Chapter 1323: A Taste of Victory that Can’t Be Shared
Translator: Nomyummi Editor: Nomyummi
It was true that a Phantom Demon had greater use in the team competition, but using that to say that their 1v1 strength was weak was just nonsense. Perhaps many ordinary players would think this way, but that was only because it was harder to play Phantom Demon in a 1v1. Also, the map that Tiny Herb had chosen for this individual battle wasn’t good for a Phantom Demon to reach full potential.
Yet even under these conditions, Qiao Yifan was still able to place his Ghost Boundaries very well, preventing Gao Yingjie from launching effective attacks. This was something that should be acknowledged with certainty. To emphasize losing the initiative, that was very much nitpicking.
Ruan Cheng of course knew all of this, but right now, he was going to point out Happy’s flaws no matter what. In his opinion, the chances of Happy winning this match were very low.
A skill level that couldn’t compete with the opposing talent.
The difficulty of playing Phantom Demon in a 1v1.
The map disadvantages.
With so many weaknesses, how could Happy not lose?
Qiao Yifan’s performance right now was much stronger than Ruan Cheng had anticipated. But just to maintain the balance of the situation, Qiao Yifan had already sacrificed a lot. And Gao Yingjie? He was merely saving his strength and biding his time. As soon as Qiao Yifan left an opening, he would instantly launch a powerful offensive.
Hurry, hurry and make a mistake!
Ruan Cheng shouted in his heart.
But as he shouted, he watched as the Ghost Boundaries bloomed on the battlefield, like an endless river blocking the way between One Inch Ash and Kind Tree.
Ruan Cheng was beginning to pale.
Saving strength and biding time?
Things weren’t that simple. In order to force Qiao Yifan to move so carefully and meticulously, Gao Yingjie couldn’t be careless with his own movements either. He too needed to make decisions and plays with care and precision.
Kind Tree’s positioning, Kind Tree’s long-range attacks, they were all trying to break Qiao Yifan’s rhythm. Even though Qiao Yifan was on the defensive, he used his defense to attack. The rhythm of this battle was firmly in his control.
“I’ve always thought that Happy’s Qiao Yifan is a player that has been underestimated,” Li Yibo exclaimed.
“But if he just continues to defend like this, will he be able to win this match?” Pan Lin brought up the key question. Even though Qiao Yifan could use his defense offensively, controlling the battle tempo, his One Inch Ash hadn’t used any attacks at all. There was no way he could win this match if he continued like this.
Li Yibo furrowed his brow. Qiao Yifan himself must realize this issue, right? But he was still working hard to maintain this current situation. What was his plan?
At this moment, Ruan Cheng suddenly shouted, “A mistake!”
For Ruan Cheng to become this excited, of course it was a mistake from Qiao Yifan. Because he was just a hair slower in setting them this time, there was a gap in the seamlessly linked Ghost Boundaries, and Gao Yingjie immediately seized this opening. Before the Ghost Boundaries could block him, Kind Tree called forth a Tornado and flew close to the ground toward One Inch Ash.
“Just like I said! Qiao Yifan’s defensive strategy here isn’t a method of victory! As soon as there’s a slight opening, Gao Yingjie can seize it immediately,” Ruan Cheng said gleefully, flapping his mouth without end. Pan Lin and Li Yibo felt sympathy for Qiao Yifan, but because Ruan Cheng wasn’t without reason, they couldn’t just begin arguing with him on air.
Kind Tree traversed the blockade of Ghost Boundaries, a handful of Frost Powder already scattered on his weapon. One Inch Ash, however, was rolling to the side.
This was a very simple map without many features, but it still had some. One Inch Ash’s roll took him behind a crumbling stone pillar, and when he crouched down, the boulder shielded his entire body.
Gao Yingjie’s heart jumped. After Qiao Yifan used the map features for cover, he instantly noticed something about this surrounding region.
Gao Yingjie immediately controlled Kind Tree to throw a Lava Flask.
The flask shattered against the ground, and the lava within burst forth to cover the area, including the area where One Inch Ash was hiding.
But just before the lava reached One Inch Ash, swordlight flashed from behind the pillar and a Ghost Boundary landed first.
Seeing the Ghost Boundary land, Gao Yingjie didn’t even need to think before controlling Kind Tree to rush in a specific direction.
“Beautiful!” Li Yibo shouted, but this shout wasn’t praising Gao Yingjie’s smart reaction. When that Ghost Boundary appeared, the situation on the battlefield suddenly became clear. One Inch Ash’s earlier setup, along with this Ghost Boundary just now, was squeezing Kind Tree into a small area.
That Ghost Boundary that had been thought to be a blunder absolutely wasn’t one. That had been bait! Qiao Yifan had seen that there was cover here and knew that he had the chance to cast a Ghost Boundary.
Gao Yingjie must have realized this after coming over from far away and seeing One Inch Ash’s actions. But unfortunately, Kind Tree’s Lava Flask had arrived just a bit too late. The Ghost Boundary landed first. Helpless, Gao Yingjie could only control Kind Tree to go to the position where Qiao Yifan wanted him. The damage that this Lava Flask caused One Inch Ash now was negligible.
