Featherweight Champion? Pshaw!
“What, you want me to taste the real kung fu of China? Let me tell you that I’m a professional boxer. I won’t go easy on you if you decide to fight me,” said Hans sarcastically.
“I don’t need you to go easy on me. I’ll consider it my loss if I don’t defeat you in one minute. You have to apologise for what you said if I win,” said Xia Lei.
“Ha ha ha!” Hans did an exaggerated laugh, “You’re an arrogant one, aren’t you? Do you know who you’re saying this to? You’re talking to a national featherweight champion. Beat me in one minute? I’d like to see how you’re going to accomplish that!”
Josef took the opportunity and said, “I think this will be an interesting competition. Will you need boxing gloves and a referee? I can get you guys gloves and act as referee.”
“No need. It’s just one minute. What need is there for gloves and referees?” said Xia Lei casually.
“Well then, we can begin when you two are ready.” A hint of a smile of schadenfreude appeared on Josef’s lips.
“Go, Lukas, go!” Annina looked excited.
She was actually the one who most wanted to see Xia Lei display his martial art prowess because if he did, she could definitively confirm that he was the masked man and her hero.
The surrounding guests made room in anticipation.
Hans took off his biker wear and his singlet underneath. The muscles on his body were so very developed they looked like metal lumps. Fiendish tattoos covered his chest and arms - the Grim Reaper, skull and bones and so on.
Some young blonde girls whistled in appreciation at Hans. His strong physique had apparently drawn their hormonal attention.
The whistles made Hans conceited and he flexed his neck, cracking it. He clenched his fists and the cracking of bones could be heard too. He then bounced on his feet and did some punches; his fists were as quick as the wind.
This was not a warm-up for a match but a personal show.
Xia Lei was not as into it as Hans and he did not remove his clothing. He straightened his tie instead.
Hans was like a fierce wild animal, his muscular body full of aggression while Xia Lei looked like a gentle, scholarly white-collar worker with no hint of aggression at all.
None of the onlooking guests save Annina was of the opinion that Xia Lei would be able to endure a minute of Han’s attacks in their fight.
“I bet that Chinese guy can only hold on for 30 seconds, maximum. He’ll be knocked out by Hans in 30 seconds,” said a guest.
“This Chinese guy seems to strongly dislike hearing bad things about China. He’s going to get himself beaten up over that bit of pride. Is it worth it?” said someone.
“A mechanic’s assistant dares challenge a featherweight champion? I don’t know if he’s overestimating himself or if I should applaud his bravery,” ridiculed a guest.
Annina got annoyed and said, “Lukas is not as weak as you say; he won’t lose. And what Hans said was disrespectful. I’d be angry too if I were Lukas.”
This was also the reason why Xia Lei was willing to fight Hans. He could take it if he’d insulted just him and avoided unnecessary trouble but insulting all Chinese people was something he could not stand. Josef already knew that he knew martial arts anyway so having a fight and teaching an arrogant guy like Hans a lesson was no big deal.
“Annina, you say Lukas will win. I think Hans will win. Dare to bet on it with me for 1,000 euro?” said a guest.
Annina hesitated. A thousand euros was not a small sum.
“She wouldn’t dare. Won’t betting with you be like giving 1,000 euro away?” said someone.
Annina looked at Xia Lei, then suddenly said, “I’ll bet!”
“You said it yourself, Annina. I’ll give you 1,000 euro and if Lukas loses you’ll have to give me 2,000 euro.” The person betting with Annina took out his wallet and handed 1,000 euro to Annina, as if afraid she’d back out.
Hans suddenly made his move at the time when Annina took the cash in her hand, aiming a punch straight at Xia Lei’s nose.
Hans was going all out, no punches pulled.
Xia Lei shifted his foot and moved back a step with a whoosh, easily avoiding Hans’ attack.
“So he does have some skill.” Hans smiled contemptuously.
Xia Lei did not wait for him to say more and his foot moved from avoidance to attack with a punch aimed at Hans’ heart. There was no being polite when Hans’ first move was to try to break his nose.
Hans put his arms up in a block and used his outer elbows to protect his heart. This was one of the most commonly seen defensive positions in boxing.
Bang! Xia Lei’s right fist connected heavily with Hans’ elbow. There was a dull echoing sound and Hans was pushed two steps back, his raised elbow dipping. It hurt! Xia Lei’s punch was like stone and he nearly cried out in pain.
Xia Lei’s punch had been reinforced with Wing Chun style internal energy and it was not something a boxer could defend against with raised elbows.
As Hans’ surprise grew, Xia Lei drew close again and his fists came flying like a tornado; Long-bridge, short-bridge, his attacks coming like a flock of birds, forcing Hans to retreat in sorry defeat.
