Qi Zui took the document from He Xiaoxu’s hands.
For HOG’s competitions against other teams, all players would have to sign a document to swear that they would not cheat in any form. If any problems were to arise, the player would have to bear all the consequences.
At the bottom right corner of the document, the ink had yet to dry. The firm strokes wrote clearly: Yu Yang.
Qi Zui folded the document bit by bit, “Give me the list of participants.”
He Xiaoxu smiled guiltily. As he moved over to Qi Zui’s computer to check the name list on the internet, Qi Zui frowned and tutted. He Xiaoxu resigned to his fate. He stood up, moved a couple of steps, and sat down on Bu Nana’s seat. Switching on the computer and opening the webpage, he muttered under his breath, “What a troublesome person… has he gone mad from playing professionally? Treats his keyboard like his wife. No one else can touch it.”
Qi Zui ignored him, absentmindedly tapping on his own keyboard.
He Xiaoxu looked at Qi Zui with doubt, “What is this sound?”
Qi Zui deadpanned, “ What do you mean by what sound?”
“I thought you only used Cherry MX Blue?” He Xiaoxu looked at Qi Zui’s keyboard, “That sound just now was… It’s Cherry MX Red?”
Qi Zui nodded his head, He Xiaoxu smiled, “Who was the one who said that last time? That the Cherry MX Red was too soft for your liking?” 1
“Cherry MX Red requires less effort.” Qi Zui was impatient, “Are you done talking yet? Where’s the name list?”
“Done. Done.” He Xiaoxu copied the name list and sent it to Qi Zui. “Look at your Wechat.”
“IAC, Lioness, Wolves…” Qi Zui took out his phone and tapped on Wechat, his face growing darker and darker as he scrolled down the name list. “NON, TGC…Ha? Knight’s Team One is coming as well? Is Hua Luo bored out of his wits?”
Knight. A well-established gaming club in the country that was not any less superior than HOG. Hua Luo was the leader for their PUBG branch.
He Xiaoxu did not dare to get on Qi Zui’s bad side and smiled awkwardly. “Knight definitely has no desire for this little bit of monetary award, but they haven’t been competing these two months… They recently recruited a few new members as well. They have to train.”
Not mentioning the Team Ones he saw earlier on, Qi Zui knew it would be over for Yu Yang when he saw Hua Luo. Qi Zui had played against him for years and clearly knew his standard more than anyone else. Qi Zui kept his phone and went down the stairs.
The first flu of this year’s winter had swept across Shanghai. The psychological counsellor Xie Chen had, unfortunately, got infected. Not daring to spread this virus to these precious gamers, he came back to the base only after he had fully recovered a week later.
Even so, he was ordered by He Xiaoxu to wear a mask all day long and was refused entry to the third floor for a week.
“Cut a long story short.” Seated in the relaxation room, Qi Zui looked at Xie Chen. “There’s a competition half an hour later, I need to oversee it.”
“Isn’t it Team Two’s competition? That has nothing to do with you.” Xie Chen sat opposite of Qi Zui. Beaming, he laced his hands together and said with anticipation, “God Qi finally requires my assistance as well?”
Xie Chen was just slightly over the age of thirty. He had a mercurial personality. This caused Qi Zui to, at some point in time, not understand why the battle team had to spend so much money every year just to have such a “thing” in the team.
Now with his mask on, he actually looked more like a psychological counsellor. Xie Chen said with a serious tone, “Regret now my child, the lord is benevolent.”
“I am in no mood to joke with you right now.” Qi Zui threw his phone aside. “You know Youth right?”
Xie Chen nodded, “Of course.”
Qi Zui said, “Was it you who told Lai Hua and He Xiaoxu that he was not suitable for Team Two?”
“Yes.” Upon seeing that Qi Zui was really discussing a serious matter, Xie Chen stopped his joking tone. “I don’t recommend it.”
Xie Chen hesitated.
Qi Zui sneered, “You asked us not to make him part of the team. Not giving a reason?”
Xie Chen had no choice but to say, “Based on my preliminary analysis… he seems to have an inclination for anxiety.”
Qi Zui knitted his eyebrows.
Qi Zui did not quite understand. “Anxiety… anxious about what?”
