Glazed light, broken star, bounty wall, having no regrets this lifetime about coming to Wandering Dream.
“……Wandering Dream Professional League Tournament’s champion for Season 2, Team Azure Breaker!”
“Congratulations, Team Azure Breaker!”
Tens of thousands of people in the stadium broke out into thunderous applause, a vast upsurge of passion arising.
The members of Team Azure Breaker walked up the stage and collectively lifted the championship trophy, the golden ribbons dancing in the breeze and giving the impression of a dazzling ocean.
After their simple celebration, they stood in a row. One person amongst them extended a hand and accepted the microphone offered by the host. His face simultaneously appeared on several screens, causing shrieks to instantly burst out throughout the stadium — practically overturning the roof.
There stood a youth with red lips; white teeth; a matchless, outstanding handsomeness; as well as a small, red-colored tear-shaped mole at the bottom corner of his left eye — the captain of Team Azure Breaker to be precise — Jiang Chen.
At the age of 17, he began competing, stabilized his position as the core half a year later, and relied on remarkable performances to pull strongly against a crazy tide in the finals. With the assistance of his team, he seized the Season 1 championship. In Season 2, he rose to the rank of captain and took his team once again to seize the championship, even receiving the title of Season MVP.
Aged 18, a champion for two seasons, this youth was a genius with boundless prospects. Including his immortal-like attractiveness, his popularity in the circle was extremely high — his limelight so strong that no one could compare.
Jiang Chen grasped the microphone and calmly looked out at the audience.
Golden lights, applause, screams, madness……in all directions, mountains whistling and seas roaring, all in recognition of them. At this moment, honor and glory shrouded his body; it felt like he was standing at the heart of the whole world.
Fully enjoying the entirety of this experience, he curled his lips into a light smile.
This smile broadcasted onto the screens, and fans immediately gave the most straightforward response to —— screams once again ringing out.
Captain Jiang’s temperament leaned cold. He would have a serious face during post-match interviews. His smile at this moment simply enchanted people to the point their legs grew soft.
“Shining Dawn Cheerful Orchid!” Chén Huī Lán Lè!
“Shining Dawn Cheerful Orchid!” Chén Huī Lán Lè!
“Shining Dawn Cheerful Orchid!” Chén Huī Lán Lè!
Fragmented voices converged into a sea, in a flash turning into tens of thousands of people shouting together.
“Shining Dawn Cheerful Orchid” was Jiang Chen’s ID in Wandering Dream, his profession being a Seal Master.
He had swept everything before him in today’s finals, taking the most heads out of his entire team. That hot-blooded scene was enough to make the spectators go crazy for him.
Team members of Azure Breaker were spurred by the atmosphere, and with red eyes, they cooperated to lift him.
The audience immediately went wild. “Ah ah ah ah ah!”
Offstage, members of other teams watched with sourness. “Tch, this signboard face.”
“After all, this is the number one traffic team.”
A few captains knew the inside story and looked at the stage with heavy gazes.
The audience took half a day to quieten down. The host, wearing a smile, interviewed members of Azure Breaker, with Jiang Chen being the final interview. Pressing down his feelings of regret, he asked as discussed in advance, “Captain Jiang, are there any other words you wish to say to your fans?”
Jiang Chen said, “Yes.”
He walked forward a few steps and stood still, looking out at the crowd. “That day I became a professional player, I wondered what kind of attitude I would have towards leaving the field in the future.”
This tone was dull, as if they were talking about the weather, but the words said truly did not seem to be good. The scene instantly became deathly still.
Those professional players, caught off guard, suddenly sat up straight, eyes opened wide in astonishment. They had a clear understanding of Jiang Chen’s bad temper. He was absolutely not someone who had heart-to-heart discussions. There was obviously a problem.
Jiang Chen said, “Now seizing two championships and one MVP title, this could also be regarded as perfect.”
Vaguely having their premonition verified, the audience caused a storm of protest.
As if meeting thunder from a clear sky by chance, fans were incapable of accepting and loudly shouted, “Don’t!”
But Jiang Chen’s decision could not be altered by anyone.
His affairs had always been squeaky clean. His retirement declaration was also simply a few sentences. His voice in the clamorous, impassioned stadium was steady and resolute. “My reasons are personal. From today onwards, I officially retire. Thank you, everyone, for accompanying me for over a year.”
He tightened his grip on the microphone, the word “goodbye” rolling on his tongue before being swallowed back.
After discovering he had cancer, he went from hope to despair. His mood and mentality repeatedly flipped back and forth several times, among which was the feeling that there was no use in telling others. All that he could control was also summed up in a single word: “retirement.” However, even if he already made a firm resolution, and had prepared well, when talking about leaving, it was still more difficult to bear than imagined.
His throat choked with emotion. He suddenly recalled the recent, explosively popular words on the Wandering Dream forum and subconsciously switched the freezing-cold “goodbye,” giving the painting of his professional career one final stroke.
“Glazed light, broken star, bounty wall, having no regrets this lifetime about coming to Wandering Dream.”
