Xi Ning held a round little fox made of wool felt in her hand and watched as Kong Nianxi slowly walked down the steps.
When there were only two steps left, she raised her arm and handed the thing over, intending to say something.
However, when she met Kong’s eyes, which were close at hand, the words on her lips suddenly got stuck in her throat for a moment.
Nice to see you again, Xi Ning,” Kong Nianxi said naturally, smiling before Xi Ning could speak.
Standing face to face, for some reason, Xi Ning felt a moment of awkwardness.
The girl in front of her had bright eyes and white teeth, with a faint smile at the corners of her eyes, like a pool of clear spring water, bright and pure.
This was their first conversation as classmates.
Wait, did she say…nice to see you again? Instantly, Xi Ning remembered the embarrassing appearance of her stupid brother, Xi Mu, at the school gate.
In front of the person involved, Xi Ning’s mood was indescribable.
Xi Ning: “…You’re welcome.”
She pursed her lips slightly, her gaze shifting down a bit unnaturally, and saw the little fox still in her hand.
She then realized that she had been holding her arm up for a while.
Although it was only a few seconds, Kong Nianxi did not immediately take her “lost item” from her.
Xi Ning hesitated and looked up until she heard the noise of someone coming up the stairs.
The delicate and soft touch passed through her fingertips, and the chubby little fox was gone from her palm as Kong Nianxi took it from her.
“See you later,” Kong Nianxi said, bending her eyebrows and shaking the ugly and cute ball of fur in her hand before turning and going upstairs to join her friends.
The two figures quickly disappeared at the stairway.
Xi Ning was slightly stunned.
See you later? Although she knew it was just a polite farewell, it still felt strange to hear Kong Nianxi say that, after all, they were not familiar with each other.
They were the kind of strangers who wouldn’t even look at each other if they met face to face at school.
After quickly dropping off their luggage in the dormitory, Xi Ning and her friends went to the classroom for their evening self-study session.
Along the way, Tu Xiao Yuan kept complaining.
“Come on, tell me the truth.
When did you start secretly getting close to Kong Nianxi behind my back?”
Tu Xiao Yuan pouted her lips and blinked her teary eyes, dragging Xi Ning’s backpack behind her with a look of being abandoned and betrayed.
She already had a sweet and innocent appearance, and with a couple of tears, she became even more adorable, attracting many strange looks from passersby, especially from the boys.
Xi Ning took her backpack back from Tu Xiao Yuan’s grip, feeling helpless.
“We’ve never gotten close, okay? Alright, stop pretending.
We’re already in the classroom.”
Tu Xiao Yuan was usually fine, but when she got into character, she was really difficult to deal with.
“Really? I don’t believe you.
She told you that she’ll see you later, and when you two were standing together just now, there was a kind of…”
Tu Xiao Yuan stopped halfway and suddenly hugged Xi Ning’s waist with her hands, her petite body flexibly approaching her.
“My radar is very accurate, let me detect it~”
Xi Ning was frightened and quickly put two fingers on her forehead, creating some distance between them.
“What are you doing again?”
Tu Xiao Yuan held her forehead in pain and complained, “Although your fingers are slender and beautiful, I really like them, but you should use them where you should know, right? Ouch…it hurts so much, damn it.”
Xi Ning raised her eyebrows and stared at her.
She knew Tu Xiao Yuan so well after all these years.
Although she couldn’t understand her sometimes, she knew that when something didn’t feel right, those words definitely had other meanings, and they were definitely not good words.
“Is it because of the vest line? It’s more comfortable to hug you, and you’re taller than Zhuang Zhuang, which makes me feel safer.
I wonder who will benefit from it in the future.”
As she spoke, she opened her arms and wanted to hug Xi Ning again, but Xi Ning instinctively moved back.
Of course, she wasn’t rejecting her.
Hugging between best friends was normal, but once this girl started hugging, it would never end.
“Hey, what bad things are you secretly saying about me again?”
