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So Many Tricks

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Back in base. His Jax had a purse full of gold. Lin Feng spent it all before looking around the map. Teleport was off cooldown. He could go anywhere and go for another play. “Ready for battle!” he laughed. His gaze landed on top lane. On the Fiora who was last hitting minions. She was patient, refraining from pushing the lane and only attacking when the minions were on their last breath. But the wave was still pushing out and she was already fighting them next to the ruins of her outer tower.

Lin Feng started smiling. Wide. Bright. Evil. Earlier, when he’d gone through the top side jungle of Bright High to gank the Orianna in mid lane, he’d left a ward at the Red Buff Camp. From there, it was a short trip up to top lane. The Fiora was in the open. He could cut off her path of retreat. Like a fish on the chopping board. At this pace, she’d be worth less than a cannon minion in another few minutes. He pressed down on the F key, his mouse hovering over the ward in the Red Buff Camp.

“Surprise! I’m back,” Lin Feng muttered as his Jax appeared at Bright High’s Red Buff Camp. He then had his Jax move up towards top lane, past the Krugs and into the brush separating top lane from the jungle. The Fiora had no wards in her jungle and no sight of the Jax. So, after killing the last few minions in top lane, she’d started to back. Better be safe than sorry. But she was still too late. Lin Feng’s Jax came running out of the brush and struck her with his lamppost!

W-where! What! How the hell… Why from there? I— There was no time. The Fiora player knew this. His Champion was no match for the Jax. He had to get out. Now! He pressed the Q key and then the F key. His Fiora Lunged towards her inner tower, then flashed a short distance. Anything to get closer to her inner tower. Anything to get away from the Jax!

“Taste my lamppost! Haha!” Lin Feng laughed as he clicked on the Fiora and pressed on his Q key. His Jax Leap Striked onto the Fiora. A transparent mantle appeared over Jax’s head–Counter Strike! The Fiora couldn’t attack him, not that she was trying to. She was trying to get away! But he was on top of her. She had no more mobility skills. He hit her with his lamppost, then used Empower to reset the internal cooldown of auto attacks. His weapon lit up. This attack would deal bonus damage! He followed up with a third auto attack. It was strengthened by the passive of Grandmaster’s Might.

《You have slain an enemy!》

The difference was too big between the two. Levels. Items. Skill. Lin Feng held the advantage in every aspect. The Fiora didn’t stand a chance. Worse even, Lin Feng didn’t even have to go all out. He hadn’t even used the active part of his ultimate! He hadn’t needed to, because the Fiora didn’t attack him and she was too far away from her inner tower. So he never even got in tower range. It was all too easy.

Lin Feng wasn’t the only player on High School 13’s team who was winning his lane. Yang Fan was only Platinum. Bright High’s Orianna was Diamond 2. But that didn’t stop Yang Fan from going even in lane. And after Lin Feng had come for that gank and had killed the Orianna, Yang Fan had used that brief period of solo farm in lane to pull ahead of the Orianna. It was a small advantage, but it turned out to be enough for him. He pushed the advantage and was even starting to win his lane!

Tang Bingyao and Wei Dong were fairing even better in bot lane than Yang Fan was in mid. They’d become a really strong duo, especially over the last couple of days. Their lane was Lucian and Alistar versus Jinx and Blitzcrank. Jinx was as strong as ever, while Lucian had fallen off a bit after the last few patches. But even so, there was nothing in this game suggesting this. If anything, it looked like Jinx was the one who’d been nerfed.

Tang Bingyao and Wei Dong were pushing the minion waves into Bright High’s outer tower. Bright High’s Lee Sin was being kept busy elsewhere on the map, so they didn’t have to worry much about a possible gank. They focused entirely on poking down the Jinx and Blitzcrank. To the point where Blitzcrank’s passive skill activated. Mana Barrier gave him a temporary shield based on his mana when he dropped to low health.

The shield gave the Blitzcrank some confidence. He only had it for a little. This was the time to go in and try a play! It could turn the lane around! He Overdrived into position and then shot out his right arm, trying to grab and hook the Lucian. But Tang Bingyao was prepared. She knew he’d come. That was what Blitzcranks did. She had her Lucian dash to the side, dodging the hook–Relentless Pursuit!

The Blitzcrank had moved forward, away from his tower. The Blitzcrank had used his crowd control skills. The Blitzcrank was out of position. Wei Dong knew this was his moment to shine. He hit down on the D key–Flash! His Alistar flashed forward, reappearing on top of the Blitzcrank. He then raised his bulky, muscular arms up and with the power of his bovine body smashed down on the ground–Pulverize! The Blitzcrank was launched into the air, while the Alistar moved towards Bright High’s tower and then turned around. He dug his hooves in the ground and pushed off, charging forward and ramming his horns into the Blitzcrank, knocking him back–Headbutt!

