Having seen Zhou Zhi use the Assistant Guild Leader’s account ‘Black Curse’ to announce the name list for the guild battle, Ye Chen carried a stack of materials and walked through a few corridors before arriving at the club’s area. Because a competitive battle had just ended, the club members were still temporarily resting on the premises. Evidently, the practice hall was completely empty. Only one computer in the middle had a brightly lit screen.
The person sitting before the computer had a head of short, neat hair, and a delicate, pretty appearance. While he was in his early 20s, he already possessed a stable temperament that put others at ease. Currently, he was focused on the recording of a competitive match that was being played on the screen and had not noticed anyone coming in at all.
It was only after 20 minutes, when the video had ended, that Shen Changyu turned his head back and discovered that Ye Chen was standing behind him. With an apologetic expression, he said, “Manager Ye, why didn’t you say anything after coming? I’m so sorry to have made you wait for so long.”
“It’s alright.” Ye Chen had already noticed the contents of the video just now and laughed. “Vice Captain Shen is analyzing the match against Zhang Fengyu? I saw that match, the proceedings were truly spectacular.”
Shen Changyu casually turned the recording off and stood. “It just seemed as if it was a big battle. In that match, Vice Captain Zhang and I fought very haphazardly. During the transitional periods, we were both fighting without much strategy. However, it is clearly evident that Zhang Fengyu’s adjustments and level of control in the match were more precise than mine in the later half of the match. Thus, we lost. I do not feel that we have been wronged in terms of the outcome.”
After all, a loss was a loss. There would always be a few grievances on the surface level. However, Shen Changyu’s light and casual tone made it seem as though he was not bothered by it at all.
Ye Chen knew that his club’s vice captain had an indifferent personality and tended to go with the flow. So, upon hearing his words, he gently patted his shoulders. “You just have to win it back next time.”
“I think so too.” Shen Changyu smiled, and his line of sight fell upon the documents in Ye Chen’s hands. “Have the matters for the guild battle this weekend been settled?”
Ye Chen nodded. “I’m just left with this part specifically where I need a few more names. It’s also good for me to arrange for some accounts in advance.”
Shen Changyu thought for a moment and said, “Prepare a summoner, two gunners and a priest.”
Upon hearing this, Ye Chen was somewhat surprised. “What, will Captain You be coming too?”
Shen Changyu was silent for a while, then said, “Just prepare them accordingly first. As for the specifics of whether Captain You will come or not, I will go and confirm it again.”
Shen Changyu’s gaze fell upon the silhouette that slowly disappeared from the corridor while he saw off Ye Chen, who had returned to arrange matters. He stood up and paused, before turning around and heading towards the club’s rest area.
Upon arriving, he knocked on the room’s door, pushed it open, and entered the room. With a glance, he noticed the game’s interface on the computer screen and couldn’t help furrowing his eyebrows. “Didn’t we ask you to let your hand injury heal? Why are you still playing the game?”
The man before the computer desk had hunched his body and curled up on the chair. Long and slender fingers were wrapped around a cup. Light emanated from his body, giving off an inexplicable charm that pleased all five senses. Upon hearing these words, he looked up with long, narrowed eyes. In a mild tone, he said, “Oh, I’m just casually looking around and won’t hurt my muscles or bones.”
Seeing the expression on his face, Shen Changyu couldn’t help but remind him, “I am now sharing your workload for the sake of allowing you to rest well. A hand injury may be a small or a big matter, but you cannot treat it lightly. If your condition in the future remains unoptimistic, I will ask Coach for permission to stop you from playing in matches, and to send you to the hospital for a full checkup.”
You Jing hummed in response. An expression of slight impatience appeared on his face. “Vice Captain Shen, how have I never realised in the past that you are so long winded and naggy?”
Shen Changyu said, “Don’t forget, that time it was you who said that you wanted to return Black Rose to its former glory1Literally to return Black Rose to its (former) dynasty.. That was why I chose to stay.”
“I don’t need you to remind me.” You Jing interrupted him in a matter of fact manner. It was only at this time that his gaze stayed on him for some time. The corner of his lips lifted. “Speaking of which, you are truly unwaveringly loyal to your Captain Lin. Is attaining glory what you truly want, or is it that you want to attain it in Captain Lin’s place? Even though I have been the captain for so long, in your heart, Black Rose Club’s leader is still only Captain Lin, isn’t it?”
Shen Changyu was silent. He pressed his lips together and no longer said anything. He did not like others to casually bring up the matter of the previous captain.
You Jing glanced at his expression, shut his laptop with a “pa” sound and turned his chair around. “Speak. Why have you come to look for me?”
Only then did Shen Changyu pull himself together and quietly say, “Just now, Manager Lin came to me to finalize the name list for the guild battle this weekend. I gave it some thought, but still feel that it’s enough for myself and the twins to attend. Going by your current state, it is not necessary for you to participate. After all, if something crops up and affects your future matches…”
You Jing interrupted him without a care. “If it’s just that, you don’t need to worry. I merely went in to observe if there are any newcomers for us to dig up from the guild. I am not preparing to participate in the battle.” After finishing his sentence, he paused briefly, his eyes containing a laughing expression that was barely visible. “Of course, the main reason is something you are already aware of. I have been quite bored recently.”
“…” Shen Changyu looked at him and was unable to refute this reason for some time.