“It may not be that serious, it’s just a negative thing.” Xie Chen spread his hands. “I am merely a psychological counsellor, I don’t have the right to make a diagnosis. But if you make him go for a consult at a hospital, the doctor should diagnose him for something mainly related to anxiety.”
“How did he come to have this illness?” All the different scenes from a year ago flashed through Qi Zui’s mind non-stop, and he was unable to accept this fact. “Isn’t he just a little unsociable? He… how can this illness be cured?”
“It’s not necessarily an illness, it might just be a negative… forget it, can’t make it clear to you.” Xie Chen gave up trying to explain and said helplessly, “How would I know what reason caused it, and how to cure… Leader Qi, as I have already said, I am merely a psychological counsellor, I am not qualified…”
“Then what’s the use of you?” Qi Zui was getting heated up, and asked, “You should at least know whether it’s serious or not?”
“My analysis is that it’s not serious, but…” Xie Chen paused, “I still don’t recommend it. I’ve heard from Coach Lai that the team wishes to nurture him as a star player, which means he might be representing the club in all sorts of big competitions. You should be more aware than me on this, that in a competition, all problems will be amplified infinitely. If anything happens to him, then… you know it.”
“When will his problems occur?” The doubt 2 in Qi Zui’s mind was disappearing bit by bit, and a thought that Qi Zui was unwilling to believe in came to the surface. “What happens when problems occur?”
“This is uncertain, for the case of Youth, usually there’ll be a certain negative situation that triggers him, regarding what will happen… what commonly happens are some symptoms relating to the nerves.” Xie Chen explained, “For example, tightness in the chest, perspiration… difficulty in breathing, body shivers…”
Qi Zui recalled the memory in the corridor a year ago, and closed his eyes… All of this had happened.
Qi Zui remained silent for a long time, then suddenly banged the table and scolded a vulgarity.
Xie Chen was shocked, “What… what happened?”
Qi Zui’s phone buzzed; he took a glance at it… seven forty-seven. Yu Yang’s solo competition would begin at eight.
“I’ll see you again later.” Qi Zui went out of the room.
It was an online competition. Gamers could simply participate from their own bases. Three people from Team Two and Yu Yang would be participating in the competition in the training room on the first floor. Qi Zui looked through the glass wall for a while. Yu Yang had his back to Qi Zui all the while. Qi Zui did not want to affect Yu Yang’s performance for the competition and hence returned to the third floor.
“Why are you pulling such a long face?” He Xiaoxu carried drinks up the stairs and dragged a chair to sit beside Qi Zui. “I’ll watch together with you.”
Qi Zui didn’t say anything. He sat on his seat and clicked on the live streaming channel.
The competition had been ongoing for two days. The day before yesterday had been Squad mode; yesterday was Duo mode; today was Solo mode.
For these two days, HOG’s results in the competition had been average. They had ranked 11th in the Squad mode and 17th in the Duo mode for Yu Yang’s team.
Too many Team Ones were participating in the competition this time. HOG had sent out their Team Two, so it was within their expectations that their rankings would not be good. The three people from Team Two had originally been very excited. He Xiaoxu had told everyone, whoever earned the first place would be able to go up to the third floor that same night. However, after two days of being trashed by all the god tier players, they had all calmed down.
When the gap in standard was too wide, it was impossible to rely on luck or performance.
Impossible is impossible.
“Youth has been practising the Solo mode this whole week. Yesterday, he trained till six in the morning. He at most had only four hours of sleep…” He Xiaoxu felt bad at the thought of it, sighing, “He is really able to push himself. He already knows it’s clearly impossible.”
Qi Zui silently stared at Yu Yang’s game ID in the live stream with a complicated look. “He has always been like this.”
It was like that, that year during the Goblet of Fire. In the training room, Yu Yang was always the first one to arrive, and the last one to leave 3.
If not for this, he would not have met Qi Zui, who went to the training room because he was suddenly in the mood for a few rounds of the game.
There were a total of five rounds of matches for the Solo competition. The results of the competition were the total scores from all the five rounds. For each round, the scores were made up of two parts: ranking and number of kills.
Each ranking had a specific number of points. First place, or more commonly known as Chicken Dinner, was 500 points. The second place was 395 points, third place was 335 points, and so on. As the rankings lowered, the points were lesser accordingly. For rankings lower than 20th, the points were less than a hundred.
