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The feelings of those four players on blue team could not be described. All they could do was watch as Ezreal disappeared into the distance.
Then, another piece of bad news: Vayne had been slain.
Shallow Dream had been chasing after Riven, but Riven had been able to make use of her agility to hold her own against Vayne. Although Vayne could have prevailed in that duel, she’d been caught completely by surprise when Jarvan Flashed in behind her and launched an EQ-combo, followed by his ulti.
This skill combo from Jarvan had been truly decisive: Not only had it preserved Riven’s life, it had also ensured Vayne’s demise.
After Vayne went down, Jarvan, Riven, Ryze, and Zyra used their Baron buff to assault the Top-lane Inhibitor Tower.
At that time, Ezreal had just run the other four enemy champions around their Nexus after him. Blue team was caught completely unawares, unable to mount a defense before the tower was toppled.
As the tower came crashing down, Zyra caught a careless Orianna with her ‘Grasping Roots’. Orianna didn’t have any time to respond before she was instantly torn apart by a brutal torrent of skills.
With only three defenders remaining, the Inhibitor was broken without any trouble.
The minions continued to swarm into the base. With Jarvan leading the way, the four attacking champions pushed straight for the Nexus!
It was like trying to hold back an avalanche. Overmatched in terms of morale, manpower, and buffs, blue team was in complete disarray. Even though they were on full defense now, they could only gape helplessly as Luocheng’s teammates, wreathed in the menacing aura of the Baron buff, advanced upon their Nexus.
And the playwright behind this entire scenario was presently watching from a distance, grinning as his teammates tore down the final two towers.
That bit of kiting had really succeeded in holding everyone’s attention, Shallow Dream included.
While Ezreal was running them ragged, his four teammates played their parts perfectly, making a show of leaving him to his fate as they all closed in around Vayne instead.
Vayne represented at least half of the enemy team’s power. With the Baron buff on their side, they abruptly breached the base via the Top lane, shattering the Inhibitor immediately, and then proceeding to tear down the twin Nexus Towers before destroying the Nexus itself.
It was a strategy that had to be played by ear, based on the developing situation, but the basic idea could not be more obvious.
When high-level teams were evenly matched in terms of skills, abilities, game sense, and teamwork, the ultimate deciding factor was how well they worked together and supported each other.
As the Nexus finally shattered under one last strike from Riven, everyone on Luocheng’s team let out a long sigh of relief, wearing the smiles of people who had suffered through the most hellish ordeals until they found satisfaction in the end.
This Ranked game had been packed with far too many memorable moments. Although it was said that randomly match-made teams couldn’t hold a candle to a properly organized one, even if the latter saw differences in members’ individual ratings of as much as three to four hundred…
… Nevertheless, one could easily see that every player in this game, on both sides, had demonstrated the highest level of individual ability as well as cooperative teamwork, on par with the strongest pre-made teams out there.
Both ADCs, especially, were undoubtedly the very best of the best. It had been awe-inspiring to watch them play.
The screen blacked out, and then they were looking at the scores. Amusingly, not a single one among the ten players left the room straight away, and instead everyone hung around in the post-game chatroom.
(Translator’s Note: That’s right. The trash talk continues after the game.)
It was the feeling of having formed bonds through battle. The chat scrolled rapidly, and Friends were made.
“You’ve won.” Shallow Dream made a short, simple statement.
“Yeah. It was a tough game, really,” Luocheng replied. “If possible, we should team up—I’m better at playing Support.”
Shallow Dream’s Vayne had genuinely given Luocheng a hard time. If he had been any less familiar with the champion he’d been playing, he’d have had no hope of winning.
“Right. Bye.” And with that, Shallow Dream left the room.
Luocheng didn’t go running after her. The next time he was on his main account, he’d send her a Friend Request. This time, she wouldn’t reject or blacklist him.
If anything, more than this thrilling, exhilarating, long-awaited duel between old rivals… Luocheng wanted to be friends with her.
Closing down the game client, Luocheng turned around slowly to face the three spectators, who were straining to contain their glee.
“Twenty-six consecutive victories!” Luocheng gave them a wide smile, simple and pure.
Xiao Bei and Lin Dong were too moved to speak. They surged forward to smother him in a heartfelt embrace.
Twenty-six! They’d actually managed twenty-six straight wins!
Lin Dong could already imagine the look on Da Luo’s face when he checked on this account. It should be equal parts surprise and delight, and then he’d be the one giving Luocheng a big bear hug.
They’d previously been close as teammates, but they were torn apart by cruel reality. Lin Dong believed, however, that this gift would make it all water under the bridge, and everything would go back to the way things had been before. With or without Team Wings, the bond between them still remained!
“Luocheng, I knew you could do it! Nothing’s out of reach for you! Amazing, this is simply amazing!” Xiao Bei gushed with emotion.
