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During the Snowstorm. Mo Bao Fei Bao. The novel version of Amidst a Snowstorm of Love. English translated. Lin Yi Yang is staring at Yin Guo lovingly amidst a snowstorm.

During the Snowstorm

11.5

Tide of Fate

36

Lin Yi Yang used the back of his hand to shield his eyes, suppressing the impulsive thought within him.

 

A little over a year had passed since they confirmed their relationship, but they had only spent 28 days together due to their infrequent meetings. Because of the rarity of their encounters, he had always tried to present the best version of himself to her. The version of Lin Yi Yang that could be irritable, dispirited, unconfident, and prone to bad moods and depression was almost entirely hidden from her.

 

Moreover, she had just graduated, at twenty-two, and he knew that if he were Yin Guo's parents, he wouldn't be happy about her entering married life so early either.

 

Lin Yi Yang maintained his silence as Yin Guo drifted off to sleep, her expression dazed from the exhaustion of the long flight.

 

In her dream, the persistent knocking on the door grew louder and louder, stirring Yin Guo from her slumber. Lin Yi Yang, too, was roused by the noise, sitting up and taking a moment to gather himself before proceeding to answer the door.

 

Outside, Wu Wei cleared his throat and spoke, "Meng Xiaodong contacted Jiang Yang, who then asked me to wake you up... He mentioned not to sleep in too late. Jiang Yang just returned to the country today, and everyone is still waiting for you at home."

 

Lin Yi Yang checked his wristwatch and nodded. "Understood."

 

He had anticipated waking up in the afternoon but had unintentionally slept until dusk.

 

Once Wu Wei had finished delivering the message, he tactfully excused himself.

 

Lin Yiyang grabbed a bottle of mineral water from a box in the corner, opened it to quench his thirst, and wondered how they had slept till evening.

 

How had he managed to sleep for so long, missing the entire day?

 

Yin Guo hadn't anticipated that she and Lin Yi Yang would end up sleeping until this late. She massaged her shoulders and approached the window, hoping to inhale fresh air. She could see the grand iron gate and the adjacent two-story building from this vantage point.

 

Pausing to admire the view, she exclaimed, "Your place is much larger than the old Beijing.

 

"In the past, there was only the second floor," Lin Yi Yang switched on the light. "When I stepped down, Jiang Yang took charge of the team. Everything you see now is thanks to him." Yin Guo was well aware of this; her cousin had mentioned it before.

 

When Jiang Yang assumed leadership, he was in his early twenties and has been at the helm of Dongxin City for over a decade.

 

Despite not earning much, he relied solely on his passion and genuine love for the game.

 

"He should have undergone arm surgery long ago, but he kept postponing it, all for the sake of the club," Lin Yi Yang said with a hint of emotion. "His prime years were divided, dedicated to Dongxin City. Otherwise, his accomplishments would have been even greater."

 

He sincerely wished for Jiang Yang to have a few years of freedom, where he could compete in tournaments, as compensation for the relentless effort Jiang Yang had poured into the club over the past decade.

 

"I was initially reluctant to take over Dongxin City," Lin Yi Yang explained. "First, I felt indebted to my teacher, and second, Jiang Yang and I had different philosophies. He wanted to strengthen the club through the influence of star players, while I aimed to foster a cultural atmosphere similar to snooker in the UK or nine-ball in the US. So, when I returned to China, my initial plan was to venture independently. However, after two discussions with my teacher, I realized he supported my decision."

 

The teacher's exact words were a concise five-word phrase: "If you want, do it."

 

Mr. He and Lin Yi Yang shared the most similar temperaments, and he possessed the innate ability to sway Lin Yi Yang's mindset.

 

Because Meng Xiaodong was urging them, Lin Yi Yang didn't let her stay longer.

 

The two of them descended the stairs together.

 

At this time, the first floor of Dongxin City was open to the public, and there would be enthusiasts from the community coming to play. Some less financially fortunate players from Dongxin would serve as practice partners to earn extra money. In Beijing, they also had similar players who were billed hourly.

 

As they walked into the lobby, Yin Guo caught sight of a familiar figure—it was Liu Xiran, the runner-up in the All-American Open. She had just returned today, but instead of going home to rest, she was here working as a practice partner to earn money.

 

"Wasn't she competing independently?" Yin Guo remembered that this player was fighting alone.

 

"She used to be a member of Dongxin City, but then she retired. However, her family fell ill and needed money, so she returned to play again," explained Lin Yi Yang. "Jiang Yang allowed her to train here for free and registered her as a practice partner. However, she is not considered an official member of Dongxin City, so her prize money doesn't have to be shared with the club.

 

She was the last person Jiang Yang recruited before stepping down from his position.

 

Hearing Lin Yi Yang's words, her admiration for Jiang Yang grew even more. Leading Dongxin City for over a decade, from youth to middle age, was not something an ordinary person could accomplish.

 

In Jiang Yang, she saw the true embodiment of "chivalry" and the characteristics that Dongxin City embraced.

 

On the way back home, Lin Yi Yang kept his Bluetooth earphones on, talking on the phone while driving. He hung up one call, and immediately another one began.

