The doctor came to the base. After the check-up, he said that Lu Boyuan was recovering quite well, and that he could resume training tomorrow. The finals match in a few days wouldn’t be a problem either, with the precondition being that he had to pay attention to how much he practiced.
Lu Boyuan switched out his bandages for new ones. When he entered the practice room, Xiao Bai was in the middle of gaming and interrogating Jian Rong at the same time—
“How do you know that my ge’s partner has a bad temper?
“Do you know who his partner is?
“You’re going a little too far, you know. Even if my sister-in-law’s temper really isn’t good, you can’t just say it out loud in the stream. I’m betting when the time comes you won’t be able to drink our new sister-in-law’s love soup.”
The practice room door was left wide open, so nobody realized that Lu Boyuan had entered.
Jian Rong looked at the “hahahas” and various questions being sent in the barrage. Through gritted teeth, he said, “There is no love soup.”
“But what if?”
“There are no what ifs, laozi… that person doesn’t know how.”
“No way, you really do know her?” Xiao Bai paused. “It’s fine if she doesn’t know how, Youyou-jie didn’t know how to make it either before she got together with Qian-ge. In the end, didn’t she still end up learning how to cook out of love.”
Jian Rong rolled his eyes and ignored him.
Yuan Qian interjected, “But Captain’s hand has been injured for so long, how come his partner hasn’t come to the base to check in on him.”
Xiao Bai wanted to loudly shout ‘sister-in-law is neglecting her duties,’ but taking into consideration the fact that Jian Rong was streaming, he coughed and said, “That’s actually…”
However, even though he didn’t finish the sentence, it was enough to anger Lu Boyuan’s fans—
[…it’s over. From the sound of that, it looks like Road really is dating.]
[Not being the least bit concerned about your boyfriend’s injury, and also being solidly labeled as having a bad temper by a teammate, is Road dating a buddha?]
[Is it Tang Qin? But she seems to be fairly good-tempered, isn’t she?]
[Just checked his match history… Road hasn’t been playing these past few days, and before that, if he wasn’t solo Q’ing, then he was playing with his teammates. Don’t tell me that his partner isn’t someone in the circle?]
[I hope that pro players can concentrate on their jobs and not be affected by other people or things. Lastly, I don’t acknowledge this sister-in-law.]
Who gives a damn if you acknowledge it or not, it’s not like you’re the one dating him.
Just as that thought crossed Jian Rong’s mind, he heard the sound of chair wheels rolling across the floor. He turned his head and saw Lu Boyuan drag his chair over with one hand before he sat down a bit behind him.
Jian Rong was momentarily startled. He thought that Lu Boyuan was just joking last night when he said he was going to sit next to him and watch him play…
Lu Boyuan said considerately, “Practice what you need to practice, don’t mind me.”
Upon hearing Lu Boyuan’s voice, the viewers immediately started spamming the barrage, telling Jian Rong to turn on his camera.
Jian Rong hadn’t planned to turn it on in the first place. Now that Lu Boyuan was here, he definitely wasn’t going to do so, in case these people started to make up rumors again when they saw the bandages wrapped around Lu Boyuan’s hand.
Normally, Jian Rong sat in an atypical manner, as his chair was always further away from his computer than other people’s were. He scooted his chair forward a little. “…can you see? Sit a bit closer.”
The barrage was spamming question marks again—actually, nobody could see anything, and at first listen, there was nothing wrong with that sentence either.
But the water friends’ intuition was sharp, and they kept feeling like something was fishy.
Lu Boyuan laughed and moved to sit slightly closer.
He looked at the barrage and asked, “What did you say to them earlier?”
“I made it known,” Jian Rong entered solo queue, “…that you have a partner.”
Lu Boyuan lifted an eyebrow. “Wasn’t I the one who made it known first?”
This could be considered a direct admission. The stream’s barrage instantly exploded—there were those who couldn’t accept it and those who said that Lu Boyuan wasn’t dedicating himself to his career, as well as a small handful of people giving him their blessings.
Jian Rong felt annoyed reading a few of the comments, but those people all claimed to be Lu Boyuan’s fans, so it wasn’t his place to scold them. He decided to just shift his mouse with the intention of closing the barrage entirely.
Lu Boyuan’s elbow was propped up on the armrest of Jian Rong’s chair. Noticing his small movements, Lu Boyuan raised a hand and briefly kneaded the back of Jian Rong’s neck, as if he were petting a cat. “No need to close it, let me chat with them for a while.”
