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Chapter 74 – Infuriate by teasing (Translated and edited by Xing)
When the test results came out the next day, Coach Chu compared it to the previous semester’s results and found that very few members of the entire speed skating team had maintained their prior performance . Everyone else deteriorated .
After all, it had been a long holiday and teenagers had poor discipline . With no one to watch over them, it was easy to neglect a lot of things . Though Coach Chu understood this, it did not stop her from telling them off .
Tang Xue was the only one in the team who improved .
Zhang Yuewei was disgruntled with how Coach Chu praised Tang Xue . “Her foundation is weak so of course she improved . ”
What Zhang Yuewei said was not wrong . As Tang Xue was starting from the bottom, she was currently in the midst of improving rapidly and could attain greater improvement in her results even when putting in merely the same amount of effort as others .
Tang Xue looked at Zhang Yuewei with crossed arms . “Zhang Yuewei, don’t be so bitter . Based on how fast I’m improving, it won’t take long before I’m the one showing you how things are done . ”
Seeing that Zhang Yuewei was about to start fighting with Tang Xue, Coach Chu quickly stopped her, “All right, stop bickering . ” Not like you can win her anyway, she added silently .
Zhang Yuewei felt that Coach Chu’s eyes held a trace of sympathy as she looked at her… What the heck .
Li Yubing had another compet.i.tion two days later .
Tang Xue sneaked over to the corridor outside the ice hockey changing room . She looked extremely dodgy as she peeked around furtively .
It was still some time before the compet.i.tion . Not everyone was in the changing room yet and there were only a few members chatting inside .
As the door was closed, Tang Xue did not know what was going on in the room . However, she did know that Li Yubing was inside as the two of them had texted earlier .
She raised a hand and wanted to knock but hesitated due to embarra.s.sment . While hesitating, she turned and saw Jiang s.h.i.+jia strolling over . He hummed a jaunty tune as he walked . It seemed like he was in a good mood .
When Jiang s.h.i.+jia saw Tang Xue, he immediately straightened up and greeted heartily, “Hey, sis-in-law!”Advertis.e.m.e.nt
Tang Xue was stunned . Though the way he addressed her made her feel a little awkward, she somehow kind of liked it as well…Oh, how embarra.s.sing!
Jiang s.h.i.+jia did not wait for Tang Xue’s reaction and went on to push the door open . He hollered into the room, “Brother Bing, sis-in-law is here! Everyone, come out quickly . Be more perceptive, will you?”
When the tall and muscular guys inside heard his words, they got up and strode towards the door . Walking in a single file, all of them tossed a knowing look towards Tang Xue and greeted her as they pa.s.sed by .
After Jiang s.h.i.+jia chased the bunch of them out, he gave a slight bow to Tang Xue, swept one hand towards the room and bellowed, “Please enter, sis-in-law!”
Tang Xue, “…”
She merely wanted to call Li Yubing out and speak to him for a short while… Is there a need to make such a big fuss…
Not wanting to rebuff their warmth and enthusiasm, she braced herself and entered the room .
Behind her, Jiang s.h.i.+jia helped them to close the door thoughtfully .
This was the first time that Tang Xue entered the ice hockey team’s changing room . It seemed more appropriate to call it an equipment storage room rather than a changing room . Huge wooden cabinets covered every inch of the walls . The cabinet was divided into four layers and the first three layers were shelves with no doors . The first layer held helmets while the second layer held gloves and elbow pads . The third layer held shoulder pads, s.h.i.+n guards, ice skates and other various items . As for the last layer, it extended out and could be used to put items or act as benches . Below it was an empty s.p.a.ce perfect for storing regular shoes and other miscellaneous items .
Besides the cabinets and equipment, a simple white quartz clock with black numbers hung on the wall . Several electric fans and a fan heater rested on the floor, meant for ventilating the room and drying equipment . In addition, there was a mobile whiteboard next to the door . There was nothing on the whiteboard except for some colourful magnets . Tang Xue guessed that those were used to explain game tactics .
Li Yubing sat on the bench facing the door . He watched her with crossed arms and a slight smile on his face . Soft and gentle, it was like a spring wind brus.h.i.+ng across a flower field .
How can someone be so good-looking?
Tang Xue’s heart quickened for several beats under his gaze . As she walked over, her eyes focused on the cabinets as she did not dare to meet his eyes .
“What’s up?” Li Yubing raised his head and asked . He rarely had the chance to look at her from this angle . He could see her delicate and pretty-looking neck and chin, which was a novel sight . There was a slight b.u.mp on her neck that was not as prominent as a guy’s but looked way softer and cuter .
Li Yubing’s throat bobbed .
Tang Xue stretched the hand that she had been hiding behind her back to the front and held out a square black box to him .
“Li Yubing, though I received a substantial amount of New Year money, I’m still footing my own skating expenses and have to be more prudent . A more expensive gift will have to wait until I become an official member . Here, take this first . ”
Was this… a gift to thank him? Li Yubing took the box with a smile . “Thanks . ” He opened it and saw a roll of hockey stick tape inside .
