We ordered some dim sum and ate while we talked. Zhu Hong shot us a glance and started the negotiations.
"I’m sure you’ve all heard about TCL making a high-profile entry into the VRMMO scene and signing a massive contract deal with Candlelight Shadow, Blue Sky Scar, Tempest Shadow, Transient Smoke and Clouds, and God’s Dance already, right?"
"Mn." He Yi nodded and said, "We’ve already known about it since yesterday."
Zhu Hong smiled. "Well, if there’s one thing I can promise you, it’s that Lu Chen will be given an equal or higher salary than Candlelight Shadow’s if he can defeat him in a match!"
I was both surprised and pleased. I knew I could trust our local corporations; they didn’t undercompensate us at all.
Zhu Hong checked the info in her folder before continuing, "The board of directors have unanimously decided to offer you the below salary: Lu Chen, you are the 7th-placed CGL Hall of Famer, the Little Heavenly King and Candlelight Shadow’s strongest rival. Our offer to you is a yearly salary of 24 million RMB, or 2 million RMB per month. Beiming Xue, you are the famous Dark Archer who defeated many top experts in the China server. Our offer to you is a yearly salary of 12 million RMB, or 1 million RMB per month. He Yi, you are the guild leader of Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls and a powerful contender who showed great promise in the competitive environment of both champion and team arenas. Our offer to you is a yearly salary of 9 million RMB or 750k RMB per month. Finally, Murong Mingyue, you are the strongest priest in all of China's servers. Our offer to you is a yearly salary of 6 million RMB, or 500k RMB per month.
“So, that’s our offer. Does anyone have anything to say? If so, please, feel free."
Zhu Hong looked at us with serious and sincere eyes after she was done.
I folded my arms before my chest and asked the girls, "So, Eve, Beiming, sis, what do you think about your offers?"
Beiming Xue muttered in a daze, "Millions? Millions. Millions…"
It looked like the offer had overloaded her brain. She really was too precious.
He Yi and Murong Mingyue didn’t care about the offer at all—or more accurately, it was too little money to them to take it seriously—but they still gave Zhu Hong an affirmative nod. "It’s acceptable, so let us move on to the next phase. What does Lenovo want us to do in return?"
Zhu Hong smiled. "Not much, actually. Would you like to move to our club? We’re headquartered in Beijing."
He Yi shook her head immediately. "No."
"That’s fine too. That means you’ll still be staying at your place, am I right?"
Zhu Hong nodded. "No problem. Generally speaking, we wouldn’t make you follow a tight schedule. You’re only required to participate in the most prestigious competitions. Of course, we don’t mind supporting you if you wish to participate in smaller ones too. We are your sponsors after all. Most of the competitions should take place online, so you don’t have to worry about them eating into your time. That’s all I want to say, I think. To be honest with you, what we really want is to stick our label behind your IDs. As long as you remain strong in the game, we would be establishing a solid presence in Heavenblessed, do you get what I’m saying?"
He Yi gave Zhu Hong a small smile.
I asked, "Director Zhu, we chose Lenovo even though there are plenty more clubs that we could’ve joined. Can you tell me why we made this choice?"
Zhu Hong looked surprised, but she quickly smiled and answered me seriously, "We have products all across the globe, but our domestic products are good as the ones we sell overseas. Is this good enough for you?"
I nodded gladly and extended my hand to her. "We’re very happy to sign a contract with Lenovo."
Zhu Hong exclaimed in pleasant surprise, "You’re saying yes?"
"Is there any reason we shouldn’t?"
"No, not at all!"
Zhu Hong quickly made a call, and a short while later a couple of Lenovo employees showed up at our doorsteps with the relevant contract documents, stamps, and so on. Beiming Xue and I could only stare at them with our mouths agape. This professionalism is on another level, isn’t it?
We signed the contracts on the spot, and just like that we became official e-sports members of Lenovo. Zhu Hong also promised us that they wouldn’t increase the size of the team, and they would communicate with us beforehand if the necessity arose. After all, this was a professional VRMMO e-sports team, and rapport between team members was incredibly important.
For example, a company might want to make a super team with Candlelight Shadow, Lin Yixin, Luo River God of the Capital, and me in it. However, that would never happen because Candlelight Shadow and I were enemies, and we would never work together under the same club. In a 2v2 match, the first player I would kill would always be Candlelight Shadow no matter if he was a friend or foe.
Lenovo was really well-prepared. When we returned to the workshop and checked the official website, we immediately discovered a new, eye-catching headline—
"Lenovo signs massive contract deal with Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand, Beiming Xue, From Water, and Murong Mingyue. The giant virtual ship that is Lenovo has officially set sail!"
The following passage introduced the team, Lenovo, what they wished to do in Heavenblessed, and so on. It was very good marketing especially because the Eternal Moon Corporation allowed it to take the headline at its website’s front page. Obviously, this was very good for Lenovo. 
