Monday, August 14, 2017

Secret Room Book 2 - Chapter 17

Playing Fish Trapped in Secret Room
Book 2: You’re Beautiful
Chapter 17

Ai Qing met with the K&K members downstairs.
Probably due to the short confrontation last night, nobody seemed to have slept well.  Dt put his hands in the pockets of his sports jacket, quietly looking at passersby outside the hotel.
He turned around upon hearing their arrival and stared for a full three seconds before nodding to Ai Qing and Inin.


Besides the driver, it was just the five of them on the shuttle.
Grunt put his hand at the window, looking at the traffic outside. Chicago at this time of the year still required warm clothing. Grunt, however, let the cold wind pour in his open window.  After a while, Ai Qing was so cold that she had to wrap the scarf in her hand around her neck to shield herself from the cold wind.
After they arrived at the indoor stadium, she kept rubbing her hands trying to warm herself.  Inin found the entire situation strange and whispered in her ears,  “Why is everybody acting so weird today?”  “Ah? Really?”  Ai Qing played dumb.  “It doesn’t feel that way to me.”  “Seriously. Grunt is especially different.”  Inin replied and emphasized again.  “For real.”


As they were whispering, Grunt took off the K&K jacket.  He was dressed in a short sleeves shirt and walked to the arena.  As he was walking, his head was lowered, fiddling around with his cell phone.  From time to time, he would press the phone to his ear. He seemed to wholly unfocused on the upcoming competition.  Ai Qing didn’t know what he was trying to do.  She glanced at Gun and Dt who were sitting one seat from her.
They didn’t seem to be concerned.
They were clearly Grunt’s teammates, but it made her and Inin more nervous.
Because Dt and Inin were, respectively, the champions of two major regions last year, they qualified automatically as the top sixteen players.  Therefore, among these Chinese players, only Grunt had to participate in today’s elimination round.


Fortunately, the competition began smoothly.
The winners were determined within an hour for the first elimination round.
Grunt won.
The second round was finished half an hour later.
Grun won.


In the final round, Grunt encountered a Korean top player who was ranked third in the world.
Koreans were the everlasting kings of StarCraft. Whether online or offline, they would monopolize the top ten in any competition, when they were lucky.  When they aren’t as lucky, they leave a spot or two for players from other countries.
Therefore, except for the directly qualified players, other players who encountered Korean players in the elimination rounds would basically find themselves on the losing side.
There were three players who qualified automatically based on their performance last year.  Only Dt’s nationality was Norway, the other two were both Koreans including Inin who won the championship in the American Regional tournament.
But Inin had dropped to 6th place because of his losing streak lately.


Before Solo retired, Grunt’s best achievement at StarCraft 2 was placing second in the Chinese Regional tournament, ranked 6th in the world at the time.
After Solo retired, he became the champion in the Chinese Regional tournament, but his ranking had dropped to 11th.
With a score like this...
It was difficult to face such a strong opponent……


It was intermission now.  The competition would start five minutes later.
Grunt was still playing around with his cell phone and from time to time bring it up to his ear.  Ai Qing suddenly realized.  Wasn’t he…...was he also calling Ai Jing?  She looked at him.  Grunt took off his glasses.  Finally, he gave up and threw his phone onto the table.  Then he used the back of his hand to support his head and just sat there quietly.

He didn’t move at all.

2 comments:

  1. wow ok... so he is not gonna play?!

    ReplyDelete
  2. What's going on with all the drama between Grunt and Ai Jing? Geez, they should wrap that up nicely.

    ReplyDelete