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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 99

99. Karma Cup, Kick-off!

“Sorry!”

Chen Xingran apologized sincerely, his face full of embarrassment and shame. “I really didn’t mean to. It was just an instinct…”

“It’s okay, it’s okay.”

Fu Zhou waved his hand dismissively. “I didn’t consider it properly. I forgot that martial artists like you are always on high alert…”

Luo Baibai rubbed his arm and generously said, “No big deal. After playing games for so long, it’s good to stretch the muscles occasionally.”

“We originally planned to give you a surprise and make your birthday unforgettable,” Xiao Nan shrugged. “I didn’t expect it to turn out like this.”

Yang Yunche laughed. “Don’t worry about the surprise part; unforgettable it certainly is. Right, birthday boy?”

Chen Xingran glared at him. Yang Yunche accurately read the “Why didn’t you tell me?” accusation in his eyes and smirked, pointing at Fu Zhou to indicate that he was just following orders.

Coincidentally, the birthday of this world’s Chen Xingran was the same day as in his previous life, but Chen Xingran had gone so long without celebrating it that he had forgotten.

Looking at the ZMD team members before him, though he hadn’t been in the base for long, he could feel their genuine warmth and sincerity. They had gone to great lengths, having Yang Yunche take him out and meticulously decorating the hall. A large birthday cake sat on the table, adorned with a fan-drawn chibi version of him, and colorful balloons hung overhead…

Chen Xingran felt a warm surge in his heart.

It seemed that fate had always been kind to him. After his death, he was reborn and met a group of friendly people—or rather, comrades—in this new world. They joked and laughed daily, their relationships harmonious, and they took care of him in every aspect of life. Though Chen Xingran didn’t like to express his feelings verbally, he was deeply grateful and silently cherished these moments.

“Once this birthday passes, you’ll be nineteen.”

As the clock struck midnight, Luo Baibai lit the candles for Chen Xingran.

“Make a wish.”

Chen Xingran nodded, closed his eyes, and silently made a wish.

“What is it? What is it?” Luo Baibai asked curiously.

Chen Xingran opened his eyes and smiled. “It’s a secret.”

“Is it about finding a girlfriend?” Luo Baibai speculated earnestly. “Well, you’re nineteen now; it’s about time to think about dating. What kind of girls do you like? I know a lot of female pro players and streamers. I could introduce you to some.”

As soon as he finished speaking, he felt a chill on the back of his neck, making him shiver. Turning around, he saw Yang Yunche staring at him coldly. Though Yang Yunche said nothing, the murderous intent in his eyes was unmistakable.

“… Yun Ge, what are you doing?”

Luo Baibai shrank his neck. “You want to date too? How about… I introduce someone to you?”

“Mind your own business,” Yang Yunche said coolly, changing the subject. “Let’s eat the cake.”

Everyone brought out the gifts they had prepared. Fu Zhou gifted him a top-of-the-line laptop, and Xiao Nan gave him a new model smartphone, thinking Chen Xingran, at his age, would love these gadgets. Luo Baibai’s gift was a complete set of official figurines of all the heroes in Fate, an extremely pricey collection.

“Captain, where’s your gift?” Luo Baibai asked.

Yang Yunche smiled and brought out the long wooden box from Shi Yan.

Everyone’s attention was drawn to it. When the box was opened, a sharp Tang sword gleamed inside, its black handle interwoven with white patterns. The blade bore faint cloud patterns, reflecting a cold, dangerous beauty. Next to it was the matching scabbard, made of white zitan wood, with a smooth, winding grain. A string of prayer beads hung on the scabbard, adding a touch of Zen, perfectly matching the sword’s curve.

“Long Ying?” Chen Xingran was stunned. He looked up at Yang Yunche and asked uncertainly, “Is this… for me?”

He had thought the wooden box Yang Yunche had carried all the way was the result of Shi Yan’s lost bet—a basic Tang sword. He never expected it to contain Shi Yan’s treasured Long Ying.

“Mmh,” Yang Yunche nodded.

“How could Shi Yan Xiong 1…” Chen Xingran still couldn’t believe it.

“A precious sword for a hero,” Yang Yunche said with a smile. “Your match with Shi Yan impressed him deeply. He said giving this sword to you wouldn’t be a waste.”

“This sword is so cool…” Luo Baibai, though not knowledgeable about forging, could tell this Tang sword was extraordinary.

“It’s sharpened,” Xiao Nan observed, surprised. “A real sword?”

