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Sharpening The Knife Doesn't Delay The Cutting of Vegetables With The Bow

Sharpening The Knife Doesn’t Delay The Cutting of Vegetables With The Bow[eSports]: Chapter 20

20. Sparring Session/Friendly Match

“Let’s end the stream here for today,” Chen Xingran announced as he exited the results screen, addressing the barrage of comments.

Wow, it’s already so late without us realizing it.

“Can’t get enough of watching my husband’s intense combat!”

“Tietie, Ye Shao dada, rest early~.”

*The term “贴贴” (tiē tiē) is a colloquial expression in Chinese that doesn’t have a specific meaning on its own. It is often used as a term of endearment or affectionate address, similar to calling someone “dear” or “sweetie” in English. It’s a way of expressing closeness or fondness towards someone. 

*In Chinese, “大大” (dà dà) is a term used to address someone in an affectionate and endearing manner. It is often used online or in casual conversations to refer to someone in a friendly and familiar way. It can be translated as “big brother” or “big sister” in English, but it doesn’t necessarily denote a familial relationship. It’s more like a term of endearment or a friendly nickname. I kept it in pinyin to try and portray the vibe. 

“Will you be streaming tomorrow?”

Chen Xingran pondered for a moment before replying, “I have classes in the morning, but I can stream in the afternoon.”

“Is Ye Shao really a student?”

“As mentioned before, the streamer seems to be a student at the Capital eSports Academy.”

“The Capital eSports Academy is truly a hidden dragon and crouching tiger. Even God Yun is a product of the academy.”

“Ah, when will the streamer show his face? With such a pleasing voice, he must be handsome.”

“With such strong skills, you must be famous in the school.”

“…Well, not really,” Chen Xingran thought to himself.

After closing the live streaming room, Chen Xingran was about to exit the game when he caught a glimpse of a conspicuously red dot on the main interface of his mailbox.

Opening the mailbox, he was confronted with a sea of unread emails, densely packed, spanning seven or eight pages.

“Hello, I am the team manager of Team A. Are you interested in joining our team for a trial?”

“Hello, I am the captain of a team called ‘Irrelevant Name.’ We are currently looking for a starting member. Are you interested? If you join, you can secure a starting position.”

“Your skills are impressive. Would you like to join my family? However, before you join, I want to test you. Here’s my account, help me reach the Asura rank first to gauge your level.”

“Do you have a contract with a live streaming guild? Our guild channel is called ‘Ba La Ba La.’ By joining us, you can receive support in terms of viewership. If interested, please contact me.”

“…”

Chen Xingran: “…”

He casually dismissed those emails and suddenly his gaze landed on the first email.

That email had a different symbol from the others, a shining star symbol, and it was automatically pinned to the top, very noticeable. Chen Xingran clicked on it.

It was an email sent by the official Galaxy Live Streaming Platform.

The general idea is that they recognize Chen Xingran’s potential as a live streamer and want to invite him to sign an official contract, as well as join their upcoming “Newcomer Support Program.” They promise to provide viewership support, a fixed salary, and additional bonuses such as gift dividends.

Below are the official contact details.

This email has an official certification symbol that other emails lack, leaving no doubt about its authenticity.

After considering it for a moment, Chen Xingran used the in-game communication system to dial the official phone number of the live streaming platform.

Someone quickly answered on the other end, as if they were specifically waiting for his call.

“Hello, is this Mr. Chen Xingran? I am Sun, the administrator of the Destiny section of Starry River Live Streaming.”

A sweet female voice came through his ear.

Registering as a live streamer on Starry River requires real-name verification, so it’s not surprising that the other party knows Chen Xingran’s real name.

“Hello, Miss Sun.”

“Have you finished your stream? Thank you for your hard work. Are you available to talk now?”

After receiving a positive response, Miss Sun continued, “We have already informed you about the general content in the email. Do you have any other questions about the conditions mentioned in the email or the Newcomer Support Program? I can provide you with detailed explanations. Also, are you interested in officially signing with Starry River platform?”

Chen Xingran started his livestream with the intention of making money, and now that he has attracted the attention of the official platform and received better contract conditions, he naturally has no reason to refuse.

