Chapter 225 - Lead Secured


《Red team’s Lee Sin has been slain!》

“WOOOOOOO! HIGH SCHOOL 13!” Westwind clutched his microphone, his knuckles white, and shoutcasted the play in the bot lane, “What a kill! Condemn into Aqua Prison into a breathtaking kill by Vayne! Amazing! AMAZING!”

    “AMAZING! AMAZING! AMAZING!”

    “GOOOOOOOOO TANG TANG! AN XIN! SWEEEEET!”

    “DAYUM! That Condemn was sexier that my sex doll!”

    “Girls are better at League than guys! CONFIRMED!”

    “OOH OOH OOH! AH AH!”

    “WAAAAAAAA! I want your autograph, Tang Tang!”

High School 13’s students and the neutral fans were being treated to an outstanding display of skill by Tang Bingyao. Their cheers rocked the venue, despite the large part of the audience that was completely silent. Shanghai High School’s students sat back in their seats, staring at the large screen above the stage. Some of them mumbled their disbelief, while others argued that this simply wasn’t possible. They spoke of how they were the team to beat and that they were supposed to win this tournament. There were a couple of students who started shouting that High School 13 was cheating! They made loud demands for an explanation as to why a Bronzie like Tang Bingyao suddenly got good enough to beat their Challenger-ranked bot lane!

“OH MY GOD!” Silent Reed exclaimed. “Amazing! You’re right, Westie. The girls are doing amazing! I’m giving them full style points for that play! Lee Sin had no idea what hit him!”

Westwind nodded, smiling, and said, “Them chicas are on FIRE! I gotta admit, I was a little worried about them during Champion select. But what do I know, right? They knew exactly what they were doing when they moved their coach from the Jungle to the Support role. She’s doing great! Kind of like their Midlaner! Haha, she’s the female Lin Feng!”

Silent Reed shook her head and wagged her finger at Westwind. “No, you can’t say that,” she said. “She’s a really good player-coach! Her jungling was great, and now she’s showing the same finesse as a Support! And she’s probably telling the team how to play the whole time! That’s her skill, and that’s what we should commend her for! But enough about her. Look at Tang Bingyao! She was struggling in the last three games! But it looks like she’s finally pulled herself out of that slump! That play just now, the one where she Condemned the Lee Sin and picked up a kill on him, that’s what makes people come to the stadium. I want to see more of that!” She looked at the stage and shouted a little louder than usual, “YOU GO, GIRLFRIENDS!”

Tang Bingyao was still laser focused on her screen and holding her breath. She’d gotten the kill on Lee Sin, but she wasn’t out of danger yet. Shanghai High School’s Leona and Kalista were both at near full health, while her health was running low. An Xin’s Nami had already started backing away with only a sliver of health remaining. Can’t let them get the kill. I can’t! She watched every tiny movement made by Leona and Kalista as her Vayne ran back towards the Blue team’s outer tower. 

The Kalista threw a fast moving spear–Pierce! She Tumbled away from it, opening up a little bit more distance. The outer tower was right in front of her. And then she was under it. Safe! Tang Bingyao finally exhaled and took a rewarding deep breath in. Safe! I made it! I got away. The tension in her body disappeared and was replaced by pure joy. I did it! Mhm! I won a 2vs3! I’m winning! I’m finally winning a game!

High School 13 was up 2-1 in the Finals of the Shanghai 16 School Tournament. Tang Bingyao was part of the team that had won those two games. But they didn’t feel like victories to her. There was a distinct difference between winning a game and getting carried to a victory. And she knew that she’d been carried to those two wins rather than contributing to them. Lin Feng and An Xin had done all the carrying in those games. She’d only been around for the ride and to fill out the numbers. Mhm! This time I’ll carry and win!

