Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
For one moment, Shangguan Ning was able to imagine his perfect look on the pitch. Zhao Anan might not have exaggerated in saying that numerous crazy girls were running after him, years ago.
Anan was delighted. She waved as she yelled loudly, “Brother, we are here. Come here, quick.”
She had grown up with Jing Yichen and had already become immune to his radiance.
Jing Yichen on the opposite side narrowed his pretty eyebrows – could my cousin be any dumber?
There were only two of them on the pitch and they were just 200 meters away from each other. He was not blind and could see everything himself. What was she yelling so loudly for? Did she want the people he had just abandoned to notice him?
But he showed no outward sign of whatever he was thinking inside. He still looked distant.
Two tall and slender silhouettes were getting closer as he was approaching, one was white and the other tanned.
The tanned one was improperly dressed, with several ball prints all over the clothes. Half of her pant legs were rolled up and the sleeves folded up almost to the shoulders. She was sweaty and her short-hair was dripping with sweat, looking like a mess.
The white one’s long hair was tied up at the back of her hair in a plain yet neat way. Her white sportswear was still clean with no dirt. There was no such a thing as rolled-up trouser legs or folded sleeves. Her cheeks were slightly pink, with small drops of sweat hanging alongside the face. She didn’t look messy. Instead, she looked amazingly pretty as someone who had just finished exercise.
Jing Yichen thought that the visual effect created by them was different from each other.
Maybe it was because of the presence of Zhao Anan, his cousin, who he had grown up with, that he didn’t sound as cold as before. He spoke gently with a touch of blended warmth. “Hi, Ms. Shangguan.”
“Hello, Mr. Z...”
Before Shangguan Ning could finish her greeting, Zhao Anan beside burst out in a cry. “Hey, your clothes look like couples’ outfits!”
Startled, Shangguan Ning looked down at herself and then glanced at Jing Yichen who was also dressed in white. Truly, their clothes looked very similar to each other’s. But sportswear looked almost the same everywhere. It wasn’t a rare thing that two people’s clothes matched with each other’s.
She smiled without saying anything. No words could fit in this situation.
And Jing Yichen looked even calmer. His expression didn’t change as if nothing had reached his ears.
Anan saw that the awkwardness she had expected didn’t happen. Instead, their tacit agreement for not answering to her, made her feel as she had been abandoned by the entire world.
“Anan, don’t you want to play tennis?” Jing Yichen’s voice was low but magnetic. It sounded so wonderful that people could not help but ignore the distant feeling that came along.
“Oh, yes, yes!” Anan hopped all of a sudden and passed her own tennis racket with two hands to her brother in a slave-like way.
That was what Anan cared about most at this moment. Shangguan Ning had bullied her too many times. She couldn’t wait to see her being bullied back by someone else.
Seeing the watery and dirty racket, Jing Yichen narrowed his eyes, grabbed a handkerchief from his pocket and wrapped the handle with it. He carefully wiped the handle twice before holding up the racket.
Anan didn’t have any objection towards her cousin’s disdain. Instead, she leaned forward and whispered, “Brother, don’t spare any efforts in the match. That girl looks gentle and pretty, but she is actually really fierce.” Seeing Jing Yichen’s look cooled down to a degree, she added, “Well... I was just doubting your skills. I am worried that you will be taken advantage of.”
Jing Yichen had already noticed that without Anan’s reminder. The ball prints upon Anan’s body and the clean surface on Shangguan Ning’s white sportswear explained everything. No ball had landed on Shangguan Ning and that was not what an ordinary player was able to accomplish.
He did some warm up and gestured Shangguan Ning to begin.
A professional was indeed a professional. Jing Yichen gave out a completely different feeling the moment he came to the court with the racket.
He looked professional, both from his standing posture and the angle at which he held the racket.
That made Shangguan Ning become doubly cautious.
Serving, catching and returning. After several back-and-forth tryouts, the two of them quickly abandoned the awkwardness and reached a tacit agreement. Within no time, the two of them started to put all their efforts in the match and play attentively.
Jing Yichen lost the first round because of a small mistake.
Jing Yichen lost the second round because of slow reaction.
Jing Yichen lost the third round because of Anan’s roaring.
Bad as Anan was at playing tennis, she was indeed a good speculator. Apparently, her brother was slightly worse at tennis.
“Brother! Come and catch the ball here.”
“Brother! Forward. Quick.”
“Brother! You need to jump to get this ball.”
Jing Yichen really had the impulse of smashing Anan down into the earth with the racket.
He threw a sharp glance at Anan, who was taken back for a moment before she craned her neck and cried out loudly, “Am I not even allowed to comment on your terrible skill? I am just worried about you. You used to play pretty well. Are you trying to spare the beautiful lady?”
Shangguan Ning couldn’t resist the amusement. She laughed with her mouth pressed.
Anan was indeed her best friend. She had managed to be a dead weight teammate for her brother.
“Shut up or I will have you thrown out.” Jing Yichen looked calm though. He was not ashamed to have lost the game. Instead, it was Anan’s words that brought blue veins out of his forehead.
Anan gave out a shriek. She knew that Jing Yichen was always true to his words.
She looked around and found that Tiger was not close by. She let out a sigh of relief.
That dumb headed, strong Tiger would do anything that Jing Yichen told him to. She didn’t want to be thrown out by him. What a shame it would be.
Although Jing Yichen kept losing all the time, he was in a good mood.
He could have beaten Shangguan Ning ten years ago, but he apparently wasn’t able to do so now. He hadn’t played tennis for a very long time.
Men and women were different in stamina and physical structure. He shouldn’t have been in such a terrible state even if he hadn’t played for so long. The only explanation was that Shangguan Ning’s ability in tennis was higher than ordinary level.
She beat him with strength and she was fast. She served explosively, which was a contrast to her slim appearance. Her stance was standard and she was fast on the court. She knew how to use the force properly and was able to shift between forehand and backhand as she wished. Her balance and flexibility were also up to the best level.
Apparently, she had received strict, professional training and never stopped practicing. That was how she had managed to stay ahead in the games.
It wasn’t a shame to lose to someone like her.
Jing Yichen and Shangguan Ning resumed the game after being interrupted by Anan. Both of them looked forward to playing with each other.
The two of them played better and better with each other. As the game went forward, Shangguan Ning started to lose few rounds. But she still was the winner most of the time.
Shangguai Ning finally got exhausted after playing for almost two hours.
“I need a break.” She panted, wiped away the sweat from the forehead and was about to get a tissue paper out of the bag when a white handkerchief was handed to her unexpectedly.
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