translator: Oyen editor: Ciel
Of the people who arrived with Chu Jianxin, Xiao Han only knew the female player from National Grace. Her name was Li Junru, and she debuted a year after Qin Mo retired, which was why Qin Mo was not familiar with her. When Li Junru saw the two people, she took the initiative to come over and greet them. “Hello, great gods.”
“Long time no see, Junru,” Xiao Han replied.
Li Junru nodded, leaning over to whisper, “Is Liu Hong also on your team?”
She had obviously guessed the identity of Three Waterdrop, so Xiao Han simply nodded in return. Having received her answer, Li Junru smiled at the two of them, before moving to chat with Qiu Zongping.
Unfortunately, Xiao Han did not recognise the other people at all.
Chu Jianxin introduced them. “Deep In The Bamboo Grove and Beautiful Country of Without Fire Guild, Three Thousand Miles of River and Yellow River Flows Seawards of Frost Moon Guild, and also Rain Without Umbrella of Whisper guild.”
Xiao Han couldn’t remember so many messy IDs based on poems. In the end, he simply declared, “I don’t think we need to be so secretive. We’ll all be attending the professional league’s inaugural meeting, so why not introduce ourselves in advance?”
Mixed-raced Han was known for being straightforward; he hated beating around the bush the most. In fact, Chu Jianxin also had this idea. After all, these people were not from the Miracle alliance. He only knew them because he had arrived at the hotel early yesterday, and happened to meet them by chance. As for whether these people would reveal their team and their origins, it was also difficult for him to request it, so he hadn’t said anything. Now that Xiao Han had brought it up, however, he immediately took the opportunity to confess. “I’ll go first, then. I’m the captain of Huaxia’s Imperial team in this new game. My name is Chu Jianxin.”
Qiu Zongping also laid down his cards. “Hello everyone, I’m from Wind Colour club’s Sky team. My ID is Ordinary Person, and my name is Qiu Zongping.”
Li Junru followed up with “National Grace team’s captain, Li Junru.”
All the players from Miracle had already introduced themselves; it would be awkward if those from Wulin insisted on hiding. They exchanged glances for a few moments, before a man from Frost Moon guild took the initiative. “Seven Star Grass club, Frost Moon team’s captain, Chen Jiang.”
Those from Without Fire also spoke up. “Bronze Sparrow club, Without Fire team’s captain, Nie Yuzhu.”
This was in line with their previous speculations. Sure enough, these two teams were under the Seven Star Grass and Bronze Sparrow clubs. Chen Jiang should be the apprentice of former captain Xue Ke, while Nie Yuzhu was the apprentice of Shao Zehang, the former captain of Bronze Sparrow, just as Liu Hong guessed.
The atmosphere at this meeting of apprentices and martial siblings seemed a little weird. Out of the blue, an unknown person suddenly commented, “So you’re all professional players, that’s so amazing! I’m from Telecom district 2, Whisper guild, ID Rain Without Umbrella; my name is Lu Boyu. I’m a nobody, our team’s captain did not come this time. Haha, I’m really embarrassed to be compared with all the great gods.”
This Lu Boyu looked quite simple. However, their team captain was Zhu Qingyue’s senior brother, the real expert. Still, this matter was only known to Xiao Han and Qin Mo; the other people present did not seem to be aware.
Xie Changming walked over and patted him on the shoulder. “Don’t be modest, your black umbrella’s arrays are really amazing! I’m almost a nobody; I’ve never played in the professional league before. My name is Xie Changming, everyone can just call me A-Ming.”
Su Cheng smiled. “Hello everyone, my name is Su Cheng. I’m the captain of the Interlude team.”
Lin Shuangcheng followed up with his own introduction. “I am the captain of Sword Song, Lin Shuangcheng. According to the league’s regulations, our team will not be eligible to be registered as a formal professional team until we finish the qualifying matches at the end of the year. I hope that our teams can pass the qualifying matches smoothly, and meet everyone again at the inaugural meeting next year.”
