“Vice Captain Shen, is something wrong?” Xu Yiming stuck his head over from the other side of Team Black Rose’s training room and asked in concern after hearing some movements from this side.
“No, ahem, it’s nothing.” Shen Changyu replied. After seeing his head withdraw backward, he forcefully calmed himself and turned his focus back to his screen once more.
However, his hands hovered above his keyboard for a long time, and he felt quite at a loss as to what he should reply. Should…he explain?
While he was debating with himself over this issue, he couldn’t help but feel slightly upset at the same time.
He had very clearly told You Jing a few days back that he should rest well, but his words did not seem to have been effective at all. Indeed, he had not been spotted in the training room, but he had actually been hiding away in his own room and secretly playing the online game? He had obtained irrefutable evidence that could be used to question him, but everything needed some pretext to explain it, right? For example, if he were to be questioned on how he found out, how on earth should he respond…
As he thought this, he felt an extremely complex and indescribable emotion that could not be expressed overflowing within him.
You Jing definitely did not know that the person behind the character “Adorable Ghost” was Lin Xiao, and Lin Xiao also did not know that the person behind the character “Hello Kitty” was You Jing. Why did it just have to be these two with no sense of measure? One was deliberately getting close to the other person to observe, while the other was recommending the other person to be promoted.
At this moment, Shen Changyu felt as if he was caught between a rock and a hard place.
—— Both of them loved to blindly cause a ruckus. Did they not spare a thought for his feelings as the only one who was fully aware of the situation?
Should he reveal everything? It would be fine to do so to Lin Xiao, but if You Jing were to find out the other person’s true identity…as Shen Changyu thought through this scenario, he really could not imagine what kind of situation would unfold at that time, and he couldn’t help but grow more and more solemn.
Lin Xiao had waited for a while without receiving any response, and he raised his eyebrows idly. “You know this person.”
Without waiting for Shen Changyu’s reply, he swiftly sent out yet another message. “It’s You Jing.”
It was just a short three words, and because of the full stop at the end of the sentence, it seemed to have been tossed out lightly. Yet, it was also filled with an unwavering sense of certainty.
As always, he really did not give him any leeway…this time, Shen Changyu finally smiled slightly, responding to the conjecture that did not seem to be asking for affirmation at all. “En.”
The cigarette dangling at the edge of Lin Xiao’s mouth shook a little due to his joy. The pools of his eyes shone slightly, and the corners of his lips lifted in a warm smile.
In the few matches that they had played yesterday, Hello Kitty had displayed an exceptional gaming sense that was completely distinct from how little she had operated her character. This sense was not something that an ordinary player could possess. In hindsight, all of Hello Kitty’s strange actions in the time he had known her told him enough to make some guesses as to her identity. Since Shen Changyu had joined the guild battle that day, he obviously would not have been the only Team Black Rose member to have participated. And if they were to consider the fact that the player was controlling the Priest class, then the answer was clear.
It was only for the sake of confirming his guess that he deliberately brought it up to Shen Changyu like this. And Shen Changyu’s response had precisely given him an answer in the most direct manner possible.
They wanted to dig out new blood that held some potential from the guild? But indeed, this method was one that would not bring them any losses.1In case this part is confusing, its referring to You Jing’s reasons for hanging around in game – he’s trying to scope out potential players for their team.
Lin Xiao was deep in thought as he lightly puffed out a mouthful of cigarette smoke.
Shen Changyu saw how nonchalant Lin Xiao’s attitude was. Without having to think any further, he knew that he must have unknowingly acted just as Lin Xiao had expected him to, and couldn’t help but feel a little gloomy. But after a moment of deliberation, he couldn’t resist reminding Lin Xiao, “In the past, before Captain You entered the alliance, he had a very detailed understanding of all of the teams, especially…Old Ghost’s style of play. If he pays such close attention to you, then could it be…”
Lin Xiao laughed, “Don’t worry about that. Normal people would never think in this direction and make the connection, would they? Furthermore, even you have never seen this shitty set of equipment that I’m currently using. What I’m displaying right now is not even 60% of my true capability. At most, You Jing would just think that I am imitating Old Ghost. How much further could he possibly imagine things?”
Shen Changyu paused for a moment, then said, “Then what will you be doing now?”
