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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 28

28. “Are you willing to join ZMD?”

    “The victor claims the crown, the defeated accepts fate! 

    The eight characters representing a chicken dinner appeared at the center of the screen, dancing with the energy of dragons and phoenixes.

    “Another chicken dinner, how many is this?”

    “That was entertaining, just another casual slaughter match.”

    “Taking on platinum-level players for a professional player is just a matter of diminishing returns, no surprise there.”

    “I was originally watching God Yun’s livestream, but now I’m a fan of Ye Shao too.”

    “Became a fan of Ye Shao +1.”

    “Yunche, let’s not stay in touch in the future, I’m afraid Ye Shao *lao po might misunderstand.”

    *lao po – term of endearment for a wife.

    As the match ended, the screen displayed the results for several players.

    [Humble Netizen Seeking Enlightenment (Random Teammate): Kills 1, Damage 4605, Healing 3228.] [ZMD-Luo Baibai: Kills 2, Damage 19442, Healing 21360.] [ZMD-Yun Che: Kills 12, Damage 41888, Healing 2090.] [Ye Shao: Kills 18, Damage 56900, Healing 897.]

    The combined number of kills by Chen Xingran and Yang Yunche reached 30, and their damage output was staggering, leaving people astonished.

    Because they were playing in a platinum match, Chen Xingran’s rank was lower with bonus points, coupled with the top placement and kill points, his rank skyrocketed like a rocket, directly reaching Gold tier.

    “Nice job, you’ve improved a lot.”

    Yang Yunche praised generously. After a few games of practice, Chen Xingran’s awareness in squads had significantly improved, and he was no longer as impulsive as before.

    Chen Xingran felt a bit embarrassed. “You gave good commands.”

    He was very clear about his own abilities. This match might appear as a chaotic record, but with Luo Baibai and Yang Yunche, he could focus entirely on damage output without any concerns.

    If he had been in awe of Yang Yunche’s marksmanship before, now he had a new appreciation for him. 

    In comparison to solo matches, squad matches were the true battlefield for Yang Yunche.

    His decision-making ability was near perfection, with a strategic grasp of the bigger picture. He could always intervene at the most accurate moments, dealing significant damage with ranged weapons while maintaining awareness of the battlefield. His calm and collected mindset was awe-inspiring.

    When to attack, when to retreat, predicting the enemy’s approach from which direction, how to navigate the shrinking play zone… all of this seemed ingrained in Yang Yunche’s instincts. Chen Xingran only needed to act according to his instructions, and one kill after another flowed into their tally, simple and effortless, devoid of the adrenaline and thrill of the typical battle royale.

    It appeared there was still much for him to learn in squad matches…

    Chen Xingran thought to himself.

    “I should probably head back to school soon.”

    Chen Xingran glanced at the time and realized that it was already late into the night.

    “Are we ending the stream?”

    “Yeah.”

    Chen Xingran replied, “Thank you for helping me rank up.”

    “I can’t take credit for ‘helping’ you.” Yang Yunche chuckled and said, “Your damage output is higher than mine. You should be the one leading us.”

    “You’re so modest, it’s really unusual for me to see this side of God Yun.”

    “I’ve noticed all day that God Yun has been acting seriously.”

    “I noticed that too, I just didn’t want to point it out and embarrass him.”

    “From my years of being single, I know that people tend to put up a front when facing someone they like.”

    “Ah, I see now. Enlightenment achieved.”

    “Do you guys have any unshippable CPs?”

    Chen Xingran and Yang Yunche chatted for a bit more before ending the stream.

    Just as he was about to exit the game, Yang Yunche’s private message came in.

    ZMD-Yun Che: Wanna exchange Yun IDs?

    Chen Xingran was taken aback for a moment, then after a brief thought, he realized there was no harm in doing so.

    Ye Shao: Sure, my Yun ID is… Are you ending the stream too?

    ZMD-Yun Che: Yeah, it’s not as fun to stream by myself. By the way, you’re from Shou Dian University, right? There’s a New Star Cup tournament coming up there, did you sign up?

    Yang Yunche also graduated from Shou Dian, so naturally, he was aware of the annual campus tournament for new students.

    Ye Shao: I signed up.

    ZMD-Yun Che: Isn’t that a coincidence? The university invited me to be a guest at the New Star Cup recently. We could meet there, how about it?

