Right after Jian Rong turned on his computer, Yuan Qian pushed open the door to the practice room. “Xiao Rong, we’re all in the other room, come on over.”
Yuan Qian spotted something from the corner of his eyes, and the only nearsighted person on the team squinted and said, “Yo, why is Captain watching one of your stream replays?”
The wheels on the chair scraped against the ground, creating a somewhat unfriendly noise.
Jian Rong’s hair was blown into an odd shape by the wind that rushed in through the open window, revealing his clean and neat forehead and the not particularly happy expression in his eyes.
Jian Rong walked past Yuan Qian and said stiffly, “That’s not me.”
Jian Rong didn’t really say all that much in their practice match that night.
Even though Jian Rong didn’t usually talk a lot anyway, Xiao Bai knew that something was up when he finished pushing the bot lane, came to the mid lane to help out, and accidentally ate one of Jian Rong’s minions but wasn’t even scolded for it.
Everyone was still fairly relaxed when they were playing in the practice match.
Yuan Qian recalled to base to buy items before he leisurely made his way to the mid lane. “Oh, that’s right, did the photoshoot go smoothly today?”
Jian Rong was currently in the enemy’s jungle, getting ready to sneak up on them. Any remaining thoughts were devoted to thinking about something else, so he didn’t realize that Yuan Qian was talking to him, and he didn’t respond.
Yuan Qian didn’t notice that anything was amiss. “What’s Qiuqiu like in person? Last time when she was participating in the celebrity tournament, I wanted to take a look, but then Ding-ge said we had to review the match and didn’t let us stay at the stadium…”
Xiao Bai asked: “Does my sister-in-law know about this thought of yours?”
“Hey, who doesn’t like looking at beauties? I just wanted to feast my eyes a bit, no other thoughts crossed my mind at all. Doesn’t she look at handsome guys all the time too?” Yuan Qian said, “So, is Qiuqiu the same in person as she is on TV? My wife says that you can even touch up and edit videos these days.”
Lu Boyuan switched POVs in the game and checked on his team’s mid laner, who was still sitting silently in the enemy’s jungle.
“I’ve never seen her on TV before, but she’s not bad in person.” Lu Boyuan indifferently wrapped up that topic of conversation. “Let’s team fight, I’ll engage.”
Right as he said that, a kill announcement popped up in the game. Jian Rong had successfully camped the enemy’s ADC in the jungle, and he had killed them in less than three seconds.
Like always, they played three rounds in the practice match before finishing up. Ding-ge walked into the practice room and glanced at his watch. “You’ve worked hard. Originally, I didn’t want to schedule a practice match for you all since it’s a resting day, but this team asked me at the last minute. We’ve also never played against them before, so I thought that letting you guys go up against them would be beneficial too. I asked someone to buy some midnight snacks, it should be arriving soon, you all should rest after you’re done eating.”
Pine glanced at the English message in the chat that the other team had sent over. “What team is this?”
Ding-ge said, “The LCK team that accrued the third most championship points this spring season. They’re also a new team that’s quite strong, they probably didn’t go all out against us tonight.”
“That’s why I don’t like playing practice matches against teams from other leagues.” Yuan Qian leaned back in his chair. “At the most, practice matches between LPL teams can be considered putting on a show. Practice matches with other leagues… it’s basically entirely just messing around. If you showed someone the recording and said it was a Platinum game, they’d believe it.”
Lu Boyuan exited the game. “It’s normal.”
Perhaps teams from the same league would still have mutual improvement in mind. Other leagues… who would want to help train a team from another country?
As far as he was aware, some LPL teams played just as half-heartedly in practice matches with other leagues.
“At a time like this, I have no choice but to praise Squid. Even though their players are a little moronic, at least they’re sincere.” Xiao Bai glanced at the chat. “Jian Rong, they’re complimenting you in the all chat. If you encounter them in the competitive arena one day, you’re going to be targeted to death…”
“It doesn’t matter, I was also playing casually.” Jian Rong unplugged his keyboard. “If they can get into Worlds, we can talk about it then.”
