Showing Off (5)
“You…” Hwang Jong-In fiercely dribbled the ball forward.
However, Kang Jin-Ho didn't budge from his spot.
Hwang Jong-In pushed the ball to Kang Jin-Ho's right, only to sneak it to the left side in anticipation of an incoming tackle.
He then successfully dribbled past Kang Jin-Ho.
'What was that? He couldn't even react!'
What a perfect feint this would have been…
If only he had succeeded in his maneuver, that was.
The ball wasn't there anymore? Didn't it go past Kang Jin-Ho just now? Where did the ball disappear to, then?
Hwang Jong-In hurriedly looked back and saw Kang Jin-Ho leisurely dribbling the ball forward.
'When did he do that?!'
This totally didn't make any sense to him.
However, the onlookers didn't seem to share the same viewpoint as him.
“Wow, he's so dumb! Why did he pass the ball to his opponent who was standing still and ran past him?”
“I heard he used to be in the school soccer team? That can't be true, can it? Even I can play way better than him.”
Hwang Jong-In roared out in fluster.
“What the hell?!”
He rushed in from behind Kang Jin-Ho's back and tried a sliding tackle.
This tackle was dangerous enough to break someone's ankle if the angle was off by only a little bit.
But Hwang Jong-In was too agitated to care about that right now.
Unfortunately for him, though, his desperation meant little.
Kang Jin-Ho didn't even change his leisurely walking pace and continued to dribble forward.
Hwang Jong-In slid dramatically on the futsal field's turf, but strangely enough, his foot couldn't reach the ball near Kang Jin-Ho.
From other people's view, it looked like Hwang Jong-In was suddenly sliding on the floor all by himself.
“What is he doing now? Is he mad?”
“No, he's just stupid, I guess?”
The male members of the audience openly laughed while the female members covered their mouths in an attempt to hide their grins.
In the meantime, Kang Jin-Ho was still leisurely walking ahead.
“Hey, man! What the hell are you doing?!” Jeong Seong-Gu roared while dashing out of the goal.
He noticed Kang Jin-Ho pulling back his leg ever so slightly as if to make another pass at Park Yu-Min.
Jeong Seong-Gu quickly intercepted the predicted path of the ball and performed a tackle.
However, Kang Jin-Ho waited for a beat for Jeong Seong-Gu to do that, then lightly punted the ball into the empty area of the field.
Roll, roll, roll…
The ball rolled forward ever so slowly that it must've been kicked by an elementary schooler.
But it was slow enough for Park Yu-Min and his bum leg to catch up without too much trouble.
He then lightly tapped the ball into the open goal.
The first goal was secured.
They even secured it so easily.
Kang Jin-Ho glanced at Hwang Jong-In.
“That's the first goal.”
Hwang Jong-In revealed a crumpled look.
But Kang Jin-Ho remained merciless…
We still need to score four more.”
Hwang Jong-In couldn't understand what just happened.
However, he did realize something important just now.
He shouldn't have made that wager in the first place.
The so-called match ended in the proverbial blink of an eye.
Hwang Jong-In helplessly watched on as the ball was stolen from right in front of his nose over and over again.
The stolen ball would always end up in the goal via Park Yu-Min's clumsy-looking foot.
And just like that, Park Yu-Min scored five goals.
Hwang Jong-In could only stare in pure stupefaction at Park Yu-Min.
Kang Jin-Ho tutted.
“Do not forget our wager.
It starts from the next scheduled lecture.”
Hwang Jong-In sobered up quickly at that reminder.
“N-no! Hang on a second!”
Far too many witnesses had heard their wager.
It was pretty obvious what would happen if he tried to back out now.
Even so, he had to try.
But then, Park Yu-Min unexpectedly came to his aid.
“Jin-Ho, I know I set the wager, but…
I think it might be crossing the line a bit.”
Kang Jin-Ho cocked an eyebrow.
“Why do you think so?”
“It's too humiliating, right?”
“We would've been forced to do it had we lost the wager.
Besides, he also agreed to do it.”
Park Yu-Min was momentarily lost for what to say to change Kang Jin-Ho's mind at the latter's unyielding tone.
However, just who was Park Yu-Min? He was the one person who understood Kang Jin-Ho better than Kang Yu-Hwan, Baek Hyeon-Jeong, or even Chairman Hwang Jeong-Hu.
“Jin-Ho, the professor will be inconvenienced by this.”
“Hmm…” Kang Jin-Ho flinched when Park Yu-Min pulled out his hidden ace.
Even he had to admit that this argument had merit.
“I shall change the wager, then.
Lap the university's entire athletics field once.
In your underwear.”
“…?!” Hwang Jong-In stood there in stupefaction, before gritting his teeth in anger.
“F*ck, man! Isn't that too much?!”
“What’s too much?”
“C'mon! Aren't you asking too much from us?!”
Kang Jin-Ho stared straight at Hwang Jong-In's reddened face.
“It was you who wanted to do this, was it not?”
“Even if that's true, this is a bit too…”
“A bit too what?” Kang Jin-Ho slowly approached Hwang Jong-In.
