Shen Yanming hesitated to speak, almost blurting out several questions but managing to bite his lip and hold them back just in time.

There wasn’t much to ask.
What was there to ask about this situation… If he were in He Changkong’s shoes and had discovered a promising talent, he would surely pay more attention to nurturing that potential.

Let’s talk about himself.
The reason he caught He Changkong’s attention in the first place was because of his skills, but he definitely wasn’t the only skilled player.
There were plenty of skilled players out there.

For the assassin position, there were several others who might not be making a name for themselves right now, but had great potential.
Shen Yanming could list a few of them himself.

Perhaps while He Changkong was looking for him, he had also reached out to other players… That was perfectly normal.
Everyone would want more talented players on their team.

Although it was a very normal thing, the more Shen Yanming thought about it, the heavier his heart became.
He attributed this feeling to his competitive spirit.

He wanted to be strong.
He wasn’t the only one who played well and caught He Changkong’s eye.

But he hoped that one day he could be the only strong one.

Of course, it wasn’t just about impressing his idol; it was also for himself.
He wanted to become stronger, even stronger.

Shen Yanming’s mind was racing, but he didn’t show much on his face.
“That’s good.
Let’s see if he can pass the test.”

After all, there was a difference between a passerby king and a professional player.
Many players who ranked high in the ladder might not pass the professional team’s individual tests.
Shen Yanming’s concern wasn’t baseless.

Without much thought, He Changkong responded, “He’ll be fine.”

He Changkong’s answer was too quick and too certain, leaving Shen Yanming at a loss for words again.

Okay, setting aside the factor of wanting to be strong, to be honest, he’s a bit sour.

Shen Yanming: “…” Ahhh, come on, you and him don’t even play the same position, why are you sour?

He Changkong lowered his head to look at Shen Yanming, who had his head down.
He reached out and gently ruffled the other’s hair.
Due to the hair dye, it didn’t feel as soft as before.


“What’s wrong?” Shen Yanming said as he lightly nudged He Changkong’s palm—a subtle movement that would go unnoticed if one wasn’t paying attention.

Perhaps even the one making the gesture didn’t realize it.

He Changkong’s hand stopped for a moment before he pulled it back, and after a while, he said, “Nothing.”

He just saw the little puppy looking a bit down, so he wanted to pat his head.

But…what was he down about?

He Changkong asked again, “Are you still worried about Pudding?”

Shen Yanming was a bit absent-minded.

He Changkong reassured him, “It’s going to be alright.”

Unable to sit still any longer, Shen Yanming stood up.
“Training starts tomorrow, I’ll head back and get some rest.
You should go to bed early too, Gege.”

After returning to his room and tidying up, Shen Yanming once again held hands with insomnia.
He browsed Taobao for a while and bought some things, but despite tossing and turning, he still couldn’t fall asleep.
Thoughts rushed in, one after another, becoming clear at this moment of hazy night.
One moment, he thought about how Pudding would probably only understand the severity of his injuries once he experienced the pain himself, as people often don’t shed tears until they see the coffin; another moment, he wondered how he would deal with a toxic teammate if one really appeared…

The more he thought, the more sleep eluded him.
So, he decided to get up and sneak into the training room.

It was two or three in the morning, and even the night owls addicted to gaming had returned to their nests by now.
When Shen Yanming arrived at the training room, he found only one person remaining, who was packing up to leave.
This person was surprised to see Shen Yanming and asked, “Why are you here at this hour?”

Shen Yanming nodded, “My hands are itchy, just feel like touching the keyboard.”

Since arriving, he had practiced with the second team a few times.
The coach had arranged a spot for him here and prepared the peripherals he usually used.
However, because he had just arrived and was often occupied with other matters, his practice time was quite fragmented.

In fact, Shen Yanming was a bit anxious.
After being reborn, most of what he showcased to others was based on his past experiences and accumulated knowledge.
However, if he neglected his practice, those accumulations would slowly become worthless.
Competitive gaming was not just for fun; maintaining skill required long-term, extensive training to retain muscle memory.

Anyway, lying in bed with his eyes wide open would be a waste of time, so he might as well spend it playing games.

Sitting in front of the computer, his mind stopped wandering.

He hadn’t set up his own account yet, so he was still using He Changkong’s random character account.
The more he played, the more focused he became.
He played all night, and around seven or eight in the morning, Shen Yanming, feeling slightly tired, prepared to head back.

The base was much quieter in the early morning than at night, and footsteps echoed clearly in the empty corridor.

