Who On Earth Bit Me? Chapter 31

Chapter 31: Collection of Heartbeats

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“But this is a shooting competition,” An Lan chuckled helplessly.

But deep inside, An Lan was grateful to Gu Liyu. At this crucial time when he should focus on his competition, Gu Liyu came over to comfort him.

“Earlier, Ye Yun used falling in love with someone as a metaphor for the process of chasing a moving target. I think it’s not quite right,” Gu Liyu said.

“Really?” An Lan’s interest was piqued.

Gu Liyu’s personality didn’t seem like someone who had experienced love. How could he understand the difference between falling in love with someone and shooting?

However, Gu Liyu’s thoughts went beyond An Lan’s expectations.

“The ten-meter moving target is a process of self-control. You adjust your breathing, rhythm, and go from following the target to the result of hitting it in one shot. It’s about controlling the target through self-control.”

“So, how is falling in love with someone different?” An Lan looked into Gu Liyu’s eyes.

“Liking someone is a process of self-indulgence,” Gu Liyu said calmly.

In An Lan’s impression, Gu Liyu was disciplined and restrained. The description of “self-indulgence” was something he never imagined for Gu Liyu.

“From the beginning, being attracted by the way that person shoots a gun, then subconsciously paying attention to his smile, the topics he talks about, the things he likes, and even his bravery and composure. Because of paying attention, I discovered that everything about him fits my taste.”

Gu Liyu’s voice was like a cello in a spacious concert hall—deep, magnetic, lonely, waiting for someone to come and listen, to be understood.

But not just anyone could enter this concert hall.

An Lan looked into the other person’s eyes, searching for any signs of falling. 

“Then, when I couldn’t help myself, I realized it wasn’t because everything about him suited my preferences, but because everything about him made my heart race. It’s not another person appearing before me with a gun like he does, or laughing like he does that makes me fall for him.” 

An Lan’s heart was like the strings of the cello; with each note, his heart would leap as if startled. 

But when he came to his senses, he realized it wasn’t a startle but a calm heart finally experiencing ripples. 

“All of his everything constitutes the collection that makes my heart race. He is the gun, and I am a self-aware target. He unconsciously aimed at me, and I longed to be pierced by him.”

Gu Liyu’s words calmed An Lan’s anxious heart about being a “slow burner.” 

“There’s nothing wrong with being a slow burner. The state that accumulates bit by bit is like a fortress strengthened layer by layer; it won’t collapse because of a lightning strike or a single attack. Most players who seem to quickly enter a state often have fragile conditions. If one brick breaks, the whole wall collapses.” Gu Liyu’s voice was calm and objective. 

Suddenly, An Lan understood Gu Liyu’s meaning; he hoped An Lan could affirm himself, considering “slow burning” as an advantage rather than a shortcoming.

“As the number of competitions increases, the time you spend building mental barriers will become shorter. So, maintaining your state is more important than shaking your mindset.”

Gu Liyu turned his face slightly, locking eyes with An Lan from a different angle, making sure An Lan absorbed his words.

A captivating gleam passed through his black glass-like pupils.

An Lan smiled and thumped his fist on Gu Liyu’s shoulder, “Thanks, I’m not so conflicted now.”

From a distance, Xiao Chen turned around and grinned at Lin Huaien, “Old Lin, see? The traps you set for An Lan are useless.”

Xu Xingran laughed, “You just called him ‘little guy’ a moment ago, and now you’re using his name?”

Xiao Chen patted his knee and stood up, “Some opponents deserve respect, while others… love buzzing like flies.”

From afar, Xiao Nan paused, then turned around, glaring fiercely at Xiao Chen.

However, Xiao Chen just grinned, not paying any attention to him. He took off a hair tie adorned with a small bee and sunflower from his wrist, tied his slightly long hair behind his head.

The five-minute break quickly passed. All participants took their positions, ready for the competition of thirty quick targets.

An Lan held his gun, adjusting his breathing. His heartbeat gradually became calm, and all the noise and unnecessary perceptions were gradually stripped away from his world.

He didn’t know the first-round results of others; he didn’t even notice that when he pulled the trigger, the target had just covered one-third of the distance.

The results were out, 9.9 rings.

An Lan resumed his initial posture, paying no attention to the changes in his ranking.

From the third shot onwards, An Lan’s scores remained between 10.2 and 10.5, an excellent performance. Many top athletes in the province might not maintain such stability.

The top five rankings also saw significant changes. Xu Xingran surpassed Ye Yun, taking second place. Gu Liyu moved to third place, Ye Yun dropped to fourth, and Xiao Chen, participating in the competition for the first time after recovering from a shoulder injury, remained stable in first place.

Xiao Nan looked at the ranking board, feeling surprised. An Lan had surpassed Liu Qingyang from the Junhe Club and closely followed Xiao Nan’s position.

“Tsk.” Xiao Nan frowned. He didn’t have time to calculate the exact scores of An Lan’s every shot, but he knew he needed to be in better shape; otherwise, he would be overtaken by this unknown player from the civilian club.

