Chapter 19: The Time for Witnessing Miracles (1)
Translator: Nomyummi Editor: Nomyummi
Glory Professional Alliance Season 2 Champions: Team Excellent Era!
After the playoffs ended, an overwhelming number of reports came out. Excellent Era, continuing from last year, once again won the championship.
This was the highest achievement. But in the eyes of the pro players, there was something else remarkable about this result.
Because that finals match.
That finals match with a team round that ended in five minutes.
How willful! This was the most honest opinion of this match from a professional perspective. Because of the willfulness of those two teams, the finals stage, the highest stage in all of Glory, lost some of its grand light. What was displayed was a grassroots, dirt-level fight that could be found anywhere in the in-game Arena.
Because both teams were grassroots teams, they used this method to bid a complete and perfect farewell to their past. They finally stepped fully onto this professional stage, using a professional attitude, maintaining a professional spirit.
And all of this, some people could sense, some people couldn’t, and some were somewhere in between. This was a change of generation in Glory, and everyone, coming from different stages, all carried different feelings about this. But in the years to come, everyone who stepped onto this stage would have only one goal, the same goal: victory, championship! And every summer was the starting line for the sprint to this goal.
Team Tiny Herb.
In one hour, they would be holding a press conference for the upcoming season, describing the adjustments made during the summer as well as their plans and goals for the new season. But all of the members of Tiny Herb knew that the most important aspect of today’s press conference was the announcement of a new member, someone who would soon don Tiny Herb’s battle attire, someone who was highly anticipated within the team.
Wang Jiexi sat in the lounge, waiting for the press conference to begin.
Although he was the star of today’s “show,” he was neither nervous nor particularly excited.
When the captain praised him as a natural talent for “the big stage,” he only smiled politely. He didn’t know how he would perform once he was actually on the big stage of a competition, but he didn’t feel that this press conference was any big stage, even though he was to be the star.
“Little Wang, how are things going?” Tiny Herb’s news spokesman arrived in the lounge, and, seeing Wang Jiexi already waiting there, asked him this question.
“No problems here,” Wang Jiexi replied. Of course, as the star of today’s conference, he would have to give some sort of speech. Worried that a new player like him wouldn’t be able to handle it, the team had already arranged what he was to say, and he just needed to follow the script. Wang Jiexi wasn’t particularly interested in events like these, but the team required it of him, and so he complied.
“Good, there’s no need to be nervous. I have some things to get to, so I’ll see you in a bit,” the spokesman said with a smile.
“Alright,” Wang Jiexi said as he stood up, prepared to see the spokesman to the door.
The spokesman paused at the door, glancing at the cup of water Wang Jiexi held in his hand. “Don’t drink too much water,” he advised.
Wang Jiexi nodded with a smile. The team really tended to fuss over him…
Once again, he was alone in the lounge. Wang Jiexi sat there quietly for some amount of time, doing nothing in particular, until the door was pushed open again.
A member of Team Tiny Herb that debuted just this past season, he had immediately become the main healer of the team. If it hadn’t been for the dazzling performance of the dual-core of Team Hundred Blossoms, Sun Zheping and Zhang Jiale, there was no doubt that Fang Shiqian would’ve been the most distinctive player of this season.
Now that Season 3 had arrived, Fang Shiqian was no longer a new player. To someone like Wang Jiexi who had just entered the pro scene, he was considered a senior. When he saw Fang Shiqian enter, Wang Jiexi quickly rose to his feet and greeted him politely. Fang Shiqian only nodded in reply and sat to the side without saying anything to him.
Wang Jiexi didn’t break the silence either, and instead just studied the other player.
He wasn’t sure when it had started exactly, but recently, Fang Shiqian always seemed to be in a bad mood. Perhaps it started… sometime around when Excellent Era had knocked Tiny Herb out of the playoffs? If Wang Jiexi remembered correctly, that seemed to be about right.
Naturally, no one in the team had been happy about being eliminated. But it was now almost two months since the playoffs ended! Everyone was preparing for the start of the new season. Fang Shiqian, however, continued to be in a depressed state, and Wang Jiexi felt that this was strange. He didn’t know the other player well, so it’d be awkward to ask. He could only passively observe Fang Shiqian’s unhappiness – and what seemed to be faint needles of hostility directed at Wang Jiexi himself?