The unyielding youth lowered his head, giving everyone a deep bow. He then straightened, leaving the stage without looking back.
This originally untranquil, champion-crowning night became even more explosive due to Jiang Chen’s abrupt retirement. There were related discussions and news everywhere, guesses and what not included.
The two topics “Azure Breaker seized the crown” and “Shining Dawn Cheerful Orchid retired” rapidly dashed up the hot search. The club soon released an announcement, explaining the reason behind Jiang Chen’s retirement and the staff adjustment for the new season.
Within the announcement, people focused on one word: illness.
There were no more details.
However, no secret could be kept forever on this earth. Very quickly, gossip circulated, saying that Jiang Chen had cancer.
Fans once again went crazy, and passersby who also paid attention to the progress of this matter also felt distressed.
Not even half a day later, the topic “waiting for your return” also went on the hot search. More and more people learned about this genius youth, all of them praying kindly for his good luck.
Unfortunately, they did not know Jiang Chen had pancreatic cancer, and the diagnosis when he found out was terminal stage.
That same evening he retired, he was picked up by his family and fell into a coma halfway. When he woke up, he was already in the hospital. A person was sitting on the chair beside his bed, reading. It was his older sister, Jiang Shilan.
Jiang Chen’s mouth quirked up. “Morning.”
Jiang Shilan raised her head to look at him, smiling as she spoke. “Morning. Hungry? Eat something?”
Jiang Chen said, “Drink congee.”
Jiang Shilan put her book aside and got up.
Jiang Chen grabbed his phone from atop the bedside cabinet and turned it on to take a look. He thought to himself that it was early enough — a quarter past two in the afternoon.
He crawled up to wash his face and rinse his mouth. He looked at himself in the mirror.
Without that layer of makeup applied before the match, his current face clearly radiated illness. With an almost complete lack of regard, he thought, the face of an early demise.
His cancer’s mortality rate was relatively high. Many people died within half a year of diagnosis. After hearing the doctor’s advice, he felt that he would also follow the crowd. Nevermind how he exhausted his thoughts and ingenuity for the playoffs, in addition to the wear and tear of his body; he was not optimistic at all.
He wiped the water off his face and went to sit on his bed, scrolling through his phone and returning a few messages.
Shortly after, Jiang Shilan returned and handed over his meal. She sat to the side and watched him eat. Jiang Chen swallowed a mouthful of congee. “You aren’t busy?”
Jiang Shilan said, “Not busy today.”
Jiang Chen asked, “How many days am I staying?”
Jiang Shilan replied, “Listen to the doctor.”
Jiang Chen asked, “What did the doctor say?”
Jiang Shilan’s gentle tone did not fluctuate at all. “He said your situation is very good.”
Jiang Chen declined to comment, but he did not ask again.
He stayed in the ward till evening arrived. His older brother and father also came.
The members of the Jiang family were very simple: a father, a mother, and three children.
The first two children were dragon and phoenix twins. Then came Jiang Chen, a polished rod commander, younger than his older brother and sister by six years. Mrs. Jiang, unfortunately, passed away three years after Jiang Chen was born, and his father did not remarry, raising his three children by himself.
Father Jiang Kangle was vice-president of the Academy of Medicine, and of his three children, his first two also went to study medicine. Only Jiang Chen had completely no interest in medicine, wholeheartedly wanting to only play games. Luckily, his family was quite supportive and did not block him.
His “Shining Dawn Cheerful Orchid” ID had a syllable taken from each family members’ names — among which the syllable “lán” (orchid) was also in his mother’s name, so he chose to use that one.
Facing the three doctors of his family, the currently ill Jiang Chen could only obediently do as he was told.
He underwent compatible treatments for two months. His hair completely fell out, and he lost two circles of weight. Lying weakly in bed and feeling bored, he felt that this was simply delaying time, nothing more.
He stated, “The world is so big, I want to take a look.”
His older brother glanced over. “I’ll buy you a globe. Not only can you take a look, but you can also move it around.”
Jiang Chen laughed very lightly, not saying anything in reply.
The other three members of the Jiang family understood what he meant. He did not want to continue undergoing treatment.
It was not that they did not know this was delaying time, but giving up on treatment was tantamount to watching him die. Yet not giving up meant they must continue to watch him be tormented. Jiang Kangle was silent for a long time before saying, “Let’s go wherever you want to go, okay?”
The other two’s eyes reddened, not getting carried away.
Jiang Chen closed his eyes. “En.”
In the end, he was free for only a month. His body then developed rapidly after an abrupt turn. When he was brought back to life after yet again being critically ill, he incidentally saw in his dad’s hand a file —— cryonics project.
He sought out his dad and earnestly studied the project for a very long time, arriving at a conclusion: this was theoretical and had always been extremely controversial. Moreover, the technology was immature, and he might be frozen for a hundred years. Ultimately, he might also receive just a pile of fresh organs.
But either way, he would die. He was not willing to die of illness like this, so he decided to take a gamble — and freeze himself.
At present, several countries have carried out this research, and China was naturally not an exception.