Hwang Jong-In put up his dukes as if he was getting ready to hit somebody, then glared at Kang Jin-Ho.
However, Kang Jin-Ho asked in an unconcerned manner, “Why don't you finish what you wanted to say?”
“I said, finish it.”
Hwang Jong-In's mouth clamped shut as this bizarre sensation began taking over him.
There was nothing dangerous just yet, but cold sweat had already broken out on his skin while he was finding it hard to breathe.
His mouth was getting dry while his heart began to madly pound against his chest.
'W-What's gotten into me?!'
That was when his eyes met Kang Jin-Ho's…
“…!” Hwang Jong-In's complexion was drained of all color as he stared back in pure shock and confusion.
He couldn't understand why his body was trembling like this.
He desperately wanted to flee, but his stupid body was ignoring his brain's commands.
“I don't really care about things like wagers.
However…” Kang Jin-Ho raised his hand and pressed it slightly against Hwang Jong-In's chest.
“This will be the last time I hold myself back.
I advise you to keep your trap shut next time and not test my patience again.”
Kang Jin-Ho gently pushed him back.
But Hwang Jong-In staggered and tumbled to the ground as if he was hit by a truck.
“Kuh-heok?! Cough, cough! Wheeze!” Hwang Jong-In couldn't even speak as the indescribable pain shooting from his chest numbed his senses.
Unfortunately for him, though, the scene looked like he had tumbled to the ground by himself after he was lightly pushed by Kang Jin-Ho.
“What is that guy doing now?”
“Damn, are they shooting a Hollywood action movie here? Hey, anyone here with a red card to wave around?”
“What an idiot.
Doing whatever he can for attention, huh?”
Just like that, Hwang Jong-In's public image fell to rock bottom.
Kang Jin-Ho glanced disinterestedly at his former opponent grunting on the floor before turning around to leave.
Let's get going before our lecture begins.”
“Yeah,” Park Yu-Min replied and followed him.
“Wait!” Han Se-Yeon cried out.
She was still dissatisfied with something.
Kang Jin-Ho tilted his head.
“Are you really ending it here?”
“How can you end it like this? You're supposed to utterly dismantle that stinking punk, you know!”
Kang Jin-Ho was taken aback.
“What? You want me to beat him up to a pulp or something?”
“How can you be so wishy-washy when some idiot insulted your friend!”
Park Yu-Min smiled awkwardly.
“But, uhm… I'm fine, you know?”
His reply only made Han Se-Yeon even madder, however.
“What do you mean, you're fine?! This is so infuriating! That slimy punk!”
Park Yu-Min could only keep chuckling at her reaction.
He was thankful that Han Se-Yeon was getting this incensed for his sake.
Meanwhile, he was also getting a bit embarrassed by the level of her fervor.
Kang Jin-Ho tutted.
“No need to blow your top, Se-Yeon.”
“He won't even be able to keep his head up here anymore.”
Han Se-Yeon tilted her head in confusion.
“What are you talking about?”
Kang Jin-Ho began walking away, but his direction seemed a little weird.
That made her even more confused.
“Where is he going now?”
As it turned out, Kang Jin-Ho's destination was the crowd sitting by the grandstand.
More specifically, one of the audience members.
He spoke to a girl sitting there, “Did you get everything?”
The girl, Jin Mi-Hui, grinned and nodded.
“Yup, I did.
This will definitely go viral, you know that?”
“I'm sure it will…”
Han Se-Yeon caught up to them, then her brow arched up after hearing their conversation.
“What are you two talking about? Get what?”
‘Setting all that aside, why are you even talking to this girl in the first place, Jin-Ho?!’
Han Se-Yeon barely managed to swallow back those words that were about to burst out of her mouth and stared at Jin Mi-Hui.
Jin Mi-Hui revealed an inviting smile at Kang Jin-Ho while showing off a smartphone screen.
I filmed the match from the start.
Jin-Ho asked me to do so, you see? You can take it back now.”
Kang Jin-Ho took back the phone he had left behind in Jin Mi-Hui's care.
He then gave it to Han Se-Yeon.
“Can you edit this footage?”
Finally realizing what was going on, an evil grin began spreading on Han Se-Yeon's face.
“I'll have you know that I'm the master of troll-tastic editing.
I can turn perfectly-respectable footage into a comedy masterpiece.”
“Then, edit and upload it.”
“Ahahaha~! Got it! I shall create a video that no one will ever forget!” Han Se-Yeon laughed evilly.
Her dissatisfaction regarding Kang Jin-Ho talking to Jin Mi-Hui was long gone by now and was replaced by happy thoughts of what she was about to do.
Later that evening…
A clip titled 'Hollywood Action Star-wannabe' was uploaded to various humor sites.
The reaction it garnered was explosive, to say the least.
The match itself was funny, but then…
The final moments really killed it.
Just as it looked like fisticuffs might break out, one of the players pressed his hand on the other person's chest.
That was all he had done, but the other person suddenly tumbled and rolled on the floor.
The viewers laughed their heads off at the scene.
