Kneel to MeChapters List
Chapter 24: First Arc 
Jiang Baiqi lay on the bed, his mind consumed by thoughts of Song Juyao and her captivating presence.
Song Juyao could actually spot me in a crowd and even find me cute. Is she...going crazy?
He pondered over the puzzling question of how Song Juyao could have any interest in him. It simply didn't make sense. With eyes as radiant as stars, she clearly wasn't blind. Then, how could an angel like her, who had perfect vision, find any appeal in a weirdo like him? Moreover, she had gone to the extent of taking pictures and secretly observing him.
Could it be related to his technological prowess? Mr. Albert, her mentor, had sent people to approach him multiple times, but he had declined their offers. Did Mr. Albert took a different approach and sent Song Juyao to ask for it?
That seemed more logical than the idea of Song Juyao genuinely having feelings for him.
She could notice him so easily, perhaps she had exceptional perception, sharper than that of ordinary individuals, or she possessed some advanced high-tech gadget. Even if his presence went unnoticed by most, it was highly improbable to escape facial recognition systems. It was also possible that the things she said to Ming Shu, which he happened to overhear, were all part of a well-crafted plan.
The next day, the sky loomed with gloom, as if it was about to rain.
Having just finished her breakfast, Song Juyao was about to raise the telescope to her eyes when the doorbell interrupted her.
"Sister Juyao, Zhou Shuchen is waiting for you in the lobby downstairs," Ming Shu said. Boys weren't permitted to casually enter the girls' dormitory building, so when Zhou Shuchen saw Ming Shu, he asked for her help in finding Song Juyao.
Song Juyao nodded and made her way downstairs.
Ming Shu was still in a trance, looking at Song Juyao's retreating figure with a mix of complex expressions. Even her retreating figure looked mesmerizing, emitting an ethereal brilliance. Why is her aesthetics so strange? She actually likes Jiang Baiqi!
A group of special admissions students gathered in the lobby, led by Zhou Shuchen. They had come to inform Song Juyao of their decision.
The headmaster had a long conversation with Zhou Shuchen yesterday and was forcibly taken to Jin Yu and Jin Yao's villa by Fu Meiling in the evening. Faced with multiple threats and temptations, what decision would he make?
When they saw Song Juyao, they exchanged glances. Zhou Shuchen took a deep breath and stepped forward. "Senior."
Actually, Song Juyao was the same age as them. If she followed the usual path, she would be their classmate. However, she now had a different status and identity. In the eyes of her peers, she was someone worthy of respect and admiration, so no one found it awkward to call her senior or treat her as their senior.
Zhou Shuchen suddenly bent down. "Senior sister, I deeply apologize. We have decided to stay."
【Damn it, is this for real!】
【Despite everything that transpired, they still intend to stay here. Are they out of their minds?】
【Song Juyao has done so much for them. What's wrong with this group of people? Do they really have no backbone? They agreed to stay just to double their scholarship money?】
【This is infuriating! Ungrateful wretches! They don't deserve any help. It's no wonder Jin Yu and the others look down on them!】
The others probably felt that they had let Song Juyao down, and couldn't bring themselves to meet her gaze.
Zhou Shuchen dared not lift his head, fearing to see the disappointed and reproachful eyes of Song Juyao.
"Raise your head, Student Zhou." Song Juyao's voice remained as gentle and melodious as ever, filled with warmth and understanding. "I've said it before, I only provided a choice. How you proceed from here is entirely your decision, and I accept it wholeheartedly."
Zhou Shuchen lifted his head, meeting those eyes, his heart fluttered. Anxious to prevent any misunderstanding, he hurriedly explained, "I pondered over it deeply last night, not just for myself, but for all our classmates who entrusted me with this decision. I believe I should make a choice that benefits everyone. So, my decision is that all the special admissions students in the senior year stay here."
Song Juyao nodded.
"We entered the school in the first year and have endured, persevered until now. With only three months left until the entrance exam, the school has made more promises and offered additional scholarships. Many of our classmates come from difficult backgrounds and are in desperate need of money. Although the First Middle School will also provide scholarships, it's what Jinke Duola owes us, and we are determined to claim what is rightfully ours. In these last three months, no matter what, we all want to persist and ensure that the hardships we have endured over the past two and a half years do not go to waste."
