Chapter 86 – Behind the Scenes Strategist (2)
Ling Xuefeng headed to the backstage contestants area and took out his mobile phone to check Weibo. He saw that post that Cheng Wei made and anger suddenly rose in his heart. It was strange since he had many sunspots. He was abused by the sunspots every time Wind Colour lost and he didn’t mind at all. However, when he saw Li Cangyu being smashed by them, he wanted to use the big move of the demon god on them.
He actively wrote a post to support Li Cangyu. He knew that Cat God didn’t mind these things but he couldn’t help wanting to take care of this person.
At this time, the official reporter Yao Rong came over for an interview. Yao Rong obviously learned about the monstrous wave in the domestic Miracle circle and excitedly held up her microphone to Ling Xuefeng. “Captain Ling, can you tell us if the person who made the tactical arrangements in this game is really Cat God Li Cangyu?”
Ling Xuefeng spoke calmly to the camera. “Yes. The three US contestants are very strong when it comes to output. I am the same style as them, along with Su Guangmo. It is very difficult to fight them with this style so I asked Cat God to come over and discuss a plan. He came up with a better tactic and I used it. I want to thank Cat God for giving the Chinese team advice.”
Captain Ling publicly expressed his gratitude, his attitude towards Cat God obvious.
Yao Rong then asked, “Is Cat God currently in New York? Does his help mean he is returning to Miracle?”
“Yes, he will be back for the seventh season next year.” Ling Xuefeng smiled faintly. “He will definitely bring you more wonderful scenes.”
Ling Xuefeng then turned away and left. Once this interview video emerged, the domestic Miracle circle exploded once again.
Cat God was coming back?
Many new Miracle fans might not know Li Cangyu but those following the game since the first season not only knew Cat God’s name, they also knew he was the same level of player as Ling Xuefeng! Su Guangmo and Tan Shitian were the apprentices of Song Yang and Xu Luo. This meant they could be regarded as Cat God’s juniors. Zhu Qingyue also cried after being abused by Cat God and Cheng Wei was Cat God’s fanboy!
Many of the great gods currently in the league had some origins with Cat God. The legendary Cat God had returned? What club did he sign with? What type of team would he bring? Would he have the strength to compete for the trophy?
Many people started to speculate about Cat God’s return.
Li Cangyu’s concise post was on that day’s hot topics and was widely reprinted by e-sports reporters.
After the game, Ling Xuefeng wanted to go to Li Cangyu immediately, only to be stopped by Chairman Nan Jiangang. “Is Old Cat really in New York?”
The chairman liked gossip so he quickly knew the domestic trends.
“Yes, he came to watch this Carnival.” Ling Xuefeng explained.
Chairman Nan suggested with a smile, “Since he is here, how about having a meal together?”
Ling Xuefeng couldn’t refuse the chairman’s personal invitation and had to say, “I will ask him and see if he is free.”
Li Cangyu was certainly free. He took his teammates to watch the Carnival so he had a lot of spare time. He was a bit surprised when he received Ling Xuefeng’s text message.
[Chairman Nan told me that he wants to see you. Would you like to have dinner with us?]
Chairman Nan Jiangang was someone who tried to stop Li Cangyu when he led his team from Miracle. Li Cangyu thought of the scene at that time and couldn’t help laughing. [Where is it? I will head over now.] Ling Xuefeng sent him the address and Li Cangyu soon arrived at the booked restaurant.
To his surprise, only Nan Jiangang and Ling Xuefeng were in the restaurant’s private room. There were no other captains.
Li Cangyu consciously walked over to the chairman and stretched out a hand. “Chairman, long time no see!”
Nan Jiangang seriously reached out to Li Cangyu and lamented, “Cat God, you really disappeared for three years!”
Li Cangyu was returning to Miracle. As chairman, Nan Jiangang naturally know a long time ago that Liu Chuan had transferred Li Cangyu’s player data back to the Miracle League. Apparently Li Cangyu signed with the Dragon Song Club after the disbandment of Canglan and was going to return to Miracle.
