All-Round Mid Laner

Chapter 59

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Even if everyone else forgot about the streamer Xiao Bai, Fang Zhengqing definitely wouldn't forget.

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As the laziest alpha in the entire professional league, he usually didn't get up until two in the afternoon. It was precisely because of this Xiao Bai that Jingzhe's coach had forced them to start getting up at ten in the morning. As a result, after changing their sleep schedules, they somehow couldn't change back?

Lately, Fang Zhengqing had still been getting up at ten. His internal clock had been thrown into chaos.

Currently, it was exactly ten in the morning. Fang Zhengqing hadn't been up for long when he saw the recordings Mitchell sent into the group chat.

He yawned while downloading the videos on his computer. After scooping up his cat and getting it settled in his lap, he called out to the coach and said, "Coach Chen, people are saying a pair of high-level players have popped up on the international server. Come take a look."

Coach Chen curiously wandered over to check out the recordings…

The mid/jungle double flight comp? The black and white wolf kings?

Coach Chen stroked his chin and thoughtfully mused, "These two comps are both rarely seen in games. The main issue is it's too difficult for the players to work together. These two are quite in sync. Which country's experts are they?"

Fang Zhengqing stroked his cat with one hand while opening up the group chat with his other. "They've been discussing it in the group chat for ages already. The Europeans think they're American, the Americans think they're Korean, the Koreans think they're Chinese, and Zhou Jiawen says none of our professional players get up this early."

Coach Chen checked the time of the recordings. "The first game was played when it was eight in the evening where Mitchell is, which would be eight in the morning our time? I really haven't heard of any team getting up this early to practice."

Fang Zhengqing opened up a document and swiftly started to type in a few lines of numbers.

8:00 AM.

12:00 AM.

9:00 AM.

Then he pulled his hands back from the keyboard and said, "These three games were played at these times, in our time zone. Coach, have you noticed a pattern?"

"Mornings and nights?" Coach Chen ventured.

"Right. If these two are Chinese, that means they're playing ranked on the international server in the mornings and late evenings." Fang Zhengqing paused for a moment, then suddenly said, "Coach, have you still been watching Xiao Bai's streams lately?"

Coach Chen sighed. "Xiao Bai was already signed by a team, you know? We won't be able to poach him anyway, so I haven't been following him closely. But his streaming room's announcement says that he streams every day from ten in the morning to noon now…"

At that, Coach Chen suddenly froze. "That's right, Xiao Bai could possibly be online before ten in the morning? The vast majority of domestic teams practice in the afternoons and evenings, so after signing, Xiao Bai hasn't even been able to play in the summit tournament anymore?"

Fang Zhengqing crinkled the corners of his eyes with a smile. "Exactly. He's an early to bed, early to rise sort of streamer. Every night, he would stream games from the summit tournament. I used to think that he would charge straight up to the 2,300-point range in the tournament and become an amateur king. But he played and played, then suddenly stopped. He's not very active in his streaming room anymore either, only streaming for two hours a day."

Realization suddenly dawned on Coach Chen. "So that's to say… he's already met up with his team and started to train!"

What other explanation could there be for an extremely popular streamer suddenly cutting back on their streaming hours?

Xiao Bai was no longer streaming summit tournament games in the prime time hours of eight in the evening to midnight. That had to mean that he was doing something more important than streaming in the evenings.

Which could only be training with his team, right?

Coach Chen said, "You suspect the White Wolf King is Xiao Bai?"

Fang Zhengqing mulled it over silently for a moment, then said with a bit of uncertainty, "I just have a slight suspicion that the schedules of this Sunshine and Moonlight duo are quite similar to the schedule of Xiao Bai."

Coach Chen stared at the screen with wide eyes. "But in the replay just now, didn't you feel like the White Wolf King wasn't played by a newbie? The Ninja on the other team, Ninja33—that was Fujita Naoya's alt account. I recognize the name. The White Wolf King evaded his sneak attack twice in a row. Could a typical newbie do something like that?"

