An Xin walked up the stage. The audience fell silent. They’d watched her walk up those steps twice before, but this time was different. They could tell. The tension and focus had disappeared from her posture. There was a slight hop to her steps, her arms moving loosely by her side. She walked with purpose, with intention. The game always starts before the game starts. I know Zeng Rui’s watching. The more confident I look, the more he’s going to question himself! An Xin knew that the only way to beat someone like Zeng Rui was to turn his own strategies against him. And getting him so worked up that he lost his calm.
Out in the audience, there was one student who had something completely different on his mind as he watched An Xin walk across the stage. An Xin… A pretty name for a pretty girl. EVERYTHING ABOUT HER IS CUTE! He watched An Xin walk across the stage without blinking. His eyes burned and watered, but he didn’t want to blink and miss a second. She looks so stern… So domineering… So hot! Butterflies danced in his stomach. His heartbeat jacked up to Mach 9, screaming out his adoration of this goddess with every beat. He could feel his heart beating in his eyeballs! He wanted to whisper the secrets from his screaming, beating heart into her ears. Mmmm…. her lovely ears. I’d smell her hair as I whisper… Is this what love at first sight feels like?
He bit down on his lips, forcing back the urge to get up and run to her. I wonder if her armpits are shaved? What would it taste like if I licked them? WAIT! No…. she’ll think I’m a creep! Maybe there’ll be a chance later… He shook his head quickly to bounce all the deviant thoughts out and went back to staring at her. His face was plastered with a foolish smile as wholesome dreams from puppy-dog love played in his mind. Dreams of a future where he’d wifed up An Xin. Three kids? Or four? No, definitely just three! And a nice summerhouse on the beach… An Xin in a bikini… NO!NO!NO! Not that! An Xin making dinner… wearing just an apron with nothing underneath… SHIT! I did it again! Not this! NONO! Wholesome, not degen! Think about waking up with her by my side, this is better. We’ll go for long walks on the beach…
As far as he was concerned, time itself had slowed down. He watched her raven black hair billow out behind her as she walked. In slow motion. He could see the individual strands undulating out in perfect detail. The ends wiggled and tickled his soul. I love her black hair so much. I just want to bury my face in it! He licked his lips. He imagined her hair in such vivid detail that he could feel it brushing across his lips. He could almost taste it! His eyes moved down to her slender waist, and his heart stopped beating.
Her lithe waist curved to the left, then curved to the right, all in slow-motion to his eyes. The afterimages he saw traced a sultry bessel function in the air. His pupils dilated, and An Xin became even more radiant. His eyes continued further down, and he saw the curve from where her hips flared out. That single, sexy curve tantalized him, stroking his already ardent passion! He was a tiger, roaming through a jungle wreathed in the flames of infatuation! And An Xin was the gazelle, one with lovely bounding hindquarters, he was stalking. In his mind, time held no meaning or purpose. He was locked in this single moment for all of infinity, and all he wanted to do was wrap his arms around that sylphlike waist!
Then all at once and with no warning at all, time went back to normal for him. The student saw his hand in front of him, reaching out for An Xin. He yelled out, “H-hey Coach!” But his voice was drowned out by the din of the crowd. She can’t even hear me! But… can she feel me burning up here? Then he saw her skirt, with its hem that swished with every step she took. And time slowed down again. That was completely acceptable, as far as he was concerned. He could stare at her willowy legs all day, modestly ensconced in her thigh-highs. There was just something about thigh highs that drove him wild. And An Xin’s legs in those thigh highs amped it up even more for him. There was just something about the way the svelte fabric silhouetted the lusciousness of her thighs, seducing and teasing him. An Xin is the girl of my dreams! She’s my everything! I need her to know I’m here! He called out again, “AN XIN, AN XIN, OVER HERE!”
Most of the audience was up on their feet, clapping and cheering for Shanghai High School. Every attempt he made to get An Xin’s attention was lost in all that clapping and cheering. If she could hear me… see me… she’d know what I’m going through! She’d see what she’s doing to me… and the— He lost the ability to form words. An Xin had finally reached the steps to the raised platform where all the players sat, and right before climbing up she turned around to smile and wave at the audience. He’d finally gotten a good look at her face, and it took his breath away. Stole every rational thought and word and all coherence from him for an eternity. She’s got such a pretty smile… ARE THOSE DIMPLES? Dimples are so hot! And that white blouse that’s almost too small… Please let that button pop, please! Oh my god, her breasts will destroy society!
He was just short of drooling as he pushed off the balls of his feet, trying to get a better look at her. At her skirt and her long legs that went on for so long that he couldn’t see where they ended. Why is it so warm here…? Oh god, she’s so sexy… I just wanna… I just wanna’ rock her body! He looked around the audience, annoyed that their noise was the only thing keeping him and An Xin apart, and then back at An Xin. She’s all the way over there, up on the stage. How do I get her to notice me? I need her to notice me! IF SHE JUST LOOKS AT ME ONCE… I JUST NEED TO GET HER ATTENTION!
