Thank you Somebody for the Ko-fi! ❤
The break room was completely empty. Lu Boyuan leaned back against the sofa, watching the match livestream.
Both teams took the stage, and the camera gave each pro player a close-up one by one, with the last shot being Jian Rong.
Jian Rong’s bangs were wet, and one lock of hair was still plastered to his forehead. After sitting down, he expressionlessly lowered his head and started to check his peripherals. Over the course of all their matches, he was already very familiar with this process.
When Lu Boyuan remembered how Jian Rong had flat-out sprinted to the bathroom to wash his face the minute before they had to go on stage, he couldn’t help but feel an urge to laugh.
There was a camera focused on him nearby, so in the end, he only lifted the corner of his mouth for a few seconds before restraining himself again.
As usual, the same old faces were in charge of commentating on the match today. There wasn’t a strict age limit for commentators, so the turnover rate was similar to the speed of a snail. The new commentators were constantly being nitpicked, so whenever there was a major competition, the older commentators were always the ones sent in.
“I can guess what the commentators are saying right now even with my headphones on.” Xiao Bai coughed and forced his voice lower as he imitated, “Road’s absence in the semifinals can be considered a heavy blow to TTC. But no worries, I trust that Moon will definitely be able to give an outstanding performance this time and contribute his strength to the team…”
Before he could finish speaking, someone knocked a notebook against his head.
Ding-ge scolded him quietly, “Causing trouble for your teammates right off the bat? Are you done with your inspection yet?!”
“Owie.” Xiao Bai rubbed his head. “Aren’t I just trying to alleviate the atmosphere?”
His headphones were full of his teammates’ voices. Jian Rong examined his keyboard, with Lu Boyuan’s words still floating through his mind.
He drew in a deep breath and couldn’t resist imagining again what kind of reward it would be…
Damn, I’m about to compete, what the fuck am I thinking about?
Jian Rong lifted his hand and slapped himself forcefully on the forehead. There was a lot of power behind the slap, and the crisp “pa” noise was transmitted into his teammates’ headphones.
The team voice chat, along with the entire audience at the stadium and those watching the livestream: “……………”
Xiao Bai was astonished. “What are you doing… no matter how much pressure you’re under, you don’t need to go that far…”
Jian Rong ignored him. After he was done inspecting his computer, he reached up and raked his bangs back, away from his forehead.
He simply felt that his bangs were a bit long and were getting in his eyes, but that scene just happened to be captured and projected onto the broadcast. Some young women who had come to the stadium in groups were all stunned when they saw him do that, and immediately, they let out hushed shrieks—
Commentator A: “…Soft really is handsome, does TTC’s owner pick his pro players based on how good-looking they are?”
Commentator B: “So you’re saying Soft only has his good looks and no other strengths?”
“You…” Commentator A choked back his curses. Taking advantage of the camera being focused elsewhere, he put on a fake smile and said to Commentator B, “Don’t you instigate anything between me and Soft, are you going to take responsibility if something happens to me?”
With a quick exchange, the commentators eased the tense atmosphere. Right as the TTC fans, who were originally worried and nervous, started to relax, the livestream switched screens—the match entered the pick/ban phase.
The current meta’s powerful champions were banned one by one.
Xiao Bai: “Fuck, they’re not banning Lee Sin now that my ge isn’t here. Should we ban him?”
“No, let them pick him if they want. Nobody’s afraid of that champion unless he’s on our team.” Ding-ge looked at his notebook. “Let Jian Rong counterpick this game. Pine, what do you want to play?”
The counterpick was the very last player to select their champion; they could see the other team’s entire team composition before deciding what champion to take for themselves.
“Ah? Their mid laner locked in Ryze??” Yuan Qian said, shocked, “Am I seeing things?”
Xiao Bai was also startled. “There are still people playing Ryze in this meta? Even Kassadin or Azir would be a better choice than that, right.”
“Da Niu’s already an old school pro player, and old school pro players just like playing old school champions. What’s more, he became famous because of his Ryze, so it’s normal for him to pick that champion.” Ding-ge analyzed calmly, “Pine chose Ezreal, so why don’t we go with a poke comp? LeBlanc and Syndra are both gone, Jian Rong, take either Orianna or Ziggs?”
Jian Rong said evenly, “Considering how weak Ryze is in the early game, why not pick a champion who can suppress him?”
“Then what do you want to play?” Coolly, Ding-ge said, “If you dare say Talon or Zed, I’ll call Riot right now and tell them to delete those two champions.”
