[Chapter 031] Li YuanQing: It’s clearly a three-person movie yet I’m a nameless character
Quack Note: Text originally written in English will look like this.
Upon hearing his reply, Lu YunFei immediately sent a message to the group chat with the basketball team members, telling them to behave later. Everyone gamely said OK and told him not to worry.
It was only Jiǎng Róng whose physical education class was held at a different timing who replied with a string of question marks, asking, “What about me? Aren’t I left out??”
Lu YunFei thought about it and said, “Let’s meet up after school this afternoon. the basketball match is soon, so we’ll meet every Wednesday afternoon to practise regularly.”
“Just Wednesdays are not enough,” Li YuanQing said.
“Then we’ll make it Wednesday and Friday, two days,” Wen MingYi suggested.
“Sure, any opinions on this arrangement?” Lu YunFei asked.
No one had any.
Li YuanQing privately messaged Lu YunFei, “What about Bian JinYuan? Is he practising with us every Wednesday and Friday?”
“He’s busy,” Lu YunFei replied.
“Then how will he be able to coordinate with the team?”
“He’ll coordinate with me,” Lu YunFei had thought of this point, “I’ve been practising basketball everyday with him to get used to each other, and then I’ll match up with you, isn’t this a perfect strategy?”
Li YuanQing didn’t think it was impossible, “Alright then.”
Lu YunFei put his phone back down and said to Bian JinYuan, “OK, everyone’s been informed.”
After saying this, he thought of something else, “Speaking of, you’re already considered a part of our basketball team, would you like to join the group chat?”
Bian JinYuan’s answer was no. It wasn’t necessary, he wasn’t familiar with the rest of the players and wouldn’t have much to talk about after joining the group chat, and he wasn’t serious about playing basketball. He was just helping Lu YunFei as part of repaying the money spent on him.
Lu YunFei didn’t press him upon hearing his rejection. After all, if Bian JinYuan had joined the group chat and someone let slip accidentally, he’d need to find a way to cover it up. Between the both of them, where one didn’t want to enter, and one didn’t want the other party to enter, this was a great arrangement.
In high school, Physical Education classes are extremely precious. Especially from year two onwards, they would often be used for Mathematics. As such, both Physical Education teachers and the students treasured these classes, with students who passionately used the gym and Physical Education teachers who tried to give students as much free time as possible.
Lu YunFei’s Physical Education class coincided with Wen MingYi’s on first period. Similarly, the other classes which had the same Physical Education period included Science major class four and Humanities class fifteen.
Wen MingYi’s Humanities class had more girls, and so the teacher let them run two laps before it was free and easy, with the instructions: “Do not leave the gym, everyone gather back here fifteen minutes before class ends.”
The students shouted loudly: “Understood.”
Wen MingYi retrieved a basketball from the sports equipment room and reserved a spot at one of basketball courts with some of the guys, playing a bit while they waited for Lu YunFei and the rest to join them.
Lu YunFei had to run two more laps than Wen MingYi, and arrived at the court right as Wen MingYi tossed a three-pointer. He whistled, “Nice.”
“Of course,” Wen MingYi replied proudly.
Lu YunFei patted Bian JinYuan’s arm as he said, “This is Wen MingYi, you know him, This,” he pointed to the boy wearing glasses, “This is Sūn Qīng, he’s in the same class as Wen MingYi, class twenty. That’s Zhōu Zhé from class four. There’s also Jiǎng Róng from class seven, but he’s not here because his class isn’t on first period.”
Bian JinYuan “Mmm”-ed in response, which could be considered as having introduced each other. Sun Qing and Zhou Zhe flashed him a smile.
With six people, it was perfect for three versus three.
Lu YunFei pointed at his side, “Me, Li YuanQing, Bian JinYuan are a team. You guys are another team.”
“OK,” Wen MingYi, Sun Qing, and Zhou Zhe replied.
Everyone immediately got into their positions and started playing.
Lu YunFei had been practising with Bian JinYuan over the past few days, and it was also Bian JinYuan’s first time playing with the rest of the basketball team, and so Lu YunFei made sure to coordinate with him. Every time he got the ball, he’d pass it to him. Bian JinYuan’s basketball was not bad, and managed to successfully score points after receiving his passes.
Upon seeing this, Sun Qing’s guard on him became more serious.
Bian JinYuan couldn’t find an opening to score a point, so he passed the ball to Lu YunFei. Lu YunFei feinted and then rushed to Wen MingYi who was guarding the net, and shot a three-pointer.
Seeing how the both of them were playing so well together, Li YuanQing felt that his existence was extraneous. It was clearly a three-person movie, yet he seemed to be a nameless character?!
The girls spectating in the court seemed to have increased in number. Humanities’ class twenty girls shouted, “Go Wen MingYi, Sun Qing!”
The girls from class one didn’t lose out, “Go Bian JinYuan, Lu YunFei!”
Li YuanQing speechlessly turned back to look at the girls from his class, “Am I not here too?!”
Why was he a nameless actor inside and outside the court! This was too tragic!