There were only a few short minutes left before the start of the third game of the Finals! An Xin was climbing up the steps, and soon she’d be done and sitting. The student knew he had to do something quickly. If I don’t do something now, I might never see her again! I GOTTA DO SOMETHING! He started waving his arms, flapping them in the air. But he realized right after he started that it wouldn’t work. An Xin wasn’t facing the crowd, so she couldn’t see anything he was doing. I GOTTA GET HER TO TURN AROUND! BUT SHE CAN’T HEAR ME BECAUSE OF THE CROWD! BUT I GOTTA GET HER TO TURN AROUND! HOW DO I MAKE HER HEAR ME? He saw his perfect future, his happiness, everything that he could have with An Xin and more, all disappearing with every second that ticked by. The door was closing.
His desire for An Xin, his need to make her hear him and make her his, his fear that he’d never get another shot at it again. All of them combined into an overwhelming drive that unlocked something deep inside him. Something primal. All of a sudden, he was above his own body and watching himself. He stood up on his seat. And then, just as his most distant ancestors had, he declared his intent to mate with An Xin by slamming his chest with both fists. Then he bellowed out his primal call, one intended to both entice An Xin and scare away any others eyeing his woman! “OOH! OOH! OOH! AH! AH!”
An Xin stopped halfway up the steps. Did someone just make monkey noises? She turned around to look at the audience. What the fuck? She spotted a guy in the far back of the venue. He was standing on his chair and pounding his chest, making increasingly louder monkey sounds. What an idiot. But she still smiled. And as she continued to watch him go full-ape, she couldn’t keep a straight face. An Xin started giggling, and quickly covered her mouth with a hand. Then she gave the monkey-guy a wink before turning back around and walking up to her team.
There was a group of friends sitting in the front half of the arena, closer to the stage. They heard the monkey noises and turned around to see the guy standing up on his seat and beating his chest too. Then all of them pivoted back to An Xin to see her reaction. They saw her turn around and look at him, and then they saw her giggle! Their eyes widened when An Xin giggled! And then they saw her look straight at the monkey guy and wink! They looked at each other in utter disbelief. “Did she jus—?” one guy asked, to which the others nodded. “She’s really hot…. Well, if she’s into that monkey shit…” All of them looked at each other for courage and confirmation. And then, all at the same time, they stood up on their seats and started pounding their chests just like the monkey guy. Then they also bellowed out their intent to mate with An Xin and their challenge to the first monkey guy! “OohOohOoh! AhAh!” “OH! OH! OH! OH! OH! OH!” “OOOHHH! OOOHHH! AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!”
Literally seconds later, other guys in the audience made the connection that An Xin liked the monkey noises and chest pounding. A few here and a couple there jumped up on their seats and started pounding their chests. As far as these guys were concerned, gone was any divide or rivalry between Shanghai High School and High School 13. Guys on both sides of the audience were standing on their chair and beating their chests, united by a single factor. Their infatuation with An Xin.
Then even more guys joined in, trying different variations of monkey noises to stand out from the ever-growing crowd of humanoid-apes. Some went Chimpanzee, others waved their arms around like Orangutans. A few heaved their sweaters and school uniforms off in an attempt to display the abs that they’d been working so hard on while waiting in queue for a League game. All of them continued pounding their chests, serenading An Xin in a symphony of monkey love. “OOH! OOH! OOH! AH! AH!”
The guys that went full ape in the madness of infatuation with An Xin, they represented a small portion of the audience. And they were a mix of High School 13 and Shanghai High School students. Standing on their seats, they pounded and smashed their chests, harder and harder. They were shouting their lungs out and their throats sore. The rest of the audience watched this happen, utterly confused as to why these students felt the sudden urge to act like this. It looked and sounded like the strangest standoff they’d ever witnessed. But a standoff nonetheless.
Students on High School 13’s side of the audience noticed that their side was just a little less loud than Shanghai High School’s side. And there were fewer guys standing on their seats. They thought about it, and put two and two together. They realized that some of their classmates had regained their spirit, and were making these monkey noises to cheer their esports team on! It was another battle! They needed to show Shanghai High School that this loss in the last game had only bent their spirit, but not broken it! And so, completely misunderstanding the purpose of why the first few guys went full ape, students from all over High School 13’s side of the audience started standing on their seats and beating their chests. All while making loud monkey noise cheers for their esports team.
“Ooh aah ooh! Go Lin Feng! You’re the best! OH! OH!”
“Ooh ah ooh ah! Tang Tang, carry this game! Ah! Ah! Ooooh!”
