Would You Mind If I Play? - Chapter 62 - What's Right; What's Wrong[Updated at: 2021-01-11 03:57:33]
Chapter 62: What’s Right; What’s Wrong
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“Su Fei? Zhang Jun’s still sleeping. Why don’t you go wake him up.”
Mrs. Zhang had clearly gotten used to Su Fei giving her son his morning call. She quickly returned to making breakfast after telling her that.
Su Fei pushed the door to his room lightly and as expected, Zhang Jun was still in dreamland.
However, she did not go about her usual Sunday routine of dragging the sleepy boy out of bed. Instead, she moved a chair next to his bed and silently watched as he slept soundly.
He flipped over, revealing his hand. The bracelet she tied on his wrist herself was still there.
Afraid that he would catch a cold, she reached out to adjust the blanket, slipping his hand underneath it.
The sound of raindrops, the breathing, the heartbeat and the warmth; Su Fei could not forget the sensation she experienced the day before. She had felt him squeezing her tightly in his arms. If they had done it by accident at the start, it was on purpose after that.
It was embarrassing, but the memory was nothing less than utter sweetness.
Suddenly, the look of his sleeping face sprung an idea in her mind. Blushing, she stretched her back towards him as her face inched closer and closer to his; her eyes were already closed and her crimson lips parted slightly, sailing towards his own.
The room was silent save for the soft ticking of a little desk clock.
Su Fei could feel his breath on her cheeks; it itched and carried his body heat…
Just a little closer…
Stunned, she quickly straightened herself and opened her eyes. She turned towards the door like a child who had been caught doing something she was not supposed to.
But, there was no one.
She smiled. So, it was the fool in front of her who was mumbling in his dream.
The smile then turned into a sigh. Su Fei was a little let down that the kiss she mustered her courage for had been cut short. Damn it, Zhang Jun, what were you dreaming of? Could it not have waited after the kiss?
In that moment, she caught herself being so shockingly unrestrained—doing such a thing like kissing a guy.
Su Fei plonked herself down on the chair once again, smiling and resuming her silent watch over Zhang Jun. She wondered what nice dream he was having that his lips curled up into what resembled a grin.
The sun shone through the window, spreading its rays across the room. The room was a picturesque scene of a young man sleeping soundly and a young lady holding vigil.
The desk clock did not stop.
*Tick! Tock! Tick! Tock!*
It was another busy day at the High School Soccer magazine’s Editorial Department.
“Little Chen, I can’t publish your article,” Liu Yang said, holding out the thick draft in front of Chen Huafeng’s desk.
Chen Huafeng took the sheets from his chief editor; it was his report of the corrupted referee, who officiated the match between Shu Guang and Yingcai.
“Isn’t it well-written? Why can’t it be published?”
“Your writing is fine; the words hold truth and the analysis is deep. But, I can’t publish it.”
“We’ll face severe pressure if this gets out,” Liu Yang smiled bitterly. “The national high school soccer scene has always held a healthy image in the public’s eyes. It’s the fruit of 15 years’ worth of hard work and dedication. You know that. It’s now considered a symbol of youth development. So, what’s going to happen if you publish this report? Have you thought about it? All the years of effort and diligence from those youth workers will go down the drain in an instant!”
“But it was there, a bribed referee,” Huafeng countered the argument emotionally and loudly, drawing stares from his colleagues. “I saw him! This story should be told courageously and accurately for the reputation of high school soccer! Let everyone know and care, so that they’ll vanquish this cancer once and for all! Sweeping everything under the rug will only hurt its development!”
Liu Yang did not follow up in anger. He merely asked, “Little Chen, how old are you?”
“Twenty-seven. It’s been three years after your own graduation. I know that you call yourself a senior in front of Xiao Zhang. But ultimately, you’re still a hot-blooded youth! The kind of person who isn’t used to seeing the darker side of society, saying whatever that crosses his mind.”
“Since when? I am—”
“Don’t interrupt me. I was young once too. I’ve been in your shoes, so I know. You’re right, but things aren’t that simple. Know that the truth isn’t distinctly just between ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. Lots and lots of wrongs are done with the best intentions. Besides, this case of yours is a very, very rare one in the 15 years of the Nationals. And let me tell you a little tidbit, the perpetrators have received their just desserts, so there’s no need to publish this article.”
After he finished, Liu Yang gave Huafeng a meaningful look before he turned to leave.
Huafeng pondered his boss’ words: “…the truth isn’t distinctly just between ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. Lots and lots of wrongs are done with the best intentions.”
Was he the idiot who was doing the wrong thing?
The journalist looked at the sheets of paper in his hand. It was a piece of work that he completed in a single breath the previous night—he thought that it was rather well written too. There were very few mistakes.
But, he never thought that he would make such a huge mistake in the end!
Smiling bitterly, the journalist slowly tore his night’s work into pieces and threw them into the rubbish bin.
A bright Sunday followed the rainy Saturday; great weather always followed a rainy day. The azure sky was a gigantic, sapphire overhead attachment. It radiated with the warm rays of the sun.
That beautiful weather continued into Monday. The morning air was clearer than usual as the streets of the city came to life at the first light of dawn.
In a single day, news that Zhang Jun and Su Fei embraced each other in public became a secret that everyone knew. Zhang Jun’s hat-trick and that affectionate moment made a number of people who believed that they had a shot sighed as they vanquished the very thought. They could not help but admit that the two were made for each other.
Indeed, every single boy and girl in school was very excited over the hug.
Girls and the romantics chattered spiritedly about the scene: the pouring rain, the stares of the crowd, the elation of the pitch, Zhang Jun madly sprinting into Su Fei’s waiting arms and the both of them enveloping each other in deep embrace! How passionate that scene was, just think about it! In their minds, even Zhang Jun’s muddy jersey that dirtied Su Fei’s clothes was an immediate classic.