Tang Bingyao thought back to before the game started. She’d felt so reluctant when An Xin placed all that trust in her. She’d tried to argue that she wasn’t good enough and that it really was a bad idea. BunBun was right. I can carry! Mhm! This feels great! She looked over at An Xin who was sitting next to her and smiled. I’ll repay your trust with my best Vayne ever! She then turned back to look at her screen and took a long, deep breath. Mhm! Let’s do this!

Game 4 of the Finals for the Shanghai 16 School Tournament had only just begun. The kill score was 3-1 for High School 13 right now. Both their Mid and Bot lanes had a small advantage. But their Top lane had unfortunately fallen behind. Chen Ze’s Irelia was really struggling against Shanghai High School’s Gragas. At first, she could still walk into the lane and last hit minions. But as the Gragas grew stronger in terms of levels and items, he started pressuring her away from the minions. She found herself hiding under her own outer tower, afraid to get too close to him and falling even further behind.

Silent Reed analyzed the Irelia’s predicament and how it could devolve into a High School 13 predicament. “The Gragas is throwing his large beer belly around the lane after he got that early kill on the Irelia. He’s at a point right now where he can crush the Irelia the moment she tries to do anything! This is a perfect example of how to turn a small advantage into a large one.” Silent Reed shook her head, pausing for a moment, and then continued, “The Irelia must be so frustrated! She can’t do a thing. But she also knows that if she doesn’t do anything, she’s going to become a non-factor in this game while the Gragas will basically count for two champions! That can really screw this game over for High School 13. One well placed Explosive Cask…”

Westwind nodded and said, “Yeah, you’re right. Totally right! Top lane is a hard win for Shanghai High School. But what about the other lanes? Come, travel down to the mid lane with me. Look at what that Lulu is doing. She’s wrecking the Yasuo! It’s fucking painful to watch! She can just Polymorph the Gragas into a useless critter and take him out of commission for an entire teamfight! I don’t think High School 13 has anything to worry about! If anything, Shanghai High School should be worried…” He shook his head while looking at the large screen. The camera moved to the bot lane. His eyes widened and he shouted, “And it looks like they are worried! Look at Zeng Rui’s Leona!”

Zeng Rui had slipped away from the bot lane by faking a recall. He canceled the animation right before it finished channeling and then disappeared into the Jungle, where he met up with his Jungler. “We’re ganking mid, come,” he said over the team’s voice chat. Then he had his Leona run down a carefully planned route. I spent the last few minutes destroying their wards here. That thundering dumbass won’t know what hit him! “Stick close to me!” he reminded his Jungler.

Meanwhile in the mid lane, Lin Feng was having fun. He didn’t care that An Xin had forced him to play Lulu, who was a supportive control mage rather than the assassins he usually played. I can play every champion. I don’t care, I love it! He thought back to his old teammates in Season 1. Those guys liked to joke about my unfathomably deep champion pool. Haha, they’re right! I’m really good at every champion… too! He smiled ruefully and mumbled to himself, “I wonder how Tian Tian is doing. I should give him a call…”

A new minion wave arrived in the mid lane. Lin Feng shook his head and focused on last hitting them, extending his lead over the Yasuo one minion at a time. Maybe I can force him to recall. He pushed a little harder, killing the minions as quickly as he could. Then he targeted the Yasuo and hit him with a Glitterlance. “That’s right! Go and run behind your tower!” Lin Feng said, laughing. Then he patted himself on the shoulder and added, “Guess I’m really good at Lulu too!”

Shanghai High School was almost done setting up the gank in the mid lane. Zeng Rui asked over the team’s voice chat, “Ready?” He was double and triple checking everything, making sure nothing could go wrong. When his Jungler and Midlaner replied that they were ready, he clicked in the middle of the lane and then pressed down on the R key–Solar Flare! His Leona called down a beam of solar energy on Lin Feng’s Lulu, stunning her before she could do anything! Then she cast Zenith Blade to dash towards the Lulu.

