A thunderous applause rocked the stadium. When Lin Yixin walked out of the battle room with her bag hung loosely on one shoulder, it was as if a ray of sunshine was shining down on her. If the match hadn’t literally ended just a couple seconds ago, no one would believe that this gorgeous girl was the one who defeated the so-called best defensive player in the entire world, Titan God!
Purple Marquis, Shadow Chanel and Clear Perfume also stepped out of the battle room behind Lin Yixin. They were all wearing happy smiles on their faces because Snowy Cathaya had officially made it into the quarter-finals. For a team who was participating in an international competition for the first time, it was a most impressive achievement for sure. More importantly, a good ranking on the world stage would more than double Snowy Cathaya’s reputation in the server and attract even more experts to join the guild. When the time comes, their dream of conquering the world wouldn’t be a dream anymore.
Back on the stage, the American host continued to speak in fluent English that I couldn’t understand. Deciding it probably wasn’t of any concern to me, I walked up to Yiyi and took her bag from her. The gaming helmet was pretty heavy.
"Well done, Yiyi!" I passed her a cup of tea after we returned to our seats.
Lin Yixin declared smilingly, "But of course!"
I teased her, "And here I thought you guys will fail to advance to the quarter-finals…"
"OMG, you jinx! Do you want to die?" Lin Yixin waved her fist threateningly at me.
Li Chengfeng grinned at my plight and said, "Hmph hmph, I wonder if it’s a blessing or a curse to have a sassy girlfriend like Lin Yixin? I used to envy you, but now I’m starting to pity you…"
I rolled my eyes at him. "Pity yourself, dude…"
Li Chengfeng laughed, but Lin Yixin stayed silent. She was already focusing her obsidian-like eyes on the score and analyzing the upcoming match.
The second match of Group B was Korea’s Wheel of Sun and Moon versus Russia’s Yellow Dragon. Yellow Dragon was Russia’s first string, but unfortunately for them, they were no match for Korea’s second string at all. Korea might be a small country, but they were a genuine e-sports empire. It had given birth to countless Heavenly King–level players such as Candlelight Shadow, Full Moon Dance Music, Tear Stain and more.
"Group C’s matches are about to start!"
I slang my bag loosely across one shoulder before rising to my feet. Staring at the stage, I said, "Our next opponent is God’s Domain, also known as Japan’s trump card. Their team leader, Red Maple, is also the guy who taunted us earlier. I have absolutely no intention of letting Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls break apart and sink into the sand here, so I’m going to do everything in my power to defeat them and advance to the quarter-finals. What do you all say?"
Stranger of Three Lifetimes, Li Chengfeng and Luo River God of the Capital all nodded in unison. "Do your best, Ancient Sword. It’s all up to you now!"
With my head held high, I walked up the stage with three gorgeous women by my side. On the other side of the stage, Red Maple did the same with two guys and one girl. Everyone—even the female player—was staring at us with hostility and disdain.
After the host introduced both our teams in three different languages—Chinese, English and Japanese of course—she smiled at us and said, "This here is Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand, the MVP of the China server. As it happens, Red Maple is also the MVP of the Japan server. I can’t wait to see what these two godlike players will show us in the upcoming match! What about you all?"
"You’re the MVP?"
MVP shot me a look of hatred and disdain. He then said in broken Chinese, "I can’t believe someone like you can become the MVP… I’ll let you know that I have a perfect record in Japan, and that 50% of my matches are no-damage wins… today, I’ll show you ants—"
I interrupted him before he could finish his sentence. "Shut your mouth, I’m here to kick your ass in the game, not argue with you!"
The American host faltered for a second. Clearly, she wasn’t expecting God’s Domain and Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls to hate each other this much. Of course, from an outsider’s point of view, it just added to the hype and excitement of the match!
We discussed our line-up in a low tone that only we could hear—
Staring at the name list on the display, He Yi said, "Red Maple is the number one expert of the JGL and the so-called best swordsman in the game. Purple Thunder is an extremely skilled player with a hidden assassin class called Silent Killer. Cyan Frost is an ice knight with outstanding Attack and Defense, and Red Hot Vortex’s class is Brave of Fury, mainly focused on explosive power. Now then, how should we order our line-up?"
Beiming Xue started, "I’ve seen Red Maple’s battle footage before, and I can tell you that he’s at least at the same level as Candlelight Shadow. None of us except big bro has a higher-than-average chance of beating him. Personally, I hope my opponent will be Red Hot Vortex. There’s nothing I love more than warriors who abandon defense completely."
Lian Xin simply smiled and said, "I don’t mind who I run into. There’s no one in this world that I can’t realistically beat given the right circumstances!"
He Yi smiled. It was true that Lian Xin hadn’t lost a single match since the WEL China nationals. In a sense, she was even more reliable than I was at securing a point. We were truly blessed to have someone like her in our team.
In the end, it was decided that Lian Xin would go first and start things off with a win. Beiming Xue would fight the second match, I the third, and He Yi the fourth and last solo match. As usual, Beiming Xue and I would handle the 2v2 match!
It didn’t take long before the finalized line-ups appeared on the screen. Just as predicted, I managed to catch Red Maple in the third match!
