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With a sneeze breaking his feline concentration, Lin Feng finally gave up on his quest for his lost dried fish. His thoughts drifted to the events not long ago – isn’t it a tad risky chasing after justice with everything being so unpredictable now? Standing up for the right thing isn’t wrong, honestly, if it wasn’t for his tight-knit group of friends, he might’ve just slipped away already.
Of course, staying was also predicated on the special advantages of his unique mutations. Without those, he’d probably be in serious trouble, becoming just another name on Zhu Han’s list.
“Man, old-school prisons? They’re a relic of the past now,” he mused out loud. “And probably packed with zombies. How can anyone stay good in times like these?”
His thoughts were interrupted by the familiar voice of Chen Ranran from the doorway. “Lin Feng’s proof that there’s still some good left, right? Despite everything, he’s still got our backs,” she said, turning around to face someone as she opened the door. Anna burst in, looking fierce and full of life, though her too-big school uniform hinted at recent struggles. She had a pack of Crispy Shark snacks — a throwback to their last infirmary visit.
“Just don’t blame me if something happens,” Anna shot back.
“Wait, who even… I mean…”
“Alright, chill out,” Lin Feng said, his exhaustion evident. “If you guys wanna argue, can you not do it here?” He eyed them both, noting how their fiery spirit seemed to match their twinning haircuts.
Both women let out identical sounds of frustration before plopping down next to his bed.
“And why are you even here, Anna? Looking for a fight?” Chen Ranran asked, her voice dripping with challenge.
“None of your business, hmph.” Anna shot back, her mouth set in a tight line.
Sensing the mood shifting towards ‘super awkward’, Chen De saw an exit opportunity. “Guess I’ll head out. Catch you all later?” Without waiting for a response, he darted away, avoiding Lin Feng’s pleading look that screamed, “Help me out here, dude!”
Deep down, Lin Feng kinda hoped Chen De would step in and maybe get the two to cool off elsewhere. Geez he was wiped out from the day and really could use a chill moment—and if he could find those damned dried fish snacks, even better.
Time wasn’t exactly their friend right now. Zhu Hanfang and his crew chose to raid under the cover of night, and by the time their last showdown was over, it was way past 2 in the morning. If Lin Feng hadn’t been slowed down by his wounds, he would’ve arrived earlier. And certainly not because he planned to set off at sunrise but… yeah, he overslept.
But now? Locked, loaded, and ready to go. Literally, in fact. With handgun by his side, he was more than ready for whatever Zhu Hanfang had in store. That scoundrel probably knew this as well, and wouldn’t choose to attack again in the short term. For now, rest and dried fish snacks was all he wanted.
Lin Feng looked beat—his sagging tail was the biggest giveaway. Chen Ranran caught on quick. Maybe dropping by this late wasn’t their brightest idea.
“Sorry, Lin Feng,” Chen Ranran said, getting up. “You should rest up. We can chat more tomorrow.” She shot him a thankful look for their chat and tried to pull Anna to the door.
Anna wasn’t having it, though. She brushed Chen Ranran’s hand off, clearly irritated. “Hold up. Lily and I need to finish our talk. You can leave on your own if you want.”
Shaking her head with a smirk, Chen Ranran shot back, “Brat,” and slipped out, leaving the door to gently close.
“Look who’s talking,” Anna fired back with a roll of her eyes. “We’re literally the same age.”
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“Alright. Now, what’s up?” Even though he felt like crashing, he perked himself up with a twitch of his cat ears, curiosity piqued.His eyes darted to the short haircut Anna was sporting and that barely noticeable slap mark on her cheek. But man, was he tired.
Anna bit her lip, looking a tad unsure for once. “You know what? Forget it. It’s getting late. I’ll head out.” With that, she dashed out, leaving Lin Feng high and dry.
Then his eyes caught a tiny candy on the floor. Must’ve slipped from Anna’s pocket. Grinning, he thought, “Definitely still a kid.” Picking it up, he placed it on his nightstand.
Suddenly, the door swung open. It was Anna, looking a mix of flustered and in a rush. Her eyes darted around the room, finally landing on the candy Lin Feng just set down.
Holding it up with a teasing grin, he said, “Lost something?”
She hesitated, then with a mischievous smile said, “Floor candy’s all yours. Consider it a gift.” And as she made her exit, she hummed a tune from the latest charts.
Lin Feng chuckled, sliding the candy into his pocket. He wasn’t big on candy, but it wasn’t really about the sweet, was it?
As he settled into bed, fatigue enveloped him. Yet, just as sleep’s embrace tightened, he was jolted awake, exclaiming, “Liu Mengqi! I told you not to touch my hair again!” His hand reflexively grasped another, an intrusion into his rest.
“Yan Aoxue?” Lin Feng blinked, suddenly realizing Yan Aoxue was right next to him. Liu Mengqi, ever a fan of his hair, dangled a lock of it. Wait, was he holding Yan Aoxue’s wrist? Awkward. He let go quickly, cheeks turning a shade of pink.
“Yo, Feng, you doing something new with your hair? It’s got this fluffy softness now,” Liu Mengqi said, smushing his hair against her cheek.
He rolled his eyes, reclaiming his hair. “Seriously, Liu Mengqi? First it was tails, then ears. Now it’s hair textures?”
“Not just the shade, dude, it feels different! Aoxue, c’mon, back me up,” Liu Mengqi said, holding up a tuft of his hair for comparison.
Looking a bit flustered, Yan Aoxue tentatively touched it. “It is… quite unique, Lin Feng.”
“Like the feel? You can, you know, touch more if you want,” Lin Feng teased, flipping his hair slightly. Hmm, maybe Yan Aoxue was a sucker for all things soft. Handy info.
“Alright, enough hair chat!” Liu Mengqi piped up, yanking Lin Feng to his feet. “I’m starving.”
“That’s right, it’s breakfast time, Lin Feng.”
“Let’s go!” Liu Mengqi shouted, linking arms tightly with him, acting all chummy. However, her arms weren’t the only things acting chummy with him.
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It hit Lin Feng: Liu Mengqi’s way of talking to him had shifted. In class, it was formal. At home? She usually called him ‘Feng’. But now, she just straight up called him ‘Feng’.
The second they stepped out, the sun’s glare made him blink hard.
But then, something felt off. Why was there a brazier on the 7th floor? Was it another plot of Zhu Hanfang?