193

I Took an Axe in the Knee

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It was time for Game 3 of the Semifinals match between High School 13 and Shanghai International! This was going to be a real thriller! The match of the century! 30 minutes that no one would ever forget! At least, that was what the crowd was desperately hoping for it to become. The previous two games had left them thoroughly disappointed, with both games being decided in the first 10 minutes. They wanted something more. The first signs of Game 3 looked promising. Lin Feng had switched to the Jungler-position, with a substitute taking his place in the mid lane. He’d been the most dangerous player on Summoner’s Rift this Semifinal. High School 13 had won the first two games because of him. And now he was going to play another role. Most players excelled at only one role. Everyone thought Lin Feng would be the same, so they didn’t understand why High School 13 made this substitution. Maybe it was overconfidence, arrogance, or a carefully planned strategy. Honestly, it didn’t matter which it was, as long as the change would put new life in this Semifinal.

Lin Feng played Olaf, a Champion he’d always liked. “Throw axe, pick up axe. Throw axe, pick up axe…” was how he explained it. That was the essence of Olaf. He was a viking with thick, burly muscles and two large axes. One of his skills was called Undertow. He could throw one of his axes forward. It would damage and slow all the minions, monsters, and Champions it passed through. Then he could chase it down and pick the axe up from the ground. That lowered the cooldown to almost zero, allowing him to throw it again.

High School 13 and Shanghai International started the game off fairly normally. They bought items in the shop and went into their own halves of the Jungle to ward. It looked like the same start of the last two games and some people in the audience started booing. But then something different happened. Shanghai International gathered up as a team and moved towards the bottom side river to place a deep ward near the Blue Team’s Red Buff Camp. High School 13 was gathering up in the brush in the middle of the river. Shanghai International would have to walk through it to place their ward. The crowd got rowdy in anticipation.

Westwind’s face lit up when he saw what was happening. He started beaming, shouting into his microphone, “OH! OH! A Level 1 teamfight!” The last two games had an uninspiring first couple of minutes. He would read out the team compositions, and discuss potential game plans with his co-caster Silent Reed. He could still hype up the crowd, but it wasn’t nearly so much fun as hyping them up for an actual play! He clutched the microphone tighter in his grasp and said, “WOO! I hope you guys watching are as excited as I am! Let’s fight!”

Silent Reed smiled and said, “This can go either way! Yan Liang’s team has the Morgana. But High School 13 has Thresh’s hook and Olaf’s axe! Anything can happen!”

The people in the crowd weren’t as reserved as Silent Reed. She was the caster. She had to be neutral and evaluate both teams. They didn’t. They could say whatever they were thinking. Right now, they thought it was obvious who was going to win this Level 1 teamfight.

“3-0. Game over.”
“Man, I can’t believe this shit luck. All I wanted was one good game.”
“Thresh and Olaf. Lol. Easy win.”
“High School 13 doesn’t even have to try. Shanghai International is just giving it to them…”
“GO LIN FENG! Kick some ass!”
“YAN LIANG! Don’t go in! GO BACK!”

Shanghai International’s team was walking through the bottom side of their Jungle, along the wall of the Blue Buff Camp. There was an opening to the river here, half of it covered by a brush. They headed down through the brush and into the river together, while Yan Liang was explaining part of their game plan over the team’s voice chat. “We want Rek’Sai to make an early gank in bot to help keep that Jinx down. Then we want to place our attention on mid, so th—” They stood in the middle of the river. There was one small brush right in front of them. The Thresh from High School 13 walked towards it, while the Jinx stepped out of it. “SHIT! BACK! BACK! BACK!” Yan Liang yelled over his team’s voice chat.

High School 13’s entire team was hiding in that one brush. Lin Feng was the first to see the players from Shanghai International appear right in front of them. He directly pinged on top of them and shouted over his team’s voice chat, “OH! Look! Them! Let’s fight! Wei Dong, ENGAGE! Kill them all!”

Wei Dong pressed down on his D key–Flash! His Thresh disappeared with a mottled flash of light and reappeared on the other side of the brush, right on top of Shanghai International’s team. He followed up with Death Sentence. The sickle cut through the air and struck the Rek’Sai, hooking her. Then the Thresh walked backwards, dragging the Rek’Sai back with him.

Westwind couldn’t contain himself any longer, much like the crowd. There was action! He shouted into the microphone, “THE HOOK LANDS! THE HOOK LANDS!”

“Back. Back! RETREAT!” Yan Liang shouted over the team’s voice chat again, while having his Orianna run away. They had the weaker Level 1 team and they were caught out of position. That was reason enough for him to not even consider fighting. His teammates agreed. They quickly followed after him, the Morgana throwing a Dark Binding behind her to slow High School 13 down. But she was too quick. High School 13 hadn’t even started chasing after them yet. The Dark Binding struck the Thresh. He was the only target on High School 13’s team she didn’t want to hit. He didn’t deal any damage and had already used his only available skill. Hitting him was no different from wasting her team’s only crowd control skill.

Lin Feng laughed and shouted over his team’s voice chat, “I’m going in!” Then he activated Ghost. His Olaf received a burst of speed as he charged after the players from Shanghai International. He threw his axe at them, hitting three and slowing them–Undertow! They continued running away and he chased after them, leaving his teammates behind.

Tang Bingyao didn’t follow Lin Feng. She had her Jinx take out her minigun and fired away at the locked down Rek’Sai, shearing away the Champion’s health. Chen Ze and Yang Fan also had their Champions attack the Rek’Sai. They were still Level 1, so they didn’t deal a lot of damage. But it was enough.