Lu Boyu laughed. “Hahaha, of course!”
“Everyone is going to the professional league,” Lin Shuangcheng smiled. “We will meet often in the future. It is better to get familiar with each other in advance.”
He definitely deserved to be a popular esports anchor. With his high EQ, he was able to develop a good relationship with everyone on his team, as well as temporarily ease the awkward atmosphere of the ‘apprentice and martial siblings’ gathering.
At this time, several officials walked over to invite everyone into the meeting room. One of the beauties in a suit and skirt took the initiative to greet everyone. “Welcome to Beijing. I am Liu Sisi, the official R&D director of Peerless Jianghu. I’m very glad that so many experts were able to participate in the first national challenge arena competition, and honoured that everyone made the time to visit us here in Beijing…”
She said a few more polite words, before introducing the man beside her. “This is Mr. Tang Ximing, the chairman of Peerless Jianghu’s professional league.”
Chairman Tang looked like he was still in his early thirties, with his neat suit and meticulously combed hair. In fact, this person was a senior executive directly transferred from the headquarters of the CEL esports league in China.In the future, he would be responsible for managing the players and arranging tournaments for the Peerless Jianghu professional league.
Tang Ximing chuckled. “I followed director Liu here mainly to meet the experts who won the championships in this competition. Some of you are professional players, while others are folk experts. However, the fact that you could all win the championship proves your strength. I hope that I will be able to see you again at the inaugural meeting of the professional league next year.”
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
The meaning of his words was quite obvious—— this competition was just a warm-up before the actual professional league, and did not count in the team’s official score. He hoped that everyone would actively participate in Peerless Jianghu’s professional league next year, and become a formal professional player.
Jtjlgwjc Kjcu’r fsfr rkfqa bnfg atf ojmfr bo atlr ugbeq bo sbecu qfbqif. “Pc ojma, bcf bo sbe lr jc fzqfga ktb tjr gfaegcfv joafg ifjnlcu atf frqbgar mlgmif. Hlc Zb, P jw gfjiis tjqqs ab yf jyif ab klacfrr sbeg gfaegc.”
Hlc Zb: “…”
Kgeis, tf kjr rtba ktlif islcu vbkc, kjr la cfmfrrjgs ab mjii tlw bea ys cjwf?
Sure enough, as soon as chairman Tang said this, everyone’s gazes focused on Qin Mo.
Keeping his composure, Qin Mo smiled politely at chairman Tang.
Tang Ximing smiled at him, before turning back to face the group. “I am very clear about everyone’s origins. To have so many excellent players transferred to this Peerless Jianghu project is an honour for the professional alliance.”
He nodded at Liu Sisi, who reassured them. “Don’t be nervous. Chairman Tang came here solely to meet you. There will be no public awards giving ceremony, because he doesn’t want to expose the information of the various teams in advance after knowing your identities. We’ll just have lunch together later, before we visit the headquarters. The prizes have already been prepared, and we will distribute them later.”
Led by Director Liu, everyone went to the Chinese restaurant on the third floor of the hotel. She had booked the largest private room in the hotel in advance, and the fourteen contestants sat around the large circular table. It was quite the spectacular sight.
The atmosphere gradually became warm as everyone ate and chatted together. Tang Ximing deliberately chose a seat next to Qin Mo, and whispered quietly. “Qin Mo, I’m familiar with your master, Ling Xuefeng. I didn’t expect you to come back after three years of retirement. Seeing your name on the list of champions this time really gave me a huge surprise.”
Hearing his master being brought up, Qin Mo’s expression changed slightly. “Is master alright?”
Tang Ximing laughed. “Your master is travelling abroad with Xiao Han’s master. He’s been fine this whole time, but still keeps worrying about you, and even asked me to keep an eye out for you.”
