eyebrows at Pu Shuang and said, “If I knew you were going to do this behind my back, I wouldn’t have left the classroom in the afternoon. No wonder Mingxi looked angry when I came back and I still didn’t know why.”
Pu Shuang and the others were dumbfounded: "..."
Zhao Yuan thought, I’m also trying to protect myself, I have no other choice.
Mr Zhao's face was terribly cold. He said, "Forget it, we’ll let it be for now! I will definitely talk to your homeroom teacher about this. There are still a few days left in the training camp, so you kids don't cause any more trouble!”
Pu Shuang felt aggrieved. Tears were about to fall after the lecture by Mr Zhao. She wiped her eyes, turned and rushed into the hotel.
The other girls looked at each other and followed in.
"You should also go back and rest. We’ll talk about it when you go home after the training camp." Mr Zhao frowned and looked at Zhao Yuan.
The more she spoke, the more were the chances of making a mistake, hence Zhao Yuan didn't dare to say anything. She lowered her head and made a noise of agreement before turning into the hotel.
After Zhao Yuan left, the Zhao family couldn't help but turn their heads to look at her back.
They didn’t know if it was their misperception, but recently, Zhao Yuan has become very different from before.
If it was because Mingxi left home and they focused all their attention on Mingxi so she felt unhappy and wanted to fight for favor, they could understand. But based on their memories, Zhao Yuan was empathetic. At best she would act like a baby for this, complaining with a few words—
But now, why were this series of incidents excluding Zhao Mingxi all related to Zhao Yuan?
Or maybe, Zhao Yuan's nature was not as flawless as they thought.
The Zhao family waited for five to six hours today. They didn't even see Zhao Mingxi. Their mood was originally bad, but now because of this incident, their mood got even worse. They began to doubt themselves. Their biological child was forced away for a child who was not related by blood. Was it because they had a hole in their brains?
Mingxi and Fu Yangxi came back from the back entrance of the hotel.
The Zhao family waited almost all night and still couldn’t see Zhao Mingxi. One could imagine how tormenting the mood was that night.
Later, they couldn't stand it anymore.
Madam Zhao had a splitting headache and took a painkiller in the car. Zhao Zhanhuai also had to get up early to go to work tomorrow.
As a last resort, Mr Zhao left the gift at the front desk of the hotel and asked the front desk to hand it over to Zhao Mingxi tomorrow. Then, they drove the car and left the same way they came.
However, on the way back, the atmosphere in the car became even more depressing.
When Zhao Yuan returned to the hotel room, Pu Shuang came over and argued with her.
“I want to ask you something. Didn’t you know that I was going to throw Zhao Mingxi’s school bag? It’s because you choked up and cried the night before, saying that your family only cares about Zhao Mingxi recently and they’re all ignoring you, that’s why I did it on your behalf! Before I threw it, I talked to the person next to you in a low voice. You heard me too. You said you shouldn’t be involved in this, so you went out— Was this what you meant when you said, 'we’re doing this behind your back'?”
"Zhao Yuan, how can you be so shameless?" Pu Shuang finally scolded this sentence.
She finally understood why E Xiaoxia used to say that Zhao Yuan was hiding behind them, making them charge into battle. Because they were good friends, they always protected Zhao Yuan. They felt that it was Zhao Mingxi's fault. An ‘illegitimate girl’ dared to disrespect Zhao Yuan, so they wanted to help Zhao Yuan teach Zhao Mingxi a lesson.
“We’re sisters when you need us, but when you don’t need us, you’ll ask us to leave, right? It's funny to see us being used and ordered around by you, isn't it?”
"Calm down." Zhao Yuan frowned and looked at other rooms in the corridor. "There are still many people on our floor. Do you want to wake Mr Jiang up?"
Pu Shuang couldn't calm down. She was extremely angry. Seeing Zhao Yuan's unaffected expression, she felt that she had wrongly devoted her sincerity.
“From now on, you’re on your own.’' Pu Shuang slammed the door after she entered the room.
She will never help Zhao Yuan again.
Zhao Yuan watched her enter the room and slam the door. She looked agitated and her heart felt as if it was being held down by an invisible boulder.
Friends, family, she was losing these things one by one.
But why does Zhao Mingxi have everything?
—All this happened because Zhao Mingxi ran away from home.
That’s when the family began to pay attention to her.
Zhao Yuan bit her lip and turned to enter the room. She turned on the computer and downloaded an application form for school residency.
