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3 I’m Proud, What Are You Going to Do About It!

 A young lad with an honest face shouted with glee when he spotted Liu Zilang. "Langzi is here!"

Suddenly, the passersby around them turned to look in his direction. They were curious about who it was that was using such a weird nickname in this day and age.

The person who called out his name was Liu Zilang's dormmate, Chen Zhifei, who was from Henan. He was the oldest of the dormmates, and judging from his appearance, he was somebody who was honest and frank. However, one should never judge a book by its cover. In truth, Zhifei was rather wild on the inside. Liu Zilang remembered the first day that he had entered the dorm. This guy had immediately started searching for websites, exchanging torrent files, and sharing his experiences. In the short span of a week, he had made friends with all the other movie fans who stayed on the same floor of the dormitory.

Liu Zilang was overwhelmed from the moment he got out of the car.

He soon regained his composure and walked over to Chen Zhifei, only to be greeted with a long hand around his neck. "Big Bro, there are so many people here, spare me some dignity."

Another youth, who had his hair tied back with a hairpin, chuckled when he heard this. "That's right Big Brother, Second Brother still needs to maintain his image."

Having said that, he still inspected Liu Zilang's messy hairstyle while clicking his tongue in disapproval before sighing. "Second Brother, this method of styling... are you trying to go with the hobo look?"

This person was handsome, but he dressed very casually. He was the youngest member of Liu Zilang's dorm, Ran Maotong.

He was from Chongqing, and often went by his nickname, 'Mantou.'

His nickname came about after he had introduced himself to his new dormmates at the beginning of the semester. As the group exchanged their contact details, his name was accidentally saved as 'Ran Mantou' by three of his dormmates. Hence, the name stuck, and he was doomed to forever be known his new alias.

The other person standing there was big and tall. This man was Pu Taizhuang, and was the one who invited Liu Zilang over.

Although his name translated to 'not too strong'*(TL Note: The Chinese pronunciation of his name sounds similar to 'bu tai zhuang', which literally translates to 'not too strong'), it could not be any more inaccurate. In reality, he was huge!

This group of friends was known to be carefree, straightforward people. Generally speaking, individuals with this personality trait easily offended others but were actually easy to get along with once one got to know them. Additionally, Pu Taizhuang, in particular, was somewhat righteous and often took the moral high ground. Because of this, he was popular within the dormitory as well as in the classroom. Many class gatherings and activities were all led by him; when it came to forming temporary cliques at the beginning of the semester, people everywhere gravitated toward him.

...

Seeing the slow-moving Liu Zilang, Pu Taizhuang slapped his shoulder and swiftly remarked, "Why are you moving so slowly? I think out of the entire dormitory, kid, you're the most melodramatic one. I can't believe you returned home on National Day."

"It's not like that!" Liu Zilang waved his hand dismissively. "I was just stuck in traffic. Furthermore, my house is nearby. What else was I supposed to do on National Day?"

Ran Maotong stood next to them and chuckled as he said, "Third Brother, this is what 'crude' men like you don't understand. Second Brother might have had a date on National Day. Who knows? He may have even hidden a lady in his house."

"Come on, stop with the nonsense!" Liu Zilang signaled at him to shut up with a wave of his hand.

As soon as Ran Maotong mentioned hiding a girl in a house, Liu Zilang thought of Zhang Xiaotong. That little brat might seem of tender age to some, but was still very much on the arrogant side.

They chatted briefly at the entrance of the internet café before finally entering due to the constant urging of Pu Taizhuang.

Looking at the eager Pu Taizhuang, Liu Zilang could not help but ask, "What game is this? Third Brother, you're more eager to play this game than you would be to enter a bridal chamber."