The cigarette at the corner of Lin Xiao’s mouth tilted upwards meaningfully. “The horse has already presented its ass to my door, how can I possibly not pat it?2A pun that’s lost in translation. “拍马屁” or patting a horse on its ass means to suck up to someone and flatter them. Lin Xiao is basically saying the horse’s ass (马屁) is right at my doorstep, how can I not take the chance to pat (拍) it? Previously I was even anxious about how I could possibly change his perception of me. It looks like I really must treasure this opportunity…”
Shen Changyu: “…your strategies for flirting, could you please hold back a little?”
Lin Xiao smiled wordlessly.
For some reason, once his guess had been officially confirmed, he felt that this situation was really interesting.
Lin Xiao completed a few solo arena battles. In the blink of an eye, he had already attained 80 points. He only needed to win two more consecutive rounds to be promoted to the First Division.
At this time, he happened to see that Laughing Sky was online. He was just about to start a conversation with him when he happened to glance at Laughing Sky’s basic information page, causing his gaze to pause for a moment.
The Heaven guild name was gone. Apart from an eye-catching icon indicating that he was in the First Division, his information page was completely blank.
Lin Xiao sent him a message: “You left your guild?”
Laughing Sky’s reply was very swift. “En.”
Lin Xiao said, “Just as well, wanna join Black Dawn?”
Originally, Laughing Sky thought that the other person would be concerned about the reason why he left his guild. He never thought that he would actually respond in such a refreshingly unorthodox manner.
Laughing Sky immediately choked on a mouthful of his own saliva as he responded, “Thanks, but I’m not currently thinking of joining other guilds right now. I’ll just go rogue like this for a while.”
Lin Xiao did not pursue the matter. “That’s also good.”
Actually, when he approved Laughing Sky’s friend request a while back, it was because he had had his own considerations as well.
No matter what, as a passerby king, Laughing Sky would definitely be a hot commodity3The word used here is for some kind of fragrant pastry…imagine our dear boss, a pastry 😉 that all major guilds would want to claim. His skill in solo battle was considered top-notch even when compared with the best players in the entire Alliance. If he could snag Laughing Sky for Team Black Rose and have him hold down the fort for the individual battles, it would be just right to help cover the weaknesses in the current team. That would be the optimal scenario.
Since so many professional teams had failed to invite him, Laughing Sky was obviously not someone who could be poached easily. Although his original intention of winning Laughing Sky over had been dampened slightly after he discovered the other’s identity as a boss, this did not stop the thought of continuing to try to persuade him from surfacing from time to time.
After all, who knew if he might really be able to move the other’s heart by trying countless times?
Lin Xiao had just casually invited him to join the guild just now, and he had never thought that he would immediately succeed in the first place. Thus, he naturally did not feel too disappointed. Rather, he cheerfully began to chat with Laughing Sky, making sure to find topics to keep the conversation going. As for the reason why he had left the Heaven guild, it was most likely related to the three people they had met in the group arena match yesterday. Thus, he decided not to ask for the details. Rather, he was more interested in normal gossip.
What Lin Xiao did not expect was that although Laughing Sky gave others the impression that he was an easygoing uncle from the North, he was actually only 20 years old. This shattered the image of a big, burly mustached man that Lin Xiao had had in his mind. Furthermore, he was a stereotypical rich second generation kid. He was currently working on some real estate business. It seemed that this was the fruit of a sum of money that he had requested from his family in the past, so he could venture out and start his own business.
Since he was currently 20 years old, considering that he had been doing business on his own for close to 2 years, then he must have been only 17 to 18 years old when he became his own boss and faced numerous hardships, right?
Taking a look at the old and shabby environment he was in, Lin Xiao exhaled a big mouthful of smoke and felt mildly aggrieved.
Lin Xiao’s mentality suffered some damage as a result of their conversation, which lasted about half an hour. The only thing that brought him comfort was that Laughing Sky’s words and actions all expressed that he was really passionate about Zone.
Even if he said that he did not lack money and did not need to increase his net worth by becoming a pro player, he unintentionally revealed his own longing and hope to become one all the same. This was something that could not possibly be overlooked.
A chance! Lin Xiao deeply felt that there was a chance!
It4Laughing Sky’s wish to go pro had nothing to do with wealth or stature, nor was it lofty enough to be called a dream that he wanted to attain. However, Laughing Sky made him recall the sincere devotion that he himself had felt in the past, when he had traversed through untouched territory and attained new heights.
Nothing else was needed, this was already more than enough.
When Hello Kitty logged on, it was already 7.30pm.
The party of three proceeded to continue entering the team arena like they did the previous day.
