Right after the competition ended, the intersections near the stadium were extremely backed up.
The car inched forward a tiny bit before stalling again. Shiliu decided to just put the car in park and turned to look at the passenger seat.
Jian Rong’s elbow was propped on the windowsill, the palm of his hand placed seemingly casually against the back of his neck. He was currently staring outside.
Shiliu narrowed his eyes and leaned closer to him. Sensing the other person’s gaze, Jian Rong’s head whipped around. “What?”
“Why is your face still so red?” Shiliu looked him up and down. “Where did Xiao Bai bump into you? Should I take you to the hospital?”
Jian Rong covered his nape, which was burning faintly, and said, “It’s fine, I’m not hurt. It’s just because of the cold from sitting there too long.”
Shiliu let out an “oh” and sat back in his seat. “Qian-ge is such a good person, he’s even willing to take us out the back door. Actually, it’s been a long time since I’ve contacted him…”
Jian Rong listened to him distractedly as he took out his phone and glanced at it. The screen was already filled with Weibo notifications.
Before the cars started moving again, Shiliu glanced at the hat that Jian Rong was holding and laughed. “Could it be that you’re not actually a fan of the whole team, you just like Road?”
Jian Rong said, “En.”
“When did you become a fan?” Shiliu made small talk.
Jian Rong said, “During a competition.”
“Which competition?” Shiliu asked, “How long have you been a fan? Where did that hat come from? In TTC, I still like Pine quite a bit, his Aphelios and Ezreal really are strong… you play mid, so how come you’re a fan of Road?”
He didn’t get an answer. Shiliu turned his head, puzzled, and discovered Jian Rong was also looking at him.
Jian Rong’s face was still red, but by now he had already regained an expression that looked just as contemptuous as it did during his streams.
He said, “Focus on yourself, mind your own business.”
When they arrived at the neighborhood gate, Jian Rong rejected the umbrella that Shiliu wanted to give him and got out of the car. “Thanks, I’ll treat you to a meal next time.”
Shiliu didn’t hold back. “I’ll choose the location.”
“Hey, wait a second.” Shiliu stopped him and glanced at the nearby shabby neighborhood. “Why are you still living here? One of my friends happens to be renting out a place. The price is negotiable, but you can definitely afford it. The location and environment are both much better than here, how about I introduce you?”
Jian Rong shook his head without even considering it. “No need, I’m used to living here.”
The environment around the place he lived was indeed average, and the location was out of the way as well, but that didn’t matter much to Jian Rong, who only left the house once in a blue moon. As long as he had a clean bed and a computer that was connected to WiFi, he could live anywhere.
It was still raining, but it was just a very light drizzle. As Jian Rong watched Shiliu’s car drive away down the narrow road, he stuffed his hat into his jacket and pulled the zipper up high before turning and going home.
By the time TTC returned to the base, Xiao Bai was still hung up on what happened at the back entrance.
“Relax, it’s really not a big deal.” Yuan Qian said, “If you’re truly that afraid of Soft, I can ask Shiliu to put in a word for you.”
“Who’s afraid of him…” Xiao Bai puffed out his chest and bluffed, “Don’t I just feel bad for crashing into him? And also, Qian-ge, if it weren’t for you inviting them to walk out the back with us, I wouldn’t have crashed into him ah. This is your fault too, you have to take responsibility and resolve the issue!!”
Yuan Qian didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Even though he had been the one to call out to them, he was just doing what their captain had asked him to do.
He nodded. “Okay, I’ll talk to him.”
Lu Boyuan ignored their bickering and walked towards the practice room while taking off his jacket.
He had just stepped into the room when Ding-ge followed after him.
“My friend recommended a massage therapist to me. I asked him to come over to the base tomorrow afternoon to help massage you guys a little.” Ding-ge subconsciously glanced at Lu Boyuan’s hand. “How’s it been these past few days? Does it still hurt?”
“It’s long stopped hurting.” Lu Boyuan tossed the jacket over the back of the chair. When Ding-ge still didn’t leave, his expression hesitant, Lu Boyuan asked, “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing.” Ding-ge sighed. “It’s just that StarTV came to find me.”
StarTV was their livestream partner, and every member of TTC had signed a livestream contract with the platform.
