Everyone had a chance to say something in the interview. They were all tired, so with Jian Rong setting the example, the remaining members got straight to the point in their “speeches.”
Pine took the microphone and said concisely, “We won.”
Xiao Bai latched onto Pine’s hand and brought the microphone up to his own mouth. “Hi everyone this is the world’s number one Sett support speaking…”
Pine said, “If you want the mic, then hold it properly. Don’t grab my hand.”
Xiao Bai: “Stingy.”
Yuan Qian snatched the microphone from the bot lane duo. As he wiped away his tears, he said, “Though I really want to seem cool like them and only give a short speech… I still have a lot of things I wanna say. I received a ton of private messages at the end of last year. Of course, many of those messages were comforting me and cheering me on, but a small portion of them said that I wasn’t suited to this meta and that I should retire…
“Here, I want to say that I absolutely will not retire. I’m not a support-style player, I’m an all-rounder. I can still adapt to countless more metas, and I’m going to play until I physically can’t anymore… Also, I want to thank my teammates, my team, my team’s staff, my boss, my parents, my fans… and my wife. I love you guys. Wife, I love you.”
The camera zoomed in on Yuan Qian’s girlfriend, Youyou.
Her eyes brimmed with tears, and the tip of her nose was thoroughly red. Towards the camera, she lifted her boyfriend’s support banner high in the air…
Last was Lu Boyuan.
When he took the microphone, the entire audience stood up. Some Korean audience members even pulled out small posters of Lu Boyuan from their pockets to hold up…
Currently, there were many star pro players in League of Legends, but very few were well-liked throughout all the competitive regions.
Road was unquestionably the first person that came into people’s minds when they thought about a pro player with region-wide popularity.
He had debuted at the peak, and to this day, he had never lost his title of “the world’s number one jungler.” New metas never affected his gameplay, and he was always able to carry; he was the most reassuring presence in the LPL.
Lu Boyuan smiled at the camera. His voice was slightly raspy because of exhaustion. “We’ll continue to work hard in the second half of the year. Our goal is a grand slam. Thank you everyone.”
When Lu Boyuan started to return the microphone, the host said hastily, “Is that all, God Lu? Everyone was really looking forward to what you have to say! Could you add a little more to your speech?”
Lu Boyuan lifted his eyebrow and turned to face the camera once more.
As a result, he spoke again a few seconds later. “Thank you to my team and my teammates… and thank you to my lover.”
Surrounded by the noisy clamor of the audience, he finished, “The LPL is badass.”
The MSI stream ended. The water friends were still submerged in joy from winning the competition, so the viewer count dropped extremely slowly in the livestream room. After they finished shouting “badass,” they began collectively flaming HT, and after they finished flaming HT, they began hyping up their favorite pro players.
Once the liveliness in the stream dispersed, the festivities started anew on Weibo.
Since the grudge against HT had been blown out of proportion, TTC essentially encompassed all the topics on the hot search tonight.
The number one hashtag was naturally “#TTC won the championship#”. In that topic, the Weibo post that had the most interactions was—[Little Children Of TTC Eat And Drink Well: Congratulations to TTC for winning MSI, the little children have truly been under too much pressure lately.]
[It’s true, you can check their match history and search up their recent Korean server rankings. Nothing comes up in the afternoon or evening, which means that’s evidently when TTC has practice matches. The scores start up again around nine PM, and each person’s record lasts for at least five hours every night.]
[The one who practices for five hours is Road, since he has a hand injury. Adding on the time from the practice matches… five hours is definitely exceeding his quota. The others practice for even longer.]
[Qian-ge braved the danger of losing his wife and abandoned our sister-in-law to solo queue by himself until late at night. Pine stopped playing Lulu ADC, and Xiao Bai also stopped playing non-support champions.]
[…if you’re gonna put it that way, then that dumbass son of mine… spent each day as if it were a decade.]
[Indeed. Before, he killed people on the Chinese server. Later, he went to kill people on the Korean server. After he was done with that, he still wasn’t satisfied, and he went to solo against the other LPL mid laners like he was scheduling a fight with them… an intrinsically heartless murderer.]
[They really gave it their all, my heart aches for the members T-T they can finally rest well tonight~~]
Right as the hashtag #Heart aching for TTC# started slowly climbing up the hot search, an official stream notification suddenly popped up on everyone’s Weibo homepage—
[TTC ་ Bye: I’m going live on StarTV in Room #1188 under the category “Leisure – Outdoor Entertainment.” Come and watch me ^^!]
The fans, who were in the middle of furiously spamming their concern: “?”
Confused, the fans clicked on the provided link. The moment they joined the stream, they were met with Xiao Bai’s face.
He was clearly drunk, as both his cheeks and eyes were red. It was quite rowdy around him, and so loud that it could instantly drive headphone users mad.
