Thanks to Marylambb for the Ko-fi!
Jian Rong guiltily touched his ears. They burned.
He had used the excuse of it being “hot” too many times already. Jian Rong braced himself and said, “They’re red because of my anger towards this noob ADC, I’ve never met someone so trash before… I couldn’t control myself.”
Lu Boyuan had spotted the ADC’s game ID earlier. He asked mildly, “Haven’t you met him in a match before?”
“…” Jian Rong paused. “He’s on my team this time, so it’s a little hard for me to accept it.”
[I thought that Road was gonna tell the dumbass not to curse him out, I didn’t expect for Road to open his mouth and unleash more fucking mockery too.]
[Recently Xiao Bai and Qian-ge also really like to make snide remarks about their teammates while streaming.]
[Never mind Xiao Bai and the rest, have you all ever seen Pine insult someone? Usually, even if he streams for an entire night, he doesn’t say much, but now he’s learned how to type and shade his teammates too.]
[My god, one piece of rat shit spoiled the entire pot of soup!]
[Erm… just now I went to take a look at Doufu’s stream, he kept wanting to talk to the little dumbass, but unfortunately he didn’t know that he had long since been muted.]
[What’s the point in talking if he already started acting? What, he wants to piss off the little dumbass while also wrecking the little dumbass’ wallet?]
[Actually, Doufu was playing pretty seriously, he barely interacted at all with his audience this game.]
[Are Doufu’s fans here to clear his name? Squid has lost eight matches in a row already, if you have the time for that you should be clearing their name on Weibo.]
Jian Rong didn’t really make any mistakes this time; Ding-ge often said that this could be considered one of his strengths. He was very rarely affected by other factors when he played games. Usually, no matter how tired he was from practice, his gameplay was still as smooth and excellent as ever.
Even though the enemy’s bot lane was extremely fed this round, Jian Rong still solo killed the opposing mid laner twice relying on skill alone. His equipment swiftly skyrocketed, and he won a team fight while carrying his other four teammates, giving them a chance to catch their breath.
At that moment, his teammate spoke again—
[YY-Doufu: If I said I wasn’t purposefully feeding, would you believe me?]
Then that was even more scary. If that was an active pro player’s actual gameplay in the LPL, any team from another competitive league who saw that probably wouldn’t be able to resist clapping and cheering.
Jian Rong didn’t respond. When he had time, he put Doufu back on the mute list.
The game lasted for forty minutes before finally ending. Jian Rong got MVP with a score of 13.8, and he brought victory to his team.
Doufu’s friend request popped up. Jian Rong didn’t know what this dumbass was trying to pull so late at night, and he didn’t even bother rejecting the request before he went offline. Then, ignoring his audience’s pleas for him to stay, Jian Rong stopped the stream and turned off his computer all in one go.
“I’m done…” Jian Rong ruffled his hair before he picked up his phone and stood up—then he realized that Lu Boyuan was still standing right behind him.
A person couldn’t even fit in the space between them.
Only then did he notice that there was an impression left at the corner of Lu Boyuan’s eye from sleep, and his hair at the back of his head was also a bit messy.
Lu Boyuan looked down and reminded him, “You’re still wearing your headphones.”
Jian Rong closed his eyes and called himself a dumbass inside before he yanked his headphones off and put them on the table. He assumed a tone of voice that he thought sounded extremely natural and asked, “How come you’re awake?”
“I wasn’t sleeping too deeply in the first place.” Lu Boyuan stared at Jian Rong’s eyelashes for a few seconds before he questioned, “Why were you angry tonight?”
Jian Rong was startled, and he responded very quickly. “I wasn’t angry.”
Lu Boyuan didn’t believe him for a single second. He had watched Jian Rong’s stream until he fell asleep, and from beginning to end, Jian Rong’s lips hadn’t curved upwards once.
Lu Boyuan continued his probing. “Because you were copied by someone?”
Jian Rong wanted to say “no,” but when he opened his mouth, what came out was, “A little.”
Jian Rong paused before he randomly made up some nonsense. “That person is pretty similar to me in a lot of ways, and I haven’t really had much time to stream lately. If he keeps streaming for a while, those unfilial water friends in my livestream room will probably all end up going to watch him instead…”
“Not similar.” Lu Boyuan lazily interrupted him. “He’s far inferior to you, your fans won’t run away.”
“That’s not guaranteed.” Jian Rong wasn’t very good at hiding what he wanted to say. A few sentences later, he couldn’t help but mutter, “Didn’t you also go watch his stream?”
When he didn’t receive a reply for a long time, Jian Rong thought over what he said a few seconds earlier, and he swore in his mind. “…I was just speaking without thinking.”
Lu Boyuan laughed.
