Chapter 522: Illegal Offline Match

"It’s related to the main questline?" I exclaimed in surprise.

"Yeah." Lin Yixin confirmed with certainty. "This is a large map split into 9 zones. Each zone contains a super boss that drops a quest item upon death. If you manage to collect all 9 quest items, it is rumored that you can claim a broken reward from an NPC…"

"Are you sure it’s going to begin at 9 am tomorrow?"

"Mn!"

"Alright, I might as well start preparing sooner than later! Pass me some Rank 10 Health Potions this afternoon, please…"

"Sure, but I’m charging you double..."

"..."

I hung up the phone and went out with everyone. It was time to eat lunch!

……

At a certain restaurant by Moye Lu, the five of us were sitting at a round table. Rose was paying, so we were only in charge of eating.

Rose held the menu and spoke to the waiter like she had done this many times in the past. She kept her chest badge on probably because it had become a professional habit for her to do so. Speaking of which, she gave us each a chest badge and told us to keep it with our person at all times for when we were attending events. I saw my name, my ID and the Lenovo logo on it. It didn’t look bad.

"How did you become the manager of an e-sports team, Rose?" The question slipped out of my mouth while I was sipping my drink. Usually, a 20 year old girl like her would be studying in a college or something, not working in the e-sports industry.

Rose smiled a little before answering, "That is a long story. I’ve been a huge gamer girl ever since I was in high school, and I quite often played truant because of it. One day, the class teacher gave my mom a call, and my mom decided to send me to uni. She thought that the advanced studies would do me some good, but I was of the opposite opinion. After we had a fallout, I traveled to Beijing alone and worked as a manager of multiple professional e-sports teams. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem like I was going anywhere no matter how hard I toiled…"

She smiled again and played with her hair. "That changed just two days ago. No one was expecting Eternal Moon Corporation to push out the competitive arena, and all the teams were going crazy because of it. Naturally, I jumped on the bandwagon and tried to make the best of it. Maybe it was because my luck was good that day, but I ran into Director Zhu, a director of Lenovo not too long ago. She asked me if I would like to become the team leader of Lenovo’s Heavenblessed e-sports club, and I accepted the offer. One thing led to another, and here I am meeting the legendary Little Heavenly King himself…"

Rose’s eyes suddenly turned starry as she grabbed my wrist and said, "Lu Chen, I’ve been your fan for a long time now, you know that? When I heard that you’d be coming under my care, I was so excited I couldn’t sleep the whole night. Look, I have black circles under my eyes…"

Muscles in my face twitched. How am I supposed to react to this?

He Yi, Beiming Xue, and Murong Mingyue giggled. Rose’s story made us realize that she had suffered a lot to come this far. It was the same for all of us, however. There was no such thing as a perfectly smooth life, and a long time ago, I and my father had a huge argument as well. Though in my case, he had forgiven me in the end.

……

"What events are we expected to participate in, Rose?" I asked.

Rose hummed for a second before replying, "For now there aren’t really any major tournaments for you all to participate in, so just focus on leveling as usual. Well, there is a Play HGL League at Hangzhou that lasts three days, but the prize money is so small—the champion gets only 50k—that it failed to attract any noteworthy teams. Let’s send the substitutes to do the dirty work and save you for another time."

"Alright then." I nodded before saying, "A new leveling map that all three cities have access to will be opened tomorrow morning, and we’ve decided to put our main focus on it. It’s imperative that we maintain our level and equipment advantage, or we’ll only grow weaker and weaker as time passes."

Rose nodded with a smile. "You got it."

……

The dishes arrived very soon, and we all had one helluva good time. However, Gui Guzi suddenly called me in the middle of the meal—

"Hello, what is it Little Gui? I’m eating…"

Gui Guzi replied urgently, "Boss Broken Halberd, we’ve got trouble! It’s seriously bad!"

"What happened?" I was caught off-guard by the urgency behind his voice.

Gui Guzi said, "An entertainment center just opened at the B1 floor of Shilu International yesterday, and there’s a place there where you can compete in illegal Heavenblessed matches. Xu Yang went there to earn some money this morning, and not only did they refuse to pay him his winnings, they beat him up and found an expert to beat him in a match as well! Are you free right now? If you are, grab your helmet and head there right now! Brother B, Yamete, and I are on the way already! Those fuckers are still holding him right now!"

"You serious?! Fuck!"

I slammed the table hard and rose to my feet immediately. "I’m coming over right now. If you reach the place before me, keep them busy but don’t fall for their provocations! I’ll face this so-called expert who beat up Xu Yang myself!"

"Got it!"

……

I noticed the girls staring at me in astonishment after I hung up the call. He Yi asked, "What happened, Lu Chen?"

I replied seriously, "It’s nothing. I need to go to do something, so don’t wait or come looking for me. Just stay at the workshop until I come back, understand?"

Before the girls could react, I burst out of the restaurant and ran back to the workshop. After grabbing my gaming helmet, I ran to my X12 and zoomed all the way to Shilu International.

