Showing Off (4)
A man named Hwang Jong-In grumbled to his friend.
Don't you find that punk an eyesore?”
“That punk? You mean, Kang Jin-Ho?”
Look at his face, man.
Doesn't it look like he's smugly enjoying himself?”
The friend tilted his head at Hwang Jong-In's dissatisfied grumbling and glanced at Kang Jin-Ho.
Was that the face of a man enjoying himself? With that expression? That man was basically expressionless almost all the time, so he was enjoying what now? “You think so? Looks to me he's not all that interested, though.”
“That pisses me off even more…”
“Man, what's wrong with you?”
Hwang Jong-In licked his lips like a predator.
“If I'm being honest, I wanna take that punk down a peg or two.”
“Huh? But how? Isn't he a scholarship student? He's smart, good-looking, and has a ton of money to boot.
What can you possibly do to him?”
Hwang Jong-In smirked deeply at his friend.
“One of my friends is from Dongmyeong High, you see?”
“I asked him about Kang Jin-Ho, and apparently, that punk is bad at sports.
As in, utterly hopeless.
They were in the same class during their freshman year, so my friend's story should be true.”
“Really? Still, what does it matter if he's bad at sports?”
“That's how I'm gonna humiliate that punk.” Hwang Jong-In confidently strode toward Kang Jin-Ho sitting by the side of the futsal field.
“Hey, Kang Jin-Ho.”
Kang Jin-Ho raised his head when his name was called and stared at Hwang Jong-In.
The smirk on Hwang Jong-In's face deepened.
“How about a game of futsal?”
Kang Jin-Ho immediately refused.
“Don't be like that.
C'mon, let's have a match! You too, Yu-Min.”
Kang Jin-Ho narrowed his eyes and studied Hwang Jong-In from top to bottom.
Did this man say that knowingly? Or…
Of course, Kang Jin-Ho already knew the answer.
However, he had just told himself to stay under the radar only a few moments ago, didn't he? “Still not interested.”
Just one game would've been nice, though.
What's the matter? Not confident?”
“Correct.” Kang Jin-Ho flatly refused, leaving no room for further negotiation.
Hwang Jong-In should be left with no choice but to back off.
However, as befitting a man on a mission, he wasn't prepared to back down just yet.
No one does this because they are good.
It's all for fun, am right? Let's just play one game, that's all.
We can even bet ice cream and stuff.”
That's right.” Hwang Jong-In suddenly put on a fake 'awkward' smile as if he was sorry about something.
“Yu-Min, you can't play football now, can you? My bad, dude.
I shouldn't have said anything.”
Kang Jin-Ho suddenly got up.
Hwang Jong-In feigned surprise.
“Uh? What is it?”
“Prepare yourself,” Kang Jin-Ho replied, his narrowed eyes sharply peering into the provocateur's face.
“Prepare for what? For a futsal game?”
Hwang Jong-In grinned gleefully.
“Oh? You're coming off pretty strong, ain't ya?”
Kang Jin-Ho didn't reply to that and simply stared.
It would be too easy for him to shut Hwang Jong-In up forever here.
However, that wouldn’t be enough to undo the humiliation Park Yu-Min had suffered just now.
As such, only one method remained—he had to utterly and completely trample on Hwang Jong-In in a field chosen by the fool himself.
Kang Jin-Ho slowly chewed his next words out.
“What are we betting on?”
Hwang Jong-In grinned and spoke in mock surprise, “Wow, you even wanna wager something? While teaming up with Park Yu-Min, no less?”
Kang Jin-Ho glanced at Park Yu-Min.
Park Yu-Min was taken aback.
“Decide how these idiots will be humiliated after they lose.”
“Don't you trust me?”
Park Yu-Min shut his mouth up and stared back at Kang Jin-Ho.
He couldn't understand what his friend was trying to say here.
Not trust him? But that couldn't be… If Park Yu-Min were asked to nominate the one person he trusted the most in this world, he would unhesitantly point at Kang Jin-Ho.
“I trust you, of course.”
Kang Jin-Ho nodded.
Park Yu-Min pondered it for a bit, then made up his mind.
“The losers will attend today's lectures in their underwear.”
Hwang Jong-In looked surprised.
“Oh? You sure about that, Yu-Min?”
We won't be taking anything off, after all,” said Park Yu-Min.
Hwang Jong-In replied with a cackle, “It doesn't matter to me.
However, don't you dare back out of this wager later, got it?”
“Alright! Let's go with a two-versus-two match.
The side that scores five goals first is the winner.”
Park Yu-Min tilted his head.
“We aren't going with a time limit?”
It won't matter because we'll wrap this up even before you know it,” Hwang Jong-In replied, full of confidence.
He had every right to be confident.
Throughout his middle and high school years, Hwang Jong-In had been playing on the school soccer team and he even dreamed of going pro one day.
