As Shen Yanming tore open the envelope and saw that it contained a letter, he had intended to make a few jokes, but after reading it, he found himself at a loss for words.

What was this feeling? Growing up in this highly digitalized era, Shen Yanming had only received handwritten notes when his classmates secretly asked him, “What are we having for lunch?”

He had never received this kind of handwritten letter before.
People used to say that some girls would write love letters when confessing, but Shen Yanming had never experienced such a romantic scenario.
Perhaps the girls who were interested in him were more straightforward, directly asking if he wanted to date them, and even the more reserved ones would send him text messages.
Of course, he never accepted, hence his solo status for so many years.

He didn’t know why he associated it with love letters.
Clearly, it was a sincere letter written by a literary young man to him.

Shen Yanming collected his scattered thoughts.

He remembered that He Changkong had sent him a few lines before, but they were sent as a photo, and the words were not like this—

An entire page filled with words that smoothed out the wrinkles in his heart caused by confusion.

Saying he wasn’t touched would be a lie.

He hadn’t expected that his somewhat melodramatic question would receive such a sincere response.

“Fight, fight, fight!” He carefully packed the letter back into the envelope and put it into his backpack’s compartment, and lifted his face with a bright smile that could rival the sunshine outside.

He didn’t know how long he had been sitting in the reception room before someone came to take him for a detailed discussion.
He Changkong didn’t follow and only whispered a few words to Shen Yanming as he was leaving, “Have a good talk.
You have experience now.
If you’re not satisfied with any conditions, fight for better ones and don’t rush to sign.”

Shen Yanming felt like He Changkong was truly acting like a caring mother, fearing that his child might suffer a loss.
His real mother never cared about these things, leaving him to figure it out on his own.

Shen Yanming waved his hand, “Got it, Mom.”

He Changkong, “…Speak nicely.”

Shen Yanming playfully twitched his eyebrows, “Got it, Gege!”1Gege: The one used in this sentence is “葛格” (Gégé) instead of “哥哥” (Gēgē) which is a specific term of endearment used to address someone with familiarity and affection, it is used to refer to an older brother or someone who is like an older brother in a close and affectionate manner.
It is more informal and is often used among close friends or in a friendly context.
Both “哥哥” and “葛格” can refer to someone who is like an older brother, but “葛格” has a more affectionate and informal connotation, often used within close relationships or among friends.

With that, he left with the staff.
He Changkong watched Shen Yanming’s figure disappear into the distance and gently shook his head.

This kid.

After passing through a long corridor and taking the elevator up, they arrived at the office for their discussion.
Shen Yanming had never been to TMM’s base before, only catching a glimpse of it through online leaks.
Now, he couldn’t help but take a few more glances like Liu Laolao entering the Grand View Garden.2Liu Laolao is an old lady character in the novel who is very curious and eager to see everything when she visits the Grand View Garden, a grand and luxurious garden owned by the Jia family.
The phrase is used to depict someone who is overly curious and excited about seeing new things or places.
TMM’s clubhouse was indeed luxurious, as they had multiple game divisions and occupied a large area of land.
The entire base had a futuristic dark tone, resembling some kind of space capsule.
Compared to the small team base he had been in during his previous life, which resembled an internet I, this one was far superior.

Shen Yanming asked the staff guiding him, “Miss, will I be staying at the back?”

There are several player dorms at the back, and Shen Yanming glanced at them from a distance when he arrived.

“Yes,” the staff replied with a smile, probably noticing that Shen Yanming was brought here by He Changkong, so they added, “Next to the building where Kong stays, there’s an empty room.
If you like, you can move in, or if some players don’t prefer to live alone, you can find a roommate.”

Shen Yanming was quite surprised.
“Do players from the second team or the youth training camp also live here?” As far as he knew, many non-official members had rather ordinary training conditions, let alone living arrangements.
Club resources were limited, so it was already good enough to have a well-equipped main team without treating the remaining players poorly.

“The boss has money, after all.”

Indeed, that’s a sweet deal.

However, Shen Yanming didn’t get to enjoy it for long before he bumped into someone on his way.

It seemed that being called up early in the morning for questioning, and not about anything good, had put Song Lan in a bad mood.
His expression was cold as if ice shards could be scraped from it.

Song Lan must have overheard Shen Yanming’s conversation with the staff, and as they brushed past each other, he sneered, “Don’t think you can fly just because you’re here.
Sit on the bench for a few years before talking about anything else.
Just because you’ve had some good luck showing off as a streamer doesn’t mean you can play professionally.”

