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Chapter 44 - Bunch of devils (Translated and edited by Xing)
Despite scoffing a million times in his heart, Li Yubing maintained a lofty expression. He asked, "So… how exactly do you plan to repay me?"
"I'm going to grant you a wish, just like the dramas we usually see on television. Anything is acceptable as long as it's something that I can do, not against the law, and not unethical."
"Television dramas usually grant three wishes."
"Are you haggling with me over this? Li Yubing, you're becoming more and more shameless."
"I used to be respectable. Then, I met you…"
Tang Xue pointed at him. "I shall let you off since I'm in a good mood today."
"Fine, three wishes it shall be. Stop meandering like an old lady. Tell me, what do you want?"
What Li Yubing wanted was not something that he could ask for at this stage. Hence, he requested to keep his wishes for now. After saying this, he hinted, "Saving money in the bank generates interest."
He was driving Tang Xue crazy. She raised her hands as if she was about to chop him up.
Li Yubing grinned as he shrunk back. Though he moved to the side, the umbrella did not follow him along. Instead, it tilted in the opposite direction and slanted to fully protect Tang Xue from the rain. Li Yubing's own body was exposed to the rain as he pulled apart from her.
Seeing him get drenched, Tang Xue immediately lowered her hands and said, "I'll save this beating for later. Oh right, there'll be interest."
At the same time, she thought, he's still quite the gentleman.
Sharing the same umbrella, they headed to the ice stadium. They walked over as the rain made it hard to cycle. The weather was quite cold. As Tang Xue only wore a thin layer when she went out, her fingers were freezing even when she slipped her hands into her pockets. Thus, she hugged her elbows by sticking her left hand into her right sleeve and her right hand into her left sleeve. With both palms pressing against her arms, she felt much warmer. It was just that this pose was a little strange, like what a humble, old farmer would do.
"Fool," Li Yubing suddenly spoke.
Tang Xue raged, "Li Yubing, I knew it. You're really itching for a beating today, aren't you? I'll satisfy you right now."
Li Yubing was not intimidated. He continued, "Why didn't you layer up before leaving your dorm?"
"Who knew it'll be so cold today?" Tang Xue grumbled.
The weather report only stated the temperature, not what she ought to be wearing.
Li Yubing thrust the umbrella back into her hands. In one smooth movement, he shrugged off his jacket and draped it over her head.
"Lunatic!" Tang Xue yanked his jacket down.
Li Yubing especially liked seeing her struggle like this. The image of her popping her head out from his clothes was truly something that he could watch over and over again.
He thought he might really be a pervert.
"I don't need it." Tang Xue tried to return the jacket back to Li Yubing.
Li Yubing reached for the umbrella, this time wrapping his palm around the back of her hand as he did so. Their two hands firmly pressed together, he let her experience his warmth. Then, he said, "I don't need it even more."
Tang Xue went to the changing room after reaching the practice venue.
When Tang Xue opened the door, she could clearly hear several people chatting away. But when she walked in, all of them fell silent.
There was pin-drop silence in the room. The only sound came from Tang Xue's footsteps.
Tang Xue was a little self-conscious.
Though she was self-conscious, shouldering on with confidence in the face of adversity was the number one golden rule of life. Thus, as if nothing was wrong, she changed and exited the room. She ignored those people and pretended that they were giant watermelons in the melon field.
While she, was a farmer of impeccable cla.s.s.
Besides the usual training that day, there was a relay exercise. This was because the RCU speed skating team had fought their way to the province championship which would be held next week. This chapter is a labour of love that should not be found outside of teafragrance[dot]wordpress[dot]com.
That "RCU speed skating team" naturally did not include Tang Xue.
However, since Tang Xue had managed to enter the team, there would be some changes to the original line-up of the relay compet.i.tion. Testing out different combinations of skaters was one way of being well-prepared. Tang Xue could see the logic behind Chu Xia's arrangement and rubbed her hands in antic.i.p.ation. Nevertheless, someone was unhappy with the arrangement.
"Coach, I don't want to be on the same team as Tang Xue."
The one who spoke was Zhang Yuewei, a student in her third year. With wheat-coloured skin and slender-looking brows and eyes, her looks were what westerners preferred for Asian faces.
Her lofty face gave off the domineering presence of an overbearing CEO. In reality, Zhang Yuewei was someone extremely straightforward. Tang Xue even felt that she was a little juvenile.
That being said, Zhang Yuewei's performance was excellent and she was considered the unofficial leader of the women's team.
"Why?" Chu Xia asked.
Chu Xia did not affirm nor deny this statement. She looked at Tang Xue and asked, "Tang Xue, what do you have to say to that?"
