I’m A Baller - Chapter 17
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The situation seemed to be a bit different from what one would have imagined.
Liu Li was older than Wang Yan by a year, and it was a crucial year.
Wang Yan was finally out of high school and hadn’t even seen a university before. It wouldn’t be overboard to say that he only knew how to study and didn’t know much about society.
However, Liu Li was considered an adult, having seen the bustling capital and even faced temptations before.
Even if she needed someone to confide in, that person shouldn’t have been Wang Yan.
But at that moment, Liu Li felt the sudden urge to rant to the teenager in front of her.
Maybe it was because of those crystal-clear eyes?
‘Okay, then we’ll talk!’
“Junior, learning dance is a really difficult and painful process.
“Those who don’t have the talent or can’t manage to learn dance get eliminated through the years from elementary school to high school. Either that or they’ve just given up.
“If you aren’t outstanding enough, you won’t be able to get into Capital Dance. There are so many art students in the entire country, and they only accept 300 in a year.
“Conversely, getting accepted into Capital Dance means that your dance is one of the best among people of the same age. That’s what it means to be one of the 300 accepted.”
“And then?” he prompted.
“A dancer’s career only lasts a short span of ten years. Once you hit 30, you’re destined to go downhill from there.
“Your highest achievement is fixed at around 25 to 26 years old.
“After learning for so long and enduring numerous hardships, who would persevere without the passion for it?
“If I wanted money or fame, wouldn’t it be better to apply to Capital Drama?
“Outsiders have many misconceptions about us. But honestly, many of my classmates put in all their effort just so that they can perform at the National Center for the Performing Arts, even if it’s only once.
“We are not competing against each other but with ourselves. Once we let our guards down and relax, it’s all over.
“But it’s tough. Sometimes, I think back, and I don’t know how I made it this far.
“The National Center for Performing Arts is so easy to get into.
“Are so many sacrifices worth it?
“After I turn 30, what do I do, where do I go?
“Every time I start thinking about these questions, I feel scared.
“When I see year-three and year-four seniors give up and the posh cars that pick them up, I shiver in fear. If there comes a day where I enter that car as well, what kind of feeling would I have?”
Liu Li’s voice wasn’t very loud. Her talking speed was even, and her sentences flowed naturally.
This wasn’t the first time she had thought about these questions and been troubled by them.
Wang Yan wasn’t shocked nor did he find any part hard to understand.
This was because he used to feel suffocated when thinking about his plans as well.
To those who were poor, even their breathing was flawed. Were they even qualified to have a future?
Plans for the future was a topic that was too heavy.
Wang Yan was grateful to the Habit Incubator that prevented him from saying nonsense. It was this system that had pulled him from his previous lifestyle and given him real freedom.
Liu Li put in her best for everything. Did Wang Yan not do the same as well?
In one week, he had upgraded his system to level 5. Without perseverance, how would he have been able to do it?
Hence, Wang Yan could understand Liu Li thoroughly. His impression of her even rose above He Meng instantly.
He Meng was a cute girl, but she was still the daughter of an affluent family.
On the other hand, Liu Li was a reflection of himself. Even though she was better looking, more hardworking, and talented, she was also a little girl who was lost when thinking about her future.
If there was a chance, Wang Yan was willing to help her, because… she was pretty.
Yes. Wang Yan was indeed shallow, and he knew this about himself, so he didn’t feel guilty about it.
Of course, the main point was that he needed an opportunity. That meant that only if Liu Li was willing, he would return the favor. Wang Yan wouldn’t bootlick or be her rebound.
If he hadn’t done it when he was poor, he wouldn’t do it now that he was rich.
With this thought, Wang Yan asked her out of the blue, “Senior, I want to experience nightclubs in the capital. If you’re free at night, I want to ask you out. Just view it as a stress-relieving activity.”
Liu Li was waiting for Wang Yan’s feedback, as she didn’t know what his remarks would be. She had been expecting some comforting words…
However, when she heard his reply, her eyes were wide open, staring at him.
‘Junior, how does your brain work?!’
After much staring, she realized he didn’t seem to be kidding. Liu Li finally confirmed that he wasn’t dropping hints but genuinely wanted to go out and have fun. She didn’t know if she should cry or laugh at that reply.
