Figure Skating: I’m More Suited for the Olympics – Chapter 75 Treat

Due to his difficulty in adjusting to time differences, Zhang Jue was actually one of the athletes who arrived at the venue earliest, while Choi Jung-soo arrived two days later.

When Zhang Jue finally adjusted to the time difference and was having breakfast, he heard a surprised shout at the restaurant’s entrance.

“Zheng Jue, Hannah!”

Choi Jung-soo turned around and saw Zhang Jue running towards him, grabbing both of his hands and shaking them vigorously.

After a moment of silence, Choi Jung-soo couldn’t help but laugh and said: “Jue, you’ve grown quite a bit taller.”

The last time they met, he felt like Zhang Jue was not even 155 cm tall, and now it seemed like he was only 3 to 4 cm shorter than him.

Zhang Jue proudly lifted his head: “That’s right, I’m already 159 cm tall!”

Choi Jung-soo, a petite man with a fixed adult height of 163 cm, patted his back: “Let’s go, I’ll treat you to breakfast.”

Zhang Jue agreed happily and pulled him to have breakfast. The English breakfast tasted decent – roasted tomatoes, buttered scrambled eggs, sausages, baked beans, hash browns, Danish pastries – even though it was high in calories, it could kickstart an energetic morning.

However, Zhang Jue was quite restrained. He ate just enough to feel satisfied and then filled the remaining space in his stomach with vegetables.

Choi Jung-soo kindly reminded him: “Jue, you’re at an age where you might start developing, so you shouldn’t skimp on protein and carbs.”

Zhang Jue smiled at him: “I know. I’ll eat enough during the competition. The main thing is that my jumps depend a lot on rotation speed, and gaining weight wouldn’t be good for my jumps.”

Choi Jung-soo said: “Don’t voluntarily tell me about your technical weaknesses.”

They were not from the same country, so there was no need to share this kind of information!

Zhang Jue was puzzled: “Why can’t I say it? We’re in figure skating, in the singles category. We don’t directly compete on the ice, skating our own programs. You know my weaknesses, but can you force-feed me to make me fat?”

Choi Jung-soo thought, well, that makes sense, but if his coach overhears Zhang Jue admitting his technical weaknesses, he would surely be ecstatic. Even though Choi Jung-soo didn’t understand why.

Knowing someone’s weaknesses wouldn’t make Choi Jung-soo beat Zhang Jue. He entered the senior category earlier, but his current world ranking hovered between twenty and twenty-four. He hadn’t even reached the podium in international competitions.

Compared to super rookies like Zhang Jue, Hayato Teraokao, and Ilia, who were highly regarded before moving up a category, Choi Jung-soo acknowledged that he couldn’t compete. However, he didn’t feel jealous.

Talent is innate, with genetics contributing at least eighty percent. The three rising stars obviously had extraordinary talent, while Choi Jung-soo’s talent could only be considered a genius among ordinary people, not comparable to them.

At least he had worked hard to master the 3A jump.

“Do you know? Salen plans to completely withdraw from commercial shows and become a coach at the Cotin Club in Ontario, Canada.”

Hearing the name Salen, Zhang Jue thought for a while before remembering that he was the bronze medalist in men’s singles at the 1994 Winter Olympics.

He nodded: “Yeah, what about it?”

Choi Jung-soo, resting his chin on his hand, said: “Do you think it would be good if I approached him to be my coach after this season?”

After thinking for a long time, Choi Jung-soo decided to seek opportunities for transformation in a foreign land to further advance in figure skating. However, top coaches were too expensive, and with too many students, they might not focus on his development. So, Salen, who had a Winter Olympic medal, was an excellent choice.

He was the first student to actively approach Salen, who would surely dedicate himself to Choi Jung-soo.

Zhang Jue agreed: “That sounds great. Although I haven’t seen how you two would work together, I think you’ll get along well.”

Choi Jung-soo continued: “By the way, this is for you.”

He handed Zhang Jue a small yellow cloth bag with a rainbow-colored star on it. Zhang Jue instinctively wanted to open it but was stopped.