That wasn’t the only hot news of the day, however—
PepsiCo: Signed a massive contract deal with five tiger generals; Warsky, Farewell Song, Laughing At The Heavens, October Rain, and Lin Bing Dou Zhe.
Founder Group: Signed a massive contract deal with five tiger generals; Purple Dawn, Fighting On All Fronts, Gao Jianli, Red Dust, and Zero Degree Rain.
Another two big corporations had made their moves. Warsky really was talented in this area; not everyone could get PepsiCo as their sponsor.
I didn’t think Founder Group made the right choice signing Candle Dragon Second Seed, the team that was led by Purple Dawn, however. That team was second-rate no matter how you looked at it...
That being said, it was a good thing that these wealthy business corporations were willing to invest big money into players. All the contract deals were stated to be "massive", but the gap between offers was huge as a matter of course. For example, my offer was worth 24 million, while Purple Dawn’s offer was only 2 million. There was just no comparison.
Of course, I wasn’t saying that a 2-million contract deal was bad. Quite the contrary, it was still amazing!
I went online after eating lunch.
The moment I appeared in Sky City, I received a message—
System Notice: The logo of "Lenovo" will appear beneath your ID because you have signed a contract with Lenovo Group Limited. You may choose to remove it!
When I checked, I saw a new row beneath my ID as expected—
Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand LV-130 Purgatory Thunder
Guild: Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls
Guild Position: Vice Leader
Team: Lenovo Group Limited
An eye-catching logo appeared beneath my ID, and to be honest, it actually looked pretty good. One of the terms of the contract stated the logo musn’t be removed, so I was just going to leave it be. At the very least, it served as proof that I was signed under a team, and at the current stage, anyone who got signed by an organization was considered a great player.
Lin Yixin sent me a message. "So, Lu Chen, you’ve sold yourself to Lenovo…"
"What do you mean I sold myself?" I was a bit displeased with her phrasing.
"Time to fess’ up. How much did you get signed for? Is it as good as Candlelight Shadow’s?"
"Mn, my yearly salary is worth 24 million!" I smiled proudly before saying, "By the way Yiyi, since I’m a multimillionaire now, you should prepare your dowry right away…"
"Huh? Why should I?" She sounded confused.
"Because you’re going to get married with a certain young multimillionaire who’s below 30 years old, of course! I am worthy of you now, aren’t I?"
"WTF!" I could see her face turning as red as an apple on the screen. She waved a fist at me and said, "You really think you’re worthy to ask for my hand in marriage with that level of money? Hmph, just you wait, I’m going to sign an even better contract than yours and show you your place real soon…"
"Yiyi, you’re not going to find anyone if you stay this bossy…"
"Why do you think I keep you around, fall back guy?"
Since Lin Yixin had shot me down without mercy, I went to organize the items at Air Force One before summoning the Sky Obsidian Greedy Wolf. After teleporting to Dark Moon City and upgrading the buildings, I got ready to grind some levels. I was in no hurry to up my rank in the competitive arena because I, as Lin Yixin said, have already sold myself to a corporation. The entire point of grinding ranks in the arena was to get signed, and since I had already achieved my goal I decided that grinding would be a better use of my time.
Some time later, the guild channel suddenly burst into activity. It looked like something was happening—
Li Chengeng: "Guys, guys, I got some good news to share!"
Chaos Moon: "What is it?"
Gui Guzi: "Tell us already, Li!"
Li Chengfeng let out a laugh. "Just this morning, the Director of Operations of ASUS came to me to discuss club signings. More specifically, they wanted to sign the best players in Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls. Because Lu Chen, Beiming Xue and the guild leader had already been taken, they decided to sign me as the team leader and several others as the team members. If you all agree, they’ll fly someone to Suzhou this afternoon and meet us at the entrance to the decor club to complete the contract."
Gui Guzi asked curiously, "Oh, I see. Who did they choose?"
Li Chengfeng replied, "There are five people in total, namely me, you, High Fighting Spirits, Eighteen Steeds of You and Yun, and finally Chaos Moon. They offered me a yearly salary of 11 million, 7 million for Little Gui, and 5 million for everyone else. So, do you want to accept this offer or not?"
"What, 5 million yearly salary?" Chaos Moon sounded pleasantly surprised. "Does that mean I’m going to be rich?"
Gui Guzi nodded. "Yeah, you don’t need to worry about overspending on Mayflower products now…"
Chaos Moon: "..."
After High Fighting Spirits and Eighteen Steeds of You and Yun agreed to join ASUS as well, Li Chengfeng confirmed the deal immediately. ASUS would be setting up a club at Suzhou, and the five of them could move out of the base once it was complete. Of course, it was their decision whether to move to the new location or not.
All in all, this meant that our core players now had a stable income and a future. This was good for both them and Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls because their lives were no longer floating in uncertainty. Competing in the VR e-sports scene was now considered a profession, and if we did well enough, it was only a matter of time we won the recognition of the entire world.