“You came to the capital to have fun?”
Wang Yan thought about it and nodded. “Mainly to buy something, but next would be to go to a nightclub. I’ve never been to one before, and I heard they’re interesting places.”
Liu Li felt a surge of tiredness. She lowered her head and sighed.
“As students of Capital Dance, before we give up on our pursuit, we cannot eat too much, or drink alcohol, or sleep too late. So, I regret telling you this, but I can’t accompany you.”
‘Stupid kid, going to such places. Talking to you was such a futile attempt!’
Kind, pretty, and well-disciplined, she was a very rare girl.
Both of them had differing thoughts in their heads as they were gazing at each other in speechless dismay.
Wang Yan suddenly started talking and explained, “I just accomplished an important thing, and I want to enjoy myself.”
That hit the softest part of Liu Li’s heart. She instantly remembered the year she had been accepted into Capital Dance. She also went crazy and just wanted to go out to party, to vent her frustrations and stress over the year.
At 18 years old, everyone was the same.
Thus, she unexpectedly replied, “After we finish dinner, we’ll probably go to karaoke. How about… I bring you along?”
After replying, she immediately regretted it and chided herself, ‘What are you thinking Liu Li? You barely know him, yet you’re bringing him to a gathering with your best friends?’
Hence, she glanced nervously at Wang Yan and decided that once he politely rejected her, she would change her stance right away!
Unfortunately, Wang Yan was straightforward and replied, “Okay, okay!”
‘He just snatched my wig.’
As most of the students in Capital Dance were girls, their catchphrases were “wig snatched,” meaning they were extremely shocked. Liu Li normally didn’t use this, but she was very frustrated.
Liu Li was a person who valued her promises and wouldn’t take back her word. Now that the situation was like this, no matter how embarrassing it was, she would still keep her promise.
She immediately exchanged phone numbers and Wechat usernames with Wang Yan, saving his name as “Little Brother Wang.”
Casually, she asked, “Where are you preparing to stay? When will you be done with your work?”
Being too close, Wang Yan saw his saved name and followed her lead, saving her contact as “Ms. Li.” As he was about to reply, she complained, “What kind of name is that? Wang Wang, can’t you be friendlier?”
Wang Yan rebutted, “You called me Wang Wang, and you expect me to be affectionate?”
“I don’t care!”
Liu Li didn’t care if she was older by a year. She decided to be shameless until the end.
“If you don’t change it to a nicer name, I won’t bring you along to karaoke!”
“Okay, okay, okay, you’re the boss!”
Wang Yan chickened out quickly and thought about it for a moment before retyping three words.
“San Wan Qing?”
Liu Li read each word, and after finishing, she ground her teeth to show her anger.
Wang Yan couldn’t be bothered to explain much. He went to search up the Chinese poem by Xin Qiji named “He Xin Lang” and passed the phone to her.
“Here, the original statement is ‘Wei ai liu li san wang qin.’” It meant “I love the vast and misty West Lake that ran 30 thousand miles.”
Liu Li heard the word “ai,” which meant “love,” and she blushed, anxiously looking down at her phone instead.
After reading the entire phrase, she only understood half the meaning, but she could sense the beauty of the poem.
She liked the sentence “Shui jie xiong zhong tun yun meng,” which meant “Nobody was able to describe the magnificence of the West Lake in words.” Following that was “Chun cao meng, ye yi xia,” which meant “My dream was to write a famous line like Xie Lingyun.” Yet, the line that was supposed to describe her new nickname, she merely glanced at and didn’t dare to take a second look nor give much thought about it.
‘Little kid, did you have fun teasing me?’
Wang Yan felt so wronged.
Liu Li meant West Lake.
Wang Yan had written San Wan Qing because of Liu Li’s perseverance and pursuit of dance. He felt that since she had determination and ambitions, her heart was like the misty West Lake, with a scenic appearance and a heart even more beautiful.
The focus was not on “loving Liu Li”!
Liu Li didn’t care about that. Based on her instincts, he was trying to flirt with her.
But just to state facts, these new and romantic pick-up lines stunned her. She didn’t dislike them.
‘Okay, little kid, I’ll take you out to have fun!
‘My best friends are all gorgeous. You better not get a shock when the time comes!’