Under normal circumstances, friendship comes first, and competition comes second.
After the match, players from both teams come out of their rooms and shake hands.
The winners continue to advance, while the losers strive harder.
However, this seemingly simple handshake ceremony ended up causing trouble.
The players didn’t have their microphones on, and the audience below had no idea what was happening.
They only saw that the players were shaking hands, but a player from JT standing next to Cloud seemed to say something, and Aji suddenly changed his expression, raising his fist and striking the other person’s face.
Cloud made a motion to break it up, but ended up being pinned to the ground.
Aji’s punch landed on Cloud’s face, causing it to twist to one side, and his glasses were knocked off.
The commentators and other players on the field were initially stunned, taking a moment before rushing to separate them.
Security personnel also rushed up.
At first, Aji tried to convince himself to stay calm.
He didn’t know what had happened.
In the first round, Cloud had lost to him as agreed, and everything went smoothly as he had imagined… Of course, he wasn’t foolish enough to continue cheating in the following matches.
But at least he had won a round with his team, and no one would underestimate him anymore.
He was still that promising Aji.
However, in the second round, Cloud went mad and chased after him.
At first, he was caught off guard, thinking that he could win by simply playing casually without putting much effort into it.
But he was killed before he could react.
He thought it was a mistake on Cloud’s part, but after being revived, he was chased and killed again.
When he realized that something was wrong and wanted to play seriously, Aji couldn’t perform normally.
His mind was filled with questions—what’s going on? Why isn’t he following the agreement? Is Cloud planning to betray me? Is he intentionally playing me?
If Cloud were to betray him and expose the cheating, what would he do?
In a state of losing his advantage and with his mentality shattered, he wanted to play well, but he was killed without any chance to fight back.
If it weren’t for the prohibition on passive gameplay, his team’s healer would probably want to let him die freely, considering that reviving him would be a waste of skill since he would immediately be killed again.
They lost two games in a row.
After the match, they had to go up on stage and shake hands with their opponents.
Aji followed his teammates onto the stage, but they kept their distance from him intentionally.
He felt like he had been left behind and isolated.
He knew that his teammates would definitely have some complaints about his performance today, but it wasn’t entirely his fault.
If it weren’t for Cloud suddenly acting strange, how could things have come to this?
But he couldn’t reveal the truth.
He had to remain calm.
If things continued like this, the worst outcome today would be getting demoted to a substitute.
If his involvement in the match-fixing was exposed, his professional career would be over.
In fact, upon closer inspection, some clues could be found in these few games.
It was obvious that Cloud could perform so well later, so why did he underperform in the first game? But it was difficult for most people to guess that there was match-fixing involved.
Most match-fixers participate for the sake of gambling, and there are usually backers behind them.
Individual behavior is relatively less common.
He told himself to stay calm for now, stabilize the situation, and later find out the truth from Cloud while guarding this secret.
Cloud clearly had a guilty conscience.
He didn’t dare to look Aji in the eye while shaking hands.
Cloud’s teammates beside him seemed to know nothing and made a sarcastic comment, “Ji ge, don’t be discouraged.
Go back and practice harder.
You’ll definitely do better next time.”
Aji was already struggling to suppress his emotions, and just maintaining his composure to walk up on stage and shake hands had drained his last bit of energy.
But upon hearing those words, his mind went blank, and he reacted without thinking.
Although the players didn’t have their microphones on, when the commentators went to separate them, the microphone slipped and fell next to the two grappling players.
Aji’s words were transmitted through the sound system to the audience present.
“You say I’ll do better next time? If it weren’t for you screwing me over, why the hell would I need to wait for the next time?… Do I even have a next time?”
The audience looked at each other, and discussions started to rise.
Even the viewers watching the game through the live broadcast began to discuss it online.
– What’s going on? Can’t accept losing?
– Seems like something fishy is going on.
Did you hear that? Ji ge said Cloud was playing him?
– In the first game, Cloud was obviously faking it, missing skills on purpose, and in the end, he mysteriously died without using the ultimate skill that was clearly available.
– I’ll take a wild guess.
