Thank you to Anon for the Ko-Fi!
By the time they arrived back at the base, the doctor was already there.
He tested Jian Rong’s blood sugar, and it was just barely at a normal level.
“It’s slightly better now.” The team’s doctor put away the blood glucose monitor and asked, “Has this condition affected you before?”
Jian Rong shook his head. If this had ever happened to him before, there was no way he would have allowed himself to repeat the same mistake again.
“Then you should be more careful in the future.” The doctor thought a bit. “However, vomiting is a relatively rare symptom of low blood sugar. Perhaps it’s because you were in the middle of a competitive match as well, so there was too much pressure on you. If your stomach continues to feel uncomfortable, you should go to the hospital to get it checked out.”
Jian Rong nodded. “Okay.”
“Do you still feel sick?” Ding-ge glanced at the object in Jian Rong’s hands. “How long are you going to keep holding that bag? Can’t you put it down on the table?”
“I’m feeling a lot better now.” Jian Rong tied the plastic bag closed and hauled over his equipment bag to stuff the plastic bag inside.
Lu Boyuan looked at the doctor. “Is there any way to treat this problem?”
“The most important thing is just lifestyle. He should be eating regularly, and his diet should be balanced in terms of nutrients. I’ll explain the situation to your base’s housekeeper in a bit.” The doctor paused. “Also, when going out in the future, bring some candy or cookies with you.”
“Okay.” Lu Boyuan dipped his head. “We troubled you to come out here tonight.”
“It’s not any trouble, I can also check up on your hand while I’m at it.” The doctor cast a look down. “You definitely exceeded the practice time again these past few days, didn’t you? I told you, this hand of yours…”
Sensing Jian Rong’s gaze float towards him, Lu Boyuan interrupted, “We can discuss this later.”
Since a team member wasn’t feeling well, Ding-ge decided to review the match tomorrow after they all woke up.
After dinner, Jian Rong was ushered off to sleep.
As soon as he went upstairs, Xiao Bai exhaled. “Jian Rong’s complexion seems to be a little better? His face was so ashen backstage, he looked like he was going to faint at any moment.”
Yuan Qian agreed. “When we got back to the car, he also looked quite pale. Ai, he’s still too skinny.”
“He was watching the livestream at the time.” Pine said evenly, “I heard the commentators’ voices.”
“Watching the livestream…” Xiao Bai crinkled his face. “His ability to resist pressure really is strong. I can imagine with my toes how terrible the barrage must’ve been in today’s broadcast. No wonder he didn’t say a single thing during dinner.”
Lu Boyuan didn’t say anything. He slipped his phone into his pocket before he turned around and went into the break room by himself.
After Jian Rong came out from the shower, he discovered quite a few WeChat messages on his phone.
[Qian: Xiao Rong, do you like soup? Your sister-in-law said that she wants to cook soup for you. Never mind how she usually seems so careless, the soup that she makes is especially savory (not trying to say that our Auntie’s soup isn’t savory)]
[Pine: [Sharing link – What should sufferers of low blood sugar pay attention to?]]
[Xiao Bai: There’s a small tray in the bottom layer of my computer desk with a lot of chocolate inside. If you feel ill in the future during practice, you can directly take some to eat.]
Jian Rong was still feeling a little worn out. He sat at the head of his bed and repeatedly read over the messages. Quite a few times, he pulled up the keyboard, but he didn’t know how to reply.
Since a very long time ago, he had stopped receiving these kinds of messages. He had many people added on his WeChat: streamers, room moderators, super-admin; nearly all the messages he received had something to do with streaming. There was no need to reply to the occasional well wishes that he received during the holidays either.
Jian Rong typed out an “okay.” A while later, he added a “thank you.”
Less than two minutes after he sent the messages, someone knocked on his door.
Lu Boyuan had stuck one hand in his pocket and was holding a mug in the other. He said, “Drink this before you sleep.”
Jian Rong took the mug and smelled the faint fragrance of honey. “…thank you.”
A silence descended for two seconds.
Lu Boyuan gave a very light sigh. “Can I come in?”
Jian Rong instantly pulled open the door.
