Mu Huan’s approach caused Li Xin’s face to become as cold as ice.
He took a step back, easily escaping Mu Huan’s aura as he asked, “Is there a problem?”
Even so, Mu Huan didn’t relent. He stepped closer and asked again, “Aren’t you going to skate?”
“Of course, I…” Li Xin said.
He was interrupted by Mu Huan. “You got on the ice at 6 years old and entered the provincial team at 12 years old. You won second place in the world skating junior group in O singles at the age of 15 and entered the national team at the age of 16. You became the youngest member of the national skating team over the years and you are the national champion of the O singles youth group all year round. How many people are full of expectations for you? Now you say you have given up?”
Mu Huan once again approached and stared deeply into Li Xin’s eyes, squeezing out a few words from between his teeth. “Surely it isn’t because of that damned pheromone?”
The last sentence obviously hit Li Xin’s most painful place. His expression became blank.
Mu Huan felt distressed again after venting. His voice softened as he coaxed softly, “A singles ice skater doesn’t require pheromones. You can continue to skate…”
This consolation didn’t work. Li Xin’s wound was stabbed and his breathing shook slightly. He gritted his teeth and said, “Thank you for caring. I can arrange my own matters. It has nothing to do with you or anything else. Instead of being curious about me, you should think about whether you can get the quota this time.”
Having said that, Li Xin smiled coldly. He turned away.
Mu Huan had a headache. Mu Huan stared at Li Xin’s back and slowly sat back down. However, he couldn’t eat any longer.
He was full of doubts and searched through his memories again and again. He was sure that he had come out of the shadow of his pheromones and returned to the skating rink in this period of time. As for being a teaching assistant—
He had never considered it in his last life. It was clear that he could still skate. He could also reach a higher podium. So why not skate?!
Mu Huan was so puzzled that his last training time in the morning wasn’t ideal.
He consciously had a ‘thoughtless’ character. Once it came to skating, he always forgot about other things. No matter how important it was, he would forget about it after skating.
This time was different. It was weird. Moreover, it was about ‘himself.’
He waited and waited until it was almost 11 o’clock. Mu Huan went to the cafeteria 10 minutes early.
The chef in the cafeteria was still preparing the dishes. The rice was steaming in the pot but Li Xin was already standing by the window of the cafeteria.
He was talking to the chef. Once he turned his head and saw Mu Huan, he spoke like nothing had happened. “ I asked Master Zhang to fry two small dishes for us. Is your luggage all packed?”
Mu Huan walked silently to Li Xin’s side. Once he was in front of this person, he also nodded like it was nothing. “I’ve packed.”
Then he looked at the chef behind the window. “Thank you, Master Zhang.”
Master Zhang was wrapping the shredded meat in bean flour. He grinned when he heard Mu Huan’s words. “You’re welcome. Why so polite? You are training hard while I’m just frying a few small dishes. It is no trouble.”
After a few more greetings, Master Zhang turned back to cook and Mu Huan and Li Xin quieted down at the same time.
A bit of time passed before Mu Huan opened his mouth. “About the matter this morning, I have more to say.”
Li Xin’s lips lowered in a frown. “It is quite a lot.”
Master Zhang turned around. “Do you eat bean paste?”
Li Xin replied, “Yes.”
Mu Huan added, “It’s okay.”
Master Zhang turned around and continued cooking.
Mu Huan said, “…I was surprised at the time and my emotions might’ve been a bit overwhelmed.”
Li Xin nodded. “Yes.”
Master Zhang scooped the bean paste into the hot oil and the ‘crashing’ sound was accompanied by the roar of the range hood blowing in his ear.
Mu Huan, “……”
He continued, “I said…”
Li Xin wondered, “Huh?”
Mu Huan opened his mouth. “I mean…”
Mu Huan, “……”
“Sigh…” Mu Huan took a look and saw the contentment in Li Xin’s eyes.
It seemed Li Xin really didn’t want his inquiry.
There was silence.
It didn’t matter. The next period of time was still long. He could always discover later why Li Xin made a different choice from him.
The hot meal quickly arrived at the table. Mu Huan took the time to eat lunch and hurried to the dormitory to grab his luggage.
He was only going for a few days and didn’t have much to bring. There was a change of clothes and his pair of ice skates. He threw the backpack on his back and went downstairs.
By the time Mu Huan walked out the door, the car had stopped outside the gate. Li Xin was sitting next to the driver and saying something to the driver. He saw Mu Huan coming and said, “Hurry up, we’re a bit late.”
Mu Huan got in.
They started on the road.
Board the plane.
In the blink of an eye, an hour passed.
Mu Huan sat in the seat on the plane and looked at Li Xin next to him. He finally had the opportunity to ask a question. “What did you do in the past?”
He could no longer ask directly. Only he knew how much pain his pheromones had brought to him. If it was just that his smell wasn’t attractive enough then he could stay single until he was old. The thing he found most difficult to let go was that he was dedicated to pairs skating. Then he was hurt by his pheromones and lost the opportunity at the last minute.
This ‘injury’ was really hard to emerge from.
Even if he achieved his wish and stood at the highest point of singles skating, the media and ‘good people’ still mentioned his pheromones over and over. They complimented his talent and strength while telling everyone in the world how bad he smelled and how regrettable it was.
