[FLOTG] Chapter 14: Gathering


At the same time, a bullet grazed by his shoulder.

Shen Huai: [ ...... ]

<Falling Sleet>: [ Hehe, I missed. ]

Since the assassin and the sniper had both ran over to the Main Gate, the resurrected holy priest and launcher abandoned the West Gate for the Main Gate as well. The launcher doggedly activated Rapid Fire, and the holy priest swiftly cast a heal on the spellcaster.

The launcher typed into the party chat: [ Assemble at the Main Gate! Come help! ]

Very soon, all 6 members of both teams were at the Main Gate. The enemy side managed to kill 100 minions first, causing their first attack tank to appear on the third lane!

Attack tanks would randomly cast Flamethrower at the enemy, dealing a great deal of damage. Luckily, there would be a 3-second countdown indicator before the skill was released, but if you were caught by the enemy's control skill, you were basically as good as dead.

Shen Huai was very confident in his positioning skills, but the same could not be said of the randoms on his team. He instantly commanded: [ Heavy swordsman, disrupt their formation. The swordsman and I will cut through their back row and kill the holy priest, then the spellcaster. <Horizon> and <Falling Sleet>, DPS. Go when I type 1. ]

His teammates all responded with '1' to signal that they understood. Shen Huai did not rush; the two sides faced each other at the Main Gate in a stalemate, neither side launching an attack.

Right then, the resurrected qigong master <West Wind> once again charged headlong into the enemy camp. The enemy side was already used to his griefing ways by now and were more than happy to collect this free buff. They all scrambled to throw their skills at him in a mad rush.

At the same time, Shen Huai typed '1' into the party chat. The remaining 5 members of their team charged forwards in unison, with the heavy swordsman in the lead, swinging his giant metal sword at anyone within range. The enemy side were taken off-guard, not at all expecting that their opponents would dare to attack while disadvantaged 5 to 6. By the time they gathered themselves enough to counterattack, they found that all of their skills had been used up on the qigong master and were currently in cooldown!

Only then did they realise that the qigong master might have been specifically meant as bait for all of their skills!

Out of skills, the group could only scatter and run. The movement-challenged holy priest was instantly left all alone and could only watch as the assassin chased up to him, left him HP-Critical with a flashy combo, and then turned to run after the spellcaster in the near distance.

The holy priest with only a sliver of HP left: ???

He doesn't know I'm still alive? Did I survive by chance?

He was still pondering this when an icicle dropped from the sky and smashed him into pulp.

[ ...... ]

He finally realised that the assassin had deliberately saved his head for the ice mage!

The remaining 5 opponents were quickly reduced to HP-Critical state by Shen Huai and the swordsman. The players noticed that this assassin was very skilled at chasing, weaving agilely among the fiery flames from the attack tank. No matter what skills the group threw at him to try and slow him down or control his movements, he would be able to dodge it perfectly like he had seen it coming.

The group was almost apoplectic watching all their skills be wasted on air. Even more frustratingly, the assassin would only attack them till they were HP-Critical, never dealing the final blow.

What was going on? Did he run out of skills and want to run away first?

Humans would always wonder about flukes and luck when left floundering in panic and confusion. They would only realise how ridiculous their thoughts were later once they had calmed down.

The group who thought they had managed to survive by the skin of their teeth barely moved two steps when a wide-ranging Frozen Tundra descended upon them. In an instant, the entire map was plunged into a world of glaciers, and the opponents' screens turned grey within this dazzling spread of ice and snow.

―― <Horizon> killed <Empty Dreams of Grandeur>!


It was extremely difficult to get a hexakill in the Arena. It took a combination of strength and luck, so it wasn't easy to get a hexakill even in a very unbalanced game.

Hai Xing was overcome with emotion when he saw the words 'Hexakill' on his screen. He pulled off his headphones, shouting, "Hexakill! Take that! What have you all got to say now?!"

Riding the wave of this hexakill, the team rallied their forces and forced their way through to topple the enemy camp.

"Victory!"

Hai Xing stared smugly at the words on the screen, feeling reinvigorated and refreshed. He hammered out on his keyboard: [ <West Wind>, why so quiet now? Who's the noob again? Hm? What's it feel like to be carried to a win? ]


His rage was palpable in the string of censored words he typed into the general chat: [ I-¥#%@&amp;*...... ]

Hai Xing gleefully watched <West Wind> lose his shit, finding for the first time that being cursed by another could be a rather enjoyable thing.

Even up till the point they were kicked back out into the Arena lobby, Hai Xing still felt like he hadn't had enough.

Shen Huai said rather pointedly: [ Pretty good skills. ]

Hai Xing abruptly felt like he had been doused with ice water. !!!

