Chapter 616

The players from Crescent Moon rushed as a group toward the embarrassed Hyeonu. Each of them, bar one, helped to hold one of their Hyung’s trophies and rectangular plates. Hyeonu gave away what he had in his hand, turned back, and walked toward the center of the stage that contained the host and commentators.

“It is already the third award, but please express your feelings. Player Gang Hyeonu.”

The host handed Hyeonu another trophy and rectangular plate. Hyeonu skillfully accepted them this time. One hand held a trophy while the rectangular plate was inserted under his armpits.

“This time, you can hold the microphone yourself.” The host smiled and handed over the microphone to Hyeonu.

This time, Hyeonu was able to hold it with one hand.

“That's right.” Hyeonu accepted the microphone. Then he turned away and spoke something other than his feelings, “I didn’t know I would pick up the microphone again only a few seconds after I expressed my feelings... it would’ve been difficult to win this award without the help of my fellow Crescent Moon players. So I will leave my award speech to another player.”

Hyeonu pushed the microphone toward the other players of Crescent Moon. However, no one reached out to grab it from Hyeonu.

‘They are avoiding my eyes?’

Hyeonu frowned for a moment. Then he approached Lee Hoon, the only person who had nothing in his hand.

“Why... Why me, Hyung?” Lee Hoon stammered when he saw Hyeonu coming toward him.

“You are the only one empty-handed. You should hold something. Now, take this.”

Hyeonu forced open Lee Hoon’s palm and placed the microphone down on it. Lee Hoon showed a desperate expression. It was only for a short moment. He breathed heavily as he thought of something and came out to the front of the stage.

“Say what you want to say. That is where we are.” Hyeonu stood behind Lee Hoon and patted him on the shoulder.

Lee Hoon heard Hyeonu’s words of support and took a deep breath again. Then he carefully opened his mouth, “First of all, I’m very honored to receive this award. The reason why Crescent Moon was able to win this award is because of Hyeonu. He said it was thanks to his teammates, but this is the true fact. However... next year. There will be no Hyeonu at the next Arena Week.”

The moment Lee Hoon’s words reached this point, sighs burst out from the audience. They were sighs of regret from those who were sad that Hyeonu wouldn’t be appearing at Arena Week next year.

“Next year, I will stand here and give my acceptance speech. Please cheer for us. I hope Crescent Moon will advance to Arena Week next year and perform well. Thank you.”

Lee Hoon bowed his head. Rather than raising his head, he took a deep breath in this posture. He didn’t even realize what he was saying right now. People’s shouts were heard in Lee Hoon’s ears.

“Wahhhhhhh!”

“Crescent Moon!”

“Lee Hoon!”

Lee Hoon slowly raised his head and looked at the audience in front of him. The audience members were all staring at him. Lee Hoon watched this scene without saying a word. Someone’s hand touched Lee Hoon’s shoulder. It was Hyeonu. “Well done.”

Hyeonu took the microphone from Lee Hoon’s hand and held it out to the host. The moment the host took the microphone, he returned to the table with the players.

The host looked at Hyeonu with a meaningful smile. Then he started to talk into the microphone that Hyeonu gave him, “The fourth award is given to the team with the shortest record in today’s raid time attack. The name is ‘No way, this is the end...?’. The winning team created a record of 2 minutes and 18 seconds. It is Crescent Moon! The award will be received by the representative of the team, the captain. Player Gang Hyeonu. I hope you can come back to the stage.”

Hyeonu sighed when he heard the voice calling for him and handed Lee Hoon the trophy and rectangular plate. Then he turned back and walked toward the place he had been standing a while ago.

“Is it me again? I feel like I’m the only one receiving the awards.”

Hyeonu asked in a quiet manner and the host replied with a smile.

“How can I give it when there is no one to receive it? I can’t give awards to just anyone.”

Hyeonu looked sad at the host’s words and accepted the trophy and rectangular plate. Hyeonu continued to reach out to the host even after receiving the trophy and plate. The host looked at Hyeonu’s hand and placed the microphone in the empty hand.

“Yes... it is already the fourth award. I really don’t have anything to say now. Still, I won an award, so I’ll talk to you.”

Hyeonu had nothing in particular he wanted to say now. The first time he received the reward, he expressed all his feelings. Since then, the emotions of the speakers and listeners had reduced.

“Many people might already know this, but I will end my career as a professional gamer with this Arena Week. Unfortunately, this was decided from the beginning.”

Boooooo!

Hyeonu’s words were forcibly cut off due to people’s shouts.

