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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 32

32. Caramel Latte

    The He Tai District is a gathering place for the capital’s eSports industry and can be considered one of the iconic places in the heart of the city. For any young person visiting the capital, if they haven’t been to the He Tai District, it’s as if they’ve come in vain.

    In addition to being the headquarters of major eSports teams and well-established game companies, this area is surrounded by a bustling commercial street. Countless eSports cafes, luxury gaming peripheral stores, and eSports-themed hotels are scattered around.

    Even on a non-weekend day, the He Tai commercial street is packed with people. The clean, spacious pedestrian street is bustling with young faces.

    “Hey, look behind you!”

    Inside a punk-style coffee shop, four students who appear to be young girls are huddled around a table, sipping coffee and looking at their phones. Suddenly, one sharp-eyed girl noticed something at the entrance and quickly signaled to her companions.

    “Huh?”

    Her companion instinctively glanced behind her.

    “You dummy, don’t be so obvious! Sneak a glance.”

    The girl gave her a meaningful look.

    After years of friendship, there’s some understanding between them. The companion immediately caught on from her tone and lightly cleared her throat, pretending to casually look at the clock on the café wall. Her gaze quickly darted towards the entrance, then she turned her head, looking perfectly composed. However, a flush of excitement had appeared on her cheeks.

    “How’s he look? How’s he look?”

    “Oh my gosh, he’s really handsome!”

    “He’s like a pretty boy type, kind of like the younger brother of the main character in that TV drama we watched a while ago.”

    “Right? I thought so too!”

    “That guy next to him with the mask looks handsome too, mainly because he’s tall!”

    “No way, are they a couple?”

    “Doesn’t seem like it. They haven’t even touched hands. Maybe they’re classmates?”

    “Come on, stop it, you two. Keep your voices down. Be reserved.”

    “What do you want to drink?”

    Yang Yunche slightly turned to the side, allowing Chen Xingran to see the menu above his head.

    Chen Xingran glanced at the menu and secretly clicked his tongue in amazement.

    Truly the He Tai commercial street, even the drink prices are this expensive? Are they serving gold in those cups?

    He cleared his throat lightly. “I’ll have a glass of ice water.”

    During the past few days of his live streaming, he had actually received quite a bit of gift money, especially when a lone top supporter on the rich list showered him with tens of thousands. However, because it wasn’t yet the withdrawal period specified by the platform, his wallet was still empty.

    Also, the warning signals his body had given during the fight today made Chen Xingran finally pay attention. The genetic collapse disease of the original owner was always a hidden danger. If possible, he needed to earn money quickly to cover the surgical expenses. After all, he had been reborn with much effort; experiencing a sudden illness again would be terribly unlucky.

    Yang Yunche raised an eyebrow. “Are you sure? My treat.”

    Chen Xingran hesitated for a moment. “Then, a caramel latte, full sugar.”

    They found an empty seat and sat down, both silent for a moment.

    “You look even younger than I thought.”

    Yang Yunche broke the ice.

    “Ahaha… really?”

    Chen Xingran awkwardly tugged at the corner of his mouth.

    “Is the wound okay?”

    “Just a minor injury, doesn’t affect me.”

    “How did the contract negotiations go?”

    “The offer is quite generous.” Chen Xingran nodded, then glanced at Yang Yunche. “Thanks to you.”

    Playing ranked games together with Yang Yunche brought a lot of traffic to his live stream. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have gained attention from the official platform so quickly and been offered such favorable terms.

    “Even without me, with your skills, it’s just a matter of time.”

    Yang Yunche smiled and shook his head. “Did they offer you an A-level contract?”

    “Yes.”

    “Among streamers, the treatment is already quite high. Our team, ZMD, has a partnership with Starry River Platform. Any official member of ZMD can get an S+ contract, with a gift share of up to 70%. Besides higher basic salary, the stipulated streaming hours are also more flexible.”

    Yang Yunche paused for a moment and added, “Other teams usually can’t get that.”

    Chen Xingran: “…”

    He had a feeling there was an underlying message in Yang Yunche’s words, like he was implying something.

    “Your caramel latte and iced Americano.”