Jian Rong didn’t speak. Instead, he preselected Cassiopeia.
Cassiopeia was a champion that was extremely good at kiting and sustained damage; she could reduce or gain movement speed, and her ult could petrify and stun all enemies within its target direction for two seconds.
But this champion’s disadvantage was also very obvious—she didn’t have any blink skills, nor did she have high burst damage.
This was the complete opposite of the champions that Jian Rong usually liked to play.
Ding-ge was taken aback. He was about to ask “you know how to play Cassiopeia?”, but when the words reached his mouth, he remembered that Jian Rong did indeed know how.
He had looked into it before Jian Rong joined the team: Jian Rong’s champion pool was extremely deep. However… this Cassiopeia, he hadn’t really seen Jian Rong play her again since entering the team.
“This is a competitive match.” Ding-ge confirmed, “Are you certain that you can play her well?”
Jian Rong frowned. “What are you asking the world’s number one Cassiopeia?”
Jian Rong locked in Cassiopeia. With both sides’ team compositions settled, Ding-ge shook hands with the other coach and left the stage.
Presently, Fighting Tiger’s team composition was: Sion top, Lee Sin jungle, Ryze mid, Ashe ADC, and Blitzcrank support.
TTC’s team composition was: Ornn top, Kindred jungle, Cassiopeia mid, Ezreal ADC, and Alistar support.
“Judging from the team comps, neither side is lacking.” Commentator A sucked in air through his teeth. “But… Soft’s Cassiopeia? Have you seen it before?”
Commentator B shook his head. “I checked his match history yesterday night. There wasn’t a single Cassiopeia in the entire twenty pages.”
Commentator C was very calm. “After seeing his Zed from that one game some time ago, I’m not surprised anymore no matter what champion he brings out.”
As they were talking, the match officially began, and both teams’ champions entered Summoner’s Rift.
Jian Rong left the base after buying his items. Evidently, neither side intended to have a level 1 team fight, and they all returned to their respective lanes after merely bumping into each other in the jungle.
On the other side, Fighting Tiger’s mid laner, Da Niu, suddenly let out a “ss.”
A teammate asked, “What’s the matter?”
“Nothing.” Da Niu clicked his mouse and said, amazed, “Soft didn’t actually flash an icon at me or dance today, even though I taunted him so much during the interview last week.”
Not only that, the spectators quickly discovered something else.
Compared to before, Jian Rong was playing especially meticulously and carefully this time.
For example, this wave at level 3—Cassiopeia absolutely had the advantage at this point in the game. After Jian Rong shot his Noxious Blast towards the enemy, he immediately dealt damage using Twin Fang, causing Da Niu to lose half his health in the blink of an eye.
Typically, even if Jian Rong had ten flashes, he would’ve used them all up here!
But after he finished dealing his damage, he unexpectedly turned around and went back, swinging his tail, to continue clearing minions. His figure from behind was both serene and tranquil—
[@LPL I want to file a report, this bluenette on the stage is a fake booster, I suspect that my son has most likely been assassinated already by TTC’s manager.]
[@LPL this dumbass probably placed a bet for low kills, please investigate, thank you.]
[That’s it? Not even gonna chase him? Isn’t that way too trash?? If that were me, I would’ve already solo killed Da Niu.]
[[Sharing a website link: TTC Trainee Recruitment Announcement] The dumbass above, go ahead.]
[How could he possibly have gone all in this wave? Fighting Tiger’s jungler is right there at the side getting the raptors, if Soft really had given chase, he definitely would’ve died there, regardless of whether he killed or didn’t kill Da Niu.]
Da Niu, laning against him, was similarly puzzled. He couldn’t help but ask his team’s jungler, who had remained hidden for quite a while near him, “Is it because my acting isn’t good enough?”
“Maybe he isn’t in a good condition since Road isn’t here.” The jungler said, “I’m leaving, you two slowly and harmoniously clear minions together.”
The two of them peacefully farmed to level 7 in the mid lane.
Jian Rong left the base. “Xiao Bai.”
Xiao Bai, who was attentively and diligently headbutting enemies in the bot lane with Alistar, replied, “Yeah?”
Jian Rong kept it brief. “Come and get him.”
Xiao Bai pretended to recall to base in front of the opposing bot lane. Then, he circled into the jungle via a blind spot and headed straight for the enemy’s mid lane.
