The two characters each stood against the wall. The distance between them was very small; the tension was thick in the air.
Until messages appeared in the chat.
“You come in!”
“You come out!”
The childish exchange swiftly broke the tense atmosphere. The audience didn’t know whether to laugh or not.
But while this meaningless chat occurred, Ye Xiu was moving. Lord Grim ended up not going through the door, but he didn’t circle around to a different room either. He actually chose to nimbly make his way outside through the window. Then, he swung his ninjato, quickly flipping up to the second-floor window and rolling back inside, having chosen a suitable position.
Everyone was caught off-guard. With this action, was he planning to directly break through the floor of the second level to ambush from above?
It was a complicated task for the fully immersive projection to beautifully display this interior environment, because anything that obstructed the audience view had to be eliminated. Right now, the floor of the second level looked like it was suspended in midair. Ye Xiu’s Lord Grim and Zhang Jiale’s Dazzling Hundred Blossoms were displayed like that, one above and one below, still at a very close distance, but the distance was now vertical instead of horizontal.
On the first floor, Zhang Jiale still hadn’t detected anything. Dazzling Hundred Blossoms lifted a gun with one hand and held a grenade in the other. From where he was standing, he could attack every entrance of this room.
But right now, Ye Xiu wasn’t planning to use an entrance!
Ye Xiu very much valued time. He didn’t hesitate at all while he was on the second floor. While many people were still processing his actions, he was already beginning to act.
The cross section of this castle was fragile enough. One more attack was enough to break through, and amidst the shattered pieces, Lord Grim plummeted downward. In the blink of an eye, he had already found Dazzling Hundred Blossoms’ position. The Myriad Manifestations Umbrella swung over, fire!
Zhang Jiale’s reaction wasn’t slow. As soon as he heard a noise above him, even as he lifted his camera to check, his automatic pistol, the Silver weapon Hunting Seeker, was already lifted into the air, and the grenade in his left hand was tossed outward. Immediately after, he confirmed the situation above him and continued to toss grenade after grenade, like a weapon master in wuxia, or like a magician with his playing cards. Those grenades flew outward nonstop.
Boom boom boom boom!
The middle height of the room was instantly swallowed by explosions, just like the passageway earlier, splitting the space in two.
Ye Xiu’s plan was quite unexpected, but this method was a bit too blunt. The attack made a loud noise when it impacted the floor of the second level, and Zhang Jiale was good enough to immediately react and deal with it. What Ye Xiu gained here was similar to the situation Zhang Jiale had been in when he’d rushed outward through the door earlier – the situation wasn’t particularly advantageous for either side, it would come down to whose reaction was faster.
Earlier in the passageway, the two of them had tied after an exchange of blows. This time, with one above and one below, who would win the upper hand?
Dazzling Hundred Blossoms suddenly used a low-level Sharpshooter skill, sweeping around 360 degrees.
There was actually no one next to Dazzling Hundred Blossoms, and Zhang Jiale instantly knew that he had made a mistake in his prediction. He had originally thought that Ye Xiu would take advantage of the cover, using Shadow Clone Technique to swiftly close in. Yet, surprisingly, Ye Xiu hadn’t done this.
One misstep instantly revealed an opening. Amidst the flashing explosions in midair, Lord Grim looked like he was flying with an imperial sword, and he came plummeting down with a Falling Light Blade.
He had actually stayed in midair for that long?
The audience could see clearly that after Lord Grim broke through the floor, he didn’t hurry to the ground. After the Myriad Manifestations Umbrella fired a few shots in gun form, it shifted back to a ninjato and was anchored into the ceiling.
From the start, Ye Xiu didn’t think that his sneak attack from above would directly cause Zhang Jiale any difficulty. He just wanted to create an unusual situation. With this small opening that Zhang Jiale exposed with his mistake, he now attacked.
Zhang Jiale had no time to dodge. The Falling Light Blade came right down upon Dazzling Hundred Blossoms. But then, with a blast, Lord Grim was also thrown aside by a shockwave. There was a hole in the ground, the scar left by the explosion of a landmine.
Ye Xiu had seized an opportunity for attack, but he hadn’t expected that Zhang Jiale also had an ambush ready. In their second clash, the two of them once again reached a stalemate. But this was only speaking about the battle situation. In terms of damage, Ye Xiu’s Lord Grim had broken through the firing line in the first clash, and suffered bombing in the second before forcefully breaking through the firing line. In doing so, he had taken more than a little bit of damage. After being sent flying by this landmine, Lord Grim’s health had fallen to 42%, having started this round at 57%.
Two times, he had used up his health for the sake of his offensive, but he hadn’t managed to win the initiative. From this exchange perspective, even though Ye Xiu had initiated the attack both times, Zhang Jiale had ultimately ended up better off.
“Defensive fighting!” Blue Rain was a defensive team, so of course they were very sensitive to a defensive playstyle. Seeing this situation, Huang Shaotian immediately sent another text to Yu Wenzhou.
“Yes.” Yu Wenzhou’s reply acknowledged this point. And in the televised broadcast, Pan Lin and Li Yibo were still exclaiming about how the two players’ incredible reaction speeds and responses made them evenly matched. Those two hadn’t even realized the deeper significance of this!
“This is more like you!” In another area of the stadium, an audience member who was keeping a low profile as he watched the match now uttered this exclamation.