1v1: Lian Xing LV-188 Phantasm of Stars VS Cyan Frost LV-185 Ice Knight
1v1: Beiming Xue LV-188 Dark Archer VS Purple Thunder LV-185 Silent Killer
1v1: Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand LV-187 Undead Swordsman VS Red Maple LV-187 Heaven’s Warrior
1v1: From Water LV-186 Magic Knight VS Red Hot Vortex LV-186 Brave of Fury
2v2: Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand LV-187 Undead Swordsman & Beiming Xue LV-188 Dark Archer VS Red Maple LV-187 Heaven’s Warrior & Purple Thunder LV-185 Silent Killer
Unfortunately, Beiming Xue didn’t get the match up she wanted. Her opponent was Purple Thunder the Silent Killer, so this was going to be another battle of perception. Overall speaking, I believed that the match-ups were favorable toward Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls. While all our enemies were incredibly strong—the JGL Hall of Fame was very similar to our CGL Hall of Fame in that it was also a leaderboard of top players, with Red Maple was the number one player on the leaderboard, Red Hot Vortex the second, Purple Thunder the third, and Cyan Frost the fourth—we were confident in our abilities to overcome all obstacles, even if this obstacle was made up of the four strongest players of the entire Japan server.
After we entered the battle room, we connected our gaming helmets to the relevant equipment and confirmed our identities. A flash later, our consciousness was teleported into the map. We appeared behind a row of stone bannisters surrounding the arena where the battle would take place. The map appeared to be a natural site located in between craggy mountains. The team members of God’s Domain stood on the opposite side of the arena, and they were all watching us with wary eyes. Red Hot Vortex even raised his sword and laughed. "China’s champion team? Haha, you are just frogs looking at the sky from the bottom of the well! Today, we’ll show you just how weak you are and destroy your dreams to enter the quarter-finals, hahaha…"
I rolled my eyes and said, "Heavens, these people must really PvP with their mouths…"
He Yi comforted me with a chuckle, "Just ignore their barks and focus on keeping ourselves steady. Lian Xin, be careful. That Ice Knight class looks plenty strong…"
Lian Xin gripped her Thunder God Scepter and declared confidently, "Don’t worry, boss, big bro, Beiming. I will win this match for sure!"
"Mn. See you in a bit!"
Swhoosh! Lian Xin and Cyan Frost teleported into the arena at the same time. Before the battle began, Cyan Frost opened her palm and summoned a mount that looked like some sort of a unicorn. After she got up her mount, she gave her sword a casual wave and smiled dangerously at Lian Xin. "Phantasm of Stars, huh? Heehee, today’s the day I teach you a lesson!"
Lian Xin simply watched her opponent calmly and stomped the ground. The Telekinetic Shield responded to the movement and appeared around her.
The moment the countdown hit zero, Lian Xin moved to the back and dropped a Gravity Trap to her right side.
Cyan Frost urged her mount forward and glanced at the location she had waved at. Amazingly, she actually predicted the Gravity Trap’s location and circled around it before continuing giving chase.
Lian Xin snorted coldly before dropping three Origin Force Fields in Cyan Frost’s way immediately. The suddenness of the spell caught Cyan Frost by surprise, and she just barely zigzagged out of the way to avoid a crash. Lian Xin immediately capitalized on the brief opening and summoned Ice Spiral Matrix beneath her feet.
Cyan Frost was shocked by the amount of damage she took, but she responded quickly and escaped the spell’s area of effect before it could do any more damage to her. Then, she galloped toward Lian Xin from a diagonal angle and activated Charge!
The distance between them shortened drastically in an instant. Her sword glowed with the light of Barrier Break!
However, Lian Xin simply smiled and dropped a line of 7 Origin Force Fields in front of her, forcing Cyan Frost to cancel her skill and turn away. She had to give up 12 yards of distance even though she was almost close enough to hit Lian Xin just a moment ago. Predicting where the ice knight was going to go, Lian Xin caught her with a well-placed Gravity Trap before following up with Touch of the Dragonkiss and Dimensional Storm. The two spells instantly deleted her remaining HP and sent the astonished ice knight out of the arena.
It was 1:0, and first blood to Lian Xin. Her character skills were already broken, but her technique was still growing better everyday. Not even the fourth best player of the Japan server was a match for her!
The second round began quickly, and Cyan Frost changed her tactic to galloping to and fro Lian Xin, being neither too aggressive nor passive as she searched for an opening. This time, she managed to find a gap in Lian Xin’s defense, Charged through it and unleashed an Earth Shattering Slash in the mage’s face!
Lian Xin made a weird noise and crossed her scepter in front of herself. Miraculously, she was able to parry the skill!
However, Cyan Frost smiled, rotated her blade and caused a couple of snowflakes to appear out of nowhere. Then, she cried, "Freezing Slash!"
The blade pierced Lian Xin right between the breasts and turned her into a block of ice instantly. Then, Cyan Frost withdrew her blade and hit her with a Barrier Break!
Two hits later, Cyan Frost successfully killed Lian Xin and drew the match.
The frozen status condition didn’t disappear even after Lian Xin was teleported out of the arena. When 3 seconds had passed—that was how long Freezing Slash freezed the target—the ice disappeared, and Lian Xin inhaled a deep gulp of air. She said, "I was careless…"
I smiled. "Yes, you should have never let her get close to you. That Freezing Slash can go through your Telekinetic Shield, meaning that she didn’t even need to break your Magic Shield to kill you. This time, keep your distance and blast her to oblivion!"
The third round began, and Lian Xian faithfully protected her lifeline—the distance between herself and her enemy—while treating her enemy to Gravity Traps and Ice Spiral Matrices. This time Cyan Frost couldn’t find an opening no matter what she tried, and she was killed by a Dimensional Storm before she could even use Charge.
The score turned 2:1, and Lian Xin secured the overall first blood for Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls. It was a hard won battle, however.Previous Chapter Next Chapter