Fang Zhao could not hear what Ke Zimo was saying, but he could at least guess as much. Having survived so many years during the end of days, Fang Zhao could at least guess what Ke Zimo was thinking from his few words and expressions. Back when he'd mentioned about the 10th generation console, the look on Ke Zimo's face had let him know that little brat had been planning something.
Fang Zhao did not mind the manner Ke Zimo had used when talking—he just took it as Ke Zimo being young and ignorant—but if Ke Zimo decided to continue being ignorant during the game, he would not mind personally teaching this kid how to respect his elders.
Once Zu Wen and the others gathered, they headed up and prepared to enter the venue.
"Mr. Fang! Please wait!"
Just as he was about to enter the conference hall, Fang Zhao turned his head over. It was Zachary—the engineer who had helped him install his game console—and another unknown person. This person seemed slightly younger than Zachary and seemed more warm. However, he had the aura of a leader. Taking a look at the his chest area where the insignia was at, Fang Zhao could see his rank and position. He belonged to Fiery Bird Yanzhou Branch's senior management.
"This is our Yanzhou branch's head engineer, Xavier. He wanted to talk to Mr. Fang about a matter," Zachary introduced.
Seeing the members of the Polar Light project team behind Fang Zhao, Zachary got someone to lead them into the hall and then invited Fang Zhao to a small lounge next door.
"Mr. Fang should probably find it easy to use the 10th generation console," Xavier said.
"It's not bad. Don't beat around the bush." Fang Zhao was sure the two had not brought him over just to inquire about how the console was.
Xavier laughed and asked, "Yesterday at the practice match... that person was you?"
Fang Zhao looked up at Xavier and Zachary. "Didn't you already investigate?"
"Cough, just a guess." Facing Fang Zhao's gaze, Zachary swallowed the excuse that he had prepared early and helplessly said, "We investigated, but we don't divulge our customers' private information. It will be kept top secret and nobody will say anything."
Xavier also gave his guarantee. "Confidentiality is something we at Fiery Bird have always been doing well. The five big e-sports clubs have all asked us whether we know the person in this matter, and not a single word has been leaked. Mr. Fang, you should probably know that the 10th generation has data transmission over to us here; it is written on the contract."
Fang Zhao nodded his head. This he knew. During the installation of the console, Zachary had also told him, and he had agreed. As the 10th generation console was a new model, it was a project that Fiery Bird saw great importance in. There was a limited number of 10th generations in the market, so to make improvements to it, they needed the data from these machines. This data was divided into many different parts, and every part had a specific list. One of these was the adaptability value with the machine. Back when Zachary had helped Fang Zhao install the machine, he had explained it. Not just Fang Zhao, all other users of the 10th generation in Yanzhou also had the same data transmissions. Of course, this was all handled by the user, but in the event of something abnormal happening, before the user even realized anything, at the Yanzhou branch, they would receive warnings and come up with countermeasures.
"On the day of the practice match, when Fang Zhao used the 10th generation, the adaptability value exceeded 95, finally stopping at 96." Xavier glanced at Fang Zhao from head to toe. "In the whole of Yanzhou, the only person who has crossed 95 as of now is Mr. Fang."
This data had given Zachary a shock when he'd seen it. He did not know whether there was an error with the data or he had really achieved such an adaptability value, so he followed the data and checked on Fang Zhao's log-in situation and found that Fang Zhao's log-in and log-off times were at the same time as the mystery person from the practice match.
A new user that signed up on Sept 1 and had a premium VIP status immediately on registering, and with the data concurring, there was only Fang Zhao. Realizing this, Zachary spoke with his immediate superior, Xavier. Xavier authorized an ID check, and the result was as they had expected.
Zachary felt that this was simply unimaginable. In Yanzhou, there were only eight players who used the 10th generation console. Of the eight, five were from the five big e-sports clubs. Five players who were at least at the level of team captain. The five captains were indeed outstanding, achieving over 90 during their first usage. However, until now, they had stayed within the 91–95 range. But during the practice match, Fang Zhao'd had an adaptability value that rose all the way to 96.
This was also the reason they had to check Fang Zhao's ID. Fang Zhao nodded his head, signifying that he understood.
"Thank you for your kind understanding. We will keep it confidential and they won't know." Zachary knew very well that if news about the matter got out, he would only be harming Fang Zhao. Those e-sports clubs always banded together. Yesterday, Fang Zhao had stepped on 2S and BOOM. If 2S and BOOM wanted revenge, when the game was officially released, Fang Zhao might possibly find himself surrounded by those crafty e-sports clubs and end up on the receiving end of some unsavory methods. They might even do something in the shadows. Which of the Big Five in e-sports did not have some methods?
"It doesn't matter if they know," Fang Zhao replied.
Xavier and Zachary laughed when they heard this. They just treated it as angry words from Fang Zhao, as he was still young.
Fang Zhao had not said it in a fit of anger. The reason why he'd chosen to hide his ID back then was not because he had been afraid of being surrounded but that if he had revealed himself, there would have been some trouble. The people finding him would not be little, from companies to media to e-sports clubs and more. With that, he might not even have had time to play his games. Before the game was officially released, he did not want to be disturbed and spoil his mood for games.
"Actually, for inviting Mr. Fang over, there is one more matter. After the practice match, Mr. Fang had submitted a user feedback form, which we have received and forwarded to headquarters. Half an hour ago, headquarters just got back to me, and we hope that Mr. Fang can join our 'Battle of the Century' game advisory team and participate in evaluating the game."
