Extra 1.1: Qi Feng X Angry T.Rex
“Another bowl please!” He Jiawei held the bowl in his hand out with no trace of embarrassment. As a person with a huge appetite, after practising judo with Qi Feng’s mother for the entire afternoon, his hunger even more ravenous than usual.
The eleven years old Qi Ying put down his chopsticks, “Dad, is this gege 1 from Africa?”
“Why would you think this way?” Qi Feng’s father placed some carrots in Qi Ying’s bowl.
“My teacher said, the standard of living for Africans is very poor. They don’t have enough food, and cannot keep warm. You see, he’s so dark, and can eat so much, he must be a refugee from Africa.”
He Jiawei glared at Qi Ying. This pair of brothers really had very vicious tongues, how did they not inherit a single bit of their mother’s virtues?!
“The child is saying nonsense,” Qi Feng’s mother, walking out from the kitchen, smacked Qi Ying’s head lightly, then passed a bowl of rice to He Jiawei with a cheery smile. “Eat more, boys your age are all still growing, and you have to eat more to grow tall.”
“Thank you!” He Jiawei took the bowl with both hands, not forgetting to look gloatingly at Qi Feng, his meaning obvious. So what if I eat a lot? I’m taller than you!
Qi Feng pretended not to see it, and sternly scolded his little brother. “Poor black people are also people. We shouldn’t discriminate, and should show each other our care and concern.”
“Yes, gege,” Qi Ying accepted the scolding guiltily. “To express my concern for you, you can have all these,” he picked all the carrots out from his bowl and put them in He Jiawei’s bowl instead.
“Xiao Ying, you have to eat your vegetables.” Seeing what he was doing, Qi Feng’s mother placed two more pieces of carrots into Qi Ying’s bowl, and Qi Ying jabbed at them bitterly with his chopsticks.
Qi Feng’s mother then picked a piece of meat and placed it in He Jiawei’s bowl, “Have more meat, they’re full of protein, and good for building muscles.”
He Jiawei was very moved. He lived with his grandmother, and as she was unable to chew the meat, most of the time, his meals were vegetarian. Even on the rare occasions when meat was available, there was only a little bit, and it was quite impressive how he could still be so sturdy growing on a vegetable diet.
“If you like the food, you can join us more often. We often braise meat,” Qi Feng’s mother saw that her food was being so greatly appreciated, and was very happy about it. Which cook would not hope that the people eating their food would enjoy it as much as He Jiawei did? Completely unlike her two sons, who were always so picky with their food.
“Mn!” With his face stuffed, He Jiawei could not speak, but nodded his head firmly to show his desire. Qi Feng pretended not to see it and lowered his head to pick at his rice, while Qi Ying, unable to tolerate it anymore, made a face.
“The older brother from Africa is here to free load again.” This was Qi Ying’s recent pet-phrase.
He Jiawei looked around to confirm that there was no one around them, then knuckled his head. “Why? Not happy?!”
“Wah~~ Gege is bullying me!” Qi Ying ran to the gym, pretending to cry.“Why do you keep coming over to my place, don’t you have anywhere else to go?” This was the Nth time He Jiawei had invited himself over to Qi Feng’s place, and the thickness of his skin had far exceeded Qi Feng’s imagination.
“Why are you so stand-offish? We’re good friends!” He Jiawei replied magnanimously, completely unembarrassed.
Qi Feng turned his head, “Ma, has the number of female judo students been declining?”
“Has it? I don’t think so,” Qi Feng’s mother did not understand why her son would ask this question.
“Don’t falsely accuse me,” He Jiawei quietly warned Qi Feng. If his mother heard him, she might not allow him to come anymore. “There were 16 of them yesterday, today there’s 17. There’s clearly one more than before.”
“You sure keep a good count.”
He Jiawei raised his chin proudly. “Of course,” then he happily went to change his clothes. Ever since Qi Feng’s mother had started guiding him, he often used this as an excuse to train here, and nothing was more blissful than being able to see the little lolis train from such a close distance.”
Seeing him like that, Qi Feng felt angry. After his mother was done teaching He Jiawei, Qi Feng used the excuse of being his “training partner”, and tossed He Jiawei to the ground over and over again, to the point where he could no longer watch the little lolis.
When the class ended, Qi Feng was “tired” as well, and the training naturally concluded.
“You you you, you did it on purpose!” Pointing at him, He Jiawei gnashed his teeth.
Qi Feng raised his brow, so what are you going to do about it?
He Jiawei could only suffer in silence.
Instead, it was Qi Feng’s mother who was gratified upon seeing their interactions, “Young people should be this passionate!”
March’s school break soon ended. He Jiawei entered Ling Cheng High, and of all coincidences, Qi Feng’s Yan Lai High happened to be have an old grudge with Ling Cheng High, and the two of them again stood on opposite ends of the basketball court.
On the court, one dribbled, one intercepted, one shot, one blocked, both relentless against the other.