That was the detail which gave Fang Zhengqing the most doubt. This was something that gave people a very strange sensation. Fang Zhengqing felt that someone like Xiao Bai, who was so calm and astute in games, wasn't at all like a player who had just debuted as a streamer.

Coach Chen continued to analyze the facts. "We also know that Xiao Bai is most adept at the Abyssal Lord, the Illusionist, and the six Goddess heroes," he said. "He's nationally ranked with these eight heroes. Lately, he's been streaming as the Destruction Mage. He probably doesn't know how to play the White Wolf King, right?"

Fang Zhengqing had thought he'd stumbled upon the correct answer.

But when his coach put it like that, he started to think that he'd just been overthinking things.

He dubiously rubbed his finger over the frame of his glasses, at the bridge of his nose, then turned back to his coach and said, "Coach, you don't think it's Xiao Bai?"

Coach Chen nodded. "I don't think so. Xiao Bai has never played the White Wolf King before. How could he possibly get this good at it in just a few days? But as for this Black Wolf jungler… don't you think that player is a bit like Chi Shuo?"

"It can't possibly be Chi Shuo," Fang Zhengqing said.

Coach Chen blinked, confused.

Fang Zhengqing calmly stated, "Chi Shuo's favorite heroes are the Bloodstained Assassin and the Stealthy Rogue, and he's also good at playing control-type junglers like the King of Fighters and the Brawler. He's never played the Black Wolf or the Spirit Snowbird in games before."

Fang Zhengqing paused for a moment, then continued with absolute certainty, "Besides, he also sleeps in late. He wouldn't be so bored as to get up early and practice new heroes on the international server for no reason. Tianhuan's lineup can't possibly work with high-difficulty comps like a double flight or double wolf comp.

Coach Chen looked at him with a bit of doubt. "You're sure? Because you understand Chi Shuo so well?"

Fang Zhengqing's smile went a bit rigid on his face. He pet the cat in his lap to cover up his awkwardness as he coughed lightly. "Ahem. Although Chi Shuo and I don't have any tacit understanding to speak of when we play together in games, we do at least understand each other a tiny bit."

Coach Chen scratched at his hair. "…regardless of who these players are, they've drawn a lot of attention to themselves on the international server. Jingzhe can't fall behind either, we have to keep an eye on them as well. There are so many high-level players in the international Gods War group chat, anyway. Their identities will be exposed sooner or later."

Fang Zhengqing hummed his agreement. He opened up his friends list and sent Chi Shuo a message: [Sunshine and Moonlight. Are you familiar with these two IDs?]

Chi Shuo: [??]

Fang Zhengqing looked back at his coach. "Look, Chi Shuo sent back two question marks. That means he doesn't know them."

Chi Shuo's question marks didn't mean that at all. Rather, what he meant was—

Do you need something?

Fang Zhengqing's sudden inquiry had given Chi Shuo pause. He'd just finished playing ranked with Shaoyang, so he hadn't actually been paying attention to messages in his group chats. Now, he opened up the [Gods War International League] group chat, which had 999+ new messages, and finally discovered…

A bunch of detectives had stepped up to try to puzzle out where Sunshine and Moonlight had come from. They had ventured theories that Chi Shuo and Shaoyang could be from America, Europe, Africa, Japan, Korea, and so on.

He and Ye Shaoyang hadn't taken a single step outside their front doors, yet had been mysteriously taken on a trip around the world.

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Chi Shuo took a screenshot of the chat log and sent it to Ye Shaoyang.

After Ye Shaoyang took a look, he held back a laugh as he swiftly responded: [They're really such good guessers, especially Captain Zhou. He's so sure that no professional player in China would get out of bed this early. ROFL.jpg]

Chi Shuo wrote: [Let's not expose ourselves for now. We'll keep our secret identities on for a while.]

Ye Shaoyang: [Understood. If teams in the Chinese division find out we're practicing the double flight comp and the black/white wolf kings comp now, they'll definitely find ways to counter us before next season. These comps will be the cards up our sleeves. We need to wait for a critical game to play them, so that we give everyone a nice surprise. ^_^]

Chi Shuo: [Right. Or it might be a frightful surprise.]

