Chapter 96 - The Light Afternoon

“Dear Felix, can you help me prepare a set of drawing tools?” Sheng Jiaoyang asked butler Felix, taking advantage of the time that everyone went to have lunch.

Felix smiled slightly as he replied, “No problem, you'll get what you’ve requested this evening.”

“Thank you!” Sheng Jiaoyang thanked him sincerely.

“There's no need to be so polite, it's my responsibility,” Felix replied politely.

Everyone was still having their noon nap, while the energetic Sheng Jiaoyang was very spirited. It was too bad that Xiong Zi, that dog who valued his lover over friends, had already gone to find his wife, the fluffy white Samoyed. If it wasn't for that, she could find Xiong Zi to play with.

She was bored and had nothing to do, so she found Felix and borrowed a laptop from him. She relaxed on the living room's sofa as she ate the cut slices of fruits from the fruit bowl. She wrote a proposal with the aim of helping poverty-stricken students by providing financial aid. The understanding she had towards the destitute mountain area merely came from Xu Qing’s explanation and photo. If she had the chance, she would’ve visited the place herself. However, even if she didn't understand, it didn't affect her writing. After all, she still possessed some understanding towards the operation of funds, although she might be lacking in the particulars.

Actually, the various welfare funds in the country weren't lacking, but there were just too many people. As a result, there were always people in some places that hadn't been attended to. Simply put, the more welfare funds there are, the better, as this can let more people who need help receive it. Sheng Jiaoyang had never forgotten what her mum had taught her: When there is kindness at heart, you can see even more beautiful things. People who are living not only need to chase after their dreams and happiness, they also need a heart that thinks of others.

Of course, this ‘others’ didn’t include those that had harmed her before! She wasn't the type of person to give the right side of her face after the left side was hit. If people wanted to hit her, she’d definitely beat up the other person first. In case she was beaten, she’d find a way, by hook or by crook, to return the treatment. In her dictionary, there was no such phrase as 'returning good for evil'.

By the time everyone had finished their noon nap, Sheng Jiaoyang's proposal already had a basic structure.

“What are you doing? You didn't rest this afternoon?” Ning Xiaoruan moved closer to Sheng Jiaoyang's back, and without the slightest politeness, looked at the laptop's monitor.

Sheng Jiaoyang didn't manage to close the document in time, so Ning Xiaoruan saw it. Sure enough, this guy began to holler.

“Scholarship funds? You're writing a proposal for establishing scholarship funds?”

The curious beautiful cousin also gathered around to see what was going on, but Sheng Jiaoyang had already closed the document.

“Don't, let me take a look!” Ning Xiaoruan immediately snatched the laptop away.

The document was placed on the desktop, so Ning Xiaoruan instantly found it.

Sheng Jiaoyang gritted her teeth. This fool! Even though it wasn't a secret, was the relationship between them close enough for him to snatch it away before asking for permission?

At that time, the husband and wife of the Ning family, who were walking down the stairs, saw the cousins squeezing together to look at the laptop. Inevitably, they also became curious and asked, “What are you guys looking at?”

“Xu Jiaojiao, you actually have some capabilities. There's no mistakes in what you’ve written!” Ning Xiaoruan exclaimed in surprise, unable to reply properly.

“Could it be copied from somewhere?” Her cousin was instead doubtful that she’d written it herself.

“What did she write?” Madam Ning asked again.

“Xu Jiaojiao wrote a proposal for welfare funds. However, not only that, it’s also entirely in English.”

“Proposal for welfare funds? Are you sure it isn't a form applying for scholarship funds?”

Ning Xiaoruan acted as if his tail was stepped on, immediately replying, “Please! Could it be that I, who graduated from Harvard, can't even differentiate this? Dad, you look down on me too much! If you don't believe me, then take a look at it yourself!” While he was speaking, he passed the laptop over.

He’s clearly underestimating me! Sheng Jiaoyang popped an iced lychee in her mouth, bearing the unhappiness in her heart.

“You wrote this on your own?” Mister Ning used a scrutinising gaze to examine Sheng Jiaoyang.

“Yes, Uncle.” Sheng Jiaoyang smiled, but in her heart, she thought that she’d never smiled so forcefully before.

“You're still a student, so how could you write this?” Madam Ning also asked.

“My idol managed public welfare funds before, so I have some understanding in this aspect. Coincidently, my mum's boyfriend wanted to establish a scholarship fund for the people in the poverty-stricken mountains area. Therefore, I tried writing a proposal.”

“Idol? Who’s your idol?” Madam Ning asked with an expression full of shock.

Sheng Jiaoyang lowered her head and smiled, then she used an extremely narcissistic tone and said, “Sheng Jiaoyang!”

It sounded a bit familiar. The husband and wife pair looked at each other.

