Chapter 1144: A Hurried Core
Translator: Nomyummi Editor: Nomyummi
Zhang Wei couldn’t grasp Steamed Bun’s train of thought. At this moment, his Endless Forest was in a Dizzy state. No Glory player would miss this kind of opportunity to attack. Steamed Bun Invasion stepped forward. He gripped Endless Forest’s neck with a Strangle and let loose punches and kicks.
Witches had far better close combat capabilities compared to Elementalists. Enhancing the broom with magic dust had once been a popular playstyle. However, for defense, besides Battle Mages, who could activate Magic Shield to forcefully take a burst of damage, Mages were quite frail. After a Strangle combo along with the previous Tyrannical Chain Punch, Endless Forest’s health had dropped by 20%.
The opening wasn’t going well!
Endless Forest was able to escape from the combo and fly away with his broom. He hadn’t been able to find an opening to launch a counterattack, so he planned on resetting back to neutral and starting over.
However, this map had a vast empty horizon. Endless Forest could only pull a bit of distance between them. He wasn’t able to actually hide anywhere. While in the air, Zhang Wei had his character look back and saw Steamed Bun Invasion chasing closely after him. He could see all sorts of openings to attack and felt an unbearable urge to act.
“Could it be some sort of weird trick again?”
Zhang Wei carefully analyzed the situation and repeatedly reassured himself. Endless Forest leaped in the air and swept with his broom, using a Witch’s unique way of attacking to strike Steamed Bun Invasion.
Then, he saw Steamed Bun Invasion turn around and immediately run away.
Zhang Wei was puzzled. He was truly at a loss.
What is going on? As soon as I turned around to attack, he ran away. What is he thinking? He can’t be thinking of chasing me from behind and hoping that I stand still for him to attack me, right?
While still in a daze, he suddenly noticed an object flying towards him in his field of vision!
This time, Zhang Wei was prepared. Endless Forest swept his broom in the air and twisted his body to dodge the Brick.
It was a very normal attack, but Zhang Wei could feel cold sweat running down his back. He had lost focus for just an instant again. A little bit closer and that Brick would have hit. When fighting against this Steamed Bun, it’s really hard to concentrate!
During this time, Steamed Bun raised his hand again.
Zhang Wei didn’t even think about what Steamed Bun might be doing. He immediately had Endless Forest sweep his broom again to dodge.
A Poison Needle flitted by. Brawlers had quite a few mid-range attacks. After this Poison Needle, Steamed Bun Invasion raised his hand once more.
You’re going to keep going? What’s the point!
Zhang Wei didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. He had his Endless Forest sweep his broom in the air another time.
Huh? I didn’t move!
Zhang Wei blanked out. He immediately realized what had happened and wanted to cry. Trying to react now was too late. A Molotov Cocktail smashed into Endless Forest, setting him ablaze. Endless Forest turned into a giant fireball and crashed towards the ground.
“Hahahaha, Witches can only sweep their brooms six times. You don’t even understand that? What a noob!” Steamed Bun even typed some trash talk in the chat. Zhang Wei was so angry that his lungs were about to explode. Pro players made mistakes. Sometimes, those mistakes were low-level ones. For example, he had forgotten to count how many sweeps he had left, which was indeed a beginner mistake. As the saying goes “A man is prone to stumbling when walking, and a horse is prone to stumbling when galloping.” In any case, the word “noob” shouldn’t be used to describe a pro player, let alone one that had fought in the pro scene for eight years. He was undoubtedly a veteran that had stood the test of time.
Zhang Wei was furious. Unfortunately, Endless Forest’s current fireball appearance was truly a manifestation of his mistake. On the ground, Steamed Bun was already waiting for him with a Sand Toss ready in his hands.
Zhang Wei didn’t even need to think to dodge. Endless Forest twisted his body, turning his head at the same time. Suddenly, a Brick hit him.
Zhang Wei was about to go crazy. A Sand Toss to force him to turn his head and then a Brick? What a shallow and outdated move… who does that anymore? But the guy in front of him was happily using it with gusto. That previous Poison Needle had been the same principle. Was this guy treating this pro match like the in-game Arena? Zhang Wei would occasionally go there to have some fun, and quite a few outdated moves in the pro scene were used a lot among normal players like Steamed Bun’s previous move…
But the important part was that this shallow and outdated move had actually worked.
After being put into a Dizzy state, Endless Forest was given a fierce beating. His health dropped a large chunk again. And this time, Zhang Wei was bent on revenge. He wasn’t going to retreat and wait for an opportunity like before. He was planning on directly finding an opening and attack the other side. Even ordinary old-timers could be angry.
Steamed Bun obviously wasn’t able to execute a perfect combo. Not long afterwards, Zhang Wei found an opening. Endless Forest swept his broom at Steamed Bun Invasion and fiercely attacked him. Steamed Bun Invasion went on the defensive and soon found an opportunity too. He seized it and gave Endless Forest a blow or two. Bang bang bang. The two got into a messy scuffle. In the end, Zhang Wei was experienced. There was order to his randomness. He was constantly calculating the costs to each trade. However, like before, Zhang Wei was unable to figure out Steamed Bun. In this scuffle, he clearly had the advantage. He had almost caught up; their health bars were nearly even now. But Steamed Bun didn’t seem to have any intentions of trying anything different. He seemed as if he were content with continuing this fight in this way.
What is he planning?
Zhang Wei couldn’t help think to himself, but he was unable to make heads or tails out of it.
