There were very few people in the restaurant. Lin Yifei found a table to sit down and ordered a glass of milk and caramel toast.

The entire space was very quiet, but when Lin Yifei turned his head, his line of sight gave him a slight quiver.

A tall and straight figure was sitting not far away. The notebook computer blocked his view. But even without seeing his face, Lin Yifei knew that it was Chris.

The waiter put the milk and toast in front of Lin Yifei.

"Thank you." Lin Yifei lowered his voice because he's afraid of being discovered by Chris.

He slowly sipped the milk then tore off the toast and stuffed it into his mouth. Sometimes, he couldn't help but take a look at Chris. His ear was filled with the sound of Chris tapping on the keyboard. It sounded like a lullaby. Lin Yifei gradually fell asleep against the back of his chair.

One didn't know how long before a waiter came to wake him up.  

"Sir, if you're tired, why don't you go back to your room and have a rest?"

"Oh, thank you." Lin Yifei felt somewhat embarrassed. If this waiter didn't wake him up, he would definitely have neck cramps tomorrow sleeping this way.

When he looked at Chris's direction again. All he met was an empty table.

Lin Yifei moved his shoulder then got up and walked to the elevator. He went back to his room, put a pillow under his head and fell asleep. The video of Keane's match in his mind disappeared. Instead, it was replaced by the sound of Chris knocking rhythmically on the keyboard.

On the day of the semifinal, Lin Yifei's friends showed a strong line-up. In addition to Katherine and Ivey, the entire sabre team from Ghosn High School came.

Lin Yifei's opponent Keane had long chestnut hair and blue eyes. Before the match, he was tying his hair with rubber band and grinning at what his coach was saying.

"That Keane looks calmer than you." Chelsea said funnily to Lin Yifei.

"Yes, I'm very nervous. I can't control this kind of emotion. Dear coach, what can you do to help?" Lin Yifei asked half-jokingly.

"Well, you can try to close your eyes and slow down your breath. Think about why you want to win. Is it because of honor? The expectations of others? Or something else?"

Lin Yifei closed his eyes and his tense nerves gradually relaxed. What came to mind was an image of Chris holding a sabre. Just like the last picture he saw after he got shot before his rebirth.

Chris was wearing a white fencing suit, holding a sabre in his hand. He made a graceful and sharp salute. The world seemed to have stopped because of him.

"I'm waiting for you."

Lin Yifei murmured to himself, "Here I come."

Since the goal has been determined, then there is nothing else to fear.

Lin Yifei breathed out a sigh of relief and went on stage with his sabre.

The deft angle of his first attack shocked his opponent. Keane saw Lin Yifei's calm eyes through his mask.

He had long heard that this young Chinese who grew up in the U.S. was good at fencing, so he also studied Lin Yifei's competition with his coach. Keane's coach once said to him that Lin Yifei had no defects in his technical movements. Even his sabre-wielding momentum and aura were outstanding among his peers. Therefore, he got extremely nervous during the preparation of the match to the moment before the match start and could only adjust his mood by talking and laughing with his coach.

However, once he personally experienced Lin Yifei's fencing skills, Keane could only be crushed. Lin Yifei's sabre was too smooth, twisting around like magic.

He saw an unshakable confidence in his eyes. Because of this, Keane suddenly felt sorry for his opponent due to his clumsiness on the court.

At the end of the set, Lin Yifei sat calmly in his chair while Keane adjusted his breathing.

At the beginning of the next set, Keane took the initiative to launch an attack, but Lin Yifei's defense was impenetrable. Kean felt for the first time that fencing was also a sport that challenged the limits of one's patience. Facing more than a dozen attacks, Lin Yifei retreated step by step, but Keane was the one who's really nervous, because with one careless move, he would be beaten back by Lin Yifei.

Compared to Keane's pressure, Lin Yifei's mind was extremely clear. He analyzed and predicted Keane's next attack and saw through his feint instantly. Whenever Keane showed a gap, it's Lin Yifei chance to score.

In contrast, Keane was already feeling tired after the two sets ended. Lin Yifei fought against him like it's part of his natural reaction, while Keane himself had to be careful of every attack in case it left opening to be countered.

When the third set came, Keane collapsed. Lin Yifei became much more active than the previous sets. Keane could feel his opponent's momentum through his mask. There's no way to win this match. Keane had no hope. However, he wasn't a cowardly person and still fought bravely. All he wanted was more experience. At least the next time he encountered Lin Yifei, he wouldn't be in such a mess.

The result of the match was expected by everyone, but Lin Yifei looked extremely ecstatic, as if Keane was such a strong opponent that he beat by surprise.

He put his arm around Chelsea's waist and jumped: "I won! I won!"

Chelsea were surprised and clapped him on the back with a helpless smile: "Yes, you won. You should have won."

Off the court, Katherine and Ivey both came running and a line of people hugged each other.

