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Sometimes You Gotta be the Dick; Other Times You Choose to Be

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“Yo, Yo, Yo! TheBrawnster here with another great episode of the Winter Collegiate Cup!” TheBrawnster shouted into his microphone. He winked at PufPuf sitting next to him at the caster desk before continuing, “We’ve got ourselves two non-Beijing teams here, but you know they’re trying! Team Shanghai’s tryin’ a bit better here right now and Shenyang is just kinda falling behind.”

“But that’s not all!” PufPuf chimed in with her high pitched voice. She turned to face TheBrawnster and analysed, “Team Shanghai has got the late team power comp! Maokai and Thresh bring utility and tankiness, Orianna brings one of the most powerful crowd control skills in the entire game with her ultimate and then… Do I even need to mention Tristana?” She briefly paused for dramatic effect, and then yelled, “Tristana the hypercarry! When she gets to late game, there’s no stopping her!”

“OhOhOH!” TheBrawnster shouted into his microphone. “10 minutes in and it’s looking like Team Shanghai is about to make a play in mid! Let’s focus on the big ass screen above the stage and watch this play out.”

An Xin’s Lee Sin ran down the river towards the mid lane. The brush there was warded, revealing her location to Shenyang’s Ziggs. “Lin Feng!” she said over the team’s voice chat, while her Lee Sin ran into the lane and fired a Sonic Wave at Ziggs.

Lin Feng grinned and cast Command: Protect! Orianna sent her Ball to Lee Sin and placed a shield on him. It continued following Lee Sin as he dashed at Ziggs with Resonating Strike. This opened the next play in Lin Feng’s playbook. He watched his screen carefully for the activation of Ziggs’ Explosive Satchel, with which Ziggs could jump away to safety. When Lin Feng spotted the start of the animation, he cast Command: Shockwave! A powerful shockwave of electromagnetic energy exploded out of the Ball! It washed over Ziggs and pulled him out of his dash and towards the epicenter!

“Watch me! Watch me!” Lin Feng exclaimed over the team’s voice chat, laughing. He theatrically lifted his finger and then pushed down on the W key to cast Command: Dissonance! That was just the right amount of damage needed to finish the Ziggs. But before his Orianna cast the skill, An Xin’s Lee Sin hit Ziggs with a roundhouse kick and sent him flying straight into the afterlife.

“Woops,” An Xin said, smiling.

“BunBun! You stole my kill! That was a killsteal!” Lin Feng complained. He pursed his lips and glared at An Xin, then continued grumbling, “Why would you do that? I had the kill. That kill wasn’t even worth anything to you—”

An Xin glanced at Lin Feng and winked. She said, “Alright, that’s enough out of you. We still need to win this. Bit more focus, bit less trolling.” She then pinged on the Dragon pit and added, “Time to rotate and take Dragon. Bot team, push that wave in and let’s go.”

TheBrawnster nodded, impressed. He raised his microphone to his lips and said, “Ye know? Ye know? I hate to say this. You guys know me, you know I know us Beijing peepz are the best! But. Its gotta be said… Team Shanghai is playing a pretty mean game here. Get a kill and then Dragon and suddenly BOOM they’re 3k gold ahead!”

The advantage Team Shanghai had over Shenyang University was mostly concentrated in the mid lane and Jungle. Lin Feng was on the fast track to becoming an absolute monster and An Xin’s Lee Sin was right behind him. Shenyang University responded to this by putting all their focus on the mid lane, making sure Lin Feng couldn’t pull any further ahead in terms of kills. He was allowed to farm and that was it. But they couldn’t put that same kind of pressure on An Xin. She slipped right outside the ward coverage from Shenyang University, farming Jungle camps and looking for opportunities to gank.

At 14 minutes, An Xin spotted an opening in the bot lane. She snuck into Red team’s bottom side jungle near the mid lane and said over the team’s voice chat, “Get ready. I’m coming for a gank bot.”

Team Shanghai had destroyed Shenyang University’s outer tower in the bot lane a couple of minutes earlier. Shenyang’s Jinx was currently farming minions somewhere between the ruins of her outer tower and her inner tower, while Shenyang’s Janna floated into her Jungle to drop down a couple of wards and get some more vision.

“Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit!” Zou Cheng cried out from the player seating area. He was jumping on his chair and said to Sun Ruinian next to him, “Look at the Lee Sin roam! It’s perfect! A perfect roam! It’s gonna be another kill! This game is over for Shenyang!”