Tang Bingyao had her Lucian aim his two guns and shoot a bolt of Piercing Light through the Blitzcrank! This activated his passive, Lightslinger. Whenever Lucian used an ability, his next attack would be a double-shot. The Blitzcrank’s Mana Barrier disappeared. His health dropped low. Lucian shot a missile in a star shape, marking the Blitzcrank. He followed up with another double-shot. And then another auto attack.

《An enemy has been slain!》

Lin Feng heard the voice announcer and quickly panned his camera to bot lane. The Jinx was hiding under her tower, while Tang Bingyao’s Lucian stood over the corpse of the Blitzcrank. He smiled and said, “Nice job at bot! Great kill, Tang Tang!”

“Thank Wei Dong. It was his Alistar play. I didn’t do much there,” Tang Bingyao replied.

Lin Feng wouldn’t let Tang Bingyao walk away without accepting the compliment. So he said, “Doesn’t matter! It was some beautiful teamplay! That’s what bot is all about! You guys are doing awesome together and that’s why you’re picking up those kills! Great job to the both of you!”

Tang Bingyao tilted her head, glancing over at Lin Feng. Maybe he has a point? She took a deep breath. Maybe he does. She smiled and nodded, “Mhm!”

Zeng Rui, Support and captain of Shanghai High School’s esports team, was still watching the game between High School 13 and Bright High. There was some interest. Just a smidge. He had to take all his opponents seriously. Most of all those who were performing above and beyond how everyone expected them to. That was why High School 13 was important. One of the weakest teams last year, and this year they made it all the way to the main tournament. That wasn’t the difference of just one player. This could only be if the whole team had become better.

Beyond the last year, just over this last week, High School 13 had become a stronger team. This had Zeng Rui’s full attention right now. More specifically, it was High School 13’s bot lane and then mostly the Support. That Alistar engage, the Flash into Headbutt, was done perfectly. He’d waited for the right moment. Combined his skills accurately. Zeng Rui himself couldn’t have done it any better! But it wasn’t just this one play. There was something more. It was this Alistar’s entire play style that was a step up from only a week ago.

Zeng Rui looked away from the large monitor and towards the players sitting behind their computers. Towards the ad-carry and Support from High School 13. A girl and a guy. Their synergy is getting really good. They’ve improved so much in only a week. Ah, it doesn’t matter. It really didn’t matter. There was nothing for him to worry about. Yes, High School 13’s Botlaners were playing a great game. They were getting better every game it looked like. But they were still a far cry from himself and his ad-carry. There was no way they could get that good anytime soon.

“The others are good. But in the end, the biggest threat is still…” Zeng Rui shook his head, while turning towards High School 13’s Toplaner. His eyelids twitched. He bit on his lips. He didn’t want to say it. Or admit it. But. “…that thundering dumbass playing Jax.”

There was no need for Lin Feng to play too seriously. He was just having fun. His Jax was fed. No one could stop him. He pushed out the minion wave in top lane, all the way towards Bright High’s inner tower. What he’d done so far to the Fiora still wasn’t enough. He’d make sure she wouldn’t get anything! You want the minions? He grinned. Come. I won’t attack you. Promise! He started laughing. “Hehehe.” I won’t attack you. Really. Just get some farm. It’s free! “Hehehe.” He leaned towards his screen, devious. Then his mouth opened into an even bigger grin. Oh oh! Yes! A few more steps! “Hehehe.” Since you’re here already, how about having a taste of my lamppost!

The Fiora stepped forward. Lin Feng had his Jax Leap Strike onto her. He then whacked her with his lamppost. “Oh?” Lin Feng mumbled. “So it’s a bait. Alright.” He shrugged as he watched the Orianna walked out of the jungle, trying to cut his retreat off. But he wasn’t planning on retreating. He was Jax. “Come at me together! Try! See what happens!” He laughed, then pressed on his W key–Empower! His Jax had just hit the Fiora for a second time. The internal cooldown for his auto attack reset. His lamppost lit up. It was the third attack, which activated the passive from his ultimate, Grandmaster’s Might. A super empowered auto attack hit the Fiora. It knocked her to the ground and she couldn’t get back up.

《Dominating!》

That was Jax’s sixth kill. Zero deaths. But if it was up to Bright High, they’d do something about that. The Orianna used her ultimate skill–Command: Shockwave. Her Ball unleashed a shockwave, launching all enemy Champions towards it and dealing damage to them. In this case, that enemy was Jax. Lin Feng activated Counter Strike to mitigate some of the damage, but the crowd control aspect pulled him towards her. Not that he minded. Now he could kill her too. Except for the fact that at that very moment, another player from Bright High showed himself. Safeguarding out from the jungle was Lee Sin!

West Wind sat at the caster’s desk, leaning forward. Just a little closer to the large screen. “This is exciting! It looks like Bright High is putting everything on killing the Jax! They might actually do it here!”

Silent Reed nodded and added, “That Jax is going to have to run. Orianna and Lee Sin together is just too much damage. He’s far ahead, but those two have everything to kill him.”