“No matter what people’s opinions, it doesn’t change the fact that I'm retiring. Instead, I will reveal one streaming content here in advance. It will start in a few days.”

Wah!

This time, cheers broke out instead of shouts. They were curious about the content that Hyeonu would reveal.

“To be honest, there were three Crescent Moon players who have the clear intention to quit. This includes me. There are also Mason and Dwayne. Then we’ll need at least 11 players, except for Lee Hoon, who will definitely stay.”

Without Hyeonu, Crescent Moon would have a team of 12 players, just like any other team.

“I will remain an honorary coach of Crescent Moon and I have agreed with the owner of Crescent Moon, Moon Doyeong, to audition and select up to 11 people. Of course, the number ‘11’ can be reduced. If other players remain on the team, it will be decreased. If proven players are recruited, then it will decrease.”

The moment Hyeonu’s words were over, someone shouted from the stands, “What do you mean by proven players?!!”

He wondered what Hyeonu’s words meant. It was awesome to belong to Crescent Moon. A team coached by the best player, Alley Leader.

“What it means is simple. Players with high arena rankings. Players with high levels. Elite of large guilds. These types of things. Of course, there is something else that is most important.”

“What is it?!”

“It is the recommendations of people I trust. It should be their recommendations. You might say this is too much, but I believe in the people I know. They will never harm me. So I am going to test the people they recommend separately.”

The crowd fell silent at Hyeonu’s words. The noise disappeared. Hyeonu’s words were that shocking. Recommendations from acquaintances. They could understand it with their minds, but not their hearts.

“However, what you are worried about won’t happen. My standards for them will be stricter and harder. It will be several times more than the auditions you can apply for.”

After this sentence, Hyeonu handed the microphone to the host and turned around. It was to return to his seat.

‘The award for the raid time attack is over. It is really over now.’

The moment Hyeonu wanted to return to his seat, the host started talking again, “This is the last award. It is the award for the best player of Arena Week. The name of the award is ‘I am the best’ and it is for player Gang HYeonu of Crescent Moon. Please take the prizes.”

The host smiled when he finished talking. He also found this situation ridiculous. A player received five prizes and they were all the awards given to players. The expression of the player receiving it was also sad. It was too ridiculous.

Hyeonu walked to the host with measured steps. He received the trophy and rectangular plate before grabbing the microphone.

“I will say one final thing. The name of the audition is New Moon.”

Hyeonu threw the microphone to the host and quickly returned to his seat.

“The awards ceremony is over like this, everyone. Next, we will interview each team.”


***


“This is the end of the 2nd Arena Week. I hope everyone had a great time!”

After the interview with each team, the awards ceremony and closing ceremony, which brought great laughter to everyone, finally came to an end. The closing ceremony was an interview with the eight teams. It was a lighthearted time to ask how they felt about participating in Arena Week and future schedules. Of course, Dwayne held an event for his girlfriend Jennifer during his interview time, but it was otherwise a light time. Nothing much happened.

The players of each team carried out their own schedules. Some people returned to the hotel where they were staying, while others moved to the agreed-upon place for an after-party.

“So where will we have the fan meeting?” Hyeonu asked while packing up his things in the waiting room. He didn’t know anything. He only knew there was a fan meeting, but he didn’t know the details.

“We rented the banquet hall of the hotel where we are staying. There are around 200 people coming?” Mason answered Hyeonu’s question. He gave all the information he knew.

“200 people? Why so many? Will we be able to do it in the hotel hall?”

Hyeonu was surprised to hear that there were around 200 people participating in today’s fan meeting. It was more than he thought.

‘Will there be room for 200 people in the hall?’

He was worried they would have to sit on the bare floor or stand.

“It can fit around 500 people, not just 200. Oppa, you must’ve never been to the fan meeting place.”

“Yes, I only know my room, the restaurant, the Cube floor, the fitness club, and our makeup room.”

The places Hyeonu visited in the hotel were very limited. He slept or played Arena most of the time at the hotel. The remaining time was to exercise or eat. There was no time to wander anywhere else.

“There are only 200 people coming to the fan meeting, but more than 500,000 people actually applied,” Kale entered the waiting room and told Hyeonu.

In fact, more than 500,000 applied to participate in the fan meeting. It was around 2,500 to 1.

“Really? There were so many?” Hyeonu asked back with a surprised face. It was an unexpected number.

“There are no direct flights to New York, so some people came via transit. I guess they really wanted to see all of you.”

Hyeonu suddenly felt burdened. He hadn’t thought people would come to New York via transit to see them.

‘I should’ve prepared something...’

Suddenly, regret filled Hyeonu’s heart.

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