Chapter 938 - Offline Matches
Having researched Glory for so long, Ye Xiu might not have eaten pork before, but had still seen pigs run*. In regards to researching and developing equipment, the pro clubs currently had two groups working on it in tandem. One was comprised of people like Ye Xiu and Wei Chen who utilized their knowledge and experience of Glory, the other did what Luo Ji had mentioned and used math to calculate and understand the specifics of each material. These two talents were people that the clubs would have on their development teams, supporting each other to complete research on Glory in general, not just custom equipment.
Theoretically, Happy had both kinds of people as well. However, while Wei Chen and Ye Xiu had plenty of experience and knowledge, Luo Ji was only beginning to apply his mathematical knowledge to Glory. That meant he had no stock of data and info to rely on. It was precisely this compiled data and information that was the core component of each team’s R&D team. Even though Ye Xiu used to be Team Excellent Era’s captain, he still wouldn’t have been able to obtain all of this information. As for Wei Chen, there was no need to mention him; back in his day and age, R&D wasn’t so structured, they all relied purely on experience.
"How about we do this," another message came from Luo Ji, "Compile a list of all the materials used in each upgrade and the creation of the Myriad Manifestations Umbrella. Then, list out all the uses of these materials that you can think of. Give me the stats and data of the equipment these materials are used in, the more detailed the better, and I’ll see if I can find a pattern within.
"Ok!" Ye Xiu replied with a simple word, but Wei Chen’s face had already gone green. Only people who had researched Silver Equipment before knew how much work was involved in such a job.
"It’s not just me who will be doing it," Ye Xiu said to the green-faced Wei Chen, "You should organize everything you know about materials as well. We still have so much silver equipment to research!"
Wei Chen immediately understood what he meant by this. They would start building Happy’s database up from this day forth.
"I really can’t believe that we’re starting to get there!" Wei Chen suddenly had a feeling of being distanced from the world. To be honest, when Ye Xiu first pulled him in, he had the intentions of yoloing it for the last thrill before it all ended. People like him who understood the pro circle more clearly had less confidence in grassroots teams. The current pro league wasn’t like how it had been eight or nine years ago.
Yet Happy had come this far, their players, equipment, funds, materials, and guilds had all come out from nothing. Now, their database was on its way to being built as well. Wei Chen had suddenly realized, Happy had gradually become a young sparrow, ready to fly. Any team that looked at Happy as a grassroots team would pay the price for underestimating them.
"Organize materials!" Wei Chen suddenly hollered, causing everyone in the room to jump in surprise. Yet he had already buried his head into his computer monitor, searching through his memories, the internet, and all the experience he had accumulated from his years of research, organizing them.
"Organize materials!" Without waiting for anyone to react, Ye Xiu suddenly hollered as well, before busying himself with his own computer.
"What’s up with those two?" The room of people exchanged glances. All they could be sure of was that these two hadn’t gone crazy. They were just extremely focused, even more focused than in matches.
The newest round of the Challenger League happening this week and the last round of the online matches, finally arrived on Friday. Team Happy had completed their last updates to their line-up before the last round. Berserker, Another Summer of Sleep, appeared on their member’s list. However, a change like this in a team in the Challenger League wouldn’t be noticed. Even the reporters that were interested in Happy didn’t even notice.
The last online round of the Challenger League ended without suspense. The twenty teams that had survived till the offline matches had been locked in. Any team that could come to this point would have some sort of foundation in skill. However, for Happy, skilled normal player teams weren’t enough to make them feel threatened. Apart from Excellent Era, Team Mysterious Fantasy, who had also been relegated last season, had also made it into the top twenty.
Mysterious Fantasy’s relegation wasn’t something shocking like Excellent Era’s. In the last season, they had been steadily last for 90 percent of the time, not giving any other teams a chance to take their spot. Their relegation was undebatable; they were the weakest, there was no fault with that result.
However, their weakness was relative.
