Chapter 18

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Chi Shuo was also looking forward to teaming up with Xiao Bai and continuing to test his strength.

If Xiao Bai was a gifted prodigy with immense talent and the potential to play professionally, Chi Shuo could get ahead of all other pro teams and sign this newbie before anyone else could snatch him away.

If Xiao Bai just happened to be good at a select few heroes, but didn't have the hand speed or game awareness required of professional players, then Chi Shuo could still benefit from playing a few rounds with Xiao Bai and learning more about the Abyssal Lord.

In any case, it wasn't a bad idea to befriend a streamer. When they both had time, they could continue playing together in the future.

The 100,000 yuan in gifts had just been a 'hello' present, intended to get an add to Xiao Bai's friends list. They could get to know each other better from now on.

The game quickly loaded up.

In the voice chat, Ye Shaoyang asked, "Open with blue or red?"

Chi Shuo typed: [Counter. Blue.]

In the game, the map was divided into two halves—the upper and lower half, with one side belonging to each team.

Each side's blue buff spawned at the lower left of the map, while their red buff spawned at the upper right. Both buffs were located in the jungle, and their beneficial effects would be awarded to the player who killed the associated monsters. The blue buff monster granted a buff which continuously replenished mana, while the red buff monster granted a buff that imbued normal attacks with a slowing effect.

The two sides of the jungle were exact opposites; it was like looking into a mirror.

In other words, the blue buff in one team's jungle spawned at the same spot as the red buff in the other team's jungle—near the middle of the map, separated by a river. That was the importance of the river. At the start of a match, a support had to go out there to establish visibility for their team, to make sure that the enemy wasn't invading their jungle to steal their buffs.

Most junglers liked to begin the game by grabbing the buffs on their own side, which was referred to as either 'opening with blue' or 'opening with red'.

Countering, on the other hand, was a more aggressive way to play.

It entailed ignoring the buffs in your own jungle to invade your enemy's territory and steal their buffs!

Chi Shuo liked counter jungling. That was something many, many players in the professional league knew.

He had a sharp and penetrative jungling style—he considered the enemy jungle his own backyard. As long as he was given half a chance, he would devour all the resources in the enemy jungle without leaving a single monster for his opponents!

When faced with a jungle that had been picked clean, many professional junglers who went up against Chi Shuo would completely break down.

Chi Shuo was, therefore, the most hated jungler in the professional league. In official games, his enemies sometimes even launched dedicated attacks against him, trying to gank him with all five heroes moving as one!

Ye Shaoyang took this game very seriously, and Chi Shuo did as well.

Counter jungling right from the start to grab the enemy's blue buff was a surefire way to catch their opponents off guard.

The enemy would never expect this move, because the hero Chi Shuo had chosen—the Bloodstained Assassin—didn't have a mana bar at all!

A hero without a mana bar obviously wouldn't have any use for the blue buff, which replenished mana.

Even if the other side anticipated the Bloodstained Assassin's invasion, they would expect him to go after their red buff.

So, the result of Chi Shuo's sneak attack…

It was completely unpredictable.

Chi Shuo and Ye Shaoyang grouped up and sneakily crept into the enemy jungle, making their way towards the enemy's blue buff. They swiftly hacked away at the monster's HP. Then, when there was just a sliver of blood left, Chi Shuo stopped attacking and typed: [You take it.]

Ye Shaoyang froze for a second. "For me?"

Chi Shuo: [Mm. Let's see if the Abyssal Lord can suppress the enemy mid laner with the blue buff.]

Ye Shaoyang smiled. "Then I'll go ahead."

A mid lane mage was the hero that could get the most use out of a blue buff. By continuously replenishing their mana, they could continuously use their skills.

Ye Shaoyang swiftly killed off the bloodied monster to receive the blue buff.