As for the points for the number of kills, that was straightforward. For each match, ten points were awarded for each kill, twenty points for two kills, and so on.
The two components totalled up would be the total score for the player in this competition. The person who placed first for the total score for all the five matches would be the champion for this Solo competition.
The first round had begun. Because of the big fuss that Qi Zui had created a week ago, Yu Yang had become famous even before competing. The live broadcast kept focusing on Yu Yang. Qi Zui narrowed his eyes on Yu Yang. He Xiaoxu was not so clear on the technical aspect of the game. He could not help but ask Qi Zui, “Is the place where Yu Yang landed okay? I have not seen him play in the Solo mode yet. How’s this round?”
Qi Zui shook his head lightly.
Yu Yang did not pick the wrong location. He had landed in the Ruins. But the location of the new Circle was too horrible this time, it had narrowed at the Quarry. It was totally in the opposite direction. Based on the bird’s eye view of the broadcast, Yu Yang had to pass through at least three people to enter the Circle.
Yu Yang did not have the bird’s eye view. In the game, he could only rely on footsteps, bush sounds, the enemy’s exposed body 4, and his own familiarity with the terrain to determine the path to take to enter the Circle. Yu Yang had been careful enough. He drove to the Lumber Mill 5, preparing the enter the Circle after the people from the Airport did. Unexpectedly, Knight’s Hua Luo had stayed hidden and not left Town M6, waiting to kill the people who entered the Circle last. Yu Yang did not position himself well and got killed by Hua Luo.
In the Solo mode, there were no teammates. No one could revive you, once you were knocked out, you would be out of the game. Yu Yang’s ranking came out. 27th.
“Oh no! 7 It’s done for!” He Xiaoxu clicked his tongue in pity. “Let me calculate… He killed five people, but his ranking is too low! 80 points for ranking, 50 points for the number of kills, a total of 130 points only! It’s over, it’s over, it’s over.”
The results were calculated based on the total score for all five rounds of the game. Yu Yang lost too much in the first round, it was basically impossible to catch up later.
Furthermore… this was the first round.
“Is this kid still mentally stable?” He Xiaoxu was regretting a little, “The next four rounds would be difficult right… this blow???…”
Qi Zui looked at the screen quietly, not saying a word.
Ten minutes later, the first round ended. Knight’s Hua Luo placed first as expected. He killed seven people in this round; he had 570 points in total.
One match had already separated Yu Yang by 440 points.
The second match had begun.
Yu Yang seemed not to be affected much. He chose the place of landing more carefully this time. He avoided the crowd, found a boat and went to Town Z8. This time the new Circle was at the School. It wasn’t too difficult on him. Yu Yang played steadily with kills, and successfully went into the final Circle. In the end, he killed twelve people; ranked 7th; 325 points in total.
The third match, Yu Yang killed ten people; ranked 3rd; 435 points in total.
He Xiaoxu shook his head slightly.
These two rounds were rather okay, but because of the first match, the difference was still too large.
Throughout this whole time, Qi Zui did not speak.
His mind was not on the competition.
Xie Chen said, Yu Yang could have anxiety.
So… Back then when Yu Yang agitatedly pushed him away, took heavy breaths and repeatedly rubbed his face with his hands…
Maybe it was not because he hated him?
Yu Yang, perhaps, really used to like him.
If it were real…
Qi Zui recalled his reaction back then, as well as a week ago, when he was doing a live broadcast. He had half-joked, in front of countless fans, “Do you like Qi Zui?”
Yu Yang’s voice had trembled at that time, repeating twice: Yes. 9
Qi Zui gritted his teeth… was he a beast?
If it were real…
Qi Zui could not even think, what expression Yu Yang had when asked if he liked him.
For the first time, Qi Zui was afraid that he had never liked him, but at the same time afraid that he really had liked him.
“Qi Ge… don’t be like this.” He Xiaoxu thought Qi Zui was taking to heart his harsh terms. Seeing that there was no hope that Yu Yang would be the champion, He Xiaoxu said in an embarrassed manner, “Aren’t there many competitions? If he can’t make it this time, we can always find another chance next time.”
