Shen Yanming had never thought that being a good student would be such a challenging task.

First of all, there were many temptations.

In their senior year, although the overall atmosphere was serious and tense, there were still a few students who didn’t care about studying.
They secretly brought prohibited items to school and surfed the internet with them.
Afterward, they would drag Shen Yanming to share some gossip.

Shen Yanming severly condemned such behavior from the bottom of his heart.

But still his body couldn’t resist the temptation of gossip.

Especially when the gossip was related to TMM, his favorite team.

In fact, it couldn’t really be called gossip.
It was just that Nightmare and Kong hadn’t publicly played duo games for a long time.
But last night, in the middle of the night, Nightmare suddenly livestreamed a duo game with Kong.
While staying up late, Nightmare chatted with the viewers about many things regarding the regular season.

“Return to the Throne” had been in operation for nearly ten years since its release.
Every year, they would hold a world-class Throne Championship, and each region holds its own selection matches before the global tournament.

The Chinese region had performed well last year, securing three spots for this year’s world tournament.

Now, the qualifying teams from the entire Chinese region were about to start fighting against each other, playing regular season matches followed by the playoffs to compete for those three tickets to the world tournament.

Before the official start of the regular season, there would be an exhibition match, and the teams participating in the exhibition match were randomly selected.

This year, the team chosen for the exhibition match was TMM, the reigning world champion, and XXL, which ranked second in the region and third in the world.

The clash between these two powerhouses in the exhibition match will definitely be quite the spectacle…!

When Nightmare revealed this news, the onlookers went wild.

The exhibition match was scheduled for the coming Sunday, but unfortunately, it would take place in the evening when they, high school students, would have already returned to school, buried in their studies.

Among the boys who were secretly discussing at the back of the classroom, someone spoke up first, “I really want to watch the livestream…”

“Watching the live stream would take a long time, right? How could we manage?” It was fine to sneakily check their phones now when the teacher wasn’t paying attention, but watching a livestream for several hours with so many people together would surely attract the disciplinary office’s attention and affect their KPI.

“Then how about taking a leave of absence and watching it at home? It would be even more enjoyable to watch it on a TV.”

“Taking a leave of absence is going too far.
Do you think the teacher will approve a collective leave request from so many students?”

“But this is the ultimate showdown between Sweetie and Plus-Size Men’s Clothing!1Plus-Size Men’s Clothing: “大码男装 “(Dà mǎ nán zhuāng) nickname from fans for the XXL team.
“dà mǎ nán zhuāng” can refer to clothing sizes that are larger than the standard sizes, often including XXL or larger sizes.
Don’t you want to watch it?”

“Then let’s think about an excuse for taking a leave of absence?”

Shen Yanming looked at his classmates disdainfully, “If you want to take a leave, go ahead.
Don’t interfere with my studies.”

His classmates gave him an even more disdainful look, “Tell us, what have you been studying so diligently lately?”

They had already seen through him.
At first, they thought he had truly turned over a new leaf, but after a while, they realized that Shen Yanming, who spent every day messing around with them, didn’t seem to have any genuine intention of studying.

Coincidentally, the representative of the math class came over to distribute the quiz papers and handed one to Shen Yanming.

Several classmates looked over, expecting to witness a joke.
However, when they saw the scores on the paper, they were left speechless.

The quiz was prepared by the teacher, with a maximum score of 100.
Shen Yanming scored 70, which wasn’t a particularly high score, but compared to his previous scores of 40 or 50 (out of 150), it was a significant improvement.

Classmates: “Did you cheat?”

Shen Yanming rolled up the paper and gave each of them a whack on the head.

The math representative glanced at Shen Yanming and said, “Not bad, Xiao Yanzi.”

Shen Yanming raised his chin, proudly patted his chest, and said, “You flatter me.
I scored 50 on the last quiz, 70 this time, and I’ll get 90 next time.
By the time for college entrance exams, getting a perfect score will be a piece of cake.
Remember to come to Tsinghua University to visit me in the future, and I’ll definitely treat you well.”

Others: “…”

Shen Yanming wasn’t actually stupid, he just hadn’t put his mind into studying.
In fact, he had strong summarization and analysis skills—although it was honed through analyzing game strategies, it was applicable elsewhere as well.
Lately, he had occasionally goofed around with these classmates who didn’t study much, but he paid attention in class and spent time studying afterwards, making some progress.

After all, if he had made up his mind to study well, he couldn’t just talk about it.

However, while Shen Yanming seemed focused on his studies, deep down, he couldn’t help but feel restless when he heard the news about the exhibition match.

