T/N: For a character getting introduced in this chapter, Luo Feng. His name was originally Zhou Feng in this chapter and his in-game name ZHOU. Since I’m only reading ahead by a few chapters, I am not totally sure, and I’ll definitely come back to change it if there are any problems, but from where I’ve read till, there seems to be a little bit of a problem with the name in that the name mentioned after this chapter is Luo Feng, possibly due to an issue with where I’m getting the raws from… (But since there were scene changes, so it’s hard to tell if it’s the same character), however, what really convinced me is the nickname Mute Zhou was later mentioned as Mute Luo. Hence, please correct me if you’ve finished reading the book and I’m wrong!
UPDATE: Okay, I looked at chapter 28 and am not very sure what’s going on with the names. I’ll be changing everything to back to whatever the raw uses, and I’ll keep everything updated if I have concrete evidence they are the same person (and if I can tell which of the two names is the correct one.)
Edited by Tin
The next morning, at ten, the top six teams in the invitational cup gathered in a visual studio in Shanghai to take photos for the promotional posters for the Asian Invitational Cup.
Yu Yang had just gone to bed at 4 a.m. when He Xiaoxu knocked on his door to wake him up at 8 a.m. Currently, he was so sleepy that he wished he could just lean against a wall to sleep for a while.
“I can’t remember the last time I woke up before noon…” Bu Nana was not much better. His eyes were bloodshot, but he forced himself to be energetic as he sat on the chair and let the make-up artist do whatever they wanted. “Why didn’t you tell us earlier that we need to film the promotional video today?”
He Xiaoxu went to the team members one by one to help them drip eye drops that would remove the redness in their eyes, then he said in a helpless tone, “There were so many things going on yesterday. The number of unread messages in my WeChat was about to explode, and I didn’t have the time to look at them one by one. If it wasn’t for the fact that they called me to confirm the time, I wouldn’t even know about it yet.”
Qi Zui had gone to bed at 2 a.m. and was slightly better off than them. He was dozing off as he leaned against the wall. He rubbed his face and said, “I won’t put on any makeup… Just have them style my hair for me.”
Yu Yang looked warily at the makeup artists, and then said in a low voice, “I won’t put on any make-up either.”
“Whatever you want.” He Xiaoxu waved his hand, and when he saw Lao Kai wanting to shout out the same thing, He Xiaoxu sternly raised an eyebrow. “Not you! Do you have a face that doesn’t need make-up?!”
Lao Kai had been humiliated for no reason, and he helplessly shrugged, then sat back down to wait for the make-up artist.
Half an hour later, the four members of HOG started to take their promotional photos.
The first one was the team uniform look. The four of them tried their best to endure their sleepiness and look as lively as possible and made a few poses. He Xiaoxu complained that they did not look cheerful enough, but the cameraman was alright with it. The tired expressions on their face looked somewhat like they were mocking others. Showing a little arrogance towards the opponents was very good as well.
He Xiaoxu had his own selfish motives and had Yu Yang and Qi Zui take more solo photos, hoping that after the promotional posters came out, their team’s Taobao shop could sell more team uniforms.
After they were done taking their photos in the team uniforms, it was time to cosplay as PUBG soldiers. The cameraman whistled, “Time for the most anticipated one.”
When the employees pushed the clothing rack out, the four of them felt worried1.
He Xiaoxu hurried them. “Quickly, there’s still a bunch of things to do after you’re done with this. Qi Zui needs to do an interview. The six teams need to play a friendly match together, there’s not enough time.”
The few of them could only remove the jacket of their team uniform, wearing the camouflage bulletproof vest, putting on their military waist bag, sheathing a military knife, changing into army boots, and wearing some camouflage fingerless gloves, and wore the level three helmets. They walked to the side and picked the guns they liked to use.
“Woah!” The cameraman praised them, “Handsome.”
Yu Yang frowned, looking at the make-up artist and feeling a little against it. He said in a low voice, “Pass it to me, I’ll do it myself.”
The make-up artist smiled awkwardly as she passed the paint to Yu Yang. Yu Yang covered two of his fingers with a bit of the paint and drew a long line with the paint that went diagonally across his face from the corner of his left eye to his right cheek.