“My fault.” His voice was still a bit raspy, and he said lowly, “Originally, I was planning on going to XIU’s livestream room to send him some gifts, since his birthday is in a few days… then on the home page, I spotted the person who Xiao Bai said was imitating you, so I clicked on him while I was there.”
Lu Boyuan paused and said, “If you’re unhappy about it, I’ll go into other people’s livestream rooms less often in the future.”
Realizing that Lu Boyuan was giving him an explanation, Jian Rong was slightly stunned, and his Adam’s apple bobbed twice as he swallowed.
Did the captains from other teams take care of their members’ moods like this too??
Jian Rong restrained himself from blurting out “I am unhappy, don’t go to their streams from now on,” and he said, very dishonestly, “That’s not what I meant…”
Lu Boyuan hummed and told him, “You can try having that meaning.”
Before Jian Rong could collect his thoughts, Lu Boyuan took a step back and made space for Jian Rong. “Okay, go rest, we have to get up before noon tomorrow.”
Jian Rong returned to his room and covered his head with his blanket. Even by the time he was lacking oxygen, he still wasn’t able to fall asleep.
He gave up and kicked aside his blanket. Lu Boyuan’s “you can try having that meaning” dizzily filled his entire head.
Jian Rong sucked in a deep breath. Remembering their packed training schedule for tomorrow, he decided to play on his phone for a bit till he grew sleepy.
Apps nowadays were all scarily intelligent. Right when Jian Rong opened a short video app1, it immediately recommended him a bunch of videos from categories that he usually liked watching.
The first video was a clip of Lu Boyuan being interviewed. The host was Tang Qin, with the hashtag #esports circle golden couple# written at the bottom.
Jian Rong’s face unconsciously darkened, and he was about to skip past it before he thought about it again and went back. He opened the comment section and secretly liked the top comment: “they don’t look good together at all hah thank you.”
The second video was of Lu Boyuan leaving the stage during the semifinals from last year’s World Championship. His eyes were cast slightly downward, and there weren’t really any emotions on his face. He silently followed his teammates backstage—and then never emerged again.
When Jian Rong was watching the live broadcast at the time, he clearly hadn’t thought anything of it; he only felt regretful and crestfallen.
Now, looking at it again…
Back then, why hadn’t he taken advantage of the break room being empty and beaten Kan into a pulp??
Jian Rong fumed with rage and swiped up to see a video of him being carried into the arena by Lu Boyuan.
He swiped up again. This video, featuring Lu Boyuan, was a compilation of cuts from one of their regular season matches—it specially focused on clips of Lu Boyuan ganking the mid lane or shots of him helping Jian Rong get the blue buff.
In a span of ten videos, eight were related to TTC, and six contained Lu Boyuan.
When he came across a video of Lu Boyuan tugging down his mask and smiling during a conversation with Yuan Qian, Jian Rong replayed it a few times before he finally made himself turn off his phone. He buried his face in the pillow and forced himself to fall asleep.
The next day at noon, the fragrance of food wafted through the base. The members all sat in the living room, waiting for the meal to be served.
Yuan Qian’s head tilted back, and he yawned for the eighth time that day. “This won’t do, I can’t keep sitting here or else I’m gonna fall asleep.”
Pine asked, “Didn’t you go upstairs really early last night.”
“Yeah. Then I was on the phone with my wife until 3 AM…”
As he was speaking, their mid laner came down the stairs.
Jian Rong was wearing a white sweatshirt and gray pants. His steps were brisk and lively, and his expression was relaxed; he looked extremely energetic.
Right as he walked over to the sofa, Lu Boyuan, whose head was lowered the entire time as he played mobile mahjong, suddenly shifted to the side and made room for him to sit.
Jian Rong abandoned the smaller couch that he usually preferred sitting on. He rubbed his face and sat down next to Lu Boyuan.
Yuan Qian stood up and twisted side to side. “It really does get worse with age. I’ll have to get some fire cupping done.”
“That depends on the person.” Xiao Bai looked at their team’s mid laner and jungler with exuberant intrigue. “Look, my ge ran over to check on the practice room at 2:30 AM last night, but isn’t he still quite energetic?”
Jian Rong: “…”
Lu Boyuan’s expression didn’t change. On his app, he beautifully drew the tile he needed to win.
Yuan Qian asked blankly, “Check on the practice room? Checking on who?”
“Our mid laner ah.” Xiao Bai pressed his shoulder against Pine’s and flopped onto him. “When I woke up this morning, my Weibo feed was filled with the two of them. At two AM, TTC’s captain personally went to check on the team’s newcomer and urge him to go to bed. The fans even mentioned me and asked if I ever received this treatment.
“Forget checking up on me.” Xiao Bai sniffed dramatically. “I thought about it carefully, but my ge hasn’t even told me to sleep earlier before.”
