Saturday, August 13, 2016

God's Left Hand - Prelude: Chapter 18

On the afternoon of the third day, the stands around the stage were packed with spectators.
Ai Qing sat in the first row and watched the five people on stage who wore black uniforms.  Out of all the events after so many days, this event was the most anticipated.
A commander , skills and tactics, desire and passion, fast kills and teamwork, this was the unsurpassable charm of a team.

Do you stand at the top by yourself, or do you work side by side and challenge the boundary of skill?
Solo chose the former and for her, she had unconsciously leaned towards the latter.

Ai Qing watched as those five people sat on the stage in uniform, goofing around.  The sight had an indescribable effect on her.  When she had ended her CS career, she was quiet for two years because she couldn’t find any satisfaction from any event.  Until DotA gradually became popular in 2006.  It was then that she found her way.
Compared to being the best player in a popular event by herself, she would rather train all night with her teammates.  Throughout a competition, you can continuously hear the rage, the excitement, and finally the cheer after a final victory.  All of these things ensnared players.

On the left side of the stage was the Thai team and wore deep red short sleeved uniforms.  On the other side was Dt’s team, with each member wearing a simple black short sleeved uniform.  Even though the young girl was a substitute, she wore the uniform as well and nervously sat next to Ai Qing’s left.
“I know those two top commentators on stage.”  Slide whispered into Ai Qing’s ear.  “They speak like academics, not simple and straightforward.  When people like myself, who don’t know much about DotA, their commentary sometimes makes me fall asleep.”
Ai Qing grunted in agreement.  She opened a bag of chips and began to stuff herself.  “It’s good to be an academic, they can start with the background and history and then in the end you’ll even know which team member has a girlfriend……”

“I never asked, what do you think about Dt?”
“......” Ai Qing glanced at him.  How should she answer this question?
“His individual skill level?”  Slide was watching the stage and didn’t notice her facial expressions.
Ai Qing breathed a sigh of relief, “Very good, a genius.  Positioning, items, last hitting, map awareness, teamwork, strategy, not a single weakness……”  Even though she didn’t want to praise the person who had beaten her, she couldn’t help but sigh, “The most important factor is that their team is very stable.  They haven’t had any replacements in two years.  For these kind of team based games like DotA, teamwork decides everything.  Personal abilities, no matter how great, is still unable to beat five people, right?”
“Sounds about right.,” Slide smiled and stroked her hair, “then in a little bit, I’ll be relying on you to explain everything.  I’m pretty sure that you’ll be much more reliable than those two guys who’re getting paid in American dollars.”
Ai Qing gave a toothy grin and continued to eat her chips.

The first match went as expected; an aggressive gank strategy turned a normal match into a series of exciting climaxes one after another.
Mid-game ganks, the Thai team wasn’t able to keep up.  Their captain, who sat at the outermost seat, began to roar in a low voice.  While Ai Qing was quietly explaining to Slide what was going on screen, the one who just got killed set aside his mouse and stood up to cool his emotions down before picking his mouse back up for a comeback attempt.

“Look,” Ai Qing said excitedly, “that guy who just got killed, couldn’t take the heat, just like when I played.  Dt always seems to appear at impossible places and quickly surrounds and kills you in less than ten seconds.”
She spoke as she looked towards Dt.
He sat at the innermost seat on the second row, with only half of his face visible in the space between two monitors.  His lips were slightly pressed together in concentration.

The strategy of extremely aggressive play and total map control had won the applause of the crowd when the winning team became clear.
Ai Qing heard someone behind her continuously ask in excitement for the name of the Chinese team captain.  Ai Qing suddenly remembered what Dt said the day before, “It’s because you were the one who made me fall in love with esports,” and couldn’t help but curl the edge of her lips up.

Wasn’t it something to be proud of?
No matter what you’ll do after retirement, if you have a moment where you’ve captured the praise of the crowd, then you shouldn’t regret all the sacrifices made to reach that point.  When she began playing at the age of 14, she had seen a lot of defeat and resignation.
There is always a black cloud hovering over this profession, because everything they come into contact with or use in competition were called “games.”
Unfair, grief, and hard training.
From an outsider’s perspective, they were just addicted to video games.  But at the same time, they were athletes, the same as professional divers, weight lifters, and short-distance runners, who had won medals for China……

Ai Qing felt that she had wallowed too much in her own nostalgia; she put on her headphones and began to look for a song in her mp3 player.
She then felt someone had sat down next to her and turned to look.
“Shouldn’t you be thanking me?  Letting you fall in love with video games?” she removed the headphone from one ear.

Dt looked back at her.
“Sure, how do you want me to thank you?”
Ai Qing looked past him at the five gold medals on stage.  “Gold medal.  If you can win gold today, then we’ll be the group champion.”
“Alright.”  Dt responded as the edges of his lips curled up into a smile.
He took off his cap and casually placed it onto her head, then went back onto the stage.


  1. Ah, thank you! It feels a little frustrating how slowly the story moves forward - makes me want to wait till the translation is finished and I can binge-read the whole thing - but I guess I'm still curious enough about the main characters to wait a little longer. :)

    1. Yeah it's pretty slow. Sorry about the slow translation rate, but we do it in our free time so... But don't worry the real love story starts soon. After 19 we'll be done with the prelude.

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  3. Thank you for your hard work and giving us access to these great stories.