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A Difference in Attitude

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“This is it! LeBlanc is getting FIRST BLOOOODDD!” Westwind screamed out into the microphone, his voice blasting through the speakers at the venue. “There is nothing, NOTHING, the Twisted Fate can do here. He’s at half health and as good as—”

Lin Feng had long since predicted the tower dive. In fact, he’d played the lane in such a manner, that he’d baited the LeBlanc into doing this. She moved exactly as he wanted her to, pouncing on him with Distortion. She was under the Red Team’s outer tower and was targeted by it. Lin Feng pressed his the W key–Pick a Card! A Red Card appeared above his Twisted Fate’s head first, while the LeBlanc fired off a Sigil of Malice, marking him. Then she cast her Ethereal Chains. And it flew right past him. Ha! So easy! Lin Feng laughed, locking in the Gold Card that now hovered over his Twisted Fate.

Yan Liang’s pupils trembled. His jaw drops. It was a momentary daze that lasted only a fraction of a second. Then he woke up. FuckFuckFuck! No! BACK! BACK! W! W! W! He smashed down on his keyboard, frantic for the second part of Distortion to activate. This would have his LeBlanc jump back to her original position. But she didn’t move back. She couldn’t. Because right as her Ethereal Chains failed to connect with the Twisted Fate, who’d dodged them simply by stepping forward, a Gold Card struck her, stunning her.

The crowd in the venue lost it. Those who’d been screaming in joy a moment before fell silent. Their star was caught below the enemy tower. His LeBlanc was stunned. It was clear he wasn’t going to get First Blood. But it didn’t stop there. It started to look like he might even give away first blood! That was what had another part of the crowd cheering, excited.

“HE DODGED IT!”
“OH! MY! GOD! LIN FENG, YOU HERO!”
“WOOOOO!”
“SICK DODGE! SICK!”
“BEST PLAYER EVAAHHH!”
“GET THAT KILL!”

The Twisted Fate threw out an auto attack at the LeBlanc, followed by a volley of playing cards–⁠Wild Cards! Right then, High School 13’s Rek’Sai appeared from the fog of war. She’d dug a tunnel from the Raptor Camp to mid lane, then flashed forward toward the LeBlanc. There, she Unburrowed, knocking the LeBlanc who was now right above her up into the air and keeping her immobilized! The combined damage from the Rek’Sai and another energy shot from the tower dropped the LeBlanc’s health below 20%, triggering her passive–⁠Mirror Image!

The tower didn’t know which of the two LeBlanc’s was the real one. It saw two targets and picked on. This gave Yan Liang a brief respite. He couldn’t jump back out with Distortion anymore, the skill having gone on cooldown. But he still had Flash up. So he slammed his finger down on the F key. His LeBlanc disappeared with a mottled flash of light and reappeared some distance away. Then she started running towards her own outer tower on the other side of the lane. But she never got that far. The Twisted Fate was right behind her, throwing his playing cards at her. They killed her before she even got to her side of the lane.

《First Blood!》

“WOOOO! AMAZING! BRILLIANT! WOOO! What a kill! What. A. Kill!” Westwind yelled into his microphone, jumping up from his chair. “I thought the Twisted Fate was dead! We all did! But this kid from High School 13 somehow turned it around! What a play! This kid is going to make it far, I’m telling you!”

Silent Reed shook her head and said, “Wow, I can’t believe it. It was a beautiful kill, yes, but Yan Liang was also really unlucky! The Rek’Sai just happened to be there for a gank at the perfect moment. And it wouldn’t even have mattered if Yan Liang didn’t miss the Ethereal Chains. That was just so unlucky. I really feel for him. But well played by High School 13! Beautiful first blood!”

