Edited by Tin
The organizers’ planning of events was very bad1. The competition was in the afternoon the next day, but they had scheduled for the participants to record their pre-competition videos in the morning.
At seven in the morning, Qi Zui changed into his team uniform and slumped on the sofa in the first-floor lobby of the hotel, practically unable to open his eyes.
Qi Zui’s arms and legs were long, and he blocked the way of Zhou Feng, who was next to him. Zhou Feng moved closer to the side, his expression one of tiredness as well.
The older internet-addict youngsters were used to their schedules of waking up between 11 am at the earliest, and 4 pm latest. Being forced out of bed at this time, their mental state was similar to the corpses driven away by Xiangxi immortals2.
After eating breakfast with no appetite, Hua Luo walked out of the restaurant unsteadily with dulled eyes, “I haven’t had breakfast for many years already…”
Qi Zui opened his eyes a sliver and felt that there was no meaning in life, “I can’t remember how many years it’s been since I’ve seen the sun in the morning…”
If it weren’t for the fact that he cared for Yu Yang and did not want him to have to get up early and suffer this sort of punishment, Qi Zui would have handed down the unfortunate royal crown of the captain to Yu Yang last night.
The captain of the FIRE team and the Lioness team came downstairs while holding each other for support. Their steps were weak, their eyes wandering, and they were in a daze as they said, “Is this…seven o’clock…So the air at seven o’clock smells like this…”
The captain of the Wolves team also came down the stairs. He looked pale as if he had been fucked by someone last night. Every two steps he walked, he swayed twice, and his tone was vague, “I’m up…I really fucking managed to get up…”
The six captains were finally gathered together, and He Xiaoxu could not stand it anymore. He took a bottle of moisturizing spray to spray the group of vampires. Especially Qi Zui, from the forehead to the neck, he sprayed Qi Zui head-on for an extended time.
Qi Zui woke up slightly, he took the sunglasses that He Xiaoxu passed to him and slid them on, yawning as he murmured, “Can I curse later? Anyway, the ‘sumnida’s3 can’t understand…”
Ye Huo, the leader of FIRE, was like a zombie when he heard Qi Zui and turned his head with much difficulty. He raised his hand slowly, “I have the advantage of dialect. I can use the Chaoshan dialect to scold people…this way, the vast majority of Chinese people can’t understand either…”
The leader from China could not bear it anymore. He wanted to find a newspaper to roll up and smack these people’s heads. He was afraid that the interpreter at the side would hear what they were saying. He said angrily, purposely lowering his voice, “Everyone, sober up! There are photographers following! You are all people that are respected4 and have fans, have some dignity5!”
“Just let them film…” In the early years, because of his sleepiness in the early years, Qi Zui had even had the experience of filming the pre-competition videos in his hotel room while he laid on his bed. His skin was already so thick that he had no fear, “They can film whatever the fuck they want…”
Left with no choice, He Xiaoxu went and bought a cup of milk tea to-go, inserting a straw and stuffing it into Qi Zui’s mouth so as to finally shut him up.
Everyone was led into the car. The captains napped for a while before they gradually recovered and became human again. The FIRE Captain Ye Huo chatted with Qi Zui in a teasing way6 and laughed evilly7, “I heard that your team brought a child bride along this time?”
Beneath his sunglasses Qi Zui closed his eyes and pretended to sleep.
Hua Luo chuckled, “Who? Bu Nana?”
Luo Feng opened his eyes, straightforwardly saying, “No, it’s someone you’re even more familiar with, Youth.”
Hua Luo: “…”
Ye Huo smacked his thigh and laughed loudly.
Ye Huo marveled, “Is it true? There are so many rumors 8 going around about the two of them now, so many it’s become a little fake.”
Hua Luo took the chance to promote his evil cult9, “It’s fake, Youth is actually quite close to me, we’ve even played in duo matches together.”
Luo Feng opened his eyes again, “Youth has played in duo matches with me too.”
Qi Zui removed his sunglasses, his face expressionless as he looked towards He Xiaoxu.
“Don’t overthink things, don’t overthink things…” He Xiaoxu was scared that Qi Zui would be affected by those rubbish words and he hurriedly explained, “They’re talking about that time during the entertainment competition.”
Qi Zui put his sunglasses on again.
“Don’t pretend to sleep,” Ye Huo was just 21 years old this year, younger than all of them. He was so energetic it was scary. “God-Qi, tell me, is it real? My younger sister really likes Youth. My younger sister is 18 years old, just right for him! A match made in heaven! If this thing works out, from now on, your HOG and my FIRE will be family from now on! Family members don’t hide things from each other, you and Youth…”
Qi Zui said, “It’s true.”