Their team had analyzed that when fighting Steamed Bun, he should play it by ear and act whenever he saw an opportunity, but the problem was that he couldn’t find any “opportunities”, so how could he act on them?
Whatever, let’s just keep going!
Zhang Wei threw caution to the wind, and he kept fighting Steamed Bun in this way. And then he won, just like that.
“You’re pretty good.”
When Endless Forest cleaned up the last of Steamed Bun Invasion’s health, Steamed Bun left these “dying words”.
During the entire match, the two hadn’t really talked with each other. Only Steamed Bun Invasion had said a few words. The first time he talked, he called Zhang Wei a noob. The second time he talked, he said Zhang Wei was good. His two remarks were polar opposites. There hadn’t been any set-up for this sudden turnaround.
The word Glory jumped onto his screen. Steamed Bun Invasion had turned into a corpse on the ground. Zhang Wei was still in a daze.
I won, just like that?
What type of match was that? Had there been any crazy technical moves? Had there been any meaningful interactions? Had there been anything noteworthy enough to reflect upon? Zhang Wei came out from his player booth. When he came down, his brows were furrowed the entire time as if he had been the loser. He couldn’t help but look towards Happy. He looked at that guy, Bao Rongxing, who returned to Happy’s player bench in high spirits, walking confidently and freely as if he had been the winner.
“What a pity. I almost won.” Zhang Wei could hear Steamed Bun say to his teammates. Zhang Wei nearly tripped. What do you mean almost won? It wasn’t even close! With your inability to adapt, any knowledgeable person could have foreseen that you would lose. Could it be that you couldn’t see it? Even if you couldn’t, the others in Happy should be able to! What about Ye Xiu?
“Mm, it was a pity. Better luck next time.” Ye Xiu said.
Fuck! Ye Xiu was agreeing? What the heck? Had he really been in danger just before? I had narrowly escaped from the gates of hell by just a fluke? Zhang Wei was a veteran that had joined the scene in Season 3. He had witnessed the pinnacle of Ye Xiu’s career and didn’t doubt this God’s capabilities. With even Ye Xiu agreeing with Steamed Bun’s remark, Zhang Wei suddenly started to doubt himself.
“Nice job.” A teammate said to him at this moment. It was a common encouragement from a teammate.
“What a close call!” Zhang Wei subconsciously blurted out.
“Ah? How was that close?” His teammate looked weirdly at him.
“Huh?” Zhang Wei also looked weirdly at his teammate. It wasn’t close? He couldn’t help but look at Happy’s side. Steamed Bun had already sat back down, chatting exuberantly with the person next to him. Zhang Wei couldn’t hear him clearly, but it sounded like he was very proud of himself. How come the listener looked like he wanted to cry out SOS though?
What exactly went wrong? Zhang Wei went into deep thought.
At this moment, the individual competition’s third round began. Hundred Blossom’s Zou Yuan versus Happy’s Su Mucheng.
It was a confrontation between two Gunners. However, Su Mucheng had become famous far earlier than Zou Yuan. Zou Yuan was also very famous right now, but this fame had always made him feel uneasy. He had originally been a normal second-year player, ready to stand up from the bench. He would do his best whenever the team needed him and strive for more opportunities. After the team dragged him from the bench, they refused to let him sit back down and even gave him the team’s symbol, Dazzling Hundred Blossoms.
Such treatment should be the dream of any pro player. Zou Yuan had dreamt of this before too, but he would have never imagined this dream would come true. When Zhang Jiale suddenly retired, the team wasn’t able to find a suitable Spitfire player, so they pushed him forward to take on the role.
In the span of a single night, he became everyone’s hope. He became the future of Team Hundred Blossoms. He became the successor to Zhang Jiale.
Before that day, no one had every said these words to him. After that day, Zou Yuan didn’t feel happiness and joy, but fear and panic. He felt like he had been tossed into a maelstrom without anyone to guide him out of it.
That season, Zou Yuan didn’t perform too well, but because of the fan’s love for Dazzling Hundred Blossoms, he had been pushed into All-Stars…
All-Star, team core, ace player…
Zou Yuan obtained what many strived for without any difficulties to the extent that he couldn’t escape from these responsibilities even if he wanted to.
However, Zou Yuan knew very well that nothing here was real. That season, he had risen along with Tang Hao, who shined endlessly. Tang Hao had been Team Hundred Blossom’s true pillar. And him? He had probably been seen as a burden who occupied a toilet but didn’t shit.
Zou Yuan bitterly hung on for an entire season, persevering with something he simply couldn’t do. When that season ended, Zou Yuan was at a loss for his future. He had been the core of a team for a season, but he didn’t feel confident in himself in the slightest.
Then, Zhang Jiale returned and joined Team Tyranny, who purchased Dazzling Hundred Blossoms. Having lost this character, Zou Yuan thought he would be kicked out. Who would have thought that the team would immediately look for him and discuss creating a new Spitfire for him. They would also find him a suitable partner to rebuild the team’s core.
This time, he wouldn’t be pushed to do something beyond his abilities like last season. This time, the team truly wanted to nurture him.
After a season of struggle and confusion as the core, the team still wanted him as the core? Zou Yuan truly felt like a dream had come true. Then, Team Blue Rain’s Yu Feng joined and together they formed the new Hundred Blossoms. The team didn’t break their promise and created a new Spitfire, Blooming Blossoms, according to his habits and strengths.
He was capable. He shouldn’t be considered Zhang Jiale’s substitute. Team Hundred Blossoms introduced him as such.