Chapter 11: The Dual-Core Era (4)
Translator: Nomyummi Editor: Nomyummi
The New Year passed. The various pro players finished their breaks and returned to their teams, and the Season 2 matches resumed in full swing. The attention-grabbing Team Hundred Blossoms finally faced what would be their greatest challenge.
Excellent Era! Last season’s champions, the current strongest of the Alliance. Although they were currently lower than Hundred Blossoms in this season’s rankings, there was only a 2-point difference between them, and this head-to-head match-up could easily change their rankings. Finally, this day had arrived.
In Hundred Blossoms’ preparation room, Sun Zheping released a deep breath. Just that past summer, he had been sitting in an Internet café, admiring Ye Qiu’s victory again and again. Who’d have thought that after a mere half year, he’d have the opportunity to directly battle him?
This half year had been like a dream! He’d met such a strong partner, and the two of them had coordinated perfectly. And now, their invincible combination was finally up against Ye Qiu.
The outside world all seemed to favor their Hundred Blossoms, saying things about how one plus one was definitely greater than one, but Sun Zheping was quite disdainful toward this talk. Those guys were just like the people he had once played with in that Internet café; they understood nothing. They clearly didn’t understand how terrifying Ye Qiu was, nor did they understand how Ye Qiu was never by himself.
Wu Xuefeng! Qi Breaker!
In the dazzling light of the Battle God, many people overlooked this player and character. Those guys would never know how important a role he played at Ye Qiu’s side.
“Wu Xuefeng. Pay attention to his Qi Breaker!” Sun Zheping said to Zhang Jiale. Having finally reached this day, he definitely would not make the same mistake that many others had made before him – ignoring Wu Xuefeng.
“Understood.” Zhang Jiale nodded. Excellent Era, Ye Qiu, they had always been powerful opponents in their eyes, and thus they had studied them closely. Zhang Jiale completely agreed with Sun Zheping’s judgment; Wu Xuefeng was absolutely someone they needed to pay close attention to. But aside from that, he also had his own questions he cared about.
“Say, what do you think this Ye Qiu is like?” Zhang Jiale asked.
“After today, you finally won’t have to ask all of our opponents.” Sun Zheping had mixed feelings. Because they still hadn’t met Excellent Era in a direct match, they still didn’t know what this mysterious, never-appearing Ye Qiu was like. But in the League, many players had participated in the first season, and they had all met Ye Qiu before. Through Hundred Blossoms’ matches this season, Zhang Jiale had been constantly asking their opponents what they knew, and to be honest, Sun Zheping felt that it was a little embarrassing.
“Prepare to go onstage!” At this moment, someone pushed open the door and yelled.
“Let’s go!” Sun Zheping stood up. The time he had been waiting for had finally arrived.
Zhang Jiale charged out of the room first, and saw that the other preparation room – the room designated for the home team – had already been opened, the Excellent Era members walking in an orderly line toward the stage.
“Ye Qiu!” Zhang Jiale shouted, hurrying over to the front of their line.
“Our captain usually goes onstage early,” one of the Excellent Era members explained.
Zhang Jiale turned around, and saw Wu Xuefeng.
This person, whom Sun Zheping declared as the crucial number 2 of Excellent Era, was casually walking in the middle of the team, not too close to the front, not too close to the back. The order in which the players went onstage usually indicated their rank in the team, but Wu Xuefeng didn’t seem to care about this.
“See you in the match.” His steps didn’t pause as he smiled at Zhang Jiale and spoke. Just like that, he casually passed by, and walked with his teammates toward the stage.
“Did you see Ye Qiu?” Sun Zheping had finally exited their preparation room with the rest of Hundred Blossoms.
“No, he went onstage early,” said Zhang Jiale.
“Just because he doesn’t want to be noticed!” Sun Zheping lamented.
“But I did see Wu Xuefeng, and he spoke to me,” said Zhang Jiale.
“Oh? What kind of person was he?” Sun Zheping immediately asked. He had seen Wu Xuefeng on television, but this was the first time they would have to opportunity to meet in real life.
“Uh…” Zhang Jiale flailed for words. “He’s… a person?” It was a poor response, but he truly didn’t know how to describe Wu Xuefeng.
Wu Xuefeng hadn’t given him a strong impression; after all, he had only said two sentences to him as he walked by. Everything had happened so smoothly and so casually, he couldn’t determine what his character was like at all.
“Then we’ll use the battle to understand!” said Sun Zheping.
Hundred Blossoms went onstage, but they and Excellent Era weren’t the only teams to do so.
