Classmancers - A MOBA Esport Story 9 Third Wheel's Feelings
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Apparently, there was no problem with starting slow. As long as he maintained a jogging routine, he should improve with time. He couldn't make it through 2 kilometers right now, but he somehow survived a half kilometer jog by running at his own pace.
"Gah! So slow!" Lars ranted while running beside Yuel. "Geh, running at your turtle speed also somehow makes me more tired than usual. You were a freakin' turtle in your previous life, weren't ya?"
"And I'm sure you were a missile." Yuel retorted. "Just go on ahead, no need to stick around me."
"Yeah, sure. Who knows what you gonna do once I take my eyes off ya?"
"Don't worry, you don't need to babysit me. I'm not going to quit, not this time."
"Hoh." Lars was taken aback by Yuel's determined look. "Okay, I'm going ahead then. If you're not half-dead by the time you finish, then I'mma know you've been slacking off, yo!"
The first week was literally h.e.l.l. Yuel jogged at a snail's pace for a mere half kilometer, yet he felt like he sprinted through a whole marathon. He always returned home beaten and barely standing. The thought of quitting tempted him every day.
"Hey, dude! You slacked off today, didn't ya!?" Lars interrogated Yuel.
"No. I ran the whole thing." Yuel examined himself in wonder. He had just finished the usual h.e.l.lish jogging routine, yet he wasn't about to collapse and his breathing was somehow stable. He was tired, but that's all. "I think I'm getting used to this."
The second week was much easier. Did his body adapt to his h.e.l.lish routine? It was baffling. He knew the brain could adapt to things via repet.i.tion, but he had no idea his muscles were installed with such a function as well.
As jogging became gradually easier, he started extending the distance and raising his pace. Any increase in difficulty was torture the first few days, but he soon got used to it. At this rate, he should be able to survive a 2 kilometers jog by the end of the summer.
To further improve Yuel's reaction speed, they also played some hectic shooters together. Yuel was skeptical of this idea, but he gave in after Lars nagged him to no end. Besides, as much as he hated to admit it, Lars was kind of right about the whole jogging thing. Even somebody like Yuel could jog with enough practice and he felt more alert ever since he started working out. As much as he disliked the genre, there was no harm in trying out shooters as well. Who knew, it just might work.
[Oh, I scored a kill.] Yuel blinked in front of the screen. Weird, had he always been this calm during action packed situations?
He scored that kill on a chaotic battlefield where plasma shots flew left and right. He was used to be confused by these situations and took too long to a.n.a.lyze everything. But, after playing this shooter for two days, he learned how to quickly spot enemies and shot them down. Of course, he received a headshot right after scoring that amazing kill, but at least he did something for the team! He wasn't completely useless!
In general, he found himself way more level-headed in shooters than he was used to be. Running into aggressive enemies still startled him, but he reacted faster and more efficiently. Instead of randomly spraying bullets all over the place, he took a moment to adjust his aim and ensure his shots would actually hit somebody. He still died a lot in embarra.s.sing ways, giving Lars some good laughs, but he actually scored some kills as well. Shooters didn't feel nearly as frustrating as before.
After a month of this routine, Yuel felt like he was reborn. The results soon started showing themselves in Cla.s.smancers. After getting used to all these fast-paced crazy shooters, Cla.s.smancers almost felt like it moved in slow motion.
"Gah, he got away!" Lars exclaimed as his prey escaped into the jungle. He could still deliver the finis.h.i.+ng blow with a bouncing Trickshot, but there weren't any good walls-
"Here's your wall." Yuel erected a wall of ice. It was placed hastily, yet its location and angle were just perfect. The wall was so amazing it literally begged Lars to shoot it!
"Awesome!!" Lars fired a Trickshot at the ice wall. The bullet bounced once and darted into the jungle.
『An enemy has been killed!』
"Sick play, dude!"
By the time they reached Lv.49, they were a pair of monsters. Now that Yuel could keep up with Lars, their teamwork and synergy were top-notch. Whenever they played together as Support and Carry, their team usually ran over the enemy.
In particular, feeding Lars by letting him score kills was the most devastating strategy. A fed Lars was an unstoppable Lars, he single-handedly carried the whole team and couldn't be defeated even in 1v3 fights. Heck, he even won 1v5 a couple of times.
Yuel's job was to orchestrate the situations which allowed Lars to feed on enemies. He a.n.a.lyzed opponents, figured out their tendencies and found the best time to strike. Of course, all the spoils of war went to Lars. Yuel was like a tamer responsible for feeding a baby tiger, until that tiger grew into a savage beast and annahaliates all their foes.
However, while the two of them were making such an outstanding progress, somebody was completely forgotten...
"Hah... Aaah... I... I'm dying! I can't take this anymore!" Julia complained without end as she tried keeping up with Yuel's jogging pace. "How are you so fast!? Go slower!"