Off the court, He Jiawei would run to Qi Feng’s place with his gym bag, washing up and changing there, not treating himself as an outsider at all. Sometimes, when the game came to an unsatisfactory result, after school, he would drag Qi Feng to play 1v1 basketball.
However, this did not mean that the relationship between the two improved. Instead, their relationship was as confrontational as ever. Although He Jiawei did have the intentions of being friends, but was always pushed to anger by Qi Feng’s words. Everyone knew that these two people were as incompatible as water and fire, and whenever they met on the court, sparks would fly.
Their first year of high school came to an end. The rough-and-ready He Jiawei did not notice any changes, but when he moved up to his second year, he gradually found something was amiss.
Once again being benched by his coach due to his four fouls, He Jiawei unhappily pointed to Qi Feng and complained, “That’s a foul! He’s definitely fouling!”
“He’s playing properly, what foul has he committed?” Ling Cheng High’s basketball coach was famed for his iron fist, and probably only he could suppress He Jiawei.
“He he he,” He Jiawei finally realised why he kept feeling that something was amiss all these while. “As a point-guard, why is he so tall? This is basically a foul!”
He just saw him jump very easily, who would have taught that he would block him, and cause him to commit an offensive foul, and now he had no choice but to be benched.
The coach was amused by his logic. “Being tall is a foul? He’s a high-jumper, naturally he’ll be taller.” Other than being the basketball coach, he was also the school’s track and field coach, and so he naturally knew of the main competitors from other schools.
“This is unfair, I want to train in high jump too!” He Jiawei was foaming with rage. In their third year of middle school, he was clearly taller than Qi Feng, how did he end up looking up at him unknowingly?
“You?” The coach scrutinised him. “Your build is completely unsuitable for high jumps. Have you ever seen a high jumper as broad as you?”
“I’m muscular! These are muscles!”
“Sure sure sure,” The coach waved him off. “You should just focus on your sprinting. I think you should be able to cut your timing down a little further, why aren’t you putting any effort in it? Next time, stop running off to the dojo immediately after school, stay back and practise!”
He Jiawei’s face was longer than a donkey, and he naturally blamed Qi Feng about this.
“You’re angry again?” Qi Feng was now familiar with him, on top of that, He Jiawei was not a person who could hide what he felt, and so just by looking at his expression, he knew what he was thinking about. “Why do you like getting angry so much? You’re just like an angry t.rex.”
Recently, there had been a game that was very popular among students their age, and the angry t.rex was one of the available pets in the game. It clearly looked extremely cute and adorable, with a big head and small body, and its skin was pink. However, it insisted on trying to look very savage, and often leaned its body forward, sticking its butt up, and its two front claws would swing by the side of its body. A tiny flame could be shot out from its mouth, and it was very in demand amongst the girls.
“What angry t.rex! You’re the angry t.rex!” He Jiawei displayed a perfect imitation of the angry t.rex shooting its flame as he roared at Qi Feng.
“Hahaha, angry t.rex, he really looks like it! Angry T.Rex!” Qi Feng’s words just happened to be heard by his teammate passing by, and he was bowed with laughter.
“You!” He Jiawei could only target his rage again at Qi Feng. “You’re so old already, but still coming up with nicknames for others, aren’t you childish?! You mean cake 2!”
Qi Feng shrugged, and his teammate ran off laughing. Not too long later, the entire Yan Lai team knew of He Jiawei’s new nickname.
When the students from Ling Cheng also started calling He Jiawei Angry T.Rex too, he finally exploded. After challenging Qi Feng again only to be beaten up, He Jiawei could only indignantly buy a large chiffon cake, and in front of Qi Feng, stab it viciously with a fork and ate it all up.
“One day I’ll eat you all up just like this cake!” The pure and innocent He Jiawei stated his ambition fiercely.
“It’s still not determined who would be the one eaten up,” Qi Feng glanced at He Jiawei coldly, and adding a line. “Angry T.Rex.”
“Don’t call me Angry T.Rex!!!”
In their third year of high school Qi Feng finally stopped growing when he reached the height of 189.5cm. He Jiawei sighed in relief, and refused to acknowledge the method of rounding up heights. If Qi Feng was to be considered 190cm tall, this impact on him was really too big, although the case now was no much better to him. He had long heard that rate of growth for people who developed later were really quite terrifying, but he had not expected it to be this terrifying.
In their third year, everyone was busy revising. He Jiawei had already decided to apply to the sports school, and his results were around what the school’s admission criteria was. Hence, he did not have any sense of crisis, and would run to the dojo every other day.
After He Jiawei got close with Qi Feng’s family, he then learnt that the owner of this dojo was a middle-aged man. The first floor was the gym, and the second floor could be considered the staff quarters, and lent to Qi Feng’s family for their accommodation. The dojo was normally managed by Qi Feng’s father, and the owner would only pop by occasionally.
Today, He Jiawei immediately felt something was wrong when he stepped into the dojo. Qi Feng’s father was accompany a man that he had never seen before around the dojo, and that person was carefully studying every part of it, as though sizing up the dojo’s structure.
