ICDI Chapter 117: .

The auntie was on break today. Ding-ge was worried that these champions would be hungover, headache-stricken, and have nothing to eat, so he grumbled and cursed as he ordered takeout from their favorite restaurant and took it back to the base.

He smelled cigarette smoke the moment he entered the base. As a result, he followed the scent all the way over to the balcony and faintly caught sight of half of Lu Boyuan’s body.

Ding-ge didn’t even bother putting down the food. In a practiced motion, he pulled up his QR code for payments and rushed over. “You’re flying high now that you just won the championship, huh? You aren’t even closing the balcony door anymore to try and hide the fact that you’re smoking, isn’t that a bit disrespectful to me…”

When Ding-ge got closer and saw the woman standing beside Lu Boyuan, he swallowed everything else he was about to say back down into his stomach.

He had always thought of Mama Lu as someone elegant and distinguished, but she was currently leaning against the wall with a cigarette dangling from her lips. Her beautiful eyes were narrowed as she gazed off into the distance, and a few seconds passed before she slowly turned her head. “Is smoking not permitted here? My apologies, he didn’t tell me either.”

Sensing the serious atmosphere, Ding-ge went quiet for a few seconds. Then he put his phone back into his pocket and gripped the door handle considerately. “Of course it’s okay. Please, smoke as much as you’d like, I have some more if you need it. I’ll close the door so it’s more convenient for you two to chat.”

Both doors were tightly shut, and the balcony fell silent again.

Actually, before Ding-ge arrived, this mother and son duo already weren’t talking all that much. 

Earlier in the living room, Mama Lu had calmly asked him what he meant by his previous statement.

To which Lu Boyuan had replied, My partner is male.

Mama Lu met his eyes for a long time before she asked if he had any cigarettes. Lu Boyuan went upstairs and got a pack, after which they came out onto the balcony.

For a brief second, both of them felt like they had traveled a few years back in time to the day Lu Boyuan said that he wanted to get into esports instead of going to school. Back then, Mama Lu didn’t even know what the concept of “esports” was, so she had searched it up on her phone. The first result that came up was a web forum containing a netizen’s opinion—“Only lazy video game nerds who don’t like studying would choose to make gaming their career, and they call it esports to make it seem more professional.

Upon seeing that, Mama Lu had instantly smoked two packs of cigarettes in a row.

Lu Boyuan sent a text to Jian Rong, asking if he had applied the ointment yet.

R-ong responded very irritably with two smiling emojis.

Lu Boyuan laughed and locked his phone. He noticed that the person next to him was about to light her third stick, and he said, “Enough, you’re going to get addicted again.”

In her youth, Mama Lu had a tobacco addiction that she couldn’t completely get rid of despite many years of Papa Lu’s earnest persuasion while they were dating in college. It lasted until she got pregnant with Lu Boyuan.

She used to be a little troublemaker, getting into fights and loitering around ice skating rinks, but she also ended up becoming a gentle and virtuous housewife. Perhaps because she had experienced too many things in life, she didn’t actually react that strongly when she found out about her son’s sexual orientation.

“Mn, this is the last one.” Mama Lu blew a smoke ring. “When did this happen? Were you already dating before you brought him home?”

She hadn’t imagined them being together in this way before, which was why she hadn’t paid particularly close attention at the time. But when she thought about it carefully now, she realized that her son had never once brought anyone home except for Jian Rong, despite having lived on his own for so many years.

Moreover, those brief interactions from earlier… were enough proof.

“It was recent.” Knowing that she had seen through him, Lu Boyuan didn’t bother denying it needlessly. He paused and emphasized, “I was the one who pursued him.”

Mama Lu nodded. “I guessed as much.”

She originally wanted to ask Lu Boyuan if he was born this way or if he was bent, but then she remembered how Lu Boyuan seemingly wasn’t interested in dating at all in the past. He never met up with any of the young women she introduced to him, nor did he ever mention a girl to her even after competing in esports for all these years…

Mama Lu refrained from asking this unnecessary question.

