491 Crazy Point-sweeping Demon 2.0
Many gamers followed [AliveAfter500Years]. As Fang Zhao's reputation rose, the number of people following his game ID increased as well. However, Fang Zhao rarely logged on nowadays. He logged on privately once in a while for SilverLight training sessions and publicly for invited events.
Furthermore, Fang Zhao hadn't participated in public global Esports events in a long time. That was the reason some people said that Fang Zhao had retired. Many gaming athletes thought this was the case as well.
Many teams had made inquiries about Fang Zhao before the commemorative map was opened. They were mostly relieved upon learning that Fang Zhao would be secluding himself to compose. There were also a few top teams that made contingency plans for every situation. What if Fang Zhao decided to participate?
Of course, not a single Esports club wished to resort to such plans.
After the new map opened, SilverLight's first string squad had been fighting for quite a while and didn't see [AliveAfter500Years]. Thus, everyone basically accepted that Fang Zhao wasn't going to be participating.
[AliveAfter500Years] is online.
When this pop-up window appeared before so many people, they seemed to lag for a moment.
All gamers who saw this pop-up window: ???
A legendary marksman from a certain top team even felt his ever steady hand tremble, and he missed a shot.
All of these gamers had various guesses the moment they saw this account come online. Those who believed Jinro's words first reckoned that Fiery Bird's account was hacked. Although it was said that Fiery Bird's anti-hacking system was the best in the industry, there was no such thing as an absolute. There were always what-ifs. What if the account had really been hacked?
News of [AliveAfter500Years] coming online spread throughout the gaming world rapidly. Various live broadcast teams immediately changed their original trajectories, while various Esports forums bustled with activity. Attention that had been on other players and teams was diverted.
"What did I just see?!"
"Has my Zhao God given up music to return to the competitive Esports scene?!!"
"Don't get your hopes up. According to insider news, SilverLight's captain Jinro has said that Fang Zhao should be composing in seclusion. The one logging into the account might not necessarily be him."
"How can you even believe Jinro's words?! You should understand what smokescreen tactics mean!"
"Let's observe more before commenting. We will know whether it is Zhao God after watching."
There were some gaming newbies who didn't know too much about Fang Zhao and weren't too impressed by the overreactions of older gamers.
Newbie: "I don't know about Fang Zhao, and I'm not gonna pass any judgment. However, the name [AliveAfter500Years] doesn't have a nice ring to it. It's not domineering enough."
Veteran: "What use is there having an awesome sounding game ID? Anyone would still be trampled over just the same!"
Newbie: "Is Fang Zhao really as impressive as the rumors say? I can't help but feel that these rumors are exaggerated."
Veteran: "No, no, no. Just search up and watch the battles where he made his name. You weren't there when it happened, so he might just be a story to you. But to us, he is a god!"
Of course, there were also older gamers who didn't view Fang Zhao favorably too.
"…Stop exaggerating. What remains of Fang Zhao are merely myths," someone said. "Aren't there many outdated gods in the gaming world?"
"I have to admit that Fang Zhao was impressive, but he's just one person, no matter how amazing he was. As long as he doesn't join up with the SilverLight team, he actually doesn't pose much threat."
Some people were also gradually convinced. Fang Zhao wasn't with the SilverLight team. He was fighting alone!
For this angle, he didn't seem to be much of a threat indeed.
However, some people still deserved a scolding. In a certain esports group chat:
"Jinro! F*cker! How dare you say that Fang Zhao wasn't participating!"
"Don't ever trust Jinro's words y'all! Didn't I say it was just a smokescreen tactic!"
"Phew, it's lucky we made contingency plans."
"To be honest, I'm not worried. On the contrary, I now feel more level-headed. Plan B initiated!"
SilverLight's internal team chat:
"Captain, come quick! What's going on? Didn't you say that Zhao God wouldn't be taking part?"
"Yeah, no one disturbed Zhao God because Captain Jin said he was composing in seclusion."
"So, do we have to change our tactics?"
"Captain… could it be that you actually conspired with Zhao God to come up with a secret strategy?"
"Perhaps this is just Zhao God taking a break from composing?"
Jinro hurriedly replied, "Let me inquire first. Our team shall continue as per the original strategy for the time being."
Jinro was actually astonished too. Given what he knew of Fang Zhao, there was an extremely low possibility of Fang Zhao taking part in these commemorative events. Furthermore, Fang Zhao would surely have given him a heads up if he planned to. Although Fang Zhao seemed to be retired, he still understood the rules and would have informed him of his plans.
Thus, Jinro was inclined towards believing that Fang Zhao was hacked.
Jinro got some team members who weren't participating in this commemorative competition to observe Fang Zhao's activity. They were to immediately make a report with Fiery Bird if the account seemed to have been hacked.
Jinro didn't have time to bother with those calling him out and had no plans of explaining himself.
Why do I have to explain our internal SilverLight matters to you guys?