Jian Rong had just finished showering, so the room was filled with the familiar scent of his body wash. Lu Boyuan had once stayed awake and smelled that fragrance for an entire night.
He didn’t walk into the room itself; he merely crossed his arms and leaned against the wall. “Today’s match…”
Jian Rong answered swiftly, “I had a lot of problems.”
Lu Boyuan raised an eyebrow. “In your opinion, what were your problems?”
“My ability to provide assistance was too weak, my teamwork wasn’t good, I didn’t think about my teammates during team fights.” Jian Rong lowered his head. “…I didn’t eat breakfast properly and got sick, resulting in my absence from the third game.”
Lu Boyuan nodded. “And.”
Jian Rong thought a bit. “I didn’t help out the top lane in the early game. There was a wave in the middle where I should’ve gone to the top lane with you.”
Lu Boyuan didn’t reply, indicating that he should continue.
“And…” Jian Rong was in a poor condition today, so he only vaguely remembered the details about the match. “Let me think.”
Lu Boyuan prompted mildly, “Outside of the competition.”
Understanding instantly dawned on Jian Rong. “…I shouldn’t have insulted Doufu for being trash.”
Lu Boyuan: “.”
“And I shouldn’t have called him a dumbass.
“Nor should I have mocked him for his nine consecutive defeats.”
“He’s not relevant to this.” Lu Boyuan interrupted Jian Rong levelly as he looked down at him. “If you felt sick, why didn’t you say anything.”
Jian Rong was slightly startled. “I was fine after I threw up, it wouldn’t have affected my gameplay.”
“This has nothing to do with the match.” Lu Boyuan went quiet for a few seconds before he said, “When the team signed you on, it wasn’t so that you could work yourself to the bone.”
Jian Rong pressed his lips together. “…my bad.”
Lu Boyuan watched him silently for a while.
“It’s true that you had a lot of problems today.”
Jian Rong closed his eyes. Right as his heart started to sink, he heard Lu Boyuan continue, “But they were all blunders that a newcomer would make. There weren’t any major mistakes.”
Jian Rong’s head shot up.
Lu Boyuan’s gaze was calm. “You’re very strong individually, which is why you like to act on your own and want to produce brilliant plays in matches, as well as be the starter for every game… that way of thinking is very normal.
“If you were playing in the LSPL, which is full of newcomers, you would already be the predetermined champion, and you would most likely even receive transfer invitations from other large-scale clubs…
“But your starting point was too high, so now you’re facing teams that are all very developed. Maybe they can’t beat you in a 1v1, but they know how to restrict and suppress you. They have analysts who specialize in researching your statistics, and they probably know your weak points even better than you do—that’s why I think that it’s very normal for you not to be used to this kind of playstyle.”
Perhaps it was because there was a comforting note in Lu Boyuan’s voice. Or perhaps it was because Jian Rong had been streaming for too long and was already used to the entire barrage insulting him whenever he made the smallest mistake.
In any case, at that moment, Jian Rong’s heart ached slightly.
He said, “…but I’ve already been playing in practice matches for several months now.”
“Yes.” Lu Boyuan said unhurriedly, “Twisted Fate, Orianna, Galio, you’ve been practicing all of those competitive champions. You’ve been working hard, it’s just still not quite enough. Savior excels at providing assistance and team fighting, and he understands better than you do what he should be doing at every moment. If you could catch up to him by just training for a few months… that would truly be a little unfair to his price of eight million yuan a season.”
Jian Rong cast his eyes downward and remembered, once again, the fact that he was only a mid laner worth 1.4 million yuan.
“However, the regular season is precisely the opportunity for teams to adjust themselves. You still have a lot of time to practice.” Lu Boyuan lifted a brow. “The precondition being that your body can hang in there.”
“I know,” Jian Rong nodded, “I’ll eat properly.”
Lu Boyuan first dipped his head, before a few seconds passed and he suddenly tilted his head to the side, huffing out a laugh.
Jian Rong subconsciously asked, “Why’re you laughing?”
Lu Boyuan said, “It’s nothing.”
