Cheers and applause filled the stadium as more teams entered the venue. This was especially true when the American e-sports athletes showed up. It was because their legend, Vienna’s Sorrow, had shown up in person.
Vienna’s Sorrow looked 28 years old at most, and he was dressed in a black sportswear that gave him a spirited look. He carried himself with pride and scorn toward his lesser as he and his teammates walked to their waiting area with his gaming helmet. It was the right he had earned through his hard work and persistence.
Suddenly, Vienna’s Sorrow stopped in his tracks when his gaze landed on our waiting area. A flame ignited in his eyes as he uttered, "You!"
I knew he was talking to me. Even discounting the War of Dawn City, it was hardly the first time the two of us had encountered one another.
So I rose to my feet, walked to the edge of the waiting area and shot him a smile. "See you in the arena!"
Vienna’s Sorrow let out a cold snort before leaving with his teammates.
Beiming Xue asked me, "Why didn’t you speak to him in English, big bro?"
The question caught me a little off-guard, but I shook my head and replied, "Why should I? In fact, I’m the one who should ask why he didn’t speak to me in Chinese."
Lian Xin giggled. "Well said. Anyway, the battle’s about to begin…"
Rose expanded on that. "The 8 teams that will compete in the friendly competition will go on stage first. Obviously, the host will be speaking in English. Does any of you know how to speak the language?"
Warsky and Farewell Song shook their heads dumbly. Li Chengfeng shrugged before replying, "I only know ‘yes’ and ‘no’..."
Luo River God of the Capital rose to her feet with a helpless smile. "You people are hopeless. I’ll do it!"
Luo River God of the Capital was a fairly reputable group director in northern China. It was said that she never needed a translator’s help when conversing with foreign merchants, and that she was well-versed in three languages: Mandarin, English, and Shandong dialect.
It wasn’t long before a beautiful lady with a great body walked up the stage and kickstarted the competition. As mentioned before, the losers’ tournament would be played before the official competition. Eight teams who would duke it out to see who was the best among them. Although they were teams who failed to qualify for the WEL internationals, that didn’t change the fact they were some of the best teams in their country. In a sense, the friendly matches were expected to be as exciting as the official matches!
Li Chengfeng, Luo River God of the Capital, Stranger of Three Lifetimes, Warsky and Farewell Song grabbed their gaming helmets and went on stage after they were called. A brief introduction later, they entered the battle rooms to set up their equipment, and an arena appeared on the large displays. The arena was a 200x200 yard square because the match format was 5v5.
The first match was between China and Korea. Two of the Korean players were Heroic Bannermen judging from the banners behind their backs, but I already knew that they were going to lose no matter what.
Warsky grabbed his sword and activated Great Earth Transformation with a cry. He then called out to the dragon warrior and said, "Li Chengfeng, Charge with me! Let’s take out their archer first!"
But Li Chengfeng sneered at him and said, "Get lost. You’re not the team leader, so why should I listen to you? In fact, why don’t we compete and see who can score the most kills?"
Farewell Song smiled at that. "Sure, let’s do that!"
Farewell Song shouted and activated Great Earth Transformation. A second shout later, all his muscles bulged like crazy, and he suddenly grew a couple of inches taller. The black cyclone surrounding him made it look like the advent of some horrible god or devil. It was of course his Divine General Skill, Dark God Transformation!
The double boost was apparently insane, because Farewell Song shot forward like a literal lightning bolt and cut down an archer at the front before he even knew what was going on. The 150k damage number rising above the poor guy’s head was shocking to say the least.
Unwilling to be outdone, Li Chengfeng activated Battle Soul Possession to increase his Attack drastically and swing the Augustus’ Spear at the two enemy warriors. Three strikes later, he bent lower and attempted to trip them by sweeping at their legs. The two warriors fell backward in surprise, but before they could do anything else an Ice Blast hit them in the face. Stranger of Three Lifetimes said from behind, "Excuse me? Sister Wang Luo and I are here, you know?"
Luo River God of the Capital waved her scepter and summoned a fire dragon that burned the two half-health warriors to crisp instantly. A short distance away, Warsky and Farewell Song had finished cleaning up the rest of the enemy team as well. It hadn’t even been half a minute yet, but the Korean team had already been swept away by the Chinese team. Despite having two Heroic Bannermen, the Korean team wasn’t even able to slow down their defeat in the slightest.
"What a stomp…" Rose commented with a smile on her face.
I broke into a smile myself before replying, "Frankly, not even our team has a high chance of beating them. Each of them is a powerhouse in their own right, and Farewell Song, Li Chengfeng and Wang Luo are goddamned monsters. They are one of the best players in the China server right now!"
Rose nodded in agreement. "If only we could recruit them all into Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls. We would’ve been invincible."
He Yi chuckled. "That will never happen. We may all share the same dream, but our paths belong to us and us alone. We may cross paths with one another sometimes, but those points of contact must be filled with endless battles."
"And when the end arrives, only one will remain standing above them all…" Lin Yixin added.
