Her voice was insipid and flat. The greeting sounded polite rather than with tenderness. The tone felt distant and disconnected.
Chu Feng tried to sound as calm as he could. He returned the greeting in a quite attentive manner, then he gave a chortle and expressed his amazement and wonder at her elegant indifference.
Although the parting words were only said a few weeks ago, Chu Feng felt as if years had passed. Being able to talk to her again gave him an odd sense of déjà vu.
Lin Naoi had always been a calm, sensible and intelligent girl. She had never gone out of her way to propitiate people, so naturally, there was an air of elegant indifference around her. Almost everyone at school perceived her as someone above their station, so few people had the audacity to claim ties of kinship or to make friends with her.
Perhaps it was due to the sheer beauty of hers in addition to the coldness of her temperament that she shied almost everyone around her. Although many people wanted to win her hand, few even had the audacity to take the initiative to talk to her.
Even Chu Feng's acquaintance with her was an accident.
Despite his higher-than-average academic performance, he was nowhere near the level of hardworking. Playing truant was a common occurrence, and for most of the lectures that required mandatory attendance, he usually entered the classroom as the bell rang.
One could easily imagine the circumstance in the classroom by the time Chu Feng entered. It was usually filled with sad and sober faces, but this one time he found a vacant seat by the window in a mid-row.
This was the row for girls, and most of them were with countenance like flowers and the moon. It was a sight that gladdened his heart and pleased his eyes.
But the vacant table by which he was sitting had a paper with the name Lin Naoi written on it. Clearly, the seat had been reserved for this particular girl who was also running late.
Chu Feng took no notice of the paper. Under the astonished gaze of a few other girls, he sat down on the seat at his ease. Then, he folded the name card into a paper plane. With a gentle thrust, he flew it out of the classroom window.
The girls were dumbstruck. There were looks of astonishment in their eyes. For them, this was truly a daring action, since no-one had ever treated Lin Naoi in such a flippant manner.
Chu Feng soon started to realize for whom the seat had been reserved, but the realization did not make him withdraw himself from the seat.
At the same time, a long-haired girl walked in. She was a stunning beauty, alright. With a height of at least 170 centimeters, she was a young woman, fairly tall and fairly slim. Her hair was smooth as silk; her face was bright and spotless. Her jet-black eyes were sparkling and charming.
She was breathtakingly beautiful, but clearly, she was a cold beauty. Standing still by the desk at which Chu Feng was sitting, she quietly gazed at Chu Feng with a flat and insipid look on her face.
The girls from the same row were also pressuring the immoral seat-grabber with indignant glares, signalling him to leave at once.
However, Chu Feng did not simply resign to such pressure. He remained seated with perfect composure. Having looked face to face with Lin Naoi, he started engrossing himself with the books in his hand.
Lin Naoi calmly stood for a while before she turned her back and left without a word being spoken.
Perhaps it was not the best way to greet someone for the first time, but they did get acquainted with each other thanks to this awkward encounter. Gradually, they started communicating with each other more and more often.
Strictly speaking, their relationships had never been the most fervent one. The times they had had together walking abreast were almost minimal. Once, Chu Feng tried to hold hands with her, but he was greeted with a quite unfriendly gaze from her.
This could almost mean the end of it if the leading man of this romantic story was someone else.
But Chu Feng was a spontaneous man driven by mood and emotion, or in other words, he was quite a brazen man who knew nothing about dignity. He persisted on holding her hand. He smiled like a gentleman, but he refused to let the hand go.
In the end, Lin Naoi turned away her head, resisting no more. She let her hand enshrouded in the warmth of another man's palm, freeing herself from the constraint and melting away in a man's profound virility.
It was that very day when their relationships was finally confirmed. Other boys were wailing in sadness and disappointment in themselves. Many also basted Chu Feng behind his back for his unparalleled brazenness and shamelessness. But all in all, he did succeed.
However, the progression stopped just there. Lin Naoi had never altered her temperament. She was still the elegant yet indifferent beauty as she had been. For Chu Feng, her occasional indifference to him was almost insufferable, but he still chose to go along her path.
Chu Feng recalled pieces of memory from the past, but he was soon able to collect himself and remembered that Lin Naoi was still on the phone.
On the other side of the communicator, it was the melodious voice of Lin Naoi. Her voice was musical, alright, but there was also a sense of distance and remoteness in it.
In the end, he could truly feel the sense of distance when Lin Naoi asked him if he needed any help. After parting company, their insipid relationship seemed to have become even flatter.
Chu Feng frowned. He did not need help from her.
But the idea that his parents might do occurred to him.
The world had changed. Strange occurrences happened around the world in a more and more unpredictable fashion. Maybe one day, the world might take the left turn somewhere with all hell breaking loose.
As a member of the Dainty Biomedical Group, Lin Naoi had much more inside information than anyone out there; moreover, her family had the power and influence to ensure the safety and the soundness of his parents.