“Don’t open it, or the charm won’t work.”

Choi Jung-soo earnestly warned Zhang Jue: “My mom requested this when I applied to the University of Ottawa. The master who made the charm is well-known, and before making it, he bathed, burned incense, and prayed for a long time. This charm is worth 300,000 Korean won.”

Zhang Jue thought that’s 1,700 soft sister coins.

Choi Jung-soo said: “I’ve received an offer from the University of Ottawa and even deferred enrollment. So, I won’t need this anymore. I remember you’re still in high school, so I’m giving this charm to you. I wish you success in your exams, get offers from whatever universities you want, and maybe it’ll improve your luck with drawings.”

For some reason, even though Choi Jung-soo was a 19-year-old teenager, Zhang Jue saw the same affection in him as he did in Coach Song. Coach Song had also sought a lucky charm from his hometown Bai Xian for him. Although it was not very effective and not suitable for a successor to socialism to believe in metaphysics, their intentions were good.

Touched, Zhang Jue accepted this precious gift.

The organizers of the Kent event wrote numbers on green leaves with markers, allowing athletes to touch and choose. When Zhang Jue’s name was called, he stepped on stage, lifted a leaf, glanced at it, sighed understandingly, and raised the leaf, indicating that the unfortunate first to compete would be him.

Choi Jung-soo looked shocked.

How was it possible? That was a handmade charm from the famous Master Zaogui, and it was supposed to be very effective. Why couldn’t it even save Jue’s luck?

The three perspectives of the metaphysical teenager were about to be shattered by Zhang Jue’s luck. In his slightly superstitious thinking, if even Master Zaogui couldn’t save this luck, wouldn’t it mean that if he took Zhang Jue to Las Vegas to gamble on the size and kept betting against him, he could become wealthy?

After Zhang Jue stepped down, Maquen, who was going to draw next, praised him with admiration: “Your luck is truly well-deserved.”

Please believe that Maquen’s admiration for Zhang Jue at this moment was sincere. In his eyes, this kid’s luck had always been so bizarre, yet he could sweep through the junior category and even beat Ilia and Hayato Teraoka before they moved up. His mentality and skills were so strong that there was nothing to say.

If it were him with consistently bad luck in drawings, he would have already broken down.

Then the kid grunted at him, jumped off the stage and jogged back to his seat, and the girl next to him immediately talked to him, seemingly comforting him.

Ah, even sitting in the seat, he looks so small, so cute.

With this thought in mind, he decided to invite Zhang Jue to join his gathering with friends. However, he was stared at by Shen Liu, whose eyes were as intense as a plague. Shen Liu had a stiff smile, eagerly trying to drive him away.

Maquen had a good temper and didn’t get angry about being driven away. He clung to the doorframe, desperately explaining.

“I swear, I just want to take him out for a meal. I know a place where the smoked fish is especially clean, safe, and delicious. Just eating, nothing else! The whole place is full of males! He’s only 15, touching him is illegal. You have to believe I’m a law-abiding person!”

He knew very well what kind of person he was.

Shen Liu: “Having only males is not safe either. Do you think I don’t know the situation in this field? The straight-male ratio relies on Asian and Russian athletes. There are so many gays and bisexuals among male figure skaters in Europe and America! Yesterday, the male partner of Barbara, the ice dancer you arranged to meet, is gay. I saw him entering the rooms of Rottel and Chalson!”

Zhang Jue, who looked completely innocent, was shocked by the information.

Three people… That Barbara’s male partner actually had that—kind of experience!

Zhang Junbao stopped Shen Liu and stepped forward.

“I’m willing to let our kid get to know more peers. After all, he can’t stay under our wings forever.”

Shen Liu interjected defiantly: “We can! I can protect him until he retires, and even continue to protect him after he retires!”

Zhang Junbao rolled his eyes at him, exchanged contact information with Maquen, warned Zhang Jue not to touch alcohol and to be polite outside, and then waved his hand to let them go.

