Pudding urgently pleaded, “Help, help, help!”

Nightmare and Kong needed time to rush over from the other side of the map.
Pudding used all the skills available, hoping that the giant dragon would slay the opponents.
However, the dragon flew away after breathing fire on Kuma.

Poor excuse for a dragon, Pudding couldn’t help but give the trash dragon the middle finger.

Pudding was struggling to hold on.
As a tank, Pudding’s damage output was limited, and he couldn’t pose much of a threat to the two players from GLX.
The assassin on the opposite side pushed forward under Pudding’s attacks, barely losing any health.
Even if he did lose some, the healer behind him immediately healed the damage.

Pudding, on the other hand, was in a rather sorry state.

GLX didn’t seem to want to prolong the fight either; they took the crown and left right under Pudding’s nose.

The audience below began discussing, “They started off so well, but why are they playing so poorly now?”

“Pudding did his best…”

“That mistake from Kuma just now was unexpected.”

“Seems like the replacement player still can’t perform.”

“That new assassin GLX bought is good.”

Of course, the players couldn’t hear these discussions from the audience, but they knew the situation on the field very well.
Especially Kuma, who had slipped earlier; his forehead was already sweating.

Taking advantage of a momentary break in action, Pudding glanced at the child and sighed in his heart, pretending to be nonchalant, “Are you so mesmerized by my beauty sitting next to me?”

Nightmare and Kong finally arrived.
Meng Yan intercepted the opponent’s assassin and casually asked, “What mantra are you chanting and swaying with? What Buddha are you praying to during the match?”

Pudding retorted, “I’m not talking to you, you third wheel.”

Meng Yan: “?”

Kuma: “I’m sorry…”

Pudding looked at Kuma’s trembling hands and softened his voice, “It’s okay.
Just treat it like a casual ranked match.”

Despite Pudding’s comforting words, the advantage TMM had gained at the beginning of the match was wasted.
Coupled with a few minor mistakes later on, the match dragged on for over forty minutes, and they ended up losing.

During halftime, Shen Yanming hesitated about going to the backstage lounge.
After much inner struggle, he decided against it.
He had no idea what the atmosphere was like there, and going might just cause trouble.
The expressions of the two girls beside him also appeared somewhat solemn.
In a BO3 format, losing two matches meant they would lose the chance to advance.
If they lost the next match, they would have to go to the revival match.

TMM hadn’t been in the revival match for the past two years; they had been killing their way through the ranks all along.

Shen Yanming gave the two girls a reassuring look, “Winning and losing on the battlefield is normal.
Don’t worry too much and trust our team members.”

The second round began.
As a precaution, they didn’t change their tactics and used the same lineup as before.
However, they were more cautious and didn’t dare to spread out too much this time.

Pudding picked up a few candles and took on the responsibility of scouting.
He moved cautiously, and Kuma behind him was also careful.
This time, the early game went smoothly, and they didn’t encounter any mishaps.
However, it was GLX who found the crown first by pushing through a patch of bushes, and they bumped into each other again.

It was the same troublesome pair as before.

GLX’s duo was said to have undergone special training in Korea for several years and had performed quite well there.
Before the start of the new season, they were swapped back to GLX from another team.

After probing in the previous round, they roughly grasped TMM’s weaknesses.
As soon as the match began, they focused on attacking Kuma.
Although Pudding specifically chose a character with high damage, “Destroyer,” the duo on the opposing side still didn’t take him seriously.

It seemed that  they decided to repeat what they did last time and take down one player before TMM’s other two members could arrive to support.

Pudding was ready to help absorb the damage, but the enemy healer flew over and blocked him for two seconds, during which Kuma’s health continuously dropped.

Of course, Kuma didn’t just stand still; he traded damage with the enemy.
It was the best choice he could make at the moment.
The opponents’ aiming was terrifying, and he couldn’t successfully dodge a few attacks.
Continuing to run away would be too passive, and his health and skill cooldowns were still available, so he might as well give it his all.

It was almost a one-for-one trade, and both sides were continuously losing health.
It was uncertain who would hold on until the end.

When the wall that blocked Pudding disappeared after the skill ended, the enemy healer thought Pudding was coming over and prepared to use another control skill.
Unexpectedly, Pudding flipped to the other side, moving away from the battlefield!

Pudding wasn’t running away; when he was blocked earlier, he didn’t just stand idly by.
He took advantage of the opportunity to throw a candle out, and not far away, there was a goblin nest under a tree.
It was a newly spawned random event, and none of the people caught up in the fight had noticed it.

Each goblin living in the nest had a different personality.
The friendly ones would provide players with buffs that doubled their attack and critical damage.
But some cunning ones might pretend to give buffs, but actually poison the players.

However, if you take a risk, the bicycle might turn into a motorcycle.1“不过,搏一搏,单车才有可能变摩托” (Bùguò, bó yī bó, dānchē cái yǒu kěnéng biàn mótuō) is an idiom, it means “Nothing ventured, nothing gained” or “You have to take risks to have a chance at success.” It conveys the idea that sometimes you have to take a chance or try something new in order to achieve a better result or improve your situation.

