Devil’s WarmthChapters List
Chapter 26: Vain in pursuit
Bei Yao and Chen FeiFei brought the ‘prize’ back to the dorm to share with the other two girls.
Chen FeiFei didn't realise that something was odd, but Bei Yao did. She remembered seeing the winning number that could have won them a prize, and it had been only one Häagen-Dazs Ice-Cream, so where did the cake and the cold drinks come from?
After pondering for a while, she assumed that the organiser couldn’t have gone through the effort of giving freebies specifically for her and Chen Fei Fei, so she decided that they got lucky this time.
It was June, and right after the combined exams of First, Third, and Sixth high school, a friendly basketball tournament was held between the schools.
Despite it being just a friendly match, the students were engrossed in the preparation as this would affect the reputation of their respective schools.
The preparation procedures in the Sixth High School were carried out by their student council. The president of the student council got disappointed immediately when the basketballers stood in front of her.
The president this year was called Shi Tian, and being someone heavy into looks, got devastated when she saw the faces of the basketballers of their school.
They were either tanned or ugly and those that looked above average were way too short!
Shi Tian was already 168cm, and the only good-looking guy was only 173cm. Since girls tend to look taller, Shi Tian had the illusion that she was taller than him when he stood next to her.
Boys being boys, none of them realised the disappointed look on her face.
After the basketballers left, Shi Tian sighed, “Well, that's our school’s reputation down the drain.”
Her fellow council mates however had a plan, “The players themselves aren’t the most good looking ones but they can play very well. Besides, it doesn’t necessarily have to be them to save the reputation of our school, and finding some good-looking cheerleaders would do just the trick.”
Shi Tian’s eyes suddenly lit up; she could hardly contain herself upon hearing this flawless plan.
Finding the best looking potential cheerleaders became their top priority.
Shi Tian complained, “Wan QianAi from next door? But I do find her annoying, the last person I would go look for would be her.”
“Of course not her, shame on you for being so particular in looks! She’s no longer the most good-looking girl in our school. Didn’t you hear?”
Moments later, Shi Tian almost jumped with joy after she saw Bei Yao’s photo. “Where is she from? She looks so pretty!”
Afrerwards, they went to specifically look for Bei Yao’s form teacher to explain the matters. She, being one of the overall in-charge in school, gave in to the fact that it would positively affect their school’s reputation. She then decided that Bei Yao was going to be the leader of the Sixth High cheerleading team.
Chen FeiFei was elated when she heard the news, “YaoYao, will you be dancing? I’ll come and watch you dance!”
Bei Yao nodded her head.
Chen FeiFei said, “The basketball tournament is a tradition that is held every two years and it's said to be super crowded, make sure you cheer hard for them!”
Bei Yao nodded again, this time with a more serious look. She usually practices dancing at home, so this cheerleading task would not be too hard for her.
The tournament started in the last week of June. To Bei Yao’s surprise, it was held in Third High School, the biggest of the three schools.
It was sunny during the ending week of June. Pei Chuan frowned. He didn’t plan to play at the start, “Are you guys joking?”
Jin ZiYang opened a bottle of water and said, “Of course not, I told the captain to have three of the players swapped down and let us play.”
Pei Chuan leaned back on his arms, “You think he is going to agree with that?”
After all, they were just a bunch of hooligans going around wreaking havoc in school, not school team players. Changing players last minute would be the last thing the captain wants to do with the prestigious tournament on the line.
Zheng Hang smiled, “My mum said yes to it.”
Zheng Hang’s mum is the vice-principal of Third High School. She’s hard-working and doesn’t cause any trouble for the school. Since Zheng Hang is her only child, she is willing to do anything for him.
Pei Chuan nonchalantly said, “I guess we’ll be playing then.”
He changed into his bright red number “5” shirt and long sports pants, and so did Jin ZiYang and Zheng Hang.
They met Wei Wan while on the way to the basketball court. Being the leader of the cheerleading team, Jin ZiYang laughed and said, “Wei Wan! Cheer for me later during the game okay?”
Wei Wan gave him a dead stare and looked at Pei Chuan.
Pei Chuan was mature for his age. His prosthetic leg was made according to his height ratio, and it made him look to be 186cm.
Pei Chuan hurried them to the court while Jin ZiYang went on rambling, “Hey, Wei Wan came looking for me, how’s that? With beauty like her cheering for us, doesn’t that fuel you for playing later?”
Pei Chuan smirked, not saying a thing in response.
Zheng Hang coughed in embarrassment, regretting that he had followed Jin ZiYang’s words. Even Wei Wan was a last-minute substitute and didn’t know how to do the cheerleading dances.
A last-minute formed a basketball team and cheerleading team, Third High School was done for this year.
No matter how much regret Zheng Yang was feeling, it was too late to back out and so he went on court feeling anxious.
Third High School was the host for this year. The school has specifically hired a host for the matches. “Welcome everyone to the 16th basketball tournament! Let us welcome the cheerleading team from Third High School to deliver to you the welcoming dance!”