"Go slower if it's too much for you." Yuel said. "There's no need to compete with me."
"I won't let a dumba.s.s like you pa.s.s me! Grrr!" Julia gritted her teeth and sprinted forward. She successfully reached Yuel, then ran out of breath and lagged behind again. This comical routine repeated every ten seconds throughout the jog. Sigh.
When JulIa learned about Yuel jogging with Lars, she immediately signed up as well. However, this routine proved to be much harsher than she expected. Not only did Lars and Yuel jog at entirely different paces, but turned out she couldn't even keep up with a slowpoke like Yuel. Despite her slender figure, she wasn't very athletic.
In truth, even during her first run, she already did way better than how Yuel started out. He only achieved his current speed after weeks of training, but she couldn't possibly know that. All she knew was that, here and now, she was lagging behind someone who was supposed to be a total slowpoke.
"You'll get injured if you keep this up." Yuel said. "Jogging is all about running at a steady pace. All these random sprints are going to wear you out."
"Sh... Hah... S-Shut up, dumb- Wah!" Julia tripped and crashed into the asphalt.
"You okay?" Yuel stopped and turned around.
"Do I look okay to you, idiot!?" Julia hissed and slowly got up. Her right knee was sc.r.a.ped and had some blood on it. Thankfully, it didn't look serious.
"That's as far as you go today." Yuel said. "Go home to have somebody look at it."
"Shut up, r.e.t.a.r.d! I know!" Julia's eyes were teary and she clenched her trembling fists. Even though he was just worried about her, Julia's att.i.tude toward Yuel was as lovely as ever. Sigh.
She turned around and "Agh!" knelt down, holding her ankle.
"Did you sprain it?"
"I'm fine! This is noth- agh!" Julia cried out with each step.
"If it hurts, just say so."
"Shut up! What do you know!?" Julia glared at him. "You two always hang out together, treating me like some third wheel! Just when I finally learned to play this stupid game and got to support Lars, you came outta nowhere and kicked me out of the picture!"
"Ah, that wasn't really-"
"Shut up, idiot!" Tears ran down Julia's cheeks. "And... And now I learn you two have been jogging together all this time without telling me anything! And somehow you're better than me even at jogging! Just who do you think you are!?"
"That's..." Yuel was speechless. What should he say? What [could] he say? Julia treated him like an enemy from the first day they met. From her point of view, Yuel b.u.t.ted into her relations.h.i.+p with Lars and kicked her out. It was by no means his intention, but that's how it played out in the end.
"I'm not your enemy." Yuel stated.
"Shut up! Get lost!" Julia sat down on the asphalt and wiped out her tears. "Ah, seriously. I must be dumb. What was I even doing all this time...?"
Yuel knew the look in Julia's eyes, this dead and empty look of defeat. John wore the same expression after he was stomped by Lars. After that incident, no matter how many times they asked John to join them in Cla.s.smancers, he never did. He completely gave up on the game.
Julia was about to give up on everything as well, she was going to quit Cla.s.smancers. Yet another person was going to quit Cla.s.smancers because of Yuel. And, yet again, he was going to lose a potential friend. Julia maybe hated his guts, but he believed that, with time, they could become friends.
"Sorry." Yuel had no idea how to patch things up. There was no response to his apology, Julia just continued sitting on the asphalt and holding her injured leg. It's like she refused to recognize Yuel's existence.
[Is that all I can do?] Yuel bit his lip. His apology fell on deaf ears, just like it was with John back then. Both then and now, all Yuel did was stand there and watch in silence. Was that really all he could do?
No! Not this time! Just like Lars didn't give up when Yuel tried to escape from physical exercise, Yuel wouldn't give up on Julia either. Even though she'd definitely reject him, even though she hated him - he wanted to reach out to her.
Yuel approached Julia and grabbed her arm. He wouldn't give up. Not here.
"What are you doing!? Let go!" Julia tried to shake him off, but he only tightened his grip. "Agh! Let go! Just what are you trying to pull, you dumba.s.s!?"
Yuel remained silent and dragged Julia across the street. Words were useless right now, Julia was too agitated to listen to anything he had to say.
"Here you go." Yuel dragged Julia all the way to a nearby bench,
"I... I didn't ask for help." Julia muttered, but sat down on the bench anyway. Her expression softened somewhat, so perhaps now she was ready to listen.
"I understand you feel like I stole your spot as Lars's Support, but that wasn't my intention." Yuel said. "Still, it's a fact you were hurt because of me. For that, I apologize."
"Hmph, as if your apology gonna change anything now. If you really feel sorry about it, then teach me how to play that stupid Support role and let me play Support for Lars! I've already asked you a billion times by now, but you never listen!"
"I could do that, but as I told you: you're not fit to play Support." Yuel spoke in a matter-of-factly tone. There wasn't a single hint of doubt in his voice. "Your playstyle fits Mid much better and I'd gladly help you improve as a Mid Laner."
