The Invasion of Ionia - Part 3

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Things weren’t looking good for Lin Feng, his Alistar was being pushed back by Yasuo. But he remained completely confident. The viewers on the stream didn’t exactly see how it was possible for an Alistar who was behind in CS to kill a Yasuo. Especially considering that Alistar was down to half his health. But Lin Feng said that he’d be killing the Yasuo soon, and the viewers believed in Lin Feng!

goooooooo lilll broooooooo! We believe in you! MILK HIM!
kick that plat scrub’s ass! Show us your top challenger skills!
hahaha! I bet winfeng will carry with soraka next game too!
Seriously, though, guys…. How’s he going to do it? His Alistar is behind on everything…
shut up dude! Just let lil bro work his magic!!! Real magicians never reveal their tricks!!!

While the chat cheered him on, Lin Feng continued to grapple with the Yasuo in the lane, getting minion kills whenever he could. But, slowly and eventually, the minion wave was pushed all the way back to his Outer Tower. Yasuo was too nimble and aggressive, and his Alistar could not offer significant enough resistance to prevent the minion wave from being pushed back. Lin Feng narrowed his eyes and looked past the Yasuo, his thoughts centered on his real opponent. KR•COFF.

This Coff… he’s not half bad. Now that he’s Level 2, he’s using all of Yasuo’s increased mobility to push his advantage. Not only that… his CS is decent and he’s constantly looking for opportunities to get some poke in. None of this is reckless either. He’s playing with the exact amount of aggression that a Yasuo needs to have. You know what? Coff is a competent player! He’s decisive, methodical, and his playstyle keeps everything in balance. Now that I’ve seen this over and over, this is the difference between Chinese and Korean players. The Chinese players, especially the ones at Platinum and Diamond, they all have decent mechanics. More than enough to rival the Korean players. But their playstyle is so much more indecisive, and that leads to them making mistakes that can be exploited. 

After these thoughts crossed Lin Feng’s mind, he turned his attention back to the lane. You’re good, KR•COFF. But I’m really good, too! And now I’m going to show you how much better I am!

After what seemed like an agonizingly long wind-up, Lin Feng’s Alistar finally hit Level 2. Now he had the skills Headbutt and Pulverize at his disposal. More significant was that KR•COFF’s Yasuo no longer had a level advantage on him.

The viewers on the stream still weren’t convinced that it would be enough. The Yasuo that Lin Feng was up against did not appear to be a weak opponent. KR•COFF played aggressively when it came to offense, but that wasn’t at the expense of his own defense. He also displayed quick reflexes. All of this was on display when Lin Feng’s Alistar made his first offensive play. Alistar managed to worm his way around the minion wave and found an excellent angle to Headbutt Yasuo. The attack connected, and Yasuo was launched into the Outer Tower! But KR•COFF recovered quickly, and had his Yasuo dash out of the Tower’s range with Sweeping Blade. The Tower only managed to get one hit on Yasuo before he was out of defensive range. The bolt from the tower managed to do some damage to Yasuo, but not enough to be significant. 

But Lin Feng was only just getting started. Over the next minute and a half, Alistar became more and more aggressive. He charged at Yasuo and landed Headbutt after Headbutt on him. And whenever he got the chance, Alistar would slip an auto attack right before the Headbutt landed. The damage from each of the Headbutts and Headbutt combos individually was not significant, but over time they started to add up. The more important part of the play was that Yasuo had no way to retaliate, because each of the Headbutts would launch him away from Alistar! This meant that Yasuo needed to constantly reposition himself, and the seconds lost meant that he’d be missing out on last hitting minions.

Lin Feng also had an ace up his sleeve. He had yet to use the other skill that his Alistar currently had, Pulverize. When Alistar used Pulverize, he’d pound the ground to deal damage and knock up enemy champions. Lin Feng could have used it to further irritate Yasuo, but he was holding onto it as a deterrent. As long as Pulverize was available, Yasuo could not recklessly rush right upto Alistar and attack. Lin Feng’s decision to hold Pulverize forced the Yasuo to maintain some distance! 

Besides, it was more than clear that Headbutts alone were having the desired effect on KR•COFF. All of the viewers on the stream could clearly see him start to get irritated after being launched from place to place, and constantly being knocked back. And after three more Headbutts, it was clear that KR•COFF was angry. When Alistar’s third Headbutt connected and Yasuo was sent flying back, the strategy changed. Instead of recovering and repositioning himself, Yasuo dashed right back up to Alistar with Sweeping Blade and stabbed out with Steel Tempest. It was the first hit he’d managed to get on Alistar since Lin Feng started playing more aggressively, but it was enough to drop Alistar’s health even lower. 

What made every hit from Yasuo even more agonizing was Lin Feng’s decision to go with a Mage build on Alistar, rather than the usual Tank build. This made Lin Feng’s Alistar far more fragile than normal. Every hit that Alistar took from Yasuo did more damage. The build that Lin Feng was going for turned Alistar into a glass cannon. But he needed time and gold to get his Alistar to the point where the cannon part would come online. This forced Lin Feng to walk the razor’s edge between playing defensively while also not getting completely zoned out and falling behind.

