When Ji Anning walked into the classroom, she immediately sensed that something was off in the atmosphere. Some people looked at her with meaningful glances, especially the boys, who seemed disappointed.
Ji Anning’s footsteps paused.
She was familiar with that look.
She glanced around and saw Meng Xinyu waving at her. She walked over and asked, “What’s going on with everyone? It feels strange.”
Meng Xinyu lowered her voice and said angrily, “Sun Yaxian spoke ill of you!”
This answer was just as Ji Anning expected.
Sun Yaxian’s defamation against her had already begun its gentle prelude.
At this moment, it was just a gentle breeze and light rain, with a slight coolness. Later on, it would be a downpour and thunder, with nowhere to hide.
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Yldt Dkduw oyp pvkzz ydtau yde pyke, “R fwpv bye yd yatwxldv okvb bla. Fbl prlyjp kd y pkdkpvla yde olkae xyddla, kv’p kdqwakyvkdt! Tlu, obu yal usw pxkzkdt?”
Kk Gddkdt’p tygl oyp tldvzl, yde pbl pxkzle yp pbl zssjle yv Yldt Dkduw.
Mbkp nzypp xsdkvsa oyp rascyczu vbl xspv aktbvlswp yde swvprsjld rlapsd kd vbl nzypp.
Rd bla rypv zkql, vblu olald’v qyxkzkya okvb lynb svbla yv yzz, cyalzu lmnbydtkdt y qlo osaep. Jwv obld vbkdtp lpnyzyvle yde svblap cltyd pyukdt swvaytlswp vbkdtp, Yldt Dkduw pvlrrle qsaoyae yde alrakxydele vblx, pyukdt, “Gv zlypv ol’al nzyppxyvlp, nyd’v usw pbso y ckv sq elnldnu kd uswa osaep? Gal usw prlyjkdt yp kq usw’hl rlapsdyzzu okvdlpple kv? Ps usw byhl ydu lhkeldnl? Rp kv aktbv vs cwzzu svblap yde dsv qllz twkzvu?”
Mbkp qsaxkeyczl tkaz pzyxxle vbl czynjcsyae laypla sdvs vbl rsekwx, pkzldnkdt vbl obszl nzypp. Gqvlaoyaep, vblka nzyppxyvlp tayewyzzu pvsrrle cakdtkdt wr vbl vsrkn.
Rd vbkp zkqlvkxl, vblu bye yzalyeu clnsxl qakldep. Kk Gddkdt dlhla lmrlnvle vbyv Yldt Dkduw oswze pvyde wr yde prlyj qsa bla.
Kk Gddkdt qlzv y oyax pldpyvksd kd bla blyav, xlzvkdt yoyu vbl nszedlpp vbyv bye zkdtlale qasx bla rypv zkql.
Fbl alxykdle nyzx yde nsxrsple yp pbl ypjle, “Ebyv eke pbl pyu?”
“Just in a weird and sarcastic manner, she first mocked your family situation,” Meng Xinyu said, “and then she started implying crazily, saying that you have a questionable relationship with a wealthy second generation, insinuating…”
“Materialistic?” Ji Anning asked.
Meng Xinyu nodded angrily, “Yes!”
Meng Xinyu knew how hard Ji Anning worked to earn money. She herself had to work part-time to support her family, so she easily empathized with Ji Anning.
As Meng Xinyu imagined herself in that situation, she became infuriated by Sun Yaxian.
“Don’t be angry,” it was Ji Anning who consoled her instead. She glanced at Sun Yaxian and calmly said, “I’ll go talk to her.”
After Ji Anning finished speaking, she stood up and walked step by step towards Sun Yaxian.
With only an elderly person and a young girl at home, most of the time, the girl chose to keep the peace and remain silent to avoid unnecessary trouble.
But silence didn’t mean weakness.
Having experienced her past life, Ji Anning deeply understood the consequences of remaining silent, and in this life, she was unwilling to continue being silent.
“Sun Yaxian,” Ji Anning stood in front of Sun Yaxian, poised and graceful, captivating the onlookers.
Sun Yaxian was also a beauty, and having two beautiful girls together was even more pleasing to the eye. Especially since just before Ji Anning arrived, Sun Yaxian had spoken ill of her, attracting the attention of the entire class now that Ji Anning had suddenly approached her.
