The King's Avatar - For The Glory

Chapter 8 - The Dual-Core Era (1)


Chapter 8: The Dual-Core Era (1)

Translator: Nomyummi Editor: Nomyummi

“Blossoming Chaos rushes forward! Dazzling Hundred Blossoms right behind! Two against one! Team Blue Rain is in a bad situation, what will their captain do?!”

The television screen flashed with colors as the commentator excitedly narrated the events of the battle. This face-off between the two professional teams had already reached the climax, the moment that would determine victory and defeat. In front of the television sat a crowd of youths, wiping the sweat from their foreheads and feeling like they couldn’t breathe.

But at this moment, one of them jumped up, shaking his fists and yelling at the television. “Go, old man! Don’t lose to them! You can’t be this useless!! These are just some newbies! Isn’t that what you were saying yesterday? Were you just bragging then? Huh?!”

His tirade continued, but it of course had no impact on the events broadcasted on the television.

“Blood and Blossoms, Blood and Blossoms!” the commentator exclaimed. A confusing array of light and shadow filled the screen. When the viewpoint zoomed in, all that could be seen was a sharp blade, splitting through.

Red droplets and flower petals scattered, but soon the dazzling display evaporated. A sliver of health finally was extinguished, and a figure collapsed to the ground.

“Victory! Blood and Blossoms! This is yet another win for Team Hundred Blossoms. This team is the biggest black horse of the season – who can stop their victory streak? Peaceful Hermit couldn’t, Swoksaar couldn’t either! Will it be Desert Dust? Or One Autumn Leaf? Alright, today’s broadcast ends here. Glory Pro League, we’ll see you next week!!”

The commentators declared the victory as the match wrapped up. Onscreen were replays of the Hundred Blossom duo finally defeating Swoksaar at the very end. The youths in front of the television sat and watched dejectedly. It seemed that none of them had the strength to move or speak after witnessing that ending, until one of them, the same one as before, angrily shut off the television.

“Useless old bastard!” the youth was still muttering. But the others watched on silently. After all, Huang Shaotian was the only one in the club that dared to criticize and insult Captain Wei Chen like this; the other youths had no way of going along with his words.

“This was never something that someone could pull off by themselves.” But before he could vent his emotions further, someone else finally stood up and spoke.

Huang Shaotian looked at this person, and sneered. “Oh? What insight does our deadlast have for us today?”

Deadlast… It was a very rude thing to say. But ever since the day that Yu Wenzhou entered the Blue Rain training camp, his performance had always been subpar. Because of his pitifully slow handspeed, no one thought he had the potential to become a pro player.

But he stayed. Even though everyone thought he’d be kicked out in the early rounds of selection, Yu Wenzhou actually ended up lasting until the very end. Ultimately, he became an official member of Blue Rain’s reserve team, someone who would be raised into a full pro player.

Even so, his handspeed hadn’t improved at all, so among the group that had survived the eliminations, he was indeed the deadlast. The fact that the star prodigy Huang Shaotian called him this only gave the label more weight.

But Yu Wenzhou showed neither anger nor irritation in response to the insult – he merely stated his view calmly.

“Glory isn’t meant to be played alone,” he said.

“Oh? Ye Qiu’s catchphrase?” Huang Shaotian said disdainfully. Ye Qiu was last season’s MVP, and this quote of his was highly regarded by the Glory community. But Huang Shaotian didn’t see what the big deal was.

“It’s not just a catchphrase,” Yu Wenzhou replied, still calm, “it’s the truth.”

Huang Shaotian snickered. “So you’re saying that if you were also on the field, the situation would’ve been different?”

“No. The one on the field should be you.”

At that, Huang Shaotian froze. When anyone said one sentence to him, he was the kind of person to automatically say three sentences back. But with that simple statement from the other boy, Huang Shaotian fell silent. He couldn’t help but think – if he had been on the field, if his Troubling Rain had been beside Swoksaar, what could he have done?

“Uh… About that-” Finally, he started to reply. But when he opened his mouth, he found that there was no one in front of him. That guy had left, just like that, not even waiting for an answer.

He, Huang Shaotian, had been lectured by the deadlast? Once again, Huang Shaotian was left stunned.

Season 2 was approaching the halfway point, and the newly-joined Team Hundred Blossoms was undoubtedly the center of attention. They had racked up a high number of points and were leading the current League rankings. Most notable was their distinctive dual-core playstyle, featuring a Berserker, Blossoming Chaos, and a Spitfire, Dazzling Hundred Blossoms. Many thought that this marked the beginning of a dual-core era in the Glory Professional League.

“A dual-core era, is it…” As he read the headline of the latest Esports Weekly edition laid on the desk before him, Wei Chen lit a cigarette.

