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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 31

31. Contract Signing

    Chen Xingran had to admit, sometimes the world can be quite small.

    When Yang Yunche mentioned coming to the capital to see the new base last night, Chen Xingran hadn’t taken it to heart. However, fate played its hand, and the two of them ended up on the same bus, leading to their unexpected encounter.

    If it was just that, it would’ve been fine. But now, on top of that, he had to add Yunche as a contact, and his rather mischievous nickname was now exposed. He didn’t even know how to explain himself anymore.

    “Uh, well… I… you…”

    Chen Xingran unconsciously took a step back. Various excuses flashed through his mind, but the words that came out were disjointed and stuttering. He was so embarrassed that he wished he could just find a hole to hide in right then and there.

    Even with the twenty years of his previous life’s experiences, he had never encountered a situation that would make someone want to die of embarrassment like this.

    “Ye Shao?”

    Yang Yunche looked at the slightly shorter young man in front of him and raised an eyebrow.

    “…Yeah.”

    Caught red-handed, Chen Xingran had no way to deny it now.

    “Annoying ghost?”

    The eyes visible outside of Yang Yunche’s mask blinked, and the deep gaze seemed to hold a bit of innocence and helplessness. “Are you referring to me?”

    “Yeah… Oh no, I mean… I meant…”

    Chen Xingran took two more steps back, as if his terrifying reflexes during the fight had suddenly frozen.

    “Mr. Chen Xingran?”

    The receptionist saw that Chen Xingran hadn’t moved and came back to ask again.

    That call seemed to be his lifeline. He snapped back to his senses with a start, quickly turned around, and hurriedly said, “I’m coming!”

    Then, he turned to Yang Yunche in a rush and said, “They’re calling me. I have something to attend to today, so let’s leave it at this for now. We can chat when I have some free time.”

    He rapidly fired off a series of words without pauses, paying no attention to whether Yang Yunche had heard clearly or not. Without looking back, he dashed after the receptionist, as if there was a ferocious beast chasing him from behind.

    “Uh, Mr. Chen isn’t heading to the elevator. He’s going the wrong way…”

    Yang Yunche lowered his head, opened his phone, and entered the chat interface with Chen Xingran on YUN Messenger. The screen was empty and pure white, except for one message sent automatically by the system during their friend request confirmation: “We’re already friends! Come chat with me sometime!”

    So, Ye Shao was really this young in person.

    Ignoring the fierce and ferocious aura he had displayed during the fight, he looked small and delicate on the outside, with delicate and immature features. His voice was even clearer and brighter than the one in the voice channel. His words were confident yet polite. However, during the moment of exposure and his stuttering demeanor, he looked like a squirrel caught with its tail pulled for doing something naughty.

    Yang Yunche recalled the scene just now and could even imagine Chen Xingran’s entire body bristling, and the pinecone he had sneakily grabbed dropping to the ground with a “plop.”

    The corners of his mouth under the mask subtly curved up. He closed his phone, sat back down on the couch, and showed no intention of leaving.

    It seemed like this trip to the capital wouldn’t be without its gains.

    “Mr. Chen, Mr. Chen?”

    The front desk lady waved her hand in front of Chen Xingran.

    “Huh? Oh, what’s the matter?”

    Chen Xingran snapped back to reality.

    The front desk lady pointed to the middle-aged man sitting on the boss’s chair in the office. “This is Mr. Lin, who is in charge of the Destiny section at Starry River Platform.”

    Chen Xingran shook off the embarrassing images still lingering in his mind and regained his composure. “Hello, Mr. Lin.”

    Mr. Lin appeared to be in his forties, but his hair on top of his head was already quite sparse. The hair on the left side was longer and stubbornly covered the top of his head. He kindly addressed Chen Xingran, “Ye Shao, right? Don’t stand there, have a seat and let’s talk.”

    The front desk lady poured a cup of tea for Chen Xingran and gave a slight bow to both of them before quietly leaving the room.

