The three went to lunch. Rex received a phone call shortly afterwards.
“Aha, my sister is coming from France. I have to pick her up. You may have to practice by yourself this afternoon.” Rex made an apologetic gesture.
“It doesn’t matter, afternoon isn’t for guiding.”
“Then what’s it for?” Rex was a little curious.
“Rotation battle.” Kevin’s enigmatic appearance aroused Rex’s interest, but he stopped talking.
When Rex left, Lin Yifei asked, “What kind of rotation battle?”
Kevin reached out to poke Lin Yifei’s forehead then flicked it. “You’ll know in the afternoon. Take a good nap between now and two o’clock. Whether you remember what I said to you this morning will show on your performance in the afternoon.”
Lin Yifei stretched out his hand and touched his forehead. Kevin always regarded him as a child, even though he’s only five years older than him. But as a coach, his harshness on technique and tactics were quite different from this kind of favor.
Fencing club arranged a resting room for Platinum VIP members. Lin Yifei had a good nap.
When Kevin woke him up, Lin Yifei saw the guy standing beside Kevin and sat up.
“Ah! Rhett Munsey!” Lin Yifei’s eyes lit up.
At present, this guy with slightly lowered eyes, light chestnut hair and long bangs was Kevin’s teammate in the team competition, the second famous figure of British fencer, Rhett Munsey.
Rhett blew a puff of air. There were traces on his cheek from when he’s asleep. Combined with the light freckles on his face, his entire facial features appeared somewhat childish.
“Long time no see, Lin.”
“Long time no see? Have we met?” Lin Yifei’s eyes widened.
“Alas…” Rhett spread out his hands. “Every time Kevin and I stand together, it’s easy for me to get ignored. I’ve seen a lot of your matches with Kevin…that guy’s obsession with you is almost to the point of insanity. It just happens that he can’t watch enough by himself and has to pull me along.”
Knowing that Rhett had also paid attention to him, Lin Yifei was embarrassed.
“Where’s Michael?” Kevin asked.
“That guy will be here later. How can he give you face like I do?” Rhett shrugged his shoulders and smiled.
“Michael White will also come?” Lin Yifei suddenly wondered if he would see the entire world famous British sabre team’s lineup today.
“Yes, Kevin made a bet with us. If we play against you, the score won’t be higher than 15-10, that is to say, we won’t win more than 5 points.” Rhett touched his nose and gave Kevin a funny look. “Only Michael will fall for it. I know Kevin just wants to find some professional athletes to fight with you.”
“So, can you practice with me now?” Lin Yifei looked cheerful.
“Of course.” Rhett flexed his wrists. His lethargy suddenly disappeared. “Kid, I’ll let you lose and go back to your mother.”
Lin Yifei quickly changed into his protective gear and came to the fencing hall.
Rhett was touching his sabre when he saw Lin Yifei came in. He raised his chin at Kevin. “Referee, remember to be fair and just. Don’t be partial because you like this boy.”
“Next month’s qualifying match, it looks like I’m going to have to fix you, Rhett.” Kevin smiled as he came to the field while holding the timer in his hand.
The two teenagers assumed the posture of preparing for war. After Kevin’s voice called for start, Rhett stormed over.
Lin Yifei didn’t panic. Rhett was good at attacks, especially his side-to-side attacks and sabre control. Lin Yifei immediately understood Kevin’s good intentions. The purpose of this exercise for Lin Yifei wasn’t to really control the gap below five points, but to learn the attack methods that the other party was good at.
Rhett’s attack appeared very exquisite, especially the flexibility of his wrist.
After losing two or three points, Lin Yifei gradually adapted. When Rhett flexed his sabre at him, Lin Yifei subconsciously attacked him with a side move. Although he was not as dexterous as Rhett, he broke away at the right moment. His sabre was as fast as a flying star. Rhett didn’t react when he was stabbed.
At this time, the fencing room door was pushed open. A man in leather pants came in with his long flowing golden hair tied behind his head. A moment ago, Lin Yifei’s stab made people shudder. The blond man even kept pushing the door for two extra seconds before walking to Kevin’s side.
“I didn’t see it wrong just now, did I? Rhett, that guy got beaten up by his own specialty?”
“Yes, Michael.” Kevin chuckled.
“You have good eyes. This boy is very interesting.” Michael leaned against the wall with his eyes fixed on Lin Yifei.
At the end of the three games, Rhett won. As Kevin said, the score was 15 to 11, within 5 points.
Rhett took off his mask. He breathed a sigh of relief, then gave Lin Yifei a playful push. “I said boy, you don’t have to go to any Junior World Fencing Championship, just sign up for the U.S. qualifying tournament and then go to the World Fencing Championship!”