Chen Zhifei had remained silent all this while, but his face lit up when he heard Liu Zilang say this. His eyes glowed with enthusiasm as he winked at Liu Zilang and said, "Chicken dinner!"*(TL Note: A slang to describe victory in the game)

"Hmm? Are internet cafes so upscale these days?" Liu Zilang was a bit taken aback. He remembered the days when he was not legally old enough to enter the premises. Back then, he could only go to dark, smoke-filled, illegal internet cafes.

Pu Taizhuang nudged Liu Zilang's arm as he smiled and said, "You need not worry about that. Let me put it this way, it is super fun to play. I guarantee that you'll get addicted the second you start playing."

The group talked as they strolled into the internet cafe.

The bar attendant saw the group enter and politely asked, "May I know how many of you there are? Do you need drinks? In conjunction with of our internet cafe's PUBG*(TL Note: PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds - a last man standing shooting game) event, there will be rewards for any chicken dinners!"

Before anyone could respond, Ran Maotong spoke up. He smiled and said, "There are four of us, we will order drinks later. I wonder what rewards there are for getting chicken dinners."

He sounded really conceited.

However, the female bar attendant was very professional. She had to be of course, as this particular internet café was near the university town, so there were all sorts of people who frequented the place. She had encountered many people like Ran Maotong before.

With a smile, she gestured toward the poster on the wall beside her and said, "The contents of our activities can be found there, please have a closer look."

She then took the identification card and swiped it on the machine.

Ran Maotong did not get the answer he wanted and tried to continue flirting but was unexpectedly prodded by Liu Zilang. "Fourth Brother, what is that there?"

Ran Maotong looked in the direction where Liu Zilang was pointing and soon caught sight of a large screen in the internet cafe's first floor recreational zone.

At the time, there were many people standing around the big screen. Some were customers who were in the middle of their sessions, while others had already gone offline but just not yet left the area. There were also some who came here to accompany friends but did not go online. There were hushed discussions amongst all of them as they stared intently at the screen.

"Fifteen kills! Cool!"

"What the f*ck! This dude is too sneaky!"

"Exactly! What happened just now gave me such a fright!"

"Camper*(TL Note: Somebody who sits and waits for opponents to enter the area before sneakily killing them)! The ultimate camper!"

"There are ten people left. This is a surefire chicken dinner!"

"..."

A shooting game that was played from a third-person's perspective was broadcasted live on the big screen. Liu Zilang had come across its advertisement recently as he surfed the net, but he did not expect it to reach this level of popularity in such a short span of time.

The last game that was broadcasted here which garnered such a large crowd was none -other than LoL.

Suppressing the doubt in his heart, Liu Zilang glanced toward the lobby of the internet cafe on the first floor.

He did not really pay any attention prior to this, but at that moment, seventy to eighty percent of the users in the internet cafe were playing the same game that was being broadcasted on the big screen.

"Someone's there, someone's there!"

"Where? Report his location!"

"Revive me, I'm going to die!"

"Who's hitting me?"

The urgent shouts of the gamers rang out across the room.

Liu Zilang looked at Pu Taizhuang and asked, "Third Bro, the game you were talking about isn't this one, right?"

Pu Taizhuang immediately laughed. "What do you think? Exciting isn't it! I told you, you will definitely love it if you just try it. Besides, this internet cafe broadcast your game on the big screen when you get the highest kill count. Countless hunnies will watch you if that happens."

His brain subconsciously filtered the mention of girls as he merely looked at the big screen again. After a few moments, Liu Zilang hesitantly asked, "This is an FPS game, right?"

"FPS game? What's that?" Pu Taizhuang scratched the back of his head in confusion.

Ran Maotong smiled and answered for him. "It means first-person shooter. Second Brother, this is where you are wrong. This game could be a first-person game, but in most cases, it is played in third person mode. Hehe, this is a game about marksmanship, strategy, and survival, all rolled into one!"

Liu Zilang slowly began to understand after Ran Maotong's explanation.

Liu Zilang rarely got involved in these types of shooting games because extremely few people knew about them.

