“Then I’ll draw names and send them out in the next stream. I will see you next time!”
Hyeonu did his closing remarks as usual. However, there was something wrong. It was like he hadn’t washed his hands after doing some work.
‘What did I miss?’
-Why aren’t you announcing the next team member today?
-Is he taking a break today?
-Or has he not recruited anyone?
-Or maybe he has forgotten.
-Don’t tell me?
-Then this is a delinquent. He forgot again.
Hyeonu took a deep breath. He realized it only after seeing the chat window. This was what he had forgotten.
“The delinquent is here. I have something to say, so I came back.”
-What is this? He is suddenly criticizing himself.
-ㅋㅋㅋㅋ He has to since he forgot to announce the player. He’s saying this with his own mouth. ㅋㅋㅋㅋ
-Yes, delinquent, please tell us quickly. Who is it today?
“Um... It might be a bit shocking today. I’ve prepared a name that will surprise you.”
Hyeonu paused for a bit. He wasn’t worried though; he knew that all the interest would go to other places by tomorrow morning at the latest anyway.
‘I’ll try to do it before the chat window explodes.’
Hyeonu flicked his finger. Then a familiar person appeared on the audience’s screen. A former proxy knight and a current streamer, Heder—it was him.
-What is this?
-Am I the only one seeing Heder right now?
-Picking a proxy knight?
-No!!! What is going on?
The viewers were naturally stunned. It was as shocking as Hyeonu’s selection of Dwayne. Neither Dwayne nor Heder were names that the viewers had anticipated. This wasn’t the problem. There was nothing wrong with Dwayne, apart from his skills. Of course, having great skills was very important for professional players, but this was a challenge to prove himself on the professional stage. However, Heder was different. The past grabbed at his ankle before he could play.
As the viewers were becoming noisy, Hyeonu opened his mouth.
“I want to give him one last chance. I felt it during his apology in my stream. He repented for his past mistakes and showed integrity. In addition, I need him,” Hyeonu spoke very earnestly.
The viewers stopped fighting in the chat and stared blankly at Hyeonu.
“If you’re going to swear, then swear at me. I will bear them all,” Hyeonu’s voice rang out loudly.
Hyeonu moved his arms, and the audience’s gaze followed.
-No. If he is that truthful, then I can believe it.
-There are more than one or two players who pretend that nothing happened in their past.
-Anyone who wants to curse Heder and Alley Leader can be cut first.
As Hyeonu’s words progressed, the viewers gradually turned to Hyeonu’s side. This was partly due to the bait that Hyeonu had thrown around the community, but the main reason was that Hyeonu’s words touched the hearts of the viewers. It was a silent emotional appeal. Through his small hand gestures and the slight movement of his head, the viewers could imagine his expression even if they couldn’t see his face through the mask.
The combination of all these dazzled the viewers.
“Then I will finish it here today. I will see you in the next stream.”
Hyeonu broke away from the center of the controversy. As usual, it was a speedy exit.
Naturally, the Arena communities started rampaging like a pony with its tail on fire, and it wasn’t just one or two of them. All the communities ate popcorn on posts with themes about Heder joining Crescent Moon, also known as Alley Leader’s Division.
[So the bait I saw a while ago was true?]
[-You know, the one talking about Heder making his professional debut. It was actually the truth. Well, I’ll let it go now. It doesn’t matter if Heder becomes a pro or not. Our country has many players with personality problems. I won’t complain unless they are all pulled down. However, if they all retreat, the league will be ruined.]
Even this type of post had popped up. In other words, South Korea’s professional stage had already lost too much of its prestige to prevent Heder from entering the pro league. They were far from being a first-grade country in the league. In fact, they barely maintained their status as a third-grade country.
-European Male: I guess this is true. It turned out the one who moved to China the other season was a proxy knight. It was an amazing shield.
-New York Cart: It is ridiculous that we have set a precedent and are only caring about it now.
-Incheon Copy Man: So shouldn’t we start purifying ourselves from now on?
Some people discussed purification, but it was impossible. It was because the bad eggs in the pro league already occupied a lot of space. There was an old saying about burning the thatched cottage in order to catch fleas. In this case, it wasn’t fleas but pillars. If they touched one, they had to unconditionally remove them all. However, this involved the survival or demise of the Korean Pro League.
-First Kimchiman: It is up to here, right here. I hope nothing bigger will happen.
The Korean players’ wishes didn’t last a day. It was because an atomic bomb dozens of times bigger than the bomb Hyeonu had dropped was detonated in South Korea.
Meanwhile, Hyeonu finished streaming, and his phone rang repeatedly. Now it was routine. After streaming, he would take a break and make some calls.
-I believed that you would contact me immediately.
“Anyone would call back if there were 10 missed calls on their phone, Kale.”
Hyeonu’s smartphone had 12 missed calls, 10 of which were from Kale.
