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The outreach training only took one and a half days. In the afternoon of the second day, everyone returned back home by bus.
As the qualifiers of the professional league was approaching, Gu Yaoyang gradually became busy. He returned to the dormitory at eight or nine o’clock every day and had to call Shao Zheng and the club manager to discuss work matters.
Compared to Gu Yaoyang, Lin Yuyan’s days were much more relaxed. Although he was in his third year of high school, he had good grades and wasn’t worried about entering college. He originally wanted to go to an art school, so he took this opportunity to study under Mr. Zeng. He was receiving the best help he could get. He was actively working hard to prepare a piece that his father would approve of, hoping that his father could see his progress and hard work and would support his dreams.
Lin Yuyan came back earlier than Gu Yaoyang. He had helped order takeaway for the two of them and also started to learn how to cook again.
He was making soup in the kitchen at the moment, and he carefully added some salt to the soup pot. Just as he was about to taste it, somebody hugged him from behind. Lin Yuyan turned his head around as he fed the spoon to Gu Yaoyang’s mouth and asked, “How does it taste? Is it too salty?”
Gu Yaoyang hadn’t even spoken when Lin Yuyan immediately said, “Tell the truth! You’re not allowed to lie!”
Gu Yaoyang said, “Have I ever lied to you?”
Lin Yuyan curled his lips: “You lied to me a lot.”
Lin Yuyan didn’t believe him and he tasted the soup himself. It really turned out to be a little bland. He added a little salt before feeding it to Gu Yaoyang’s mouth again.
Coach Gu refused to drink. He leaned against his shoulder with a pitiful look and lightly said, “You don’t trust me.”
Lin Yuyan blinked his eyes before putting the spoon back and turning off the stove. He broke away from Gu Yaoyang’s arms that was wrapped around his waist. Turning around, he asked, “You- Are you acting like a baby?”
Gu Yaoyang placed his arms on the cupboard and leaned into it, trapping Lin Yuyan in his arms. He said in a dissatisfied manner, “As long as you hug me every day, can’t I be coquettish to you?”
Lin Yuyan had never seen such a cute side of him. He cupped his face and kissed him, then said with his eyes bent, “Sure!”
Before dinner, Gu Yaoyang cooked another dish. Lin Yuyan still hasn’t had a good grasp on controlling the fire while cooking, so he still needed to slowly practice it. While eating, Coach Gu’s phone rang again. He simply answered it with a few words before hanging up and preparing to go out again.
Lin Yuyan asked, “Where are you going?”
Gu Yaoyang said, “A player has been in a bad mood recently. He beat Shao Zheng during training at night and ran away.”
“Ah…” Lin Yuyan put down his bowl and chopsticks and walked to the door: “Are you going to look for him?”
Gu Yaoyang nodded: “I think I know where he is, so I’m going to try and find him.”
Lin Yuyan said, “Can I go?”
Lin Yuyan said, “I know I can’t help you if there’s going to be a fight, I just want to be with you…” He picked up his phone and continued, “No, maybe I could help you by calling the police as soon as possible.”
Gu Yaoyang looked at him and suddenly recalled that time on Wenchang street. When he clearly reminded the other not to follow him, the small thing still sneaked around and disobeyed his orders.
Forget it, it’s safer to bring him around.
So he helped him get his coat and sternly warned him, “You can come, but you have to be obedient.”
Lin Yuyan immediately nodded. He joyfully hugged him before putting his coat on.
The player who beat Shao Zheng was Cole who was mentioned in a discussion during the outreach training. He was born in the slums in the southernmost part of Mostin and was discriminated against because of his mixed blood. His father was an alcoholic and his mother was a gambler, he was a sneaky punk before he joined the club.
Mr. Zeng once saw him fighting in the streets, so he recruited him and wanted to train him to be a boxer.
He was successfully recruited, but his arrogance and disobedience gave Mr. Zeng a headache.
“Then why did Mr. Zeng still recruit him?” Lin Yuyan followed Gu Yaoyang to a bustling commercial street, where many people came and went. There was a wandering musician playing the piano by the side of the road. Lin Yuyan turned his head and looked at the musician before taking out some money from his pocket and placing it in the hat the musician used to collect money.
The player was a white-haired old man who nodded and smiled at him.
Gu Yaoyang stood there and waited until Lin Yuyan followed, before continuing to say, “Because he is a pervert.”
“Ah?” Lin Yuyan said, “Who is the pervert?”
Gu Yaoyang said, “Zeng Yi.”
“How come?” Lin Yuyan said: “Don’t slander my teacher.”
Coach Gu took out a cigarette that had just been opened. He seemed to be very dissatisfied with the word “my teacher”, and replied, “If he wasn’t a pervert, he wouldn’t have opened a fighting club.”
Lin Yuyan said, “He opened the club because he likes fighting. If he doesn’t have a good physique, can’t he contribute to his dreams in another way?”
Gu Yaoyang coldly said, “What dream? He only likes to watch other people fight. The violent impact of those punches could stimulate the abnormal factors in his body.”
