Thanks to riingo, Kitty, and Ko-fi Supporter for the Ko-fis!
Jian Rong laid on the bed, stunned. He didn’t even react when his character on the screen was beaten to death by the enemy mid laner and jungler.
He suddenly remembered something: on his way to Ningbo, he had used the last of his phone battery to see all the water friends guessing whether Lu Boyuan’s partner with the short, dyed hair was this female streamer or that female host. He was so angry that he sat there being blasted by the wind coming in from the car window for quite a while, to the point that his face was almost paralyzed.
He even thought about directly forwarding that video of the post-match interview and captioning it with “stop guessing, it’s your dad.”
Jian Rong always tended to behave impulsively without taking into account the consequences of his actions. For example, back when Jian Rong saw Lu Boyuan doing his best to carry his teammates, while Kan was doing his best to feed, he had immediately plunged into the team fight and mocked Kan for matchfixing in his stream.
How could he not know that saying such a thing would cause him to be flamed by fans?
But he didn’t care. You can flame however you want, and I’ll mock however I want.
Only when it came to Lu Boyuan did Jian Rong ever so rarely back down.
Lu Boyuan had been up on the pedestal for too long, so if it was suddenly exposed that he was dating someone on the team, and that his partner was a man to boot… Jian Rong couldn’t imagine the aftermath.
Jian Rong watched as his teammates pinged question marks at him in the game. He thought to himself, upset, What’s so bad about just going to sleep with your boyfriend? Why’d you have to freaking go and play a game instead…
When Lu Boyuan saw Jian Rong frantically exit the team voice chat, he lifted an eyebrow. “Duo queue?”
“Mn.” Jian Rong forcefully rubbed his face. A long moment later, he squeezed out, “With Savior… he seems to be streaming.”
There was silence next to him, and Jian Rong licked his lips. “I didn’t have time to tell you…”
Jian Rong swallowed the remainder of his sentence back down—Lu Boyuan kneaded the nape of his neck a few times. He had just finished showering, and his fingers were cool to the touch. “The AFK warning is up.”
In League, an AFK warning would appear if you stood without moving for a period of time, and you would be kicked if you continued to AFK even after receiving the warning.
But Jian Rong hardly had the energy to care about that. Right as he was about to say something, Lu Boyuan tossed his towel onto the chair and propped a knee on the bed. He rubbed Jian Rong’s neck and prompted, “Make some room for me and go to sleep, I’ll sub in for you.”
Jian Rong shifted to the side, his mind in chaos.
Jian Rong was playing Lee Sin this time, and it was a Diamond game too. As a result, despite Fighting Tiger’s jungler being on the other team and Jian Rong’s tiny disadvantage in the early game, Lu Boyuan was still able to create various opportunities for his teammates once he took charge.
After Lu Boyuan stole Baron during a critical team fight and headed straight towards the enemy base, Fighting Tiger’s jungler finally started to seek out interaction—
[[All] ZHmmd: God Lu, is that you?]
[[All] Don’t Interact If You’re Solo Killed: Mn]
With that, Lu Boyuan destroyed the other team’s Nexus and won the ranked game.
He asked, “Still wanna play?”
Jian Rong: “…no, I’m done.”
Lu Boyuan let Savior know in the chat and left the party.
Lu Boyuan closed his laptop and turned his head to see Jian Rong in the middle of creating a new Weibo side account on his phone. He raised an eyebrow. “Why’re you making a side account? I have one.”
Jian Rong shook his head. “I won’t use yours.”
He was going to use this side account to fight the people flaming Lu Boyuan.
Jian Rong entered a ‘28’ in for his age, so that people wouldn’t accuse him of being a schoolchild during arguments.
Actually, he had another side account, but that account had liked and forwarded posts from his and Lu Boyuan’s supertopic before. In the end, he still decided to create a new account so that his activity on the other one couldn’t be exploited by antis.
Once the account was created, Jian Rong charged into TTC’s supertopic, ready to wage war for three days and three nights with the antis. Unexpectedly, before he could read a single Weibo post, the person next to him hooked an arm around his neck and hauled him over.
Lu Boyuan looked at him, head propped up on his hand. “Right now, you’re basically wearing the same expression that you wore during the finals.”
Jian Rong didn’t know what expression was on his face at that moment. Upon hearing that, he subconsciously pressed his lips together.
Lu Boyuan asked, “Don’t want people to know we’re together?”
“That’s not it,” Jian Rong replied very swiftly. He fell silent for a few seconds before he lifted a hand and rubbed his face. He said truthfully, “…I don’t want you to be flamed.”
