Bonus Ko-fi chapter! Thanks to Aria and Anonymous~
The next day, Jian Rong woke up late.
By the time he got to the practice room, everyone else was already sitting in front of their computers. The short break was over, and now all the teams had resumed their training.
“Jian Rong, give me an explanation right now!” Xiao Bai was duo queueing with Pine, and when he saw Jian Rong come in, he said without looking back, “How come you only commented on and liked the posts from us three, but you reposted, liked, and commented on my ge’s Weibo?!”
Jian Rong was still sleepy. He sat down in his chair and started up his computer before taking a bite out of the bread that was serving as his breakfast. “Forgot.”
Xiao Bai blurted out, “You can even fucking forget that?!”
Jian Rong copied his way of speaking. “Didn’t you also fucking repost the wrong Weibo?”
“…” Xiao Bai knew he was in the wrong, and his voice weakened. “It’s not like I did that on purpose. Because of that, I was scolded by Ding-ge the entire night.”
Jian Rong nodded. “Serves you right.”
Even though Jian Rong said that, he still unlocked his phone and reposted the other three members’ Weibos as well.
He really wasn’t deliberately trying to treat them differently. It was just that when he saw Lu Boyuan @ him, his fingers couldn’t help but repost it all on their own.
“Oh shit, Captain,” Yuan Qian suddenly called out. “You’re playing on the Korean server? And you even matched into a game against M7’s jungler?”
Jian Rong subconsciously looked back.
Lu Boyuan was in the middle of a team fight, and when he heard that, he gave an indifferent “mn.”
Currently in competitive LoL, there were two junglers who were fairly famous.
One was the LPL’s ace, Road.
The other was the veteran jungler Juggler from the LEC, Europe’s professional league, belonging to the team M7.
Juggler had started playing in the LEC during its initial phase, and it could be said that the LEC became well-known in its beginning period because of him. Unfortunately, before he could be seated firmly on the throne as the world’s best jungler, Road dominatingly entered the scene and forced him back into the position of Europe’s best jungler with a single 3:1 competition.
Every time TTC faced off against M7, the fans always called it the “jungler solo.” The win would always go to the jungler who performed better.
During all the previous years, of course it was Lu Boyuan who had relatively more wins. It was a pity that the two teams hadn’t encountered one another during the knockout stage this year, depriving the fans of a jungler king life or death match.
Yuan Qian instantly moved his chair over to watch. Jian Rong took a few bites of his bread before he finally couldn’t resist standing up and walking over to about half a meter behind Lu Boyuan, secretly observing the fight.
It was already forty minutes into the game. Lu Boyuan’s score was 6/2/7, and he had the advantage concerning every aspect of his items.
After ganking the sleepwalking enemy mid laner in the jungle, Lu Boyuan pressed B to recall to base and reached out to pull the empty chair at his side closer to him.
“Can you see from that far away?” He said, “Sit here.”
“…” How did Lu Boyuan know that Jian Rong was secretly watching?
Jian Rong hesitated briefly before he still chose to sit down in the empty chair, holding his bread and milk.
Juggler was playing Lee Sin, and he wasn’t doing that badly either. However, the teammates he had matched with weren’t very impressive, and it was very easy for Lu Boyuan to gank them. It didn’t take long for Lu Boyuan to start controlling the rhythm of the game.
“There are many champions that can be used to fight against Lee Sin.” When the game was nearly over, Lu Boyuan suddenly spoke. “When solo queueing in the lower tiers, you can use Xin Zhao.”
Jian Rong thought that Lu Boyuan was talking to him, and he swallowed his mouthful of bread. “Don’t, I feel annoyed whenever I see a teammate pick Xin Zhao.”
Lu Boyuan lifted an eyebrow in surprise. “Why.”
“70% of the time,” Jian Rong gave a conservative estimate, “the people who choose this champion aren’t very good players.”
Lu Boyuan restrained his laughter. “…I see.”
