Chapter 509 - I Don’t Want Any of That
Chen Guo suddenly understood. That’s right! The person in question was none other than the CEO of Excellent Era’s club, the true boss, Tao Xuan. She had seen him before on some reports, but as the CEO, he didn’t get as much media exposure as the players. Therefore, there was much less attention fixed on him. As a result, Chen Guo only felt that his face looked familiar instead of immediately recognizing him. Upon hearing Ye Xiu’s words, she finally remembered.
Excellent Era’s CEO was personally paying a visit?
Chen Guo immediately realized that there was much brewing under the surface. She couldn’t help but follow the two into the room with all of her worries and curiosities. Upon seeing them staring at her, she found herself embarrassed on the spot, pointing towards her own room, “I’ll be going back to my own room.” While her words were still leaving her mouth, she had already moved with brisk steps. She quickly entered the room, closed the door… and then flattened herself against it.
“Sit.” In the living room, Ye Xiu gave his seat to Tao Xuan before standing next to the window.
“How’s everything going?” Tao Xuan asked Ye Xiu as he settled himself on the couch.
“Pretty good.” Ye Xiu answered and fished a cigarette out of his pocket. With a wave of his hand, Ye Xiu tossed it towards Tao Xuan.
Surprised, Tao Xuan paused for a split second. When he reached out to catch it, it was already too late.
Tao Xuan picked the cigarette up from the floor. After a he held it uncomfortably for a moment, he set the small offer on the table and looked up at Ye Xiu with a smile, “I quit.”
“Oh? Really? Well, I didn’t hear about that.” Ye Xiu spoke. He took a deep breath and blew the smoke out the window.
In another short silence, Tao Xuan looked around the room as he asked with a laugh: “You live here?”
“Yeah.” Ye Xiu nodded.
“Living with such beauty, aren’t you afraid of upsetting Mucheng?” Tao Xuan joked.
“Heheheh.” Ye Xiu chuckled three times and then wiped his smirk away. He looked at Tao Xuan in all seriousness, “State your business.”
Instead of avoiding Ye Xiu’s gaze, Tao Xuan met it straight on with his own before replying with the same smile, “Come back!”
“Back to Excellent Era.”
The door Chen Guo’s room sounded as if something crashed into it. Ye Xiu shook his head, laughed, before calling out, “If you want to listen in, just come inside! Shame…”
The door was pulled open, and out of of it, Chen Guo appeared with a turmoil of emotions on her face ----- embarrassment mixed with anger.
Ye Xiu looked at her, smiled, then turned to Tao Xuan and continued the conversation,”What could I possibly do back in Excellent Era?”
“Coach.” Tao Xuan answered quickly.
“Oh? Me as a coach? Could this be part of your scheme?” Ye Xiu asked.
This time Tao Xuan didn’t reply as quickly. His gaze averted, as well and dropped to the table before him. The cigarette on the table laid all by itself in solitude. Chen Guo stared at him, suppressing the urge to scream in his face: how dare he come to ask Ye Xiu to go back? Did he have any sense of shame left? In the end, her gaze bounced back and forth on the two’s faces, as if she was trying to decode some hidden message from them.
“I have no interest watching from the bench. I like the stage the best.” Ye Xiu suddenly broke the stagnant silence.
This sentence put a smile on Tao Xuan’s face. He lifted his head, “Coaching would only be temporary. After the one year required leave, you can return immediately.”
“Of course I would go back immediately.” Ye Xiu laughed.
Tao Xuan understood the subtext in Ye Xiu’s words right away: I’m going back no matter what. Tao Xuan smiled bitterly, “What’s the point?”
“What is your point?” Ye Xiu shoveled Tao Xuan’s words back.
Tao Xuan’s expression turned agitated. Ye Xiu’s retort seemed to poke a nerve in him.
The answer to the question was that there was no point. There was no need for both of them to have this conversation in the first place. Additionally, when Ye Xiu replied, his answer seemed to imply more than returning to Excellent Era.
“Both you and I watched the league become what it is today step by step. Both of us know this well: the current league isn’t the same as before.” Tao Xuan opened his mouth again, “The big teams’ success helps the league grow; Brilliant stars help expand the League's influence. They are what the league need the most now. In a match, strategy and teamwork are surely important to determine the outcomes. However, stars! Stars are what drives ticket sales the most. Of all of your intricate strategies, if we sample a million audience members, how many of them do you think will understand them? None! That cannot grip the players’ hearts. What do the players like to see? One versus three in a challenge match and a lone hero in a team battle. These are the things that they talk about. These are what they want, like, and hope to see. These are what they view as miracles.”
Tao Xuan paused for a moment and observed Ye Xiu’s expression. He even looked at Chen Guo before he continued, “Why do they call Zhou Zekai the best in Glory? Is it simply because he looks the best? No. What’s important is that his skills are extravagantly displayed, and that his battles are splendidly fought. In the eyes of the players, splendor means difficulty. It means skill. You might say such opinions are extremely shallow, but what people like to see is exactly this shallowness. Your legendary technique, you said that you created it for fun, you said its practicality was limited, but what about it? All of the fans see it as your signature technique. Does it matter that its practicality is limited? No, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that it's irreplaceable. You are the only one who can perform it, so it became an irreplaceable splendor. When you stopped using it, people believe that your skill level dropped. When you used it at All Stars, you ignited the whole stadium’s excitement instantaneously. I don’t believe that you didn’t see all of these things!”
