Translator: Rin Editor: dedaign Proofreader: Amber.es
Who could’ve known that, when Mo Lingqiu saw the score panel, Jiang Chenming’s team was actually ten points behind.
“How could they fall behind?” Mo Lingqiu said. He couldn’t hold back the shock in his heart; it was too hard to believe.
“Jiang Chenming sprained his ankle and the team’s substitute center was also injured,” the person standing next to him reflexively answered. He hadn’t looked at who had asked the question, so, as a result, when he turned his head after finishing speaking, he was shocked to see Mo Lingqiu. “Teacher––Teacher Mo?”
“How did he sprain his ankle?”
“Ah… it’s like this: do you see that tall buff guy? He’s a freshman this year from the Architecture Department. His basketball skills aren’t bad, but he’s a little unruly,” the person next to him quickly explained. “Since this is just a normal internal basketball game for entertainment, the rules aren’t that strict, and the referees ignore anything that doesn’t go overboard.”
Mo Lingqiu listened, eyebrows firmly drawing together.
“Jiang Chenming ran into him when he was reaching to grab the rebound. The other guy’s big, and everyone was mid-jump, so Jiang Chenming definitely couldn’t beat him. He sprained his ankle when he fell down.
“But that guy also fell rather hard, so they both probably have the same level of injury.”
“We lost points when the substitute center joined the game. The substitutes are all new players that just joined the PE Department basketball team, so they don’t have much experience,” someone else nearby quickly added.
“But, now that Jiang Chenming is on the court, he can definitely make up the points,” someone said reassuringly, worried that Mo Lingqiu would be unhappy.
Mo Lingqiu fell silent for a moment. He then thanked them before slightly stepping forward into the empty space in front of him, hoping to get a better view of the game.
Jiang Chenming was originally able to dunk; he had great bouncing force, and he was tall, so it wasn’t a problem to snatch the rebound as a center. However, because he had sprained his ankle, his centre of gravity when he jumped would inevitably be unstable. Mo Lingqiu didn’t show it on his face, but he was still very worried.
For the PE Department, the current situation was rather grim. They were demoralised, especially because Jiang Chenming was injured.
At first, Jiang Chenming didn’t notice Mo Lingqiu’s arrival. He was dealing with being blocked by his opponent, while thinking about how to turn the scores around.
Four members of the Architecture Department’s basketball team were newly recruited and Jiang Chenming had never played against them before. He wasn’t used to their playing style, but he had seen a few people discussing it on the campus forum, so it wasn’t completely new.
However, although the members of the Architecture team weren’t as tall on average, compared to his own team, they had a better chance of winning because all of them had started to push themselves hard. On the other hand, his team’s morale became much weaker because of his and the substitute center’s injuries.
Once someone lost their intention to win, they would definitely lose.
Jiang Chenming concentrated and detected the basketball coming from his left. He didn’t hesitate to quickly feint, bluffing and confusing his opponent. Within half a second, he had gotten the ball, jumped in place, and shot a three-pointer that looked like it would go too high, but ended up falling exactly into the hoop.
“Three guys were blocking him. How did he do that?”
“I couldn’t see it clearly even though I strained my eyes so fucking excessively.”
“Yeah, can I request a slow motion replay?”
Jiang Chenming’s own teammates never expected that he would calmly sink a three-pointer in such a tight situation, instantly cutting the ten-point difference down to seven.
After the ball was brought back onto the court by the referee, the game continued. Jiang Chenming’s teammates slowly became more focused because of the three-pointer.
As they ran past Jiang Chenming, they shot him admiring looks.
Jiang Chenming tried to put weight on his right foot while he was running so that he could ease the burden on his sprained left foot, freeing it up for use in a really critical moment.
When some of Jiang Chenming’s teammates ran past Mo Lingqiu, they finally noticed that he had arrived at some point. They froze in place, causing the Architecture Department to score two points.
“Sorry, sorry, my bad,” that teammate said, quickly admitting his mistake. “Jiang Chenming!”
That teammate had called Jiang Chenming to let him see Mo Lingqiu standing there, but, in fact, even without being called, Jiang Chenming had already seen him. Mo Lingqiu looked through the crowd from a distance, and Jiang Chenming was on the other side of the court.
Jiang Chenming hadn’t at all expected that Mo Lingqiu would come. Happiness wasn’t a word strong enough to describe his current mood. He shot a heart gesture to Mo Lingqiu and energetically returned to the game.
After that, the game completely turned around. Not only was Jiang Chenming on fire, like he hadn’t been injured, but his teammates were also playing very well together, quickly evening up the score.
In the last minute of the game, the two teams fought fiercely over the basketball.
If the Architecture Department could steal the ball and score, they would win; if they couldn’t steal it, or if they missed, then Jiang Chenming and his team would win. Therefore, the Architecture Department’s group of big boys would need to steal the ball regardless, and all Jiang Chenming and his group would need to do was defend.
That minute seemed very long to Mo Lingqiu, especially when he noticed that Jiang Chenming’s left foot was already half on the ground; he knew that he couldn’t endure it any longer.
The whistle was blown and the PE Department narrowly defeated the Architecture Department by one point.
The space rang with deafening applause from the audience outside the court. Jiang Chenming’s three-pointer was like the saviour that brought everyone back to their senses. He had also stolen many rebounds from the afterwards, performing so well that no one could ignore his presence at all.