Back at the practice room, everyone saw the stream that was open on Lu Boyuan’s computer.
Lu Boyuan didn’t really like to wear headphones when he was watching streams or matches, but he didn’t put the videos on speaker either. He turned up the volume on the headphones as high as they could go, that way he could still clearly hear the audio even when he was sitting in his chair.
This male streamer was using a sound card, which made his voice sound heavy to the point of being greasy. But he was saying: “Room mods, if you see any trolls just directly kick and block them, what kind of dumbass shit is this? It’s your dad’s fault for not shooting you1 onto the wall all those years ago, which let you come out here and disgust laozi today.”
As usual, Lu Boyuan and Ding-ge walked at the very end, so they weren’t back at the practice room yet. But the others who returned first heard those lines.
Jian Rong frowned and sat in front of his own computer, but he didn’t rush to put on his headphones.
“This person is still streaming… I even thought that this was Jian Rong’s stream replay earlier.” Yuan Qian said without thinking, “Which streamer is Captain watching? He’s made himself look very similar to Jian Rong.”
Pine pulled out his chair. “His mouth is so filthy.”
When Xiao Bai saw that Jian Rong didn’t have a reaction, he instantly nodded. “Exactly! He’s gone way beyond just looking similar, he even has the same hair and bow as Jian Rong did.”
After that, he patted Jian Rong’s shoulder. “Of course, he doesn’t look as good as you in a dress.”
Jian Rong: “.”
Who the hell wanted to compete about who looked better in a dress??
When Ding-ge pushed open the door and entered the room, he just happened to hear that streamer dive into his second round of insults.
—“Was this Master Yi born without a brain? If you have mental problems2, why’re you playing games? Your mom’s definitely gonna die tonight.”
“What the hell?” Ding-ge furrowed his brows. “Who’s watching a stream?”
“Me.” Behind him, Lu Boyuan put away his phone and walked over to his computer before he closed the stream.
When he first entered the livestream room, the streamer wasn’t in front of his monitor yet. Then Ding-ge went looking for him at the last minute, so he just idled in the stream and left.
“This streamer hasn’t been blocked even though he swears so obscenely?” Ding-ge thought of something and quickly asked, “You weren’t on your main account, right?”
Lu Boyuan said, “No.”
“That’s good.” Ding-ge let out a sigh of relief. “Get a good rest tonight. In the next few days, don’t ask me about taking vacation and going outside, I won’t approve any requests. Everyone has to stay here and practice properly. We’re playing PUD on Saturday, let’s muster up our strength and do our best to win.
“Although it’s just a regular season match, you all know this too, the audience likes to watch matches between you guys and PUD. It’s only Monday, but the forums on Tieba have already started fighting about us and PUD… in short, you guys should perform well and strive to enter the playoffs with all victories.”
After Ding-ge left, he sent over the practice match schedule for the next two days in their WeChat group.
“Damn, besides eating and sleeping, everything else is practice matches.” Xiao Bai drew in a deep breath.
“For this period of time, don’t bother yearning for your sister-in-law’s midnight snacks. I told her not to send any over, we don’t have time to eat them.” Yuan Qian stood up from his chair. “I’m going upstairs. I’m about to disappear from her world for a week, let me go give her a call now and coax her a bit.”
Not long after Yuan Qian left, Lu Boyuan read over the patch notes for the upcoming Korean server update before he turned off his computer.
Ding-ge said all that just to remind Lu Boyuan that their upcoming practice sessions would be very intense, and that he should keep the situation in mind and rest well.
He wasn’t strongly attached to these few hours of playing ranked at night either.
Right after Jian Rong entered the queue, he heard someone ask from behind him, “You filmed the entire day, not tired?”
“Not tired.” Jian Rong paused and searched for an excuse, like he was covering up for something. “I just finished trash-talking PUD, so I don’t want to lose next weekend… I’ll practice for a bit longer.”
Lu Boyuan glanced at the time. “Go to sleep before two.”
The tone of his voice brooked no argument.
Jian Rong pressed his lips together and replied with an okay.
