Her days were rather normal despite the several looks thrown her way and occasional gossips behind her back Hua Fan was still revered as the little Princess of her school. Being beautiful and arrogant she was famous. Even teachers gave way to her whims occasionally showing her favor, unlike others. Zhou Hua Fan did not see a single hair of that boy and she slowly relaxes and continued her days leisurely building her reputation back up again. This time instead of being a tyrant Hua Fan would occasionally grace one or two people a smile or two stunning her classmates and making more people scramble to get into her favor.
Those she had smiled at were random and even some were people who were of lower status compared to her own family. It was said that these days the Zhou flower had calmed down and matured into a true lady. Even if she was cold her attitude was much better to than the Hua Fan from before who was willful and unruly no matter who it was she offends. At least now she accepted other people, but some people were flustered by this new Hua Fan as well. Why?
Imagine a god descending to walk amongst the people, for their first few years they were distant and cold but now they suddenly graced only a selected few with their benevolence. It made many people feel a hint of bitterness deep down being ignored when they show her kindness and attempt to squeeze in a place by her side. For a month this behavior continued until three selected few from various backgrounds stood by Hua Fan's side and conversed freely after being exposed to her chilling temperament for awhile. They were not quite a circle, yet they were also the only ones Hua Fan had graced with smiles and thus granted a strange but special status among the students. The strangest part?
Hua Fan did not acknowledge these people most of the time when they spoke to her yet she did not drive them away even if they were disrespectful at times. Thus some were conflicted and lament in their hearts, in the end, were they her people or not? And to these students who failed to get into this elite "circle", they felt even more bitter because the people Hua fan had pulled to her side were either good looking or extremely well known. Good or bad the best at being good or bad had gathered into her "circle" as little queens or kings of their own talents. One, in particular, caught their eye and made more than one student hesitant to crowd around Hua Fan since he had joined the group of people.
He even boldly leaned over the beautiful Zhou flower with a devious grin dangerously close to the lovely girl's face. They held their breath as the beautiful girl didn't get angry but directly ignored his flirtations and turned away so even if he did move closer he could only catch her neck. The boy did not care for her rejection and laughs it off while sending a look towards her classmates making them quickly look away in fear of getting caught staring. Who did not know this was their school's most famous tyrant? Xing Qiu Shen. With flawless white skin and a handsome pair of startling blue eyes, it was hard to ignore this boy who did not fit the norm of Chinese good-looking people.
He always wore his school uniform open, unlike others who were required to button theirs shut for fear of being reprimanded by their teachers and parents. He was taller than the girl since he was about three years older than her and from a different section of their school. In fact, he was about to be transferred to a high school after the end of the year. It was just unknown why he would come all the way here to the younger students and hang around such a young girl who would be considered beneath his gaze. And indeed Hua Fan was someone he would have never gotten close to on purpose as his family was even considered rivals of her own Zhou family in the elite world.
Their grandfathers had bad blood since many projects they took fancy to were in the same jurisdiction as each other. It was safe to say that if one considered status, he would actually be the only one able to stand by her side in this city without fear. Like Romeo and Juliet, they stood on opposite sides but were the most similar. They were both put on pedestals so high above the others they could see one another by just looking up and meeting the gazes of each other. Other people had just wishful thinking but this was the real king of the jungle before Hua Fan had arrived with the younger students.
The only reason these two did not run into each other or care for each other's presence before was that between the two of them one more scheming than the other who would willingly seek trouble for themselves? Not to mention they were in different grades than each other. What was the point in arguing with someone who would eventually graduate before you? It was unnecessary trouble. Yet somehow, Hua Fan this rose had managed to actually snatch this senior's attention. How?!
Were they not enemies?! How was it this person managed to become Hua fan's companion and they could not while being in the same class and grade as her? "Bao Bei, to think there were so many people who would dare to glare at this lord for standing by your side. Say, when did you become so revered by your fellow students?" One of the boys from one grade above hers pushed up his reading glasses and saw Hua Fan did not intend to answer so he took the privilege of answering for the beautiful girl.
His name was Yang Li Wei and although his background was not influential like Qiu Shen and he was rather average in terms of appearance. He was known to be the top of his class and he did not adhere to the laws of this school staying a loner with a tough exterior. No one knows why Hua Fan let someone from a poor background stay by her side. Even Yang Li Wei did not know why someone so famous had come to meet him one day. But since she had extended an olive branch he would be stupid to refuse, in a dog eat dog world like theirs he would become a laughing stock and scorned for not taking her hand.
He taps his book and gave the sleazy Qiu Shen a glance as if he was reluctant to address Qiu Shen if it were not for the not talkative Hua Fan. "Miss Zhou is part of the Zhou family so it is natural she is seen differently in the eyes of middle school students like this." Qiu Shen sent this Li Wei a glance of indifference as if he did not hear what he said and instead went back to teasing Hua Fan. "Bao Bei, if you kiss me I'm sure their eyes would become so green with envy the grass would look dull in comparison." Being ignored Li Wei felt his brow twitch with a hint of annoyance but what could he do?
Xing Qiu Shen was a little lord that he could not afford to offend so he could only swallow his anger and show an annoyed expression in silence. But who knew Hua Fan would speak up at this time, her voice was like a delightful bell tolling with the arrival of spring in this tense silence. "Xing Qiu Shen, you actually want to bully my person?" Being defended by a girl younger than him Li Wei's annoyed expression became awkward and his cheeks burn red but no one paid him any mind since their boss had spoken.