The military cosplay look was complete. The clothes on the four of them were all slightly different, and Qi Zui added a camouflage scarf. Yu Yang had a sling full of bullets on his shoulder, and Bu Nana had tied two grenades on his waist while Lao Kai carried a PUBG map.
After they were done taking the team photos, it was time for solo photos. Yu Yang and Bu Nana who were both fraggers took a couple of photos together. The two of them were holding assault rifles, carrying a whole row of bullets. One of them was thin and the other was plump, one was indifferent and one was grimly smiling, when they stood together, they seemed inexplicably ferocious.
The cameraman made an ‘ok’ sign, and Yu Yang moved his neck, feeling uncomfortable. He looked towards Qi Zui, secretly excited as he waited for the cameraman to ask him to take a photo with Qi Zui.
However, it was a pity as the cameraman did not have the intention of asking them to take a photo together and waved his hand to signal to them that they were done with their work.
Yu Yang pursed his lips. He wanted to say something, but felt that it was not good for him to request such things, and in the end, he closed his mouth and did not bring it up.
He did not know whether he was just fated to be unlucky, but from that moment on, the rest of the day’s events did not go smoothly for Yu Yang at all.
After they were done taking the promotional photos, the members of HOG washed their faces and changed their clothes, then went for their interviews one by one, meeting the members of the other teams.
The six teams that had been invited from China were TGC, HOG, FIRE, Knights, Lioness and Wolves. TGC who had ranked first was naturally the focus of the interview. He Xiaoxu had a superficial friendship with TGC’s manager4, and after being polite on the surface for a moment, they started to make cutting remarks directed at each other. The TGC manager asked He Xiaoxu if the eSports team could still hold on after Yu Qianxi left, and He Xiaoxu asked him how many sponsorships TGC had lost again this year, then asked in concern for their well-being, and urged TGC to sign on more good-looking members, otherwise, it was really very hard for them to get sponsors.
Qi Zui was in the other studio getting interviewed, and although Bu Nana wanted to laugh, he did not dare to. Instead, he started to talk crap with Yu Yang in a soft voice, introducing the other eSports teams.
“The tall guy standing in front of our Captain is called Zhou Feng, he’s the Captain of TGC, he’s younger than our Captain by two years… Although he doesn’t look like it, he really did just turn twenty-three recently. He’s… a very serious person, I’ve never seen him smile before. I heard that he managed to make his teammates cry by scolding him. If you see him around normally, it’s best to avoid him, don’t mess with him.”
“The one wearing a pink button-up shirt behind our Captain is Hua Luo, the one you shot. He’s pretty okay-looking, and he’s quite popular, but he can’t compare to our Captain.”
“The one drinking water over there is soso. Hua Luo’s lover5, and he’s currently part of Knights’ management. Oh let me tell you, in the past! That fucker6 had extremely good coordination with Hua Luo. They almost won against our team, but it was just ‘almost’, and after that, he retired, and the Knights became worse and worse. I think they only got fourth place during this competition? Of course, they’re still a lot better than those small teams.
“Further down, there’s that idiot still wearing a level three helmet. That’s Hai Xiao, he’s from TGC, he’s Zhou Feng’s current biological son7, and he’s a fragger. How should I describe him… he’s reckless and his shooting style is aggressive.”
“The person in the rear is Ka Ka, he used to be in the Knights, and he’s currently in the Lioness team… When he left the Knights, there was a large scandal, and now, Hua Luo, soso and the rest just treat him as air. They don’t even talk to him when they meet him.”
“Next to Ka Ka, the person who’s currently talking is Jiu Tong is the Captain of the Lioness.”
“The people behind Jiu Tong are from the Wolves. It was really difficult for them to enter the top six this time…”
Yu Yang was confused and disorientated, and all he could remember was Zhou Feng and Hua Luo and the soso guy, Bu Nana continued to ramble one, and Yu Yang listened to him with patience.
After the interviews that took a lot of time finally ended, everyone ate their on-job meals and followed the arrangements of the organizers and livestreamed a friendly match on the livestream platform that the competition organizers were working together with.
Although it was called a friendly match, there were only twenty four people, and it was impossible to play normally. Therefore, the organizers requested that the players could only land in the airport, and the game would end after only one team was left.
As for how they were grouped up, it was even messier. The twenty-four professional eSports players were randomly assigned a partner to play duo with. There were a total of five rounds, and the points would be calculated separately for each player. The player with the highest points would be awarded a level three helmet… It was just to entertain fans.