The two commentators were spot on. When Lin Feng saw the Lee Sin, he dropped his immediate plan of killing Orianna and ran back up the top lane. He stuck close to the jungle wall. The Lee Sin hit him with a Sonic Wave. One he didn’t side step. His finger was on the D key, ready to press down. Ready to Flash. The Lee Sin activated the second half of his Q skill–Resonating Strike! He dashed towards the Jax. Lin Feng pressed down and exclaimed, “It’s not over yet!”

The Jax flashed over the jungle wall. The Lee Sin followed after him. Then he placed a ward back on the other side. The side where the Orianna was. The Orianna who was trying to rush towards him. He Leap Striked over the wall and onto the ward, finding himself right in front of the Orianna. He followed up with an auto attack, then used Empower to reset his auto and attacked again! The next auto attack triggered the bonus damage from Grandmaster’s Might! He swung down his lamppost, knocking the last bit of health out of the Orianna’s health bar.

《Double kill!》

A stunned silence washed over the crowd. Over the shoutcasters. Even over the Orianna player. All he could do was stare at his screen. It was grey. He was dead. That Jax… They’d ganked up on him. A 3vs1! He shouldn’t have gotten a single kill! They should’ve killed him! But here they were. Two deaths. And the Jax was still alive. He stared at his screen, dazed. M-my Orianna…

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My First Kiss Went A Little Like This

Shanks Thought: I hate you guys for putting me in these situations. Why is it always me? Like, I wasn’t even the person trying to hype up the translator thought for today on the Discord server when we didn’t have one written. That was Sietse Thundercock! Make him write something embarrassing! Not me! Why am I getting punished!? But fine, I’ll do it.

——————————————–

My first kiss, huh? Fuck, it was so long ago. I can hardly remember it. But I guess it was about as you’d expect from kid Shanks. Leading up to it, I was like any other kid at that age. You’d heard from friends about how other friends had already kissed a girl, and you didn’t want to be the lame one who never kissed anyone before. I didn’t understand the significance behind it, nor did I know what it meant. I just knew that it was something you were supposed to do. A right of passage of sorts. But I finally got my chance in grade 6.

It was a few weeks into me dating my first girlfriend, that same indigenous girl I told you guys about before. Wolf girl. I’d invited her back to my house. We were both in my room, chilling. My dad was out working, and he wouldn’t be back home until 9. The two of us were sitting on my bed, watching the TV. She was half-paying attention on her phone, texting and doing whatever. I was already thinking about kissing in my mind. I think she was too. After all, we’d already done the hand holding, the hugging. So, what was the next step in advancing the relationship? Kissing, of course.

But I was an awkward kid who couldn’t read the atmosphere, and I had no idea how to approach it. So, I straight up asked, “Hey, wanna try kissing?”, when there was a random lull, and I thought it was a good time to bring it up. There was nothing romantic to it at all. Only teenage awkwardness. I didn’t even give her a chance to reply before I got flustered and tried explaining myself, “I mean we’re going out already, so…”

And I guess she found that part of me cute, because she burst out laughing. At the time, I thought I was fucked and screwed things up. My heart was racing, and I was on track for a full blown panic attack. Thankfully, it didn’t come to that. Because, after what felt like an eternity, she shrugged her shoulders and smiled and said, “Umm sure.” Not gonna lie, I was ecstatic. It was like that same giddiness you feel when you get told you’re allowed to go pick out a game at Walmart.  So we were face to face on my bed. I stared at her, she stared at me. I leaned in for the kiss, and then we locked lips. For like a second. And that was that.

Sietse Thought: Guys, don’t listen to Shanks. No one puts him in these situations. He steps into them. Let me rephrase that. He jumps into them with both feet, keeping his eyes closed. Then he opens his eyes and goes, “What the fuck? I didn’t want this!” Every. Single Time. And when you point it out? He acts all surprised. Like it’s totally not true and we’re the bad guys. No Shanks, it’s you. You volunteer. You decide to be the pony. We’re always a little surprised when you do it again. But you always do.

Dev Thought: Real talk, Sietse isn’t wrong. Shanks throws himself head-first into these situations. And they’re only embarrassing because he’s embarrassed by them. Sietse and I? We revel in our cringe. Because it’s fun to laugh at yourself, and it feels good to see how much you’ve grown from the person who did those awful, terrible, embarrassing things.

I give Shanks fantastic advice and lines that he NEVER listens to. Or he pretends to listen and then does his own thing. Do you guys know how frustrating that is to an editor? Sigh. Like in this situation. If I’d known Shanks back then, I’d have told him to look deep into her eyes and say, “Babe. I wanna put my face on your face.” And then say nothing.

Cringe? A little. Funny? Yes. Breaks the awkwardness while also adding in that spicy undercurrent of sexual tension? Definitely. She would’ve laughed, he would’ve laughed, then they would’ve locked eyes and gone in for it. AND IT WOULD’VE BEEN A FANTASTIC STORY AND MEMORY!

AOISJDoiAJSdoijgiogjoijsfdgsoidfjioSJDfoijlksdfmlk m

-Devshard out

P.S I came up with that line for this translator thought. But I kinda want to use it myself. So don’t steal it.

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