After Lu Boyuan departed, Xiao Bai mused to himself in bewilderment, “I’m also working hard, so how come my ge didn’t urge me to go to sleep?”
P-baby said, “You can miss your ult even on Senna, why should you go to sleep?”
“Fuck, I just missed my ult one time today, aren’t you way too good at holding a grudge??”
Jian Rong wasn’t in the mood to listen to them chat.
The moment Lu Boyuan left, he opened the streaming platform.
That blue-haired streamer had already stopped streaming.
After coming up empty-handed, Jian Rong felt even more choked up by the baseless gloominess in his heart.
He waited in the queue for six minutes but still couldn’t match into a game. Jian Rong propped his chin up on his hand and decided to simply start streaming.
[Streaming again at this kind of otherworldly hour?]
[Just tore into PUD’s stupid fans on the forums, if you lose to PUD this Saturday, don’t bother coming back to see Dad.]
[Dumbass I heard that you and Qiuqiu are dating????]
[They really are dating, I saw a photo today, they were even drinking from the same water cup.]
“What kind of nonsense.” Jian Rong frowned. “What photo? Send it to me.
“This one… I was just holding the cup for her for a while, I didn’t drink from it. Are you all schoolchildren? You’ll even believe this kind of photo?”
[Scared me to death. Like I was saying, you’re clearly gay, how could you possibly date a girl!]
[Dumbass are you in a bad mood today? How come you have this bitter melon expression on your face.]
[Doesn’t he always look like this.]
[Dumbass you’ve been copied by a streamer called TT!!!]
[I also saw that, he was on the recommended list all day long. He dyed his hair blue and was wearing a sailor outfit. His skill level seems to be alright, looks like he’s in the top 100 on the domestic server? He also copied the swearing part… but that dumbass didn’t get the essence of it. I watched for two minutes, that dumbass kept insulting people’s parents and all sorts of organs, really idiotic.]
[Relax relax, it’s not like this is his first time being copied, why make a fuss about nothing?]
[The copycats’ personas are all created very deliberately. His type of completely natural dumbass energy is hardly that easy to imitate.]
Indeed, this wasn’t Jian Rong’s first time being copied.
Before, some people had even directly copied his game ID and stream name. Jian Rong hadn’t really spoken up about it, and he had even told the water friends not to go over and insult the copycats.
It was extremely difficult for small streamers to make a name for themselves. As long as it didn’t affect him personally, Jian Rong didn’t care what others did.
In hindsight, Jian Rong realized that he didn’t feel irritated because someone was imitating him.
He was annoyed because Lu Boyuan had opened that person’s stream.
Lu Boyuan almost never watched other people’s streams. He would occasionally enter a teammate’s livestream room just to toss out a present and leave again; he almost never stayed for over five minutes. In this respect, Jian Rong was special.
He liked being special.
And he didn’t want to share any of it with someone else.
These kinds of thoughts… should be very normal, right? Jian Rong thought, when he was young and saw his teacher pin the little red flower given to him onto other children as well, he would also feel unhappy.
Jian Rong snapped out of it and swept a look at the barrage. “It doesn’t matter, it’s not like I’m the only person allowed to have blue hair… shut up, same thing with the sailor outfit. I’m gonna start playing now, room mods can just kick anyone who mentions other streamers.”
Jian Rong played a few consecutive games and interacted very casually with the barrage.
[It’s so early in the night, but TTC’s practice room is already empty? Aren’t you all slacking off a bit too much? How are you gonna beat PUD on Saturday?]
[Who can endure practicing until two or three AM every night? Health matters most.]
[Speaking of which, is the news that PUD is only scheduling practice matches with Korean teams true or fake??]
[Wasn’t PUD a Korean team in the first place? They have three Koreans on their team.]
[Pure passerby here, politely inquiring as to when PUD will be transferring their membership to the LCK?]
“It’s their choice what teams they want to have practice matches with. It’s not like they’re spending your money, why do you care so much?” Jian Rong said absent-mindedly, “Do I think highly of PUD… my views aren’t important. I’m only in charge of winning, it doesn’t matter how my opponents practice.”