Zachary was impressed. The feedback and opinion form that Fang Zhao had submitted could actually make headquarters take notice and invite him to the advisory team and evaluation panel; this showed how much value his feedback had. Many areas mentioned in the form had gone unnoticed by the advisory team.
Inside Fang Zhao's feedback and opinions, he had attached cited material. Some information was more obscure, which not many people had seen. There were even a few hand-copied excerpts taken from resources during the Period of Destruction that had been preserved in the memorial hall. This was not a feedback form full of nitpicking. It had really hit the nail on the head.
Headquarters thought this little fellow was a talent, and he knew a lot about history during the Period of Destruction. After verifying what Fang Zhao had , he had been invited to the advisory team. In the "Battle of the Century" project's advisory team, he was the only person younger than 30.
Press Conference hall.
The invited e-sports clubs and media had all arrived. Fiery Bird's other cooperative parners had also arrived one after the other. Among these partners, other than Silver Wing's Polar Light project team, there was also a reputable toy factory that had helped manufacture the T-Rex models.
On the left of 2S e-Sports Club was HWR e-Sports Club, while on the right was BOOM e-Sports Club. Members from all three clubs were engaged in a disagreement.
HWR taunted that 2S and BOOM had humiliated themselves at yesterday's practice match. 2S and BOOM criticized HWR, saying they did not even have anyone qualified for such a race.
HWR's deputy captain Jean sat cross-legged, not looking over at 2S. She casually mouthed off, "That's right, at least we admit we are not good enough for that race. You guys gave your all and boasted. Where did that get you? Didn't you get stomped? Disgraceful! Speaking of that, the postures when you guys crashed were so cool. Our team saved screenshots of your crashes. Just a pity that you all were wearing helmets that hid your expressions. If we could have seeen your expressions, they would probably have been like this..." Retracting her legs, Jean's look changed. Her pair of eyes widened with a shocked expression, inciting hooting laughter from her team members.
The Big Dipper and Transcendental members joined in the excitement, seeing that it was not serious. 2S and BOOM's ridiculing of HWR also targeted the other two clubs now.
As they bickered, the lighting changed. The e-sports club members did not bother continuing their quarrels. People that were originally slouching sat up. Members of the media that were discussing stuff put away all their other stuff and prepared to grab the news.
The important guests were always last to arrive. Previously, the first two rows in the conference hall were empty. Now that the press conference was about to begin, these people came in.
Entering were some of Fiery Bird's Yanzhou Branch's important personnel, senior management, chief engineers, and advisory team. These people had seats set up for them at the front.
However, among the personnel walking in, there was a figure that was rather unimaginable.
Ke Zimo pointed at Fang Zhao, who had emerged with the group of people. "Why is that fellow sitting in the first row?"
The others also took notice.
Among the people who had entered late was Fang Zhao.
But as the press conference had started, they could not discuss it loudly; they could only talk about it over messages.
"How is that fellow able to sit at the front? Could it be that he has other backing?"
"Probably not. I remember, back then, when this fellow became famous, someone mentioned his background. He was just a normal graduate. I didn't hear about any considerable parties backing him."
"Lets observe a little while more. If that fellow goes on stage to talk, we will know what's up."
"Him? How can he even go on stage to present at this sort of press conference?"
"He is the person in charge of the Polar Light project team. Don't forget that Polar Light is still endorsing the game."
"That is why they should just dispose of the rule of virtual idols endorsing it. It's just tasteless!"
No matter what those who attended the press conference were thinking in private, the press conference went according to the scheduled arrangement: the new trailer of the game, explaining the background, announcing the release of peripherals, etc.
The captains of the five big e-sports clubs also represented their clubs and went up to say a few words.
Amongst the Big Five, the last to go on stage was 2S's captain, Xie He. During his speech, he mentioned that some media were rather mindful of the previous day's practice match. "We might not be experts in the single-event competition, and there were a number of issues that arose after that matter, but we are very grateful to the mystery rider. He showed us a few of our weaknesses early on. However, when the game is officially released, we will remain the kings of Yanzhou!"
Members of the other four—Big Dipper, Transcendental, BOOM, and HWR—all simultaneously said, "B*llshit!"
When Xie He returned to his seat, the Big Five started to declare war, arguing over who were the real kings of Yanzhou.
"Hey, that fellow is really going on stage!" a member from 2S exclaimed.
The others also looked over to the front.
A while back, when the host had introduced Fang Zhao, he'd said that Fang Zhao was "One of the eight users of the 10th generation machine in Yanzhou, composer of one of the background music pieces in the game, a member of the advisory team and evaluation panel, and head of the Polar Light project team that Fiery Bird was collaborating with."
"Also a member of the advisory team and evaluation panel? Didn't that fellow compose music? Why is he involved with this?"
"Now that it's like this, should we still do it?" Ke Zimo frowned.
On stage, Fang Zhao touched on a few points regarding the Old Era. Before leaving the stage, he said, "There are some people that are probably thinking about attacking me in-game till I become afraid of logging in. To such people, I have these words for them."
Fang Zhao looked up and scanned the hall. Although it seemed like a casual glance, it made the people over at the 2S area feel uneasy. How did that guy know they wanted to target him? Could he read minds?
"Bring it on," Fang Zhao said flatly. "As long as you all don't regret it."