For Tang Yu, the three consecutive days of exams were just a formality.
Sometimes, having the “cheat codes” handed so blatantly to oneself was more of a headache than a blessing.

Maybe it's a bit insensitive to say that, Tang Yu thought to herself with a wry smile.

By the third day of the exams, the rain had subsided from its initial downpour and was slowly clearing up.
While it was still drizzling, the clouds seemed to have taken pity on the land, allowing the sun to shine its rays on the world for the first time in several days.

When the final bell rang, the whole school erupted into a loud cheer that lasted for a long time.
These were cheers of disappointment, relief, and the bittersweet feeling of ending a chapter of youth.

Tang Yu trailed behind the crowd, watching as people rushed towards their goals or were embraced by their loved ones with either comfort or joy.
Though, none of it had anything to do with her.


Tang Yu's breath caught in her throat as she looked up and spotted a person standing amidst the crowd holding a transparent umbrella.
The person was bathed in sunlight, their face exuding youthful energy, and their gaze fixed upon her.

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Tang Yu's eyes brimmed with tears.
Ignoring the raindrops still falling on her, she ran toward that person with all her might, stumbling several times before reaching that familiar person.

Yin Zhao-an had already closed her umbrella and spread her arms when she spotted Tang Yu.
Hence, when Tang Yu threw herself into her arms, Yin Zhao-an readily caught and embraced her beloved.
Then, she lifted Tang Yu up and spun around joyfully amidst the crowd before setting her down.

Fortunately, as everyone around them was busy with their own celebrations, the two did not attract much attention to themselves.

Tang Yu still leaned in Yin Zhao-an's embrace, her breathing still rapid from her earlier sprint.

Yin Zhao-an laughed heartily, patting Tang Yu on the back to help her catch her breath.
She then picked up the umbrella from the ground, opened it, and held it over their heads.

“Congratulations on graduating successfully, Comrade Tang-Tang!” Yin Zhao-an exclaimed before kissing Tang Yu on the forehead.

Tang Yu looked up, her eyes still slightly red as she said, “It'll be your turn next year.”

The happy atmosphere was instantly shattered as Yin Zhao-an, feeling helpless and disappointed, said, “Can we not talk about that right now?”

“Haha, okay.” Tang Yu understood Yin Zhao-an's situation and laughed a few times, choosing not to remind her of this cruel reality.

The bright sunlight shone through the umbrella onto the two embracing figures, illuminating their youthful faces.

Yin Zhao-an couldn't help but lift her hand to stroke the corners of Tang Yu's smiling eyes, her expression filled with infatuation.
Then, she asked, “Tang-Tang, you look really pretty when you smile.
Can you smile more often in the future?”

Tang Yu's expression flickered for a moment, and she tilted her head away from Yin Zhao-an's hand, feeling a bit uncomfortable.

Seeing the change in Tang Yu's expression, Yin Zhao-an immediately apologized, “It's okay, it's okay.
You look beautiful even if you don't smile.”

There was an unmistakable sense of caution and ingratiating flattery in Yin Zhao-an's eyes.
Tang Yu suddenly felt a pang in her chest.
She had never seen Yin Zhao-an showing such weakness to her in her past life, and neither had she ever seen Yin Zhao-an showing such infatuation for her.

In her past life, whenever Tang Yu was bullied by the children in the military compound, Yin Zhao-an would stand up for her and not allow her to play with other children.
Back then, if it weren't for Fang Ling's outgoing personality, Tang Yu's world might have only had Yin Zhao-an in it.

But was that love?

The answer was clear.
That was not love but rather a possessive desire for one's belonging.
It was akin to how a person would treat a stray dog that always stuck to them.
When one day, the dog decided to follow someone else, the person would feel anger and unwillingness, but after that feeling passed, everything would return to normal.
And then the person would think, “Oh, it wasn't that important after all.”

In her past life, Yin Zhao-an was that kind of person, and Tang Yu was the stray dog who foolishly followed her after receiving a little bit of kindness.

Whenever Yin Zhao-an felt happy, she would throw Tang Yu a bone.
If she wasn't happy, she would find Tang Yu to be a bother, even if Tang Yu was hiding in the corner.

