Chapter 29 – Putting On An Act
After Marilyn and Heidi’s departure, life went back on its usual track.
Weekdays passed by as before and on the weekends he went back to living with the two girls, while secretly training his body early in the mornings. Regarding the battle at that abandoned factory, Jiaming discovered that his current body’s sensitivity was much higher compared to when he was at the peak of his previous life. This was likely due to the accumulated experience, and he knew what his strengths and weaknesses were. Thus, the training for building the foundations of this body was a lot more effective. In a few years, he had the confidence to handle any dangers – even if it was Peroka’s Japanese king of assassins, Minamoto Hajime, his previous partner.
Though one had to admit, when it came to outstanding assassins, a lot of them were Japanese people, for example: Morogami Munen, Amau Masanori, Ritsumei Chiaki, and Onmori Yoshi. He remembered that he had never won against them before, but hopefully it was not a big issue anymore since he was no longer associated with Peroka. After Aoi’s death, Peroka should have sent out an expert assassin to investigate, but they probably returned empty-handed. Thus Aoi’s cause of death was likely determined to be a genuine car accident.
Per Peroka’s rules, if a mission fails the first time, it’s a mistake. If it fails the second time, there’s no excuse. Now that it’s at this stage, they would no longer send someone to cause trouble for Marilyn and her daughter. Marilyn also understood the importance of her position; she should be fine as long as she kept a low profile and gave the assassins a false trail.
When he had disguised himself as a middle-aged, midget-sized assassin, he actually based it on someone with abilities that he had previously encountered. During his original timeline, many years after he reached his peak status, he had been partnered with Minamoto Hajime to look for that dwarf. After a fierce battle, they had managed to kill the dwarf, but Jiaming had barely escaped with his life, and his partner ended up dying while protecting him. Presently, Peroka did not know who he was, but who knew how things would proceed if he was discovered.
He was mostly concerned about two people from Peroka. One of them was precisely that Minamoto Hajime, a cold-hearted Japanese man. When they had been partners, he had treated him decently, so when Jiaming had been the cause of his death, it became a tragic affair. Now that he knew how the future would unfold, he could nip the flower at its bud, but… Based on the current situation, he was no longer an assassin, and it was unlikely for them to come into contact. Jiaming was most worried about Hajime directly assaulting him if the situation somehow came to be. The other person he was concerned about was Morogami Munen, a psychotic, patriotic extremist with an intense hatred for Chinese people. When he was young and was receiving his assassin training, he had been taught to discard any respectful feelings regarding any country. However, because of that psycho, he had suffered since he was young and also had to fight him when he escaped Peroka. Just thinking about it made him depressed, and he hoped that it would only occur in his previous life, as he never wanted to meet that psycho again.
At the end of June, summer vacation started. During these lazy vacation days, the three children primarily lived at the Liu family’s villa, contently passing the days playing video games, watching tapes, using the computer, and swimming. There was a beautiful beach near the villa and a lot of people visited it during the summer. Jiaming and the girls set up a tent there for three days, barbecuing every day until Shasha got canker sores and they talked non-stop until their throats were sore before returning. This was something they had originally wanted to do during last year’s camping trip.
Around August, as Lingjing and Shasha were students talented in martial arts, they were entered in the National Martial Arts Youth Competition. Jiaming was not a participant and initially was not going to go, but Lingjing and Shasha both refused to join if he was not there. People that knew them since they were young understood that the three of them were inseparable and they ended up making special arrangements as their hopes were on Lingjing. In the end, Jiaming was setup to be part of the cheerleading squad and joined the team to the competition. However, this competition would bring many troubles to the three of them in the future. One of the members in Starlight Secondary’s competitive team was a tenth-grader, Cao Dongfeng. Normally he did not have much interaction with Shasha, but they could be considered to be from the same social circle because his father, Cao Jinghao, was one of the gang leaders under Shasha's father. With his background, he had been held back two grades and was currently already sixteen years old. He was quite robust and also the oldest participant at the maximum age limit of the National Martial Arts Youth Competition. The school had made him team captain due to his age. After meeting Lingjing, his heart had been captured by her, and he would send her flowers every day.
Because of his family background and age, he was one of the main competitors in their team and the teachers did not dare to say anything to him. Naturally, Lingjing was extremely disgusted by him; if Shasha saw him, she would chew him out as well. One day, during a gap in the competition, he had requested for Lingjing to meet him in a secluded area near the gym; he brought flowers and wanted to confess to her. However, Lingjing had made preparations and brought Jiaming and Shasha along with her. When they arrived in front of Cao Dongfeng, she had grabbed Jiaming’s hand and intimately kissed Jiaming on the cheek, before announcing, “He’s my boyfriend!”
If Lingjing had not been attached, Jiaming would probably have considered the consequences of this rumor. But because he knew the Lingjing and Shasha were a hidden couple, due to their friendship, he naturally covered for them; he instantly stepped up and started being affectionate with her. Shasha, being a troublemaker, ran over and joined them as she latched onto Jiaming and declared, “He’s my boyfriend too!”