-That means it is an important issue. Remember what I said a few days ago? South Korea’s prosecutors have started investigating the match manipulation scandal.
“Of course, I remember. Isn’t that why we announced Heder’s joining on today’s stream?”
-I received a call saying there is a result. He will hold a press conference tomorrow morning.
A smile appeared on Hyeonu’s face. It came at a very reasonable time.
‘The best timing has come.’
If it had happened earlier today, then there clearly would’ve been less interest in Heder. No, there would’ve been very few or none at all. Then the problem was afterward. It was a bomb that could detonate at any time. From this evening until the press conference tomorrow, all types of communities would be paralyzed by Heder. Then it would naturally turn to match manipulation tomorrow morning. There was no fear about being caught by this later. It was hard to revive the bait that had already been bitten, chewed, and tasted.
‘Well, unless a group comes out from somewhere...’
“The best of many scenarios has happened. This has alleviated my big worries. Now we just need to look at the stage that is going to become clean.”
-We are already taking action. There are several clubs that are sponsored by us and companies close to us. We are going in a good direction. Probably.
Early morning when Hyeonu was asleep, the atomic bomb that Hyeonu had heard about was detonated in the Korean Arena community and simultaneously spread throughout.
This was the title: [(Breaking News) Virtual Reality Gaming Association executives, pro gamers, and team officials have appeared at the prosecution for match manipulation]
It was currently four in the morning. Four hours later at 8 a.m., an official press conference was held. Perhaps it was the biggest event since War of the Stars in the past.
-Yuljae of Sichuan: This can’t be. Manipulation!!! Why is there manipulation in my country?
-Fly Up Red Phoenix: The red phoenix has launched!!
-Power Muscle King: War of the Stars was a big event... Will it be bigger than that? Who is it this time?
-Unstable Housing: 8 o’clock? There are four hours left? I will sleep and wait. This time, we have to punish them unconditionally. It can’t be like what happened before. The Korean Arena players have become unruly.
This was a different issue from Alley Leader’s acquisition of Heder. The match manipulation was an obvious criminal act, as well as an act of deceit and deception for many Korean Arena fans. Simultaneously, posts about Heder quickly disappeared; it was instantaneous. Yet it wasn’t because people deleted their posts.
Instead, the reason was that there were just too many articles about match-fixing, which pushed back the posts about Heder. New posts came up quickly like it was 4 p.m. rather than 4 a.m., and things gradually heated up. It was natural as this occurred during the early hours when there were the fewest people in the community.
Over time, the number of people in the community increased, and more people came to know about the match manipulation. Among them was Yeongchan, Hyeonu’s best friend and colleague.
“Hey, Gang Hyeonu! Big news, big news!”
After getting up at 7 o’clock which was earlier than usual, Hyeonu came out to the living room with a dazed expression only to hear Yeongchan shouting at him. Yeongchan wanted to show off the information he had found.
“What is it? Why are you so loud in the morning? Let me eat first. I have to go to PT.” Hyeonu ignored Yeongchan because he knew why Yeongchan was making a fuss.
“Do you know what happened while you were sleeping? Eh?” Yeongchan grabbed Hyeonu’s shoulder and turned him around.
Hyeonu raised his right hand and pushed back his messy bangs. Yeongchan saw it and flinched as he stopped speaking. He mistakenly thought Hyeonu had stretched out a fist toward him.
“Isn’t it about the match manipulation? It’s what the prosecution is going to announce.” Hyeonu smiled at Yeongchan.
“How do you know that? Isn’t it impossible for you to wake up once you fall asleep?” Yeongchan’s eyes widened at Hyeonu’s words. This person would be dead as soon as he fell asleep and only woke up when he wanted to wake up; he never woke up in the middle.
“I heard about it first. Thus, I already knew. So go and cook rice. Today’s meal is on you.” Hyeonu stood up, patted Yeongchan on the shoulder, and went to the bathroom to take a shower.
Hyeonu’s shower was very short and took less than five minutes. It was almost like not having one as it was just with water, but it was still a shower nonetheless. He was now less sleepy, and his entire body felt refreshed. Hyeonu changed his clothes and opened the bathroom door in a pleasant mood.
“Uhh, what the?!” He found Yeongchan standing in the same position as before. The difference was that Yeongchan was now standing right in front of the bathroom door.
“Sigh. What a surprise. What is it? What about the meal?” Hyeonu asked. Yeongchan silently pointed to the table in front of the sofa. There were two bowls of delicious rice, various side dishes, and grilled teriyaki chicken breast. Hyeonu smelled a delicious fragrance, and his stomach growled.
Yeongchan questioned, “How did you know? I won’t get out of the way until you tell me.”
“Soap bubbles told me!!!”
Hyeonu shoved Yeongchan and rushed to the table.
 South Korea
 Red phoenix is also manipulation in Korean