While Jian Rong was hesitating, he finally matched into a game.
Lu Boyuan checked his wait time. “The queue was that long? What rank are you now.”
“43.” In the end, Jian Rong didn’t close the barrage. He recalled something and said woodenly, “I was 42 yesterday, but I was surpassed after the match.”
Countless incongruous comments saying “badass” and “666” slid across the barrage, which was still vehemently discussing the fact that Lu Boyuan had a partner.
Jian Rong was undoubtedly the fastest climbing pro player that they had ever seen. He was even faster than Master, who had made his way up to rank one some time ago.
Lu Boyuan let out an “en” and praised naturally, “Very impressive.”
[This coaxing a child tone of voice? My misperception?]
[Are you really dating are you really dating are you really dating??]
Lu Boyuan said, “I am dating.”
Jian Rong’s hand shook, and he accidentally clicked on Teemo’s picture. He received a bemused “?” in return from Doufu, who had matched into the same game as him.
Jian Rong calmly changed his preselected champion to LeBlanc. Internally, he thought, My rank is so high, why do I still keep crashing cars with this dumbass.
Seeing Lu Boyuan acknowledge his relationship casually and easily, the fans stopped for a moment and ended up calming down instead.
Jian Rong was only wearing his headphones over one ear, and he silently listened to Lu Boyuan chat with the water friends.
“We haven’t been dating for long.
“Who is it… I’m not going to say anything for the time being, I don’t want them1 to be affected.
“Who did the chasing… of course it was me.
“Are they good-looking? Yes.”
When Lu Boyuan said that last part, Jian Rong sensed him glance in his direction, and he swiftly licked his lips.
A very lengthy comment rapidly slid across the barrage—[You genuinely like her? To the point that you’re willing to waste practice time to date her? Can’t you just date in a few years after you retire???]
Upon seeing the word “retire,” Jian Rong couldn’t help but say, “Dumbass, if you don’t know how to speak, then shut up…”
Lu Boyuan said, “I cannot.”
As the fans and Jian Rong were stunned, he continued, “Dating won’t affect my practice time or my competitive performance. Currently, it doesn’t seem like it’s affected the other person’s… work either. With a circumstance like this, why should I wait?
“A pro player can’t date? They have to be single until they retire? The LPL has no such rule.”
He said lazily, “Also, the other person might not necessarily be willing to wait until I retire. After all, there are so many people who like them…”
Jian Rong was in the middle of ganking the bot lane when Lu Boyuan said that. Because of the last part, Jian Rong was a bit belated in using his skill, and Doufu ended up getting the kill.
Doufu was shocked—Soft actually let him have the kill!!!
Elation aside, he put on a reserved and aloof air as he typed in the chat: [Thx.]
Except Jian Rong didn’t pay any attention to him whatsoever. He immediately hit B and recalled to base.
[Damn? Why do I feel like God Lu is showing off?!!!]
[I also feel that!! A woman’s keen sixth sense is telling me that his partner is definitely in the stream right now!!! What’re you all spacing out for, go find her, my bros!!]
[If she really is here, then isn’t that way too sweet T-T I don’t care I’m just gonna pretend that I’m that mysterious partner.]
[On the bright side… at least Road does indeed like the bad-tempered type. More or less, that means he likes people similar to my son…]
[So does that person really actually have a bad temper? Bad to the point that even your teammates know about it?!]
God Jian’s minion clearing slowed ever so slightly.
“Their temper…” Lu Boyuan held back a smile. “It’s fine as long as I like it.”
[I feel like I just lost my love and was fed fluff at the same time. Why am I so conflicted?]
[I’m not listening, I’m not listening! I’m going to act as if I didn’t come to the dumbass’ stream today! I don’t care Road and Soft are locked in together forever!! No woman can squeeze her way in between them!!!]
[Since you made this choice, then you can bear the consequences yourself when you’re flamed for being trash in future matches.]
[At the above “rational fan,” thank you for your concern, but God Lu has indeed been playing better and better in the recent matches. There’s no need for you to worry.]
Soft’s dad fans observed the show from the sidelines, but they didn’t think anything much of Lu Boyuan using Jian Rong’s stream as a press conference—he was obviously here to increase the stream traffic. Xiao Bai, who was sitting nearby, could only dream about carrying Road over to his own stream.
Some dad fans even started breezily sending sarcastic comments—
[So what if her temper is bad? You young folk don’t understand, it’s more interesting to be with someone who’s ill-tempered.]
