The webpage refreshed and in front of Yan Xiaoling displayed an empty forum with Lou Cheng’s name hanging in the upper left corner and “Apprentice Moderator Eternal Nightfall. Followed by: 1” at the bottom.
As the creator of the forum, her ID was automatically promoted to Apprentice Moderator. In one week, she would become the moderator officially unless some major problem took place.
“Lou Cheng’s very first home on the net. I’ll start to decorate it!” Yan Xiaoling cheered quietly. She downloaded a photo of his from the official website of the tournament and turned it into the background picture for the forum header. Then she published several posts in a roll:
(Reception) I’m Lou Cheng’s fan!
She sorted and classified the posts and downloaded all relevant videos, photos, and news from the official site, ready to upload. A thought suddenly came to her head, making her brows frown. “Hang on a minute. This is not gonna be Lou Cheng’s only tournament. Stacking his everything in one post will be a nightmare… ”
Bearing pain in her heart, she deleted all the posts she just made and started from the beginning in a very responsible and serious manner.
The First Phoenix Cup Warrior Sage Candidate Challenge Tournament Videos
The First Phoenix Cup Warrior Sage Candidate Challenge Tournament Photos
The First Phoenix Cup Warrior Sage Candidate Challenge Tournament News
Everyday Lou Cheng January
The content she had gathered from the official website was then added to the posts accordingly. She highlighted each of them and sent backup to the cloud. Sipping on soy milk, perfectly satisfied, she opened the Check In post in an attempt to end her day of work with a reply of herself being the very first fan of Lou Cheng’s.
To Yan Xiaoling’s surprise, there was already a reply from someone else to the Check In post.
“I am Lou Cheng’s first fan!”
“Who is this?” Yan Xiaoling stared at the user ID Brahman with anger as if her own house was visited by a thief.
“I created this forum! I’m Lou Cheng’s first fan! I! I! I!” She could feel an ache in her heart as she commented to the reply, blaming herself for taking that sip of soy milk for which she had lost the lead.
Brahman didn’t respond, vanished after forestalling Yan Xiaoling.
Debating with herself if she should use her power to delete the annoying reply and pretend to be the first, she accidentally returned to the home page of the forum.
Her lung was filled with anger seeing those new topic posts published by Brahman. “How dare she make these posts to question me!”
“Why are you stealing my new idol’s forum!”
“Eternal Nightfall! Come out and explain yourself! Answer for what you have done!”
“I should be the one creating this forum!”
“I’m wronged. I’m sad. I’m depressed… ” Yan Xiaoling chanted to herself, trying to calm herself down. She replied by publishing a topic post. “First come, first served. My Lou Cheng is a martial artist from the Warrior Sage Challenge Tournament. Who’s your new idol?”
“The same Lou Cheng from the Warrior Sage Challenge Tournament. I have made him my idol in Round Three, definitely earlier than you!” Brahman stood firm against the new opponent, trying to prove herself to the occasion.
Yan Xiaoling burst into a laugh, all the fury replaced by delight and pride. “Yeah, so? I created this forum after all. Why didn’t you get on this earlier?”
No new post for a minute. Yan Xiaoling thought she had upgraded the venom of her bitter tongue, able to pissing someone off in one line.
Brahman’s post stopped her being self-content. “What’s the big deal that you created this forum? Do you have this photo?”
“Photo? What photo?” Yan Xiaoling clicked on the post and saw a photo extracted from a video, of two guys laughing with each other foolishly. And one of them was Lou Cheng.
“Where did you get this photo?” Yan Xiaoling, in shock, questioned.
Brahman laughed proudly. “You don’t know this photo? Only an old-time fan has access to such dark history of Lou Cheng!”
Yan Xiaoling searched on the Internet but couldn’t find the source. Tortured by her curiosity, she lowered her tone and softened her attitude towards Brahman. “Fine, you started to follow him before me. I won’t delete your reply on the second floor. Could you tell me where you got this photo?”
“That’s it? I need to think about it. Should you call me senior or master?” Brahman assumed great air.
Yan Xiaoling replied instantly.
Astonished, Brahman replied, “Where is your pride? Don’t you have any shame?”
“Father, I have neither pride nor shame. Just tell me, please!” Yan Xiaoling was pretty pleased with herself for being not phoney.
Brahman wiped off her cold sweat. “Fine. I’ll share you the link but you must make me the depute moderator once you become the official moderator.”
“Done deal!” Yan Xiaoling clicked on the link, fast forwarded the beginning part and returned to the post to share her feelings with Brahman. “Ha-hah! Didn’t know Lou Cheng was this silly. Hmm… This silly boy must be warm and caring!”
“I agree! Also mysterious and charming.” Brahman shared her view. “Sigh… Lou Cheng retired from the tournament… When I saw the news, I knew I probably won’t hear anything about him until the next university martial arts competition. That’s why I wanted to create a forum to commemorate. You got one step ahead of me… ”
Yan Xiaoling sent an emoji turning in circle. “I saw the announcement on the official site while gathering information. He fought so fiercely yesterday. Must be exhausted.”
The more the two young girls talked about Lou Cheng, the stronger they felt a kinship with each other. In the end, Yan Xiaoling asked, “Do you think Lou Cheng will find this forum and browse in secret?”
