"Stop following me!"
Shen Xiu yelled shortly after finding that Nik has been following her. Her pace was quick as she reached towards the eastern exit of the Institute. Her family's mansion was quite close to the eastern gates.
Nik smiled and chortled, "I thought you would have punished Nie Li for even speaking against your nephew."
Shen Xiu's expression grew cloudy once again, "I am not going to babysit him. If he needs to fight someone, he needs to do it by himself."
"Was that it?" Nik inquired, "The reason for your sudden departure; that Shen Yue asked for your assistance?"
"What do you know?"
Shen Xiu stopped and turned around with a snarl. She quickly walked closer to Nik and pulled his collar down, failing to bring Nik's body.
"You are going to get engaged, right? Just f.u.c.k.i.n.g marry happily and stop snooping in my shit!"
Nik raised his eyebrow in amus.e.m.e.nt as he inquired once again, "Is that why you are crying?"
Shen Xiu c.o.c.ked her brows when she finally felt her eyes already warm, and her vision blurring slightly. She let go of Nik's collar and instantly took out a handkerchief from her spatial ring. Showing her almost n.a.k.e.d back to Nik due to the deep dive of the neck of her dress, Shen Xiu promptly covered her face with the sky-blue cloth.
"Shit, shit, shit!"
She grumbledeach cuss surpassing the previous one in volume and emotions. Her shoulders trembled, and her voice finally broke into a whisper, "Damnit, I really miss you, sis."
Each time her world felt like shattering away, Shen Xiu could only recall the image of her sister-in-law smiling brightly. She was unfettered with the banalities of her family's ambitions and truly loved Shen Xiu and her son. Even if the woman was married into the Sacred Family through grey means, never did she blame anyone. There was no point in holding grudges one cannot resolve, and she knew it well. That is why she could feel happy by keeping her son, Shen Yue, even when her pregnancy was a forced one.
Nik crouched beside Shen Xiu and tenderly patted her smooth back.
"I don't need your consolation."
Shen Xiu's muffled grunts rang through her handkerchief as Nik remained silent for a moment, "Talk to me Xiu. I thought we were already friends."
"Don't call me that!"
Shen Xiu instantly removed her handkerchief and glared at Nik with her reddened eyes and tear stricken face.
"Xiu or friend?"
Nik smiled and faced Shen Xiu. He observed her trembling lips for a moment and suspended his desire to take them right here and now. A vulnerable Shen Xiu, though easy, can never match the flare of enjoying a rowdy Shen Xiu in all her wildness and potential scratches!
"You know I won't do that. It should have been clear to you the moment you saw me kissing Lanrou in front of her father.
So, you can fear all you want for implicating others about the knowledge you hold, or finally, become selfish and comfort yourself by talking about whatever is troubling you."
"I am hiding nothing," Shen Xiu instantly denied Nik's claim as his smile receded, "I will leave if you don't have anything to say. You can cry here, and others won't even care about it. You can continue to live your life in the same dullness," Nik's words made Shen Xiu tremble. She had already accepted that. She would do the very things Nik just described and regret her actions entirely. But this way, she can save Shen Yue from getting dragged into the mess his family was.
"Is what I would have done if I wasn't a sucker for crying beauties," Nik grinned, "So, I will wait until you cry your hearts out and I will make the exception of letting you tell me all the things that are troubling you instead of forcing you to say them."
Shen Xiu internally remarked as she felt her heart set aflutter, and her thoughts being overwhelmed by her emotions. Her eyes watered down, and finally, for the first time in ever, she found herself in one of the rare moments where she was allowed to grieve all she wanted in front of a smiling and comforting expression.
"Not here!" Shen Xiu remarked while barely controlling her voice and hastily pointed towards a unique location near the eastern gates.
She let out a yelp as Nik picked Shen Xiu in his arms and squished her body against his. Strangely, Shen Xiu did not protest and finally broke into tears while hugging Nik as he made his way towards the location described by Shen Xiu.
Ning'er stopped a few kilometers away from the Genius Block. This was her routine. Near the Genius Block was a special place created by multiple students of the Genius classes as a side project to create a separate biosphere. A lot of students took part in this project, and the relatives of the students who took part in this project alongside a few select teachers were allowed into the biosphere.
Ning'er's elder cousin was one of the students with a rare variant spirit Nature Wyvern. So, Ning'er would practice her flying skill while gazing upon the beautiful lake surrounded by exotic orchids, lilies, roses, and even the expensive clear pond lotuses.
With a thought, a phantom of a scaled beast with wings formed from zapping lightning took over Ning'er, and dark-blue scales stretched from the nape of her neck to the lower portion of her cheeks. Her hair flew wildly, and her eyes were now adorned with vertical pupils. Finally, wings constructed out of pure lightning zapped into existence behind Ning'er, allowing her to float.
Flying was a task that came hard for her, so, Ning'er also had to practice flight every day to grow proficient in the art. With a thought, the wings behind her zapped as arcs of lightning fluctuated out of the winged form, propelling Ning'er into the sky.
For a moment, Ning'er felt weightless as she enjoyed the wind hitting her body. It was like getting a massage from nature itself.
Stabilizing herself in the sky was easy enough, too. Finally, Ning'er's wings zapped as her tilted body flew towards the eastern direction.
Flying for humans was quite different from the aviator spirit beasts. Instead of having her body horizontal, for Ning'er, it felt more like walking on air, or gliding.
Still, Ning'er dutifully flew towards the famous spot and covered by a dense line of trees; there it was, the beautiful, clear lake filled with lotuses as beds of roses and lilies covered it with Shen Xiu laying her head on Nik's laps and calmly enjoying the scene.
Ning'er closed her eyes and opened once again, and there he sat. With his hands waving towards Ning'er and a broad grin on his face. Ning'er's eyes widened as she almost plunged towards the ground.
Instead of waiting for her mood to really make her fall, Ning'er quickly landed on the ground, and without any courage to actually meet with Nik and Shen Xiu as Nik was gesturing, she ran away as fast as possible!
"Do not move."
Shen Xiu whispered. She did not wish to mar her gaze with the sight of nature's superfluous beauty. She just liked the feeling of her head resting on Nik's laps. Her tears had already dried, and her heart was filled with a soothing calmness. Shen Xiu reveled in Nik's stroke and the tenderness of his gesture.
"Sure thing, Shen Xiu."
Nik smiled as he gently played her left bang covering her cheeks and continued patting her head. Shen Xiu's lips parted for a moment before she decided to speak out the words that she has been meaning to say for quite some time, "You are allowed to call me Xiu. It is the greatest honor you will ever get."
Her voice buzzed as Nik chuckled and leaned down. His lips gently pecked Xiu's exposed cheek, finally making her eyes snap open as he whispered into her ear, hotly, "No, not yet. The greatest honor is yet to be received."
Shen Xiu instantly closed her eyes with her neck feeling hot, and her heart fluffy as Nik continued to stroke her head softly. The spot where Nik pecked seemed to be the source of a raging fire that set her mind to a blaze that threatened to burn down all her mental defenses.
Xiu added internally.