I Give Half of My Life to You

Chapters List

Chapter 31: Sports School

Lin Miao undoubtedly lost eight games in a row. She had grown accustomed to it, after all, she has not won a single proper game. Her goal was to just last one turn longer every game.

After that, the two talked as they huddled together. As they chatted, the Young Master realized that Lin Miao stopped responding. Turning his head, he saw that she had fallen asleep.

She had to be very tired after an entire tournament and walking the dogs.

She wore the pajamas the housekeeper gave her when she first came last year. Everything was the same as before, except Lin Miao was leaving tomorrow.

The Young Master slowly cleared the bed of the pencils and papers they used to play tic tac toe, and then gently unfolded the quilt over her.

Lin Miao slept soundly on the white pillow dotted with a few flower designs.

She was returning to her town the next morning, and who knows when they will see each other again.

The Young Master sighed. He went to carry Dahuang so they could leave Lin Miao to sleep alone.

Dahuang was a bit reluctant. She clung onto the quilt, not wanting to move.

Lin Miao woke up early the next morning and upon opening her door, she noticed that the Young Master had already woken up.

The sun was just above the horizon, so she had time to walk the three dogs with the Young Master.

Lin Miao still kept in mind that she was to meet up with the teacher at nine. She planned to arrive twenty minutes earlier, remembering her etiquettes.

She retrieved her backpack from upstairs after breakfast with the Yu family. Then, the Young Master’s mother drove her to the hotel with the Young Master.

Lin Miao still had a belly full of words, “Gege, I’ll visit you again when I have time. Remember to study well.”

Comparatively, the Young Master had much less to say.

They weren’t very far from the hotel. Lin Miao jumped out of the car and ran towards Mr. Feng. They were gathering up already!

The Young Master stayed in the car, watching Lin Miao as she ran towards her teammates without looking back.

Then, he saw her happily greet her friends.

But she also turned back and waved at him.

Lin Miao was still able to fall asleep on the way back to the town. The excitement of scoring first place had faded.

Lin Miao’s mother was pleased when she heard that Lin Miao had gotten first. She hung the medal on the wall and cooked up a delicious meal.

Thus, Lin Miao celebrated again.

The next day, Lin Miao returned to school as usual. She loved her new school and was praised again during class. She was almost embarrassed from all the compliments, so she was too shy to say that she was actually losing during recess every single day.

She gave up the thought soon after. It was rare for so many people to congratulate her, so it was quite memorable. She might not have another opportunity like this ever again. Lin Miao always thought that it was her luck that secured her first place.

She had grown accustomed to losing.

A few days later, someone came to visit her.

The Chinese teacher, the one who often complimented her, called her out to the hallway. The teacher said someone wanted to see her.

Then, Lin Miao saw a benign man standing beside Mr. Feng.

“Come, Lin Miao. This is Coach Li from the Shancha Badminton Academy.”

(Note: Shancha is Pinyin for 山茶)

“Hello Coach Li.” Lin Miao greeted obediently.

She knew that “coach” basically meant “teacher”. Lin Miao respected all her teachers.

“How long have you been learning badminton?” Coach Li asked kindly.

Lin Miao didn’t know what they wanted, so she answered honestly, “I learned the game around New Years’.”

Coach Li looked at Lin Miao’s hand. Her hand wasn’t soft and white like a typical kid. She had calluses in her palm. The coach thought it was from her badminton racket, but three months were way too short for her skin to harden into that. So, Coach Li thought that she was lying, “How did you get these calluses?”

“I got them from cutting grass with sickles when I was little.” Lin Miao didn’t know why the coach asked her this, but she still answered honestly.

Even though “little” was only about two years ago.

Coach Li had also been through hardships similar to Lin Miao’s, but those days were almost four decades ago. He recalled that he had gotten calluses from hard work, but he never expected children nowadays to experience the same.

Seeing that the little girl in front of him even had a trace of proudness in her eyes, he continued to ask, “What did you do other than cutting grass?” He was beginning to make sense of how Lin Miao had such physical abilities at her age.

