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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 95

95. Those who lose the way

He who finds the right course receives much help, while those who lose the way receive little support 1. Faced with the three bullies of ZMD blatantly cheating, with Chen Xingran, the modern war god, acting as their bodyguard, Yang Yunche could only swallow his grievances.

Seeing Yang Yunche suffer a rare defeat, Luo Baibai and the others felt much better and continued to watch the match on the couch, as if the earlier bet had never happened.

“Hey, this team is performing pretty well,” Luo Baibai commented, pointing at the screen where the broadcast had cut to a new team.

On the live broadcast, a team named 71GL was battling fiercely in Yuanling Manor. The camera focused on this relatively unknown team, showcasing their gameplay.

Echo, following the camera, explained, “71GL is a newly formed team this year. Although they haven’t achieved much yet, their playstyle seems quite mature. Here, 71GL is using the ‘Three Transformations’ lineup, which is quite popular in this version…”

The so-called ‘Three Transformations’ lineup consists of transformation-type heroes like Dragon Soul, Zen Heart, Lunar Wolf, and Abyss. This lineup’s advantage is its high tolerance for mistakes and strong presence on the field, with heroes capable of transforming to save themselves when low on health. This lineup is popular among many teams in the current version. Variations like the ‘Two Transformations’ or even ‘Four Transformations’ lineups are also common among teams.

71GL’s two assault positions were Lunar Wolf and Abyss. In the scene, Lunar Wolf was under heavy fire and activated his ultimate ability, transforming into a giant wolfman, and started engaging in melee combat with the enemy.

Lunar Wolf wielded a Tang Sword, his swordsmanship impressively strong. From a professional perspective, it was quite exceptional. With the ultimate ability activated, his attack and movement speed increased significantly, quickly turning the tide of battle and suppressing the enemy team. The opponents, unable to face him directly, sought cover to wait out the duration of his ultimate ability.

“Player Dong Qiyi’s swordsmanship is quite strong,” Echo commented. “But the opponents are smart too. Seeing Lunar Wolf activate his ultimate, they immediately sought cover to heal. With the ultimate, Lunar Wolf’s agility is reduced, making it hard to perform well in such terrain. Let’s see if his teammates can help him pin down the enemies… Yes, his teammates are reacting, trying to help Dong Qiyi pin down the enemies. Can they hold them? The opponents are trying to escape but are being held back! Dong Qiyi is engaging in melee!”

Dong Qiyi?

Chen Xingran perked up at the familiar name. Glancing at the screen, he confirmed it. In the spectator view, Lunar Wolf had the name [71GL-Dong Qiyi] above his head. Chen Xingran had fought Dong Qiyi during the New Star Cup. Watching his swordsmanship now, he could see the resemblance to their previous encounter, but Dong Qiyi had improved significantly since then, with a more mature playstyle.

“Didn’t Dong Qiyi go for a trial at All Stars? How did he end up in an unknown new team?” Chen Xingran wondered, but he didn’t dwell on it.

“Yun Ge, what do you think of this team?” Luo Baibai turned to ask Yang Yunche.

“Huh?” Yang Yunche snapped back to reality. “What?”

“I was talking about that team. Their tactics seem smart, and their teamwork isn’t bad. I think they could be a dark horse. Do you think they have a chance to advance?” Luo Baibai asked. “But what’s up with you? You seemed distracted.”

“No, nothing,” Yang Yunche instinctively glanced at Chen Xingran.

He was indeed distracted. After their brief physical contact earlier, and with Chen Xingran sitting next to him, Yang Yunche couldn’t help but steal glances at him. Chen Xingran was intently watching the TV, unaware of the attention. Yang Yunche, seizing this rare chance to observe him closely, had been thoroughly absorbed until Luo Baibai called out to him.

“They’re okay,” Yang Yunche finally redirected his focus to the TV. After a couple of glances, he said, “For a rookie team, they’re not bad. But their tactics are a bit immature. In that last position, they should have taken the high ground and used ranged attacks to suppress their opponents. It’s almost the final circle; engaging in meaningless fights isn’t necessary.”

“Got it,” Luo Baibai nodded and continued watching the broadcast.

Chen Xingran also turned his attention back to the screen. For a tactical master like Yang Yunche, ordinary teams often seemed unimpressive. However, Dong Qiyi, being a newcomer to the professional scene, managed to perform well under pressure, which was quite commendable.

When Chen Xingran was focused on watching TV, he would unconsciously pull his feet onto the couch, hugging his legs with his hands and resting his chin on his knees. This posture made him look particularly cute, with an earnest expression and unblinking eyes.

Yang Yunche pretended to watch TV, but most of his attention was on Chen Xingran beside him. Chen Xingran’s casual home attire included a pair of shorts. With his feet together on the couch, Yang Yunche could easily see his slender, fair calves and the distinct joints at his knees. Because he was sitting with his legs folded, his shorts rode up, exposing a bit of his thighs. Yang Yunche tried to restrain himself, but his eyes kept drifting toward that exposed skin.

