As Ouyang and Lin Feng returned to their desks, Yang Fan turned around and asked, “So, did she agree?”
Ouyang patted his chest with a smug smile on his face. “Of course! I worked my charms on her, and she agreed immediately! Easy peasy! We have our ad-carry!” Then, his expression quickly crumpled. “Ah, but she wants ¥80. How about we submit it as a class expense?”
Yang Fan was speechless. “¥80? We need to pay her? You’ve got to be kidding. Isn’t that a little ridiculous? This is a group activity! She shouldn’t be asking to be paid.”
Ouyang waved his hand. “Eh, it’s just a little bit of money. It’s our fault for failing to find someone else. Plus, she’s an amazing ad-carry! I saw her play with my own eyes! We pay her that ¥80 and she crushes Class 8. How is that not worth it? I say it’s worth every penny. Isn’t that right, Lin Feng?”
But Ouyang didn’t get the reply he was waiting for. Instead, Lin Feng kept his lips tightly sealed.
“Hm? What’s with you?” Ouyang asked, bewildered.
“I told you I’d be your ad-carry, and for free. I’m good. Whatever, pay her her appearance fee,” Lin Feng grumbled.
Ouyang was left speechless. He couldn’t believe Lin Feng was still going on about this. He patted Lin Feng on the shoulder and consoled, “Hey man. Even if I said you could play, it really wouldn’t be up to me. This match is super important. We can’t afford to send out just anyone. Tang Bingyao is Platinum 1! With her in the team, we will easily beat Class 8!”
“But I’m a Challenger,” Lin Feng argued.
Ouyang half-heartedly nodded. “Fine, sure, you’re a Challenger. Why would you care about a kiddy league match like this? Listen, there’ll be plenty of games. I’ll get you into one, I promise. How does that sound?”
Lin Feng stared at Ouyang, not at all convinced. “Word?”
Ouyang pounded his chest. “My word is as good as gold!”
“Okay. I get to play the next match!” Lin Feng happily agreed, gullible as ever.
Yang Fan interjected, “Hey, Ouyang. Let me confirm with you again. Tang Bingyao really is Platinum 1, right? I don’t want to see her suddenly go zero for two. You know, I won’t let you live it down if that happens.”
Ouyang showed a mysterious smile. “Don’t worry. Seeing is believing. You’ll see how good she is tonight!”
Lin Feng started grumbling again, “Oh, so you give her the chance to show off her skills, but not me…! I see how it is.”
The rest of his first school day quickly passed by. After the final period bell rang, Lin Feng grabbed his bag, bid his friends farewell, and cheerfully returned home. He didn’t have homework, so other than the League match tonight, he was free. After taking out his key and unlocking the door, he shouted inside, “Su Xue, I’m home!”
An annoyed voice rang out from Su Xue’s room. “Alright, alright! I got it! No need to yell! I’m still streaming here!”
A few moments later, as Lin Feng was taking off his shoes, he heard Su Xue pound her desk. “Hey, hey, hey! Whose fucking viewers are you? Move aside maid? You want to watch the lil bro play? Fuck you! I’m your host, not him!”
Five minutes later, Su Xue walked out of her bedroom, steam coming from her nose and ears. “You went to class today?”
“Yeah, I did.”
“How was it? Did you make any new friends?”
“Yeah, I did. It was good. I even got invited to a friendly League match tonight at the internet cafe across from the school. It’s my new class versus the class next door! I’ll be going there after dinner.”
Su Xue raised an eyebrow in interest. “A friendly match? Are you playing?”
Lin Feng shook his head with a sullen expression. “No. They won’t let me play. I told them I’m a Challenger, but they won’t believe me.”
Su Xue couldn’t stifle her laughter. “Hahaha. Of course they won’t believe you if you say you’re a Challenger! But dang, even high schoolers like you are playing League of Legends. The game is getting more and more popular. Looks like I made the right choice in becoming a streamer…”
Lin Feng rubbed his stomach. “Su Xue, I’m hungry.”
Having her fantasies of her future career ignored, Su Xue unhappily glanced at Lin Feng. “Hungry already? Fine, go watch some TV or something. I’ll start making dinner in a bit.”
“Can you make the stir-fried eggplants you made last night again?” Lin Feng asked.
“Hmph! You’re full of requests, aren’t you? Hehe! At least you now know I’m a great cook, right? Gotcha, stir-fried eggplants. But first, go wash your hands.”
