Chapter 2: Nightmare in the color of dusk (Part Three)

Still he drew much attention from the girls on the nearby volleyball court. They kept whispering to each other about him. Liu Lingmei kept glancing at Ouyang Xiaoleng while she passed the ball to Xia Qiu, making Xia Qiu run to the edge of the court to pick up the ball she missed.

“Watch out!”

As she bent over to pick up the ball, someone yelled at her. She looked up and saw a basketball flying toward her face at a great speed. Knowing she couldn’t dodge it, she closed her eyes.

With a bam, the basketball was caught by Ouyang Xiaoleng before it crashed into her face. He had moved from the center of the basketball court to her side within a second. He inhaled deeply as he got the ball.

“Did you see how he moved over? He seemed to be flying!” The boy who warned Xia Qiu about the ball asked the boys around him in astonishment.

“He moved as fast as McGrady in the NBA match I saw yesterday,” One boy answered him while the others were speechless; they stood there and looked at Ouyang Xiaoleng, shaking their heads in disbelief.

Ouyang Xiaoleng realized his move had drawn people’s attention. Whenever Xia Qiu was in danger, his body would move reflexively to protect her, giving him no time to think.

He must think of an excuse to explain his extraordinary speed. Recalling the moves of the basketball players he had seen on TV, he dribbled the ball to the court and sent it into the loop with a stunning slam dunk.

His audience had just snapped back from astonishment and now looked at him in admiration. For the rest of the period, he was forced to play basketball with the boys in the class and became their center.

Xia Qiu had seen Ouyang Xiaoleng’s move when he flew over to block the basketball for her and was amazed by his explosive force and speed that far surpassed the limit of human capabilities. She was stunned but also grateful. But before she could thank him, he had run back into the basketball court.

Ouyang Xiaoleng was even more mysterious in her eyes. After the PE class, the students were panting heavily and sweating profusely, but his breathing was as calm as usual and he didn’t have a drop of sweat on his face or his T-shirt. What kind of person was he? She wondered. But most puzzling was that this cold-looking guy always appeared by her side whenever she was frightened or in danger.

She had wanted to talk to him after school but Du He invited her and Liu Lingmei to play badminton in his home. She hesitated but agreed when Lingmei begged her. Du He’s friend, a boy named Dong Haofan, joined them.

It was the first time that Xia Qiu went to Du He’s home. She especially liked the yard, which had a flowerbed, a grape trellis, and a clearing big enough to play badminton. She paired with Du He while Liu Lingmei paired with Dong Haofan, playing singles and doubles with point system. It was quite fun. In the doubles, she and Du He almost got all the wins. As they high fived and cheered, she forgot about her questions about Ouyang Xiaoleng.(read on noodletowntranslated dot com to support the actual translators)

After supper, Du He walked Xia Qiu home, chatting with her about their trips during summer vacation and impressions of the new teachers. Absorbed in the topics, she smiled when he said something funny. She felt peaceful and acted naturally when she was with Du He. When they were close to her home, the figure that disturbed her heart appeared before her again. Even from the distance, she recognized him, but in the next instant, he vanished.

Ouyang Xiaoleng didn’t know how he ended up standing before Xia Qiu’s home. He had returned home but was worried about the girl who could even fall asleep in Yongchuan Forest; if he didn’t watch her, she might get herself into danger again. He searched for her in the forest and then walked to her home subconsciously. Then he saw Xia Qiu came back with Du He.(read on noodletowntranslated dot com to support the actual translators)

His heart felt a stinging pain when he saw Xia Qiu smile at Du He. Thinking she hadn’t seen him, he left immediately. Over the years, he had guarded her silently and never thought of letting her know about it, but why did he feel hurt at the thought that she had never smiled at him like this?

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