The Rek’Sai’s health dropped below 20% before she broke free from the Thresh’s hook. She then panic-flashed towards a wall, hoping to jump through it to the other side. But she hit the middle of the wall and was thrown back by it. She had no more abilities to escape from the four Champions attacking her and lost the last bit of her health.

《First Blood!》

Meanwhile, Lin Feng was in Shanghai International’s bottom side Jungle. He had his Olaf pick up the axe he’d thrown and then hurled it at the three Champions in front of him again, reapplying the slow. Then he continued running after them fearlessly. He didn’t need his teammates right now. He was Olaf! All he needed was his axe!

The three Shanghai International players were frantic. There was an Olaf hot on their heels, who was constantly slowing them. The Jungle suddenly looked a lot bigger than it normally did. Safety was far away and it felt like any second now, another axe could hit them. There was nothing they could do to stop the Olaf, short of killing him. But that didn’t seem realistic with the rest of High School 13 right behind him. So they resorted to the only method they knew for a fact would work. They flashed away.

The Level 1 teamfight drew to a close. The smoke settled and it became very clear who’d come out the winner. High School 13 had used three Summoner Spells; Wei Dong had used Flash and Exhaust, and Lin Feng had used Ghost. Meanwhile, they’d forced Shanghai International to waste four Flashes and they’d also picked up First Blood. At this point, this game was theirs to lose. They knew it, as did the people in the crowd.

“Damn.”
“Holy what? That Olaf is fucking nuts!”
“Someone, pinch me. Please. This can’t be real. I must be having a nightmare. I must be…”
“WOOO! LIN FENG, LET’S GOOOOO!”
“That’s game right there. Another easy win for High School 13. GREAT.”
“Shanghai International got wrecked!”
“NO RESPECT! 1vs4 chase and Shanghai International just ran away! HAHA!”

In the private seating area, the players from Shanghai High School were finally starting to realize what was happening. Even after the second game, they still thought Shanghai International would turn it around and make it through to the Finals. Shanghai High School’s Midlaner was the first to voice what they were all thinking, “Shit. Are they really going to 3-0 Shanghai International? What the eff is this?”

Zeng Rui didn’t say anything. He sat in his chair, eyes wide and mouth hanging open, staring at the player at the center of this all. That thundering dumbass… How did he… In the previous rounds of the tournament, it was very easy to see through High School 13’s tactic. But that was mostly because there was no real tactic. They were, for the most part, winning games purely through the skill of one player. This Semifinal was different. High School 13 was playing really well. They had a well thought out game plan and executed it perfectly. How did they… Zeng Rui shook his head. He couldn’t even come up with a proper analysis for Game 3. It just didn’t make any sense to him. High School 13 had gained so much from that Level 1 teamfight. “How… How…” he mumbled on repeat.

Back on stage, Shanghai International’s players were sitting quietly behind their computers, dazed. This game was supposed to be theirs! They were going to mount a comeback and show everyone why they were the favourites! Yan Liang’s lips started quaking from a mix of rage and fear. FUCK! We needed first blood! We! Us! Not them. Not again. Why! Why? WHY! It doesn’t make ANY SENSE! IT DOESN’T! WHY? No. Argh! I… NO! WHAT! AHHHH!

Liu Zhengjie glanced across the stage at Tang Bingyao, mumbling, “That stupid fucking girl. Lucky again.” He’d just talked with his team about making sure she wouldn’t pop off again. Now the first minion wave had just spawned and she already had a kill. He had to lane against her again starting from a deficit. “God fucking dammit! These useless motherfuckers!”

Lin Feng had his Olaf go towards the Blue Buff Camp, happily humming. Then he turned to look across the stage and saw the expressions and glares from Shanghai International’s players. He started laughing and said, “Looks like they’re tilting again!” He then turned back to look at his screen and had his Olaf kill the Blue Sentinel. After which he headed straight for Shanghai International’s Red Buff Camp.

Chen Ze was in top lane, which was closest to the Red Team’s Red Buff Camp. He warned, “Be careful! Don’t overdo it!” But Lin Feng hardly listened. He just laughed it off, full of confidence, and said, “It’s fine! Don’t worry. I’m really good at invading with Olaf, too!”

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What Makes a MILF

Shanks Thought: A little random and out of left field. But then again, that’s part for the course with the translator thoughts in the first place, eh? Anyway, I was happily minding my own business last night vibin on the Discord music channel while translating a chapter. Then a bunch of people hop in to hang out and we somehow end up on the topic of old cartoons and TV shows we watched as kids. Stuff like Courage the Cowardly Dog, Kids Next Door, Jackie Chan Adventures, etc. So, we had fun for a good half hour reminiscing on our shared childhood experiences. I even got reminded of Maggie and The Ferocious Beasts. I loved that show as a kid and I can’t believe I forgot about it! But then the conversation took a weird, degenerate turn. We started getting into a pretty heated debate about MILFs and what constitutes a MILF.

You see, I and a few other Discord readers maintain that you don’t have to be a married woman or mom to be a MILF. That’s why I’d say Sabrina’s aunts in Sabrina the Teenage Witch are MILFs, one of them anyway. Also Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus? Total MILF! We on on and on about this for a good while, but we never really reached an agreement. So I’m bringing it to you guys. Where do you stand on this great debate?

On a side note, Wile E Coyote and Ralph the Wolf are two completely distinct, separate entities. You can choose not to believe me if you want. But them’s the facts. Also, The Suite life of Zack & Cody is trash. And there’s a continuation of Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack, Power Puff Girls, and a bunch of other cartoons in a shared universe, where DeeDee dies at the hands of Mandark; Dexter and Blossom are dating; and Samurai Jack is the gym teacher of the high school they all attend.

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