Maquen was a bit surprised, as he knew that playboys weren’t trustworthy in the eyes of many parents, but Zhang Junbao let go easily.

Of course, he didn’t know Zhang Junbao’s true thoughts.

Zhang Jue, just like his mother, had a completely intolerant temper. He would explode if provoked, boasting sprint talent and endurance praised even by the head coach of the adjacent track and field team. Occasionally, he would go to the martial arts team to hit sandbags and learn combat, he was already a 15-year-old young man.

At this age, Zhang Junbao could already take on seven people in a fight with a brick. Zhang Jue could defend himself, so there was no need to confine him at home.

Shen Liu was still uneasy. “Senior brother, many of those people…”

“We can’t refrain girls from wearing pretty dresses or handsome boys from going out to make friends just because we fear potential bad guys. Moreover, I haven’t heard of any wrongdoing by those athletes. Even if their sexual orientation is less common, it doesn’t mean they are perverts.”

Zhang Junbao remained calm. “Let’s go. We’re the only two having dinner tonight. Without Zhang Jue, we don’t need to be so cautious about eating. I’ll treat you to a T-bone steak at the restaurant, alright?”

Shen Liu fell silent for a moment.

“Eating steak at night might cause indigestion, but…” He smiled: “Senior brother is treating me, even if I have diarrhea for three days after eating, I’ll still go.”

Zhang Junbao waved his hand. “What three days of diarrhea? Aren’t you always smooth in that department? Especially before the competition, you often have diarrhea. At that time, Doctor Qin was even forced to study acupuncture to treat your digestive system.”

Shen Liu: Disappearing smile.jpg

The restaurant Maquen chose was by the lake, offering a great view. Looking up, one could see the lake, and outside the restaurant was a platform with wooden boards and various plants.

There weren’t many male singles participating in the gathering, and with Zhang Jue, there were only five people. Maquen introduced them as male singles from the French-speaking region. Besides Maquen, three others came from Belgium, Switzerland, and Quebec, Canada.

Zhang Jue didn’t know why Maquen brought him here.

“This is Little Crocodile, David. You’ve danced in a group performance with him during the show, remember?”

The 19-year-old Belgian male single, David Bisoli, smiled friendly at Zhang Jue. He was a freckled boy with brown hair, looking a bit shy. However, Zhang Jue knew that he was one of the most promising European male singles after Maquen, mainly due to his quad jumps, even though they weren’t as consistent.

While shaking hands, Zhang Jue noticed a purple bruise on his right hand.

But figure skaters always had bruises on their bodies; it was normal. Zhang Jue didn’t think too much about it.

Before the dishes arrived, they talked a lot. Maquen was the number one skater in Italy, his shows were popular, and he was willing to invite his friends to perform in his show brand. Zhang Jue also received an invitation.

Besides that, they discussed the trends in changes to the figure skating rules. Undoubtedly, male singles were focusing more on jumps, and in the future, it would definitely be the era of quad jumps.

“In that case, Little Crocodile’s advantage will be significant. You are the only one so far who can use the Rippon posture when jumping quads. You’re unique.”

As everyone was preparing for the competition, no one ordered alcohol; they all had apple juice. The restaurant used a clay pot to serve the apple juice. David took the initiative to pour the juice for his friends. However, his wrist movement when holding the clay pot was not natural. From Zhang Jue’s angle, he could see the purple bruise on David’s wrist, somewhat resembling fingerprints.

He immediately stood up and took the clay pot.

“Let me do it. In my hometown, in such situations, the youngest should do it.”

He said quickly and steadily pouring the juice, handing out the cups. No one noticed that something was wrong.

Maquen raised his cup and cheerfully shouted: “Cheers to such a pleasant dinner!”

Zhang Jue also felt it was a pleasant night because the smoked fish was really delicious, along with honey-drizzled pancakes and tasty lasagna.

But when he was sent back by Maquen, he found that tonight he wouldn’t be able to drink his uncle’s loving warm milk.

Because Zhang Junbao had gotten drunk.



Support translation:

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