The passageway leading outside of the stadium wasn’t completely dark. There was still some light. Qiao Yifan silently walked towards outside, but after going around in a few circles, he discovered that he had gotten lost.
Qiao Yifan didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. He really was unfamiliar with these official stadiums! By himself, he couldn’t even find the exit.
He had met with a crushing defeat on stage. Aware that it was very likely that his career was about to end, Qiao Yifan had walked away. Lost, he couldn’t bear the aching in his heart anymore as tears began flowing out out his eyes. Qiao Yifan raised his arms, wiping off his tears.
His heartache only drove his stubbornness, though. He refused to believe that he didn’t even have the ability to find the exit. Wiping away his tears, Qiao Yifan didn’t try to find where he was and blindly pressed forward.
“You were too reckless.”
Suddenly, a sound echoed out from the gloom. Qiao Yifan stopped, startled. He then shook his head. This was just a passageway. What was so strange about hearing someone’s voice?
Thinking this, Qiao Yifan took a step, when he heard the voice again say: “I’m talking to you! Don’t run!”
Qiao Yifan startled. Was he talking to himself? He halted, turned his head, and saw a long shadow stretched out in the passageway. A person stood there, but in the darkness, it was hard to see the person’s features clearly.
“Are you…… talking to me?” Qiao Yifan didn’t recognize him.
“Yes!” The person walked towards him, while continuing: “I know what you’re thinking. You wanted to use the stage to show to everyone your ability as a Phantom Demon, but you went too far with your opponent, no? You actually chose Li Xuan? What were you thinking?”
The person’s voice echoed in the passageway. With this, Qiao Yifan suddenly felt that, whether it was the person’s voice or tone, they both felt familiar. He waited until the other side walked over. He saw his face clearly, but he didn’t recognize him. Qiao Yifan was still puzzled as the other side finished talking. Qiao Yifan replied with a complete loss: “I want to play as a Phantom Demon, so…..”
“If you were there to learn and you wanted to greet your senior, then choosing Li Xuan would obviously be the correct choice. But if you were there to showcase your ability as a Phantom Demon, then Li Xuan is the one person you don’t want to choose.”
Qiao Yifan stared blankly. On stage, he had felt that there were places where he hadn’t fully considered. Now that he heard this, he suddenly came to a realization.
“In the entirety of Glory, no one is more familiar with Phantom Demons than Li Xuan. If you wanted to show your ability as a Phantom Demon in front of him, then of course you’d be restrained. You’re displaying your slight skill in front of a master. How could you even be able to show a tenth of your strength?”
Qiao Yifan understood. He completely understood.
He had taken the line of thought that other rookies used in the Rookie Challenge and chose the expert who played the same class as him, Li Xuan. But he forgot that his reasoning for participating in the Rookie Challenge was different than that of the others. He wanted to show off his Phantom Demon, but he ended up choosing the opponent who was most familiar with Phantom Demons. He had directly given himself the hardest obstacle there was.
“And besides……” The other side continued, “Phantom Demons are most valuable in a team. It’s difficult to showcase your team awareness and mechanics in a 1v1 match like the Rookie Challenge. In addition, you still have very little experience. You haven’t even practiced for a month and you want to challenge Li Xuan already. I’m completely speechless…..”
“God Ye Qiu!!” Hearing this, Qiao Yifan finally figured out who the person in front of him was. Not many knew of his identity, nor that he was practicing a Phantom Demon. At first, everything had been muddy. He only felt that the voice sounded familiar, but he just couldn’t think of anything. Now that he saw that this person knew so much about him, he connected the two together and finally figured out the person’s identity.
“Yeah, it’s me.” Ye Xiu nodded his head. He practically never showed himself in public, so the only pro players that did know him were those at a certain level. For players like Qiao Yifan, who hadn’t even participated in an official match, even though he was in the pro scene, he had never seen Ye Xiu’s true face before.
“You don’t need to doubt your ability.” Ye Xiu said, “But don’t think that you’ll be able to catch anyone’s attention right now. There are quite a lot of people with potential, but if you want to be seen by a pro team, then you first need to have, at the very least, some substance. You’re still very far from being an expert at playing a Phantom Demon. But you’re still young. You still have time to continue practicing. Keep waiting for the opportunity to come. It’s only been a month and you want to challenge the number one Phantom Demon? Glory isn’t as simple as you think.”
With this, Qiao Yifan’s face reddened.
In the past, he had always thought that he was no good. But after hearing the God’s encouragement, he suddenly had renewed confidence in himself. He had thought that if God Ye Xiu was able to see his potential, then others would be able to see it, too. All he needed was a chance, a stage.
This was why he had participated in the Rookie Challenge.
