Chapter 245 – Cunning
With Liu Rui being so insistent, Nie Yan could only agree with false reluctance.
Liu Rui’s eyes glinted insidiously. You little bastard, I’ll show you! Let’s see if you can be so smug in the future!
Most of the class left the main building, heading for a nearby gymnasium, where there would be a ring for the two to face off.
More than twenty people tagged along just to watch the show. This match became quite the spectacle.
“Nie Yan, don’t force yourself!” Xie Yao fretted anxiously. With her understanding of Liu Rui, she knew he wouldn’t hold back in the slightest..
Nie Yan’s heart melted as he saw Xie Yao’s concerned eyes. Her kindness was exactly what he loved most about her. Even though most of his classmates looked down on him in the previous timeline, she never did. Xie Yao had even tutored him, offering guidance and encouragement for his studies. The memory of this kindness stayed with him for the rest of that life, and this one! Xie Yao occupied the most sacred place in his heart. If anyone dared to hurt her, he would pit his life against them in a heartbeat! Back then, perhaps his biggest regret was distancing himself from her to avoid sullying her reputation.
Every time Nie Yan was forced into a corner, her image would drift through his mind. The memory of her gentle face always brought him a feeling of refreshing warmth. This memory alone carried him through the darkest days of his past life.
“It’s just a quick exchange of pointers,” Nie Yan laughed. He patted his chest and reassured her, “After all my training, if nothing else I at least know how to take a beating.”
Xie Yao forced a chuckle after hearing Nie Yan’s hearty laughter. Although these words weren’t reassuring, her expression loosened somewhat. If it looked like the things would get out of hand, she could just call the match and prevent any serious injuries.
“Don’t worry, little brother! If you’re taking too bad of a beating, I’ll just help you down. I won’t let him hurt you seriously,” a two meter tall, burly student joked.
The towering student admitted awkwardly, “I never liked that kid, but I know I’m not his match.”
How could Nie Yan not recognize this person? Zhai Hao was like a brother to Nie Yan in the previous timeline.
“Thank you, brother. I promise I’ll hold my own against him,” Nie Yan replied. He felt touched by Zhai Hao’s words.
“You seem pretty confident,” Zhai Hao laughed. “However, I must warn you. Liu Rui’s legs are really strong. His record is 130 kg for squats and his leg strength surpasses 300 kg.”
A 130 kg squat and 300 kg leg strength was pretty good for a senior year high school student. But when compared to a monster like Nie Yan, it was nothing.
Nie Yan hadn’t tested out his leg strength or squat weight in a long time. His most recent record squat was 367 kg, while his leg strength was over 700 kg. Liu Rui was nowhere close to Nie Yan. It was like a professional mixed martial artist fighting with a kid who only knew how to bully those weaker than him. Nie Yan could easily make short work of him! This was total domination! Ironically, Liu Rui was still standing there all pleased with himself, thinking that he would stomp on his opponent.
“We’ll see when I go up there and try myself,” Nie Yan replied. Since he decided to play the pig to eat the tiger, he would go through with it all the way!
From Zhai Hao’s perspective, Nie Yan would definitely lose miserably. He already prepared himself to break things up if Liu Rui went too far.
Nie Yan and Liu Rui stood at the center of the open space, facing each other. The others stood off to the side and watched.
“Who do you guys think will win?”
“Liu Rui, obviously. Is there really a need to ask?”
No one was optimistic about Nie Yan’s odds.
“Let’s go all out; otherwise, we won’t be able to enjoy ourselves. Even in a spar there are often injuries. But since we’re all young, we should be able to quickly recover after some rest at home,” Nie Yan said in a seemingly docile manner, almost as if he were a lamb waiting for slaughter.
“Right! Our medical treatments are so advanced these days, there’s no injury we can’t heal! I won’t hold back either. Let’s have a good fight.” Liu Rui narrowed his eyes. He didn’t expect for Nie Yan to willingly deliver himself to his doorstep. Since Nie Yan proposed it, he wouldn’t pull any punches. Even if Nie Yan was seriously injured, he could only blame himself.
The classmates looked on in surprise. None of them expected Nie Yan to cut off all paths of retreat.
“Did this guy go crazy?”
“Who knows. What an idiot. Isn’t he just asking to get his ass kicked?”
Liu Rui’s eyes flashed with a cold light. Since you want to throw your life away, don’t blame me for being impolite!
“No, that’s not alright!” Xie Yao anxiously called out. If Liu Rui acted ruthlessly, with his leg strength, Nie Yan would definitely be seriously injured!
Without waiting for the bystanders to calm down, Liu Rui performed the opening formalities and took a basic stance.
Nie Yan also bowed formally. This was mandatory in any duel. It signified respect for the opponent, though he felt no such thing.
“Let’s start!” Liu Rui suddenly took off, rushing towards Nie Yan. The audience broke into a cold sweat as they saw Liu Rui dashing at his foe.
Liu Rui opened by lifting his leg to kick Nie Yan in the chest. Nie Yan raised his arms to block at first, but decided to nimbly sidestep instead after seeing Liu Rui’s direct assault.
Nie Yan’s sharp eyes stared at Liu Rui. From his perspective, the opponent was full of openings. He could think of over a dozen different ways to knock Liu Rui down flat on his ass with a single strike!
Liu Rui never expected Nie Yan’s movements to be so agile. He seemed to be even faster than Teacher Yang by a good bit. The truth dawned on him. This bastard had been playing him for a fool all along! However, just as he moved to defend, it was already too late.
