Chapter 339 – Eve of the Finals
In the post-match interview, only Captain Park Joonseo and Vice-Captain Kim Yoonhee appeared for the South Korean team. Park Joonseo has always been a good person and was polite when answering the reporters’ questions. However, there was a clear look of regret on his face after the South Korean team failed to reach the finals. “The result of this match was beyond my expectations. I can only say that our preparations before the match wasn’t enough. After returning home, we will carefully summarize the lessons learnt. The players of our country will strive to win the World Competition next year!”
A reporter asked, “Captain Park, what do you think about the strength of the Chinese team’s captain, LI Cangyu?”
Park Joonseo thought about it before replying, “Li Cangyu is a very admirable player. I’ve heard his story and it isn’t easy to persist for so many years. His personal level and commanding ability are first-class.”
Backstage, the brainless fan Cheng Wei watched the interview and immediately nodded in agreement. “Park Joonseo has a bit of vision. He knows how amazing our Cat God is?”
Ling Xuefeng gently wrapped an arm around Li Cangyu’s shoulder. “It is difficult to gain the recognition of an opponent.”
Li Cangyu smiled at him. “Yes.”
In fact, he didn’t care about other people’s evaluations. He had received all types of criticisms when he first left Miracle and then when he returned. He wouldn’t be able to persist if he cared too much about other people’s opinions.
However, Park Joonseo was one of the world’s top three summoners. Li Cangyu’s mood was clear after being acknowledged by such a strong opponent. It was as clear as the sun being revealed after a storm.
On the other hand, Park Joonseo could barely maintain the smile on his face.
Many reporters from South Korea asked sharp questions in a rude and harsh tone.
After all, South Korean often won against China in other e-sports competitions. They couldn’t accept that in the first Miracle World Competition, South Korea actually lost to China.
The reporters’ questions smashed the captain and vice-captain one after another. Vice-Captain Kim Yoonhee was a female player but her character was very straightforward. She was impatient with the reporters and her expression quickly sank. Park Joonseo still maintained his smile. He was obviously used to putting on a disguise in front of the reporters.
Li Cangyu suddenly felt sympathy for the two people.
If the Chinese team had lost, perhaps he and Ling Xuefeng would be the ones facing the reporters’ bombardment?
He looked over at Ling Xuefeng and met his eyes. Ling Xuefeng seemed to have guessed Li Cangyu’s thoughts and his hand on Li Cangyu’s shoulder tightened slightly like silent support.
The Chinese team brought more people to the interview. In addition to Li Cangyu and Ling Xuefeng, there were several other gods who played an important role in today’s competition, Tan Shitian, Su Guangmo, Lou Wushuang and Jiang Xu.
Li Cangyu brought all these people in order to give the reporters a chance for a comprehensive interview before the finals.
The domestic reporters were so excited that they immediately rushed to ask questions.
“Captain Tan, were you under a lot of pressure when you lost today’s first game?”
“To tell you the truth?” Tan Shitian smiled and glanced at Li Cangyu. “Cat God had me open the match but I didn’t feel too much psychological pressure. It is because I knew there were many great gods behind me and had confidence in them.”
“We saw you comforting Vice-Captain Cheng after the first game. How is he feeling now?”
“Cheng Wei is a single-celled animal. His emotions come and go quickly.” Tan Shitian’s smile became gentler as he talked about Cheng Wei. “Once the first game was lost, his face fell like the sky. The moment the second game was won, he immediately came alive again. He had completely forgotten about the first game by the time the fourth game arrived.”
Then Cheng Wei’s memory was less than 10 minutes?
Cheng Wei was watching the live broadcast and was unconvinced. “Can Tan Shitian stop blackening me in every interview?”
The Time team’s Lu Xiao whispered, “Is he blackening you? He keeps spoiling you.”
Cheng Wei looked at him with confusion. “Lu Xiao, what are you whispering about?”
