After a brief pause, Cheng Qing pondered whether a different approach was needed. 

Seeing Cheng Qing’s silence, Luo Xi straightened her back with a hint of unease on her face.

Cheng Qing finally snapped out of her thoughts, flashed a reassuring smile, and said, “No need to worry, take your time to practice! The program isn’t meant to make you a pro fencer.”

The fencing project and Cheng Qing were merely ingredients in the grand recipe that was the variety show. 

With limited time and countless interesting events happening each day, it was impossible to capture everything on camera. 

Even though they practiced for an hour, only a snippet lasting two minutes would make it to the final cut. 

In the novel, the role of the three teachers was minimal at best, and there was no telling what plots the program’s writers would add at the end of the show.

“Alright, we’ll practice by sparring with each other!” Cheng Qing said as she thrust her sabre toward Luo Xi.
The scorer lit up green, indicating a successful hit.
“The scoring device won’t count hits that are too light.
Only hits with a force greater than 500g count as effective scores,” she explained. 

The three novice students nodded in agreement and began to practice with each other. 

Fencing was a new experience for them, so Cheng Qing refrained from correcting their technique and allowed them to get a feel for the weapons first.

She pointed her sword at Luo Xi and said, “Come on!”

With a nod from Luo Xi, she charged forward with all her might.
Cheng Qing watched as Luo Xi’s sword came toward her and skillfully blocked it with her own blade. 

Despite the opportunity to strike back, Cheng Qing chose not to and instead gave a gentle laugh before offering some advice, “Your speed is good, but you missed the target.
Focus on your aim before striking.
Try again.”

Despite not wearing a fencing suit and having one arm behind her back, Cheng Qing took pleasure in teaching her students the sport she used to play.
Her laughter was like a breath of fresh air that filled Luo Xi’s heart and lungs. 

To Luo Xi, Cheng Qing was particularly beautiful when she smiled like this.
That was why even though the physical exercise was tiresome, Luo Xi practiced happily for a long time.

After fencing for an hour, everyone was exhausted and parched, even Cheng Qing had a thin layer of sweat on her forehead. 

But despite the fatigue, none of the students complained and they all practiced obediently.
Cheng Qing was pleased with their diligence and grinned at them.

She glanced at the brightly lit sky and noticed that it was already noon, realizing that her students were tired from the physical exhaustion, “Okay, let’s take a break!” she said with a smile.

Liu Suoyu and Lin Shandie removed their masks, their hair drenched with sweat as they panted for air, but their faces were filled with excitement.

Cheng Qing chuckled, “Fencing is very physically demanding, one hour is enough for today, let’s stop here.”

After hearing this, Luo Xi also removed her mask, revealing a face and hair drenched with sweat, but eyes shining with exhilaration.

The four returned to the living room to rest while Zhang Lingling’s team was still making cakes.
Baking dessert was a process that took more time than fencing, but it also provided a great opportunity for men and women to interact with one another.

As soon as Cheng Qing entered the room, she headed straight for the kitchen refrigerator to grab a bottle of water. 

Meanwhile, Zhang Lingling’s students were busy in the kitchen making a cake, but Zhang Lingling stood quietly in the corner of the kitchen, appearing reserved and isolated. 

When she saw Cheng Qing, a smile lit up her face, causing the corners of her mouth to tug upwards.
Cheng Qing also smiled and waved happily at her. 

Both women were amateurs recruited from outside and had attended a brief meeting before arriving, but after entering, the situation for each of them was very different.

Cheng Qing’s commanding presence was matched only by her kindhearted nature, earning her the respect and admiration of her students.
While many viewed her as a stern and focused teacher, she also showed deep respect and care for the well-being of her students.

Zhang Lingling and Zhou Yong were not internet celebrities or bosses like the other participants, but rather common workers with expertise in their fields. 

They were not as successful or well-known so it was lucky that a few sentences from them were shown in the show.

As Zhang Lingling tried to teach the big-name celebrities, she found herself struggling to make her voice heard amidst their presence. 

Zhang Lingling eventually realized that she was merely an afterthought to the stars, and so she stepped back, allowing them to focus on their tasks. 

Though she managed to impart a few key skills to them, she eventually grew resigned to the fact that she could only offer so much and decided to stop talking to them.

Cheng Qing took a bottle of mineral water, opened the cap, and drank it right on the spot by the refrigerator.

Her gaze landed on Li Mingyao and Ye Lingyun, and it became evident that they had made significant strides in their relationship.
They both smiled fondly at each other while making desserts.

Cheng Qing found it difficult to understand why Li Mingyao, the boss of a major successful company, would want to participate in the program if it weren’t for the fact that she knew it was a novel. 