As if no one else knows how to run away from home.
Zhao Yuan believed that in the same way, the Zhao family would not allow herself to live outside. Although there was no blood relationship, there was still a basis formed based on the relationship for the past 15 years. Besides, her biological parents couldn’t be found just yet. The Zhao family knew that she only had them.
Mingxi didn't know what happened here.
It wasn’t until the next morning when she got up that she found out that the Zhao family had left her a gift at the front desk of the hotel. The receptionist stopped her and handed the gift to her.
Of course, Mingxi didn't even look at it.
Two hours later, these gifts were delivered back to the Zhao family’s home by the hotel's front desk courier in the same city.
The Zhao family was still eating breakfast in a bad mood. Madam Zhao heard the doorbell and asked the nanny to pick up the courier. Seeing that these birthday gifts were returned intact, she almost had a heart attack.
They called and asked the front desk what was going on. The receptionist replied with embarrassment, “Miss Zhao asked us to tell you that such late family affection is worth even less than grass. Instead of wasting your time looking for her, you might as well live in harmony with Zhao Yuan. Otherwise, you just might lose both of them."
"Also." The receptionist paused before continuing, “She said that because these are merely waste, you will have to pay for the delivery.”
Madam Zhao saw that the courier at the door was still waiting for them to settle the courier fee.
The string of crystal bracelets that Madam Zhao gave to Mingxi and was especially cherished by Mingxi at the time was also directly returned.
The whole family at the table: "..."
It was not an exaggeration to say that the situation left them dizzy.
Mingxi took the dried test papers and other things, brought them to the classroom and started doing questions all morning.
During the intermittent period, she glanced at her plants and found that there were more than six small trees. If they were converted into small shoots, it would be 325 shoots.
They grew neatly in that small palm-sized pot. The greenery was really cute.
She could take a look and relax her eyes whenever she was tired of doing the questions.
As the plants grew, Mingxi could sense that she was feeling less and less restrained. There were fewer cases of mental decline when the brain would be suddenly blocked when doing questions— But although they were rare, they still occasionally exist.
For example, for the question she just did, her thoughts were smooth and the answer on the draft paper was correct, but at the last step, the answer that fell on the test paper changed a number.
If this was a real Tournament exam, she would lose 10 points all at once.
Mingxi didn't know if other characters would start to improve their IQs with the growth of their plants and would no longer be affected by Zhao Yuan's heroine halo.
She couldn’t be bothered with such things. She had to solve her own problems first.
The preliminary competition was about to take place in a few days. Her top priority now was to let the plants grow again as much as possible.
This way she would have a greater chance of reaching the finals.
And Mingxi hasn't forgotten her bet with Pu Shuang, whoever gets poorer results will drop out.
So Mingxi clicked on the system that hadn't appeared for a long time: "The growth of my potted plants has slowed down recently, probably because I have already done everything I can. Is there any way to make it grow faster?"
Seeing that she was on the right track, the system took a part-time job to help more impoverished girls. It took a while to respond: "Have you done what I asked you to do?"
Skin contact, hugs.
It was indeed done either deliberately or by coincidence.
Mingxi's face was a little embarrassed at the mention of such things. She scratched her cheek and said softly: "Yeah."
The system said: "Then only kisses are left."
Mingxi subconsciously uttered an "Okay". When she came back to her senses, her face flushed instantly. "Huh???"
What the hell???
The system said: "According to the rules, the reader will get excited the first time you hold his hand. But when you hold his hand a second time, the reader’s feelings will be diminished. However, if you slam the other's lips with your lips, the reader will get excited again. The rule of thumb is natural— and note that it is best to have a kiss where the director can get a shot at every angle. It shouldn’t just be a peck. Then the increased luck will be even more abundant.”
"Of course, it depends on whether you want it or not. If you don't want to, you can still deliver desserts slowly and do little things to slowly grow buds, but as compared to how it was in the beginning, these things basically can't grow much luck anymore."
Is it really okay for the system to say the word ‘kiss’ so calmly in such a mechanical voice?!
System: "It's okay, I can understand your reluctance. After all, kissing someone you don't like is really a psychological barrier."
Mingxi's pen made a heavy cut on the draft paper. Her heart was beating loudly. I… I guess I can do it.
Before the system finished speaking, it heard this sentence in Mingxi's heart: "..."
What happened during the time I went to help other female side characters?!
ray's note: oh dear the system sure missed out a lot