In a daze, Shen Yanming thought about whether he should find something to eat before going to bed, but he didn’t act on the thought.
In a trance, he drifted back to the entrance of the player dorms.
Just as he was about to open the door, it swung open on its own.

Shen Yanming was startled, and his sleepiness vanished in an instant.

He Changkong was wearing sportswear and about to come out of the house.

Shen Yanming reacted, “Ge, are you going to go for a run?” He couldn’t help but praise He Changkong’s self-discipline.
There were probably not many esports players who were dedicated to exercising.
Many bases had facilities like gyms for players, but few actually made use of them.

Shen Yanming remembered He Changkong’s abs and V-line… It’s no wonder he had such a great figure.

“Um,” He Changkong nodded, glancing at Shen Yanming’s appearance, “Pulled an all-nighter?”

In fact, pulling all-nighters wasn’t unusual for gaming addicts, but Shen Yanming inexplicably felt like he was caught violating some rule by his class teacher at school.
He scratched his head, “…Yes.”

He Changkong helplessly said, “You’re messing around again.”

Shen Yanming defended himself, “I just couldn’t sleep and wanted to practice a bit.”

He Changkong glanced at him but didn’t press further on the issue of the all-nighter.
Instead, he said, “Go back to sleep, the coach will find us this afternoon for something.”

Shen Yanming nodded and watched as He Changkong jogged away.
Once he was out of sight, Shen Yanming leisurely strolled back to his own room.

He slept until something pressed against him woke him up.

In his dream, Shen Yanming was smashing big stones against his chest, but after breaking a few pieces, he couldn’t bear it anymore.
So, he opened his eyes to find Meng Yan and Pudding in his room, playing a game of stacking pillows—using his upper body as the platform.

When Shen Yanming opened his eyes, Meng Yan shouted excitedly, “He’s awake, he’s awake! The young master is awake! Go and inform the master—”

Shen Yanming: “…”

Although he just woke up and his mind was a bit muddled, he still cooperated, “W-where am I? Who am I?”

Meng Yan cleared his throat, “Oh my, is the young master stupid?”

Shen Yanming retorted, “You’re the stupid one.”

Pudding couldn’t help but shake his head at the two drama queens and pulled out the pillow, pressing it against Shen Yanming’s body, “Get up, get up, it’s time for the meeting.”

Shen Yanming asked, “Meeting?” Then he remembered what He Changkong said earlier about the coach wanting to see them, and it suddenly dawned on him.

He sat up, the blanket sliding off his body, revealing the pattern of a big-eared Shiba Inu on his pajamas.

Pudding chuckled, “Ah, is this Da Meng 1’s dressing style?”

Shen Yanming defended himself, “…My mom bought it!! = =+” Anyway, it’s just pajamas, and he didn’t really care.

Meng Yan and Pudding teased, “You’re the one wearing a skirt, what business do you have caring about what Da Meng 11Da Meng 1: “大猛1” (Dà měng 1), Fierce or Mighty 1, in reference to previously when Yanming asked Pudding if he look like a fierce 1 wears?”

Shen Yanming, “…” Wait, did Da Meng 1 had just casually become his new nickname?

Shen Yanming quickly washed up under their watchful eyes, then was dragged to eat something, and finally, just in time, he entered the training room of the first team.

Coach Afeng and He Changkong were already there.
They greeted each other and took their seats.

Afeng clapped his hands and got straight to the point, “Today, we’ll mainly discuss the lineup.
We’ve already finished the first round of the regular season, and for the time being, we don’t have any matches.
Before the second round of the group stage starts, we can make adjustments to the lineup and resubmit the roster.
After discussing with the higher-ups, we’ve decided to put you, Yanming, as the starting assassin and have Meng Yan replace Song Lan’s previous position.”

Shen Yanming had actually guessed that they probably called him here to talk about this matter.

Meng Yan raised his hand, “I have no problem with that.”

“This decision is quite risky, though.
Although there’s still some time before the group stage, no one knows how effective this lineup will be.
I’m not worried about Meng Yan; he used to play as a mage and switched to an assassin only to give way to Song Lan.”

This was the first time Shen Yanming heard about it.
He only knew that Meng Yan had initially played as a mage, but later changed his role and excelled in it, so nobody really remembered what he used to play.
It turned out he switched his career just to give way to someone else.