An Xin’s Lee Sin arrived at the Gromp Camp. Directly behind it was a wall of trees and boulders and behind that was the bot lane where Shenyang’s Jinx was farming minions. An Xin rolled her shoulders once and breathed slowly. She gripped her mouse a bit harder and then her fingers started gliding across her keyboard.

Lee Sin placed a ward across the wall and hopped towards it with Safeguard! He followed up with a Sonic Wave! It was a straight line skillshot. In front of him stood a minion and behind that minion was Jinx. So he smote the minion with Smite and watched the discordant wave of sound slam into Jinx! A silver sigil appeared above her, unlocking Resonating Strike! Lee Sin activated this second part of his Q skill and dashed at Jinx! And finally he activated Dragon’s Rage and flashed behind her, roundhouse kicking her towards Zeng Rui’s Thresh who was already lining up the Death Sentence!

“Oh my god!” PufPuf shrieked into her microphone.

“Oh my fuckin’ god!” TheBrawnster added. He shook his head, incredulous. “Wow!”

PufPuf nodded and said, “This is a pretty common skill in solo queue. But to do it on the big stage? Wow!”

TheBrawnster nodded with wide open eyes and muttered, “The balls on that girl. Damn. She’s making mine feel small!”

Tang Bingyao’s Tristana Rocket Jumped on top of Shenyang’s Jinx as a fire blazed from the muzzle of her cannon. She started Rapid Firing cannonballs, tearing through Jinx’s health bar. Zeng Rui didn’t even have the time to Flay, nor did Jinx have the time to Flash before Tang Bingyao’s Tristana loaded a massive shell in her cannon and fired her Buster Shot!

《You have slain an enemy!》

Most of the people in the audience were locals. They’d applauded for Team Shanghai before, but their feeling of superiority had stopped them from cheering. That all changed now. It started with a few but soon everyone was up on their feet, throwing their arms in the air and cheering for Team Shanghai at the top of their lungs.

“WOOOOOOO!”

“THAT LEE! OMG!”

“SHE’S SOOOOOO GOOD!”

“KIIIIIIIL!”

“IT’S THE DRAGON’S RAAAAAGE!”

“MVP MATERIAL RIGHT THERE! WOOOOO!”

Zeng Rui breathed out loudly in a short burst. He turned his head to look at An Xin and said, “BunBun, what’s gotten into you? You’re on point!”

Tang Bingyao nodded and chimed in, “Mhm! That was really nice twice now!”

An Xin glanced at Zeng Rui and winked. She replied, “Thanks. Come, let’s take their Blue, it’s about to spawn. We’ll back to the fountain after that.” She then turned her head to look at Lin Feng and asked, “What about you? Got mid yet?”

“Uh-huh!” Lin Feng replied, grinning. While An Xin ganked bot, he’d kept the pressure up in mid. Shenyang’s Ziggs was refusing to fight him, which allowed him to focus his full attention on farming minions and attacking the outer tower. That outer tower was now almost destroyed. It needed just a few more hits and with no one defending it, that wouldn’t take longer than it took An Xin to kill the Blue Sentinel.

An Xin showcased a very high level of control over the game. This didn’t go unnoticed by the many people in the audience. They were all League fanatics and they could all see a great play when it presented itself. Their pretentious attitudes slipped up a bit. They forgot for a brief moment that they were superior and viewed An Xin as their equal.

“That Lee Sin is carrying so hard! I bet she could do what Atlas couldn’t!”

“I thought that Midlaner was their starplayer. He’s the one who beat Goalie, right?”

“Yeah he did. But, man, didn’t you watch that series? Go back and watch it, it was great! Anyway, that girl—the Jungler—she played mid in the third game and she smashed it!”

“Fuck yeah! Her Morgana ults were killing!”

“She’s such a good player! It’s crazy! I wish my girlfriend could play like that!”

“Maybe if you start jerking with both hands your ‘girlfriend’ can be!”

“Don’t get distracted! Stop getting distracted! Focus on this girl… The Lee! She’s a damn goddess!”

“She should become the official League Goddess!”

“Petition Riot and if they say no WE RIOT!”