She thought of something, and her well-shaped eyebrows furrowed slightly. “Is Xiao Rong of age yet?”

“He just turned eighteen.”

Mama Lu looked at him with an expression that was more complicated than the one she wore when she found out he liked men. “…isn’t eighteen a bit too young?”

Lu Boyuan gave an “en.” “Fortunately he joined the team late, or else I would’ve been seducing a minor.”

“…”

Mama Lu averted her face, unwilling to pursue this topic any further. She took one last drag on her cigarette before she drank a sip of tea. “Can’t you treat your dad a little better? It took him several years just to finish digesting the fact that you compete in esports.”

“It’ll have to be said eventually. Whether that happens sooner or later, it’s all the same.” Lu Boyuan lifted his phone and checked his newly received message. It was from Ding-ge, urging them to come eat. “Want to stay for lunch?”

“Not this time, your dad is waiting for me at home.” Mama Lu put out her cigarette. A long moment later, she said, “The soup that I brought over… make sure you give him a bigger serving.”

They didn’t have practice today. Everyone was too lazy to go downstairs, so they ate in the little living room on the edge of the third floor.

This living room was much smaller than the one on the first floor, and it was basically filled up once they sat down. A projector screen hung on the wall in front of them, and the room was quite warm and comfortable.

The only thing was—

Ge, we’re eating, why are you putting on a video for us called ‘HT Best Spring Kills Montage’?” Xiao Bai held his bowl in both hands, bemused.

“You might be resting, but you can’t fall behind on your homework.” Ding-ge said, “Know yourself, know your enemy, and you will be forever victorious.”

Xiao Bai: “…”

Jian Rong stared absent-mindedly at the screen, holding his own bowl of abalone sauce noodles. He ate a bite before he pretended to glance carelessly through the gaps in the railing towards the first floor.

Yuan Qian gave an enormous yawn as he sent his girlfriend a voice message, telling her that he was awake. He lifted his head and asked, “Xiao Rong, why are you standing? Is it too crowded? Come over and sit, I’ll make some more room for you…”

“No need.” Jian Rong withdrew his gaze. “I’m not sitting.”

“Don’t be like that, I already don’t feel great watching this kind of video. There’s a lot of pressure with you standing right next to me, it’s like you’re about to bring your fist down and beat me up.” Xiao Bai chimed in, “Come, sit.”

Jian Rong indeed found it a little difficult to restrain his fist.

It wasn’t as if he didn’t want to sit, okay?!

If it was still going to be like this tomorrow, then he might as well just squat on his chair during practice.

By the time Lu Boyuan came upstairs with the soup, everyone was already about done eating.

Ding-ge had just finished lecturing the rest of them. He looked up and asked, “Auntie went home?”

Lu Boyuan cast a glance at Jian Rong, who was eating while standing next to the couch like he was being punished, before he quickly shifted his gaze away again. “Mn.”

Ding-ge nodded. “You came at the perfect time. I bought the cake already, let’s cut it now. Who knows if any of you will be able to get out of bed tonight.”

For pro gamers, rest = sleep. It was tiring enough sitting in front of their computers every day, and that party last night had basically exhausted all of their remaining energy.

What’s more, training resumed tomorrow, since they were going to Korea next week.

Lu Boyuan looked at the trophy sitting on top of the birthday cake and asked flippantly, “Again with the S11 Worlds trophy?”

“No way, wasn’t that already put on Jian Rong’s cake?” Ding-ge smiled. “This is the MVP trophy for this year.”

Lu Boyuan: “.”

After they cut the cake and drank the soup, the others returned to their rooms to sleep while Ding-ge asked Jian Rong for his identity card so he could help him apply for the visa. The base was lively for merely an hour before a peaceful calm was restored.

The soup was steeped with flavor. Jian Rong drank three small bowls all in one go, and when he laid down on Lu Boyuan’s bed, he couldn’t help but let out a little burp of satisfaction.