Ye Shaoyang had returned to his dorm room. As soon as he loaded up Xiao Bai's streaming room, a string of messages suddenly popped up at the lower left corner—

[Square Square has sent Xiao Bai a deep sea torpedo. x50]

[Square Square]: Host, add to friends list?

The viewers in the streaming room instantly started to blow up the chat, wishing Captain Fang a good morning.

Some viewers even joked: [The Kitty Litter Captain has set his sights on our little white kitty? Meow meow, run away!]

Ye Shaoyang politely said, "Thank you for the torpedoes, Captain Fang. Xiao Rui will send over my WeChat info."

As the room moderator, Xiao Rui diligently sent the contact information over to Fang Zhengqing. Very quickly, Ye Shaoyang received a friend request on his phone. Once he accepted, he found that Fang Zhengqing's avatar was of his dark-faced Ragdoll cat.

Ye Shaoyang's cat Xiao Bai was a bi-color Ragdoll. Its white face made it appear extremely sweet and pretty. Captain Fang's colorpoint Ragdoll had a dark face, like it had faceplanted into a pile of coal. As a result, it had been nicknamed 'Coal Miner' by netizens.

This type of Ragdoll was actually pretty nice too. Its dusty little face was perfectly symmetrical, making it look very sweet and adorable.

Fang Zhengqing sent a sticker of a waving cat and wrote: [Hello, Xiao Bai.]

Ye Shaoyang answered: [Hello, Captain Fang.]

Fang Zhengqing swiftly continued: [Coach Chen reached out to you before and invited you to join us at Jingzhe. You really won't consider it some more?]

Ye Shaoyang: [Apologies, I've already signed with a team.]

Fang Zhengqing: [We can help you pay the penalty fee. If you come over here, your cat will have a friend.]

Fang Zhengqing: [Of course, I understand your reservations. If you come to Jingzhe, where I'm the captain, you won't be able to debut right away. But our second-string team is actually very powerful as well. The coach intends to make you the captain of the second-string team right away. You'll be able to start playing with them immediately. After playing for half a year, you can come up to the starting lineup and alternatingly play with me.]

Ye Shaoyang took a moment to think. Maybe because they were both raising cats and members of the Kitty Litter division, he had a pretty good impression of Fang Zhengqing. Jingzhe was treating Ye Shaoyang pretty well, and the terms they were offering were actually okay…

But he would still choose Tianhuan.

Tianhuan was the best place for him, the place where he belonged. The more time he spent with Tianhuan, the more glad he became of his decision.

In these past few days of practicing a mid/jungle duo with Chi Shuo, Ye Shaoyang had once again returned to the peak condition he'd played in during his previous life. Whether it was their rhythm or their synchronicity, everything helped Ye Shaoyang play his best.

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Ye Shaoyang answered: [I'm really sorry, but I like my current team very much. I don't want to break my contract and switch.]

Fang Zhengqing answered with a helpless emoji and wrote: [It looks like we at Jingzhe were a step too late. But if you joined a second-rate team, it'll actually delay your progression. If you change your mind, you can hit me up anytime.]

Ye Shaoyang: [Okay. Thank you, Captain Fang.]

Tianhuan was far from a second-rate team. Tianhuan was a team with the potential to return to the world championships stage.

I won't change my mind, and I won't hit you up on WeChat.

When we play against each other in the future, I'll 1v1 you in the middle lane and hit you with a mage's staff.

Ye Shaoyang closed the conversation window with Fang Zhengqing.

Chi Shuo had been watching Xiao Bai's stream this whole time. When he saw Fang Zhengqing send Xiao Bai all those gifts, he was suddenly possessed by a strange sensation of dread. He instantly messaged Xiao Bai: [Is Fang Zhengqing trying to poach you for Jingzhe?]

Ye Shaoyang answered: [Yeah.]

Chi Shuo: [How did you respond?]