But now…

Tang Yu tiptoed and patted Yin Zhao-an's head, smiling brightly, “Good girl, give me a bark.”

Yin Zhao-an's eyes gradually brightened when she felt the gentle touch on her forehead.
Then, subconsciously, she responded, “Woof!”

It was an unexpected response by both Tang Yu and Yin Zhao-an, and both of them couldn't help but be momentarily stunned.

After a moment, both of them laughed softly.
Then, Yin Zhao-an leaned down, hugged Tang Yu's neck, and rubbed her hair against her neck like a big dog begging for affection.

“Okay, it's time to go back.
There aren't many people left.” Tang Yu patted Yin Zhao-an's head, urging her to stop.
By now, most examinees had already gone back with their families and friends, so there weren't many people left at the entrance.

Yin Zhao-an led Tang Yu to the parking shed beside the school fence with a silver motorcycle parked under it.
Then, she took out a key and inserted it into the cool-looking motorcycle.

Tang Yu was still a little dazed when she accepted the helmet Yin Zhao-an offered her.
Even after Yin Zhao-an had climbed onto the motorcycle, revved the engine, and fastened her helmet, Tang Yu did not move.

Seeing this, Yin Zhao-an asked, “Don't know how to wear it?”

Tang Yu shook her head and silently put on the helmet, stepping onto the side footrest, and then asked, “Why did you come to pick me up on a motorcycle? Are you already an adult? Are you driving without a license?”

Faced with Tang Yu's series of questions, Yin Zhao-an smiled helplessly.
Then, she grabbed Tang Yu's hands, crossed them over her waist, and answered, “My mom was busy, and I'm an adult with a license.”

After answering Tang Yu's questions, Yin Zhao-an stepped on the gas pedal and slowly drove the motorcycle toward the school gate.

“When did you become an adult? Why didn't I know about it?” Tang Yu asked, puzzled.

Yin Zhao-an wryly smiled when she heard Tang Yu's question.
After accelerating onto the almost empty road, she subconsciously raised her voice as she said, “It was a while ago, you were too busy to remember.”

Tang Yu's birthday was in February, and Yin Zhao-an was a few months younger than her.
When Tang Yu thought about it, she quickly realized she had forgotten about Yin Zhao-an's birthday.

Immense guilt welled up within Tang Yu's heart.
Afraid that the wind might obscure her voice, Tang Yu leaned forward and shouted in Yin Zhao-an's ear, “I'm sorry! I'll make it up to you next time!”

The person buried under the helmet smiled contentedly and accepted the belated promise.

Yin Zhao-an drove them back home at full speed.
By the time they arrived, both of them were drenched, their clothes clinging to their bodies, and the hot, humid feeling made them uncomfortable.

Yin Zhao-an pushed Tang Yu into the bathroom before checking the water temperature under the water heater.
Then, while leaving the bathroom and closing the door behind her, she said, “Take a shower first; don't catch a cold.
I'll find you some dry clothes.”

Tang Yu obediently listened to Yin Zhao-an's orders, taking off her wet clothes and turning on the water.
Immediately, warm water poured out of the showerhead and enveloped her cold body, gradually warming her up.

Not long after, Tang Yu heard Yin Zhao-an's voice outside the door, “Tang-Tang, come and get your clothes.”

Tang Yu turned off the water and opened a crack in the door, finding Yin Zhao-an standing outside with a set of neatly folded clothes.

Tang Yu accepted the clothes and whispered a thank you.
Then, she heard Yin Zhao-an's footsteps heading downstairs, “I'll be showering downstairs.”

When Tang Yu left the bathroom, she didn't see Yin Zhao-an in the room.
So she went downstairs to look for her.
As soon as she stepped out of the room, she smelled the strong aroma of ginger soup.

Yin Zhao-an had finished showering at lightning speed and left the bathroom in a hurry to prepare ginger soup in the kitchen.
Her hair was still dripping wet, the water droplets falling onto her shoulders and staining the back of her shirt.

“I'll take over here.
You go and dry your hair.”