After all, not only is his bank account in dire straits, but his body is also ailing. The surgery costs for his congenital genetic collapse syndrome have yet to be fully raised.

During their conversation, they briefly discussed their cooperation and reached a preliminary agreement. The specific terms of the contract and other details would be discussed in person. So they decided on a meeting time, which would be two days later on Saturday, at the Galaxy Live Streaming headquarters in the capital.

After hanging up the phone, Chen Xingran originally wanted to quit the game. However, he suddenly remembered something. After hesitating for a moment, he opened the message history and looked at a prominent ID, falling into contemplation.

It didn’t feel right to ignore someone who had already added him as a friend, especially since Yang Yunche was also a Starry River platform streamer with a much higher status. Chen Xingran was about to sign with the official platform, so they could be considered as semi-colleagues. If their relationship turned sour, would Yang Yunche try to sabotage him?

…Actually, these were all excuses Chen Xingran made for himself.

The real reason was simple—he refused to accept it.

In the path of martial arts, he had almost reached the mountaintop. In his previous life, after defeating Xiao Chundao and achieving the highest honor in the martial arts world, he never tasted defeat again.

…But he still felt a bit unwilling.

Chen Xingran searched for Yang Yunche’s livestream on Starry River Live Streaming. The screen of the livestream was already black, indicating that it had ended.

After hesitating for a moment, he clicked on that ID and sent a friend request.

Then, as if he had done something mischievous, he swiftly closed the friend request screen.

It’s late, he should probably go to sleep.

Chen Xingran thought this way, but as soon as the thought arose, his friend request was accepted. Finally, his friend list had a second friend besides Luan Fusheng.

ZMD-Yunche: ?

A brief question mark, revealing no particular emotion.

Is he taking issue with me rejecting his friend request earlier? Or is he simply confused? Or… is he mocking me for backtracking?

Ye Shao couldn’t quite figure it out. His knowledge of Yang Yunche was limited to the information he had seen online and their battle earlier today.

Someone with such formidable and superior archery skills is probably quiet and aloof in nature, making it difficult to get along with.

Ye Shao thought for a moment and decided to reply to the message.

Ye Shao: …

ZMD-Yunche: ?

Ye Shao: …

ZMD-Yunche: ?

The two of them exchanged a few rounds of symbols, almost like elementary school students, each seeming to maintain some inexplicable air of superiority.

Finally, Yang Yunche broke the silence.

ZMD-Yunche: Done streaming?

Ye Shao: Yeah.

ZMD-Yunche: You’re skilled with the sword.

Ye Shao: Thanks. You’re quite adept with archery too.

ZMD-Yunche: Thanks.

And then, there was silence.

Cheng Xingran: “…”

What’s with this? Such an awkward conversation.

It’s indeed difficult to get along.

On the other side, Yang Yunche also stared at the chat box in front of him, rubbing his temples, feeling overwhelmed.

…This Ye Shao is so aloof. First, he rejects my friend request, then he initiates one himself. His words show no enthusiasm and are somewhat perfunctory. His personality seems hard to grasp.

Even though Yang Yunche is skilled at discerning his opponents’ intentions in the arena, he finds himself at a loss in this situation.

Just as he was thinking about how to break the deadlock and gather some information from the other side, a message arrived.

Ye Shao: Let’s have a match? Martial Arts mode.

Yang Yunche chuckled.

ZMD-Yunche: Sure, you host.

After five seconds, an invitation arrived.

Yang Yunche entered the room for the Martial Arts mode, but before he could start typing, the room instantly started.

Yang Yunche: “…”

Why the rush? As if he’s afraid I’ll run away.

Ye Shao chose the Lord’s Mansion in Huntian as the map for the Martial Arts mode, exactly the same as the scene they fought in earlier today.

The weapons and armor were set to purple quality, ensuring fairness, with no one having an advantage in weapon and armor quality.

In the first match, Yang Yunche played as he always did, casually controlling the pace, smoothly switching between spear techniques, and secured victory with a slight advantage, leaving him with only 20% health remaining.

Chen Xingran remained silent. Just as he exited the results screen, he quickly started another match.

Yang Yunche: ?

Does this mean you won’t let me leave?

