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Chapter 45 - Convince by actions (Translated and edited by Xing)
After finishing supper and returning to her dorm, Tang Xue had just put down her stuff when a call from Yu Yan summoned her out again.
She tugged on a jacket and went downstairs. Yu Yan stood beneath the street light, half of his body illuminated by the light and the other half in the dark. The contrast of light and darkness emphasized his tall and straight figure. In the surroundings, people on the street chattered and laughed as they pa.s.sed by the area. Against the mundane buzz of the world, Yu Yan seemed to have carved out his own domain. Indifferent and reserved, he was the sole centre of this world.
That was strange. Tang Xue scratched her head. Yu Yan obviously did not look like someone who was cold and unapproachable. However, he occasionally gave people the impression that he was an aloof person. Was it due to his introverted and quiet nature?
As Tang Xue walked over, Yu Yan lifted his eyes and saw her approach. He smiled at her.
With this one smile, his faint dimple appeared at once; it was a lively spark that brightened up his entire face. The aloof impression he gave immediately vanished into thin air.
"What's up?" Tang Xue tightened her jacket around her and asked.
Yu Yan's expression was a little conflicted. He hesitated for a while before answering, "Tang Xue, I think that Li Yubing is a bit strange."
"Oh, I thought something major happened… He's been strange all along." Tang Xue raised her hand and pointed at her temple. "There's something wrong with him here."
With how she sprouted nonsense with a straight face, Yu Yan was unable to tell whether she was joking. Thus, he asked, "Did he fall and hit his head in the past?"
"Not that I recall… Why did you suddenly mention him? Did he bully you?"
"No. But the way he looks at me is very strange."
"I don't know."
Tang Xue held her chin as she tried and failed to guess what Li Yubing was up to this time.
Yu Yan watched Tang Xue's expression. He pursed his lips and said, "Tang Xue, can we not eat lunch with Li Yubing tomorrow?"
"Oh?" Tang Xue peered at Yu Yan curiously.
"I don't want to hang out with him. And…" Yu Yan lowered his head and did not meet her eyes. His gaze landed on her shadow on the ground. He said softly, "I don't want to see you hang out with him either."
Seeing how bashful he looked, Tang Xue found Yu Yan more and more endearing. She quirked her lips and said, "Sure, I'll let him know."
Tang Xue also felt that she should keep a distance from Li Yubing. After all, they were of different genders. It was not nice to always be misunderstood by others either. Furthermore, it was possible that Li Yubing had someone he liked as well. It would be terrible if she hindered his pursuit of love.
Using the thoughtful and professional tone of a business manager, Tang Xue messaged Li Yubing and expressed her desire to maintain a distance in consideration of their interests. She also mentioned that she would not be having lunch with him tomorrow and so on and so forth.
After sending out the message, she did not receive a reply even after a while.
Tang Xue was preparing to shower when Li Yubing's call came in.
"Come down." He only spoke two words.
Thus, Tang Xue tugged on her jacket, slipped on her slippers, and once again pitter-pattered downstairs. This chapter is a labour of love that should not be found outside of teafragrance[dot]wordpress[dot]com.
Li Yubing's arms were crossed as he leaned against the street light. He stood with one foot on the ground and the other pressing against the vertical pole. With the light shining down from above, it slightly softened his domineering stance.
His physique and face were simply too outstanding; any casual pose he made seemed to be from a manga. The girls pa.s.sing by the dormitory building could not resist peeking at him. There was even a girl who cupped her cheeks and exhaled softly, "Too hot!"
Li Yubing turned a deaf ear to all sighs of admiration. The next second, his head snapped up.
It was as if they sensed each other's mind. At the exact same moment, Tang Xue stepped out of the dormitory building, her feet raised and halfway to the ground.
Illuminated by the street light, Li Yubing's expression was dark and inscrutable at Tang Xue's sudden appearance. She was caught off guard and paused her movements.
"Come here," Li Yubing said.
Tang Xue walked over. Li Yubing's arms were still crossed. He swept narrowed eyes across her from head to toes. Tang Xue did not like this feeling. To be exact, she was unused to the sensation of being dominated by another person's presence.
Li Yubing's gaze stopped at her cotton slippers. The grey slippers were each topped with a lamb's head. The lambs had horns that extended to the sides and crossed eyes that were the result of not being sewn on properly. At this moment, they seemed to meet Li Yubing's eyes and appeared especially demonic.
"I see you really do like little lambs," Li Yubing suddenly remarked.
Tang Xue asked, "Li Yubing, why are you looking for me?"
Li Yubing originally planned to condemn her. When he received her message, he was overwhelmed with the abrupt sensation of being abandoned. He had stormed out of his dorm in anger but in the face of the harsh winter night breeze, the fiery heat he felt had gradually chilled into freezing sleet.
At this moment, Li Yubing's expression was frosty as he said, "I forgot to tell you something."
"Coach Chu wants me to remind you that you're not allowed to date before your performance is acceptable."
"Yes, of course." Tang Xue nodded.
Li Yubing was surprised at how quickly she agreed. He paused for a moment and blurted out, "Then what's going on with you and Yu Yan?"
Tang Xue was somewhat embarra.s.sed. "Yu Yan is still young. I need to raise him till he's a little older."
Li Yubing felt his chest hurt.
