God of Tennis - Chapter 5.4
It was Han Woo Jin’s turn to serve.
He didn’t use Sparrow. It was a normal serve with mediocre speed that arrived at Choi Yeon Hyuk’s side of the court. Choi Yeon Hyuk took one step backward and twisted his racket diagonally with the intention to quickly finish this rally.
With Rising, he swiftly returned the ball back to the other side of the court. Up until now, Han Woo Jin had yet to successfully return his Rising as he attempted to use volleys to return it.
‘I’ve seen that move over 20 times, and I still can’t return Choi Yeon Hyuk’s swings with my current skill level.
‘I might be able to do it after my skills and stats go up.’
It was a meaningless assumption from the present Han Woo Jin. He needed to change his strategy right away.
The ball that Choi Yeon Hyuk hit arrived at Han Woo Jin’s right side. Han Woo Jin didn’t have any strength left to snap the ball and return it. The only thing he could do was drop shots.
Therefore, he decided to just completely stop using snaps.
Han Woo Jin received the ball and hit it straight. The ball wasn’t headed for the court but right at Choi Yeon Hyuk’s body. It was a body shot.
Although Han Woo Jin couldn’t hit the ball with all his strength, the speed wasn’t something to laugh at. If a ball at that speed hit his body, if the person wasn’t ready for that ball, they would be stunned. This wasn’t talent, but it was something that required experience.
Choi Yeon Hyuk, who was inexperienced with this type of situation, hurriedly put up his racket to receive the ball. As he blocked the ball, the ball flew in an arch over to Han Woo Jin which allowed him to easily use a smash.
Han Woo Jin hit the ball without any hesitation. It was the first point that Han Woo Jin scored without using Sparrow.
Han Woo Jin saw Choi Yeon Hyuk’s frustrated expression and smiled.
Choi Yeon Hyuk kept on using Rising because of Han Woo Jin’s continuous drop shots, and those resulted in more body shots. It was impossible for him to get used to the body shots in such a short period of time. Only players who experienced getting body-shotted tens of hundreds of times could return it.
Han Woo Jin was able to use and return body shots. His present body was that of a young rookie, but on the inside, he was a pro who had ten years of experience.
“Game, Han Woo Jin! 1-2! Change courts!”
As soon as they switched sides, Choi Yeon Hyuk served with a nervous expression. Although he was winning, he had a feeling that he was actually losing. Han Woo Jin swang the racket to return his powerful and quick serve.
Serve and volley. Choi Yeon Hyuk’s favorite move was to run right up to the net after serving.
However, Choi Yeon Hyuk was scared of receiving a body shot.
‘What if Han Woo Jin hits the ball to my body or face?
‘I need to keep my distance.’
Choi Yeon Hyuk stopped moving his feet.
Han Woo Jin used a light drop shot as he saw that and the ball went over the net. It was as if he was mocking him.
Even though he was a player with an amazing physique and technique, he would be perplexed if he encountered a strategy he’d never seen before.
Han Woo Jin used his inexperience against him.
He coordinated and utilized his body shots along with the drop shots, and he easily won the fourth game. Han Woo Jin took a deep breath.
‘It’s better now. I got my breath back.’
The rallies didn’t last long, and Han Woo Jin didn’t need to move around that much so he was able to save his strength. However, the score right now was 2-2. He needed to win this set so that they could go to the last set.
It was Han Woo Jin’s turn to serve again.
Choi Yeon Hyuk was able to easily receive his serves, but after his returns, he kept on making mistakes. He couldn’t properly receive the body shots that were aimed right at his face and chest. In addition, he was also was too far away to reach the drop shots.
The viewers who were in the stands were now feeling conflicted. The game was completely different compared to before.
“What’s that? Isn’t that cheating?”
“What do you mean? Body shots aren’t cheating, it’s a strategy.”
“But it’s such a cheap move.”
Some people were cursing Han Woo Jin’s plays while the others were either supporting him or just analyzing his playstyle. There were various emotions. Coach Jeon was on the supporting side for Han Woo Jin.