In the second match, Chen Xingran’s attack showed some changes compared to before. His offensive intent wasn’t as strong, and he started utilizing the terrain, maneuvering around various covers and evading Yang Yunche, delaying his Blink Step cooldown. As soon as the cooldown was over, he swiftly rushed in and launched a combo.

Yang Yunche was successfully closed in on, and a continuous series of sword techniques caused his sword to explode directly. Then, Chen Xingran finished him off with a Thunderclap, securing victory.

Yang Yunche didn’t feel frustrated about losing but rather became somewhat intrigued. He wasn’t particularly skilled in the Martial Arts mode, where the battle was confined to a limited map size and there were no other influencing factors. It was easy to get drawn into a rhythm of close-quarters combat, and losing wasn’t unexpected.

What interested Yang Yunche was the change he observed in Chen Xingran in just a few matches. His tactics had become much smarter, making use of the advantages of the Shadow Dancer and understanding how to counter the terrifying pulling ability of the Iron Chain Sickle. He no longer blindly sought close-quarters combat. Instead, he created distance. Whenever Chen Xingran created space, he followed suit, taking cover and waiting for his skills and ultimate techniques to come off cooldown. Then he would utilize Blink Step and his incredibly sticky sword techniques to exploit Yang Yunche’s vulnerabilities.

His learning ability was impressive.

Yang Yunche made his evaluation in his mind.

ZMD-Yunche: Shall we continue?

Finally, after coming out of the match, Yang Yunche had the opportunity to type.

Ye Shao: Let’s go for another round.

The response was concise and decisive.

A complete battle maniac…

Yang Yunche felt somewhat helpless.

In the third round, Yang Yunche didn’t use the Iron Chain Sickle but switched to the Furious Tide instead.

This was the hero he used the most frequently.

The Furious Tide’s passive ability allowed him to transform into water and withstand a fatal blow when his health was critically low. Additionally, when on water terrain, his resistance increased by 10%, making it a useful survival skill that increased his margin for error when engaged in close combat.

Skill: Water’s Everchanging Form – Place a mark of water at any location and release it again to blink to the marked spot. Marks of water automatically disappear if they exceed a distance of 50 meters.

Ultimate Technique: Raging Tide – The Furious Tide alters the surrounding terrain and releases a water formation. Enemies passing through the water formation experience a brief stiffness, while allies passing through it gain a 3-second acceleration effect.

Clearly, Chen Xingran lacked experience in dealing with the Furious Tide and was unfamiliar with its skills. When Yang Yunche’s figure vanished and he instantly teleported to the pre-placed mark of water, Chen Xingran had a moment of confusion.

Most people would choose to either fight within the water formation or use displacement skills to avoid it, ensuring they don’t come into contact with the edges of the formation to avoid stiffness. However, Chen Xingran had no awareness of this whatsoever. Several times, he mindlessly passed through the water formation, suffering the stiffness and ultimately being eliminated by Yang Yunche’s arrow.

Chen Xingran lost.

After playing three matches, Yang Yunche had a clear understanding of Ye Shao’s skill level.

It was evident that this was a complete beginner…

Even if his skill in close combat is strong, it can’t hide the novice aura emanating from him. Even if he’s truly a master in the training room, it’s impossible for him to be unfamiliar with hero skills.

ZMD-Yunche: Just started playing?

Chen Xingran was about to quickly start another match without giving Yang Yunche a chance to leave the room. But when he saw the words on the screen, he paused.

Two seconds later.

Ye Shao: Yeah, is it that obvious?

ZMD-Yunche: Quite obvious. You have no understanding of hero skills and hardly calculate cooldowns. How long have you been playing?

Chen Xingran answered truthfully: Two days.

Now it was Yang Yunche’s turn to be surprised.

Two days?

He didn’t doubt the truthfulness of Chen Xingran’s words. After all, there was no need for the other person to deceive him. Besides, apart from close combat skills, he was indeed a gaming newbie in other aspects. But two days…

When combined with the changes he had observed in Chen Xingran in such a short time.

It showed that this streamer named Ye Shao had an incredibly high learning ability and adaptability.

It was already late into the night, but Yang Yunche suddenly felt wide awake and full of energy.

ZMD-Yunche: Can we use voice chat to talk?

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