After an emotional speech, there was not a single trace of a smile on Tao Xuan face. He stared intently at Ye Xiu.
Ye Xiu only smiled, “All of what you have just said are true, but I don’t want any of them.”
“What do you want?”
“Victory.” Ye Xiu gazed straight at Tao Xuan.
“You…” Tao Xuan looked as if he had lost all of his strength at once. After a while, he opened his mouth again. This time, a hint of sarcasm was mixed in with his words, “You honestly believe that you can still regain your former glory?”
“I will try.” Ye Xiu replied.
“You. Can. Not. Do. It.” Tao Xuan stated.
“Are you that sure?” Surprisingly, Ye Xiu still found the nerve to laugh.
“Then we’ll see.” Ye Xiu promised.
“Very good. Let’s see it happen.” Tao Xuan stood up.
“Humph. Before that, make sure your Excellent Era doesn’t get kicked out first.” Upon realizing that the conversation ran aground, Chen Guo added, unable to hold herself back.
“Hehe.” Tao Xuan laughed, clearly belittling the threat, “Even if Excellent Era got kicked out, we can still rejoin the league after a year. We’ve set our sights on the future. We will not be tied down by our past. Those who stand in our ways will be kicked away mercilessly.”
“Yeah. About that, you did a very good job indeed.” Ye Xiu commented half-heartedly.
“I’ll take my leave.”
“I won’t see you out.”
Tao Xuan walked hurriedly to the door, but he stopped when he pulled it open. He didn’t look back as he added, “The league won’t be going back to the way it used to be in the past.”
“I know that, but I’m too old to keep moving forward. “ Ye Xiu spoke.
“Initially, you could have had a perfect end.” Tao Xuan said.
“Whether my end is perfect or not, I’ll decide that.” Ye Xiu retorted.
After standing in the doorway for a long time, Tao Xuan finally turned around, “For all these years’ sake, I will grant one wish of yours.”
“Even if you want to move One Autumn Leaf out of Excellent Era.” Tao Xuan finished.
“That would be very costly.” Ye Xiu grinned.
“As long as you set the price, I will not make it any harder for you.” Tao Xuan promised.
Tao Xuan’s words shook Chen Guo’s heart. She knew that changing ownership of a character was far harder than changing the team of a player. The value of a player would fluctuate based on the player's’ performance, but character would not. The value of a character would only go up.
This was because characters were objects. As long as there was someone to command them, they would obey every order with perfect precision. Its value could be fully utilized. Players were a different story. If there was one who really wanted to change teams, the club would probably acquiesce because forced situation don't end well most of the time.
This logic applies to people, but not characters.
There were a lot of steps involved for a player to change teams. There were also a lot of negotiations about the money involved. However, if a character changed ownership, the buyer was almost guaranteed to face a ridiculous price proposed by the sales. As a result, during the transferring time window, there would always be a lot of players moving around. In comparison, there would hardly be any transferring of characters.
For Tao Xuan to actually let go of One Autumn Leaf, the trump card of Excellent Era, without setting barriers on the cost, the promise held a heavy weight.
“Very well.” Ye Xiu nodded, “I want Dancing Rain.”
“What?” Chen Guo exclaimed in confusion. Tao Xuan’s surprised appeared on his face as well, but he didn’t say much. He only nodded in consent, “Okay. I will keep my word.”
“Well then…” Tao Xuan turned around, “I never thought that I would ever be saying these words to you one day: See you on stage!”
“I thought of it way earlier. See you on stage!” Ye Xiu replied calmly.
Tao Xuan left. Chen Guo pressed herself against the window. Soon she saw him walk out of the internet cafe, striding across the street. Without hesitating or turning back, he stepped through Excellent Era’s entrance.
“You guys… were friends once upon a time, right?” Chen Guo asked Ye Xiu.
“Yes.” Ye Xiu acknowledged. He walked past the table, picked up the cigarette on floor, lit it, and then walked out of the room.
“Where are you going?” Chen Guo asked hurriedly.
“The game of course. You coming?” Turning his head around, Ye Xiu asked with the same smile.
“Of course.” Chen Guo followed him right away, finding tranquility in her heart. She realized that her worries for Ye Xiu had being totally unnecessary.
In room 213, the two logged into the game together. In the past two days, Chen Guo was always helping Ye Xiu level up, so they were in the same place. Immediately after he logged in, Ye Xiu spotted a burn mark on the ground. With a momentary pause, Lord Grim spun around in a full 360 degrees circle, completely surveying the surroundings instantaneously. Something seemed to have tipped him off as Ye Xiu yelled at Chen Guo frantically, “Run!”
“What?” Chen Guo’s Chasing Haze just logged in when Ye Xiu shouted at her. She had no time to react when a pile of bright visual effects descended upon her like a fishing net.