Even if I knew Fang Zhao was coming, what's wrong with putting on a diversionary smokescreen? All's fair in war!
We are all professional Esports athletes. Blame yourselves for being so naive!
Disregarding the sudden influx of PMs, Jinro waited and observed for a bit. Seeing that there was no hacked account notice from Fiery Bird, he found some spare time to send [AliveAfter500Years] a PM.
"Zhao God! It's me, Jinro!"
"Are you just making a guest appearance, or do you intend to do something big? Do you require us to coordinate with you?"
"We've done some analysis of the new map. Do you want me to send you a copy of the report?"
However, the PM was met with silence.
Jinro assumed Fang Zhao was too busy killing monsters to reply.
At the same time, Fiery Bird was also paying close attention to [AliveAfter500Years].
Fiery Bird headquarters.
"No signs of a hacked entry. No problems with identity verification. No anomalies back-end either."
"Can Fang Zhao be contacted?"
"Fang Zhao has set a 'Do Not Disturb' mode. We can't use emergency means of contact as we haven't gotten a full understanding of the situation yet. However, we left him a message and contacted his assistant too."
"Mhm, watch closely. Immediately freeze the account if there are any signs it was hacked!"
It wasn't them being overly sensitive. [AliveAfter500Years] was really too unique in the gaming world. Furthermore, with Fang Zhao's current global influence, too many people were watching.
At a certain spot in-game.
"Hi everyone, this is your old friend Strong Bubbles. Welcome to my live broadcast. I am hiding inside a small cave on the fringes of a beast lair. I have put on camouflage and haven't been discovered by any monster. However, in a short while, I won't be able to say anything. So, I will first show everyone my surroundings…"
He adjusted the camera to let his audience see the situation outside this cave.
While these were the fringes of a beast lair, many monsters could already be seen moving around in the area.
Strong Bubbles explained to everyone the reason for choosing to do a live broadcast here. He guessed that [AliveAfter500Years] would possibly appear here, given his previous movements. Only teams would come here for battle. No solo player in the right mind would come to such a dangerous place. However, Bubble's intuition told him that a storm would surely appear here.
One of the accounts owned by his team happened to be in the vicinity of this area, so Bubbles had used it and hidden here to wait for the storm to appear.
If his conjecture was correct, they would be able to earn another huge sum this time.
Some years back, Bubbles had managed to film a video of Fang Zhao manically sweeping through monsters. That video became scripture for gamers, and Bubbles had gained lots of fans. His production team had managed to earn loads from that video as well. Nowadays, he was no longer a small-time webcast host who contemplated switching genres. He had now built up quite a decent production team.
It could be said that relying on that video where Fang Zhao made his name in gaming was enough to revive their entire production team.
They had always worshiped Fang Zhao for being their goldmine.
It was genuine worship.
They had printed out a still of that scripture video of Fang Zhao and spent quite a sum for a custom-made photo frame. They prayed to this photo before starting a live broadcast each time. They didn't ask for luck equivalent to the original. Just a tenth of that good fortune would be enough for them to strike it rich.
However, Fang Zhao had retired from competitive gaming. He was no longer seen in esports competitions. Thus, Bubbles's team could only trail other people or teams. Of course, they didn't just follow random gamers. With Fang Zhao setting the precedent, they chose to cover some intense battles and chased after top players. Each time, they hoped for a battle that could cause a storm in the gaming circles.
After Bubbles had successfully switched to gaming broadcasts, he discovered he was especially sensitive towards blood and carnage. He frequently succeeded in predicting where the action would be. Thus, his team had expanded to its current size over time.
Bubbles used different accounts each time and had both high and low level accounts. Chasing after action in the game was considered to be a dangerous activity that could result in game over. Chances of surviving a bloody carnage was extremely low and required lots of luck every time.
Suddenly, the monsters that were wandering outside the cave pricked up and simultaneously looked in a certain direction.
Bubbles held his breath. He heard a slightly familiar sound in the distance.
"T-Rex motorcycle! It's the sound of a T-rex motorcycle!" Bubbles was on the verge of tears from the excitement.
He finally heard this sound again after so many years!
After [AliveAfter500Years], more and more people used the T-rex motorcycle, but there was only one scripture!
In Bubbles's opinion, [AliveAfter500Years] was just different! He could hear the tyrannical oppression coming!
His heart raced. He felt rapt anticipation and some indescribable fear.
The high-energy humming of the engine was like a ferocious roar of a tyrannical beast. There wasn't a slight hint of hesitation. One could even hear a bit of… excitement and impatience? As of a famished beast spotting prey?
No, it had to be an illusion.
Bubbles quickly shook away all these thoughts and listened attentively for activity in the surroundings.
Motorcycle tires screeched shrilly against the ground.
Here it comes!
Taking the risk of having a gameover, Bubbles moved his body further out and adjusted his live broadcast frame.
Bubbles had originally planned to have some interaction with his viewers, but he quickly found himself stunned by the scene before him.