Tang Xue knew that she should keep a low profile since her current performance was really too weak. Thus, she only glanced at Zhang Yuewei out of the corners of her eyes and mumbled, "Let me tell you—don't mock a youth for being poor."
Some of the guys in the team burst into laughter at her words.
Coach Chu said, "Enough. Everyone, get on with what you're supposed to be doing."
"Coach Chu, so…" Zhang Yuewei did not move an inch from her original spot.
"Do as I said," Coach Chu responded, "or how about you be the coach instead?"
After training was over, everyone was split into pairs to ma.s.sage each other's shoulders to relax. Tang Xue was paired with Zhang Yuewei. As Tang Xue lay on the floor, Zhang Yuewei purposely exerted force and…
"Ah!" Tang Xue shrieked.
Chu Xia looked over. Zhang Yuewei lightened the pressure but it was not long before she went back to using the same strength.
Tang Xue panted, "Can I ask, all of you don't seem to like me?"
"What do you think?" Zhang Yuewei's tone was not friendly.
"I think I'm pretty charismatic," Tang Xue replied.
Zhang Yuewei rolled her eyes.
"Isn't it simply because I'm slow," Tang Xue voiced her thoughts without caring if Zhang Yuewei answered her. She continued, "Let me tell you that though my performance is terrible now, there'll be a day when I'll surpa.s.s all of you. When the moment comes, you guys will be my lackeys."
Zhang Yuewei originally planned to ignore her. However, she was infuriated by Tang Xue's arrogance. She retorted disdainfully, "Who do you think you are? You only got into the speed skating team because of Li Yubing."
"That's because Li Yubing has a discerning eye for talent. From this alone, he's way better than all of you. It's something you can't deny."
Zhang Yuewei had learnt a valuable lesson from Tang Xue today; never argue with a shameless person. She will beat you with her lack of shame while you cannot do the same.
After Zhang Yuewei finished ma.s.saging Tang Xue, the two of them switched their positions. Tang Xue pushed herself up from the ground and rubbed her hands in excitement. "Come 'ere, baby!"
Zhang Yuewei, "…"
In a maniacal glee like this, this lunatic was pretty scary.
An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. Tang Xue only returned to Zhang Yuewei what she did to her. But from Zhang Yuewei's view, this was already something taboo. She did not expect a newbie to have the guts to treat her like this.
"I think you're tired of living," Zhang Yuewei said.
"I'll show you how miracles are created from brute force."
"…" Zhang Yuewei felt like hammering her to death.
After his training had ended, Li Yubing nonchalantly strolled over to the speed skating practice venue to find Tang Xue.
When he stepped into the building, he saw Chu Xia standing near the entrance. She was not eyeing the athletes as they carried out the cooldown exercises and was instead glancing at her phone.
Li Yubing walked over and greeted, "Coach Chu."
Coach Chu raised her head. Seeing that it was Li Yubing, she responded, "Mm."
"How is it?" Li Yubing asked, his eyes fixed in Tang Xue's direction.
"Pretty good," Chu Xia heard Zhang Yuewei's shriek and nodded. "She has the worst result but she's still able to spring about with the fervour of a dragon and the ferocity of a tiger every day. Honestly speaking, her energy level is fantastic."
Li Yubing a.n.a.lyzed her words. He asked uncertainly, "You're praising her, right?"
It was just that using the idiom "the fervour of a dragon and the ferocity of a tiger" to describe a young girl was a little… unique. Coach Chu's language lessons must have been taught by a sports teacher as well.
After being silent for a moment, Coach Chu suddenly spoke, "I don't advise the two of you to be dating now."
Li Yubing stared at the floor. "We're not in a relationship."
"Oh, really? Okay, I'll introduce my son to her tomorrow."
"No, there's no need." Li Yubing quickly stopped her. "It'll distract her."
Coach Chu observed Tang Xue quietly, lost in some unknown thoughts. After some time, she suddenly spoke, "Actually, it's been tough on her."
"Yeah." In a sombre voice, Li Yubing agreed with her words.
During mealtime, Tang Xue met Liao Zhenyu and Xia Menghuan.
It was a coincidence rather than a planned meeting.
Ever since Tang Xue returned to speed skating, it was as if she was fighting a battle. She had been working nonstop and would occasionally skip cla.s.ses as well. Therefore, she no longer ate her meals with Liao Zhenyu and Xia Menghuan, and would eat with Yu Yan and Li Yubing instead. Tang Xue still saw Xia Menghuan in their dorm. As for Liao Zhenyu, they could only see each other during the occasional chance encounter.
This time, with all five of them, they needed to join two tables in order to sit together. Tang Xue, Liao Zhenyu, Xia Menghuan and Yu Yan sat at one table while Li Yubing sat at the other table. Translated by Xing for teafragrance[dot]wordpress[dot]com and no other sites.