A former part of the Blood and Blossom duo, a former god-level player, now contributing the last remnants of his strength to Team Heavenly Swords with the limited time he had. Today, he could no longer be considered a star. The attention he’d garnered when first returning had gradually faded away because of his severely limited appearances in Heavenly Swords.
Heavenly Swords, where he was now, had no no business in the playoffs; for him, the championship dream was already long in the past. He simply remained here as a passerby, all because of that piece of his heart that prevented him from ever giving up on Glory completely.
Yes, a passerby. His kind of return and onstage appearance could only be considered passing by. Because of this, Sun Zheping didn’t have any regrets about not tagging along with the black horse that was Team Happy. Happy was the starting point for his return. And now, this grassroots team with which he wasn’t unfamiliar was actually piercing straight through toward the championship. If he were still in this team, Sun Zheping believed that he would go crazy from his inability to go all-out at such a crucial time.
Heavenly Swords was a wise choice. Sun Zheping never regretted it.
And seeing Happy reach this point, Sun Zheping felt gratified as well.
He looked forward to seeing this team create a miracle, just like when they had defeated Excellent Era in the Challenger League. But now, Happy was actually facing off against Tyranny…
Toward Tyranny itself Sun Zheping didn’t have any particularly strong feelings. He would pay attention to them only because Zhang Jiale was there, because his former partner, his closest friend, was there.
His emotions, his goal, his pursuit, Sun Zheping understood completely. But now, Zhang Jiale collided with Happy.
It was really a difficult situation to watch. But Sun Zheping was a simple and direct person; he didn’t have any conflicts in his heart. Facing each other on the narrow road, the courageous would emerge victorious – his belief was just that simple. For him, his emotions would never become a burden on the battlefield, and as a spectator in the audience, it was the same.
But now, the Zhang Jiale he saw didn’t have the furious, desperate stance of before. In particular, it was a far cry from that struggling ferocity that he’d displayed while leading Hundred Blossoms after Sun Zheping had retired from injury.
Was this a sign that he no longer had that fighting spirit of before?
Of course that wasn’t the case, because this right now was the playstyle that truly suited him the best.
The Hundred Blossoms style was called the most splendid and romantic playstyle in all of Glory. As the inventor of this style, Zhang Jiale certainly wasn’t imitating anyone with his use of skills. His technique simply reflected his personality; this was just the kind of person he was. That sort of furious, desperate hacking and slashing very much went against his character.
But in Hundred Blossoms, after Sun Zheping was forced to retire from his injury, Zhang Jiale could only take up Sun Zheping’s desperate portion of the playstyle as well.
In reality, it didn’t have to be like this.
Sun Zheping had always wanted to say this to Zhang Jiale. But, it was entirely because of his own injury that this burden landed upon Zhang Jiale. When the other was so desperately carrying it, what right did Sun Zheping have to tell him not to do this?
If you’re willing to carry it, then stay strong and advance!
This was just the kind of person that Sun Zheping was. He only knew how to staunchly encourage his old friend like this.
Unfortunately, in the end, all that Zhang Jiale tasted were the bitter fruits of defeat.
It wasn’t until he arrived at Tyranny that he could finally set down his burdens of the past. Zhang Jiale no longer had to carry the responsibility of two people by himself. And so, the Zhang Jiale of the earliest Blood and Blossoms era had returned. This was the condition that suited him best.
Just in this match, Sun Zheping saw it clearly.
The Hundred Blossoms playstyle was protection, was cover; it filled the openings left by teammates; it augmented the teammates’ offensives. This was an extremely careful and thorough playstyle. It wasn’t something that could be accomplished just by throwing around complicated controls – that kind of Hundred Blossoms wasn’t a true Hundred Blossoms.
In the time that Zhang Jiale had led Hundred Blossoms alone, his technique had grown more refined, but his Hundred Blossoms had drifted away somewhat from its essential spirit.
But now, it had all returned.
In fact, because of his growth from experience, Zhang Jiale’s Hundred Blossoms playstyle of today was even more careful and precise. Every thread was tightly interwoven, leaking not a single drop.
People thought that the Hundred Blossoms playstyle still hadn’t emerged in this match?
That was a big mistake.
In the passageway, in midair, those bursting explosions were all the Hundred Blossoms style. And in this kind of space, when the Hundred Blossoms bloomed, there was nowhere to hide. The charging Lord Grim could only suffer the damage he was supposed to.
There were those who thought that the Hundred Blossoms playstyle was supposed to consist of nonstop lights and shadows, flashing until no one could see anything. But this kind of view was too simplistic.
The true Hundred Blossoms wasn’t placed everywhere, it just could be placed anywhere.
Take as an example using lights to block the opponent’s vision. Did that require 360 degrees of surrounding?
What it truly required was nothing more than, in that most critical moment, a sudden expanse of flashes appearing in the opponent’s vision.
Boom boom boom boom…
In such a small space, the explosions were nonstop. For the moment, Lord Grim had no way of closing in.
It seemed like the explosions weren’t being continuously strung together, but every time that Ye Xiu prepared to control Lord Grim to rush forward, a series of explosions would make his vision go blurry.
Ye Xiu completely understood that this was intentional. Given that the opponent was able to accomplish this to this extent, he didn’t dare blindly charge forward.
The space he had was shrinking, and his exits were already cut off. Lord Grim was right in the middle of the Hundred Blossoms.