George knocked on Chris’s door and asked, “Is Lin staying here tonight? Does he need pajamas?”
Chris sat at his desk and stared at the book without looking up. “No, you can take him home later.”
George paused, “Young master?”
Lin Yifei had not been to the Osbornes’ villa for a long time. Chris clearly missed him.
“I’m afraid that…I can’t help it.” Chris bowed his head. His lip showed his inner struggle, which appeared very lovely to George.
In the afternoon, George sent Lin Yifei back to Chinatown. Chen Manman saw Lin Yifei limping down from the car through her windowsill and rushed out to help him.
Lin Yifei would have to nurse himself all week for the quarter-final next weekend.
At night, Chris was sitting by the bed with an album in his hand. The photos that Mark took of them at McDonald’s had been developed. There were only two of them. Chris had looked through them many times since then. The first one was of Lin Yifei looking at him. At that time everything was very simple. Lin Yifei looked at himself so preciously. The second picture showed him standing behind Chris with his hands around Chris’s shoulders with his mouth wide open.
“I know, now is not the time for intense daydream about you.”
At the weekend’s team match, Lin Yifei’s sabre team narrowly won by the advantage of three points and advanced to the final four. This time, Mark’s performance was remarkable and stable. On the contrary, Ivey’s opponent was more difficult. He was the main scorer. It went without saying that Lin Yifei, as the trump card, was the one to count on for the finale.
However, the most exciting competition didn’t come from the team competition, but from the men’s individual quarterfinal. Chris’s opponent was really that big guy. In fact, this wasn’t surprising. The final eight were usually held among students from several famous schools. It’s completely rare for a person like Lin Yifei to enter the final without a personal coach.
Griffith and Hayes were sworn enemies in the sabre competition. Chris’s match was very explosive.
At the beginning of the first set, he hit the opponent’s throat with a big slide. His attack was not only strong, but very threatening. The big guy almost couldn’t get up from the ground. This attack was not judged to score. But this momentum completely shocked the big guy. Chris’s cutting was extremely damaging, making his opponent unable to cope. The nimble pace, the close shot, and the one-sided match made people nervous.
By this time, Lin Yifei and his team just finished their team match and sat down beside Katherine.
“Why do I feel that Chris is avenging you?” Katherine whispered to Lin Yifei while covering her mouth.
“Hah?” Lin Yifei sat still. The audience in the front row hissed. Chris made a sudden stop and took a lunge. Judging from the speed and strength, it was like killing the big guy.
“Look, here we go again.” Katherine gave Lin Yifei a look.
Lin Yifei only saw the last set of the match, but he was a little scared. Facing Chris, who was full of cold momentum, Lin Yifei didn’t know whether he could handle it. The final score was also very wide, 15 to 8. Although Chris was the No. 1 seed in the Washington division, it’s really shameful for the big guy to be beaten like this.
When the big guy took off his mask, his entire body looked depressed. Lin Yifei suddenly felt sorry for him.
“You know, I have never loved Chris as much as now.” Katherine whispered, “I wanted to physically beat that big guy, but Chris did it before me. I wanted to beat that guy on the court, but I can’t take part. Yet, Chris did it again. In a word, Chris had done everything that I wanted to do for you. When will you two make up?”
Lin Yifei smiled lightly, “There is no question of ‘reconciliation’ between us.”
At the end of the match, everyone walked out in an orderly way. Lin Yifei looked at Manman and asked in a low voice, “Where do you want to go play later?”
Manman blushed, “I don’t know.”
“Why don’t you know? Don’t you know where to go for your birthday?” Lin Yifei deliberately leaned close to her ear to amuse her. Manman’s ears were red.
“If you two want to kiss, I’ll go.” Katherine gave him a deliberate elbow bump.
“What kind of kiss?” Lin Yifei raised his eyebrows with an exaggerated appearance, “Manman and I are in a very pure brother and sister relationship! Manman likes another.”
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“Another?” Katherine came along, “Who? Mark? Philip? These two guys are too unreliable, but Ivey is better.”
Ivey, who was not far away, smiled shyly when he heard this.
“Well…it is –” Lin Yifei knew that Manman had always liked Chris, judging from her frequent peeking at him. Manman anxiously stretched out her hand to cover Lin Yifei’s mouth.
In the past, Lin Yifei had imagined that if Manman and Chris were brought together, he could safely stand in the position of a good friend. But now, Lin Yifei could only quietly say ‘sorry’ to Manman from the bottom of his heart.
The two people were playing slapstick at the entrance corridor. Griffith fencing students walked past them. Someone bumped into Lin Yifei slightly. Lin Yifei looked up and saw a 15-or-16-year-old student. The other said softly, “I’m sorry.” He was indeed Griffith’s student. He appeared proud to his bones, but was still polite and decent.