“What’s going on?” He Jiawei asked Qi Feng when he found him.
“The dojo might be closing down.” Qi Feng was poker-faced.
“What did you say?” This was like a thunderclap to He Jiawei.
“The owner is going overseas, and he might be selling this place. The man there is here to take a look at the building. Apparently he wants to change it to a discotheque, and this dojo would no longer remain.”
He Jiawei was unable to accept this news. After such a long time, he had clearly already treated the dojo as his second home.
“Then what about you guys?” He asked after a moment.
“We’ll have to look for somewhere else to stay,” Qi Feng shrugged, glossing over it.
He Jiawei’s eyes were filled with sadness and reluctance, and he turned around and walked off silently.
Qi Ying imitated the adults and sighed, “Gege, why do I seem to see falling leaves drifting down from the head of the African-gege?”
“We’re the ones that are about to be homeless, but why does he look more upset about it than us?”
“Do you think he’s unwilling to part with the dojo, or unwilling to part with us?”
For the next two entire weeks, He Jiawei endured and did not go to the dojo. Whenever he imagined the fresh and bright girls of the dojo would now turn into thickly made up discotheque girls, it felt as though he was stabbed in the heart.
He wanted to revisit his old haunt, but could not bear to see how the dojo was about to be demolished. He felt depressed for several days, and even losing a basketball game did not make him so upset.
The coach could not watch this any longer. “If you’re not in the mood for training, then you should go back. Your body’s on the court but your soul has long flew away, how is that any different from not being here?”
He Jiawei ground his teeth and headed to the bus stop with his back. Without the dojo, there would no longer be any chances for him to see little lolis practising judo in the future, he wouldn’t be able to eat the braised meat Qi Feng’s mother prepared any more, and he would no longer have a reason to look for Qi Feng to play together any more… On the bus, He Jiawei’s thoughts drifted away.
He Jiawei ran to the dojo, panting heavily. The signboard was still that signboard, and little lolis in the dojo’s uniform were still walking in and out of the entrance. He Jiawei was stunned, they hadn’t moved?
“Yo, we haven’t seen you in awhile.” A familiar voice sounded behind him.
He Jiawei was overjoyed. “You? That?” Full of emotions, he was unable to make himself clear.
“The dojo isn’t closing anymore.”
“What did you say?”
“The dojo isn’t closing anymore.” Qi Feng repeated.
Qi Feng completely did not want to continue talking to this fool with a silly grin on his face. If others were to see them, they could definitely think that he had something to do with this mentally ill person.
“Hey, don’t walk away! Tell me, why isn’t it closing anymore? Didn’t the Taoist priest3 go overseas?”
Qi Feng finally could not hold it back anymore and turned around. “First, it’s the owner, not a taoist priest. Second, although the owner has left the country, but the students had strongly opposed to the closing of the dojo, so the management of the dojo has now been entrusted to our family. Third, this is clearly our family matters, as an outsider, why are you attaching so much importance to this?”
He Jiawei automatically ignored the first and third statement, only focusing on the second. “Entrusting the management? What does that mean? So the dojo now belongs to your family?”
Qi Feng was delighted, “Why, is your dream to marry a dojo owner’s son?”
“No, my dream is to marry a dojo owner’s daughter.” He Jiawei spoke what was in his heart without any hesitation.
The smile on Qi Feng’s face immediately vanished. “Then I’m really sorry, I don’t have any sisters to fulfil your dream.”
He Jiawei was immersed in the joy of finding back what he thought he had lost. He ran into the dojo excitedly, “Auntie, I’m here!”
“Yo, Jiawei hasn’t been here in awhile. Tonight, Auntie is braising mutton, stay back and have dinner with us.”
“Thank you Auntie!”
With his stomach full, He Jiawei sprawled lazily across the floor of Qi Feng’s room. His eyes were squinted, he was hugging his belly, and he had a satisfied look on his face.
“Lying down after eating would turn you into a pig.”
It was rare that He Jiawei did not get angry, and instead spoke about something completely unrelated.
“Eh, Qi Feng.”
“Where do you plan on applying to?”
“What does this have to do with you?”
“I’m applying to the sports school, you should apply as well.”
Qi Feng chuckled. “Why must I apply to the same school as you?”
This question also stunned He Jiawei. He scratched his head. “You play basketball and you’re also a high-jumper. If you don’t apply to the sports school, where do you want to go?”
“Other schools are also recruiting athletes. I’m not like you, whose results would only be accepted by the sports school.”
He Jiawei kept quiet, then he suddenly gave a rare, gloomy sigh. Such an abnormal behaviour made Qi Feng glance at him strangely.
“Doesn’t that mean we’re going to be rivals for 4 more years?”
Qi Feng did not continue.
After a long moment, He Jiawei spoke again.
“I still don’t know what it’s like to be your partner.”
The sky slowly darkened. No one turned on the light in the room. The moon shone through the window, outlining two people.