All sorts of mocking comments inundated the clips, ranging from “That guy should try his luck in Hollywood” to “He deserved an Oscar!” The faces of the participants had been blurred out, but it wasn’t too hard to recognize everyone if you knew what they looked like in real life.
Kang Jin-Ho sat in front of the computer to watch the edited footage.
The trappings of modern civilization could sometimes be employed to torment humans.
Kang Jin-Ho was simply testing the waters today, but the generated reaction was beyond his expectation.
It was as if… as if people had been waiting for a chance to jeer, mock and hurt someone else.
“It might be useful if used well, but…”
Kang Jin-Ho had a feeling that it could also be turned into poison.
For the time being, however, he thought that it didn't matter either way.
He smirked softly and exited the site.
With how that clip blew up online, Hwang Jong-In wouldn't be able to keep his head up from tomorrow onward.
The rumor should have spread around the campus by tomorrow, after all.
'You shouldn't have provoked me…'
Unfortunately, Kang Jin-Ho didn't get away scot-free, either.
The story of how good he was at sports quickly spread on the campus.
As a result, the 'special' classes of people in the university who paid him no attention until now grew interested in him.
This was beyond Kang Jin-Ho's expectations.
This meant that the duel between Hwang Jong-In and Kang Jin-Ho inadvertently ended up in a stalemate of sorts.
“I'm home,” said Kang Eun-Yeong as she stepped in through the front door.
Kang Jin-Ho frowned deeply after noticing how tired she looked.
It wouldn't have been strange to see her collapse right now from the lack of energy.
“Were you practicing until now?”
“Why weren't you at home yesterday?”
“I slept in the practice hall; it’s fine…”
“No, it's not fine.
You should be resting at home.”
Kang Eun-Yeong sighed listlessly.
We don't have a lot of time left, you see.
I'd rather spend the time commuting from home on catching some Zs.”
Kang Jin-Ho became unhappy after listening to his little sister's lackadaisical reply.
She was still a kid in her teens.
He couldn't understand why a kid like her had to go through such an arduous training regime just to become an idol.
Of course, he knew the importance of pursuing one's dream and becoming successful.
Even then, wasn't this too harsh? Moreover, where were the adults to prevent something like this from happening in the first place?
Kang Jin-Ho sighed.
“Hurry and wash up.
Then get some rest.”
“Okay, Oppa.” Kang Eun-Yeong staggered toward the bathroom.
The sight made Kang Jin-Ho sigh even deeper.
Since she was pursuing her dream, he had no right to interfere.
Still, it pained him to just do nothing and simply watch from the sidelines.
“Tsk…” Kang Jin-Ho could only click his tongue in dissatisfaction.
A long time later, Kang Eun-Yeong finally emerged from the bathroom, looking just as exhausted as before.
She noticed that Kang Jin-Ho was still in the living room.
“Oppa? You’re still awake?”
“Eun-Yeong, come here and sit down for a sec.”
“…Sorry, but I'm too tired today.
Can we talk some other time, please?”
“I understand, but still… Come here and sit.”
Kang Eun-Yeong sighed and settled in front of Kang Jin-Ho in the living room.
He gently grasped her wrist.
She tilted her head.
“What are you doing?”
He sent his qi throughout her body and discovered her body was in a mess.
Her internals was far more damaged than what her external appearance had suggested.
The accumulated fatigue had reached the point of eating away at her health.
Kang Jin-Ho finally understood why some idols would land in hospitals every now and then.
“For you to end up this way…” Kang Jin-Ho gritted his teeth as his anger began boiling.
Pursuing one's dream was all good and well.
However, shouldn't one look after their health while doing that? He circulated more qi inside Kang Eun-Yeong's body and cleansed her internals.
She looked somewhat weirded out.
“Why does it feel so hot?”
“Be still.” Kang Jin-Ho eventually drove the accumulated fatigue in her body away with his qi, then he took his hand off her wrist and said, “Now go to bed.”
“This is weird.
I don't feel tired anymore.”
“Even so, you gotta sleep.”
“Okay, Oppa.” Kang Eun-Yeong nodded obediently.
After seeing her nod like that, Kang Jin-Ho couldn't even get mad at her anymore.
Strictly speaking, his little sister shouldn't be blamed for the state of things.
She was simply following orders, after all.
He sighed and asked, “Has your debut date been decided?”
“Is that why you're exhausting yourself like this?”
“Eun-Yeong, at this rate, you'll collapse before making your debut.
I don't understand.
Is it supposed to be this hard just before an idol makes her debut?”
Kang Eun-Yeong wordlessly held her face.
She hid her face like that for a long time before her shoulders suddenly began trembling.
“Oppa, it's getting so hard.”
“…!” Kang Jin-Ho's expression hardened.
“Tell me more.”
“I said, tell me more.”
“No, it's nothing.
I'm just feeling tired, that's all.”
“Kang Eun-Yeong,” Kang Jin-Ho spoke in a firm voice, causing Kang Eun-Yeong to flinch a little.
“Before I go there and confirm it myself, tell me what's going on.”
Kang Eun-Yeong fidgeted nervously, then…
she finally opened up.
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