The game ended after forty-five minutes, and Lu Boyuan successfully took down 18 of Juggler’s points.
Perhaps because he lost this game too oppressively, Juggler didn’t say anything before leaving the post-game lobby.
Lu Boyuan turned and glanced at Jian Rong. “That’s all you’re eating for breakfast?”
Jian Rong said honestly, “I got up too late, so Auntie already went to take a walk at the park. It’s fine, I’m just padding my stomach a bit.”
Jian Rong took a large bite of the bread. He was about to return to his seat and practice on his own when he lifted his head and saw that the webcam above the computer was lit up.
He froze mid-chew and lifted a hand to point at the webcam. He asked indistinctly, “Why is the light on?”
Lu Boyuan said, “I’m streaming.”
Jian Rong: “?”
Lu Boyuan minimized the game, revealing the livestream interface that Jian Rong was familiar with.
Not only was he streaming, his camera was also on.
Since Jian Rong woke up late, he hadn’t really messed with his hair, and he had only raked a hand through it a few times before coming downstairs.
In the video, he saw that he had a tired appearance and chaotic hair, and only one of his shirt sleeves was rolled up. There was a large chunk of bread stuffed in his mouth, and there were some crumbs stuck to the corner of his lips.
[…how did the little dumbass become this ugly, is TTC mistreating you?]
[How is he ugly, he’s clearly stupid cute.]
[Who did you say wasn’t a good player??]
[The Xin Zhao players have been offended and have decided to record that clip of you and Bye saying “fuck” just then to turn over to the LPL Discipline Committee]
[Jian Rong, who were you just pointing at? Didn’t Dad teach you to behave politely before?]
[Oh shit, I’ve solved it. The person carrying the little dumbass that night was Road, right?]
[Absolutely, the figure matches up.]
[That night? Carrying? What are you Soft fans talking about clue me in]
[Son, in the future when you go onstage, you must never stand next to God Lu. When you stand by him, you look like the prince of a dwarf kingdom.]
Jian Rong blurted out, “I’m like your…”
“He wasn’t the one in that picture,” Lu Boyuan cut him off, his tone natural. “He’s still underage, why would he be drinking alcohol.”
After that, he shifted his finger and banned the person who said ‘prince of a dwarf kingdom’ from commenting.
The water friends: “?”
Jian Rong too, guiltily: “?”
[It’d be weirder if it wasn’t him. I’ve been fucking watching him stream for two years now, I know what he looks like even better than his girlfriend does.]
Lu Boyuan raised his eyebrow very slightly and turned his head to ask, “You have a girlfriend?”
“No.” Jian Rong said.
[BS, that woman even sent you a voice message calling you husband, I heard it with my own ears.]
This time, before Lu Boyuan could ask, Jian Rong explained first. “That was a streamer friend who sent a message to the wrong person.”
To the wrong person?
Lu Boyuan nodded and didn’t say anything else.
At four, Lu Boyuan punctually stopped streaming.
Right after he turned off the stream, Ding-ge pushed open the practice room door.
“The interview team has already arrived, you guys go change into your uniforms.” Ding-ge frowned when he saw Jian Rong’s appearance and condition. “…are you awake or are you sleepwalking?”
“Didn’t sleep well last night.” Jian Rong asked, “What interview team?”
“They’re conducting the regular pre-spring season interviews today that they use for publicity. Everybody has to record one. Didn’t I send you a WeChat?”
Jian Rong rubbed his eyes. “I didn’t have time to check.”
Jian Rong changed clothes quickly and went downstairs.
This was actually his first time officially wearing the team uniform, and his blue hair didn’t clash at all with the black and white color scheme.
“Pretty handsome.” Ding-ge smiled. “How about I take a picture of you and you can send it to your family so they can see?”
Jian Rong wanted to say it wasn’t necessary, but when the words reached his mouth, it became, “…okay, thank you.”
Ding-ge held the phone and couldn’t help directing, “Lift your chin up a little more, stand up straight.”
