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Chapter 53-Part 2

Previously, he had heard classmates say that most girls didn’t accept relationships where the guy was younger, so he couldn’t let her think of him as a younger brother from the start.

So, this time when they met, Xiao Bo directly called her by her name.

Ji Ran glanced up at him, recognized him, and shook her head. “No need.”

Seeing that Ji Ran showed no intention of leaving, Xiao Bo said again, “It’s going to rain soon. You should go back to the classroom first.”

“And you guys, hurry back to the classroom; don’t catch a cold,” Xiao Bo said with concern.

Ji Ran shook her head again.

Seeing this, Xiao Bo still wanted to help. Finally, Ji Ran couldn’t hold back and looked at him, ready to make things clear. Her refusal wasn’t just words; it was a genuine rejection.

But before she could speak, she saw someone approaching from the other side.

Unaware of Ji Ran’s expression, Xiao Bo continued, “Or, I can help you clean up, so we can finish quickly and you can return to the classroom sooner.”

Just as he finished speaking, a very indifferent grunt came from behind.

When Xiao Bo turned around, he saw a person with a cold expression standing there. They were standing quite close, but Xiao Bo realized for the first time that he was actually shorter.

After all, being able to join the school’s flag guard team, he was extremely proud of his height.

There were hardly any students taller than him in the entire freshman class, but facing the person in front of him, he felt pressure. A palpable kind.

After a moment, Xiao Bo recognized the person in front of him. After all, only a few didn’t know Shen Zhi at this school.

Shen Zhi looked at him, a cold smirk appearing on his lips. “You like cleaning so much; should I suggest to the principal that the school assign all the cleaning to you?”

When Ji Ran saw him, she could tell from his expression that he was in a bad mood and didn’t want to be bothered. She watched as he actually intimidated the freshman in front of him.

She slowly walked up beside him and gently tugged at the hem of his clothes.

Though no words were spoken, the gesture was intimate, conveying a sense of closeness that no one else could disturb.

Suddenly, Xiao Bo remembered that Ji Ran had mentioned having someone to study with. That day, Xiao Bo thought she was just casually saying something.

But now he suddenly had a bit of understanding. He knew who she was referring to.

Shen Zhi going from being at the bottom of the grade to the top was truly unbelievable. During the period when the midterm exam results came out, the freshmen were most concerned not about their own grade’s ranking but about Shen Zhi’s transformation from a notorious school bully to a top student.

Scoring seven hundred points was not something just anyone could achieve.

Now, looking at the scene before him, Xiao Bo felt a mixture of envy and indescribable discomfort.

Seeing Xiao Bo still lingering, Shen Zhi furrowed his brow, about to say something, but Ji Ran pulled him down. Xiao Bo hadn’t done anything to warrant being relentlessly pursued.

He looked down at Ji Ran, her head slightly tilted back, a light pink scarf around her neck, and her eyes shining with a smile.

Incredibly charming.

After Xiao Bo left, Wen Qianxia didn’t dare to stay either. She gestured to Ji Ran to indicate she was leaving, then quickly slipped away.

Shen Zhi looked around. “Is there anywhere else that needs cleaning?”

Ji Ran’s eyes widened slightly at his question. Was he offering to help clean?

Shen Zhi couldn’t help but chuckle at her expression and ask in return, “Do I not look like someone who would clean?”

Deep down, Ji Ran felt a slight sense of melancholy, wondering if she should tell the truth. As she hesitated, Shen Zhi bent down, getting closer to her, and gently pinched her cheek with two fingers.

“I’ll help you clean. This kind of thing should be done by me.”

His dark eyes showed a slight annoyance, seemingly displeased with Xiao Bo’s attentiveness just now. Shen Zhi had always been laid-back, but he seemed to care too much about Ji Ran’s thoughts.

If he could, he would make sure no boy in this school dared to approach her.

Ji Ran reminded him in a low voice, “Shen Zhi, this is the playground.”

Although there weren’t many people around now, there was no telling when the dean, who appeared out of thin air, might pop up from some corner.

Even Ji Ran had heard stories about the dean enduring the hot weather and countless mosquitoes in the small woods behind the school, just to catch several couples in the act.

So Shen Zhi leisurely released his grip.

When the two of them finished cleaning up the entire sanitary area and hurried back to the teaching building, it suddenly began to rain heavily outside, accompanied by thunder and lightning.

Standing in the corridor, they watched the pouring rain outside, and a few people rushed in from outside, also seeking shelter from the rain.

They complained while wiping the rain off themselves, “Why is it raining so heavily in the middle of winter?”

“Yeah, it should be snowing.”

“Christmas is coming soon; it should snow, it should snow, it should snow.”

The girls kept chattering incessantly until one of them noticed Shen Zhi and Ji Ran standing nearby and abruptly fell silent. The others soon noticed too. The once lively corridor became unusually quiet.

Seeing this, Ji Ran couldn’t help but smile.

Even though Shen Zhi had become the top student in the grade, it didn’t mean his reputation as a school bully had disappeared.