The minions were starting to advance down the middle lane. Ye Shaoyang returned to his lane to clear them away. Chi Shuo, meanwhile, circled around the river and approached the enemy's red buff in the jungle. After seeing the opposing jungler get the red buff monster down to critical health, Chi Shuo used his smite and stole the buff right out from under the enemy. Then, taking advantage of the fact that he was at Level 2 while his enemy was still at Level 1, he decisively slaughtered the enemy jungler—

First Blood!

Chi Shuo had gotten the first kill.

Ye Shaoyang typed: [666.]

Chi Shuo returned to their own jungle and quickly collected their red buff and blue buff as well.

The bullet comments in Xiao Bai's streaming room flooded the screen—

[Holy shit! Four buffs, all theirs! This is a dream opening for any game!]

[The enemy jungler is for sure losing it already. Boss, you're so cool. Do you really need a streamer to carry you?]

[This invasion was seriously way too beautiful!]

[All you newbie junglers who only have the guts to go after the buffs in your own jungle, bow down to the boss~]

Kicking off a game by claiming all four buffs was indeed a 'dream opening' that was rarely seen in a competitive match.

There were only a total of four buffs at the start of the game. Regardless of whether you got those buffs by invading the enemy jungle or defending in your own jungle, most games kicked off with each team getting two buffs.

But Chi Shuo had just invaded the enemy jungle and helped Ye Shaoyang grab the enemy's blue buff. Then he'd gotten a solo kill on the enemy jungler to steal their red buff as well. After that, while the enemy jungler was incapacitated, Chi Shuo had gone home to his own jungle to swiftly collected the blue and red buffs there…

Which meant all four of the opening buffs had been claimed by Chi Shuo!

By then, Chi Shuo was a full two levels above the opposing jungler.

It was truly a dream opening!

After the enemy jungler respawned and sped back to their jungle to see that all the resources had been snatched away… it was over. The enemy jungler's mental state collapsed.

Then, a notification alerted all the players of a kill in the mid lane.

Xiao Bai (Abyssal Lord) killed Playing Ranked Every Day (Illusionist)!

Since he'd taken the blue buff, Ye Shaoyang's mana never ran dry. He could unleash his skills at will, and he managed to get a solo kill on the enemy mage at only Level 4!

His viewers all spammed '666' in the chat.

The opposing mid laner was so terrified of Ye Shaoyang that they didn't dare emerge from underneath their defensive tower.

But cowering under the tower wouldn't do this mid laner any good. With Ye Shaoyang and Chi Shuo teaming up as a formidable mid/jungle duo, forcibly taking that mid laner's head would simply be a piece of cake!

When he noticed the boss lurking in the nearby jungle and sending out a signal to attack, Ye Shaoyang charged in without the slightest hesitation. He swiftly beat the enemy mid laner to low health. Then Chi Shuo, stealthed, slipped up and took the enemy's head with one deft sweep of his dagger. Once the deed was done, the two of them slipped away one after the other.

[The power gap is way too big. The enemy jungler is only at Level 4, and our boss is already at Level 6. Should they even keep trying?]

[That was hella cool! The two of them braved the enemy tower and got a kill on the enemy mage!]

[The other side's jungle and mid lane are totally lost. Xiao Bai and the boss work way too well together!]

Five minutes into the match, the other team's mid lane outer tower was destroyed.

The opposing mid laner was completely ruined. Ye Shaoyang's equipment was much farther along.

The opposing jungler had been devastated as well. Forget about the red or blue buffs. The enemy jungler hadn't even managed to farm a single monster!

Ye Shaoyang and Chi Shuo turned their attention to the bottom lane. They made their way down and once again launched a joint attack.

This time, Chi Shuo was the one who struck first. With one swift skill combo, he badly crippled the enemy marksman. Ye Shaoyang sent over the Abyssal Lord's shadows and used his explosive marks to kill the enemy marksman. After that, his skills were refreshed, and he continued on his rampage, taking down the enemy support as well.

Double Kill!

The fearsome duo worked together to take down the outer tower on the bottom lane, then ventured into the lower jungle together to farm some more resources.