Lin Yuyan stated, “Teacher is not that kind of person.”
Gu Yaoyang glanced at him: “Haven’t you only known him for a few days? From the fact that he knows me, it’s obvious that he isn’t a good person.”
Lin Yuyan frowned and stopped.
Gu Yaoyang asked, “What?”
Lin Yuyan unhappily said, “Why would you say that my boyfriend isn’t a good person?”
“You…” Gu Yaoyang was stunned, he was rarely shocked by his words. Instead of being angry, the corners of his mouth rose. He rubbed his head as a compromise and said, “Okay, okay, your teacher isn’t bad.”
Lin Yuyan snorted softly, and was about to continue chatting with him when someone behind him shouted, “Thief! Catch the thief!”
He and Gu Yaoyang turned around at the same time and saw a tall figure running out of a bakery. He was wearing a certain club’s uniform as he rampaged through the crowd, knocking down several passersby on his way.
“Cole.” Gu Yaoyang narrowed his eyes and said to Lin Yuyan, “Stand here and don’t move, wait for me to come back.”
“Be obedient.” After speaking, he stepped towards Cole’s direction and chased after him.
Lin Yuyan knew he couldn’t help him, so he quickly took out his mobile phone and called the police. He looked at Gu Yaoyang’s back with worry and kept rationally reminding himself that nothing bad would happen. He had seen Cole, and he was not Gu Yaoyang’s opponent.
But he couldn’t control himself emotionally. After pacing around the place two times, he saw the old man who played the piano just now fall to the ground. The coins in his hat were spilled to the ground. He was trying to crawl away and collect the money he dropped.
Lin Yuyan hurried over to help him and found that the back of his hand was bleeding, it seemed that Cole pushed him when he rushed out and injured him.
There happened to be a pharmacy nearby, so Lin Yuyan wanted to send him there, but he shook his head and said that he wanted to sit in front of the piano to play. After further questioning, he learned that the old man’s wife was sick in bed and he was raising money to pay for her medicine for tomorrow. He was almost able to gather the amount of money he needed.
Lin Yuyan immediately took out his wallet and wanted to give the money to him, but the old man refused, saying that he had just collected the entrance fee and could not ask for more.
After thinking about it, Lin Yuyan realized that the old man regarded the charity given to him by passers-by as tickets to the concert.
“Then, do you need a guest?”
Lin Yuyan had just gone to the nearby pharmacy to buy some medicine that would stop the bleeding and handed it to the old man. He looked at the endless number of passersby on the streets. He thought for a while and said, “You should rest for a bit and wait until the bleeding stops before performing again. During this period, I will be your guest and help you attract the audience, okay?”
The old man’s injury was indeed a little serious, and after thinking for a while he said thank you and took a break.
Lin Yuyan sat in front of the piano and took a deep breath. It was the first time he performed on the side of the road. He took several piano lessons when he was a child, so he knew how to play the piano. Although he did not study for a long time, he had a good sense of music and played well. Zhuo Hang often said that if he chose the path of music, he might already be a little famous pianist. Unlike painting where he probably couldn’t make a name even after painting for a long time, wasting so much time.
But Lin Yuyan just liked painting more. Even if he can do other things better, it still couldn’t change his passion for painting.
In a way, he was a bit silly and stubborn.
After calming down for a while, he was still a little nervous, but the words had been spoken, so he couldn’t back down. He opened the old man’s music score, found a piece of music he had learned, and put his hands on the keys.
Compared to the old man’s deep and mournful tune, Lin Yuyan chose a tune, which was much lighter. The melodious notes flowed from his fingers. While playing, he looked in the direction Gu Yaoyang left, wondering if he was coming back soon.
The winter breeze was very cold. Lin Yuyan’s hands were about to freeze before he finished the song. He didn’t know how the old man could survive playing in such a cold world. He just wanted to finish playing this song as soon as possible to warm his hands. Suddenly, somebody sat next to him and covered the back of his hand with a warm palm.
It was Gu Yaoyang.
He ran after Cole and caught up to him. He had tied him like a rice dumpling and thrown him on the side of the road, leaving him behind without any shame.
The brisk piano melody didn’t stop. Gu Yaoyang sat beside Lin Yuyan. He helped keep him warm as he performed for the crowd.
Lin Yuyan didn’t expect Gu Yaoyang to know how to play the piano, but after he thought about it carefully, he felt that there was nothing to be shocked about. Gu Yaoyang was smart and he could do everything. One song after another, Lin Yuyan’s frozen fingers were warmed up. He slipped out of Gu Yaoyang’s generous palms quietly and played together with him.
Maybe most people liked brisk music, so gradually more and more passers-by watched the two boys with raised lips, huddled together, playing the piano as they secretly talked.
“Do you think you could like a person more and more with time?”
“I think so too.” Lin Yuyan lowered his head, looking at two people intersecting and touching fingers. He distressedly said, “When I confessed to you, my heart could still hold on to my love for you.”
“But now, I don’t think it could hold on anymore. It looks like it’s full and it’s about to explode.”