What was the reason?
Wang Jiexi didn’t know.
The most common reason for conflict in a team was competition, but that didn’t apply here. Fang Shiqian played Cleric, and so wouldn’t have to compete with most other players in that sense.
But Wang Jiexi, as he sat there waiting, suddenly thought of another possibility. Fang Shiqian would also be attending the imminent press conference, because of his stellar performance the previous season – he was now one of Team Tiny Herb’s main players. And Wang Jiexi was supposed to become the new driving force of Tiny Herb. Fang Shiqian wouldn’t be holding a grudge against him because of this, would he? With the press conference looming, Wang Jiexi suddenly thought of this possibility, and he couldn’t help but scratch his head. But in the end, he still couldn’t bring himself to say anything.
The two of them continued to sit in the lounge in silence, until the door was pushed open yet again.
“Captain.” Upon seeing the new arrival, Fang Shiqian was on his feet in an instant. Wang Jiexi stood up as well, marveling at the other’s immediate reaction.
“You two are both here already!” Tiny Herb’s team captain Lin Jie smiled warmly at the two of them. This press conference would showcase three players: Captain Lin Jie, star rookie Fang Shiqian, as well as the new talent Wang Jiexi.
“We are,” affirmed Fang Shiqian, after a brief glance at Wang Jiexi. Wang Jiexi suddenly realized – in front of Lin Jie, Fang Shiqian’s depression was completely hidden.
Was this guy really targeting Wang Jiexi specifically?
When this thought crossed Wang Jiexi’s mind, he couldn’t help but feel a little unhappy himself.
“Here, you two sit down for now,” Lin Jie said.
“Captain, you sit,” said Fang Shiqian, standing aside to allow Lin Jie to take the spot he had just been sitting in.
Was he trying to flatter the captain?
Wang Jiexi watched coldly as he sat back down in his own seat, finding himself disliking Fang Shiqian’s actions more and more.
“Sit sit sit!” Lin Jie insisted that Fang Shiqian keep his seat, and dragged over a chair to sit before the two of them.
Wang Jiexi held Tiny Herb’s captain in extremely high regard. He wasn’t the best at playing Glory – his skill could hardly compare to gods like Ye Qiu and Han Wenqing – but this didn’t affect the respect that Tiny Herb had for him. He drew people together not by his skill but by his kindness and charisma.
As for the person sitting next to Wang Jiexi right now? Fang Shiqian was a very skilled player, but Wang Jiexi could already feel a headache from having this person as a future teammate.
“Next season we’re counting on you guys!” Lin Jie told them with a small smile.
“Yes,” Fang Shiqian replied instantly, while Wang Jiexi simply nodded. If Fang Shiqian was so eager to perform in front of the captain, let him perform!
“Wang Jiexi.” But as it turned out, after briefly acknowledging Fang Shiqian, Lin Jie turned to the younger player.
“Captain.” Wang Jiexi looked at Lin Jie.
“I’ve already spoken with the club, and we all think that you are ready for greater responsibility,” said Lin Jie.
“Huh?” Wang Jiexi was at a loss. What was the captain trying to say?
Meanwhile on the side, Fang Shiqian’s sour expression resurfaced. He knew what was coming. He truly did not want to see this, and fantasized that the captain would change his mind about this decision – he’d even directly gone up to the captain to ask him to reconsider. But in the end, nothing changed; Lin Jie maintained his decision.
Fang Shiqian, at this moment, had an impulse to just physically charge forward! Stop Lin Jie from continuing what he was about to say! But he wasn’t so naïve to think that that would do anything, and so he only sat to the side and felt dejected. And Wang Jiexi, too confused about Lin Jie’s meaning, didn’t notice what the other player was thinking.
“What do you think?” Lin Jie continued. “Do you think you’re ready for greater responsibility?”
“I still don’t understand,” Wang Jiexi said slowly. “Greater responsibility… what do you mean by that?”