Wrong. Right. Wrong. Wrong. Zeng Rui shook his head, listening to the casters babble on. He agreed with them for some parts. It really did seem lucky that the Rek’Sai just happened to be there. And she undoubtedly helped in picking up that kill. But… Zeng Rui frowned, staring at the thundering dumbass who was smiling and happy as always. But Yan Liang didn’t miss. That thundering dumbass dodged it. He knew it was coming, and where, somehow. That shouldn’t be possible…

There was one person present in the venue who did understand exactly what had happened in that fight. That was An Xin. She was looking at Lin Feng, listening to the commentary from the casters. Even if he didn’t see it coming, he could have reacted to it. He was that good four years ago. Well, it makes no difference. He knew it was coming. Besides… She looked over at Yan Liang and could almost feel the hatred she saw in his eyes. That guy didn’t commit to the kill. He left himself room to back away. That’s the wrong mentality. He’ll never amount to anything like that.

Yan Liang’s primary goal was to force the Twisted Fate out of lane, dead or alive. From there, he could build up his creep score and get the lead. If he got the kill, that was perfect. But he wouldn’t commit to it. He left himself an opening to retreat and was ready to fall back at the slightest sign of danger. All the while, Lin Feng was only focused on one singular task. To kill the LeBlanc. He would have it no other way. So, from the first minute of the game, he directed the game. He gave the LeBlanc a false sense of security. He let her think that she was the one deciding her moves. He made her towerdive him, and subsequently give away first blood. All of this started with the difference in their approaches.

Lin Feng cleared the Blue minions in mid lane with the help of Liu Yue before recalling back to base. He spent his gold in the fountain shop and then walked back to lane, where the LeBlanc was already waiting for him. The death timers at the early levels were only a couple of seconds, so she was back in lane before him. But she hadn’t started pushing the minions towards the Red outer tower yet, like she had before. This wasn’t because she was afraid of the Twisted Fate. She was still at a slight advantage against him. It was the nature of the two Champions. She was stronger in lane, while the Twisted Fate would hold the advantage later on when there were plays happening all across the map.

Trying to bait me, huh? So obvious. Lin Feng laughed, shaking his head. Clearing waves became easier and easier as he leveled up. But that alone wasn’t enough to justify how defensively the LeBlanc was playing. The Lee Sin is probably sitting right there in that brush. Lin Feng grinned. Yan Liang was trying to bait him. Let’s keep them waiting then. Lin Feng cleared the minion wave from a distance, far enough away that a gank would fail. The Lee Sin, as he expected, didn’t show himself, waiting for a better opportunity. But Lin Feng wasn’t going to give him a better opportunity. Instead of walking further into lane, he turned around and went towards the Raptor Camp in his Jungle. If he couldn’t push his lane, he could simply go here and take these monsters. They gave gold and experience just like the minions in lane did.

Over the next few minutes, Lin Feng switched between killing minions in the mid lane and clearing Jungle camps. He soon hit Level 6 and he unlocked Twisted Fate’s ultimate skill. At seven minutes, he put that skill to use. He walked into his bottom side Jungle, like he’d done so many times before, but this time shouting over the team’s voice comms, “I’m coming in!” He pressed down on his R key–Destiny! The fog of war was blasted away, revealing the entire map. Five eyes appeared, one above each Champion from Shanghai International.

“The Twisted Fate BAITED them again!” Westwind shouted, excited. “He’s going in for a gank in bot lane!”

Yan Liang had warned his teammates that the Twisted Fated was missing in action. But he didn’t worry too much about it. This was the umpteenth time that the Twisted Fate disappeared for a couple of seconds. He and his teammates had let their guard down a little. Far enough that the Botlaners didn’t directly back away when he pinged them. Then the Five Eyes appeared. A wave of curses rang out over Shanghai International’s voice comms as their Botlaners ran back to the safety of their outer tower.

Liu Zhengjie had his Lucian dash away–Relentless Pursuit! But his Support wasn’t as lucky. Thresh didn’t have any skills in his kit that let him jump, dash, or lunge away. He could only run. That wasn’t enough to get away from the Leona, who pierced him with a solar image of her sword–Zenith Blade! Then she stunned him with a strike from her shield–Shield of Daybreak!

