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Chapter 22.1

Editor: Jodi

“Come back here!” Ning Sheng’s grandmother didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, “You little rascal, you’re not even going to pretend to be embarrassed anymore?”

Ning Sheng: “I’m at a complete loss as to what to do.”

Having been influenced by the little devil king in the past few years had made him much livelier and prone to getting into trouble passively, and as time went by, his grandmother’s pet name for him changed from “Ning Ning” to “little rascal”, and from “good grandson” to “troublemaker”.

“Come over here, let’s chat.” His grandmother patted the sofa.

Ning Sheng moved over and sat down.

“Do you not want to go home?” His grandmother asked him, “You like Qing’an Town?”

Ning Sheng: “It’s just a broken town, but I’ve gotten used to living here.”

Then he added, “I don’t like moving.”

“Grandma knows you don’t like changing places.” His grandmother said. “When you first came here, you always cried alone, hiding. Grandma likes Qing’an Town too, otherwise I wouldn’t have lived here for so many years.”

“Grandma, I don’t want to leave.” Ning Sheng hugged his grandmother’s arm, shaking it, “I want to stay with Grandma.”

“I can’t even be bothered to expose you. Do you want to stay with me, or is it that you want to stay with your little friend?” His grandmother asked him.

Ning Sheng: “It’s not because of Xu Ling.”

“Did I name anyone?” His grandmother asked.

Ning Sheng: “……”

His cheeks burning, he raised his hand to cover them.

“Alright, whether it’s true or not, I do want to keep you here longer. The education in S City is good, but our private tutors aren’t bad either. Over there they have to take care of your little brother and can’t always look after you, so if you like it here, then continue your studies here.” His grandmother told him. “Your parents are coming tomorrow, so let’s play it by ear.”

Ning Sheng: “Oh.”

The next morning, just as Ning Sheng opened his eyes, he received a text sent from Xu Ling who used his dad’s phone.

[The little devil king’s keeper]: Lu Peng got a fever from the rain.

Ning Sheng replied: So, he’s the real weakling.

[The little devil king’s keeper]: His family has no one to deliver goods today, so they asked me to help out.

Ning Sheng replied: Take me with you.

[The little devil king’s keeper]: What help could you possibly offer?

Ning Sheng replied: I can make your job harder.

[Thelittle devil king’s keeper]: Good that you know.

Ning Sheng replied: Know what, that you’re a jerk?

[The little devil king’s keeper]: Little friend Ning Ning, Xu Ling has already left.

Ning Sheng replied: Okay uncle, thank you uncle.

Ning Sheng rolled around on his bed.

Xu Ling lied to him. He had promised to be his dog, but he didn’t take him along for the delivery.

“Ning Ning.” His grandmother knocked on the door. “Are you up? Your mom and dad are here.”

Ning Sheng moaned, “Up….. Ai, I can’t get up.”

He lay back down on the bed.

“He got caught in the rain yesterday, so he might not be feeling well.” His grandmother explained, “I don’t suggest he goes back to S City for now, he’s more adapted here.”

Ning Sheng played dead, tilting his head.

His dad stuttered, “This this… this doesn’t seem like he’s adapted well here either.”

Ning Sheng felt his grandmother twist the back of his hand.

“Don’t overdo it.” She whispered in his ear.

Ning Sheng: “……”

“That’s the situation.” His grandmother concluded. “Actually, he’s just settled in, and his psychologist also doesn’t recommend him changing schools frequently.”

“Let’s talk outside.” Ning Sheng’s grandmother suggested, “Let him rest a bit more.”

“Ning Ning.” Ning Sheng’s mom tousled his hair gently, picking up a jacket from beside his bed, “How come you’re still wearing this torn clothing? I’ll throw it away for you.”

“No.” Ning Sheng grabbed the edge of the jacket, “I want to keep this one.”

This was the one Little Bell’s mom had mended for him, a piece he cherished and kept close.