“Hoo hoo ha! Smash that top lane, Chen Ze! HOO HOO!”
Students on Shanghai High School’s side weren’t deaf, and they heard the monkey cheering from High School 13. They became equally fired up and decided their school wasn’t going down without a fight either. Plus, the monkey sounds made a lot more sense to them when combined with actual cheers. They also jumped up on their seats. And started pounding their chests, all while making monkey noise cheers!
“Ooh ah! Ooh ooh! Ah! Zeng Rui is the best! Ooh ooh! Ooh ah!”
“Ooh hoo ah! Shanghai High School gets the trophy! Ooh ooh!”
“Ooh ooh ooh ooh! Ah ah ah! We’re gonna kick some High School 13 asses! Ooh!”
Westwind looked out over the audience with a most confused expression. He glanced at Silent Reed, who shrugged her shoulders. They’d only just returned after their break between the games and had missed why everyone was making monkey sounds. Why are they doing this? What is happening…? They think this is a zoo or something? Or they forget that this is a League of Legends tournament? Do they think we’re giving out a banana trophy? Wait-a-minute… BANANA TROPHY! The instant that thought entered his mind, he started giggling and his eyes lit up. He quickly grabbed his microphone. Then he looked over at Silent Reed and winked at her, as if saying, “Watch this!” Then he placed the microphone close to his lips and shouted, “I see what y’all are doin’! You’re having a monkey-sound face off! But who will officiate it? ME, ofcourse! In my possession I have the BANANA TROPHY! May the loudest monkey win! Ooh ooh! Ah ah!”
Some students from Shanghai High School started pushing High School 13 students away. They’d been competing with each other all evening. But that was about a game of League. They could only cheer their team on and hope for the best. But when it came to making monkey sounds, they could take the front stage and fight the battle! They shouted at their schoolmates who were still sitting to come and join, then placed their hands around their mouths and shouted in a joined effort to beat High School 13 in monkey-sound combat! “OOH OOH OOH! AH AH!”
High School 13 were still upset after losing the second game of the Finals. They felt like they had something to prove. So when Shanghai High School challenged them to monkey-sound combat, they were quick to respond. Every single High School 13 students got up on their seats. They started pounding their chests in a steady rhythm, shouting, “OOH!” on the beat.
The tournament officials had lost all control over the audience. A thousand high schoolers were standing on their seats, making monkey sounds. It looked ridiculous and it sounded stupid, but these high schoolers were really into it. Some were even getting aggressive about it. They were shoving and pushing and trying to take out the loudmouths on the other side. The officials were forced to intervene. They sent up a message to Westwind, cursing at him for making it a contest and telling him to put a stop to it.
Westwind heard the message from his earpiece. He was sitting next to Silent Reed, both of them staring out over the audience with wide eyes of shock. The official spoke in Westwind’s ear again, which was enough to wake him up. He grabbed the microphone and shouted into it, “Alright, alright! That’s about enough! We’ve had our fun. WE’VE HAD OUR FUN!” The audience barely heard him over the thundering noises of monkey-sound combat.
“THAT’S ENOUGH! TONE IT DOWN!” Silent Reed yelled through the venue, her sharp voice booming through the venue and piercing into the ears of every single person in the audience. This finally had the desired effect. Most people stopped making a sound and looked up at the speakers, confused. Silent Reed continued, “We’re not at the zoo. Stop acting like monkeys. The third game of the Finals is about to start. Let’s give both teams the respect they deserve. Sit your asses back down on your chairs and be quiet.”
Everyone quickly settled down and started returning to their seats. Except for one lone student from High School 13. No one knew who this unknown hero was, and no one would ever know. But this man, this champion, continued to stand on his seat after everyone else sat down. And in that single hushed moment where everyone else was catching their breath, he bellowed out, “BANANA TROPHY OURS! OOH OOH OOh AhAhahAhAH!”
Zeng Rui watched An Xin walk up the stage. I wonder what you’ve got prepared for this game. Don’t let me down. He withdrew his gaze and focused back on his screen. There were a couple of minutes left before they would get into Champion Select for Game 3 of the Finals. Right now was usually when teams did some last minute tweaking to their strategy. But not him. He’d decided on his gameplan before the Finals had even begun and his teammates knew exactly what he expected of them. So he sat calmly and waited for the game to start, occasionally glancing over at An Xin. You’re good, I won’t deny that. But it’s up to the players to execute your strategy. And those players are really not good. You won’t be able to beat me with them. But I hope that you will at least try and make it a little bit more difficult for us. That’d be fu— What? What are you…
After walking up the stage, An Xin briefly talked with the players on her team. Then Liu Yue got up from his seat, laughing, and wished her good luck before walking down the stage. She sat down on his gaming chair. She then started adjusting the settings on the keyboard and the movement speed of the mouse. Finally, she put on her headphones and looked ready to play. Not coach. Play. An Xin was going to play in the Jungle! Zeng Rui was frozen in shock, while a massive commotion broke out in the audience.
