Chapter 922 - Changed Beyond Recognition
Lu Hanwen had amazed numerous people within the first half of this season. In this year’s Rookie Challenge, he had once again shocked everyone. Many people had guessed the same as the host and thought that Lu Hanwen would challenge his own tema’s Huang Shaotian. It was similar to how many rookies chose to challenge the God, which they admired the most. While the event was supposed to be a challenge, perhaps it was considered more as paying respects.
But Lu Hanwen had chosen Team Tiny Herb’s Liu Xiaobie. It was quite puzzling. Team Blue Rain and Team Tiny Herb were rivals, but what was the relationship between Lu Hanwen and Liu Xiaobie? Lu Hanwen’s most admired Blade Master couldn’t be Liu Xiaobie, right?
Or maybe he was saying that Liu Xiaobie was weak, so he called him out to get a win over him? That wasn’t paying respects to your favorite senior player!
No one knew that the relationship between the two had started during the summer break. At that time, the two were helping out their respective guilds and encountered each other while fighting for wild bosses. Lu Hanwen had been using his Flowing Cloud account. However, he wasn’t become an official pro player for Team Blue Rain yet, which had astonished Liu Xiaobie.
As for Liu Xiaobie, even though he was using an alternate account, who else but a pro player had such skill? Once Lu Hanwen started fighting with him, it wasn’t hard to guess that he was Liu Xiaobie.
Lu Hanwen had won that match in the end. His win was somewhat despicable though. It had originally been a 1v1 duel. After all of their mana had been depleted, they fought using only normal attacks, but Lu Hanwen relied on a Cleric’s "Prayer Wish" to restore some of his mana and cleanly finished off Liu Xiaobie, who only had a sliver of health left.
In theory, it should be Liu Xiaobie challenging Lu Hanwen for revenge, but this kid was the one to challenge Liu Xiaobie instead, giving him another chance to pay back his debt. This move surprised even those who knew about their relationship.
There were a few people who knew about their duel in the game. The players from Team Blue Rain and Team Tiny Herb didn’t need to be mentioned, but there was also Team Tyranny’s Zhang Xinjie and Lin Jingyan who had been present, as well as Ye Xiu’s group; they had watched the duel that day.
Liu Xiaobie left his seat on Team Tiny Herb’s side after being picked and went up onto the stage. The question for why so and so was picked as an opponent was a question asked thousands of times before, but this time, everyone truly wanted Lu Hanwen to give an explanation.
"Ha, it’s nothing really. I just really want to beat senior Liu Xiaobie." Lu Hanwen’s reply didn’t explain anything.
"Oh? Why do you say that?" The host pestered him.
"Because every time I’ve fought with him before were never true duels." Lu Hanwen said.
Over half of the season had passed. Team Tiny Herb and Team Blue Rain had certainly fought against each other at least once. In that match, did Lu Hanwen ever clash with Liu Xiaobie? Many people had thought of this question when he picked Liu Xiaobie, but no one had a definite answer. This time, everyone felt like it must have been something that had happened off stage, so they tried even harder to recall whatever they could. However, no one thought that it was because of what happened in the game.
Seeing that Liu Xiaobie had gone on stage, the host obviously had to go greet him. After some small talk, the main subject came: "Would the two of you like us to provide the characters?"
"No need?" Lu Hanwen said.
Liu Xiaobie shrugged his shoulder, indicating that he didn’t care.
The host was very excited. From an audience’s point of view, they wanted to see the players use their own characters to fight each other.
"Then let’s welcome the contestants for the second match of the Rookie Challenge: the youngest player in the history of Glory, Team Blue Rain’s Lu Hanwen, versus the hand speed master Team Tiny Herb’s Liu Xiaobie!!" The host shouted loudly and both players went to their respective seats on stage.
They swiped their cards and picked the map. The host quickly went off stage. The projection of the map burst to life. Neither of the two wasted any time, and the match soon began.
Liu Xiaobie’s Blade Master, Flying Sword, and Lu Hanwen’s Blade Master, Flowing Cloud appeared on the opposite corners of the map.
Don’t look at how Lu Hanwen’s Flowing Cloud was younger, in terms of equipment, Flowing Cloud was no weaker than Flying Sword because Team Blue Rain had the strongest Blade Master, Sword Saint, Troubling Rain. This meant that their team had the best tools to create Blade Master equipment. Under this kind of environment, building, another Trouble Rain wasn’t impossible to create. However, on Team Tiny Herb, Blade Masters weren’t their core class, so the resources invested into it were slightly less.
Even so, Flying Sword was only a tad bit weaker than the most powerful Blade Master in all of Glory. Flying Sword was one of the top Blade Masters too. His Silver weapon, Chasing Spirit, had a fairly normal name, but it was a top-tier Silver weapon reputed as one of the Ten Famed Swords of Glory. It had a 5% chance of hitting twice. No one but Team Tiny Herb knew about this weapon’s special effect and why the weapon was called Chasing Spirit.