The beast attracted by the sound charged over, and it instantly turned into a scene of a storm.
Everything else was a blur. Only the moving eye of the storm could be seen.
Flashes of gunfire sprayed from the eye of the storm!
Spurts of blood sprayed all over as corpses of beasts fell onto the ground like rain. The concentrated sound of gunfire made Bubbles's heart thump.
The beasts that charged over like a relentless tide were cut through and turned into mere puddles.
After a short while, the storm passed into the distance. The sound of gunfire gradually lessened, and the surroundings became completely silent.
Bubbles regained his senses and finally felt able to breathe. He took in a deep breath.
He walked out from the cave. A thick layer of beast corpses lay his feet. On closer inspection, he discovered that there was only one bullet hole in each corpse.
Bubbles made his way through the thick layer of beast corpses with great difficulty and headed in the direction where [AliveAfter500Years] had gone. It was even more exhausting than climbing a mountain, and he had to be wary of any beasts still alive among the corpses. The monsters could easily rip him apart with just a bite.
However, it was clear that he was overly apprehensive.
There weren't any alive.
All these beasts had been cleanly dealt with.
Even though the danger had already passed, Bubbles still shuddered as his hairs stood on end.
He looked into the distance. It was literally a bloody carnage. The path ahead was littered with beast corpses, and there were a few heaps that formed little mounds. Anybody would feel dizzy from the site.
Bubbles's legs turned soft. He immediately knelt on the ground.
It wasn't just Bubbles whose legs had gone soft. His viewers who had witnessed the scene were all in shock.
"Just one person… massacring the entire beast lair…"
"There's only one person capable of doing that, right?"
"This display seems to be even more savage than that famed scene!"
What hacked account?!
Who else besides Fang Zhao had such ability?!
Besides the live broadcast audience, personnel at Fiery Bird headquarters observing this account were staring at the screen with their mouths agape.
The new commemorative map had some regulations that were different from normal game play.
As long as one was willing to spend money on ammunition, they could have unlimited bullets.
But! Everyone who played this game knew that you couldn't go around the game like a boss with just unlimited ammunition! This was a survival game! There wasn't any revive functionlity in the commemorative map. If you found yourself in a monster's nest, death was certain unless you had a nuclear warhead!
Furthermore, every detail like gun model, reloading speed, anticipation ability, reaction, combat skills and environment had an effect.
However, the scene they had just witnessed challenged their understanding of their own game.
"Is there a system bug in our game?"
"I don't think so… it's impossible!"
"I just ran a computer simulation. Without using a weapon of mass destruction and removing any elements of luck, killing an entire beast lair solo requires achieving the game's set limits of anticipation, movement, efficiency and reloading! All of these have to be done flawlessly!"
"Basically, achieving this is practically impossible. Even a single tenth of a second delay will result in failure."
"But, he's managed to achieve these limits!"
"It's as if he is a perfectly tuned and precise supercomputer!"
"Are there really no problems with the account? Not a trace of hacking or cheating?"
The technical stuff replied grudgingly, "There really aren't any. At least, our entire technical team isn't able to detect any. There aren't any anomalies in the game, and the account is normal."
After a moment, a technical engineer said with a distressed look on his face. "I feel that… this kind of person… should be banned from entering the game."
At the same time, all the large esports discussion forums were bustling with videos and posts.
"It's appeared! Slide with a 360 drift and simultaneous reloading and firing! [Video] (Dangerous action, do not imitate!)"
"Is this the fabled…'God's Domain'? [Video]"
"Holy f*ck! This isn't desperate survival. This is unilateral and maniacal slaughter! [Video]"
The Silver Wing Gaming Team's official social media account was also flooded with comments.
"[AliveAfter500Years] has yet to say a single word after coming online. The phrase 'a real killer moves in silence' is so apt here!"
"I'm not here to join in the excitement but to pay my respects. Has Silver Wing successfully persuaded Zhao God to give up music and return to gaming?"
"I already sense a storm looming on the leaderboards."
As these topics started to grow, many live broadcast teams gave up their original plans and switched their sights towards tracking [AliveAfter500Years]. They believed with [AliveAfter500Years]'s trend in slaying monsters, he wouldn't just hit a single beast lair.
Just as everyone expected, the storm caused by [AliveAfter500Years] was just barely getting started.
Beast lairs were sacked one after another. [AliveAfter500Years] was like a fine-tuned machine that never stopped operating. He maintained an extremely high efficiency. He never wasted a single second and could safely survive each round of danger.
On the new map's individual leaderboards, [AliveAfter500Years]'s points kept climbing as if there was some sort of bug. He soon occupied the top spot.
Gradually, everyone was able to see something.
Picking up loot was secondary. Killing monsters was his objective!
He went wherever monsters were!!
The people trying to follow him were left far behind in the dust and unable to even smell the exhaust emissions of his motorcycle.
Very quickly, all the large Esports news and media outlets had this headline:
"Crazy Point-sweeping Demon 2.0!"