“Ah…it doesn’t matter.” It wouldn’t be right to fight in the corridor.
“I’m looking forward to the clash between our two teams.” The opposite person held out his hand, “Your performance has been very wonderful. I’m Andrew Patrick from Griffith.”
“…Hello…” Lin Yifei held the other’s hand. He noticed that he had beautiful emerald green eye.
“I’m Italian. My father works for the embassy, so my family came to Washington.” Andrew said politely. It seemed that he had received a good education. His American English pronunciation was very pure. (T/N: okay, I gotta to point out, Andrew Patrick is not an Italian name!)
“If you reach the final, I look forward to a match with you.” With that, Andrew went on to the exit.
Katherine leaned in, “Andrew Patrick. Before Chris went to Griffith, he was always the number one. If it’s a team match, Andrew should be the last fencer.”
“Mmm.” Lin Yifei nodded, Andrew’s strength was very strong. He didn’t take part in the competition because of an injury last year. This year, he also took part in the individual competition. Some people said that the final two in Washington should belong to him and Chris. If only he was still taking part in the individual competition! What were the chances? For the first time, Lin Yifei regretted giving up the individual competition.
“Brother Yifei?” Manman came up and patted him on the arm.
“Oh, Manman. Have you decided what to do? If you still want to go to the amusement park, I can go with you.”
“No, let’s go to the movies.” Manman showed a sweet expression. “I’ve always wanted to watch ‘Jeux d’enfants’.
Hearing the name of the movie, Katherine began to boo again. “Yes, ‘Jeux d’enfants’ has a perfect match!”
Lin Yifei glared at her, “Let’s go, ‘Jeux d’enfants’ is ‘Jeux d’enfants’. Let’s eat popcorn again.”
With that, Lin Yifei took Manman away.
The two took the bus to ‘Happy City’. The first floor was a video game arcade and the second floor was a movie city.
Chris’s car passed by just as they walked outside Happy City. Elizabeth, who had been bored by her cousin’s silence, glanced out of the window and shouted, “Stop the car, George! Stop the car!”
George stopped the car. Elizabeth put her head out of the window and shouted, “Lin!”
This let Chris, who had been looking at the other side, turn around.
Lin Yifei saw them. Manman saw Chris in the car. She didn’t expect to meet him on her birthday.
Elizabeth didn’t really care about Lin Yifei, but she knew that Chris did. If she could get on well with Lin Yifei, she might learn more about their topics. If she showed more enthusiasm for Chris’s friend, it would be very helpful to foster her relationship with Chris.
“Are you going to ‘Happy City’ to play video games?” Elizabeth looked excited.
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“Oh, no. It’s Manman’s birthday today. I invited her to see a movie.” Lin Yifei rarely saw Elizabeth so enthusiastic about him, even stopping to greet him like an old friend.
Elizabeth turned to Chris. “Don’t you want to ask about Lin’s ankle?”
“If he can take a girl out to the movies like this, his ankle is fine.” Chris glanced at Lin Yifei then looked out the window again.
In an instant, Lin Yifei felt chilly.
“But today is Manman’s birthday!” Elizabeth looked at Manman, “Happy birthday! What is the name of the movie you want to watch?”
“Ah…Jeux d’enfants.” Manman couldn’t help but look at Chris in the car as she answered. After not having seen him for a long time, the edges and corners of his face became more mature, showing lasting appeal.
“Do you want to see it together?” Lin Yifei asked since he knew Manman’s mind. Manman would be very happy if Chris was there too on this day.
Lin Yifei also had a small expectation in his heart. He and Chris only sat on the floor to watch cartoons when they were in New York. Lin Yifei laughed foolishly during that time and didn’t even care about Chris’s feelings.
Chris’s mouth was obviously forming a ‘no’, but before he could say it, Elizabeth beat him, “Okay, let’s go! I heard my classmates say that movie is very touching!”
In fact, she didn’t like such a slow-paced movie. It really didn’t fit with her personality. But she knew that Chris rarely refused an invitation from Lin Yifei. Chris’s relationship with people had different levels. Lin Yifei was at the top of this level, because he was the friend Chris made when he was most down and out.
“Let’s go, Chris!” Elizabeth yanked Chris out. Chris also didn’t resist.
Four people went to the ticket office of the cinema to buy tickets. Popcorns and cokes were also necessary. The movie would start in five minutes. They sat down in the selected sections. The cinemas in ‘Happy City’ weren’t large and the seats weren’t as wide as those in other places. Elizabeth wriggled in her seat. “Is the extra effect okay here?”
“It doesn’t matter. We’re watching an emotional movie, not gunfights. The extra effect here is enough.” Lin Yifei comforted her, “Eat popcorn! The popcorn here has sugar coating. It’s my favorite.”
His elbow accidentally touched Chris by his side. The other held out his hand to hold his elbow.
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