As the name might suggest, illegal matches were underground matches that haven’t been sanctioned by the official authorities. In fact, this was a thing in Heavenblessed the next day after the competitive arena came online. By modifying the game terminals, it was possible to connect two specific players together into a match. It was one of those things that the officials turned a blind eye barring exceptional circumstances. In an illegal match, the player’s ID was removed, and the character appearance was blurred. It was a way to prevent blackmailing from happening. Both participants would bet a sum of money, and the winner took everything. This was the gist of an illegal match.

I didn’t expect Xu Yang to lose to anyone in such a match though. Xu Yang was a Top 100 player in the champion arena, and his win rate was over 70%. It was why I was almost incredulous when I heard that someone in our tiny city had managed to beat him.

……

After reaching Shilu International and parking my car, I ran toward the entrance to the B1 floor and immediately saw Gui Guzi, Du Thirteen, and Yamete already waiting for me with their gaming helmets.

"Ready?"

"Come on!"

We rushed down the stairs and entered the entertainment center. We quickly found an area called "Showdown" with the Heavenblessed logo on its signboard.

I exchanged a look with Gui Guzi, Du Thirteen, and Yamete before saying seriously, "Watch out, brothers. You won’t find goody-two-shoes in this place."

"Yeah!"

We walked over to the entrance, paid the entrance fee that was worth 100 RMB and entered the place.

"Xu Yang!"

Gui Guzi immediately spotted our brother. Xu Yang was slumped against a corner with his arm hanging below his torso in an unnatural manner. His face was bloodied, and he looked like his spirit had been sucked out of him.

I sped to his side immediately and lifted him to his feet. "What happened?"

Xu Yang forced a smile onto his face and said, "It’s nothing, I got bit by some dogs, that’s all…"

It was at this moment a provoking voice rang behind us. "Yo, did your friends finally come for you? And four people no less! Are they your roomies or something?"

I turned around and found a person wearing a lattice-patterned shirt behind us. Disdain colored his features as he looked us up and down.

I pointed a finger at Xu Yang before asking, "Who are you? Are you the one who beat him up?"

Mr. Lattice raised his eyebrows. "I’m the boss of this place, so of course I wasn’t the one who beat up your friend. Hmph! The winner beat your friend up because he refused to cough up after losing a million RMB. There, that’s the one you’re looking for!"

I looked at the direction he was pointing and found a man with red hair rising from his feet. His features were arranged into a hateful sneer. "What’s wrong, you don’t like the results? Fight me then. How does a thousand a round sound? You dare?"

"Why wouldn’t I?" Gui Guzi retorted.

But Xu Yang struggled a little and pointed at the redhead in anger. "That son of a bitch said the same thing earlier, but after the match he changed the bet to a million! Motherfucker!"

I nodded and looked at the redhead again. "It’s just a match. Even if he did owe you a million RMB, was it really necessary to break his arm?"

The redhead retorted tauntingly, "I felt like it, that’s all. If he didn’t want to lose an arm, he shouldn’t have gone back on his bet, should he?"

"You said it!"

I abruptly kicked over a chair in front of me and pointed a finger at the redhead. "One round, five million, with me as your opponent! Do you accept this bet?"

The redhead was caught off-guard by my abrupt challenge, but he immediately clenched his teeth and replied, "And why wouldn’t I accept five million free cash? You’d better not go back on your word like that sore loser over there!"

"Don’t you worry about me. Just remember what you said after the match is over!"

……

Gui Guzi, Du Thirteen, and Yamete all wanted to step up and fight the redhead themselves, but I blocked them with my arm and said, "Don’t take this one away from me, please. Xu Yang and I have been brothers ever since two years ago. If I don’t do this for him, I won’t be able to call myself his brother anymore!"

Gui Guzi nodded. "Alright. Go get him. Don’t worry, we’ll beat the crap out of these fuckers if they even think to make a sudden move!"

The boss of the entertainment immediately chuckled. "Relax, we are fair people who abide by the law of the jungle. We are forever in favor of the winner. However, I must remind you that the winner must pay 10% of the bet as the property management fee."

I nodded. "No problem. Now get over here, redhead. Show me how good you are!"

The redhead looked at me disdainfully. "Another suicidal fucker, I see! That retard lost even though he has Barrier Break! Who the hell do you think you are?"

"You’ll know the answer very soon!"

……

The redhead and I entered the gaming room together and connected to the game through the relevant data terminal. The moment the connection was established, I immediately received a notification asking me if I wanted to enter room 173738 of the 

Swhoosh!

My character vanished and reappeared inside a closed battle arena. Standing on the opposite side of me was a high-level warrior in red metal armor. I couldn’t see his level, ID or even his equipment properly. The blur effect basically prevented me from deducing his true strength. One thing was certain though: this man was good, or Xu Yang wouldn’t have lost to him.

……

"Hehe, here I come, five million! If you refuse to pay like that friend of yours, I’m going to break your leg this time!" the bastard uttered with a hateful sneer.

I replied in an indifferent tone, "Laugh while you can, because you’re gonna be crying like a bitch real soon!"

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