4 minutes had gone by since the game started. Lin Feng had already used up all of his health potions and his Alistar only had one-third of his health left. Some of the viewers on the stream started to get worried.

hey, shouldn’t you back…?
this is getting dangerous!
Yasuo has Ignite! If he gets a few more Qs off on you, you’re dead!

On the other hand, Lin Feng had also slowly and steadily shaved off half of Yasuo’s health. There was another faction of viewers who noticed this, and spammed the chat in an attempt to push Lin Feng onto further aggression.

lil bro! Don’t back off!
Yasuo is also low health!
get a good combo off him + ignite and he’s fucked for sure!
fuck hiiim uup!

Lin Feng looked at both sides arguing in the chat and smiled. Unlike them, he was neither worried or excited. Lin Feng was completely calm and relax. He eventually glanced at the webcam and said, “You guys need to chill. Everything is fine. There’s no need to rush.” Then his gaze sharpened up and locked onto Yasuo. “He’s going to die very soon.”

Coff glared at the Alistar on his screen with a cold smile and murder in his eyes. He knew exactly how much damage his Yasuo could do right now, and how much health Alistar had left. He’d calculated the exact number of hits needed to kill Alistar, and come up with a strategy. One more Q, and I’ll have my tornado! Then I’ll dash in, knock you up, and Ignite! You’ll be dead before you even know what hit you! Two hits! 

In Coff’s mind, Alistar was already dead. All he was waiting for was the right moment to make it happen. One opening was all he needed, and as he watched his minion wave push into Alistar’s Outer Tower, he saw the opening play out in his mind. This particular wave was one with a Cannon Minion. A last hit on the Cannon Minion was worth a significant amount of gold. Coff was positive that Alistar would not want to miss out on last hitting the Cannon Minion, especially since the Alistar was behind on CS. That would be his opening. That’s right… walk out from under your Tower to get that last hit. You know you want it, come on. The second you walk out…  His lips curved into a cruel smile. I’m going to cut you down and get the kill!

Two seconds later, the Cannon Minion’s life hung by a thread as the Tower’s bolts hammered into it. Coff was practically salivating as he waited. And, completely according to the plan, Alistar started walking forward to get the last hit on the Cannon Minion. But Coff continued to wait until Alistar got right up to the Cannon Minion. Then, just as Alistar started to wind up to attack the Cannon Minion, Coff’s eyes blazed with bloodlust. Now! His Yasuo moved into position and stabbed out with Steel Tempest!

The attack connected! Coff grunted with joy. And this was the second Steel Tempest his Yasuo had landed, which meant that the winds had gathered around Yasuo’s katana. The next time Yasuo used Steel Tempest, it would unleash a whirlwind that could knock Alistar up. Everything was going exactly according to the plan, and playing out exactly as it had in Coff’s mind. Now all he needed to do was dash into Alistar with a Sweeping Blade and unleash another Steel Tempest that would knock Alistar up, and Ignite! His Yasuo would be in the Tower’s defensive range, but only for a brief instant. Coff was positive that he’d only have to take a single bolt from the Tower, at most. Not enough to kill him, and he’d get the kill on Alistar. 

With all the pieces set, Coff had his Yasuo dash at Alistar with Sweeping Blade. His finger hovered on the Q key, ready to unleash the third Steel Tempest the second his Yasuo landed. Yasuo flew towards Alistar and landed, then pulled his katana back to unleash a blindingly fast Steel Tempest. But right as Yasuo stabbed out with his katana, Coff noticed that Alistar was no longer there! 

You really thought I’d fall for something as silly as a Cannon Minion bait?  Lin Feng’s lips curved into a faint smile. I let you think that you were baiting me. But that Cannon Minion was my bait for you!

Lin Feng knew exactly what Yasuo was planning before the play even started. He had his Alistar walk out to the Cannon Minion to bait Yasuo closer and into the Tower’s defensive range. When Yasuo dashed at Alistar with Sweeping Blade, it brought him close enough to the Tower to trigger its defenses. And just as the Tower locked onto Yasuo and fired its first bolt, Lin Feng pushed down on his D key — Flash! His Alistar was wrapped by dazzling motes of light and vanished right as Yasuo unleashed a third Steel Tempest. This resulted in the moment where Yasuo’s blade only sliced the air, rather than Alistar’s flesh.

Coff’s eyes popped open wide. There was nothing he could do! Alistar had Flashed through his attack, his Yasuo’s whirlwind was now wasted, and he was now stuck in the Tower’s range. Yasuo was still locked in the recovery animation after Steel Tempest, which meant that he could not move. All Coff could do was watch helplessly as Alistar materialized right in front of his Yasuo, and smashed the ground with Pulverize! His Yasuo was knocked up into the air, where a second bolt from the Tower slammed into him.

