The rumors in class gradually died down over time.
Lin Luo seemed to be stimulated by something and couldn't even look at her.
Meanwhile, Song Xinyu always looked at her with those pitiful, innocent eyes.
Cheng Chu didn't have a good impression of these two people.
She was busy practicing piano, studying, and memorizing her speech, with no time to participate in the petty squabbles of these young girls.
Unknowingly, the weekend passed by in a hurry, and the speech competition was held as scheduled on Monday.
The last class on Monday, along with self-study, was changed to the speech competition, and everyone had to gather in the auditorium.
The contestants were all called to the backstage.
When they arrived, the cramped backstage was already crowded with people, as noisy as a small market.
Cheng Chu was surprised to see that Lin Qifeng was also participating in the competition.
But Lin Qifeng didn't seem surprised to see Cheng Chu. He just raised his eyebrows and said loudly, "You're here too?"
"Yeah, our class didn't have enough people to sign up, so I was dragged along," Cheng Chu shrugged.
Lin Qifeng laughed, "Hey, same here."
He casually glanced around and his smile froze when he saw Song Xinyu in the corner. "Your class's other participant is that Song Xinyu?"
"Yes," Cheng Chu nodded. "Do you know her?"
"Heh, not really," Lin Qifeng quickly denied. "I'll see you at the competition, gotta go now."
He scurried away like a mouse seeing a cat.
Cheng Chu felt a bit puzzled, but now wasn't the time to worry about that. She had to go over her notes one more time. On a bitterly cold winter day, the air backstage was mixed with stuffy heat, causing a faint blush to appear on Cheng Chu's face.
Someone had already gone on stage ahead of her, and she could faintly hear a few sentences in English from the distant platform.
Feeling a bit dizzy, Cheng Chu couldn't help but take a few deep breaths. Suddenly, someone patted her shoulder twice.
"You're number three, right? Get ready, it's your turn next."
"Okay, thank you." Cheng Chu nodded, folded the script in her hand into a small square, and put it in the pocket of her skirt. As she looked up, she saw Lin Qifeng standing far away, silently giving her a thumbs up.
Cheng Chu couldn't help but smile. She was already naturally beautiful, but now with a slight smile, her rosy cheeks added a touch of playfulness, making her seem much more approachable.
The boys standing next to her couldn't help but stare, their faces involuntarily turning red.
The host's voice echoed from afar, "Next up, we have contestant number three from Class 2-3, Cheng Chu. Let's give her a warm round of applause, everyone."
Cheng Chu took a deep breath and followed her guide onto the stage. A beam of light shone down on her as she walked up in her school uniform skirt. The hem of her skirt swayed gently, like the buds of flowers ready to bloom in early spring.
There was a moment of commotion in the audience, with whispers and murmurs filling the air. Gu Miao sat in the corner, listening to the excited whispers of the boys from other classes.
"Oh my god, she's my goddess."
"I had no idea our goddess was not only good at playing the piano, but also fluent in English."
"I heard she grew up abroad with Lin Qifeng."
"Sigh, I've lost my chance with her. I can never compete with Lin Qifeng." Outside, the cold wind was biting, but inside the auditorium it was warm as spring.
Sitting comfortably in his armchair, Gu Miao felt as though he was standing in the icy winds of December in the seaside city. The cold, lonely wind blew into his collar, and his heart, which had been racing with excitement for her, suddenly fell silent.
His deep eyes gazed at the girl on stage.
Under the bright stage lights, the girl's fair skin seemed to be coated in a soft glow, and her sparkling peach blossom eyes shone with a brilliant light.
Her voice was clear and pure, like a mountain spring, carrying with it the cool and refreshing breeze of a summer night, flowing gently into his heart.
The girl's English was fluent, not the stiff and formal British accent, but a casual and charming American accent that made even the most tense heart feel relaxed.
Gu Miao's English was not good, in fact, it was very bad. He tried hard to listen, but only understood a few scattered words.
The hall was brightly lit, but a shadow fell in the corner. Gu Miao's dark eyes seemed to blend into that darkness.
He had never hated his own incompetence as much as he did at this moment. He couldn't even learn the most basic English, let alone understand what she was saying.
But what about Lin Qifeng? He could shine brightly and stand on the same stage as her. He was confident and charming, conquering the hearts of everyone.
A loud round of applause erupted, and the girl bowed slightly to everyone. Gu Miao snapped out of his daze and mechanically raised his hand to clap.
As expected, Cheng Chu won first place. The audience below was a sea of flowers and applause, and she stood in the center of the stage, receiving the admiring gazes of everyone.
The auditorium was a boiling sea of people, and the stage lights shone like the midday sun in summer. Cheng Chu's face slightly lit up with excitement as she received the trophy handed to her by the principal. She glanced to the side and saw Song Xinyu standing not far away.
She did well today and won third place.