All eyes go to Hua Fan who had given Qiu Shen a sharp side glance that, although seemed light, it was full of warning. Her single glance could bring anyone else to their knees while sweating bullets, yet this was a shameless little lord she was talking to. Qiu Shen saw she was serious but he grins in face of her warning to speak more frivolous words. "Bao Bei actually I was just joking don't be angry. If it makes you feel better I will apologize to the commoner." Hua Fan rolled her eyes and scoffs lightly so that no one else but her people and Qiu Shen heard her.
At this time a quiet tigress spoke up by her side, "Miss Zhou classes will begin soon so I will head back to my classroom now." Seeing that their free time was really going to end Hua Fan hums her acknowledgment to the quiet girl and watched her leave with a bored gaze. Li Wei also left after she did since he was older than her and not in the same class. Qiu Shen was not as worried as them about classes and sat beside her with a light yawn not caring for the student who was assigned to sit beside Hua Fan who awkwardly stood by with nowhere to go. She glanced at the bell then at the boy who had yet to leave, he even conversed with her carelessly.
"That girl, Li Chen Ai was it? How come you took her under your wing? With a wild temperament likes her I don't think she is fit to stand beside you like me. I recall her on the school forum a few months back, she was suspended for two weeks because of the incident she caused." Hua Fan's response was cool and undisturbed as she took out her book for her first lesson.
She treated this little lord like a normal person not caring for his status. "I saw she had potential so I took her in, nothing else matters to me." Qiu Shen took a glance at the cold faced Hua Fan and grinned suddenly, "Bao Bei say I lend you a few people of my own and you get rid of these children who are ignorant to our world." Hua Fan finally spares him a glance and seemed to properly look at him fully as if looking over goods. It was unknown what she saw but Hua Fan looked away with a dismissive answer. "No need."
Qiu Shen didn't take offense and laughs, "Why not? You also know my grandfather so the people by my side are not average. I do not mind giving you a few extra arms and legs." Her response was to smile a bit as if his words were funny to her and send him an amused glance. "I also have a grandfather, the arms and legs he can give me would reach farther than yours but I declined him as well. Why should I treat you special?"
The boy seemed to think about it and indeed he almost forgot this thorny flower was a member of that Zhou family. He could not picture this eloquent and calculating beauty to be born from someone like that Zhou Feng Meng. But still, he was reluctant to see this diamond decorated with pebbles. "Even if you want to train them to be loyal from a young age it is better to have someone with experience to watch over them for you. If they take advantage of your trust in the future you will regret it later."
Her eyes flash and the girl smiles while leaning on her left fist to look at him. Her hair fell from behind her ear and swayed momentarily before settling along with the strong scent of winter's first moonlight. Refreshing but dangerous to one's health if they indulged too much. Her smile was equally breathtaking, "You have one thing wrong Qiu Shen. I am Zhou Hua Fan, to me, no one is worthy of standing beside me."
The girl captured his attention and made him unconsciously pay more attention to her pretty lips that rose with her mood or fell with her scorn. Though his heart does not stir he had to admit, the girl hooked his attention like no other. Her body was young, but her soul seemed to have already aged much longer than anyone else the same age as her. "As the heiress to our family name and company, they can't compare to me. You take them as people but I take them as tools below me to use for my own selfish desires."
She even gave a gentle giggle, Qiu Shen spots a hint of heartlessness in her limpid eyes he found memorizing even if his heart went cold. "Raising these type of people, they will be grateful later on but if they prove useless in the future I say die, they die. I am their savior but I am also not someone who will take in a useless person. They also know this. The best way to earn loyalty? Paint the picture of an angel."
Her voice was gentle and coaxing as if she was speaking to a child. "And after that even if you become a devil in disguise they cannot turn back for they already signed their names on a life and death contract." Her eyes were gentle but in reality, they were chilling and so dark he could not see his own reflection in those dead eyes. "Even you, if you become useless to me later on I will dispose of you." Hua Fan resembled a fallen angel with the way she gazes at him with a faint smile. "Dare to follow me still?"
Qiu Shen gave a hollow laugh in return, he was not afraid of her. What had he not seen as a person in a similar position as Hua Fan? The world had already been stripped bare to him before he had reached the age of seven. So his response was just as cold as her, "Bao Bei, if I dare follow will you dare to keep me beside you as you promise?" His indulging look became similar to her own making Hua Fan find a strange light in his eyes she had not expected to see in people their age.
Madness? Hunger? It was a look she could understand yet she could not since it seemed like Qiu Shen had control of his inner demons unlike herself. She leans back and turns away from him, her smile fell and she focuses back on her book. Seemingly dismissing Qiu Shen from her thoughts and sight. "A person who does not understand me can never stand at my side." He was somewhat bitter inside but still stood up without another word and left her classroom. Behind him Hua Fan's classmates nervously watch him leave with relieved expressions.
Hua Fan seemed unaffected by the conversation but her mind was still processing this Qiu Shen. Back then, just exactly how did this demon fall? He was ruthless at such a young age, there was no doubt if she asked him to dispose of his family he would only ask her with a grin. "Which one?" She had only heard rumors but rumors did him no justice when he grew up, just how cold-hearted did he turn out to be?
Unconsciously her eyes drift towards the classroom door to catch the tail end of his unbuttoned jacket leaving. Her lips purse with annoyance, as a person who lived twice Hua Fan never encountered such a strange anomaly as this person. Mutual destruction is what he desired, but the things Hua Fan desired were redemption and revenge. Perhaps it was better to not involve herself with Qiu Shen after all. She had no reason to rewrite his life along with hers, call it selfish but Hua Fan will call it self-preservation. She could only spend so much of her time on this earth, why spend it solving someone else's problem when she already had a large one on her own plate?