Thank you to L for the Ko-fi!
Doufu didn’t expect for Jian Rong to be unwilling to admit defeat even when his face was as white as paper. “You fucker… that’s because my luck wasn’t good. When the game was going well for us, we got the Cloud Drake, but when things were going poorly, it was the Ocean or Infernal Drake. What’s the point!”
In LoL, after the third drake spawned, its element was fixed, and the Dragon Soul buff was acquired after killing four drakes. Many people believed that the Cloud Dragon Soul was the least useful, while the effects of the Ocean and Infernal Dragon Souls were exceptionally good.
This was Jian Rong’s first time hearing someone blame their loss on the Dragon Souls. He sneered, “Can’t do anything about that. Fools have a fool’s luck, but dumbasses don’t.”
“…” Doufu stuffed his hands into his pockets, but he couldn’t actually get mad. He narrowed his eyes and asked, puzzled, “You know, how come you look so obedient, but the moment you open your mouth, you start insulting people?”
Jian Rong leaned against the wall. “You also look like a human, but how come I’ve rarely ever heard you say anything using human speech?”
The phone in Doufu’s pocket rang; the coach called him, urging him to return to their break room.
“That top laner in your team’s like a pig, only you’re as skinny as a bamboo stick.” Doufu put away his phone. “What exactly is wrong with you? Should I call 120 for you and have them directly carry you away?”
“Carry yourself away.” Jian Rong said coldly, “Nine consecutive defeats in the regular season, and you still have the nerve to talk about other players. Hurry up and beat it.”
Doufu laughed out of anger and nodded. “You’re incredible.”
Once Doufu left, Jian Rong went to the sink and washed his face. He rubbed his stomach casually a few times before he turned and exited the bathroom.
He pushed open the door to the break room. “When are we going on stage…”
The words stopped halfway out of his mouth.
Jian Rong braced one hand against the door and stared at the somewhat empty break room. “Where is everyone?”
At that moment, there were only a couple people in the break room.
Moon glanced back at him and explained, “They went on stage.”
Jian Rong’s brows furrowed. “I’ll go over right away…”
“Don’t.” Moon called out to him, “Hezi went. The substitute is playing this game, you should just rest well.”
Jian Rong continued to stand in the doorway, and he licked his lips. “What do you mean?”
“Weren’t you feeling sick…” Moon paused. “It’s like this, Doufu knocked on our door earlier and told Captain that you threw up in the bathroom. He also said… you looked like you were about to die.”
Lu Boyuan had immediately turned to leave the room, but he ran straight into the staff member who came to tell them to go on stage.
PUD’s members were already on their way, so they had to head over quickly as well. Lu Boyuan had shot a look in the direction of the bathroom before he turned his head back and told the staff, mostly expressionlessly, We need to replace a player for this game.
Jian Rong listened to Moon’s explanation, his lips pale. Then he asked, “Do you know where Squid’s break room is?”
All the nearby staff instantly shook their heads.
Who the hell would dare say they knew.
“Jian Rong?” The team’s assistant manager hurriedly walked over. “I was looking for you in the bathroom. Are you okay? Do you still feel like throwing up? Does your stomach hurt? If it’s serious, I can take you to the hospital…”
“I’m fine.” Jian Rong drank some water. “I was just a bit nauseous, probably because of the low blood sugar.”
The assistant manager was confused. “Low blood sugar can cause you to vomit?”
“I assume so.” Jian Rong said, “That’s what Baidu said. In any case, I’m not gonna die, don’t worry.”
This was the assistant manager’s first time seeing someone be so nonchalant towards their own body. She took out a few packages of cookies from her pocket. “Then eat some of these, and I’ll take you to the car so you can rest.”
The sofa in the break room was small, and it was cramped even trying to fit two people on it. With all the people coming and going outside, it was also extremely noisy, and staff members would occasionally enter and exit the room as well.
After having just thrown up, Jian Rong didn’t have an appetite for anything right now. He randomly made up an excuse. “No thanks, I don’t like this flavor. I can just sit here, don’t mind me.”
