“SUUUUU XUUUEEEEE! I forgot my keys again!” Lin Feng shouted, rapping his fist against the hard wood of the front door.
Su Xue glanced over her shoulder and then shook her head. Again? How does he keep doing it… It almost feels on purpose… She took a long, deep breath and then looked at her camera. “Hey guys…” she started, glancing at the chat. Oh, they already know. Guess they can hear him too. “Yep. That’s Lin Feng,” she said. She then got up from her gaming chair and walked towards the front door.
“SUUUUU XUUUEEEEE! Open the door please!” Lin Feng yelled at the door, ignoring the neighbour looking through the window a couple doors over and shaking her head.
I should just let him wait. Yep. Gonna make him wait. Su Xue smiled as she skipped into the kitchen and started playing with her favourite cleaver. It’s so nice and sharp and it always gets him out of be—
“YES YES! I’M COMING! OH MY GOD CAN YOU SHUT UP FOR ONCE!?” Su Xue exclaimed. She pulled the front door open and grabbed Lin Feng by his shirt, then dragged him inside. She shut the door behind him and then turned her head to look at him through narrowed eyes. She slowly said, “Everyone could hear you! They’re going to complain to Chu Yishu, and you know who she’s going to complain to? Me!” She jabbed a finger on her chest and continued, “Me! She’s going to call me up, again, and ask me if I’m locking you out! Is that what you want!?”
Lin Feng scratched the back of his head and said, “Uh, sorry. Sorry. I just kinda thought you liked opening the door for me…”
“No. No I don’t,” Su Xue replied, shaking her head. “What made you think I like to be interrupted mid stream? You…” She gritted her teeth and shook her head. Nope. Not gonna let him get to me. I’ll get to him! She smiled and said, “Come, we’re going to my room. The viewers are asking for you. They want to see you Jungle Graves all night long! And I know you’ve got holidays, so don’t even think about going to bed!”
“I wasn’t planning to sleep anyway!” Lin Feng replied, laughing. He brushed past Su Xue and said over his shoulder, “And I’ve been itching to play the new Graves too! They wouldn’t let me at the internet cafe earlier…”
“How mean of them,” Su Xue replied, smiling. She watched Lin Feng stride towards her room and clenched her fist. Good. With him… Yeah. She closed her eyes and took another long, deep breath. With him here, it’ll definitely be a success!
Hundreds of thousands of people had tuned in to the Winter Collegiate Cup and watched the games with Su Xue casting. And then, when all those viewers opened the chat to say how good she was, there were tens of thousands of people spamming her streamlink. This resulted in Su Xue’s stream seeing a big spike in viewer numbers, shooting past the 100,000 mark and going up even higher. Su Xue wanted to leave a good impression on all these new viewers. She could try and do that with her own skill, but she knew she wasn’t the best player; Lin Feng was the best. With his skill and her commentary, all these new viewers would fall in love with her stream and stick around, she was sure of it!
Su Xue walked back into her bedroom. Lin Feng was already sitting in her gaming chair, chatting with the viewers. She pulled up a chair and sat down next to him, then leaned over him to read the stream chat.
「Long time no see bud! MISSED YA!」
「TEAM SHANGHAI MIDLANER! HE BEAT GOALIE AND NOW HE GONNA JUNGLE GRAVES!!!!」
「he’s our young master the emperor and xuexue’s his maid! GET HIM SOME WATER MAID!」
「lil bro, you sure jungle Graves is gonna be cool? I seen a bunch of them…………………..」
「THEY SUCK! NEW GRAVES SUCKS! BRING BACK OLD GRAVES! RIOTRIOTRIOT」
“They’re right, you know?” Su Xue said to Lin Feng, pointing at the chat. “We’ve seen a couple of Jungle Graves’ already and they all sucked… hard. Like, really hard. I don’t think we’ve seen a single Jungle Graves that looked even a little decent…”
Lin Feng grinned and patted his own back. He said, “Don’tcha worry! This is just some low elo games! I can play Veigar Jungle or… or Yorick ad-carry and still win!”
Su Xue giggled and replied, “Yorick doesn’t even have ranged attacks. He just… he just hits people with his shovel…”
“Exactly!” Lin Feng exclaimed. He grinned and continued, “That’s how easy it’ll be! I’ll hit them with my shov— shotgun and send them back down to plat!”
