Cornetto

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Teacher Li looked at Ning Zhen, surprised.
Usually, students this age don't like raising their hands to answer questions.

 

Even the top students in the class will avoid his eyes as soon as they hear the questions and answers session.

 

It was rare to see such an active classmate.
Teacher Li smiled and said, “The classmate who raised her hand, come here.”

 

“Are you a new student? This teacher has never seen you before.
What's your name?”

 

Ning Zhen blushed and said softly, “My name is Ning Zhen.”

 

“Precious¹?”

 

“Ning Zhen,” she said quietly.

 

The class laughed.

 

Ning Zhen felt ashamed and a little helpless.
Fortunately, Teacher Li called for silence.

 

“Student Ning Zhen, tell me, what is the answer to this question?”

 

She glanced down quickly.
The question was, 'What is the property of sulfuric acid in the above reaction?'

 

“The answer is C, it's acidic.”

 

Teacher Li nodded repeatedly and asked Ning Zhen to explain the principle.
She organized her thoughts and then spoke slowly and clearly.
She understood everything she had listened to.

 

Teacher Li was very satisfied.
He looked at her in approval and asked her to sit down.

 

Ning Zhen breathed a sigh of relief.
Fortunately, this question was not difficult.
She had a solid foundation in the past and still remembers some simple and basic things.

 

Chen Dongshu, who liked to watch excitement the most, couldn't help but laugh wildly.
“Hahaha! This girl, is she an elementary school student? She has to raise her hand to answer the questions.
I will die of laughter.”

 

Lin Zichuan chuckled.
In the eyes of those who have not raised their hands to answer questions since childhood, this kind of positive and good student is simply strange.

 

He turned his head to look at Lu Zhi.

 

Lu Zhi rested his head with one hand, and a smile appeared in his eyes.

 

Mr.
Li added supplementary questions and talked about the options mentioning that it was easy to choose wrong, reminding them to pay attention to mistakes next time.

 

His voice suddenly rose, “Well, is there a classmate who will answer the third sub-question? The volume of gas generated under standard conditions.
This is a key question.
Remember to take notes if you don't know it.”

 

In the silence, a little hand was raised again.

 

A strange silence ensued.

 

Teacher Li coughed.
“Is Ning Zhen the only one in the class who knows this question? Can other students be more active?”

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The other students were trying hard to hold their laughter.

 

“Okay, Student Ning Zhen, get up and answer again.”

 

Ning Zhen was a little embarrassed.
Even Xie Yu, who hated her, couldn't help laughing, looking at her as if she was mentally retarded.

 

The key questions were often difficult.
Her speech was not as smooth as in the last one, and she hesitated slightly in some places.

 

But the answer was correct.
Although, the process was not perfect.

 

When she sat down, her forehead had broken in sweats.

 

In her heart, she silently prayed that the teacher would stop asking questions.

 

The way Xia Xiaoshi in the back row looked at her changed.
The girl in the front row turned out to be a “xueba (academic guru)”?

 

For the next 20 minutes, Teacher Li did not pick up anyone to answer questions.

 

The strings in Ning Zhen's mind finally loosened.

 

She glanced at her watch.
It was 15:03, seven minutes before the end of class.

 

“I'll pick a student to explain why the redox equation can't be used here.”

 

 Ning Zhen raised her hand subconsciously.

 

Teacher Li paused for a second and quickly responded, “Student Ning Zhen, you answer.”

 

Ning Zhen's heartbeat was fast, and under the eyes of the whole class, the tips of her ears turned red to the point of dripping blood.

 

“I, I don't know.”

 

Lu Zhi's threat sounded in her ears.
She had raised her hand reflexively, stood up, and realized that she had forgotten this knowledge.
She didn't know it at all.

 

“Fuck! Hahahaha…”

 

 “Hahahahahahaha! No way! My stomach hurts from laughing.”

 

Where is the new classmate from? Simply a rare animal.