“…you should still eat something.” The assistant manager persisted, “Also, God Lu was the one who told me to take you to rest in the car.”
Jian Rong froze and looked back at her.
“Really.” The assistant manager held up the jacket in her arms. “And he said that since there aren’t any blankets in the car… he told me to cover you with this jacket.”
Jian Rong went back to their team’s car.
They drove the minivan today, so the backseat was spacious. If Jian Rong curled up his legs, he could lie down.
He laid down on the seat, causing his bangs to fall to the side, revealing his neat forehead.
Jian Rong’s entire body felt somewhat weak, but he couldn’t fall asleep.
He pulled up the match livestream on his phone.
The game was already in the pick/ban phase, and the player cam just happened to be on Lu Boyuan.
Lu Boyuan was only wearing a short-sleeved shirt, and his expression was as calm and collected as usual. His lips pressed together a little, as if he had said “mn.” He then lifted his index finger and pushed his headset’s mic a bit further away from him.
Commentator A: “PUD ended up banning Lee Sin again… did God Lu get excited from the last game? He even took off his jacket.”
Commentator B chuckled. “But as far as I can tell, he doesn’t really look all that excited either.”
Jian Rong tugged the jacket covering his body up to his chin, breathing in the faint scent of laundry detergent.
Commentator A: “I didn’t expect TTC to swap players this round. Do they have some strategy in mind?”
Commentator B: “It’s possible. Hezi is also a team fight-oriented mid laner, perhaps they want to duke it out with PUD in the late game?”
While the commentators began analyzing the reason behind the player substitute, Hezi locked in Lissandra in the game.
Lissandra was Hezi’s signature champion, and it was also the only champion Jian Rong had lost to when he was soloing Hezi. Jian Rong had seen him play Lissandra in ranked games before, and he was quite good.
Lu Boyuan locked in Kindred.
Kindred was a jungler that could deal a lot of damage in the early game. Evidently, Lu Boyuan wanted to focus on the early-mid game this round as well, but PUD had learned their lesson. There was no way they would allow Lu Boyuan to comfortably farm and gank this time around.
PUD’s ADC picked Ezreal, a champion who was very good at self-defense. As a result, after Nautilus reached the appropriate level, he instantly went to stroll with XIU through TTC’s jungle.
Xiao Bai was playing Lulu, a soft support that couldn’t accompany the jungler. Lu Boyuan was ganked twice in the jungle before he hit level 6, and though he hadn’t died, his farming was still restricted.
Under the threat of the enemy jungler and support, TTC only got one kill within twenty minutes, by Pine. But strictly speaking, it didn’t give them a large advantage.
Jian Rong glanced at the match time. If this dragged on for another ten minutes… Savior’s Orianna was going to reach her superior phase.
His teammates also clearly noticed this problem, and they instantly banded together to team fight. Three people on each team died after the first team fight, which wasn’t a loss or a profit.
In the second team fight, PUD deliberately avoided the battle, and the engage failed.
In the third team fight, Orianna began to exert her strength.
Savior’s Orianna was indeed refined to the point of perfection. He watched for their optimal positioning before he decisively flashed and released his ult, pulling in four people and dealing explosive damage. Instantly, he sent the rhythm of the game flying.
That team fight directly put TTC at the disadvantage.
It was obvious that Hezi was trying his hardest to find an opportunity, but unfortunately, both damage dealers on the opposing team had taken the Cleanse spell, which could remove his CC. This significantly reduced his threat level.
The game lasted forty-six minutes. All three of TTC’s inhibitors were destroyed, and in the end, while Hezi was clearing minions, he was forcefully engaged by the enemy support. After PUD killed off TTC’s mid laner, they went on the offensive and ultimately pushed TTC’s Nexus.
PUD won the regular season match, 2:1.
Right as Jian Rong exited the stream, a Weibo notification popped up at the top of his screen—[Chaotic Esports Circle: PUD defeated TTC 2:1, TTC finished with two losses! Click here to see the behind the scenes of TTC’s substitution!]
