Jing Yuanzhou found Lin Yan leaning against the wall beside the balcony. There was a cigarette between his fingers. In the midst of the curling smoke, his eyes were slightly narrowed as he looked at the distant scenery. Occasionally, a gust of wind blew and the fire at the tail of the smoke flickered faintly. It was clearly a very faint light but it was inexplicably dazzling.
Perhaps Lin Yan heard the sound of footsteps because he glanced sideways. He didn’t show a surprised expression when he saw Jing Yuanzhou. He just skillfully blew out the cigarette smoke and slowly straightened. “Smoke one?”
Jing Yuanzhou took the cigarette he handed over and placed it in his mouth. “Let me borrow your fire.”
Lin Yan took out the lighter and Jing Yuanzhou leaned forward. He looked down and could see the man’s eyelashes up close. The smooth, angular lines were indescribably perfect.
After lighting up the cigarette, Jing Yuanzhou leaned against the railing of the balcony and watched Lin Yan quietly for a while. Then he asked for no reason. “How are you?”
Lin Yan shook his head. “I’m fine.”
The mistake just now was so obvious that the other person must’ve noticed it. He wasn’t surprised at all. Lin Yan didn’t know why Jing Yuanzhou gave up the opportunity to kill him but he was still grateful. After all, this meant he would no longer have to continue the third game. In the end, he was too blind and self-confident. He thought that the 3V3 wouldn’t have much impact. Yet he was affected in less than an hour.
The feeling of coldness that shrouded him was so clear that even though his composure had gradually been restored, he still felt a trace of a cold back when the wind blew.
Lin Yan sighed gently and raised his head to meet Jing Yuanzhou. “Didn’t you ask me previously why I don’t play professionally?”
Jing Yuanzhou’s eyes shook slightly and he didn’t speak.
Lin Yan’s voice entered his ears. The flat and straightforward words seemed to be talking about someone else’s matter. “PTSD, which is a very common traumatic stress disorder. There is nothing wrong with my ears so normal work won’t be affected. However, as long as I listen to the team voice channel in a closed environment for a long time, there will be tinnitus, auditory hallucinations and general numbness. It is like this.”
As if to prove it, he lifted the hand that was inside his pocket and extended it to Jing Yuanzhou. It was noticeably smoother but he could still see the uncontrollable, slight shaking of the fingertips.
Lin Yan noticed Jing Yuanzhou’s gaze. “Don’t look at me like this. It isn’t a big deal. It is caused by something psychological and there is no cure. So… I just can’t play professionally. In fact, it is good to be a coach although I occasionally have itchy hands.”
Then he laughed like it was no concern. “The situation is much better when lining up as a pair. However, the more voices there are in the voice channel, the more likely I am to be affected. I’ve never tried 3V3 before. Regarding today’s situation, I can only say that I overestimated myself. In short, thank you God Jing for sparing me. It is estimated that I really would kneel down if I had to fight the third match. Thank you for not killing me!”
He was obviously understating it but Jing Yuanzhou felt a bitter pain in his heart. He couldn’t help remembering the words Lin Yan said to Abyss and his eyes slowly lowered. This was obviously a person who was too distressing but he was always thinking about others in distress.
Before Jing Yuanzhou knew it, the cigarette in his hand was about to burn out.
Jing Yuanzhou put out the cigarette butt and threw it into the trash can next to him. He didn’t continue the topic as he grabbed Lin Yan’s hand and started walking. “Let’s go. I was willing to lose the bet so I’ll cook for you.”
The slightly trembling fingertips gradually calmed down in this man’s generous and gentle palm.
Lin Yan was slightly taken aback by this behaviour and the corners of his lips slowly rose. “Oh, Titans is cooking himself. This really isn’t the treatment of ordinary people.”
Jing Yuanzhou thought about it. “It is indeed your honour.”
Lin Yan chuckled lightly and didn’t say anything. The past that was circling in his mind gradually dissipated at the gentleness that came to his fingertips.
That year, Lin Yan hadn’t come to this world yet and had just joined the league. He was just a newcomer who had been selected into the professional team from the youth training camp. The one who wanted him was WP’s captain, Zhang Anning.