“But you,” Afeng turned to Shen Yanming, “you don’t have any major tournament experience before coming here.
The few times we’ve seen your on-the-spot reactions were indeed excellent, qualifying you to join our team.
But that’s just it – qualified.
Allowing you to play as a starter was discussed extensively.
Other than those who directly transferred from other teams, no other player has gone straight into a match like this—except for Changkong… He gave us a guarantee that you’ll be fine.
Now I’m telling you directly, I believe in him, not you.
He has never recommended anyone to me like this before.
I hope you won’t disappoint us.
Well, we also have substitutes, and if you can’t perform in a match, we can rotate someone else in at any time.”

Shen Yanming turned to look at He Changkong, who was also looking back at him, giving him an encouraging look.

However, Shen Yanming’s mind was full of Coach Afeng words “He has never recommended anyone to me”… He had no idea how He Changkong managed to assure the coach, but it definitely wasn’t as simple as a few words to convince them to let a newcomer start.
It was indeed a risky decision and could easily lead to criticism.

The restless competitiveness he had felt before seemed to be somewhat appeased.
After all, no matter how good the other players were, none of them had He Changkong vouching for them like this.

Along with that, he felt pressure and a sense of responsibility.
Indeed, as the coach had said, he couldn’t afford to disappoint anyone.

But the amount of pressure seemed just right and should push him further.

After discussing the serious matters, a smile returned to Coach Afeng’s face, “I’m not saying all this to put pressure on you.
Just do your best.”

Shen Yanming solemnly replied, “I will.”

Pudding, who was sitting next to him, put his hand on Shen Yanming’s shoulder and patted it.

Afeng continued, “We’ll talk about the specific training plan later.
Now, Yanming, tell us what ID you want to use.
The account is already set up; we just need to enter the specific information.”

To facilitate international competitions, players used English IDs for the matches.
Shen Yanming had thought of a few beforehand, but he wasn’t entirely satisfied with them, so he casually suggested, “How about just ‘bird’?”

Others: “…Isn’t that too casual?”

He Changkong asked, “What about the one… the one you thought of before?”

He Changkong was probably referring to Shen Yanming’s ID from his previous life when he was known as “wild.”

But since he was starting over, he didn’t want to use that name anymore.

Shen Yanming scratched his head, “You mean ‘wild’? It’s not much different from ‘bird,’ right?”

Meng Yan said, “Luan jiang, although my grades are not good, I can still tell the difference between these two words.
Don’t just randomly blurt things out.”

Shen Yanming explained, “It’s ‘wild goose,’ you know, like a wild big goose.
What’s the difference between that and ‘bird’?”

Everyone: “…” So, it turns out to mean this.

Pudding looked up the word on his phone and finally found one.
He raised his phone like a treasure for everyone to see, “How about this one, c-h-a-o-s, it means chaos, just like Luan luanzi.”

Meng Yan commented, “Sounds good.
Chao si2Chao si: 吵死 (Chǎo sǐ) it means noisy, just like the name implies.”

Shen Yanming asked, “Am I really that noisy?”

Pudding didn’t give him any face and said, “Let’s call him ‘Chaos,’ and Da Meng 1 is Chao si.”

Meng Yan clapped his hands, “Da Meng 1 has a new name.”

He Changkong interrupted them, “This word is not pronounced ‘Chao si’…”

He then pronounced the word correctly.

Pudding coughed awkwardly, “I was misled by Yan Ge.
I scored over 100 in English during high school, I wouldn’t make such a mistake.”

Meng Yan said, “Is it my fault again? What’s the use of scoring over 100 in English? Before, when we went abroad, all you could say was ‘give this this and this. ’”

“The name is good.
If Xiao Luan3Xiao Luan: Luan Luanzi nickname “小乱”(Xiǎo luàn), little luan likes it, let’s use it,” He Changkong didn’t dwell on the pronunciation for too long.
However, there was a point in their conversation that caught his attention.
He hesitated for a while before asking, “What does ‘Da Meng 1’ mean?”

Shen Yanming: “!!!”

Shen Yanming quickly signaled Pudding with raised eyebrows and winks, afraid that he would blurt out the joke he made up last night in front of He Changkong.

Author’s Message:

Kong: What is this Da Meng 1? Are they secretly forming a small group behind my back?

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

1Da Meng 1: “大猛1” (Dà měng 1), Fierce or Mighty 1, in reference to previously when Yanming asked Pudding if he look like a fierce 12Chao si: 吵死 (Chǎo sǐ) it means noisy3Xiao Luan: Luan Luanzi nickname “小乱”(Xiǎo luàn), little luan

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