Because of what happened with the stream, the flimsy friendship between TTC’s mid laner and support temporarily shattered for a day.
Or rather, their mid laner one-sidedly cut off their support for a day.
In the practice match, Xiao Bai, as Leona, walked towards the mid lane. “I’m coming to mid to help you gank a wave.”
As Jian Rong finished eating his minions, his blue buff also ran out, and he directly went back to base. “Don’t come.”
Xiao Bai: “Don’t be like that. I have my flash and my ult, we can definitely kill them.”
“I can kill them on my own.” Jian Rong asked coolly, “Do you see the ward I placed next to the river?”
Xiao Bai: “?”
Jian Rong said, “Before the first turret in your bot lane is destroyed, don’t take a step past that ward, and all will be well. Got it?”
Xiao Bai said, wronged, “I just blurted out a fact without thinking, do you have to go this far? I also often say that I’m going to crawl into P-baby’s bed at night ah! Actually, the fans only take this sort of thing at face value, they won’t really think that you and my ge did you-know-what—”
Jian Rong’s fingers paused. Syndra, who was in the middle of recalling to base, took a step forward and canceled the action. At the same time, Lu Boyuan’s Sett just happened to pass by him.
Jian Rong could tell that Lu Boyuan was on his way to clear the wolf camp. When Lu Boyuan saw Jian Rong cancel his animation to go back to base, he also stopped alongside him.
One mid laner and one jungler inexplicably froze under their team’s tower for two seconds.
Jian Rong: “…”
Jian Rong resisted the urge to stuff the mouse into Xiao Bai’s mouth, and he squeezed out from between his teeth, “Shut up.”
They won six practice matches that night and lost one. After they finished, they went over to the meeting room.
Three coaches were present today. The three of them started off by discussing the ban and pick phase for their match against PUD the next day, chiming in one after another. The team members all sat in their respective chairs and played on their phones while waiting for the review of the practice matches to begin.
Lu Boyuan sat in a relaxed posture and listened to the coaches extremely casually, up until he sensed the person sitting next to him repeatedly glance in his direction.
The fourth time Jian Rong peeked over, Lu Boyuan turned his head and asked, “What is it?”
“…nothing.” Jian Rong was holding his phone with two hands. A few seconds later, he spoke again. “The animal hospital sent me some pictures of Little Orange.”
Lu Boyuan said, “Let me see.”
Jian Rong had been getting by on his own ever since he was quite young, so he wasn’t very accustomed to seeking out others and sharing things with them.
As a result, he stared blankly for half a beat when he heard what Lu Boyuan said, before he handed his phone over.
Lu Boyuan lowered his eyes and flipped through the photos one by one, only stopping for about a second on each picture.
Right when he was about to reach the end, the phone suddenly vibrated, and a Weibo push notification popped up at the top of Jian Rong’s phone screen—
[[Special follow] When Will TTC’s Mid Laner And Jungler Battle In Bed: Drew some NSFW today. [image]]
Jian Rong’s mind went blank.
Jian Rong only had two special follows on his Weibo side account. One was Lu Boyuan, and the other was this Weibo artist.
This artist frequently drew Lu Boyuan. Later on… they would occasionally draw Jian Rong next to Lu Boyuan.
However! When Jian Rong first followed them, their art was extremely! Extremely! Extremely normal!! Either he and Lu Boyuan were sitting side by side on stage, or they had just won a match and were bowing…
Their Weibo username was also definitely not this before!
Jian Rong wanted to explain, but he halted the moment he opened his mouth.
How to explain this?
I didn’t follow them in order to see porn, it was just because I wanted to see drawings of you?
…that was even weirder.
Right when Jian Rong was on the verge of going into self-seclusion on the spot, Lu Boyuan asked quietly, “Are you logged into your main account or side account on Weibo?”
Jian Rong’s other hand clenched extremely tight. “Side account.”
If he followed this kind of thing on his main account, most likely neither Ding-ge nor the water friends would let him get away with it.
Lu Boyuan let out an “en.” “Are the drawings good.”
“………………” Jian Rong’s scalp prickled, and he admitted stiffly, “They are.”
Ding-ge wrapped up his discussion with the other coaches and nodded. “Alright, that’s the gist of it. Let’s review the match with them now so they can go rest afterwards.”
Lu Boyuan just happened to reach the end of the pictures. He tapped on the screen and the pictures automatically closed, returning to Jian Rong’s chat with the animal hospital.
Jian Rong was still thinking about how to explain that Weibo.
“He grows faster than you do.”
Jian Rong was startled. “Who?”
“Little Orange.” Lu Boyuan placed the phone back in Jian Rong’s hand, and his fingertips brushed briefly against Jian Rong’s palm.
