Would You Mind If I Play? - Chapter 16[Updated at: 2021-01-11 03:57:19]
Chapter 16: Meeting the Rival
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“Three-Nil! Shu Guang High School Cements Its Place as the Dark Horse!”
Li Yongle flung the latest copy of High School Soccer on his table. Zhongyuan, his own school had masterfully dismantled the Luoyang No.1 Senior High School team by 5:0 last Saturday; but somehow, Shu Guang was still able to claim this week’s magazine cover and main story.
Zhang Yang came looking for his company, but he was not interested.
“I want to take a look at Shu Guang this afternoon,” Yongle proclaimed.
“Wanna scout the rival?”
“Yeah.” He nodded.
“Oh, yeah! I’m going too!” Zhang Yang agreed, raising both his hands. “I don’t want to stay in class!”
“Zhang Lintao, are you coming too?” Li Yongle asked his classmate, who was sitting in front of him.
“Me? I want to study.”
Two Math books were thrown at him.
“So, this is Shu Guang High School? It’s so difficult to find! The main gate is so inconspicuous, the school is built in the middle of an alley and there isn’t even a single road sign pointing towards it!” Zhang Yang exclaimed, feeling grumpy after walking aimlessly for quite some time.
“Still, the school security is quite lax; outsiders can enter as they like.”
The trio loitered around the Shu Guang school compound before arriving at the school’s arena. The pitch was rather simple, but there was not a soul to be found there; their squad was probably not training just yet.
“The foundation of this school’s soccer is so weak! There’s nobody playing at all. It’s little wonder that they never make it to the second round every year!”
But just as Zhang Yang was giving his critique of the school, a beautiful figure appeared within his field of vision―his face told the others that he could not believe such a “third-rate” school would have such a beautiful girl.
“What a babe!” Even Zhang Lintao and Li Yongle gasped softly.
“Su Fei! Su Fei!” A boy came chasing after her. “Please, help me do my homework tonight!”
The three of them stared blankly―the newcomer was Zhang Jun. Looking at his expression as he pleaded with the girl, no one would have linked him to the soccer player, Zhang Jun.
“No can do!” Su Fei did not even turn and continued walking. “We can do it together, but I won’t help you do it!”
“Please don’t be like that!” Zhang Jun said as he kept up with her. “I really have stuff to do tonight!”
“Hmph! There’s no need to guess. I know you’re watching a match!”
“Watching soccer matches is a type of practice for me! And ultimately, it’s for the good of the team! As the manager, shouldn’t you share some of our burdens?”
“Then, what about I help you watch the game?”
The three spectators were speechless as they watched the bickering pair. They had only seen Zhang Jun’s suaveness on the pitch, not his “suaveness” off it.
Despite the surprising turn of events, Li Yongle kept with his decision to go ahead and greet him, even if the timing was awkward. Logically speaking, when two individuals begin their destined rivalry in a story, shouldn’t the setting be more formal and serious, backed by an atmosphere filled with bloodthirst?
“I’m going to greet him.”
Zhang Yang stopped him. “There’s still another game to go! There’s no telling if they’ll be our opponents! There’s no rush!”
Li Yongle glanced at him, but he kept going, saying, “Your standard of soccer has risen considerably, but why can’t your insight of the game rise at the same time?”
“What is that suppose to mean?” Zhang Yang asked his friend’s departing shadow.
“He’s saying, why are you considering Shu Guang as a team of weaklings when they’ve already eliminated two powerful teams?” said Zhang Lintao, who was beside him. “Plus, what’s the difference of two games against one!”
“Shh! Did I ask you anything?”
Li Yongle got in front of the pair and interrupted their bickering with a cough.
“Who are you looking for?” Su Fei shifted into a polite demeanor as she noticed the huge boy in front of her.
“I’m looking for Zhang Jun.”
“For me?” Zhang Jun pointed at himself.
“I don’t think I know you.”
“I’m Li Yongle, the defensive midfielder for Zhongyuan High School’s soccer team,” Li Yongle introduced himself. “I know that meeting you now is rather out of the blue, but we did come here by playing truant and we still have to rush back for training. Shu Guang’s next opponent is Bai Ma High School, don’t lose!”
After finishing what he had to say, Li Yongle left without waiting for a response.
Yang Pan walked past the three visitors and he was slightly surprised at their presence. He turned around to watch the trio as they left. “Li Yongle?”
“You know them?” Zhang Jun asked.