A girl with shoulder-length hair, tall and beautiful, walked in from the back door of the classroom and put her arm on Xi Ning’s shoulder.
“Xiao Yuan Bao, I’m at least 170+ cm tall.
Are you still complaining that I’m short?”
Tu Xiao Yuan pouted and gestured between the two of them.
“You’re short, but I’m cute.
Besides, I’m not complaining.
You’re just not as tall as Ning Ning.”
Su Yu Qi, the last member of their trio, had a high-end, jaded face that made her look unapproachable.
Coupled with her strong background, she was nicknamed “Zhuang Jie” by others, and Tu Xiao Yuan added the nickname “Zhuang Zhuang.”
Although Zhuang Jie’s clothing and makeup were more mature, she looked like a delinquent on the outside, but she was actually a top student, and her biggest hobby was…doing math problems.
Su Yu Qi took out a piece of chocolate from her bag, took Tu Xiao Yuan’s hand, and put it in her palm.
“Be good, play by yourself for a while.
Xi Ning and I have something important to do.”
Tu Xiao Yuan took the chocolate, unhappy about being left alone, and protested with a pout.
“What? Are you going to do those boring things again? Really…” Her gaze swept over Xi Ning and Su Yu Qi’s faces, and she thought of something else to say.
“Having the same attributes won’t lead to any results.”
What…attributes? Has this girl learned any new vocabulary recently?
Xi Ning looked at her in confusion, about to speak, but Su Yu Qi hooked her neck and led her to their seats, her voice amplified in her ear.
“Tu Xiao Yuan, you better put away those notebooks you bought recently and not corrupt my child.”
Tu Xiao Yuan stuck out her tongue.
The clock hanging above the center of the blackboard showed that the minute hand was between 5 and 6.
The classroom was already half full and as noisy as ever.
There was not as much pressure as there had been in the third year, nor was it as awkward as when they had first arrived in the first year.
Extracurricular activities at Qingye High School were known to be diverse and exciting, making the second year the perfect time for falling in love.
It had only been a little over a month since school had started, but there were already many stories of secret crushes becoming real and friendships turning into something more.
While Tu Xiaoyuan had been teaching with great passion, Xi Ning’s expression had remained calm, just like her inner thoughts.
In this regard, Su Yuqi had been more on the same wavelength as her – wasn’t the dopamine rush from completing a high-difficulty bonus question in a limited time challenge enough? Wasn’t the monthly ranking change exciting enough? These were enough to consume the energy of their adolescence, and there was no need to look for substitutes.
“Come and solve this problem!”
Su Yuqi had already taken out a math workbook from her backpack and placed it on the table, gesturing to Xi Ning beside her.
This was the important matter that Su Yuqi had mentioned earlier.
They had agreed last Friday not to look at the answers and to finish the entire book over the weekend.
They would then compare their accuracy when they returned to school.
Xi Ning took out an identical workbook and placed it on her desk.
“About two to three questions.”
Su Yuqi smiled and immediately began to randomly select questions to verify their accuracy.
“I’m going to win this time.
Get ready to run errands for me, little sister.”
Xi Ning smiled and thought for a moment, scanning the classroom – if most of the students had arrived, it was time to collect the physics test papers that their teacher had handed out last Friday.
The classroom was even more chaotic now, with some students frantically doing their homework, some flirting, and others chatting together.
More people had arrived.
As her gaze swept over Kong Nianxi’s desk, she noticed that it was still empty, with nothing on it.
It seemed that the person had not yet arrived.
This was normal.
In Xi Ning’s few memories of Kong Nianxi, the person’s seat was usually empty except during class.
Her phone vibrated twice on the desk.
She picked it up and glanced at it.
It was a message from Xi Mu, with two screenshots of snacks and a question about whether she wanted anything else.
He was treating her.
Ha, this person always spent all his living expenses before the end of the month and then came crying to borrow money.
Now he suddenly wanted to treat her? It was rare.
No good deed goes unpunished.
As expected, he quickly sent another message.
[Xi Mu: Nianxi is so cute.