The next afternoon, TTC arrived punctually at the competition arena.
Theirs was the second match of the night, so they came according to the predetermined time. But the match of the two teams playing before them was going a little slowly, and their third round had only just begun by the time TTC got there.
Yuan Qian checked the time. “It’s probably gonna be around ten by the time we finish.”
“It won’t.” Pine said, “We’re going to finish this in two rounds, a blitzkrieg.”
“That’d be for the best.” Yuan Qian chuckled and looked at the live broadcast on the TV before he suddenly jolted up. “Wait a minute, I’m not seeing things, right… a female pro player is on stage for MFG today?!”
“You just noticed?” Ding-ge’s head was lowered as he took notes. “Kongkong wasn’t doing too well in the last few matches, so MFG’s coach let her play instead. This should be her first time competing professionally.”
Jian Rong unconsciously glanced at the bottom right corner of the broadcast.
The girl’s hair was tied up in a neat and efficient ponytail, and she looked like the pretty daughter of a modest family. She was currently controlling Orianna in the game.
Xiao Bai had mentioned this female pro player to him before; he said that she had almost joined TTC’s trainee team.
Yuan Qian nodded. “Not a bad move for MFG’s coach. Regardless if MFG wins or loses today, they’ll definitely have a spot carved out for them on the hot search tonight. Female pro players, a rare existence ah.”
“Ai, this rare existence was originally supposed to be our team’s. Unfortunately, this girl especially worships my ge, and Ding-ge was worried that it would affect my ge’s training if she joined the team, so he gave her a hard rejection.” Xiao Bai paused. “Who would’ve thought that we would end up recruiting someone who worships my ge even more.”
Lu Boyuan was watching the match absent-mindedly. When he heard that, he laughed.
Jian Rong silently chanted “beating someone up is a competition ban” to himself a few times, before he picked up a cushion and threw it over.
“It wasn’t only because of that.” Ding-ge explained, “At the time, I was in contact with Savior, so I gave her a heads-up in advance and told her that it wasn’t guaranteed she would be able to join the first team after becoming a trainee. In fact, it would even be difficult to enter the second team, and she would have to endure. She seemed to need money quite badly, so she considered it for a few days before she decided not to come and try out.”
On the screen, Orianna flashed and used her ult, immediately pulling in three people on the other team and winning the team fight despite having fewer people on her side.
“Beautiful!” Yuan Qian said, “Hey, she’s pretty good? But how come I don’t have any impression of her ID… I feel like I haven’t seen it when playing ranked before.”
Jian Rong leaned back against the sofa and said, “She changed her name. Before, her ID was a string of random letters.”
“Random letters… oh, did it start with a J?” Yuan Qian paused briefly. “You know her?”
As soon as Yuan Qian said that, he felt like he had asked a useless question.
Someone who specialized in a certain role would certainly recognize other excellent players who chose the same role. This girl was at a level where she could play professionally, so it wouldn’t be unusual if Jian Rong did know her.
Sure enough, Jian Rong let out a low “en,” with one leg hiked over the other and both hands folded over his stomach.
His reply didn’t sound particularly energetic. Lu Boyuan turned his head and glanced at him. He was about to ask something when someone knocked on their break room door.
The moment Tang Qin walked in, the smell of perfume filled the entire room.
She was the host today, and her makeup was applied exquisitely and gracefully. There was a paper bag in her hand, and she asked, “I didn’t disturb you guys, did I?”
“Nope.” Xiao Bai raised his eyes and questioned, “What’s up, Tang Qin-jie? Need something?”
“No.” Tang Qin smiled. “I asked a friend to buy some coffee beans from overseas and bring them back for me. I remembered that you all like to drink coffee, so I brought some over.”
The break room went quiet for two seconds. Apart from Jian Rong, everyone else subconsciously shot a glance at Lu Boyuan.
None of them liked to drink that stuff. However, in an interview a few years back, Lu Boyuan had mentioned that he was fond of drinking coffee.
Jian Rong’s eyes were still fixed on the broadcast.
His lips were pressed tightly together, and he was completely motionless. He thought that he was acting very naturally, but in reality, his expression was frighteningly dark.
Why was his stomach so hungry.
Why was his forehead always sweating.
Why did so many people like Lu Boyuan.
When that thought flitted past, Jian Rong was slightly stunned, and he increased his hands’ pressure on his stomach a little more.
The more fans a professional gamer had, the higher their net worth would be. The concept was a bit similar to that of professional soccer players.
There was once a soccer player that Jian Rong had worshipped a lot. When he saw that soccer player begin to gain more and more fans, he had felt a faint sense of happiness.