“Huh? What’s the matter?” Sun Yaxian didn’t expect Ji Anning to come over suddenly, feeling a bit uneasy. She stood up straight, smiled on her face, and spoke in a friendly tone, as if nothing had happened.
But the classmates had heard her talking about Ji Anning behind her back earlier, and now seeing her smiling face, their minds were clear, and they couldn’t help but suspect that Sun Yaxian… should perhaps not be too closely associated with.
Ji Anning didn’t beat around the bush and went straight to the point, saying, “I heard that when I wasn’t here, you were talking about me behind my back. If you have any dissatisfaction with me, you can say it to my face.”
The class fell silent, and many gasps could be heard. The atmosphere suddenly became eerie.
Everyone was astonished. This Ji Anning, who was clearly a quiet and introverted girl, who would have thought… she would speak so directly? Confronting head-on from the very beginning?
Sun Yaxian was also caught off guard by Ji Anning’s direct approach. She felt uncomfortable all over and forced a smile to deny, “Who told you that? Don’t make things up. I didn’t say anything…”
Ji Anning interrupted her and said, “Don’t bother saying meaningless things. I have a general idea of what you said. I just want to ask you, what exactly do you have against me? Is it because you can’t stand that I’m poor? Or is it because someone is pursuing me?”
For Sun Yaxian, the correct answer was naturally “both.” But Sun Yaxian wasn’t a fool. Saying that she looked down on a classmate for being poor? That would be politically incorrect! Even if she really thought that way, she couldn’t say it out loud.
Otherwise, how could she label Ji Anning as “materialistic”?
Boys disliked materialistic girls the most!
Sun Yaxian tightened her face, furrowed her brows, and put on a serious expression as she said, “If you really want to know, well, I just can’t stand the fact that you’re leading someone on.”
“Who is this ‘someone’? How do you know about my relationship with this ‘someone’? And how do you know that I’m leading them on?” Ji Anning fired off three questions.
After hearing Sun Yaxian’s suggestive remarks at lunchtime, the classmates already had a faintly negative impression of Ji Anning in their minds. But Ji Anning’s three questions instantly shattered that impression.
That’s right, Ji Anning wasn’t very familiar with the classmates in the class, and it didn’t seem like she was close to Sun Yaxian either. So how did Sun Yaxian know about Ji Anning’s affairs?
Sun Yaxian felt slightly panicked.
Ji Anning had been so quiet in the class, always giving off an impression of weakness and being easily bullied. Only now did Sun Yaxian remember that Ji Anning was sharp-tongued when she confronted her on Monday.
She wasn’t an easy target at all. Why did she always have the illusion that Ji Anning was easy to pick on?
“Uh, I just happened to see…” Sun Yaxian said vaguely.
Ji Anning asked, “When? Where? Who did you see? What was I doing with this ‘who’?”
She was aggressive, completely refreshing the classmates’ impression of her. They used to think of her as a quiet and beautiful girl, like a supporting character in a painting, but they never expected her to be so formidable.
“On Monday…” Sun Yaxian mumbled.
“Monday?” Ji Anning asked, “So, this ‘who’ you mentioned, is it Wen Yu from the third year?”
She enunciated clearly and said, “On Monday, you and Xin Yu and a few others saw me talking to Senior Wen Yu at the school gate. Then we entered the school together. Since you asked, I told you that Senior Wen Yu is indeed pursuing me, but I feel that we’re not compatible, and because I have too many part-time jobs and have to take care of the elderly, I really don’t have time for romance, so I rejected him.”
The classmates whispered to each other, “Wen Yu, the senior in the third year who drives a Hummer and looks handsome, right?”
Ji Anning didn’t give Sun Yaxian a chance to speak and continued, “After I told you, you mocked me and asked if I knew how wealthy Senior Wen Yu’s family is, saying that if I could be his girlfriend, why would I need a job? Isn’t that right? At that time, Xin Yu and others were present. I argued with you about the words you said, and Xin Yu was the one who pulled us apart.”
Meng Xin Yu interjected at the right moment, “Yes, that’s exactly what you said. You seemed particularly envious.”
The classmates’ expressions changed.
In fact, even without Meng Xin Yu pointing it out, everyone could hear the tinge of envy in the words Sun Yaxian used, as quoted by Ji Anning.
