Qian Wei wanted to say a few more words, but Qian Chuan quickly stopped her with his eyes: “Qian Wei, Lu Xun said that he’s busy with studying, how could you unscrupulously disturb someone else just because I want to play a basketball game? You can’t drag down other people’s studies like this!” Then he added, “Not to mention, having you and Mo Zixin cheering for me is already more than enough because each of you carry a heavy weight in my heart!”
Qian Wei looked at Qian Chuan’s smug eyes and really felt heartbroken. Lu Xun, ah~, Lu Xun, you are really ruining your own future! Obviously you have the upper hand after today’s professional skills contest, but now you are losing ground every minute!
Qian Chuan’s basketball game was at four o’clock, right around the time the sun began to set and the air was neither too hot nor too cold. Qian Wei bought a few bags of melon seeds as snacks and then followed Liu Shiyun, Mo Zixin, and Mo Tao to the basketball court.
Qian Chuan, who was dressed in a basketball jersey, was warming up on the court. This guy was obviously ready to show off in front of Mo Zixin today, he wasn’t stingy at all about exerting himself even before the game began, he ran up and down the court dribbling and doing several dunks. His decent face and handsome movements, coupled with his tall and sturdy frame, soon became the focus of the court. Qian Wei discovered that when he said he would have no one cheering for him earlier that had been a lie. In fact, many girls who had come to watch the game were shouting his name.
“Qian Chuan! Qian Chuan! Come on*! Come on!”
The young man would sometimes look up amidst the cheers and look over toward a certain someone sitting near Qian Wei’s side. He wiped his sweat and smiled brightly.
The October wind brought with it a fragrance of sweet-scented osmanthus. Qian Wei sat on the grass outside the basketball court and watched Qian Chuan running up and down the court, she fell into a daze and felt a bit intoxicated by the atmosphere. This was really good, it was youth.
The whole game was very interesting. It was a practice match where the big basketball team from University A had been divided into two groups to play against each other. Although Lu Xun had numbed Qian Wei’s aesthetic appreciation for handsome guys, she had to say that there were a lot of good-looking boys on the court.
Because the players were all from the same basketball team, in the game, there was a degree of competition but there was also a degree of cooperation. A sort of friendliness, like holding out a hand for an opponent after they fell down. The two teams were neck-and-neck, and the score was very close throughout the game. Qian Chuan’s performance was actually very good. He grabbed several rebounds and even scored two beautiful dunks in a row. The atmosphere on the court was fierce, and the girls outside on the field cheered for their favorite players.
Everything seemed perfect until some boys that were from other schools showed up.
There were several vocational schools near the university town that University A was a part of. There were also a few other smaller universities nearby. Because University A had the best sports facilities among all the nearby schools, students from other schools would occasionally go to University A’s basketball courts to play ball. The problem today was one particular student from the vocational school next door.
“The one with the tattoo on his arm used to be a small gang leader in high school. His name is Zhao Peng and he was held back a few times during high school because of all the fights he got in. Later on, he managed to get into a vocational school and found a group of like-minded bastards. It’s said that he stabbed someone with a knife before…”
As if to prove the words of the girls who were gossiping on the side, out on the court several of the people who came with Zhao Peng began to push and shove Qian Chuan’s teammates.
“Get out of the way. Today Brother Peng is using this court.”
The men on the court were all young and hot-blooded, plus they had the girls from their school watching. So, of course, none of them could endure this insult. One of the boys who was pushed quickly pushed back: “This is our school’s basketball court. Why would we give it to you? What’s more, everyone knows the rules are first come first serve. It’s about time for you to get out of the way, you’re affecting our basketball team’s practice.”
The basketball game, which had a warm and harmonious atmosphere, was suddenly interrupted. But it was impossible to try to reason with gangsters like Zhao Peng, after all, Zhao Peng and his friends were all arrogant people. But Qian Chuan and his friends did not want to compromise either and no one was sure which side made the first move. The result was that the sudden conflict gradually escalated.
It wouldn’t be good for anyone to fight with these thugs. Maybe they didn’t care about their education or about graduation, but everyone on the University A basketball team was concerned about graduating, so they couldn’t really fight. Qian Chuan quickly stopped his brothers: “Don’t fight. Since you guys don’t want to leave, let’s play ball. We will mop the floor with you and let you lose so thoroughly that you will never dare to show your faces on our court again.”
“Yeah! Let’s beat the crap out of them!” Everyone on the basketball team agreed enthusiastically with Qian Chuan’s proposal.
Because of all the times he was held back a year when he was younger, Zhao Peng was actually older than all the other students present. He was already 24 or 25 and very strong. His strength was much greater than the students here that were mostly under the age of 20. He smiled contemptuously and did not say any words, instead he directly snatched the basketball from one of Qian Chaun’s teammates and then beckoned his guys over to the court to play.
One of Zhao Peng’s followers was very confident. When he saw his boss dribble across the court and directly score a goal in front of the University A basketball team, he acted triumphant: “You’re the ones who are going to lose. And you talk too much, be careful you don’t lose all your face in front of this big audience.”
“Let’s get the ball back!”