He was very clear that if he were to reject You Jing’s current proposal, this man would definitely think of even more means to “relieve his boredom”. And those means would be even worse than what he had done today.
Every club within the Zone professional alliance had its own unique style. And these styles were to a large extent determined by their captains. In the past, under the leadership of Old Ghost, the Black Rose club had the reputation of having an unpredictable and unorthodox style that was ever changing. It was only after You Jing had become the captain that, with his own exceptional leadership and decision-making skills, he had changed it to the current system which was as exquisite and intricate as a work of art.
Even so, what many people did not know was that the current Black Rose club’s Captain You was not just an existence that garnered respect and awe from the various big clubs. Even internally within the club, he was so aloof and wilful that it gave others a headache, especially the conscientious Vice Captain Shen Changyu who was presently talking to him.
“Very good, it looks like you understand.” You Jing patted Shen Changyu’s shoulder in a seemingly casual manner. He looked down at him briefly, the corner of his lips curled up elegantly. “Regarding my hand injury, it is best if you would talk about it less in my presence. If you mention it too much, the word will spread. Take care so that the matter of my injury will not be discovered by even more people. Vice Captain Shen, if you have so much energy that you can worry about trivial matters, why don’t you think about the problem that is right before you? The direction that you have turned towards, it seems that you will not be able to go through?”
Seeing the look on his face, Shen Changyu was silent for a moment. “Got it.”
Recently, the Black Rose club had fallen into a strange impasse as some of the club’s members were about to terminate their contracts and leave the club. However, there were no suitable people in the newcomers’ training camp who could replace them in terms of strength. This resulted in the existence of a large gap in the current system they were adopting. Originally, he had wanted to try and change his own style in order to patch up the areas they were lacking in, but as could be seen in the previous battle, it was not really suitable for them.
It was precisely because they were missing replacement members that he was using this guild battle as a means to see if he could dig out a few newcomers with potential. That was how the current arrangement had come about. You Jing had very clearly expressed the importance that he placed on such events. Even so, the matter of his hands currently being injured had been concealed from the majority in order to prevent others from worrying.
Looking at the figure who once again sat before the computer desk from behind, Shen Changyu’s expression wavered slightly. Although they were evidently two completely different people, he could not help but reminisce about his past captain.
At that time, the professional alliance had developed up to an extremely awkward position. The profession of a pro-gamer was in its early stage of development and esports competitions had just been launched. There were nowhere near as many fans and audiences following them as there were in the present. Helping the team to find a suitable club was somewhat difficult, and many pros could not even guarantee being able to fill their stomachs.
As the eldest of the first batch of pros within the alliance, and under such harsh conditions, Lin Xiao had brought up the team that he had formed himself step by step.
From then till now, the captain of the Black Rose club, Lin Xiao, whom others called “Old Ghost”, had always been an existence akin to a legend within the alliance.
At that time, it was Shen Changyu who had always looked up to this person who had casually promoted him to fight alongside him.
Even if the current him had already attained heights that would be hard for many people to reach, Shen Changyu had always felt that it was a pity.
Back then, the Black Rose club had won the world championship trophy and laid an unshakeable foundation for the alliance’s advancement, which led to it developing to where it was today. However, the person he respected the most had not been able to enjoy even a shred of the glory that should have belonged to him after going through the most difficult times. There was probably no one who found it more difficult to accept Lin Xiao’s departure than Shen Changyu. If not for the fact that he wanted to protect and maintain the foundations personally laid by Captain Lin during his time, he had even considered ending his pro-gaming career for a time.
Some time later, he had run into You Jing, and Shen Changyu willingly continued to take up the position of vice captain without any complaints. In the midst of all the questions and uncertainty, he allowed a new player to directly accept the heavy burden of being the Black Rose club’s captain. Such a decision was made only because he was very clear on the fact that You Jing was more suitable to be the core of the team than he was. This decision had not been made with even the slightest bit of personal feelings. It was all for the sake of fulfilling the promise that he had made with his captain in the beginning.
You Jing’s performance in the alliance’s competitions later on had indeed not disappointed him.
This person had dazzling skills which were completely different from Shen Changyu, yet he also possessed a similar level of talent that many others could only dream about but never attain. In just a year, he had already displayed his skills in the alliance and carved out a stable position for himself.
In the blink of an eye, five years had already passed. In that time, Shen Changyu had wondered countless times – if that car accident had not happened at that time, how powerful would a Black Rose club that had “Old Ghost” and “Queen” at the same time possibly be?
Although he knew that this was merely a fantasy that could not possibly come true, no matter how many talented people made their debut in droves in the past few years, Lin Xiao would forever be the highest and most respected existence in his heart.
This special trait was one of a kind. Even “Yama” Yan Duzhou2Yama (Yanwang in Chinese) refers to the king of hell. The “yan” in Yan Duzhou’s name shares the same Chinese character as the one used for Yama., who had been dubbed as the number one player in the current alliance, could not at all compare.
TL comments: Well Shen Changyu, I have news for you~ hahaha (but for real we all need a Shen Changyu in our lives…)
- 1Literally to return Black Rose to its (former) dynasty.
- 2Yama (Yanwang in Chinese) refers to the king of hell. The “yan” in Yan Duzhou’s name shares the same Chinese character as the one used for Yama.