Over the years, the talents in the Miracle League had blossomed but the most regrettable player in Nan Jiangang’s heart was Li Cangyu.
The spirited teenager who was invincible in the arena was the best elf player he had seen.
At that time, Li Cangyu hadn’t been as mature and stable. When he laughed, his youthfulness and simplicity could be seen. Nan Jiangang knew the glorious stories of how he would snatch fish from the next table.
The other people in the Five Gods received trophies but Li Cangyu couldn’t even make the playoffs. He shouldered the burden of the FTD team, causing Chairman Nan to feel pained.
Nan Jiangang’s age meant he felt like a father to these players. Thus, he always tried to show the kindness and care of an elder. When Li Cangyu left with his team, Nan Jiangang gave advice and scolded him but he couldn’t convince this stubborn teenager. He even pointed at Li Cangyu and said, “What good is it if you go to Wulin? One day, you will still have to return to Miracle!”
He remembered that at that time, Li Cangyu smiled and said, “Chairman, if I really roll back to Miracle, you have to continue to take me in.”
It had been three years.
The young man’s straightforward smile from that time was still imprinted in his mind. Today, the man in front of him didn’t have the freshness of youth. This man experienced hardships in many years. He wasn’t discouraged and became more mature. The calm and wise eyes were still full of self-confidence. He was a typical frustrating person.
Nan Jiangang sighed in the bottom of his heart and whispered, “It is good… it is good that you came back!”
He was like a father waiting for his child to return.
Li Cangyu’s departure was once the biggest regret in his heart. Now his favourite talented player had returned from afar.
The chairman’s words made Li Cangyu feel very touched.
Apart from Ling Xuefeng, the chairman was the one who treated him best in the Miracle League. Nan Jiangang was a hard-working person and he was especially fond of Li Cangyu who had unpredictable tactics and strong individual strength. In its final year, the FTD team had difficulties with funding and couldn’t afford hotels for the away games. Nan Jiangang helped them out personally. Unfortunately, Li Cangyu failed to meet his expectations and left Miracle.
There were too many teams and competitors in the Miracle League. Chairman Nan had grown a lot of white hair and looked much older than before. Li Cangyu couldn’t help feeling a bit sad and came over for a hug. He smiled and said, “Didn’t you say that I would return to Miracle one day? Now that I back, shouldn’t you be happy?”
Nan Jiangang made an angry expression but he couldn’t help patting Li Cangyu on the shoulder. “You took a long time to come back.”
Li Cangyu sat next to him and poured him a cup of team. “It isn’t too late to come back. You are still the chairman of the Miracle League so isn’t this good? In the seventh season next year, you can personally put the trophy in my hands.”
Ling Xuefeng heard this and couldn’t help asking, “Wanting to win the championship, shouldn’t you ask me first?”
Li Cangyu looked at Ling Xuefeng. “Why should I ask you? You won’t let me take it? Watch and see how I clean you up on the field.”
They were clearly provocative words but Ling Xuefeng’s eyes inexplicably became gentle and he even smiled. “Perhaps I will be the one cleaning you up?”
Li Cangyu replied, “Wait and see.”
Nan Jiangang, “…”
The two men were quarreling like an old husband and wife. Nan Jiangang felt that a long time might’ve passed but many things hadn’t changed. He had felt worried about their relationship when Li Cangyu and Ling Xuefeng were often compared by fans. Then he saw Ling Xuefeng give Li Cangyu a fish at dinner and finally understood. They were the strongest opponents but also rare confidants.
Nan Jiangang looked at the two of them arguing and smiled. “Old Cat, this is what you said. If you can’t make the playoffs after coming back next year, I will be the one to clean you up!”
Li Cangyu smiled and waved his hand. “You can rest assured Chairman. This time, my teammates are very powerful and I will definitely make the playoffs.”