” High School Soccer wrote about them. The one in the middle is Zhang Yang, Zhongyuan’s left back. The one on the right is their keeper, Zhang Lintao.” Yang Pan identified them as he pointed at each one of them. “But, what are they here for?”
“Who will we face next if we beat Bai Ma?”
“If there are no surprises in store,” Su Fei answered, “it would be the high school attached to Zhongyuan Technical University.”
The three of them looked at each other.
The high school attached to Zhongyuan Technical University…
“Coach, may I borrow the recording of Tong Xing’s game to watch tonight?” Li Yongle asked his coach, Sun Laihong.
“Okay! And I’m counting on you to keep their No. 10 in check!” Sun Laihong smiled as he handed the tape over.
“That’s weird,” Zhang Lintao said, feeling mildly confused. “This is the first time Li Yongle has borrowed a recording on his own’s accord. Perhaps that No. 10 is making him nervous?”
“Idiot!”―Zhang Yang laughed―”he’s sending Zhang Jun a declaration of war!”
Su Fei saw the reporter as soon as she returned home.
“Fei Fei, there’s a reporter who wants an interview with you!” Her mother was all smiles.
“An interview with me?” Su Fei said, feeling incredulous.
“Yes”―the reporter stood up―”I’m Chen Huafeng, a reporter from High School Soccer .”
“But, the guy you want is next door.” Su Fei pointed towards the entrance behind her.
“I came especially for an interview with you.” Huafeng smiled.
Zhang Jun was stumped by a particularly difficult mathematical problem (he was clueless on the subject) and decided to look for Su Fei’s help. He knocked and opened her door only to find Chen Huafeng sitting down with her.
Seeing his arrival, Su Fei waved happily. “Zhang Jun, come here!”
“What, I have…” Apparently, Zhang Jun did no want to tangle himself with journalists after they gave him quite the scare last Saturday.
But, when Huafeng found that Zhang Jun was also there, his face was filled with joy. He stood up to invite him over. “Zhang Jun’s here too? That’s even better! Come, let’s have a chat!”
Too embarrassed to walk away, Zhang Jun sat beside his neighbor.
“Hehe, he totally wanted a special interview from me, but I really didn’t know what to say.” Su Fei smiled. “Your timing is perfect!”
“Ah! So, I’m here as a scapegoat?”
“Nope, you’re simply more experienced when it comes to handling reporters!”
“Hey, is it that scary talking to journalists?”
“Very scary!” the pair answered Huafeng with the same expression on their faces.
The writer smiled. “Alright then, let’s drop the formalities and have a random chat.” He packed up his pen and notebook.
“A random chat?” Zhang Jun asked, casting a glance at Su Fei. “Don’t look at her like she’s some kind of gentle lady―it’s just a cover. After that first match, she dragged me out of my bed early the next morning, saying that she wanted company for shopping. The horror!”
Su Fei threw a pillow at him. “I’m gonna kill you! Don’t say those things in front of the reporter!”
“You see?” Zhang Jun said as he blocked the projectile.
“I see,” Huafeng replied, grinning.
“But in lieu of my health and safety, maybe you should omit that!”
“Furthermore, if it goes public, her beautiful image will be ruined―and she probably won’t get to marry.”
“Hmph! That’s none of your business!” Su Fei pouted.
“You guys can talk about your daily life; anything interesting!”
“Let me think,” Zhang Jun said, counting off his fingers. “Making records, washing jerseys… Oh! There’s that time she knelt on the floor for four and a half hours―her knees were all swollen.”
“Oh? What was that for?”
“Creating our match schedule!”
“Doesn’t every participating team already have one? Is there a need to make another?”
“The one they provided was very small. The one Su Fei made was large—as big as a wall.” Zhang Jun spread his arms, creating an image of the size.
“Yeah, she even marked our games with a red marker and connected each stage. She said that she wanted to see how long the line would go.”
Su Fei remained quiet for some time.
“We don’t want her hard work to go to waste or make her sad, so we’ll keep winning match after match.”
Chen Huafeng left, feeling rewarded. He jotted down quite a number of mental notes about Su Fei and took a few shots of the Shu Guang manager. The girl proved to have no reservations in front of the camera; she was perfectly natural. She’s almost like a born cover model , he thought to himself as he pressed the shutter.
“Argh! It’s 10!”
“My homework’s not done! Su Fei, help!”
“You’re so heartless! And, I spoke so highly of you in front of the reporter!”
“You call that speaking highly?”