Lin Yifei sat down beside him. He seemed to think of something and chuckled.
“That’s because in my heart, it’s not really sending you away. Because every time I separate from you, I know that we will meet again. I will continue to watch you go to the top. To me, the only real way of sending you away is that even if I give up everything, I still can’t touch you and I know that we will never meet again. Compared to that, I can accept anything.”
Lin Yifei will never forget the moment he said goodbye to Chris in the church, the feeling that his world was completely submerged in darkness.
“Hey, see you on the weekend’s single match.” The cocked-up corners of Lin Yifei’s mouth had a kind of self-confidence, which made the people watching pumped up.
Chris got up, carried his bag and went downstairs. Lin Yifei followed him.
A black car was parked outside the restaurant. Mr. Osborne was standing outside the car.
Chris looked at him and frowned again.
“Go home, your mother misses you very much.” Mr. Osborne said softly, then looked at Lin Yifei not far away.
This was the first time he had seen this Chinese boy clearly.
His clear eyes seemed to reflect the whole world, and the little smile on his mouth looked mischievous but open-minded.
Chris looked back at the other before getting into the car.
Lin Yifei just waved, “See you on the weekend! You can’t lose until the finals.”
Chris didn’t speak. After sitting down, he just rolled down the window and stared at Lin Yifei.
Mr. Osborne’s thoughts quivered slightly. He suddenly remembered that a long time ago, when he first saw Sissie in the classroom at the Conservatory of Music, her body was graceful, and her fingers leaped over the keys like dancing. When she turned her head, he couldn’t help but see the smile hanging on her lip, which was actually so similar to the Chinese boy in front of him.
The car slowly drove out of Chinatown. Chris kept his head propped up and looked out of the window.
“I didn’t expect you to come home with me.” Mr. Osborne said softly, while Chris remained silent.
“Next time, you can ask Lin to come home to play. Don’t you have your own fencing room? You can practice together.”
Chris’s shoulder stirred up slightly.
“Your mother also said that she hasn’t seen Lin for a long time and wants to see him.”
“Mmm.” Chris replied softly.
This made Mr. Osborne slightly stunned. No matter what he said to Chris before, the child’s silence never seemed to break.
Back in his room, Chris put down his backpack and returned it to the cabinet.
George knocked at the door and came in.
“Young master, these are all the letters from your friend.”
He placed down the letters on the desk and left.
It was a thick stack of letters. Chris looked at them and reached for the first one after a long time. One by one, Lin Yifei cheerfully described his school life. There were some complained about why Chris never wrote back. Lin Yifei’s letters were never long, but they always made Chris read them over and over again without getting bored.
Different from Lin Yifei’s careless character, he actually wrote beautiful English words. Chris couldn’t help touching the place where he wrote his name.
After Chris left, Lin Yifei felt a little lonely, but deep down he was also very happy.
“Lin, what has changed about you?” Katherine, who practiced sabre with Lin Yifei, asked.
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“Oh? What’s the difference?”
“Before, when you and I practiced, you always felt a little carefree. It’s naturally, since there’s a gap between the two of us. But these days, even if you are practicing with Mark and Philip, you are very serious.”
Not far away, Mark and Philip were embarrassed.
“I say Katherine, the two of us aren’t very good, but we aren’t very bad, are we?”
Lin Yifei ha ha smiled, “Maybe it’s because I have a sense of crisis.”
Chris was already growing at a speed he couldn’t imagine. How could he still stand still?
The weekend competition had finally come. Lin Yifei had to win two matches this morning to get tickets to the top 16 in Washington. For example, in cities with better economic development such as Washington or New York, there were more children practicing fencing, so there were more competitions to get seats compared to other places.
Lin Yifei stood on the sidelines, and quietly tidied up his mask. His opponent was a boy with short blonde hair and looked very calm. The other side’s coach was giving some last-minute instructions. Since a personal coach was hired, the child was probably interested in developing in fencing. But Lin Yifei was sorry. Today might hurt his self-esteem.
As soon as the referee’s ‘Allez’ was finished, Lin Yifei beautifully countered the other and unexpectedly hit the other in the chest with a lunge.
Then the situation became almost one-sided. Lin Yifei’s sabre was fast, both offensive and defensive. The other side was simply unable to cope. Lin Yifei could see from his defense that the child’s basic skills were quite solid. Lin Yifei took the lead, not only to overwhelmed the opponent in momentum, but also taking away the rhythm of the match. At the end of the first set, Lin Yifei had already scored five points while the other side had zero.