The Lee Sin hopped towards the Leona–Safeguard! Then he struck Lin Feng’s Lulu with a Sonic Wave before dashing towards her with Resonating Strike. There, he waited for a moment, allowing the Yasuo to get in range for his ultimate skill. The stun on the Lulu was about to wear off. The Lee Sin couldn’t wait any longer. He delivered a powerful roundhouse kick, sending the Lulu flying towards the Yasuo–Dragon’s Rage!

The Yasuo activated his ultimate skill–Last Breath! He blinked towards the airborne Lulu and suspended her in midair, hitting her with a flurry of slashes before slamming her back down to the ground. There, the Leona was already waiting with another stun to keep the Lulu immobilized. The three champions from Shanghai High School linked their crowd control skills seamlessly while also dealing damage.

《You have been slain!》

“Uh, where did that Leona come from?” Lin Feng mumbled as he stared at his grey screen. “Hey! BunBun! Tang Tang! Where was the missing in action ping?”

An Xin looked over at Lin Feng and said over the team’s voice chat, “We did ping. Repeatedly. You probably didn’t hear it over the compliments you were giving yourself. You’re really good at Lulu too, right? Well, if you really were, you wouldn’t have died there. That was a noob move. I expected better from you.”

Lin Feng scratched the back of his head and laughed the insults off. “Yeah, I guess you’re right. My bad! Anyway, Leona is here. Go make a play in bot already!”

High School 13’s Botlaners had recalled back to base when Zeng Rui’s Leona started pathing towards the mid lane. This left Shanghai High School’s Kalista alone in the bot lane. She farmed the minions without having to worry about a thing. A new minion wave arrived and she started clearing it, trying to kill it as quickly as possible. “One more minion, almost there,” Shanghai High School’s ad-carry mumbled to himself. The Vayne should be back soon. He had his Kalista retreat just as the Vayne’s summoner icon appeared on the minimap. She was back in the lane. Time to back out. GoGoGo!

Tang Bingyao was smiling when she saw the Kalista getting greedy for one more last hit. Players often forgot the bonus movement speed Vayne received when running towards an enemy champion. This bonus could be increased even further with the Vayne’s ultimate skill–Final Hour! Tang Bingyao activated it. An aura of darkness erupted out from the Vayne! She Tumbled forward for even more speed and chased after the Kalista.

The entire audience was cheering, some for the kill in the mid lane and others for Tang Bingyao chasing after the Kalista. Tonji Affiliated High’s ad-carry belonged to the second group. He had his fists clenched and his eyes locked onto the large screen above the stage. “Come on, come on, come on!” He watched Tang Bingyao catching up to the Kalista and started grinning. “She’s got this! This is a kill!”

Tang Bingyao’s Vayne caught up to the Kalista. She fired an empowered silver bolt at the Kalista and quickly followed up with another silver bolt. Two silver rings appeared around the Kalista. Tang Bingyao had just upgraded her items in the fountain shop. One of these items was the Bilgewater Cutlass, which had an active skill connected to it. A slow. Tang Bingyao used it on the Kalista, making the difference in movement speed even larger. She shot a third silver bolt. The three silver rings around the Kalista detonated and dealt true damage!

Shanghai High School’s Kalista saw her health bar plummet. That stupid Vayne is too fast! Come on. Why does the outer tower look so far away? Do I try and Flash? Can I get out then? The Kalista was hit by another silver bolt, her health dipping below half. Shit yes! Flash Flash! She blinked forward with a mottled flash of light. For a moment it looked like she’d gotten away. Then the Vayne also flashed.

The Red team’s outer tower was getting closer and closer. Shanghai High School’s Kalista just needed a couple more seconds! I’m going to make it! I have to make it! A third silver ring appeared around her, causing all three of them to explode. HealHeal! She used her second Summoner Spell to get some extra health. There was a slight delay between the explosion of the three silver rings and the dealing of damage. The Heal registered between these two moments, giving the Kalista just enough health to survive. Come on! I can make it! I’m almost there!