 

In the back row, Lu Zhi bent the corner of his mouth, his eyes bright.

 

Teacher Li rarely saw a good student.
Knowing that Ning Zhen was embarrassed, he didn't embarrass her further and asked her to sit down.
He said, “It's a good thing to love learning, but try to know the answer before raising your hand in the future…”

 

Ning Zhen lowered her head silently.
Her face flushed under the mask.

 

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Alas, this was the first time she had been so embarrassed since she was a child.

 

Forget it.
As long as Lu Zhi doesn't bother her, it's fine.

 

Finally, the class ended.

 

Xia Xiaoshi in the back row comforted her, “Ning Zhen, don't be sad, it's amazing that you could answer the first two questions.
I don't understand them at all.”

 

“Well, I'm not sad.”

 

Xia Xiaoshi endured it, but curiosity prevailed, “Do you like chemistry class very much?” She hadn't seen her raise her hand in the previous Math and Chinese class.

 

 “…”

 

With Lu Zhi's temperament, those that obey will prosper, and those who go against him will perish.

 

She raised her hand, and he didn't bother her.

 

Before the end of school, the English teacher reminded, “The monthly exam is coming next Thursday.
Students seize the time to study hard.”

 

Next Thursday…there were still eight days left.

 

Ning Zhen remembered that the rule of Class 7 was to arrange seats based on grades, starting from the first place.

 

Lu Zhi's group usually sat in the last two rows, leaning against the back door, so it was easy for them to skip classes.

 

She shouldn't sit with them.

 

When the bell signifying the end of class rang, the students left the classroom one after another.

 

Ning Zhen borrowed Xia Xiaoshi's physics notes and copied them into her book.
It was easy to remember Chinese and English, but it took great effort to improve in science-related subjects slowly.

 

She rubbed her sore wrist and looked at her watch.
It was almost six o'clock.

 

Ning Zhen put Xia Xiaoshi's physics book back in place and put her physics book in her school bag.

 

She turned off the fans, closed the doors and windows, and turned off the lights.
The interior suddenly darkened.
The sky outside was orange and looked warm.

 

Ning Zhen locked the door and went down from the second floor after making sure there was no problem.

 

Tong Jia and her didn't follow the same path, and she had to take notes, so they didn't go together.

 

The wind in June was hot, and the evening air was still stuffy.

 

Ning Zhen turned around the corridor and suddenly stopped.
She covered her mouth and gently retreated to the corner of the corridor.

 

On the first floor, a male and a female stood at the entrance of the dimly lit staircase.

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The girl hugged the boy and was crying.

 

Ning Zhen squatted and carefully hid.
She didn't want to bump into this scene either.
After all, that boy was Lu Zhi.

 

Lu Zhi leaned against the wall with a cold expression.
He held a cigarette in his hand and flicked the ashes from time to time.

 

Yu Shanshan hugged his waist and cried softly.

 

“Ah Zhi, forgive me, okay? I know you have me in your heart.
I can't live without you.
Don't do this…”

 

He took a puff of smoke as if the person being hugged was not himself.
Lu Zhi's eyes were cold.
When she finished crying, he spat out two words from his thin lips, “Get lost.”

 

Yu Shanshan froze.
She mustered up the courage to apologize but, in return, received an order to scram.
Her pride and shame made her feel annoyed.
She let go and took a step back.
Looking at him, she tried to smile.
“I will wait for you, Ah Zhi.
I will wait until you forgive me.”

 

Lu Zhi snorted lightly as if he was listening to a joke.

 

Yu Shanshan's figure disappeared at the entrance of the stairs.

 

Ning Zhen lowered her eyes and rubbed her calf.

 

She didn't mean to eavesdrop, but they were right there, and she…she had to go through there to get home.

 

Lu Zhi didn't move, and she didn't dare to move either.
Her legs were becoming numb, so she had to switch legs to support her body.
Ning Zhen thought distressingly, “When will he leave?”

