Author: nicotine

Chahyun reminisced about the moments he encountered Misha today – once in the cafeteria and once during a practice match. So, Misha had witnessed scenes where Chahyun conversed with Lucy in the cafeteria or received an examination from Alana on the ground.

They were not the only ones. There were countless others, both men and women, working in the club. Naturally, Misha would connect their faces with Chahyun’s words about having a partner because that’s how human emotions work. Mentally, Chahyun apologized countless times to those who would unexpectedly become involved with him due to his words.

“So… starting tomorrow, let’s just greet each other as usual, as teammates. I think it’ll be better for both you and me.”


“Let’s prepare for the next game together, and don’t avoid each other during practice.”

Chahyun turned away from Misha, who had fallen silent as if forgetting to breathe. He released his hand. It was entirely up to Misha Asplund to sort out the emotions that followed.

Misha’s heart was pure but young. He didn’t know how to consider and think about others. Even if he gained fame in soccer at the age of twenty-three, it was an age where emotions might not be mature. Extending his body beyond the corridor, Chahyun thought about when Misha would reach his age. By then, Misha might be able to like someone more skillfully.

However, that someone would certainly not be Yoon Chahyun.


Misha grabbed Chahyun’s arm then. In response to the pressuring grip, Chahyun reflexively turned around. Misha, holding his arm as if it hurt, was looking at him with sharp eyes. The words that followed struck Chahyun’s ears with a sense of disbelief.

“Not being able to score just because there’s a goalkeeper? What kind of nonsense is that?”

Where on earth did he learn such words?

That was the first thought that came to Chahyun’s mind. Staring at Misha with widened pupils in shock, Yoon Chahyun couldn’t utter a word. Was this kid watching variety shows at home or something? He was too serious for such a frivolous question. Several long seconds passed as they faced each other in the silent corridor.

Unexpectedly, it was Misha who started to waver first at the sight of Chahyun, whose mouth was wide open as if he had been hit. Initially, his expression seemed puzzled, then it turned into confusion, and slowly, into anxiety. Hesitant words flowed from his hesitant mouth.

“…Did I say something wrong? I meant even if there’s someone else in Yuan’s life, I won’t give up….”

“Is that right?!”

Chahyun interrupted Misha and shouted quickly. It was already said, but hearing the interpretation from the same mouth was another damage.

“No… Misha.”

Yoon Chahyun raised his hand and took a deep breath slowly. He had no morals to fabricate facts to cover the situation, but Misha was even worse. Were all kids like this nowadays? Misha’s unexpected disorderliness, whether Chahyun had a partner or not, made him feel an inappropriate sense of dislocation. His mouth moved before his mind.

“I’m not a goalkeeper, I’m a striker.”


“I’m also in the position to score…”

No, the tone of this… Chahyun wanted to cover his head with his hands at the casually blurted words. Amidst the impending crisis, a deep and low voice came from behind.

“That’s really offensive.”

Chahyun and Misha both turned their heads towards the source of the sound simultaneously. Standing in front of the corridor was Winchester’s number 1, Lou Ekein, with his imposing figure less than 2 meters tall and arms folded.

Since the locker room lynching incident (which wasn’t real), Lou had been watching Misha and Chahyun with respect, but now it seemed like he was following them into the building, presumably to settle the matter. Chahyun quickly removed Misha’s hand that had been gripping his arm.

“Isn’t that a bit too harsh to hear?”

What did he hear and from where? Suddenly, a shiver ran down Chahyun’s spine. Knowing Lou’s serious nature, he wouldn’t lightly joke about what he heard, but Chahyun didn’t want anyone to know about his and Misha’s issue right now. Lou released his arms and walked slowly towards them. Then, he spoke solemnly.

“I’m not sure what strategy you’re discussing, but…”


“Goalkeepers have the honorable role of staying on the front lines alone when the team is in crisis. I am proud to have this position. Even if I allow goals in the end, I will not give up on the game. Never underestimate a goalkeeper, Misha Asplund.”

Lou, who heard only a very brief part of the conversation, had a very solemn expression. For a moment, Chahyun and Misha couldn’t say anything. It was a rare moment when their intentions coincided. Chahyun belatedly signaled to Misha.

“Explain, and you’re dead.”

Seemingly understanding Chahyun’s stern gaze, Misha meekly averted his eyes and mumbled, “I apologize, Ekein. It was thoughtless.”

“Accept it. Everyone can make mistakes.”

A gentlemanly handshake between Misha and Lou took place in front of them. This is going crazy… Chahyun covered his face with his hands.

It felt like he was losing his mind.


57884: [YoonPudding’s mental state is sweet~~~^^ I’m melting~~~] 

57888: [Lately, the size is totally early soccer level, lol. Did you see the recent training video?] 

57893: [I really don’t understand. Why did he suddenly become a frog?;; Is it a real slump?] 