Because of his apprentice’s sudden retirement, Ling Xuefeng flew back to the Wind Colour club just to investigate the reason why. It wasn’t a secret; everyone in the esports circle knew about this. In fact, Ling Xuefeng wasn’t only just the first generation captain of Wind Colour, but also a major shareholder of the club. After his retirement, however, he went abroad for a vacation, leaving the club’s affairs to the manager. Tang Ximing was already a member of the CEL esports Alliance, so before leaving, Ling Xuefeng asked him to keep an eye on his little apprentice. After all, Tang Ximing was at the esports Alliance headquarters, and had to be better informed than he was.
After Qin Mo’s retirement, Tang Ximing went to search for his whereabouts, but could not find anything. From this, it was obvious that the Qin family was deliberately helping Qin Mo hide. Unexpectedly, Qin Mo suddenly appeared in the public test of the Peerless Jianghu project three years later, playing a swordsman with a brand-new ID of ‘Ink Mark’, and even won the championship of Hanhua Sword sect longsword flow. When the officials reported the award list to him, Tang Ximing thought he was dreaming when he saw the name ‘Qin Mo’. After repeatedly checking the contestant’s ID card account and registration information, it was finally confirmed—— this was the little apprentice that Ling Xuefeng had been worried about!
Seeing Qin Mo today showed that he was a lot more mature than before, but his aloof temperament was really similar to his master’s.
Tang Ximing couldn’t hold back his laughter. “Does your master know about your return?”
Qin Mo looked a little awkward. “I don’t dare tell him…”
—— He was afraid of being scolded to death by his master.
What he feared most was this master of his. As long as his master’s gaze swept over him, Qin Mo would want to dig a hole to bury himself. Although he had grown up by now, Qin Mo was still scared by the scenes from his childhood, when he was scolded by his master. Not only that, but this time, he not only changed a project, but also stopped playing a summoner. If his master found out, wouldn’t he kill Qin Mo with that frosty gaze of his?
Hearing the conversation between the two people, Xiao Han leaned over to whisper. “Your master should have known a long time ago.”
Qin Mo was unconvinced, “How is that possible?”
“When I recognised you in the game, I told my master that I saw Xiao Mo in the new district,” Xiao Han replied straightforwardly. “Master was with your master at that time, so god Ling should have known since then.”
Qin Mo: “…”
Since his master already knew about it, how had there been no movement? Was his master preparing a big move to cast on him?
Chairman Tang went to converse with other people. He knew everyone’s origins, including Nie Yuzhu and Cheng Jiang, as well as their masters. As such, it was easy to find conversation topics.
On the other hand, Qin Mo was restless for the whole meal. His master’s cold and sharp gaze was constantly on his mind. Seeing his concerns, Xiao Han patted Qin Mo’s hand with a smile, whispering, “Don’t be afraid. If your master wants to lecture you, I will accompany you to go meet him. This way, you will have a companion.”
Qin Mo: “…”
You want to follow me? I’m afraid that when the time comes, both traitors will be lectured together!
Chairman Tang was very amiable, and took the time to chat with everyone during the meal. He also encouraged those who did not have a club background, such as Sword Song, Interlude, and Whisper, to go back and prepare for the qualifiers as soon as possible.
The chairman was obviously trying to get along with everyone. It helped that he had a mild temper, and didn’t put on any airs.
After lunch, everyone went to the headquarters by car.
The headquarters of Peerless Jianghu was located in an urban area, occupying the highest three floors, 31st to 33rd, of the office building. Everyone took the elevator up to the 31st floor, and were immediately awed by the posters of all the major sects that lined the corridor, as well as the figurines set up for viewing pleasure. The employees’ badges were also painted with a Q-version of the various avatars from all the sects. From this, it was clear that this game was well-loved.
Director Liu showed everyone around the working area, before bringing them to the research department on the 32nd floor.