“What the Teemo is going on here?”
“Did they give up? Is this a desperation move?”
“Why would they let their coach play in the Jungle? That just seems suicidal.”
“Just in,” Westwind spoke into his microphone. He was still thinking about the monkey sounds and was caught off guard. But he found his old rhythm again. “Just in! High School 13 is making a substitution! It’s official! Their coach is replacing their Jungler! Look at that! How good does everyone think she is? I wanna hear you tell me SHE’S VERY GOOD! WOOOO!”
This substitution caused waves of surprise in the audience and in the chat of the official broadcast. Every viewer on every stream expressed their shock and confusion. Even the chat buffer slowed down, unable to handle the sheer volume of input. Everyone, except for the viewers on one stream. That particular chat was excited for what was about to happen. Su Xue and her viewers had been waiting for this moment! Su Xue laughed and clapped her hands in excitement when she saw An Xin sit down behind the screen. Then she looked straight into her camera and spoke to her viewers, “Remember last night? Lin Feng and BunBun are crazy good together! This is going to be great!”
「oooooooomgggggggg it’s bunbn!!!!!」
「I KNEW IT WAS HER! I told you guys! She was the one standing behind lil bro!!!!」
「show us that #BunFeng synergy!!!11」
「u guys saw her play last night? this gunna be soooooooo goood XDDD」
Zeng Rui closed his eyes and massaged his temples. That’s three. I don’t like today. The thundering dumbass got me twice, and now her… He took a couple of deep breaths, calming himself back down. Then he opened his eyes and smiled. Surprises are part of life. I prepared for them. Stick to the plan. Always stick to the plan! He talked his teammates through Champion Select, reaffirming that they were sticking to the original plan. Then, after locking in his Support, he looked over across the stage at High School 13’s team. Let’s see if you can change anything by putting yourself on the team…
High School 13 picked the Champions as instructed to them by An Xin. Lin Feng was playing in the mid lane again, same as last game. Shanghai High School banned three of his favourite Champions, but there were many more he enjoyed playing, including assassin-type mid lane Champions. He picked one that could work really well together with Lee Sin, whom An Xin was playing in the Jungle. Both teams finalized their line ups and they went into the loading screen.
Game 3 of the Shanghai 16 School Tournament Finals:
Shanghai High School (Blue) versus High School 13 (Red)
Top lane: Darius versus Dr. Mundo
Jungle: Elise versus Lee Sin
Mid lane: Syndra versus Ahri
AD-carry: Jinx versus Vayne
Support: Nami versus Thresh
An Xin chose to play Lee Sin, which evoked a strong reaction from the audience. The skill of a Jungler was often judged by their skill with Lee Sin. If you were a Jungler who wasn’t very good at Lee Sin, you were a shit Jungler. It didn’t matter if you were Challenger or Bronze. A good Lee Sin was a good Jungler. A bad Lee Sin wasn’t a Jungler. This was true even in the competitive scene. The best Junglers in the world compared their Jungling skills by showing off what they could do with Lee Sin. And now, in this high school tournament, the coach from High School 13 substituted herself into the team and was going to play Lee Sin. There was no hiding behind a weak Champion. There were no excuses for a poor performance. Either she was a terrible Jungler and this was a disastrous decision by her, or she was a phenomenal Jungler!
Zeng Rui frowned. Something didn’t feel quite right. He glanced over at High School 13’s team. They didn’t look nervous. They were calm, and Lin Feng was just as excited as he always was. Zeng Rui said over his team’s voice chat, “Careful guys. Something feels off. Watch out for that Jungler.”
《Welcome to Summoner’s Rift!》
Shanghai High School and High School 13 spawned on their respective fountains. They bought their starter items and went to their lanes. An Xin pathed towards the bottom side Jungle, where her Blue Buff Camp was located. There, she waited for it to spawn, motivating the others over the team’s voice chat, “This game is ours! Just play your best and I’ll do the rest!”
The Blue Sentinel spawned, but An Xin didn’t attack it. Instead, she attacked the Gromp, the large toad in the Jungle Camp opposite of the Blue Buff Camp. Tang Bingyao and Wei Dong helped her kill it, making sure they didn’t leech any of the experience. An Xin hit Level 2 and ran down the Jungle into the river. She trudged through the ankle deep water and entered the Blue team’s Jungle. Her target was the Red Buff Camp. She walked along the wall of trees and stones around it and entered the brush adjacent to the opening. The Elise had already arrived and was attacking the Red Brambleback.
Westwind clutched his microphone tightly in his grasp and shouted, “Is this going to be the earliest First Blood in the entire tournament? Find out next time on RRIIISSSSEEEE!”