Zhou Shuchen wrestled with his thoughts throughout the night, torn between fleeting pride and financial gains. Ultimately, he chose the latter. He knew they would face ridicule afterward, but so what? Truly courageous individuals wouldn't lose their integrity just because of three months of endurance; he was looking beyond that.
In society, having money equates to more choices. They had already persevered for almost three years, so why would they give up in the final stretch? The opportunity for scholarships was within arm's reach, and the school even promised to double the amount. If they secured it, they would be able to focus more on their studies in university, support their families more effectively, and perhaps become individuals who, like Song Juyao, could help and make a positive impact on others' lives in the future.
【In fact, Zhou Shuchen's choice isn't wrong. They've endured beatings and insults for almost three years, and now, enduring a little longer to secure double the amount of money doesn't seem like a bad idea, isn't it? Moreover, after this incident, I believe the treatment of special admissions students should improve significantly. At the very least, these three months will be bearable.】
【The adult world is truly difficult. For a little bit of achievement, people have to bow down, swallow their pride, and even drink until they have gastric bleeding. Jinke Duola is actually a microcosm of society. Now, Zhou Shuchen and the others have the choice of enduring until they receive the money from the client, or smashing the contract in the face of the client and walking away with their heads held high. If it were me, I would choose to take the money first and then smash the contract in the client's face.】
【Those who claim that Zhou Shuchen lacks integrity and backbone probably haven't been beaten down by the harsh realities of society just yet.】
【Zhou Shuchen has experienced a lot of hardship in the past, allowing him to see things from a broader perspective. If he were an ordinary 18-year-old youth, he might have walked away driven by momentary pride. But in the world of the affluent, how much does your integrity and backbone truly matter? Once you turn around, they will quickly forget about you. Therefore, it is wiser to choose what benefits yourself the most.】
Song Juyao nodded. "I understand. What about the first and second-year students?"
【That's a wise decision. The third-year students are almost done with their studies. However, it's a different story for the first and second-year students. It's best to cut losses in time.】
【At least Juyao's efforts won't be in vain!】
【I feel much more at ease now.】
Song Juyao still had that gentle and kind appearance, fully accepting their choice without a trace of disappointment. She didn't add even the slightest psychological burden to them.
"Alright, those who want to transfer can come to me for registration. I'll take you away."
The students, determined to transfer, followed Song Juyao and lined up at the side. Ming Shu and Zhou Shuchen volunteered to help because they were eager to contribute in some way, leaving Song Juyao with nothing to do but chat with them on the side. However, she quickly showed a searching gaze, looking back and forth among the students in the queue.
Ming Shu glanced at her, wondering if she was searching for Jiang Baiqi. As for whether Jiang Baiqi was in the crowd or not, sorry, she had no idea. The game of "Find Jiang Baiqi in the picture" was simply too challenging for her.
"Sister, will you leave Jinke Duola with us?"
"Sister, how long will your vacation be? When will you return to the team?"
Song Juyao became somewhat absent-minded, looking worried. After a while, she stood up and grabbed an umbrella. "Ming Shu, can you do me a favor and take note for me? I have something to attend to."
"Okay." Ming Shu agreed, and as soon as Song Juyao walked a little further away, she told Li Zhao that she had a stomachache. Then she quickly and quietly followed Song Juyao.
Raindrops, as large as beans, began to fall from the sky, creating a rhythmic pitter-patter sound as they hit the umbrella. The distance between the girls' dormitory building and the boys' dormitory building seemed to have stretched considerably.
Ming Shu, though holding an umbrella, felt a bit disheveled by the rain. On the other hand, Song Juyao, walking ahead in this gloomy weather, somehow emanated a distinct artistic charm through her silhouette.
This is too much! How can she look so stunning!
Jiang Baiqi was standing in the pavilion outside the boys' dormitory building. The pavilion was concealed by surrounding shrubs and trees. He saw Song Juyao walking towards him from a distance.
Jiang Baiqi glanced at the gloomy sky. His presence would become even more elusive in this kind of weather, as the dust would blend with the darkness, wouldn't it? Besides...
He pressed a button on his watch, and in an instant, the magnetic fields within a radius around him were all disrupted. This way, Song Juyao could forget about using her technological devices to detect him.
Just as this crossed his mind, Jiang Baiqi's dull eyes suddenly met those bright, star-like beautiful eyes.
Jiang Baiqi was taken aback, frozen in astonishment.
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