Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
After finishing dinner at home, Yu Luocheng turned on his computer.
Navigating to the directory for ‘League of Legends’ and starting the game, he was greeted by the majestic sight of the opening screen, Yu Luocheng’s normally sleepy eyes were suddenly radiant with light.
His love for games went all the way into his marrow. There was no suppressing it.
Once in the game, he selected the Freljord region. Opening up his Friends List, Yu Luocheng found a name as familiar to him as his own heart: Snowfall.
It was a feminine-sounding name, and in all the time they’d played together, Yu Luocheng had always assumed that it was a girl. However, he couldn’t be certain: When you couldn’t really see somebody on the internet, there was no way to confirm anyone’s actual gender; for that matter, even if you did see them, it was still possible to somehow be mistaken.
Modern society… the waters ran deep!
Not that Yu Luocheng cared whether Snowfall was a man or a woman. The important thing was that you needed a partner to game with. Although she wasn’t the best he’d ever played with, they still had a special something when working together.
“Waiting for me?” Yu Luocheng sent a message over.
“That’s right. I know you’re always on, Saturday nights. That’s how I figured out that you’re a student.” The reply appeared immediately, as though he or she had been eagerly anticipating his arrival.
“Let’s get started, then. We’ll get to 2,000 before the weekend is through.” Yu Luocheng didn’t mince around with niceties, and got right down to business.
‘League of Legends’ was a kind of Tower Defense game, with five players on each side. The objective was to shatter the enemy’s crystal Nexus.
One could think of it as two enemy cities connected via three roads, down which both cities would constantly send out forces of identical strength. The players acted as captains in the field, clashing against one another with the aim of vanquishing the opposition, crushing their Nexus, and thereby claiming victory.
There were Normal matches and Ranked matches.
Normal matches involved randomly selected teammates and opponents, brought together for a bit of friendly sparring.
Ranked matches were more serious in nature, because wins and losses both counted for points, and if you could prove your superiority by advancing through consistent victories, it was a fundamental indicator of player ability.
A score of 1,900 meant he would be matched against expert players.
For players like Wang Qin, it was best to stick with Normal matches. Only players with a Level of 30 and at least sixteen Champions in their collection were allowed to participate in Ranked matches.
Wang Qin and his Class 3 rivals hadn’t even qualified for Ranked matches, so it hardly came as a surprise that Yu Luocheng couldn’t be bothered to go hang out with them, since they weren’t even in the same league.
Whenever Yu Luocheng paired up with Snowfall, they always played in the Bottom lane. Yu Luocheng would serve as Support, while Snowfall played an Attack Damage Carry (ADC). Both of them employing all manner of underhanded tactics in vicious harmony with each other, there was no act too low for them.
After two victories in a row, Yu Luocheng and Snowfall both made it into the 2,000 score bracket.
Achieving 2,000 in Ranked was the pinnacle of achievement. To be able to reach this threshold indicated that you were among the best players in the whole game. For a third-year high school student to make it here was an extraordinary phenomenon . 1
“Something came up, I’ve got to go,” Snowfall announced at the end of their second game.
“Are you done for tonight?” Yu Luocheng inquired with some bewilderment. Typically they’d play late into the night. Especially because they were on a roll at the moment, it came as a shock that Snowfall would suddenly call it quits here.
“Yup. There’s no time for me to play on weekdays, so I’ll see you again next week,” Snowfall replied.
“Alright. I guess I’ll go fool around in Normal,” Yu Luocheng said.
Snowfall responded with, “You know, you could just go solo in Ranked.”
“I’m nothing without you,” Yu Luocheng answered.
“You say that like you’ve been the one counting on me. The truth is, we’re still not that good together. Often I feel like I’m struggling just to keep up with you.” Snowfall could see that Yu Luocheng was really good at playing Support, to the point that she sometimes got left behind.
“Heh. Get a mic, so we can use voice chat.” Yu Luocheng said this with an air of mischief.
“Mm, I know what you’re up to…” Snowfall replied coquettishly. “I fear that when you hear my booming, manly voice, our friendship might end straight-away.”
Yu Luocheng gave her a ROFL.