In comparison to normal player teams, they were definitely much stronger. However, in the pro circle, Mysterious Fantasy couldn’t even match up to Everlasting. Everlasting had three years of experience in the pro league, while Mysterious Fantasy hadn’t even been able to hold on for two years before getting kicked out. In addition, their ability to remain in the league seemed to be all thanks to a miraculous idea of getting retired veteran Zhang Yiwei to coach them. With such an experienced ex-pro giving pointers, Mysterious Fantasy’s rookies managed ok in their first season, but Zhang Yiwei wasn’t able to pull off another miracle in the second year, causing them to fall like a mountain’s collapse. The topic of if a coach could change a team warmed up again.
Usually, a relegated team wanting to keep its strength was a hard task, but Mysterious Fantasy’s members had pretty much all stayed. It wasn’t so much that the team had done a good job as it was that other teams hadn’t shown much interest in Mysterious Fantasy’s members. Could a Mysterious Fantasy of this strength win against Excellent Era in the Challenger League? Normal players weren’t bothered to even try to consider this question. In the past, the face off between two teams that were relegated in the same season would be the hottest topic of the Challenger League. As for this year? It was probably more worth your time to keep an eye on that grassroots team Happy that swore to beat Excellent Era than on Mysterious Fantasy!
After Mysterious Fantasy, another team with a history was Team Jade Dynasty**. Jade Dynasty didn’t just have background, but it even had a history. Even Ye Xiu and Wei Chen felt their hearts warmed by seeing the name Jade Dynasty. Team Jade Dynasty was a team that was in the League since its creation. Just this seniority was enough to instantly kill half the teams in the League right now.
However, in comparison to their seniority, what was more touching about Jade Dynasty was their rocky road to life.
From the very first year when Jade Dynasty joined the League, they had ranked last. However, since there was no relegations in the first year, they still participated the next year.
Unfortunately, in the second year, relegation became a thing and Jade Dynasty, who had been at the bottom of the charts again, were relegated.
In the third year, Team Jade Dynasty conquered the Challenger League
So they returned in the fourth year and were relegated once more.
In the fifth year they won the Challenger League again, entering the Alliance, and in the sixth year of matches, they were kicked again.
Jade Dynasty, with the moniker Revival King, had somehow slipped up in the seventh year and lost this "title". In this year’s Challenger League, they had failed.
Then in the eighth year, they slipped up once more.
Jade Dynasty still hadn’t disbanded, entering their ninth year, this year’s Challenger League.
Nine years of pro Glory, five in the Challenger League, Jade Dynasty was definitely the most experienced team in the Challenger League. However, there was probably no team in the pro league that really cared about how strong they really were anymore. Some teams might’ve even forgotten about their existence. A team that struggled even in the Challenger League didn’t seem to be anything that the powerhouses of the alliance cared about, even if they did revive themselves.
Even Wei Chen was surprised at seeing Jade Dynasty’s name in the list of twenty that had made it.
"Is it that Jade Dynasty?" Wei Chen asked in shock.
"It is that Jade Dynasty," Ye Xiu confirmed.
"They haven’t disbanded yet?" Wei Chen asked.
"Not yet," Ye Xiu replied.
"This is an opponent worthy of our respect," Wei Chen said with great respect.
"If they get eliminated again, you think they’ll finally disband?" Respect was respect, trash talking was trash talking.
"Who knows?" Ye Xiu responded.
"Do you still know anyone on the team?" Wei Chen questioned.
"That, I really am not sure of," Ye Xiu said. It was already the third year Jade Dynasty was struggling through in the Challenger League. Ye Xiu didn’t know what line-up they had. Even if they had interacted in the sixth season, this sort of third string team wasn’t one that would leave a deep impression on Ye Xiu’s mind.
"Who was in it back then?" Wei Chen tried his best to remember, but it was obvious that the weak links would always not make much of an impression. Amongst Wei Chen’s few memories in the pro league, all that he was left with about Jade Dynasty was their name.
The title of Revival King for Jade Dynasty was no more than a joke; no one truly cared to notice how they were doing. This was especially true after two years of failure, when it wasn’t even a joke anymore; they were close to being completely forgotten.
"No matter what, we must take them seriously," Ye Xiu said solemnly.
"Yes yes, take them seriously." Wei Chen nodded. Only he knew if he was actually taking it to heart.