“Chaotic Esports Circle” was a big, verified marketing account that his side account followed. When Jian Rong read the last part of the notification, his eyelids lowered, and he clicked on it.
“Chaotic Esports Circle” said, according to a reliable insider, Road was the one who spoke up and asked to substitute out Soft. The account also stated that Road’s expression was serious, and he appeared to be angry. At the end, “Chaotic Esports Circle” emphasized that Soft wasn’t in the break room at the time.
Jian Rong read over the article twice. Although none of the content was technically incorrect, it gave the netizens ample room for imagination… or perhaps, that was precisely the marketing account’s strong suit.
Sure enough, there was already a war brewing in the comment section.
[Road finally couldn’t take it anymore? What the hell was Soft doing in the first game today, he couldn’t even oneshot Volibear while playing Syndra. Really so fucking trash, he’s a whole galaxy apart from Savior.]
[Dumbass, in the next game, why don’t you fucking try playing Syndra and oneshotting a Volibear 1.5 levels higher than you? Didn’t you see how Soft cornered your Savior to the point that he didn’t even have the balls to come out from the tower?? Also, Soft’s damage was higher than Savior’s in the first game, OK??]
[Whoever wins is the most powerful, alright. Like it’s worth a damn if you’re only good at laning, this is a five-person game, does your Soft have the ability to carry the entire team in the LPL?]
[My son didn’t play in the third round. If he had, who knows who would’ve won. What kind of BS are the PUD fans spouting.]
[If it wasn’t because he was playing awfully, why wouldn’t he go up? Road personally subbed him out, but all you dumbasses are still out here shipping them together in the livestream room, what a joke.]
[Wait a sec, I heard that Soft didn’t play because he wasn’t feeling well? A friend of mine saw him walking out of the stadium with the support of a staff, reportedly! Reportedly, it’s low blood sugar.]
[Low blood sugar? Is that possible? If even TTC’s members are out here getting low blood sugar, then the other teams might as well just give up on life.]
[It’s not entirely impossible, it depends on someone’s body constitution, okay. Also, Soft was already very skinny.]
[Damn, how come the little bluenette is getting by worse and worse after joining the team? Is there too much pressure on him??]
[Leaving, going to spam some gifts, this dumbass son is really going to be the death of laozi.]
[To tell the truth, people who receive balanced nutrients and eat their meals properly typically won’t get low blood sugar. What’s more, TTC has nutritionists, so Soft leaving the stage because of this is a bit unreasonable.]
[+1, apart from unavoidable hand injuries, pro players should all be responsible for taking care of themselves well.]
[Feel quite sorry for Road, it was the most taxing on him in those three games. If Soft were there, they really might not have lost that third round.]
[Doesn’t Road have a hand injury too?]
Before, Jian Rong truly didn’t care about these netizens’ comments. Regardless of what other people insulted or said, it all just bounced off him.
However, he had no choice but to admit that this time, a few of those comments had jabbed him where it hurt.
Because he was afraid of getting a food coma, he hadn’t eaten breakfast and ended up having low blood sugar, resulting in his inability to play for the team, which caused them to lose the match.
This made him feel even worse than if he had been utterly destroyed by someone on stage.
Lu Boyuan completely carried with Lee Sin, and even after being targeted in the third game, he still tenaciously managed to farm; Xiao Bai and Pine weren’t at a disadvantage in the bot lane in any of the three rounds; Yuan Qian had fallen a bit behind in the first game, but in the latter two, he had braced himself against the pressure and put up a good resistance without making any more mistakes…
His teammates had given it their all. He was the biggest problem.
“Guilt” was a very unfamiliar feeling for Jian Rong. He gripped his phone with one hand and covered his eyes as a tiny hint of nausea gradually overtook him again.
After an unknown amount of time passed, the car door was pulled open.
Xiao Bai’s voice made its way in first. “PUD’s really starting to feel like one of those Korean teams. My scalp goes numb and my bladder tightens the moment I see one of their big late game team comps.”