Xiao Bai stared fixedly at the camera. “Is it okay? Can you all see me or not… hic. Friends who can see me, type out 18341331373…”
[Do you want to be beaten up?]
“So you can’t see me? Well, whatever, you guys can just listen.” Xiao Bai flipped the camera and showed the viewers his current surroundings.
They saw an exquisitely decorated banquet hall, along with Ding-ge, Pine, Yuan Qian and his wife, and numerous TTC staff members.
Of course, the most conspicuous part was still the piles of empty alcohol bottles and tables covered in gifts.
Judging from the packaging, there were laptops, phones, iPads… and all sorts of other prizes.
“Yeah, we flew back to Shanghai earlier tonight.” Xiao Bai did his best to read the comments flying across the screen. “Why were we in such a rush… because we didn’t really have anything to do in Korea either, so naturally we wanted to get back as soon as we could.
“Right now, we’re in the middle of our celebratory banquet! Look at these gifts. Apparently, just in terms of presents tonight, our boss prepared this much…” Xiao Bai made a three with his fingers in front of the camera and said haltingly, “Oh yeah, Boss also bought each of us a car, hahahahahaha this is my first car ever! I bet you guys don’t have one hahahahaha!! And these are only the gifts from winning the spring season… ah, I’m so jealous of myself.”
[I’m so pissed that I got out of bed and ordered some egg fried rice to-go.]
[What did I just post on Weibo? That my heart was aching for the TTC members??? Am I a fucking dumbass????]
[My monthly income hit my bank account two seconds ago, 5,193.80. Even a single phone there is worth more than that.]
[Zhuang Yibai, this counts as jumping categories, doesn’t it? Why is he streaming under Outdoor Entertainment? If I report him, can I force this stream to stop???]
Although the water friends said that, Xiao Bai’s livestream room was still extremely lively.
Xiao Bai’s camera swayed violently. Everyone saw Ding-ge holding a microphone in a white dress shirt, suit jacket discarded, as he shook his head and sang emotionally—
“It’s so hard to be a man1, it’s so hard to be a good person… it’s been a few decades but I’m still scared and on edge…”
Before he could finish the song, someone said something to him. Ding-ge abruptly stopped singing and whipped his head around.
“He really flamed them in the all chat????
“What… English? Does he know it?
“Hehe, I don’t believe you.
“Go away, don’t show me a picture. You definitely edited that just now, how could he possibly screw me over like that?”
In the end, Ding-ge stared at the picture that the assistant manager showed him for a full two minutes before he put down the microphone, picked up his phone, and strode out of the banquet hall.
[Such sincere singing, what a moving performance. My eyes are wet.]
[This Meteor Shower is for Ding-ge.]
[How come I don’t see my husband and Soft?]
[Show God Lu show God Lu show God Lu]
[Can you tell my son to get in the shot and come up with a few insults for his dad? I’ll send you five Seas of Stars.]
“My ge, ah, my ge said he was tired earlier and went to rest.” Xiao Bai looked at the screen, chin propped up on his hand. “Jian Rong? He also went to rest… five Seas of Stars, are you being serious?”
The water friend immediately sent one Sea of Stars and said: [Down payment.]
“Forget it, I just got a huge red envelope from the boss, I don’t need your money.” Xiao Bai wagged his index finger. “I’m not a money-grubber.”
In the hotel hallway, Ding-ge was in the middle of a passionate argument with an LPL official.
“I know that this kind of behavior really crosses a lot of boundaries, but it’s also true that he won the championship and brought glory to our pro league…”
Someone patted his shoulder. Ding-ge turned his head and mouthed, “What is it?”
Xiao Bai glanced at the Seas of Stars streaking across his phone screen and asked, “What room is Jian Rong staying in again?”
Ding-ge originally wanted to ask him if he needed something from Jian Rong, but taking into consideration the phone call that he was currently on, he said hurriedly, “8801. Why are you holding up your phone like that? Did you drink too much?”
Xiao Bai swiveled around and waved his hand. “I’m making money.”
Xiao Bai took the elevator all the way up to the 88th floor.
Once he was in front of room 8801, he confirmed that his stream hadn’t disconnected. It was then that his beer-addled brain finally sobered up a little.
“88?” He pulled out his own room key from his pocket and checked it. “Why is my room on the 67th floor?”
After he was done talking out loud to himself, he pressed the doorbell under the urging of the livestream barrage.
A short pause later, Xiao Bai frowned retrospectively. “Maybe he went to bed already… whatever, I can return the gifts to you guys. I’ll get beaten up if I disturb his sleep…”
With a click, the door was unlocked.
Someone pulled open the door to room 8801.
In the wake of that sound, the water friends instantly started spamming the barrage—
[Dumbass dumbass, the world’s number one!]