He had to give up on that dream as he was good at studying and wanted to ensure a more stable future.
However, he was still confident of becoming the university soccer team's key player with his current set of skills.
Why would he be worried when he was about to go up against a cripple and a dude who sucked at sports? Especially when they were about to play futsal?
Han Se-Yeon called out to Kang Jin-Ho.
“What is it?” Kang Jin-Ho glanced back at her and asked.
“You heard what that guy said, right?”
“Crush him so he can never show his face again.”
“That's my plan.”
Han Se-Yeon seemed to be incensed herself, judging from her glare at Hwang Jong-In.
While they were heading back to the futsal field, Hwang Jong-In's friend, Jeong Seong-Gu, walked up and whispered to him, “Hey, man.
Don't you think you went overboard a little? This might not end nicely, know what I mean?”
“It's alright, man.
“How can I not worry?”
Hwang Jong-In scoffed.
“It'll all be forgotten after I get my flawless victory, anyway.
You think this is my first rodeo?”
I'll believe you, Jong-In,” Jeong Seong-Gu replied with a less-than-convinced face, but he also knew that it was too late to back out now.
The ship had long set sail.
Hwang Jong-In stared at Kang Jin-Ho and grinned.
“It'll be two against two. Oh, and no hands.
Kang Jin-Ho nodded.
A two-per-side match would've been impossible on a regular-sized soccer pitch, but it was definitely possible on a futsal field.
Kang Jin-Ho leisurely walked over to Park Yu-Min.
“Go and stand in front of their goal, Yu-Min.”
“When I pass you the ball, you just tap it in, okay?”
“Okay.” Park Yu-Min cautiously walked over and stood before Hwang Jong-In's goal.
He seemed to be conscious about not limping in front of everyone judging from how slowly he walked.
The sight only soured Kang Jin-Ho's mood even further.
Park Yu-Min had already been suffering from an inferiority complex because of his leg.
A decent person wouldn't try to use that just to provoke someone else.
The deliberate act of malice was uncalled for.
Of course, Kang Jin-Ho understood why this happened.
This wasn't his first time experiencing this nonsense, after all.
However, he took issues with this fool using Park Yu-Min like that.
“Alright, let's get this show started! You do the honors,” said Hwang Jong-In while lightly kicking the ball at Kang Jin-Ho.
He smiled smugly as if he was doing a big favor.
Kang Jin-Ho tutted.
“Do not forget our wager.”
“I should be the one reminding you, not the other way around.”
“Is that right?” Kang Jin-Ho began leisurely striding forward while lightly tapping the ball.
“Kekeke.” Hwang Jong-In couldn't hold back his laughter.
Now, that was a sight only someone rubbish at sports could produce.
Look at how Kang Jin-Ho was kicking the ball! It was easy to estimate his skill level by how he kicked the ball with the tip of his shoe rather than the inside or outside of his foot.
On top of that, their goal was empty, the other player was standing awkwardly in front of the opponent's goal, and finally, the way Kang Jin-Ho kicked the ball…
All these things demonstrated that they had no clue about how to play a game of futsal.
'I'm gonna humiliate you today!'
Hwang Jong-In had no plans to just score five goals and end the game there.
No, he wanted to make a fool out of Kang Jin-Ho until the latter's face turned crimson from anger.
He jogged over to Kang Jin-Ho and stood in front of him.
“Look here, dude!”
“…?” Kang Jin-Ho glanced at Hwang Jong-In, then continued to leisurely dribble the ball forward.
“Hey, man! Do you know what will happen if you dribble a ball like that?”
“What will happen?”
“This, obviously!” Hwang Jong-In rushed in to intercept as soon as Kang Jin-Ho lightly kicked the ball forward.
That was what he thought… Unfortunately for him, Hwang Jong-In's foot simply took a wild swing at the empty air.
It was because the ball had almost magically returned to Kang Jin-Ho through the vicious backspin.
“I'm still waiting.
What will happen?” Kang Jin-Ho disinterestedly asked.
Hwang Jong-In's expression crumpled.
Did you just make fun of me? And I was thinking of letting you off lightly!”
I'm asking you again,” Kang Jin-Ho leisurely asked, his head cocked to the side.
“What will happen?”
Hwang Jong-In's face went red from anger.
He madly dashed forward to tackle the ball away.
Kang Jin-Ho watched as his opponent rushed toward him while maintaining his leisurely pace.
Hwang Jong-In's sliding foot approached the ball near Kang Jin-Ho's feet.
Nothing else happened.
It was as if the ball had a mind of its own.
It spun back seemingly by itself and returned to Kang Jin-Ho's left foot.
Hwang Jong-In faltered at this sight.
“…W-What the hell?”
Kang Jin-Ho stared back and asked with a shrug, “Is that all you got?”
“…!” Hwang Jong-In's expression crumpled even more.
He had never seen a ball spin or behave like that before.
