Qi Zui entered the lounge. Getting on the treadmill, he chose a slower paced setting.
At the same time, Qi Zui read the comments on his Weibo. The fangirls were still tearfully asking why he had not done a livestream in so long one after the other. After Qi Zui selected a cute avatar and replied to it, he exited Weibo and opened up the forum.
[What’s happening with Drunk recently? I’m not blind, right? Just saw the game records. He only played for four hours yesterday? And only three hours the day before yesterday? Is he teasing me?]
[The Invitational Asian group competition is about to start. HOG’s Yu Qianxi livestreams all day, while Captain Drunk only trains a few hours each day. Are they seeking death?]
[Maybe, HOG’s status is basically declining. Are these people planning to acknowledge the superiority of the South Koreans at the tournament?]
[Wait and see. Your Qi God will fall at the altar in Busan. I’ll see how you brainless fans will try to defend him this time.]
As usual, Qi Zui remained indifferent. Most of the posts on the forum’s front page were ranting about his team.
Fame had its price. These past years, Qi Zui already became used to the verbal abuse from the haters, he treated the personal attacks as food for consumption and the trash talk as signals to his adrenal glands. He scrolled down further, accidentally catching sight of a controversial post about Yu Yang.
[Exciting! Youth joined HOG! The club has yet to officially announce it. Currently, God Yang is still in the youth training team! Boldly speculating that Youth might enter Team Two, or as reserve player for Team One, or directly replace that Team One slacker.]
Qi Zui’s interest was piqued. Just as he wanted to click on it to see if this slacker was him or Yu Qianxi……
Yu Qianxi knocked on the door. He clearly just woke up, hair messy, eyes red, and was repeatedly rubbing his eyes.
Qi Zui got off the treadmill and leaned against the machine next to it. Before he said anything, Yu Qianxi forced a smile and said, “Yesterday there was a fan that kept sending gifts, spending over tens of thousands. I thought it wouldn’t be nice to quit streaming then and so continued for a while longer.”
“I’m not asking you about this, we’ll discuss that later.” Qin Zui gently massaged his wrist, “How do you and Yu Yang know each other?”
“Youth? He…” Yu Qianxi stammered, “He’s quite famous, ranking at the top of the leaderboard for two seasons straight…… I saw that his ID didn’t have a team attached to it, so I added him as a friend, and then we became acquainted.”
Qi Zui smiled at Yu Qianxi, “You recruited him to join us? When did you also take over the manager’s duties?”
“No, I didn’t. After he knew who I was, he himself requested to join our team.” Under the eyes of Qi Zui, Yu Qianxi felt goosebumps creeping over him and avoided his eyes, “After that I mentioned it to Xiaoxu-Ge, and he contacted him”
Xiaoxu-Ge , He Xiaoxu, was HOG’s manager.
“He… himself requested to join our team…” Qi Zui repeated. “Alright, it’s fine then.”
Yu Qianxi sighed in relief. Just as he was about to leave Qi Zui spoke again, “I have no interest in your livestreams, but next time don’t be late to regular trainings during competition periods. If you’re late one more time, you’ll be dealt with according to our regulations.”
Yu Qianxi wrinkled his brows and laughed awkwardly. Agreeing, he left.
Today’s training matches would start soon. Qi Zui took his cell phone and also left the lounge.
The lounge on the second floor was available to the entire team. When returning to the third floor, Qi Zui’s steps paused.
In front of the window at the entrance of the second floor corridor, Yu Yang happened to be smoking, his head lowered.
HOG’s base was huge. After all, it had to accommodate the team members, the manager, coaches, data analysts, mental-health counselors, support crew, cooks, drivers etc., a group of twenty or so people. Furthermore, Team One and Team Two’s training rooms and dormitory were on separate floors. It was funny, even within the team itself, people would not frequently meet. Yu Yang had joined the team for almost one month, yet this was the first time Qi Zui met him again.
Compared to before, Yu Yang seemed a bit thinner and his hair even longer, it was dyed a light gold. Qi Zui did not know whether it was because he had yet to pass his rebellious stage. On closer scrutiny, there were even a few locks highlighted in ash grey.
Hearing footsteps, Yu Yang turned his head and was dumbfounded by the sight.
Qi Zui looked at Yu Yang, recalling what Yu Qianxi had just said—
“He himself requested to join our team.”