Excellent Era, Mysterious Fantasy, and Jade Dynasty. Those were the ones amongst the twenty teams that had some history of being in the pro league. Usually, they would be the titans of the Challenger League. Apart from them, it was just normal player teams, the real grassroots. Being able to get here, they definitely had some skill. The big teams would keep an eye on their behavior, and some might be noticed by the teams, becoming pro players.
What was a shame was that there were no teams amongst these grassroots teams that had taken names mocking Excellent Era. That was a big point of interest lost. However, in comparison to people who tried to use their team names to mock Excellent Era, Team Happy who had sworn to defeat them was the greatest taunt. That was because it seemed that Happy was serious!
The offline matches were about to begin and the big Glory media outlets finally decided the Challenger League worthy of more articles, Excellent Era’s grand line-up, Mysterious Fantasy’s coach Jade Dynasty’s rise and fall, Happy’s shameless boasting… These all became interesting topics. As for the alliance, they began to officially contact the teams, informing them of the place and time of their offline matches.
Yet before this, an important event needed to happen.
In some sense, an event that would determine the future of these teams had just begun.
Super long TN ahead:
*This means that though someone might not have personally been an expert at, worked in, or have intentionally undergone training in an area, they still had some idea of how it worked because of their experience.
**Some of you may recognize Jade Dynasty from the MMORPG by the same name. This MMORPG is actually based on the novel, Jade Dynasty, also known as Zhu Xian (诛仙). The novel itself is very famous in China. It’s considered a Chinese fantasy masterpiece. Along with Legend of the Simple Soldier (小兵传奇) and A Fleeting Journey (飘渺之旅), Zhu Xian is considered one of the Three Webnovel Masterpieces. It was published in around 2003 (Qidian was created in 2003), so it could be considered as a defining work during the early Chinese webnovel scene.
Unfortunately, those early masterpieces like Legend of the Simple Soldier and A Fleeting Journey aren’t being translated. I’ve also heard good things about other early webnovels like 佣兵天下 (Mercenaries Under the Sky), 紫川 (Purple River), 风姿物语 (A Tale of Wind’s Gesture). These most likely won’t be translated though as I don’t think they would be popular in the current scene, which is dominated by ‘YY’ novels (more on that later).
If you were around 2-3 years ago when the international webnovel scene began, you could consider Zhu Xian or those other two early works mentioned as the Coiling Dragon of the Chinese webnovel scene. It had around 30,000,000 views/clicks back when it was serialized, which is incredible, considering that there were way way fewer Chinese readers in the webnovel scene than now. TKA (serialized in 2011) had around 25,000,000 views/clicks to put that into perspective, and TKA is very popular in China.
The most popular/"clicked" webnovel is Battle Through the Heavens (斗破苍穹) published in 2008 with 151,300,000 views/clicks. BTTH could also be considered a defining work in the Chinese webnovel scene, although not necessarily because of the quality of the work unlike the three mentioned above. I want to say that along with IET’s Stellar Transformations (also published in 2008), it helped popularize the webnovel scene immensely. I also want to say that BTTH is how YY novels got popularized. These are just conjectures though, so take it with a grain of salt. Also, in case you didn’t know, YY novels are your typical Chinese webnovels filled with tropes like arrogant young masters who don’t recognize Mt. Tai, old grandpa teacher, alchemy, auctions, tournaments, faceslapping, OP MC, and so on. You can consider YY novels as fast food. They’re very fun/delicious and addicting, but not exactly quality stuff. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I have my fair share of YY novels that I love.
Andd finally back to Zhu Xian. The translations for Zhu Xian can be found online (check novelupdates for official links). The first 50 or so chapters were done by a different translator than the current one, so the naming convention switches in the middle, which can be quite confusing. However, in spite of that, I’d still highly recommend reading it, especially if you’re looking for a more traditional/non-YY Xianxia.
Sorry for posting where the chapter belongs. It took quite some time to write this up, so I didn't want my efforts to be for nothing even if this was just for fun ;_;
Also, the Translator's Thoughts UI doesn't let me format stuff. QI, please fix. Thanks.