Happy, an unbelievable team.
Glory Season 10, an unbelievable championship.
The pro players all rose to their feet and delivered their heartfelt applause.
At this time, there was nothing but congratulations. Continuing discussion about technique at this time would interfere with the atmosphere. Still, Ye Xiu's final 6.5 seconds of consecutive finishing blows was just too earth-shattering - everyone was visibly moved. Yet the stadium did not report the statistics of that final moment. Even the stadium's large display screen didn't show many replays of this incredible, iconic moment.
This was, after all, Samsara's home stadium. They had to look after their self-interests, which meant caring about the mood of the home team. In a short while, they would be conducting the award ceremony for Team Happy, which was annoying enough. There was no need to rub salt in the wound! This final moment would be remembered, but in this stadium right now, most people did not want to see it.
The statistics were not shown in the live stadium, but the televised broadcast did not have such concerns. Those 6.5 seconds were on repeat, as though this scene could never be watched enough times. And the data of these 6.5 seconds were already calculated.
What everyone was most anxious to know was, of course, Ye Xiu's hand speed during those 6.5 seconds.
How fast had his controls needed to be, in order to display such changing, densely-packed attacks?
This was the final conclusion displayed by the system. Although it wasn't shown in the live stadium, the pro players all received the report through various means.
"Is he even human?"
This group of people, already considered inhuman to most ordinary gamers, began frenzied complaints of "this guy just isn't human" about Ye Xiu.
Compared to how shocked everyone else was, those from Heavenly Swords had been a bit more mentally prepared. Especially Sun Zheping, because he had fought alongside Happy and Ye Xiu before. Having interacted with the unspecialized Lord Grim more often, he had a better understanding of this character. Added to his thorough experience, after seeing Ye Xiu's moves during those 6.5 seconds, he already had a rough estimate as to what Ye Xiu's hand speed must have been. The final statistic confirmed his judgment.
Even so, that didn't mean he wasn't shocked. More than that, though, he felt admiration.
764 APM, this was a first even in Ye Xiu's professional career. Even if no class beside the unspecialized allowed room for performing this many inputs in a row, everyone knew that Ye Xiu had truly surpassed the limit. This was an explosion that could not be replicated. An old player who was already at the end of his professional career, what kind of determination and willpower had he needed to manifest this transcendence?
He was the unquestionable star of this moment. The stadium was already making preparations for the award ceremony. Everyone was staring at Ye Xiu's competitor booth, waiting to see him emerge and walk onto the award stage.
The uproar in the stadium was sealed off by the soundproof walls of the competitor booth. After he took off his headphones, the entire world was quiet.
Victory. At last, victory.
After many years, he finally tasted the championship once again. He felt relaxed, he felt joyful, and most importantly, he felt satisfied.
Yes. Nothing satisfied Ye Xiu more than victory, more than the championship.
Right now, he sat upon his chair, and he savored this complete peace, savored this greatest satisfaction.
He subconsciously reached for a cigarette, but after feeling his pocket, he remembered where he was.
Things were no longer as they once were. How could he smoke in today's competitor booths? The automatic fire extinguishers would put it out immediately.
It'd been too long since he'd won the championship. He couldn't keep up with the times!
Ye Xiu laughed at himself. Seven years, after seven years. The Glory Alliance of seven years ago lagged far behind what it was today, and the rules were still being perfected step by step. Back then, as the saying went, one cigarette after a match, become a living immortal. Especially that cigarette after winning a championship. That was truly the most perfect way of winding down.
Oh well. Head out first!
Ye Xiu stood up, and finally walked out of the competitor booth.
Countless spotlights had been waiting for this moment. The moment that Ye Xiu appeared outside of his competitor booth, they all focused upon him, shining upon his body. The stadium was filled with cheers, shouts, applause, for although this was their away game, Happy's fans carried enough passion and enthusiasm. When Ye Xiu walked out of the booth, all of this reached a peak. The stadium shone its lights, Happy's fans cheered for him, Samsara's fans delivered their applause as well.
"Boss!" Steamed Bun sprinted over. Happy's other players had already walked out of their competitor booths, and those who had been sitting in the player area were already onstage as well.