As is the case in most novels, the rules and circumstances are often designed to move the plot forward.

Li Mingyao’s reason was that his grandmother greatly invested in the show and because of her unquestionable decision, he was packaged and sent to participate. 

However, since he was also the boss of a big company, it would be impossible to completely cut off contact with the outside world.

The program permitted him to have his mobile phone with him during the show, but like Cheng Qing, Li Mingyao was not someone who was particularly interested in celebrities or entertainment.

In the hands of such people, they treated their mobile phones like simple devices meant for making calls, playing videos, and reading the news.

According to the novel, Li Mingyao and Ye Lingyun were considered a match made in heaven.
Li Mingyao had a cold personality while Ye Lingyun had a flexible personality, the two were able to develop feelings for each other easily.

By this time, Cheng Qing had drunk most of the bottle of mineral water and when she turned around, Luo Xi had also come over.

Cheng Qing stepped to the side and asked, “Do you want some water?” 

Luo Xi nodded and glanced at the bottle of water in Cheng Qing’s hand, “I’ll have what you’re having,” she replied, her voice fatigued. 

Cheng Qing grabbed another bottle from the fridge and handed it to her, but Luo Xi didn’t leave the kitchen.
Instead, she stood off to the side, watching the others make their desserts. 

It was obvious her gaze was on Li Mingyao, and for some reason, a slight sting appeared in Cheng Qing’s heart. 

According to the novel’s plot, Luo Xi should have a crush on Li Mingyao.
Otherwise, why would she constantly bicker with Ye Lingyun over him? 

Cheng Qing furrowed her brows as she looked at Li Mingyao. 

She couldn’t see what was so special about him.
Sure, he was successful and handsome, but that didn’t mean he was a good person.
In the novel, even though Luo Xi had been a bit haughty, she had still fallen for him.

However, during the later stages of the program, Li Mingyao’s true colors began to show.
He made offensive comments that were directed at Luo Xi and showed a lack of empathy for her feelings. 

It was clear that he was not the gentleman he portrayed himself to be, and his words left a bad taste in Cheng Qing’s mouth. 

She couldn’t help but feel that he was arrogant and insensitive, and it made her question how Luo Xi could’ve ever been attracted to someone like him.

Cheng Qing’s hand moved on its own accord, acting on impulse as she gently placed her palm over Luo Xi’s eyes from behind.

What’s so good about him that catches your attention anyway?

As a gentle touch covered Luo Xi’s eyes, warmth spread across her eyelids.
She recognized the calloused hand instantly and without hesitation, didn’t resist the gesture. 

“…Qingqing, what are you doing?”

Realizing her impulsive action, Cheng Qing quickly snapped back to her senses, but she couldn’t withdraw her hand now.
She tried to come up with an excuse and blurted out, “Can you guess what Liu Suoyu is doing right now?”

Luo Xi raised an eyebrow in confusion, not understanding the sudden change in topic.

Meanwhile, Liu Suoyu was resting on the dining table, wiping the sweat off his face with a tissue when he heard his name being mentioned. 

He looked over at Cheng Qing with surprise.
What does this have to do with me?

Luo Xi was initially confused, but she found it amusing that Cheng Qing could actually joke around with her.
She giggled, shook her head, and leaned back into Cheng Qing’s arms.

Cheng Qing stiffened for a moment but quickly relaxed her body.

With a smile on her face, Luo Xi replied, “Hmm…I think Liu Suoyu is looking for food!” and eased her back against Cheng Qing’s chest, lowering the hands that had been shielding her eyes. 

Turning her head to look at Cheng Qing, Luo Xi’s fingers remained intertwined with hers, “Is that right?”

Liu Suoyu, who maintained the posture of holding a tissue, thought to himself: Are they even looking at me? Don’t they know I’m not just a foodie!

Cheng Qing’s gaze lingered on Luo Xi’s delicate features and the sparkle in her bright eyes.
Suddenly, she could feel a bubbly sensation appear in her heart as it started to quicken its pace. 

Cheng Qing hastily averted her gaze and looked up at Liu Suoyu, trying to shake off the warm feeling in her chest.
She let out a chuckle and said, “That’s not quite right.”

Liu Suoyu was frozen in place as he held his tissue.

Luo Xi didn’t bother turning around to check and instead kept her gaze fixed on Cheng Qing, “What is he doing then?” she repeated, her eyes bright with curiosity.

Liu Suoyu: “…” Just look at me and you’ll know! Not at each other!

With a small smile, Cheng Qing found Luo Xi’s actions adorable.
She tenderly cupped Luo Xi’s cheeks with her warm palms, and gently guided her to turn around.