“Rhett, you really praise him. It seems that I’ll have to try my best later or the evening festival will be in jeopardy.” Michael went on, “I’ll change to the protective gear. Kid, I’ll give you ten minutes to breathe.”
Lin Yifei also took off his mask. The nine-minute exercise had exhausted him a bit, but Lin Yifei’s fingers were burning at the thought of Michael coming here.
“Michael is good at flying attacks. His cutting and thrusting angles are very exquisite.” Rhett walked outside and sat on the floor, but he didn’t forget to remind Lin Yifei.
“There is also the skill of defensive counterattack.” Kevin stretched out his hand to wipe the sweat on Lin Yifei’s forehead with a towel. “You obviously like to take the initiative to attack. In front of Michael, it’ll be common for you to attack then defend.”
At this point, Michael came in carrying a sabre. He bought a can of Coke at the vending machine and threw it at Lin Yifei.
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“I’ll give you another five minutes to rest while I warm up.”
Michael began to flex his joints.
Lin Yifei opened the Coke. The crackle echoed through the fencing room. He drank two or three mouthfuls. It was really refreshing.
After warming up, Michael went to the preparation line and made a gesture of “come on” toward Lin Yifei. “Boy, I’m not going to be soft just because Kevin favors you.”
Michael’s attack was sharp. Every sabre was full of strength. Even his feint was full of momentum. Just when Lin Yifei managed to regain the right to attack, Michael was able to retake the initiative in an instant through the deployment of his footwork and diversion attacks. At the end of the first set, the score was already 5 to 2.
After a one-minute break, Michael looked at Kevin and asked, “Won’t you give him some guidance?”
“No.” Kevin’s smile was calm and composed. “His absorption ability is beyond your expectation.”
Lin Yifei stood on the sidelines while shaking his legs. He occasionally moved his sabre as if he was simulating something in his mind.
At the beginning of the second set, Lin Yifei tried to take the initiative, but Michel had already struck. In two or three seconds, there were two feints. His speed of wielding the sabre and his quick reaction forced Lin Yifei to retreat. Rhett, who was on the sidelines, put his hand over his eyes and said half-jokingly, “Michael is doing his best. I’m afraid he’ll hurt Lin’s self-esteem.”
“When you lost to Michael 15-6, I didn’t see your self-esteem suffer.” Kevin still leaned against the wall and watched the profile of Lin Yifei.
“Isn’t it because my face is thicker than the wall?” Rhett sagged his mouth and wondered why Kevin had to bring up that gloomy past.
The score in the second set was indeed dismal, reaching 13-5. One was afraid that the match would be decided in the first 30 seconds of the third set.
Lin Yifei moved away and took off his mask. He licked his lips, then picked up the half can of coke and gulped it all down within two times.
Michael frowned. “Kid, don’t drink liquid so fast after exercise.”
“Ah…thank you.” Lin Yifei paused.
After another start, Michael still launched an attack on his own initiative, as if to make Lin Yifei give up hope in advance. His cutting was rejected. Lin Yifei twisted his sabre, lunged at his side to lower his center of gravity, and then thrust out. Although it wasn’t a hit, it was very threatening. Six seconds later, Lin Yifei attacked Michael. His footwork was steady, and after two side-changing attacks, he feinted past Michael and hit him in the arm.
Michael who was hit bounced his sabre and motioned for Lin Yifei to come again.
Michael was good at controlling moves, so every attack of Lin Yifei was carefully forced to disadvantage. However, for 12 seconds in a row, Michael couldn’t find a chance to cut in. The initiative was always in Lin Yifei’s hands. After another chop, Michel brandished his sabre to resist. Lin Yifei pressed his sabre and hit him on the left shoulder. Rhett clapped his hands when the attack hit.
As if the first two games were only Lin Yifei’s warmup, his ability to quickly organize and change attacks was fully demonstrated in this game. Michael, who had experienced major and minor competitions, rarely met such a tight opponent. Lin Yifei repeatedly recovered the lost points. When the score became 13-8, Michael took the initiative after a deflected move to hit Lin Yifei hard on the head.
“Oh, sh*t!” Rhett stretched out his hand and pressed his head, as if he was the one who got hit by that blow.
Lin Yifei took two steps back. Michael moved his wrist and returned to the preparation line. The two people continued to fight.
With one-point left, Michael finally went in for the win. Just as Michael’s sabre was about to cut across Lin Yifei cheek, Lin Yifei blocked it sideways with a bang, then the body of his sabre ran across the tip of the other side’s sabre. A knock on the sabre blocked it then hit Michael on his shoulder.
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