    The café’s waiter brought over two cups of coffee and placed them in front of them.

    Yang Yunche put Chen Xingran’s caramel latte in front of him. “By the way, ZMD’s base has a dedicated coffee machine and barista, all hired at high salaries. You can have coffee anytime you want, and even customize the flavor.”

    Chen Xingran: “…”

    He didn’t hear it wrong. Yang Yunche was definitely hinting at something.

    Chen Xingran lifted the coffee and took a sip. “It’s alright. I’m not a big fan of this.”

    Yang Yunche looked at the young man in front of him, whose eyes were narrowing involuntarily due to satisfaction, and he didn’t reveal the truth. “Are you really not considering going pro?”

    Chen Xingran thought for a moment and asked in return, “Do you think I’m suitable for going pro?”

    “Of course, my judgment has never been wrong.”

    Yang Yunche felt like he was playing his cards right. “We’ve faced off, played ranked together. Though you might have slightly less experience, you can keep up, and your execution is strong. You also have good control over the game situation. With a bit of training, you can quickly become one of the sharpest blades in the professional league.”

    Chen Xingran didn’t speak. He was also contemplating.

    In this world, the ancient martial arts had declined. For him, it was nearly impossible to restart the path of ancient martial arts in such a world. However, he was someone who was passionate about battling skilled opponents, and after learning about the game over the past few days, it was undoubtedly very suitable for him.

    More importantly, the genetic disease of this body required surgery that cost money. Becoming a professional player was an extremely fast way to make money. As long as he achieved results, the cost of the surgery wouldn’t be a problem at all.

    He seemed to have no reason to refuse.

    He looked at Yang Yunche, whose expression remained unchanged. It was as if he was simply stating a fact, but Chen Xingran caught a subtle hint of expectation in his eyes.

    With a thought, Chen Xingran blinked at him. “I think the All-Star Team is quite good. What do you think?”

    Yang Yunche’s face fell, and he reached out to take the half-finished latte in front of Chen Xingran. “Then, you don’t get to drink this.”

    Chen Xingran: “…”

    For some reason, seeing how Chen Xingran’s appearance was overly youthful, yet his words were mature and old-fashioned, Yang Yunche had the urge to tease him.

    Like now.

    With a perplexed expression and a bewildered look, he seemed more like a cute, innocent squirrel.

    “Just kidding.”

    Yang Yunche pushed the coffee back, and then he seriously started analyzing with Chen Xingran, “The All-Star Team is indeed suitable for you. Their playstyle leans toward direct confrontation. Also, recently, Lu Mingyu has been looking for a skilled assault player. I’ve heard that they’ve even scouted players from foreign regions.”

    Chen Xingran reluctantly took back the latte he almost lost and took a sip. As he listened to Yang Yunche’s analysis, his eyes showed a touch of seriousness.

    “However, I still think ZMD is more suitable for you.”

    Yang Yunche continued, “Lu Mingyu doesn’t have much say within the All-Star Club. The shareholders of the All-Star Team are more inclined to buy ready-made players with competition experience. If you join the All-Star Team, the best-case scenario would be starting from the second team.”

    “I own a portion of ZMD’s shares, and I have control over team personnel arrangements, without interference from other shareholders’ opinions. As long as you’re willing to join, I can promise you a starting position.”

    This promise carried significant weight. Even if Chen Xingran wasn’t familiar with the current professional scene, he knew what Yang Yunche’s words implied.

    Allowing someone with no competition experience, and who was even a freshman in the eSports College, to directly step onto the highest-honor competitive stage was a huge pressure on Yang Yunche. If he didn’t achieve better results than before, the internal doubts of the club and the pressure from public opinion could easily overwhelm him.

    Yang Yunche’s tone was very serious, devoid of any joking. Even when Chen Xingran mentioned the idea of “joining the All-Star Team,” he didn’t show any doubts. It seemed that in Yang Yunche’s mind, as long as Chen Xingran was willing, regardless of which top-tier club he went to, they would welcome him with open arms, as if he had no consideration for being rejected.