Then, they headed up to the top lane.

Wherever they went, they killed whatever they found. Not even the meaty tank in the enemy's top lane could fend off the explosive power of this mid/jungle duo. Ye Shaoyang and Chi Shuo quickly took down the outer tower on the top lane as well, then went back to the jungle to farm, and then killed the enemy jungler once more.

The other three players on their team basically just sat back and watched the show, only typing '666' into the team chat once in a while.

Seven minutes into the game—

The opposing team surrendered.

The viewers in Xiao Bai's streaming room were all silent for a moment.

[That was the worst it could have gone for the other side. Those guys are probably looking for their wills to live.]

[Are King-ranked players with just a few stars really this terrifying?]

[I thought I was watching a bunch of Kings wail on some noobs! The other team's jungler was quaking. Couldn't move a muscle!]

[That was seriously brutal. They robbed their enemies blind. Their invasion was nonstop. The enemy jungler didn't get a single buff the whole game.]

[Xiao Bai and the boss are pretty much on the same wavelength. Their mid/jungle team-up forced the other side to surrender so fast.]

[Are these two demons?]

[They'll let you experience the terror of being dominated by a pair of demons!]

Ye Shaoyang watched the word 'VICTORY' flash across his screen. He happily praised, "Boss, your skills are pretty good!"

Chi Shuo modestly typed back: [They're alright.]

Ye Shaoyang continued, "I've found that the Abyssal Lord can start to dominate the game much earlier if he gets the blue buff. As long as he can hit an enemy with three Q skills, then follow up with a W, he can usually get a solo kill."

Chi Shuo checked out the game stats and typed: [You used a cooldown set?]

"When you equip the Abyssal Lord with a cooldown set, his ability to support and his ability to control fights both go up," Ye Shaoyang said.

As he said that, Ye Shaoyang also explained to his viewers, "For you guys who are here to learn about the Abyssal Lord, let me give you a few tips. The hero's damage output mostly relies on his Q skill. Be conscious of timing when you release his shadows. Usually, you can catch the enemy mid laner while they're farming creeps. Release your shadows then, and clean up some minions while knocking down your opponent's HP along the way.

"But beware, if you're not absolutely sure you can defeat your opponent, save one of your shadows so that you can use it to escape." Ye Shaoyang paused there and opened up the game stats from the last round, using his cursor to gesture to the equipment he'd used. "For your gear, start with the Boots of Cooling. Then get the Nebula Staff. Basically, you want to stack yourself with equipment that reduces your cooldown times. That way, your Q will come off cooldown much sooner, and you'll have more flexibility in the field.

"The details of my build are here. Anyone who wants to take a screenshot can do so now. I'll share this in the game as well."

Xiao Bai's voice was crisp and clear. He diligently explained how to build and play the Abyssal Lord. His viewers all took that chance to take screenshots in order to study the details on their own later on.

[A teacher host! I love it, love it! I was just looking for a way to learn how to play this new hero.]

[Host, your build is super professional! Starting out with cooldown gear? Not what I would've thought of.]

[The Abyssal Lord relies on his shadows to do damage, after all. The more marks he can land, the more damage he can do. If his skills don't come off cooldown quickly enough, the heat of the battle will have died down before he can get all his shadows out.]

[Build screenshotted! Going to test it out in the game now!]

[Question for you, host. The Abyssal Lord has his own movement skill. Do we still take flash as our hero skill?]

[Right, right. I thought we would take a cleanse instead.]

Hero skills included basic skills like flash, smite, cleanse, stun, and so on. Every player could choose one at the start of the match to bring into the game. Junglers always took smite, as it dealt extra damage to the monsters in the jungle. Marksmen and mages who didn't have their own movement skills typically took flash, which allowed them to blink across a short distance and even escape through walls.

The Abyssal Lord had his own movement skill. Did he still need flash?