He did hear that some freestyle footballers relied on tricky spins similar to what he had seen just now.
However, you had to be a world-class footballer at the top of your game to make the ball behave that way on the field.
Yet, such a thing was happening right in front of his eyes!
'Maybe it's just a coincidence…'
However, what if it wasn't? Hwang Jong-In suddenly got nervous.
If what happened wasn't a coincidence, something horrible might happen to him! He gritted his teeth.
I'm gonna get serious now.”
“Suit yourself,” Kang Jin-Ho replied disinterestedly.
Hwang Jong-In rushed over once again, and Kang Jin-Ho casually pulled the ball back.
But this time, Hwang Jong-In wasn’t targeting the ball.
Hwang Jong-In's large physique of almost 190 cm in height slammed into Kang Jin-Ho.
His plan was to use his shoulders to ram Kang Jin-Ho away and steal the ball.
Although vicious, this kind of tackle wasn't against the rules.
Unfortunately for Hwang Jong-In, the result he got was the opposite of what he wanted.
“Kuk?!” Hwang Jong-In felt an impact akin to crashing into a boulder as he bounced off and rolled around on the floor.
He looked up at Kang Jin-Ho in a daze and gasped in confusion.
The peanut gallery around the futsal field burst into raucous laughter at this spectacle.
“What is that guy doing?”
“Why did he tumble to the ground after tackling Kang Jin-Ho?”
“He must be all talk and no bite, then!”
Since Hwang Jong-In had two functioning ears, he could hear them all.
His face turned totally red and he hurriedly got back up to his feet.
Kang Jin-Ho cocked his head again.
“What are you doing?”
“This is getting boring.
Stop messing around and get serious.”
“I'm gonna make you eat your words!” Hwang Jong-In growled like a wounded beast.
However, Kang Jin-Ho shook his head in pity.
“You're not very bright.”
“Are you insulting me now?!”
“I'm merely stating the truth.
To think that you were this slow to analyze your situation…
Consider yourself lucky for being born in this era.”
“What bullsh*t are you talking about?!” Hwang Jong-In roared angrily, but all of a sudden, Kang Jin-Ho began to leisurely step forward again.
Hwang Jong-In found himself unable to move as he dumbly stared at the latter for some reason.
going on here?!'
He should be responding.
Even if his head didn't, his body should have responded by tackling the opponent dribbling past him, or trying to kick the ball away.
He had been training his body to react that way after all.
But for some weird reason, Hwang Jong-In's body didn't do anything even as he watched Kang Jin-Ho brush past him.
What happened was simple—in that brief moment when Hwang Jong-In was crying out, and their 'auras' were clashing, Kang Jin-Ho dug into the latter's mental defense with just a tiny bit of his qi.
Of course, Hwang Jong-In would never realize that.
While Hwang Jong-In stood on the same spot like an invalid, Kang Jin-Ho leisurely strolled to the opposing side's goal with the ball in tow.
The peanut gallery obviously didn't let that go.
“What is that guy doing?”
“Is he a moron? Why is he just standing there watching?”
Jeong Seong-Gu hurriedly rushed out of the goal to stop Kang Jin-Ho.
He had to shut down the angle of attack, otherwise…
Just as that happened, though, Kang Jin-Ho lightly pushed the ball to the side.
It accurately rolled toward Park Yu-Min standing in front of the now-empty goal.
Jeong Seong-Gu cried out.
Park Yu-Min watched the ball roll toward him before kicking it into the open goal.
However, it sailed over the post.
“Ah…” Park Yu-Min nervously shuddered before glancing at Kang Jin-Ho sheepishly.
Kang Jin-Ho shook his head.
“Roll it in.”
“Don't kick it and just roll it in.
No need to kick it too hard.”
“I-I got it.”
All of this happened so naturally that nothing seemed out of place.
Hwang Jong-In, now flabbergasted, could only stare agog at Kang Jin-Ho.
What on earth was going on here? He had played in so many matches before, but he never felt anything even remotely close to this.
“It's our ball, right?” However, Jeong Seong-Gu seemed as if he didn’t feel the same as his friend since he picked up the ball and passed it as if nothing was wrong.
Hwang Jong-In stopped the ball rolling toward him and trapped it under his foot.
He looked up and glared at Kang Jin-Ho before him.
“You! How long have you been playing soccer?”
“Today is my first since my high school freshman year.”
And another fifty-plus years after that, but Kang Jin-Ho didn't feel the need to add that part.
Hwang Jong-In glared at him even harder.
“I'm gonna get serious now!”
Kang Jin-Ho muttered in a mocking tone, “Didn't you say that already?”
His mocking grin ignited Hwang Jong-In's rage until it reached its boiling point.
With his face flushed red, Hwang Jong-In angrily rushed at Kang Jin-Ho.
Kang Jin-Ho simply welcomed him with a relaxed expression.
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