Rose shook her head at their comments. "Man, Heavenblessed is full of battle maniacs…"
"Duh. This is no farming simulator…"
As expected, the other teams were strong, but nowhere strong enough to stop our team from making it to the final. It wasn’t an easy battle, but the conclusion became clear when Warsky successfully stunned three people with Ghost Banner, and transformed Farewell Song and Li Chengfeng killed a player each during the stun duration. Warsky was ultimately killed by the enemy’s assassin, but Stranger of Three Lifetimes and Luo River God of the Capital from the backline and ended the match in decisive fashion. Just like that, they won a level and 1 Luck for their troubles. The reward aside, it was a worthwhile trip because the flight tickets, accommodation cost and more were all covered by Eternal Moon Corporation. Also, now that they were done, they could spend the rest of their time ogling beautiful western babes and handsome western men.
Now that the exhibition tournament was over, it was time to hold the official matches. The large displays displayed the match-ups in seven different languages as the female host made her announcements. The match-ups were randomized by the game’s algorithm, so there was no need to worry if any trickery was involved in the process. One of the displays directly facing our waiting area was translated the match-ups to Chinese, and it would seem that Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls had been dropped in Group C!
Soul Battle Robes (China) VS Hero Alliance (USA)
Mad Panzer (Germany) VS Snowbird (Russia)
Corn Taste (Italy) VS Heavenly Disaster (Korea)
Vast Ocean (Japan) VS Mad Beast (Iran)
Olympus (USA) VS Dark City (England)
Snowy Cathaya (China) VS Earth Knights (Turkey)
Wheel of Sun and Moon (Korea) VS Burning Sand (Egypt)
Jannah (Pakistan) VS Yellow Dragon (Russia)
Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls (China) VS Storm (Ukraine)
God’s Domain (Japan) VS Don't Cry for Me Argentina (Argentina)
Above the Black Sea (France) VS Throne of the Wild (Korea)
Rumbling Thunder (Brazil) VS The Storm (USA)
Future Faith (USA) VS Cyan Beast (India)
At Sunset (Israel) VS Stribog (Russia)
Candle Dragon (China) VS Forest Tiger (India)
Fairyland (France) VS The Gods (Thailand)
He Yi chuckled when she saw the match-up. "This is very balanced. All four Chinese teams are in different groups. Looks like we’ll all be fighting for ourselves…"
Not far away, a smiling Song of Ice and Fire clenched his fists and declared, "Who knows, we may even have an all-Chinese finals, hahahaha…"
However, Ringwraith shot us a hostile look and said, "I don’t know. Soul Battle Robes is strong enough to make it to the quarter-finals at least, but eh… let’s just say that there’s always going to be people that are all bark and no bite…"
This pissed off Purple Marquis, Candlelight Shadow and a couple more people instantly. Blue Sky Scar yelled, "Watch your mouth, Ringwraith! Who are you calling all bark and no bite?"
Ringwraith retorted fearlessly, "I’m talking about you and your team. What are you gonna do about it?"
Song of Ice and Fire shushed him. "Save the argument for another time, Ringwraith. We’ll embarrass ourselves before the foreigners if we continue. Hmph! They’ll know what we mean very soon anyway!"
Lin Yixin taunted with a smile, "Oh? Last time I remember, your team got 3:1’d by Ancient Sword. You sure you have the right to make such claims?"
Song of Cloud and Water frowned and spoke up, "Alright, cut it out. We’re all representing our country here, so let’s at least look the part as united and… do well in the competition. Soul Battle Robes will be fighting first, and our very first opponent is the strongest guild from Hero City, Hero Alliance, also known as Vienna’s Sorrow’s guild. We’ll lose horribly if we underestimate our enemy, understand?"
Song of Ice and Fire, Ringwraith and God Bone all nodded in unison.
It wasn’t long before the host invited Soul Battle Robes on stage. After briefly introducing their team’s history, it was Hero Alliance’s turn to step on stage. Vienna’s Sorrow appeared with three fairly young guys, and I had no doubt that they were all the elites of elites in Hero City. Vienna’s Sorrow was the best player in the USA, so anyone he would pick to join his team couldn’t possibly be a weakling!
Vienna’s Sorrow shot Song of Ice and Fire a somewhat challenging smile before speaking in shaky Chinese, "I heard you are… strong? I dare you to fight me in the first match!"
Song of Ice and Fire was a hot-blooded male, so of course he wasn’t going to back down from a challenge. He immediately growled, "Sure! Like I’m afraid of you. You’re a coward if you don’t show up for the first match!"
Vienna’s Sorrow smiled. "Sure!"
Both Vienna’s Sorrow and Song of Ice and Fire were Divine Generals. It was certainly an interesting way to draw the curtains of the WEL internationals.
Song of Cloud and Water said with a frown, "To be honest, I didn’t want to send you first. It doesn’t bode well for our team’s chances."
But Song of Ice and Fire replied, "Don’t worry. Brother Seven drank with me before I returned to Soul Battle Robes, and he told me who to watch out for in the server such as Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand, Wind Fantasy, Candlelight Shadow and more. I won’t let down my old ID, Dawning Wind Waning Moon. Even now I’m still very confident in my strength. Just watch, I’ll return to my peak form in less than a week, and when that happens I will defeat all these so-called top-tier experts. This fight with Vienna’s Sorrow will be the first fight to return to my form!"
Knowing that there was no way she could change his mind, Song of Cloud and Water nodded.Previous Chapter Next Chapter