Lu Xiao immediately waved his hand. “Nothing! Hahaha, I am reviewing this game!”
Cheng Wei ignored him and continued to watch the screen.
In today’s 3:1 match, the lost game was directed by Tan Shitian but he didn’t seem to mind at all. In the interview, he was outspoken about the losing game and very graceful. His face was handsome, especially the enlarged version on the big screen. He was handsome and had an affable smile.
Cheng Wei didn’t realize that his gaze had been on someone’s face for more than 10 seconds without moving away.
“Losing one or two games doesn’t really matter. We can learn from the lost games and find out what we’re missing. In fact, I lost the game I commanded today but I gained a lot from it. I believe that Cat God used this system to show you the strength of the new generation in the Chinese Miracle League.” Tan Shitian answered with a smile. “Xiao Han, Zhuo Hang and Qin Mo are the future of our Miracle League.”
These words were endorsed by Li Cangyu. “Captain Tan is excellent. The lineup of the first game was based on temptation. My style is different from Captain Park and is more suitable for a steady play. Thus, I didn’t send the strongest lineup in the first game. Captain Tan took some newcomers and got a score of 9:10. This is already great. If this lineup appears next year, I believe there will be a different ending!”
These words received warm applause from the reporters.
It could be seen that Li Cangyu’s eyes weren’t only on the World Competition but on the future of the Miracle League.
Xiao Han, Qin Mo and Zhuo Hang were players less than 18 years old. One day, they would become the pillars of the Miracle League and the national team would depend on them. Thus, it was a reasonable choice to give them more opportunities in the First World Competition.
After interviewing Tan Shitian, a reporter asked Su Guangmo a question. “Captain Su didn’t personally direct any of today’s games but participated in a team battle as Cat God’s teammate. Do you want to be a commander in the finals?”
“It depends on the captain’s arrangement.” Su Guangmo readily smiled. “The goal of all our national team’s players is the same. The commander doesn’t matter as long as we can win!”
“Captain Lou played beautifully in today’s underwater assassination and your cooperation with Vice-Captain Zhang has become more tacit. Many foreign reporters have given you the nickname of ‘Cold Killer’. What do you think about this nickname?” The reporter shifted the question to Lou Wushuang.
“Well, it’s good.” Lou Wushuang replied while pushing up his glasses.
“…” Interviewing the cold king was a very difficult matter. The reporter was choked up for a while before asking, “What does Captain Lou want to say to the domestic audience?”
“See you in the finals.” Lou Wushuang replied in a calm tone that didn’t fluctuate.
“…” The reporters decided to give up on interviewing him and turned to Jiang Xu. “Captain Jiang and Zhuo Hang are partners from different teams. Based on today’s semi-finals, your cooperation is excellent. Was it hard during the training to form a partnership with a newcomer?”
“Fortunately, Zhuo Hang and I spent a lot of time in the arena on our side accounts. I don’t feel that it is tiring and it is instead very interesting. The two of us might come from different teams but there is no sense of estrangement. This is because Zhuo Hang’s level is very high and he immediately understands anything I say.” Jiang Xu’s tone was full of admiration for Zhuo Hang.
Backstage, Zhuo Hang immediately took out his phone and sent a message. [Senior praised me.]
Li Xiaojiang quickly replied: [I’m watching the live broadcast.]
Zhuo Hang: [You must come watch the finals, you hear me?]
[Yes, I’ll come and cheer for you!]
Zhuo Hang put away his phone with a hint of a smile on his face. He didn’t know if he would have a chance to play in the finals but Li Xiaojiang was his fixed partner. They should be in the same arena to witness it.
The reporters took turns interviewing and Ling Xuefeng received many questions, which was enough to show the popularity of Captain Ling.
He replied in a very serious tone. The questions he didn’t like then he would directly skip. The reporters were used to this man’s tough style and naturally didn’t dare keep asking.