When Cheng Qing touched Luo Xi’s cheeks, she couldn’t help but notice how supple they felt under her fingertips.
It brought a sense of warmth and comfort to her, and she couldn’t resist smiling at the pleasant sensation.

After Cheng Qing helped Luo Xi turn around, she quickly retracted her hands behind her back and twirled them around in giddiness, “Look~” 

Luo Xi raised an eyebrow when she cast a brief glance at Liu Suoyu, “Oh, it’s not that interesting,” she said, her tone dismissive as she turned her head away in disinterest.

Liu Suoyu: “…”

Cheng Qing nodded, “You’re right, it really isn’t interesting,” and also turned her attention back to Luo Xi.

Liu Suoyu: “…”

Lin Shandie, who was pouring tea beside Liu Suoyu, couldn’t help but burst into laughter at the scene in front of her.
She found it funny how they both dismissed Liu Suoyu as non-interesting.

After this small commotion, Luo Xi no longer looked at Li Mingyao and peered at the cake on the table instead.

Upon noticing Cheng Qing and Luo Xi’s sudden appearance, Zhang Lingling’s students became curious, but their attention shifted to their own work when Luo Xi’s gaze landed on their cake. 

The three of them felt a little ashamed.
It wasn’t a very pretty cake!

Earlier, when Luo Xi stopped by the refrigerator to stare at Li Mingyao, her mind wandered to the way Ye Lingyun had approached Li Mingyao for help.

She had watched as Li Mingyao looked at Ye Lingyun with a gentle gaze, and Ye Lingyun did the same.

Baking cakes…seems to bring two people together.
Is this because they were making desserts with each other? Luo Xi pondered over the possibility of making cakes to bring people together, and an idea began to form in her mind.
She was eager to try it out herself.

Excitedly, Luo Xi spun around and asked, “Qingqing, do you know how to make cakes?”

Cheng Qing was a little surprised at the sudden question and said, “Do you want to eat some?”

“Yeah!” Luo Xi beamed at the idea, nodding her head eagerly.

Cheng Qing chuckled, “I mean…It’s not impossible to give it a try.”

Luo Xi grabbed Cheng Qing’s hand and started tugging her to the table, “Great! Then teach me how to make one!”

Cheng Qing glanced at the three celebrities on the other side of the table.
What did it matter that she was an amateur? After all, she was just a fencing teacher!

Zhang Lingling stepped forward to say something, but before she could speak, Luo Xi led Cheng Qing to the table and said, “I’m not very good at fencing, but I’m sure I can make cakes!”

Luo Xi’s hands were soft and tender, unlike Cheng Qing’s which were covered in thin calluses, she couldn’t help but hold her hand tighter and enjoy the pleasant feeling.
It really is so soft!

Cheng Qing was a little embarrassed and scratched the side of her head, “I…shall I try?”

“Yes, let’s do it!” Luo Xi rolled up her sleeves in excitement.

Zhang Lingling immediately gave up the cooking table and stepped away, “There is still space here, let me get the ingredients for you!” 

Cheng Qing nodded and smiled gratefully at her, “Thank you,” she said, “We really appreciate it.”  

Luo Xi happily ran to the cooking counter and said, “Qingqing, come here,” motioning for her to follow.

Cheng Qing quickly walked to her side and asked, “So, do you know how to bake?” She had no choice but to also roll up her sleeves.

“I don’t!” Luo Xi was unashamed despite her decision to cook cakes all of a sudden.

Cheng Qing stood next to her and washed her hands under the faucet, she couldn’t help but feel a sense of helplessness at Luo Xi’s sudden desire, “Why do you suddenly want to make cakes then?” 

Luo Xi just smiled and playfully nudged her with her body, “I just really want to eat some!” she said, her eyes shining with excitement.

Cheng Qing dried her hands and giggled, “Then I’ll just buy one for you right now!” She playfully turned towards the door as if she was about to leave, but before she could take a step, Luo Xi grabbed her arm and gave her a pleading look that was hard to resist, “How can you be so dishonest? Of course, you have to make it yourself!” she said, pouting her lips.

Cheng Qing nodded indifferently but cheekily smiled, “Yes, yes, you’re right,” she said in her usual perfunctory attitude, but with a hint of fondness.

Liu Suoyu leaned on the sofa, watching as the two suddenly went to the kitchen to make cakes, and a grin spread across his face. 

It seemed that Cheng Qing was oblivious to how much she doted on Luo Xi.
After all, teaching fencing for an hour could be quite physically exhausting.
Who had the time or energy to spend with others after that?

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