Jian Rong had just straightened his back when someone hooked an arm over his shoulders.
“Taking a photo?” Xiao Bai said, “Let’s take one together! P-baby come here, stand next to me.”
Pine glanced at Jian Rong, who didn’t refuse even though his lips were tightened and he looked somewhat uncomfortable, and Pine silently stepped forward next to Xiao Bai.
As Yuan Qian was passing by, he couldn’t resist joining in too. “Let me know when you’re taking the picture, I’ll suck my stomach in… Captain!”
Lu Boyuan looked up from his phone.
“Ge, come over for the photo! It’s gonna be sent to Jian Rong’s family!” Xiao Bai beckoned towards him.
The space next to Jian Rong was already filled with people.
Lu Boyuan shot a look at the chaotic formation before he finally stood behind Jian Rong, with no more than a fist’s width between them.
Ding-ge: “Three, two, one… done!”
The photo was really ugly.
So ugly that even Pine frowned and walked away.
“Damn, only my ge is handsome! How come my ge isn’t ugly even when the picture is taken like this??” Xiao Bai was infuriated.
Yuan Qian nodded. “Xiao Rong looks pretty good too. Sure enough, there are many benefits to being pale1. Send the picture in the group chat; even though it’s a bit ugly, we can also just consider it as commemoration.”
Jian Rong only got his phone back after Xiao Bai sent the photo to the group chat.
He stared at the picture for ten or so seconds and didn’t send it to anyone. Instead, he silently pressed ‘save’ before slipping his phone back into his pocket.
The interview team spent some time taking shots outside the base before they finally came inside.
This time, the one in charge of interviewing them was one of the LPL’s famous female hosts. The woman’s hair was curled in large, mature waves, and her makeup was delicate. She wore a pair of sky-high heels and walked inside while chatting and laughing with Ding-ge.
It was evident that she was also acquainted with the other TTC members. She curved her eyes in a smile and said, “Long time no see.”
“It hasn’t really been that long. Didn’t you just interview me during the quarterfinals?” Yuan Qian also grinned. “Xiao Rong, let me introduce you. This is LPL host Tang Qin, you’ll cross paths with each other frequently in the future.”
Jian Rong said, “Hello.”
“Hello.” Tang Qin’s voice was as gentle as she was. “Actually, I’ve watched you stream since a long time ago. You’re really awesome.”
Jian Rong uneasily pursed his lips. “Thank you.”
Only after greeting the others did Tang Qin look at the person sitting next to her. “God Lu, could you move to the side a bit and make some space for me?”
Her voice was completely different from the way it sounded when she was talking to other people.
It was a little lower, as well as a little softer.
Jian Rong was sitting on the sofa across from them and subconsciously glanced over when he heard her speak.
Lu Boyuan gave an “en” and directly stood up from the couch. “You can sit.”
Tang Qin’s smile froze briefly. “…okay.”
A few minutes later, Ding-ge and the person in charge of the interviews returned from their conversation together, and the interviews began soon after.
Naturally, the first person to be interviewed was Lu Boyuan, and the interview would be taking place in one of the clean practice rooms on the second floor.
Jian Rong waited outside the room with the others. He absent-mindedly played on his phone, and he would lift his head every so often to shoot a look at the tightly closed door.
After that happened a few times, Xiao Bai couldn’t help but ask from next to him, “What are you looking at?”
“Nothing.” Jian Rong lowered his head and fiddled with his phone. Not long after, he asked, pretending to be nonchalant, “That female host… is she very close with Road?”
“Of course.” Xiao Bai said, “She’s pretty close with all the pro players.”
Jian Rong, “Oh.”
Xiao Bai leaned against the railing and gossiped, “Isn’t she quite beautiful? A lot of pro players have pursued her before, I know about them all.”
Jian Rong hummed and asked after a long pause, “Road’s pursued her before too?”