He just felt like it was somewhat cute seeing this person, who was constantly scowling and arguing from the sky to the earth, now lower his head and say “I’ll eat properly.”
Lu Boyuan questioned, “You’re feeling better now?”
“Mn, I’m fine.” Jian Rong paused for a moment before he abruptly asked, “Did… you enlighten the others like this before too?”
Jian Rong didn’t have any other intentions; he just thought that Lu Boyuan’s words were very effective. In the short span of ten minutes, he felt like he had completely revived.
Lu Boyuan was dumbfounded for two seconds.
He mulled over the phrase “enlighten” and asked, “Did you think I was enlightening you?”
Jian Rong gave a slight start. “Ah.”
Lu Boyuan smiled. “I thought I was coaxing you.”
The unfamiliar word “coax” suddenly charged into Jian Rong’s brain.
He didn’t know why, but his attention was entirely focused on that one word. It revolved and rotated around his mind to the point that he almost didn’t recognize it anymore.
At another unexpected moment, like a balloon popped by boiling water, a turbulent stream of heat rushed through his body and directly engulfed all of his cells.
In the dim lighting, Lu Boyuan’s eyes were very gentle and soft. Jian Rong pursed his lips, licked them, and opened his mouth, but nothing came out.
Finally, Lu Boyuan reached over and opened the door. He said, “You should rest.”
Jian Rong had a good night’s rest. For the first time since joining the team, he didn’t have a single dream.
Maybe because he slept too early, it wasn’t yet nine when he woke up the next morning.
He hadn’t pulled the curtains shut last night before going to bed, and the morning sun beat against Jian Rong’s eyelids, warm and comfortable. He relished it for a while with his eyes closed before he picked up his phone out of habit—
[Chaotic Esports Circle: TTC Incident Follow-up—Road disappears after the match with a dark face, suspected to be dissatisfied with the new mid laner.]
[Chaotic Esports Circle: Was it right or wrong for TTC to take a risk and bring in a completely inexperienced newcomer as their starter? Click here to see a retired coach’s deep analysis.]
Did this marketing account not need to sleep? Posting so many moronic articles in one night?
Jian Rong didn’t even check out the content of the articles before unfollowing the account. He threw off his blanket and got out of bed to wash up.
The base was extremely quiet, since the auntie only came at nine. Jian Rong poured himself a cup of milk and sat down in front of his computer, yawning as he started his stream.
There were even less people in an early morning stream than one held in the middle of the night. For the first few minutes, there weren’t a lot of flying comments on the screen.
[Streaming right after losing a match, are you asking to be flamed?]
[How come your stream times are becoming more and more magical? Isn’t today a day off?]
[What team’s ‘day off’ is actually a day off?]
[This is a pretty good time, Dad just woke up and can curse you out a few times to get an energy boost.]
[There’s still three minutes before the antis arrive on the battlefield, Dad’s gonna get up and do some tai chi first to warm up the body.]
Many professional players wouldn’t choose to stream right after losing a match, because before the next losing team appeared, the antis’ attention would all be concentrated on you.
Seeing Jian Rong start streaming, the new dad fans grumbled and swore worriedly. Meanwhile, the person in question tore open a bag of cookies and ate one before propping up his legs and opening yesterday’s match replay.
“Why spam question marks?” Jian Rong said lazily, “Standard procedure, reviewing the game.”
[What standard procedure?]
[Before, when this B didn’t play well in a ranked game, he would often watch the recording and review the game. Later on, probably because he grew more popular and thought that game reviews would cause him to lose fans, the dumbass stopped doing it.]
[The key point is that this isn’t a problem with the match, this is a problem with the player’s personal character. This is my first time seeing a pro player not be able to play due to low blood sugar.]
[You should just get the hell out of TTC, TTC can’t accept the great god that you are, don’t come and wreck my team, OK?]
[The other teams don’t want you either, this person here is recommending that you directly retire and go back to streaming. After all, that profession has no standards for its employees’ characters, don’t screw over other people.]
[Hahahaha your team? How’d you suddenly become the representative of a certain team? And who exactly might you be? You have quite some nerve hah, dumbass trolls.]