Yin Zhao-an paused her stirring motion when she heard the gentle voice coming from behind her.
Then, she turned around and smiled, saying, “It'll be done soon; it won't take long.”

Tang Yu leaned at the ginger soup boiling in the aluminum pot.
The liquid in the pot was dark red, and there were thin slices of ginger bobbing up and down in it.
After taking a sniff of the soup, Tang Yu's eyes suddenly lit up as she asked, “Did you put in brown sugar?”

Yin Zhao-an raised an eyebrow.
Then, feeling a little proud of herself, she answered, “Yes! Is your nose that sensitive?”

It wasn't that Tang Yu's nose was sensitive.
It was just that she had also made ginger soup before, and it turned out with an unappetizing light yellow color.
Moreover, the taste of the ginger was overwhelming and bitter.
So, it was always a torture whenever she had to make and drink it.

“Adding brown sugar makes it taste better, and it can help with blood circulation and dispelling cold.
Anyway, I think it's ready,” Yin Zhao-an said as she took a white porcelain bowl from the counter and filled it with ginger soup.

“When did you learn how to do all this?” Tang Yu asked.
The Yin Zhao-an in her past life was a complete novice in the kitchen, and all she could make was instant noodles.

After carefully setting the ginger soup on the dining table, Yin Zhao-an shook her slightly overheated fingers and chuckled, “I wanted nothing more than to become an encyclopedia ever since our first meeting.”

Again with the flirting… Tang Yu thought as the tips of her ears gradually reddened.
Then, as if to hide her embarrassment, she quickly said, “I'll go get the hairdryer,” and ran upstairs.

The ginger soup was too hot to drink, so Tang Yu pulled Yin Zhao-an to the sofa to dry her hair for the time being.

Yin Zhao-an closed her eyes as she enjoyed the feeling of Tang Yu's fingers running through her hair, her heart fluttering a little whenever those fingers unintentionally brushed against her ears or neck.

When Tang Yu saw Yin Zhao-an closing her eyes and tilting her head with a comfortable look, she couldn't help but feel as if Yin Zhao-an was a cat feeling content at being petted.

After drying Yin Zhao-an's hair, Tang Yu directed the hairdryer to Yin Zhao-an's neck, causing the other party to turn around in confusion.

While parting Yin Zhao-an's long hair to reveal her slender neck, Tang Yu explained, “Warming the back of the neck is good for the body.”

“Okay.” Yin Zhao-an silently took note of it and decided to do the same for Tang Yu's nape the next time she helped dry her Tang-Tang's hair.

When Tang Yu was done warming Yin Zhao-an's nape, she proceeded to dry Yin Zhao-an's clothes with the hairdryer.
Fortunately, Yin Zhao-an was wearing home clothes for summer, so it didn't take long to remove all the moisture from the thin fabric.

Getting up from the carpet, Yin Zhao-an stretched lazily and said with a contented smile, “My whole body feels warm now, thanks to you, Tang-Tang.”

Tang Yu smiled and put away the hairdryer, saying, “The ginger soup should be cool enough now.
Let's drink it before it cools completely.”

Although the addition of brown sugar helped with mitigating the bitterness, the spiciness of the ginger remained.
When Tang Yu took her first sip of the ginger soup, her throat felt like it was getting roasted.
It was no wonder everyone used ginger soup to fight the cold.

Unlike Tang Yu, Yin Zhao-an did not take her time with her soup.
Instead, she held her breath and downed the entire bowl in one fell swoop.
Before she could recover from the spiciness, she heard the living room's telephone ringing.
So, with her tongue sticking out, she walked toward the sofa to answer the phone.

“Hello? Hmm…hmm?! You've given birth?!”

Tang Yu was drawn to the sudden high-pitched voice and couldn't help but turn around to look at Yin Zhao-an.

After responding to the person on the other end of the phone with perfunctory “hmms” and “ahs,” Yin Zhao-an ran toward Tang Yu, picking her up and spinning her around in the living room.

“Tang-Tang, you have a little brother now! Someone can carry on the family line!”

Tang Yu instinctively hugged Yin Zhao-an's neck to stabilize her dizzy brain.
At this point, all she could hear were Yin Zhao-an's joyful cheers.

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