Novel Name : God of Tennis

God of Tennis - Chapter 6.3

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Chapter 6.3
Translator: Pineapple
Editor: Isalee
[We will soon arrive at Sadang station.]
‘I’m almost there.’
Ssangmun station was pretty far from Sadang station. It took one hour to get there, and Han Woo Jin was sitting on the cold seat for almost an hour. It was 10 PM, so the subway was pretty empty.
He walked up the stairs, passed the exit, and called Choi Yeon Hyuk.
“Just now. Where are you?”
Han Woo Jin mumbled the number Choi Yeon Hyuk told him. There were a lot of people in the station even though it was late. There were many restaurants and bars near Sadang station, so it was common to see drunk people walking around.
As soon as Han Woo Jin exited the fourth entrance, a tough hand touched his shoulder. When he turned his head, he saw Choi Yeon Hyuk who was wearing a different outfit.
An oversized t-shirt and jeans. He had worn them for a long time. The ends of his shirt and jeans were frayed and worn out. This shattered the prince-like rich boy image that he had of Choi Yeon Hyuk. Choi Yeon Hyuk spoke as he saw that Han Woo Jin looked really surprised to see him.
“What are you looking at?”
“Aren’t you cold?”
Han Woo Jin said something other than what he was thinking. You couldn’t say it was spring now because it was really cold. It wasn’t at a temperature where you could just walk around in with a shirt and jeans. Then Choi Yeon Hyuk pointed at a bar that was located behind them.
“I left my jacket in the bar. Do you think I would walk around like this?”
“Then let’s go inside.”
The two people walked into the beer house to escape from the cold weather. There was a table that had a jacket on one chair in the corner. Choi Yeon Hyuk walked over and sat down.
“One fried and one flavored is that okay?”
“I’m good with anything except grilled.”
“That’s good. I’m ready to order!”
Choi Yeon Hyuk raised his head and called the employee. Han Woo Jin moved his eyes with a complicated thought as he watched Choi Yeon Hyuk order chicken and soda.
‘I thought he was well-off.’
That’s the only thing he remembered about Choi Yeon Hyuk when he saw him on TV receiving all the glory. In the newspapers, television, and internet, nobody was interested in Choi Yeon Hyuk’s past. They only spoke about him placing second in the world league tournament. So they just wrote those types of stories to promote tennis.
He felt like everything he knew about Choi Yeon Hyuk was destroyed and he had new thoughts about him. Han Woo Jin felt awkward while they waited for the chicken and Choi Yeon Hyuk began talking.
“Woo Jin ah, how many times did you lose until now?”
He asked him what he was talking about but Choi Yeon Hyuk’s face made him seem like he was really serious.
Choi Yeon Hyuk thought Han Woo Jin didn’t understand so he asked him again.
“Tennis. How many times have you lost up until now?”
“…I’ve never counted.”
‘I can’t count how many times I’ve lost.’
Not even counting his past ten years of life, his losses outnumbered his wins even in the present. He had always lost, so he hardly even remembered winning. Choi Yeon Hyuk just opened his mouth regardless of knowing whether or not Han Woo Jin was feeling depressed.
“Really? You too?”
Han Woo Jin looked at him with a face that said, “What the fuck are you talking about?” Choi Yeon Hyuk misunderstood Han Woo Jin’s expression and kept talking.
“If I’m strong, I win, and if the opponent is stronger, I lose. I thought that was definite.”
His thoughts were completely different from Han Woo Jin’s. No matter how many times he was told that he would never win, he wouldn’t give up. However, Choi Yeon Hyuk thought that what he was thinking was right.
“When I lost, I didn’t care about it that much. I thought that if I practiced a little bit, then I could win. If I lose now, I can come back later. That’s what has happened so far.”
Choi Yeon Hyuk, who had a poor background, had a talent that others didn’t have. He had the talent to overcome those kids who received special education. The skills that he was inferior in, he could just practice and get better. His body was also improving as he got older. Now that he was an adult, he couldn’t find a worthy opponent in Korea.
It was natural for him to keep on improving and it was also natural for him to look down on those below him. Han Woo Jin thought that Choi Yeon Hyuk was that kind of person. It was just in his nature, and he didn’t have any evil intentions. That was how he had been living, so it was natural for him.
“I can beat the opponent that beat me today in the future. If there is an opponent that I cannot beat, then I thought that would be my limit. That’s how I’ve been thinking until now.”
Han Woo Jin suddenly thought that Choi Yeon Hyuk was no longer invincible. No, he felt like Choi Yeon Hyuk was becoming vulnerable. That’s what it looked like as he made eye contact with Choi Yeon Hyuk and it felt like they were on the same level.
