We All Want to Smack Him

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It was late at night. Zeng Rui lay on his bed, massaging his temples. The last couple of hours he’d found any excuse he could not to call Lin Feng. He’d done his homework, mopped the floor in his bedroom, and even cleaned out his closet. I’m going to have to accept this. I don’t have to be his friend, just his teammate. We’re on the same team now. He’s a good player and I’m a good player. Whoever we are outside of the game is irrelevant. He closed his eyes and shook his head. Even if he is the thundering dumbass. He took a long, deep breath, held it in for a few seconds, and then let it all out. Ok, enough self pity. He grabbed his phone and punched in the number Chu Fang had given him.


The call connected and Lin Feng’s voice rang out, “Hello? Who’s this?”

Zeng Rui gritted his teeth and closed his eyes. Why am I making this so difficult for myself? I’m better than this. He opened his eyes and replied, “Zeng Rui.”

“Zeng Rui?” Lin Feng mumbled. Then he exclaimed, “Oooh! Zeng Rui! Hey! How’d you get my number? And why did you call? Do you want some League tips? I can give you some tips! When you play Support, you want to buy support items! That way, you can help your ad-carry carry! Hahaha! Uh, oh. Oh! Chu Fang must’ve given you my number!”

Zeng Rui’s eyebrow twitched, but he pushed himself through the strong annoyance he felt and asked, “The vice president of the Shanghai Esports Association has informed you about the team, correct?”

“For the Winter Collegiate Cup?” Lin Feng asked. Then without waiting for an answer he continued, “Yeah! He did! We’re going to be teammates! Awesome, right? And you don’t have to worry, I’ll carry you too!”

Zeng Rui closed his eyes, trying to ignore his eyebrow that was twitching uncontrollably. Don’t let him get to you. You’re better than this. Say what you have to say and hang up. He took another deep breath and on the exhalation said, “The tournament is next month and I don’t want to get knocked out early because you dragged me down. So let’s schedule a day and time to get together and get a headstart on our preparations for the tournament.”

Lin Feng laughed and replied, “Don’t worry so much! I’m really good at the game too! We’ll win the whole tournament! Trust me! I got this!”

“Wha?” Zeng Rui mumbled, dumbstruck. Win? Where the hell does this dumbass get all his confidence from? No. Don’t ask him that. Don’t give him the chance to say something stupid. Just stick to the script. Day, time and hang up. He said, “It’s great that you’re confident, but we still have to practice. Let’s meet after school tomorrow. We can go to a cybercafe downtown and get a first training session in.”

“Sure, sounds good!” Lin Feng replied. “Tomorrow after school! It’s a date!”

Zeng Rui shouted through gritted teeth, “With the team! We’re going to practice with the team! Ok, that’s all. If there’s nothing else, I’m hanging up. See you guys tomorrow.”

Lin Feng said, “Huh? Hey! I know you meant the team! That’s what I meant too! And why the rush to hang up? Let’s get to know each other a bit better! Have you done your homew—”

Zeng Rui ended the call and then turned his phone off. He slowly shook his head as he stared up at the ceiling. “How in the world am I supposed to make this work? That guy is helpless. What’s wrong with him? Why do I have to play with such a thundering dumbass?”

Lin Feng stared at his phone, speechless. He even forgot to take a bite from the chicken cutlet that lay on the desk in front of him. Then he turned to look at Su Xue, who sat next to him, and said, “Why did he hang up so quickly? I just wanted to talk to him a little more!”

Su Xue rolled her eyes and replied, “Probably because the two of you barely know each other. Didn’t you only meet him last week at the Finals? This phone call was probably the longest conversation you’ve had with him…”

Lin Feng shook his head, grabbing a piece of chicken cutlet and nibbling on it. Then he looked up at the computer on the desk, and the webcam fixed atop the monitor. “Can you guys believe it?” he said to the camera. “He just hung up on me! I didn’t even get to ask him if he’d finished his homework! It’s just so…” He shook his head again.

soooooooooo crueeel! YOU! Not that whoever the fk that dude was
RIGHT! This is viewer abuse! Viewer abuse I tell you!
serves you right!!!!! eatin all that delicious food without offering us some!!!!
dont blame lil bro… the maid didnt offer us any! MAID! MAKE US SOME FOODDDDD!!!
yo, lil bro, maybe if you got him some food he mightve stuck around……
why do you two keep tormenting me with all that delicious food?」

Su Xue smiled as she read through the messages. Maybe we can have a little get-together sometime and I can cook a big feast. That might be a fun thing to do. Maybe we can even do it in a restaurant! I could work in a real kitchen! Then she noticed Lin Feng absentmindedly chewing on a small piece of chicken cutlet. What’s got him down? She hesitated for a brief moment and then asked, “What did that guy call you about anyway? Your tournament is over, right? You won!”

Lin Feng swallowed the piece of chicken cutlet and looked up at Su Xue. “Oh, that’s because we’re teammates now! We’re going to play in the Winter Collegiate Cup next month, and he just called to plan our first training session. But he’s so serious about it. I don’t know why. I told him that too! I’ll carry them to the title! I’m really good at winning tournaments too!”

“Oh I s— Wait, what?” The Collegiate Cup?” Su Xue asked, surprised.

you mean the national uni tournament!?
No way! Has lil bro become big bro?」
「I feel like momma bear here, watching her little ones grow up.」
「Please be our lil bro a lil longer!

uhhh… I thought you were still in high school. How can you participate?