And this time, Lin Xiao used the reason of “Girls must always be protected” to intentionally place Hello Kitty at the very back of their team formation. Then, he roped Laughing Sky into forming a tight defense that encompassed all 360 degrees with no gaps. Thus, all their Priest had to do was to brainlessly restore their health. She didn’t even have to change her positioning at all.
They were exceptionally hot-blooded in the matches they fought tonight. In the span of only two hours, they had already managed to record sufficient material for the videos.
After wrapping things up, Laughing Sky chatted with them briefly, then went off to play in the solo arena, while Lin Xiao sent the video over to the email address that Little Monkey Lord had provided. After this, he looked back and saw that Hello Kitty’s portrait still showed that she was online. Thus, he sent over a smiling emoji and said, “Sister, you’re still online? What time will you be sleeping today?”
Originally, You Jing had just left the game on and left it aside to watch some videos. After glimpsing the chat notification that had appeared, he replied, “Not sure.”
Lin Xiao smiled. Leaning back, he crossed his legs and continued to chat excitedly, “We’ve played together for two days. Sister, what do you think, are my skills good enough to go pro?”
Finally, You Jing’s attention was completely diverted away from the video. “You want to go pro?”
Lin Xiao: “That’s right, do you think I can? ^_^~”
You Jing: “You can. But, you still need practice.”
Lin Xiao leaned sideways and almost fell from his chair. Thankfully, his reflexes were quick and he grabbed his table for support. Speechless, he sent over a wiping sweat emoji and replied, “Sister, your expectations are pretty high.”
However, You Jing did not continue with this topic. Instead, he suddenly asked, “Do you know Old Ghost?”
As Lin Xiao saw these two words on the screen, the corners of his lips curved slightly into a smile. “I do.”
You Jing: “Your equipment, combat style, and skill paths are all very similar to his. Actually, before meeting you, I once thought that his Ghost Priest could not possibly be replicated. You are undeniably very talented. However, eSports is not something you can excel in with just talent.”
“If you enter the Alliance in your current state, you will definitely be compared to Old Ghost from the past. If you can’t handle everyone’s expectations of you, it is best for you to give up while it’s still early. Playing eSports is different from playing the game, it’s not merely for playing around. You must understand the true meaning of eSports in order to be qualified to stand on the competitive stage. I don’t want there to be someone who will sully the name “Old Ghost”. He…has always been my ideal5A vision or goals that he is obsessed with trying to attain..”
Who knew if it was because he could not imagine that this cold and lofty man would be capable of saying so much at once, or because his words contained such a terrifyingly strong conviction, but Lin Xiao’s original teasing smile gradually faded, and his gaze fell upon the words of the very last sentence.
—— He…has always been my ideal.
Shen Changyu had only told him that You Jing had had a thorough understanding of the Team Black Rose of the past, as well as reminded him that he had paid special attention to Old Ghost. Who would have thought that this man, who many said had almost attained the peak of eSports, could admit so freely that another person was the ideal that he strongly desired to achieve. Furthermore, he had admitted this to a stranger who was separated from him by a screen, and who did not know his true identity.
Proud and arrogant. This was the impression that You Jing had given him all this time. This impression had been too vivid and deep, so Lin Xiao had assumed all this time that this person’s pride would cause him to disdain the Alliance and look down on everyone.
Involuntarily, he sat up straight in his chair and began typing his words one by one. It was as if he was also expressing his regard to the other person behind the screen. “eSports is my conviction, I have never played around when it comes to it.”
You Jing slouched in his chair. He glanced sideways at the words on the screen, and his lips curved. “Get promoted into the First Division first. There should be two slots for guild members to be recommended for the newcomers’ camp.”
TL comments: Wingman Shen Changyu is suffering, hahaha…and You Jing, wait till you find out who you’ve been lecturing 😡
Thank you Congee for giving me my first Ko-fi ever! I really appreciate your generosity <3
(Also, in light of recent events, I will be taking a break to see how things go. I have locked the GGS chapter for the time being (password on discord). Fingers crossed that things will work out…)
- 1In case this part is confusing, its referring to You Jing’s reasons for hanging around in game – he’s trying to scope out potential players for their team.
- 2A pun that’s lost in translation. “拍马屁” or patting a horse on its ass means to suck up to someone and flatter them. Lin Xiao is basically saying the horse’s ass (马屁) is right at my doorstep, how can I not take the chance to pat (拍) it?
- 3The word used here is for some kind of fragrant pastry…imagine our dear boss, a pastry 😉
- 4Laughing Sky’s wish to go pro
- 5A vision or goals that he is obsessed with trying to attain.