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“Anna, why did you clash with her?”
“She had the nerve to call me a ‘mongrel dog’,” Anna’s voice wavered, tears brimming in her eyes.
“But you can’t hit her because of that.”
“I just wanted to! It got too much – they even had knives on them!” Anna’s voice broke, wiping away a tear with her sleeve.
While Anna initiated the physical confrontation, it was Yan Jie who had taunted her first. After overpowering Yan Jie with a few strikes, the tables turned when Yan Jie returned, backed by two allies and knives. Together, they ambushed Anna, stabbing her.
By chance, the principal, out for a stroll, stumbled upon the scene and intervened to save Anna. Now, Yan Jie and her accomplices are confined in the yard’s storage room, the same spot where Hao Jian had taken Wan Yun’s life.
Lin Feng let out a heavy sigh, observing the defiant look in Anna’s eyes. Her abdomen, marked with knife wounds, had been examined by the school’s medic. The timely intervention was crucial; otherwise, Anna might not have survived the ambush behind the archery hall.
Elsewhere, old man Liu and the principal deliberated on the fate of Yan Jie and her accomplices.
Several weeks had passed, and Anna’s once short hair had now cascaded to her shoulders. Under the ambient lighting, her golden-white locks shone brilliantly.
Anna caught Lin Feng’s lingering gaze on her hair and felt a pang of vulnerability.
“Lily… Do you see me as a mongrel too?”
Lin Feng paused, caught off guard by the depth of Anna’s emotions.
“Never. If you’re considered a mongrel, then what does that make me? A mutant one?” He playfully presented his tail for Anna to embrace, holding onto the belief that the act of petting a cat can be therapeutic.
A soft smile graced Anna’s lips as she hugged Lin Feng’s plush tail.
“You know, sometimes you aren’t so bad. Ouch…” Anna’s expression twisted as a sudden movement aggravated her wounds.
“Get some rest,” Lin Feng gently suggested, caressing her head in a soothing gesture, despite Anna’s mock scowl. “I’ll discuss Yan Jie’s consequences with Mr. Liu and the principal.” With that, he stepped out, softly closing the door behind him.
“Thank you, Lin Feng. Your visit seemed to have a calming effect on her,” came the appreciative voice.
Lin Feng glanced towards Chen Ranran, standing by the door, her gaze distant and absorbed by the melancholic rain outside.
“It’s only right,” Lin Feng said with a hint of jest in his eyes. “After all, if left unchecked, our Anna might just decide to take flight.” His gaze settled on Chen Ranran, observing her transformation. Ever since Anna’s act of bravery, Chen Ranran had evolved, exuding a newfound maturity.
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While she maintained her signature style with short hair and a mix of skirts and jeans, the fiery impulsiveness had mellowed. Her once fiery rhetoric had evolved into more measured and reflective expressions.
“Lin Feng, we owe you so much,” Chen Ranran began, shifting her gaze from the rain-smeared windows to meet his. “Just promise us one thing. The next time you plan to venture out, let us know. It’s not just about Anna. We all would be on tenterhooks otherwise.”
He nodded, appreciating the sentiment. “Of course. And while I’m away, do keep an eye on Anna for me.” With that, Lin Feng made his way to the main hall.
Chen Ranran’s was single handedly trained by Anna, thus her feelings tended towards the young girl as well. On the surface, they often quarreled, but in times of adversity, Chen Ranran was bound to shield Anna. Had she been by Anna’s side during the recent incident, perhaps things would have taken a different turn.
“Mr. Liu, I’m back,” Lin Feng voiced upon entering, taking stock of the room’s occupants.
The principal and Old Man Liu appeared deep in thought, their heads bowed. In contrast, Yan Aoxue’s face was marked by a stern expression, anger flashing in her eyes. Beside them, the school doctor seemed resigned, sighing in exasperation.
“Lin Feng, good to see you. We’ve managed to get the electricity back up, and that’s all thanks to you,” Old Man Liu noted, momentarily glancing up from the paper he held.
“What’s the matter, teacher?” Lin Feng moved closer, curious about the document Liu was engrossed in.
Voting Form, initiated by Yan Aoxue:
Total Members: 19
Lin Feng – Absent, no voting rights.
Hao Jian – Newcomer, no voting rights.
Yan Jie and her two accomplices have no voting rights due to their actions.
Total voters: 14
Expel Yan Jie: 6 votes
Kill Yan Jie: 2 votes
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Punish Yan Jie: 6 votes.