"Tch, here you go again acting like a know-it-all." Julia shot him a glare. "How am I supposed to get any better at supporting if you never let me play it!?"
"I'm sure you're aware of your shortcomings as a Support." Yuel had been avoiding the specifics until now because he didn't want to hurt Julia with the truth. But maybe that was a mistake and he should had confronted her a long time ago, before they got to this breaking point.
Therefore, this time, Yuel explained everything: How Julia was too much of a scaredy-cat to put herself on the frontline, how she was reluctant to join team fights unless her team had a clear advantage and how she always built power items because she felt useless without any damage.
"For a Support, these are all glaring flaws." Yuel explained. "However, for Mid, these are acceptable, or even positive, traits."
"So that's why you're always such a jerk about it." Julia hung her head, but she accepted everything more easily than Yuel expected. "I agree, I kinda suck at supporting. It's annoying, but I gotta admit I'll never reach your level. But, if you teach me just a little, I'm sure I can become much better at it!"
"I could do that, but is that what you really want? Do you think playing shabby Support will help you winning Lars's heart?"
"W-W-W-What!?" Julia's cheeks turned red. "Y-Y-Y-You knew!?"
"Everybody know you like Lars. He's probably the about only one who hasn't noticed yet, because he's so popular with everybody."
"T-Then, if you know so much already, then let me play Support!"
"If you plan on maxing out his 'Affection Points' or whatever before confessing, then you're being very narrow-minded about it. Instead of showing him some mediocre Support, impress him as a strong Mid. I know you like Mid more than Support anyway."
"Maybe you're right..." Julia mumbled. True, she liked playing Mid more than Support because it was easier to kill things and feel useful. Would Yuel's idea really work? If she became an outstanding Mid Laner, would Lars praise her? She wouldn't get to play on the same lane as Lars early into the game, but they'd still cooperate during team fights and he'd see her achievements. Perhaps she was truly narrow-minded until now.
"I really should have explained all of this a long time ago. For that, again, I'm sorry." Yuel apologized. Because of the way he kept rejecting Julia until now to avoid drama, he ended up looking like a total jerk and caused even more drama. "To prove that I bear no ill will toward you, I'll give you a special service."
"Special service?" Julia raised an eyebrow.
"You're going to like it." Yuel took out his phone and called Lars. "Julia sprained her ankle. Can you help her get home?"
"W-W-Wait!" Julia's face turned into a tomato. Gaaa! Injuring herself on the first day was so embarra.s.sing! Facing Lars right now would be the end of world! She wanted to stop Yuel, but a fierce pain shot through her leg the moment she stood up.
"He'll be here shortly." Yuel put away his phone.
"You! How could you!? He gonna think I'm some clumsy girl who can't exercise! Idiot! Jerk! Dumba.s.s! r.e.t.a.r.d! Die!"
"Don't worry. I nearly pa.s.sed out on my first day of jogging, but Lars helped me out. He's not the type to give up on his friends like that. He's the boy you like, so have some faith in him."
"Um, well..." Julia had no idea how to retrot against that. In the end, she simply nodded and quietly waited for Lars to arrive.
"S-Sorry for being so clumsy." Julia apologized to Lars.
"Nah, don't worry." Lars smiled at her. "You just gotta run go slower next time. Yuel legit collapsed on his first day, haha."
"Seems like she can't walk at all." Yuel explained. He was immediately stabbed by Julia's glare, but he ignored it. "The best option is to give her a piggyback ride."
"E-Ehhh!?" Julia's brain short-circuited . "B-B-B-But... Ah... Eh..."
"Okay, sounds good." Lars turned around and offered his back. "Get on!"
"A, A, A, Alright!" Julia pressed herself against Lars's back. Her cheeks probably generated more heat than the sun at this point.
[I hope that's good enough.] Yuel prayed that he successfully convinced Julia to not give up on Cla.s.smancers. Unlike that time with John, Yuel properly confronted Julia and they got to exchange their thoughts. This had to work. [Please, work!]
A few days later, once her leg recovered, Julia visited Yuel. Her cold att.i.tude toward him didn't change much, but her determination was on a whole different level..
"Teach me... please." Julia averted her eyes, clenching the hem of her skirt. She took a deep breath and gazed into Yuel's eyes. "Teach me how to improve as a Mid Laner."
Since then, Julia came over to Yuel's place about as often as Lars. The three of them played Cla.s.smancers from morning to evening nearly every day of summer break. Julia lagged behind them by nine levels at first, but she gradually closed the gap. By the time they reached Lv.50, Julia already hit Lv.46. Before long, she also hit Lv.50 and joined them in Ranked mode.
Classmancers - A MOBA Esport Story 9 Third Wheel's Feelings
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Classmancers - A MOBA Esport Story 9 Third Wheel's Feelings summary
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