As he was speaking, Jian Rong entered a new game.
Before they left the fountain, his teammate suddenly sent a message—
Jian Rong cursed inside. He hadn’t paid any attention to his teammates’ IDs when he was choosing his champion, or else he would’ve long since left the game.
He shifted his finger and directly muted Doufu.
[Muting is the same as admitting defeat—by Soft]
[Why mute him? Insult him!]
[Since it’s fate to meet each other, this person here is recommending you both AFK.]
“No insults.” Jian Rong said concisely, “I don’t have money for the penalties, this game is considered my loss.”
Doufu didn’t disappoint; sure enough, he started acting. In less than ten minutes, he fed three times in the bot lane.
Jian Rong wasn’t in a good mood in the first place today. After he was killed in three hits by the enemy ADC that Doufu had fattened up, he finally couldn’t take it anymore and stopped next to his fountain.
He unmuted Doufu and started typing.
[Hahahaha didn’t you say you weren’t gonna insult him?]
[Thought about it, and decided that 10k yuan wasn’t that big of a deal after all.]
Jian Rong had just typed out “dumbass” when the practice room door opened.
Lu Boyuan had draped a random jacket over himself, and he was wearing a disheveled short-sleeved shirt inside and loose pajama pants on the bottom. The string on the front of his pants weren’t even tied.
He stuffed both hands in his pockets and walked over to stand behind Jian Rong.
“Insulting someone?” Lu Boyuan had slept for a while, causing some exhaustion to seep into his voice.
Jian Rong: “…”
He blinked blankly for a moment before he deleted the word he had typed out and said, “No, it was a typo.”
Jian Rong glanced at the time: it was 2:30 AM.
Jian Rong hadn’t expected Lu Boyuan to actually come over and catch him. He started to take off his headphones, explaining, “I forgot to check the time…”
Lu Boyuan grabbed his hands and stopped him from moving. “Finish this game first.”
Lu Boyuan had just left his bed, so his palms were warm.
The barrage helper exploded—
[Road this bastard is tricking you! He didn’t make a typo, he just wanted to perish together with Doufu!!]
[What’s going on? How come Road is here??]
[Do you two really enjoy having midnight trysts so much?]
[How come Road looks like he just woke up.]
[Just gonna stand behind the dumbass and not move? What’s happening…]
[What is Road doing, someone please explain.]
“I’m not doing anything, just making the rounds.” Lu Boyuan said to the barrage evenly, “Watch him stream, no need to pay attention to me.”
After that, Lu Boyuan really didn’t say anything else.
He only stood behind Jian Rong, completely silent, his posture unchanging. They weren’t touching, but Jian Rong could clearly sense Lu Boyuan; he even had the misperception that he could feel the other person’s breaths land on his body.
The wind blew in from the cracked open window, and the scent of Lu Boyuan’s shower gel filled the room.
Jian Rong tried his best to immerse himself into the game.
A long while later, he heard Lu Boyuan murmur, “His ears?”
Jian Rong spared a tiny bit of energy to check the barrage.
[Yeah yeah yeah, there’s probably something wrong with his ears.]
[Not even braised pig ears are this red.]
[Are you all being serious hahahaha]
Jian Rong cursed a “bullshit” in his mind. He was about to close the barrage helper when someone gently stroked his ear with a crooked index finger.
Jian Rong instantly froze, and even his character in the game stopped moving.
“It is really red.” Lu Boyuan asked, “Are your headphones uncomfortable?”
Jian Rong sucked in a deep breath and shook his head while pressing his lips together. In the end, he wasn’t able to hold out.
He felt like he was being submerged in soda; his heart nearly exploded, and there was a buzzing in his ears.
At that moment, Jian Rong knew: there wasn’t anything wrong with his ears.
There was something wrong with his thoughts.
- He’s being gross here and insinuating that the parents shouldn’t have created the person he’s insulting ^
- He uses the R word here instead of mental problems, but I’m not going to translate it like that for obvious reasons ^
Wei: Don’t worry Rong Rong I’m sure you are the most special to Lu Boyuan!!!