After Ye Shaoyang claimed the title of National #1 Abyssal Lord, his streaming channel's follower count grew by tens of thousands of viewers again.
Thanks to the fact that he had consistently remained the top recommended newcomer on Whale Streaming's platform, his follower count had surpassed 600,000 in just a few short days. He had over 300,000 paying subscribers as well. His top donor, Jungler No. 8, had sent 200,000 yuan in torpedoes all by himself. Square Square had also sent 10,000 yuan in gifts, and many of Xiao Bai's other fans had sent thousands or hundreds of yuan in gifts as well.
He'd been streaming for less than five days, and he had already made over 600,000 yuan in profits for the platform.
He absolutely left all other new streamers in the dust.
Whale Streaming HQ.
Zhang Qi reported, "Yun-jie, Xiao Bai has already become nationally ranked with the Abyssal Lord. The rankings just came out. His battle power is at 12,000. Even Brother Fish struggled to break past the 10,000 mark. Xiao Bai's average game stats are also much better than Brother Fish's. He's basically the MVP in every game he plays. Brother Fish regularly misses out on being named the MVP in his own games."
Chen Feiyun looked at the data report in her hands and said, "Xiao Bai's visibility has been increasing steadily, and he's been receiving more and more gifts as well. Very few people have unfollowed him, which means he's very good at making his viewers stick around?"
Zhang Qi nodded, feeling a bit nervous. "Yun-jie, what should we do about his contract?"
Chen Feiyun mulled it over for a while, then decided, "I'll talk to the bosses. It's too much of a pity to miss out on signing this kind of newbie. If he does get poached away by another platform, I get the feeling we'll all regret it."
"That's how I feel too. Xiao Bai's gaming skills are better than Brother Fish's, and he also has a cute cat. His appeal is massive." Zhang Qi had diligently observed Xiao Bai over the past few days. She was full of nothing but praise for this newbie. "What's even more special about him is that he maintains a lighthearted, relaxed atmosphere in his room. He isn't like Brother Fish, whose room is full of people bickering and flaming him. Streamers like Xiao Bai are better at turning passersby into regular viewers and fans."
"Mm, good point." Chen Feiyun paused for a moment, then continued, "Come talk to Liu-zong with me tomorrow morning. Let's see if we can reach a compromise on the three amendments Xiao Bai requested."
The next day, Ye Shaoyang was eating when he suddenly received a call from Ms. Zhang Qi.
"Ye-xiansheng, the head of our talent department at Whale Streaming, Liu-zong, is a big fan of yours and would love to schedule a time to chat in person. May I ask if it's a good time for you?"
Ye Shaoyang answered, "Sure. When and where?"
"You're currently in Star City, is that right?"
"Our company headquarters happens to be located in Star City too. If you could come to Whale Streaming's main building at three this afternoon, just ask for Liu-zong at the front desk and someone will escort you in."
Ye Shaoyang changed the name of Xiao Bai's streaming room to [Running an Errand Today, Temporarily Offline, See You at 8PM], then immediately went to change his clothes and prepare to leave.
Qin Rui saw him changing and rushed over to ask, "Ge, you're going somewhere?"
Ye Shaoyang said, "A manager at Whale Streaming wants to talk to me. Something about signing me to their platform."
"Really? Ge, are you going to be a professional streamer?" Qin Rui gazed excitedly at his gege.
"It's just an interview. Not sure if I'll actually be able to sign," Ye Shaoyang said.
Qin Rui thought about it, then turned and pulled a bandage-like patch out from a drawer. He handed it to Ye Shaoyang and cautioned, "This is a pheromone suppressant. Ge, carry it with you at all times. Since you haven't differentiated yet, there's a chance of you suddenly differentiating while you're out and about. If that happens, put this patch on right away to make sure nothing happens."
Ye Shaoyang froze for a second. It was only then that he remembered… he hadn't differentiated yet, huh?
Things were such a hassle in this A/B/O world.
He had a 50% chance of differentiating as an alpha and a 50% chance of differentiating as an omega. Based on his understanding, differentiating into an alpha would be simple enough to deal with. But if he turned out to be an omega, 'something' could happen if he didn't have someone around to look after him.
His older cousin Qin Yue had basically sent Qin Rui to stay with him because of this potential outcome, right?
Ye Shaoyang accepted the 'bandage' from his didi and shoved it into his pocket. Then he pointed at the nape of his own neck and asked, "If something feels off, I just stick it here, right?"
Qin Rui nodded. "Mm, and then immediately go to the hospital."
Ye Shaoyang smiled and said, "Alright, I got it."
At three that afternoon, Ye Shaoyang stepped out of a taxi and reached the HQ of Whale Streaming right on time.
In front of his eyes, there stood a ten-story office building that stretched up towards the sky. A huge sign in the shape of Whale Streaming's logo hung high up on the building. The silvery facade of the tower burned brightly under the sun, casting a dazzling glow of wealth and power all around the construct.
The afternoon sun was especially harsh on the eyes. Ye Shaoyang squinted against it, then entered through the front doors and said to the receptionist, "Hello, I'm looking for Liu-zong. I have an appointment."