“It wasn’t because I thought reviewing the game would cause me to lose fans, it’s because your dad grew stronger.” Jian Rong scanned the barrage. “It was low blood sugar, I was being a dumbass and didn’t eat breakfast. You can flame me as you like for that, no need to block people, room mods… I have no plans to retire for the time being, nor do I have any plans to transfer. So no matter how upset you are, you’ll still have to watch me finish out this spring season. Those who can’t accept it can personally come to the stadium to gank me.”
[What’s the purpose of a mid laner that can’t carry? To be a guard for the mid lane’s defensive towers?]
Jian Rong jumped to the second before the match began in the livestream replay. “That’s true, it’s my fault for not carrying. Next time for sure.”
After that, Jian Rong really did start to seriously watch the match.
This turn of events put the antis at a loss for two seconds. Then they started to amplify their firepower, attempting to stir up drama with the passerby spectators—
[You obviously could’ve tower dived here, yet you didn’t flash and follow up, how trash.]
[If you don’t play an assassin, then you don’t know how to kill someone??]
Jian Rong didn’t say anything. He knew that he hadn’t done anything wrong in this wave; Savior had been in possession of his cleanse, flash, and ult, and was just waiting for Jian Rong to tower dive.
The antis continued to work hard, except a few minutes later, they discovered that the barrage was moving in a somewhat odd direction.
The other people in the barrage were also flaming Soft along with them, that was true.
But the people flaming him… were all freaking touting the icons representing his livestream’s diehard fans.
[Dumbass, the dads helped organize it for you on Tieba last night, you should start watching from eight minutes.]
[Savior’s already stepping onto Pine’s face, yet you’re still freaking here in the mid lane clearing minions. If I were Pine, I would’ve definitely AFKed next to the fountain and started interacting with you.]
[Either you should’ve gone to gank them before Savior could, or you should’ve just not gone at all and pushed the mid towers earlier. Look at you, going back and forth like a dumbass and not getting anything done.]
[Trash to the point that I feel embarrassed telling someone that I’m your dad when I go outside.]
[Trash to the point that even Dad’s dreams last night were filled with your dumbass Syndra running a marathon.]
[If you’re gonna be a loner in ranked, that’s whatever, but you try to pull the same trick during a match? Did you not practice during your practice matches?]
It was possible to bind your LoL game ID to your StarTV account. Some antis sensed that something was off, so they clicked on the LoL icons behind the usernames of these people in the barrage who were in the middle of criticizing and lecturing Jian Rong. They were successfully blinded by the resulting ranks.
Diamond, Master, there were even some damn Challenger ranks. Even the lowest rank was still Gold.
Jian Rong silently rewatched the video clip twice. During those few minutes, his gameplay was indeed a bit too independent.
In practice matches, of course Jian Rong had also practiced providing assistance, but he very rarely tried to outdo someone in terms of support when he was playing Syndra. He had also never encountered an Aurelion Sol like Savior’s, who went to gank so frequently.
He unlocked his phone and wrote down the time stamps for Savior’s support moments in his notes.
Half of his milk was now in his stomach. There was a patch of white above Jian Rong’s upper lip.
[Also, that team fight at 28 mins, just take a look and see how trash you were. You were standing in such a good position, but you only knocked back two people with your spheres.]
[Most importantly, you didn’t stun 98k, and the cost was being smashed to death by one slap. So embarrassing.]
[Yuan Qian’s a noob, Soft’s also a noob. Speaking of which, isn’t Yuan Qian’s contract about to expire? Perfect, you two can both get the hell out, hand in hand.]
“I remember that wave… you’re right, I didn’t do the knockbacks well.” Jian Rong ate another cookie and shifted his finger, blocking and kicking the person who brought up Yuan Qian. “A game review is a game review. If you want to insult me, then do it. Those who want to take advantage of the situation and muddy the waters, you can get lost far away from here. Dad isn’t gonna indulge you all.”
After he said that, he pressed ‘play’ again.
It took him almost an hour to review the first game.
The antis transitioned from their original vehemence to calmness—these fans were flaming Jian Rong even more intensely than the antis were, what the hell were they supposed to do with that.