“98k is still way too strong, I’ve decided to also try my hand at Volibear. Ai, I really don’t have the guts to look at Tieba’s forums these next few days.” Yuan Qian got in the car, causing it to shake a little. He looked back and asked, “Xiao Rong, you okay? I heard that you threw up?”
Jian Rong sat up. “I’m fine, it’s a lot better now.”
“Skinny people also have skinny people’s concerns, huh.” After Xiao Bai finished sighing, he said curiously, “That’s right, you ran into Doufu, but you didn’t end up fighting?!”
Jian Rong was expressionless. “Nearly did.”
Xiao Bai: “…”
Hezi, Moon, and the staff all sat in the other car. Hezi was currently standing outside their car, and he poked his head in to say, embarrassed, “Soft, I’m sorry, I didn’t play well today.”
Jian Rong was startled for a second. “No, it’s my fault. It has nothing to do with you.”
Xiao Bai asked carelessly, “How’s it your fault?”
Jian Rong said, “I had low blood sugar and couldn’t play, so we lost the match.”
The car went silent for a few seconds. Even Ding-ge, who just got in the car, glanced back in astonishment.
Yuan Qian burst out laughing. “So you’re saying that if you had played, we would’ve won for sure?”
Xiao Bai: “…you are so fucking arrogant.”
Pine silently looked out the window.
Jian Rong didn’t think that there was anything wrong with his line of thought. “At least, the chance of us winning would be 20% higher.”
“Even though what you’re saying is true.” Hezi placed a hand over his heart. “I’ve still been wounded. I’m going back to my car now, goodbye.”
“Enough, it’s already over, so there’s no point in discussing those what-ifs. In the last game, it was clear from PUD’s team comp that they wanted to drag it out to the late game. If you had played, it’s really not certain that you would’ve been as stable as Hezi.” Ding-ge had met quite a few pro players in his time, and he could tell from one glance what Jian Rong was thinking. “It’s not a big deal, who doesn’t encounter a few setbacks when they first enter this profession. In the future, you just have to pay a bit more attention to your health and remember to eat on time.”
Jian Rong nodded and couldn’t help but glance outside the car window.
When he didn’t spot the person that he wanted to see, he pursed his lips and asked, “Where’s Captain?”
Xiao Bai took off his hat and was in the middle of shamelessly fixing his hair. “Who knows, right after we finished the match, he said that he had to take care of something and that it’d probably take him about ten minutes. He told us to wait in the car for him.”
Pine: “Give him a call and check?”
“I called him just now, he didn’t answer.” Ding-ge frowned and muttered, “I said that I could find someone to go with him, but he refused.”
Yuan Qian said, “There are so many fans nearby, nothing could’ve happened, right…”
Jian Rong couldn’t sit there any longer.
He picked up his hat and casually put it on before he stooped over and stood up. “I’ll go look for him.”
“Don’t, don’t.” Xiao Bai quickly stopped him. “I’m worried that you’ll vomit on the street and give the sanitation workers more work to do.”
Jian Rong: “I’m fine now.”
Xiao Bai reached out and grabbed his arm. “Your face is even paler than when laozi puts on foundation, like hell you’re fine…”
Jian Rong didn’t respond. The moment his hand landed on the car door, it was suddenly pulled open.
Lu Boyuan stood outside the door, wearing his hat and mask, only revealing a pair of long and narrow eyes.
The brim of Jian Rong’s hat was pressed very low. At first, he could only see Lu Boyuan’s team uniform and the black plastic bag in his hand.
Before he could react, someone pinched the brim of his hat and lifted it up a bit.
Lu Boyuan looked at him and asked in a voice that was muffled through the mask, “Where are you going?”
Xiao Bai interjected before Jian Rong could speak. “Jian Rong was afraid that you got lost, so he was getting ready to look for you while dragging along that broken body of his.”
Because of his low blood sugar, Jian Rong’s reactions were somewhat sluggish. As a result, the thought of “fighting to the death with Xiao Bai” slowly arrived only after he sat back down in the last row.
