As the spectators looked on in shock, a whistle sounded and Lǐ Shuài from class three ran across the finish line as the first place winner.
Bian JinYuan had started running towards Lu YunFei the moment he fell. Lu YunFei stood back up, but the event was already over. He patted at the dirt on his pants and felt a slight pain on his ankles and knees.
“Are you alright?” Bian JinYuan supported him from his side.
“I’m alright,” Lu YunFei said. He took two steps while being supported, but felt more pain in his ankle.
It stung so much that he jumped even with Bian JinYuan supporting him. Bian JinYuan saw this and knew that something had happened to his legs.
“Let’s get it checked out at the medical room,” He said.
Li YuanQing, Wen MingYi, and He Pan had rushed over as well, asking worriedly if he was alright.
Lu YunFei explained to the people surrounding him that he was okay and asked He Pan to call the referee over.
“What’s wrong? Why are you calling the referee over?” Li YuanQing asked.
Lu YunFei then opened up his left hand which had been clenched. The ball bearings glimmered under the sunlight in his palm.
“I fell because I slipped on this,” Lu YunFei said, “There are five of them, all on my lane. This can’t be coincidental.”
“You suspect that someone did this deliberately?” Wen MingYi asked.
“I don’t know, but this can be considered an onsite obstacle. Accordingly, the results of this race should be disqualified.”
Wen MingYi looked at him, “You can’t be planning to have a rematch?”
Wen MingYi looked at him standing on one leg, “I think you should forget it.”
“I think so too,” Li YuanQing said, “It’s not worth it. It would’ve been no issue if your leg were alright, but you’re injured now, so just let it be. It’s not like you need this win in the first place.”
Lu YunFei was prepared to refute when he heard Bian JinYuan say to Li YuanQing, “Help me support him.”
“I’m alright,” Lu YunFei placed his other foot down. After resting it for a bit, he felt that it no longer exuded pain.
“See, aren’t I well.”
Bian JinYuan didn’t say anything. He saw the referee headed over this way, and then took a ball bearing from Lu YunFei’s hand, “I’ll be borrowing this,” he said, as he turned to walk over to Li Shuai celebrating nearby.
Lu YunFei, Li YuanQing, and Wen MingYi looked at each other in confusion, “What’s he planning to do?”
Li Shuai was celebrating his victory with his friends while the girls from class three cheered: “You were too cool just now! It was amazing.”
Li Shuai smiled, his eyes sweeping over the girls. However, he didn’t find the person that he was hoping to see. His smile faltered for a moment, but his bros knew what he was thinking and nudged him to look to the side. Li Shuai turned his head to see Zhao Yao standing next to Lu YunFei.
Zhao Yao looked at Lu YunFei, her eyes carrying her worry for him. Despite having been rejected by him just now, and also the fact that they had parted on unhappy terms because of Bian JinYuan, she was still unable to resist coming over after seeing him fall. She gently asked in concern: “Are you alright?”
“I’m alright,” Lu YunFei said.
He looked at Bian JinYuan who had walked over to Li Shuai. Did this guy suspect that Li Shuai had something to do with his fall?
“Excuse me a moment,” Bian JinYuan’s voice contrasted against the celebrating atmosphere. He looked at the boy in the school jacket beside Li Shuai, his tone level: “The referee is looking for you.”
Zhāng Xīn felt a pang of guilty conscience, and the joy on Li Shuai’s face momentarily faltered. However, Zhang Xin quickly put on a facade of calm: “Why am I being looked for? I didn’t compete.”
“You didn’t compete, but you hindered the competition,” Bian JinYuan said coldly.
“What rubbish are you talking about?” Zhang Xin said angrily, “Do top students have the right to spout nonsense?!”
“I’m serious. The referee will judge the situation. What are you afraid of if you didn’t do anything wrong?”
“No, what right do you have to talk this way to me, are you the referee? You’re even claiming that the referee is looking for me, I think that you’re the one looking for me instead.”
The girls from class three heard this and also said unhappily: “Yeah, on what basis did you say that Zhang Xin obstructed the match.”
Lu YunFei saw that things seemed about to escalate and was about to head over when he heard He Pan say: “Lu YunFei, the referee is here.”
Curbing his impulse, he looked at Li YuanQing and indicated for him to go over to take a look.
“What’s up? This student said that you were looking for me,” the referee said amiably.