The pretty woman at the front desk warmly greeted, "You must be Ye-xiansheng? Right this way, please."
Ye Shaoyang followed her into the elevator and rode it up to the tenth floor. He was led straight to the Head of Talent's office.
When he entered, three people were waiting inside—two women and one man.
The receptionist took the initiative to make the introductions. "This is our Liu-zong. Liu-zong, Ye-xiansheng has arrived."
Ye Shaoyang looked towards the middle-aged man sitting in the boss's position. He nodded respectfully and said, "Hello, Liu-zong."
Liu-zong looked to be in his forties. He had a plump stature and a round, rosy face. His eyes crinkled into merry crescents when he smiled, making him look very friendly and kind. He pointed to the couch next to him and said, "Little Ye, come, come. Let's sit and chat."
Immediately afterwards, he looked towards the receptionist and added, "Pour a drink for Little Ye."
The receptionist asked, "Ye-xiansheng, what would you like? Coffee? Milk tea? Juice?"
"Juice, thank you," Ye Shaoyang answered.
The receptionist quickly brought over a cup of fruit juice, setting it down on the coffee table in front of Ye Shaoyang.
Liu-zong carefully sized Ye Shaoyang up.
Such an attractive young man. Why was he hiding his face behind a cat?
Liu-zong couldn't understand it.
The young man before him was very good-looking. Not quite handsome and aggressive like an alpha, but not gentle and adorable like an omega either. Ye Shaoyang had a refreshing sort of allure that was somewhere between alpha and omega. His smile was bright, and his eyes were beautiful and clear—not subservient or arrogant, but full of self-confidence.
Based on his appearance, he would definitely be categorized as a top-tier streamer.
He could probably even make a living in the entertainment industry.
So why did he place a cat in front of his camera?
If he showed his face to his viewers, wouldn't he reel in even more fans?
Liu-zong curiously asked, "Little Ye, may I ask if you're an alpha, beta, or omega? Based on the registration records we have of your account, you didn't fill out the secondary sex field."
Naturally, that was because he had yet to differentiate.
Ye Shaoyang thought about it for a moment, then asked, "Is it okay if I don't answer?"
Liu-zong coughed, then smiled and answered, "Of course, that's your private information. But I'm very curious, why do you put a cat in front of the camera when you stream? With your face and temperament, you could definitely draw in a new horde of fans with your looks."
Ye Shaoyang said, "I'm a gaming host."
"So…?" Liu-zong prompted.
Ye Shaoyang's expression remained calm and unbothered. "Gaming hosts should draw in fans with their gaming skills."
Liu-zong fell silent.
Well, he couldn't argue with that logic.
But they were living in an age where views were more important than anything. Many streamers spent every day trying to hype themselves up and attract more viewers. This young man had many natural gifts, and yet he didn't want to make use of them… Liu-zong didn't know if he was stupid or just stubborn to a fault.
Liu-zong quietly contemplated the matter for a moment, then put on another warm and friendly smile. "We've reviewed your videos, and we've looked over your conditions as well. Little Ye, we absolutely recognize your potential, but the company has regulations. New streamers must sign for at least three years. You'll really put us in a tough spot if you only want to sign for one year!"
Ye Shaoyang said, "I originally only wanted to sign for half a year. I knew that would be impossible, so I suggested one year."
Liu-zong's smile froze on his face.
He had been completely dumbstruck when he first received Ye Shaoyang's conditions from Chen Feiyun earlier that morning. He had never encountered such a bold and arrogant newcomer before. Did Ye Shaoyang think this company belonged to his family? He wanted to rob a 60% share from the lion's maw? Whale Streaming offered that sort of treatment to their absolute best streamers, the ones with tens of millions of fans!
But after meeting Ye Shaoyang in person, Liu-zong's opinion of him changed slightly—
Ye Shaoyang really was very attractive. Far, far more attractive than he was in his ID photo. He had a face that could only be described as a gift from the heavens. If his gaming skills improved just a tiny bit more, his popularity could definitely launch him to the top of the industry.
Liu-zong patiently said, "If you only sign for one year, that's a huge risk for the platform. In order for us to promote a new streamer, we need time to devise and implement a marketing strategy. What if you jump ship as soon as we make your popularity boom? Wouldn't that be a big loss for us? You have to look at things from our perspective as well."
He sighed, almost as though making a decision. "How about we compromise? What do you say to two years?"
Ye Shaoyang thought it over, then nodded. "That works."
Immediately afterwards, he added, "But the additional clause has to be written out clearly—if the streamer named in this contract becomes a certified professional esports player in the Gods War league during the contract's period of effect, Whale Streaming will work with the team the streamer has signed with and ensure that the contract can be cancelled without any penalty to the streamer for breach of contract."
Liu-zong had seen that request earlier. When he heard Ye Shaoyang spell it out, he almost couldn't help but laugh.
Young people thought the sky was the limit. They loved to dream big.
Professional esports? Did this kid really think he could be a professional esports player just because he'd reached the national leaderboards with the Abyssal Lord?