“Vaccaria,” said Lin Jie.
Wang Jiexi froze. With that one name, his heart began to race.
Vaccaria, the character currently wielded by Lin Jie, class Witch, the core of Team Tiny Herb. Glory had a feature called the equipment editor, which allowed players to build equipment that was stronger than the highest-level Orange equipment designed in game. Because the names of such equipment were written in silver, they were usually called Silver equipment.
Up until now, in all of Glory, there weren’t many worthwhile pieces of Silver equipment that surpassed the stats of Orange equipment. So-called Silver weapons were especially rare.
The spear in the hands of Battle God One Autumn Leaf, Evil Annihilation, was the most famous. From in-game to the professional stage, he had slaughtered his way in with this spear, a step above too many characters. Including One Autumn Leaf, the number of characters with a Silver weapon in the pro scene could be counted on one hand.
Blue Rain’s Swoksaar had a Silver scepter – Curse of Destruction.
Tyranny’s Desert Dust had Silver gauntlets – Flame Fists.
Royal Style’s Peaceful Hermit, Silver scythe – Death Savvy.
And finally, Tiny Herb’s Vaccaria, with a Silver broom – Stardust Extermination.
That was it.
The various teams were all focusing more on research into powerful Silver weapons, so in the upcoming seasons, there would likely be more Silver weapons and Silver equipment made. But for the past two seasons, these were the only five true Silver weapons.
Vaccaria and Stardust Extermination were the most overlooked of these five, because Team Tiny Herb, and the character Vaccaria, hadn’t been performing particularly well.
This wasn’t because Vaccaria was weak, nor was it because Stardust Extermination was poor quality. It was because Vaccaria’s user, Tiny Herb’s captain Lin Jie, wasn’t skilled enough. Compared to the users of the other four god-level accounts, he could only compare to Blue Rain’s Wei Chen, whose condition last season had been in decline.
And Wei Chen, after his poor performance last season, had already abandoned his team in embarrassment – or at least that’s what the outside world had heard.
Lin Jie’s skill level… wasn’t exceptional, and this was no secret. Lin Jie himself didn’t bother hiding it, and would often mock himself and apologize for dragging the team down.
And now, he brought up the topic of Vaccaria.
Time stood still. The room was dead silent, and Wang Jiexi felt like he could hear his own heartbeat, because he already sensed the possibility of what was to come. The moment seemed to drag on, until Lin Jie continued, “The club and I both believe that giving Vaccaria to you is the best choice. But what do you think?”
“I…” Wang Jiexi was excited, how else could he feel? Every professional player dreamed of someday controlling a god-level account, and he was no exception.
This time, it was Fang Shiqian’s turn to notice Wang Jiexi’s expression. Fang Shiqian didn’t say anything, but he was somewhat disgusted at the excitement and passion that Wang Jiexi revealed.
But Wang Jiexi calmed down very quickly. He didn’t go on to imagine himself controlling Vaccaria. Instead, his mind immediately jumped to a conflict that this arrangement would bring.
“Then what about you, Captain?” he asked.
With this question, Fang Shiqian’s expression softened. Of course, Wang Jiexi couldn’t pay attention to Fang Shiqian’s expressions right now.
“Me?” Lin Jie let out a small laugh. “Don’t worry about me for now, we’re talking about you, and if you believe that you can control Vaccaria.”
Wang Jiexi fell silent.
The earlier excitement had lasted only for those brief initial moments. This was the professional scene, after all. In-game, getting a good drop was as simple as getting candy. But here, in Tiny Herb, Vaccaria held special meaning.
This was Tiny Herb’s star character, and so the one to control Vaccaria would be Tiny Herb’s core player.
What Tiny Herb wanted to give him wasn’t just an interesting toy. Like Lin Jie had said from the beginning, he was being offered a greater responsibility. The responsibility of being Tiny Herb’s core.
Right now, this position was held by Lin Jie.
He couldn’t be considered a strong player, but everyone was still happy with him. From this, it could be seen that to be the core player of a team, Glory skill wasn’t enough. One had to be able to earn everyone’s trust and respect.
Could Wang Jiexi do this?