Yuan Qian sniffled and waited at the side for his teammates’ hugs.
He glanced to the left and right, but neither side seemed to have any intention of letting go, so he helplessly paced around a little. Just as the thought “haven’t they been hugging for a bit too long” popped up in his head, he was hugged by Ding-ge, who had rushed onto the stage.
After the conclusion of a match, the camera always belonged to the winners, and this scene was completely captured by the surrounding cameras.
The livestream barrage briefly spammed “TTC is amazing” for a while before it was led astray by that scene—
[Watching God Lu steal Baron instantly got me pregnant ahhh—]
[Savior is crying, so pitiful ah wuwu T-T, don’t cry PUD we’ll be back next year! And congrats TTC!!!]
[Soft really is gonna go to Korea to bury Rish…]
[They’ve been hugging for one minute twenty seconds now, hah, isn’t that enough.]
[What’s going on what’s going on?? Xiao Bai, do you wanna squeeze Pine to death?!]
[Damn! Road’s hand is on my son’s butt!!!?]
[Soft is about to rip a hole in my husband’s shirt…]
[Pure dad fan here, this is my first time following LoL esports thanks to my son. I wanted to ask, when other teams won championships in the past, did they also hug each other like this? I haven’t even hugged my wife this tightly before.]
[Isn’t Qian-ge the only winner of life in the team with a girlfriend? How come he looks even more tragic right now than those single dogs hahahahahahaha]
In the end, Jian Rong let go only because Ding-ge patted them on the shoulders and told them to go hold the trophy.
Jian Rong’s cheeks were flushed with excitement, and his eyes shined. On his way to the center of the stage, he licked his lips quite a few times.
The five of them gathered around the trophy. As the host’s voice and the audience’s innumerable screams and shouts sounded around them, they lifted up the trophy together.
After that, regarding how they got off stage, how he hugged his other teammates, how he stuffed his peripherals into his bag… Jian Rong didn’t remember much of it at all. For a brief period of time, he felt like he was floating, and it was only once he was seated for the post-match interview that he was dragged back down to reality by the flashing cameras.
The five TTC members sat side by side, in as formal a setting as the post-game press conferences held for the NBA or the World Cup.
“Why’re they making the spring season such a big deal this year?” Yuan Qian was astonished. “This is the kind of show they only put on for last year’s Worlds.”
“Don’t ask. The answer is that the LPL’s market value is growing year after year.” Ding-ge smiled at the reporters and said quietly, “Alright, it’s about to start.”
Although the press conference seemed impressive, ultimately the same old questions were still being asked. The majority of the questions were related to the match, interspersed occasionally with a few personal ones.
This was nothing new to most of the TTC members. Even Pine had competed in Worlds twice already, and he answered the questions skillfully and easily. On top of that, at their core they were all a bunch of video game nerds, so they were far less comfortable talking face to face with reporters compared to streaming in front of their computers. As a result, none of them had much to say, including Xiao Bai, who gave standard responses to the questions and left it at that.
When it was Lu Boyuan’s turn, a reporter asked, “As a senior, what are your thoughts on PUD’s new jungler, Tuotuo, and his performance tonight?”
Lu Boyuan replied concisely, “Not bad.”
“What about compared to your old rival, XIU?”
“A bit lacking.” Lu Boyuan said mildly, “But if he continues to mess around and constantly send me bothersome texts, it probably won’t be long before he’s replaced by this newcomer.”
The reporter couldn’t help it, and a laugh burst out of her before she choked it back again. “Okay… then, one last question. The fans are actually all very interested in your romantic relationship. Since today is such a happy occasion, would you be able to reveal a little something to everyone?”
Lu Boyuan lifted an eyebrow and fell silent for a while.
Right as the reporter thought that he wasn’t going to respond and was about to tell him “it’s fine if you don’t want to say anything”—
“They have short hair.” Lu Boyuan paused briefly before adding, “And it’s dyed.”
The room went quiet for a few seconds; only the cameras were still perpetually flashing.