After coming down for a sip of water, he raised his eyes and saw Mark and Philip. The two told him with their gestures, “You will win this match.”
The coach told the child very carefully. Don’t be too bothered by the loss just now. The boy breathed a sigh of relief and nodded his head.
At the beginning of the second set, Lin Yifei didn’t rush to attack and assumed a tentative attitude. The opponent’s attack was very effective, but the defender was also careful. Only timing had always been Lin Yifei’s specialty. When he suppressed the opponent’s attack and scored again, the boy had lost confidence.
For the first time, Lin Yifei felt that he was cheating.
But his opponent was not completely defeated, instead he played more seriously. The result was predictable. Lin Yifei won the match, while the boy took off his mask and shook hands with Lin Yifei with tears in his eyes.
“How long have you been learning fencing?” Lin Yifei asked him.
“Ah?” The other party didn’t seem to expect him to ask this question, “…two years.”
“Only two years to have this level? I have been studying for six years.” Of course, Lin Yifei studied fencing for more than ‘six years’. He just wanted to do something to restore the child’s confidence.
“Really? You started learning at such a young age!”
“Go to the next match. You lost here. Remember to win back the next one.” (T/N: I thought it was one-out?)
In the second bout of this morning’s match against Lin Yifei, the opponent was a boy older than himself. The opponent’s height advantage made it a little harder for Lin Yifei to cope with some cutting. However, his flexibility was also limited. Lin Yifei always knew how to foster strengths and avoid weaknesses, so there was no suspense as to who won this match.
When he walked out of the changing room to watch other people’s matches, someone was already waiting for him at the door. Slender and tall figure, chin slightly raised with a somewhat disdainful expression.
“Chris?” Lin Yifei wondered how he knew where his changing room was.
“You are so slow.” Chris tilted head. His lip showed an imperceptible smile.
“Look at you, you won this morning?” Lin Yifei hit him with his shoulder.
“Hmm. You also won.”
“Ha ha, I hope I won’t run into you too early in the semi-finals of the competition.”
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Two people walked back to the audience side by side. Mark and Philip were stunned.
“Ha ha, my friend.” Lin Yifei gave a brief introduction, while Chen Manman, who had been sitting quietly beside Mark, couldn’t help tilting her head to see Chris. Of course, Lin Yifei also discovered this. Alas, no matter how old they were, Chris would always attract people’s attention.
“When it comes to women’s sabres, let’s be quiet and give Katherine some face.” Philip raised his eyebrows.
Katherine played quite smoothly today. The first match was won smoothly, and the second was a bit dangerous until the last minute of the match, when she suddenly made a big explosion, taking three points in a row and entering the semi-final. She happily took off her mask and jumped three times in the direction of Lin Yifei and them. Everyone couldn’t help laughing.
“She is really like a rabbit!”
At noon, they all went to have lunch together at a McDonald’s near the fencing hall.
“Ah, today is really a great day.” Katherine took a gulp of coke, “Not only did I win the competition, but also made new friend. Your name is Chris, isn’t it? It’s quite famous. You came third in the last national junior fencing competition.”
Lin Yifei pretended to look at Chris with surprise. “So you’re already so famous?”
Everyone ha ha laughed. Although Chris looked like he was not very approachable, Lin Yifei always talked to him easily. This kind of atmosphere also infected the people around him. Katherine seemed to think that Chris was a little quiet but not difficult to get along with.
“By the way, has anyone brought a camera? Let’s take a picture!” Katherine’s proposal received immediate response.
“I have one.” Manman gently responded and took out the camera from her backpack. “Mom said that I was supposed to take pictures of Brother Yifei, but I was so fascinated by the match that I forgot about it.”
“It’s not too late to take photos now!” Philip followed the atmosphere and brought the camera over. “Alas…how many photos can this camera take?”
“Nineteen.” Manman was somewhat embarrassed. Philip seemed to imply that her camera was ‘outdated’.
“Well, take a picture first!” Philip called the waiter over. A group of people crowded in the sunny side by the window.
Chris sat on Lin Yifei’s left, Chen Manman on his right. Katherine and they were behind him.
After the waiter shouted “one, two, three”, everyone laughed together. Mark behind him didn’t forget to make a strange appearance.
“All right, the photo shoot is over. Let’s take a photo of today’s winner!” Mark took the camera. “Ladies first, Katherine!”
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