The contracts were also personalized to the team members. Every other member had to stream about twenty to thirty hours a month, the times varying per person. Only Lu Boyuan was different; he had no time requirement, and he still received a base salary even if he didn’t stream. His gift allocation percentage was also high, and he could earn quite a hefty sum of money by streaming just one time.
However, Lu Boyuan didn’t need that small amount of gift money. The amount of times he had streamed this year could be counted on one hand.
“Isn’t it already the end of the year now? These platforms all have to put on some annual grand ceremony or something. Recently, there’s been a fair amount of competition between these livestream platforms, and StarTV’s competitor just signed on PUD. Rumor has it that they’ve become very popular, so the platform is worried that their LoL category’s site traffic won’t be enough… so they came and found me to ask you to help bring in some popularity.” Ding-ge said, “But I didn’t answer them yet, the decision is still up to you. If you want to stream, then do it; if not, I’ll reject them.”
As Ding-ge rambled on, he ended up backing out first. “Forget it, it’s better not to stream. I’ll go give the person in charge a call…”
“Wait a moment.” Lu Boyuan stopped him. “When does the event start?”
Ding-ge was startled. “It starts tomorrow, all the way until December.”
Lu Boyuan gave an “en” and compressed all the videos saved on his computer desktop before attaching them to an email and hitting send.
Ding-ge’s phone buzzed, and he received about a dozen compressed files in his email inbox. “What did you send?”
“Video recordings.” Lu Boyuan paused for a few seconds before adding, “In the video is the mid laner that I’m personally recommending to the team.”
The next day, the first thing Jian Rong heard when he woke up was the sound of raindrops pattering against the glass of the window.
This kind of noise was too hypnotic, and Jian Rong laid there for quite a while before he slowly opened his eyes. He stretched and felt around for his phone, which he’d tossed somewhere on the bed.
After getting into the habit of staying up all night, Jian Rong had watched movies the entire night, only sleeping when the sun rose. Right now, it was already 6:30 p.m.
The Weibo notifications were too disruptive, and before falling asleep he had already turned them off completely, so his phone screen was currently totally clean. The only message was from Shiliu: [Are you streaming today?]
[Shiliu: Not chasing after your idol?]
Jian Rong yawned and replied lazily.
[R-ong: Messaged the wrong person?]
[Shiliu: No, aren’t you a Road fan?]
[R-ong: …do you have to repeat that to me once a day? Worried that I’ll forget?]
[Shiliu: Fuck, Road is streaming today]
Jian Rong stared at his phone in a daze for a few seconds.
[R-ong: Really? What time?]
Shiliu cursed a “fucking fake fan” before sending a screenshot from Weibo over.
[TTC ་ Road: Seven p.m. [& livestream room link]]
Jian Rong washed up in ten minutes before first opening up his own livestream main account and letting it run in the background. He then logged into his side account.
At 6:55, he promptly slipped into Road’s livestream room.
Road wasn’t there yet, but his livestream room was already full of people camping out. On the gift-giver list, there were fans, streamers, and even professional players. The gift money was already extremely high, rocketing the livestream room that hadn’t even started streaming yet straight to the number one spot on the LoL category’s monthly ranking.
The interface was lagging too much, so the platform opened four channels for Road.
Jian Rong had just found a channel that wasn’t laggy when the livestream room’s black screen suddenly flashed, and Road’s computer desktop appeared in front of everyone.
The streamer’s mouse moved slightly on the desktop, and after a pause, a very light laugh traveled through the headphones.
“Just a moment. It’s been too long since I last streamed, I forgot how to turn on the webcam.”
[Ahhhh husband you’re here QAQ!!!]
[Blowing off the dust that gathered in God Lu’s livestream room =3=]
[Why bring in the sub during the match point game why bring in the sub during the match point game???]
[Announcing your retirement tonight?]
[TF retirement, if there isn’t an official announcement don’t go making up BS]
[TTC might as well just disband right now]
[Husband’s laugh is so sexy I’m dead]
Thousands upon thousands of comments swept by. Jian Rong silently turned up the volume for his headphones and turned off the barrage.
The instant the barrage disappeared, a large video window jumped out.
The man sat in front of the computer, wearing yesterday’s sweater, the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. He was looking down, mostly expressionless, waiting for the person next to him to finish adjusting his equipment.