‘All plays except fouls are fair play. Also, players need to do everything they can to win. Han Woo Jin’s dirty play is a reasonable strategy.’
Until now, Choi Yeon Hyuk was playing with great talent and skill and he won every game. Nobody ever played like this against Choi Yeon Hyuk. That’s why he had no idea about what to do.
In front of Coach Jeon who was calmly watching the match in front of him, another game went to Han Woo Jin.
“Game, Han Woo Jin! 3-2! Change sides!”
The favor was now with Han Woo Jin. Han Woo Jin was now in the lead coming from a disadvantageous situation. Coach Jeon expected a miracle and it happened just like he wanted.
Choi Yeon Hyuk grit his teeth. As soon as he grabbed the ball, he threw it up and hit it as hard as he could.
‘The lid is now open. What do I do now?’
Han Woo Jin set his mind on watching the ball. It was perfectly fine for the person using dirty tricks, but the person on the receiving end would get very frustrated. A person who played fairly like Choi Yeon Hyuk was bound to get even angrier. The anger of a top player like Choi Yeon Hyuk was nothing to laugh about.
‘But I can use your anger to my advantage.’
Choi Yeon Hyuk also didn’t have as much strength as before. Before he turned off his status window, Choi Yeon Hyuk only had half his HP left. It probably went down a considerable amount. ‘Even if I lose this game, he will lose a lot of stamina.’
After that game, the next game was different from the previous one.
Choi Yeon Hyuk did his best to serve, and Han Woo Jin was barely able to return those balls. Then Choi Yeon Hyuk would utilize his full strength to swing back and return them to win the point. Han Woo Jin had no intention of winning any points; he barely moved around and kept on hitting the ball all around the court, making Choi Yeon Hyuk run around. You could see his strength diminishing.
“Game, Choi Yeon Hyuk! 3-3! Han Woo Jin serve!”
Choi Yeon Hyuk played this game not to win, but to vent his anger. So his breaths were very labored. After the game ended, he realized he was not in optimal condition.
‘Was this your plan? You’re too much to me!’
‘It’s too late for you now. That’s why dirty play is called playing in quicksand.’
Han Woo Jin smirked. He didn’t care about the fatigue his body was experiencing because he was excited about seeing the ugly expression on the genius opponent’s face and the fact that he was the cause of it. This proved that his past ten years weren’t in vain.
‘I think this set will be my limit.’
Han Woo Jin already expected the end of the match. He probably couldn’t last through the entire last set. He wanted to at least win the second set before his fire burned out.
He threw up the ball.
‘You didn’t expect that?’
Han Woo Jin, who kept on using body shots and drop shots after his serve, suddenly used Sparrow, so of course his response was delayed.
Sparrow couldn’t be received if he wasn’t prepared. Not even Choi Yeon Hyuk could do it. Even if he was prepared for Sparrow and returned it, he would immediately receive a body shot. Choi Yeon Hyuk couldn’t return it as he still wasn’t used to body shots.
However, there were always unexpected variables that could occur.
Choi Yeon Hyuk received the serve, and Han Woo Jin immediately got ready to use a body shot. It was at that moment.
The ball hit Choi Yeon Hyuk’s chest and rolled on the court. His body was out of strength, so the body shot had no power and it didn’t hurt at all. Han Woo Jin stared at Choi Yeon Hyuk with a face of disbelief and Choi Yeon Hyuk smirked at him with a face that showed that he was no longer afraid.
‘I’m going crazy. He’s not the type to be that reckless.’
Han Woo Jin knew that, but now the body shots had no effect on him and the situation had reversed once again.
Choi Yeon Hyuk wanted to get rid of his fear of body shots, and that’s why he purposely got hit. It wouldn’t work after just one time, but after getting hit multiple times, his body would get used to it.
If that happened, he would have the advantage again.
The ball went over the net again, and the two players once again moved with all their might. The two were now on equal grounds.
“40:30! Han Woo Jin, set point!”