The boys on the other hand, discussed wildly about the sensation of having Su Fei in their arms—using age-restricted terms, of course.
While every other person in school was talking about them, the pair weaved together around the school grounds, oblivious to all the gawking.
Yang Pan was genuinely impressed with the nerves they were showing; both of them had so much aplomb and tact despite the public scrutiny they were facing.
A few others disagreed.
An Ke snorted. “Don’t look at those two. They’re pretending to be all serious in front of everyone. They’re pretty much running through every possible filthy thought in their minds! Hmph! An illicit couple!”
Ren Yu De grunted coldly behind him. “Isn’t it because you wanted to be part of an ‘illicit couple’ with Su Fei?”
An Ke was rendered speechless. He did have that thought.
Kaka looked on as Su Fei and Zhang Jun walked everywhere around school; from the classroom to the security guard post, from the field to the mini garden and from the notice board to the boiler room. He sighed.
“And so, the prince and the princess lived happily ever after…”
It was a sunny morning in early winter. The prince and princess of our the tale were finally together, happily linking hands on the gorgeous school grounds while innumerable sighs sounded behind their backs…
When school ended during at noon, Zhang Jun saw that the usually crowded main gate was unusually sparse.
More specifically, the students were keeping their distance from a single spot, where one person stood.
He was athletic and silent with a sharp gaze. Even if he was simply standing there, the others who around him still felt an enormous pressure emanating from him.
“Sima Hongxin?” Zhang Jun called out, slightly startled.
Indeed, it was the 197-cm giant goalkeeper from Yingcai!
“Why are you here? Huh? Yingcai’s not exactly close from here! And we just got off school… Don’t you have classes? Or, did you leave early? Ah, is there anything I can help you with? You seem like you’ve waited for quite some time.”
Zhang Jun, who was now obviously basking in a happier life had become talkative.
“I’m here to say farewell,” the other answered. In comparison, Sima Hongxin seemed to weigh his words carefully.
“Huh? Farewell? Why?”
“I’ve been scouted by the second string of Henan Jianye. I promised them that I would report to the team after my match against you.”
“Henan Jianye?” Yang Pan was shocked at hearing that. “They’re a B. League team!”
“Not bad!” Zhang Jun laughed as he patted his former opponent’s shoulder—although, having the 179-cm Zhang Jun reaching up to the 197-cm keeper’s shoulder was visually pretty ridiculous. “Great one, Kiddo! Do your best! After all, you did block Yang Pan’s powerful drive in our game!”
“Hmph!” Yang Pan muttered. “I was passing, not shooting!”
“Hah! A 180-km/h pass?” Zhang Jun smiled as he greeted his friend handily.
Ignoring their “intimate contact”, Sima Hongxin continued.
“There’s another piece of news, though I’m not sure if it’s going to be good for you two. Ma Ni’s legs are crippled.”
The duo stopped fooling around and turned to look at Sima Hongxin seriously.
“The 90 Degrees move can’t be employed frequently, but he used it at least 10 times in the game. Despite his knees not being able to withstand anymore pressure, he wasn’t willing to stop. Furthermore, the pitch was soaked due to the rain; he had to put in twice the effort.”
Sima Hongxin recounted everything calmly like he was narrating a stranger’s story.
“After the game, his father quickly rushed him to the hospital. However, his knees were beyond saving. He won’t have trouble walking, but he won’t be playing soccer ever again.”
There was silence.
“How could this be…” Su Fei mumbled. It was a curious thing. She hated Ma Ni before, but she was felt pity for him upon hearing that he would not be able to play anymore.
“The 90 Degrees move demands a lot from your legs,” Yang Pan said softly. “He forced himself to keep going because he desired victory against Zhang Jun. This is the result of that.”
“That means, he knew from the start that after this game, he would not ever…”
This time, nobody answered her.
“But, your tone… Aren’t you guys friends?” Yang Pan asked Hongxin.
“I don’t have friends.” Sima Hongxin finally smiled, albeit a troublingly bitter one.
The trio did not say a word on their way home after Sima Hongxin left. It was only until they reached the floor below Su Fei and Zhang Jun’s homes that Yang Pan finally broke the silence.
“He said he didn’t have friends…”
“That wasn’t a lie. His smile was very bitter.” Zhang Jun nodded. “A quiet personality, a fearsome appearance and a huge body—anybody shorter than him would indirectly give him a wide berth. His behavior isn’t that likable even in professional teams…”
“Wasn’t he your enemy?” Su Fei asked curiously. “It looks like you understand, and even feel for him.”
“He’s not my enemy…” Zhang Jun shook his head.
He remembered when Sima Hongxin dived towards his lobbed shot. The giant goalkeeper was in the air with his hands outstretched to protect the goalpost. His right ankle was directed straight at Zhang Jun’s eyes. The striker lost his footing after a shot and it appeared that he was not going to be able to dodge his ankle. But Sima Hongxin quickly shifted his foot so that his thigh would glide past his chest—sparing his eyes in the process. That was when he knew, just from that one move, that Sima Hongxin was not an enemy.
Zhang Jun looked up at the sky. “He’s a very fine opponent…”
The three of them never mentioned his name ever again. It was as if he had never appeared in their lives.
Hat-trick hero, Zhang Jun made the cover of High School Soccer once again. Chen Huafeng had also named the move he used to score his second goal: “Rising Dragon”.
The name would spread across Europe and the world many years later. Even Chen Huafeng never expected that. It was virtually a second word for the Chinese soccer scene: World of the Rising Dragon…