In the middle, the auntie pushed open the door and came in to ask him if she needed to make breakfast. Jian Rong nodded. “Yes, sorry for the trouble.”
[Are you a pig? You ate two little bags of cookies and you’re gonna keep eating?]
[That stuff doesn’t have enough nutrients, the little dumbass is still growing.]
[Eighteen year olds are still growing? That’s probably as good as his height is gonna get for the rest of this lifetime, but perhaps his weight can still rise.]
Jian Rong broke the hard-boiled egg into two halves and stuffed one piece into his mouth. He answered indistinctly, “Bullshit… at the very least, I can reach 1801.”
[180 cm in your dreams.]
[You don’t even blush when you say something like that?]
[Son, Dad saw someone say that Road’s face went dark because you pissed him off so bad? Is that true or fake?]
[To be precise, Road left because of how pissed he was. After the match, he left without even going back to the break room hahaha.]
Jian Rong’s chewing slowed down a little.
[It can’t be that bad. Honestly, that match wasn’t completely my son’s fault either ah.]
[Love well, whip well.]
[Love my ass, with how trash he is they probably broke up immediately after.]
[Broke up? Wasn’t my son in an unrequited love this entire time? To put it more accurately, my son one-sidedly lost his love.]
[My son is so tragic. Lost the match, forfeited his love.]
[It’s pretty good, this way my son doesn’t need to be gay anymore.]
The moment they brought up Lu Boyuan, he recalled what happened last night.
Could a captain use the word “coax” when looking after his teammates?
Did men… need to coax other men?
Sensing his ears start to burn again, Jian Rong hastily swallowed his egg. He was about to interrupt the barrage’s rhythm when someone pushed open the practice room door.
Lu Boyuan walked in wearing casual clothes, and he glanced at the breakfast on Jian Rong’s table before he looked at his computer screen.
Jian Rong hadn’t expected him to get up so early. He tilted his head back and stared blankly at Lu Boyuan’s jaw.
Before either of them could speak, the cooking auntie came in first.
The auntie wanted to clear away Jian Rong’s bowl and chopsticks. She knew that it was typically tough on these youngsters, so she never made them do the things that she was capable of doing.
When she saw Lu Boyuan, she was startled. “Xiao Lu, how come you’re awake so early? Was I too noisy when I was sweeping the hallway?”
“No.” Lu Boyuan said evenly, “I was afraid that he wouldn’t eat breakfast, so I set an alarm and woke up.”
Jian Rong had one hand propped against the keyboard, and his expression grew even more dazed.
“I see…” The auntie’s mind was set at ease. “Then should I make you some breakfast as well? What do you want to eat?”
“The same as him is fine, I’ll be troubling you.”
Once the auntie left, Lu Boyuan lowered his eyes and asked, “Why’re you streaming so early.”
Jian Rong hummed. “To pass the time.”
Noticing that Lu Boyuan was looking at the video on his computer monitor, Jian Rong explained, “Ding-ge isn’t here yet, so I decided to review on my own for a bit.”
Lu Boyuan nodded. “Let me turn on my computer, and we can queue together for a few games.”
Jian Rong instantly said, “Okay.”
Lu Boyuan was about to head over to his own computer when he spotted the remaining half of the egg sitting on Jian Rong’s desk. He reached out a hand and ruffled Jian Rong’s hair. “Finish your food.”
Jian Rong stuffed the other half of the egg into his mouth.
Question marks slid across the barrage for a few short seconds.
[When will that dumbass marketing account die?]
[…………forget it, if he’s gay then so be it. Being gay with Road is still social climbing for you, son.]
[Your relationship, do the other people in your team know about it?]
[That’s a dark face? That’s a dark face??? If they took it one fucking step further they would be streaming going to bed with each other!!]
[Two minutes ago, I came across the video of Road inserting his fingers into the dumbass’ mouth. Whatever, I won’t say anything else, wishing you 992]
[Requesting video, wishing you 99]
[Wishing you 99]
[Wishing you 99]
- About 5’11” ^
- Pun here – 9 (jiu) sounds the same as “long time”. So it’s slang for blessing a couple / hoping they’ll be together for a long time ^