If Lu Boyuan had many fans, Jian Rong should also feel happy about it.
But he didn’t—not only that, he even felt uncomfortable, resentful, annoyed.
Was it because he was too hungry?
As Jian Rong thought that, he picked up the bottled water on the table and took a huge gulp from it.
“No need, we can’t even finish what we have in the base right now.” Lu Boyuan swept a look at the person next to him. “Drink a little slower.”
Jian Rong lifted a hand and wiped his mouth. “…mn.”
Once Lu Boyuan declined, the others didn’t dare to accept of their own accord either. Tang Qin left the way she came in, and in order to lessen the awkwardness, she asked for a signature from Xiao Bai before departing.
MFG swiftly won their third game. With a score of 8/3/7, the female pro player became the match’s MVP.
Several minutes later, the broadcast switched over to the interview. Simultaneously, a staff member came to knock on their door, indicating that they should get ready to go on stage.
After putting his phone on silent, Lu Boyuan tossed it to the side and looked over to see the person next to him stand up a bit slower than usual. Jian Rong stood in place for a few seconds before he started to head out of the room.
Lu Boyuan’s brows furrowed slightly, and he quickly caught up to him.
They only walked for a short distance before they encountered PUD, who was waiting at the back entrance.
“We have to wait for two minutes, the staff members are still inspecting the computers,” XIU said cheerily upon seeing them.
“Alrighty.” Yuan Qian remembered something and said, “Happy birthday ah, Xiu1–ge.”
“At least you have a conscience.” XIU smiled. “I know a brother who still hasn’t given me my birthday blessings, even till now.”
Lu Boyuan said, “I’ll give them after we win the match, it’s all the same.”
Xiao Bai instantly provoked, “Our consecutive wins will be our birthday gift to you, Xiu-ge.”
“Will not lose.” Savior looked at Jian Rong and said, “You guys lose.”
Jian Rong rolled his eyes and ignored him.
The starving sensation in his stomach was growing stronger and stronger. Jian Rong licked his lips and couldn’t help but tilt his shoulders so that he could lean against the nearby wall.
Just as he was beginning to feel a little more relaxed, someone suddenly tugged gently at the back of his jacket collar.
Jian Rong subconsciously straightened up and glanced behind him.
Lu Boyuan looked at Jian Rong’s hand, which was shifting around on top of his belly. “Your stomach hurts?”
Jian Rong denied, “It doesn’t.”
Lu Boyuan watched him calmly for a few seconds. “If your stomach hurts, then let the substitute play.”
“No.” Jian Rong blurted out his refusal. He hesitated for a moment before he still ended up admitting truthfully, “I’m just… hungry.”
“I’m also hungry.” Xiao Bai rubbed his own belly. “How about we go and eat hot pot after this? We can order beef, tripe, duck intestines…”
Lu Boyuan continued to look at Jian Rong.
It was normal for Xiao Bai to be hungry; that guy clamored about being hungry every time before a match.
Jian Rong’s face was somewhat pale, and there was sweat on his forehead.
Lu Boyuan thought back. “Did you eat breakfast?”
“No.” After Jian Rong said that, he immediately explained, “In our previous matches, I also never ate anything the entire day beforehand, and I was always fine…”
Lu Boyuan stopped listening to him. He turned around and said something quietly to Ding-ge, who looked briefly taken aback before he rapidly walked towards the break room.
Not long after, Ding-ge came back holding a brightly colored package containing rainbow-colored hard candy inside.
“Eat one.” Lu Boyuan said lowly, “Jian Rong, your blood sugar is a bit low.”
Jian Rong was startled.
No wonder he kept feeling so listless.
Jian Rong took the candies. “My fault. This sort of situation has never happened to me before, I’ll be more careful next time.”
He tried to tear open the package, but he missed and didn’t create an opening.
The staff came over to hurry them onto the stage. Jian Rong switched to a different side of the bag, wanting to try again, but someone took the package away from him.
Seeing Lu Boyuan decisively tear open the package, Jian Rong extended his hand, wanting to take it back. “Than…”
Lu Boyuan didn’t give it to him. “Open your mouth.”
Jian Rong unconsciously obeyed and opened his mouth.
Right in front of their teammates, PUD, Tang Qin, and numerous staff members, Lu Boyuan took out a red-colored candy and fed it to Jian Rong.
In a place where the others couldn’t see, Lu Boyuan’s fingers bumped very lightly against the tip of Jian Rong’s tongue.
- In case you’re wondering why it’s not capitalized, it’s because XIU finally gets a Chinese character instead of just all english ‘XIU’ haha ^