Chapter 207: No, can’t tell
It was actually no matter at all for the one who had gotten kicked. Instead, it was the one who had done the kicking who had suffered more. The front and sides of her foot were completely red, being slightly swollen. Within tears trickling down her face, Little Xiang Ning said, “It hurts.”
Xu Tingsheng said, “You deserve it. With just that strength of yours, you still wanted to kick me to death!”
“Who asked you to be so hard? It hurt to death!” Little Xiang Ning gazed at Xu Tingsheng with tears glistening in her eyes, sobbing as she spoke like she had suffered a grievance.
Uncle’s mind shivered. Your sister’s flying! Thoughts moving in that direction at a time like this- are you even human? But he couldn’t repress it. He had clearly heard her say that before! And that time, she had also appeared as pitiful as this, holding back tears as she gazed over at him.
He had had to coax her for an entire night that time.
Some common medicine could be found in the taekwondo classroom’s cabinet. Xu Tingsheng stopped his thoughts from running wild and rummaged through it, finding a bottle of ointment.
He went back over to Little Xiang Ning, asking softly, “I’ll help you to rub it?”
Little Xiang Ning had originally wanted to be stubborn, refusing him. However, she could not repress her inner desires to be cherished and doted on by Xu Tingsheng, especially with her just having suffered an injustice.
“Okay,” She said.
Immediately afterwards, “Hey, Xu Tingsheng, what’re you doing?”
“Uncle, you dirty ruffian!” She said again.
But when Xu Tingsheng really lifted her up, Xiang Ning did not struggle or put up any form of resistance. Instead, when he put her down, she even vaguely appeared somewhat dejected.
With a cool expression on his face, Xu Tingsheng seated Little Xiang Ning on the stool by the wall, saying, “You little lass, you know not what you speak. Really, I wouldn’t come looking for you even if I wanted to act ruffian-ish. Now, lean obediently against the wall and sit properly.”
Then, he bent down and reached out to grab her wrist.
“Wait, wait!” Little Xiang Ning nervously moved her hands to grab the sides of the stool, steeling herself as she said uneasily, “Xu Tingsheng, you must be gentle. I’m scared of pain. Will it hurt?”
With this one additional line, Xu Tingsheng felt like his mental health had already collapsed completely. These wild thoughts just came whenever they wanted, unable to be quelled at all.
“You’re not allowed to talk anymore. If you keep on talking, I won’t be able to rub anymore,” A helpless Xu Tingsheng said sternly.
“Oh, do it then. Remember to be gentle!” Little Xiang Ning said helplessly as if accepting her fate.
“This…” Xu Tingsheng raised his hand and slapped his head with ointment before then ceasing to speak. He reached out and gently clasped Little Xiang Ning’s pale, slender foot with his palm.
“Hiss…” Little Xiang Ning emitted a soft noise of exhalation.
“Does it hurt?” Xu Tingsheng felt that he hadn’t yet exerted strength.
“It’s not that. Wait a moment. Wait for me to close my eyes first, okay?” Little Xiang Ning inhaled deeply, closing her eyes as she steeled herself for ‘torture’.
Xu Tingsheng composed himself, placing Little Xiang Ning’s slender and pale yet swollen right foot on his knee. He poured the ointment on his left palm before rubbing his palms together. Only when sufficient heat had been generated did he grab her foot with one hand, gently rubbing at the distinct redness at its front with the other.
His palm slid slowly. As his fingertips travelled downwards, they touched the centre of her foot.
Xu Tingsheng tilted his head away, not daring to look as he was unable to stop his breathing from gradually growing heavier. “I’m treating an injury, right and proper, openly and uprightly. Moreover, Xiang Ning is still young!” Xu Tingsheng consoled himself.
“Hehe, it tickles, Xu Tingsheng,” Little Xiang Ning burst out chuckling at the ticklishness, unconsciously arching her foot as she wanted to pull it back.
However, Xu Tingsheng gripped her foot tightly, not letting go.
He did not utter a sound, exerting more force as he rubbed it.