Shen Yanming: “…” He never imagined that Song Lan would be so two-faced.
In the past, Shen Yanming was a fan of Song Lan’s gameplay and, combined with his filtered view of the entire TMM team, he admired this person.

The staff member beside him frowned upon hearing Song Lan’s remarks, “Lan, watch your words.”

Song Lan shrugged nonchalantly, “I’ll say whatever I want, whether you like it or not, tell me, in the past two years, has anyone from our main team been replaced? Newcomers may dream of making a name for themselves, but they shouldn’t aim too high.
Stay grounded.”

Though it seemed like advice, it was filled with disdain.
It was as if he had already decided that Shen Yanming came here only to be a substitute, or worse, not even that.

From his words, it was also evident that his messy love life hadn’t had much impact on him.
At most, he might have received some criticism and warnings or been fined, but he hadn’t faced disciplinary action, let alone a ban.

It was similar to what He Changkong had said earlier; with the regular season’s first round about to begin, the club wouldn’t want any extra troubles unless things escalated into a major issue.

He was really acting smug.

Of course, Shen Yanming wasn’t a saint either.
Though he felt a little annoyed by Song Lan’s words, he deliberately acted as if he couldn’t hear them.
Recently, he had also learned how to be more cunning.
He put on a look as if he hadn’t heard Song Lan’s words and turned to the staff with a grin, “Can you show me around the dorm later? Who else lives in the same building as Kong?”

Before the staff could respond, as if he had just remembered something, he turned to look at Song Lan with a sincere smile, “You’re also staying in the same building, right? How about I live next door to you? We can be good neighbors, visit each other often… But I guess a time management master like Lan ge might not stay at the base frequently, which would be a pity.
I still want to spend more time with Lan ge and make friends.”

Song Lan was choked for a moment, “You!”

In his mind, Shen Yanming rolled his eyes, but maintained a smiling expression on his face.
He then turned to the staff as if seeking advice, “Kong ge said that my contract is the same as that of a formal team member.
Could you tell me about the differences between various contracts?”

Everyone was sharp-witted, and the staff also understood that Shen Yanming was deliberately saying this.
Each player signed different contracts with varying treatments, which was an unspoken fact known to all.
However, it was not something that was openly discussed.
As a club employee, she couldn’t casually discuss such matters in public.
However, as an ordinary woman who had been keeping an eye on Song Lan since the gossip about him surfaced, the staff didn’t stop Shen Yanming and just said, “Let’s discuss it in detail later, okay?”

Shen Yanming obediently nodded, “Sure.”

Anyway, he casually revealed that he signed the contract as a formal team member, which would surely annoy someone as petty as Song Lan.

Sure enough, Lan soon walked away with a dark expression.
When the club signed new players, they would offer different contracts based on how much they valued the newcomers.
But generally, the players would start from the bottom, just like how Lan himself came up.
He only got a new supplementary contract and better treatment after being promoted to the starting lineup.

If what Shen Yanming said was true, and he indeed got a formal member’s contract from the beginning, it meant that the team wouldn’t let him sit on the bench for too long.
The club wouldn’t spend a fortune to keep a substitute.

But so what? Shen Yanming played as an assassin, and his position didn’t conflict with Lan’s.
It wouldn’t be him who got replaced.

If Shen Yanming really became his teammate, Lan could deliberately perform slightly worse, use it as an excuse to pressure the management by claiming they didn’t cooperate well, and force them to make changes.

Even if the management valued Shen Yanming, how much experience did he have in major competitions? How could he be compared to someone as stable as Lan?

Take this recent incident, for example.
If it were a lesser-known player, they might have faced more severe punishment, but the club’s top brass still valued him.
They only gave him a mild warning and reminded him to perform well in the upcoming matches.

Besides, his contract was about to expire, and once the transfer period opened, other clubs would probably be willing to pay to snatch him.
He didn’t have to subject himself to the humiliation of staying in such a team full of self-righteous idiots.
He would leave TMM.
Although TMM wasn’t centered around him, losing a strong player like him would undoubtedly impact the team’s strength.

No matter what, it wouldn’t be him who ends up in a miserable situation.

With these thoughts, Song Lan felt somewhat better.
Today, he still had to go out and find those two girls from yesterday.
Although the club hadn’t taken any action against him yet, they were like time bombs to him, and he needed to go and appease them properly.