Blue Rain, Tiny Herb, Wind Howl, etc… A total of eight teams were currently walking onstage through four different player passageways. The four matches of this round of the League would all take place here, at the same place and time.
But of the four matches, the one garnering the most attention was still this match between Excellent Era and Hundred Blossoms. Even the members of other teams were all staring at the large screen broadcasting this match; everyone wanted to know if Ye Qiu was able to stop this rookie combination in their tracks.
But to everyone’s surprise, this long-awaited face-off didn’t occur until the team competition.
Sun Zheping and Zhang Jiale had both gone to play in the group arena, while Ye Qiu and Wu Xuefeng had both played in the individual competition, and thus they missed each other for the 1v1 battles. In the end, Excellent Era won all three individual competition matches, earning 3 points; Hundred Blossoms Won the Group Round, winning 2 points.
The core player face-off everyone had been waiting for was only now beginning. In the Team Round, Ye Qiu, Sun Zheping, and Zhang Jiale finally gathered together. As for Wu Xuefeng, he wasn’t a core player in many people’s eyes, but Sun Zheping and Zhang Jiale paid close attention to him.
The long-anticipated showdown! Sun Zheping and Zhang Jiale had privately discussed their plans for this battle who knows how many times already.
They were currently invincible in the League, but they had yet to defeat Ye Qiu, and they didn’t dare relax or be overconfident in the slightest. This day had finally arrived.
The two sent the message in the channel, and Blossoming Chaos and Dazzling Hundred Blossoms rushed forward, followed closely by the rest of Hundred Blossoms.
Excellent Era didn’t stick together as tightly – from the very start, the five characters dispersed. One Autumn Leaf didn’t charge forward to meet them head-on, instead choosing to detour around the flank.
“What the hell!” Huang Shaotian was very dissatisfied with this scene before him. He had arrived here with the rest of Team Blue Rain, but since he wasn’t a full pro player, he could only watch from the audience. He, like most others, was paying the most attention to the Excellent Era vs Hundred Blossoms match.
“This is tactics.” Next to Huang Shaotian, Yu Wenzhou held a notebook, and was currently writing in it, with neat penmanship.
“Don’t talk like you understand all of this,” Huang Shaotian scoffed.
Yu Wenzhou didn’t argue, and merely continued to study the battle. The two sides hadn’t even clashed yet, but he was still paying very close attention.
“What’s One Autumn Leaf hiding for? And they call him the Battle God?” Huang Shaotian’s complaining shouts continued.
Finally, there was an encounter between characters of the two opposing teams.
Where was One Autumn Leaf? Qi Breaker?
It wasn’t just Sun Zheping and Zhang Jiale, the entirety of Hundred Blossoms was frantically looking around for these two characters. Naturally, Sun Zheping had impressed upon the whole team, not just Zhang Jiale, his high regard of their opponents and the importance of dealing with Wu Xuefeng and his Qi Breaker.
Qi Breaker was directly ahead, with Excellent Era’s Elementalist and Spellblade; behind him was the Cleric. The only one missing was One Autumn Leaf.
“Go go go!!” Huang Shaotian hollered from the audience. One Autumn Leaf wasn’t here? Then Excellent Era deserves to be crushed by Hundred Blossoms!
“Go!” As expected, Hundred Blossoms didn’t hesitate, and immediately launched their attacks. Sun Zheping’s Blossoming Chaos led the charge.
Gunfire, explosions, the sounds of battle. Light and shadow provided cover for Blossoming Chaos. The other members of Hundred Blossoms, the Witch and the Brawler, followed closely, and their Cleric maintained his distance from behind.
Excellent Era quickly rushed to block Hundred Blossoms’ attack. The Spellblade’s Wave Sword swept out first, and Qi Breaker and the Elementalist were behind him, casting spells and attacking, but their rhythm was off…
Excellent Era couldn’t block, and the characters retreated backward.
“Go!!” Huang Shaotian yelled – he loved watching this kind of unstoppable momentum.
But Yu Wenzhou, by his side, was watching with narrowed eyes, looking almost worried. He was constantly flipping back in his notebook to read his previous notes, thinking and calculating. He wanted to know One Autumn Leaf’s current coordinates, but the screen wasn’t showing him.
“Defeat them!!” Huang Shaotian’s voice was nonstop. And as Excellent Era was forced back under the onslaught, the display screens finally revealed just what One Autumn Leaf was up to.
One Autumn Leaf… wasn’t doing anything. He was just standing in place.
“What the hell is that dumbass doing?” blurted out Huang Shaotian. But Yu Wenzhou paid more attention to One Autumn Leaf’s current coordinates.