In Nie Yan’s eyes, Liu Rui might as well not be defending at all!
With a twist of his body, Nie Yan slammed his elbow into Liu Rui’s back. His lightning-fast blow produced an audible thud as it landed. Liu Rui staggered forward from the hit, feeling the blood in his body surge. His bones felt like they were about to break apart, and he could tell he suffered serious internal injuries.
What a heavy strike!
Before he could catch his breath, he felt wind blowing into his ear. When he tried to react, it was already far too late.
Nie Yan executed a gorgeous spinning kick. His foot whipped across Liu Rui’s face with immense force. As a loud crack rang out across the gymnasium, scaring the wits out of the spectators, Liu Rei was sent flying out several meters into the air before falling hard on the ground. He spat out a mouthful of blood, then went limp after uttering a pained groan.
The fight was over just like that!
The entire crowd became slack jawed.
No one ever thought the duel would end so quickly. Even more surprisingly, Liu Rui had lost! It was a complete rout, causing everyone to think that this new student was too fierce!
Everyone looked at Nie Yan appreciatively. The kick that sent Liu Rui flying clearly had hundreds of kg of power behind it!
No one knew in what state Liu Rui was in after taking such a kick to the head. Just thinking about it made people wince in sympathy. They could feel their hair standing on end.
That kick was absolutely ruthless. It may have even been stronger than one from a professional athlete, and Nie Yan was still just a high school student!
Nie Yan released all of the anger and frustration built up from his previous life in the kick. Upon releasing the kick, he realized he used so much strength that Liu Rui would have to be confined to bed for quite a while, and immediately felt a burst of pleasure deep inside. Liu Rui’s reputation of excellence and indomitability was destroyed as his sorry figure lay sprawled on the floor for everyone to see, including Xie Yao.
Nie Yan secretly hid his delight as he turned to his classmates and innocently asked, “Can someone call the school nurse? I didn’t mean to do that, I had no idea he couldn’t even take a single hit.”
Someone hurriedly called over the school nurse, and Liu Rui was carried away on a stretcher. Before the start of the spar, both sides had bowed to each other to express they understood the consequences. As long as neither side died, the participants could get away with almost anything. With how far medicinal technology had advanced, practically anyone could be saved as long as they had a breath of life left in them.
“Damn, bro! That was fierce! You really baited that bastard good,” Zhai Hao whispered from off to the side with a smirk that revealed a hint of schadenfreude.
“Bait him? Did I? I was just being casual. I didn’t expect him to be so weak,” Nie Yan denied, feigning ignorance.
“Didn’t I just tell you Liu Rui’s squat and leg strengths? You didn’t even react, but your kick just then was at least over 500 kg! You can play the pig to eat the tiger, but don’t treat me as a fool!” Zhai Hao chastised disdainfully.
“Haha… I guess I’ve been exposed. Lower your voice a bit. Help me keep this a secret.” Nie Yan laughed in embarrassment.
“You know, that kick of yours was pretty amazing. I fully approve! Don’t worry, I’ll keep your secret,” Zhai Hao laughed ruefully. As long as Nie Yan was aware that he knew about this matter, it was fine.
The reason Nie Yan had gotten close to Zhai Hao in the first place in the previous timeline was because of their mutual disgust for Liu Rui. Later, he even introduced Nie Yan to a circle of friends who all disliked Liu Rui.
“You’re so strong, do you happen to have a moment to teach us some of your techniques?” Zhai Hao asked. He was extremely obsessed with martial arts.
“Sure! I’ll definitely give you some pointers,” Nie Yan promised seriously. He wished to keep the brotherhood he shared with Zhai Hao during his past life and continue it on in this one.
“I’ll hold you to that!”
It was then that Xie Yao walked over, her face shrouded with complicated emotions.
“From the very start, you knew Liu Rui would be no match for you! Am I right?” Xie Yao demanded, her words tinted with traces of anger. To think that she had been so worried for Nie Yan. As it turned out, Liu Rui had been the one to be sent flying through the air!
Shaking his head, Nie Yan replied with a deadpan tone, “Nope! No such thing! How should I know who was stronger without first fighting?”
It was Nie Yan’s straight-faced “No such thing!” that pushed Xie Yao over the edge and brought a faint smile to her face. It was mildly infuriating, and yet rather amusing. But then again, Liu Rui was pretty annoying.
“You’re quite sly!” Xie Yao exclaimed as she narrowed her eyes at Nie Yan, who only chuckled in response.
She didn’t seem to be angry that he lied to her, so that, for him, was more than enough. In the end, it was worth it just to be able to kick Liu Rui—and very satisfying.
“So… my good brother, what’s your relationship with our class goddess?” Zhai Hao asked nosily. His sharp senses told him that the banter between Nie Yan and Xie Yao went far beyond the norm. There was definitely something more to this relationship. Could they even be… secret lovers?!
“She’s just a friend,” Nie Yan chuckled. However, he added something else in his mind: my future girlfriend, that is.
Every time she talked with Nie Yan, it felt as if they had known each other for years. Such perfect familiarity and understanding shocked even herself. The possibility that Nie Yan was him creeped closer and closer. They seemed to share a similar cunning, wretched personality, almost as if they had been cast from the same mold. The only thing was… she had no way of verifying whether or not they were the same person, so a layer of doubt could only remain in her heart.