It was one thing to be happy after winning the match, and it was another to be courteous. After all, ‘friendship first, competition second’.
The players from both teams bowed facing each other, saying, “thank you for your guidance”, bringing the fierce game to an end.
After high-fiving everyone, Jiang Chenming limped up to Mo Lingqiu and, with a smile, asked, “Teacher Mo, did I do well?”
Jiang Chenming laughed. He was in a good mood, so he grabbed Mo Lingqiu’s hand. “I thought you weren’t coming.”
Mo Lingqiu was silent and didn’t say anything, his eyes a little gloomy.
“Teacher Mo, I sprained my ankle. Would you like to accompany me to the doctor?” Jiang Chenming knew that Mo Lingqiu was worried about him. He used to say “it’s okay” and “it’s fine”, but wouldn’t say that now. Because he was injured and Mo Lingqiu could see it, if he didn’t speak honestly, then he would make Mo Lingqiu sad.
“En.” Mo Lingqiu’s tense expression slightly relaxed. He lifted Jiang Chenming’s arm and placed it over his shoulders, half-supporting his weight as they moved out of the court.
Suddenly, someone called Jiang Chenming. “Senior Jiang!”
He turned his head and saw that it was the tall, buff player from the Architecture Department.
“Senior Jiang, I’m sorry for bumping into you during the game.” This tall, buff guy looked much more introverted than when he was on the court, and his tanned face unexpectedly turned suspiciously red from embarrassment.
“It’s okay, it’s not that serious.” Jiang Chenming didn’t intend to crush his junior’s confidence in playing basketball, after all. This tall, buff guy still had physical advantage and talent.
“Do you need me to go to the hospital with you, senior? And Li Bei, he’s also injured; let me take you guys to the hospital together.” The tall, buff guy pointed to Li Bei, who was sitting on a chair waiting for him. He was the rookie substitute center from Jiang Chenming’s team.
“No…” Jiang Chenming was about to refuse when his teammate interrupted him.
“Hey, don’t be so insensitive, kiddo. Don’t you see that he’s being lovey-dovey with his boyfriend?” The teammate patted the guy’s shoulder and said, “What? Do you want to be a light bulb?”
“No, no, no, then I’m not going, I’m not going. Senior, go… with Teacher Mo.” The guy slowly backed up, wanting to dig a hole in the ground to bury himself.
Jiang Chenming looked at Mo Lingqiu, who was holding him up, and then looked at his teammates. “I’ll leave first. You guys go celebrate.”
“You’re not coming? Didn’t we have a deal during the day?” Once his teammates heard him, they knew that Jiang Chenming most likely wouldn’t be coming to the evening celebration.
“I’m not going. I…”
Mo Lingqiu raised his head. “You can go if the doctor says there’s nothing wrong later.”
“…Ah?” Jiang Chenming froze.
“You should get together with your friends.” Mo Lingqiu thought that college life should be an unforgettable memory. His personality was relatively cold, and he didn’t get along with other people. Although it was his nature, he still had some regrets when he recalled his own college life, so he hoped that Jiang Chenming would participate in more group activities.
“Then, I’ll go if you come with me.” Jiang Chenming put forward a condition.
Mo Lingqiu opened his mouth and didn’t answer.
Jiang Chenming’s teammates next to him immediately helped him. They said, “Come join us, Teacher Mo,” and, “It’s more fun if Mr. Mo comes with us to dinner.”
“Come join us, alright? I sprained my ankle, and I can’t go back alone either.” Jiang Chenming gently pinched Mo Lingqiu’s ear that rested on his shoulder.
A light blush appeared on Mo Lingqiu’s cheeks. “Got it. We’ll go to the hospital for a checkup first.”
“Alright.” Jiang Chenming showed his teammates an okay sign with his fingers. “Send the location to my phone. Teacher Mo and I will come afterwards.”
Mo Lingqiu naturally had nothing to say after seeing how happy they were. He helped Jiang Chenming all the way back to the car and drove to the hospital.
After having his x-ray done and making sure that his bones were okay, Jiang Chenming couldn’t help but lament, “I’ve been injured a lot recently, so I can’t walk around anymore. I really need to stay home with you more.”
Mo Lingqiu glanced at him. “Be more cautious.”
“Of course, but I still need Teacher Mo to look after me so that I don’t get hurt,” Jiang Chenming said. He wanted to limp to the milk tea shop across from the hospital to buy some milk tea.
Mo Lingqiu couldn’t keep him still, so he followed him over.
After paying for two cups of pearl milk tea, Jiang Chenming handed one to Mo Lingqiu. “Teacher Mo, they started constructing my garden today.”
“…So soon?” They had only talked about it the night before last, but it had already begun?
“Well, I need to get it done before you visit my house.” Jiang Chenming’s expression was mysterious. “I have something to give you.”
Looking at the mysterious look on his face, Mo Lingqiu suddenly remembered the reward for winning the basketball tournament that he had mentioned before. “The reward for first place… you haven’t told me what it is yet.”
“Ah!” Jiang Chenming clapped his hands together and moved towards Mo Lingqiu’s ear. “It’s a group tour voucher. Although it’s for the team members, there’s a rule that you can bring your family.”
“Teacher Mo, do you want to go on a tour with your boyfriend?”