 

Silently, Yin Guo listened, not wanting to interrupt him with her voice. She stared ahead, afraid he might take the wrong turn. However, she had misunderstood Lin Yi Yang—he would never make a mistake when driving to Yin Guo's home. As the car turned into the residential area, Yin Guo suggested, "Let's go to the underground parking lot. It's less crowded there, and we can talk more."

 

Lin Yi Yang turned the steering wheel and exited the residential area, entering the underground parking lot through a side gate. Due to the gloomy and rainy weather of the past two days, a heavy mist hung in the air in the parking lot.

 

It was the first time Lin Yi Yang had brought the car down here, but with Yin Guo's guidance, they managed to find their designated parking space at her home.

 

"You remember this location," she pointed to a stairwell passage behind them, "Enter through that door and take the elevator, and you'll reach the hallway of our home."

 

Lin Yi Yang turned his head and glanced, nodding.

 

His mind was filled with too many thoughts throughout the night, and he had inadvertently brought his girlfriend to Dongxin City. Apart from resting on her lap for an entire afternoon, they hadn't exchanged more than a few words. Their conversation rarely revolved entirely around Dongxin City.

 

He looked at her holding the backpack, reached out, and held her hand, silently intertwining his fingers with hers. His voice was hoarse as he said, "I haven't had much time to spend with you."

 

Those words nearly brought tears to Yin Guo's eyes, and she felt heartbroken.

 

Her other hand pressed against his, and she said, "I want to be with you... I don't need you to accompany me out of obligation. Just having you here is enough."

 

He smiled.

 

"You being here means the world to me."

 

After leaving Yin Guo's house, Lin Yi Yang returned to his room and packed a box with half of his clothes.

 

Sun Yao sadly cooked a plate of spaghetti and fried a few chicken wings for Lin Yi Yang. He watched eagerly as Lin Yi Yang finished eating, cleared the plate, and followed Lin Yi Yang out of the sports club. Standing by the street, he asked, "Are you really leaving?"

 

Lin Yi Yang patted his head and said, "I won't disregard you. Just give me some time to get through this busy period first."

 

Sun Yao still felt uneasy, mainly because he didn't want to be separated from Lin Yi Yang. He had followed Lin Yi Yang back to the country with the intention of working alongside him. Even though he now had more authority, he still felt anxious and unsettled without Lin Yi Yang's support.

 

"We've only just taken over in the past two months, and there's a lot of work to be done," Lin Yi Yang patted his back heavily. "Don't let me down. It's already exhausting for me, and if you mess up, there won't be any benefits for you."

 

"Okay," Sun Yao replied with a hint of grievance as he watched Lin Yi Yang's car disappear into the night on the street.

 

When Lin Yi Yang returned to the sports club, it was already 8:30 PM.

 

He went straight to the second-floor office and held three consecutive meetings. The first meeting was with all the coaches, followed by the team leaders of different athlete groups. Finally, he met with the heads of logistics, finance, cafeteria, and dormitories of Dongxin City.

 

It was 10 o'clock.

 

Finally, Lin Yi Yang stepped out of his office and headed to the adjacent second-floor shared bathroom to take a hot shower.

 

It was 11 o'clock.

 

In the darkness of the night, as the person in charge of Dongxin City, he finally took a deep breath and felt a sense of relief.

 

Walking out the door on the second floor of the small building, he wore black sports pants and a white T-shirt. He looked fresh and clean, with only a black wristwatch adorning his right wrist. He followed the path towards the main building.

 

Dongxin City had undergone changes, yet still retained its essence.

 

As he walked, there was only a sign hanging outside the second-floor door of the main building, displaying "Dongxin City Sports Club." The top floor served as a warehouse, the ground floor housed a bathhouse, and the abandoned area remained on the second floor of this side.

 

The fence appeared unchanged. He used the moonlight to examine it carefully. It seemed freshly painted, but the inscriptions left by their former comrades from their playtime remained on the small brick walls spaced every ten meters. Even to this day, they were preserved, likely at either the teacher's or Jiang Yang's instruction.

 

Entering the main building, the young children from the junior division had already gone home. Near the rest area on the first floor, all the brothers, except for Jiang Yang, were gathered around the coffee table. After disbanding in the morning, they had all rested for half a day and had now returned.

 

Chen An'an, still adjusting to the time difference, sat on the long sofa, feeling sleepy. Her head tilted back as she leaned against the wall, dozing off. Lin Lin, responsible for the nine-ball division, reviewed the training records for the afternoon session, as it was part of her routine work. Meanwhile, Fan Wencong and Wu Wei played pool at the nearest table, enjoying their practice session.

 

Lin Yi Yang chose a single sofa to sit on, and everyone gathered around the coffee table, waiting for him to discuss important matters.

 

"Just recently took over, and I don't want to make drastic changes immediately. I have a few plans in mind, so let's discuss them together," he sincerely proposed under the banner of "discussion." He proceeded to announce the plan, "Starting this year, the snooker team will have thirty spots available annually for closed training in the UK."