After his post-dropout return to university, he would only occasionally play LoL whenever he went online, in addition to watching American series, movies, and whatnot in his free time.

At that point, Liu Zilang wanted to refuse.

However, after seeing the excited looks on his three dormmates' faces, he refrained from doing so.

They would no doubt understand if he put his foot down and refused to play - after all, they were on the verge of becoming full-fledged adults. However, they would definitely be disappointed.

He might even be labeled as someone 'uncooperative' in his dormitory and classroom.

As he thought of this, Liu Zilang could not help but shake his head. He sighed to himself. 'Forget it, since Mantou said this game is a TPS*(TL Note: Third-Person Shooter) game, and not an FPS game, there is no harm in playing. Just consider it a form of relaxation.'

...

A few moments later, the attendant at the bar counter finished swiping all their personal identification cards, which they graciously took before leaving to search for some seats.

They circled the internet cafe, but because it was currently the National Day holiday, coupled with the fact that the university town was nearby, the internet cafe was already full. There were some unoccupied computers scattered around, but there was not one row of computers where they could play directly next to one another.

Disappointment.

Everyone understood the pain of not being able to sit side by side with one's clique in an internet cafe.

It did not matter to Liu Zilang. However, just as he was about to suggest that it was okay to communicate via voice or text even if they were to sit apart, he caught sight of Pu Taizhuang holding a pack of cigarettes and walking towards the seats beside two vacant computers in the internet cafe.

The two teenagers occupying the seats were playing PUBG, and a round had just ended.

Pu Taizhuang was very straightforward. Whenever he had to ask for a favor, he was very courteous, to the extent of offering cigarettes.

The two lads saw how Pu Taizhuang behaved and immediately agreed to swapping seats.

...

Upon sitting down and logging in, Pu Taizhuang clenched his fist and grinned enthusiastically. "It was not easy organizing this clique, so everyone should cherish this moment. We must have a chicken dinner by this afternoon!"

'Got it!'

Ran Maotong was brimming with confidence. He rubbed his hands greedily and said, "Just you watch Third Brother! Give me a 98k and I'll guarantee a chicken dinner by this afternoon."

"Get lost!" Pu Taizhuang barked, "You didn't manage to hit anyone with that gun, you should just settle with a UMP9 and serve as bait."

Chen Zhifei bitterly added, "Mantou can shoot, just not at the enemy. He previously head-shot me with a stray bullet. Looking at the gaping bullet hole in the back of my skull was really something you know!"

As Chen Zhifei and Pu condemned him, Ran Maotong could do nothing but smile sheepishly. "It was a mistake, everyone makes careless mistakes."

Pu Taizhuang nodded and said seriously, "That's why we won't give you the chance to make such a mistake again."

He then turned to Liu Zilang who looked very much confused as he listened in on their conversation and said, "Langzi, you are a newbie. In the game, you'll just have to pick up some stuff and provide us with contact reports. Remember to grab more medical items!"

Ran Maotong immediately clapped and laughed, "That sounds great! Our team needed a medic and support role. Second Brother, if you get me enough ammo, then I will surely be able to show you the glory of a '98King' today!"

"'98King'? Was that self-given?"

"Third Brother, don't mock me! I'm still improving, but I'm nearly there!"

"..."

While the few of them laughed and joked around before launching the game, Liu Zilang's thoughts ran through his mind. He suddenly recalled something that had happened in the past.

'I wonder how they are doing now.'

With a sigh, Liu Zilang shook his head and looked at the game login interface.

"How do you register?" he asked.

Pu Taizhuang who was sitting next to him took a quick glance at his screen and said, "Oh, in order to do that you must first use your identity card, then bind it with your personal credit card."

"Is it that troublesome?" Liu Zilang was a bit surprised.

Ran Maotong grinned and gave him a thumbs-up. "Second Brother, you shouldn't be upset about all the steps. Were it not for these measures imposed by Tencent*(TL Note: The conglomerate responsible for handling PUBG in China), then this game wouldn't hold its current status of having nearly zero cheating."