57897: [It might be that fatigue has accumulated since the 20th goal. Even a round trip by plane takes a day, and probably, there hasn’t been much rest since the Umberti game. Now he needs a break to recover his game skills a bit, but Winchester doesn’t have other attackers either. Kayhill is also unable to use his strength lately due to injury, and Aloys Winston Judd’s line is just so-so. The most frustrating thing would be Yoon Chahyun himself… If he continues like this, this season might end without any significance. Birmingham FC in the Round of 16 is not an easy team to deal with. Above all, the perennial issue of Yoon Chahyun losing control at crucial moments…]

Chahyun, standing in the center of the club’s first-floor lobby, pressed the home button on his phone that had been watching. The posts that had been in front of his eyes disappeared in an instant, and only his expression reflected on the black screen. It was a living hell.

“Why am I like this….”

He shouldn’t have checked the internet. However, it was already too late. Hearing sharp criticisms and blame from others was refreshing, like pinching a bug bite, but at the same time, it hurt and felt embarrassing. Even now, he knew how to selectively remember words that could be helpful and those that were not. And at the moment, there was no need to seek out more pain.

The public opinion, which had relatively high support while discussing Yoon Chahyun’s current performance, had recently shifted in a worrisome direction. The turning point was a training video uploaded to Winchester United FC’s media account. It was a service video ambitiously opened by the club’s management to keep up with the video marketing trend.

Videos showing players running, stretching, or participating in practice matches, depicting their usual selves, were not something fans typically sought out unless they were hardcore supporters of the club. However, the fans of Yoon Chahyun, who had been making headlines in the news for days, had a different level of interest. The problem was that Yoon Chahyun’s current state was not good enough to fill their fandom.

“No, if you’re going to film something like that, you should discuss it beforehand….”

Chahyun’s passing connections and goal-scoring abilities were not great, to say the least. His struggling appearance was turned into high-quality GIFs, spreading across various online communities and sports-related forums. The bad news was the situation itself, and the only good news was that the ‘Kiss.gif’ meme from Saint Ainsworth Stadium had disappeared.

Well, whether it’s a kiss or nonsense, it doesn’t matter. The crucial point was whether he could make it to the Round of 16 lineup, which remained uncertain.

“…A slump?”

Uttering the forbidden word and realizing it, Chahyun smacked his own mouth. Putting such ominous words into his mouth was regrettable due to the lingering effect of the article he had read earlier.

“That’s not it. It can’t be like that.”

Although he deliberately voiced a denial, he couldn’t help but feel the remnants of anxiety lingering in his mind. There seemed to be no way out. It wasn’t just a slump, and how could he explain the situation where he only stood in front of the goalpost?


Was it because of Misha? Could such a thing really happen?

Immediately, the image that came to his mind was Alana MacKnight’s face. The serious and trustworthy team doctor of Winchester. However, explaining his condition would inevitably require addressing the issue in front of him—the things related to Misha. What kind of face would Alana make when she heard that story?

Dilemmas piled up. As a result, Yoon Chahyun failed to notice the approaching colleagues right next to him.

“Yuan, what’s going on?”

“Ah, Aloys.”

“I saw him from a distance, sulking alone, mumbling to himself, then suddenly hitting himself.”

Aloys imitated that scene, laughing, and then wrapped his arm around Chahyun’s neck. The tattoos intricately engraved to the fingertips seemed stern at first glance, but Aloys had a simple and easy-going personality, more than it appeared. While exercising, he could be a bit rough, but it was similar to Chahyun’s level. Aloys’s close friend Winston, who was standing behind, patted Chahyun’s back with the team bag in his hand and said,

“It’s our time off. Your cooling-down is over too, right? We’re going to have dinner now, want to join us? Donobi recommended a Chinese restaurant, and it’s really good.”

“The one in Saint Clement?”

“Yuan heard about it too?”

“Donobi has been praising the cream shrimp there all week; you couldn’t not know.”

Aloys chuckled, shaking his head. Chahyun also laughed a bit, but the good mood didn’t last long.

“But I don’t want to go today… If I eat now, I feel like I’m going to vomit.”

“Because of the things that haven’t been going well lately?”

“If I take care of eating a bit and sleep well at home, I’ll be fine soon!”

“Just because you can’t solve it doesn’t mean you can’t eat. Is that it?”

Chahyun shook his head. Looking at Aloys and Winston comforting him, he sighed. While it would be nice if things were as simple as those two, Yoon Chahyun was a more complicated person than he thought. He didn’t realize it for 27 years of his life. Aloys and Winston looked at each other as they faced Chahyun’s tired face and eventually let him go.

“Well, we can’t force you to come. Instead, call us anytime if you change your mind. We’ll have your order placed.”

“Got it. Go ahead.”

Aloys and Winston disappeared outside the lobby, making noise like high school students. Watching their cheerful figures, Chahyun picked up his team bag. He needed to wash up and get a good rest at home. Chahyun sincerely hoped that it would be possible.


“Yoon Chahyun!”

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