It was the 17th minute of the game. Team Shanghai had pulled ahead in every facet of the game and Shenyang University’s team was desperate. The Dragon spawned and that gave them an opportunity to get something back. So they ran towards it as a team, dropping wards down left and right, and hoped Team Shanghai wasn’t waiting for them there.

Team Shanghai wasn’t. Shenyang University got into the Dragon pit and engaged the Dragon. For a couple of seconds, it looked like they might even get the Dragon. But then they spotted Lee Sin walking over a ward and a blue light descended behind them, signaling the use of Maokai’s Teleport. They knew they couldn’t take the fight, even with Team Shanghai out of position. The Dragon had too much health remaining too. So they made the call to retreat, running back the way they came as quickly as they could.

“Stop them!” Zeng Rui shouted over the team’s voice chat.

“I’m trying!” Zhang Hao replied, pressing on his F key hoping that would make him Teleport faster.

There was a rare moment of panic in Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth. Zeng Rui saw a chance to end the game, but it was slipping from his control. And he dragged everyone down into his pit of worry. Until An Xin’s voice sounded over the team’s voice chat. She sounded like an angel descended from the Heavens. A goddess, even. “Don’t worry. I’ve got this.”

An Xin’s Lee Sin arrived at the Jungle entrance through which Shenyang University was trying to escape and fired a Sonic Wave into the fog of war. It hit Gragas. “I’m going in. Follow up on me, Lin Feng,” An Xin said as she pushed down on the Q key to activate Resonating Strike.

Lin Feng grinned and replied, “Got it! You can count on me!” His Orianna was only a few steps behind An Xin’s Lee Sin. And after years of playing together, he knew exactly what she was going to do. All he had to do was make sure that his Orianna’s Ball was in the right place to hit the Command: Shockwave.

TheBrawnster grabbed his microphone from its stand and shouted into it, “TEAM SHANGHAI IS GOING FOR THE WOMBO COMBO!”

An Xin’s Lee Sin dashed at Gragas, placed a ward down behind him, hopped towards it with Safeguard and finally turned around with a roundhouse kick! Dragon’s Rage! The kick packed so much power that it lifted Gragas off his feet and sent him barreling into his teammates, knocking them up one by one!

Four players from Shenyang University were knocked up, briefly immobilized. An Xin had done her part. The next bit was up to Lin Feng. His Orianna’s Ball hovered above the ground in the middle of the four players from Shenyang University. A powerful shockwave of electromagnetic energy swept out! It washed over the four Champions and pulled them towards the epicenter! She followed up with Command: Dissonance! A second pulse of energy swept out! And for a final bout of damage Orianna cast Command: Attack!

《You have slain an enemy!》

《Double kill!》

Shenyang’s Jinx and Ziggs were dead right away, while Gragas and Darius lost most of their health. Janna was the only one still at full health, having Flashed away earlier to dodge Lee Sin’s Dragon’s Rage. But she was across a wall in the Blue Buff Camp, too far away from the fight to be of any help. The players from Team Shanghai weren’t. One by one they arrived and jumped in. Zhang Hao’s Maokai was the first in and the first out, blasted away by Gragas’ Explosive Cask. But that left Tang Bingyao’s Tristana free to jump in and fire away!

《You have slain an enemy!》

《Double kill!》

“That’s it! That’s gotta be it!” TheBrawnster shouted into his microphone. “Team Shanghai with the four kills and somehow, through all of that, Lee Sin survived! She’s the real MVP of this game!”

“Yiiiiii!” PufPuf shrieked, cheering. She turned her head to look at TheBrawnster and said, “Sexy Dragon’s Rage, sexy Ori ult and sexy Trist damage! Team Shanghai is the sexiest team of the Winter Collegiate Cup! Oh, and it’s game.”

The game was over, but Team Shanghai still had to finish it out. They did that with Zeng Rui’s trademarked methodicalness. Slow and steady. They farmed minions, took down towers and played around Baron Nashor. It was only with a lead big enough where Lin Feng could practically 1 versus 5 that Zeng Rui made the call to push for Shenyang University’s Nexus. There was no contest by Shenyang University. No real one, anyway. They were simply too far behind. Their Champions fell like weeds to a weedwacker and their Nexus exploded shortly after.

VICTORY!