He was a little displeased.
Liao Zhenyu's face was aggrieved as he looked at Tang Xue. Like an abandoned consort in the palace, he fussed, "Boss, you've deserted us, haven't you!"
"I was out conquering the world for us," Tang Xue replied as she ate. She had been eating a lot lately. Xia Menghuan was a little stunned at the small mountain of rice and dishes in front of her.
"Oh," Liao Zhenyu uttered after hearing Tang Xue's words. He asked, "So how much land have you conquered?"
"Erm, I, eh, just left the beginner's village." Tang Xue was a little embarra.s.sed and brushed her nose with a finger.
"It doesn't matter," Liao Zhenyu rea.s.sured her, "my boss is heaven's chosen one."
Li Yubing was kind of impressed with how Liao Zhenyu always managed to find ways to praise Tang Xue.
Xia Menghuan leaned over and whispered into Tang Xue's ear, "My king, I saw a pervert today."
"Oh?" Tang Xue glanced at her and perked up her ears. "What sort of pervert?"
"The kind that likes to flash their D in public."
Tang Xue was a little heated after hearing this. She hated revolting perverts like this the most. She slapped her chopsticks onto the table. "How disgusting! Where did you see him? We'll go beat him up!"
Xia Menghuan quickly waved her hands. "It's fine, it's fine. I advised him to go home and make sure that his D is a little bigger before flashing it in public. He left with a red face."
Tang Xue scratched her head. She had nearly forgotten that their Concubine Meng here was someone afraid of c.o.c.kroaches but not rogues.
As Xia Menghuan spoke, her volume subconsciously rose to a normal level. Thus, both Liao Zhenyu and Yu Yan heard what happened clearly. Both of their faces reddened.
Seated one person away from Xia Menghuan at the other table, Li Yubing was fortunate enough to miss her anecdote. When he saw both Yu Yan and Liao Zhenyu's faces reddened, Li Yubing thought that Tang Xue must have said something obscene.
Li Yubing bit down and ground his teeth against his chopsticks, inexplicably annoyed.
After burying his head to eat his meal for a while, Yu Yan suddenly recalled something. He rummaged through his bag, took out a few brightly coloured tickets and distributed it to everyone. Li Yubing thought that he looked like someone pa.s.sing out flyers.
"Senior, do you want one?" After distributing to the rest, Yu Yan held a ticket and looked at Li Yubing.
The way Li Yubing looked at him lately was very weird; it was as if he was looking at his son. This made Yu Yan felt very uncomfortable and strange.
"What's this?" Li Yubing accepted the ticket and swept his eyes over it. He read the words printed on the ticket out loud. "Stars on Ice?"
"Stars on Ice" was a variety show. Every week, it would invite various celebrities to learn and perform figure skating. The combination of the entertainment industry and figure skating was quite well-received. It was a show that already had a stable fan base.
That week's "Stars on Ice" would be filmed at RCU's ice stadium. Yu Yan was invited to perform as a guest and the show's production team had given him some tickets.
"Congratulations to you, star on ice!" Tang Xue quirked her lips and lowered her head to examine the ticket she held. She felt that something was amiss after looking at it for a while. "Why is everyone's ticket green while mine is yellow?"
The rest had also realized the same.
Yu Yan pursed his lips and explained, "Yours is a VIP ticket."
Li Yubing also wanted a yellow ticket instead of the green one he held. He hated the colour green.
"How many VIP tickets are there?" Li Yubing asked.
Yu Yan did not meet his eyes. "One."
Li Yubing replied with an "mm" and did not expose him. He was someone who often received complimentary tickets himself. Usually, such tickets would be given in pairs. It was impossible for Yu Yan to have only received one VIP ticket. He should have at least two of the same tickets.
Of course, Li Yubing did not think that Yu Yan would hand over the other ticket to him.
The day of the show, the crowd was enthusiastic as they antic.i.p.ated seeing the various celebrities in person. Some even brought fan boards that blatantly showed who they were a fan of. Seated in the VIP section, Tang Xue visualized Li Yubing jostling with the crowd while trying to see what was going on with a pair of binoculars. Tsk, tsk, tsk… poor thing…
As she visualized on, she turned her head unsuspectingly and shouted in shock, "Ah!"
Li Yubing sat beside her, a smirk on his face.
Tang Xue looked as if she saw a ghost. She asked, "How did you get in here?"
"Flipped over the wall," he replied without a trace of shame.
"Li Yubing, can you not be so uncivilized?" Tang Xue was puzzled and continued, "Won't you still have to leave when someone comes later?"
"There won't be anyone coming."
"… What do you mean?"
It meant that though Yu Yan did not pa.s.s him the ticket, Li Yubing believed that he would not pa.s.s it to anyone else either.