The moment the line of minions entered the range of Da Niu’s tower, Xiao Bai came out from behind and flashed over to Da Niu. Before Da Niu could react in time, Xiao Bai used a skill to push him over to Jian Rong and contributed an Ignite—almost simultaneously, Jian Rong swiftly whipped around from where he was clearing minions and followed up with his own ult. After stunning Da Niu, he dealt out a fierce Twin Fang—
Their teamwork was smooth and effortless, without a single extraneous move.
Upon getting first blood, Jian Rong swayed his tail and returned to clearing minions. Controlling Alistar’s cumbersome body, Xiao Bai leisurely found a shrub and went back to the base.
In the break room, the assistant coach clapped. “Beautiful!!”
Ding-ge nodded continuously and sighed to the person next to him, “The practice matches these past few months weren’t for nothing… but what’s up with Jian Rong today, playing so cautiously? Did he manage to guess that the other team’s jungler kept camping him before level 6?”
Lu Boyuan looked at the TV, where Jian Rong was clearing minions carefully and thoroughly. He laughed and didn’t say anything else.
Jian Rong got first blood and had barely missed any minions. After upgrading his items, his playstyle changed again when he emerged from the base.
He started to suppress Da Niu under the tower. The other team’s jungler came over several times, but he was caught head-on by Moon, who was camping near the mid lane. The two of them traded a few attacks back and forth before each departing on their own way without doing anything else.
Once Jian Rong wore down the first mid lane turret, he stopped his timid staring match with Da Niu. Instead, he turned around and headed towards the lower jungle, right in front of Da Niu’s eyes.
“Soft went into the jungle, they’re going for the drake.” Da Niu instantly reacted. “Jungler, come here. I’ll harass, you try stealing it.”
His teammate was startled. “No way? Ten seconds ago, Moon was still in the upper jungle, and the bot lane hasn’t left either, how could they be aiming for the drake? Is Soft going in by himself?”
Already halfway there, Da Niu froze and abruptly realized that something wasn’t right. He was about to leave when he suddenly heard the sound of a flash in his headphones. Before he could respond, he was stunned on the spot by Jian Rong’s ult—
[TTC ་ Soft has slain ZHcattle]
Yuan Qian, who was peacefully farming and doing taiji with Sion in the top lane, paused. “I knew that something was missing.”
Moon was confused. “What?”
“Did you not notice?” Yuan Qian said, “In our previous matches, there would almost always be a kill announcement from the mid lane before level 6—either Xiao Rong solo killed the opponent, or he was ganged up on and beaten to death by the enemy jungler and mid laner.”
With two kills on hand, as well as five turret plates and first blood, Jian Rong became the person with the most gold in the entire game.
And Jian Rong was a pro player who knew extremely well how to widen his own advantage.
Aware that Da Niu would no longer come out to fight him, Jian Rong began assisting the top and bot lanes with Moon. At the same time, like a bandit, he plundered all the monsters in sight wherever he went.
After Cassiopeia obtained Rylai’s Crystal Scepter, increasing her health, tower diving was no longer a problem at all; he ganked and killed Fighting Tiger’s top laner once. Yuan Qian was playing a tanky engager champion this round, so he didn’t need any kills and yielded it to Jian Rong. Meanwhile, three people guarded the turret in Fighting Tiger’s bot lane, and they unanimously retreated backwards when they saw him.
“This won’t do, if we let Soft go on like this, then we don’t even need to think about playing anymore.” Da Niu pulled up the scoreboard and couldn’t help but let out an expletive. “He’s at sixteen stacks on his Mejai’s Soulstealer, we have to kill him once.”
Mejai’s Soulstealer was an item that only extremely self-confident people would purchase. For each champion kill, the player would obtain four stacks of Glory and increase their corresponding ability power. Upon death, they would lose ten stacks of Glory—to Jian Rong, this was considered an essential item.
TTC quickly finished getting the third drake. Fighting Tiger’s ward allowed them to see that all the other teammates had recalled to base; only Jian Rong went back to the mid lane by himself to clear minions.
“Their team all returned to base, everyone come over.” Da Niu commanded calmly, “Kill him. It doesn’t matter if he trades one of us too.”
Jian Rong was unaware of the impending storm, but the spectators saw it coming extremely clearly from their bird’s-eye view—
Commentator A: “Is Fighting Tiger dead set on killing Soft?!”
Commentator B: “Of course they are, as if they’re gonna sit and wait for his Soulstealer to fill up? However, it’s not a problem if he dies once. Let’s see how Soft will play out this wave. He has good equipment, if he plays well perhaps he could trade two opposing players—they’re here!!”