“Damn…” Ye Huo, in the midst of speaking, found himself at a loss for words, shocked, “You people in big cities really know how to play! What year is it already? Why the fuck 10are you keeping a child bride?”
Qi Zui closed his eyes, and when he heard it, he laughed, “To fuck.”
The car was quiet for a few seconds before all the captains started to laugh like crazy. The driver was scared and almost braked the car.
The Korean employees with them turned their heads to look over, not understanding what was going on. They chattered as they asked about what was happening.
“It’s fine,” He Xiaoxu suppressed his anger, using one hand to stuff the milk tea straw into Qi Zui’s mouth, as he forced on a smile to tell the cameramen, “Delete it, delete it, this can’t be circulated… This sumnida can’t understand, interpreter, can you tell him what I said.”
Qi Zui bit the straw, smiling deeply.
Ye Huo was stunned and shook his head, “God-Qi, you’re still the best at perverted talk… Oh, you’re really good! Signing someone over when they are young and cultivating them yourself, cultivating their temper and character into the type you like… Wow, I need to stop thinking about that. The more I think about that, the dirtier my thoughts get.”
He Xiaoxu glared at Ye Huo and gritted his teeth, “I’m sorry, let me remind you, Youth’s temper is especially bad, his side-job was fighting in the past.”
Ye Huo was shocked again, shocked at the complexity of HOG’s internal affairs, not daring to speak anymore.
An hour later, they finally managed to drag everyone to the scenic spot. The few of them took turns to take photos, those that were waiting for their turn to take their photos were filming their pre-competition trash-talk in the car.
“Just one sentence!’ Qi Zui’s mouth was too poisonous and he had a good command of several languages11, there was no use telling the interpreter that they were not allowed to translate what Qi Zui said. He Xiaoxu had a lot of difficulties these few years helping Qi Zui’s image become one of a ‘Flawless Light of eSports’. He refused to allow Qi Zui to expose his own shortcomings and repeatedly warned, “You’re not allowed to say anything involving nationalities, religions, countries, et cetera… You’re not allowed to use any dirty words, don’t be too sarcastic, don’t attack other people’s weak points!”
Ye Huo, who was at the side, rubbed his neck and sighed, “Our industry is becoming more and more like the entertainment industry. It’s too commercialized! This is not allowed, that is not allowed. Thinking back to the ancient gods of the past, there were no formal competition venues, there were no sound-proof rooms, people just sat face-to-face, playing the game as they scolded the opponents for being noobs. Man, that was so exciting!”
“Having a monthly salary of 1000 RMB, eating and sleeping in the Internet bar every day, is that exciting?” FIRE’s team manager knocked Ye Huo’s head. “If you’re so envious of the ancient gods of the past, I can provide you with this sort of treatment.”
Ye Huo wussed out and smiled, “Okay, okay, okay, I won’t say anything that mocks others later.”
He Xiaoxu was still staring at Qi Zui, saying angrily, “I’m talking to you, can you hear me? You can only say one sentence! You’re not allowed to mention other people!”
Qi Zui held back his laughter as he nodded, “No problem.”
After they were done filming their pre-competition video, everyone returned to their hotel, and after resting for a while, all the eSports teams gathered and went to the competition venue together.
On the way to the competition venue, Lai Hua carefully took note of Qi Zui’s expression, asking Qi Zui in a small voice, “How is it? Do you want Xin Ba to take your place?”
Yu Yang was sitting in front of Qi Zui, and when he heard something, he turned his head back uneasily.
Qi Zui smiled, “What are you guys worried about?”
“It’s not that I’m worried. How long have you not practiced solo matches for?” Lai Hua frowned. Qi Zui could only play a few hours a day. In order to teach Yu Yang and help the new team get used to playing with each other, Qi Zui had spent all his practice hours these few days practicing squad matches. Lai Hua said in a low voice, “You woke up early today too, so your energy is average…You can’t get a substitute in the middle of the match during solo matches, so if your hand hurts in the middle, you can’t leave the game either, do you understand?”
Qi Zui chuckled, “It’s only five rounds…”
“It’s already not bad if you can finish playing four rounds! Why don’t you understand? If you… if you…” Lai Hua got flustered and his eyes turned red. “It’ll be the same as how I was in the past…”
“Don’t worry,” Qi Zui put on his sunglasses, napping to catch up on sleep. “I know my limits.”
When they reached the competition venue, as expected, the HOG team’s car was surrounded again.
Qi Zui had a surprisingly good temper today. He took off his sunglasses, greeted the fans, and signed autographs for an extended period of time. Lai Hua and He Xiaoxu anxiously looked at Qi Zui’s right hand and went forward to persuade them for a long time. They managed to coax the fans away.
