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Fleeting Fireworks

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After Su Muqiu said this to Huang Shaotian, Huang Shaotian spent several days on end considering what he could do to continue playing Glory.

At the same time, Huang Shaotian also levelled Eat My Sword on the side, as well as going to the arena with Eternal Autumn to PK. And every time he lamented that the other was indeed a great expert, his own skill slowly improved too.

Huang Shaotian was very happy on this side, yet on the other side, Ye Xiu found that Su Muqiu seemed to be a little off these past few days.

Sometimes, Ye Xiu would pass by while Su Muqiu and Huang Shaotian were in the arena. With his perception at this time, he could already tell that this Blade Master was able to grasp the precise timing and positioning for seizing opportunities quite well. His hand speed and awareness weren’t bad either, he could likely make a formidable opponent in the future.

But this was really not the main point. Rather, every time Su Muqiu went to PK with this Blade Master, his originally chatty nature would become even chattier. Furthermore, though Su Muqiu would be very excited as they played, every time after that, he would let loose a very long sigh as if nursing a very bad headache.

Ye Xiu hadn’t noticed it at the start too. Till he realised that Su Muqiu repeatedly took the wrong path and finally could no longer restrain himself. “Bro, did you leave your brain behind these few days? It isn’t some sort of post-PK side effect, right?”

Su Muqiu vigorously shook his head, “Fuck off fuck off, I just have a small headache…”

Afterwards, when Su Muqiu also reflected seriously on what was going on with him the past few days, he then thought it through. All this must have a very strong connection to Huang Shaotian!

That night, Su Muqiu took his side account out and waited for Huang Shaotian to appear. Once Eat My Sword came online, Su Muqiu immediately tossed him the room number, yet his voice sounded very solemn, “We’re not going to PK tonight.”

“Ehhh why! I just gave it a try and managed to use Shadow Steps to create four and a half shadows yesterday, you know! I was even waiting to beat you today so that I can find out the name of your main account!” Huang Shaotian had always wanted to know the main account name of this expert. Su Muqiu didn’t want to lie, but the aggro that the name Autumn Tree drew was too high. Therefore, in order not for the other to associate him to his main account Autumn Tree, he used the disparity in their strengths to give Huang Shaotian the simplest, yet also the most difficult solution – beat me first, I’ll tell you once you do.

Hearing Huang Shaotian’s words, Su Muqiu proudly said, “My friend beside me now can create five and a half shadows when he uses Blade Master. You still won’t be able to beat me.”

“That’s because you’re using Sharpshooter! If you’ve the ability then use another account to fight a round against my Blade Master,” Ye Xiu instantly taunted from the side.

Su Muqiu did not bother with Ye Xiu at all, continuing to speak to Huang Shaotian, “So buddy, today, I mainly want to discuss your fighting style with you…”

“You can just call me Shaotian! You’re the same age as my cousins, that’s what they all call me.”

Su Muqiu started. Then, he thought back on these past few days since they met; it really was like an older brother bringing along a noisy little brother. Possibly because he was already so used to taking care of Su Mucheng all these years, now also taking in Ye Xiu who had run away from home, so perhaps he had unconsciously brought about the air of an older brother about him?

Upon thinking of this, Su Muqiu couldn’t help but smile. “Alright, Shaotian, last time you told me that talking does not affect your mechanics when playing Glory. But have you considered that if you direct all the attention you use to talk into fighting, who knows, maybe you’d be able to play Blade Master better? Like in changing your swords or whatnot…”

Huang Shaotian went “eh” and fell silent for a long time, obviously turning over this question seriously. Su Muqiu did not disturb him either.

In fact, this was the key problem that caused Su Muqiu’s condition to slip up the past few days. First, Huang Shaotian really talked too much rubbish and the noise genuinely gave him a slight headache every time. Secondly, Su Muqiu couldn’t let Huang Shaotian be the only one speaking, so he also had to divide his attention to respond to him. Thirdly, Huang Shaotian was a prodigy. It was really not an easy task for Su Muqiu to completely suppress him who was intent on improving like the wind. Putting it all together, Su Muqiu hadn’t been feeling that great the past few days.