Ji ge and Cloud made a deal for Cloud to lose, but after faking one game, Cloud returned to normal.
– It wasn’t normal afterward either.
Ji ge died too many times.
With this level, even I can do it if I play.
What is CTG’s criteria for selecting players anyway?
– Although Aji wasn’t considered a top-tier player before, but he shouldn’t have reached this point.
What’s been going on with him recently?
– This fight is just too stupid.
I even suspect that Aji is on drugs.
However, the live stream was quickly interrupted.
The two people who were fighting on stage were forcibly separated and dragged backstage.
The dropped microphone was picked up, and the commentators tried to appease the audience with a few words.
Shen Yanming and the others sat on a distant mountain top, witnessing the whole incident.
The phrase “dogs biting each other” that He Changkong had just mentioned was indeed quite fitting.
Shen Yanming didn’t expect things to escalate to such an ugly state.
It was truly lamentable.
He Changkong lowered his head and tapped on his phone.
After a while, he placed a hand on Shen Yanming’s shoulder and said, “I’ve handed over the recording.
Let’s leave the rest to the officials.”
The progress bar of their friendship had advanced quite a bit.
Nevertheless, even after everything, Shen Yanming still felt a little uncomfortable with He Changkong’s hand on his shoulder.
Retracting would also be inappropriate, so Shen Yanming maintained a calm expression, but his mind wandered, thinking randomly about how warm Kong ge’s hand felt…
He Changkong then asked, “Will you be happier this way?”
This sentence came out of the blue, and Shen Yanming found it quite puzzling.
“I’m not unhappy…”
Then it dawned on him, He Changkong had mentioned from the beginning that he wanted to show him something “good.” He Changkong wanted him to see Aji being beaten, thinking that it would make him happy.
But why? In reality, He Changkong didn’t need to go to such lengths.
Others, unlike Shen Yanming himself who carried memories from his past life, would probably think that Aji and himself had a minor conflict at most.
There were plenty of people in that circle who had their own conflicts, and it didn’t mean they had to resort to such extremes.
There was an indescribable feeling of something being off.
Moreover, for Shen Yanming himself, he had vented his frustrations during that solo match.
He didn’t want to be involved with these people any further, whether they soared to new heights or brought misfortune upon themselves.
Of course, when Shen Yanming saw the people on stage fighting, he couldn’t help but enjoy the spectacle.
He eagerly watched the fight unfold for a while, but then he started to feel embarrassed for them.
Compared to watching these dramas, it would be more interesting to watch a match where both sides gave their all.
Even if the participating players couldn’t display any incredible moves, their serious attitude in the battlefield was admirable.
However, this was He Changkong’s intention.
Although Shen Yanming might have thoughts like “Kong Shen, you’re ruining your image,” he also knew that it was rare for someone to be willing to take risks and do something that went against their own style, just to stand up for you.
After being betrayed twice in a row, although he hadn’t become an introverted person who was afraid to open up to others, his view on making friends had been affected to some extent.
He felt that trustworthy friends were not easy to come by.
In this circle, there was a lot of talk about brotherhood fueled by passion, and there were indeed many genuine friends.
However, weren’t there also many groups formed solely for the purpose of maximizing their own interests?
While under the influence of these thoughts, someone came to him with sincerity.
Having a true friend was still possible, Shen Yanming thought that he could probably become good friends with He Changkong.
From idol to friend, the idea itself was quite exciting.
There weren’t many people who could achieve that, right?
With this in mind, Shen Yanming smiled and said, “Thank you, Kong ge.
I’m happy now.”
Just saying thanks felt insufficient, so he added, “Kong ge, you’re super cool.
I’m feeling great now.”
After saying that, he scratched the back of his head.
It made him feel a bit embarrassed to say such things casually to He Changkong, but he also understood that if he wanted to become friends, he couldn’t be so reserved.
If he always treated the other person as an untouchable deity and kept his distance, their relationship would never get closer.
So, Shen Yanming mustered up the courage to pat He Changkong’s thigh, patting it twice in a row to demonstrate how familiar they were with each other.
It was quite incredible.
He actually dared to pat Kong’s thigh.
