No Protection Tonight

 

Chapter 23: Men Need to Have Some Bloodlust

 

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The class was speechless, and must’ve thought I had gone insane.

“Feng, have some common sense. This is basketball, not a fistfight. It’ll be too late to regret it when they do you in.”

“Yeah, Zhuang Feng, it’s not that big of a deal to give up. Their class’ basketball skills are famous even in our entire city.”

Teacher Liu sighed, “Hey, be more supportive, guys. He’s doing this for your sake.”

“However, we can’t just have you enter the competition alone. Let’s just get some random people to make up the team, and I’ll go with you guys. The other teachers will be there too, so the game will most likely end if they go too far.”

Though the other boys in my class were incredibly unwilling, they couldn’t do anything against Teacher Liu’s decision.

The girls, however, grew excited as they started to discuss handsome boys from other classes.

“You should all start preparing for the game at four o’clock. There’s half an hour left, so you should go warm up.” Teacher Liu wasn’t really a bad person. Besides being overly strict on our studies, she didn’t have any problems otherwise.

When we walked out, we heard the neighboring classroom making fun of us. “Look, that weak-ass class is actually going to play basketball!”

“Haha, they were forced to. Let’s go watch later, Li Zhiyuan said that he’ll pummel them!”

The other boys behind me turned white with fear, with horror written all over their face.

When we arrived at the courts, the referee was just about to announce the results. “This year’s school basketball tournament first place goes to…”

“Wait, ref, Class Five from the third-year wants to challenge us!” Li Zhiyuan shouted in our direction.

Liu Jie followed behind me, and asked me if I had played basketball before.

“Ah, nope.” I rubbed my nose. There were no basketballs in our village; having a couple marbles to shoot with was already a luxury.

“You doofus, why did you volunteer if you haven’t played before? Go apologize to Li Zhiyuan later, I’ll back you up.” Liu Jie punched me lightly.

“What should I be afraid of? It’s not like I don’t know how it works, it’ll be fine.” I was unfazed. Li Zhiyuan had to be put in his place; he had been spreading the word all afternoon how he was going to pulverize us.

If I didn’t put an end to this, I wouldn’t be able to lift my head to my classmates in the future. With this opportunity, I’d be able to teach him that I wasn’t someone he could push around.

“No, no. You’ll pay a price for trying to crash through this by yourself, I’m not allowing it!” Liu Jie pouted, showing her dominant side.

“Why do you even care?” Somehow, I had become her boyfriend. Because Liu Jie hadn’t said she loved me, I didn’t mind.

“Tch, you’re thinking too much. I’m just worried that Mei-jie* will blame me if you get hurt.” Liu Jie pinched me. Was she addicted to pinching people or something?

*The prefix –jie is the same as –ge, but feminine. It can either be used for someone older than you, or an older relative/sibling. However, this is only for people who are a few years older.

I wasn’t going to let her go so easily, and I cupped my palm against her ass when nobody was watching. Her suppleness was pure ecstasy to touch.

Liu Jie wasn’t prepared for it at all, and gasped in surprise. Her moan was filled with enticement and temptation.

The incessant chatter around us covered Liu Jie’s squeal, but some of our classmates around us caught it. They turned their heads away with knowing smiles.

Liu Jie’s face turned red with embarrassment, showing her charming and tender side. Frankly, her small frame wasn’t lacking in curves at all.

City girls nowadays don’t eat much, so they’re often lacking in nutrition. There aren’t many who don’t have a decent breast size, but at the same time, many of their busts aren’t shaped particularly well. Liu Jie was an outlier, and her beautiful yet gentle arcs, along with her delicate collarbone and pale legs, exerted a powerful aura of youth.

It really wasn’t a surprise that there would be so many boys at our school who fancied her. Though, her words earlier about Saozi worrying about me carried a feeling of sourness.

Maybe the hot tea incident at the hotel earlier was a sign that I love her, but when Tangge and the others urged me to keep it going with Liu Jie, Saozi didn’t look like she wanted to object. Could she be signaling that I shouldn’t get ahead of myself?

I felt incredibly confused and tense while thinking about these things. Playing some ball and letting this frustration out was a good way to cool off.

Soon, our class arrived at the courts, and Li Zhiyuan’s team was deep in discussion.

“Yuan-ge, this is getting a little out of hand, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, we’ve been working our asses off for half a month, and we’ve taken first place already. Why do we have to play another match? If-”

“Stick that ‘if’ up your crotch, Year Three’s Class Five is a load of garbage. It’s not like you guys don’t know that that guy stole my girlfriend, and made me a laughingstock in front of everyone. I’m going to crush him for all the world to see!” Li Zhiyuan’s voice surged.

It was obvious that he said that for me to hear, but our guys were still indignant at his insults. “How could he talk sh*t about us like that?”

“Yeah, that’s just over the top.”

“Are your test scores any higher than ours? All brawn, no brain.”

Our class wasn’t backing down. It wasn’t right at all to have underclassmen talk about us like that. There were a hundred or so onlookers around us, so they weren’t letting it slide.

Li Zhiyuan started to go off again. “Play hard, I think we can end the game without them scoring a single point. If that happens, I’ll pay for a big dinner, and we’ll split the reward money evenly.”

His words made me curious. “Sanmao, first place has reward money?”

“Yep, every year’s basketball team champion gets six thousand yuan*. Feng-ge, is that what you’re going after?” Liu Sanmao saw my face light up, and asked in awe.

“Exactly, Sanmao. Everyone’s gotta have some goals, and if you put in the effort, there’s not much that you can’t achieve.” I patted his shoulder, but he smiled bitterly.

“Feng-ge, I’m surprised you still have a sense of humor at this point. We’ll be nothing but target practice for them, and it’ll be a wonder if we even score a single hoop.”

I narrowed my eyes. It was my first time playing basketball, and when Liu Sanmao asked me what position I was going to play, I replied that whatever one was fine.

“Feng-ge, have you never played basketball before?” He asked awkwardly.

I nodded solemnly. “Yep, but I’ve watched basketball in my free time on the TV. Don’t worry, I won’t drag the team down.”

“We can still forfeit. I’m guessing that once the match starts, they’ll totally screw us over. Our class is just weak as hell.” Wang Xiaopang had already lost confidence.

“You know, I’m guessing the reason why you guys are made fun of all the time is because you give up before anything even happens. Can’t you all act like men for once?” I got frustrated, and paused. “I don’t really care whether you guys come or not, I can go by myself.”

They stood in silence for a while. “F**king hell, it’s just basketball. The most that can happen is scrapes and bruises, and we can even skip school on an injury excuse.” Wang Xiaopang spoke.

“Sh*t, if even pervert Wang isn’t backing down, I won’t, either. We’re all graduating this year, and nobody wants to do that with regrets.”

They weren’t completely hopeless. All they needed was a spark to light up their flame of resolve.