    As an outstanding graduate of Shou Dian and one of the hottest professional players in the domestic eSports scene, Yang Yunche had received an invitation from the university a while ago, but his schedule had been uncertain.

    Hearing that Chen Xingran was participating too, Yang Yunche’s little scheme started to take shape.

    I’ll have Fu Zhou confirm the schedule later!

    Chen Xingran thought, Do professional players really have so much free time? They don’t even need to train and can attend university events…

    He thought this in his mind but didn’t voice it. He replied instead, “Sure.”

    Feeling guilty about unintentionally standing up Yang Yunche during the day and after spending the whole day gaming with him, Chen Xingran considered Yang Yunche as almost half a friend in this world, aside from Wu Feiang.

    A friend request popped up on Yun Messenger, and Chen Xingran accepted it without much thought.

    Yang Yunche’s profile picture was simple, depicting a sky with a cluster of white clouds. His friend circle was only visible for a month, and upon opening it, there was only one photo posted, which was from the official Destiny Cup competition day.

    ZMD-Yun Che: Are you playing tomorrow?

    Chen Xingran casually added a note for Yang Yunche as “ZMD-Yun Che”, but after a moment’s thought, he deleted it and changed it to “Annoying Spirit with a Bow”.

    —It’s not that he actually found Yang Yunche annoying, but based on Chen Xingran’s first impression of him, it was just a playful nickname. Besides, Yun IDs were private, and no one would see the nickname.

    Looking up and seeing the message from the other side, he replied:

    Ye Shao: I have something during the day tomorrow, but I can play at night.

    He had agreed with Starry River Live’s management to discuss the anchor contract at Starry River Group headquarters tomorrow.

    ZMD-Yun Che: That’s perfect, I was just thinking about telling you that I need to go to the capital tomorrow for some matters at ZMD headquarters. Won’t be able to go online during the day.

    Ye Shao: Isn’t ZMD headquarters in S City?

    ZMD-Yun Che: We moved to the capital last month. It’s not just the headquarters; even our Destiny Division is moving to the capital.

    Previously, ZMD’s Destiny Division was considered a lesser-known team in the ZMD club, but after Yang Yunche joined and achieved results, they were no longer the unnoticed second-rate team they used to be.

    Moreover, the capital was a sacred place for the eSports industry in China. Top-tier teams like All-Star, VG, and AUG were all based in the capital. Additionally, many major eSports events took place in the capital’s eSports venues. Yang Yunche and his team decided to move there, eliminating the need for back-and-forth travel and facilitating communication with other teams.

    ZMD’s Destiny Division team base was undergoing renovation, and Yang Yunche and Fu Zhou were going to visit the new base tomorrow for an on-site inspection. Soon, they would be able to move the team members and trainees there together.

    Chen Xingran responded with an “Oh” and didn’t dwell on it further.

    Suddenly, he seemed to remember something and hesitated for a moment before typing: “Can I ask you something?”

    ZMD-Yun Che: Of course, go ahead.

    Ye Shao: During today’s tactical class, the teacher analyzed one of your matches. I wanted to know why you chose to retreat to the Barren Tomb rather than prioritizing killing the enemy support.

    ZMD-Yun Che: Which match are you referring to?

    Chen Xingran thought for a moment: “The one where you were surrounded by two AUG assault players near the Carefree Forest during your training match against AUG’s team. Your main tank was being focused.”

    Yang Yunche only had to think briefly to figure out which match Chen Xingran was talking about.

    Instead of giving a direct answer, he asked: “Do you have any thoughts about that? Why did you think of targeting AUG’s support for a breakthrough?”

    There was a delay before he received a reply, as it showed the status “Typing…” on the other end. Yang Yunche patiently waited for a while and then saw a long string of text from Chen Xingran.

    Ye Shao: AUG’s two assault players were attacking ZMD’s main tank. At that moment, if you had bypassed the front line and directly engaged their support, there would have been a five to six-second timing difference. Furthermore, at that time, Luo Baibai still had her ultimate…

    He reorganized his response that he had given in class and sent it to Yang Yunche.

    The scene from that match replayed in Yang Yunche’s mind as he read Chen Xingran’s explanation. He became lost in thought, his expression growing more serious.

    ZMD-Yun Che: Do you know that AUG’s support is Fei Wei?

    Ye Shao: Yes.

    ZMD-Yun Che: If you were given the time to directly confront Fei Wei, how confident are you that you could defeat her?

    Ye Shao: 100%.