Lin Feng played Jungle Graves exactly like An Xin played Jungle Lee Sin. He took the Red Buff and then went straight into his opponent’s Jungle. There he waited for their Jungle Evelynn to show herself at her Red Buff Camp and then he waited a bit more. He watched Evelynn lose health auto attacking the Red Brambleback. When her health fell below half, he fired an auto attack followed by the explosive shell from End of the Line! He continued with a second auto attack, then dashed for a quick reload of one shell with Quickdraw! One final auto attack secured the kill.
The next 20 minutes were similar to this first exchange in the sense that Lin Feng’s Graves ran around the map and shot Champions like they were minions. He picked up kills and made the new Graves look like the most overpowered Champion to have ever set foot on the Rift. His final score was a staggering 17-1-3.
Su Xue sat next to Lin Feng quietly, having long forgotten she was there to commentate. Her jaw hung wide open and when the victory screen showed she muttered, “My god… I-I didn’t know… Is he really that strong?”
Lin Feng grinned and replied, “Yep! He’s awesome! You saw his high damage, right? Like how I kept blowing them up? It was so easy! And then, you saw how I wasn’t even buying much damage but also armour and magic resist? Yeah, see, when you buy that, he can even be like a semi-tank! A TANK THAT DOES A TON OF DAMAGE! He’s so cool! So, so cool!”
「NEW GRAVES OP AS FUCCCKKKKKKKK」
「what did riot think releasing such an op champion…. you see how he just rekt the enemy? MAD」
「sick… SO SICK! Kappa」
「Tell the maid to get you some water!!!」
「YoYoYoYo, FENGBRO! WIN FENG! PLAY HIM IN ADCARRY! GO ADC ON THAT GRAVES!!!」
「I WANNA SEE ADC!!!!! SHOW US ADC GRAVES!」
「adcarry graves op as fuck tooooooo????」
Su Xue sighed loudly with false exasperation and complained, “Two days! I’ve been back for two days and I’m the maid again. AGAIN! You little shits keep demoting me to maid whenever Lin Feng is around! Can’t you guys just, for once, support me? Maybe I wanna play too!”
「know ye place stupid maid!!!」
「I THINK LIL BRO”S GLASS IS EMPTY! WHERE HIS LEMON WATER!?!?!??!!?!」
「Y U NO ORDER HIM CHICKEN CUTLET YET!??!?!?!??!」
「the delivery guy must feel lonely… she hasnt ordered from him in weeks…」
The next two games Lin Feng played Graves in the ad-carry role. He pointed out to Su Xue what the strengths of the new Graves in the bot lane were and how to play around the reload time after every two auto attacks. He showed her how to retreat while also dealing damage with a Quickdraw dash and how to abuse the terrain to fire a quick End of the Line. Bit by bit, Su Xue took over the analysis from Lin Feng, pointing out which plays he was going to make before he even made them. She started smiling and leaned closer to the screen, excited. And by the end of the game, she was EveningSnowfall, the caster that many of the new viewers came to see.
Lin Feng glanced at Su Xue and grinned. “Alright!” he said to the camera. “That’s three wins in a row now. I think it’s about time I chill for a game.” He then turned his head to look at Su Xue and asked, “Hey, how about you give it a go? Try the new Graves in bot!”
Su Xue looked at Lin Feng, unsure, and asked, “Really? I don’t think…”
“It’ll be fine!” Lin Feng replied. He grinned and added, “I’ll Support you! It’ll be fun!”
Su Xue nodded, faster and faster until she’d convinced herself she wouldn’t make a complete fool out of herself on Graves. “Okay! Let’s do it!” she replied. She then turned to look at the camera and continued, “You guys will get to see how good I really am as an ad-carry now that I don’t have some random Support!”
Lin Feng got up from the gaming chair and ran to his bedroom to grab his laptop. Su Xue watched him go and then spent the next couple of minutes chatting with her viewers, hyping them up for the game to come while Lin Feng set himself up next to her. And then they played. Lin Feng played the Support-style that Su Xue had grown so comfortable with. He was always there when she needed him to and he always made the plays she didn’t even know she wanted him to make. The last of her nerves slipped away and by the tenth minute of the game, she sat on the edge of her gaming chair furiously clicking on her mouse and shouting orders.
