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Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Yu Luocheng was stumped. Snowfall had taken one call, and now she was like a completely different person.
What had that phone call been about, to have spoiled her mood so completely? Could it actually have been an ex-boyfriend?
He tried to recall exactly how he’d spoken to her just now. He supposed he might have been mean to her.
What was he to do? He’d been cut off for so long, fooling around as an amateur for so long… now he’d finally met a pro-player who could give him a real challenge, but then Snowfall began playing so loosely. The truth was, he did blame her. Deep down in his heart, he remained a pro-gamer, and remained bitter over having been defeated.
Yu Luocheng thought about it for a while. Perhaps he ought to apologize. In the past few battles, he’d been expecting Snowfall to perform at the level of a pro—but saying too much could instead make your teammates play worse, and then everyone would be frustrated.
“Snowy, I was wrong. I was taking this too seriously.”
“Snowy? Please say something.”
“Ms Snowy… Alright? I won’t be too cozy with you. Don’t be like this, I’m saying sorry, here…”
“Oh, hell—when did our voice call end?” Despite all his sincerity, they were no longer connected.
‘Snowfall has left the game!’
A line of glaring red text appeared on-screen.
What had happened? Yu Luocheng hesitated for a moment, then went back out to his desktop to send a QQ message to her.
“Snowy, what’s wrong?” he asked, frantic.
In the apartment room, Yi Qin looked at the QQ notification.
It was a cartoon cow with hearts for eyes, the very portrait of a skirt-chasing maniac.
This profile picture had kept her company through many lonely nights, when no one else understood or cared.
It had only been through text chat, but it had meant everything to her. Many times, she’d keep going back to a line that he’d written, laughing until she was short of breath.
‘See you,’ Yi Qin whispered in her heart. Without replying to him, she exited her QQ.
“Ah, dear child, are you still playing games? Your dad asked me to come over and help you pack your things. You’re a full-grown adult now—can’t you manage by yourself?” An elderly woman walked into Yi Qin’s room.
When she logged out of QQ, Yi Qin felt like all her friends had vanished. Classmates, colleagues, confidants, friends from her favorite games and websites, and this partner she’d known for such a very long time…
Unbidden, a tear sprang to her eye.
“There, there, Yi Qin. Don’t cry.” Seeing the girl in tears, the woman hurried over to console her.
“It’ll be alright. You’ll get used to it in no time,” she cooed gently. “You’ll make new friends in America, and your uncles and cousins are there, too. You won’t feel lonely—they’ll take you to New York, to Washington, to Los Angeles… you like video games—they have a state-of-the-art e-sports tournament hall there. If you can’t leave it behind you, you could go there and have a look around…”
“Mm.” Yi Qin nodded.
She could keep gaming in America, she told herself. She could still call up her friends for a chat, she just wouldn’t be able to meet up with them in person.
Anyway, it would only be for a couple of years—and then she’d be back, with all the e-sports stuff they needed! It would only be a short farewell!
“Alright, let’s get packing,” the woman said. “There’s no need to rile up your father any more—he only wants what’s best for you.”
In a park in Lecheng, willow trees lined the lakeside, their delicate fronds swaying gently in the breeze, as though in a graceful dance.
Passing beneath their boughs, watching fallen willow leaves bobbing upon ripples in the lakewater, Yu Luocheng’s mood was anything but tranquil.
What was going on with Snowy? Had he really made her that angry?
He sat down upon a stone bench. His first voice chat with her, his long-awaited voice chat with her, and it had ended like that. What was he supposed to make of it?
Thinking back, no matter how badly things were going, Snowfall had never once rage-quit from a game, nor had she ever logged off without saying goodbye.
Something very peculiar was going on.
“I should have noticed sooner—the mood she was in.” Yu Luocheng shook his head with a pained smile.
Asmodai’s presence had caused him to be engrossed completely in proving himself better.
Looking back, now that the battle was behind him, there had been moments when Snowfall had been trying to get his attention, to which he’d only replied with things like, ‘Mind your positioning,”They’ll be attacking soon,”Watch out not to get hooked,’ and other statements that had cut her off mid-way.
Suddenly, Yu Luocheng was struck by a disquieting premonition.
“Never mind, maybe things will get better with time.” Consoling himself, Yu Luocheng trudged back towards home.
Back in his room, he found he no longer had any mood to keep playing. Lying down in bed, he stared up at the ceiling, his mind in turmoil.
There was a night market going on in Shanghai. The smell of beer and roasting meat filled the air.
Although not particularly neat or tidy, it provided large crowds of people with cheap but satisfying delights.
For the wealthy, one of life’s little pleasures was whiling away an idle afternoon, nursing a cup of coffee to the sound of soothing music.
For more ordinary people, surely it was sitting by the roadside, enjoying the night breeze with beer and sticks of meat!
Everyone in Daemons knew that their coach was not exactly rolling in dough, so when he treated them to dinner, it wouldn’t be at any fancy restaurant. It would usually be at crowded little eateries like this, or perhaps supper at one of those ramshackle stalls with tables set up beside a roast pit outdoors.
The team members loved the sort of feeling that came from having trained hard the whole day, and finishing with a relaxing evening by the roadside with hearty food and drink.
Asmodai and the blonde-haired Osiris were the last to arrive at the shop. All the other Daemons members were already present, making no more than eight people in total.
“Wow, the two of you really do work fast!” The man in the sports jersey greeted them cheerfully. ” Surrender at 20 1 ?”
Asmodai and Osiris sat down and turned to their youthful coach. He was named Huang Kang, the founder of Team ‘Daemons’. Already twenty-eight, he was a former pro-gamer himself, but it was a young man’s game. As his reactions continued to regress, he withdrew from competitions to become a coach instead.
From player to coach, the process bore some similarity to being a national sports athlete, except that retired sports athletes had benefits—retired pro-gamers had nothing.
“Coach, we encountered a first-class player just now,” Osiris blurted out.
All eyes turned to him. Although he was their youngest member, he was well-known for being full of himself, and it was rare that he would acknowledge the skill of other players.
For him to call someone a ‘first-class player’ suggested that he’d been beaten pretty badly by that someone!
“Oh? Go on…” The coach’s interest had been piqued.
“Let me tell him,” Asmodai cut in.
He gave the coach an overall run-through of the game they’d just played. He was able to relate events in great detail, what with his deep familiarity with LoL. Often, you had to actually face an elite player in battle to understand what made them so different.
Asmodai had faced him, and had understood the true worth of that Support player.
“Unfortunately, we were only able to fight him during the laning phase, and then Yi Qin left the game for some reason, at which point he left as well. If we could have observed his performance in mid-game roaming and late-game team-fights…”
“Do you have a recording?” the coach asked.
“I do. Let’s all watch it together later. He made some incredible plays,” Asmodai said. “Mephistopheles, you should study it closely—you’re a Support player, too.”
Asmodai recorded every game that he played—a practice the coach expected of all the members, so that they could better review their own performance.
Huang Kang nodded. “Alright, let’s all watch it after dinner.”
The Daemons team was still in need of skilled players. Whenever they caught wind of a gifted individual with promising potential, Huang Kang was always eager to bring them into the world of professional gaming.
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