Because he had lied that afternoon.
In order to prevent his lie from being exposed, destroying that ticket was the best thing to do.
That was why Li Yubing dared to sit there with such confidence.
A show inviting celebrities to ice skate could indeed generate much hype. As fans shrieked in excitement, Tang Xue could feel the entire stadium shaking with their enthusiasm. Yu Yan was scheduled to perform at the end. When he appeared, everyone sensed a distinct difference in his presence from those who had previously appeared.
Sometimes, a look at a person's pose or eyes was all it takes to determine whether that person was a professional.
Yu Yan's performance outfit that day was a light blue and white ombré that seemed to reflect the white clouds in the sky. The music was bright and sprightly, like a summer breeze lightly sweeping past one's fingers. This chapter is a labour of love that should not be found outside of teafragrance[dot]wordpress[dot]com.
As he performed, not a single fan screamed or cheered.
But when he ended his performance, applause filled the stadium and rang on for a long time before ceasing.
After the show was over, Li Yubing stood up and prepared to leave. He looked down at Tang Xue and found her taking out a bouquet of flowers from beneath her seat.
Heh, she even brought flowers.
Li Yubing followed Tang Xue as she went to find Yu Yan. While she was not paying attention, he s.n.a.t.c.hed the flowers from her hand.
Mm, s.n.a.t.c.hed and ran.
"Lunatic, give it back!" Tang Xue broke into a run and chased behind.
As he escaped with the flowers, Li Yubing happened to see Yu Yan walking out of the ice stadium and looking in their direction. Taking advantage of his long legs, Li Yubing sprinted over with the speed of a feral dog.
He held the flowers out to Yu Yan.
To be honest, Yu Yan did not want to accept it.
But he was too polite to reject Li Yubing's gesture of goodwill. He reluctantly took the flowers.
Tang Xue arrived at this moment, panting heavily. Seeing the flowers already in Yu Yan's hands, there was nothing else she could say. It was not her character to be too hung up over such trivialities.
She glared at Li Yubing with murder in her eyes.
Li Yubing asked, "Do you guys want supper? My treat."
Tang Xue looked at Yu Yan. "Let's go. We'll bankrupt him!"
They went to a food delicacy street.
While eating supper, Li Yubing glanced at the forum. He discovered that there was yet another discussion on the three of them.
[Faints. Happened to meet our three leads eating supper together. Are the three of them tied together?]
[Give me any one of these three faces and I can stare at it contently for the rest of my life.]
[The more I look, the more I feel like they're a family of three. Is it just me?]
[Family of three +1]
Li Yubing quirked his lips. Using an alternate account, his fingers swiftly tapped out a message with a question that he purposely raised.
[Who's the dad, the mom, and the child?]
He quickly received numerous replies.
[Li Yubing's the dad, Yu Yan's the mom, and Tang Xue's the child.]
[Do you have to ask? When you compare Tang Xue's height with the two of them, she can only be the child.]
[I want a daughter like Tang Xue as well.]
[Yu Yan looks sooo gentle. He'll definitely make a good mom. Ice G.o.d's the dad, hehe.]
Li Yubing almost vomited blood.
Bunch of devils! Burn all of them at the stake!
He set his phone on the table with a heavy thud, looked up and swept his eyes over Yu Yan.
Yu Yan was eating wontons when he sensed a piercing gaze land on him without warning. Li Yubing's eyes held traces of distaste and disdain, and emitted a peculiar hostility that seemed as if he could not wait to hack him into pieces.
Yu Yan, "…"
He thought that Li Yubing might have a few screws loose in his head.This is an original work of 酒小七 (Jiu Xiaoqi) translated by Tea Fragrance. If you are not reading this at teafragrance[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation has been reposted without the translator's consent. Head there for extra content or to leave feedback and comments on the novel translation.
 The full Chinese saying, 宁欺白须公，莫欺少年穷 (níng qī bái xū gōng, mò qī shào nián qióng), means it's better to mock an elderly than a youth for being poor (because a youth's future is limitless).
Told you that this chapter was long! Hope it makes up for the lack of update last week.
"Skate into Love" Drama Announcement~
Ladies and gentlemen (any male readers here?), I present to you the confirmed actors for our leads.Steven Zhang Xincheng (张新成) as Li Yubing Janice Wu Qian (吴倩) as Tang Xue
I haven't watched any shows they're in before but a quick search shows promising reviews of their acting! Janice Wu is currently starring in "The Brightest Star in the Sky" while Steven Zhang was the lead in "My Huckleberry Friends". Both of them look pretty good in the clips that I've googled!Promotional poster for Spring Equinox
The word for "stew" is wearing adorable little skates.