Chapter 1452: One Step Above
The atmosphere in the stadium livened up.
The previous rounds had reflected Blue Rain’s reasons for their map choice. There was layer upon layer of hidden intent. In the last round, Fang Rui and Lu Hanwen had fought face to face. However, everyone was wary of Fang Rui, afraid he would suddenly slip away. And when Fang Rui fought, he still played dirty. The greatest strength of playing dirty was that it not only struck at your character, but at your heart too. Lu Hanwen had won quite handily, but Blue Rain’s fans had been worried the entire time.
It was fine now.
A matchup that everyone could enjoy had finally arrived.
Spear vs sword.
The two weapons clashed and collided, immensely satisfying. Even so, Blue Rain’s fans couldn’t be entirely happy because their Lu Hanwen’s Flowing Cloud only had 23% health left! It wasn’t suitable for him to fight head on. Blue Rain’s fans were conflicted. They wanted to watch this sort of battle, but they were worried about how it was disadvantageous for their team.
23%. Let’s hope for a miracle!
Their hearts were gripped with anxiety. They didn’t dare to look down on Tang Rou.
Her reputation had hit rock bottom as soon as her pro career began, but the Alliance still gave her the title of Best Rookie despite the controversy. It could be seen just how convincing her performance in the regular season was.
A player who won Best Rookie could not be treated like a normal rookie.
Could he do it with 23% health?
Blue Rain’s fans were so worried that they were too scared to look at Flowing Cloud’s health.
But whether they looked at it or not, his health would still fall in this unyielding battle.
After Lu Hanwen’s Flowing Cloud rushed out from behind a tree and launched a sneak attack, the battle had lasted for 47 seconds. In the end, Flowing Cloud fell.
Lu Hanwen had done his best.
He knew that with Flowing Cloud’s health, he could not trade hitpoint for hitpoint. He had done his best to avoid forced trades with Tang Rou and played more flexibly.
Nonetheless, the fight only lasted 47 seconds.
Flowing Cloud had no more health left.
Soft Mist had lost 31% of her health.
From the numbers, Soft Mist had lost more health than Flowing Cloud in this battle. It appeared as if Tang Rou hadn’t played as well as Lu Hanwen.
But wins couldn’t be looked at from statistics alone. After all, a player played differently depending on their circumstances. Lu Hanwen needed to play flexibly and focus on defending. Tang Rou could be more aggressive and forceful. It was only by utilizing an advantage that it could be called an advantage.
Lu Hanwen came down from the stage.
23% for 31%. It wasn’t an impressive trade. Blue Rain’s fans had higher expectations.
It wasn’t a bad trade though. When Lu Hanwen came down from the stage, the crowd applauded fervently.
As for Lu Hanwen himself? He was somewhat unhappy with the result. He had performed to the best of his ability though. Though he was disappointed, there weren’t any moments which he had felt upset about. It simply meant that he wasn’t good enough!
I need to continue working harder!
Lu Hanwen returned to his team with this resolution. Their last player in the group arena appeared on the big screen. To no one’s surprise, Blue Rain’s anchor was their number one player: Huang Shaotian.
The cheers from the crowd reached a peak.
He was Blue Rain’s last hope for the group arena and their ace player.
Blue Rain’s fans didn’t want to think about what happened in the last group arena. They just hoped that Huang Shaotian could hold on to Blue Rain’s last point at this crucial moment.
Huang Shaotian went onto the stage and entered the player booth. The crowd instantly quieted down.
Everyone stared at the big screen, at the loading screen, at Troubling Rain’s spawn point shown by the holographic projection technology.
The match began.
“Where are we meeting,” Tang Rou said bluntly.
“Wait for my ambush!” Huang Shaotian replied quickly. Troubling Rain moved swiftly, taking the right road, the roundabout path on the west side. Huang Shaotian’s opening was the same as Lu Hanwen’s.
Tang Rou didn’t make any changes. Her Soft Mist went straight for the center.
Soft Mist arrived first.
As for Troubling Rain?
Huang Shaotian seemed to have copied Lu Hanwen’s pathing. He chose the same direction, the same route, and even the same ambush spot as Flowing Cloud. Then, he began observing Soft Mist.
“This… is he planning on teaching Lu Hanwen?” Pan Lin said.