His own phone was charging because it had run out of battery, so he was currently browsing through Weibo on Lu Boyuan’s phone instead.

“Stuffed?” Lu Boyuan asked, lounging next to him.

Jian Rong hummed and said lazily, “You gave me too much.”

He wasn’t originally planning on drinking so much of the soup, but then Lu Boyuan kept on refilling his bowl as soon as it was empty, and Jian Rong felt like he would be wasting it if he didn’t finish.

Suddenly, Jian Rong caught a faint whiff of cigarette smoke, and his nose twitched. “Did you smoke?”

Lu Boyuan said, “My mom did.”

Jian Rong was startled, and he turned his head to say, “Auntie smokes?”

“She was a walking cigarette stick before, but she’s better now.” The situation wasn’t completely settled with his family yet, so Lu Boyuan didn’t want to tell Jian Rong this early that he had come out of the closet to them already, to avoid putting any pressure on him. 

Lu Boyuan played with Jian Rong’s hair and watched as he scrolled randomly through Lu Boyuan’s Weibo. “Why were you standing and eating earlier?”

Jian Rong’s hand froze in the middle of his scrolling. He felt like it was way too freaking shameful to say that he had been done to the point that he couldn’t sit down, so a few seconds passed before he gritted his teeth and said, “I wanted to.”

Lu Boyuan held in his laughter. “Did you apply the ointment yet? When I checked this morning, it seemed to be a little red…”

Whenever Jian Rong thought about what happened last night, his ears tingled. He was still browsing through Weibo, but in reality, not a single word was entering his vision. “No, I can heal on my own.”

“You sure? We have four or five practice matches tomorrow, you’ll be fine sitting for an entire day?”

“…”

“I think we have a practice match scheduled with Squid tomorrow too.” Lu Boyuan skillfully paused for two seconds before continuing, “If we lose, Doufu’s probably going to act cocky in his stream again.”

Jian Rong was convinced. He rejected Lu Boyuan’s offer to help and went into the bathroom.

But several minutes later, Lu Boyuan heard the person in the bathroom suck in a breath of cold air, and he still ended up decisively pushing open the door and entering. Amidst the elegant language that Jian Rong unleashed out of shock, Lu Boyuan took the ointment and cotton swab from him.

After the ointment was applied, Jian Rong emerged from the bathroom with, yet again, an unnaturally red face.

Because of the cigarette smoke lingering on him, Lu Boyuan decided to take a shower. Jian Rong returned to the bed but couldn’t fall asleep, and he also wasn’t really interested in continuing to scroll through Weibo. As a result, he got Lu Boyuan’s permission to use his gaming laptop.

Worried that lying on his stomach would affect his mechanics, Jian Rong didn’t go on the Korean server. Instead, he logged into his Chinese side account to smurf.

Very soon after he logged in, someone with the ID “I’ll Definitely Work Hard Next Season” sent him a party invite.

Jian Rong never added strangers, both on his main and alternate accounts, so everyone who entered his friends list was a friend. He couldn’t remember who this ID belonged to, so he decided to just accept the invite.

The instant he entered the lobby, a familiar voice sounded in his earphones. “Aye will try to send an invite, but Soft might not want to play with meh, he likes solo queue. Meh? Aye like solo queue too, but Aye also like playing with Soft or XIU-ge… ah, Soft came in~”

Jian Rong checked the date. “Is your team not on vacation after getting second place?”

Savior: “…”

Because of the scandal incident, Savior didn’t have any plans to return home during break, and the only older brother in their base who was willing to take him out to play was currently bedridden and unable to move. As a result, he simply chose to stream and practice instead to get some hours in for his streaming quota.

Savior asked, “Why aren’t you on your main?”

“It’s hard to play lying down. I’m gonna smurf a little and then go to sleep.” Jian Rong asked leisurely, “Are you starting it or not?”

Jian Rong had grown used to gaming a lot for training, and he felt weird since he hadn’t played at all the day before. So for once, he chose to fill, thinking that he would play support for two games to lull him to sleep; but then, he ended up filling in as jungler.