    Mr. Lin smiled as he appraised Chen Xingran. “How old are you, Mr. Chen? You look very young. Are you already an adult?”

    “Yeah, I’m eighteen.”

    Chen Xingran nodded, his tone lacking the awe and anxiety one might expect when speaking to a high-ranking company executive. He remained calm in demeanor and tone, not servile yet not arrogant, which impressed Mr. Lin to a certain extent.

    The young man in front of him was quite striking in appearance, the type who could compete even among the top-tier beauty-focused streamers. Starry River Platform was known for its game livestreams, and the game streamers were highly competitive, needing not only good skills but also the ability to entertain. In this sea of entertaining game streamers, having good looks was a huge advantage.

    Chen Xingran’s appearance was undoubtedly memorable. While his features were still somewhat youthful, his bold sword-like eyebrows and impressive eyes revealed that he was a handsome guy in the making. He fit the type that young girls nowadays liked, and his demeanor lacked the typical noise and recklessness associated with his age. Instead, he exuded a contrasting sense of composure.

    Mr. Lin’s gaze was sharp and discerning. With just a brief exchange, he had already gleaned quite a bit. In his eyes, Chen Xingran’s exceptional gaming skills combined with his looks indicated a high commercial value.

    He was a promising candidate to be a top-tier streamer.

    After some brief pleasantries, Mr. Lin got to the point.

    “Although our administrator has already called you before, I’d like to confirm as well. Mr. Chen, are you interested in signing with Starry River Platform as an official streamer?”

    Chen Xingran nodded and smiled. “Of course. Starry River Platform is at the top in terms of traffic and professionalism within the industry. I’m still a newcomer to the scene. To receive an invitation from Starry River Platform, I consider it an honor.”

    Chen Xingran’s response pleased Mr. Lin. He nodded and continued, “Although Mr. Chen has just started streaming recently, his popularity has grown rapidly. This already proves your potential. After discussions with our higher-ups, we’ve decided to offer Mr. Chen our support through an A-level contract…”

    Other than professional players, an A-level contract was the highest treatment regular streamers could receive. It not only included a fixed salary, but also traffic support, homepage exposure, and other forms of visibility. Moreover, the revenue split for virtual gifts was upgraded from the typical 40-60 split to a 60-40 split, with the platform taking only 40%.

    For most new streamers, receiving A-level treatment was out of reach, but in the few days since Chen Xingran started streaming, he had already garnered a considerable following and significant audience engagement without any platform support. His follower count was skyrocketing, and his collaboration with Yang Yunche, the captain of ZMD eSports, was an additional indicator of his potential and the heights he could achieve. To avoid competitors poaching him away, the platform naturally needed to offer the best terms.

    Additionally, Chen Xingran had been recommended by Ta Xue, another prominent streamer on Starry River. Ta Xue was also a top streamer, and Mr. Lin had a good personal relationship with her. Even a temperamental streamer like Ta Xue highly recommended Chen Xingran, indicating his immense potential. Given Ta Xue’s glowing reviews and the technical skills she was eager to learn from him during private chats…

    Before coming here, Chen Xingran had also researched the contract terms at Starry River online. He knew the significance of an A-level contract, and for someone like him, a new streamer, this was indeed a golden opportunity. There was no reason to decline such an offer.

    Both parties reached a preliminary agreement. The atmosphere was harmonious, and they discussed the details before finally confirming the contract.

    An A-level contract, with a duration of three years. After the contract period expires, Starry River Platform has the right of first refusal for renewal. As long as both parties agree on the renewal fee, there’s usually no issue of switching to another platform.

    “By the way.”

    Chen Xingran seemed to recall something. “Let me ask one more question. If I become a professional player during the contract period, will I still be bound by this contract?”

    “Does Mr. Chen have the intention to become a professional player?”

    Mr. Lin asked with a smile, his question to Chen Xingran wasn’t unexpected.