Of course, the organizers had really succeeded in their goal to entertain fans. When the various large eSports teams’ fans saw the promotional photos that had been taken that morning, they started to become excited. When they found out there would be a big fight purely for entertainment, they were extremely happy. The popularity of the livestream platform kept increasing, and when the competition began, the popularity in the channel had already exceeded ten million.
Yu Yang sat at his computer seat and quietly started to estimate the probability that he would end up as Qi Zui’s teammate.
“All of you can switch on your livestream. I saw that TGC switched on theirs.” He Xiaoxu was forever refusing to admit defeat towards the first place winners. He gritted his teeth in annoyance next to the four members of HOG. “Switch it on! Let TGC’s manager see the popularity of our team. He’s being too arrogant after he got first place.”
Qi Zui did not know whether to laugh or to cry and agreed to switch on his livestream.
Yu Yang and the rest also switched on their livestreams.
In an instant, the popularity of the official livestream room dropped by a few million.
He Xiaoxu hummed. First place…it’s too good for you guys.
During the first round, Yu Yang kept repeating Qi Zui’s name in his heart, and he waited for a moment…
Assigned teammate: Banana
“Great!” Bu Nana was extremely happy. “We’re both fraggers! Landing in the airport! We’re going to totally destroy everyone, right?”
Yu Yang laughed, then nodded.
Yu Yang turned his head to the side to look at Qi Zui’s screen… Qi Zui’s teammate was Hua Luo.
Qi Zui raised an eyebrow, and could not help but say mockingly, “Looks like I can’t get first today.”
Hua Luo’s expression was one of disdain. “I should be the one saying that.”
A bunch of teasing sounds appeared on Qi Zui’s barrage, and Yu Yang pursed his lips before entering the airport with Bu Nana when the game began, and picked up a SCAR-L at the start of the match, cooperating with Bu Nana to bombard Hua Luo and kill him off.
Hua Luo: “…”
Bu Nana yelled, “Feels good!”
Qi Zui hid on the roof, looting in a hurried manner. He sneered. “Noob.”
Hua Luo: “Ge-Wu-En8”
There were a total of only twenty four people, and they could only move about the airport vicinity. After the first circle, the winner was already decided.
Qi Zui had hid till the end and got first place.
Yu Yang knocked on the desk lightly, waiting for his assigned teammate to appear.
“Drunk… Drunk… Drunk…”
Yu Yang’s lips moved slightly as he kept chanting.
Assigned teammate: ZHOU.
Yu Yang turned his head to look at Qi Zui… Qi Zui’s teammate was Hua Luo yet again!
Qi Zui laughed. “Can you stop? Are you not done hugging onto my thigh9?”
Hua Luo: “…”
Yu Yang pressed his lips together into a line, and when the match began, he instantly entered the airport again.
Yu Yang did not want to speak, and Captain Zhou Feng would definitely not speak, so the two of them played a match in silence, and miraculously got their chicken dinner.
The third match.
Yu Yang gritted his teeth. No matter what, he should be able to be teamed up with Qi Zui at least once right?
Yu Yang clicked on his mouse in annoyance, and waited for half a minute…
Assigned Teammate: Lao Kai.
Lao Kai was extremely happy. “Good, good, good, I’ve wanted to work together with you for a while now!”
Yu Yang forced himself to smile, then turned to look at Qi Zui… Qi Zui had been assigned to Hai Xiao.
In the end, Hua Luo and Ka Ka managed to get a chicken dinner.
Yu Yang was a little annoyed and stared at the screen.
Drunk… Drunk… Drunk…
Assigned teammate: Zhou Feng.
Zhou Feng: “…Hello.”
Yu Yang said numbly, “Hello.”
The barrage exploded in laughter.
[666 I’ve finally met someone who’s even more quiet than Captain Zhou hahahahahaha.]
[Mute Zhou, even you have such a day10 hahahahahaha.]
[Why does Youth seem a little uninterested? Am I right?]
[A little… What’s wrong Youth?]
[Wahahahaha I’m begging you guys to please take a look at God-Qi’s livestream room, hahahahahaha is he just partnered with the Knights members the whole day today?]
Yu Yang instantly turned his head, his expression instantly becoming worse.
Qi Zui’s assigned teammate: Hua Luo.