Xiao Bai whipped his head around, staring at him with a face full of shock. “What kind of nonsense are you saying? As if my ge needs to pursue someone? My ge is definitely the one being pursued! Wait a minute… you don’t know?”
Jian Rong was lost. “Know what?”
“Isn’t it super obvious? Tang Qin-jie likes my ge. That’s old gossip that’s been around forever in the circle.” Xiao Bai said, “Someone also specifically compiled a video of the way she looks at my ge during her interviews with him. What love and adoration.”
Jian Rong had never paid attention to gossip like this before. “…then, did he accept?”
“Nope. I’ve even asked my ge about it before. He said that he was young, didn’t want to date, and preferred focusing on playing competitively instead.” Xiao Bai thought it over. “But that was a couple years ago, my ge’s getting to that age now too. Maybe he’ll start dating someday… but I can’t say for sure who his partner would be. There are too many people chasing after my ge.”
Jian Rong propped a hand up under his chin and nodded without saying anything.
But Xiao Bai was getting into the swing of things. “Female streamers, female hosts, female fans, oh also male fans…”
“Male fans?” Jian Rong was startled.
“Yup.” Xiao Bai recalled something and scrunched up his face. “But that male fan was just a pervert. In the end, the incident from that mess ended up being reported to the police. Wanna hear about it?”
Jian Rong nodded. “Yeah.”
Xiao Bai lowered his voice. “It’s just… a few years ago, my ge streamed this one time. Back then, we had just started streaming and weren’t familiar with the way things worked, so my ge logged into QQ. During that stream, he accidentally exposed his QQ number.”
When Jian Rong heard the word “QQ,” he was momentarily stunned, and he stared blankly at Xiao Bai.
Xiao Bai didn’t notice his expression and continued, “After that, his QQ was bombarded by friend requests, and even up to today my ge still hasn’t allowed people to friend request him. Later, my ge posted a Weibo about this, and the fans calmed down, so we all thought the matter was finished…
“Except, after about one year had passed, that male fan exploded my ge’s inbox with emails.” Xiao Bai spoke exaggeratedly. “QQ’s email inbox ah—besides those huge perverts that are really into harassing people, who else would use such a crappy method?”
Jian Rong: “.”
“That pervert sent my ge over 500 emails. It would be whatever if they were just normal emails, but they were all super disgusting confessions, photos, videos, oh—there were even job apps.”
This was Jian Rong’s first time hearing about something like this. When he heard that last part, he repeated with difficulty, “…job apps?”
“Mn, he said he wanted to come work part-time at our base, and he actually did end up sending over his resume and photo.” Xiao Bai sneered coldly. “What a joke, who the hell would hire a pervert and let them into the base!”
Jian Rong: “…”
“Afterwards, Ding-ge reported it to the police, and that person finally stopped only once the police made a visit. Ding-ge went over with the police too. He said that the guy looked pretty normal, but who would’ve thought…” Xiao Bai said, “My ge is really unlucky to be liked by that kind of person.”
Jian Rong’s brain went numb. He contemplated expressionlessly for a while. “Then how come Road still checks his email inbox nowadays? Is he not worried he’ll find another perverted email?”
“How could there be that many perverts in this world? After the police got involved, that person vanished.” Xiao Bai stretched on the spot. “Also, this was something that happened two or three years ago. If he freaking comes looking again… then he isn’t a pervert, he’s a stalker.”
About a few minutes later, Xiao Bai suddenly realized something, and he turned his head in confusion. “Hold on. How do you know that my ge checks his email inbox?”
Jian Rong rubbed his ear and avoided Xiao Bai’s gaze. He copied the way Lu Boyuan had acted when he had lied earlier that day during his stream, and he said, “…I dunno, just randomly mentioned it.”
- Colorism is bad! Being pale does not make you more attractive >< I’m sure Jian Rong looks good just cuz he’s a cutie, not because he’s pale ^
Yan: In case it isn’t clear, Rongrong is not the pervert that was stalking LBY a few years ago, but he did copy down the QQ ID during that same stream lol