Lin Dong had been struggling to put a team together. It had been an uphill battle, where he kept giving his all only to have his hopes dashed, time and time again…
Xiao Bei had seen it all. He hoped with all his heart that Lin Dong would really be able to recover all the past members of Team Wings, so that everyone could give their all for their beloved game again.
This was just one small step forward, but some day they’d all be together again. It was a certainty!
“Da Luo’s birthday is the day after tomorrow. He’s asked us all to join him for dinner. Let’s give this to him then,” Lin Dong suggested.
Luocheng nodded. “Alright, the two of you get some rest. We’ll meet up on that day.” The pang of unease in his heart was fading away at the thought of Da Luo’s return.
“Yeah, alright. We’ll be off first, then. Leave you to yourselves.” Grinning, Lin Dong shot Xiao Bei a look.
Xiao Bei still wanted to chat with Luocheng some more, about how to play Ezreal and stuff. So Lin Dong grabbed him by the collar and dragged him out the door.
Seriously, what a clueless young man. There was no point in explaining. Away with you.
Luocheng saw them out, and then closed the door behind them.
Qianqian gave him her usual enchanting smile, that little hint of parted lips driving him wild just looking at her.
How could she be so mesmerizing, with those eyes, that pretty little face, that petite little mouth…
He walked up to her, his heart a wellspring of affection that flooded his entire being with a profound sense of joy, excitement, and intoxication.
This time, he didn’t have to steal any kisses.
Taking her by the hand directly, he leaned over her, and as she blushed and closed her eyes, he carefully bent close to taste those warm, alluring lips…
Their lips made contact, and then their tongues found their way to each other. The touch of that slick, delicate thing seemed to jolt him with electricity, coursing through every inch of his body. It felt good. It woke him up. He felt like he was flying.
They kissed long and passionately. Although Luocheng was aware that there were many other parts of Qianqian that were supremely tantalizing, for example that slim waist, that fulsome cleavage, those well-rounded buttocks, and those legs he’d been lusting over since high school… but Luocheng was new to such things, and he didn’t dare to take things too quickly.
Little by little, step by step… He was a beast, and no mistake—but he would be a patient hunter, taking his time to savor and explore. If he wolfed it all down in a hurry, he would miss out on all the sublime pleasures gained from slowly building up the heat, and roving around in anticipation.
Very well, after all of this, you should ultimately be made aware of the following: Although some were more than willing, Qianqian herself was not.
If it pleases you, he was allowed to cuddle her ravishing body to sleep.
A ray of afternoon sunlight lanced through the window, but after meeting the thin curtains, it fell in a scattering of half-light across the bedroom floor.
Yu Luocheng opened his eyes blearily.
Just for a moment, he thought he was in his own apartment, and last night’s confession and cuddling had all just been a dream.
After a moment of unnamed terror, Luocheng thought hard, searching for evidence of what was real—then he caught sight of Yang Qianqian sitting by the bedside, quietly reading a book, and he realized that a beautiful dream had come true for him. His heart began doing somersaults.
She sat there serenely, her long, straight legs slanted in a way that was maddeningly arousing. Her head was lowered towards the book upon her lap, stray strands of hair hanging down her face. In this light, every perfect detail of her exquisite features inspired a whispered longing in one’s heart.
How good it was to finally have a girlfriend.
He watched her a few moments more, then rolled over contentedly, returning to blissful slumber.
Luocheng slept until nearly evening. That was how tired he was after playing Ranked games several long nights in a row. It had taken an immense toll on him, and he needed a certain period of sleep to get himself back on his feet.
As he rose, for the sake of appearing his most dashing for Qianqian, he immediately took a shower, cleaning himself up good and tidy.
Just because Qianqian had come to Shanghai didn’t mean she was eager to see the sights. What she wanted most was to spend some time with Luocheng. As night fell, he took her on a stroll through the university campus.
(Translator’s Note: The best thing about Shanghai is the food, anyway. Xiao Long Bao. Learn to say it. It’s cheap there. Don’t burn your tongue or spill it on your clothes – it’s full of hot soup. You’ll want every drop of it.)
It made for a more romantic setting than Shanghai’s uptown streets, shopping malls, or chain stores.
Having just passed through the gateway into romance, there was a lot to talk about, so they found someplace quiet to sit down and talk: about what things were like back when they were in school together… how things were going now, in their respective universities… then a discussion about plans for the future.
“Speaking of which, Lin Dong and the others are forming a team. Aren’t you going to be a part of that?” Qianqian inquired.
“No thanks. I’m busy with my studies. How else am I gonna look after you,” Luocheng replied.
“Hmph. Like I’ll need you to look after me.”
“Right, then you can take care of me.”
“Who would want to? If you misbehave in the future, and squander all of my favor, I’ll trade you off for better.”
“I’d do the same.”
A stranger chuckled nearby. Hurriedly, Luocheng added, “What I mean is, I’d take my own leave of you, in that case.”
“That’s more like it.” Qianqian had already clenched her fists.
Luocheng nodded to himself, deeply grateful for his own quick wit.
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