A reporter suddenly asked boldly, “Captain Ling, there is something I have always been curious about. In the World Competition so far, the commander is often changed depending on the lineup of the group battle. However, we have never seen you appear with Cat God in the same team battle. If you one day appear in the same battle as Cat God, who will be the commander?”
The question stunned many journalists and viewers.
Li Cangyu and Ling Xuefeng were the captain and vice-captain of the national team. As long as one of them played, the hearts of the audience members were particularly solid. Thus, almost everyone ignored this question. What if both of them played at the same time? What type of image would appear?
The reporter’s question ignited the curiosity of the crowd.
Another reporter stood up and asked, “Why don’t we have Cat God answer this question?”
Li Cangyu and Ling Xuefeng glanced at each other before replying simultaneously, “He will command.”
Then who the hell would command?
They didn’t expect the connection to be to this degree. Ling Xuefeng gave a rare smile to the camera and said, “We usually discuss tactical issues and will negotiate to resolve any disagreements.”
Li Cangyu nodded and continued, “However, a game is different. The situation on the field changes rapidly and the opponent won’t give us the opportunity to discuss it slowly. If there is one day where both of us appears in the group battle, one person must be the commander and the other person must absolutely obey orders.”
Ling Xuefeng spoke decisively, “If there are differences on the field, I will listen to him because I believe in him.”
Li Cangyu, “…”
This simple sentence moved Li Cangyu’s heart. To have a person who knew him, trusted him, supported him and was willing to join hands with him was God’s greatest gift to him.
The reporter asked excitedly, “Then the last commander will be Cat God?”
Li Cangyu was no longer polite and smiled. “We don’t have to worry too much about this matter. IN fact, if Xuefeng and I play the game, there is no need to give commands. With the tacit understanding between us, eye contact is enough. Of course, I will be in charge when necessary. Since Xuefeng said he would listen to me, shouldn’t I give him some face?”
Ling Xuefeng nodded. “Yes.”
Cat God said this but Captain Ling was still so cooperative. This scene was really rare!
Li Cangyu joked before saying, “Many people are concerned about who can win the championship. I want to see, the Chinese team will win!”
The captain’s declaration caused the reporters to clap loudly.
From the beginning, everyone had been aiming for the championship. They swept through the group stage with a victory record and they shockingly took down the South Korean rival team 3:1 in the semi-finals. Now that they had reached the finals and the championship trophy was right in front of them, everyone would definitely try their best to win the highest honour.
The interview ended and they returned backstage. The players watching the live broadcast were thrilled by Li Cangyu’s last sentence. Everyone put their hands together and shouted, “Refuel!” They excitedly rode back to the Miracle Village.
After returning to their room that evening, Li Cangyu sat on the sofa and closed his eyes tiredly.
His expression was calm in front of the reporters and he pretended to be relaxed in front of the players. Now he no longer needed to disguise himself. He didn’t know how many brain cells he lost in the match today. He was actually very tired and didn’t want to open his eyes.
Ling Xuefeng looked at his ‘collapsed on the sofa’ posture and suppressed his smile. He sat next to Li Cangyu and helped massage his shoulder. His shoulder muscles were stiff from sitting in front of a computer for several hours. He felt very comfortable as they were massaged and pointed to his right shoulder. “This side as well.”
He wasn’t polite at all. LIng Xuefeng pressed on the left and right shoulder, his voice low and gentle, “Have a good rest tonight. The tactics for the finals can be discussed another day. No matter the outcome of the finals, I will face it with you.”
Li Cangyu heard this and suddenly opened his eyes.
He was lying on the sofa and his angle of looking up was just right. The light was behind Ling Xuefeng and his face wasn’t very clear, but his eyes were particularly deep and bright.
Li Cangyu’s heart jerked and he took the initiative to extend his arms and hug the other person’s neck, pulling this person towards himself. Ling Xuefeng followed and planted a gentle kiss on Li Cangyu’s lips.
‘No matter the result, you are with me.’
This sentence was the most long-lasting confession of life between them.
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