Author: nicotine

As they became a bit closer, Chahyun discovered that Misha, despite being reserved and quiet, had a quite affectionate personality. The soft gaze and submissive attitude that appeared only to those who became somewhat familiar, along with unexpectedly liking simple food and having the surprising ability to play the piano with large hands.

However, after Misha actively started mingling with the team, the distance between him and Chahyun gradually increased. Well, it was natural. Even if they were in the same team, the age difference generally led to different groups. It wasn’t particularly sad for Chahyun, who had raised him, to see him start to look after himself.

But now, Misha was saying that he liked Yoon Chahyun. Where did it start? Was there any sign of that? Did he miss something? In the gaze that followed Chahyun, something beyond the animalistic instinct of a creature that first extends its hand to the one it sees…

His head started to ache, and Chahyun touched his forehead.

“Misha, it’s not me. I’m sorry, but…”

“I know.”

I know. Yoon Chahyun waited for Misha’s follow-up, but that was it. He didn’t add that he would give up or quit. Instead, the strangely eerie silence was filled with Chahyun’s stuttering voice.

“So, was that kiss just… not just because? Not congratulations but because you liked me?”

“Sorry. I should have held back, but, until now, just like how it has been… I couldn’t help it at that moment.”


“Because you were so cool back then.”


“I didn’t plan to reveal it like this.”

With unexpected words, Chahyun looked at the other person’s face in astonishment. Misha, who uttered the words, had a somewhat embarrassed expression. Looking at the speechless Chahyun, he hesitated a bit and added.

“If you do something like that once, it seemed impossible for me to stop afterward.”

“No… what?”

“What should I do, Yuan? If I can’t stop anymore.”

Misha directed a serious gaze. Chahyun stood still as if he were a wooden doll.

However, more shocking than that was the sound that pierced the eardrums in the next moment.

“If I score next time, you have to run far away. As far away as possible from me… to a place where I can’t kiss you.”

What on earth is this?

With a threatening tone, he lowered his eyebrows. Misha’s anxious face, saying he didn’t know what he might do, was real. Chahyun stood there feeling like he had received a back-kick to the back of his head. What on earth is this lunatic talking about?

“What the hell is that?”

The noisy footsteps and the opening door of the locker room marked the moment just before Chahyun’s inner outcry spilled out.

“Yuan, Misha! Stop this. Is it reasonable for teammates to fight like this?”

What poured into the room was a few Winchester FC players and staff. It seemed like Jude had gathered everyone who had stayed at the club until late afternoon. Beside Jude, who was rolling his eyes vigorously, Leroy with an uneasy expression and Luga, with a stern face, stood.

The staff couldn’t help but look at Misha’s disheveled appearance and Chahyun’s complexion. They clumsily surrounded Misha, as if trying to protect him, and fidgeted busily. Misha, surrendering himself to the staff who were checking his body here and there, silently stared at the floor.

Seeing that, Jude could roughly imagine what he had called them for. Yoon Chahyun, who had just returned from Korea, was messing with Misha in the locker room. Leroy’s trembling eyebrows, who was frightened, represented the chaotic situation.

However, he grasped the wrong point by a long shot.

“If there’s a conflict, resolve it through dialogue. Don’t you think engaging in a physical fight as a professional player is unprofessional?”

The club’s longest-serving goalkeeper, Luga, spoke in a naive voice. The intimidation from his raised hand was exceptional.

“Yeah, right. Yuan… whatever it is, you should calm down.”

“It’s late. Let’s end this without causing any more trouble today.”

The people gathered in the center of the locker room began to disperse at Ru’s gesture. Amidst this, the staff surrounding Misha kept him embraced and comforted like a wounded baby bird. Chahyun stood awkwardly feeling like he was a thug who had abused an animal. As Jude came behind, he quietly whispered to Chahyun.

“Why did you beat him up that Misha’s clothes are so torn? Should’ve done it more discreetly.”

No. It’s me who got beaten.

He wanted to say that, but in the crowd, Chahyun couldn’t say anything. Pushing through the bustling crowd, Chahyun left the locker room, pondering the events ahead.

Could there be a worse relationship than this? Rather than properly rejecting the confession he had received while lying down and begging.

The accumulated fatigue surged in belatedly, and his vision darkened. It felt like the last moment when he made eye contact with Misha inside the locker room. He still had the face of a deserted dog.

— Hey, runaway slave! Did you find freedom after bouncing so hard? 

“Oh, really… I didn’t run away. I told you I had something to do at that time.”