On the way back to the base, Xiao Bai complained for a while about being ganked to hell in the first game before he started complaining about not having played Blitzcrank, which meant he wasn’t able to use his championship skin. Ding-ge discussed with Yuan Qian the small mistakes that he had made in the first game during the laning phase, while Pine watched a certain variety show on his phone.
The first few rows were quite noisy, which made the last row seem particularly quiet in comparison.
Jian Rong didn’t take off his hat. Taking advantage of the fact that Lu Boyuan couldn’t see his eyes, he kept staring down at Lu Boyuan’s hand.
He remembered that there were a few comments saying that Lu Boyuan had a hand injury?
If it was just ordinary muscle strain, it most likely wouldn’t be called a “hand injury.”
As he was staring, that hand suddenly moved towards him.
Lu Boyuan placed the black plastic bag on Jian Rong’s lap.
Jian Rong blinked blankly. As he asked “what is it,” he pulled open the bag.
The bag was filled with snacks. Candy, cookies, chocolate… each package and flavor was different.
Lu Boyuan removed his mask. “Eat something.”
Jian Rong remained frozen, holding open the bag. A few seconds later, he said, “…why did you buy so much?”
Lu Boyuan swept a look at him. “The assistant manager told me, someone in the team is a picky eater.”
Maybe he had rested enough; all of a sudden, Jian Rong didn’t feel sick anymore.
He ate half a chocolate bar and two packages of cookies. Before he closed his eyes to take a nap, he also tossed a piece of candy into his mouth.
He took off his hat and leaned his head against the window. Though his eyes were shut, he wasn’t able to fall asleep.
Jian Rong’s current mood was a little strange.
Upon receiving this bag of snacks, which most likely was worth less than 500 yuan in total, he seemed to be a bit too happy—he felt even happier than the first time he made it into Challenger, than the first time he received a gift in his stream, than the first time he was recommended on the streaming platform’s home page.
After Lu Boyuan finished playing three games in a row, the first thing he did upon leaving the stage was to buy sweets for him.
When that thought popped up, Jian Rong couldn’t help but bite down on the candy in his mouth.
Ding-ge looked behind him. “Did you think that XIU’s playing was just so-so this match…”
Lu Boyuan was playing on his phone. Without even looking up, he said lowly, “Keep your voice down.”
Ding-ge glanced at Jian Rong, who was leaning against the window, asleep. He lowered his voice. “I’ll tell Auntie to make a few more dishes tonight. We’ll replenish it quickly for him in these next few days.”
“There’s no point in adding dishes,” Lu Boyuan said. “Have to keep an eye on him.”
Ding-ge nodded. “Also true. Auntie’s breakfasts are so delicious, yet he can still restrain himself and not eat it… how about I hire a life assistant for him?”
Lu Boyuan’s brows furrowed. “No need, that’s troublesome.”
Ding-ge: “Then maybe I can personally…”
“I’ll look after him.” Lu Boyuan said.
Jian Rong: “…”
Ding-ge was briefly startled before he faintly understood what Lu Boyuan was saying.
“If you make a mid laner I paid 1.4 freaking million for massage your hand, that’s whatever.” Ding-ge was incredulous. “But did I spend over 10 million yuan on you so that you can go micromanage what someone else is eating…”
Before Ding-ge could finish what he was saying, the car seemed to roll over a large pit, causing the entire car to lurch severely.
Jian Rong tilted to the side because of the jolt. Right as his head was about to knock against the glass, someone abruptly reached out and supported his neck.
Since he had just finished playing three games, Lu Boyuan’s palm was still hot.
He easily cupped a hand around Jian Rong’s neck, and with a slight bit of force, he adjusted Jian Rong so that he was leaning against Lu Boyuan’s own shoulder.
Ding-ge was jostled back into his seat, and instantly, he quietly told the chauffeur to drive a bit slower, as there was a team member sleeping in the car.
In the last row. Jian Rong, whose eyes were closed the entire time, felt his heart thump wildly. His mind was in chaos, his eyelashes trembling so much that they nearly left behind afterimages in the air.
Wei: OMGOMGOMG this is!! So cute!!! Also RongRong really is only obedient to LBY lol