Li Yibo glanced at Ruan Cheng and felt delighted.
Faceslapping, what familiar faceslapping! But before, the one who had been hit over and over was himself. Today, it was finally someone else’s turn. With this guy here as contrast, Li Yibo could appear extremely wise and insightful even if he said nothing. Initially, Li Yibo had been rather irritated at this extra invited guest commentator, but now, he was glad that Ruan Cheng was here, setting off all these traps so that Li Yibo didn’t have to take any damage.
Ruan Cheng’s expression was extremely ugly right now, but the battle still hadn’t ended. What would happen next? Li Yibo and Ruan Cheng were both experts, and so now that the battle had reached this point, both could tell what was the crucial point. Now, Qiao Yifan needed to cast one more Ghost Boundary to completely trap Kind Tree within. But he was currently in the middle of an expanse of lava, and the sustained damage was preventing him from casting. If he tried to face Kind Tree directly, he would also be interrupted for sure.
Cover. One Inch Ash still needed some cover. And so everyone’s gazes swept around these ruins, to another worn down pillar that was eight units away from One Inch Ash’s current position.
“Qiao Yifan must have studied and prepared all this beforehand. He’s really extremely thorough with his planning,” Pan Lin said, when the television broadcast focused in on this critical position.
“His earlier usage of Ghost Boundaries to maintain the balance of the situation was probably to buy time so he could look for an area on the map where he could develop his strategy. This map definitely isn’t an easy one for him,” Li Yibo said neutrally. He then prompted Ruan Cheng with a look that said “what do you think?”
Ruan Cheng cursed in his heart. Li Yibo’s words just now were basically faceslapping him!
“Seeing how Gao Yingjie so decisively avoided the Ghost Boundary, I think he’s already seen through Qiao Yifan’s strategy. Eight units.. Will Gao Yingjie give him that opportunity?” Ruan Cheng still lifted up Gao Yingjie.
As the three of them were discussing, One Inch Ash suddenly rushed out, targeting that pillar that stood eight body-lengths away.
But Gao Yingjie’s Kind Tree was a step faster. He threw a floating blue cloud of something toward that broken pillar, and very quickly, dark clouds formed above the pillar and thin shards of blue rain drops emitting a cold energy began raining down.
Gao Yingjie wasn’t going to compete with One Inch Ash in a footrace, nor did he want to try and take him head-on. He just tossed out this skill. The pillar could still serve as cover, but because the Hail would cause sustained damage, One Inch Ash could no longer duck behind it and cast. But to everyone’s surprise, Qiao Yifan’s One Inch Ash only took three steps in that direction. Before those blue raindrops had even hit the ground, he had already turned back the way he came.
One Inch Ash actually returned to the pillar he’d been hiding behind earlier. The lava was right under his feet, but no skill’s effects lasted forever. Just as One Inch Ash hid himself again, the crimson lava on the ground was already dimming, hardening into still rock.
Gao Yingjie had only just finished casting Hail. He hadn’t expected that Qiao Yifan had merely rushed out as a diversion. Panicking, he immediately controlled Kind Tree to use another attack. But even though the Witch class had many instant-cast skills, there was still a time delay between throwing a magic tool and its effect activation. This bit of time was enough for One Inch Ash to lay down another Ghost Boundary.
By the time Kind Tree reached an angle where he could hit his target with these star cards that turned into magic rays flying toward One Inch Ash, the new Ghost Boundary had already landed.
This time, Kind Tree had nowhere to run. The Ghost Boundaries that One Inch Ash had placed one after another now linked into a huge formation, trapping Kind Tree within.
One Inch Ash stood forward.
For a Phantom Demon, trapping the opponent within your own linked Ghost Boundaries was already winning half the battle.
Qiao Yifan didn’t hold back against his good friend. He meticulously controlled his character, summoning new Ghost Boundaries to perfect the arrangement. At this point, even though there were openings in his casting, he no longer needed to find some pathetic cover on this map. His own Ghost Boundaries finally became his most reliable and complete cover.
Qiao Yifan wouldn’t let go of an opportunity like this.
His journey to this point hadn’t been easy. If he hadn’t met Ye Xiu, if he hadn’t met and helped establish Team Happy, he likely wouldn’t even be a pro player anymore.
And now, he’d grown from being an invisible presence let go by one team, to part of the main force of another team. And now, he had the chance to defeat the one whom his former team had labeled a prodigy.
How could he miss an opportunity like this?
What Qiao Yifan wanted was to prove himself to everyone, including the opponent in front of him now, his closest friend. But he still felt that it was a shame, that they had discussed this feeling of victory so often in the past, but had never had the chance to achieve it together. And now, the method of achieving it was to defeat the other side.
It’s a shame, I can’t share this taste of victory with you.
In the second battle of the individual competition Team Happy’s Qiao Yifan won.