“Ran Bao, aren’t you cold wearing shorts?” Luo Baibai asked, noticing Chen Xingran’s posture as he stretched.

“Not at all,” Chen Xingran replied, turning back. “It’s pretty warm inside.”

“Huh?” Luo Baibai seemed to discover something new and moved closer to look at Chen Xingran’s legs on the couch. “Why don’t you have any leg hair? That’s weird. Look at me…”

Luo Baibai boldly lifted his pant leg to reveal a leg covered in hair. “I’ve got so much leg hair, I could share some with you.”

Chen Xingran laughed. “I don’t know, it’s always been like this.”

“It looks so smooth,” Luo Baibai moved in closer, extending his hand. “Let me touch it…”

“Smack.”

Yang Yunche slapped Luo Baibai’s hand away.

“What are you doing? We’re watching the match,” Yang Yunche asked, frowning.

“I was just curious…” Luo Baibai said, confused. “We’re all guys here. I just wanted to know why Ran Bao doesn’t have any leg hair. Don’t you find it strange, captain? Maybe you should feel it too?”

“…”

Yang Yunche was tempted but said, “What’s there to touch? Go touch your own.”

“It’s not the same.”

“Then go touch Xiao Nan’s.”

Yang Yunche’s voice turned cold. “This is the time to watch the match and learn about our opponents. It’s serious. Don’t fool around. Look at me, I’ve been focused on the match. Have I been distracted? Have I lost focus? You might face these guys on the field someday, so pay attention. After watching, write a tactical analysis for me. I’ll check it tomorrow.”

“…Okay,” Luo Baibai, feeling dejected, returned to his seat, now burdened with an unexpected tactical analysis assignment.

Yang Yunche glanced at Chen Xingran, still worried. He grabbed a blanket from nearby and draped it over Chen Xingran’s legs. “The weather is getting colder. Cover up with this blanket. You don’t want to end up with old cold legs at a young age.”

Chen Xingran was about to say he wasn’t cold, but when he saw Yang Yunche’s serious and insistent expression, he realized it was out of concern. He obediently covered his legs with the blanket and continued watching the match in his previous position, with his chin resting on the fluffy blanket.

Captain Yang, despite thwarting Luo Baibai’s intentions, felt a pang of regret as he lost his own chance to admire. He sighed inwardly.

“The opponents seem to be struggling. Fate is using his ultimate to try and save someone, but he couldn’t manage it. He got entangled by 71GL’s support!”

The TV continued to echo Echo’s commentary: “Dong Qiyi is fighting in wolf form. Let’s see the results… A beautiful slash at a very tricky angle, directly suppressing the opponent’s spear. Still dueling… Explosive slash! Nice!”

Dong Qiyi scored the first kill, and as his wolf form’s duration ended, his body began to shrink while the enemy was still in the stunned state from the explosive slash.

“He’s got more than half his health left. It’s tough to take him down quickly. He should be able to hold out until his teammates arrive to help. Let’s see what Dong Qiyi does… Hmm? He’s sheathing his sword? What’s this move?”

Echo paused for a moment. “Is he going to make a move? Wait, this action looks familiar?”

Swish—

On screen, a flash of the blade appeared as the Tang sword was unsheathed, cutting through the air in a brilliant arc.

“Thunderclap?!”

Echo shouted, “Is this Chen Xingran’s signature move, Thunderclap?”

-342!

A damage number flashed on the screen, and Echo’s voice diminished.

“The damage is still too low. It seems Dong Qiyi hasn’t mastered Thunderclap. A heavy slash would have been more effective, dealing higher damage.”

Female commentator: “After all, it’s Chen Xingran’s signature technique. No one else has been able to achieve his level of damage with it. Dong Qiyi was a bit overconfident with this move.”

Echo: “Indeed, if the original performed it, the damage would exceed 1000 points, and with armor penetration, it could be an instant kill. But it’s okay; it’s just the first match. For a new team, having the courage to try is already commendable.”

Luo Baibai glanced at Chen Xingran and curled his lip. “The damage is way too low, only three hundred something. Ran Bao, what do you think of this Thunderclap?”

Chen Xingran smiled and shook his head. “Almost has intent.”

He was being polite. It was more than just lacking—it missed both the form and the intent by a long shot. As his famous technique from his past life, it wasn’t something just anyone could replicate. Many in the ancient martial arts circles tried to imitate this move but all failed without exception. Without mastering the correct force application and the perfect blend of form and intent, Thunderclap would instead put a significant burden on the body, leading to severe issues like muscle strain or deformation. Fortunately, in the game, there were no such consequences.

On TV, the surrounding audience also let out exclamations of surprise. Many obviously recognized Chen Xingran’s signature move. However, when they saw the damage number, the exclamations turned into boos.

Although Chen Xingran hasn’t yet played in an official match or competed on a professional stage, his fame among players is already immense. His fan base even surpasses that of many popular players who have already competed professionally. He seems to be on par with star players like Yang Yunche, Lu Mingyu, and Li Haoyuan in terms of popularity.