Lu YunFei opened his hand up to show him the ball bearings, “These were on my running lane, I fell because I slipped on them.”
The referee had never expected something like this to happen, and picked one up to scrutinise it. The ball bearings weren’t large, and would be easy to miss on the synthetic track unless one paid close attention to it. He recalled how it seemed as if Lu YunFei had fallen as if he had slipped on something. However, these ball bearings and his own memories were not conclusive in determining that someone had obstructed the race.
And so the referee said, “It’s not that I don’t believe you, but we do not have security cameras here. I don’t have conclusive evidence that these ball bearings were left by someone, and not yours. Do you understand where I’m coming from?”
“So I can’t request a rematch?”
“You can’t, unless there’s concrete evidence which shows that these ball bearings were left by someone due to our lack of vigilance in ensuring the safety of competitors. Otherwise, it’s impossible to ask for a rematch.”
Hearing this, Lu YunFei felt a little upset. There was no helping it then, it wasn’t like the sports field was a highway, there weren’t security cameras or witnesses. It seemed like there was nothing he could do.
“What do you mean okay,” Wen MingYi swiftly retorted angrily: “If it weren’t because of your lapse in checking the track, you think he’d intentionally bring ball bearings to hinder himself?”
Lu YunFei quickly tried to smooth it over, “Forget it, we don’t have conclusive evidence, it’s difficult to determine things. Let’s not make things difficult for the referee.”
“We may not have physical evidence, but we do have witnesses,” Wen MingYi said reasonably, “We all saw you slip and fall, and also saw you holding these ball bearings after you stood back up. Referee, you can also see that his short-sleeved shirt and sports pants have no pockets, so where did the ball bearings come from? You think he was holding them in his hand while running? What for? He would have gotten first place if he hadn’t fallen, so what did he need this gimmick for? You think he was trying to create obstacles on his road to success?”
The referee didn’t know what to say after hearing this.
Wen MingYi continued: “If the running track wasn’t cleared properly and the competitors got injured, and to add insult to injury, they have to bear the result of having lost because of it, do you think that is fair?”
“However, having a rematch without knowing the full picture is also unfair to the other competitors.”
“Isn’t it more unfair for him in a rematch?” Wen MingYi pointed at Lu YunFei’s leg, “His leg is injured, he might not be able to race once more.”
“I can,” Lu YunFei said without hesitation, “It doesn’t hurt anymore, I can compete. If the referee doesn’t find it fair, then the other competitors could keep their ranking, I’ll just rematch with the first place. If I win, then the both of us keep first place. If I lose, then I’ll forfeit the race results. Is this possible?”
The referee had never encountered this situation before and wavered, “This…”
As he was about to continue speaking, they heard Zhang Xin and Li Shuai seem to get into an argument with Bian JinYuan, “Are you done, we still have other things to get to.”
Bian JinYuan was still his usual unperturbed self, “The referee is looking for you.”
“Why didn’t the referee get someone from our class to look for me then? Who are you? What right do you have to come look for me.”
“You’ll know once you ask him, he’s over there right now,” Bian JinYuan said as he looked over at the referee.
The referee saw the commotion and shouted, “What are you doing? Come over here to talk it out.”
Zhang Xin was unhappy, but these referees were their school’s physical education teachers, while he was just a student. So he reluctantly walked over.
Li Shuai and the girls from class three also went over.
“What’s wrong?” The referee asked.
Zhang Xin pointed at Bian JinYuan, “He’s been spouting nonsense and saying that you were looking for me.”
The referee frowned and looked at Bian JinYuan.
Bian JinYuan calmly stated, “The ball bearings were thrown by him in order to obstruct other competitors and create an unfair match.”
“I did not,” Zhang Xin said angrily.
“Stop maligning others,” Li Shuai said furiously, “Are you so unhappy about me getting first place that you’re trying to frame our class!”
“That’s right,” the girls from class three chimed in for their classmate, “Even if your class lost, it doesn’t mean that you can malign others.”
Bian JinYuan gave a brief smile, “One minute before the race started, the running track still had people on it. Which was why the referee had to get the runners ready while shouting for the people on the track to move off it. Am I right?”
“Right,” Lu YunFei said after seeing how no one replied.
“At that time, he was on the running track,” Bian JinYuan said, lifting his chin as he looked at Zhang Xin, “He was standing at Lu YunFei’s lane.”
“Do you have proof?” Zhang Xin retorted.