Tang Bingyao smiled as she watched the Kalista run straight towards her outer tower. She pressed down on her E key and mumbled, “Condemn!” Her Vayne pulled the large crossbow from her back and squeezed the trigger. A large bolt shot through the air and pierced the Kalista, lifting her off the ground and pinning her to the tower! Vayne Tumbled forward and fired off an empowered silver bolt.

《Killing spree!》

Tang Bingyao hit down on her TAB key. It showed the scoreboard, including her K/D/A. 3/0/0! BunBun was right! I can do this! I’m really good! Lin Feng was telling the truth! Mhm! I’m going to beat that Kalista! Mhm! She clenched her fist and grinned. I can do this! I’ll show them!

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

littleshanks's Thoughts

I’ve been alive for a good 2+ decades now, and I think I’m still fundamentally confused about how caffeine and coffee works. Maybe it’s the decade and a half of cartoons and television distorting my understanding. But I was under the impression that I was supposed to be instantly jolted awake after taking a swig out of that cup of java. Same with energy drinks. Am I wrong? Is that not how it works? Because I’ve never once felt this energizing sensation that these people and the commercials describe.

Whenever I drink caffeine, I feel no different than usual. It doesn’t instantly wake me up in the morning, and I don’t feel any less tired after drinking it while I’m trying to stay up late at night. Either way, these experiences with coffee led me to believe for the longest time that I was immune to the effects of caffeine. I was wrong.

One time, last semester, I decided to stay up all night to get an assignment done before it was due the next day. I had a 4-pack of large Red Bull sitting in my room just for these occasions. I was still iffy on if these drinks worked on me. But no harm in utilizing whatever resources you have available, right?

Anyway, I ended up going through the entire pack. It was 5 AM by the time I finished my assignment, and I had no idea if the Red Bull helped or not. The important thing, though, was that I managed to power through and get my work done. So, after turning everything in, I decided to hit the hay. I fell back into my bed and laid my head down on the pillow, tuning everything out around me. And as I gradually slipped into the embrace of sleep, I was suddenly disturbed by a faint pulsing sensation. First from the back of my ears, then inside my actual ears. Then I was shook away by my heart beating away like a jackhammer in my chest. 

And that’s how I learned that I am indeed affected by caffeine. But my question still remains. If I am affected by caffeine, why do I not get that energizing feeling from drinking it? Or is that not how it works? Please enlighten me, readers.

Sietse Thought: I guess you shouldn’t generally take commercials at face value. Or cartoons. They’re always exaggerating and looking at how far they can take it. I don’t think it’s all that obvious to most people. You just find it a little bit easier to stay up for an extra 30 minutes. Then you use it again the next time, and you stay up for an extra hour. Little by little, you combine the drink with staying up later and being more active. Now, I’m no doctor. I’ve got no idea if it’s the caffeine or just something in my head. But there’s definitely some kind of black magic going on.

Early September I started regularly drinking coffee, because I needed to be awake after 10 P.M.. I don’t do well after 10 P.M.. It went great at first. But as my body got used to staying up later, I was finding it increasingly difficult to fall asleep. Until the point where I would stay up a couple of hours longer than before and then go to bed and lay awake for another few hours. I quit cold turkey. Now I’m tired at 10 P.M. again, but I also fall asleep within 10 seconds of closing my eyes.

After this experience, I can only conclude that caffeine is just no good for me. I’d rather be tired early than lay awake in bed. There’s something oddly disturbing about lying awake in a dark room with only your own mind to keep you company. I can’t recommend it. Plus, your teeth start looking dark and ugly from coffee. On that note, it’s almost 10 P.M….

Dev Thought: I don’t drink coffee. Never liked the taste of it. I’m not sure if I just don’t like bitterness or if it's because I have the taste-buds of a six-year-old. But I just don’t do coffee. I drink tea. Most of the time, it’s just black tea with a little bit of honey or sugar. But there have been rare occasions where I tried coffee. None of them worked out well for me. 