Ye Shaoyang was already twenty-one years old, and he'd just started playing games. Just hearing about his aspirations was enough to make one laugh. The kids in the rookie training camps of professional teams were all in their teens. At twenty-one, the really impressive ones would already be known as gaming gods, right?
Liu-zong smiled and asked, "Is this clause a firm requirement for you?"
"It is," Ye Shaoyang earnestly answered.
Liu-zong nodded. "Okay, as a gesture of good faith, we can agree to add that clause."
Adding it and not adding it would lead to the same outcome, anyway. Liu-zong immediately continued, "As for your share of the gifts, we can give you 60%. However, we have no precedent of offering a 50/50 split on subscription fees. The platform has operating fees. Our servers are expensive to maintain."
"I know," Ye Shaoyang stated calmly. "That's why I only requested 50% of the subscription fees, not 60%."
Liu-zong nearly choked on a breath of air. Did this kid expect gratitude for that?!
Chen Feiyun saw from the neighboring seat that Liu-zong's expression was stiffening. She instantly jumped in to lighten the atmosphere. "Little Ye, you're still a newcomer. You can't expect too much. The terms you set are basically the terms that a platform's top streamers enjoy. We really can't justify giving a newcomer so much special treatment."
Zhang Qi nodded her agreement. "That's right. For a newcomer to receive 60% of profits from gifts is basically unheard of. In most contracts for new streamers, 40% of gifts is already considered very high. And splitting the subscription fees is even more inconceivable."
Ye Shaoyang smiled faintly and sharply struck at the heart of the matter. "But you offer top streamers a large signing bonus when they sign with you. I won't be receiving that. If I only receive a share of profits from the gifts, and nothing from the subscriptions fees, won't I be asking for too little?"
The three employees of Whale Streaming exchanged looks amongst themselves, silently sharing their dismay.
Was this really a newbie? How did he know so much?
Ye Shaoyang continued, "The most popular Gods War streamer on Whale Streaming is called Xiao Wei, right?"
Chen Feiyun smiled and answered, "Yes, Xiao Wei has sixty million followers."
What her words truly meant: You only have six hundred thousand.
"How many times has he been ranked nationally?" Ye Shaoyang asked.
"Four times," Chen Feiyun said. "Xiao Wei's gaming skills are extremely impressive. He often plays ranked matches with professionals. He also has a lot of connections in the gaming industry."
Ye Shaoyang was a little surprised. "Only four times? I can beat him."
The others fell silent.
Only? What did he mean only four times?!
Did this kid think the national leaderboards were easy to crack? Did he think he could buy a national ranking at the supermarket?
The temperature in the room seemed to plummet.
Ye Shaoyang stood up and smiled at the other three. "How about this? I can agree to sign for two years, as per your suggestion. But the additional clause must be added and written clearly. My other conditions still remain the same. 50/50 for the subscription fees, and 60/40 for the gifts. And the platform can't interfere with the way I stream. I'll only show my cat, not my face.
"I know, you guys think I'm a newcomer who talks big and has his head in the clouds. But the facts will soon prove that I haven't lied or exaggerated.
"I'll become the strongest gaming host on Whale Streaming."
Ye Shaoyang nodded politely to the others in the room. "I hope when we chat again, you guys will show some more good faith. I have some other matters to attend to, so I'll be heading out now. Thank you all."
The three others watched him turn and leave, all stunned speechless.
After a long while, Liu-zong finally managed to stop his widened eyes from trembling. In a shaky voice, he said, "Whale Streaming's strongest gaming host? He dares make such bold claims? Isn't he afraid of biting his tongue?"
Chen Feiyun awkwardly brushed her nose. "All that mystifying self-confidence… just where does he get it from?"
Zhang Qi quietly added, "Our Whale Streaming's Xiao Wei, Mumu… they're all the cream of the crop in the streaming world. They're often invited to serve as commentators on official games. If Ye Shaoyang made these claims out in the open, he would be insulted into an early grave."
Liu-zong was suffering from such an intense headache that he had to massage his temples. "This newbie only has a pretty face. Who knows what's going on inside his head?"
Chen Feiyun furrowed her brow. "Then should we continue to observe him, or…?"
Liu-zong thought for a while, then said, "If he doesn't sign, we can't process his earnings on our end. You guys keep watching him. See if he comes out with any new tricks."
Outside Whale Streaming's main office, Ye Shaoyang lifted a hand and gazed up at the sky.
Sunlight filtered down through the cracks between his fingers, illuminating his slightly weary face.
In his last life, he'd also had a streaming account. And he had been quite popular. His original plan had been to retire after winning a world championship, then stream for a living. But in the end, he'd lost the world championships, gotten into a car crash, and crossed over to this world.
He was getting another chance at life, but still walking the same path as before.
Because he wasn't willing to let go.
He wasn't just a big talker, and he definitely didn't have his head in the clouds. He was just someone who had a very clear idea of what he wanted to accomplish—his goal had never wavered from the world championship trophy.
If he couldn't even defeat some gaming streamers…
What right did he have to challenge the world stage?
总 (zǒng): An honorific which can be used to address the president/director/head of a business or organization.