[Dumbass dumbass, parallel to none!]
[Dumbass dumbass, let Daddy kiss you once…]
A few seconds passed.
Through Xiao Bai’s phone camera, everyone took in the scene before their eyes—
They didn’t even have time to comment “WTF.”
Lu Boyuan appeared on the screen with water still dripping from the tips of his hair. His cheeks were damp, and the viewers could clearly make out the droplets of water scattered across his collarbones. It was obvious that he had just finished showering.
Because he had looked through the peephole in advance, Lu Boyuan already knew who the visitor was. He used one hand to rub his hair with a towel as he asked lazily, “What’s up.”
Xiao Bai: “…”
Lu Boyuan raised an eyebrow. “Say something.”
Xiao Bai’s brain churned sluggishly. “Jian Rong…”
Lu Boyuan said, “He’s showering. Do you need him for something?”
“No.” Xiao Bai paused briefly. “…ge, what if I told you I drank too much and got possessed by greed and came knocking on your and Jian Rong’s door while streaming on my phone, all for the sake of a few Seas of Stars—would you beat me up?”
When Jian Rong came out of the bathroom, Lu Boyuan was leaning against the window as he sent a text to Pine, telling him to come upstairs to take away the drunkard outside.
Jian Rong had noticed some activity earlier. “Who came by?”
Lu Boyuan turned to look at him.
They hadn’t returned to the base beforehand. Like a flock of birds freed from a cage, they had all charged straight for the hotel after the competition was over, luggage in tow.
Jian Rong hadn’t brought much clothing with him, so he no longer had any clean clothes he could change into after showering, but he also didn’t like wearing bathrobes. As a result, he took some of Lu Boyuan’s clothes to wear.
Lu Boyuan’s clothes were a size too big for Jian Rong. Both the shirt and pants were loose and baggy.
“Xiao Bai. He was drunk and acting like one too.” Lu Boyuan carded his fingers through Jian Rong’s hair and asked, slightly surprised, “You blow-dried it on your own?”
Even though Jian Rong was already accustomed to these little gestures, Lu Boyuan’s touch this time was evidently different from the way he behaved in front of other people. They had just finished competing in the finals not too long ago, and Lu Boyuan’s palm was still hot.
Jian Rong was quiet for a moment before he let out an “en” and mumbled something else.
Lu Boyuan ducked his head a little. “What?”
Jian Rong could smell the peppermint fragrance on Lu Boyuan’s breath. “Saves time.”
Lu Boyuan’s eyelid twitched, after which his gaze swept downward.
Lu Boyuan rubbed Jian Rong’s hair with a bit more force as he chuckled lowly. “Saves time for what?”
Jian Rong’s ears were bright red, and his head felt feverish. Back when Lu Boyuan was giving his championship speech, Jian Rong had already wanted to do this. Now that they were completely alone, he directly took a step forward and stretched up to kiss Lu Boyuan on the lips.
On the first floor, TTC’s staff and a portion of its members were still having fun in the celebratory banquet. It was a grand, vibrant occasion, with champagne and streamers serving as dazzling decor.
Ding-ge went through alternating periods of joy and worry. Finally, he couldn’t help but pick up his phone and give his team’s trouble-causing mid laner a call—except it rang less than one time before it was promptly cut off.
Several pieces of clothing, all around the same size, were scattered chaotically across the carpet.
Lu Boyuan shut off the phone before he lowered his head to kiss Jian Rong. “I’m turning it off.”
Jian Rong tilted his head back. From his chin downwards, everything was flushed red, and there were quite a few spots where the color was so dark that it was instantly clear those weren’t naturally-occuring marks. He gasped for air, eyes glistening, as he let out a vague grunt. “Mn…”
It was hard to tell whether that was a response or a different kind of sound.
Jian Rong suddenly remembered something. It was only when he opened his mouth that he discovered his voice was already utterly hoarse. “Today, my…”
Lu Boyuan stopped moving and stroked Jian Rong’s lips with his thumb.
Jian Rong seized the opportunity to rub against his fingers as he finished, “My solo kill today… was it handsome.”
Lu Boyuan: “…”
Lu Boyuan truly wanted to laugh, and his heart felt unbearably soft. He spread his right hand open across Jian Rong’s neck and kneaded it firmly before he brushed aside Jian Rong’s wet bangs. In a deep, smile-steeped voice, he said in Jian Rong’s ear, “It was so handsome that it made me dizzy.”
Jian Rong’s pulse abruptly quickened even more, and from that point on, he was unable to say another word.
Yan: The first episode of the ICDI audio drama was just released! You can (try to) listen to it here. Unfortunately, the link isn’t working for me right now, but you can also download the app and find the audio drama there (search 漫播 in app store, it’s an icon of a white cat on a purple background). If anyone really wants an in-depth guide, lmk haha.