Lin Feng took another bite from his chicken cutlet before explaining, “Yes, yes! That one! They made some changes, so now I can also play in it! They probably did it just so they could have me in it! I’m really good at carrying my team to the title too!”

Su Xue narrowed her eyes and said, “And you didn’t think to tell me that? That’s amazing news! This is such a great opportunity for you! Did you call your mother already? You should tell her! I bet she’d love to hear about it!”

i knew you were the best!!!!
Damn, the Collegiate Cup! That’s way more high level than a high school tournament!
I think my university’s team is also playing in it!」
「I’ve heard there are a ton of really strong teams playing in the tournament.」
「Most of the top teams are all full of super high elo players!」
「Don’t underestimate them!

hahaha! Can you imagine how crazy it’d be if a high school team won the Collegiate Cup!!??!?! AMAZING!

Lin Feng ignored Su Xue and read the chat instead, grinning brighter and brighter. He finally struck his trademark victory pose and proclaimed, “I’ll bring that trophy home! We’ll beat all the university teams! And those two other high school teams! I’m really good at winning too, you know!”

The next day after school, the five members of the new Shanghai high school team met up at a cybercafe. Zeng Rui and Zhang Hao stood together on one side of a private room and Lin Feng, Tang Bingyao, and An Xin stood together on the other side. No one really knew what to do, what to say, or how to get started. They were strangers but also teammates. And not by their own choice. But the Winter Collegiate Cup was starting in a month and they had to come together as a team before then.

Lin Feng was the one to finally break the awkward silence. He waved his arms around and said, “Why are you all so quiet? We’re teammates! And we’re also going to be best friends! Right, right, introductions.” He pointed at himself with his thumbs and said, “I’m Lin Feng! My friends call me Lin Feng! And I’m the best League of Legends player in the world!” He then pointed at Tang Bingyao and continued, “This is the ad-carry of my new superteam! You can call her Tang Tang!” He finally turned to An Xin and finished, “This here is my oldest friend! She used to be round like a bun, so you can call her BunBun!”

An Xin glared at Lin Feng before turning to look at Zeng Rui and Zhang Hao. She smiled and said, “He’s right about one thing. We’re going to be teammates. For the next couple of months, anyway. Let’s all get along as friends. You can call me BunBun.”

Zhang Hao glanced at Zeng Rui and then said, “Yeah, I guess that makes sense. I’m Zhang Hao, but my friends all call me Hao Bro. I’ve been playing League for a while now and I’ve been on Shanghai High School’s team for two years, I think? Or was it three? I don’t remember…”

“That’s the spirit! Nice to meet you, Hao Bro!” Lin Feng said, excited. Then he turned to look at Zeng Rui and grinned. “You don’t have to introduce yourself! We’re already really good friends anyway!”

Zeng Rui felt his eyebrow twitching again, just like it had the night before. Friends? Us? He took a deep breath. Don’t argue. That’s not going to get us anywhere. Just let him be. He nodded and said, “Sure.”

Zhang Hao looked over at Zeng Rui and asked, “You two are really good friends? Since when? Is that why you kept calling him a thundering dumbass? Because you were already friends?”

Zeng Rui shook his head and said, “Drop it.” Then he turned to look at everyone and continued, “All right, let’s focus on preparing for the Winter Collegiate Cup. I would like to start by playing a couple of games to see where we’re at.”

An Xin smiled and agreed, “I was also thinking that’d be a good first step. It’ll give us a chance to see how everyone mashes together.”

Lin Feng jumped at the nearest computer and sat down. He shouted, “Yeah, let’s play! Enough chit-chat!” Then he opened up his League of Legends client and clicked on the play button. “Oh!” He looked over his shoulder and added, “Who wants to play with me first? Get behind a computer already! I’ll show you all how good my mid lane is!”

“Play first?” Zhang Hao asked, confused.

Zeng Rui glared at Lin Feng and wanted to say something. But An Xin was a step ahead of him. She smacked Lin Feng in the back of the head and said, “You idiot! We’re playing a team game! Five versus five! We’re not going to watch you duo queue!”

Tang Bingyao nodded and added, “Mhm, dummy.”


Sietse Thought: I’m on voice chat right now listening to Shanks talking about a dude following a goat. He’s gotten rid of his whole NEEIIGGHHHH-ing act. Now he’s BBEEEHHHHHHHH-ing. But at least he’s laughing while doing it. Which has me wondering. Can he BEEHHHHHHHHH in loli voice? Can he become a loli goat? 

How many comments will have you BBEEHHHHHHHHH-ing in loli voice Shanks?

[Sietse: Here, Shanks. I made a start for the TL thought.]
[Shanks: Oh, thanks. Nice. Thanks! Ohh… No. NoNoNo.]

Come on, Shanks! Answer us! All of us, every single last one of us, wants to hear the loli goat Shanks! How many comments is it going to take?

Shanks Thought: Don’t misunderstand, guys. I wasn’t having an identity crisis and transitioning from pony to goat. You know how we have the Rise Crew Reviews in the sneak peek, right? Well, there are a couple of other projects in the works., And I happened to be working on one of them. Me bleating like a goat was just me laughing at a scene I was working on in the project.

Anyway, a little family emergency came up today. We didn’t really have the time to get together and come up with a more engaging thought. So, I’ll leave you guys with a question. 

This is a question for the guys out there. Girls are free to answer too. But when you dry off after a shower, do you reserve a separate section of your towel for wiping down your ass and balls? Or do you just go from top to bottom in the belief that the towel forgets by the time  you have to reuse it the next day?

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