A group of girls in tight white shirts and mini skirts streamed out slowly onto the court. The crowd burst into screams as the hype music started blasting.
Wei Wan was struggling to keep up to the beat of the music while Jin ZiYang whistled her name in excitement.
Pei Chuan sat on the benches for the players, spinning a ball on his fingertips.
He had a great sense of hearing, allowing him to hear the complaints that the other two players were saying to each other, “Why are we still playing? How do we still have the hope to win matches with these hooligans? I doubt they even had proper training before. They’re just here to ridicule our school!”
“Keep it down bro, they will hear us if you’re this loud.”
“No they won’t, not with the music blasting in our ears.”
The other sighed, Third High School would be losing its reputation in front of the other two schools.
After the cheerleaders have finished their performance, the referee’s whistle signalled the start of the tournament.
The competition consists of three matches. The three schools were to play one match each against the other two, the school with the highest points would win. The first match was Third High School playing against Sixth High School.
The Third High School players were Pei Chuan, Jin ZiYang, Zheng Hang, and two other solemn-looking players.
Jin ZiYang even dared to joke with the two other players, “Don’t make those sour faces, Pei Chuan and I will carry you both, isn’t that great. Y’all better smile right now.”
The audience booed as they walked up. They didn’t look like a basketball team from the very start. Pei Chuan’s jersey was red, Jin ZiYang’s was yellow, Zheng Hang’s was blue, and the two other players' jerseys were green. Exactly like a flock of peacocks.
The basketball team from the Sixth High School appeared.
Shi Tian gritted her teeth, said, “I brought the utmost beauty for cheerleading. Our beauty has better looks than that ugly wench dancing just now. Therefore, everyone, you must beat that flock of peacocks today!”
“...” The boys were anxious, and couldn’t help but steal a glance at the girl in the cheerleading team, hidden by the crowd.
Bei Yao noticed they were staring at her. Although embarrassed, and uncomfortable in that attire, she still showed them an encouraging smile.
All the boys at this side were flushed.
Jin ZiYang said, “See that? They’re all freaking out after seeing me, their faces even turned red!”
Pei Chuan giggled out loud.
The referee blew the whistle and tossed the ball for a jump ball. The Sixth High School team caught the ball first. Students from the Sixth High School were screaming from the bottom of their lungs, “GOOO SIXTH HIGH! VICTORY FOR SIXTH HIGH!”
Jin ZiYang, “Ugh, what the f***?”
Pei Chuan was playing half-heartedly. He didn’t care for this game at all from the start. Winning or losing didn’t matter.
The Sixth High School managed to land the first score. The basketballers gave each other high-fives enthusiastically and returned to the game. Afrerwards, it was a short break. The score was 24:10, 24 was from the Sixth High School.
On the opposite side, the other 2 basketballers had reddened faces flushed with anger. Deng Hang smiled, “Chill, don’t be angry. This isn’t our best. The game first, friendship second.”
“...” I should murder these three.
“Sorry, friendship first.”
The cheerleaders from the Sixth High School stepped out.
This was the first time Bei Yao wore a cheerleading uniform while dancing in front of a huge crowd. Just now, she spotted Pei Chuan who had never played a game. This was the first time in a year that she saw him. Bei Yao felt nervous doing cheerleading, her heart was racing. Nonetheless, due to her daily practice, she subconsciously raised the pom-poms once the music started playing.
The music from the Sixth High School was delicately selected by Shi Tian, and they were all upbeat. Once the music started, everyone at the venue was influenced by it. Almost everybody looked in the direction of the cheerleaders, is it Wan XianAi from the Sixth High School? However, everyone was astonished.
Pei Chuan’s smile froze. His body got stiff too. Jin ZiYang stared at the girl standing right in front of the stage, still not back to reality, and stammered, “Sixth...Sixth High?”
Deng Hang exhaled, “Pretty.”
Girls aged fifteen to sixteen wore red high waist tops that showed off their bare, slim waist. The colour was bright and energetic. The pom-poms they held glimmered constantly under the sun. So pretty that the crowds screamed louder than the teams scoring earlier on.
Shi Tian looked at Bei Yao and half of her body almost melted, “I have such a keen eye for beauties!”
Chen FeiFei nodded her head crazily, extremely enthusiastic, “AHHHHHH BEIYAO! MY YAOYAO AHHHHHH I LOVE YOU!”
Bei Yao was dancing with all focus, unlike WeiWan who only cared for her looks instead of her dances. Although dressed in a high waist top and mini skirt, Bei Yao’s movement was so accurate that anybody will know she was a hardworking and obedient girl. It was also clear that she put in extra effort for the school’s reputation.
The music ended, the girls stepped down the stage one by one.
Before leaving, Bei Yao saw Pei Chuan from far.
After a year, he couldn’t help but meet the pure glance from her. Even though the game didn’t make his heart thump, at this moment, his heart was beating fast uncontrollably.
The second half of the game continued.
