Chapter 244 – Meeting Xie Yao Again
Nie Yan put down the game helmet on the side of his bed. Today was the first day of the school year. As a newly enrolled transfer student, he was allowed to start a few days later than everyone else in order to get settled into his new environment. But he badly wanted to see Xie Yao again, so he packed his bag before heading off for school.
Nie Yan’s parents, who had gone off to work early in the morning, left breakfast for him on the table. Since the company was just established, there were a lot of matters to attend to.
In the previous timeline, Nie Yan felt neglected being left in the villa all by himself, causing his juvenile mind to develop a rebellious personality. He vowed he would never repeat his past mistakes with this new life that was given to him.
A 50-year-old chauffeur awaited Nie Yan at the villa entrance and drove him to school.
Huahai Affiliated High School, a place very familiar to Nie Yan; it held many memories he still cherished even after a lifetime.
The school campus was beautiful, a shaded pathway enclosed by dense shrubbery and flowers along with a flowing miniature creek. Osmanthus trees lined both sides in a neat row. Even though they weren’t yet in bloom, Nie Yan recalled how their fragrance filled the school grounds.
Everything was just as he remembered.
Although there were some slight differences, many things were pretty much identical to the previous timeline. History only began to slightly deviate when Nie Yan awoke in the past.
Many students were already milling around in the third-year classroom of Class 3. It was the beginning of the new semester, so everyone was busily reconnecting after the summer break. Gathered in cliques, they were having lively discussions. Only after the bell rang would they finally settle down for class.
This was a multimedia classroom, with computers molded into the shape of desk and seat. Sitting was very comfortable. The facilities here were clearly better than the ones in Nie Yan’s old school back in Ningjiang.
Nie Yan’s eyes scanned through the crowd before finally stopping on a familiar face. She wore a bright yellow blouse and a light blue skirt, and glowed with a youthful radiance. Her beautiful smile was especially dazzling. She was like a crane among a flock of hens.
She was surrounded by eight female classmates. They were happily chatting about what they did over the summer holidays.
Xie Yao’s image resonated with the one engraved in his heart. After seeing her again, Nie Yan could no longer remain calm.
Even though Nie Yan had matured into an adult, the feelings that accumulated over two lifetimes had increasingly weighed on him.
Only after a long while did Nie Yan finally suppress the feelings in his heart. He walked toward Xie Yao.
Xie Yao noticed an inconspicuous young man approaching her and looked at him with a curious glint. She felt he was extremely familiar, as though they had met somewhere before. But when she carefully examined his appearance, nobody came to mind.
“Hi,” Nie Yan greeted.
Xie Yao nodded, then asked with a somewhat doubtful expression, “Hi, have we met somewhere before? You are…?”
“I’m Nie Yan (聶言). That’s Nie with a double ‘ear’ (耳), and the Yan in ‘language’ (語言),” Nie Yan introduced himself.
“Oh! It’s you!” Xie Yao exclaimed. She wore an expression of amazement along with pleasant surprise. She recalled the time they first met in Ninjiang, and how she mistook him for a middle schooler back then. But now, he looked like a completely different person—much taller, and more muscular too.
Nie Yan laughed. “You’ve remembered. I just transferred to this school, and happened to end up in this class. I’m your new classmate, so please treat me kindly.”
“What a coincidence! Welcome!” Xie Yao said in a cheerful tone. When she looked at Nie Yan, another figure popped into her mind—someone she knew from a game, who led a powerful band of experts and took the virtual world by storm. She didn’t know what corner of the planet this mysterious player lived in, but she couldn’t help but feel that these two people were somewhat alike. As her thoughts turned to this person she deeply admired, ripples surfaced in her heart and her cheeks flushed red.
“Thank you.” Nie Yan nodded.
A female classmate standing beside Xie Yao nudged her and asked in a gossipy tone, “Ah? Xie Yao, who is he?
“Right! Tell us! He’s tall, and kinda cute… Wait! Don’t tell us he’s your boyfriend!?” another female classmate chimed in, covering her mouth with one hand as she giggled.
“No, stop speaking nonsense! He’s just a friend I met not long ago,” Xie Yao exclaimed in embarrassment, then turned to Nie yan with an apologetic smile. “Sorry, they always blabber like this. Don’t mind them.”
A student who noticed this scene unfolding from the other side of the classroom walked over.
Nie Yan’s expression turned frosty when he saw this person. Destiny would inevitably force enemies to cross paths again. The grievances between him and Liu Rui weren’t something easily explained in a few short sentences. In the previous timeline, were it not for Liu Rui constantly putting him down, he wouldn’t have developed such a low self-esteem. Whether in terms of background, appearance, or studies, he always lost to Liu Rui. It was only after he matured into an adult that he realized none of these things mattered at all in the face of true love. However, by the time he understood this truth of life, Xie Yao was already taken away from him.
In this life, Nie Yan would take back everything he lost. He would crush Liu Rui beneath his feet, and all the bullying he received in his past life would be paid back in full.
“Hello, who might you be?” Liu Rui offered his hand, revealing what he thought was a bright and elegant smile.
“Hello, my name is Nie Yan. I’m a new transfer student.” Nie Yan shook hands with Liu Rui in a graceful manner. Now that he had a more mature outlook on life, he understood some actions no matter how superficial still needed to be done, even more so since he was in front of Xie Yao.