Who would dare to do such a thing? Look at the entire Return of the Throne’s circle.
Who could be as cool as him? Even Meng Yan and He Changkong, who had a good relationship, rarely played around like this when they were together.
Wait a minute.
Thinking of this, Shen Yanming quickly withdrew his hand.
Even Meng Yan rarely touched He Changkong like that, so was it too bold of him? He wondered if he would be eaten alive.
A stiff smile gradually appeared on Shen Yanming’s face as he nervously looked at He Changkong, but he didn’t see any change in He Changkong’s expression.
He Changkong just gave a simple “Hmm.”
It was actually Meng Yan who couldn’t stand their lovey-dovey conversation anymore.
He was disgusted, and his goosebumps were starting to show.
He couldn’t take it anymore and rolled his eyes in disdain.
“Stop flirting in public all the time.”
He Changkong: “…”
Shen Yanming also felt that it was strange to be called out by Meng Yan like that, but he was used to this kind of talk, so he took it lightly and even looked at Meng Yan with innocent puppy eyes.
“Is it because I’ve been neglecting you lately, so you’re unhappy? You should learn to be more generous…”
“Damn, you little brat, you’re really something,” Meng Yan jumped up from his seat and made a surrendering gesture.
Then he turned to He Changkong and said, “Kong jiang, you better take care of him.
He’s too frivolous.
Lock him up and give him some tough love in a little dark room.
Don’t let him cause trouble for others.”
He Changkong: “…”
Shen Yanming: “…” Meng Yan was more experienced in this game.
Originally, Shen Yanming wanted to give him a taste of his own medicine, but he ended up being outmaneuvered.
Now it was his turn to be speechless.
He Changkong didn’t bother with their strange conversation.
He wasn’t used to joking around like that anyway.
Just then, he received a message on his phone, and after reading it, he changed the subject directly.
“The organizers are investigating Aji and Cloud’s matter.
It won’t be long before there are results.
Participating in rigged matches and getting into a public fight will have a significant impact.
They’ll definitely receive a lifetime ban.”
Meng Yan grinned.
“Serves them right.”
Shen Yanming didn’t express any opinion.
This matter should end here.
Meanwhile, after a brief intermission, the stage was back in order.
The commentators were announcing the names of the participants for the next match.
“If there’s nothing else, we have to go back and train,” He Changkong asked Shen Yanming, “Do you want to come back to the base with us?”
Go to TMM’s base! Shen Yanming immediately sat up straight.
But one second later, he calmed down.
For outsiders, the team base wasn’t a place they could visit as they pleased.
The players trained there, and if outsiders went in and learned about some tactics or strategies, it would be a big problem if the information leaked.
Of course, he would never do such a thing.
But it would be better to avoid causing trouble for others.
After considering it, Shen Yanming pointed towards the stage.
“No, you guys go ahead.
I want to watch Zhang Xixi’s match.”
“Hmm…okay,” He Changkong forgot that Zhang Xixi was playing in the next match.
He couldn’t force Shen Yanming to stay with him if he wanted to watch the game.
Meng Yan looked at He Changkong and then at Shen Yanming, shaking his head.
“Then let’s have dinner together later, Luanzi ge.
You won’t leave so soon, right?”
Shen Yanming nodded eagerly, resembling a little chick pecking at food.
“Let’s go, let’s go! Let’s have hot pot.”
As the players took the stage one after another, Shen Yanming waved to Meng Yan and He Changkong.
“You guys go ahead, drive safely and take care.”
He seemed really eager to watch the game, appearing quite heartless.
Nightmare: Between you and Zhang Xixi, he still chose Zhang Xixi.
Nightmare: It’s okay, bro.
I’ve worked hard to secure a dinner date opportunity for you.
I hope you make the most of it and make some progress, get closer to him, maybe even have a little tough love in a little dark room.
Kong: Your thoughts are really dirty.
Hii, I’m sorry I can only update this chapter for today, I’ve been a bit busy in real life.
I’ll continue to update one chapter a day though, so please look forward for tomorrow’s update
Thank you for reading!
Hope you enjoy the rest of your day
If you like reading my translations, do consider supporting me with ko-fi
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