Shi Tian said, “Bei Yao, you can stand there. Yup, at the opposite basketball pole. This way our team will put in their utmost best!”
Bei Yao thought this was a horrible idea.
However, Shi Tian continued, “Trust me! Here, these are their names. You don’t need to know the person. Calling their names randomly will do. I prepared this for you also, tada-!”
She fished out a mini bee-like speaker, and tied it around Bei Yao’s slender waist, perfectly covering her adorable tummy.
“Ganbatte! Saranghaeyo Bei Yao! The victory of this school relies on you!”
When Bei Yao stood there at first, Jin ZiYang could feel Chuan bro being more absentminded. Although he was not any better when the crazily beautiful fairy from the Sixth High School was standing there. Jin ZiYang always looked her way and paid no attention to the ball.
But look at Pei Chuan, and oh gosh was he worse than the former. Pei Chuan didn’t dodge, crashing with another player. His eye was focused beneath the net.
Deng Hang wept, “Brothers can y’all put in some effort, I’m scared my mom will take care of me after seeing the results!”
Unfortunately, no one paid heed.
That was until Bei Yao lowered her head and started her job awkwardly. She spread out the slip of note that Shi Tian gave, and shifted the speaker’s position. She followed the words on the note, “Yi Tong, go!”
“Dong ChenSheng, go! You're the best!”
“Lin Man, go! You're the coolest!”
She read out the five names of the basketballers on repeat. She didn’t sound like a little girl anymore. Instead, her voice was gentle yet firm, like a gentle breeze caressing one’s face. The five members in the Sixth High School were all blushing, all feeling the adrenaline rush, and snatched the ball in an instant.
Jin ZiYang gasped as the opponent snatched the ball from him, “Ah! What the f***?”
But the next instant, Pei Chuan gushed past him and stole it back with a cold face.
He dribbled past the defences and passed it to Zheng Hang, and when Zheng Hang was being marked, he calmly said, “Pass it back to me!”
Zheng Hang threw it back, Pei Chuan received and woosh, there went a three.
If the players of Sixth High School were on an adrenaline rush, then Pei Chuan was on super Saiyan mode.
In one instance he went to steal the ball but got knocked down by two opponents, Pei Chuan frowned as the referee called for a foul. However, Pei Chuan stopped him and decided to continue the match.
Even Jin ZiYang was startled, “Brother Chuan, chill, it's just a basketball match. We’re not fighting over who gets to be our wife.”
Pei Chuan remained silent. It was until he heard Bei Yao chanting, “Go Go Sixth High! Sixth High will win!”
He smirked, “Let’s continue.”
Since young, it has always been his name that she cheered on, but this time, it was for someone else.
Someone excited can never beat one that is going all out.
Third High was slowly but surely pulling the gap closer between Sixth High and them.
Pei Chuan scores! ...... Pei Chuan scores again!
Although Bei Yao doesn’t play basketball, she could feel that something was amiss. She stared at Shi Tian, she was even more anxious, “Quick, keep on cheering!”
“Lin... Lin Man, go! You’re the c..coolest!”
And Pei Chuan scores another!
He was drenched with sweat pouring down from his jersey.
She’s from Sixth High, so why should I be concerned? But Pei Chuan was used to her being on his side and didn't want to hear her cheering for anyone except him.
The crowd was bursting into cheers for Pei Chuan, except Bei Yao. She watched him in silence. “Look, Pei Chuan, you could be excellent in something too.”
The match ends with Pei Chuan charging himself at the opponents and securing a five-point lead victory against Sixth High.
Students from Third High screamed with joy, whereas the students from Sixth High, although feeling disappointed, still went on to show gratitude for the match.
The sweat on Pei Chuan’s head trickled down onto his chest. Suddenly, a figure with a white short skirt and a red crop top appeared in front of him, along with the faint scent of a teenage girl.
While he was drenched in sweat and the odour could be detected from miles away.
He did not expect Bei Yao to come to their side voluntarily.
Bei Yao had her head down as she turned off the speaker that was making her feel uncomfortable the entire time. As she watched the boy sitting on the bench, unresponsive to her actions, her eyelids drooped like a crescent.
He tightened his grip on the bottle and slowly raised his head.
She softly whispered, “Good job Pei Chuan.” So sorry Pei Chuan. Being on the opposing team, I couldn’t even cheer for you even if I intend to.
Pei Chuan had his lips zipped, suppressing to show any form of expression.
The surroundings were silent. Jin ZiYang and the others were all staring at this new school flower of the Sixth High. No, the title ‘School Flower of the entire First, Third, and Sixth High’ would be an understatement.
Her smile was sweet and soothing. She waved her hand at Pei Chuan as she walked back to her cheerleading team after Shi Tian’s call.
Only after she was long gone and out of sight, Pei Chuan went on to finish his bottle of water.
Jin ZiYang said, “Brother Chuan, who is she? Do you know her?”
Pei Chuan kept silent.
Who is she? She is the light of his teenage years. The one who sprouted his desires, but destined to will never be obtained.
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