He remembered the female mid laner that Ding-ge had rejected previously in order to avoid a workplace romance, and the look on his face grew even worse. “Will there be a punishment when the team finds out about this?”
Lu Boyuan let out a soft huff of laughter. All of a sudden, he asked, “Are you of age yet?”
Jian Rong was slightly taken aback by the question that came out of nowhere. “…what do you think?”
Lu Boyuan: “Did we win the championship the day before yesterday?”
“Have we ever skipped a practice match?”
“In that case, seeing as how I’m not going for a minor, it hasn’t affected our competitive performance, and we haven’t ditched any practice matches…” Lu Boyuan pinched his ear. “What would the team have to care about? The contract never said that team members aren’t allowed to date.
“And also… sweetheart1, I’ve been in the pro scene for six years now. Do you think I’m still afraid of being flamed?”
The current esports circle was already considered to be quite harmonious. Back when LoL was just beginning to become an esport, the streaming industry was also in its early stages. Some pro players didn’t even have moderators in their livestream rooms, and their barrages were utterly appalling. The matches couldn’t be held in stadiums either, so the pro players and audience members were separated by only a short distance. If they didn’t perform well, they could immediately hear the audience’s ridicule and derision the moment they took off their headphones.
Jian Rong was instantly dazed by that “sweetheart.”
That bit of anxiousness from before promptly disappeared, and the ear that Lu Boyuan was ravaging visibly flushed red.
Lu Boyuan was especially fond of watching Jian Rong’s body turn red. As a result, he almost imperceptibly increased the force behind his fingers.
Jian Rong swallowed, completely oblivious. “Then – if your family happens to see the news…”
“I’ve already told my mom.”
Jian Rong’s eyes shot up and widened slightly.
“I came out of the closet to her earlier, downstairs.” Lu Boyuan’s voice was light. “I didn’t say it was you… but she still guessed it.”
Jian Rong couldn’t help but recall his appearance from when he went downstairs to open the door.
He had randomly grabbed his clothes from the closet, and because they hadn’t been ironed, they were so wrinkled that it looked like someone had thrown them into a laundry basin and trampled over them 199 times. He hadn’t washed his face or brushed his teeth, his eyes had been a little swollen from not sleeping well the night before, and oh yeah, he hadn’t even attempted to rake a hand through his hair…
Jian Rong’s heart felt even heavier than it would if he had lost an argument. “And then what? She told you to break up with me?”
“No.” Lu Boyuan said, “She told me to give you more soup.”
Jian Rong blinked twice before he braced his hand against the bed and made to get up. Lu Boyuan asked, “Where are you going?”
With a wooden expression, Jian Rong said, “To drink soup.”
Lu Boyuan laughed gently and grabbed his arm, tugging him back down. “You don’t have to, you’re not at that degree of frailty yet… pay the bill you owe me first.”
“How the hell am I frail…” Jian Rong paused. “What bill?”
“Why don’t you tell me?” Lu Boyuan said, amused, “Honestly, even at my poorest, I didn’t accept when someone offered to pay me 3,000 yuan to boost them one tier. That just now was my first time ever doing this kind of business. I got your points for you and MVP too, so you can’t possibly back out now, can you?”
The corners of Jian Rong’s mouth twitched. He went quiet for a long time before he finally said, “3,000 for one tier? You’re so expensive.”
After that, he lowered his eyelids, gripped Lu Boyuan’s shirt collar, and tilted his head to kiss him.
Daily web use peaked between the evening hours of eight and midnight.
Two phones chimed for quite a while next to the bed before someone finally paid attention to them.
In “TTC’s Fierce Men Workout Club,” several messages popped up one after another, and it sounded like they were talking in riddles—
[P-Baby’s Little Support: .]
[Yuan Qian: ?????????]
[Yuan Qian: Did you guys see the underwear?]
[Yuan Qian recalled a message.]
[Yuan Qian: Did you guys see the video?]
[P-Baby’s Little Support: I’m on my 23rd loop right now.]
[P-Baby’s Little Support: Despicable!!! Savior actually got to reap the benefits of this amazing stream traffic!!!]
[R: Zhuang Yibai, you bored?]
Jian Rong only realized that he was using Lu Boyuan’s phone when the profile picture of the ragdoll cat popped up.
His style was too distinctive, so he was easily recognized with just a few words.
[P-Baby’s Little Support: Damn, you’re still in my ge’s room?!]