Their former shooter retired and WP’s output position had been vacant for a long time. Lin Yan’s arrival brought new blood to the team. Captain Zhang really valued him and personally looked after him since he joined the team.
Lin Yan wasn’t a shooter when he was in the youth training camp so Zhang Anning had asked his thoughts about this. Lin Yan didn’t care too much. “I can be any position as long as I can play professionally.”
Zhang Anning’s attention to Lin Yan was well known to the entire team but Lin Yan’s strength was indeed top-notch. After playing several training matches, he was quickly acknowledged by the team.
As a veteran team, WP had a very strange attribute. Every time they were a step away from the championship, all types of things happened. That’s why the entire e-sports circle gave them the title of ‘always second place.’
Zhang Anning was naturally unconvinced about this. After winning a fierce player like Lin Yan, he was full of hope for the next game. Lin Yan was driven by the emotions of his captain and combined with the joy of participating in the professional league for the first time, he played on the field with passion.
After a wave of back-to-back victories, the sluggish WP finally made it to the finals again. During the team’s motivation meeting on the eve of the final, Zhang Anning patted Lin Yan’s shoulder. “Eternal, let’s rush to the top glory together!”
Zhang Anning never expected such a sentence to leave a trace that couldn’t be erased from the young man’s heart. Lin Yan respected Zhang Anning. Only he knew how much he wanted to stand on the championship podium with the captain.
The finals were scheduled in the afternoon. The sponsor’s side went crazy in the morning so Zhang Anning had to go and shoot an advertisement video. The venue and the sponsor’s location happened to be in the same city. Zhang Anning had to cooperate with the team manager.
Before leaving, he rubbed Lin Yan’s hair and told him, “You have to warm up while I’m away. This year’s champion must be our WP. Obediently wait for me to come back, you know?”
Lin Yan was playing a game to raise his hand speed at this time. He didn’t even raise his head when he heard it and just laughed. “I know, Captain. You are so long-winded.”
Zhang also seemed to think he was acting like a mother. He smiled and turned to board the club-arranged car. Many years later, if Lin Yan was asked about the thing he regretted most in this life, it was probably that he didn’t say goodbye to Zhang Anning.
The players were preparing in the lounge when they received the bad news. A second ago, they had been talking about why the captain hadn’t arrived yet. Everyone was stunned when they heard that Zhang Anning’s car was in an accident on the elevated highway.
Lin Yan reacted to the news and instinctively spoke first. “Don’t joke around…”
The team coach who came to convey the news didn’t reply to this. Instead, he turned to the substitute and said. “Ah Min, you take the place of Captain Zhang.” He finished speaking and the entire lounge blew up.
The jungler couldn’t hold back. “We are still fighting? The captain is currently in hospital and we don’t know his situation yet you still want us to play the game?”
The coach’s eyes were also red but he stared at the jungler. “You just said that the situation is unknown! What can we do if we go there? Can we go in and do the operation for Captain Zhang? The team has finally reached the finals. What do you want to do? Abandon the match and go to the hospital? If you do this, do you think Zhang Anning will agree to it?!”
Everyone knew the truth but once it came to it, no one could guarantee that reason would overcome impulse. In the blink of an eye, the entire lounge was a mess. The jungler went mad and wanted to rush out. The coach asked someone to stop him and refused to let him out.
The jungler’s hysterical shouts could be heard from a distance. “Lin Yan, what is this stinky kid thinking? The captain is usually the best to you. How can you not say anything at this time?!”
Compared with the others, Lin Yan seemed a bit too quiet. He seemed to come back to his senses after hearing the words. He looked down and saw that his deeply embedded nails had caused a deep wound in his palms.
His lips were an unusual white and his Adam’s apple moved before he finally managed to say in a low voice. “This match, we must play.”
His clear voice fell in such an environment, causing everyone to be stunned. Immediately afterwards, they saw Lin Yan slowly stand up. “It isn’t early. It is time to warm up…”
Before he finished speaking, his figure swayed slightly. The person beside him was frightened and hurriedly held him up. The team doctor quickly took a look. The stimulation had probably been too big and caused some disorder of the hormones in his body.
The jungler stood beside him in a complicated manner. The jungler wanted to speak but finally, he could only rub his hair fiercely and curse in a low voice. “Fight! We must fight! F*k!”