From the distance, Chris glanced at their direction and turned his eyes away like he was stabbed. He knew it's because he's jealous. He's jealous of Katherine, Ivey, Coach Chelsea and even the air around Lin Yifei. He still remembered his temperature when Lin Yifei curled up beside him and read with him. He could kiss him as long as he lowered his head.

The U.S. fencing arena blew up in excitement. Although this wasn't a professional competition, the matches could reflect the country's fencing level and its reserve strength for the next five years. Yet here, the final was a competition between two American teenagers. How could it not be exciting?

In the evening, Chen Lin Ji closed down one day to entertain Lin Yifei's friends. Chelsea showed embarrassed expression for the first time under the enthusiasm of Lin Yifei's parents, but Katherine and her parents naturally came to rob a lot of foods.

"Oh, look at you. My son just enters the final. He hasn't won the championship yet." Father Lin ridiculed his wife, but he too couldn't close his mouth.

"This is already good! Can't you see that this is an international competition? Even Mr. Chen said our son had earned a lot of pride for Chinese Americans!" Mother Lin thought of something and asked Chelsea seriously, "That's right. Is Yifei's opponent in the final very strong?"

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Chelsea looked at the fast-growing food piled on his plate and was really at a loss.

(T/N: Asian mom and their notorious overfeeding! Lol)

"Yes, his level is very high. However, only with a high-level opponent can one have a high-level competition."

"Oh, then where is the other side from?"

Ivey was eating endlessly and casually answered: "Aunt, you know him. He's Chris!"

"Chris? Oh, his fencing is very strong. He's always been a good friend with Yifei. Since he comes back to Washington, why hasn't he come to dinner?"

For a while, the table quieted down. Katherine gave Ivey an elbow bump, and the lion's head meatball that had been forked up by the other party splashed back into the bowl.

"Chris has his own things to do." Lin Yifei smiled and told his mother not to order any more dishes for Chelsea, which just saved Chelsea's life. (T/N: đŸ€Ł )

In the evening, Lin Yifei sent his friends away from Chinatown.

He walked side by side with Chelsea. Chinatown was still noisy at 9 o'clock.

"Your final opponent is Chris. Are you nervous again?"

Lin Yifei nodded and admitted, "Yes. As I told you during the qualifying match, Chris knows me very well. I may have won last time, but this time won't necessarily be the same."

"He knows you very well, but you also know him very well, so it's hard to predict the outcome of the match. There's still hope. If the result is already set in stone, what is the point of competing?"

"That's right." Lin Yifei laughed.

He felt more excited than nervous. Finally, he would be face to face with him.

Without hugs and communication, only fencing remained between them. He came all this way through every difficulty just for this moment.

At this time, Chris was receiving an unexpected visitor.

Chris's hotel room was undoubtedly the most luxurious of all the contestants. He lived in a suite with a study.

When Chris opened the door after dinner, he saw a middle-aged man in his 40s sitting in front of his desk. His expression was calm, but the ups and downs in his eyes revealed his anxiety at the moment.

Chris inserted the card at the door and the light came on. He unhurriedly took off his gloves and threw them on the table. His eyes swept over the elder in front of him. "Mr. Taylor."

"Obviously you don't have the patience to listen to me on the phone, so I came to see you myself." In front of him was Elizabeth's father, a guy who always coveted the Osbornes' wealth and thought that he's hiding his greed well but was known to all. Of course, the Taylors behind him was still strong, otherwise how could the Osbornes be so kind to him?

"Is there anything?" Chris pulled open the chair and sat down with his legs cocked and looked at him. It's just a casual gesture, but it made the other person feel more pressure.

"This is too big of a suite to live alone, isn't it? Why did you send Elizabeth away? Although you said that she distracts you, I think it's just an excuse."

"She's very annoying." Chris wasn't tactful. He was used to looking straight into the eyes of his elders. "But you're definitely not here because of Elizabeth."

"Yes, you should know by now that the financial market is short of liquidity. Many loan institutions are filing for bankruptcy and investment funds are closing down. The stock market is also shaken up violently, and everyone is in danger. You still live a life wrapped in gold like a little prince, but you should know that the shares of your Osbornes' family have plummeted and will go bankrupt if it falls again."

"If the Osbornes go bankrupt, you can marry Elizabeth to a more powerful family." Chris raised the corner of his mouth.

"Don't act so unconcerned. Although the crisis has been on the horizon since 2006, your father is also a seasoned veteran. He has been slowly letting go of stocks and investing his money in other physical projects. But aren't the billions he invested stranded?" Mr. Taylor straightened up and looked at Chris. "As long as he's willing to use his contacts to find a way to keep the stock stability of the Osbornes, I'll give him some shares back."


T/N: It just occurs to me that Lin Yifei is probably not a U.S. citizen. Can he still represent the U.S. in an international competition? đŸ€”

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