He hadn’t thought hard enough when choosing Li Xuan as an opponent. He understood the reasoning now, but he wouldn’t get wrapped up in it anymore.
It was because his choice wouldn’t have made a difference. Even if he had picked a different opponent, with only a month of practicing his Phantom Demon, did he really think that he’d be able to move a pro team’s emotions with his ability right now?
Ye Xiu wanted him to understand this. He wanted him to understand that his thinking had been too reckless.
Qiao Yifan’s thoughts turned and he quickly acknowledge this. He had never thought that he was as talented as a genius like Gao Yingjie. Even Ye Qiu had never given him such an evaluation....
He recalled their first meeting. God Ye Qiu had only told him that an Assassin wouldn’t be able to show his potential and that a Phantom Demon suited him more. That was all.
He still needed to practice. He needed to practice until the day he would truly glimmer.
Qiao Yifan wiped away the last tear from the corner of his eyes. The despair in his heart had suddenly been swept away. Because this time, he finally truly understood himself. He finally knew where he was at.
It was still much too early to think of these things. Opportunities were left to those who were prepared. As for him? He wasn’t even close to being prepared, yet he anxiously wanted to grab at an opportunity he thought looked good, which had only resulted in his falling.
But from now on, Qiao Yifan decided that he wouldn’t think of all this. He just had to focus on practicing. After the season ended, would he still be admitted into the team? His greatest worry had finally been seen through.
Would there be a team that would accept him? What was even the point in worrying over it? He first had to train hard before an opportunity would come. Even if he was kicked off his team after this season, it didn’t matter. He was still young and could still practice. In the worst-case scenario, he would start over from the beginning as a new rookie.
The passageway was still as dark as before, but after understanding all of this, Qiao Yifan’s heart was a field of light.
“Thank you, Senior.” Qiao Yifan expressed his gratitude to Ye Xiu.
“You can do it!” Ye Xiu nodded his head and turned around, ready to leave.
“What about you, Senior?” Qiao Yifan suddenly asked, “Why did you choose to retire so early?”
Tiny Herb’s players could be considered as having the most interactions with Ye Xiu after his retirement. They would spar every week and they would always lose miserably. It was true that unspecialized characters had a class advantage, but everyone was still at a pro level. Losing every match like that was a bit too much. Besides having a class advantage, it was clear that the user’s skill level had to be respected.
Choosing to retire with such skill had been discussed in Tiny Herb long before now. Qiao Yifan had broken from his spell and asked Ye Xiu.
Ye Xiu turned his head and smiled: “I’m looking for an opportunity, too!”
Qiao Yifan stared blankly: “You’re going to come back?”
“Of course! Even though I’m a bit old, I’m not done yet!” Ye Xiu said as he turned around. He waved his hands at Qiao Yifan and slipped away into the darkness.
Qiao Yifan stood there silently for a while and then began walking. After coming to a sudden understanding, the direction he should go cleared up. The passageway was still the same passageway, but after a few more steps, he quickly came out. But the direction that he came out from wasn’t the exit, but rather the stadium. He had returned to look at that dazzling stage.
In the stadium, the next match had already begun. Because the characters in the Rookie Challenge were all temporary, the audience usually couldn’t tell who the player was from the ID. But in this round, the IDs on top of the two characters weren’t unfamiliar.
Delilo, Three Hits.
These two were undoubtedly active characters in the Alliance. In order to not let the veterans have an advantage in characters, they set up the rule so that they wouldn’t use their accounts. But if the rookie wanted the veteran to, then the veteran could use his account.
The rookie had clearly put out the requirement in this match.
Tang Hao had been an unknown rookie in his first year. But after the summer passed, it was as if he had suddenly gained enlightenment. He took off in the competitive season and became a core member of Team Hundred Blossoms after their captain Zhang Jiale suddenly retired.
The only pity was that his Brawler character, Delilo, couldn’t match his beautiful God-level performance.
As a second-year rookie, Tang Hao still had the qualifications to be in the Rookie Challenge. With his not quite God status and also a rookie status, it was beneath him to join the Rookie Challenge. But Tang Hao had chosen to sign up and he had chosen to fight against a player playing the same class, Lin Jingyan, and proposed the request for him to use his active account.
The challenged veteran could not refuse. Lin Jingyan had no choice but to use what was considered the number one Brawler character, Three Hits.
Tang Hao’s purpose wasn’t to show his respect and it definitely wasn’t to ask for advice. In the pro scene, although Tang Hao’s name resounded far and wide, many regarded Lin Jingyan as the same. He was old, but still vigorous. This challenge was a true challenge. Tang Hao seemed like he wanted to use this opportunity as proof of his superiority.
This was because when he went up on stage to speak, Tang Hao only said five words: “The junior succeeds the senior.”