Starting from the eleventh shot, An Lan’s mindset completely calmed down. He knew he needed a bit more passion for shooting, a bit more control over his target.

An Lan followed the movement of his target, scoring 10.5 with one shot, instantly tying with Xiao Nan.

Xiao Nan deliberately didn’t look at the ranking board. Although he was young, his finals experience was richer than An Lan’s. On the twelfth shot, he surpassed An Lan by 0.1.

The two silently competed. The difference remained between 0.1 and 0.2, seeming like they could overtake each other at any time, but like a maze, neither could break away.

When the last five shots arrived, Xiao Nan glanced at the ranking board, feeling a surge of frustration. D*mn, why hasn’t this guy been left behind yet?

Surprisingly, their scores were still the same.

Meanwhile, Xu Xingran had reached the first place, followed by Xiao Chen in second, Ye Yun in third, and Gu Liyu in fourth.

This quartet formed a situation where no one could break through, with differences ranging from 0.1 to 0.5. Each shot by these four individuals seemed to change their rankings.

An Lan, as if oblivious to everything, felt that he was now getting into the groove. Blood in his veins carried a certain desire, spreading throughout his body. He awaited the appearance of his target, even enjoying the process of hitting it.

Pulling the trigger, his gaze continued to chase the target, his body moving smoothly until the target disappeared.

10.6; this was the best score An Lan had achieved so far, leading Xiao Nan by 0.3, securing the fifth position.

Xiao Nan sensed a slight annoyance. The next shot, this guy couldn’t possibly score another 10.6.

But as Coach Lin and Gu Liyu mentioned before, once An Lan entered his state, it was like an unbreakable barrier. Trying to shake him was almost impossible.

On the penultimate shot, An Lan scored 10.5, and Xiao Nan did well but got only 10.4. The gap between them widened to 0.4.

Xiao Nan clenched his teeth. Previously, he didn’t understand An Lan, didn’t understand why a coach of Lin Huaien’s level would call a relatively unknown player for a practice match.

But now Xiao Nan was clear. To defeat An Lan, you had to accumulate a massive advantage in the early stages, an advantage that even in full form An Lan couldn’t recover. Now, once An Lan surpassed him, the gap would only widen.

In the third-to-last shot, An Lan scored 10.2 points, but achieving a score of ten or above for every shot was already an ability tantamount to reaching the summit for players of their age. 

Xiao Nan scored 10.4 points, recovering a point, but before he could affirm himself, in the second-to-last shot, An Lan once again scored 10.4 points. Xiao Nan felt a sense of fatigue in adjusting his mentality to chase An Lan. 

Xiao Nan became unwilling to accept this situation. He knew his condition was not the issue; the real problem lay in An Lan’s excellent performance in the later stages. Invisibly, it seemed like an insurmountable barrier standing in front of Xiao Nan. 

Finally, it came to the last shot of the preliminary round. Xiao Nan reminded himself that there were still many opponents ahead, and he couldn’t afford a breakdown in mentality—absolutely not. 

Xiao Nan scored 10.5 points in this shot, a commendable achievement, but he couldn’t bring himself to smile. 

Because he was well aware that as long as An Lan continued to perform at a score of ten or above in this shot, the gap between them would remain insurmountable. The ten shots in the final might not be enough for Xiao Nan to reverse the situation.

An Lan’s posture was steady, and no one could discern his current mood.

Holding his breath, he followed the target’s movement. With a “bang,” he fired a shot. Several coaches watching thought the shot seemed too rushed, but the score of 10.4 silenced them.

“This kid has become more confident,” Coach Lin said thoughtfully, looking at An Lan.

“Weren’t you trying to expose his flaws and make him self-doubt in this practice match?” Ye Yun’s coach asked, amused.

“I can’t resist his excellent psychological adaptation skills,” Coach Lin shrugged.

“Are you so concerned about An Lan because you want to recruit him to Observing Mountain and Sea?” Ye Yun’s coach inquired.

Upon hearing this, Lin Huaien frowned, “If I knew you were going to compete with me, I wouldn’t have invited you for the practice match. It seems like you want to compete with me.”

Ye Yun’s coach, an elegant omega, squinted and smiled, “Good talents are sought after by everyone.”

“Get lost. I spotted him first.”

“When your player says, ‘I want to win the championship,’ during the finals, does that mean he’ll win the championship?”

“Eh? If you really want to compete with me, you’ll be on my ‘do not associate’ list.” 

“Are you using the threat of cutting off ties to intimidate people?” 

Lin Huairen replied with a defiant look, “Yeah, I’m threatening people with cutting off ties.” 

“Then let’s cut off ties now.” 


The preliminary round concluded, and the rankings were out.

Temporarily in the first place was Xu Xingran, followed by Gu Liyu, then Xiao Chen and Ye Yun. Surprisingly, An Lan ranked fifth.

He was originally in the second-to-last place when the thirty slow targets ended.

At this moment, An Lan sat with his gun, his face resting on it, seemingly dozing off. 

However, others knew he wanted to maintain his focus without being disturbed by the outside world.