Then he talked to the chairman about the formation of the team and briefly introduced Bai Xuan, Xie Shurong, Gu Siming, Zhang Jueming and Xiao Han.
Nan Jiangang was more surprised the more he listened. This time, the team was much stronger than Li Cangyu’s FTD team. Such a team really did have hope for winning the championship. It was no wonder that Li Cangyu could be so confident.
Nan Jiangang thought of next year’s world competition and suddenly said, “By the way, the 16 countries invited to this Carnival will make up next year’s World Competition. It will be held after the end of the China Miracle League’s seventh season. Each player must join the national team through an open trial, so as to ensure fairness.”
This was similar to basketball and table tennis in the Olympics. The national team represented the honor of the country. The holding of a public selection will put an end to doubts about a ‘black curtain’ and ensured the strength of every player who joined the team.
Nan Jiangang paused before continuing. “The players of the national team have to be selected but the Miracle League has a rule. The captain of the seventh season’s champion team will automatically take over as captain of the World Competition’s national team. Do you know what I mean?”
Li Cangyu and Ling Xuefeng looked at each other, both of them feeling excited.
The Carnival’s 3v3 event was just an appetizer for the Miracle League to test the waters. The real meal was the World Competition next year. Once all the masters gathered, the large-scale team battles would truly test the tactical qualities and strengths of the players.
Nan Jiangang’s early disclosure of this information was undoubtedly to inspire Li Cangyu.
Li Cangyu understood the chairman’s thoughts and smiled slightly. “The national team… and the selection trials, it sounds like a hassle…”
The chairman glared at him and Li Cangyu immediately changed his words. “Then I will work hard.”
Then he looked at Ling Xuefeng. “I came back just in time for the World Competition. I haven’t won before and to take such a heavyweight trophy… Something like World Champion, isn’t this addictive?”
Nan Jiangang laughed and praised him. “You have ambition.”
Li Cangyu asked, “Chairman, didn’t you invite me here to eat fish? I watched the game all night and only had a light meal.”
The topic change was too fast, causing Nan Jiangang to feel stunned. Then Ling Xuefeng took the initiative to find a waiter to order fish for Li Cangyu to eat. This evening, in order to facilitate the negotiation of tactics, Li Cangyu had gone to a Western restaurant to eat steak and he obviously didn’t eat enough.
The fish soon arrived and Li Cangyu smiled. “Do you want to eat?”
Both of them said they weren’t hungry so Li Cangyu calmly brought the fish in front of him and immersed himself in eating it.
Nan Jiangang couldn’t help saying, “Today’s game with the US, the tactics you came up were really surprising.”
Li Cangyu looked up at the chairman, meaning ‘my tactics have always been surprising.’
Ling Xuefeng couldn’t help smiling softly. Li Cangyu’s mind was very clever and the tactics he could come up with were varied. He would act and deliberately make a few mistakes in previous matches. Therefore, todays 3v3 match was unexpectedly easy to think of a strategy.
Nan Jiangang saw him eat the fish quickly and couldn’t help saying, “Eat slowly! Be careful not to eat a bone.”
The chairman previously had a broken heart because of this special player.
“I have the best technique for eating fish.” Li Cangyu stated before quickly eating the fish and wiping his mouth with satisfaction. “I’m full so shall we go?”
Nan Jiangang was literally speechless.
The chairman personally paid and the three people left the restaurant. Ling Xuefeng took advantage of the chairman’s need to drive back and was left alone with Li Cangyu. He patted Li Cangyu’s shoulder and said, “Today’s tactic was very successful.”
Ling Xuefeng continued saying, “But a few people in the US team aren’t convinced. Jack told me that he would definitely win next year.”
“Next year? He wants more?” Li Cangyu laughed. “I will play in person next year and his crying will be even worse.”