Qi Zui, feeling complexed, spoke to himself, “It’s too late.”
“Hey! How is it too late, be rest assured, Youth won’t be too disheartened. As long as there is another chance, he will still go all out for it.” He Xiaoxu looked at the live broadcast, affirming, “Surely.”
Qi Zui ignored him.
“Really.” He Xiaoxu did not know the reason for Qi Zui’s feelings. Worried that Qi Zui would blame him, he made an effort to please him, “I never told you about Yu Yang’s family issues, right?”
Qi Zui turned his head to the side, “What?”
The other people in Team One were busy with their own things, with their headphones on. He Xiaoxu was still worried, he subconsciously moved towards Qi Zui, speaking softly, “You know it, for the youth trainees, their resumes must be checked. Many of them had trained under other clubs. Many contracts for professional players are unclear, if they had switched clubs forcibly, I have to settle the mess if anything happens…”
“When I did a background check on Yu Yang, I discovered several problems.”
The fourth round had begun.
Yu Yang was lagging behind in points. Perhaps he was eager to earn points, he landed at the Airport. 10
“We can trace that his schooling stopped at tenth grade.” He Xiaoxu lowered his voice, “Although there are people who drop out to play professionally at a young age but since tenth grade… that’s rarely seen.”
“He looks young. When I first saw him, I thought he was underage. I paid special attention and even asked if he needed his parents to understand the situation. In the case of differing opinions in the future, it would be difficult to settle… But he said there’s no need.”
“After that, I came to know… His father had passed away when he was at a very young age.”
“He had followed his mother when his mother remarried. His stepfather’s details… are rather disgraceful.”
“His stepfather had been detained a few times for stirring up trouble after being drunk. He also seems to have… an inclination of family violence.”
In the live broadcast, a total of six people had chosen to land at the Airport.
Qi Zui looked at He Xiaoxu.
“Don’t spread it.” He Xiaoxu said with a low voice. “No one probably cared for Yu Yang since he was twelve.”
“Twelve?” Qi Zui looked at He Xiaoxu with disbelief, “What can he do at twelve?”
“Many things… Classes in the morning. He should at least be able to stay in school right? At night… look after the computers at an Internet cafe, or help the cafe owner sell some cards. There’s bound to be a place for him.” He Xiaoxu smiled bitterly, “Don’t talk about the protection laws for the underaged. Young master, you think everyone is like you?”
With a bang, Yu Yang settled the last person in the Airport. Applying bandages and making sure his condition was optimum, he came out of the Airport with five kills.
Qi Zui felt like he was hit by ten sniper rifles in the chest. It was so heavy he could not speak.
The fourth round of competition had ended. Yu Yang killed six people; ranked second; 455 points in total.
He Xiaoxu had a thought, he opened the statistics page… It was a no show, Yu Yang’s total points ranked 5th.
“I wanted to tell you the other day, there’s no need to worry about him collapsing mentally and thus affecting future training. He Xiaoxu spread his hands. “Well, I’ll be honest, as compared to all you spoiled kids, I prefer this kind of gamer.”
“A child who grew up in a swamp, let’s not talk about giving him a rope and pulling him up, even if you keep throwing stones at him, stepping on his shoulders and kicking him down, as long as there’s a chance…” The fifth round of competition had begun, He Xiaoxu closed the statistics page, “He will be able to climb out from the mud, little by little.”
Qi Zui’s eyes trembled slightly. He got up and went down the stairs.
The fifth round of competition had begun.
In the training room on the first floor, Yu Yang turned off the statistics page of the competition… His total score currently was 300 points apart from the first place, Knight’s Hua Luo.
The commentator had said earlier on, if nothing unexpected happens, the champion of this solo competition would be Hua Luo.
After four rounds, Yu Yang could feel, that person was really good.
But he could feel Hua Luo was not as good as Qi Zui.
As long as he is not better than Qi Zui…
Yu Yang put on his headphones, took a deep breath, and jumped off the plane.
As long as he is not better than Qi Zui, Yu Yang feels that he can still press on.
From young till now, as long as there’s an opportunity, he has never let it go.
Click here for a reference of the map and other PUBG related information.
Edited by planetes. All remaining mistakes are mine. Do let me know if you spot any errors or if there’s anything I can improve on!