Thank you to Aryab for the Ko-fi!
Jian Rong snapped out of it only when Lu Boyuan had already walked down the steps that led up to their seats and turned to look back at him questioningly.
He saw that Lu Boyuan was almost imperceptibly opening and closing his right hand. Jian Rong also liked to do that when his own hands felt tired.
Jian Rong set his headphones down on the table before he stood up and followed Lu Boyuan to go shake hands.
The handshake was a very short segment of the competition. The winners used it to show off, while the losing team wasn’t in the mood to talk at all.
Fighting Tiger’s players were evidently different from normal people.
The first few members weren’t too bad; at the most, they just said ‘God Lu is awesome.’ But once they reached Fighting Tiger’s Da Niu…
Ah-Niu smiled. “Your Ignite Graves is awesome.”
Lu Boyuan said, “It’s alright.”
“Our coach finally managed to get our jungler to drop his bad habit of picking Graves. After this match, he’ll probably pick it back up again.” Ah-Niu sighed. “Next time we meet, we’ll definitely crush you in the early game.”
Lu Boyuan’s tone was mostly emotionless. “You won’t be able to.”
Ah-Niu laughed heartily and was about to say something else when he suddenly sensed a somewhat unfriendly gaze come from behind Lu Boyuan.
The other three TTC members were all ahead of Lu Boyuan, so there was only one person trailing after him.
Jian Rong glared at the hands that the two people in front of him had been shaking for quite a while. The more he looked, the deeper his eyebrows furrowed, and he urged coldly, “Can you hurry it up?”
Once the handshakes concluded, the players tidied up their equipment and went offstage.
Xiao Bai dismantled his keyboard. “It felt so great being carried in that last game. How about we have a one-shot Graves in every game from now on?”
Pine said, “You were being carried, but I wasn’t. My score was 3/0/3.”
“Captain, you’re okay, right?” Yuan Qian tilted his head and asked, “You played very urgently in that final round, is it because…”
Yuan Qian’s words reminded the other two people. Xiao Bai and Pine simultaneously stopped moving to look at Lu Boyuan.
“Mn.” Lu Boyuan unplugged the keyboard from the USB port. “Feeling sleepy, wanted to finish faster so I can go back and rest.”
Xiao Bai wanted to ask something else, but then Jian Rong, who was silently packing up his own equipment the entire time, stood and picked up the keyboard from Lu Boyuan’s table. He then carefully coiled the keyboard’s cable.
Jian Rong said, “I’ll help bring it down for you.”
Lu Boyuan glanced at him. “Okay.”
The other three people looked at their team’s mid laner and jungler in confusion.
The commentators and spectators were also baffled.
[It’s settled: Soft is being bullied in the team.]
[Isn’t Soft being way too eager? Doesn’t he know that other people aren’t allowed to touch a pro gamer’s keyboard??]
[Above, where’d you get brainwashed like that? The auntie at TTC’s base occasionally helps them clean their keyboards, I saw it in Xiao Bai’s stream.]
[Is Soft trying to curry favor with Road? This kind of thing happens even within professional teams?? Ai, as expected, pro players who originated from livestreaming are quite self-centered.]
[Even for competitive gaming, you’re judging a player’s origin? In that case, I have no choice but to debate properly with you. Before my dumb oldest son joined the team, he was at minimum a millionaire, and he reached Challenger rank four in the Korean server before his streaming took off. If he wasn’t in the top ten on StarTV’s LoL streamer ranking, then he was at least in the top twenty. Out of the entire pro league, how many players can you find who have a better background than he does??]
[Argument aside, there’s something I have to clarify. What my son is doing isn’t called currying favor, it’s called expressing love.]
When the comment about “expressing love” swept by, the competition camera just happened to focus on Jian Rong’s figure from behind.
He held both pieces of equipment in his arms and went offstage without bothering to look back.
“You guys worked hard and played pretty well.” Ding-ge was waiting for them at the backstage entrance. After he finished praising the top and bot laners, Ding-ge tugged aside Lu Boyuan.
He lowered his voice. “Did your hand start hurting again?!”
Ever since Lu Boyuan requested Graves, Ding-ge felt like something wasn’t right, but he was worried that voicing his concern would affect the other members’ conditions, so he held back on stage and hadn’t asked anything.
While the game was loading, the camera had given Lu Boyuan a solo shot. When Ding-ge saw Lu Boyuan slightly twitch his fingers, his worries were confirmed almost instantaneously.