Huang Shaotian scratched his head and thought for a long while. Then, he finally spoke, “Hm, Brother Expert, actually it’s like this…”

“Hang on, don’t call me that…” Su Muqiu sweatdropped and couldn’t help correcting Huang Shaotian, “Since you said that I’m as old as your brother, why not you just call me Autumn bro.”

“Autumn?” Huang Shaotian instantly latched onto the wrong point, “Ah, is it because of Eternal Autumn or does your real name has the character for autumn in it?”

“Shaotian, off-topic,” Su Muqiu facepalmed and reminded the other.

“Alright, alright, am I not allowed to be just a little bit curious huh…” Huang Shaotian cleared his throat and continued speaking. “Because I get extremely overstimulated when I play Glory, I’m unable to fight seriously at all, so I searched around for other ways till I found that speaking or typing something from time to time can help me concentrate better, just like the way teachers occasionally give a reminder when you daydream in class. Therefore, I’ve always done it like this.”

Su Muqiu muttered lowly to himself for a moment and surmised the meaning of Huang Shaotian’s words. “You’re saying, you talk and type when playing Glory to focus your attention?”

Huang Shaotian nodded quickly, “Yeah, that’s right.”

“Then have you ever thought of trying to switch between swords or whatnot?” Su Muqiu pursued.

“Ah, that sort of playstyle is not my cup of tea. Switching here and there would tire me to death, and switching between different types of swords has a cooldown period as well. It’s too much brainwork… But say I get an equipment that allows me to quickly switch from a light sabre to a broadsword without any cooldown time, I don’t mind giving it a try~” Huang Shaotian replied cheerfully.

“That’s smart,” Su Muqiu praised him with a smile, because, the possibility of what Huang Shaotian described just happened to be what he was working on right now. “In that case, suppose I end up making one, when that time comes I’ll give you one to play with.” That way, who knows, maybe it could make Huang Shaotian talk a little less.

“WAH!” Huang Shaotian loudly exclaimed, “Too incredible!!! You actually know how to make silver equipment!!!”

Su Muqiu shrugged nonchalantly, “Yeah, it can be considered a little.”

On this side, Ye Xiu finally dealt with the BOSS at hand. Simply from listening to Su Muqiu’s words, he could roughly guess the entire conversation. He couldn’t resist throwing Su Muqiu a scornful look, “What are you acting for? You already leaked your family history to this kid, why not directly tell him about all those incredible sparkly silver equipment you’ve made.”

Before Su Muqiu could even say anything, Huang Shaotian had already overheard it, immediately shouting, “Damnit, that guy over there talks so big! Autumn bro, is he that friend you were talking about? Let me PK him.”

Su Muqiu broke into laughter at this. Ye Xiu glanced at him askew, “What did that little brat say?”

“He said you talk big and wants to play a few rounds with you,” Su Muqiu reported back honestly.

Ye Xiu narrowed his eyes, immediately got up and indicated for Su Muqiu to move aside. “Heh, who’s the one talking big? So be it, just fight then.”

Su Muqiu informed Huang Shaotian then joyfully got up and gave the headset and seat up to Ye Xiu.

As soon as Ye Xiu put on the headset, a prattling stream of words came over from the other end: “You’re the one talking big! Who was the one who called me a little brat, huh! Did you think that I wouldn’t hear you! This is Autumn bro’s account, don’t be a sore loser later, quickly go change to a class you’re familiar with to play against me!”

“Fuck, really too noisy… I can still wipe you in a second with a Spitfire account. Hurry up.” This could be considered Ye Xiu’s first time encountering the might of the future number one chatterbox of the Alliance; he did not even deign to ridicule anymore and went straight to business.