However, from the beginning, this was classified as a national project. Although the technology used was immature, the plans were different from those of other countries. Because it was classified as a medical school secret, it could not be published.
Once Jiang Chen read the file entirely, he signed his name.
A month later, the topic “Shining Dawn Cheerful Orchid passed away” shot to the top of the hot search, and all his fans cried.
The young man was like a shooting star, stealing the breaths of countless youths. Especially since the finals were only four months ago, and the heat was still there, the grieving fans nearly flooded the public square with their tears. The topic did not drop for several days.
The departed were dead; the living continued to live.
With wave after wave of gifted gamers appearing, this shooting star “Shining Dawn Cheerful Orchid” gradually became forgotten, until four years later. The game carried out major adjustments, and veteran Captain Du Feizhou accepted an interview, during which he was asked for thoughts about the game’s update. Midway through, the Seal Master profession was brought up, and he dully gave a short response. “After Shining Dawn Cheerful Orchid, Wandering Dream has no Seal Masters.”
New fans failed to understand his meaning, but old fans deeply felt that his words were right and once again began to cry about Captain Jiang.
“Shining Dawn Cheerful Orchid” blazed momentarily before falling into stillness. Year after year passed. It had been thirty years since he had passed away. Every year, someone retired from the circle. This year, the retired player was a heavyweight god —— Team NXK’s Captain Fang Jingxing.
From the age of 18 to 25, Fang Jingxing seized five domestic championships and four world championships in his eight-year professional career. Although his first domestic championship was as a newcomer riding the team’s coattails, he later on truly led the team to victory. His popularity as number one in the alliance was fully deserved, without any reservations.
This year, he clinched both the domestic seasonal championship and the world championship. Fully loaded with honor and glory, he withdrew with a body shrouded in merits. Fans had long known his desire to retire; while reluctant to part, they sent him off with all their blessings nonetheless.
Fang Jingxing stood on stage with a smile on his face and declared, “I am officially retired from today onwards. Thank you, everyone, for standing by my side for so many years.”
When players of Wandering Dream Alliance retired, they did not say goodbye, having another tradition. Captain Fang naturally did not break it.
He laughed lightly. “Glazed light, broken star, bounty wall, having no regrets this lifetime about coming to Wandering Dream.”
This scene rapidly spread throughout the network. Soon, a month passed, and the game officials threw a bomb. Wandering Dream’s Virtual Reality edition was on the verge of entering beta-testing. If there were no problems, it soon would be officially released for everyone to meet.
This was the world’s first virtual reality game. Game enthusiasts went crazy.
In addition to the youths, innumerable middle-aged and elderly people were also interested, among which were long-retired players. They had a group chat and were discussing the establishment of a Red Sunset Gang in the game. Former members of Team Azure Breaker suddenly sighed with sorrow. “It would be nice if Captain Jiang was still here.”
Everyone agreed, “Alas, it would.”
None of these people were aware at the moment, remaining deeply immersed in the dark.
Time became meaningless. Night and day had no difference. Durations did not matter. Nothing could agitate him.
Who knew how much time had passed; a deathly still consciousness suddenly skipped lightly for a moment. He heard a faint voice.
Originally, it was very soft, and then, it slowly grew louder, like sea waves crashing against him layer upon layer.
“Shining Dawn Cheerful Orchid!”
“Shining Dawn Cheerful Orchid!”
“Shining Dawn Cheerful Orchid!”
Before his eyes, everything became clear at once — flashing golden lights flying past, the screaming crowds — the most profound scene in his memory. At this time, a voice akin to an immortal flying through the sky suddenly pierced through.
“……Brain activity has already reached the standard guideline; he can awaken! He can awaken!”
Jiang Chen’s consciousness chased this voice, floating up from the darkness of the seabed and breaking through the waters to leave.
—— The number one Seal Master of Wandering Dream who swept everything before him in those days opened his eyes.
⬖ ⬩F⬩L⬩Y⬩ ⬗
The author has something to say:
Opening a new hole la~~ Seeking collections, seeking comments~~ Muah~
Thanking everyone who previously threw overlord tickets and nutrient solution into this opened hole, kisses~
 Chén Huī Lán Lè (辰辉兰乐) | Shining Dawn Cheerful Orchid: translated into English to make it easier to remember, but this flows a lot better in Chinese, and has an easier identifiable significance (see later footnote), aka the translation itself has no meaning
 signboard face – face of prestige/pomp (negative connotation); traffic team – team known for his high attractiveness/face value
 no explanation going to be given for this~ it comes into play several chapters later, so keep an eye out.
 dragon (male) and phoenix (female) twins – twins of mixed sex; a polished rod commander – (literal meaning) no soldiers, no subordinates, only oneself; branches without attachments; to be alone
 Chén (辰) – Jiang Chen (MC); Huī (辉) – Jiang Hui, Jiang Chen’s elder brother; Lán (兰) – ??? and Jiang Shilan, Jiang Chen’s mother and older sister (mother’s name not fully revealed); Lè (乐) – Jiang Kangle, Jiang Chen’s father