In the previous life, it wasn’t these two teams that played in this exhibition match, but Shen Yanming watched it nonetheless.
It was just an unremarkable performance.

He thought it would be the same this time, but the random draw turned out to be completely random.

If it was a match between TMM and XXL, he really wanted to watch it.

Should he… fake being sick?

While he was still contemplating, his classmates had already started talking about something else.

“Hey, yesterday Yan Shen and Kong Shen were really strong in duo queue.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to watch the entire replay, so we can only watch these highlights that others edited.”

“They are truly amazing.
Look at this… Yan Shen ended up in the enemy’s territory by mistake, low on health while facing an opponent, and just when it seemed like he was about to die, Kong immediately came to his rescue, shielded him and controlled the entire enemy team.

“These two are a match made in heaven.
It’s hard to imagine them losing to anyone when they’re together, right?”

Shen Yanming was also craning his neck to watch the video, and just as he was about to comment on their impressive coordination, he heard a strange statement, “What did you learn in Chinese class? Is it appropriate to use idioms like that? Is that how ‘match made in heaven’ is used?”

In fact, Shen Yanming had always believed that this duo was invincible, but using the phrase “match made in heaven” seemed excessive, right? Why did people in the e-sports community like to ship others so much? Even his straight male classmates couldn’t avoid becoming a CP2CP: Couple Pairing fans?

Shen Yanming thought this trend was really unacceptable, so he sternly corrected them.

After finishing his remark, he planned to carefully observe the gameplay of the two gods.
But suddenly, someone shouted, “The teacher is coming!” The students with phones quickly hid them under their desks, flipping through the books that had been placed on the desk for a long time, pretending to be engrossed in solving difficult problems.

The teacher walked by and nodded in satisfaction.

School life was so dull and boring.
Shen Yanming’s studies were gradually getting back on track, but he still had some lingering thoughts about gaming while being at school.
He endured until the weekend when he returned home.
After dinner, he went to his room and spread out the materials he brought back from school, preparing to study.

Actually, he still wanted to play games.
Before leaving last week, he had asked his parents to lock the computer.
However, he wasn’t sure if they were too busy and forgot about it.
When he returned, the computer was still neatly placed in his room, exactly as he left it.

He gritted his teeth and resisted the urge to turn on the computer.

But playing on his phone for a while before studying seemed feasible.
At least for him, playing on his phone wouldn’t consume him like computer games did.
There wouldn’t be a situation where he finished one game and started another, again and again.

He opened his playlist and played an old Cantonese song from the last century that young people wouldn’t normally listen to.
Feeling relaxed, he opened Weibo to check if there were any updates from the e-sports bloggers and players he followed.

However, as soon as he opened Weibo, he was bombarded with posts from AJi.

His dormitory friend mentioned this matter vaguely before, but he wasn’t too interested in listening and simply brushed it off.

But now he saw it himself.

Aji said he wanted to have a solo match.

Shen Yanming immediately scrolled past the post, but then he reconsidered and scrolled back up, directly blocking Aji.

The last time, Aji was crushed by Luanzi ge.
He thought the opponent had used a substitute or was using cheats.
How could a funny streamer easily defeat him?

He went to confront the other person, trying to regain his reputation, but Kong Shen directly stepped in to support the person and another streamer also made a video to clear the person’s name.

In the end, even the official investigation results were released, stating that the player [I’m Messing Around Again] had valid and authentic game data.

Aji immediately became the target of ridicule.
When he went live, the barrage was filled with laughter at him, and even the comments on Weibo were also mocking him.

Even his teammates in the team came to know about this, and even the coach tactfully advised him to practice more, spend less time online, and avoid conflicts with others.

These days, he felt extremely unhappy.

He had been playing this game for a long time and consistently ranked well on the national server.
He had always wanted to play professionally, and had even joined the youth training camps of other teams.
Unfortunately, he had been stuck in the youth training camps all along, and as his age gradually increased, if he couldn’t become an official team member, he would lose his chance.

Being signed by CTG as an official player was something he was very proud of.

After all, there was a clear distinction between professional players, ordinary players, and youth trainees.
And now, he could finally stand at the pinnacle and look down on others.

But unexpectedly, he lost to a casual streamer.

All the evidence indicated that [I’m Messing Around Again] didn’t use cheats or find someone to play for him, but AJi still couldn’t accept it.

So, what if he didn’t cheat? What if Kong spoke up for him? The examples of battles that the video streamer showed were all from low-level matches.
What was there to be proud of in showing off skills in low-level matches?

Besides, that day, he had underestimated his opponent.

He really wanted to redeem himself, so once again, he challenged [I’m Messing Around Again].