“Hmm?” Ning Sheng’s mom’s gaze swept over the small patch on the sleeve, noting the fine and orderly stitching, paused for a moment, didn’t say anything, folded the jacket neatly, then placed it at his bedside.

When the bedroom door closed, Ning Sheng breathed a sigh of relief.

A small stone hit his window, and he opened it to find Xu Ling outside by the garden fence, pushing his bicycle, one hand on his hip, the other pointing at him. 

“You, you actually called to order twenty kilos of pork just to see me!” Xu Ling reprimanded.

Ning Sheng: “I just wanted to eat meat.”

Xu Ling: “You wanted to eat twenty kilos?”

Ning Sheng: “If I wasn’t worried about you not being able to ride, I’d have bought a hundred kilos. I have plenty of money.”

Xu Ling: “The pigs themselves could have run here.”

Ning Sheng: “……”

“Do you know how much it cost me to come see you?” Xu Ling was sweating from biking, “I shouldn’t have agreed to help Lu Peng with the deliveries.”

“Do you know how much I’ve sacrificed to keep seeing you?” Ning Sheng asked back.

I’ve thrown away all my pride.

“Hurry up and open the door and freeze the meat you bought!” Xu Ling told him.

Ning Sheng called the housekeeper: “I bought a little gift for my parents.”

The housekeeper, completely confused, went to open the door.

Then Ning Sheng dragged a chair over for support, turned around, and climbed out the window.

Xu Ling turned his head, then was stunned.

The housekeeper: “What’s wrong?”

Xu Ling’s mouth twitched: “Nothing, I just saw the light.”

The housekeeper: “?”

Carrying a large package of pork, the housekeeper asked himself, “Little young master, is this the gift?”

It doesn’t quite fit the bill, right?

Xu Ling ran a few steps, then carried Ning Sheng who was hanging tearfully from the garden fence, down.

“Did wolves get into your house?” Xu Ling asked, “Why the rush to get out today?”

“I’m running away from home.” Ning Sheng dashed towards Xu Ling’s bicycle.

“Sigh, I just transported pigs in my car, so it might smell.” Xu Ling warned.

Ning Sheng was already seated on the back, steadying the handlebars and gliding down the hill.

“Ning Ning, is your butt on fire, why are you in such a hurry?” Xu Ling jogged a few steps then mounted the bike to carry him, “Where to?”

“I don’t know.” Ning Sheng said.

Xu Ling: “Sell you off?”

Ning Sheng scoffed: “Who’d spend money to buy a dad?”

Xu Ling: “……”

Xu Ling: “It turns out Ning Ning also knows he has a bad temper.”

“Anywhere.” Ning Sheng hugged Xu Ling’s waist tight, “Take me away.”

With his parents so busy, even if they made time to come over, they’d probably only stay at his grandmother’s for a day.

As long as he wasn’t home today, no one could bring him back to S City in the short term.

“We still have one more delivery.” Xu Ling flipped through his bicycle’s basket, “Let’s run off this one first.”

Ning Sheng: “Okay!”

Ning Sheng: “I haven’t had the experience of being a delivery person yet.”

“Who said that?” Xu Ling charged down the slope, “I seen you being quite happy delivering heads in games.”

“Not as happy as you!” Ning Sheng retorted angrily, “You can’t even play arcade games well.”

As the bike turned off the mountain road, brushing past a tractor, Xu Ling pedaled towards the town.

The last delivery, to a household living outside the town in a village, made Ning Sheng so dizzy from the bumpy dirt road he could only cling to Xu Ling tightly as he held his shirt.

“Alright, we’re here.” Xu Ling stopped the bike.

Ning Sheng: “En? We’re here already?”

“If we weren’t, you’d peel off my skin.” Xu Ling grimaced, lifting his shirt to reveal the red marks on his waist.

Ning Sheng: “Your mom says you have more than one layer of skin, thick and shameless.”

“She said that too?” Xu Ling asked.

“I also know about your childhood bedwetting and playing with fire….. Uh!” Ning Sheng was silenced, “It can’t be that you’re still embarrassed by that anymore, right?”

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