    His response was quick, as if he had already considered this possibility. To others, it might have sounded like an overly confident boast from a newcomer, but Yang Yunche knew that Chen Xingran wasn’t the kind of person to blindly exaggerate his confidence.

    ZMD-Yun Che: What do you think?

    Ye Shao: After class, I watched Fei Wei’s match video. Her swordplay is decent, proficient in using broadswords, but her defensive stance is too obvious, lacking finishing moves. She also has a very fatal habit: she puts more force into her right waist than her left, which leads to vulnerabilities on her left side. At this point, if you use a virtual step to block the right side of her blade and parry it, there’s an opportunity to attack from the left…

    Chen Xingran typed out a lengthy text, using concise language and even including some terms that were only used in the martial arts world of his previous life. People unfamiliar with swordplay would be quite confused, but Yang Yunche still read it attentively.

    Ye Shao: …Although you might get caught in a power struggle, I think you can use the Yang Style Pear Blossom Spear technique to fend off her attack, creating an arc to evade her blade. This way, you’d leave her exerting her strength in vain. At this point, a mid-level strike has a good chance of finishing her.

    ZMD-Yun Che: And then I follow up with an arrow for damage.

    Ye Shao: Yes, and then you only need to add one arrow of damage. I can use the Qilin Rider stance to deal maximum damage…

    Chen Xingran paused in the middle of typing.

    Because Yang Yunche had already preemptively said what he wanted to say.

    ZMD-Yun Che: After depleting her health, I can use Luo Baibai’s ultimate to secure the tank position, turning the tide. We can complete a reversal.

    Ye Shao: …Mhm.

    Yang Yunche smiled and said, “Impressive thinking.”

    While this could only be called a theoretical discussion and might not unfold exactly as imagined in actual combat, Chen Xingran’s strategy indeed promised greater benefits compared to simply retreating or sacrificing teammates.

    …No, not just greater benefits – it could lead to a direct reversal of the situation, a decisive move that turns a disadvantage into an advantage.

    ZMD-Yun Che: Following this line of thinking, six seconds would indeed be enough time. It’s feasible, but I know my teammate, Xiao Nan, can’t execute it.

    Chen Xingran was taken aback: “Huh?”

    ZMD-Yun Che: To identify the flaws in Fei Wei’s swordplay based on a brief segment, and then seize the opportunity according to the circumstances at that time, requires an extraordinary level of observation and confidence. Xiao Nan can’t do it, and neither can I.

    Chen Xingran thought for a moment, sighing.

    Indeed, as Yang Yunche said, as the brain and core of the team, every decision he made determined the team’s life or death. While Chen Xingran’s strategy might lead to a reversal, it would also put the entire team at significant risk.

    Selling off their tank position, You Hongwei, could still allow them to compete for subsequent ranking points. However, if they went all-in and failed, it would result in a team wipe, with no survivors.

    Chen Xingran felt an inexplicable sense of disappointment. He couldn’t quite pinpoint the source of this subtle disappointment.

    Yang Yunche’s strategy was undoubtedly flawless. Compared to Chen Xingran’s daring willingness to counterattack, Yang Yunche’s decision to retreat was undoubtedly safer, offered more room to maneuver, and aligned better with a conservative playstyle.

    But…

    As a martial artist, there was still a resolute determination within him. Even in the moment when the blade was about to pierce his heart, he wouldn’t give up hope of victory. At the critical juncture of life and death, he would search for the crucial turning point from defeat to victory. Just like his swordplay – ruthless, decisive, leaving no room for compromise, unwavering, only then could he conquer all before him.

    Ye Shao: I understand.

    After replying, he opened the system interface, ready to log off and return to school.

    Almost as soon as he typed those four words, a message from Yang Yunche popped up.

    ZMD-Yun Che: However, if it were you, I believe you could achieve it.

    Chen Xingran’s hand hesitated.

    ZMD-Yun Che: I know where Xiao Nan’s limits lie, which is why I chose to retreat. But if it were you standing there…

    ZMD-Yun Che: I would definitely take the risk.

    A trace of surprise finally appeared on Chen Xingran’s previously calm face.

    I would definitely take the risk.

    Just five simple words, yet they carried the boldness of a captain’s gamble and an unwavering trust in his abilities.

    Because I believe you will definitely win, so I’m willing to take this gamble.

    Three seconds passed.

    ZMD-Yun Che: So, are you willing to join ZMD?

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