Lu Boyuan knew that there was no point in hiding it from Ding-ge, which would only make him overthink it more and more. As a result, Lu Boyuan replied quietly, “A bit. I slept on my hand last night, it was already numb when I woke up.”
Ding-ge pulled out his phone and said, “I’ll tell the acupuncturist to come to the base. Let me go talk to the competition officials, someone else from the team can go do the post-match interview.”
Lu Boyuan asked, “Am I not the MVP?”
Ding-ge didn’t even think about it. “Of course you are.”
Behind them, Jian Rong came offstage, carrying the keyboards. Lu Boyuan spotted him from the corner of his eye, and his voice lowered a little more. He said quickly, “Then I’ll go. It’s only a few minutes, it won’t interfere with anything.”
On stage, the two commentators had just started the “analyzing this match’s MVP” process.
Commentator A: “There… shouldn’t be any need to guess who it is, right?”
“Indeed.” After responding, Commentator B also chuckled. “If this match consisted only of the first two rounds, perhaps we would still need to guess. After all, in the second game, Pine’s solo lane was very stable, and he didn’t fall behind in terms of CS at all; Xiao Bai placed his wards very precisely when he was roaming with the jungler, and his awareness was also quite good; in the late game, Qian-ge engaged the team fights extremely beautifully. But in the third game… it was entirely God Lu’s individual showcase ah. Aside from the instant Soft stole Baron, I was watching God Lu the entire time.”
Right as he said that, the MVP was swiftly displayed on the big screen. Lu Boyuan’s headshot emerged on the right side of the screen, and he appeared cool and indifferent in the photo. Next to him was Graves’ astonishing score of 8/0/6.
Just as Jian Rong finished putting Lu Boyuan’s keyboard back into the equipment bag, the post-match interview began.
Xiao Bai sniffled as he looked at the TV. “I’ve never seen my ge in such poor health before.”
“He just hasn’t been sick in a really long time.” Ding-ge sighed. “I should’ve told him to put on some lipstick before going up.”
The one in charge of today’s interview was a male host. He was a familiar face and was very fond of asking questions unrelated to the match at the end of the interview. Since the audience responded positively to it, the LPL didn’t stop him from doing so.
At first, the host asked the same old conventional questions, which Lu Boyuan also answered very standardly.
A few questions later, the host couldn’t help but ask, “God Lu, what happened to your voice? Are you feeling unwell?”
Lu Boyuan: “I’ve caught a little cold.”
“Outside of practice, you still have to pay attention to your health ah,” the host advised briefly out of concern before he continued. “Actually, the first two rounds of today’s match were extremely deadlocked, as it seems the newcomer still isn’t very used to slower-paced games. Fortunately, you stepped forward in the third round, catching Fighting Tiger off guard with your fast-paced Graves, and the audience must have also felt very excited when watching. I want to ask… the moment you chose Graves, were you already prepared to carry the entire team?”
Lu Boyuan: “Before going on stage, every player must be prepared to carry the team.”
The person who normally never said much during interviews was currently looking into the camera, and he said slowly, “But every team works differently. No player in the pro league would dare say that they can carry every single match, so they have to try and rely on their teammates during such a time. Today, I was the one who stepped forward, but tomorrow it might be Soft, Pine, Qian, or Xiao Bai.”
Jian Rong jolted slightly, and his fists, which he had clenched tightly after hearing “the newcomer isn’t used to it,” loosened a bit.
“Correct, God Lu is right.” The male host, who spent his time wildly surfing the internet, smiled and nodded. “Then, before this interview ends, I still have one personal question. Your team’s new mid laner’s recent crossdressing stream… God Lu, what are your thoughts on it?”
Jian Rong’s fists clenched again.
Lu Boyuan was quiet for two seconds. “Better than other people’s streams.”
After the interview concluded, everyone in TTC got in the bus to go back to the base.
Jian Rong realized only after getting in the bus that the female streamer who the camera had focused on earlier, Youyou, was also in the car with them.
“I just want to give Yuan Qian a few things, I’ll be at your base for ten minutes and then I’ll go.” Youyou blinked in their direction. “If you guys have an issue with it, I don’t have to enter the base either.”
She said “you guys,” but she was looking at Jian Rong. Youyou had come over to the base several times before and hadn’t affected their training, so obviously the others had no objections.