Yu Yang gazed blankly at Qi Zui, fingers unconsciously losing their grip, and the cigarette butt burned his palm. Qi Zui’s brows furrowed. Yu Yang suddenly let go.
As if waking from a dream, Yu Yang quickly crouched to pick up the cigarette in an embarrassed fluster and turned to escape.
Qi Zui stood by the window for a while before heading upstairs to the training room.
“Hurry up and join the squad! The first round of the training matches will start after 10 minutes.” Bu Nana took off his headphones to shout at Qi Zui, “You’re the only one left. The password had been sent to the group. Quickly join the squad.”
Qi Zui rubbed the center of his brows. Sitting down at his own seat, he put on his headphones.
PUBG: PlayersUnknown’s Battleground, every game round had a hundred participating players. Each player started off without any equipment. Everyone began by boarding an airplane following a flight path. At any point along the path a player could parachute off to their desired location.
Guns, bullets, protective gear, and medical item ranks were randomly generated everywhere on the map, and after landing could immediately be picked up. In the Squad mode, dispersed over the entire map were 20 squads altogether. Each group would compete amongst each other. There was however no need to worry about the map being too large, preventing encounters between teams. The game would start randomly allocating a safe zone, and if a player was caught outside of the safe zone, there would be a poison effect where the player’s health would be drained continously. With the passage of time, the safe zone would constantly shrink . Players would have to keep moving to stay within the safe zone, while exchange fire with other players and eliminating them, a battle royale. The game would end when only players of the same squad were left on the map.
The last team standing would be the victor of that round.
Today’s practice match was a Squad game. As a PUBG match required many people, every practice match would have more than 10 teams. Wealthy and prominent teams like HOG with a second team and even a youth training team could all participate.
“Not too bad today, there’s a total of 87 people.” The game started. Bu Nana raised his head to peek at the number of people in the match round and asked, “Where are we jumping?”
Qi Zui was Team One’s captain and also the commander. At the beginning of each game round he had to decide the parachute position based on the flight path.
Qi Zui gave a sweeping glance at the flight path: “The air base.”
TN: Erangel Map. The “air base” (or Sosnovka Military Base in the US server) is located at the center of the lower island.
Bu Nana clicked his tongue twice: “Not bad my Qi-Ge! You’re this fired up today?”
The air base was abundant in supplies but had a complex terrain. Many people would choose to jump there, and upon landing they had to start attacking. Unless it was the fish pond (*lower level players), very seldom could a team of four walk out intact. Hence, some cautious squads would basically not jump for the air base.
“Jump.” Qi Zui casually tagged a point on the map, “After searching keep an eye out for the circle. I’ll watch the observatory. Lao Kai, depending on the situation store up on gasoline.”
“A few people went to Port N (*Novorepnoye)… one, two, three people…” Lao Kai landed, “Team One, a team also jumped for the air base.”
Bu Nana sighed: “Is the flight path to Uptown (*North Georgopol) not good? They’re insisting on provoking you, Daddy Qi.
“Quickly get rid of the team at the air base.” In a poor mood, Qi Zui lacked the energy to play along with Bu Nana’s jokes. He landed quickly, picking up a shotgun, loaded a bullet while following another person around a window, “Watch for the circle after beating this team at the air base. Clean up here and go to the bridge to collect toll (*kill off any passers). We’ll block the Port N team.”
Qi Zui knocked down the person, who was nearly face to face with him, with the shotgun. The system announced:
[HOG-Drunk knocked out Wolves-Baoliu with S1897]
Wolves, Qi Zui knocked down someone from the Wolves team.
Qi Zui did not kill this person. Loading another bullet, he returned to the hallway.
In the scenario where there were still surviving teammates, a downed player would not immediately die. There was a brief window where surviving teammates could revive a downed teammate to resume participation in the match.
Qi Zui moved behind a wall to hide, using a fish bait and trap method. Indeed it was not long before the footsteps of another person could be heard…… The teammate of the downed player had arrived.
Qi Zui had already gauged the next few moments. When the enemy teammate revived the knocked down Baoliu, he went around the wall and killed the two both of them.