    The esteemed captain of ZMD, someone who had won numerous world championships, was willing to put aside his ego to invite a newcomer. Even after Chen Xingran had politely declined twice, Yang Yunche didn’t give up. This sincerity was enough to make people feel deeply moved.

    “In a few days, the transfer period will begin. You don’t need to rush your decision. You can reply to me after the New Star Cup ends.”

    Yang Yunche said.

    Chen Xingran nodded. “I’ll seriously consider it.”

    “Oh, by the way.”

    Yang Yunche seemed to suddenly remember something. “Don’t be fooled by Lu Mingyu’s appearance. Actually… he has a taste problem.”

    “Huh?”

    “He can’t taste the saltiness or sweetness of food. If you go to the All-Star Team, your daily meals might not be very enjoyable.”

    Yang Yunche appeared casual as he said, “Of course, I didn’t mean to belittle him, just a reminder.”

    Chen Xingran: “…”

    Could you make your sneaky criticism any more obvious?

    Yang Yunche: “By the way, you’ll be livestreaming tonight, right?”

    Chen Xingran nodded.

    “There are quite a few gaming cafes nearby. You can livestream here directly. I’m free tonight, so I can play ranked games with you.”

    Yang Yunche said, “The maintenance of the new base’s vehicle is almost done. After your livestream, I’ll have Fu Zhou send you back. You won’t have to take the bus.”

    Chen Xingran thought for a moment and found Yang Yunche’s suggestion reasonable, so he didn’t refuse. “Thank you, then I’ll trouble you.”

    “If you want to thank me, how about changing my nickname?”

    Yang Yunche’s eyes held a smile. “I guess now you don’t find it as annoying?”

    “…”

    Still holding a grudge over that, huh.

    Chen Xingran felt a bit guilty and took out his phone. Under Yang Yunche’s expectant gaze, he changed the nickname to “ZMD-Yunche”, which was Yang Yunche’s gaming ID.

    “Is this too awkward?”

    Yang Yunche didn’t seem very satisfied.

    We aren’t that familiar…

    Yang Yunche didn’t care about that much. Seizing the opportunity to tease him, he suggested, “How about changing it to ‘Handsome and Commanding Captain Yang’?”

    Chen Xingran: “…”

    I refuse.

    With a stern face, he changed the nickname to “Annoying Ghost with a Bow”.

    “Don’t do that. Let’s discuss it again.”

    Yang Yunche looked somewhat aggrieved. At 187 cm tall, he was a whole head taller than Chen Xingran. With his somewhat mixed-race and deep handsomeness, when he put on this expression, it inexplicably reminded people of a mischievous Husky.

    Finally, as supervised by Yang Yunche, Chen Xingran reluctantly changed the nickname to “Handsome Yang Yunche”.

    Yang Yunche was finally satisfied. Taking advantage of Chen Xingran’s distraction, he secretly changed Chen Xingran’s nickname from “Night-Burning Anchor” to “Little Squirrel”.

    “Let’s go.”

    The two left the coffee shop and found a nearby gaming cafe.

    “I’ll take care of it.”

    Seeing Yang Yunche walk up to the front desk so naturally and pay for two gaming booths, Chen Xingran quickly spoke up.

    “Since when does a senior take a junior out and make the junior pay?”

    Yang Yunche swiped his card to pay. “If this got out, would I still have any standing in the professional scene?”

    His tone was firm, and Chen Xingran couldn’t argue with him. Yang Yunche had his way.

    “Do you have your ID card with you?”

    Yang Yunche turned around and asked.

    “I do.”

    Chen Xingran instinctively took out his ID card.

    The translucent, crystal-like card was a pale blue color, with a silhouette of a person on it. Although the face was absent, it wasn’t hard to figure out who the card depicted.

    After all, the real person was standing right in front of him.

    Chen Xingran: “…”

    He clenched his teeth, put the ID card back in his pocket, and said softly, “No, a classmate bought this for me…”

    While what he said was true, the fact that Wu Feiang had helped him buy the ID card at the front desk didn’t seem very convincing when spoken aloud.

    Yang Yunche raised an eyebrow. “Oh.”

    His tone was playful, with a hint of hidden meaning.

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