“Why have I never heard of this person before?” The suspicious cousin felt that this person was definitely fabricated.

“There are many things you’ve never heard,” Sheng Jiaoyang replied with a wide smile.

The pretty cousin was unwilling to be outdone and continued trying to find faults with Sheng Jiaoyang. “Your proposal for scholarships funds, isn't it for helping the poor people of our country? Why did you write it in English? I think that this is clearly something you copied from the website of another country.”

Sheng Jiaoyang, who was more articulate when she wrote in English compared to Mandarin, choked a little bit. She rolled her eyes, and raising her chin, said, “I’m majoring in English, so I wrote it in English to practice. Am I not allowed to?”

The pretty cousin was obviously defeated by those words.

“I see that your English is excellent. You could immediately graduate with that standard,” Ning Xiaoruan said.

“Who knows whether it's been translated on the web or not?” the pretty cousin mumbled with pursed lips.

“Yun Qian!” Madam Ning looked at her with disapproval.

Once the cousin heard her name, she realised that she’d broken away from her image. She silently stopped acting petulant and no longer spoke.

“Now that the sun isn't so bright, it’s just the right time to play for a while on the beach.” Madam Ning looked towards Shen Zhining, who was walking down the stairs. “Zhining, let's go together, okay?

Shen Zhining naturally wouldn't reject the seldom invitation from his aunt. As for Sheng Jiaoyang, who was acting as a shield for Shen Zhining from the romance of other ladies, had no choice but to agree.

One of the island’s edges had a beautiful beach. The gold sandy shore was lined with the azure sea, blue skies, and floating clouds. It was beautiful to the point where it looked like a bright coloured oil painting.

Sheng Jiaoyang laid on a cane chair under a parasol as she listened to the frolicking of Ning Xiaoruan and Yun Qian as they splashed about in the water. Her gaze aimlessly followed the moving clouds until her vision slightly darkened. When she looked to see what was blocking the light, she found that Shen Zhining was standing in front of her.

“What is it?” Her gaze couldn't help but be attracted to his stunning figure that glistened with water.

“Do you feel unwell?” Shen Zhining sized her up, but saw that her complexion was good to the point where it couldn't get any better.

Not far away, Madam Ning, who was soaking in the warm sea, shouted in their direction, “If you're okay, then let's play together!”

Such an enthusiastic aunt…however, she didn’t know how to swim, so she couldn’t bear this kind of enthusiasm.

“Can you call Felix to help me find a…lifebuoy?” Sheng Jiaoyang whispered.

Shen Zhining looked at her in astonishment, but he didn't promise her anything. “Just stay around the shallow end of the sea.”

Sheng Jiaoyang pouted. If she’d known that this would happen earlier, she would've just said that her period had come.

She entered the water, and with the sea water just barely touching her knees, Sheng Jiaoyang stopped. During this moment, a wave of salty seawater splashed her face, wetting her glasses. Due to this, her vision was affected.

Her ears suddenly heard the sounds of water splashing, and a pair of hands violently pushed her from behind. She was caught off guard and she fell into the sea, the seawater entering her mouth and nose. The salty and bitter taste choked her until she struggled to stand up, causing her to cough until her entire face swelled and turned red.

“Brother Zhining, your girlfriend’s being bullied!” Yun Qian said happily.

When she heard Yun Qian’s voice from a distance away, Sheng Jiaoyang instantly knew who’d pushed her.

“Ning, Xiao, Ruan!!!”

“Don't be angry, I'm just playing a joke on you. Last time I fell into the sea because of you, and I didn't get angry. You just tumbled, let's go! Go swimming with this brother~” Ning Xiaoruan pulled Sheng Jiaoyang towards deeper water.

“I'm not going!” Sheng Jiaoyang wanted to shake off Ning Xiaoruan's hand, but this fellow's strength seemed to have gotten stronger compared to the past. Unexpectedly, she didn't manage to shake his arm off.

Ning Xiaoruan continued dragging her, his tone quite proud of himself as he said, “Haha, this time you can't shake me off! During this period of time, I didn't train myself for nothing.”

Madam Ning and Mister Ning looked at each other, both seeing a look of helplessness in each other's eyes. When would their son grow up? Besides, Zhining is still here. Why was that stinky brat pulling on another person’s girlfriend?

Madam Ning formed a group of words at once, and said towards Shen Zhining, “Zhining, you also go and have a look. I'm scared that Xiaoruan will cause a disaster. Plus, it looks like your Jiaojiao doesn't know how to swim. Let's hope nothing happens.”

Shen Zhining put on his goggles before he jumped into the water and headed towards them. His robust body appeared and disappeared on the sea surface as the waves rose and fell.

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Yuna's Thoughts

TL: Kiki | Editor: Purpledragon | TLC: Grace