Thank you to Ko-fi Supporter for the Ko-fi~
The LPL’s two big powerhouse teams went to pray for blessings at the temple together.
That piece of news quickly spread online, and the pictures that a passerby took, which revealed the incident, were all posted on Weibo as well.
Because the pictures were secretly taken, they were fairly blurry, and barely any of them captured the team members’ faces fully.
When the news broke, the water friends and fans were all somewhat confused.
The fans of these two teams had been hammering each other for so many years now. It had already reached the point where if one side lost, the other side would set off firecrackers and give out red envelopes on Tieba to celebrate… so how come they kept appearing together on esports news lately?
The water friends who were curious, along with the ones who hoped that all the LPL teams could be friendly with each other and stand united against foreign teams, immediately rushed over to Soft’s stream, as he was currently live—
“We did go to burn incense.” The little bluenette chewed on his gum as he looked down at the minimap, his tone of voice as condescending as ever. “What… with PUD? We’re not very close.”
[I thought that you didn’t believe in this kind of thing? You don’t even burn incense on New Year’s Day, instead you streamed for 15 days straight during the past two New Year holidays. Yet you actually went to the temple today?!]
[You’re not close and you still go visit the temple with them? What, there’s a ticket discount for large groups, is that it.]
[Savior cues you all the time in his stream, but now you’re saying that you two aren’t close. Where’s your conscience?]
[Carrying away Savior, the penalty announcement has come out and the incident is over now. Let’s unbind our two teams, if you or your fans don’t mind, please don’t mention Savior again.]
[Who the hell bound themselves to you all? Even if my son is actually gay, it’s not like he’d be with Savior. Isn’t it more appealing to date Road?]
[Arguing again, the love and hate between esports fans and CP fans truly occur within a split second~]
[…………dumbass, why are you smiling?]
In the video, the person who had remained mostly expressionless the entire time popped his bubble of gum. It wasn’t clear which comment he had read; he pressed his lips together, trying to hold back, but in the end the corners of his mouth still curved upward as he smiled.
When Jian Rong first began streaming, he very rarely smiled, except for a twitch of his lips upon getting a pentakill. Back then, the old water friends all called him ‘Scowling King,’ and some people even joked that their real day-to-day lives were going way too smoothly, which was why they specially came to Jian Rong’s stream to seek out some unhappiness.
Later on, as he gained more water friends and started making money, allowing him to get by a little easier, Jian Rong’s smiles gradually increased—however, they were all the extremely mocking sort of smile, frequently accompanied by a breezy “that’s it?”.
A smile radiating with contentment like this one…
[This is the 7th time. In the hour he’s been streaming so far, this dumbass has foolishly smiled seven times for no particular reason.]
[It’s like he won the lottery, the type that’s in the millions.]
[That’s not it. I’m rationally suspecting that he flew to Korea and beat up that hater who flamed him a few days ago.]
[It’s not that complicated, it’s probably just because something went wrong with his head.]
[…ah? Am I the only one who feels like he started dating someone? Also, he’s not just smiling. Every time he recalls to base, he has to check his phone too, as if he’s chatting with his girlfriend.]
[As a rotten man who picked a female accompanying gamer and then told her to be quiet and play the game in silence, he doesn’t deserve to have a girlfriend, hah.]
[Perhaps a boyfriend?]
It was true that Jian Rong kept checking his phone, but he wasn’t chatting.
The moment the barrage brought it up, he couldn’t help but lower his head, unlock his phone, and look again.
His conversation history with Lu Boyuan was on the screen.
The sentence had come out quite naturally at the time, but after he returned to the base and sobered up, he kept thinking that something felt off about it for some reason the more he looked at it—all the way up until he was two minutes late for streaming. When he entered his livestream room, he saw the water friends spamming “I hope that he’s okay”2 across the entire screen.
Jian Rong saw the light.
If he hadn’t held ten sticks of incense in front of his nose to fumigate his brain, there was no way he could’ve written such a thing.
At that moment, all of his attention had been focused on the word “boyfriend.”
Even though they had already kissed, neither of them had actually clearly established what kind of relationship existed between them. So the moment Lu Boyuan tossed out that word… his mind went blank.
Jian Rong remembered Lu Boyuan’s laugh after he read that message, and Jian Rong’s mouth swiftly flattened into a straight line again.
“We didn’t schedule it in advance, we ran into PUD at the temple.” Jian Rong changed the topic. “Even though we went so early, we were still photographed… how did they recognize us?”
[Oh, the OP said that they saw a little shortie with dyed blue hair burning incense and recognized you immediately.]
Jian Rong’s Zed oneshotted the enemy mid laner in less than two seconds. Then he switched windows and blocked that commenter.
Now that it was the playoffs, they had more and more practice matches lined up. Jian Rong streamed for two hours after getting back to the base before he holed up in the practice match room with his teammates, only emerging at midnight.