[P-Baby’s Little Support: And you’re using my ge’s phone?]
[P-Baby’s Little Support: Respect the other person and don’t snoop through their phone, don’t you know that!]
[R: …are you telling me what to do?]
[Pine: How come you still haven’t changed your nickname yet?]
[Yuan Qian: ………]
[Yuan Qian: Why are you all so calm… am I misunderstanding something about that video?]
[Yuan Qian: Why isn’t Ding-ge talking? Though it’s a bit cruel to say this, he couldn’t have fainted dead away from anger, right…]
[Pine: He went to bed early. He said he’s going to look after his well-being today.]
[P-Baby’s Little Support: P-baby and I have gotten over it already.]
[P-Baby’s Little Support: Reality is often much more exciting than the Internet.]
[Yuan Qian: So? Captain and Xiao Rong… really are in that kind of relationship???]
[P-Baby’s Little Support: This is very complicated, let me explain it to you in a PM Qian-ge.]
Lu Boyuan was playing Fight the Landlord on Jian Rong’s phone. In his peripheral vision, he just happened to spot Jian Rong typing furiously.
[R: You can say it right here]
Lu Boyuan restrained a smile. He felt like if it weren’t for the fact that Jian Rong still hadn’t recovered his energy yet, he could’ve brandished a knife and stood next to Xiao Bai to watch him type.
[P-Baby’s Little Support: You’re the one who told me to say it here!]
[P-Baby’s Little Support: Yes, that’s right Qian-ge, they’re precisely in that kind of inappropriate relationship where they sleep in the same room during a competition and kiss in the suite after winning the championship in a way that’s even bolder than what you do with our sister-in-law.]
[Yuan Qian: .]
Jian Rong wanted to stab someone, but unfortunately, his physical condition didn’t permit him to do so. At the same time, he really couldn’t think of a single freaking retort.
Lu Boyuan saw him smash the phone into the pillow, and he asked with amusement, “Not chatting anymore?”
Jian Rong buried half his face in the pillow too and said in a muffled voice, “No, going to sleep.”
Today was their last day off. Once training resumed, Jian Rong would have to go back and sleep in his own room.
As a result, after he closed his eyes for a short moment, he couldn’t help but ask, “You’re not sleeping?”
Lu Boyuan was the landlord this game, and he immediately put his cards on autopilot. Then, in light of the hint hidden in that question, he effortlessly tugged Jian Rong into his embrace.
Early the next morning, a roar traveled out from TTC’s base, belonging to someone who wanted to silently endure it but truly couldn’t fucking take it anymore—
“733 days, an entire 733 days… for 733 days, I haven’t turned off my phone once. Only yesterday, I was so tired from running around all over the place applying for your visas that when I got home, I didn’t even notice that I had plugged my charger into my phone case. My phone was off for one day—just one day!
“And oh boy, I woke up to 133 missed calls and over 2,000 PMs on Weibo bringing this to my attention—even if you add up all the PMs I’ve ever received, it won’t hit 2,000. I open my eyes and bam, incredible, an enthusiastic mass reporting of our jungler subbing in for someone else.
“At that moment, I laughed, because who the hell could hire our jungler to sub in for them? And I thought to myself, no dumbass would do this kind of thing that leads to a competition ban. I didn’t expect… didn’t expect…”
Ding-ge said hatefully, “It would’ve been better if you had actually gone to be a fucking booster!!!”
Lu Boyuan shook his head. Exhaustion from just waking up seeped into his voice. “That’s unlikely to happen, I never do things that violate the rules.”
Jian Rong: “…”
Xiao Bai saw that Ding-ge looked like he was about to collapse, and he hastily comforted him. “Ge, hang in there, you still have to help get Jian Rong his visa.”
The urge to stab someone grew even stronger in Ding-ge.
“Ge, calm down a little,” Yuan Qian said as he bit into an apple. After a night passed, his emotions had already settled down significantly. “Actually, this isn’t really that serious of an issue.”
Ding-ge: “Mhm, this isn’t serious, it’ll only be serious once they produce a child someday, huh?”
Ding-ge had come to violently scold them too early. Jian Rong was still so sleepy that tears were springing up in his eyes, and he said without thinking, “Can’t give birth.”
Lu Boyuan paused for a moment before nodding. “That’s true.”
A brief silence descended over the living room.
Xiao Bai shot him a “so that’s how it is” look.
Jian Rong: “…”
My fucking… am I a dumbass?!