Jian Rong shrugged, indicating his indifference.
This female streamer was just holding up a support banner for him a moment ago, and Jian Rong didn’t know how to interact appropriately with her. As a result, he avoided her eyes the entire time he made his way over to his seat.
Youyou noticed that, and she couldn’t help but start a conversation with him. “Soft, don’t feel uncomfortable, you can just treat me like your average dad… average water friend.”
Yuan Qian burst out laughing. “Why are you teasing him… Xiao Rong, ignore her, she always has too much to say.”
Seeing Lu Boyuan and Ding-ge get on the bus together, Jian Rong didn’t even look back at Yuan Qian and Youyou; he hummed ambiguously in response and that was that.
Lu Boyuan passed by the front few rows and casually replied to a few of Ding-ge’s comments before he sat down very naturally next to Jian Rong.
Lu Boyuan’s eyelids felt extremely heavy, so he closed his eyes and rested the whole drive back to the base. Only when the bus came to a solid stop in front of the base entrance did he suddenly remember something, and he opened his eyes and turned his head to ask, “What about the medicine?”
Jian Rong: “Ding-ge said not to take it for now, he’ll give it to you after the doctor comes to the base and finishes your checkup.”
Lu Boyuan nodded and didn’t say anything else.
The doctor was already waiting in the living room. Right after they walked into the base, Lu Boyuan went into an unused meeting room with the doctor.
After eating dinner and showering, it was already eleven PM at night. Jian Rong stood on the second floor staircase and glanced at the tightly closed door of the meeting room before he swiftly slipped into the practice room.
Today’s match was too exhausting, so the others went to rest after playing a few ranked games. Only Jian Rong continued on by himself.
His phone suddenly chimed right as he finished some ranked games. It was a text from his bank; his income from the day he resumed streaming had entered his account.
Jian Rong stared at the specific sum for a while before he unhesitatingly opened the streaming platform.
[One AM? What kind of otherworldly streaming time is this??]
[Daring to stream right after finishing a match, are you looking to be insulted?]
[Awake now? I just watched you sleepwalk your way through a game with Fizz.]
[I’m here, let me get a number for my place in line while I think about what I should flame you for today.]
“Why stream? …in any case, I’ll be playing ranked, so I might as well stream to pass the time and see if I can trick out some gift money from you all.” Jian Rong entered the solo queue and took the time to check the barrage. “Daring to stream after playing so terribly in the competition… I didn’t play well today, that’s true, I’ll work harder next time. Since I played terribly, I’ll allow you all to insult me a bit, I won’t block anyone. Cherish this opportunity, after all, who knows if it’ll ever happen again.
“The main thing is that I didn’t give any notice before I started streaming, so the room mods were arranged at the last minute. It’s already this late, I won’t trouble them and make them work. Flame away.”
Jian Rong was the only person from TTC streaming tonight, so some other fans also ended up coming to his livestream room.
[Ahhh, please tell me, how is Road doing??]
[His face was quite pale today in the interview, is he feeling sick?]
[Begging Soft to give us some reassurance… TAT]
Jian Rong took a glance at the barrage helper. “Low fever.”
[Then how is he now? Did he take medicine and go to sleep? If it’s serious, he should still go to the hospital!!]
Jian Rong didn’t answer.
Because he himself didn’t know either.
The doctor only left half an hour ago. Lu Boyuan had gone upstairs back to his room, and his footsteps were no different from how they usually sounded.
At the time, Jian Rong was in a team fight. Once he was finished with the team fight, he wanted to send a message and ask, but he was also afraid that Lu Boyuan had already gone to sleep.
This practice session of Jian Rong’s lasted all the way until four in the morning.
A new game began, and Jian Rong filled in as jungler. Without hesitation, he locked in Lee Sin.
Jian Rong: “Do I know how to play Lee Sin? …there are no champions I don’t know how to play.”
He merely wasn’t as skilled at some of them.
Actually, there were other jungler champions that he was better at, but the reason why he picked Lee Sin… was because he wanted to use Lu Boyuan’s championship skin.
The year that Lu Boyuan won the World Championship, the champion that he requested a skin for was Lee Sin.
After selecting his champion, the first thing Jian Rong went to do was change the skin, only to discover that Lu Boyuan’s championship skin was locked…
[No way no way, there’s still someone who doesn’t have God Lu’s championship skin??]