“I almost lost to a person whom I thought was below me.”
“But you won in the end. Did you call me because you were angry that you lost a couple games to me?”
Han Woo Jin was angry because he assumed that was what he called him for. Han Woo Jin still lost that match in the end. Who wouldn’t be angry if his opponent who won kept on talking about the match?
But that wasn’t what Choi Yeon Hyuk wanted to talk about. Choi Yeon Hyuk stopped Han Woo Jin from speaking by putting up his hand.
“No. I figured it out because of you.”
Choi Yeon Hyuk’s voice was soft compared to Han Woo Jin’s, who was starting to get angry. Choi Yeon Hyuk spoke without thinking compared to Han Woo Jin who looked like he was about to start a war. It had only been a week since the game, but Choi Yeon Hyuk’s mindset looked bigger than before.
“You don’t win because you are strong. You don’t lose because you are weak. Win or lose, it cannot be decided by a person’s stats.”
It was laughable.
Han Woo Jin learned the importance of stats because of his ten years of experience, but Choi Yeon Hyuk learned that skills were not that important after his match with Han Woo Jin. It was a huge difference in terms of thoughts.
They each saw each other’s strengths, but they only saw the weakness within themselves. What did people call this type of relationship?
“So? Did you call to thank me? If that’s all you’re gonna say, I’m gonna leave.”
Han Woo Jin felt bad. Not because Choi Yeon Hyuk told him about his loss, but because of his loss, his opponent got stronger. Han Woo Jin’s personality wasn’t so good as to congratulate his opponent for receiving inspiration from him.
Han Woo Jin and Choi Yeon Hyuk’s paths were different. If Han Woo Jin walked ten steps, Choi Yeon Hyuk only needed to walk one or two steps. Han Woo Jin was anxious because he helped push Choi Yeon Hyuk’s back to make him better unintentionally.
“Set point 1-0. Game 5-5, 40:40. You remember up to that point right?”
He remembered until he threw up the last serve. Han Woo Jin’s memory was blank after the green ball fell down.
Choi Yeon Hyuk picked up the water and drank it. He spoke in a sharp but soft voice.
“You couldn’t hit the last serve.”
“Do you think I don’t know that?”
“That’s not what I want to say.”
‘Then what is it?’
Choi Yeon Hyuk smiled at the look that Han Woo Jin was giving him. His smile looked like a prince who was saying, “Who cares about my appearance?”
Finally, he wagged his index finger at Han Woo Jin with an arrogant look.
“A serve that doesn’t touch the racket doesn’t count. That’s why the score is still 40:40.”
Han Woo Jin finally understood what he was talking about. This was a declaration of war.
That day’s match wasn’t over yet. He hadn’t won yet. That’s what Choi Yeon Hyuk was saying.
‘Okay, I’ll accept your challenge.’
Han Woo Jin smiled and looked at Choi Yeon Hyuk’s confident face. Originally, the smile was an expression of goodwill.
“Wouldn’t it be better if you just accepted your win?”
“If I don’t win convincingly, then it’ll nag me.”
They came to a mutual agreement.
In the middle of their conversation, two steaming hot servings of fried and flavored chicken were put before them. The two men reached out their hands at the same time.
Han Woo Jin decided that eating was more important right now.
Coach Jeon was still up late at night typing on his computer. There was a list of tournaments on the monitor for his two players that he had to specially take care of.
Korea was uninterested in tennis tournaments. There never was an ATP league in Korea. [1] Famous players also never played in Korean tournaments. The leagues on the list were all upcoming tournaments and even included the Futures tournament.
“Even if the president uses his influence to get them special seeds, a lot of bad rumors about them not having skill might spread around.”
However, if they started at the Futures tournament from the beginning, they would lose their stamina and be exhausted. Coach Jeon found one of the Futures tournaments that would be starting soon. [2]
[Daegu Open]
‘This is good…’
Coach Jeon decided for Choi Yeon Hyuk’s first Futures tournament to be the Daegu Open. He copied the website’s link and bookmarked it.
‘Han Woo Jin is injured and was currently resting, but he will soon return to full health. I need to find a tournament for him before then.
‘But I still have time.’
They had talent, but they didn’t have the experience, so Coach Jeon pulled his chair closer to his computer. Stamina training program, weight training schedule, diet…. There were a lot of things to do.
The computer screen didn’t turn off until three hours later.
Translator’s Notes:
[1]  ATP league – Association of Tennis Professionals
[2 ] Futures tournaments – Tournaments that allow players to increase their rankings and win titles.
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