Ye Shaoyang: [Don't worry, no one could poach me. I've already decided to stick with Tianhuan. ^_^]

Chi Shuo still couldn't completely relax. He added: [Just ignore him. Seems to me like he's just bored out of his mind lately. He isn't preparing for next season, he's wasting time asking about Sunshine and Moonlight's origins.]

Ye Shaoyang curiously asked: [You guys have known each other for four years. Could he realize that the Black Wolf is you?]

Chi Shuo: [I believe he won't.]

Ye Shaoyang: [?]

Chi Shuo: [He and I don't have the slightest bit of tacit understanding, after all.]

Ye Shaoyang: [……]

If not even Fang Zhengqing could guess at the truth, then the secret identities of the sun and the moon would probably stay intact for a long time.

After all, most teams would definitely believe that players who got up to practice at eight in the morning weren't from the Chinese division. The few godly players who suspected the truth would be misled because they'd never seen Chi Shuo play the Black Wolf in the jungle before, and Qu Jiang's typical play style would also throw people off the right trail.

Tianhuan couldn't allow their battle secrets to come to light too soon. Ye Shaoyang suggested: [Captain Chi, our international server account names are still too obvious. How about we buy a name change?]

Chi Shuo had actually been considering that as well. Sunshine, Moonlight—these really were too obvious. They'd already drawn attention from all sorts of major teams.

He and Ye Shaoyang had to continue practicing their mid/jungle duos. If they continued to use these IDs, every single game they played against professional players would be recorded and scrutinized. And all these major teams would figure out how to break down their comps in the future.

If they kept this up, it would be like putting on free exhibition matches. Letting their enemies understand them too well wasn't a good thing.

Chi Shuo simply asked: [What should we change them to?]

Ye Shaoyang wrote: [Let's just make them a random string of numbers and letters.]

The two of them instantly went to buy name change cards on the international server. Chi Shuo changed his name to C8765AB, while Ye Shaoyang changed his to 976BCFE—

Mitchell, Zhou Jiawen, can you guys still recognize us now?

Time passed very quickly.

On the international server, a legendary Queen of the Night couple was left behind—the fleeting bloom of the sun and the moon.

Then, everyone on the international server started to notice a bunch of random IDs popping up in high-level games. One day they would see C8765AB, and the next they would see 9622GFC. Every day, these names would change. No one could tell if it was one person, or a bunch of people.

These was no end to these layers of disguises.

Zhou Jiawen mused, "…why do I feel like the international server has been invaded by aliens?"

Mitchell wondered, "Where'd all these random names pop up from?"

Jin Minjun thought, "All these random names… can't be the same person, right?"

These high-level players with randomized names sometimes played a jungler core with a support mid laner, and sometimes they played a mid laner core with a support jungler. Most of the time, they would be practicing a mid/jungle duo of some sort.

All sorts of mid/jungle duos cycled through the international server.

This went on for a full month, until the marksmen of the international server were nearly all in tears.

[Does anyone else feel like, in this past month, playing marksman on the international server has been extra hard?!]

[I'm ganked to a total collapse all the time. The environment has never been harsher.]

[But after living through the experience of being ganked into despair by all sorts of mid/jungle duos, my game sense seems to have improved?]

The members of the international pro players group chat mumbled about this matter all day.

When Chi Shuo saw those messages, he never said a single word.

He was usually the quiet type who didn't chat much anyway. After joining the group, he'd silently lurked the whole time—so no one suspected that this matter had anything to do with him.

There were far too many people who had alt accounts on the international server. He and Shaoyang had changed their IDs to randomized names, and they changed their names every few days. Everyone else had been dizzied by their constant changes; no one could figure out who was who.

The sun and the moon had only dazzled people for a few days before becoming a forever-unexplained legend among professional players.

In that month, Ye Shaoyang and Chi Shuo donned countless disguises and practiced huge amounts of mid/jungle duos. Their tacit understanding steadily rose.

And training within Team Tianhuan finally reached its second stage, where the whole team was set to come together.