The game was 5-5. They were playing to the death and it was finally deuce. However, there were no deuces in the test league. If Han Woo Jin won this last point, then he would win the set and they would move on to the third set.
It was Han Woo Jin’s turn to serve.
‘Shall we see it?…’
It was his last stand, so he turned the status window back on. He looked down at his racket and saw his status.
[Han Woo Jin] [Exhausted]
Strength 50 (-15) / Stamina 48 (-15) / Agility 42 (-15)
HP 220/1920 SP 50/440
Drop shot: 4/20
Special skill: Sparrow (serve)
Two levels in drop shot and one level in volley. He was able to raise the levels of these two skills by using the body shot strategy.
‘Exhaustion… no wonder I have no strength.’
His power greatly went down. Han Woo Jin realized why he couldn’t move his body as well as he wanted to. Though he had the will to play, he couldn’t play at all. He might have to lay down in the hospital after this match.
He had 50 SP. He could use Sparrow a couple times with this SP.
‘Sparrow? Or just serve?’
Although Choi Yeon Hyuk could receive Sparrow, it was just a normal return and not an attack. He was also now used to body shots, so if he used regular serves, he could get return aced.
Han Woo Jin chose to use Sparrow. His SP went down close to zero and he threw up the ball.
It didn’t matter how much SP or stamina he had left — Sparrow was still powerful.
Choi Yeon Hyuk barely hit Sparrow which was almost traveling at a 90-degree angle and the ball flew up towards the sky. The ball returned to the baseline near Han Woo Jin and flew over his head.
Smash. He didn’t have any strength left, so he stood tall and hit the ball. His goal was Choi Yeon Hyuk’s body that had come up to the net. Choi Yeon Hyuk also didn’t have any strength left, so nobody expected him to receive the body shot.
Of course, Choi Yeon Hyuk scrunched his face when he saw the arc in which the ball was flying at towards him.
The ball was hard for him to hit. If he moved his body, the ball would probably be out. He didn’t have time to dodge, and if he tried to dodge, the ball would hit his body he would lose the point.
If he manages to dodge this, he would be spent.
‘What do I do? How do I handle this ball?’
He stopped thinking.
Choi Yeon Hyuk wasn’t thinking about anything and he subconsciously made a move that he couldn’t understand himself as he was watching the ball.
With a vertical snap of his wrist, he hit the ball. It was a very strange return.
The weird return that he did made a 90-degree angle and just slid down into Han Woo Jin’s side of the court. It was as weird as Sparrow. The viewers and Coach Jeon couldn’t help but watch in shock at what had happened.
Only Han Woo Jin saw it differently from the others. He was disappointed and frustrated at what he heard in his mind.
[You just witnessed the special skill, Slipper. You can now view Slipper on Choi Yeon Hyuk’s status.]
‘… A strange awakening in the middle of a crisis. Are you some sort of main character in a drama?’
Han Woo Jin really wanted to complain about this but he grabbed the ball to end the set.
The result of this last rally will decide the winner of the second set.
‘I have to serve…’
Blinded by the ceiling lights, he threw up the ball.
The ball fell down.
Everybody was looking at the falling ball. The viewers, the players, and coach Jeon.
One meter and ninety centimeters.
The ball was way past the mark of where the racket should hit it. Choi Yeon Hyuk’s muscles were very tense as he was prepared to receive the ball.
One meter and fifty centimeters.
Something was strange.
The viewers noticed why Han Woo Jin moved and the ball hit the ground.
“W-Woo Jin ah!”
Coach Jeon waved his hand in front of Han Woo Jin who was looking up, but Han Woo Jin’s eyes didn’t move at all. Coach Jeon was surprised and shouted at the players in the stands.
“H-hurry and call 119! And tell them to get an ambulance!”
Test league final match.
Choi Yeon Hyuk’s victory.
Choi Yeon Hyuk watched his opponent being carried out on the stretcher.
After they were gone, Choi Yeon Hyuk just stood there and let down his arm that was holding the racket.