“You’re really something,” Fu Zhou rolled his eyes at Yang Yunche. 

Giving Chen Xingran a real sword on his birthday—wasn’t he worried about Chen Xingran’s fights becoming even more dangerous?

But seeing the joy and happiness in Chen Xingran’s eyes, Fu Zhou didn’t say much, only reminding him, “Keep the sword safe. Remember, it’s only for collection, not for playing around with.”

“Yes!”

Chen Xingran responded happily, like a child who had just received his favorite toy. He carefully lifted Long Ying from the box, repeatedly tracing its contours with his eyes, and gently running his fingers along the cool, straight blade, his affection for the sword evident.

Though Shi Yan was willing to give this sword to Chen Xingran, the price had to be paid—after all, forging weapons was his livelihood. Long Ying was Shi Yan’s proudest work in recent years, and the price… let’s just say it wasn’t affordable for the average wealthy person. Even for someone as financially well-off as Yang Yunche, buying this sword was a significant expense.

——By the way, Long Ying had all the necessary paperwork and certificates completed at the time of its forging. Yang Yunche just had to register it under Chen Xingran’s ID number to transfer the ownership, without needing additional filing.

Seeing Chen Xingran’s joyful and satisfied expression, Yang Yunche’s lips curved into a small smile, his heart brightening with Chen Xingran’s happiness. He didn’t intend to tell Chen Xingran the price of the sword. In fact, it wasn’t important to him; as long as the boy in front of him was happy, that was enough.

“Can I touch it?” Luo Baibai, watching from the side, couldn’t help but feel envious. He had never touched a real sword in his life.

Chen Xingran hesitated briefly but then generously handed over Long Ying. “Be careful, it’s a bit heavy.”

If Chen Xingran’s fellow disciples from his previous life saw this, they would be shocked. He was famous for his love of swords. Anyone who knew him knew how much he treasured his personal sword, Duanshui. He wouldn’t even let someone close to him touch it, let alone hold the hilt.

A warrior’s beloved sword is more precious than a wife. Allowing Luo Baibai and the others to touch it meant that the ZMD members held a special place in Chen Xingran’s heart.

“Hiss… it’s heavy!”

Despite Chen Xingran’s warning, Luo Baibai felt the weight on his wrist and couldn’t help but exclaim. He then looked at Chen Xingran with admiration. “Ranbao, can you really wield such a heavy sword? You look so thin, not as strong as me.”

Chen Xingran smiled. “Tang swords are like this. Xueli steel is heavier than regular steel, and you’re not holding it correctly. You can’t just use brute force; naturally, it feels heavy.”

With that, he took the sword back, stepped back a few steps, and performed a sword flourish. The air seemed to burst with dazzling sword light, as if a peacock was fanning its tail. The heavy Long Ying in Chen Xingran’s hands seemed as light as a feather, astonishing the ZMD members, who looked on in awe.

Soon, Long Ying was being passed around, with everyone eagerly taking turns to admire it.

While the others were engrossed in examining Long Ying, Chen Xingran looked over at Yang Yunche and sincerely said, “Thank you. I really like this gift.”

“I can tell,” Yang Yunche smiled, then mentally calculated. “If you like it so much, shouldn’t you show some appreciation?”

Perhaps a hug, or something?

Appreciation?

Chen Xingran blinked, puzzled, then caught Yang Yunche’s expectant look and suddenly understood. “Don’t worry, I’ll work hard in the competition, perform well, and live up to everyone’s expectations!”

“……”

Yang Yunche’s smile faded. “……Mmh.”

What a blockhead.

To prepare this little surprise for Chen Xingran, everyone had been busy all day. It was late at night, and after chatting and having fun for a while, everyone started to feel sleepy and headed upstairs to rest. Chen Xingran, however, showed no signs of fatigue. He was completely absorbed in admiring Long Ying and even took it with him to his room, making Yang Yunche suspect that he might sleep with the sword tonight.

The next morning, when Yang Yunche got up, he didn’t see Chen Xingran. Chen Xingran’s routine was usually very regular, and he typically got up earlier than the others, especially after his recovery. Yang Yunche looked around downstairs and, not finding him, asked Fu Zhou, “Where’s Xingran?”

Fu Zhou twitched his mouth and replied, “He’s in the yard practicing with the sword.”

Chen Xingran had gotten up before dawn to practice his sword skills. Judging by his current enthusiasm, it seemed likely that the wooden stakes in the yard would need replacing soon. However, these expenses were covered by the ZMD club, so it wasn’t a big deal. The club’s financial department might see the costs for the training stakes and think the team had started a trend of chopping wood for heating…

Yang Yunche sighed.