When they came out, there was a young woman with curled maroon hair sitting with one leg crossed over the other on the living room sofa, wearing a black suspender dress. Even in the middle of the night, she was still perfectly put together, down to the strands of her hair.
It was Yuan Qian’s girlfriend, Youyou.
Hearing noise, Youyou looked up from her phone and smiled charmingly at them. Her eyes landed solely on her chubby boyfriend. “Done gaming? You’ve all worked hard. I brought a midnight snack for everyone.”
The moment Jian Rong neared the sofa, he caught a scent of the fragrant perfume she was wearing.
“I bought barbeque, stir-fried noodles, and sweet potato noodles.” Youyou pushed one of the black plastic bags towards Jian Rong. “Here, your black bean noodles.”
Yuan Qian wasn’t lying; Youyou was indeed a fan of Jian Rong’s stream. She knew that Jian Rong liked to eat black bean noodles when streaming, so every time she brought midnight snacks over, she would purposefully bring Jian Rong a serving.
At first, Jian Rong felt a little awkward, but over time he grew used to it.
He accepted the bag. “Thank you.”
Youyou slumped completely against Yuan Qian. Yuan Qian was on the plumper side, so it felt very safe to lean against him, and she propped her chin up on Yuan Qian’s shoulder. “I learned how to make soup recently. Should I make some tomorrow and send it over for you?”
“Okay.” Yuan Qian said, “I won’t eat anything else tomorrow, I’ll only drink soup.”
Xiao Bai asked, “Will there be any for us, sister-in-law?”
“Yup.” Youyou gestured in the air with her slender arm. “I’ll make it for you guys in a pot thiiiiis big.”
Xiao Bai instantly buttered up to her. “As expected, my sister-in-law is the best. With a few more sisters-in-law, I could gain twelve kilograms in one year.”
Yuan Qian: “Don’t worry, it’ll happen soon. Maybe Pine will bring a sister-in-law back for you tomorrow.”
Xiao Bai shook his head. “Not a chance. With his poker face, I bet he’ll still be an old single virgin by the time he’s thirty.”
Youyou said, “You could just find a girlfriend yourself, problem solved.”
Pine raised his eyes.
Xiao Bai shook his head even more vigorously. “No can do, if I start dating, what’ll I do if my wife fans run away?”
Ding-ge: “You don’t have any.”
Xiao Bai honestly corrected himself. “Then what’ll happen to me and Pine’s CP fans?
“And Jian Rong is too young, it’s too early for him to date.” Xiao Bai swept his gaze across everyone before finally landing on the man who was drinking sweet potato noodle soup, head lowered. “In the end, I still have to count on my ge.”
Jian Rong: “…”
Lu Boyuan lifted his head. “Don’t count on me, I don’t have a sister-in-law for you.”
“You shouldn’t say that so decisively, what if?” Xiao Bai continued carelessly, “What if you fall for someone one day…”
“There are no what ifs.” Ding-ge glanced at Jian Rong and unconsciously cut off Xiao Bai.
“Stop thinking about it, it seems to me that Captain is planning on looking for a partner after he retires.” As Yuan Qian ate his girlfriend’s love-filled midnight snack, he said indistinctly, “Besides, Captain comes from such a well-off family, they’re definitely going to find someone who’s an appropriate match for him.”
An appropriate match.
Jian Rong paused while chewing, one cheek bulging with food.
“That’s true.” Xiao Bai said, “You can tell from first glance that his dad is someone with really high standards.”
Yuan Qian: “Speaking of which… I know a classmate who’s super rich and was constantly going on matchmaking dates. His partners were all young ladies from these wealthy families, and his wedding was extremely extravagant.”
Xiao Bai recalled something. “Hm? Ge, I remember that Auntie also introduced a girl to you before, didn’t she?”
They were in the practice room at the time. When Lu Boyuan was replying to texts, he had accidentally clicked on a voice message, causing his mom’s “meet up with the young lady if you have a chance” to float out. Everyone in the team had heard it.
Lu Boyuan said succinctly, “I refused.”
“She’s definitely going to introduce more girls to you.” Yuan Qian said without thinking much of it, “Considering how much Uncle hates the fact that you game professionally… he probably won’t approve of you dating someone in this circle.”
“Enough, let’s not talk about this nonsense.” Ding-ge interrupted, “Finish eating quickly and go to bed, it’s already so late…”
Lu Boyuan shot a look from the corner of his eyes. The person sitting next to him had already put down his chopsticks.
They had to get up too early today, which was then followed by an entire day of practice matches. Once the midnight snack was finished, Ding-ge waved his hands and told them not to stay up late practicing and to go to sleep earlier.
As Jian Rong was showering back in his room, Yuan Qian and Xiao Bai’s conversation kept drifting through his mind. Then he started recalling his memories of Lu Boyuan’s home.
Although he wasn’t very clear on what Lu Boyuan’s family circumstances were, to own a little villa like his family’s in that particular district of Shanghai…
He vaguely remembered that there were many medals and certificates on display in the mahogany bookcase in the first floor living room.
