"Nice to meet you, A Miao! I'm Bai Lu."
"Her surname is Bai?" Something flitted across A Miao's mind. She then saw Bai Lu beaming and nodding at her. "Yes, Bai Youran is my biological brother."
A Miao suppressed her surprise and returned her greetings placidly. "Nice to meet you."
Ji Xue, who stood on the side, sneered. "Enough of that, Lulu. Since you've greeted her, let's go. If we keep getting seen with a woman like this, it'll affect our reputation."
"Xiaoxue!" Bai Lu cast her a disapproving glance and then walked up to A Miao. In a gentle and soft voice, she said, "I know there are some misunderstandings between you and my family, but rest assured that my brother is his own person. I'm separate from him."
A Miao frowned. "What do you wish to say, Miss Bai?" She wasn't stupid enough to think that this young lady from the Bai family was here to befriend her.
"I'm a freshman too! I'm studying international trade," Bai Lu said with a smile. "We'll be schoolmates in the future. Oh, that's right! I heard you study archaeology. Why did you choose to take such a strange major?"
"I don't think we're very close? What's up with you sounding like you're my good friend?"
"It's just my personal interest." A Miao took a step back without any expression. "I'm in a hurry. If you don't have anything important to say, I'm taking my leave."
Ji Xue scoffed. "See, Lulu? You insist on seeing her but she doesn't even care for you!"
"Stop talking, Xiaoxue." Bai Lu looked as if she was reproaching her friend but her tone was still gentle. "A Miao, I'm here to befriend you today. We need to stay in contact in the future."
Without waiting for A Miao's response, she looked considerately upon her. "Since you have something to attend to, hurry and go. Let's have a meal together next time!" She waved her hand and walked away with Ji Xue in tow.
"That's what I call a true white lotus..." A Miao sighed.
Xia Wan was mere child's play compared to this girl named Bai Lu. A Miao didn't believe that Bai Lu was truly trying to befriend her. In this world, there was a romance without rhyme or reason. Naturally, this was the same for friendship.
The school gates.
"That girl in front, wait."
A Miao ignored the voice and continued to walk.
"Hey! I'm talking about you! Stay there." An arm immediately reached for her. "Are you deaf? Didn't you hear me calling for you?"
A Miao turned her body sideways with a scowl and raised her head. The one who stopped her was a young man. He was tall and wore basketball attire.
"Do you have any business with me?" She must have forgotten to check the almanac before leaving today...
The young man was rather handsome and looked like the poster boy for a campus hottie. His radiant face wore an impatient look as he sized up A Miao.
"Your looks are little too ordinary!" the man said unhappily. "Ugh, forget it. I don't have the time. Let's go!"
A Miao took two steps in retreat and then turned around to leave.
"Where are you going? Come with me now!"
"I don't know you." A Miao dodged his hand.
The young man looked at her in surprise. "Freshman?"
"Does it matter?"
"Even if you're a freshman, you ought to have heard of me." The young man flipped his hair. Just as he was about to pronounce his name, he saw a man standing in front of him.
Shen I cast the brat a glare before turning his head to ask, "Miss, are you okay?"
"I'm fine. Let's go." A Miao turned around and swiftly left the place. Shen I gave the young man a warning look before following closely after her.
Inside the car, Shen I started the engine and tried to sound out A Miao. "Miss, is the brat courting you?"
"You're overthinking things..." A Miao smirked. "He stopped me earlier but I don't know what he's up to."
Shen I immediately said, "Is he hitting on you? I should've given him a good beating."
"Forget it. I think he must have something he needs from me!" A Miao had a feeling that the young man earlier wasn't hitting on her, even though he was rather hateful for saying those words.
Though that was what she said, Shen I didn't think so. After sending A Miao home, he turned around and immediately reported this to Shen Xinglan.
"Boss, there was an insolent youngster hitting on Miss."
Shen Xinglan had just walked out of the meeting room when he heard these words and stopped in his tracks. The managers walking behind him didn't stop in time and all of them threw themselves forward. The one standing in front of them looked like he was about to crash into Shen Xinglan.
"Boss!" Shen II's reaction was swift. With a kick from him, several managers formed a mass of limbs and fell in front of Shen Xinglan's feet.
Shen Xinglan slowly turned around. The managers swiftly stood up and didn't even dare to pant.
"President... President Shen..."
Shen Xinglan entered his office after sparing them a glance.
"Boss, should I go and investigate?" Shen I began rubbing his fist after entering after Shen Xinglan.
"Are you that free?" Shen Xinglan glanced at him.
Shen I: "..."
"If you're that free, go to Africa and help Shen III."
"No, Boss!" Shen I immediately said. "I'm very busy. Every day, I have to monitor... no, protect Miss and report her circumstances to you at any time."
Shen Xinglan stared fixedly at him. "Who told you to make these reports?"
"You're the one..." Seeing Shen Xinglan's gaze, Shen I didn't dare to speak his mind.
"Boss." Shen I pushed the door and entered. "I've turned down all dinner parties. You can spend the weekend at home in peace."
"We're going home."
Right then, A Miao was practicing the university song inside the living room. Just as she howled the first verse, she saw Shen Xinglan standing at the door.
"You... You... Why did you come back so early?"
Shen Xinglan gave her a look of distaste. "What bad singing."