It seemed Chen Xingran really liked Long Ying…

But since Long Ying was a gift from him this time, Yang Yunche didn’t feel the same pang of jealousy as before. Instead, he felt quite pleased.

Hmm, liking the gift I gave so much, by extension, he probably likes me too, right?

In the days that followed, ZMD began an intense training schedule. Besides ranked matches, they played numerous scrimmages. The qualifiers for the Karma Cup had also reached their final stages, and the list of teams entering the regular season was out. Besides the eight well-known teams with guaranteed spots, most of the other teams were prominent first-tier domestic teams. Of course, there were also quite a few dark horse teams that emerged from the qualifiers.

The regular season was divided into ten groups, with twelve teams in each group, making a total of 120 teams that made it to the regular season.

ZMD was placed in Group 3, along with several familiar teams such as Jinghong, KSs, and TT.CAP—teams they often encountered during practice matches.

Since each group consists of 12 teams and a match requires 24 teams, the groups need to be paired for matches. This means matches are organized as Group 1+Group 2, Group 3+Group 4, and so on, with the ten groups being shuffled and drawn randomly for pairings in a weekly cycle. After each round of the regular season, the two teams with the lowest scores from each pairing will be eliminated.

Ultimately, the top 24 teams with the highest total scores will advance to the finals stage to compete for the national championship title.

Though 120 teams might seem like a lot, it’s a tiny fraction considering the large number of clubs in the country. This official super league carries a significance far beyond typical tier-one or tier-two leagues. The qualifiers alone saw tens of thousands of teams participating, having already been filtered through secondary league competitions.

The Karma Cup qualifiers spanned three months with a tight schedule. These tens of thousands of teams battled their way up from various regional divisions across the country, advancing through rounds of fierce competition. Emerging from this brutal selection process to reach the regular season stage is akin to crossing a narrow bridge amidst a thousand-strong army, a testament to their elite status.

Making it to the regular season proves these teams’ prowess—they are the top professional teams in the country, representing the highest level of domestic competition. They will compete in the Karma Cup, striving to deliver spectacular matches and aiming to represent their country on the world stage.

World Champion.

These four simple words embody unparalleled glory, built upon a foundation of relentless effort and sacrifice. The world stage is teeming with professional players and top-tier talent from all over the globe. Even a knife-fighting master like Lu Mingyu might not stand out on this international platform, as every country boasts its own top players with unique skills. Everyone aims to claim the trophy symbolizing these four words and stand atop the peak, overlooking all others.

But there can only be one champion.

As the regular season teams immersed themselves in a tense atmosphere, players and gaming enthusiasts outside celebrated in a near-festive manner, eagerly focusing on these 120 teams and anticipating their outstanding performances and highlight moments.

This was, after all, the first world-class event hosted by Destiny, a game that had taken the gaming world by storm.

Players around the globe were poised to witness the birth of the first world champion.

Finally, amid great anticipation, the regular season of the Karma Cup began.

TN:

I’m realizing I bit off more than I can chew with this novel😭. The gaming elements and these martial arts moves are headache inducing. At this point I can’t even remember the names of the moves and some game characters and locations as well as other terms. I was reading through and I found some words that were translated as different things in different chapters when it’s actually the same! So you’re there thinking this is a new term but it’s not🥲. This gets very confusing and detracts from the OG and makes the reading experience lesser. I may be an MTLER but I should at least try to make the reading experience as smooth as I possibly can. And so unfortunately I’ll be putting this novel on hiatus for editing. I need to create a glossary to keep track of things because it’s getting harder to edit the MTL. I have to keep going back to check. I don’t know how long the editing will take since I have the other projects but hopefully it won’t be too long. Sorry for the inconvenience guys. I’m not dropping it just trying to make it better. 

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Translator Notes
  1. Elder brother[]
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Ansel
Ansel
1 month ago

Thank you Translator-san, I really enjoy your translation, Take care!

quark
quark
1 month ago

Appreciate your efforts, and I’m glad you’re not dropping this novel — it’s one of my favorite esports novel translations I’ve read so far!

zendacchi
zendacchi
1 month ago

This is an interesting novel and you’ve done amazing work so far translating it! Why don’t you find a dedicated Proofreader? I can’t be Proofreader coz I’m not that fluent in English, but I can be a co-Translator if u want

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