Chapter 42 – Protecting Your Smile

The atmosphere in the classroom had changed.

When Yin Zhao-an stepped into the classroom, she could feel several girls she was close with winking at her.
Confused by this situation, Yin Zhao-an touched her face and wondered if something was stuck on her face.

Seeing Yin Zhao-an's ignorant look, everyone in the classroom looked at each other and tacitly agreed to keep their classmate in the dark.

After sitting down, Yin Zhao-an poked her deskmate, trying to get the other party to spill the beans.
However, the other party simply smirked and waved at her, so Yin Zhao-an could do nothing but hold her forehead in frustration.

After school, Yin Zhao-an dashed to the school gate and waited for Tang Yu to come down as usual.
Unfortunately, although she managed to stop the person she was waiting for, Tang Yu wasn't alone.

Yin Zhao-an sighed in exasperation before pulling Tang Yu to her side and walking out of the campus without saying a single word.

“Hey! How can you do that?!” Fang Ling cried out while glaring at Yin Zhao-an.
Then, she hurriedly caught up to the two and clung to Tang Yu's free arm.

Yin Zhao-an looked at Fang Ling in annoyance.
Then, she separated Fang Ling from Tang Yu and sternly said, “I live in the same place as Tang Yu.
You should be off to wherever you belong.” After saying so, she subconsciously turned to a sedan parked nearby.

One of the people in the car saw the dispute happening outside.
After putting down the magazine in his hands, he said,” Uncle Li, I'm heading out for a moment.”

“Very well, Young Master,” the person in the driver seat responded before unlocking the car door and letting the boy in uniform out of the car.

In the meantime, Fang Ling was gnashing her teeth as she looked at Yin Zhao-an.
She was prone to incoherent speech once she felt aggrieved, so she couldn't find the proper words to respond to Yin Zhao-an's words.
Ultimately, her anger got the best of her, and her eyes started to tear up as she sobbingly said:

“It's Tang Yu… Tang Yu wants me to walk with her, so what right do you have to stop me from following her?!”


When Fang Ling heard the familiar voice, the tears pooled in her eyes and rolled down her cheeks.
Then, she aggrievedly turned around and lunged at the young man who had appeared behind her.

“Big Brother… I got bullied, uuu…”

The young man patted the head of the girl in his embrace.
Then, he looked at Yin Zhao-an, who was also looking at him, and smiled, saying, “Hello, my name is Fang Lang.
My younger sister is a little silly, so don't mind her.”

“Big Brother!” Fang Ling immediately grew unhappy and glared at her elder brother when she heard the other party's comment about her.

Yin Zhao-an was used to “solving violence with violence.” This was the first…no, the second time she had met such a polite and gentle person, with the first being Zhao Yu, so she didn't really know how to handle such people.

“Hello,” Yin Zhao-an responded with a curt greeting.
Then, she pointed at Tang Yu with one hand and a certain direction with her other hand, saying, “This is my big sister, and we live close to each other.
I can send her home, so…”

Fang Lang responded with a dragged-out “Oh” to Yin Zhao-an's introduction.
Then, he said, “I'll take my sister with me, then.

Yin Zhao-an nodded, deliberately ignoring Fang Ling's begrudging stare.

After the Fang siblings left, Yin Zhao-an was startled to realize that Tang Yu had remained silent all this time.
Immediately, she couldn't help but wonder if she had angered her Tang-Tang.

In reality, though, Tang Yu wasn't angry at Yin Zhao-an.
She was just mildly troubled by the current situation.
According to her original plan, she would continue spending more time with Fang Ling to naturally avoid a certain someone.

Yet, now, that certain someone had chased Fang Ling away!

It was a truly troublesome situation…

“…Should we go home?” Yin Zhao-an tentatively asked.

Tang Yu quietly rolled her eyes.
If not home, where would they go?

Tang Yu felt extremely uncomfortable throughout the journey home.
She felt like superglue was applied to the hand holding her.
The more she struggled to break free, the more tightly the grip over her hand became.


“Uh… Hm?” Tang Yu responded in a slightly startled manner.

Frowning slightly, Yin Zhao-an asked, “Are you…unhappy?”

Tang Yu churned her brain, trying to understand Yin Zhao-an's question.
What exactly was Yin Zhao-an trying to ask? Was she asking about the present?

“E-Everything's fine…” Tang Yu answered, ultimately choosing to go with a response that was equally vague as Yin Zhao-an's question.

Yin Zhao-an's expression darkened, inwardly writing off Tang Yu's answer as a lie.
After all, she had read that book already.

[I know there is someone who likes me, but I seem to lack the ability to love others.]

Tang Yu naturally wouldn't know that Yin Zhao-an had secretly switched their respective copies of No Longer Human when they were having their meal together.

Tang Yu's copy of the book had many sections marked and underlined with black ink.
However, one particular sentence in the book was marked with red ink.

What was her Tang-Tang trying to express? Was she asking for help?

Yin Zhao-an wasn't knowledgeable in psychology.
She also didn't know how psychology would analyze Tang Yu's personality.
However, the things she managed to gather from Tang Yu's copy of the book were already enough to scare her.

What exactly was her Tang-Tang afraid of?

“So long as you wish for it, I won't refuse any request from you,” Yin Zhao-an said out of nowhere.


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