"Zero cheating?" Liu Zilang was really shocked when he heard this.

This was because that unlike MOBA*(TL Note: Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) games, FPS shooting games and cheaters were never too far apart. Some would say that they actually came hand in hand.

Liu Zilang's professional gaming career was previously in offline competitions. As such, the environment was still relatively better than the chaotic pvp sphere* (TL Note: Player versus player). However, this did not mean that he was not aware of the fact that the world's major online servers were an uncontrolled environment.

Now, someone was actually claiming that a shooting game had accomplished zero cheating!

Liu Zilang's first reaction was that this person had to be joking.

However, judging from the complicated registration procedures, Liu Zilang himself was starting to believe it.

If it were really as they said, then the reason why this game could get so popular in such a short period of time was that aside from the gameplay itself, cheaters could not get a foothold in it.

...

After going through the complicated and troublesome registration procedure, Liu Zilang finally registered an account. His in-game character was a girl with a ponytail.

"Invite us, invite us," Pu Taizhuang urged. He then turned to look at Liu Zilang's interface. "I'll add you as a friend, what is your username?"

"Oh, Vic123," Liu Zilang said after looking at the screen.

This IGN was an abbreviation of his previous name, Victor. Unfortunately, 'Vic' had already been taken, so Liu Zilang just decided to add several numbers behind it.

A brief moment later, a friend request flashed on the screen.

''Improud_whatareyougoingtodoaboutit' requested to add you as a friend!'

"Pfft!" Having seen the name, Liu Zilang could not hold in his laughter.

He turned to look at Pu Taizhuang beside him. Attempting to suppress his laughter, he croaked, "Third Brother, is this your username?"

After seeing Liu Zilang's reaction, Ran Maotong and Chen Zhifei chuckled gleefully as well.

The first time the three played together, Pu Taizhuang had given any thought to his username. He just keyed in the first thing that came to mind, but it ended up causing Ran Maotong and Chen Zhifei to howl with laughter.

As he watched Liu Zilang cry tears of joy, Pu Taizhuang could not help but feel a bit embarrassed as his face turned dark. "Don't dilly-dally any longer, hurry up and agree, I'll invite you."

"Okay, okay." Liu Zilang suppressed his laughter and accepted the friend request.

After entering the in-game party, he noticed that Chen Zhifei and Ran Maotong's usernames were also full of letters, a combination even.

Ran Maotong's username was 'GrassFlowerThief'*(TL Note: It is literally translated to 'the flower-stealing thief on the grass'. It is a Chinese expression to describe a male pervert or rapist) , whilst Chen Zhifei's username was called 'UnderwaterContra'*(TL Note: Contra is in reference to a different Japanese video game series).

The two persons were of the same kind - one was ostentatious, the other was indirectly so.

...

After getting together, they clicked start and were soon in a matchmaking queue.

To Liu Zilang's surprise, they entered the game almost as soon as he clicked start.

'That fast?'

After a brief loading screen, what laid in front of him was a field with abandoned airplanes and countless men and women walking back and forth. Some were wearing vests while others were naked.

Various gunshots rang out as he heard people talking in all directions.

"Don't run, bro. Lend me your clothes!"

"Left right left right, QEQE, standing around won't get you chicken dinner!"

"Come on! China No.1!"

"Land at the airport! Land at the airport if you're a man! Those that don't jump are pussies!"

"Kill the little sh*t! Kill the little sh*t in front!"

"..."

Liu Zilang was shocked to hear all the commotion. He quickly took off his headphone and asked, "Why is it so noisy?"

Ran Maotong who had not put his headphones on chuckled and said, "This is called the spawn area, you'll get used to it soon enough." He then added, "You can disable it in the settings, mine is set to automatically turn off."