She turned and walked upstairs, with Shen Zhi following beside her. When they reached the corner of the stairs, he finally spoke, “Do you girls… all like Christmas?”

Not only those girls just now, but also the other girls in the class have been discussing Christmas these days.

It seems that girls have a natural enthusiasm for such holidays.

Ji Ran thought for a moment. In fact, Christmas abroad is really lively. When she was studying abroad before, she used to attend the school’s party every Christmas. It was exciting at first, but over time, it became routine.

Just like Chinese New Year, when she was a child, she looked forward to receiving red envelopes. But as she grew older, that excitement became less obvious.

For Ji Ran, holidays like Christmas are just like that.

But she knew that Wen Qianxia and the others were particularly looking forward to Christmas. Besides, since Shen Zhi asked like that, she nodded and said, “It’s okay.”

Shen Zhi nodded silently.

Christmas Day fell on a Friday. When Ji Ran got up in the morning, she changed into a woolen dress, looking soft and warm, and paired it with white leggings.

These white leggings might be a disaster for ordinary people, but Ji Ran had slender and straight legs.

She looked particularly pure and sweet, giving off a cute and girlish vibe.

When she went downstairs with her coat, Auntie Zhao immediately exclaimed, “Oh my, this outfit looks really good, but isn’t it a bit too thin? It’s snowing outside.”

“It’s snowing outside?” Ji Ran glanced outside the window and indeed saw the yard covered in white.

She had hurried downstairs just now and hadn’t even opened the curtains in her room. It was only when Auntie Zhao reminded her that she saw the scene outside clearly.

“It’s snowing!” Ji Ran exclaimed happily.

Auntie Zhao said, “Your dress and coat are too thin. Let me get you a down jacket.”

Before Ji Ran could say anything, Auntie Zhao went upstairs to get her a down jacket. After Ji Ran sat down to eat breakfast, Auntie Zhao came downstairs with some clothes.

Ji Ran looked at the bright red down jacket in her hand, feeling a bit helpless.

Little did she know,Auntie Zhao said, “Since it’s Christmas today, there’s a big Christmas tree in the neighborhood. You should wear this red jacket for the festive atmosphere.”

So, under Auntie Zhao’s strong recommendation, Ji Ran wrapped herself up as a Christmas girl.

Because it was still snowing outside, and Auntie Zhao was afraid she might slip while walking, she had the family driver take her to school. Ji Ran didn’t refuse. After getting into the car, she pulled down the zipper of her down jacket.

Outside, the snow was still falling heavily, and the entire city was wrapped in silver and white. The sky was still somewhat gloomy, and the snowflakes were gently dancing in the air, falling to the ground in soft swirls.

This was the first snow of the year.

This time, the driver directly dropped Ji Ran off at the school gate. Because of the bad weather, there were noticeably more parents at the school gate to pick up their children. It took the driver a while before he could drive the car in and park.

When Ji Ran got out of the car, a gust of cold wind blew into her neck, and she suddenly felt the chill outside, even though she had felt a bit warm in the car just now.

It is truly a world of ice and fire.

Ji Ran was wearing a pair of black ankle boots today, stepping into the snow with one foot deeper than the other, making a crunching sound with each step. The large square in front of the school had already been marked with many footprints.

She looked around. There weren’t too many students arriving at this time, so she decided to walk towards the untouched snow on the side.

Then she took step by step forward.

Ji Ran didn’t know why she was so happy today. It wasn’t her first time seeing heavy snow. She had seen even more beautiful snow scenes before—truly a vast expanse of white.

She was afraid of slipping, so she walked carefully with her head down, until someone bumped into her from behind.

Before she could react, a familiar, teasing voice came from behind: “Hey, little girl, is there gold on the ground?”

Shen Zhi saw her as soon as he entered the school gate. She was wrapped up like a little bear about to celebrate Christmas, and she was walking in a place with no one else around, keeping her head down the whole time, staring at the ground as if afraid of falling or looking for something on the ground.

Ji Ran turned around. She was wearing a hat with a cute big fur ball on top, and a furry scarf covered half of her face.

Now only a pair of watery black eyes were exposed, looking at him with a soft gaze.

Shen Zhi stood quietly in place, with the gentle snowflakes from the sky falling softly on his and her heads.

In that moment, Ji Ran suddenly understood why she was so happy today.

It was the first snowfall of the year.

This was the first time she and Shen Zhi had experienced the first snow together. In the previous life, the trope of the first snow in Korean dramas had once been popular everywhere, but Ji Ran had never experienced that feeling.

But now, the person she liked was right in front of her.

“Shen Zhi, today is the first snow,” Ji Ran said seriously, looking at him.

Shen Zhi looked at the girl in front of him, smiling lightly, about to nod. He knew she was from the south, where it didn’t snow as frequently in the winter as in the north.

But before Shen Zhi could respond, Ji Ran said the next moment, “I heard that confessing to someone during the first snow means you’ll be together forever.”

Before Shen Zhi could react, the girl spoke softly.

“Shen Zhi, I like you.”

She loved him enough to want to be with him forever.

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