Lu Hanwen’s Flowing Cloud had a total of ten pieces of Silver equipment. This number was equal to the Sword Saint’s Troubling Rain. His Silver weapon, Flame Shadow, was a greatsword with extremely high attack and extremely long range, but those were all general trends for greatswords. The unique part of Flame Shadow was its weapon effect. It had a 5% chance of adding a Flame Shadow buff to the attack, increasing the damage dealt by 30%. It was a buff that purely increased the damage inflicted.
The commentator quickly introduced the two Blade Master characters. After the countdown ended, the two rushed forward. The commentator had yet to finish talking about the two characters when the two came across each other. The commentator had no choice but to stop reading aloud information on the two characters and began commentating the fight.
Because it didn’t appear to be a match of paying respects to the senior, the winner of the match was important. This type of confrontation naturally drew in a lot of attention.
Liu Xiaobie didn’t hold back facing this rookie. He wanted to strike first, taking advantage of his Chasing Spirit’s higher attack speed. Flowing Cloud with his greatsword didn’t wait to take a beating. Practically at the same time that Liu Xiaobie’s Flying Sword closed in with Triple Slash, a Sword Slash was drawn in a circle.
When greatsword users Sword Slashed, their attack wasn’t as fast, but their range was greater. Flying Sword was enveloped by this Sword Slash, but the hand speed expert Liu Xiaobie didn’t back down and ate the strike head on. His Flying Sword’s Triple Slash struck diagonally, and his character deviated to the right, narrowly dodging the greatsword’s sword wind. Following afterwards, Flying Sword threw out the third strike of Triple Slash and closed in on Flowing Cloud.
The ringing sound of two swords clashing echoed. Lu Hanwen quickly reacted. Flowing Cloud retracted his sword and raised it up to Guard, blocking Flying Sword’s third strike…..
This ringing sound seemed to be the opening to the prologue. Following afterwards, ding ding sounds exploded repeatedly like popping popcorn. The two characters revolved around each other and kept on attacking each other. Their initiations and retreats happened in an instant. The battle had only just begun and the intensity had already reached its peak. The battle of hand speeds was just getting started.
The applause was like thunder. This type of confrontation showed the incredible technical skills of the two players, which was extremely fun for normal players to watch. It was what the audience liked to see the most. Everyone wanted to be a hand speed expert. They placed nearly as much importance on hand speed as they did on the other elements required to be considered an expert. On one hand, hand speed was without a doubt a fundamental aspect of an expert, but it was also because an expert with high hand speed could produce this kind of a beautiful fight!
The two were extremely fast with their attacks. Some players couldn’t even keep up with what was going on. The screens suspended in the center of the stadium kept on playing slow-mos of their confrontation. Sword light flew and blood splashed wildly. The health of the two characters slid down, and gradually, a slight divide could be seen. Flying Sword’s health was just a tiny bit higher than Flowing Cloud’s.
Liu Xiaobie was considered an extremely talented player. This talent referred to his hand speed. This was analogous to an athlete, who was born with an extremely outstanding body. These innate constitutions couldn’t be achieved through blood and sweat. This was pure talent.
People always had high hopes on talented people. Liu Xiaobie was one of these talents. Although Team Tiny Herb already had three All Stars before he came, they still placed a lot of importance on him. However, his performance during his two seasons of play were rather disappointing. He had talent, but he was improving too slowly to match his talent. In comparison, among the players who joined the Alliance that same year, two had become Gods.
One was Sun Xiang, who had come out of a lower-tier team. He swept away all those in his path and became a God. Then, he transferred to Excellent Era and inherited the Battle God One Autumn Leaf, becoming the successor of the first God of Glory, Ye Qiu.
The other was Tang Hao, who was similar to Liu Xiaobie. He had come from Team Hundred Blossoms, which managed to reach the finals three times. No one dared to underestimate such a formidable team. Tang Hao didn’t have such attention-grabbing talent like Liu Xiaobie. He also didn’t show any incredible performances in his first rookie year. Just when he was considered an average pro player, he grasped Zhang Jiale’s retirement; while Team Hundred Blossoms had lost their core player, he quickly made an impression on everyone’s minds through his incredible play. He transferred to Team Wind Howl this season, inheriting the number one Brawler, Demon Subduer, and becoming the core of the team. With the support of strong teammates, it was all uphill from there.
On the other hand, Liu Xiaobie had come from a top-tier champion team like Team Tiny Herb and had enviable talent, but after two seasons in the pro scene, apart from people having a deep impression of his astonishing absolute hand speed, he didn’t leave any lasting, spectacular plays.
No one was was willing to just be mediocre. This summer, Liu Xiaobie was determined to improve. While others went to relax, he continued to work hard and even went on a crusade in the game. Hard work always paid off. This season, Liu Xiaobie’s performance was outstanding. In the All Star rankings, he was 25th place, but he was less than a hundred votes away from Zou Yuan in 24th place.
As for Zou Yuan getting into All Stars, that was because of his special background and the special circumstances. He was supposed to have a spot at the All Stars.
Lu Hanwen was a new rising star this season. The two had already fought against each other over the summer. This time, in the All Star rankings, Lu Hanwen placed 18th. For a rookie, it was an incredible achievement.
But would that make Liu Xiaobie think he was inferior to him?
The outcome could only be known after asking the sword in his hands!