As seen in Jian Rong’s first-person perspective in the livestream, while he was recalling to base, he shifted his mouse and checked the area in front of him. Unfortunately, the ward that Xiao Bai had placed a few minutes earlier had just vanished, so the only thing he could see was a stretch of darkness.
The barrage was already spamming—
[Son, rest in peace.]
[You XX, told you to go home but you didn’t, you XX, told you not to buy Soulstealer but you insisted on doing it—]
[Damn five people are going straight for the dumbass, it’s really a freaking spectacular sight, his death is worth it okay…]
During the last three seconds of Jian Rong returning to base, Fighting Tiger’s jungler, Lee Sin, blinked and flashed in. With a grunt, he kicked Cassiopeia into the middle of the other four Fighting Tiger members, who urgently rushed over!
Commentator A: “A beautiful kick! It looks like Soft won’t be able to trade any enemies—ah????”
The commentator’s sentence was firmly choked back in his throat.
The same instant Jian Rong was kicked over, he turned around in midair1 and unleashed his petrifying ult—the four Fighting Tiger members had arrived via Ryze’s portal, so they weren’t able to take into consideration where they were standing. Jian Rong’s ult directly stunned all four of his opponents!
He followed up immediately with a flash, increasing the distance between him and the enemies—just as everyone thought that he was going to run away, Cassiopeia swiveled around and spat out a puddle of poison on the ground where the four people were standing.
The damage dealt by Cassiopeia’s Twin Fang increased greatly when its targets were poisoned!
In the short two-second duration of the stun, Jian Rong killed off the enemy support, Blitzcrank. The others were also at half-health due to Jian Rong’s ult and poison.
Commentator A: “He traded one, he can run now—he still isn’t leaving?!!!”
Fighting Tiger’s four members emerged from the stunned state and instantly used their own skills. However—if Cassiopeia’s Noxious Blast struck an enemy champion, it would substantially raise her own movement speed. While dealing damage, Jian Rong continuously and nimbly repositioned himself—his positioning rendered the audience dumbstruck with his twisting and turning.
Fighting Tiger’s top laner couldn’t bear it any longer. He used his ult and charged straight towards Jian Rong!
With a thunk, Jian Rong used Zhonya’s Hourglass, which rendered him invulnerable to all damage and crowd control, causing Sion’s ult to miss entirely. Ashe followed closely with his own ult—Jian Rong removed it right away with Cleanse before he turned around and bit Ashe to death with a Twin Fang.
“How the f—” Commentator B, who was usually the calmest of the three, almost let out a swear. “How did he do that?????”
Commentator C shot to his feet. “Cassiopeia is still twisting around! Still twisting!! His movement speed is already as high as it can be! Ryze’s skills can’t even touch him—this moving E!!! Who can even withstand that?!!”
Now it was Fighting Tiger’s turn to be afraid. The remaining members wanted to turn and run, but Jian Rong lifted his tail and gave chase—
“Penta kill!! Can it happen!!! Can it happen!!!!” Commentator A shouted himself hoarse. “Is he still gonna chase—he is!!! Da Niu wants to escape! But how could he possibly outrun a Cassiopeia at max movement speed!!!”
Writhing her tail, Cassiopeia spat out one last fatal Twin Fang—
The spectators stared dumbly.
The commentators were nearly jumping out of their seats.
In the bottom right corner of the screen, the teenager looked as calm as ever, and he hit his “B” key once more to recall to base.
Two seconds later, the screaming of the audience at the stadium overturned the roof—
Commentator A: “What kind of reaction speed is this?! Why is he so terrifying!!!”
Commentator B: “A dangerous 1v5!! Soft is already on a killing spree!!!”
“Amazing! Amazing!! Way too amazing!!!” Commentator C’s voice cracked. “Let us congratulate Soft—for achieving the first penta kill of his professional career!!!”
The author has something to say:
He really, truly wants to win.
- In case you were curious like me how Cassiopeia could turn around in midair (usually in games you can’t move after being knocked back/CC’d unless you have a counter skill) – the wiki explains it (check the ult → details). Basically Rongrong has amazing reaction speed and started casting before Lee Sin even kicked him ^
Yan: I personally thought this chapter was super exciting when I was reading it for the first time (as a non league player LMAO). Maybe the likelihood of actually getting a solo pentakill in a pro game is very slim, but let’s just say Rongrong really wants his prize :eyes: congrats son, Dad is proud (and if you were wondering, it is possible to get a pentakill on Cassiopeia!)