 

Lu Zhi extinguished the cigarette butt.
He straightened up, frowned, and glanced up.

 

A small corner of a black fabric was exposed.

 

Ning Zhen was startled when she heard the footsteps and raised her head.

 

Facing a pair of dark and deep eyes, he raised his eyebrows.
“Did you enjoy watching?”

 

Ning Zhen, who was caught, stood up suddenly.
Not knowing where the courage came from, she ran past him without saying a word.

 

Her heart was beating fast, but she didn't dare look back.
She ran all the way in a single breath, but Lu Zhi didn't catch up.

 

She patted her chest.
So scary.

 

Lu Zhi's tone, which sounded like she knew too much and wanted to silence her just now, makes her heart go cold when she thinks about it.

 

Ning Zhen ran like a scared rabbit.
Her light blue schoolbag was swayed, and the scent of her hair seemed to remain in the air.

 

Gentle and faint, like jasmine.

 

Lu Zhi chuckled lightly but was a little annoyed in his heart.

 

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She saw it.
It was neither early nor late.

 

Lu Zhi walked to the trash can and threw the things in his hand into it.
Previously, he was holding a cigarette in his right hand and holding this thing in his left hand for a long time.

 

It had already become melted Cornetto ice cream.

 

Ning Zhen pushed open the door.
“Dad, Aunt Xu, I'm back.”

 

Before entering the house, she had already taken off her mask.

 

Ning Haiyuan was drawing designs and did not respond to her.
Xu Qian, who was busy in the kitchen, raised her voice, “Zhen Zhen, change your shoes and wash your hands first.
Get ready to eat.”

 

“Okay.” Ning Zhen put on slippers.

 

She glanced at the living room and didn't see Tang Zhuo, but his schoolbag was on the sofa.

 

Ning Zhen washed her hands and went to the kitchen.

 

Seeing her coming in, Xu Qian knew she wanted to help and waved her hand.
“Quickly leave.
I don't need you here.” The kitchen smelled of grease and smoke, and Ning Zhen coughed the other day badly.

 

Xu Qian's voice was loud, and the tone of her voice was slightly cold.
At the beginning of her previous life, Ning Zhen was estranged from her stepmother, but after getting along for a while, she knew she was a good person.

 

Ning Zhen didn't want to argue with anyone, so she obediently walked out of the kitchen.
She cleaned the table with a handkerchief and set up the family's tableware.

 

Xu Qian called Tang Zhuo out to eat, and he came out of his room.

 

He was fourteen this year and in the third year of junior high school.

 

Tang Zhuo was Ning Zhen's step-brother.
When Ning Haiyuan and Xu Qian got married, both of them already had a child.
Being in the same situation, no one despised the other.

 

Ning Haiyuan glanced at the school uniform on Ning Zhen and frowned.

 

“Zhen Zhen, you have to study hard in your new school.
You will be in your third year of high school soon.
This will determine your future.
I heard that the Third High School is not as strictly controlled as the First High School.
Don't follow their bad example.
You must continue to maintain good habits.”

 

Ning Zhen put down her chopsticks.
“Got it, Dad.”

 

Xu Qian snorted, “What's the point of talking about this over dinner, and what's wrong with Third High School? The number of people who pass the university entrance exam is not less than that of the First High School.
Besides, Zhen Zhen is so obedient.
She's serious about her studies and won't fall in love early.
So don't lecture her all day.”

 

Ning Zhen lowered her head.
Her long eyelashes trembled.

 

Won't fall in love early…

 

******

T/N

For those who don't know, Cornetto is an ice cream brand.
In Chinese, it is 可爱多.
If you understand Chinese, you can imagine my confusion when translating it.
Without knowing it's an ice cream brand, I could have translated it as “How cute” 

 

******

1.
There were two Chinese characters in this case, but they sounded the same.
The one in Ning Zhen's name is 蓁, meaning lush greenery, but the teacher mistook it for 珍which means something precious or valuable.

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