Yu Yang’s face did not even have a bit of a smile. He had been staring at Qi Zui’s wrist.
Yu Yang knew better than anyone how bad the condition of Qi Zui’s right wrist was right now.
Qi Zui was still wearing gloves, and under the gloves were layers upon layers of intramuscular bandages.
These bandages did not have any medical effects and could only cause the muscles in Qi Zui’s right hand to relax a little. The effects were extremely minor.
Qi Zui refused to not play, and refused to take painkillers. Yu Yang could not imagine how much pain Qi Zui’s wrist would be in after five rounds.
Under this sort of condition, how could he win?
Yu Yang could not sympathize with Lai Hua’s concerns but he cared about Qi Zui more than Lai Hua did.
No one was feeling more conflicted than Yu Yang.
He was the person who wanted to win against Qi Zui the most, but he was also the person who wanted Qi Zui to win the most.
Yu Yang was familiar with the people that were the top in solo matches in China and Korea, and a few ideas that he should not have flashed through his mind. However, before the ideas were formed, they were interrupted by Qi Zui who had noticed some things.
Qi Zui did not say it clearly. He just casually reminded Yu Yang of the fate of Yu Qianxi, the last person who dared to fake matches while he was watching…
He would be chased out of HOG.
Half an hour before the solo match started, the contestants needed to start their warm-ups. Yu Yang’s face was blank the whole time, his expression so poor that it was scary.
Bu Nana did not know the internal happenings and was extremely worried. Even Hua Luo who was sitting nearby had one of the employees come and ask if Yu Yang was sick or if he was not feeling well because he was unused to being overseas.
By his ear, the translator questioned Yu Yang softly and Yu Yang shook his head, not saying a word.
Yu Yang wanted to tell everyone.
The person who was not feeling well was not him.
The person whose body had problems was not him.
The person who was not in his best condition was not him, for fuck’s sake.
Qi Zui was sitting at the computer on Yu Yang’s left-hand side. As a celebrity professional eSports player, the camera would turn to him frequently. Qi Zui checked his equipment as he raised his head to greet the camera. Hearing the host of the competition talk about him, he even remembered to wear his headphones, holding the microphone as he smiled and used English to answer, causing the fans that were present to scream frequently.
The competition was about to begin in three minutes. The center LED screen in the competition hall was playing the pre-competition trash talk of each of the eSports teams’ leaders and they were currently showing Qi Zui’s.
Qi Zui had followed He Xiaoxu’s request this time and did not mock anyone. He also only said one sentence as promised.
On the large screen, Qi Zui smiled at the camera. “I’ve switched on my monitor this time. Be careful everyone.”
After the whole venue was quiet for a few seconds, Qi Zui’s fans started to scream crazily. The director hurriedly turned the camera to Qi Zui. At the competition venue, Qi Zui had already put on his noise-canceling headphones and could not hear any noise from the venue at all. He rubbed his neck and removed his gloves.
The bandages that had even covered the palm of his right hand were exposed.
There was an uproar throughout the whole venue.
Qi Zui exercised his right hand’s fingers a little, his hands grasping on the mouse.
The first round of the competition began.
P City, S mountain flight path.
Drunk jumped at P City and Youth floated to the airport.
The places the two of them chose were very bold.
In the lounge backstage, He Xiaoxu was anxious, “Why did Youth go to the airport? It’s the first match, why can’t he be more careful?”
“He likes to play aggressively. If he can go to the airport, he’ll definitely go.” Lai Hua was also very nervous. “It’s fine, it’s fine, Nana went to Quarry and Lao Kai went to the prison. Everyone is separated, at least they won’t have internal fights in the early-game.”
He Xiaoxu had placed all his hope for winning the solo competition on Yu Yang and he was anxious. “Why doesn’t the director turn the camera to… the few of them that went to the airport?”
Lai Hua did not make a sound, as he was still looking for Qi Zui.
Compared to Yu Yang, Qi Zui’s choice of location was even worse. If Lai Hua had not seen incorrectly, there were at least five people who had landed in P City.
Lai Hua’s heart was tightly clenched12, scared that Qi Zui would die as soon as he landed.
There was no such thing as being knocked out and revived in solo matches. Once you were dead, you were dead. After landing no one could tell if the other person was from their eSports team or not. When they met, they had to shoot each other. There were continuous announcements about people getting killed on the kill feed. The director did not cut the camera to the four people in HOG and He Xiaoxu and Lai Hua could only stare at the kill feed, scared that they would see the number of HOG members that were alive, decrease.