“You’re all too biased,” Li YuanQing accused in jest.
The girls laughed, and an extroverted girl shouted, “You should at least score a point, if you can’t score how do you expect us to cheer for you!”
Li YuanQing was rendered speechless, was this an issue of him wanting to score points? This was a matter of how his two teammates were having fun by themselves and didn’t include him in the game! If his teammates don’t pass the ball to him and the cheerleaders don’t cheer for him, Li YuanQing felt that he was simply too pitiable, was there anyone more pitiable than him? Definitely not!
At this crucial point, it was the sports rep Fatty who generously shouted, “Go Li YuanQing, Quickly snatch Zhou Zhe’s ball.”
And so Li YuanQing once again placed his concentration back on the court. However he hadn’t even gotten to chase after Zhou Zhe when the ball was snatched by Lu YunFei. The girls at the perimeter cheered, while Wen MingYi once again blocked Lu YunFei. Lu YunFei feinted and passed the ball to Bian JinYuan, who dunked the ball into the net.
The girls from class one were so ecstatic they almost jumped up.
Okay, Li YuanQing gazed upward, he shouldn’t even be here. Seeing how everyone was coordinating so well without him, he wasn’t even needed here.
Li YuanQing bumped into Lu YunFei as he ran, “What’s up with you? You’ve been deskmates for not even a month, but you’re already so chummy with him.”
“This is the first time he’s competing with others, I’ve got to look after him,” Lu YunFei replied as a matter-of-fact.
“Then could you spare a consideration for your pitiful friend here?” Li YuanQing pointed at himself, “Fei, I’m already not participating in the game on the actual day, it’s not a big ask to let me score some points.”
It really wasn’t a big ask, and in fact it was a bit humbling. Lu YunFei patted Li YuanQing’s shoulder, “Don’t worry, I’ll pass to you next time.”
Li YuanQing was satisfied, “I’ll wait for you.”
Lu YunFei did as he promised. When he got the ball the next time he immediately passed it to Li YuanQing, who swiftly attacked. The girls outside the court shouted, “Go Li YuanQing.”
Li YuanQing raised his arms to shoot, but as the ball left his hands, Sun Zhe# smacked it back down. Li YuanQing was shocked, fuck! His moment of glory! He hadn’t yet emerged from his shock when he saw Bian JinYuan come out from nowhere and quickly got the ball before scoring a point.
The girls screamed and didn’t stop shouting Bian JinYuan’s name.
Li YuanQing turned his head to look at Bian JinYuan, but he had already started to calmly walk back.
Lu YunFei looked at him and patted his shoulder, “Look, the spotlight, stage, and microphone were given to you, but you couldn’t make it.”
“What do you know, I was just faking. I had already seen Bian JinYuan behind me, and so I intentionally did that to let him shoot. See, you’ve all been hoodwinked by me.”
Lu YunFei leveled a look at him, “Faking? ‘Fake’ as in ‘fake limbs’⧗?”
“You’re the fake limbs!”
When it was ten minutes to the end of the period, the sports rep got the girls to gather as he ran towards the court to shout, “Lu YunFei, Bian JinYuan, Li YuanQing, it’s time to gather.”
“Let’s gather,” Lu YunFei said as he tossed the ball to Wen MingYi, “Same place this afternoon after school, see you later.”
“Sure,” Wen MingYi caught the ball and headed to the direction of his classroom.
The spectating boys and girls saw that the players had dispersed, and broke away as well to go back to their classrooms. After the Physical Education teacher dismissed the class, Lu YunFei felt thirsty and went to buy water from the school canteen, as well as for Li YuanQing and Bian JinYuan.
Li YuanQing grabbed a bottle and pushed his phone over to him.
Lu YunFei took a look and almost spat his water out.
《Visual feast!!! School grass! Grade grass! Class grass! A basketball game to satisfy your eyes!》
I’ve been putting this off but it looks like I’ll be changing the term as shown in the title from ‘School Adonis’ to ‘School Grass’! When I first started translating this I hadn’t read a lot of stories set in school and so the term ‘school grass’, literally translated from 校草 (xiào cǎo) to mean the most handsome guy in school / campus heartthrob, seemed off, and I wondered if anyone would understand what it meant. Since then I’ve encountered the literal translation quite a bit so I suppose it’s quite a common translated term oops! I have no excuse though because I could’ve done a quick search on the term to see how it’s been translated and I didn’t. Sorry! Not sure if I should go through the hassle of updating NU to change the title though.
Anyway, ‘school grass’ is the male counterpart to the longstanding use of ‘school flower’, literally translated from 校花 (xiào huā) to mean the prettiest girl in school / campus belle.
# Who is Sun Zhe lol! The author made a typo here, so it’s anyone’s guess as to whether it was meant to be Sun Qing or Zhou Zhe.
⧗ Li YuanQing had made an excuse saying that he had faked his movements (假动作, jiǎ dòng zuò), and Lu YunFei made a jab by clarifying if the ‘fake’ was the same character used in prosthetic limbs (假肢, jiǎ zhī). I guess it’s supposed to be a jab somehow?