Ye Yun’s teammate, Liu Qingyang, approached him, half-jokingly saying, “Have you checked the club’s group chat? They’ve started betting again.”

“Oh, really? Who are they betting on?” Ye Yun didn’t take out his phone, just asking with a smile.

“Xu Xingran has the highest odds, followed by you, and then Gu Liyu. Xiao Chen also performed well today, but people are skeptical due to his recent shoulder injury recovery,” Liu Qingyang replied.

Ye Yun then slowly closed the cap of his water bottle, “Why isn’t anyone betting on An Lan?”

Liu Qingyang paused, realizing that since the slow targets ended, An Lan scored above 10 almost every shot, moving from second-to-last to fifth place. The gap between him and Ye Yun was only 2.3.

Liu Qingyang calculated and found that An Lan’s average score for the thirty quick targets was an astonishing 10.28, while Ye Yun’s was only 10.25.

In that moment, Liu Qingyang fell silent.

“A truly wise person knows who their real opponent is,” Ye Yun lifted his chin with a smile.

Following Ye Yun’s gaze, Liu Qingyang found that although Xu Xingran was sitting on the side talking to Coach Lin, his eyes were consistently on An Lan.

As for Xiao Chen, although he leaned back in his chair as if he were a king, his gaze was also on An Lan.

The ten-minute break was about to end. When An Lan stood up, even Gu Liyu turned to look at him.

Liu Qingyang thought, An Lan is receiving quite a bit of attention.

Coach Lin reminded everyone, “Please take your positions. The final round of ten quick targets for the finals is about to begin.”

The final positions were based on the results of the preliminary round. An Lan, who was originally on the far side, moved towards the center.

His position was now beside Ye Yun.

As Xiao Nan passed by Xiao Chen’s position, Xiao Chen smirked lazily, “Wild dogs are more formidable than domestic ones.”

Xiao Nan widened his eyes, grabbing Xiao Chen, “What did you say?”

“I said, wild dogs are more formidable than domestic ones. Any issues with that?” Xiao Chen asked lazily, lifting his thin eyelids with a mocking undertone.

“Who are you calling a domestic dog?” Xiao Nan gritted his teeth in frustration. 

“Did I say who’s a domestic dog in my previous words?” Xiao Chen maintained his lazy expression, but there was a hint of disdain in his gaze towards Xiao Nan, as if in Xiao Chen’s eyes, Xiao Nan wasn’t even worth considering. 

“You…” Xiao Nan felt like he was about to spit out blood. 

“I’ll say it again, each player stays in their own place,” Coach Lin’s voice dropped an octave, the warning clear in his tone. 

Xiao Nan’s coach frowned as well, saying coldly, “Xiao Nan, don’t let anyone influence your game. Practice matches are no exception!”

With an unwilling turn of his head, Xiao Nan went to his position.

Finally, the last match was about to begin.

An Lan fully concentrated on his target, not even the rumored Ye Yun beside him could distract him. His expression was very focused, and the referee standing behind him felt that this young player was very stable.

“Ready,” An Lan said coldly.

This meant the referee could release the target.

From now on, each shot would have a fatal impact on the final result.

The saying “one thought to heaven, one thought to h*ll” couldn’t be more applicable here.

Ye Yun had already completed this round of shooting, glancing sideways at An Lan.

If An Lan in ordinary times was a boy with a youthful vibe, An Lan holding a gun and following the target’s movement seemed like a slowly unsheathing sharp blade, emitting a threatening cold light. Ye Yun’s gaze subconsciously followed An Lan’s figure until he pulled the trigger, and the suppressed throat finally seemed to breathe.

10.4, the same as Ye Yun’s first shot.

An Lan slowly exhaled, quickly entering the next round of posture adjustments.

Without any pheromones, even without the explosive power of tense muscles, Ye Yun felt a reassuring aura emanating from An Lan’s whole body.

It didn’t have the overwhelming impact of a landslide, nor the wild and crazy spread of wildfire. It didn’t even have any scent. This kind of power was unrelated to pheromones, yet Ye Yun couldn’t help but think—this guy is d*mn handsome.

After five shots, the rankings changed again. Xu Xingran remained in first place, but Xiao Chen returned to second, Gu Liyu was third, and there was only a 0.6 gap between An Lan in fifth place and Ye Yun.

As for Xiao Nan, he became a bit impatient. He originally wanted to surpass An Lan, but it seemed that An Lan was fixated on Ye Yun. Could this guy even surpass Ye Yun?

Several referees standing at the back glanced at each other, exchanging glances. Although this was just a practice match, it was evident that the competition among the top three players was intense. The scores were close, and fortunately, it was a quick target event, set to end in less than five minutes. Otherwise, they, the referees, might have suffered heart attacks.

The sixth shot began. Normally refined Xu Xingran unexpectedly showed a hint of killing intent as he fired when the target had only covered one-third of the distance. However, this shot wasn’t rushed, and it achieved the highest score of the entire competition—10.8.

Even Coach Lin paused, whispering, “This is the first time I’ve seen Xu Xingran take it so seriously.”

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