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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 35

35. Thunderstorm. Dark Clouds. God. Cloud Mist Heavenly Palace

    “Do you have time? Let’s play a round.”

    These seven simple words might sound ordinary, as if they were just a challenge sent by someone who wanted to spar with a skilled player. However, when the person uttering these words is Lu Mingyu, the meaning becomes entirely different.

    Who is Lu Mingyu? He’s one of the two strongest sword fighters in the Chinese server, the captain of the prestigious team All Stars, a legendary figure who has led his team to win multiple championship trophies. In Destiny, he’s undoubtedly a top-tier player.

    Professional gamers have their own pride, and it’s unprecedented for one to invite a streamer to spar in a live broadcast room!

    Chen Xingran’s livestream exploded.

    In the short minute after Lu Mingyu’s message, the barrage grew exponentially, turning a room with tens of thousands of viewers into one with millions of viewers.

    “What’s going on?”

    Yang Yunche returned to the game lobby and saw that Chen Xingran had paused in the middle of a sentence, looking puzzled.

    However, he soon learned about Lu Mingyu’s appearance from his own livestream’s barrage.

    Well, this is quite a big deal.

    Yang Yunche thought to himself.

    He knew that with Chen Xingran’s skills, he would eventually catch the attention of All-Stars. He just didn’t expect it to happen so quickly.

    “If you guys want to spar, let’s arrange a time later…,” Yang Yunche began to suggest, but he didn’t finish his sentence. He realized that fighting in front of so many people might not be a good idea. In Yang Yunche’s mind, Chen Xingran was already considered a prospective member of ZMD, and he unconsciously considered things from the perspective of the team.

    He didn’t think Chen Xingran would lose; it was just that Chen Xingran’s understanding of the game was not yet mature. Regardless of the outcome of their match, this kind of big news would surely attract a lot of gaming media attention and unnecessary speculation. Even the fans of All-Stars might criticize Chen Xingran. Yang Yunche didn’t want to see that.

    He thought about privately arranging a practice match between Chen Xingran and Lu Mingyu. However, before he could finish his sentence, Chen Xingran eagerly responded.

    “Sure, I have time. Let’s go!”

    Chen Xingran didn’t think too much about it and readily agreed. Then he quickly left the team list and opened a room for a martial arts mode game.

    Yang Yunche: “…”

    He almost forgot; this guy was an absolute battle maniac.

    Originally, they had agreed to play a duo match together, but then Lu Mingyu suddenly showed up, and with just a few words, he convinced Chen Xingran to go with him. Yang Yunche looked at his team list, which now had only him, feeling a bit aggrieved.

    “All-Stars – Lu Mingyu sent a friend request. Do you accept?”

    After creating the martial arts mode room, Chen Xingran received Lu Mingyu’s friend request.

    Accepted. He then sent a room invitation. In the next moment, the ID representing the ceiling of combat power in the professional gaming world appeared in the small sparring room.

    “Three bans?” Lu Mingyu typed.

    The so-called “three bans” referred to a rule in sparring rooms where skills, ultimate techniques, and the use of healing items were prohibited. Both sides would rely solely on swordplay to determine the outcome. This was a widely accepted rule in sparring rooms, and the assessment room of the Divine Blade Sect that Chen Xingran had entered followed this rule.

    Chen Xingran thought for a moment and replied, “No bans.”

    The “three bans” rule was exclusive to sparring rooms and didn’t exist in regular competitions. Since he was facing the famous Lu Mingyu, Chen Xingran didn’t want to restrict his opponent with additional rules.

    “Okay.”

    After a brief exchange of words, the game began, and both of them were transported to the sparring room.

    Even before this sparring session started, news of it had already spread online.

    Adding Yang Yunche and Lu Mingyu, two legendary figures in the professional league, appearing in the same livestream room at the same time, with Lu Mingyu even actively inviting a sparring session, this unusual scene would raise suspicions even for the most naive.

    How could one streamer capture the attention of two top-tier team captains?

    —Who exactly was this Ye Shao?

    “Manager!”

    The administrator, who was constantly monitoring the viewership trends in the livestream room, immediately noticed the sudden surge in Chen Xingran’s viewership and promptly reported it.

    Mr. Lin was overjoyed. This young streamer, whom he had just signed, had brought him so many pleasant surprises!

    Under Mr. Lin’s strong push, Chen Xingran’s livestream was featured on the homepage, occupying the largest section of viewership. Several keen-sensed gaming media outlets rushed in like wolves scenting blood.

    Chen Xingran had no idea that his decision to open a martial arts room had caused such a storm, and even if he knew, he didn’t want to bother with all the outside disturbances.

    Good opponents were hard to come by, and fighting exhilarating battles against top-tier experts was precisely why he had ventured into the world of Destiny in the first place!

    “Whoosh.”

    Countless white petals of light swirled and reformed, condensing into the slender figure of the Demonic Blade. In his hand, he held a simple, unadorned Tang sword, while his long scarf billowed in the wind.