(56, 73). He quickly noted that down, as though he had obtained the last equation necessary to solve a difficult puzzle, and everything made itself clear.
Yu Wenzhou tapped his notebook a few times, then shut it.
Now, it was time to see if the battle unfolded according to his hypothesis.
Even as Huang Shaotian continued to shout excitedly, he was still paying attention to Yu Wenzhou’s actions out of the corner of his eye.
What had this guy discovered? Seeing how definitively he had closed his notebook and how he was now focusing intently on the match, Huang Shaotian wondered.
At the same time, Hundred Blossoms finally broke through Excellent Era’s defense; Blossoming Chaos charged forward, blade flashing.
“Ye Qiu, come out!” Dazzling Hundred Blossoms sent in the chat, impatient.
To everyone’s surprise, there was actually a response, a simple, “Coming.” One Autumn Leaf finally moved – seeming not to fear the Berserker’s blade, he appeared behind him in the blink of an eye.
Sun Zheping had never imagined that he and Ye Qiu, Blossoming Chaos and One Autumn Leaf, would have their first encounter like this, the two characters back to back, facing opposite directions, instead of a direct head-on clash.
He wanted to turn around, but he couldn’t stop attacking the players before him. Blossoming Chaos suddenly realized he was trapped – enemies in front, an enemy behind.
Before he could decide how to address this dilemma, One Autumn Leaf had already launched a powerful level 50 attack – Illusion Dragon Tooth! Amidst the flashes from the firing guns, lines of black snaked outward toward the rest of the Hundred Blossom players, one after another.
In the entire Glory sphere, there were only a handful of self-made Silver weapons that surpassed the attributes of Orange weapons. And here, Ye Qiu and his One Autumn Leaf began dancing with one of these extraordinary weapons.
Hundred Blossoms’ attack formation was torn apart. The Brawler behind Blossoming Chaos, who had accompanied him in the forward charge, was forced to retreat several steps to dodge the attacks, and the Witch that had tried to circle around in midair was stabbed down by One Autumn Leaf.
With these two players blocked, Blossoming Chaos’ Earth-Shattering Slash suddenly seemed quite isolated. Three Excellent Era players, led by Qi Breaker, immediately began to counterattack. Dodging the shaking earth and the slashing blade, they knocked down Blossoming Chaos, and, without giving him the chance to recover, Qi Breaker hit him with an Earthquake and a Thunderbolt right to the chest.
One Autumn Leaf quickly twisted around to face the Berserker as well, and began a series of combos to his back. Evil Annihilation’s damage was high, and attacks from behind dealt more damage. Added to the attacks from the other three Excellent Era players, and a flash from a Cleric casting Holy Commandment Light…
Sun Zheping had imagined facing Ye Qiu countless times, but he had never imagined a scene like this. He hadn’t even had the chance to properly face One Autumn Leaf before falling. The last thing he saw was a mess of bright flashes and colors as chasers of various types exploded against his body, releasing their magic energy.
He died? Sun Zheping couldn’t believe it. This was his first encounter with Ye Qiu, and he had been completely slaughtered just like that.
The audience was as stunned as the fallen player. Many had favored Hundred Blossoms to win this match, and not one of them had predicted that Blossoming Chaos would die that easily. Just a few seconds earlier, it had seemed that Hundred Blossoms was on their way to winning by a large margin, and yet, as soon as One Autumn Leaf entered battle, the situation underwent a drastic reversal.
“The hell was that?” Huang Shaotian shouted, shock and disappointment written all over his face.
“That was tactics.” Yu Wenzhou’s answer was the same as before. But even he was surprised at this scene – he predicted that Excellent Era would pull off some kind of game-changing reversal like this, but he hadn’t imagined that Excellent Era could just completely kill Blossoming Chaos while doing so…
This was tactics, but executing this strategy to this extent completely surpassed all of his calculations.
Yu Wenzhou opened his notebook once again, and Huang Shaotian peered over, prepared to read what this guy was writing. But Yu Wenzhou hesitated with his pen over the paper for quite a while, before finally writing only two names.
Ye Qiu, One Autumn Leaf.
The hell was with that? Huang Shaotian was prepared to ask, but was interrupted by a voice from behind them.
“You think that only he could pull that off?”
The two of them turned around. The voice had come from a youth, possibly slightly older than them. Because his seat was higher up, he was easily able to see what Yu Wenzhou had written in his notebook. He was currently staring at Yu Wenzhou, but there was something strange with his eyes. They weren’t symmetrical; his left eye seemed to be somewhat larger than his right.
“Who are you?” Huang Shaotian immediately asked.
“Tiny Herb, Wang Jiexi,” the other person responded.