The tape was pink…
He looked at the tape and looked at Tang Xue’s face . His gaze switched between the object and her several times .
Tang Xue scratched her neck in embarra.s.sment and said, “Um, I really like this colour recently . So…” I chose to buy this colour . It was too shameful to continue . Tang Xue changed the topic . “Do your best for the compet.i.tion today!”
Li Yubing quirked his lips and watched her . “Mm . ”
Tang Xue s.h.i.+fted her gaze away .
Luckily, Li Yubing did not continue staring at her . Looking down, he grabbed the hockey stick resting next to him and took out the roll of tape .
Tang Xue startled . “You’re… you’re going to use it now?”
“Mm . Can’t I?” As Li Yubing replied, he raised his eyes and fixed his eyes back on her .
“Yes! Yes! Not a problem at all! But… will you be not used to it?”
“No . It’s fine as long as it’s not black . ”
The ice hockey puck was black as well . If he were to use black tape on his hockey stick blade, it might cause some confusion when he needed to maneuverer the puck . That was why most ice hockey players did not like to use black tape . Of course, there were also some people who did not mind .
Li Yubing first wrapped the toe of the stick before winding up slowly with practiced movements .
This was the first time that Tang Xue saw someone wrapped an ice hockey stick in person . She felt that it was quite interesting and observed it while standing at the side . After a while, she squatted down as she was a little tired and propped both hands under her cheeks .
After he finished taping, Li Yubing was about to apply wax when he raised his eyes and saw Tang Xue squatting on the floor . Her hands cupped her cheeks like a flower as she watched with an intrigued expression . He felt that she was way too adorable like this . Heart throbbing, an impulse made him put down the wax and extend the ice hockey stick .
The curved blade was brought over in front of her . Using the toe of the blade, he nestled it against her chin and ticked it up very lightly .
This teasing completely caught Tang Xue off guard .
She was forced to raise her chin and gaze at the perfectly straight ice hockey shaft . Slightly further away was his hand and when her gaze trailed even further up, she saw his smile .
A smile that was somewhat playful .
A wave of heat surged up Tang Xue’s face . Both embarra.s.sed and angry, she grabbed the stick and yanked, intending to s.n.a.t.c.h the ice hockey stick from him .
Li Yubing tightened his grip on the shaft and resisted her pull . After the two of them went at this for a while, Li Yubing suddenly felt Tang Xue increased her strength . Thus, he relaxed his body and still holding on to the ice hockey stick, he went along with her force and pretended to get yanked over as well .
Tang Xue was only trying her best to yank the stick over . She never thought that she would yank him over as well…
Panicking, she tossed the stick aside, lurched backward and ended up sitting down . Her body leaned back as she propped herself up with her two hands on the floor behind her .
Li Yubing dove to her front . He knelt on the floor, his body leaning forward with his hands planted on the floor in front of him .
Their bodies were parallel as they stared at each other face to face . They were extremely close, to the point that Tang Xue could feel the heat from Li Yubing’s breath .
She was suddenly very nervous . This chapter is a labour of love that should not be found outside of teafragrance[dot]wordpress[dot]com .
Staring at her eyes, Li Yubing opened his mouth unhurriedly . Playing the cla.s.sic role of a villain speaking first to distort the truth, he asked, “What are you trying to do?” His voice was low and a little strange .
Tang Xue watched his bright and amused eyes . She felt like she was caught in a peculiar maelstrom . Her heart pounded vigorously and her breath quickened . She had the sensation of being surrounded by countless delicate bubbles fizzing in excitement . She was both nervous and exhilarated, and could not help being mesmerized .
She did not have the guts to continue meeting his eyes and quickly twisted her face away .
Li Yubing almost could not take it anymore .
…how can someone be so adorable!
He gazed at Tang Xue’s fair face which still held remnants of baby fat, her glistening, lively eyes, and her lightly trembling lashes . He could not resist edging even closer . Lowering his voice further, he asked, “What’s wrong with you?”
“I… that is…” As Tang Xue was too nervous, her throat was parched and she subconsciously gulped .
Li Yubing’s eyes dilated .
“I just wanted to cheer you on . ” Tang Xue suddenly felt aggrieved . How did things turn out like this…
Li Yubing did not speak .
Tang Xue continued, “Do your best in the compet.i.tion . ”
Li Yubing let out a chuckle . He whispered, “Is there a reward for doing my best?”
Tang Xue felt that she should not continue staying in the room . She shoved him away . “I’ll be off first . I still have training . ” As she spoke, she got up and ran off, her shoes slapping noisily against the ground .
Jiang s.h.i.+jia was chatting with some teammates outside when he saw Tang Xue ran out of the changing room with a red face .
Jiang s.h.i.+jia declared to everyone, “Brother Bing is a beast . ”