Snowfall’s gender meant nothing to Yu Luocheng—but if she really was a girl, now, wouldn’t that be a stroke of luck?
“Alright, alright, I’ll go get a mic. Let’s use voice chat next week,” Snowfall said.
Really? Yu Luocheng nearly fell off his chair in disbelief!
He’d been friends with Snowfall for quite a while now. After spending a lot of time together on ‘Q Chat’, she’d pulled him into League of Legends.
Everything about her had a feminine air about it, but because she’d always declined video or voice chat, Yu Luocheng had maintained some reservations about her, for fear that she might really turn out to be a GIRL (Guy In Real Life).
Was the moment of truth finally at hand?
Would it be the coarse, gravelly voice of some old dude, or the clear, melodic tones of a young maiden? Next week, the veil would be parted at last.
Yu Luocheng wondered why his heart was racing.
“I’m going off now.”
Snowfall’s name faded into gray. Somehow, whenever that happened, Yu Luocheng would feel a certain sense of melancholy.
Following Snowfall’s departure, Yu Luocheng didn’t actually start any Normal matches. Instead, he logged onto a separate account.
The truth was, he didn’t really enjoy Normal matches. As a former pro gamer, he easily got bored when there wasn’t any tension.
Just as he was about to join the queue to play Solo Ranked, the phone rang.
No one else was at home, so Yu Luocheng had to get it.
“Yu Luocheng?” the caller ventured.
“That’s me. Wang Qin, weren’t you going to have a big fight with Class 3? Why are you calling?” Yu Luocheng recognized Wang Qin’s voice immediately. This right here was the classic example of the aforementioned ‘booming, manly voice.’
“Ah… Yang, that bastard, got dragged off by his mom to study. Now we’ve got no one to play Support. I can’t leave it to the mewling kitten and the bamboo pole, those Level-12 noobs. The Class 3 guys won’t let me hire on any outside help, so you’re my last hope.” Speaking hurriedly, Wang Qin outlined the whole situation all at once.
“If you don’t have enough players, don’t play,” Yu Luocheng suggested.
“I can’t do that. The Class 3 guys say that if we don’t play today, they’ll count it as a forfeit. And Yang Qianqian is here already. She’s wearing a skirt, and those alabaster-white calves, I tell you… er, the point is that postponement is not possible. I need this favor from you.
“So what’s your level in League of Legends? Are you any good at Support?” Wang Qin sounded desperate.
“How much money are we talking about, here?” Yu Luocheng wondered.
“You’re insane!” For someone from an average, middle-class family, one grand equaled two months’ living expenses for a high school student staying away from home!
Yu Luocheng knew Wang Qin couldn’t afford to lose those thousand bucks. His dad would skin him alive!
“Lin Xu just casually threw down one thousand, saying he didn’t mind if I only put down five hundred, since this wasn’t about money. I couldn’t let him get away with that, so I matched his wager with all the money that I’d just withdrawn. I figured Yang Qianqian would be impressed by that.”
“Get real. The only thing she’ll be impressed by is what a fool you are,” Yu Luocheng muttered. “Whatever, I’ll come play Support for you.”
“You haven’t even told me what level you are. If you’re not even Level 15 yet, then forget it—I’ll call someone else.”
His only answer was an intermittent tone over the line.
“Damn, how could he just hang up on me!”
Anyone who really played League of Legends should know that the player’s level was no indication whatsoever of skill. Rather, their score in Ranked was what you should inquire about. After all, the maximum level was 30. Generally, you were considered a noob if you were still anywhere below that . 2
Lin Xu came from a rich family. A thousand bucks was nothing to him.
But if Wang Qin lost that one thousand, he would starve. Lin Xu must have been provoking him on purpose, in order to compound his suffering.
For Yu Luocheng, the squabbling between noobs was none of his concern; but to know that Lin Xu was picking on his friends with deliberate malice, he couldn’t abide by that.
This Lin Xu… didn’t he have anything better to do with all that money?
Yu Luocheng decided he’d be taking that one thousand for himself, to buy some Skins and Runes 3 !
Heh heh… there was only one word for it: Damn!