“No wonder. So you and Xie Yao have met before?” Liu Rui asked. When he looked at Nie Yan, a feeling of crisis arose in his heart. This was a formidable rival!
“We’ve met once prior to this.” Nie Yan chuckled. He wore a natural expression, and didn’t display the slightest bit of hostility.
Liu Rui internally sighed with relief. He initially believed Nie Yan was Xie Yao’s childhood friend or something of the kind. It turned out they were just acquaintances.
Xie Yao revealed an annoyed expression. What right did Liu Rui have to pry into her personal matters? She used to have a somewhat favourable opinion of him, feeling he was a talented individual who could do anything flawlessly. But as her horizons broadened, she realized those more outstanding than him could be found everywhere. His glaring flaws grew increasingly apparent—vain, prideful, conceited, and possessive. All these traits filled her with disgust.
Nie Yan casually chatted with the classmates around him. All of them had a good impression of him. They felt he was charming, humorous, and laid-back.
“Nie Yan, do you practice Taekwondo? You’re really muscular,” a female classmate asked.
“No, I’ve never practiced Taekwondo, though I’ve trained in kickboxing and some other mixed martial arts,” Nie Yan replied. As a young adult, if he had never learned a martial art, he would definitely be looked down on.
“Kickboxing is more focused on real combat. Can you really fight?” the female classmate asked as her eyes sparkled. She felt men who practiced kickboxing were a bit more attractive.
“You do kickboxing? I was taught some of the basics by Teacher Yang, how about we spar some?” Liu Rui interjected. While chatting with everyone, he discovered the spotlight had been snatched away from him, so he was desperate to get it back.
Xie Yao’s limpid eyes curiously gazed at Nie Yan. She felt he was quite mysterious. He was nothing like the scrawny kid she previously met. It was hard to imagine these two were actually the same person.
“Teacher Yang…” several female classmates quietly exclaimed.
After hearing Liu Rui’s proposal, Nie Yan’s eyes flashed with a cold light. Brat, I’ve been waiting for you to say that for a long time. In the previous timeline, he was repeatedly provoked by Liu Rui in PE until he finally broke and fought him. Of course, he was beaten miserably and suffered heavy injuries. Liu Rui had knocked him to the ground and stepped on his neck until he admitted defeat, humiliating him in front of everyone. This dealt a huge blow to his psyche, leading to him not appearing in school for almost a month.
Liu Rui was the teacher’s assistant. Whether it was kickboxing or Taekwondo, he was proficient in both. So how could the Nie Yan from back then possibly be his match!? Liu Rui had somehow found out he had a crush on Xie Yao, so he purposefully took the opportunity to humiliate him during that PE class!
Brat, this time, it’s you delivering yourself to me! Nie Yan thought. He was the frequent target of bullying by Liu Rui in his past life. In this one, he would return everything with interest!
Liu Rui was stunned as he happened to notice the brief change in Nie Yan’s expression. However, when he looked again, Nie Yan was happily chatting with everyone like normal.
Did my mind just play a trick on me?
Liu Rui expelled these thoughts. He didn’t think Nie Yan looked all that tough.
While Nie Yan was chatting, he would occasionally glance at Xie Yao. Her bright cheeks were supple yet firm. Her T-shirt was a bit of a tight-fit, and curved around her graceful figure, giving off a feeling that would make a person’s heart palpitate.
In the previous timeline, Nie Yan only dared to sneak glances at her. In this life, his attitude had completely changed. He was able to calmly appreciate her beauty.
Xie Yao felt her heart race as she sensed Nie Yan’s gaze. Feeling her cheeks turn slightly hot, she switched the topic with the female classmates around her. Nie Yan’s gaze made her feel somewhat embarrassed, but she felt he was still much more pleasing to the eye than Liu Rui.
“No need. I’m not that great at kickboxing. I’ll only end up embarrassing myself in front of everyone.” Nie Yan pretended to decline.
This made Liu Rui believe even more that Nie Yan was just another weakling. This was a good opportunity. He would definitely humiliate him!
“No problem. It’s just a spar, swapping a few points. If there’s anything you don’t understand, I can teach you. I was recently appointed the teacher’s assistant of this class by Teacher Yang. Teacher Yang is our teacher this year,” Liu Rui said, sounding quite pleased with himself.
“Just a few days ago, Liu Rui passed the test for the Top Military Academy.” A short male student with a slightly wretched appearance inserted himself into the conversation.
Nie Yan knew this student. He was Liu Rui’s lackey, Han Jun. This person was also one of the people he loathed.
“Wow! How come I’ve never heard Liu Rui talk about this before?” a female classmate exclaimed in surprise.
Liu Rui felt a bit smug. He lightly laughed and said, “That was only an ordinary test, not the official one.”
“Still, that’s pretty amazing!”
“Yeah! This is the test of Top Military Academy we’re talking about!”
“That means I definitely can’t compete with you. I only know a few of the most basic kickboxing techniques,” Nie Yan said. He had accurately grasped Liu Rui’s nature. When this bastard had his eyes set on a target, and discovered they were easy to bully, he absolutely wouldn’t let them off easily. He was waiting for Liu Rui to take the bait!
“No problem. Let’s go find a place,” Liu Rui replied, feigning a magnanimous tone.