After issuing the challenge, he kept refreshing Weibo, waiting for a response.
But after waiting for several days, it seemed like the other person didn’t take him seriously at all.

He felt restless, but still waited patiently because he saw some comments mentioning that the anchor was a student studying at a boarding school and might not have seen it.

Finally, when the person came online, Aji realized that he had been blocked.

He became furious and immediately posted another Weibo.

丶lucky: I’m Messing Around Again, are you a coward? Are you scared of losing so you only dare to block me? If you have the guts, come out and play a match!”

Actually, when Shen Yanming blocked Aji, he couldn’t see Aji’s posts anymore, but with so many people around, as soon as Aji posted that Weibo, he immediately received many private messages.

He didn’t want to know, so he decided to turn a blind eye to it.

There was no need to deal with idiots.

Just then, there was a knock on the door, and Lin Qingyue entered.
Shen Yanming quickly threw his phone aside and pretended to be earnestly studying.

Ling Qingyue had ellipsis above her head.
“Stop pretending, I saw you playing with your phone.”

Shen Yanming: “… I’m sorry, I’ll study seriously now.”

Ling Qingyue didn’t say much and handed him an envelope.

Shen Yanming looked puzzled as he took the envelope.
“What’s this?”

“Your birthday gift for this year.”

“Ah? But my birthday hasn’t arrived yet,” Shen Yanming became excited.
“What is it? Could it be a huge check?”

Ling Qingyue tapped his head.
“In your dream.”

Shen Yanming opened the envelope and took out a thick piece of paper, which looked like a ticket.

When he read the words printed on the paper, Shen Yanming jumped up from his chair in excitement.

——The paper ticket read: “Entrance ticket for the opening exhibition match of the 9th “Return to the Throne” professional league in the Chinese region.”

“Look at you, so hopeless,” Ling Qingyue shook her head.
“A few days ago, I went to visit Aunt Liu’s house, and her child also plays your game.
He said they’re going to start competing this year… I don’t really understand, but he mentioned a team you like, and he said this competition is a rare opportunity.
After discussing it with your dad, since your birthday is coming up, and it’s your 18th birthday, which holds great significance, we decided to let you go and watch the competition.
We’ve already bought the tickets, and they’ll be delivered to our home soon… We’ve also arranged the flights and hotel for you, so you can go directly when the time comes.”

The schedule for the exhibition match had been announced a long time ago, and the tickets had been on sale for a while.
However, after the teams for the exhibition match were revealed, the remaining tickets were quickly snatched up, and those who had tickets were reselling them at high prices.

It was a challenging task for Shen Yanming’s middle-aged parents, who were not familiar with e-sports, to secure a ticket like this.

“Mom, are you and Dad angels or something?” Shen Yanming jumped up and down for a while, finally calming down and hesitating.
“…but I’m in my senior year of high school.
Won’t this affect my studies?”

Ling Qingyue looked at Shen Yanming seriously.
“Your dad and I don’t want you to force yourself to do something you don’t like.” She didn’t know why her son suddenly changed his mind and no longer wanted to become a professional player, but she had witnessed his passion before.
She wouldn’t interfere with her child’s decision, but she still hoped that he could personally see what the competition is like before deciding whether to give up on this path.

She didn’t say it directly, but looking at Shen Yanming’s expression, he should understand her meaning.

Ling Qingyue patted Shen Yanming’s shoulder and left the room.

Shen Yanming didn’t expect his 18th birthday gift to be a ticket to watch an e-sports competition.

He cherished the ticket, examining it over and over again, swallowing many emotions.
Finally, he took a photo and posted it on Weibo.

He checked his private messages and saw that some people were still sending him updates about Aji.
Aji, after being ignored and blocked, was now venting his anger and spouting nonsense.

Feeling good now, Shen Yanming unblocked Aji and replied, “If you’re so eager to fight, then let’s fight~”

After that, he posted another Weibo.

I’m Messing Around Again: Let me tell you all some useless trivia.
In our hometown, whenever there’s a happy occasion, we celebrate by slaughtering a pig~~~ [/happy] [/happy]

Aji also saw this Weibo and immediately became enraged.

丶lucky: Who are you talking about???

I’m Messing Around Again: What do you mean, who am I talking about? I’m just sharing some trivia.

Thank you for reading! 

Hope you enjoy the rest of your day

If you like reading my translations, do consider supporting me with ko-fi

1Plus-Size Men’s Clothing: “大码男装 “(Dà mǎ nán zhuāng) nickname from fans for the XXL team.
“dà mǎ nán zhuāng” can refer to clothing sizes that are larger than the standard sizes, often including XXL or larger sizes.2CP: Couple Pairing

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