Chapter 39: Newbie?
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“How can you do this, Fu Renjie? Lil Tang isn’t a tennis player!” Wu Xiaomo said indignantly.
“That’s right. You guys have played tennis for so many years. Aren’t you ashamed of yourselves, challenging a newbie?”
Fu Renjie was red in the face. He pointed a finger at Tang Hao. “So, Tang, do you dare? Are you a real man?”
“Lil Tang, you don’t have to entertain ridiculous requests like this! Just ignore him!” Wu Xiaomo was even more anxious than Tang Hao.
“Just ignore him!” Qin Xiangyi also agreed.
Tang Hao slowly stood up, and told them, “Don’t worry!” Then, he looked at Fu Renjie. “I accept your challenge! Let’s play a match then. However, if I win, you’d better keep your distance from Xiangyi.”
“It’s a bet! Whoever loses, leaves!”
Fu Renjie was ecstatic. He nearly laughed out loud.
He had played tennis for about ten years. He was not considered a pro, though he was still one of the better players in the local scene. Defeating a newbie should be a walk in the park.
‘He’s a country bumpkin after all! I only needed to rile him up and he’ll fall into my trap!’
He was trembling with excitement. He immediately went off to change into sportswear.
“Haha, let’s prepare the popcorn! We’ll see how Bro Fu torments this kid.” Qian Wei and the other men laughed at Tang Hao’s misfortune.
“Why did you accept his challenge, Lil Tang? Don’t you know that he’s quite proficient in tennis?” Qin Xiangyi whispered.
“Don’t worry! I won’t lose!” Tang Hao replied.
“But…” Qin Xiangyi was anxious.
Tang Hao smiled and gave her a look of assurance.
“Can I borrow a racket?”
Wu Xiaomo immediately passed him one.
Tang Hao took the racket and gripped it tightly. He swung it a few times to familiarize himself with its weight distribution.
Then, he closed his eyes and countless images flashed past his mind.
It was true that he was not a tennis player. However, he had played several matches when he was in high school and had read many books on tennis, as well as watched many tennis games on television.
He understood the underlying concepts behind the game.
His physique was totally different from back then. Ever since he had started on his path of cultivation, his body had undergone a total transformation, and his physical aptitudes have been augmented dramatically beyond the realm of normal humans.
Looking back at those techniques, mastering them was trivially easy.
Fu Renjie walked to the other side of the court. He cracked his neck and stretched his body as a warmup. He laughed coldly and his expression was confident.
There was no doubt that victory would be his. His problem was how to torment this fellow and utterly embarrass him.
The ruckus earlier had attracted the attention of people on the other courts. They had gathered around to watch the ensuing match.
“Isn’t that Fu Renjie? That kid is finished. I don’t think he can score a single point against him.”
“I think these two people are competing over a woman. There, it’s that beautiful woman.”
Knowing that their tennis duel was over a woman, especially a beautiful woman, had reignited the excitement in the crowd. They shouted and cheered, and the atmosphere became heated.
“Xiangyi, why didn’t you stop him? He’s a newbie. He’s no match for Fu Renjie!” Wu Xiaomo anxiously grasped Qin Xiangyi’s hand.
Qin Xiangyi’s eyebrows were furrowed and she was also worried.
However, she suddenly remembered that day when he also acted in a similarly confident way when facing that bunch of hooligans.
She smiled and felt a lot more relaxed.
“I believe in him!”
“Eh, Xiangyi! Are you stupid? What’s the point in believing in him?” Wu Xiaomo rolled her eyes. She did not know what else to say.
A portion of the crowd parted. A burly man in his thirties stepped forth. He had a square face and looked somewhat fierce.
“Coach Xu is here!” Someone in the crowd cried out.
Coach Xu was a popular figure in the local tennis circles. He was a professional player when he was young, and he was still one of the top players even after he became a coach.
Coach Xu walked next to the court in great strides. He looked to the left and the right, then laughed. “Fu Renjie, why are you challenging a scrawny little kid? Won’t you be bullying him?”
“Coach Xu, please be the umpire!” Fu Renjie said.
Coach Xu took a look at Tang Hao, then nodded. “Alright, I will be the umpire! Don’t play too rough, Fu Renjie, at least show him some mercy.”
“Who’s serving first?” Coach Xu asked the two while clutching a tennis ball.
“Let him serve!” Fu Renjie pointed at Tang Hao.
“Alright. Kid, catch!” Coach Xu tossed the ball at Tang Hao.
Tang Hao opened his eyes. He reached out and caught the tennis ball firmly in his grasp.
He held firmly in his palm and carefully analyzed its weight distribution.
“Alright, let’s begin!” Coach Xu raised an arm and shouted.
The atmosphere at the tennis court became more heated. All eyes were focused on the boy with the tennis ball.
This boy held the ball in his hand and stood there quietly, not moving a muscle. When some people in the crowd were starting to become impatient, he started moving. He walked over to the serving position, then gently tossed the tennis ball in his hand.
The tennis ball rose into the air, then fell toward the ground.
The strangest thing was that the boy did not move at all. His eyes followed the movement of the ball.
The ball fell to the ground and bounced.
“Whoa!” The crowd was riled. Then, everyone booed loudly.
“F*ck me, is he a newbie? Don’t tell me he doesn’t even know how to serve. What’s there to watch then?” Everyone looked disappointed as they booed.
Fu Renjie was shocked, then burst out laughing.
He knew that the opponent was a newbie, but did not expect that he did not know how to serve a ball.
Wu Xiaomo sighed sadly and covered her face. “I can’t bear to watch!” She mumbled.
Tang Hao was unaffected by the booing. He remained his composure while furrowing his eyebrows as if he had just understood something. He bent down and picked up the ball, then threw it into the air once again.
Once again, he did not move and allowed the ball to fall to the ground.
The crowd booed again.
‘What’s this kid trying to do?’ Coach Xu was starting to become impatient. He wanted to say something but he saw the boy pick up the ball and throw it again.
This time, he moved.
At the moment he swung his racket, his posture drastically changed from someone normal to someone as fierce and intimidating as a tiger.
The racket struck the tennis ball.
The ball rebounded with astonishing speed, flew over the net and hit the opponent’s side of the court.
The ball hit the ground with a thud and left a mark, then bounced up. It flew at an impossible angle toward Fu Renjie.
Right on the chin!
Fu Renjie cried out in pain, then stumbled and fell backward. He was thoroughly confounded.
The tennis court fell into a dead silence.