In Shenyang University’s soundproof booth, the team’s Midlaner shook his head and mumbled, “What a dick move. They could’ve ended it at 20 minutes but they just wouldn’t…”

Shenyang University’s Jungler shrugged and replied, “We’ve seen them do this before. Don’t mind them. Don’t let it get to your head. We need to focus on the next game. Let’s punish them for dicking around with us like this.”

“Yeah! Fuck them!” Shenyang University’s ad-carry exclaimed. He continued through gritted teeth, “Fucking low blow to draw a game out like that!”

The second game was a near repeat of the first. In fact, a viewer could rewatch the first game and join any conversation about the second game. The biggest difference was that Lin Feng played Orianna, who was really just another control type mage, rather than Morgana. Everything else was the same, from getting the early lead to drawing it out to nearly 30 minutes before finally finishing the game in spectacular fashion.

This course of events didn’t go unnoticed by Fan Yuan who was the Beijing Esports Association’s vice-president. He stared at the large LCD screen with a gloomy expression and said to his team, “I expected so much better from Shenyang… They came in third last year for fucks sake! Can they really not even take a single game? How disappointing. They’re basically giving Team Shanghai a free pass to the semifinals…”

Zhang Hongyi nodded and added, “How sad.”

“Uh, guys?” Yu Ping said, turning his head to look at his teammates. He waited to get their attention and then pointed at the large LCD screen and asked, “Why’s that Midlaner playing a Control Mage all of a sudden? He only played assassins back in Guangzhou… What’s he trying to pull?”

 

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Dev Thought: So I’ve been toying around with an idea for a cultivation novel. We made a tweet about it a couple of weeks ago, too. I don’t fully remember how the idea for it came about but it seemed like such a great idea at the time. And now I can’t get it out of my head. I legit think about this story every day in the shower. It’s a combination/fusion between the Xianxia cultivation novel and an Omegaverse novel. For those that don’t know what Omegaverse is, it’s a subgenre of BL novels where men can get pregnant. I don’t fully know how the logistics and science of that work out, but I’ll do some research on it eventually.

Anyways, the story is called ‘Cultivation of the Path of Motherhood’. Starts out from a simple premise. There’s a bro at a Sect. He’s reasonably talented with lots of potential, but he’s just starting out. He follows through on the simple beginner exercises and manages to accumulate enough Qi to solidify it and use it to carve out channels throughout his body. This puts him at the stage in his cultivation where he needs to pick a cultivation path. The more common ones pursued at the Sect he’s at don’t appeal to him, cause he don’t wanna be no regular scrub. So he goes to the library at the Sect and starts searching for one that speaks to him. After pouring through countless scrolls and Crystalized Remembrances of the Ancient Masters, he stumbles onto one that he’s never seen before. The Path of Motherhood.

He starts skimming through it. A lot of the path talked about cultivating a Spiritual Infant in the dantian, which grows as he progresses in his cultivation. Eventually, the Spiritual Infant becomes aware enough to start having insights into the different realms of energies, and starts gathering those energies into itself. The cultivator can then utilize those energies in conjunction with their own Qi. Or meld all of them together. Our Cultivator Bro realizes that this is a cultivation path with limitless possibilities and potential. Especially after the Spiritual Infant matures to the point where the cultivator can merge with it to become a half-ascended being, thereby skipping thousands of years of tedious cultivation. So he picks it as his path and begins following the instructions in the scroll to create a Spiritual Infant in his dantian.

But what he doesn’t realize is that it is called ‘The Path of Motherhood’ for a reason. Turns out that in order to raise a spiritual infant in your dantian, one must become pregnant with it. The scroll, being very old, had a warning that the path was only meant for female cultivators. But that faded out, so our hero never read that part. Thus begins our Cultivator’s male pregnancy journey through many lands fabled and ordinary, where no one has ever seen a pregnant male cultivator before. And the foibles and obstacles and tribulations he faces as he attempts to gestate this Spiritual Infant in his dantian, which is constantly in danger from his overabundance of Yang energy.

He must also contend against a shadowy organization determined to kidnap him so they can steal the Spiritual Infant he will eventually give birth to. And obviously, as he progresses through the pregnancy, he powers up every trimester until he reaches unfathomable heights. The story is an answer to the question, “Can you perform martial arts with swollen ankles and a spiritual infant kicking your bladder every 2 minutes?”

I realize that no one asked this question and very few people want the answer to it. But we must journey into the unknown realms to find answers to questions that we didn’t even know existed!

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