Sensing his other teammates’ curious gazes, as well as the tears hidden within Ding-ge’s smile, Lu Boyuan evenly reminded the reporter, “That’s all.”
The reporter: “Ah… alright… thank you.”
The camera panned to the right—
TTC’s mid laner appeared on the screen with a head of short blue hair.
The reporter: “…”
Jian Rong: “……”
The spectators watching the stream, who kept feeling as if something was off: “…………???”
Ding-ge forced a grin on his face. “I hope that everyone can ask more questions related to the competition.”
The reporters nodded, indicating their understanding, and asked several relatively conventional questions.
At the end, a reporter asked, “You and your teammates are about to compete at MSI on behalf of the LPL this year. This is also your first time participating in a large-scale international tournament, do you feel nervous?”
Jian Rong: “No.”
“Are there any teams or pro players that you’re somewhat afraid of? Such as HT’s Master, who’s currently considered the world’s best mid laner…”
“No. Though I don’t know who determines the title of ‘world’s best mid laner’…” Jian Rong interrupted her and looked calmly and coolly into the camera. “That person will be changing their opinion very soon.”
The post-match process was complicated. Half an hour after the match finished, TTC was finally able to get in the car to go back to the hotel.
Despite playing a four-game match and also waking up relatively early that day, nobody felt tired after winning the championship. They were so exhilarated that they could’ve turned the car right back around and returned to the stadium for another BO5 match.
The celebratory dinner was taking place at a private dining room in a certain big hotel. Fu-ge had made the reservation the day of the semifinals. The way he put it at the time was: if they won today, then it would be a celebration for winning the championship; if they lost, it would be a celebration for getting second place.
Everyone went back to the hotel and showered before they set out for the restaurant.
In order to avoid food comas, most of them hadn’t really eaten anything all day, apart from Jian Rong, who had a history of low blood sugar and had eaten a few pieces of bread. As a result, the moment the food arrived, everyone furiously dug into the spice-laden dishes and alcohol.
“Tell me what the heck is going on here…” Yuan Qian raised his phone, his face bright red from the chili peppers. “Number one on the hot search is ‘TTC won,’ number two is ‘Soft Road hugging,’ number eight is ‘Bye Pine hugging,’ and number nine is ‘Yuan Qian hugging nobody’… what the hell…”
Xiao Bai instantly honed in on the important part. “Why are Pine and I ranked below my ge and Jian Rong?!”
Lu Boyuan looked at Ding-ge. “Is our team on an annual plan with the Weibo hot search?”
Ding-ge thought, Even if laozi really did spend money on the hot search, it wouldn’t be to make four of my team members freaking trend for selling rot.
“This just shows how popular the LPL is right now.” Ding-ge drank some baijiu, already a bit tipsy. “So you guys look, look at my crow’s feet… have a conscience, stop causing trouble for me all the time.”
With the temporary lifting of the alcohol ban and the great atmosphere that night, even Jian Rong couldn’t resist having a few drinks.
Lu Boyuan was about to tell him not to drink too much, but Xiao Bai spoke before he could. “You should stop drinking, don’t you know what kind of state you were in last time? You’re the spring champion today, how embarrassing would it be if you’re carried out looking as crazy as you did that other time.”
Being reverse suicidally persuaded to drink—Lu Boyuan could say he had witnessed it firsthand now.
After it was all over, though Jian Rong wasn’t drunk, he wasn’t far from it. He swayed on his feet as he walked, squinting and unable to see clearly. However, Xiao Bai was a little worse off. He was currently acting the same way he had the moment they won the championship; the entire way back from the restaurant to the hotel, he had his arms hooked around Pine’s neck, refusing to let go.
That was already bad enough, but he also kept rambling on top of that. “I’ve been drinking beer and training since I was fifteen, my alcohol tolerance is top-notch… who am I afraid of! Who was it last time! That drank two glasses of baijiu and escaped to pee! If you’re so great, why don’t you down another two glasses…”
Jian Rong slumped against Lu Boyuan, and his eyes narrowed. “Come on then.”