Championship. A feeling that he hadn't experienced in a long time.
But this scene was something that Ye Xiu had never experienced before. He had unparalleled competition experience; he'd won the greatest number of championships in the entire Alliance. But never before had he celebrated alongside his teammates directly after a match, never before had he directly accepted the award. In Excellent Era's time, he had stay mysterious and lie low. He had always quietly arrived, quietly competed, and quietly left.
Ten years, his fourth championship. Yet this was the first time Ye Xiu stood directly under the eyes of millions of people and accepted all of the glory and blessings.
Happy's members high-fived and hugged each other. Some were crying, some laughing, but at this moment, no matter how much someone might lose their composure, they would be forgiven. Nothing was too embarrassing.
To the side, Samsara's players quietly finished lining up. Happy's joy was their pain. But they still stood there, neither leaving the stage nor interrupting Happy's celebration. They had lost this match, lost this entire season, lost the Samsara dynasty that they had almost established, but they did not lose their bearing.
"Congratulations." In the end, as the losers, they shook hands with Happy, gave them their well-wishes, and then left. They were the hosts of this place, but they were not the stars of this moment.
After Samsara left, the preparations for the award ceremony were complete, with an award stage set up right in the center of the stadium floor. One by one, Happy's players walked onto the stage.
The chairman of the Alliance, Feng Xianjun, was led onstage, his face shining with joy.
"Incredible, truly incredible." Feng Xianjun gave all of the Happy players such praise as he presented a championship ring, the symbol of the championship, to each person.
"What weak vocab!" Ye Xiu mercilessly pointed this out when it was his turn.
Feng Xianjun gave Ye Xiu a strong pat on the back. He may not have used any fancy vocabulary, but the word came from his genuine feelings. Feng Xianjun felt that this word was was the best summary of Team Happy and each of its players.
"You are the most incredible!" he said to Ye Xiu, and he gave him the championship ring that belonged to him, his fourth one.
Ten players, ten championship rings.
And then, the championship trophy was finally delivered onstage as well. It represented the whole, belonging to the whole team, and just now, under the engraving of "Season 10," the team name "Happy" had been added.
Offstage, the tears that Chen Guo had only just managed to stop began to flow again.
She wasn't a player, so of course she wouldn't stand upon the award stage. But she didn't feel any regret because of this. She already felt that she was a winner in life, from head to toe.
Right now, she wasn't thinking about blueprints for the future of their now-championship team. All of her thoughts were of the past, the past that belonged to Happy.
That snowy night, the ordinary guy who walked into Happy Internet Café.
That guy who had used her Chasing Haze to defeat, in 40 seconds, the opponent who had beaten her for 52 rounds straight, and then lamented that he had been slow because his hands were cold.
That guy who had seemed a bit serious as he told her, "Actually, I'm Ye Qiu."
From a new server in the Glory game, using a completely new character, he restarted his Glory journey.
Snatching dungeon records, dealing with all of the major guilds trying to kill them, building Guild Happy, pioneering, spying, stealing Wild Bosses, competing in events; and then applying for the Challenger League, overcoming all of the difficulties along the way, defeating Excellent Era in the finals to enter the Alliance, arriving at the pro battles, fighting from the regular season to the playoffs, never meeting defeat in an individual battle, and finally, in 6.5 seconds, killing Samsara's most powerful trio, leading Happy to stand upon the summit of Glory.
These two-plus years, growing from nothing, drop by drop. Although Chen Guo hadn't personally experienced much of it, it was still vivid before her eyes. She knew better than anyone the hard work that Ye Xiu had put in; she understood better than anyone the sacrifices Ye Xiu had made.
And now, everything that he had done had paid off.
Championship. This was the best reward, one that he fully deserved.
As for Chen Guo, she felt that she was very fortunate.
Fortunate that, on that snowy night, Ye Xiu had walked into her Internet café.
Fortunate that, on that snowy night, she had taken in Ye Xiu.
Happy's everything had begun on that day.
On that day, I was fortunate to meet you, the most incredible you.