Sister, have you ever considered getting closer to her?]
It took Xi Ning two seconds to realize who he was referring to.
She almost choked on her own saliva, knowing what he was getting at.
Didn’t this guy think his tone was weird?
[Xi Ning: If you think she’s cute, then go for it yourself! Don’t drag me into this.
[Xi Mu: But she doesn’t even pay attention to me.
If you can get closer to her, maybe I’ll have a chance?]
[Xi Ning: What are you talking about? You have to work hard on your own for this kind of thing.]
After sending the last message, Xi Ning threw her phone into her pocket and decided not to waste any more time on him.
However, a few minutes later, he called her directly.
“I’m outside the back door of your classroom now.”
Hearing his voice on the phone, she immediately turned around and saw Xi Mu poking his head out from the back door.
His conspicuous height and good looks attracted many glances in the hallway.
“Ding ding, I’m here to deliver milk tea to Sister.
I even bought your favorite flavor~” Xi Mu stepped back a bit, holding two cups of milk tea with different logos on them.
“Oh really? Thank you, my cute little brother.” Xi Ning lowered her head to look at the two cups of milk tea in his hands, each with a different logo.
She found it amusing.
“But I don’t remember liking ice cream red tea.”
Xi Mu scratched his head awkwardly.
“Um… I don’t know anyone else in your class, so could you please give this to… my crush, you know who I mean.”
Although it was just a small favor, it felt a bit awkward for Xi Ning to help her twin brother deliver bubble tea to their female classmates.
After all, they would be in the same class for a year.
Xi Ning seemed to sense her hesitation.
“You two aren’t close, are you? Besides, not many people at school know about our relationship.”
He spoke as if he wasn’t the one who had just urged Kong Nianxi to get closer to Xi Ning.
But he was right.
As fraternal twins, Xi Ning and Xi Mu didn’t look very alike, and unless they stood together for comparison, no one would associate them with being siblings.
Moreover, the label of being twins always attracted extra attention at school, and Xi Mu was so high-profile that Xi Ning didn’t want to be tied to him like in middle school.
So after entering a new school in high school, Xi Ning only mentioned her brother to her closest friends.
“Speaking of which, ever since no one knew I had a smart and beautiful sister like you, I’ve been much more relaxed.
I don’t have to be forced by those guys to deliver messages or gifts anymore,” Xi Mu said, looking relaxed.
“Same here,” Xi Ning replied.
“So, help me out this time.”
“Why don’t you go in yourself?”
“Because…because I’m shy,” Xi Mu said.
In fact, he had personally delivered snacks before, only to have them thrown in the trash by Kong Nianxi.
Later, he found out that she rarely accepted things from unknown sources because of something bad that had happened.
He was shy? The guy who could show off his abs in public on the court was shy about delivering a cup of bubble tea?
Xi Ning remained unmoved.
Xi Mu persisted, refusing to leave until he got what he wanted.
With his tall and handsome figure standing in the hallway, he attracted a lot of attention, and Xi Ning became increasingly impatient.
Thanks to her dear brother, Xi Ning’s already limited pink fantasies about those boys who were popular with girls and might be as messy and annoying as him in private were further reduced.
Looking at her watch, Xi Ning took the bubble tea from Xi Ning with annoyance.
“No next time.”
“Thank you, my dear sister!” Xi Ning jumped in place happily, his height of over 1.8 meters making him stand out even more.
“But…” He suddenly hesitated.
“If someone asks, don’t say it was me who sent it, okay?”
What does he mean? If I don’t mention him, can I still say that I sent it?
Xi Ning was speechless, unable to understand his thought process.
But before she could say anything, Xi Mu had already run away with his things.
Carrying the two cups of bubble tea, Xi Ning walked into the classroom expressionlessly.
Fortunately, Kong Nianxi’s seat was still empty.
When she placed the bubble tea on Kong Nianxi’s desk, the noisy surroundings suddenly quieted down.
Xi Ning didn’t pay much attention to it and quickly returned to her seat.
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