“Hey, Xu Tingsheng, oh.”
“What is it?”
Xu Tingsheng’s palm was tightly clasped around her slender foot, turning it as he rubbed.
Uncle’s hands were so warm. Little Xiang Ning’s foot unconsiously arched once more. She suddenly felt her body gradually growing warmer. She unconsciously bit her lip, yet dared not utter another sound, because she did not know what was up with her voice. It sounded so strange, causing her heart to flutter in panic.
Little Xiang Ning did not know what was up with her. She had never heard herself let out such strange noises before. Also, she dared not hear it anymore.
“Laugh if it tickles. You don’t have to hold it in,” Being able to feel Xiang Ning’s body trembling through the vibrations of her foot, Xu Tingsheng said softly.
Little Xiang Ning dared not answer him as she just replied with a vague noise. However, the voice that was emitted from her throat also didn’t seem like anything good. How strange. How strange! As the ignorant young girl heard her own voice, she inadvertently felt shy. Why did this voice feel like something to be embarrassed about?
Gradually, unnoticed by the two of them, on Little Xiang Ning’s young face that was already red as a tomato actually inconceivably surfaced an enchanting charm that was incongruant with her adolescent features.
“Done,” Xu Tingsheng said before releasing his grip.
Little Xiang Ning did not know what was up with her. She had clearly been afraid, but at that moment when those big warm hands had let go, she had instead felt a little despondent all of a sudden. This despondence was just like when she had lain between her sheets, involuntarily thinking back time and time again on that day when she had kissed Uncle’s face beneath the moonlight for Big Xiang Ning, yet had just been totally unable to recall that feeling. When that had happened, she had felt incomparably regretful.
“Weren’t you feeling itchy? Because you’re afraid of that, I did it faster,” Xu Tingsheng explained.
“Actually, I’m not that afraid of it,” Little Xiang Ning went all out as she covered her face with her arms, saying softly, “It isn’t done yet. Finish your good deed properly.”
“Finish my good deed properly?” Taken aback, Xu Tingsheng could only do as instructed.
He poured out some ointement again and rubbed his hands together to generate more heat before carefully controlling his strength as he rubbed her foot gently.
Gradually, even he himself drifted off somewhat, forgetting before and afterwards, only being aware of the warmth right before his eyes.
Feeling his palms that were warm, firm and forceful yet also gentle, Little Xiang Ning suddenly felt overcome by dizziness. This was a very inexplicable whilst also very wonderful feeling, a feeling which she had never experienced before. Xiang Ning felt as if she was drunk, her body light as she drifted and swayed atop the clouds.
This time, perhaps really being afraid of hurting her, Xu Tingsheng’s movements became slower and slower, gentler and gentler. Even when Little Xiang Ning numbly and ignorantly descended from atop the clouds for a while, he had still yet to stop.
Little Xiang Ning pulled back her foot, saying shyly, “You can stop now, Xu Tingsheng. I can’t go on anymore.”
Jolted out of his reverie, Xu Tingsheng awkwardly released his grip, saying, “You can’t go on anymore? Really, watch your choice of words.”
“Right,” Little Xiang Ning’s expression and breathing had still yet to return to normal as she replied softly.
There were some things that she herself didn’t understand but Uncle, Xu Tingsheng, did. He too actually knew which parts of Xiang Ning’s body were especially sensitive, just that he had taken her as a child earlier, not having thought in that direction.
He hadn’t thought that…
Therefore, Xu Tingsheng thought about it for a moment and immediately understood what had just happened with the lass. Was it that one was more sensitive the younger one was? This…
“Just now,” Xu Tingsheng ventured.
“Ooh, can’t tell,” Xiang Ning said.
The two of them fell silent, Xu Tingsheng sitting cross-legged on the blue protective foam pads while Xiang Ning, seated on the tall stool by the wall, hugged her knees.
The atmosphere was kind of awkward.
Xiang Ning was wondering about what had just happened earlier.
What Xu Tingsheng was thinking about was: What the heck in blazes? What’s just happened? Am I a beast, or am I worse than a beast?