— Hilarious. What kind of business do you have in the UK? Rumor has it you ran away after hitting a player during Yoon Chahyun’s interview, even the guys below heard about it. 

“No, seriously…”

Beyond the video call, Yoon Chahyun, amidst Choi Namwoo’s playful banter, sighed and touched his forehead rather than continuing his breakfast. Since it was past 9 AM in the UK, it would be afternoon in Korea by now. While Chahyun, with a stiff body and lingering fatigue, struggled to cut his omelet in the club’s cafeteria, Nam-woo on the opposite side seemed to overflow with energy.

Their face-to-face conversation had taken place two days ago, right after the game they played in Korea. Having skipped the planned celebration to relieve the long-awaited stress, Namwoo persisted in teasing Chahyun as if questioning when he had become such a kind senior during the game. It was indeed typical of him.

“What’s Korea like?”

Chahyun asked, fiddling with the fork in his hand. If he claimed not to feel uncomfortable about the situation after ending the game and running away abruptly, it would be a lie.

— Well, after you left, the reporters went crazy, but honestly, people are quiet. Regular folks don’t really know about athletes traveling back and forth between Korea and abroad. They just watch the games. How about you?

“I’m not taking international calls, you know.”

Friendly laughter erupted from the speaker. It had only been a few days, but Chahyun already missed it. Smiling along with Nam-woo, Chahyun replied.

Namwoo, seemingly in a good mood after the rest following the A-match, talked about the aftermath of the after-party Chahyun had missed. He shared stories of people recognizing players at a meat restaurant and running to get autographs, Baek Jung signing a hundred autographs while having a meal, and Kim Injeong and Lee Yeonho getting drunk, barging into a futsal field on their way home, and playing a match with a local football team. Chahyun faintly chuckled at the episodes, which were hard to distinguish between exaggeration and reality. His mood, which had been sinking since yesterday, seemed to be gradually lightening.

— …So, what about him? Did you make up?

His mood instantly plummeted.


— That midfielder, you know. The one who’s hot with you these days. Pretending not to know.

“…Make up? What reconciliation are you talking about? Did we fight or something?”

— Well, you didn’t fight. It’s the opposite.


Nam-woo’s voice, still cheerful, couldn’t see Chahyun’s expression. If it had been visible, he would have enjoyed it even more. It was better this way.

―In Europe, there are many friends like that. People with a lot of skinship, free-spirited. Talk to them first and don’t feel awkward. It’s time to show some seniority.

“…I know.”

Actually, I’m not sure, hyung. Chahyun chewed on the words that rose to the back of his throat. The story that couldn’t be shared with anyone made his heart flutter.

Misha Asplund confessed to Yoon Chahyun in the club locker room last night. Although it sounded like a confession, it was half in the form of a warning. He admitted that he had liked Chahyun since the first time they met and had been hiding that fact, but now that it was revealed, he couldn’t hide it anymore. So, he advised Chahyun to run away from someone like him.

What made this revelation even more peculiar was that it was Chahyun himself who extracted those words from Misha, who hadn’t planned on revealing his feelings. What happened during the game, which could have been passed off with implicit consent due to the heat of the match, was unnecessarily amplified into the locker room by someone who had no business doing so. But Chahyun swore it wasn’t intentional.

Returning home that day, Chahyun tossed and turned all night, contemplating. However, he found no answers. While it was true that Chahyun had a side that wasn’t so considerate, telling Misha, who confessed to not being able to control his own feelings, to stop liking him right away was not an easy thing to do. Misha’s uneasy face, declaring that he couldn’t even trust himself, made Chahyun even more anxious. It felt like being on a roller coaster that unexpectedly turned upside down. Despite the desire to scream and jump off, Chahyun was already halfway up the slope.

Ah, I should have rejected him properly.

Chahyun pushed the plate away and slumped onto the table. Passing by, his colleagues greeted him with puzzled morning greetings. Among them, thoughts that couldn’t be shared with anyone swirled within Chahyun. Even facing Choi Namwoo wouldn’t make it any less embarrassing. It was a dilemma that anyone, even an ordinary person, might feel ridiculous enough to fall backward. Unable to confide in anyone, Chahyun sighed deeply into his phone resting on his cheek.

“…Hyung. Can’t you come to the UK?”

―What are you talking about all of a sudden?

“To see me. To watch my game….”

―Are you crazy? Where would I get the money? I need to get married soon.

“Take out a loan and come.”

―If Yoon Chahyun guarantees it, there’s nothing I can’t do.

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