Saturday, March 4, 2017

Secret Room: Book 1 - Chapter 13

Playing Fish Trapped in Secret Room
Book 1: The Storm is Coming
Chapter 13

She returned to sit next to Baona.  An European rock’n roll band just finished the performance on the stage.
Right after the noisy metal music, there was a short period of silence inside the stadium.

“It can’t be that K&K even wants to recruit my top commentator as well?”  Baona took a long sigh.
“Now it looks like… seems they don’t need someone like me.”  Ai Qing joked around, then switched back to business quickly, “I heard some news though.”
“Dt signed on with K&K?”  Baona was guessing.
“Uhm.”  Ai Qing pretended to inadvertently glimpse at Solo who was sitting at the referee area in the distance.
She didn’t realize that he was such a faithful friend to Dt.  He didn’t leak any information about Dt to the club.  Or…...perhaps even though he was an old friend, Solo was not aware of which club Dt had signed onto?
Solo was talking to several other referees quietly without paying attention to the competitors.
“Signing a contract wasn’t the most important issue.”  Ai Qing paused then said, “The point is that he will be playing Secret Room Storm.”
“Oh?”  Baona was surprised.  “I haven’t expected that a newly rising club would be so bold. He picked a brand new game instead of Blizzard’s, which already had a very steady stream of prizes and a competition system.”
That’s right.
And it looked like Grunt and 97 were going to join him.
Most importantly, Solo had made the decision only four days ago at the Taipei stop that the club would focus on Secret Room in the future; a decision only she and Baona knew.
K&K and SP became competitive opponents once again.

There were four stops for the exhibition competition in Asia this time: Singapore, Taipei, Korea, and Shanghai.
The actual team members were announced on the day of the competition.  Singapore and Taipei already had the tournaments before today, but those three hadn’t shown up.
Was Korea the first stop they planned to make their debut?
It seemed that everything had been up in the air until now.

“I remember that Dt switched to Warcraft after the DotA?”  Baona asked after staying silent for a while.
“What’s your opinion about his performance in DotA based on your experience from playing against him before?”  Baona seemed to have given her a question, but actually she had already answered it in the game video last night,  “Don’t give me a generalization such as ‘God’s Left Hand’.”
“He… very talented.”
“......that simple?”
“It is very simple.  You certainly know how important talent is.”
Dt’s ability on DotA in the past was absolutely unprecedented.
Though he was at the second place of Chinese Regional competition in WarCraft, losing to Solo.  But it didn’t mean that he was weaker than Solo. It was just that Solo’s talent, like his name suggested, was more suitable at playing dueling games while Dt was more adept in team games.
“Solo’s era has completely gone away.”  Baona sighed. “Now several of the most eye-catching players have all signed on with K&K.  It is really a headache for us.”
“You don’t trust the younger generation of SP?”
“No.  I am just jealous of K&K, they signed up with those three so quickly.”
“Do you still remember the number one team in CS?”  Ai Qing was not as depressed as him.  “Other than Gun, the other three players were all trained by Solo, including me.”
Baona grinned and knocked her head with his curled index finger:  “I certainly remember our ‘ancient heroes’.  Don’t forget that I was also a CS player before.”

While they were chatting, one round of <Secret Room Storm> between Korean and European teams had just  finished.
The Koreans had lost.
The entire Chinese area was very calm, but the Korean area next to the Chinese were somewhat noisy because this was the first match in their country.  But they made it even very quickly after they defeated the American team.

Though it was an exhibition tournament, the atmosphere wasn’t calm at all.
After all it was a newly released video game, who wouldn’t want to be the first on the top?

Baona had become more serious ever since he learned that K&K and SP had chosen the same game as their main event once again.  He talked with the players during the competition intermissions; discussing the results of several finished games, the strengths of different teams, the ability of the mid players, and even about plans for the future……
Ai Qing turned on her iPad to watch the video of the most current games of DotA2.
She saved these videos for her to study while traveling.

She was concentrating on the video when the fighting had reached its climax.  It was then that a tall person showed up in front of her.
She thought at first that it was Solo and so she didn’t pay much attention to him.  But this person just stood there still without saying a word, the bizarre behavior finally drew her attention away from the video.
“Aren’t you the referee------” She stopped abruptly.
Ai Qing looked at the person with wide open eyes.

The man dressed in black sportswear stood in front of her smiling.  He bent down to greet her in a low voice,  “Hi, Guo Guo.  Do you still remember me?”
The words sounded as if it had come from another lifetime.

It was as if the sound of the news reports from those years were in her ears now:  “......Solo’s team was composed of the ‘ten inconceivables’ from the Chinese CS circle.  The two star players, Solo and Gun, were ranked in the top ten in the world for two consecutive years.  Certainly, there’s Gou Gou, master of the quickscope and no scope…...The team held several individual top rankings in the world, the 2nd most consistent player, the 4th best player to draw first-blood in a game, the 2nd best at map control, the 4th best player for pistol-only matches, and nominated three times for MVP……”
This man right in front of her had disappeared for many years.

But now, right here at this moment, he suddenly appeared out of nowhere in front of her inside this stadium in Korea.
He wore a VIP name tag on his chest like every other players inside the stadium, the club name of the tag was: K&K.