[HOG-Drunk killed SES-Right with M416]
The director instantly cut the camera to Qi Zui. Qi Zui jumped onto the door from the balcony, then jumped onto the roof of the house. He Xiaoxu was very anxious and fearful, “What is Qi Zui doing?”
“He’s trying to get behind the person in the house, there’s someone in the house!” Lai Hua was swearing with anxiety. He could not help but complain, “Can’t he play safer?! Why did he need to go to a popular landing spot with a lot of loot! Why can’t he avoid conflict in early-game?”
Qi Zui deduced the location of the person in the house, jumped off the roof, threw a grenade13, then entered the house to engage the person in a gunfight directly. A few shots and he managed to deal with the person in the house.
The corner of Qi Zui’s mouth held a smile as he said to himself, “Avoid conflicts in the early-game… Then, others should avoid me…”
[HOG-Drunk killed Knight-909 with M416]
[HOG-Drunk killed Ares-Apollo with mini14]
In five minutes, Qi Zui managed to completely clean out P City.
He Xiaoxu looked at the livestream screen, stunned.
“Didn’t you say…,” He Xiaoxu swallowed, “…he hadn’t practiced solo matches for a very long time?”
Lai Hua stuttered, “Ye-yes…”
[HOG-Drunk killed TGC-Zhou with M416]
[HOG-Drunk killed TGC-Tsunami with 98K]
[HOG-Drunk killed TYR-663 with 98K]
By the third safe zone, Qi Zui had already collected seven kills.
Bu Nana and Lao Kai had already been eliminated. One of them was in the forty-third place, the other was in the thirty-second place.
When the next safe zone shrunk, Qi Zui and Yu Yang were still alive.
The safe zone shrunk again and Qi Zui and Yu Yang were still alive.
By the fifth safe zone, Yu Yang failed to enter the zone and was killed by a Korean team.
Qi Zui glanced at the id of the Korean and quietly used a first aid kit.
“Qi Zui is still alive!” He Xiaoxu could not help but pat Lai Hua, “He’s still alive!!!”
Fifteen people, Qi Zui was still alive.
Thirteen people, Qi Zui was still alive.
Seven people, Qi Zui was still alive.
Three people, Qi Zui was still alive.
“Fucking hell!” Lai Hua stood in front of the screen, wishing he could enter the screen. “This shitty safe zone.”
He Xiaoxu did not understand the details very well, but he could tell that the safe zone had ended up at the location where the other person was at.
Lai Hua was still anxiously trying to figure out the most suitable way to enter the safe zone while Qi Zui was already starting to fire.
He was about to meet the enemy face-to-face, and Qi Zui was not planning on entering the safe zone at all. Before the safe zone started to shrink, if he did not manage to kill the other person, he would be killed by the poison effect.
The director kept switching the camera between the two of them. The commentators were speaking quickly and reporting the situation of the two of them…
[HOG-Drunk killed Ares-Hero with 98K]
Qi Zui let go of the mouse.
Drunk, first place, 14 kills, total points 640.
Backstage, tears started to flow out of Lai Hua’s eyes.
Bu Nana watched the replay and muttered, “We’ve played squad matches with him so many times that I’ve already started to forget… How much we drag him down in squad matches…”
Yu Yang’s heart was pounding. He had never played a single match with Qi Zui before. He could not imagine how Qi Zui managed to play and get such an overwhelming first place when his wrist was injured like this.
Qi Zui rubbed his wrist and smiled.
The second round, Qi Zui defended his first place, and his overall ranking was first place.
In the third round, Qi Zui got sixth place, and his overall ranking was first place.
In the fourth round, Qi Zui got ninth place, and his overall ranking was still first place.
In the fifth round, Qi Zui got first place, and his overall ranking was first place without question.
For the whole five rounds, Qi Zui’s rank was stably in the first place, it did not move at all. Furthermore, he had managed to have a shocking 695 point lead on the Korean eSports player in second place.
The total points ranking: Qi Zui first, Korean player second, Zhou Feng third, Yu Yang fourth.
The five rounds of the competition ended, Yu Yang lay on his seat, choking with sobs as his whole body trembled.
The employees thought that he was upset because he had failed to make it to the top three and went up to comfort him. Yu Yang shook his head, tears streaming.
Qi Zui picked up the team uniform and put it over Yu Yang’s head. He walked into the interview room surrounded by the staff. When he passed by the corridor downstairs, he saw Lai Hua and He Xiaoxu who were extremely excited and were waiting at the entrance of the corridor. Qi Zui smiled at Lai Hua, “Coach, I heard that you wanted to replace me with the substitute player?”
Lai Hua lightly hit Qi Zui’s shoulder, tears winding down his face.
What Drunk said he could do, he would do.
He came here standing, and he would leave standing.