Half an hour later, a smorgasbord of dishes was set on the table. Lin Feng couldn’t stop himself from drooling. “Hoh… wow! C-can I start? I’m going to start!”
Lin Feng started gorging himself, shoving food in his mouth like a starved beast. Su Xue couldn’t help but be annoyed and amused at the same time. “Hey hey! The food isn’t going anywhere. Aren’t you afraid you’re going to eat your own tongue? Oi, don’t focus on one dish! Drink the soup too! Don’t eat so fast! I’m not going to call the ambulance for you if you choke, you fool!”
Some 10 minutes later, Lin Feng rubbed his stomach in satisfaction. “Whew… that was good. Thanks.” He then checked his phone and immediately stood up. “Shit! The game starts in 20 minutes! I’m going!”
Su Xue also got up. “Hey! What are you so anxious about? You’re not even playing… Go brush your teeth first!”
Lin Feng halted his steps and turned around. “You really are a nag, aren’t you?”
Su Xue was dumbstruck for a moment before her temper immediately flared. “The hell! You little shit! Calling me a nag? If it wasn’t for your aunt telling me to take care of you, I wouldn’t give a rat’s ass about you! You think I want to hover over you like some old maid? Fine! I don’t care anymore! Scram, y—”
Lin Feng waved goodbye. “Oh, alright. Then I’ll be going! Bye!”
Su Xue unhappily stomped to the kitchen, empty plates in hand. “Thankless brat! Cook him a nice meal, and this is what I get! Hmph! Next time, I’ll just feed him some rice gruel! Who wants to nanny someone else’s kid anyw…” Still grumbling as she walked back to the dining table, her eyes fell on a certain item. She grabbed it and rushed out the door after Lin Feng. “Hey, little fool! You forgot your keys—Fuck! I really have become your nanny!”
Lin Feng arrived at the NetCow Cafe a minute after the match with Class 8 was scheduled to start. A large group of high schoolers were gathered around several computers. Lin Feng recognized some of them as his new classmates. Brushing past them, he could finally see the 10 representatives from both classes. They had rented two rows of five computers that were opposite each other. Over on Class 7’s side, Yang Fan and Ouyang were both getting ready to go into the match. Next to them sat the thief who’d snatched away his opportunity to play in this game.
“Freaking ¥80 appearance fee! I said I’d do it for free, and they still won’t let me play!” Lin Feng prattled on like a broken record.
Ouyang happened to overhear this voice and turned around. “Lin Feng, you’re here! Damn, I told you it was 7 o’clock, and you’re still late! You were almost gonna miss seeing me carry with my jungle!”
An angry female voice rang out from the crowd. “Hey, Ouyang! Focus on the damn game! We’re already in champion select!”
Catching Ren Rou’s sharp glare, Ouyang gulped and immediately turned back to face the monitor. Ren Rou then glanced at Lin Feng and instructed, “We can’t let anyone get distracted during the match. So, hush.”
“O-oh, alright.” Lin Feng obediently nodded.
Ren Rou looked at Tang Bingyao and spoke with incomparable intimacy, “Tang Bingyao, you can do it! I get to see you carrying with your ad-carry first-hand today!”
Tang Bingyao earnestly nodded. “Mhm! I won’t let the ¥80 go to waste!”
“Huh? What ¥80?” Ren Rou blurted out.
Tang Bingyao glanced over at Ouyang, who immediately broke into nervous laughter. “Ahahaha… Rou Rou, I-i’ll explain it to you later. Right right right! We should focus on the match!”
The banning phase came to an end. One by one, the 10 representatives started picking their champions. Ren Rou, Lin Feng, and the other students turned their full attention to the game.
Lin Feng looked over at Tang Bingyao. At the very least, she appeared to be taking this match seriously. Though given his first impression of her, that came as no surprise. He wondered what champion she was going to play. She was third in pick order.
A moment later, Lin Feng received his answer. Tang Bingyao moved her mouse over a champion and the corresponding champion icon appeared next to her summoner. Then, she locked him in. Draven, The Glorious Executioner!
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Shanks Thought: So, ¥80 translates to like 11.50 USD. Given a game is like 30ish minutes, it’s not bad pay, especially considering the cost of living in China is way lower. Tang Bingyao’s got some real hustle.