Li Yubing returned his dorm, reflected on the matter with a calm head and found the matter suspicious. Based on his understanding of Tang Xue, if she was capable of realizing such matters, she would have long realized it. The previous moment, they were still having supper together. The next moment, she had turned her back on him. Her sudden change in att.i.tude was most probably the result of listening to someone's nonsense.
That person was most likely her roommate or Yu Yan.
Li Yubing leaned towards the latter.
The next day, Yu Yan was cornered in the changing room by Li Yubing.
There were quite a few people in the room. Ice hockey stick in hand, Li Yubing sauntered imposingly into the figure skaters' changing room. He radiated aggression and was the very image of a tyrant, giving everyone inside a huge shock.
They were kind of terrified…
Even though everyone there was an athlete and had a good physique, Li Yubing held a weapon. More importantly, he was simply way too tall. Against the figure skaters who were usually of a less prominent height, Li Yubing's x.x.xXL figure made every one of them appeared small and dainty in comparison. When they stood to the side, they looked like a row of tiny kittens.
Li Yubing pointed the ice hockey stick at Yu Yan. "I'm looking for him. The rest please step back, thank you."
What a polite hooligan…
Everyone else retreated from the room. Worried, some of them went to find the coach.
Yu Yan stood there, unperturbed as he looked at Li Yubing. He asked, "What do you want?"
Li Yubing closed the changing room's door and leisurely approached Yu Yan with his ice hockey stick. "You're the one who spouted nonsense in front of Tang Xue."
He stated this with confidence as if he was at the scene when it happened.
Yu Yan blinked. He pursed his lips but did not say a word. He did not want to admit nor deny anything—he was bad at lying and could only keep his silence.
"Later this afternoon," Li Yubing spoke again, his voice a command, "tell Tang Xue that you still want to have lunch with me and hang out together."
Yu Yan's face displayed his confusion. "What if I don't?" He would not willingly do so.
Hearing his words, Li Yubing suddenly raised the ice hockey stick. Yu Yan saw this movement and took a step back instinctively. He raised his guard and observed Li Yubing.
Li Yubing merely swung and hoisted the ice hockey stick onto his shoulders in a dashing manner. He commented, "Don't worry, I never resort to violence. I only convince by actions."
Yu Yan did not relax his guard because of his words. He watched Li Yubing with cool eyes.
"If you don't," Li Yubing spoke in an unruffled manner, "I'll tell Tang Xue that we're together. Oh, right, Tang Xue owes me three wishes. Even if she doesn't believe that we're together, I can ask her to let me have you."
Yu Yan was stunned at Li Yubing's shamelessness. He remained speechless for a long while.
Li Yubing smirked lightly. "We can perish together."
His smirk was simply way too maddening. For the first time in his life, Yu Yan had the impulse to hit someone. Translated by Xing for teafragrance[dot]wordpress[dot]com and no other sites.
"Bang, bang, bang!" All of a sudden, someone knocked rapidly on the door.
"Yu Yan? Li Yubing? Are the two of you inside? Open the door." It was the figure skating coach.
Li Yubing walked over and pulled the door open. Concerned, the coach scanned the room. She sighed in relief after confirming that the two of them did not get into a fight.
"We were only having a chat," Li Yubing told the coach. After saying this, he waved goodbye to the two of them and turned to wink at Yu Yan. "See you later."
If he stared into a mirror at that very instant, he would realize that the winking him practically looked like he had been possessed by Tang Xue.
After training was over in the afternoon, Tang Xue's feet brought her towards the ice hockey practice venue automatically. She was almost to the door when she suddenly remembered that she was not eating lunch with Li Yubing today. She turned back to find Yu Yan instead.
She was unaccustomed to how their group of three had shrunk to a group of two.
Tang Xue and Yu Yan had barely stepped out of the west wing when they coincidentally met Li Yubing at the ice stadium entrance.
Li Yubing had just exited the place himself. As always, his bag was slung over one shoulder while his two hands were in his pockets. His long legs took slow, leisurely steps as he strode past them without turning his head.
Tang Xue tossed out a greeting but he only nodded coolly in response without saying a word
"Show-off," Tang Xue muttered.
When Li Yubing walked past them, his steps became a tiny bit slower.
One step, two steps, three steps…
Just as it seemed as if he was about to walk off, Yu Yan halted him. "Senior."
Li Yubing stopped where he was. He twisted his head and looked at them. "Yes?"
Tang Xue was also perplexed as she looked at Yu Yan.
Yu Yan mumbled to Tang Xue, "Senior is quite pitiful in his team. He doesn't have many friends…"
Just as the words left his mouth, several of Li Yubing's teammates pa.s.sed by. One by one, they greeted Li Yubing and clapped his shoulder. The numerous cries of "Brother Bing" ringing out loud could not be said more warmly.
Tang Xue stared at Yu Yan in silence.
Yu Yan was a little embarra.s.sed but still pressed on with what he planned to say. "How about let's have lunch with senior after all?"
Tang Xue: ???
Weren't you were the one who wanted to not eat together?
Now, you want to summon him back out of compa.s.sion for a fellow schoolmate?
Man, your name is capricious.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.
Love the contrast between Yu Yan and Li Yubing at the beginning of the chapter and how the two of them reacted to Tang Xue's approach. It mirrors their actual day-to-day interactions with her very well.