“He shouldn’t be?” Li Yibo said. This was the playoffs, and Team Blue Rain was on the verge of being eliminated. No matter how important it was to teach a junior, it couldn’t be as important as the team’s playoffs run, no? Unless Huang Shaotian was truly confident that he could beat Tang Rou with ease.
But those familiar with Huang Shaotian knew that no matter how much smack he talked, he was never careless. If even a tiny opening appeared, it didn’t matter if you were a God or a rookie, he would seize it without question.
“He probably just thinks it’s a good opening play too!” Li Yibo said.
The audience members were discussing it amongst each other. Everyone thought Huang Shaotian must be trying to tell Lu Hanwen something.
The two teams, Blue Rain and Happy, were also discussing Huang Shaotian’s actions.
But before they could discuss it for too long, Huang Shaotian made a move.
Troubling Rain rushed out!
Yes, it was similar to what Lu Hanwen had done. While Tang Rou’s line of sight was turned away, he launched a very simple and very crude sneak attack from the back.
But Troubling Rain was faster!
His Silver weapon, Ice Rain, had a much higher attack speed and a much lighter weight than Flowing Cloud’s Flame Shadow. All of these factors determined Troubling Rain’s faster movements. Among these, attack speed was more important, while weight had less of an impact.
How would Tang Rou respond?
She responded the same way to the same attack. Although she was surprised that Huang Shaotian would actually copy Lu Hanwen’s opening, it didn’t affect how fast she reacted to it.
Soft Mist rolled. The moment she got up, her spear slashed upwards in a counterattack.
A streak of blood flew into the air. Troubling Rain’s Silver weapon, Ice Rain, struck the rolling Soft Mist.
The sword didn’t pause. Without any extra movements or any wasted inputs, the second slash came…
Pu pu pu pu…
Sword light danced as sword and body collided. As Soft Mist rolled, four attacks had hit her, a mix of skills and normal attacks.
Tang Rou’s counterattack was completely sealed and didn’t come out. After the four attacks, Tang Rou saw a slight opening.
Soft Mist stabbed towards Troubling Rain with her spear.
But Troubling Rain sidestepped it and attacked in retaliation.
Downwind Sword Slash!
His sword slid across Soft Mist’s spear. The viewers could even heard the whistle from Ice Rain and Dancing Fire Flowing Flame.
The sword light split into two. This Downwind Sword Slash had stopped Dragon Tooth mid-attack. If Tang Rou continued with the attack, she would miss. Cancelling her attack would require an input which would give her too little time to dodge.
The threat of Downwind Sword Slash was frightening. As the sword light flew her way, Soft Mist rolled backwards.
Everyone was dumbstruck.
It was the same attack, but when Lu Hanwen and Tang Rou fought, it had been even. On the other hand, Huang Shaotian immediately suppressed Tang Rou.
What was Huang Shaotian trying to tell Lu Hanwen?
It looked as if Huang Shaotian was slapping Lu Hanwen in the face: look, I can do what you can’t.
As for how he did it…
“He’s faster!” This was Pan Lin’s understanding of it.
“Openings. It’s all about finding openings,” Li Yibo emphasized.
“Despite being in a similar situation, Huang Shaotian’s timing was far better than Lu Hanwen’s. That Downwind Sword Slash was the same. Huang Shaotian could have directly followed with this attack previously, but that would have given Tang Rou some space to dodge it. He intentionally created an opening for Tang Rou to take, but he had been waiting for her to attack. Tang Rou was unable to do anything in response. It was a beautiful play.”
“So he really is different…” After Li Yibo’s analysis, Pan Lin sighed. Both Lu Hanwen and Huang Shaotian were Blade Masters, but Huang Shaotian was clearly on a higher level.
After Downwind Sword Slash, Huang Shaotian continued his offense. After a few more exchanges, he no longer seemed as dominant.
“Tang Rou is not bad at defending,” Li Yibo said.
“That’s a huge improvement!” Pan Lin smiled. During the regular season, the two had commented on Tang Rou’s view on defending. Tang Rou followed the belief that offense was the best defense. This belief had its justifications, but these were justifications. The saying never indicated that defense was not important.
Tang Rou’s defense wasn’t bad. Despite Huang Shaotian taking the initiative with his sneak attack, she was defending to limit her opponent’s attack options.
As a result, Huang Shaotian was very generous and promptly gave another opening.
An excellent opening for Tang Rou to counterattack.