    Almost anyone who plays games would have a desire to go professional, unless circumstances in real life limited them or they genuinely had no interest in competitive gaming. After all, in this era where eSports was nearly a national sport, the influence and status of professional players were on a completely different level from streamers.

    Chen Xingran fell silent for a moment. “Maybe. I just wanted to ask.”

    “This aspect is clearly stated in the contract.”

    Mr. Lin explained, “During the contract period, if you become a registered player in a professional league, the contract will be automatically terminated. You will then sign a new contract with the club you belong to and us.”

    Professional eSports players had to train and compete, which would require a different schedule from that of full-time streamers. Additionally, the treatment and contract terms for professional players differed from those of streamers, and thus needed to be renegotiated.

    For Starry River Platform, having a player leave to become a professional, and then potentially achieving notable results, would also serve as excellent publicity for the platform.

    “I see, I understand.”

    Chen Xingran nodded.

    “Do you have any other questions, Mr. Chen?”

    Mr. Lin asked with a friendly smile. He didn’t put on any airs when dealing with this young streamer with immense potential, and his approachability was evident.

    Chen Xingran indicated he had no further questions. They exchanged a few more words and then proceeded to finalize the signing process.

    They both signed their names on the two copies of the printed contract. From this point on, Chen Xingran was officially a contracted streamer with the platform.

    “Alright, we’ll handle the backend operations. It’ll take approximately an hour or two, and your streaming backend will change accordingly.”

    Mr. Lin motioned for his assistant to take away the contract. “We’ve promised to provide you with traffic support. You’ll receive it when you start streaming. If there are any activities or new plans in the future, we’ll notify you promptly.”

    “Okay.”

    Chen Xingran agreed and hesitated for a moment. “Um, can I stay here for a while longer?”

    “Huh?”

    Clearly, Mr. Lin hadn’t expected this rather inexplicable request from Chen Xingran, and he asked in a dazed manner, “You can, of course. There’s a reception area next door… But Mr. Chen, is there something you need?”

    “…No.”

    Mainly, Chen Xingran didn’t know whether Yang Yunche was still downstairs or not. He thought he might wait a little longer before going downstairs again. He didn’t want to bump into Yang Yunche and face the awkwardness.

    In simple terms, Chen Xingran’s current mood could be described as “a guilty conscience.”

    Although the contract negotiation process was quick, it still lasted nearly an hour. After sitting alone in the reception area for about ten minutes, Chen Xingran grew a bit bored. He figured Yang Yunche should have left by now, so he stood up, took the elevator downstairs.

    When the elevator doors opened, he didn’t immediately step out. Instead, he surreptitiously poked his head out and glanced towards the lounge area in the lobby.

    Several people were sitting on the couch, but the figure with the black hat and mask was nowhere to be seen.

    Chen Xingran breathed a sigh of relief.

    Come to think of it, why should I be afraid of him?

    It was just a minor misunderstanding. Once I explain it clearly, everything will be fine.

    Not seeing Yang Yunche around, Chen Xingran’s courage returned. After all, he hadn’t committed any significant wrongdoing. Why act like he was playing cat and mouse?

    He gave himself a mental pep talk, straightened his back, and confidently walked out of the elevator doors. He made his way to the building’s entrance, bidding farewell to the reception staff with a warm smile.

    The sunlight outside was just right, the sky was blue, and the air was fresh. The warmth of the sun on his skin felt comforting.

    Chen Xingran stretched lazily.

    “Done talking?”

    A voice suddenly came from behind, catching Chen Xingran off guard and almost causing him to strain his waist.

    He turned around somewhat stiffly.

    Yang Yunche was still wearing the hat and mask, leaning against a pillar by the entrance of the building. His deep-set eyes and eyebrows seemed to hold a hint of a smile. “Top streamer?”

    Chen Xingran: “…”

    Why haven’t you left yet?

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