Chapter 1 – My Lifetime’s Rival
Editor: @potatoes | i edit for fun
In every man’s life, he must have at least one rival.
At least that was what my 14-year-old self was convinced of.
Speaking which, my rival is probably a neighbor’s child, nicknamed “Little Tyrant”.
Speaking of this, I’m actually kind of embarrassed because I’ve been bullied by him since childhood.
Although he’s the same age as me, he’s always been taller than me. At one point he was a whole head taller!
All my treasured items that have been taken are listed below: snacks, balloons, manga, water guns, a police hat, and a total of 25 transformer toys.
Apart from stealing my things, he used a wide variety of tactics to bully. Some examples are: kicking me into the river while I was concentrated on fishing,
removing my chair right before I sat down, spitting on me after I fell into a pit, forcing me to eat bread coated with spicy pepper powder, and dropping a crab down the back of my shirt.
In short, it’s difficult to express how much I suffered under him. In my childish mind, he was at one point even scarier than Godzilla.
This year I’m already in the second year of middle school, next year I’ll be in my third. Whatever the case, I want to settle this with “Little Tyrant” before I attend high school.
Otherwise, I’ll be scarred for life. This is why I sent him a letter of challenge 3 days ago. Although we weren’t neighbors anymore after our neighborhood got demolished, he still lives in the same city, only 2 stops away by subway.
He probably already received the letter. I invited him out for a one-on-one, the loser must grovel before the winner’s feet and admit their mistakes, and also return all the toys they snatched.
Of course, I don’t have any of his toys. However, justice always prevails, right?
The location is at a spacious field just behind the boiler factory, it’s at 9 AM, a time where no one will interrupt. I intentionally picked a location closer to his house, this way if he loses it’s closer for him to retrieve the toys.
Don’t misunderstand, I’m already 14 so I don’t like playing with transformers anymore. However, this is a testimony to my strength and bravery. Besides, I think Optimus Prime must miss me aleady.
Speaking of that I haven’t seen “Little Tyrant” in 3 years.
I remember that he grew up in a single parent household like me. Although I didn’t like him, I had a good impression of Auntie Ren.
This was because Auntie Ren was young and pretty (she was too young to be an auntie, she was more like a sister), and she was the idol for many young men. “Little Tyrant” also didn’t dare bully me in front of her.
The formidable Auntie Ren was also an international level Mixed Martial Arts champion, it’s no wonder that “Little Tyrant” was so strong. By contrast, my dad was just a glasses otaku that sold various sex items on an online store, how embarrassing.
I wonder how was “Little Tyrant” over the past 3 years, our difference in height couldn’t have increased again, right?
My last confrontation with him was in the winter 3 years ago, the big snowflakes that day left a deep impression. I forgot why we even started to fight.
At that time I almost caught up to him in terms of height, in order to defeat him I was always doing secret training and gained some muscles on my arm.
That’s why I’ve decided to not endure any longer but to put up a fight.
He turned me into a panda numerous times with his iron fist so I also aimed at his eyes, but my fist only brushed his chin and didn’t touch his face.
An expression of “You think you’ve grown, huh?” appeared on his face and then he kicked me in the stomach causing me to lay immobile on the ground. Damn, I forgot to guard his feet. Although our heights are approximately the same his legs were always longer than mine (I’m sorry for inheriting my dad’s short legs!).
The strange thing is after he knocked me over, he never spat on me like before, and didn’t leave, instead he said with a lonely voice:
“This place is going to be demolished and everybody will move away, our family is going to move to the red building on North St in the west city, so we can’t meet as often anymore…”
Why are you telling me this? You’re going to escape with my 25 transformers, Congratulations!
“I keep on getting the feeling that I haven’t fought enough with you…”
Is it still not enough? Don’t you have enough spoils of war from me? You even took Optimus Prime! Why are you speaking to me with a lonely voice? Are you disappointed that you won’t be able to bully me daily from now on?
Or are you saying… I suddenly shivered from head to toe.
Or are you saying that you see me as a long time enemy, just like how I see you?
I lifted my head up from my current kneeling position, “Little Tyrant” looked down upon me within the flurry of snowflakes. Because I was against the sun I couldn’t see his face clearly.
“See you later, Ye Lin (This was the first time he correctly pronounced my name, he always purposely pronounced my name to things such as Wild donkey (Ye Lu)), I’ll help you safeguard those transformers… When you feel that you can win against me, come challenge me.”
He tossed me a piece of paper containing his address, I grasped it in my hands and glared at the writing on the page. I have to admit, his handwriting is pretty neat.
In the following 3 years I trained myself more severely, one can say it was to an inhumane extent. Situps, pushups, pull-ups, starting at only being able to do 10, to 100, then 200. Every day I ran around Dongshan lake with a 2.5kg sandbag tied to my ankles, and then increased it to 5kg. As for buying boxing magazines and peeking at it during class, I’ll omit that. In short, when other kids were eating I was training. When they were sleeping I was still training. If I don’t become a martial artist, that’s just straight up unreasonable.
Even so, I don’t have 100% certainty that I can win against “Little Tyrant”.
After all, his mom was a real MMA Champion, he must have learned some secret training methods that aren’t available to the public, he might even have one or two sure kill moves.
I still must challenge him! I’m not fit to be a man if I yield to my fears! Even if I lose I will still challenge him again, once a year! Until I win back Optimus Prime! That’s right, like I mentioned before, a man of my age already doesn’t like transformers any more, right? By all means, don’t think I’m doing this for the toys!
When it came time to challenge “Little Tyrant” I remembered that I didn’t know his name. I knew that he had the same surname as Auntie Ren. Since it’s like this, I copied the address he left previously onto the letter, and wrote “Ren WoXing (Ren can also mean to allow, Wo means I and Xing can mean do, so in this context I believe it will mean, allow me to do anything)” for the recipient name, I believe this name suits him well. As a result of not wanting Auntie Ren to laugh at me after seeing the letter, I didn’t write my name on it, and instead wrote “The hero of justice”. After “Little Tyrant” receives this letter, he’ll definitely know it’s from me. After all, he was always the demon king that bullied the hero. We are lifetime enemies.
It’s actually starting to fog. It’s now the beginning of spring, outside of my sweater I wore a boxing shirt and pants like the one that Sylvester Stallone wore, yet I still felt some chilliness.
In order to prevent my muscles from freezing, I adopted a stance and did some quick punches, the preparation work before a fight is very important.
There was no one else on the field, I looked at my watch: 8:50 exactly, I came half an hour early and already waited for 20 minutes. He shouldn’t be the type of person that purposely comes late, in order to allow him to find me easier, I stood under the largest Banyan tree and continued my punching drill.
This way I would be conspicuous even if the fog becomes any thicker. After around 5 minutes, I heard footsteps in the distance.
The soft footstep sounds of sneakers stepping over grass. It was somewhat hurried, somewhat impatient, and somewhat hesitant.
Heng (Scoffing sound), “Little tyrant”, it’s been 3 years, don’t tell me you’re afraid?
In reality, my body began to shake uncontrollably, it must be because of the cold.
I won’t lose! I definitely won’t lose against you! Even if it means using the forbidden technique amongst men, such as the crotch kick…