Meanwhile, Shen Yanming followed the staff member into an office.
He was a bit excited, but not nervous or anxious.
As He Changkong had said, he wasn’t an inexperienced rookie.
He carefully read through the contract terms, made sure there were no hidden pitfalls, and then had a deep conversation with the team manager and coach for almost an hour before finally signing his name on the contract.

Although he didn’t go through an evaluation process, his previous videos and performance at the opening ceremony were sufficient proof of his capability.
Moreover, the coach mentioned that He Changkong showed them a private video of Shen Yanming practicing his aiming skills, and his hand speed was indeed astonishing.

The reason they offered him a formal team member’s contract was also due to considering the future roster adjustments.
They had a new lineup and tactical plan in mind, but they weren’t ready to reveal it yet.

After signing the contract, it was already approaching noon when Shen Yanming came out.
Following the directions given by the staff, he went to the training room designated for the Return to the Throne division.
There were two training rooms for the division, both the same size, but one was for the main team with fewer people, making it look more spacious, and the other was for the second team and other players, but both had top-notch equipment and facilities.

For the time being, he probably wouldn’t train with the main team.
He came here to inform He Changkong first.

During lunchtime, many esports players began their day, so there weren’t many people in the training room.
Shen Yanming knocked on the door and saw He Changkong already playing a solo match on the international server.
Not wanting to disturb him, Shen Yanming watched for a while from the side.

After He Changkong finished a game, Shen Yanming said, “I’ve signed the contract.”

He Changkong took off his headphones and replied, “We’ll be teammates from now on.”

Shen Yanming rubbed his face, chuckled foolishly twice, and then said, “By the way, I might head home this afternoon, and then I’ll see if I can fly back tomorrow night.”

He Changkong asked, “Why the rush?”

Although Shen Yanming had decided to become a professional player, there were still some procedures he had to handle at school before returning home and packing, but it wasn’t something he had to do immediately.
Besides, Shen Yanming even mentioned that he would be back the next night, which seemed too rushed.

The club would surely give him plenty of time to deal with this matter properly.

Shen Yanming insisted, “Your team’s match is in two days, and I want to rush back to watch you play.”

He Changkong said, “No need to rush, you can watch the match anytime after it’s over, and besides, we’re on the same team now…”

“That won’t do,” Shen Yanming said earnestly, “Let me tell you a secret.
Back when I was still in CTG, whenever my schedule allowed it, I would go and watch your matches… mainly to watch you, you know.”

He Changkong didn’t understand, “You’re an assassin.
Why would you watch me play? I’m just a healer.”

Shen Yanming replied matter-of-factly, “Not all healers are called Kong, okay.
I lost big time by not watching one match… Of course, I also watched Meng Yan play.
His style is completely different from mine, but some of his tactics are worth learning.”

If it were a few days ago, he might not have been able to say it so candidly, but now he felt that he and He Changkong were good buddies with shared secrets, and he no longer had to look up to him like a god.
He felt that they were getting closer, and talking with him felt much less stressful.

He genuinely wanted to watch He Changkong play, so he just said it directly.

He Changkong, on the other hand, felt that this kid was quite slick.
Maybe he was actually coming to watch Meng Yan, but he still wanted to say something pleasing to win his favor, so he emphasized that he came to watch him play.

Before He Changkong could respond further, Shen Yanming continued, “Ah, when I go back, I’ll make some banners and placards like the girls do, cheer you on from below, and shout your name.
How does that sound?”

He Changkong said, “…Players in the player’s room can’t hear what’s being shouted below.”

Shen Yanming pouted, “Let’s just go through the motions, it’ll add some sense of ceremony.”

With a thought in his mind, He Changkong didn’t know why, but he asked, “Do you still have that cat ears accessory that the fan club gave you last time?”

Shen Yanming didn’t know why He Changkong suddenly brought this up and replied, “Yes, I still have it.”

After hesitating for a moment, He Changkong said, “It looks good on you, you should wear it.”

Shen Yanming: “…”

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

1Gege: The one used in this sentence is “葛格” (Gégé) instead of “哥哥” (Gēgē) which is a specific term of endearment used to address someone with familiarity and affection, it is used to refer to an older brother or someone who is like an older brother in a close and affectionate manner.
It is more informal and is often used among close friends or in a friendly context.
Both “哥哥” and “葛格” can refer to someone who is like an older brother, but “葛格” has a more affectionate and informal connotation, often used within close relationships or among friends.2Liu Laolao is an old lady character in the novel who is very curious and eager to see everything when she visits the Grand View Garden, a grand and luxurious garden owned by the Jia family.
The phrase is used to depict someone who is overly curious and excited about seeing new things or places.

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