"It's because I don't know how to that I'm practicing!" A Miao ignored him and put on her earphones, ready to go upstairs.
"Stand right there."
This was the third time someone told her to stand in place. A Miao's anger inexplicably came to a boil.
"Don't you people know how to speak? If you don't then go back to kindergarten and study. Don't keep telling other people to stand right there. Other people aren't robots that you can control with your voice!"
Silence fell over them.
Shen I and Shen II quietly retreated out of the living room.
"I..." A Miao immediately covered her mouth as soon as she realized what she had said. "Hehe... My brain short-circuited earlier. Can you pretend like you didn't hear anything?"
Shen Xinglan: "No... way."
The result of her blunder was her cleaning Shen Xinglan's toilet at night. Moreover, it was she who chose this punishment.
"Okay. It's my fault. I shouldn't lose my temper." A Miao decided to surrender after seeing the man stare at her with a gloomy face throughout the dinner.
Based on her previous experience, an act of terrifying revenge would await her if she didn't apologize today.
"Since you know it's your fault, then you must pay the price." Shen Xinglan's gaze shifted. "The housekeepers wouldn't be coming tomorrow. Clean the villa."
"All three floors of it?"
A Miao's eyes widened. "Stop teasing me. It usually takes five housekeepers to clean the villa. You want me to do it on my own?"
"Two options," Shen Xinglan said, interrupting her. "If you don't want to clean the villa, clean my toilet."
Thus, after careful deliberation, A Miao decided on cleaning the toilet.
After dinner, she watched as Shen Xinglan, Shen I, and Shen II step into the study. She made a beeline for the storeroom to find gloves and cleaning tools.
"The cleaning lady sweeps the washroom every day. I'm sure it can't be that dirty!" She returned to her room to change into a pair of sports shorts before pushing the door to Shen Xinglan's room open.
Sure enough, when she entered the bathroom, she found that the black toilet was so bright that it could reflect her face.
"Do I still have to clean when it's already so clean? What a waste of water."
A Miao poured the toilet cleaning agent in and started putting effort into scrubbing the toilet bowl with a brush. She stood up after giving it two rinses.
"I'm done." She leaned against the glass door of the bathtub. "Tsk, tsk. It looks even brighter now. I'll have the psychopath use the toilet bowl as his mirror!"
Her voice had barely faded when the glass door supporting her disappeared and she fell backward.
With a thud, she fell into the water.
"Ah!" A Miao was so shocked that she flopped around. When her hand accidentally touched something, she instinctively grabbed onto it.
It wasn't until her head popped out of the water that she realized that she had fallen into a massive bathtub.
"Why are you using such a large bathtub?! What a fright! I nearly..." Her voice stopped with a grunting sound as she stared dumbly at the man beside the bathtub. Then she slowly shifted her line of sight.
Her right hand was placed between the man's legs and the heat in her palm was scalding enough to make her panic.
Shen Xinglan looked as vicious as Cerberus. He stared at her with a mixture of fury and an unknown emotion.
"When—will—you—release—your—hand?" He emphasized every word with frightening malice.
A Miao looked at her hand in a daze, where she was holding something cylindrical.
A Miao immediately withdrew her hand. "I'm sorry... So sorry... I didn't do it on purpose... I didn't do it on purpose..."
Shen Xinglan felt like he was in a terribly bleak condition. It was as if the blood in him had concentrated between his legs. When she released her hand earlier, he unexpectedly felt disappointed.
"Go out..." he said, clenching his teeth.
A Miao was close to tears, though it wasn't certain whether it was out of fright or fear that Shen Xinglan would kill her to silence her. Trembling, she stood up and tried to walk past the bathtub. However, she didn't see Shen Xinglan's leg and accidentally stepped on it.
"Are you blind?" Shen Xinglan suppressed the urge rising in him.
He himself wasn't sure if he wanted to throw himself at this woman to throttle her or do something else...
"I'm... sorry..." A Miao apologized as she sobbed. She held the sides of the bathtub and climbed out of it while trembling. However, she lost her balance when she stepped out and ended up falling on Shen Xinglan.
Two lumps of soft flesh crashed into his embrace. Shen Xinglan's body stiffened. He lowered his head to meet a pair of beautiful and charming eyes.
"Your makeup..." His voice turned hoarse. It shocked even him.
A Miao didn't know if her face was drenched with water or tears. She felt her eyes and instantly knew the fake skin had fallen off.
The steam inside the bathroom filled the entire space. The man lay bare inside the bathtub with A Miao on top of him. The thin sportswear clung tightly onto her skin. Her face was flushed and her eyes were so mesmerizing that they looked like they belonged to a siren trying to seduce one's soul.
"You..." She had barely opened her mouth when she felt a sudden heat.
Shen Xinglan had pressed his lips on her soft ones, gently and slowly. A Miao's eyes widened and she went completely still.
Slowly, their lips began to moisten. It was to the extent that they could hear the sounds of their lips smacking.
"Uh..." A Miao opened her mouth to breathe but an even softer object slipped inside.
She felt a sudden jolt and pushed him away with force. She saw the besotted and disbelieving look in the man's eyes.
"Pa!" She gave him a slap.
A Miao withdrew her hand with tears brimming in her eyes. She then climbed out of the bathtub and returned to her room.