While others hadn’t gone there yet, Pudding quickly moved to the goblin nest and triggered the event.

He obtained a genuine buff potion, and Pudding let out a sigh of relief.
Otherwise, his behavior would definitely be criticized later, as his teammates were still fighting with others, and leaving the battle directly was unreasonable.

But he didn’t make this decision lightly.
Sitting next to Kuma, he could see Kuma’s hands trembling imperceptibly, and his face was pale, not the kind of paleness caused by the computer screen, but the result of being too tense.

…It was very likely that something might go wrong.
Even though Kuma could barely maintain his composure for now, his condition was really poor.
He might accidentally slip up again at any second.

Earlier in the resting room, both the coach and others tried to comfort Kuma, and he seemed much better afterwards.
However, Pudding could sense that this child was still trapped in the pressure he had created for himself.

When Pudding returned, Kuma was left with a sliver of health.
Of course, he had tried his best, and the opposing assassin had lost half of his health despite the healer’s continuous support.

Pudding thought that what he was about to do would definitely draw a lot of criticism.

He used the buff potion he exchanged with the goblin on himself.

Yes, this potion increased attack and critical damage, typically used by damage dealers.
But Pudding used it on himself.

As soon as he used the potion, the commentators were surprised.
“Although the Destroyer’s damage output is one of the best among all tank characters, it’s still far from being on par with dedicated damage dealers… What is Pudding’s intention? Is he worried that if Kuma with just a sliver of health left dies, this buff will go to waste?”

Nobody knew exactly how Kuma was feeling; they only knew he was a bit nervous.
In the eyes of others, Pudding’s action showed a lack of trust in the damage dealer.

If they won, it might be okay.
Fans might praise him for being brave.
But if they lost, he would definitely receive a barrage of insults in his private messages.

It might sound harsh, but most fans and players only cared about the results.
For instance, when someone rushed into a group of four opponents, winning would be seen as bravery and skill, but losing would be seen as reckless behavior.

However, if he didn’t do this, the situation might get worse.

Even if he might lose or be scolded, he still had to do it.

Even if there was only a one percent chance, he had to seize it.
It was already the second round, and he couldn’t let the team fall into the muddy waters of possible defeat just for training or stability or any other reason.

But he also needed to take care of Kuma’s emotions.
Pudding found a moment to say, “Xiong jiang2Xiong jiang: “熊酱” (Xióng jiàng), kuma nickname, Xióng means bear, hide in the back, hold on until Kong Ge comes over.
I’ll handle the ones below… You go ahead and drink your fill of milk, and later come to collect some heads, be good.”

Pudding activated a damage reduction skill and, relying on his thick health pool, got close to the enemy.
He first targeted the nanny, leaving two skills unused, but he created some illusions to make the nanny think he was going to attack him, so the nanny quickly put up a shield.
Pudding then forced the nanny to use all her healing skills in a short period of time, laughed, and turned to attack the assassin.

The assassin’s positioning was agile, but Pudding was not completely helpless either.
He communicated with Kong and intentionally led the opponents towards Kong’s direction.
In the meantime, he managed to land a full combo on the enemy assassin.

Tanks also had combos, but their execution was complex and low in efficiency, and tanks weren’t meant for direct combat, so few people would actually execute these combos.
Additionally, the Destroyer’s ultimate skill had a combo damage bonus, so as long as he hit fast enough, taking down one opponent was not a problem.

The opposing assassin’s health was in critical condition.

Pudding’s fingers flew swiftly across the keyboard.
To be honest, after so many years of being a Crown Carrier, there were rarely moments when he needed to show off his hand speed.
But his basic skills were solid; a long time ago, when he received specialized training in the Youth Training Camp, his performance in this area was often unmatched.

The audience was dumbfounded: “…Is this damn guy a tank? Are Pudding and I playing the same game?”

Shen Yanming, watching from below, also widened his eyes: “Pudding ge is so handsome, I love it.

The two girls beside them probably also read some CPs online and teased Shen Yanming when they heard his words: “Why do you fall for every person you see? Didn’t you swear to protect Kong jiang last time?” They were referring to the incident during the previous livestream when Shen Yanming imitated Doomsday Guardian lines.

Shen Yanming had a thick skin and confidently replied, “…Is there a problem? I have a broad heart, I can love many people, whoever is stronger, I’ll love them.”

The girls pretended to be sad, “Kong is ultimately being treated unfairly.”

Shen Yanming added, “Of course, the one I will protect with my life is still Kong jiang, he’s different from others.”

The girl became interested, “How is he different?”

Shen Yanming thought that Kong was powerful and acted as his guiding light.
Kong knew some of his secrets and was a partner he could trust in life and future matches.
But he couldn’t possibly explain all that to two random girls, so he simply replied with a smile, “He’s so handsome, I love him a lot, hehe.”

The girls teased him further: “…I recorded a short video just now.”

Shen Yanming: “???”

The girls continued, “I’m going to post it.”

Shen Yanming panicked: “No, please don’t, it will ruin my image.
Unless you help me edit it… Or, just record another one, and I’ll start again.”