Upon entering the game, he saw that his opponent was Fighting Tiger’s jungler.

Jian Rong’s worst role was jungler. He could still squeak by with it in a Diamond game, but it was a bit lacking if he was up against a pro player.

Lu Boyuan came out from the shower just in time to see Jian Rong be pummeled to death by the opposing mid laner and jungler near the enemy’s blue buff. 

Looking at his dark expression as he bought items, Lu Boyuan asked, amused, “So dedicated to your job?”

“I’m just playing a few games because I couldn’t fall asleep.” Jian Rong frowned. “This bastard’s ganked me three times with a teammate already, he’s definitely doing it on purpose…”

Lu Boyuan let out a soft laugh and said casually, “Give me a kiss, and I’ll sub in for you.”

Two gold bursts of light appeared in the game—Jian Rong, who had just arrived at the mid lane, and Savior both used their flashes at the same time.

The opposing mid laner was scared witless. He thought that there were a million enemies surrounding him or something, so he also tossed out his flash. After that, he sent a “?” in the all chat.

Savior was stuck in a state of shock and confusion, filled with thoughts like “did Aye hear that right,” “definitely not,” “it seems like my Chinese still isn’t good enough.” Then, the voice that all pro players were extremely familiar with rang out once again in his headphones—

“Oh right, I washed your underwear for you yesterday…”

The voice abruptly cut off.

Jian Rong, who had come to gank, stood there for a very long time in the mid lane and didn’t move. Several seconds earlier, he had left the team voice chat.

Like a child that had accidentally exposed their parent’s secret, Savior chewed anxiously and helplessly on his lower lip. He watched with wide eyes as the number of viewers in his stream instantly skyrocketed.

A horde of ruthless netizens stormed in with IDs like “Soft’s Dear Dad,” “Dumbass Soft Won But Isn’t Streaming,” “Road’s Sole Online Dating Partner,” “Road’s Unrevealed Wife,” and “TTC’s Mid Laner And Jungler Are Getting Married Tonight.” There were so many comments in the barrage that Savior, as a noob at Chinese, had no way of holding his own against them.

Two seconds later, the voice that Savior had set up to automatically thank viewers for their gifts sounded—

A mechanical female voice announced mercilessly, “Thank you ‘Be A Rational Gay, Reject Subbing In, Where’s The Underwear, Let Dad See’ for your Meteor Shower.”

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24 thoughts on “ICDI Chapter 117: .

    1. nix

      This is exactly like what happened on Jing Huan on Guide on How to Fail at Online Dating LOL the author sure knows how to expose via microphone accident on stream, I love it 🤣🤣

      Liked by 16 people

  1. I’ve thought a lot of possible scenarios on how their relationship be revealed especially because lu boyuan has been dropping hints from the past chapters already… but this is shocking me in a good way asdfghjkl send help to savior hahahaha

    I even ended up leaving a comment here despite being a lurker for a long time AAAAAAAAAA

    thank you for the chapter ♡

    Liked by 12 people

  2. fallenlucifera

    Omyghod! I was too shocked, i took me a minute to process the way how they have been exposed…i even have to read it multiple times😂😂 MYGHAD! HAHAHAHAHHAHA THIS IS SO FREAKING HILARIOUS!! It’s too much, my lungs can’t keep up with the laughing😂😂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. NapsInTheSun

    Oh my god. Lighting a candle for Ding-ge.
    Rongrong don’t be too mad a savior, you had to know he was streaming.

    Wow I’m sort of glad he cleared the situation with his mom so at least this sudden announcement won’t affect her. Sending heart calming pills to his dad though.

    Lu Boyuan owes savior a favor for granting his wish for announcement.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Ohmygod??!! I had to reread that for about 5 times to understand what just happened. Omg. They did NOT just get exposed like that 😭 Jian Rong’s gonna hear the word underwear everyday for the rest of his life now. But seriously– what!!! It was so unexpected omg rip

    Thank u so much for the chapter!!

    Liked by 4 people

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