As the first VR-based large-scale online game in China, the research department was undoubtedly the core of the company. Shadow projection area, vegetation effect, the curve of the first visual field with the change of light, etc.; every computer on this floor stored large amounts of data, and the various staff members were kept busy.
While showing everyone around, Liu Sisi remarked, “This time, I invited you to come and visit for a reason. In fact, there is something I would like to ask of all of you. Everyone here is a top-level player from a major sect in Peerless Jianghu. So, in terms of sect skills, equipment production, and so on, if you find anything unreasonable, please do not hesitate to email me. I will arrange for the staff to deal with it as soon as possible. We hope to achieve a balance in the sect system before the professional league tournament is officially launched next year.”
It wasn’t uncommon for game officials to invite high-leveled players to test the game. The reason why Director Liu asked everyone to submit bugs was obviously for the sake of next year’s professional league, so everyone simply agreed.
Then, Liu Sisi took everyone to a room, gave everyone a pair of VR glasses, and turned on the computer on the table.
Looking at the broadcast from the computer screen, everyone was shocked—— the immersive feeling was even more realistic than in the game!
What was shown on the computer was the ‘Bamboo Forest Trail’ map. Everyone felt as if they had just walked into this forest in person. Not only were they surrounded by green bamboo, they could even hear the rustling of the leaves as the wind blew!
Liu Sisi smiled. “These are brand new VR glasses launched in cooperation with Qingyang Electronic Technology Company. We are considering using them in future competitions. As long as the audience wears these glasses to watch the match, the effect will be like watching two experts face each other on the spot.”
Everyone was astounded—— they hadn’t expected that domestic electronic technology had gotten so advanced. Still, it was a very good idea, and could make spectators more willing to watch the competition at the official venues in future. After all, the quality of the footage shown on the computers at home was definitely not as good as watching martial arts blockbusters on the spot. The application of these VR glasses in Peerless Jianghu would reinvent the old boring methods of watching competitions, and fully mobilize the mood and enthusiasm of the audience.
Liu Sisi continued her explanation. “This project is still being researched, and the conversion of the god’s perspective needs to be connected to the first-person perspective. The live broadcast mode on the network and the adjustment of the live perspective are the problems we must tackle next. If there are no accidents, however, after the start of next year’s league, this mode of watching the competition will officially be put into use.”
Before their eyes was the ancient green bamboo forest, yet Liu Sisi’s voice could be heard in their ears; this gave off the feeling that they had travelled through time and space.
“Do players need to use these glasses?” Qin Mo asked.
“No,” Liu Sisi replied. “These third-person perspective glasses are mainly for watching games. The glasses used by players will remain in the original first perspective.”
Feeling relieved, Qin Mo nodded. “That’s good. This idea is very novel and should attract a large audience.”
Liu Sisi asked, “Would any of you like to PK for everyone to watch?”
Xie Changming immediately threw out a suggestion. “Let the husband and wife pair have a match, the rest of us can watch!”
Liu Sisi was puzzled. “Husband and wife?”
Xie Changming sold them out without any hesitation. “God Han and god Mo came to our guild undercover with small accounts, pretending to be husband and wife!”
Everyone’s faces showed a ‘suddenly enlightened’ expression. Qin Mo really wanted to kill this teenager with his glasses—— was it really necessary to tell the officials about this?
Liu Sisi smiled. “So it’s like this. Will the both of you play?”
Chairman Tang also smiled. “Come on, Xiao Han and Qin Mo should play a game, let everyone watch.”
Both of them had no choice but to sit in front of the computer, put on the players’ glasses and log on to their own account to build a challenge arena.
Qin Mo selected a snow-covered map, causing a vast snowy mountain to appear before everyone’s eyes. On top of the snowy mountain, a white-clothed swordsman and a black-clothed assassin stood opposite each other, surrounded by piles of heavy snow. The crystalline sword in the swordsman’s hands, Broken Ice, had a frosty aura, while the dagger in the assassin’s hand was glowing a bloody red. From the perspective of the audience, Ink Mark and Thousand Miles Ice were right before their eyes.