After that, Xiao Bai really did follow them all the way back to their hotel room.
Because he was drunk, he wasn’t thinking straight, and his movements were exaggerated. Afraid of hurting Xiao Bai, Pine had no choice but to follow and support him.
Both of the bedroom doors were wide open. Xiao Bai subconsciously headed towards the relatively cleaner room, and it was only once he laid down on the bed that he realized something wasn’t right. He shouted loudly, “This room… burp, who’s staying in here? Why aren’t there any suitcases or clothes… and the bed’s untouched too…”
Lu Boyuan ignored him. With one arm wrapped around Jian Rong’s waist, he said to Pine, who had followed them into the suite, “Take him back after he falls asleep.”
Pine glanced at the two suitcases lying on the floor of the opposite bedroom for a few seconds before he averted his gaze. “Mn, he falls asleep fast when he’s drunk. I’ll wait here for him.”
Jian Rong was lacking sleep in the first place. After the alcohol hit, he got a splitting headache, and he instantly closed his eyes after Lu Boyuan set him down on the bed.
Lu Boyuan took off Jian Rong’s shoes and socks for him before he turned and went into the bathroom to get a damp towel.
Jian Rong looked very peaceful sleeping. Lu Boyuan leaned down and reached up to brush back Jian Rong’s bangs so that he could wipe his face with the towel. Since Jian Rong’s skin reddened easily, Lu Boyuan couldn’t bear to rub it too forcefully.
When the towel reached his chin, Jian Rong suddenly opened his eyes.
The depths of Jian Rong’s eyes were extremely bright, and it seemed like he was a bit dizzy from the alcohol. He had to stare at Lu Boyuan for a few seconds before he finally recognized who the person in front of him was.
There was a somewhat dazed look in Jian Rong’s eyes. Lu Boyuan held his gaze for a while, amused, before he tapped Jian Rong’s chin with his fingers. “Lift your head, let me wipe your neck…”
Before he could finish his sentence, Jian Rong abruptly hooked his arm around Lu Boyuan’s neck and tugged him down a little forcefully.
Lu Boyuan was only caught off guard for a moment. Then, he complied and lowered his head.
Lu Boyuan bent over, one hand braced next to Jian Rong’s pillow, as they kissed quietly and passionately.
At first, it was Jian Rong taking the initiative, but he felt somewhat lightheaded. After he dragged Lu Boyuan down and secured the kiss, he grew significantly more sluggish, so he shut his eyes and allowed Lu Boyuan to take charge.
Jian Rong’s ears flushed red from the kiss as Lu Boyuan tossed the towel onto the carpet and used his free hand to lightly caress the side of Jian Rong’s neck. He pressed his thumb against Jian Rong’s Adam’s apple and occasionally kneaded it gently, hinting for him to adjust his breathing.
Without warning, a creak came from behind them as someone opened the door from outside.
Lu Boyuan didn’t immediately back away.
Approximately two seconds passed before he leisurely straightened up and wiped Jian Rong’s mouth for him, since his eyes were already closed. After that, Lu Boyuan turned his head in the direction of the door.
Xiao Bai, drunk and raring for another 300-round battle with Jian Rong, stood there dumbstruck. His mouth hung open for quite a while without a single peep coming out. He latched tightly onto Pine, his supporting structure, and first looked at Lu Boyuan before looking at Jian Rong, who was just kissed to sleep.
Even if he had consumed five liters of baijiu, he would be scared sober after seeing this scene.
The alcohol bolstered his courage. Xiao Bai was stupefied for a very long time before he stammered clumsily, “Ge… you… him… you two… were you and Jian Rong kissing?”
Lu Boyuan said, “Mn.”
Xiao Bai: “………”
The author has something to say:
When writing a novel like this one that resembles workplace romance, I really like it when they’re almost caught in various ways.
However, Zhuang Yibai most likely won’t dare to do it anymore after this.