“I doubt it. Except for newbies, who would search for their own name on the internet? He probably won’t realize he has got his forum until he becomes well known.” Brahman, a Grade Seven student tried to sound mature, assuming Eternal Nightfall was even younger.
Yan Xiaoling closed her eyes and let her imagination go wild. “When he finds here, the forum will have gathered many, many fans and I will have posted many, many threads for him, put together many, many information about him, and made it more and more like his home on the internet. How warm and touching!”
“And when he sees our first post, he will be surprised how many years we will have been supporting him.” Brahman agreed in a young girl’s romantic tone.
A small forum. Two small girls. Much small warmth.
Outside the train station, Lou Cheng wiped off his cold sweat and got out of the taxi as fast as he could, heading to the security check.
Uncle, I’m sorry but you are not gonna get rich from this.
After the security, he found a relatively quiet corner and dialed his master’s number.
It’s time to announce this good news to him!
Master has sharp eyes. He probably has seen my potential and predicted my advance to the group stage. But my victory over Zhou Yuanning and the narrow win over Ye Youting with Jindan’s explosive strength, which were both to my surprise, should be beyond his expectation. A place in the top eight should be a good surprise for him.
As the phone rang, Lou Cheng felt proud and very pleased with himself, expecting his master to pick up the call.
Bathing in the sun on the balcony, Geezer Shi was drinking with his eyes narrowed, enjoying the precious warmth and shines of winter.
His mobile vibrated next to him.
Without turning back or looking, he let out a shout.
The phone disappeared from the table and reappeared in his palm.
“Bastard! What took you so long to phone me?” Geezer Shi answered with a grin.
Lou Cheng laughed, “I dared not bother you before getting a good result.”
Of course I’ll wait for everything to settle first.
Dared not call without a good result? Or spent a few days to brace up? Geezer Shi nodded slightly and asked with a sneer, “Now you know how many martial artists are out there and how many of them are of your league. Be honest with me. How many rounds did you make it?”
He took a sip.
“It sounded a bit weird… ” Lou Cheng let go of the odd feeling and answered in a proud tone, “The eighth place!”
The retired fighter would rank the last of the round.
Geezer Shi’s wine gushed forth, turning into snowflakes.
“What did you say? The eighth place?” His coarse voice was raised to a higher pitch.
Lou Cheng could tell joy in his master’s voice. He moved his mobile a little bit away from his ear and chuckled. “I did my best and made it to the top eight. I’m too exhausted to continue. I requested for an early retirement.”
I’m proud! I’m happy!
It was not a surprise for Geezer Shi. More like a horror! He wanted to dig out truth but managed to hold back his questions, clinging to his garments and majesty as a master.
“I’ll figure it out from someone else… ” After a cough he commented, “Not bad. Keep the good work going. I know you’ve got many questions to ask but you will have to wait until I’m done with my business.”
“Yes, master.” Filled with joy and pride, Lou Cheng’s voice turned bubbly unconsciously.
An isolated office in Yanling Martial Arts Stadium.
Gazing at the CEO Liu Zunyu across the desk, bodyguard Sheng asked in a puzzle, “We let Lou Cheng leave like this? He scored an unlikely victory from the last match and retired from this one. It has caused a big problem in the bets. We should at least give him a full check-up. And he has great potential. Why don’t we bring him onboard?”
Liu Zunyu’s ten fingers crossed and smiled. “Do you know who got him the invitation?”
“Ahh… ” Sheng was lost.
Liu Zunyu’s private phone suddenly vibrated. He took a glance and quickly picked it up while signaling Sheng out.
“Hello, Master Shi. How could I trouble you to make this phone call in person? Just send someone if there’s anything I can be at your service.” Liu Zunyu sounded very respectful.
Geezer Shi laughed. “My useless disciple participated in your Challenge Tournament. Of course I should show some care and concern. I was too busy earlier and waited until now. How did he do?”
“Your disciple is one in a million with great potential!” Liu Zunyu started with a genuine compliment. “He knocked out an Amateur Fourth Pin arm boxing master in the first round and defeated an Amateur First Pin opponent in the third. Round Five we gave him a bye. In the final round of the group stage, he beat a former Professional Ninth Pin master and advanced to the top eight after his win over a brilliant Professional Ninth Pin martial artist. I believe he performed one of your secret explosion techniques and exhausted his body in the last match and had to take an early retirement.”
Geezer Shi remained silent for a while. “Why did you give him a bye?”
“Well, he’s your disciple. We were thinking to take good care of him.” Liu Zunyu answered with a grin.
Geezer Shi put on a serious tone. “You should ask the elders of your family how strict and impartial I used to be. A man of iron, I expected no such thing from you! If you really want to show me respect, give him a powerful Professional Ninth Pin opponent!”
Liu Zunyu’s attempt to curry favor failed… He had no fear for Geezer Shi as they were not from the same sect. But a friend was always better than a foe. He, slick and sophisticated, immediately apologized sincerely.
“Never mind. It’s over now. Send his match videos to my email.” Geezer Shi’s voice calmed.
Bloody hell! Tied the millstone around my own neck. How to make that bastard learn from his loss!