Lost in thought, Jian Rong even forgot to put on his slippers when he left the bathroom.
Right as he was about to double back and get them, his phone suddenly chimed.
[R-ong: Not yet…]
[R: Open the door]
Jian Rong stood there blankly for two seconds before he promptly turned around to open the door.
Lu Boyuan had also just finished showering, and his towel was slung casually over his shoulder. At the sound of the door, he looked up from his phone and cast a glance into Jian Rong’s room. “Am I allowed in?”
The first thing Lu Boyuan did upon entering the room was to grab the towel on his shoulder and cover Jian Rong’s head with it.
His hands pressed down over the towel as he rubbed away, not too lightly or heavily. “How come you didn’t dry your hair.”
Jian Rong: “…I remembered that my towel is still drying on the balcony only after I finished showering.”
The room went quiet for a while, save for the noises created by the towel rubbing against Jian Rong’s hair.
Lu Boyuan dried off the water dripping from the ends of his hair before he said, “What they were talking about today…”
Jian Rong: “I’ll work hard to make money.”
Lu Boyuan was startled.
Jian Rong rubbed his nose. “Becoming an appropriate match probably isn’t possible, but I’ll do my best to earn some more money, so that… your dad won’t be so angry.”
Lu Boyuan raised an eyebrow slightly and didn’t move as he looked down at Jian Rong.
When Lu Boyuan didn’t say anything, Jian Rong swiftly blinked a few times before he asked belatedly, “For me to say this now, is it… too soon.”
Lu Boyuan said, “A bit.”
Jian Rong: “…”
But Lu Boyuan had come over with the intention of talking to him about this as well.
Upon noticing that Jian Rong hadn’t really touched his midnight snack, Lu Boyuan was worried that his boyfriend was overthinking things, so he had wanted to tell him: he would take care of his own family matters. He wouldn’t let Jian Rong feel troubled or be wronged.
Since Jian Rong just got out of the shower, he was wearing an extremely loose jersey as sleepwear, which revealed his delicate and slim collarbones.
Lu Boyuan continued to dry his hair for him, his movements sluggish. “How do you plan on working hard to make money?”
Jian Rong truly had seriously considered the issue before. “I’ll perform well in matches and see if there are any blinded business owners who’ll endorse me; I won’t insult anyone or cause trouble and I’ll try hard not to be penalized; I’ll spend a little less in everyday life and I won’t buy useless things; I’ll stream a lot and swindle gift money out of the water friends. After I retire, I’ll open a Taobao shop, but if it doesn’t go well I can also become a booster…”
Jian Rong didn’t get to finish.
Lu Boyuan used the towel to push up all of Jian Rong’s bangs. Then, he lowered his head and kissed him.
Jian Rong stiffened for a second, but he snapped out of it quickly enough and lifted his chin very slightly.
In regards to kissing, neither of them were actually very proficient at it.
The first time, they only knew to rub their lips against each other… and one person even got injured. Last time in the break room, their lips brushed once before they were interrupted by Xiao Bai.
Jian Rong stood bolt upright, a little afraid to mess around in case he bit down on Lu Boyuan’s lip again.
When Lu Boyuan coaxed his mouth open, Jian Rong froze completely.
Lu Boyuan kissed him a bit roughly this time, and Jian Rong’s back somehow ended up pressed against the wall. With the towel padding the back of his head, he didn’t feel any pain.
His brain was tingling, his back was tingling… his tongue was also tingling.
Just as Jian Rong felt like he was about to run out of air, a phone ringtone suddenly sounded.
From Lu Boyuan’s pocket.
Lu Boyuan answered the call as he wiped the corners of Jian Rong’s mouth with his free hand. “What is it.”
His voice was somewhat low and husky. Because of the interruption, he sounded quite unenthusiastic. “How come you’re still at the base… you want to talk about it right now?”
Ding-ge walked upstairs, holding his phone. “I’m busy tomorrow and I can’t come over to the base, so let’s settle your birthday merch now, that way I can hand it off earlier. There’s only a few mock-ups, all you have to do is look them over. You can open the door, I’m outside your room…”
Along with a “got it,” the door opened with a creak.
However, it wasn’t the door right in front of him.
Ding-ge was taken aback for a few seconds before he slowly and mechanically turned his head.
He saw their jungler hang up the phone and come out from their mid laner’s room. The jungler’s towel was still draped over the mid laner’s head, both of their lips were a bit red, and even the mid laner’s neck, ears, and the corners of his eyes were all fucking red. If he were to really go into detail, the clothing at the mid laner’s waist was also a little wrinkled…
- Updated this line in the last chapter to fit more with the context of this chapter ^
- The memes strike again… basically Jian Rong accidentally wrote his text in the same format as this meme (I hope that so-and-so is okay). But people use this meme ironically so the meaning is often flipped (I hope they’re not doing okay) ^
Yan: I vividly remember… it was in this chapter that I knew something was up with Xiao Bai and Pine for sure LOL