Lu Huaiyu was so close that Ning Li could see her reflection in his eyes.
His magnetic and charming voice entered her ears, as though a soft breeze was caressing her.
When he spotted her, the man's unique warm presence enveloped her.
The atmosphere suddenly felt tense to Ning Li. She subtly took a few steps back and nodded.
Lu Huaiyu saw the girl's little movement and raised a brow. He stood straight and looked at Ji Shu.
"Where's her car?"
Ji Shu pointed at a red supercar. The car actually belonged to him, but Ning Li knew the car better than him.
She was the one who helped him repair the car and modified it for racing so that it had no problem sprinting on the tracks.
Lu Huaiyu signaled by moving his chin. "Let's go."
Ning Li looked at him in surprise, but he was already walking toward that car.
Cheng Xiyue was shocked. "Erm, Second Master?"
The man only got better recently. He should not be inside a racing car, but before Cheng Xiyue could stop him, he was already standing at the door.
He turned around to Ning Li. He did not say a word, but everyone knew what he meant.
He wanted to be inside the car with Ning Li during the race.
Ji Shu actually wanted to accompany Ning Li during the race, but judging from Lu Huaiyu's reaction, he should not. As such, he stood still on the spot.
Ning Li did not expect Lu Huaiyu to do this with her.
It seemed like the man trusted her a lot—a little too much, in fact. Would he not be worried about an accident or if she were to commit a mistake?
Xiaosong Hill's roads were as curvy as a snake. There were a total of seven continuous curves, and even a veteran racer could not afford to be careless.
Even so, Lu Huaiyu wanted to be in the car.
"Little Ning Li, you'd better be careful when you get behind the wheels," Cheng Xiyue said as he walked over.
"The money is not important. The most important thing is your safety."
He sounded serious, which was rare for him.
Ning Li looked at him, somehow feeling like the guy was much more nervous than before.
Maybe it was because Lu Huaiyu wanted to be in the car with her.
Lu Huaiyu was actually rehabilitating in Yunzhou, but after running here and there, he had probably thrown his rehabilitation efforts down the drain.
Ning Li said, "Okay."
Two supercars were lined up side by side. The roars of the engines ignited the already lively crowd.
Whistles and screams surrounded the car, breaking the silence of the dark night.
Ning Li going up against Jiang Fan was already exciting enough, but now, Lu Huaiyu was in the passenger seat with Ning Li!
Compared to the excited crowd, Ning Li was rather calm. She skillfully checked the car before putting her hands on the steering wheel.
"Seatbelt," she said.
Lu Huaiyu fastened his seatbelt and asked with a lazy tone, "How many races have you won before?"
The reason Ning Li started this was because of Ning Haizhou.
He had gotten into an accident under the influence, so the charges tainted her name as well.
When she was younger, she did not know what the charges meant. All she knew was that alcohol and cars took her parents away.
Before she knew it, she was paying attention to the cars on the street and would read magazines about cars. She would even drop by the repair shop once in a while.
The owner of the shop sympathized with her background, and since she was cute, he took good care of her and let her handle the wheels for some time.
As time flew by, Ning Li learned a little something.
Then, an opportunity came by. The owner realized she was good behind the wheels, so he recommended her for a part-time job.
The job involved modifying cars and repairing them at times. When she had a rough day, she would bring the car out for a spin.
She really had no interest in racing, it was just a game to her. Moreover, her grandmother found out about the incident that happened a year ago.
The woman had never scolded her or been angry with her, but that time, she got so angry that she broke down in tears.
Ning Li swore to never get behind the wheels anymore.
After she was reborn, she knew there were things that must be done instead of just leaving them be.
If her grandmother knew what she was doing, the woman might not be angry with her this time.
A loud whistle pulled her back from her wandering thoughts.
Her eyes were fixed ahead as she started the engine. The engine roared to life and the tires were spinning on the spot, spewing out smoke and sparks fiercely.
The waving spotlights shed some light on Lu Huaiyu's face.
He chuckled and jokingly said, "I'll put my life in your hands."
The whistle was blown and the flag waved down.
Ning Li stepped on the pedal and the red car sprinted away.
Jiang Fan's yellow supercar also took off almost at the same time.
Smoke covered their trails and the two cars disappeared from people's sight in the blink of an eye.
Cheng Xiyue frowned as the two cars left his sight.
Ji Shu smiled wantonly at him and said, "Brother Xiyue, you don't have to worry. Ning Li will win this."
Even though Jiang Fan had multiple victories in Xiaosong Hill, he was up against Ning Li today.
Ji Shu prayed for the guy in his heart.
He wondered if Jiang Fan would get a serious scolding or beating after losing the money.
Cheng Xiyue did not say a word. He was not worried about winning or losing. He was only worried about Lu Huaiyu.
Ning Li drove uphill with ridiculous speed. The scenery on both sides of the window flashed over in an instant.
Jiang Fan was close behind her.
Compared to Ning Li, Jiang Fan knew the place better and knew how to drive faster and safer.
His advantage soon helped him overtake Ning Li at the third curve.
The mountain road was narrow and the higher they drove, the narrower the road.
This meant that Ning Li might have a difficult time overtaking Jiang Fan as the race went on.
Ning Li also realized it after Jiang Fan overtook her. She stayed close behind Jiang Fan and did not show any signs of trying to overtake him.
Jiang Fan could not shake her off.
The two cars maintained a fixed distance between each other.
Jiang Fan looked in the rear-view mirror and chuckled.
"That's all you got and you're trying to win me?"
The curves of Xiaosong Hill were dangerous and would only get more difficult. Only the third and the sixth curves were suitable for overtaking.
However, Ning Li would not know this because she was new.
"She's going to lose!"
Both cars sprinted along the way and soon made their way to the sixth curve.
Excited, the woman with the stopwatch beside Jiang Fan said, "Master Jiang, 11 minutes and 36 seconds!"
It was Jiang Fan's fastest time yet to reach this point in Xiaosong Hill.
The yellow car sprinted across the sixth curve in an instant.
Jiang Fan grinned. Ning Li had lost the last chance to overtake him.
He did not know why the girl stayed behind him for almost the whole race.
Soon, they arrived at the last curve.
The seventh and last curve was the most dangerous one. Multiple accidents had happened here.
If the driver was careless, it would mean a fatal accident with no return.
Jiang Fan slowed down.
It was then he noticed that Ning Li was approaching him quickly from behind.
"She's not slowing down? She's out of her mind!"
A fraction of a second later, the red car overtook the yellow car and Ning Li seized the first spot again.
Jiang Fan cursed out loud and got angry. He almost stepped on the pedal, but the fear deep down in his heart stopped him. It killed the impulsive act in him.
"Crazy bitch. It's suicidal, I'm not trying to get myself killed!"
The red car drifted across the curve with astounding speed. A few inches more and the car would have flown off the tracks.
The screech from the tires rubbing against the asphalt road was numbing.
The fatal scene did not happen, though.
The driver of the red car nimbly and dangerously drifted across the last curve and continued forward to the peak.
Jiang Fan's heart sank. He wanted to chase after Ning Li, but it was already too late.
The distance was stretched out and Ning Li took the first spot.
Finally, the whistle was blown when Ning Li crossed the finish line.
"13 minutes and 14 seconds! A new record!"
Loud and excited cheers welcomed her back. Everyone at the peak cheered as loud as they could.
Someone in the crowd then shouted, "Hey, girl! The winner must kiss her partner in front of everyone!"