Su Muqiu simply stood by the side. As he watched Ye Xiu manipulate Eternal Autumn to knock out a magnificent stream of attacks, just like letting out a spectacle of fireworks, he listened to Ye Xiu’s relentless taunting without any pause in between – “Can you stop talking.” “My head is going to burst at this rate.” “The important thing about trash talk is quality, not quantity, understand?” “Had I known earlier I would’ve disabled voice-chat.”

When Eternal Autumn won, Ye Xiu immediately tugged off the headset, black lines running down his face as he looked at Su Muqiu, “I’ve played Glory for this long, but I’ve never met such a noisy guy. If this kid didn’t talk so much, I definitely could’ve killed him off much quicker.”

Su Muqiu laughed loudly, “Or maybe you would’ve lost more health, instead.”

Ye Xiu could not deny it. “That is really still a possibility… Oh right, hey, we’ve already known each other for this long. You’re usually not courteous to me at all, yet how are you chatting so happily with a chatterbox without ever getting annoyed?”

Su Muqiu leant over against the back of the chair and rolled his eyes at Ye Xiu, “Other people are way cuter than you okay, just that he’s a tad talkative.”

“Cute my ass… Oh, I know, it must be that it’s so rare for you two chatterboxes to have met, therefore found a resonance in each other,” Ye Xiu lazily started to roast.

The two were still bickering on this side, but Huang Shaotian’s shout suddenly carried from the headset that was hung on the rack, “Damnit! I can’t hold back anymore! It’s only winning one round against my side account, do you really think you’re all that! If you’ve the ability then use your main to fight against me!”

“Haha,” Ye Xiu laughed dryly and calmly said, “I’m afraid that just saying the name of my main account would terrify you.”

Huang Shaotian was quickly about to go crazy with rage at Ye Xiu’s tone, “Damn you damn you damn you!!! You just wait, I’ll log into Troubling Rain right now, then you and me, we’ll fight it out to the end!!!”

Once he finished speaking, Eat My Sword straightaway went offline. However, Su Muqiu and Ye Xiu were both still rooted to the spot.

“Troubling Rain? Isn’t that the Blade Master that infiltrated undercover into Blue Brook Guild, that Swoksaar even especially brings a group of people to keep killing?” Ye Xiu rubbed his chin, suddenly feeling that things were becoming interesting.

Su Muqiu sighed at the strange workings of fate. He also smiled and shook his head, “A Blade Master that can catch the attention of Swoksaar, no wonder he’s this remarkable…”

“That’s great then, since his good feelings for you are through the roof, just recruit him over to be our little bro. Next time, all the big guilds will face an extra foe, and we’ll never have to worry about grabbing BOSS again!” As Ye Xiu flaunted the dirtiness of his heart, he returned to sit back in front of the computer, this time, really logging into One Autumn Leaf.

Watching this, Su Muqiu couldn’t stop his eyebrows from raising in surprise, “You really intend to use One Autumn Leaf to play a round with him?”

Ye Xiu lit a cigarette and nodded calmly.

However, they weren’t able to have this round of PK. Because, right after Troubling Rain went online, he again met with an ambush from Blue Brook Guild.

Only, the purpose of this ambush was not to kill him – but from then on, changed the entire course of Huang Shaotian’s life.

 

 

 


 

Ye Xiu, Huang Shaotian and Umbrella bro are my favourite characters in The King’s Avatar. I ended up liking the way they interact even more while writing this piece.

I can only use that sentence Mu Mu said to express what my heart thinks, ‘If only he could be here, that would be best.’ However, there are no ifs.

Should all go to plan, the next chapter will be the last (T/N: author broke it into two cause of length). The ending definitely won’t play out like a tragedy, just treat this as a short interlude.


Translator’s Note:

- The Qiu in Su Muqiu is the same character for Autumn in Chinese