    Facing him, Lu Mingyu also wielded a Tang sword, playing as the character “Lunar Wolf”, a young wolf clan member with a bare upper body and draped in wolf fur.

    The gigantic countdown timer above their heads was slowly ticking down.

    Five, four, three, two, one.

    As the countdown reached its end, everyone expected the following scene to be a fierce and intense battle. However, to their surprise, neither of them moved.

    Chen Xingran stood still, with one leg forward and the other back, his right hand lightly resting on the hilt of his Tang sword as he adjusted his breathing.

    Lu Mingyu did the same.

    The random map they had landed on was the famous Cloud Mist Heavenly Palace, and it happened to be under a rare thunderstorm weather condition.

    The all-encompassing dark clouds partially obscured both of their figures, and the dim light only allowed glimpses of their faces shrouded in shadows. Surrounding them were magnificent ruins, and above them, a colossal statue bowed its head, pointing a finger as though it were fishing for the wails of the mortal realm.

    “Boom, rumble, rumble.”

    Thunderclaps echoed, and bright lightning danced within the dense black clouds. The air was filled with a heavy sense of foreboding, followed by a gentle rain that began to fall.

    As the raindrops converged and fell vertically due to gravity, they formed a series of threads that sprinkled down.

    “Drip, drop.”

    In that split second when the raindrops touched the ground, Chen Xingran made his move.

    “Clang—”

    The long and straight blade swiftly emerged from its scabbard, like a sudden burst of flames, and the splashing sparks illuminated a pair of cold eyes beneath the Demonic Blade’s hood.

    Ghostly Shadow Slash!

    Without hesitation, they activated their skills, and in the blink of an eye, the distance between them was crossed. In just the time it took to blink, the blade had already descended in front of Lu Mingyu!

    With a ruthless intent, the blade burst forth, cutting through without the slightest pause, cleanly slicing even the fine rain lines in half!

    Lu Mingyu’s legs were in a bow stance, his center of gravity low, and the bright Tang sword in his hand was held vertically, facing the oncoming attack. His eyes flashed with a hint of surprise, and then his blade moved like a rainbow over autumn waters, colliding with the approaching Tang sword!

    Clang!

    This clear sound was like a horn signaling the start of a battle, turning both from stillness to motion in an instant. Subsequently, the dense clouds in the sky were shattered directly by the blades, creating an open area in the center of their battle!

    Clang, clang, clang—

    In just two seconds, they had exchanged several blows.

    Chen Xingran’s gaze slightly narrowed. Finally, since arriving in this world, he had encountered his first opponent worth taking seriously.

    Lu Mingyu’s sword was quick, and his extremely low movements made every one of his strikes full of variations. His precise micro-adjustments made his blade exceptionally tricky and deceptive, with strong feints that made it impossible to predict where the next strike would land.

    If Chen Xingran’s sword technique was realistic, with each move being true to life, honed in actual battles, then Lu Mingyu represented the opposite extreme. He had completely mastered the game’s rules, and each move he made was an embodiment of the game’s framework. He knew where each move would land, what effect it would have, and how much damage it would deal, down to the millisecond of character animation!

    In essence, sword fighting was a game. Regardless of how closely it resembled reality, it couldn’t change its fundamental nature.

    Games, as the name suggests, always had an optimal solution, just like Chen Xingran’s current move, dragging his sword to accelerate, immediately transitioning to horizontal stance, slashing from right to left diagonally, landing before Lu Mingyu’s eyes. The data represented by this move was already clear. The strongest point was the left third of the blade, with the focus of power at the tip. Just avoid the sharpest edge, initiate with a sweeping motion, and swing to the left…

    “Clang!”

    Chen Xingran’s move was once again deflected.

    The Demonic Blade struck again, a chopping motion with a bow stance, aiming at shoulder level. It resembled a soaring wild goose, casting a shadow.

    Lu Mingyu used a waist-reliant style, obliquely dismantling the attack.

    Chen Xingran followed with a return strike, taking a step forward, spreading his toes outward, thrusting again.

    Lu Mingyu bent his arm back, holding the blades in both hands with the blade edge leading, twisting and slicing horizontally to the left.

    —Blocked again!

    Both of them moved with extreme speed, and the thick, dark night seemed to bring a cold breeze that brushed against the skin, making onlookers shudder. It felt as if the blade intent was slicing through their bodies, causing an intense, stinging pain!

    —Charge!

    Seizing an opportunity, Lu Mingyu unleashed Lunar Wolf’s skill, using his blade tip to parry Chen Xingran’s assault. Then, he leaped into the air like an arrow, the young wolf clan member’s figure shot out like a projectile, avoiding the Demonic Blade’s edge, then repositioned himself and struck back!