[I also really want to give my son a scolding because of this type of thing. Unfortunately, this dumbass has no affinity with women. Every so often, a young women will add him as a friend, and he’ll just ask them ‘why’d you add me, wanna solo’]
[Didn’t he say that he had someone he liked last time? But since there still hasn’t been any updates on that in so long, he was probably rejected, right:)]
[In my opinion, all the Road fans should accept the situation and move on. No matter how bad your sister-in-law’s temper is, can it be as bad as my son’s???]
Jian Rong: “…”
Lu Boyuan’s rapid fire Q&A lasted for less than half an hour before it was cut short by Ding-ge, who caught wind of the news and came armed for battle.
Ding-ge finally realized something—although Lu Boyuan said on the surface that he wasn’t going to make their relationship public, from that point on, he had started to continuously lay down the foundation.
First, he announced that he was dating. Then, he emphasized that he was the one doing the chasing and that neither of their careers had been affected…
Ding-ge called him out into the hallway and condensed all his various thoughts into one sentence. “Young master, whenever you plan on coming out of the closet, can you please let me know in advance? At least give me a chance to inform public relations about their impending struggle at death’s door…”
“There’s no need for that.” Lu Boyuan played on his phone. “What time does the match start this afternoon?”
The other semifinals match was being held today. PUD was facing off against this season’s “little dark horse,” KUG.
The winning team would become TTC’s opponent and would stand together with them on the stage for the spring season finals.
At 6:30 in the evening, TTC’s living room coffee table was covered with dishes. The entire team, including the two substitutes, sat in front of the TV, waiting to watch this pivotal match.
Yuan Qian stuffed some food into his mouth. “Who do you guys think will win?”
“PUD.” Xiao Bai responded instantaneously. “In any case, when I was playing against KUG, I didn’t think it was all that hard.”
As a new team that had just joined the LPL two years prior, it was indeed impressive that KUG could advance to the semifinals.
But part of that was still due to luck. After narrowly beating MFG, they got placed into good brackets, and nearly all the strong teams were on the other side.
Xiao Bai looked back and asked, “Ge, what are your thoughts?”
Lu Boyuan was about to say something when his phone suddenly rang.
He glanced at the caller ID, and a trace of surprise flashed through his eyes. He tossed behind an “answering this call” before he got up and walked towards the balcony.
The living room chatted away noisily for a while longer. The broadcast finally started, and the familiar faces of the commentators appeared on the screen.
The moment Jian Rong lifted his head, he saw Commentator A listen attentively to something being said in his headset as he went entirely still for about three seconds.
“Ah… er, there’s some news that I have to share with everyone.” Commentator A licked his lips. “I just received notice that due to a relapse of XIU’s injury, PUD will be sending out their substitute jungler for tonight’s match…”
Yuan Qian froze mid-chew. “Oh shit.”
“Oh man.” Hezi, who was on his phone the entire time, abruptly looked up. “I came across this Weibo that says… there’s an ambulance parked at the back door of the stadium.”
“An ambulance?” Xiao Bai was astonished. “Doesn’t XIU have a hand injury? It – it can’t be that bad, right…”
“It’s far worse than just a hand injury.” Ding-ge sighed. “As far as I know, XIU has the most serious injuries out of all the older pro players. He has problems all over his body… where are you going?”
Jian Rong didn’t bother turning his head. “I’m full, I’m going to get some air.”
Before Jian Rong even reached the balcony, he caught the scent of cigarette smoke.
Lu Boyuan leaned against the railing, a cigarette hanging from his mouth. His head was lowered as he looked at a certain group chat in WeChat.
His eyelids were lowered, and there was an impassive look in his eyes. Though a chunk of white ash had already been burnt out at the end of his cigarette, he hadn’t taken the time to shake it off.
Hearing noise, Lu Boyuan glanced behind him before he removed the cigarette from his mouth and started to say something.
But then Jian Rong shifted closer to him and brushed their lips together. Immediately after, he choked a bit on the taste of smoke.
Jian Rong couldn’t really pinpoint why he wanted to kiss him at that moment.
It was probably because his heart was aching for Lu Boyuan’s sake, and he wanted to comfort him, but at the same time, he couldn’t come up with a better method.
After the very brief kiss ended, Jian Rong asked quietly, “What’s wrong?”
- Lu Boyuan says ‘him’ here but since pronouns in Chinese sound the same out loud, the fans don’t know that, so I switched it to ‘them’ ^