"My parents are stranded in Shun Tian, so I hope, if possible, that you may look after them on my behalf."
Chu Feng was fairly straightforward when he needed to be. He never wanted to sound frippery or fake. He did not feel embarrassed to pose such a request simply because they had broken up. It involved the safety of his parents, so he pushed forward his request regardless of the status of their relation.
Lin Naoi calmly listened, then she responded with a monosyllable: "Okay."
Chu Feng reverted to his old taciturn ways. He spoke no more. He felt he should end the call right here, right now.
"I will be visiting Taihang Mountains in the near future," Lin Naoi informed.
Chu Feng vented out an amused laughter. His flippant character dictated him to never give in to the cold indifference of Lin Naoi. He could not resist the urge to poke fun at her. "Just like I always said, you owe me a hug. So are you coming here to compensate me for that this time?"
She hung up on him, abruptly ending the conversation.
Zuo Jun opened his dimmed eyes. Even the slightest movement could cause insufferable pain to his head. He was having a double vision while his head almost felt like it was about to crack open. To him, everything felt ever so insufferable.
"He is finally back to life!" said someone with a sigh of relief.
Zuo Jun sat up from the bed, but the piercing headache kicked in at once. He groaned in pain and clutched onto his head. He could finally open his eyes before a long while had passed. His head belled with buzzing and humming sounds. He also felt confused.
"Zuo Jun, what had happened?"
Zuo Jun looked up. It was a young girl with a pretty face. She was looking over at him across the room with a benevolent smile.
"Qingyu Zhu," he called out her name. She was one of the most powerful two in the team.
Her face always wore a delightful smile regardless of her mood. The smile seldom faded away.
"Do you know you've fainted for four days? What happened to you?" said another man in the room. He looked like a twenty-five years old man with a pale skin. His eyes were tenuous, but they were sparking eyes.
"Ye Ge," Zuo Jun recognized.
He was surprised that the two most powerful warriors in the team were here at the same time. They were also the head of the team.
There were also a few others present in the room. Some had a pair of golden wings on their back, some had two heads, and some had fingers glittering with a golden shine.
The room was crammed with the mutated. They stared at Zuo Jun, waiting for him to answer.
"I can't recall what happened." Zuo Jun tried to canister back, but the severe pain in his head rendered him incapable of remembering anything.
"Weren't we deployed to Taihang Mountains for the strange fruits here? This is all I can remember. The others seemed too muddled to remember," Zuo Jun said as cold sweat trickled down his chins.
The crowd silently stood as they gazed at him. They were stunned by the fact that Zuo Jun had lost all his recent memories. The order he just recounted was given a long while ago.
"You might have run into a competent fighter. He defeated you even when you've turned into a giant. He has caused severe trauma to your head, and as a result, you lost your memory," Ye Ge said as purple light ran inside his eyes. "Your opponent should have been a human. If it had been a beast or bird of prey, chunks of raw meat would have been the only things left of you now," he deduced.
"Did you go looking for troubles again, Zuo Jun?" Qingyu Zhu said with a smile. "Ever since you became one of the mutated, you have grown more and more full of yourself. You thought no-one could defeat you, didn't you?"
"I…I didn't," Zuo Jun refuted.
"Yes, you did. And I'm sure you're not the only one with an inflated ego. Don't think you can fool me on this. I know some of you have been frequently going in and out of the nearby towns with a condescending attitude and act as you please, looking down at the ordinaries." Her voice grew a bit colder. She glanced across the crowd. "Acquiring the superhuman powers and abilities does not grant you the right to lose your soul or your heart!"
"Qingyu is right. Today, more and more people started mutating into one of us, so don't be fooled by the misbelief that you're still invincible, because you're not! You are not gods yet!" said Ye Ge.
"We were amongst the earliest to mutate. We have already won at the starting point, so if someone could become a god, that someone will always be one of us!" Someone from the crowd took Ye Ge's words amiss.
"Shut up!" Qingyu Zhu scolded.
"Behave yourselves. There will be an important figure visiting us very soon in the future," Ye Ge said.
"Is it going to be Silver Wing?" asked someone.
"Mind your own business and stay out of trouble. We shall prioritize the investigation of this incidence that Zuo Jun was involved in. We all know that Zuo Jun was not a weakling. He is a strong fighter, so who could have beaten him and caused him to lose his memory?" Ye Ge frowned.
Chu Feng finished his boxing exercise for the day, then he noticed a hint of green in the parterre. The recent warm weather had been boosting the growth of all plants. Weeds and wild flowers grew wild in the well-nourished soil.
"How are the seeds doing?" He was struck by the thought.
At the very beginning, he paid the seeds a visit several times a day in a fervent wish to see the sprouting of those seeds, but as time went by with nothing occurring, his passion eventually dwindled.
Especially for the past few days, lots had happened, so naturally, he nearly forgot about the existence of these seeds.
"By my reckoning, we should see seedlings now." With great expectations, Chu Feng trotted towards the parterre.