Chapter 29 - Charismatic Qualities

“No matter how unrealistic... as long as you try... something worth respecting…” Su Xue mumbled to herself, deeply touched. She stared at Lin Feng and said with a hint of hesitation, “Then what you mean is…”

Lin Feng smiled brightly and patted his chest. “Don’t worry. I’ll make you the best female streamer out there!”

“R-really…? You’ll really help me?” Su Xue asked, half-doubting.

“Yes. I never go back on my word! You can put your trust in me!” Lin Feng solemnly vowed.

“How good do you think I can become? Platinum maybe…?”

“Platinum? No, that’s too low! I promise I’ll make you a Diamond player within a month!”

“Heey hey! Do you really think that’s realistic?” Su Xue gaped.

“Don’t worry. I’m really good at coaching!” Lin Feng said confidently.

“Alright. But they’re your words, not mine!” Su Xue countered defensively. Then, her eyes lit up, her heart pumping from the prospect of becoming a Diamond-rank player. “I’ll put my faith in you! Let’s get started tomorrow!”

However, Lin Feng was even more gung-ho. He shot up to his feet and said, “Why wait until tomorrow? Let’s get started right now!”

Su Xue was quick to accept this suggestion. The two returned to Su Xue’s room in high spirits and started going over a training plan.

“Your best role is ad-carry.” Lin Feng took out a small notebook out of nowhere and started scribbling. “Mhmm, yeah. An ad-carry… so, let’s start with CSing!”

“Huh? CSing? You mean like killing minions…?” Su Xue muttered quizzically.

Lin Feng clenched his fist. “Correct! We’re going back to the basics. Let’s create a custom game and practice your CSing!”

“A custom game?” Su Xue’s expression darkened. She protested, “Hey! Don’t look down on me so much! I’m still Gold, you know! Even Bronze noobs can CS in a custom game!”

“How about we give it a try first? Then we can up the difficulty if it’s too easy,” Lin Feng persuaded.

Su Xue gave in and quickly created a custom game. She picked the ad-carry she was most familiar with, Caitlyn, and selected Leona as her bot opponent. Afterwards, she started the match brimming with confidence. “Li’l punk, just you watch. No matter how bad I am at the game, I can still easily CS against a bot!”

A short 10 minutes later, Su Xue stared at her screen while Lin Feng stared at her. She’d achieved a measly 66 creep score. Perhaps against other players this was still excusable, but against bots this was nothing short of embarrassing. She didn’t dare move her gaze, afraid she would meet Lin Feng’s. Feeling a strong urge to find a hole to crawl into, she lashed out, “Not a word! Fine. I will practice my CSing.”

Lin Feng chuckled in satisfaction. Then, he yawned and rubbed his eyes. “Sis Xue, I’m tired. I’m going to hit the hay. Good luck with your CSing.”

Su Xue was still coming to terms with the fact that she’d only achieved 66 CS at 10 minutes in a custom game against a bot. She buried her head in her arms and muttered, “Alright, good night. I-I’ll continue practicing.”

The next day, Lin Feng woke up to the sound of his alarm ringing at 6:30 AM. He groggily got out of bed and shuffled toward the washroom. After brushing his teeth and washing his face, he walked into the living room with his eyes still half-closed. Suddenly, the scent of something delicious wafted into his nostrils. Noticing the poached eggs, congee, and steamed buns, his eyes snapped open as saliva drooled from his mouth. “Oh, breakfast!” All the drowsiness disappeared as he sat down at the dining table.

Su Xue came from the kitchen with a plate of steaming-hot buns. Seeing Lin Feng, she smiled. “You’re awake? Did you brush your teeth and wash your face? Breakfast is ready. You can dig in.”

“You’re the best!” Lin Feng exclaimed. He picked up a bowl and chopsticks as he looked over the dishes in front of him. “These eggs look really great! The congee smells delicious!” Suddenly, he jerked his head up and looked at Su Xue, who looked like a panda with large dark circles around her eyes. “Did you get any sleep last night?”

“Ehh…? Is it that bad?” Su Xue rubbed her face. A hint of red flushed her cheeks as she explained, “Oh, I didn’t sleep last night. I got too absorbed into practicing my CSing. I lost track of time.” Then, she frowned in frustration. “What am I going to do about these dark circles? I still need to stream today! Damn, I’ll put on a facial mask and maybe some make-up.”

Lin Feng was at a loss for words, needing a while to snap out of his daze. Even a League addict like him was shocked. She’d practiced CSing all throughout the night?

For a role like ad-carry, CSing was fundamental. However, it was also one of the more tedious and monotonous aspects of the game. Lin Feng was well aware of how boring it was to CS against a bot. You weren’t going against another person, but a cold, mindless AI as you last hit minion after minion. Perhaps you could derive some pleasure from beating the bot in the beginning, but even that would quickly fade. To do that for an entire night all for the sake of practicing a fundamental skill? This was certainly a type of monotony that most League players, even amongst the pros, couldn’t endure. Yet, Su Xue had done just this and without any external help at all. She was solely driven by her inner desire to get better at the game.

Lin Feng stared intently at Su Xue, acknowledging her abilities for the first time or perhaps seeing a glimmer of something special. “Sis Xue.”

“Huh, what?” Su Xue raised her head curiously.

“N-no, it’s nothing really…” Lin Feng scratched his head. He then gave her a thumbs up and smiled. “I just wanted to say I’m cheering for you!”

Su Xue was stunned. Then, her face, haggard from a night without sleep, lit up with a bright smile. She also gave him a thumbs up. “Thanks for believing in me! I won’t give up! I’ll become really good at this game!” 

After finishing breakfast, Lin Feng grabbed his bag and left for a school. He’d finally gotten used to his new schedule and the various classes he had to take.

Come the final dismissal bell, Ouyang was head-down on his desk, exhausted from all the learning. Yang Fan turned around. Seeing Ouyang practically looking like a zombie, he shook his head. “This guy definitely stayed up gaming too long last night.” Then, he adjusted his glasses and turned to Lin Feng with a smile. “Lin Feng, why were you in such a hurry to leave yesterday? Ouyang and I were going to ask if you wanted to walk home with us, but you’d already left.”

“Oh, sorry I missed you guys. I had something come up.” Lin Feng scratched his head.

Yang Fan didn’t seem to mind and moved on. “Right, didn’t you say you wanted to join the esports club yesterday?”

“Yeah, I do!” Lin Feng nodded.

Yang Fan chuckled. “Then practice hard in your free time, and make sure you’re in your best form. I just got word yesterday that the club will be recruiting new members at the end of next week. Only the best players will be accepted into the club.”

“Huh? There’s a selection process?” Lin Feng was stunned.

Yang Fan nodded. “Of course. Not just anyone is allowed in our esports club. Well, anyone can become a normal member, technically. But if you want to take part in the competitive tournaments, you have to earn your spot.”

Lin Feng’s eyes went wide in realization. “Oh! No problem! I’m really good at the game!”

Yang Fan suddenly got curious. “Right, I forgot, but what server do you play in, and what rank are you?”

Ouyang had asked the same question yesterday. Lin Feng didn’t spare it a second thought before answering the same way as last time. “I'm a Challenger in the Ionia server!”

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littleshanks's Thoughts

Yeah, who does that. >_> Cough cough* Pulling all nighters doing the same thing over and over again… not me!