No one knew what was going on but there wasn’t too much time to think. A staff member carefully knocked on the lounge door and urged them.
The substitute Ah Ming was a newcomer who had just been promoted from the second team. He never thought his first appearance would be in the finals. Before taking a few steps, he felt his legs were a bit weak. “What to do… c-can I do it?”
Lin Yan’s expression was still a bit uncomfortable at this time and his face was sickly pale. Hearing this, he glanced back and said, “Even if you can’t do it, you have to do it.”
In the finals, Lin Yan played with an unprecedented ferocity. The weakness of the substitute was obvious but he was forced to use his own effort to make up for the vacancy in teammates. The first four games of the BO5 were dragged to 2-2.
Before the tiebreaker, everyone returned to the lounge to rest. There wasn’t any more news about Captain Zhang so the atmosphere was inevitably depressed.
Lin Yan couldn’t stand the atmosphere and got up to go to the bathroom. On the way back, he happened to see the coach standing in a corner of the corridor and talking quietly. He couldn’t hear the specific content clearly until the sentence ‘couldn’t be saved’ entered his ears, causing him to instantly stiffen.
Lin Yan’s entire body was cold. When he looked again, the coach had finished the call and was crying while holding onto the railing. Lin Yan couldn’t remember how he went back to the lounge or why he didn’t shed a tear. Seeing that the game was about to begin, he followed the team to the arena again. The shouts seemed unusually different.
The others didn’t know the specific situation and completed the preparations with a serious face. They were under absolute pressure and no one spoke. However, as soon as the game started, a one-sided trend was shown.
10 minutes into the game, WP had fallen into a complete disadvantage.
Ah Min was pushed to do something beyond his ability. After the last four games, his nerves had already been strained to the extreme. At this time, the opponent’s back-to-back killing caused him to completely collapse.
The jungler was holding his breath and the cry of the substitute stimulated his nerves even more. Seeing that there was no hope of winning, he didn’t hit his keyboard but he couldn’t help releasing his feelings into the team voice channel. After a while, the mid-laner and support also joined in.
The voice channel was full of cursing, crying, persuasion and arguments mixed together. It formed a nightmare of ignorance and endless repetition. The tearing of reason and emotion pushed Lin Yan to a critical point where he could be overturned at any time.
He could feel himself surrounded and destroyed by so many sounds. Then a variety of more sounds emerged.
At the end of all of this, only the man’s gentle words were left. ‘This year’s champion must be our WP. Obediently wait for me to come back, you know?’
‘So if I do win this year’s championship, will you come back as agreed?’
In the last wave of team battle, WP was beaten four to one by the opponent. The other side pushed aggressively to the defensive tower while WP’s base only had a thin figure left. The four opponents were low in health after the team battle but it was a 1V4 situation. Everyone felt the outcome was a foregone conclusion. However, Lin Yan’s operations still didn’t stop.
[Eternal killed Uky!]
He became unstoppable after the first message appeared.
It was over! The shooter with only a trace of health left faced opponents in different states. Then he completed a fantastic massacre in front of the audiences from all over the world! The ultimate champion was WP!
The entire venue was boiling over and so was the circle. However, as officials prepared for the awards ceremony, it was discovered that all members of WP had left the arena. It was only at this time that everyone knew why WP chose a substitute to play.
Unfortunately, Captain Zhang finally failed to keep his promise. Lin Yan, who brought back the championship trophy, rushed to the hospital only to see the peaceful figure with an endless pallor.
The various voices on the field suddenly filled his mind and he slowly curled up, covering his head in the midst of the crowd’s exclamations. How amazing was the operations in the final game and how regretful was the rest of the results?
Just as the entire Burning Hot League thought there would be a new generation of god-level players in China, the ID Eternal completely disappeared from public view. This was his first and his final year.
A year later, Lin Yan re-emerged but as a tactical analyst. Thanks to him, WP started their winning streak.
The reason for the sudden change of the talented former player divided the outside world. Only Lin Yan knew that the people standing on the stage naturally needed someone to stand behind the scenes.
It didn’t matter if he felt regretful or unwilling, everyone had their own way. At least he had fulfilled his promise to his captain. It was actually quite good.