Bian JinYuan ignored him and continued describing: “While you were on the running track, your hands were inside your pockets. But when you left, your hands were outside of your pants pockets. You’re friends with Li Shuai, so the both of you must have planned to take first place in this race. However, Li Shuai would never have gotten first place with Lu YunFei around, which was why you came up with this.”
“Nonsense,” Li Shuai rebutted, “Do you have proof?! If not then stop talking rubbish.”
“I do,” Bian JinYuan said calmly, “Zhang Xin dared to be seen together with you even after doing such a deed, which meant that he thought that this plan was foolproof, and that no one would suspect him. With such confidence, and with premeditated planning, his pockets should still have ball bearings. We just have to search him.”
Bian JinYuan said and swiftly took action, digging into Zhang Xin’s pocket to retrieve a ball bearing.
Everyone was stunned and looked at Zhang Xin in disbelief.
Zhang Xin’s complexion paled, “It’s not me, I didn’t!”
“I provided solid proof, what are you disputing for.”
“It’s you!” Zhang Xin pointed at him, “You framed me, you…!”
“Stop being unreasonable,” Bian JinYuan interrupted, and said sternly, “You’ve been caught red-handed. In order for Li Shuai to win, you intentionally scattered ball bearings on Lu YunFei’s lane. And it wasn’t just one, you threw seven or eight of them. The ball bearing in Lu YunFei’s hand is exactly the same as the one in your pocket, how could you try to argue with that!”
“Fucking bullshit!” Zhang Xin said vehemently, “I only brought five of them, what seven or eight, I threw them all, there should have been nothing left in my pocket! You’re casting accusations just to frame me!”
Dumbass! Li Shuai cursed inwardly.
Bian JinYuan smiled and turned to the referee, “He admitted it.”
Zhang Xin was momentarily stunned. He felt as if his mind was empty, that he had finally reacted yet at the same time had completely drawn a blank.
Bian JinYuan pulled Lu YunFei’s hand and dropped the ball bearing he had held into his palm, “No more no less, five in total. This ball bearing was not actually from his pocket, but one that I had borrowed from Lu YunFei just now. Wen MingYi and LiYuanQing can testify to it.”
He looked at the referee, his expression calm, but his eyes determined, “Zhang Xin intentionally obstructed the race, and the referees did not clear the area of obstacles. This resulted in a runner falling down and missing their chance. But this is not a matter of the runners. I think that this violates the spirit of sportsmanship, at the same time it is unfair towards the individual competitor as well as our year two class one as a whole, and so I request for a rematch.”
The surrounding students heard this and began to shout while clapping: “Rematch, rematch.”
Lu YunFei repeated his proposal, “If the other runners think it’s unfair, then I could have a rematch with the first place winner. If I win, we’d tie for first place. If I lose, then I’ll forgo this match.”
He Pan also pleaded: “Referee, let’s have a rematch, otherwise it’d be too unfair for our class.”
“Yeah,” the other students chorused.
The referee looked between Lu YunFei and Bian JinYuan and finally conceded, “I’ll discuss this with the other referee and will let you know what we decide.”
“Okay,” Lu YunFei agreed.
The referee turned to head towards another referee nearby.
Zhang Xin glared at Bian JinYuan and made to leave the group, but he was stopped by Bian JinYuan. He hadn’t reacted in time before Bian JinYuan kicked his leg, causing him to lose his balance and fall down.
Li Shuai saw this and raised his fists to attack him. The girls from class three held Zhang Xin and shouted: “Stop fighting.”
Lu YunFei was about to help out when a referee blew a whistle sharply: “For fighting during the sports festival, your results for this race are voided!”
Li Shuai was stunned upon hearing that.
Lu YunFei was also shocked, but he quickly came to his senses. That wasn’t right, since Bian JinYuan didn’t participate in this race, then it didn’t matter whether his results were cancelled!
Bian JinYuan thought likewise, and so he remained calm. He was so calm that Li Shuai and Zhang Xin were more annoyed the more they saw his nonchalant face.
“ time I see you fighting, I’ll cancel your right to participate in events and hand you over to your homeroom teacher,” the referee warned.
However, Bian JinYuan had not registered for any events, so this warning was only applicable to Li Shuai.
Too bad, the referee didn’t know that.
No notes today! It was such a gamble for Bian JinYuan to force Zhang Xin (the dumbass lol) to confess to his offence. What if it didn’t work?