    “Boom—”

    Another bolt of lightning surged from the black clouds, illuminating the dazzling blade. A mist seemed to rise around, concealing the razor-sharp Tang sword within. Everything felt loose, as if it were suspended in the air. Accompanied by the thunderous roar of overhead lightning, it sent shivers down one’s spine!

    Excellent timing!

    Facing this extremely cunning strike, Chen Xingran’s eyes brightened. His blood seemed to surge within him at this moment. This danger, dancing on the edge of the blade, putting his life and death in the balance, was precisely the martial arts joy he had pursued all his life.

    He showed no fear, gripping the hilt firmly, his eyes fixed on the blade before him. At this moment, his entire demeanor seemed ethereal.

    Buzz, buzz—

    The Tang sword emitted a piercing hum, followed by a strike that produced a dazzling lightning bolt, even more awe-inspiring than thunder.

    Thunderclap!

    Abandoning all defense, a relentless intent to strike forward, he was determined to outmatch Lu Mingyu’s Tang sword.

    If you dare, then take this strike!

    To fight without defeat was to be a god.

    Chen Xingran knew very well the consequences of this Thunderclap technique.

    He would take Lu Mingyu’s attack head-on, but in return, Lu Mingyu wouldn’t be able to avoid this strike either.

    In that instant, Lu Mingyu felt different from everyone else. It was as if a sniper had targeted him, sending a chill down his spine. Before the opponent’s blade even landed on him, he knew that this strike was aimed directly at his life.

    Whoosh—

    The two blades crossed paths, and Chen Xingran took an attack amplified by the dash bonus, causing his purple armor bar to drop by three notches.

    However, Lu Mingyu’s health dropped more dramatically. This one strike shattered all of his armor, and even his health bar opened up in an instant, falling below the warning line!

    In the blink of an eye during this exchange, the inherent danger of a life-threatening situation caused everyone in the live broadcast room to hold their breath.

    … It seemed like Captain  Lu was at a disadvantage?

    In the live broadcast room, Yang Yunche had left the team and wasn’t playing ranked games. Instead, he used his friend system to sneak into the audience seat of the sparring room, watching the intensely exciting battle from the perspective of a referee.

    From this angle, he could see more than Chen Xingran’s first-person view. He could clearly see every detail of Lu Mingyu’s swordplay and body movements.

    Watching this extremely dangerous scene unfold, Yang Yunche didn’t feel that Chen Xingran had the upper hand, unlike the other viewers.

    Ye Shao was indeed a formidable opponent in swordplay. But, Yang Yunche knew that Lu Mingyu might not be his match in terms of pure swordplay. However, this was a no-restrictions room – no banned skills, ultimate techniques, free attack and retreat, healing. Yang Yunche understood that this was just the beginning.

    As expected, in the next moment, Lu Mingyu made his move.

    Whether dealing damage or receiving it, the ultimate technique gauge would increase. Following a dazzling and brilliant swordplay, Lu Mingyu took another Thunderclap from Chen Xingran. His ultimate gauge was now full.

    Without hesitation, he activated the ultimate technique of the Lunar Wolf – the Wolf Form!

    “Roar—”

    A surge of energy burst from the wolf-like figure, propelling Chen Xingran back a few steps. Then, the figure rapidly expanded, and in an instant, the slim and slender young wolf transformed into a tall and oppressive werewolf!

    Characters like the Lunar Wolf, Dragon Soul, Zen Heart, and other heroes had transformation-based ultimate techniques. When these were activated, their health would be instantly restored (not including armor). It was as if they had a second life and possessed excellent battlefield control abilities in team fights.

    With the Lunar Wolf Form activated, Lu Mingyu gained attack and movement speed bonuses during its duration. His Tang sword also grew slightly larger. Without any hesitation, he charged directly at Chen Xingran. With his legs braced, his bones and tendons stretched, his spine straightened, in a split second, the once slight and slender young wolf transformed into a towering and overwhelming werewolf!

    The scene was filled with sparks that scattered like those from an ironworks, illuminating the black mist all around. Lightning streaked across the sky, and the menacing wolf head and massive body of the werewolf seemed like a mythological demon. It carried an oppressive and horrifying aura that sent chills down one’s spine.

    After exchanging a few blows, Chen Xingran’s armor had shattered, and his health had dropped to two-thirds. However, at the same time, his ultimate gauge was also full.

    Ghost God!

    “Sizzle—”

    The shattered ghostly flames instantly spread from his arm to his entire body and then extended onto his Tang sword, like a war god reborn in the flames of the ghostly bloodline. His momentum surged to its peak in an instant, and he stood his ground against the massive werewolf!

    “Boom, boom, boom—!!”

    In the eerie misty palace, a massive bolt of lightning erupted, crazily darting through the ink-like mist. The fleeting brilliance momentarily bathed the palace in daylight. The pitiful statues within the battle’s shockwaves swayed and emitted a thunderous roar. The colossal arm fell vertically, but it was instantly sliced into powder by two flashing blade lights.

    Dust filled the air as a murderous intent permeated the surroundings.

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