As he was talking, Pu Taizhuang, who was seated beside him had also entered the spawn area and was now talking with somebody.

To his horror, even the honest and straightforward big brother Chen Zhifei had let himself go. Liu Zilang had no idea why they were crazily chanting old nursery rhymes in the spawn area.

...

After a moment, the scene changed.

A flying aircraft appeared in Liu Zilang's screen.

"Where do we jump? Where do we jump?"

"Look at the route!"

"Look for a place where there aren't many people so we can gear up."

"..."

After listening to their conversation, Liu Zilang glanced at Pu Taizhuang's screen next to him and found that he had brought up a map with a click of a button. The plane could be seen flying upwards from the bottom of the map toward the middle.

Pu Taizhuang suddenly smiled, "Brother, watch this!"

Liu Zilang was aware that this sly smile was unusual and instantly realized that his friend was about to do something cunning.

At that moment, he heard Pu Taizhuang shouting in his deep and loud voice, "Come and fight at the airport! Come to the airport if you are a man. If you are not, just ignore what I said!"

When he finished speaking, he heard the players reply, "F*ck! I'm not afraid! Whoever that doesn't come is a wuss!"

Liu Zilang turned around and saw the same sly smile on his friend's lips.

What was he trying to do?

As Liu Zilang was pondering the thought, Chen Zhifei smiled and jokingly scolded, "You guys are sneaky, tricking people to meet at the airport."

He then turned to Liu Zilang again and said, "Second Bro, press M to view the map and you will understand. The airport is on the island at the bottom of the map. Then see where did these two guys mark."

Liu Zilang took out the map as instructed and immediately saw two indicators - one yellow and one blue appearing near a place called Georgopol on the left side of the map, far from the airport they were talking about.

Some incidents in the past had proved that Liu Zilang's had high gaming IQ. Thus, although he had never played this game before, Liu Zilang understood the gameplay in an instant.

At that moment, he silently watched as the aircraft flew across the air base on the screen. A magnificent scene of tens of people free-falling down was accompanied by the sight of Pu Taizhuang and Ran Maotong laughing sinisterly.

This would be considered a crash course on what the word 'strategy' meant according to Ran Maotong.

...

The plane passed by the school and, under the command of Chen Zhifei, the three quickly landed to find a car.

Liu Zilang, in accordance with the instructions of the others, fluttered and swayed in the air, before standing on a hillside for a while.

"Second Brother, get in the car!" Shortly after, Ran Maotong drove over an orange sedan.

After Liu Zilang got into the car, Pu Taizhuang and Chen Zhifei found a Soft Top UAZ.

The two vehicles converged and headed straight for the downtown area Pu Taizhuang was previously talking about.

Once they reached their destination, Liu Zilang was idle and bored in the car. He moved the cursor to change his perspective, and after looking around, accidentally spotted a few black dots in the sky behind him.

"What is that?"

Pu Taizhuang turned his head when he said this and was shocked, "F*ck! This group of assh*les actually dropped into Georgopol! Hurry, we have to search for items! What are we waiting for!?"

Chen Zhifei also nodded in admiration. "Yes, it's harder to find things in Georgopol. Don't worry we're definitely faster than them!"

After they had finished talking, the two cars parted ways.

Liu Zilang sat in the car and felt overwhelmed and a little lost as to what to do. He crossed his fingers and hoped that someone would teach him the basic mechanics of the game once they got out of the car.

However, upon seeing the trio's rushed attitude, as if a great enemy has befallen them, Liu Zilang could not help but scratch his head.

Liu Zilang could only helplessly search for the basic mechanics and workings of this game on his phone while simultaneously playing.

He was generally different from Chen Zhifei and the others. They were like robbers who were busy pillaging a room, whereas Liu Zilang was very relaxed. His attitude made him more like a buyer looking to buy a house.

When he went upstairs, he would even leisurely study the layout and lighting of the room, all whilst appearing very laid back.