The confidence on this man’s face was really dazzling. Under the streetlights, his whole face seemed to shine. Ling Xuefeng looked at him seriously and after a moment of silence, he gently wrapped an arm around Li Cangyu’s shoulder as a ‘good friend.’
“We’ll be together next year.” Ling Xuefeng stated calmly.
“Yes.” Li Cangyu looked at him with eyes that were as bright as stars. “I haven’t won against you in a duel Ling Xuefeng.”
“Why can’t I be the winner?” Ling Xuefeng also looked back at him.
“If you face me then I must be the winner.” Li Cangyu declared.
“Is that right?” Ling Xuefeng said, “Don’t forget, I can summon the undead to die with you.”
“Oh… that summoner’s skill is too wicked. You really harm others.”
“I learned it from you.”
“In the team battle, you found that you couldn’t win against Wind Colour so you used the undead to make me die together with you.”
“Is that so? I don’t remember.” Li Cangyu deliberately pretended not to know.
Ling Xuefeng looked at him and a hint of tenderness filled his eyes. Ling Xuefeng reached out and grabbed his shoulder, saying softly, “This time, you were exposed. I didn’t consider think that your return to Miracle would be leaked.”
“It doesn’t matter. It will be exposed sooner or later.” Li Cangyu smiled and added, “After I was ridiculed, you didn’t have to stand up and help me. I don’t mind those comments at all.”
“But I mind.” Ling Xuefeng whispered.
Li Cangyu was stunned by this man’s eyes and froze in place.
He suddenly remembered a certain night three years ago
At that time, the FTD team disbanded because of poor results and the sponsors completely disappeared. Li Cangyu refused many high paying invitations from other teams, stating that he would lead his team and transfer to Wulin. Then he traveled to New York. Ling Xuefeng followed all the way to New York, wanting to stop Li Cangyu.
“There are so many teams in Miracle inviting you. Do you really need to change to Wulin?”
“I have something I need to bear.”
“If you go to Wulin, it will definitely be more difficult than Miracle.”
“I know, I’m mentally prepared.”
Ling Xuefeng didn’t speak again. He knew that Li Cangyu had made up his mind and wouldn’t waver.
The two men walked side by side to a crossroads and Ling Xuefeng suddenly said, “If one day you are tired and want to return to Miracle, remember to tell me.”
Li Cangyu smiled and agreed. “Okay.”
After a moment of silence, he looked at Ling Xuefeng seriously. “Thank you for coming all this way to find me. I have received this love.”
There were many voices in China asking him to stay but Ling Xuefeng was the only one to directly chase him to New York. Li Cangyu was actually very moved. He had such a friend and felt that his many years in Miracle had value.
Now it was night and they were once again walking side by side in the streets of New York.
They walked to a crossroads and Ling Xuefeng stopped again. He looked at Li Cangyu and said, “My words from that year came true. I am really happy that you came back.”
“Well, I will be content if I get the trophy for the domestic league. However, I actually want to go the World Competition. The chairman said that the national team will be selected through trials. This sounds very strict.” Li Cangyu thoughtfully touched his chin. “ I don’t know how many people will be chosen for the national team but there will definitely be a limited number of summoner spots. Still, I hope…” He turned and looked seriously at Ling Xuefeng. “I hope that both of us can be selected.”
Ling Xuefeng replied calmly, “I hope so too.”
Li Cangyu smiled and reached out. “Shall we join hands for next year’s World Competition?”
“Okay.” Ling Xuefeng smiled and gently held his hand, forming the most tacit agreement.
Ling Xuefeng always had a cold face and an abstinence look. Today, Li Cangyu found that the smiling Ling Xuefeng was really handsome and couldn’t move his eyes away.
The two men stood face to face, the warm yellow street lights shining on them and making their shadows very long.
The tall men, one handsome and indifferent and the other handsome and straightforward. They were usually always alone but when they looked at each other, their eyes became soft.
Outstretched hands clasped gently together, it was a simple agreement but this scene gave off a different type of warmth.
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