See, coffee gives me the coffee shits. I’m not talking about the normal bowel movement that coffee gives everyone else. When I start drinking a cup of coffee, it runs through me and hits my rectum fast. Before I’m even halfway done with the cup, I gotta run to the bathroom. And then I proceed to shit everything I’ve eaten in the last year out. Giant logs of poop, little pellets that just haven’t had a chance to come out, pockets of gas that have been fermenting in my intestines for months. Everything comes out. And I’m usually so tired after this epic shit that I need to take a nap after. Not great for wakefulness at all. 

BUT THIS ONE TIME! Okay. I just started University, and I was taking Chemistry 1. The Final was on my birthday. So the night before, I had a small party with my friends instead of studying or getting a restful sleep. I was not at all rested enough for that exam. So my roommate gave me a giant can of Monster. This was the old Monster with the insane amount of caffeine in it. I drank the whole thing while chowing down on a protein bar. The caffeine hit me on the bus ride to the auditorium for the Chem Final. I felt a little rumbly-in-my-tumbly. But I clenched my anal spinchter hard and focused on the exam in front of me. It passed. 

Got to the auditorium with my blue book and calculator. Picked up my lap pad and went to my assigned seat. Sat down. The rumbling started again just as they were passing out the exam. More insistent this time. But I was the master of my bowels, and I was not about to let them mess up this exam! I clenched harder this time, took the exam paper and started. 

Got about halfway through with no issues. And then I hit a question that I didn’t quite understand, and I couldn’t figure out what to do. Adrenaline pounded in my veins, combining with the caffeine. And then both of them supercharged my bowels. I needed to do something to relieve the pressure. So I decided to use the safety valve. I tilted my pelvis to the left and slowly opened up my anal spinchter a little. The plan was to silently let out a little gas, thereby calming my bowels enough for me to finish the exam. 

What happened was not that. I did not silently release some gas. My bowels lost all sense of reason under the influence of exam nerves, caffeine, adrenaline, and the protein bar. They became convinced they were actually Airbenders in the Avatar State. I unleashed a loud tornado of intestinal gas. One with enough force that it lifted me about half an inch in my seat. And it sounded like a full trombone line. In a quiet auditorium where everyone was taking an exam. The acoustics of the auditorium didn’t help either. My fart echoed off the high ceilings and the sound reached every single person there. 

You’d think this is as bad as it gets. But it was not. Turns out that the only thing keeping the extraordinary dump I had to take inside my rectum was this large pocket of gas. This was my first, last, and only line of defense. And in my infinite foolishness, I let it out. As the last of the gas rushed out of my anus, shit quickly followed after it. By the time I registered the wetness, it was too late. I clenched my anal spinchter shut as fast as I could, but the damage was already done. I had shit myself. In the middle of my Chemistry Final. After farting loud enough that people stood up to try and see who had done it. 

Obviously, I had to get up and go to the bathroom to do something about all the shit that had now caked my buttcheeks like a mud bath. But my assigned seat was in the middle of the row. I had to stick my literally shitty ass in the face of 10 other people as I made my way to the aisle. And then I ran to the bathroom. Where I finished shitting, cleaned myself off the best I could, put my shit-encrusted boxers into a plastic bag and then into my bag, and had to figure out what to do next. My pants still smelled like shit, I was in no mental state to take that exam, and I just wanted to go home. So I decided this was a fuck-it moment and called a taxi to take me back to my dorm. Passed out immediately when I got there. 

When I woke up, I had an email from my Chemistry professor. He said that the TA in charge of my section explained what had happened, and he understood why I was unable to finish the exam. Told me I could take the make-up exam and that it was no big deal. Then he said, “I know this has been a difficult day for you. But you aren’t the first student to end up in a poopy pants situation in this University. Or even in this Chemistry class. It happens all the time. Don’t worry about it, and if you need someone to talk to you can reach out to me. Just know that you’ll be okay. I also pooped my pants during an examination when I was an undergraduate. This will just be a funny story that you tell in a few years. You’ll be fine. Good luck on your make-up exam and I hope to see you in Chemistry 2!”