 

Snooker, originating in the UK, is known for its rich cultural atmosphere and excellent training methods. Renowned players often self-fund their training or even reside there due to the prestigious snooker tournaments held in the country. While the training methods offer cutting-edge techniques, they come at a significant cost.

 

Lin Yi Yang's priority, which everyone understood, was allocating funds.

 

"In addition, I have another proposal," Lin Yi Yang continued, "I want to organize a new competition right here in our city."

Hmm, it's another expense.

 

Hosting a competition is no small feat, as there have been cases of sponsors withdrawing their funding, leading to the event's cancellation. Judging by Lin Yi Yang's intentions, if he plans to host a competition, it won't be a one-time occurrence; it will be an ongoing venture.

 

His goal is to expand the industry's influence, and organizing a competition is a way to attract a larger audience.

 

He saw that everyone understood and moved on to his third point.

 

"Lastly, I have a relatively simple proposal. I want to establish a systematic program for cultivating our star players and coaches," Lin Yi Yang said, resting his elbows on his knees. He absentmindedly played with a small green powder container in his hand as he explained. "Let's take our coach, Xin, as an example. He may not have received much formal education, only completing primary school. He worked on a farm, harvested wheat, worked as a miner, and even ran a small store before he started learning billiards at the age of 22. But look at his disciples."

 

Lin Yi Yang pointed at Lin Lin and said, "He has trained Lin Lin, who became the world's second-ranked player and won three major championships within a year. And your junior apprentice, she once held the top rank in the world, didn't she?"

 

Lin Lin nodded and added, "My coach has a unique teaching method."

 

Although this coach's personal best rank is the national champion, it doesn't prevent him from producing exceptional students.

 

Lin Yi Yang continued, "To attract public attention to our sport and gain national recognition, we must share these legendary experiences. Doing so can inspire and attract a continuous stream of talented young individuals to join us. Although the journey may be long, we can take it step by step. Perhaps in twenty or thirty years, our billiards will achieve the same level of popularity as table tennis and diving."

 

Lin Yi Yang paused for a moment before adding, "Dongxin City is willing to go the extra mile without any hidden agenda for the betterment of this industry."

 

After concluding his statement, Lin Yi Yang crouched down and picked up a pomelo from the fruit tray on the coffee table. Without uttering another word, he began peeling and eating it, implying that he had said all he needed to say.

 

Of course, everyone understood that this third matter would also require a financial investment.

 

Who would bother with publicity when it's all about throwing money around? In the past, these coaches and athletes were only famous within the industry, and the general public didn't pay much attention. It was considered an achievement if one or two broke into the mainstream.

 

"Let's summarize the funding plan for Dongxin City in the next three years," Fan Wencong suggested.

 

Chen Anan, known for her straightforwardness, proactively asked, "Where will the funding come from?"

 

Lin Yi Yang smiled innocently and took out his phone from his pocket. In the next moment, everyone's phones began to ring.

"I took some time in the past few days to arrange the tournament schedules for each of you. Take a careful look and ensure everything is in order," he mentioned casually. Of course, his schedule was even more packed.

 

The schedule was filled with numerous domestic and international tournaments, with approximately 60% of them being events they had not previously attended.

 

Prominent players typically select major tournaments to participate in to earn ranking points. However, the tournaments listed by Lin Yi Yang were new events from various countries. The organizers offered substantial prize money to attract well-known players.

 

Unfortunately, these tournaments did not contribute to world ranking points, so the players generally did not attend them.

 

Lin Yi Yang's attitude was clear: capable people would have more work to do as it was time to start earning money.

 

Understanding his intention, everyone put down their phones and began sharing the remaining fruits from the fruit platter. Only Chen An'an continued to examine the schedule carefully. "But I've retired," she remarked.

 

Everyone turned to look at Chen An'an in unison, wondering what she was thinking. They were all focused on making money, while she still seemed hesitant.

 

Clearing his throat, Chen An'an picked up a bunch of grapes and quietly began eating them one by one.

 

Lin Yi Yang felt that tonight's conversation had been effective and efficient. He quickly finished the remaining segments of the grapefruit and received two unexpected WeChat messages on his phone.

 

Lin Li Guo: My grandmother says...

 

Lin Li Guo: Please come to our house for dinner this weekend.

 

Yin Guo was lying on her small couch, eating grapefruit.

 

Not receiving a response from him for a while, she guessed he had misunderstood, thinking she was hinting at meeting her parents.

 

She finished nibbling on the grapefruit in small bites, unable to hold back and messaged him again.

 

Lin Li Guo: I was just chatting with my grandmother, and she praised you a few times.

 

Lin Li Guo: I guess... she was just talking.

 

Lin Li Guo: She also heard from my younger brother that you took care of him in New York for the past year. She wanted to thank you.

 

Lin Li Guo: Don't overthink it.

 

Lin Li Guo: If you don't want to come, I can let her know tomorrow. Consider it a heads-up.

 

Still wanting to explain further, he suddenly responded.

 

Lin: Okay.

 

Lin: I'll come over during the weekend.

 

Lin: How about Friday evening? Or Saturday?

 

Lin: Sunday is also fine. Anytime works, really.

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