Sadly, Coff’s pain had only just begun. Right before the second bolt from the Tower hit, Alistar managed to Ignite his Yasuo. Then Alistar positioned himself right behind where his Yasuo was going to land, and waited for Yasuo to plummet back down to the ground. The second Yasuo landed and got back up, Alistar Heatbutted him towards the Tower!

Coff’s eyelids twitched. He felt his heart sinking into his stomach as he frantically tapped on his E key in an attempt to dash out with Sweeping Blade. However, there was a brief one second stun after being hit by Headbutt. Coff’s mind already knew what his heart refused to accept. It was all over. There was no way his Yasuo could escape the Tower’s range in time!

By the time Yasuo managed to dash out of the Tower’s defensive range with a Sweeping Blade, a third bolt from the Tower was flying towards him. The bolt pierced through Yasuo’s back mid-dash, and combined with the damage from Ignite, it was more than enough to end his life.

First Blood!

As the announcer’s voice rang out, chat erupted with excitement and congratulations! 

WINFENG! 66666666666666

Lin Feng walked back to his Tower and exclaimed. “You guys saw that, right? Just like I told you. The Yasuo is dead!”

Just a few announcements.

Dev: Alright guys, things have been off with Rise for a while now. I’m completely aware. We ran into a metric crap ton of issues one after another since like… August. It’s taken us a while to find our feet after all that and sorta set ourselves back on track somewhat reasonably. Not saying that we’ve done a good job of it at all. But we’ve been trying to figure out something that works so we can actually continue this project instead of dropping it halfway though. Because everyone on the Rise Team started out as readers first, and we know how much it sucks to get into a web novel only to have it be dropped halfway through. Shanks and I have been around since the beginning, and we’ve been readers on great projects that got dropped. We’ve also seen what happens when a project gets dropped and someone else picks it up to half-ass the translation in an effort to make a quick payday. That’s something we didn’t want to do to you guys at all, because we hated that shit when it happened to us.

That said, the loosey-goosey way we’ve been trying to get back on track clearly isn’t working. For us or for you guys. The whole paradigm where we work on chapters when we can and release when they’re done sounds great in theory for us, but it tends to make things significantly harder and slower. Because every time we take a bit of a break, there’s an adjustment period where we work slower as we try to get back into the flow of the novel. Speaking just for myself here, its been an actual pain to reorient my writing back into the style of the novel rather than something much more formal and professional (the stuff I do for my actual job and career). So we’re not doing that shit anymore.

Here’s how its going to go:

1.) We’re going back to a formal release rate and schedule. No more loosey-goosey. Now, I don’t want to try something overambitious and optimistic that we’ll pull off for a week or two before getting knocked off course. So we’re starting with something achievable and conservative. We’re going to drop 3 chapters/week. So you will, for sure, have a chapter on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7PM EST. If things work out well and we can add an extra release in there, we’ll do that when we can. But you will absolutely have a chapter every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

2.) We’re going to start working on holding community events and tournaments again. The stuff that made this novel’s community so fun to be around in the first place. Once Shanks’ laptop is fixed, we’ll also start doing community 1 vs 1s in League, TFT games, ARAMs, and regular League games again. No fixed ETA on when we’ll start that up exactly, because the repair shop needs a part they ordered to fix Shanks’ laptop. But we’re going to try real hard to get that going by April. And no lame prizes in the tournaments either.

3.) The announcement strategy’s been a little wonky. So here’s how it’s going to work out. Big things that are happening, including site specific changes, large community events, tournaments, and any significant events about the novel, all of that is going to go up on the site as an announcement. The more day-to-day updates and what we’re working on, that’s all going to be on the Discord server. So let’s say hypothetically that I get stuck in traffic and chapter release is delayed by 2 hours, that’s something that we’ll let you guys know on Discord. There’s going to be no site-wide announcement for something like that. I know some of you don’t use Discord or don’t want to use Discord or whatever, and this change cuts you guys out. I understand this isn’t ideal for you guys and I apologize, but there’s really nothing more I can do besides that. We keep trying to account for every edge-case possible to make everyone happy, and that’s creating issues with our workflows. To the point where we keep dropping the ball on things and then trying to patch it all together. It’s not a great way of working, and it distracts us from getting content ready and out.

Oh. If you guys need the link to the server, it’s: https://discord.gg/risethewebnovel

4.) In the event that there is a nuclear war: I live in NYC. There is a good chance that it’ll be one of the first targets hit in a nuclear attack against the United States, and I will probably be vaporized. So in the event that does happen, we will be dropping Rise. Because I will be dead. Once again, I understand that this might upset some or all of you. But I really don’t care. Because I will be dead.

That’s about all I’ve got for now. Like I said, we’re getting ourselves back together and back on track with everything. We’ll do more announcements as we build momentum. But your regularly scheduled Translator Thoughts will return with the next chapter on Monday, March 14th!

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