The petite girl stood at the edge of the stage and was quickly engulfed by the surrounding crowd. She didn't look happy, with a slight tug at the corners of her mouth, revealing a forced smile.
After the awards ceremony, Cheng Chu followed the crowd to the backstage area, picked up her things, and left. The contestants left one by one, and there weren't many people left backstage.
When Lin Qifeng came in, the small backstage area was only left with Song Xinyu.
The girl was thin and frail, sitting on a small stool, barely noticeable if she didn't speak.
Lin Qifeng was startled, but seeing that it was her and she didn't intend to speak, he silently walked to the side, picked up his backpack, and turned to leave.
"Lin Qifeng." Suddenly, in the empty backstage, Song Xinyu's delicate voice rang out, "I have something to tell you."
Lin Qifeng's back stiffened, he awkwardly coughed a few times before saying, "My driver is waiting for me at the school gate, let's talk next time."
"Don't you even have time to say a word to me?" Song Xinyu stood up with a "swish", her tearful eyes staring at Lin Qifeng, making him feel a chill down his spine.
Lin Qifeng took a deep breath and said, "Okay, go ahead and tell me."
As the people in the auditorium had not yet dispersed, Song Xinyu led him to a secluded staircase, afraid of being overheard.
She bit her lip and twisted her clothes, remaining silent for a while, her head lowered.
Beside them was a window, and the chilly wind blew in like a knife.
Lin Qifeng stood at the windward side, feeling a chill run down his back.
He looked at the girl in front of him, who was still looking down, and a hint of impatience rose in his eyes.
His voice was cold and hard, "If you have something to say, say it quickly."
He was really going to freeze standing here.
Finally, Song Xinyu released her lip and looked up at the boy in front of her. Her watery eyes were filled with shyness as she said, "I want to tell you that I like you."
In the dimly lit staircase, the motion sensor light suddenly turned on.
She could clearly see that the sunny eyes of Lin Qifeng, which were usually filled with warmth, now looked as cold as the wind outside the window, filled with icy indifference.
"I don't like you," he said coolly.
In the empty stairwell, his words echoed faintly as Song Xinyu stood there, stunned. The cold, resolute sentence reverberated in her ears, shattering her heart and exposing her naive love to the frigid air. The chill seeped into her veins, leaving her limbs and bones icy cold.
"Why?" she asked, her voice trembling with caution.
In the dim light, Lin Qifeng's face remained expressionless. His eyes were not a deep black, but a light brown, making him seem indifferent and elusive.
He stared fixedly at the stair railing and said in a cold voice, "There's no reason. I just don't like you."
In high school, he and Song Xinyu were in the same class.
At first, he didn't have any particular feelings towards this delicate and fragile girl, neither liking nor disliking her. So, he always politely refused her advances.
But one day, in the stairwell, he overheard this girl, who usually spoke so softly that she seemed like she would be scared by someone speaking loudly in her ear, using her gentle voice to speak ill of another girl in their class.
He couldn't believe that such vicious words could come out of this girl's mouth.
The girl who was being talked about was Lin Qifeng's desk mate.
She was a shy and quiet girl, timid yet kind, always helping others without expecting anything in return. She and Song Xinyu used to be as close as sisters.
But at some point, the girls in their class began to isolate her, openly or subtly bullying her. Lin Qifeng didn't understand the reason at first. But at that moment, he understood everything.
The girl who seemed delicate and in need of protection, and whom many boys felt pity for, was actually a terrifying man-eating flower. She used her weakness to hide her inner malice, making everyone drop their guard before delivering a fatal blow.
He couldn't like such a girl, and even felt fear and disgust in his heart.
In the silent hallway, Lin Qifeng's phone in his pocket vibrated. It was the driver calling, and he answered with some apology, "Sorry Uncle Li, something's come up. Can you wait for me for five minutes? I'll be there soon."
Lin Qifeng hung up the phone and said coldly, "If there's nothing else, I'll go first."
Without waiting for Song Xinyu to say anything, he strode up the stairs.
Lin Qifeng's footsteps faltered, his tone tinged with impatience: "Is there something else?"
"You rejected me because of Cheng Chu, right? You like her, don't you?" Song Xinyu sniffled, her voice choked with emotion.
"It has nothing to do with her. Don't go bothering her, and don't come looking for me again." Lin Qifeng's figure disappeared gradually down the hallway, leaving Song Xinyu standing there, tears welling up in her eyes.
Through her misty gaze, she remembered the boy in the crowded backstage, looking up at Cheng Chu with a bright smile, while not even sparing her a glance.
As her tears fell, Song Xinyu's eyes grew dark with a hint of gloom.
She wiped away her tears, a sinister smile creeping onto her delicate face.
Translations during sleepless nights. I can sleep when I'm dead! ...Please let me sleep. Happy readers keep me awake, and lots of love and a huge thank you for supporting my hobby!
Give me feedback at moc.ebircssutol@ypeels.