Bam, bam, bam! Hans managed to block a few blows but his defense was quickly broken by Xia Lei’s attack and a punch landed on his chest. It felt like a hammer to his chest in that instant and Hans fell to the ground with a cry of pain.
The featherweight champion had been KO-ed!
Only 40-plus seconds had passed from the time Hans threw his first punch to the time he collapsed to the ground and could not get up.
Xia Lei had said that he would finish Hans off in under a minute and he did.
Everyone was gobsmacked. Most surprised of all was Josef. He stared wordlessly at Xia Lei standing tall, feeling surprised and angry. It was him who had got Hans to provoke Xia Lei with the purpose of making a fool out of him but it was Hans, the German featherweight champion, who was made a fool in the end!
“Haha! I won!” Annina was, unquestionably, the happiest at the outcome. She’d won a thousand euros and found her hero. She had actually already confirmed that Xia Lei was her knight in shining armour before he’d beaten Hans because Xia Lei’s and the masked man’s movements were the same.
The person who’d lost a thousand euros was cloudy-faced as he grumbled, “You must have known in advance or you wouldn’t have accepted my bet.”
“Whatever you say. Your thousand is mine and I won’t give it back,” laughed Annina.
Xia Lei walked up to Hans in the ‘ring’ and stretched out a hand to him.
Hans had just caught his breath and he looked at the hand extended to him by Xia Lei, hesitated for a bit, then grabbed it and pulled himself to his feet. His attitude towards Xia Lei did not change, however, and there was also no apology like he had promised. Hans moved to get the singlet and biker jacket he’d taken off with a thunderous face. His cheeks flamed as he recalled the whistles of appreciation for his muscles from the blonde girls.
“Hey,” said Xia Lei, “You owe me an apology.”
Hans stopped in his tracks and looked back at Xia Lei, his gaze full of resentment.
Josef stepped forward, “Lukas, you’ve already won. Is there a need for this?”
“Well, I guess I can’t care very much if someone doesn’t even have the grace to apologise,” said Xia Lei lightly.
The surrounding guests started murmuring.
Hans sneered and said, “Sorry!”
The apology lacked sincerity and was full of resentment and hatred but Xia Lei did not care about his sincerity - what he wanted was the result. “I accept your apology. It’s all good,” he said.
Applause came from around them.
“Let’s drink! Today’s my birthday.” Josef tried to divert the guests’ attention to something else.
Annina came to Xia Lei’s side holding two glasses of red wine, an excited smile on her face. “Let’s drink to your victory, Lukas.”
Xia Lei accepted the glass she handed to him and laughed, “You’ve already had quite a bit to drink. No more after this glass, okay?”
“Nuh-uh, I’m really happy today. I know a secret, a secret that makes me very happy… Hee hee... “ Annina laughed coquettishly, her cheeks and ears red with the flush of alcohol. She was drunk.
While the guests drank and discussed the match, Hans went to a corner and took out his mobile phone to make a call. “Hey, Navas. I know who beat you up. He’s here with that woman… Yeah, I’m in Werden…”
Hans finished his call and looked at Xia Lei chatting intimately with Annina with a mean smile on his lips, “You’re dead meat, Chinese punk!”
Josef walked up to Annina, “Annina, today’s my birthday. Let’s have a drink.”
“Sure.” Annina simply clinked glasses with Josef and drank most of the red wine in her glass. She looked unsteady on her feet.
Seeing that, Josef said, “You’ve had too much to drink. I’ll help you to somewhere to rest.”
“It’s fine…” Annina laughed, “I still want to drink with Lukas.”
Josef took Annina by the arm and headed towards the house. He did not care if she’d agreed to it or not and was also uncaring of Xia Lei’s gaze.
Xia Lei could tell what he wanted, ‘This Josef obviously wants to take advantage of Annina when she’s drunk. He may be smart but his personality is crap.’
While he was wondering what Josef’s motives were, he had already helped Annina into the house. Annina was mumbling something but it was so muddled that even she herself could probably not make out what she’d said.
Xia Lei hesitated, then followed.
“Hey.” A youth in biker clothing blocked Xia Lei’s way, “My friend from China. Let’s have a drink together.”
Another two youths in biker clothing moved in close, each of them with a bottle of alcohol in hand.
‘Trying to get me drunk? Looks like they had this planned with Josef so he can get a chance to bed Annina tonight. My match with Hans was just a bonus scene.’ Xia Lei understood the situation perfectly well.
The youths in biker clothing handed Xia Lei a glass of alcohol.
Xia Lei took the glass but did not drink. “Sorry, I need to go to the washroom. Let’s drink later.” So saying, he shrugged off the youths and went into the house.
The three youths looked at each other. Their aim was to get Xia Lei drunk but they were not about to chase him into the washroom to do it, were they? And who else was better at manhandling others than Hans?Previous Chapter Next Chapter