During lunchtime, Sun Yaxian vaguely insinuated Ji Anning’s materialism with her words like “I heard” and “apparently,” and the result…
Sun Yaxian couldn’t hold back her anger anymore. She stood up, and her voice became slightly louder. “I was just joking. Who would take it seriously!”
Ji Anning sneered, “For the same matter, you use it to joke with me at one moment and publicly criticize me at another. Your standards change too quickly, don’t they?”
Sun Yaxian faltered for a moment, growing more and more furious. She said sharply, “I just can’t stand you! You admitted rejecting Wen Yu, and then you keep having ambiguous interactions with him. Isn’t that leading someone on? It’s so immoral!”
“By ‘ambiguous interactions’ you mean when I told you on Tuesday that Wen Yu and I are in the same club?” Ji Anning calmly countered.
“Yes!” Sun Yaxian felt that she had caught Ji Anning’s handle and immediately became furious. “You said you rejected Wen Yu, right? Then why did you join his club?”
Ji Anning chuckled, “Did you travel here from the Qing Dynasty? If there’s a guy in our class who pursued me, and I rejected him, does that mean I can’t attend class with you anymore? I didn’t know there was still a requirement for gender segregation?”
Some classmates couldn’t help but laugh, thinking that Ji Anning made a valid point. But some others thought that Sun Yaxian also had a point. If she knew that someone was pursuing her, why did she still join a club associated with him?
“And!” Sun Yaxian played her trump card, “Not only is Wen Yu the president of the combat club, but the combat club doesn’t even accept female members! Yet you, a girl, eagerly joined the combat club. What’s the deal with that? You know it very well!”
Indeed, it was a powerful counterattack, and even the classmates who supported Ji Anning were somewhat swayed by it.
But Ji Anning remained calm.
With a composed demeanor and a steady pace of speech, she said, “You may not understand my situation. I’ve had to work and earn money since high school.”
This was something the classmates knew, as it had been publicly reported. However, what Ji Anning said next was something they didn’t know.
“Perhaps I look okay, but during the process of working and earning money, I encountered some bad people and unfortunate events. As a young girl, with no one to rely on outside, I had to rely on myself.”
“So I wanted to learn some practical combat skills or self-defense techniques. Not the flashy and attractive ones, but the ones that can truly save my life when I’m in danger.”
“If you had investigated, you would know that although there are several martial arts clubs in the school, they are essentially just sports clubs. Senior Wen’s combat club, on the other hand, has a high level of expertise and professionalism. Most importantly, it is highly practical and can truly be used for self-defense in fights.”
“So even though I’m busy with part-time jobs, I still decided to make time to learn something for self-defense. Senior Wen, being the president of the combat club, knows about my situation, so he made an exception for me.”
Ji Anning explained it clearly. Her situation is indeed unique, and everyone knows about it.
Listening to her calmly mentioning “encountering bad people and bad situations,” many classmates couldn’t help but feel sympathetic.
She has been working part-time since high school. What were they doing during high school? Most of them were not allowed by their parents to do anything except focus on studying and preparing for the college entrance examination.
But Ji Anning, she endured so much on her own, facing the triple pressures of life, finances, and society, and eventually entered Huada University just like them. Upon careful consideration, admiration couldn’t help but arise.
Sun Yaxian sensed the change in atmosphere from the shifting gazes and whispers among the classmates.
She angrily retorted, “But he doesn’t accept girls into the club, yet he made an exception for you. Isn’t it because he likes you?”
“I suppose so. But whether others like me or want to pursue me is beyond my control,” Ji Anning said. “I’ve made it clear to Senior Wen that we are not compatible, and I don’t have the time. I am very grateful for his willingness to help me. I won’t reject his assistance just because he likes me. After all, my personal safety is indeed more important.”
Sun Yaxian scanned the room and saw several classmates nodding in agreement involuntarily due to Ji Anning’s words.
Feeling anxious, she racked her brains, trying to come up with a counter-argument against Ji Anning.
However, Ji Anning launched a counter-attack.
“I’m actually curious about something,” she smiled. “Sun Yaxian, how do you know that the combat club doesn’t accept female members?”
“No, the real question should be, how did you know that Wen is in the combat club?”
“On Tuesday, when you asked me, I didn’t even tell you which club it was, did I?”
Sansukini: Sun Yaxian is implying that she’s a gold-digger.