Why should others regret his life? He did the best he could and didn’t need anyone’s pity.
Mu Huan knew this well and no longer directly mentioned the pheromones. Instead, he swerved around and asked, “You said you bought a ticket a long time ago?”
Li Xin had his head lowered to organize his earphone cables. He gave a hum in reply and explained, “Coach Yu is looking for an omega that has a special pheromone smell. Last month, the Y Provincial Team had a team member who differentiated into one. She arranged for me to do an odor test.”
Mu Huan was confused. “What smell?”
“I heard it is the smell of grapefruit.”
“How to detect it? Sniffing?”
“I brought a sample which needs to be fused together. After taking it back, Coach Yu will decide.”
“If it is appropriate, the omega can enter the national team?”
Both of them stopped speaking and were quite emotional. A few seconds later, they said to themselves simultaneously, “It is really unreasonable.”
Then the two of them looked at each other.
Li Xin obviously felt it wasn’t appropriate to say this and added, “The requirements for pairs skating are high.”
Mu Huan nodded. “Sometimes the smell of pheromones is even more required than technique.”
Li Xin shook his head. “It depends on the occasion. For business performances, they only look at pheromones. However, in the competition, the skill requirements are higher than anything.”
Mu Huan approved. “Still, if both the pheromones and techniques are good then it is really the best.”
Once they finished, they both felt the atmosphere was a bit strange.
Mu Huan naturally knew the reason but Li frowned and put his arranged earphones in his ears. At the same time, he closed his eyes and folded his arms over his chest. “I will sleep for a while.”
The side was quiet.
Mu Huan knew that Li Xin didn’t necessarily want to sleep. Li Xin just didn’t want to talk to him. It just so happened that he wanted to think quietly.
He also put on earphones and leaned back against his seat. Mu Huan put his head on the headrest while the thoughts in his head ran wild like a horse.
There was no doubt that Li Xin was Li Xin. Their three views were the same. They both had strong regrets about pairs skating and were extremely unwilling.
Yet they made a different choice at the fork in fate.
A teaching assistant and athlete… still, both paths led to the same goal. In the end, they chose to continue their love of ice skating.
[Wang Qinghua, the first brother of Y Province has entered the training team every year. His best short program is 65.30 and his free skating is 90.10. They are all results from last year and his state is just right. There should be some improvement this year.]
[This is a video of his performance this year. Take a good look. I searched for a long time before finding it.]
[Wu Zimeng, the national champion in the singles A youth group of the previous year. After differentiating lat year, the state has been unstable. This year is the time for results.]
[In the championship game, the short program was 65.60 and the free skating was 89.20. This is a tough person and you have to be careful. It is hard to tell the strength after differentiation. Maybe she might reach first in the adult group in one go.]
[Take a good look. I tried my best but unfortunately, I am lacking money and can’t go with you. I’m afraid I’m going to miss the excitement of you being beaten and crying. I regret it, regret it!]
Mu Huan looked at the messages on WeChat and couldn’t help laughing.
Qi Wenfu was a really good friend.
Nevertheless, he didn’t click on the videos sent by his friend. He just stared up at the building in front of him.
Y Provincial Skating Rink.
The standard international skating rink stood majestically in front of him. The gray-white exterior walls had obvious traces of wind and sunshine but it wasn’t dilapidated. It had obviously been renovated in the past two years.
It was training time now. The door was open and standing below the stairs, he couldn’t hear any movements. It was a bit solemn.
He had prepared like crazy for three days but time passed as swiftly as lightning. Standing here, it felt like he had done nothing.
If he wasn’t prepared enough, how could he look at what other people did?
Figure skating was a stage for one person and there was no direct confrontation. It was meaningless to pay attention to the quality of other people’s skating. It was enough to do well himself.
Mu Huan put his phone in his trouser pocket. Then he glanced at Li Xin before walking into the skating hall with him.
The stadium could accommodate 1,200 people at the same time and it was quite grand. There were many people on and off the ice.
Li Xin walked forward and soon found a middle-aged beta who looked like a coach. Li Xin explained his intentions in a few words.
After hearing this, the other party said, “Oh, I know. I only got the news yesterday that you were coming. I heard you were fired and have to apply to return to the team. Therefore, you came to our side to get a quota?”
His eyes were locked on Mu Huan’s face and his tone was a bit rude.
Li Xin raised an eyebrow. “I thought the coach had spoken to you about this matter.”
“Heh.” The other party sneered. “Every year, there are only two places for A singles in the team. It is really hard for you to get a place from us. Can’t you think of a way to take a quota from your coach?”
There was no doubt that he wasn’t welcome.
The first contact was pretty bad.
The coach became even grumpier. He turned his head and shouted at his players. “How are you skating? What did I say before? Can you use your brain before you do something? Can you skate? Can you still skate? Get down here for me!”
This was making an example of someone to frighten others.
The team members who were yelled at wanted to cry without tears.
Li Xin pulled at Mu Huan’s sleeve and whispered, “Aren’t you an athlete from Y Province? How come you are coming here to steal a place? Don’t you have a coach that you know?”