“Countdown three seconds before the start, exchange a few moves, stop at first blood,” Qin Mo instructed.
Xiao Han: “Okay.”
After counting three seconds in his heart, Xiao Han directly opened ‘Thousand Lights Ghost Walk’ and split into five shadows. Almost as if he had expected it, Qin Mo opened the secret book skill ‘Sword Rain Fragrance’—— the five black shadows immediately surrounding Ink Mark, only to be silenced by the numerous white sword spirits that fell from the sky.
Ink Mark followed up with the group attack ‘Sword Horizon’ to seckill the shadows, only for Thousand Miles Ice to open ‘Meteor’. Blinking behind Ink Mark, he stabbed the swordsman’s back twice in a row. Qin Mo chose to turn around, opening ‘Unrivalled Sword’ backwards and thrusting his sword straight into the assassin’s chest. In the end, the blood volume of both people dropped to 75% at the same time, causing them both to stop the battle here.
Xie Changming was unable to bear his excitement, and cheered both people on loudly. “Wow! That was so awesome!”
Qiu Zongping applauded. “Wonderful!”
Lin Shuangcheng also offered some praise of his own. “This technology is really powerful, the pictures seen can be directly compiled into a film.”
R&D director Liu Sisi was proud. “Qingyang Electronic Technology company is strong. This time, we are joining hands with them to boldly reinvent the experience for watching competitions. Everyone here is an expert, so please, come over and take a look, and maybe offer us some opinions.”
“I think the colors are a little too bright,” Su Cheng commented. “It’s fine for short periods, but the audience will definitely feel uncomfortable if they are using the glasses for long periods.”
Hearing this, Xie Changming chimed in. “That’s right, my senior brother studied traditional Chinese painting in college, so he knows a lot about colour. It is really too glamorous to look at this, and the bamboo is a bit too piercingly bright. Can it be adjusted?”
Liu Sisi smiled. “Your suggestion is one of the problems that we are considering. For now, we are still studying the adjustment of hues and saturations. The next batch of glasses will feature a button for colour adjustment, allowing the audience to set it according to their preferences.”
Su Cheng was pleased. “That’s great. Some people like bright colours, while others may prefer soft tones. If it can be adjusted, it will meet everyone’s needs.”
Everyone was very enthusiastic for this discussion, obviously interested in this new style of watching the match.
Liu Sisi planned to take everyone to the department that handled the live broadcasts of competitions. As a result, as soon as they left the room, they saw a tall man drinking coffee by the window. Dressed in slim black trousers and an iron-grey short-sleeved shirt that revealed his strong arms, the man leaned against the wall almost lazily. Still, his appearance could only be described as handsome, with his sword-shaped eyebrows and eyes as deep as the stars. This gaze was fixed on the cup in his hands, almost as if he were thinking about something.
Seeing this, Liu Sisi took the initiative to greet him. “Director Chu.”
The man raised his head. Seeing the large army behind her, the corners of his mouth twitched slightly, into something that both resembled and yet wasn’t a smile. “Hey, so many acquaintances here, did everyone move to play at Peerless Jianghu?”
Qiu Zongping, Chu Jianxin and the others immediately moved to greet him. “Hello, senior.” “It’s been a long time, great god…”
The man smiled at the juniors, before moving to Xiao Han and Qin Mo, giving them a quick once-over. “I shouldn’t be mistaken, aren’t you Xiao Han and Qin Mo? Have you both come to Peerless Jianghu also?”
Being named, Xiao Han and Qin Mo could only brace themselves and greet him. “Hello, captain Chu.”
They didn’t dare to tell him that they had dragged his beloved apprentice to ‘play’ at Peerless Jianghu too!
—— Chu Yan, Zhu Qingyue’s master.
—— Why was this great god in Peerless Jianghu’s official headquarters?