[On behalf of God Lu fans, I revoke this dumbass’ fan membership.]
Without the championship skin, Jian Rong didn’t even feel like choosing another option. “I created this account late, so I wasn’t able to buy it.”
[But don’t you frequently play on this account nowadays?]
[If you weren’t able to buy it, then go pull it!!]
“Pull?” Jian Rong paused. “Is there a lottery event going on right now?”
[Yes, there’s a link to the event on the home page.]
Jian Rong instantly quit the match.
Upon seeing the question marks on the screen, Jian Rong explained, “No skin, don’t want to play.”
[…as if you have a lot of skins in the first place.]
Indeed, Jian Rong didn’t have many skins. He didn’t really care about all that; usually when playing, he would use a skin if he had it, but if he didn’t have it he would just use the original model.
But Lee Sin was different.
He opened the event on the home page and glanced over the rules. Then… he deposited 100 yuan1 into his account.
[100 yuan, aren’t you being way too freaking luxurious??]
[I just watched Kongkong finish pulling the Lee Sin skin on his side account tonight, he deposited 2,000 yuan2 at a time.]
“If you deposit that much, what if you get it on the first try?” Jian Rong scanned his QR code and paid. “Tencent, don’t even think about earning a single extra yuan off of me.”
He didn’t get it on the first try.
Or the second try.
Or the third try.
By the time Jian Rong was scanning his QR code for the 55th time, the barrage was already covered with “hahahaha.”
[Never mind the Lee Sin skin, 5,500 yuan only got you a few of the trashiest Snowdown and Lunar Revel skins, you should just quit the game.]
[Will watching his stream cause his bad luck to spread? If so I’ll be leaving first.]
With the next ten pulls, Jian Rong got eight skin shards3.
Jian Rong was invigorated by his anger. “It’s probably because my pulling posture is wrong, wait a moment, let me play a song.”
The song started. Jian Rong deposited more money before he stood up. “Forget it, I’m going to wash my face again… and wash my hands too. Hold on.”
Throat so dry that it was burning, Lu Boyuan opened his eyes in the darkness and subconsciously glanced at the time.
He swallowed a few times, but his throat still felt uncomfortable. He randomly draped a jacket over his shoulders and got up to go downstairs and get some water.
When Lu Boyuan passed by the second floor and saw that light was coming from the practice room, he stopped in the middle of going down the stairs.
Only one computer was lit up in the practice room. It was streaming, and the barrage on the screen rolled by at light speed.
[Dammit dumbass, you didn’t turn off this song before you left????]
[Shit, it’s four in the morning, this dumbass forcibly woke me right up with the noise.]
[My speakers were on when I entered the stream, now my neighbors are knocking on my door and asking me when I’m going to die.]
The moment half of Lu Boyuan’s body entered the camera, the barrage froze for half a second.
He opened Jian Rong’s match history and looked over it: starting from eleven at night, all the way to four in the morning, the entire page was green.
Amidst countless “?”, Lu Boyuan picked up Jian Rong’s headphones and slowly brought them up to his ear.
The jubilant, passionate chorus of a song radiated outwards—
“Good luck is here4~ good luck to you~ good luck brings joy and love~ good luck, our good luck is here~ welcoming good luck, may it flourish across the world~”
Lu Boyuan: “…”
- About $15 ^
- About $300 ^
- Skin shards unlock skins but you have to purchase them to use them (using the skin shard only allows you to “rent” the skin for seven days) ^
- This song. It’s like one of the iconic Chinese New Year songs. Hahaha JR is honestly such an icon, tbh I feel like this song would lowkey slap at four AM ^
Yan: JR pulling for LBY’s skin was literally me pulling for Zhongli in Genshin Impact lmaooo I feel your pain my son…
Also, as of today the raws for ICDI are officially complete, at 134 chapters! This means we are almost halfway done with the translation~
If anyone would like to leave the author a supportive comment, you can find the novel here. You do need an account to comment, and if anyone would like a more in-depth explanation on how to comment/navigate JJWXC, lmk lol I can pull something together. Jiang Zi Bei has really gone through it with this novel, especially near the end. For some reason people kept getting super pressed over the author not updating daily 😦 so I’m sure any support would be much appreciated!
EDIT: an example of a comment could be “完结撒花”, which means ‘scattering flowers for finishing’! A quick and easy congratulatory phrase 🙂