The members of the basketball team were unprecedentedly united at this moment. Everyone quickly stopped playing their practice match and the two teams that had just been playing against each other formed one team that began to play against Zhao Peng’s gang.
After all, the boys on the basketball team professionally trained all year round, so they all had a tacit understanding between them. They skillfully snatched the ball back, passed the ball, and then made a layup in a matter of seconds. Before long, Qian Chuan scored a goal and the players all cheered and exchanged high-fives. The girls from University A watching the court also began cheering for them.
“Come on, basketball team! Come on, basketball team! “
“Come on, Qian Chuan! Qian Chuan, you are the best!”
For a moment, the basketball players were encouraged and confident, but surprisingly, Zhao Peng’s group were not actually that bad, and his follower’s self-confidence was not for nothing. What was worse, Zhao Peng and his team were all gigantic men, and their skills were pretty good. But you could tell that they played too much street ball because they were completely unruly while playing. They were all big guys who, relying on their huge size, began smashing into people and snatching the ball without any scruples. Moreover, the way they did it was actually very insidious, Qian Wei could only see it clearly because she wasn’t on the court. Zhao Peng’s team would sneakily hit the University A basketball team members with their arms and elbows at every opportunity. The impacts were obviously very painful, because the people who were hit had to grit their teeth and struggle to stabilize their bodies every time it happened.
The game became more and more intense, and the two sides were neck and neck. But Qian Chuan and his team were gradually showing signs of fatigue because they had just used a lot of strength playing a practice game, but they all gritted their teeth and continued to play.
“Ah!” There was a cry of pain and the small forward on Qian Chuan’s team was severely hit by one of Zhao Peng’s people and fell to the ground.
“Chen Hua, are you okay?”
“It’s no big deal.” Chen Hua gritted his teeth and rubbed his ankle.
Qian Chuan saw that his teammate’s ankle was slightly swollen. He quickly called a time-out and then turned to Chen Hua. He said, “You’re done now, go have a rest.”
Chen Hua was very stubborn: “I’m fine, I can still play.”
Chen Hua was a very good small forward who had a good repertoire with Qian Chuan, who was the shooting guard. If he left the court there was no one else on the team who could replace him, and the whole team would be greatly weakened.
Of course, Qian Chuan knew this so when he sent Chen Hua off the court he had a dark face. But he quickly adjusted his mindset and rearranged the team.
The game restarted without Chen Hua. Zhang Rui, the new small forward, was originally a point guard and was obviously not familiar with his new role. After a while, an easy layup was intercepted by Zhao Peng’s people and after that the situation on the court took a sharp turn for the worse. Not only did Qian Chuan’s team fail to score again, they also had to watch Zhao Peng score two three-pointers in a row.
“We’ll see who has to give up the court today.” Zhao Peng smiled viciously.
The University A basketball team’s disadvantage only grew larger and larger under the other team’s sharp attacks. Zhao Peng and his people became even more arrogant as time went on. After Chen Hua, they didn’t hesitate to foul and injure several more players. Zhang Rui was hurt the worst and had to leave the court and Qian Chuan suddenly lost both his small forward and his point guard in one game. No matter how strong Qian Chuan was he couldn’t play three roles by himself. What was worse was that after he lost his small forward and his point guard Zhao Peng’s people began to obviously target Qian Chuan. They implemented a disgusting strategy where three people surrounded Qian Chuan and stuck to him like flies, isolating Qian Chuan so that he had no chance to touch the ball at all.
Although she wasn’t that close to the court, Qian Wei could tell that Qian Chuan was beginning to get irritated. And as soon as he was irritated he would begin to make more mistakes. Qian Wei began to worry that the basketball team would really lose the game. But there was nothing she could do about it. Meanwhile, Qian Chuan, this guy, had already put away his usual smiling face. In any other situation, he would have been fine even if he was heartbroken he would bounce back cheerfully very quickly, but when it came to his beloved basketball it was different. He had very high self-esteem and sports were something that he was good at and something that he loved. He was always confident in himself regarding sports so Qian Wei hoped he wouldn’t feel frustrated or depressed because of this game.
Qian Wei could not help patting Mo Tao who was sitting beside her: “Hey, can you play basketball? Can you go up and help Qian Chuan? Several players from his team have already been injured by the other side, so now he is short on manpower.”
Unfortunately, Mo Tao could not help: “If it was soccer, I could barely play a bit to make up the numbers, but unfortunately I can’t play basketball.”
Qian Wei was at her wit’s end. Please god, help Qian Chuan! She could only silently pray in her heart.
But it seemed that some god really heard Qian Wei’s prayers because at that moment, ten minutes before the basketball game ended, Qian Wei heard cries and cheers coming from the girls in the audience.
“Lu Xun! Wow! It’s really Lu Xun!”
“Lu Xun is going to play!”
Qian Wei tried to see what was going on, her eyes looked over where the voices were getting higher and higher and saw Lu Xun walking through the audience in a cap and a loose coat.
*All the cheering in this chapter is ‘加油’ which literally means ‘add oil’ but is actually just sort of a generic encouragement word used in sporting events and the like.
tl note: I don’t know much about basketball but would people really just play through when one team was just openly beating the other team up like this?