It was the third time.
Qi Zui opened the livestream barrage assistant, and Yu Yang saw a few of the comments, and they were all talking about the cp between the two captains.
Yu Yang’s face was cold and he no longer looked at Qi Zui.
However, Yu Yang’s barrage was also filled with comments about Qi Zui and Hua Luo.
[Youth, quick take a look, your captain met Hua Luo again hahahahaha.]
[Hahahahahaha I bet Hua Luo wants to cry so badly, no matter what he does, he can’t get away from HOG at all this year.]
[Hahahaha Captain and Hua Hua11 are insulting each other again, I’m laughing to death.]
[Hahahahahaha Hua Hua is so pitiful, he’s getting bullied so badly, hahahahaha…]
[So cute so cute, I really like the two of them hahahahahaha]
Yu Yang turned off his barrage assistant.
Yu Yang no longer held any hope, he lowered his head to look at the keyboard, feeling very unhappy in his heart.
All he wanted was to play a match with Qi Zui.
It was fine even if it was just an entertainment match.
During the invitational cup, he had really wanted to replace Yu Qianxi so that he could play a match with Qi Zui.
He did not like showing off his gun skills in a fishpond12, he just wanted to show off his gun skills for Qi Zui to see in front of these professionals.
To let him see that he did not get in through luck or connections.
He was really very good at this game.
In the fifth match, Yu Yang’s assigned teammate came out, and Yu Yang raised his gaze to look, and he wanted to break down.
Assigned teammate: Hua Luo.
Hua Luo: “Mmhm… Although you didn’t switch on your microphone, I can already feel a strong unwelcoming aura radiating from you.”
Yu Yang raised his hand to adjust his headphones. “No such thing.”
“Hahaha, then that’s good.” Hua Luo laughed heartily. “Although I heard that you’re becoming an official member of HOG, I don’t know if you have any interest in getting to know Kni…”
Yu Yang said mildly, “No.”
Hua Luo was resentful, “Oh.”
Yu Yang could not help but open the livestream barrage assistant again, there were people spamming, saying the Qi Zui’s teammate is Bu Nana.
It didn’t matter… anyway, it wasn’t him.
The barrage was still spamming about Qi Zui and Hua Luo, Yu Yang was extremely annoyed and perplexed, he was the first to land on the ground and picked up the ammo in the gun.
With a ‘bang’, Yu Yang was shot through by someone with one shot.
[HOG-Drunk knocked out HOG-Youth with 98k]
Yu Yang gritted his teeth.
Qi Zui looked at the kill feed and chuckled out loud.
“Don’t kill him off don’t kill him off!” Qi Zui’s eyes shone and he ordered Bu Nana to not touch Yu Yang. He walked over by himself and looked at Yu Yang who was crawling on the ground and tried not to laugh as he switched on his all chat13. “Who’s this?”
Yu Yang: “…”
This was so embarrassing he could die!
“If you switch on your mic, I won’t kill you.” Qi Zui kept his gun and smiled. “I’m telling the truth.”
Yu Yang felt bashful for some reason, and also felt that it was a little intolerable, and did not switch on his mic.
Qi Zui was hiding behind a bunker, and it was quite safe, so he opened the livestream barrage assistant and took a look. He had a rough idea of why Yu Yang was so unhappy.
“Sing a song and I won’t kill you.” Qi Zui tried not to laugh as he teased Yu Yang. “I didn’t see the kill feed, who exactly are you?”
There were rows of “yoooooooo…” scrolling by on the barrage14, and Yu Yang’s ears turned red.
“What team are you from?” Qi Zui decided that he might as well squat by Yu Yang’s death, and he tried not to laugh as he asked, “What’s your name?”
“How old are you?”
“Who’s your captain?”
“What’s your WeChat?”
“Do you accept having an online romance?”
Yu Yang was extremely embarrassed and angry, however, he was knocked out and could not kill himself off, hence, he could only continue to let Qi Zui tease him.
Yu Yang and Qi Zui’s barrage totally exploded and the fans were laughing crazily.
“Have Hua Luo come and revive you,” Qi Zui left behind a first-aid kit15 and two bottles of painkillers and smiled. “Let’s meet in the final circle.”
Qi Zui turned around to leave, and Yu Yang’s cheeks were red. For some reason, Yu Yang felt much better.