A dual-core wasn’t a bad idea at all. Wei Chen himself had long wanted to establish a team like that. But it was still too early for Blue Rain!

Through the window, Wei Chen could see the training rooms of Team Blue Rain across the corridor, where a crowd of energetic youths were training hard at Glory. And his eyes landed on one of them in particular, whose hands expertly flew across the keyboard and mouse, and whose mouth was moving just as quickly, words and sounds coming out in an unfaltering stream.

Huang Shaotian.

After discovering this youth kill-stealing Bosses in-game, Wei Chen immediately saw that he had a bright future and personally invited him to Team Blue Rain.

This player, as he had confidently told many others, would undoubtedly become Blue Rain’s core.

Blade Master Troubling Rain, Warlock Swoksaar.

This was the dual-core he imagined, and more than once had he pictured the strategies that could unfold with these two characters fighting side by side. But could he himself last until that day?

Whenever this issue crossed his mind, Wei Chen felt himself grow agitated. Huang Shaotian was still far too immature; it was too early for him to stand on the professional stage. And himself? After playing through the inaugural season of the Glory Professional League, he could feel his condition slipping rapidly, his control and reaction times slowing. In order to maintain his skill level, he had tried fixing his bad habits – he’d started sleeping earlier, smoking less – but it hadn’t helped enough.

One year? Two years?

He didn’t even dare to think about how long he had left. In fact, he feared that he wouldn’t even be able to maintain his performance for that mere one or two more years.

But he… he was still young! Wasn’t he?

Wei Chen stared at his reflection in the mirror. Even though he wasn’t particularly well-groomed, at 23 years old, he still had an undeniable air of youthfulness. But he had insisted on coming here of all places, the Glory competitive scene, where being 23 meant that you were at the twilight of your career. That talkative little brat, wasn’t he always calling Wei Chen “old man, old man”?

What kind of 23-year-old was considered an “old man”?

Wei Chen thought resentfully, but this was the cruel reality. At age 23, he found that his daily thoughts were becoming reminiscent of someone approaching his funeral. He wasn’t sure whether to find this kind of life tragic or terribly funny.

The era of Glory had only just begun, yet Wei Chen already had to drop out.

But then, if not himself, where would the other half of Blue Rain’s future dual-core be found? Would he show up here, in the training camp? Wei Chen studied the other trainees gathered in the training room, his eyes jumping from face to face before eventually falling upon the player at the rightmost corner of the room. Yu Wenzhou was standing by himself, quietly studying the League match reports after the latest round of competition.

Wei Chen had never had any hopes for this youth. From the very beginning, he had wanted to dismiss this player from the training camp altogether, but Yu Wenzhou was so persistent in what he did that Wei Chen couldn’t bring himself to force this player home.

So Yu Wenzhou stayed at the training camp, surviving round after round of elimination. But so what? Even after so long, his handspeed hadn’t improved at all. There was no future for him in a world that revolved around APM. All that was left was to wait for him to give up.

In the end, what Wei Chen still anticipated most of all was that Huang Shaotian would grow up quickly. In that case, perhaps Wei Chen would be able to fight side-by-side onstage with this noisy but talented youth. Perhaps he would still be able to experience for himself the dual-core Blue Rain of which he dreamed.

The excitement caused by Hundred Blossoms didn’t just affect Team Blue Rain; the other powerhouse teams, like Tyranny and Royal Style, they too were all considering the challenge presented by this new team. Of course, when speaking of powerhouse teams, this naturally included the champions of Season 1: Team Excellent Era.

“Blood and Blossoms, that’s the name the media gave them. What do you think?”

Team Excellent Era, this was Qi Master Wu Xuefeng, who had won the championship last season alongside Ye Qiu. The two of them had been friends for many years now, after having met in-game. As Wu Xuefeng was watching Hundred Blossoms’ match on the computer, he suddenly felt a presence behind him, and asked this question without even turning his head.

“They’re strong. Incredibly good newcomers,” said Ye Qiu.

“We’ll meet them…” Wu Xuefeng trailed off, flipping through the calendar on his desk with the competition dates. “It’ll be after the new year – it’s early this year.” He found the date of their match against that team, and noticed the date of the Lunar New Year.

“New Year’s coming up soon?” Ye Qiu asked, also looking at the calendar.

“It is, the break has already been set. Do you have anything planned?” Wu Xuefeng asked.

“Nothing in particular,” replied Ye Qiu.

“Just staying here again?”

“Probably!”

“Mm…” Wu Xuefeng made a noncommittal noise. If the subject pained the other party, then no matter how curious he was, he wouldn’t continue to ask.

“Then, I’ll see you in the new year,” he said instead.

Ye Qiu nodded. “See you next year.”

“Happy New Year.”

“Happy New Year.”


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