[HOG-Drunk killed Wolves-Baoliu with S1897]
[HOG-Drunk killed Wolves-Star with S1897]
The two remaining people of Wolves were killed by Bu Nana and Lao Kai. Clearing the air base completely, the four people rapidly searched all over for supplies. After splitting the good equipment they looked at the next map. As expected the safe zone was now drawn over Town Y (*Yasnaya Polyana).
TN: Example of a safe zone circle over Yasnaya Polyana. The circle first appears a few minutes into the game. Players will eventually want to be close or in it when the circle shrinks or risk the health loss effect. The percentage of health lost over time increases with each successive shrink.
Bu Nana: “Hurry, quickly speed up. Find a car to go to the Eastern bridge and block off the team in Port N.”
Lao Kai drove the car. After reaching the East bridge, he parked the car. With the blockage of abandoned cars, the four people moved there with their guns, waiting for the Port N people to arrive.
“Nana keep watch over the bridge base. Port N also has boat spawns, they might sail over.” Drunk looked through a scope, “I’ll keep watch of the bridgehead.”
Bu Nana agreed lazily. After two minutes he was bored to death: “Why are the people at Port N so slow? How about we go in first?”
“Having camped for so long, going in now will just make us targets for Port N.” Actually, Qi Zui felt even more vexed than Bu Nana. From just now til now his heart had not been in the game, all he could think of…… was Yu Yang.
Qi Zui had never smoked before and did not know how hot a cigarette could burn.
Just like a few moments ago…… being grazed by the cigarette stub, would there be a burn?
The burn on the palm of his right hand, was exactly where he held the mouse.
So at this moment he……
“Ah!” Bu Nana suddenly spoke loudly, “Qi-Ge! Didn’t you agree to watch the bridgehead?
Qi Zui quickly scanned the bridgehead. The Port N team did not drive a car or sail, and they had already reached the blockage at the bridgehead!
“Mine.” Qi Zui took the initiative to be the scapegoat. Wanting to retreat to the right to search for a cover, he quickly looked through the scope, “S direction 1…… Fuck.”
In the brief moment when Qi Zui looked through the scope, it allowed the opposing side to seize an opening. QiZui received three gunshots to the head.
System Announcement: [HOG-Youth knocked out HOG-Drunk with mini14]
Stunned, Qi Zui could not help but laugh.
One could not avoid their enemy.
The team that jumped for Port N was unexpectedly Yu Yang’s team.
In the game, only after a player knocked down or got knocked down, then they would learn about each other’s ID through the system announcement.
No cover near Qi Zui and a single error had already allowed Yu Yang to get a stranglehold on the position.
However, the error was apparently not limited to only Qi Zui. Such a golden opportunity for the opposing side, but Yu Yang actually stopped shooting and stood there in a daze. Several seconds passed, and he still did not to fire to kill Qi Zui.
“Qi-Ge, lean a bit towards the right.”
Lao Kai released the smoke grenade. He drove the car out in front of Qi Zui as a cover. Getting off, he revived him.”
Qi Zui stood up and shot a med to regenerate his health. Bu Nana could not understand, “Waiting for so long, why didn’t he kill you? What was he waiting for?”
“Don’t know.” Qi Zui said indifferently, “Waiting to die, maybe.”
That was only a moment of inattentiveness, if Yu Yang was facing Qi Zui in his usual capacity, he would definitely not be able to overcome him.
Qi Zui got into the situation, without even looking through the scope of the Scar-L, he shot towards Yu Yang’s position. As expected, Yu Yang went behind cover. In that second, Qi Zui switched to a sniper rifle. Looking through the scope to aim, he shot at Yu Yang’s head.
[HOG-Drunk knocked out HOG-Youth with 98k]
Without the slightest hesitation Qi Zui deftly reloaded and took another shot.
[HOG-Drunk killed HOG-Youth with 98k]
In the training room of the base’s first floor, Yu Yang’s game interface flashed to grey. He looked at the computer screen blankly for a moment before letting go of the mouse and removed his headphones.
Yu Yang lowered his head over his right palm and gently exhaled. After a few exhalations, Yu Yang’s eyes reddened. He did not know if it was because it was too painful.
Edited by Alex PT
Translator’s Notes: Thanks again yudun for letting me continue this translation and for hosting. The gaming terminology are translated based on the English server when appropriate, while the location names are left in Chinese shorthand.
 Ge: Brother or bro