Chapter 18 – Not used to starting

Proofreader & Editor:Peter Pan

Having found a reasonable explanation in her mind, Su Qianyi didn't take Xie Shu's indifference to heart as much as she did during the day.


After dinner, she continued painting, and by the time she finished, it was already late.


She washed up, got into bed, and out of habit, glanced at her WeChat.


There were messages, but none from Xie Shu, just some from groups or other friends.


Her lips pressed into a straight line, Su Qianyi replied indifferently to the messages and then aimlessly switched between various apps, unsure of what to do.


After a while, she checked WeChat again, and her heart sank seeing no message from Xie Shu.


She knew he might be ignoring her on purpose to get her attention, but she couldn't help feeling uneasy.


It was as if something was missing.


Finally, she opened Xie Shu's chat and scrolled through their past conversations.


At this time of night, she would usually be asleep, and Xie Shu's "Goodnight" message would have arrived on time.


But since last night… there was nothing.


She scrolled further up to the morning and found Xie Shu's "Good morning" message.


That too was missing from this morning…


Su Qianyi's breath hitched; the sudden absence of something she was accustomed to was hard to accept.


Still, she kept telling herself that Xie Shu would return to normal in a few days, and she shouldn't worry too much.


From high school to university, he had always been by her side, and surely he would be in the future!


It was probably his roommates who had given him the idea to play hard to get.


Such tricks might work on young girls, but she, an adult, wouldn't care!


With that thought, Su Qianyi closed the chat, plugged in her earphones, picked a random movie, and prepared to sleep once she felt tired.




As for Xie Shu, he had already said goodnight to Ruan Nianxi and fallen asleep a while ago.


Xie Shu slept soundly, but Ruan Nianxi was left restless by his actions that day.


She felt like she was dreaming.


Xie Shu had been too kind to her today, and while she was happy, it also felt unreal.


After being neglected for years and enduring much pain, her dream suddenly coming true… it was too different from before, too unreal.


She suspected this was the delusion the doctor had mentioned.


She took several pills to try to ease it, but this time the medication seemed ineffective.


No, she needed to see the doctor soon.


If things got worse and she couldn't control herself, her parents definitely wouldn't let her stay here.


She didn't want to leave.




The next morning dawned.


Xie Shu was the first to wake up as usual.


He didn't disturb his sleeping sons but instead picked up his phone to send Ruan Nianxi a good morning message.


He thought she would still be asleep, but to his surprise, she replied instantly with a "Morning."


Xie Shu raised an eyebrow. Ruan Nianxi was up this early?


Since she was online, Xie Shu chatted with her for a bit longer.


After his sons' alarms went off one by one, he finally asked Ruan Nianxi if she wanted to join him for breakfast in the cafeteria.


Ruan Nianxi was silent for several minutes before replying with a simple "Okay."


Then Xie Shu got up to wash and prepare for their morning classes.


After washing up, he checked the class group chat where the teacher had posted the materials needed for that morning's class.


Today they only needed to bring their laptops, nothing else.


Their major required various materials for different classes; one day they might need a bag of tools, the next just a laptop, and perhaps craft materials the day after.


Sometimes, with so many classes, they would forget what to bring, so it had become routine for teachers to remind them in the group chat before class.


The group grabbed their laptops and headed to the cafeteria.


For college students accustomed to staying up late, despite the bright morning, most were still groggy.


Xie Shu, who had gone to bed early, was quite alert, in stark contrast to his three sons who yawned incessantly and looked listless. However, upon seeing Ruan Nianxi at the cafeteria entrance, they instantly perked up.


Even though they weren't pursuing Ruan Nianxi, they didn't want to embarrass themselves in front of a girl, did they?


Approaching Ruan Nianxi, Xie Shu noticed her severe dark circles and asked, puzzled, "You… didn't sleep well last night?"


Ruan Nianxi's fair skin made her dark circles stand out, almost as if she had been pulling all-nighters.


With her fingers nervously intertwined, she nodded slightly.


But it wasn't that she hadn't slept well.


She hadn't slept at all.


Last night, she suffered from insomnia.


Xie Shu frowned, noticing her empty hands, "You don't have class this morning, right?"




"Then after breakfast, you should go back and get some sleep. Make sure you get good rest."




After the brief exchange, they queued up at the breakfast counter.


Halfway through swiping his card, Xie Shu remembered he might have forgotten to top it up yesterday. He had made a purchase outside the cafeteria last night and hadn't used his meal card, which slipped his mind.


Just as he was about to retract his card and borrow one from his sons, the machine beeped successfully, displaying his meal card balance.


"Holy crap! All those zeros!?"


Xie Shu was still processing when Zhao Lin, who was behind him, exclaimed in shock.


"What's up? What happened?"


Li Da and Liu Ping, who had been checking the menu and hadn't seen Xie Shu's card balance, were startled by Zhao Lin's shout.


Even the others in line turned curious towards Zhao Lin.


Zhao Lin, however, looked at Xie Shu, puzzled, "Xie Shu, how much did you top up on your card at once? It was too quick; I didn't catch it."


Xie Shu was just as baffled, "I… don't know."


Had he topped up his card yesterday?


He couldn't remember.


Everyone was curious, and since Xie Shu himself hadn't seen clearly, he handed his card to Zhao Lin to use his instead while he checked again.


Now everyone watched with curiosity.


Zhao Lin swiped the card, and the balance was displayed for all to see clearly.


Zhao Lin: "No way, Xie Shu, are you that rich? You can top up ten thousand on a meal card?"


Li Da: "When did you deposit so much money??"


Liu Ping: "That can't be right."


Xie Shu: "…"


Although unsure of what was happening, Xie Shu had a vague idea.


He glanced at Ruan Nianxi standing silently beside him.


It seemed… he had unwittingly been fed a soft meal…

(Proofreader:"soft meal" is like a gigolo)

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