Cao Dongfeng felt like he had been slapped in the face with feces.
The two girls had grown up quite well, while Lingjing was extremely beautiful and elegant, Shasha was not bad looking as well. Even though her temperament was quite violent, her figure was slender. When she tied her hair back in a ponytail, she was the refreshing athletic girl that turned quite a few heads on the streets. Yet this extremely ordinary… no, this wretched boy that was shorter by half a head was able to attract these two beauties?!
Cao Dongfeng had seen a lot of rich people playing around with two ladies, but this boy in front of him gave him the urge to kill someone!
It was simply unforgivable! These two girls knew the other existed, yet they were still able to get along so well! The rumor about the three of them living together during the holidays was actually true…
As he was of the underground criminal background, he tended to act rashly, but as soon as he looked like he was going to hit Jiaming, the two girls were already prepared and leapt to Jiaming’s defense.
“Run if the situation seems bad,” Lingjing said.
“No need, the two of us are enough to deal with him,” Shasha placidly said.Thus in this current situation, not only was this boy, plain, weak, and incompetent, he was being protected by two women, and the two of them were even happy to do so. Cao Dongfeng reckoned that he would not be able to win against two people, so he ended up skulking away in defeat. After that humiliating incident, Jiaming would occasionally feel a death glare directed at him.
Jiaming naturally thought nothing of it, only concentrating on keeping the image of a weak, relying-on-women boyfriend. He knew that the more he acted useless, the angerier the other side would be.
On the other hand, Shasha knew Lingjing liked Jiaming, and the two girls had arranged for many scenes they could use. For example, if there were a few people around, as soon as Cao Dongfeng saw Jiaming and Lingjing together, Lingjing would lean over and kiss Jiaming’s cheek. Jiaming did not expect her to do this with an ulterior motive, so he would put an arm around her waist and pretended the two of them were extremely blissful.
During the competition, as part of the cheerleading squad and a gopher, Jiaming would be quite attentive – he prepared towels, brought drinks, and would help massage their muscles if needed. He was serving others for the success of the competition; however, most people would look down on this type of person. Cao Dongfeng was one of them and mocked Jiaming for not having any manly pride. Jiaming pretended he did not understand him while contently massaging his back.
Every time it was Lingjing’s turn during the competition, Shasha would pass two large pompoms to Jiaming and tell him to fulfill his cheerleading duties. Jiaming would brandish the two large colorful balls and become part of the hall’s scenery, causing Cao Dongfeng to look down on him ceaselessly. However, every time Lingjing returned, she would immediately run towards Jiaming and hand him a towel to wipe his sweat and ask him if he was tired or not. This blatant flirting in front of Cao Dongfeng made him grit his teeth in envy as he looked on with bloodshot eyes. Jiaming and the girls would run to a hidden corner and laugh themselves silly whenever they saw him looking extremely jealous.
Sadly, the competition ended too soon with Starlight Secondary’s team finishing in second place. Cao Dongfeng could only return home full of resentment, while Lingjing had gotten many chances to kiss Jiaming on the cheek. Their situation had returned to its previous state, and she was somewhat regretful that she did not get to kiss him on the mouth. As to Jiaming, he was quite delighted about getting to experience the childish pleasure of pranking.
After school started in September, the three of them entered Grade 10. Cao Dongfeng had tried a few times to cause trouble with Jiaming at school, but Jiaming had always managed to avoid him or hide with Lingjing and Shasha. He might have been willing to fight against Lingjing, but he did not dare to offend Shasha’s father. When October came, there was only one time that he had managed to find Jiaming alone, but never got the chance to rough him up.
At this time, King of Fighters 95 had just released, and arcade games were extremely popular. The three of them would also occasionally go to an arcade to play games; coincidently that day after school, they had decided to go to an arcade. Lingjing liked playing the airplane games, but she died very quickly in those. As she made a fuss on her own, Shasha and Jiaming decided to try KOF 95. This type of game was not difficult for Jiaming, but because his opponent was Shasha, to prevent her from beating him up, he would willingly lose to her. After having won several times, Shasha was in a great mood and decided to let the poor Jiaming play on his own as she ran over to where Lingjing was to help her with her game.
After Shasha left, Jiaming lost interest in playing; however, to maintain his facade he pretended to be interested in playing the game while clumsy fumbling away with the controls. At this moment, Cao Dongfeng and around four to five lackeys came in. Then they noticed him and decided to head towards him.
1 / 4 chapters of the week (next release is Monday, Feb 26).
Ah, I just randomly came up with those few Japanese names, Japanese people would likely not have these names, I also didn’t think to go look it up, please forgive me. As to that last name ‘Omamori Yoshi’, previously when I saw Japanese H anime, the bathroom had the three words “Omamori Hand Wash”. I felt that it was really refreshing, hehe, so that genius idea is now borrowed. Okay, cool~
That author note, I can't even right now. *facedesk*