Ye Shaoyang smiled and explained, "Although the Abyssal Lord has his own movement skill, he can only send out his shadows across a short distance. It isn't easy to hit the enemy's backline. You take flash because it helps you get into the backline during team fights, to wreak havoc back there.

"The key to playing an assassin mage is to take out the glass cannons on the other side as swiftly as possible, in order to establish a numbers advantage for your own team. The Abyssal Lord gets his skills refreshed after getting a kill, so the emphasis for him is always on getting fast kills."

[I usually use my flash to escape. Host, you use it to kill?]

[Initiating a fight with flash, then managing your shadows… that's way too complicated for me!]

[For klutzes like me, playing assassin mages really is out of the question. If I flashed in there, I would just be delivering my head to the enemy. Q_Q]

[I tried it. I totally couldn't control all three shadows at the same time. All I can say is our host is 666.]

Chi Shuo listened as Xiao Bai taught his viewers about the new hero. He discovered that this streamer Xiao Bai wasn't just good at playing the game. His thoughts about the game were also very clear and well-organized. The new hero had only been out for two days, and Xiao Bai had already become number one in the province. He'd already devised his own build for this hero as well.

Plus, Chi Shuo had gotten a chance to take a look at Xiao Bai's build. The equipment Xiao Bai chose really was optimal for the Abyssal Lord.

Chi Shuo was becoming more and more interested in Xiao Bai. He typed: [Another?]

"Sure," Ye Shaoyang said. "Let's play until lunch."

The two of them continued to double queue for ranked matches.

And their spectators were treated to a show of the true terror of a powerful mid/jungle duo!

The boss continued to pick the Bloodstained Assassin for the jungle, and Xiao Bai continued to pick the Abyssal Lord for the middle lane. The former was the most powerful burst jungler, and the latter was an assassin mage who was better than any other at collecting heads…

When this jungler and this mid laner teamed up and attacked, they scorched the earth and left no survivors. Anyone who stepped into their line of sight was sure to perish.

Everyone soon noticed how well the two of them worked together. It was like Xiao Bai and the boss had a tacit understanding. Either Xiao Bai would flash in and beat an enemy within an inch of their life, for the boss to come in and collect their head, or the boss would cripple an enemy and wait for Xiao Bai's shadows to come in for the kill.

As long as they struck at the same time, there was essentially none who could escape alive.

They didn't run into any other pro teams as they played, so the two of them swiftly rose in the ranks.

King-rank, 2 stars!

King-rank, 4 stars!

King-rank, 10 stars!

The viewers continued to chat in the bullet comments—

[This mid/jungle duo is seriously fearsome. They can even kill you when you're hiding under your tower!]

[666, I could get addicted to this kind of show!]

[They completely stripped the other side's jungle of all its resources. There's no way for the enemy to fight back.]

[Xiao Bai is on a win-win-winning streak again! Abyssal Lord, MVP again and again. Battle power is over 9,000 now!]

MVP again and again? That was because the boss was a good partner.

The boss typically got their enemies down to low health, then allowed Ye Shaoyang to come in to take the kills. As a result, Ye Shaoyang's track record with the Abyssal Lord in these past few games was exceptionally nice. He often got triple kills and quad kills, sometimes even pentakills. It was only natural for his battle power to shoot up.

His battle power was indeed over 9,000 by now. He wasn't all that far from the 10,000 that was needed to make it onto the national leaderboards.

In his previous life, Ye Shaoyang had especially enjoyed playing assassin mages like this, to team up with his junglers and kill the fragile heroes on the enemy's side.

That was exactly why, in official matches, the opposing coaches would typically ban Ye Shaoyang's favorite assassin mages. In professional games, it was very rare for Ye Shaoyang to be able to play his favorite heroes.

He hadn't experienced such an exhilarating connection with his jungler in a long, long time.


Author's Notes:

Won't be writing out the details of games against passersby. The details of their teamwork will come out in official games.

Let's speed up to Ye Shaoyang joining the team~

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