“Gather firewood from the mountains, carry potatoes, corn…” Lin Miao added, “But Coach, my mom wants me to focus on my studies, so I can’t work anymore. I can only work again when I get older.”

She thought that he asked what she did because he wanted to hire her, like how she was interviewed by the Yu family.

Coach Li smiled. No wonder she was still energetic after so many matches in the tournament. She had always been a hardworking and enduring kid.

Mr. Feng chuckled at Lin Miao’s response.

“We’re not sending you to work or hiring you.” Coach Li explained patiently, “I just wanted to ask you if you wanted to transfer to Shancha. We teach badminton there. Don’t you like the game?”

Lin Miao couldn’t quite grasp the first part. She didn’t understand why she would transfer if she were perfectly fine at her current school.

But she understood the last part, “I like it.”

“Then I’ll talk with your parents.” It’s easy to talk about hobbies to their parents.

In his heart, he was originally quite hesitant as Lin Miao was nine and a bit too short.

But he also noticed that her clear thoughts were perfect for badminton. She was also exceptionally gifted for a three-month player.

Sometimes, talent is crucial.

Hearing the two teachers’ suggestions, Lin Miao’s mother still frowned. Mr. Feng told her how hard it was to be admitted and how many champions came from the school.

Lin Miao’s mother was still very hesitant, “Wouldn’t it be very tiring to do sports everyday?”

It would definitely be very exhausting, and under their current circumstances, it would be impossible for them to move near the sports school.

Coach Li emphasized that they were a boarding school but Lin Miao’s mother became even more worried, Lin Miao was so little after all.

Their family situation had finally turned for the better. She wanted Shuishui to continue at her current school and enroll in a good university later on...

The coach and Mr. Feng both ran out of words to say.

“She’s really talented at badminton, and she likes the game, too. You can take your time to reconsider it.” Coach Li added moments later.

Lin Miao went out right after dinner to play badminton with some of her friends.

Lin Miao’s mother remembered that Lin Miao was pretty interested in the game.

So she told Lin Miao’s father this during the night.

“How is this bad,” Lin Miao’s father commented, “She might even become a champion in the future!”

“But that would be so tiring.” Lin Miao’s mother sighed. They have finally managed to move close to a school. Less than a year ago, she had to walk through the mountains to attend class and do labour after school.

“Did that teacher really say Shuishui is very talented?” The father rose up and asked again.

Lin Miao’s mother nodded.

The father looked even further into the future than Lin Miao’s mother, “We should let her try if she’s really talented then.”

Otherwise Lin Miao would probably feel regretful in the future.

Even though Lin Miao isn’t the type of person that would blame them for making this decision, she would still feel sad for missing this opportunity. They were also unsure if Lin Miao would really feel the toil they thought there would be.

“But the school’s so far. We won’t know what’s going on in there.” Lin Miao’s mother still disagreed.

“My job at the construction site is almost done, we could move into the city if needed later.” The father said, “We could move right next to that sports school, we’ve already gone through this once anyway.”

The mother thought for a bit, “Then I’ll ask her tomorrow.”

So, when Lin Miao woke up the next day, the mother asked her with a serious tone while her younger brother was reading. “Shuishui, do you want to go to a sports school to learn badminton?”

Lin Miao loved badminton, but she thought that it would be unnecessary to go to a school for it as the gym teacher would train her anyway.

Lin Miao’s mother paused and then decided to tell her everything, including how the coach said that she was gifted in badminton.

Lin Miao thought for a moment, “But wouldn’t it be really expensive for me to go to school in the city…”

School in the village wasn’t nearly as pricey as schools in the town. Following this logic, the tuition fees in the city would be the most expensive of the three.

Hearing this, the mother knew that Lin Miao wanted to go, so she said in advance, “It’s free, but it would be really tiring.”

Only two words entered her ears. It’s free! It’s free!

Her current school already charged a lot of money.

“Then I’ll go to the sports school!” Lin Miao answered immediately.

How can badminton be tiring?

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