A deck of cards spread out into a perfect circle in bot lane. The Twisted Fate appeared in the middle of it a second later. He was already holding a Gold Card, which he threw at the Thresh who was about to break free from the Leona’s stun. The Thresh was stunned again. It was a beautiful combination of crowd control skills. All the while, Tang Bingyao was attacking the Thresh. Her Kalista was hurling phantom spears, each lodging into the Thresh’s body, until his health dropped to 10%. Rend! She ripped the spears out, dealing enough damage to kill the Thresh.

《You have slain an enemy!》

“WOOOO!” Westwind screamed into the microphone. “What do you guys think of that? What a play! Perfect timing by the Twisted Fate! He just carried his Botlaners to a win! And from the cheers I’m hearing, I think you guys agree with me!”

The play wasn’t over yet. Shanghai International retaliated by sending their Lee Sin to the mid lane and helping the LeBlanc destroy the outer tower. But High School 13 answered back by pushing out bot lane and destroying the outer tower there. In the end, it was a tower and a kill for a tower. High School 13 had clearly come out ahead in this play.

“It looks like High School 13 came out ahead, but…” Silent Reed said. She looked at Westwind, then continued, “But Yan Liang destroyed the tower in mid lane. This means that the Twisted Fate will now have a much harder time ganking lanes. If Yan Liang plays this correctly, he can force the Twisted Fate to stay in mid lane and make him irrelevant. This game is still very much up in the air!”

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Burnout Sucks. Growing Old Sucks.

Sietse Thought: Evening/morning/afternoon/something. It’s been a fun week, I assume. With plenty of chapters and joy to go around! Well, not that many chapters. Sietse here, by the way. I had somewhat of a little burnout at the end of last week and ended up taking a couple days off to get myself back in working order. It was great yesterday, the first day in months where I didn’t wake up with a splitting headache. I really needed that. Unfortunately, that goes hand in hand with no chapters being released. I couldn’t leave you guys hanging any longer. So, I’m back baby! And so are the chapters! I hope you enjoyed this one, short but yummie. I thought so, anyways. Tomorrow, the hype is only going to increase. We’re all waiting for a certain character (I think you know who I’m talking about) to explode into a gazillion bits and pieces!

Shanks Thought: Burnout sucks. You can’t think, no matter how hard you try. All you hear is constant noise in your head. I’ve hit that point before, around two years back when my dad was hospitalized. It wasn’t fun. I had to deal with school, the reality that my dad (in his 70s) was getting older and that he would pass away one day, and translating on top of that. I was still translating Rebirth Thief back then. Wasn’t doing any advanced chapters yet. But still going with the old donation queue system. I had to pause the queue and cut back to only regular releases.

I should have taken a break and stopped translating altogether until my dad recovered. But I had this weird pride, where I’d never missed out on regular releases ever before. So, I kept translating. My schedule was, wake up at 7 AM. Do a 2-hour commute to university. Go to class, get some studying done in between periods. Then when school was over for the day, another 2-hour commute to the hospital. Keep my dad company and get in any translating/extra studying done until visiting hours were over. Then get back home at around 11PM – 12AM, eat a quick dinner, shower and sleep. Rinse and repeat.

A little extra from Sietse: It’s really difficult to see someone grow old. That point where they realize they simply can’t do something anymore. And we all get that at various points in our lives. I can’t stay up all night anymore, like I sometimes could when I was younger. But there is, in my opinion, a distinct difference between that and really growing old. To reach that age where you suddenly just can’t do the things you love to do anymore. My dad is in his mid 70s and loves DIY (from small to big projects) more than anything in the world. But more and more he’s faced with the fact that he just can’t do everything anymore. That’s something he isn’t willing to accept yet, though. So he charges himself up for it, really forces himself, and then finds himself bedridden for a week because of it. It’s a really painful thing to see happen.

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