The girl was just joking earlier and didn’t actually record any short video.
But when she heard Shen Yanming’s words, she took out her phone again.
“Alright, go ahead.”

Shen Yanming cleared his throat and said, “I officially announce that I don’t fall for every person I see.
The so-called Pudding, Nightmare, and Zhang Xixi are all just for fun.
The only one I truly love is… Luanzi ge.
Hahaha, did you think I was going to say Kong ge?”

The girl teased him again, “You’re no fun.”

After chatting for a while, they shifted their focus back to the match.

The buff obtained from the goblin had a short duration, but Pudding made the most of its effects.
In the end, he lured the enemies to where Kuma was holding on, “Xiong jiang, let’s collect some heads.”

Kuma: “…”

Although it seemed like a lot happened earlier, in reality, not much time had passed.
Both teams’ remaining players quickly gathered, and a team fight ensued.

Following Pudding’s instructions, Kuma scored a kill on one of the opponents.
However, while the praying mantis stalked the cicada, unaware of the oriole behind3while the praying mantis stalked the cicada, unaware of the oriole behind: “螳螂捕蝉,黄雀在后” (táng láng bǔ chán, huáng què zài hòu) is an idioms, it describes a situation where someone is so focused on their immediate goal or target (the cicada) that they fail to notice a third party (the oriole) secretly plotting to take advantage of their vulnerability., a beam of light from an enemy mage was about to hit him.
Pudding rushed to shield Kuma and, at the same time, Kong used a rescue skill to pull Kuma to his side and immediately fed him some milk.

Meng Yan commented, “Wow, what a team’s pet treatment4pet treatment: the term is often used in a somewhat humorous or teasing manner to describe situations where a player is receiving special treatment from their team, especially in situations where it might be considered unnecessary or excessive.
is this? I remember when I was about to die before, Ding Ding jiang just pushed me away and even told me to sacrifice myself.”

Pudding responded, “Well, you’re not as young and cute as others.
If you die, you die.”

The tide of the battle began to turn, and the tension in the team members’ hearts eased slightly.

Kuma thought he would definitely get scolded for his poor performance, or at least be given a few disapproving looks.
However, these big brothers didn’t blame or say anything to him.
Instead, they intentionally used teasing and jokes to console him.

In the second half, taking advantage of the good momentum, TMM pressed on and won several clashes, successfully snatching the enemy’s crown and securing victory.

They won one round.

In the decisive third round, the members were still in great shape and effortlessly achieved victory.

They successfully advanced without needing to play in the revival match.

Though it wasn’t a particularly big tournament, the audience below was still very excited.

The two girls beside Shen Yanming were already screaming without caring about their image, even jumping up while hugging each other.

Shen Yanming also wanted to jump and hug someone, but there were no companions around him.
After greeting the girls who had watched all three rounds with him, he slipped away from the crowd and headed to the lounge.

There were so many people that it took him some time to finally leave the audience area and make his way towards the backstage.

He expected to see a harmonious scene of laughter and joy, but as soon as he pushed open the door, he heard Meng Yan’s yelling.

“Ding Zixian5Ding Zixian: Pudding’s real name, can’t you understand what I’m saying?!”

Shen Yanming: “???”

He Changkong pulled Shen Yanming, who was standing stunned at the door, over and shook his head, indicating him not to interfere.
After closing the door, He Changkong finally… reached out and poked Shen Yanming’s cat ears.

Poke once, and they twitched.

It was quite fun.

Shen Yanming was completely distracted by the commotion between Meng Yan and Pudding, so he didn’t pay much attention to He Changkong’s actions.

His mind was filled with questions: What’s going on? Meng Yan usually calls using Ding Ding jiang, so why is he using his full name now? Why is he calling him by his full name now? It looks like they’re about to argue?

Author’s Message:

Luan luanzi: Ahhhhhhhhh, it’s going to turn into an argument.

Kong: (poke poke ears)

Thank you for reading! 

Hope you enjoy the rest of your day

If you like reading my translations, do consider supporting me with ko-fi

1“不过,搏一搏,单车才有可能变摩托” (Bùguò, bó yī bó, dānchē cái yǒu kěnéng biàn mótuō) is an idiom, it means “Nothing ventured, nothing gained” or “You have to take risks to have a chance at success.” It conveys the idea that sometimes you have to take a chance or try something new in order to achieve a better result or improve your situation.2Xiong jiang: “熊酱” (Xióng jiàng), kuma nickname, Xióng means bear3while the praying mantis stalked the cicada, unaware of the oriole behind: “螳螂捕蝉,黄雀在后” (táng láng bǔ chán, huáng què zài hòu) is an idioms, it describes a situation where someone is so focused on their immediate goal or target (the cicada) that they fail to notice a third party (the oriole) secretly plotting to take advantage of their vulnerability.4pet treatment: the term is often used in a somewhat humorous or teasing manner to describe situations where a player is receiving special treatment from their team, especially in situations where it might be considered unnecessary or excessive.5Ding Zixian: Pudding’s real name

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