Having such a large fan following and a significant reputation even before playing a single match is unique among professional players. Others can only look on with envy, as this level of popularity and reputation is not something that can be easily replicated.

The group continued watching the matches until midnight, showing signs of fatigue on their faces.

Chen Xingran stretched and said, “I’m going to rest now. Are you all still watching?”

The schedule for the qualification rounds was very tight due to the large number of teams and participants. To finish before the regular season starts, they had to compress the schedule, often relegating less-known teams to midnight slots.

There were still a few matches left, but everyone seemed disinterested and tired. Luo Baibai and the others were about to say they were done for the night when they saw Fu Zhou subtly signaling to them.

Luo Baibai seemed to remember something and said to Chen Xingran, “You go ahead and sleep, Ran Bao. We’ll watch one more match before heading to bed.”

Chen Xingran didn’t think much of it, nodded, bid them goodnight, and went upstairs to rest with his empty water cup.

Yang Yunche glanced at Luo Baibai and Fu Zhou, “What are you two up to?”

Their little gestures hadn’t escaped his notice.

Fu Zhou cleared his throat, “We have an announcement.”

“What’s it about? Why do you need to keep it from Xingran?”

Xiao Nan also asked curiously, “Are you planning to sneak off to some shady place? Yeah, Xingran is still young, better not involve him in such things.”

“…What are you thinking?”

Luo Baibai glared at Xiao Nan, “Do we look like that kind of people? Who would go to such places!”

“Xingran’s birthday is coming up.”

Fu Zhou timely cleared up the confusion for Xiao Nan and Yang Yunche.

“Birthday?”

“Xingran’s birthday?”

“Yeah, he filled it out when he joined the team.”

Fu Zhou said, “I checked the date, and it’s the day after tomorrow.”

Yang Yunche hadn’t noticed this detail before.

Luo Baibai, “So, let’s keep it a secret from him and plan a surprise, like a birthday party or something?”

Fu Zhou said, “Since it’s his first birthday with ZMD, you should all prepare some gifts for him.”

Xiao Nan nodded and then, remembering something, asked, “By the way, what about Xingran’s family? It seems like since he joined the team, his family hasn’t come to visit him.”

“Well…”

Fu Zhou was silent for a moment before continuing, “When I went to his school to fill out his application to join the team, I found out that his parents have passed away. He has no surviving parents.”

Everyone was stunned upon hearing this.

No parents…?

“Yes, I heard that when he first started school, Xingran was quite withdrawn and rarely interacted with others. It seems this incident had a significant impact on him,” Fu Zhou sighed.

The atmosphere grew tense for a moment.

No one had expected that Chen Xingran had such a heavy burden. Despite his usually excellent personality and the fact that he always smiled and was easy to get along with, hearing this made everyone feel a pang of sorrow for him. 

Behind that smile must be a lot of hidden sadness…

“And he has no close relatives either,” Fu Zhou added, shaking his head. “So, he really doesn’t have a family anymore. In a way, ZMD is his family now. That’s why I’ve always asked you to take extra care of him.”

“I always take good care of Ran Bao, okay.” 

Luo Baibai said. “It’s the captain who’s always teasing him and making him angry.”

“…”

Yang Yunche ignored him. He looked up at Chen Xingran’s room door upstairs, feeling a mess of emotions.

“I should have mentioned his birthday to you all earlier.” 

Fu Zhou said, “But…”

Luo Baibai, “Was it because you didn’t want us to make it too obvious?”

“No, I was just too busy with work and forgot.” 

Fu Zhou admitted straightforwardly.

“…”

“Anyway, there’s only one day left. Although it’s a bit rushed, if we prepare well, we can still give him an unforgettable birthday, right?”

“…You put it that way, what else can we do?” Luo Baibai said helplessly, “I’ll go buy a gift and get it expedited. It should arrive tomorrow.”

“We need a cake too, and decorations. I’ll handle that,” Xiao Nan volunteered. “But if we make such a big deal out of it, won’t he find out?”

“Exactly,” Fu Zhou said, blinking. “So tomorrow, we’ll find a way to send Xingran away for a while. That should do it.”

“How do we do that? We don’t have a reason,” Luo Baibai said. “Besides, I’m not good at lying. Ranbao will see right through me.”

Xiao Nan, “Same here. I’m pretty honest. My ears turn red when I lie.”

Fu Zhou added, “Me too. Everyone in ZMD is straightforward and honest. How can there be a shameless person who speaks nonsense and doesn’t blush while doing so?”

Then, the three of them simultaneously turned their eyes toward Yang Yunche, who had been silent the entire time.

Yang Yunche: “…”

What do you three mean by this?

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Translator Notes
  1. 得道者多助,失道者寡助(A just cause attracts much support, an unjust one finds little ) – From Mencius; “He who finds the proper course has many to assist him. He who loses the proper course has few to assist him. When this – the being assisted by few – reaches its extreme point, his own relations revolt from the prince. When the being assisted by many reaches its highest point, the whole kingdom becomes obedient to the prince.” Only by upholding justice can one achieve internal unity and popular support[]
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