Saturday, July 2, 2016

God's Left Hand - Prelude: Chapter 12

Hey guys, here's this week's! Enjoy.

She had never played a final round this difficult.  Her first match was against last year’s champion.
She knew the maps in Need for Speed 10 well enough that she could have drawn them with her eyes closed.  However, every single contestant was just as familiar with the maps as she was.
Bend after bend on the road, her finger never left the shift key.
Every time, as she was about to bump into an opponent’s car, she would overtake them while barely grazing the car……

It’s a good thing that she had spent two months training to avoid crashing.  Last year, many Chinese Need for Speed players were knocked out of the international competition early on, all because they weren’t familiar with competition rules.
In China, a rematch is required if a player overturns their opponent’s car.
But in WCG tournaments, there is no penalty for purposely crashing into another opponent’s car, making it a viable strategy for players.

Surprisingly, her left hand was a bit sore after she took it off the keyboard.
This was only the first match and she had just won by only a narrow margin.  She glanced at the Singaporean players for the next match and gritted her teeth as she gathered her belongings and left the competition floor.
Match after match, semifinals, and finals.
There was still, however, half a day to get through……

“Look at this post,” Slide turned his laptop towards her with the most easy going posture to take her mind off the stress.  “Yesterday, someone took a picture of you and posted on the CS boards.”
Ai Qing placed her bag down at her feet, sat down, and carefully looked at the computer screen.
The picture was a side-view of her yesterday, dozing on the back of the chair in front of her.  The caption was very clickbaity “The Ancient Hero of Legend: Gou Gou makes a surprising appearance at the WCG Asian Championship.”

Ai Qing wasn’t sure if she should laugh or cry as she looked at Slide.  “Since when did I become an ancient legend?”
Slide nodded with a grin: “More like a fossil at this point.”
Ai Qing took a look at the big screen, the next match hadn’t started yet.  There was still time for her to rest.  She commandeered the laptop to read the post.
In short, it was about the strongest first generation Chinese CS players.
“That year, Solo, Gou Gou, and Gun, etc. became the most iconic of the first generation CS players.  This team almost swept every CS competition in China, becoming unchallenged champions…...”
Slide on purposely read the post out loud.  She turned towards him with a fist raised, daring him to continue.  He acquiesced with a chuckle.  “I remember that back then I was still a commentator, before you guys dragged me into actually playing.”[1]
Ai Qing also remembered that time three years ago, when most players were still amateurs.  It was rare to find a professional team.

She was lamenting the fact that she was already considered “ancient” at the age of 18 as she casually looked at all the replies to the post.
She didn’t expect that around the twentieth reply she would start seeing gossip.  They were all using this post to gossip about the CS teams at that time such as match fixing, the promiscuity of the players in their private life …… she read for a few minutes before she couldn’t hold back her laughter.  The gossip here was more interesting than the ones about the entertainment industry in the gossip section of Tianya[2].

But later on, someone began posting about Solo’s personal life.
Perhaps it was because he changed games and his skills still shone just as brightly if not brighter.[3]
There was a very brief reply that mentioned his illegitimate daughter……

Ai Qing immediately returned the laptop and didn’t want to continue with that topic.
After she chatted with Slide for a while, she discovered that Dt, who had been silent all this time, had fallen asleep.  Because his hat was pulled down so low, even Slide, his neighbor, didn’t realize he had dozed off.
Ai Qing bent over to take a peek at his sleeping face with a smirk.
The outline of his face was beautiful.  He definitely had the potential with his skills and looks to become one of the top gaming idols.  She assumed that he probably trained too late into the night which would explain why he brazenly slept on the tournament floor.  Really now ……. why did he get up so early for?

[1]:  TL Note: In Chinese the term used was “拖下水” which means literally to “drag into the water,” but it’s connotation in English sounds more negative than what Slide is implying here.

[2]:  From what we could research, Tianya (天涯) is a real website on the internet with a gossip/tabloid like section, but didn’t look too deeply into it.

[3]:  We chose to stick to a more literal translation here.  The Chinese used implies that Solo was still eye-catching or had an aura around him that shone.  Essentially they mean that even though he switched games, he was still one of the top players in his new game.

1 comment:

  1. This answered my question from the previous chapter.
    Thank you for translating!