Lu Boyuan stated the facts. “Since when have you ever slept earlier than me?”
Xiao Bai said, “This has nothing to do with me actually going to sleep or not! What’s important is the intention!”
Lu Boyuan nodded. “Then you should sleep earlier tonight.”
“…okay ge.” Xiao Bai propped up his head and suddenly remembered something. “Oh, that’s right ge, have you ever checked out you and Jian Rong’s Weibo supertopic?”
Jian Rong had just twisted open a bottle of water and taken a sip. He nearly choked when he heard that.
“No.” Lu Boyuan asked, “Me and Jian Rong’s?”
Xiao Bai said, “Yeah, it’s existed for ages. Its follower count grows super fast, which is why Jian Rong’s Weibo has recently gained a ton of new fans too…”
“I don’t need new fans.” Jian Rong stiffly interrupted him.
Xiao Bai said, “If you don’t want them, give them to me. I’m only 30,000 fans short of hitting two million.”
Jian Rong said coldly, “You take them.”
When the auntie came out with the food, what she overheard was precisely that childish conversation.
She chuckled. “You all can come eat now.”
The melodious sound of the doorbell rang just as Jian Rong stood up. It wasn’t the electronic doorbell; it was the doorbell of the house.
The base had two ‘doors.’ One was the large iron gate outside, and one was the house door. Reasonably speaking, people who could enter through the iron gate should also know the password to the front door.
“I’ll get it.” Jian Rong said.
“Wait a second…” Yuan Qian wanted to stop him, but Jian Rong moved too quickly. He could only warn, “Look through the peephole before opening the door.”
Jian Rong glanced through the peephole.
A slightly chubby man was standing outside. He looked to be in his thirties or forties, and his appearance… was a little hard to describe.
Bald, big gold chain, prayer beads, black sunglasses, jade rings, leather jacket, topped off with a cigarette dangling from his mouth.
The big gold chain was shockingly thick, and a Buddhist amulet hung from the front of it. It looked similar to the gold chains that those cannon fodder crime bosses had worn in the gangster movies that Jian Rong had watched many years ago.
From first glance, he didn’t seem like some decent person.
Jian Rong’s eyes turned frosty. He saw that the man was holding a palm-sized clutch bag in his hand, and Jian Rong tightened his grip on his water bottle before he opened the door.
“Who’re you?” Jian Rong asked hostilely, blocking the gap in the door.
The man was originally going to say something, but he ended up blinking blankly at Jian Rong’s question. A few seconds later, he blew out a mouthful of smoke and nodded. “Quite spirited. Where’s Road and the rest?”
“Need something?” Jian Rong frowned. “How’d you get past the gate?”
The middle-aged man: “…”
He rubbed his little bald head before he put his hands on his hips and said, amused, “How do you think I got past it?”
“Crawled over it?” Jian Rong paused and glanced at the man’s belly. “…that doesn’t seem likely either.”
The middle-aged man: “?”
“What exactly do you want? If you don’t say it, I’m gonna call security.”
“Why else would I come? I’m here to visit you guys, open the door and let me go inside to talk about it…”
“A fan, right.” Jian Rong nodded. “Thank you for your support, but this kind of behavior where you follow us to our base is already crossing the line, hurry up and leave.”
“I’m not a fan. I’m your financier daddy.”
Understanding dawned over Jian Rong, and he nodded. “From the stream? Even so, you still can’t follow me to my base, leave.”
“………” The man pinched his cigarette between his fingers and lowered his head to open his clutch bag.
A water bottle was swiftly aimed at the man.
Jian Rong said vigilantly, “What are you doing? What do you want to take out? You…”
Before he could finish, someone pressed his hand back down.
Lu Boyuan curled an arm around his shoulders and tugged him backwards. When he saw the person standing outside the door, he first lifted an eyebrow before he asked, “How come you’re here, sir?”
There was an obvious note of respect in his cool voice, which made Jian Rong feel somewhat stunned when he heard it.
“I just got back to Shanghai a few days ago, so I wanted to come visit you guys, but I forgot the password for this door.” The man rubbed a hand over his little bald head again and huffed out a laugh, partly out of anger, “Except then I ended up being blocked outside. Nothing I said worked, he insisted on freaking chasing me away…”
“He’s new, he’s never met you before.” Lu Boyuan lifted a hand and patted Jian Rong’s head. “This is our club’s owner.”
Jian Rong: “…”
Lu Boyuan said, “Greet the club owner.”
Jian Rong silently stuffed the water bottle into his pant pocket. “Hello sir, your2 necklace looks very nice.”
- Pretty sure this is Tiktok/Douyin haha ^
- He uses the formal you here! (Was using the normal you the whole time before this lolll) ^