Even though the barrage was off, the special effects from the gifts were still very laggy, and every gift banner streaked across the top of the livestream, pausing for less than two seconds before being replaced.
Jian Rong’s old computer stuttered under the lag. He clicked his tongue and tossed out two Sea of Stars before he decided to lie down on his bed and watch using his tablet.
“Just casually streaming, don’t waste your money.” Lu Boyuan finished adjusting his mic volume, and without another word, he directly opened the LoL client.
By the time Jian Rong made it to his bed, Lu Boyuan had already queued into a game.
Lu Boyuan didn’t talk much, occasionally answering a comment that he was able to read. He nonchalantly banned a champion before he asked, “What champion do you all want to see?”
The barrage immediately exploded.
The names of the champions overlapped densely with each other, and it was impossible to see anything clearly.
Jian Rong also added in a comment: [Lee Sin1.]
“Okay.” Lu Boyuan glanced at the barrage before giving a light, brief smile. “Lee Sin it is.”
Jian Rong: “…”
He hugged the tablet and swallowed.
The vast majority of the comments were all “Lee Sin,” so there was no way the comment Lu Boyuan saw was the one that he sent. But for a split second, Jian Rong still had a sort of misperception that Road was talking to him.
With a completely calm expression, Jian Rong smashed out another two Sea of Stars.
Lu Boyuan didn’t answer any of the barrage’s questions, nor did he mention anything about the competition. He skillfully controlled the game, and in thirty-one minutes, he won the match with a score of 12/0/6.
Just when Jian Rong was about to smash some more gifts, someone called him through WeChat2.
“It’s already eight, are you still going to stream or not?” Shiliu said, “All of your water friends have rushed over to my stream!”
Jian Rong was startled, and he hastily got up, carrying the tablet. In five minutes, he finished adjusting his streaming equipment. After muting the tablet, he started his livestream.
[Dumbass streamer, laozi thought that those other teams’ fans got you last night and left your body to cool at the finals stadium]
[Ten minutes late, you gotta make up for it with an extra half hour tonight or else I’ll report your livestream every day.]
“Slept too well, forgot about you all.” Jian Rong spoke concisely.
[Is that something a fucking human would say??]
[I was trembling in fear watching the official stream last night, afraid that you’d charge onto the commentator platform and steal the mic to curse out PUD.]
Jian Rong said, “No, I didn’t pay very close attention last night.”
[You were there at the arena and didn’t pay attention to the competition? Then why did you go??]
[Crap wait a sec, look at the first program on the streamer’s taskbar!!!]
Jian Rong stared blankly before turning to look at his own taskbar—[StarTV_R-ong’s Personal Homepage]
………it was the homepage of the side account that he had just opened in order to load money onto it.
Before Jian Rong could react, someone had already sent out a comment saying that they had successfully found the side account’s personal homepage.
Darkness flashed across Jian Rong’s vision. “Wait a moment, I can explain…”
On the other side, Lu Boyuan was waiting for Xiao Bai to log in so they could duo queue.
He was about to get up to make some coffee when he saw some strange comments appear in the barrage.
[Soft’s army is here!!!]
[StarTV’s famous troll streamer Soft actually secretly has a side account that only follows Road! He grandly tossed out six-figure3 gifts for Road! And he forwarded every notification from Road’s livestreams!]
[He even camped out in Road’s livestream room before his own stream and forgot that he himself is also a fucking streamer :)]
[This dumbass normally doesn’t even forward his own going live notifications, this straight guy is touched.]
[He’s never changed out that trash computer of his ever since he started streaming. With the amount of gift money he smashed on you he could even open a crappy illegal internet cafe]
[I’m crying. Trolls also have feelings! Trolls also have loves! I’m begging Road, please look at this dumbass son of mine!!]
The author has something to say:
I’m also touched.
- In case anyone is interested, Lee Sin, the Blind Monk, is a notoriously difficult champion to play well (according to Reddit). But those who can play it well dominate, and Lee Sin is the champ that LBY is known for. ^
- WeChat: a Chinese messaging and social media platform, kind of like Facebook but just… more ^
- At the very least, 100,000 RMB would be equal to around $14,000 ^
Yan: Jian Rong only spends money on one (1) man, and it’s not himself. So please, Road, notice my dumbass son!!!
Wei: Adjfhaldjh Jian Rong exposed I’m crying ahahahhaa