“It genuinely isn’t that big of a problem,” Yuan Qian said. “Think about it. Only two things were said, and it’s not like there was video footage to go with it, so what does it prove? Xiao Bai’s even called Pine husband before in the past and nothing came out of that. What’s so bad about just saying ‘underwear’?”
Ding-ge frowned. “Is that comparable? All the netizens are well aware of how Xiao Bai acts. Even if some video of him and Pine were to be leaked one day, those netizens would probably think that it’s just a show…”
“Stop! What’s this got to do with P-baby and me?” Xiao Bai immediately expressed his discontentment. “We have a pure and clean rot-selling relationship.”
Pine glanced at the yogurt in his hand that he had opened a second ago. Then he tilted his head back and drank it all in one go.
Yuan Qian burst out laughing. “My personal opinion is this—although the LPL hasn’t rejected homosexuality, they’ve never expressed any other attitudes towards it either. Maybe we should just play dead for now… netizens have very poor memories. If we refuse to say anything about this, they’ll transition from certainty to doubt, and they’ll eventually forget about it altogether.”
Pine said indifferently, “Mn. Without visual proof, it’s useless no matter how much the netizens think about it.”
Xiao Bai nodded in agreement before he recalled something and turned his head to ask, “You guys won’t be photographed, right?”
Jian Rong stared coldly at him, chewing on his milk straw.
Xiao Bai: “I was just checking…”
“I’ve thought of all that before too, but… I promised our financial backer that Xiao Lu would stream today.” Ding-ge wore a mask of pain. “He hasn’t streamed for over a month already, so I was thinking that since we happen to have two hours of free practice at noon today, streaming wouldn’t interfere with anything…”
Lu Boyuan said mildly, “Then I’ll stream.”
Everyone was startled.
Xiao Bai instantly tried to persuade him out of it. “Wait… ge, if you do it today, even if they gave you fifty room mods it might not be effective.”
Lu Boyuan lifted an eyebrow. “Do I have a choice?”
And that was the problem.
“You don’t.” There were tears concealed in Ding-ge’s smile. “StarTV’s official Weibo sent out the promotion material last night, and they pinned it too. They also put you up on StarTV’s biggest publicity spot for an entire day…”
So, he still had to stream.
But Ding-ge wasn’t willing to give up. After careful deliberation, he activated the capitalist’s ult—he hired a water army for the barrage.
Needing a water army for the LPL’s magnificent number one celebrity pro player and his stream, who the hell would believe him if he tried to explain.
Lu Boyuan felt hot, so he changed into a short-sleeved shirt before his stream started. He entered the practice room just in time to see his boyfriend, who was gaming absent-mindedly, miss a siege minion.
“Don’t push the lane anymore, the other team’s jungler is about to arrive.” Jian Rong’s hair was ruffled by someone as Lu Boyuan’s voice floated down from above him. “You’re really not going to duo queue with me in a bit?”
Jian Rong let out an “oh” and obediently moved his champion under the tower before he mercilessly refused. “Not this time… Ding-ge told us not to queue together today, he doesn’t have it easy either.”
Though he said that, a minute before Lu Boyuan’s stream began, Jian Rong still went to camp in his livestream room.
Of course, he was on his side account.
The moment Jian Rong entered the stream, he could tell Ding-ge’s water army was in the barrage—
[So excited for God Lu’s stream!]
[Excited excited, I’ve been waiting for so long.]
[I want it to start soon, I’ve already been anticipating this forever.]
[I feel like this is a great stream.]
Jian Rong: “…”
For better or worse, TTC was still the LPL’s top powerhouse team, couldn’t they be a little more professional?
Right as Jian Rong was internally roasting the water army, the stream started a second later, and Lu Boyuan’s computer desktop appeared on the screen.
Simultaneously, the stream’s barrage erupted like a volcano. Words layered densely over each other, creating an extremely shocking effect in the barrage—
[Was today’s underwear washed]
[Was today’s underwear washed]
[I feel like this is a great stream.]
[Was today’s underwear washed]
[Was today’s underwear washed]
[Was today’s underwear washed]
- He says baobei here, in case you’d like to think of it as such when you’re reading ^
Yan: Jian Rong this entire chapter: duck_holding_knife.jpg.
Edit to add a note on the baobei part: Long story short, if something can be translated into English with similar connotations as its Chinese equivalent, and it doesn’t make the translation sound extremely unnatural, I will translate it. To me, baobei very much falls under that category, so I translated it and will continue to translate it in the future. (other examples: jiayou, niubi) Personally, I just don’t like leaving those words in pinyin, but that’s also my own preference. ^^