Shouldn't he have been acting more like a noob?! He accidentally went on a killing spree and even got a hexakill! What should he do?

But it feels so good to be praised by God Wing... He really wanted to go for another round...

Seeing the mage suddenly go silent, Shen Huai was a little amused.

This "<Horizon>" was a pretty good player. Especially after he began fighting with <West Wind>, his skills in both operation and positioning improved by more than a tier. The ice mage was a relatively difficult branch to play among the mages, with many skills requiring chanting time, which can easily by interrupted by the enemy. However, this <Horizon> managed to deal damage from a comfortable position from start to finish, hardly ever showing signs of being disturbed.

Within the pro team Maple Moon, there was a launcher who was very proficient at finding angles to attack. His damage output on the battlefield was almost a staggering one-third of his entire team's damage output. And his personality was just like the character class he was most proficient in ― highly flammable and explosive.

This <Horizon> must be the youngest member of Maple Moon, the one with the most fiery temper, Hai Xing.

As for <Falling Sleet>, it looked like she was hanging back and taking it easy for the whole match. Not a single one of her snipes hit their mark, completely incomparable to the so-called godly sharpshooter Song Xue-Yang who never missed. However, the way he always just so happened to attack and miss the exact same target as Shen Huai showed a level of rapport and tacit understanding that not just anyone could achieve.

Undoubtedly, it could only be Song Xue-Yang.

Shen Huai wasn't angry, but he was a little puzzled. How could Song Xue-Yang have missed these inconsistencies that even he could pick out? And if Song Xue-Yang could foresee these issues, then why did he still decide to do this? At this point, Shen Huai really couldn't tell whether Song Xue-Yang wanted him to recognise him or not.

The ringing of his handphone pulled him out of his thoughts. The caller ID showed that it was his class monitor from university, Liu Yue-Ran.

"Hey, Superstar, busy with filming?" Liu Yue-Ran's voice was bright and cheerful.

By his father's arrangement, Shen Huai had attended school very early. He had just graduated from university this year at 21 years old, and while his yearmates were all still busy being extras on film sets and working hard to gain sponsorship, Shen Huai had already starred in the lead role for several movies. It could be said that he was the envy of his peers.

However, Shen Huai's acting was terrible — he was introverted and not very good at expressing himself, being rather expressionless on a day to day basis. Even though he tried really hard to immerse himself into the roles he was playing, he could never let himself go in front of the camera. Perhaps this was why he could never act well.

Though his classmates never said anything, many of them secretly looked down on him, thinking that it was such a waste that such great resources had been squandered on his horrible acting skills. Only Liu Yue-Ran had never once shown him any shred of contempt. She was a frank and sincere person who treated others kindly, and she was one of Shen Huai's few friends.

"I'm taking a break," replied Shen Huai.

"Come to our class reunion! It's the end of the year and everyone's eager to meet up. Even your esteemed Professor Xu is coming~"

Shen Huai was honestly not very interested in attending this class reunion, but Professor Xu was his mentor and teacher who had helped him a lot while he had been at school. Plus, his good friend was the one inviting him now, so he did not refuse.

"Time and place?"

Liu Yue-Ran said happily, "This Friday night, Shanghai's Gourmet Corner. Hurry up and buy a ticket~"

It was already Wednesday, so he really did have to hurry up. Shen Huai booked a flight for the next day and hurriedly said goodbye to Song Xue-Yang inside the game before beginning to pack.

Song Xue-Yang also had something come up right then. The travelling Fan Jing-Ming had returned, so all the official members of the team were now gathered.

"Did you all miss me?" He had to bend over slightly to duck through the doorway, and then he patted the door frame and muttered, "This door frame is still so low. When can we get rid of the glass above it?"

Fan Jing-Ming had a tall build, drawing attention wherever he went with his 195cm frame. He also had a very well-proportioned figure, where even a simple T-shirt and casual pants were enough to make him look tall and stylish. Before he joined Maple Moon, he had been a part-time model, and he was often in-charge of the team's endorsement work now.

Besides that, Fan Jing-Ming also really liked travelling. As soon as the team was on break, he would instantly hoist up his backpack and head off to wander. This time, the team had rested for 7 days, so he had ran off to Harbin to see the ice sculptures there.

Hai Xing rolled his eyes dramatically. "So what if you're tall, huh? Such a stupid showoff everyday."

Fan Jing-Ming patted him on the head. "Shortie."

Hai Xing shot up from his seat to kick Fan Jing-Ming in the knee. Fan Jing-Ming yelped and hopped on one foot to his desk.

"Giving me this sort of welcome back gift as soon as I return, you're so mean, midget." He set his backpack down on his desk and rifled through it. "And I even brought you all presents."