“Aaaaah! They’re diving me! SAVE ME! SAVE ME!”
“Don’t kill steal! Give me, GIMME! NICE!”
“Hahaha! Too easy! We’re so good together!”
“Oh yeah! Just like that! I like it just like that!”
“Sweet! Awesome! Perfect! VICTORY!”
Su Xue ended the stream at 4 A.M. When the camera was off, she leaned back in her gaming chair and yawned and stretched and closed her eyes for a bit. She could hear Lin Feng unplugging his laptop cables and gathering his things. Guess he’s going to forget to brush his teeth again, and… She asked with a sigh, “Hey, Lin Feng?” She turned her head and opened her eyes to look at him, then continued, “No sleeping until you’ve brushed your teeth, washed your face and… And I think that’s it. Oh! And put on your pyjamas!”
“Uh-huh! Uh-huh!” Lin Feng replied, nodding. “I’ll do it right after putting my laptop—”
“Nope!” Su Xue interrupted. She stood up, grabbed him by the arm and continued, “You’re just going to fall asleep when you see your bed. Put your laptop down. Come. We’re going to brush our teeth first.” She then pulled Lin Feng down the hallway to the bathroom and complained, “You’d be a slobbering mess without me, you know that right? You would be locked out of the house, forget to shower, smell like shit and sleep on the street in the rain… So you would shower, I guess…”
“I’m not that bad!” Lin Feng exclaimed. “So what if I sometimes forget to brush my teeth? It happens! It’s like 4 A.M. and I’m tired! When I see my bed, it’s just… it’s just so easy to lay down for a few minutes. And then I open my eyes and it’s suddenly the next day!”
Su Xue smiled and pushed the door to the bathroom open. She waited for Lin Feng to enter and then followed behind him. “Oh, that has me thinking,” she said. “Before you left for Guangzhou, you always finished the night on the Korean server… How’s that going? You still playing on there?”
Lin Feng rinsed his toothbrush and put some toothpaste on it. He then glanced at Su Xue and asked, “What? Sorry, wasn’t listening…”
“The Korean server. Are you still playing on there?” Su Xue asked for a second time.
“Oh! Yeah! Yeah, it’s going,” Lin Feng replied.
Su Xue scrunched her eyebrows and asked, “Wait… Like, really? I thought you were too busy with the exams and everything. Where did you find the time to play on the Korean server? When!? Why didn’t you tell me!? We could’ve streamed a couple of those games! How far are you already? Are you still climbing?”
Lin Feng nodded and said with his mouth full of toothpaste, “Hmm! Doin’ good. Rank 34.”
“34? Thirty. Four!? Really!?” Su Xue exclaimed, shocked. Her eyes grew wide and she continued, “That’s almost top 30! You’re already almost in the top 30? That’s so fast!”
Lin Feng rinsed his mouth, gurgling, and spat the toothpaste out before turning to Su Xue and saying, “Yeah, it’s okay I guess. I would’ve liked to be a bit further. There isn’t much time left and this is basically the hard part where I’ve got to play really well.” He briefly paused before adding, “But I’m tired. I’m going to sleep.” He didn’t wait for a response from Su Xue and left the bathroom, heading for his bedroom. Heading for bed.
Golden rays of sun shone through Lin Feng’s bedroom window and the smell of food came in from the door. Lin Feng opened his eyes and stretched out long. He glanced at his alarm clock and saw that it was already well past noon. He grinned and mumbled, “No more exams. I can finally sleep in. This is the life!” He pushed the blankets off and went to the bathroom to brush his teeth and wash his face. He then got dressed and walked into the dining room, where Su Xue was already waiting for him with a fully prepared lunch.
Su Xue looked up from her magazine at Lin Feng and smiled. She said, “Morning, sleepyhead. Here, have some lunch.” She watched him dig in and only then sit down and giggled. When he refilled his plate for a third time, she asked, “So what’s on the schedule today? Are you meeting up with Tang Tang and BunBun?”
Lin Feng nodded and replied, “Yeah! We’re flying to Beijing tomorrow already for the next round and Zeng Rui wants us to get as much training in before then as possible. So we’re going to get some games in and train.” What Lin Feng didn’t tell Su Xue was that he was also going out to dinner tonight. With an old friend.