Song Xue-Yang walked over, grinning widely. "You can give me Hai Xing's share. I'll keep it for him."

Fan Jing-Ming took out a long rectangular red box and thrust it at Song Xue-Yang. "For you, fox."


His eyes instantly crinkled into crescent moons with his smile. "Not bad. You can have two extra days of leave on our next break."

Zhou Ning came over with open arms. "Where's mine?"

Fan Jing-Ming pulled out several large Chinese sausages and a loaf of bread as wide as a person's face. "Local specialties of Harbin, please enjoy."

After that, Fan Jing-Ming zipped up his backpack, and Hai Xing, who had been waiting at one side all this time, huffed, "I'm going back to the dorms!"

He made to leave immediately after he finished speaking, so Fan Jing-Ming quickly grabbed hold of him. "So impatient, you. Would I leave out Sir Xing's share?"

Like a magic trick, he pulled out an intricate wooden box from behind him and pushed it towards Hai Xing. Hai Xing quickly opened it, and inside it was a pure wood-crafted, exquisite... doll??

Doll?

Looking down at the wooden doll painted with bright red cheeks and dressed in floral cotten garments, Hai Xing gaped blankly for 2 seconds, and then he chased after Fan Jing-Ming trying to kick him. "Fan Jing-Ming!"

Fan Jing-Ming was laughing as he ran. "It's a Russian nesting doll! Don't you want to learn more about it? It's an authentic local handmade specialty! I had to browse many streets before I managed to buy it!"

"Eff off! I think you're just asking for a beating!"

After being kicked twice by Hai Xing, Fan Jing-Ming finally surrendered and took back the doll to pass it to Zhou Ning. "For your little sister."

And then, he returned to his bag and took out a silvery white box. He tossed it to Hai Xing. "This is for you. Chibi-style keychains of all the character classes in 'City of Despair'."

At this, Hai Xing's eyes lit up. The small and cute keychains rested on white velvet cloth inside the box, each and every character class crafted so vividly that he couldn't bear to put them down.

After giving out all the presents, Fan Jing-Ming turned on his computer. As he organised his photos, he asked, "How's the hunt for a new teammate going? There's less than a month left in the transfer window. If we don't hurry up, we won't even be able to play in next year's pro leagues."

Zhou Ning said meaningfully, "Our captain wants to invite a great god into the team, so it can't be rushed."

"Great god?" Fan Jing-Ming's interest was piqued. "Who is it? Could it be Ash Wing?"

Hai Xing's eyes turned round with surprise. "How did you know?"

Fan Jing-Ming smiled knowingly. "In our captain's eyes, who else is worthy of being called a great god?"

Everyone in Maple Moon knew that Song Xue-Yang was a fan of Ash Wing. He hardly ever missed any of Ash Wing's live-streams, and he never even tried to hide his presence. Every time, he would use his main account and gift rockets — even leaving them aside, there were probably very few in the entire esports circles who didn't know he was Ash Wing's fan.

"But Captain, are you sure it'll work out? Ash Wing has already refused many invites from pro teams over the years."

When he spoke of Ash Wing, Song Xue-Yang's gaze gentled. "Of course, I never do anything I'm unsure of."

He seemed to already be seeing a future where he and Ash Wing were standing side by side on the podium, raising the champion's trophy together.

"By the way, clear up your schedules for this Friday night."

Hai Xing quickly asked, "More extra training?"

Song Xue-Yang rapped him on the head. "Ok, then you can do extra training on your own."

Hai Xing was lost, and he was even more confused seeing everyone else shaking their heads and sighing. "What's going on? No extra training?"

Zhou Ning said helplessly, "Captain is arranging a meal with us."

"Why?"

Fan Jing-Ming lifted his desk calendar. "Happy birthday~"

The Friday of this week had been circled on the calendar, and there was even a grinning fox's head doodled by the circle.

Hai Xing blushed till the root of his ears. "I...I forgot."

Song Xue-Yang patted his head. "I'm a generous adult. You just need to drink three cups as punishment."

Hai Xing: "......"

Help! There's a bad captain over here forcing a minor to drink!

Zhou Ning asked, "Which restaurant did you book?"

"Gourmet Corner, there's a 10% discount for a member's birthday!" said Song Xue-Yang with a cheery smile.



Previous: Chapter 13: Arena (Part 2)
Next: Chapter 15: First Meeting

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Comments

  1. Destined to meet!

    Thanks for the chapter! 💕

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  2. Ooh, looking forward to the next chapter! I also feel like there's a 2nd CP already on the team, haha. Thanks for translating!

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  3. Oh my goood!! A freaking cliff hanger ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ

    ReplyDelete
  4. Looking forward to more chapters!! Thank you so so much!

    ReplyDelete

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