Thank you to riingo for the generous Ko-fi!
Jian Rong was so embarrassed that even his face turned red. He reached out with his hand to block the screen, but halfway there Lu Boyuan grabbed his hand and wedged it underneath his own arm.
Lu Boyuan said, “Don’t move, let me take a look.”
The third round of the match between MFG and UUG started. The others were enthusiastically discussing the team compositions and predicting who would win or lose, so nobody could hear what the two of them were talking about. They were sitting close together, and if you didn’t look too carefully, you wouldn’t be able to tell that Jian Rong’s hand was being squeezed underneath Lu Boyuan’s elbow.
Jian Rong tugged once but couldn’t pull his hand free. As a result, he could only pretend to be calm as he explained, “…someone mentioned me in the comments below.”
He had turned off the tablet last night precisely because he thought that the position being depicted in this drawing was simply impossible. Looking at it again, it seemed even more absurd.
After Lu Boyuan finished viewing the drawing, he proceeded to click on the super topic that OP had written out in the post.
The top post in the super topic was another drawing, but it wasn’t as explicit as the other one. Lu Boyuan glanced at the little yellow star on the top right corner of the screen, which indicated that the Weibo account was following this super topic. He said, amused, “Someone mentioned you in here too?”
Jian Rong pressed his lips together numerous times before he finally gave up and said in resignation, “I came across it on my own.”
“Ss—that was a pretty good move by MFG, I feel like their top laner has also improved.” Yuan Qian tilted his head over. “Did you find the video? Could you maybe send it to me through WeChat too.”
“The match is live right now, why’re you in such a rush to watch a recording? This current match is the one that most accurately shows what state they’re in.” Ding-ge swiveled around. “You guys…”
When he saw the position that their team’s mid laner and jungler were in, his words got stuck in his mouth. “You guys…”
“Found it.” Lu Boyuan replied to Yuan Qian before he locked the screen and placed the tablet next to his leg. “Let’s watch the broadcast first.”
Lu Boyuan let go of Jian Rong’s hand. Jian Rong was momentarily startled, and he actually felt like his palm was a bit cold… he slowly drew his hand back and stuffed it into his pocket.
Ding-ge’s ‘unafraid even if the emperor came down himself’ attitude fled very swiftly. Right after the match ended, someone called from the LPL.
He hastily answered the phone, stood up, and walked towards the balcony. “Ai, I was about to call you… I really have to explain this incident properly to you, it’s not like what the spectators are reporting it to be. Those antis never distinguish between what’s right and wrong…”
Yuan Qian called out that he was going back to practice, and Xiao Bai followed behind Pine, pestering him to duo queue together. Jian Rong stood up with his milk tea and tried to take a sip from it before he realized that he couldn’t suck up anything with his broken straw.
Ding-ge’s voice floated in from the balcony. “Xiao Lu, come over here for a moment!”
Jian Rong stared at the small amount of milk tea left in his cup, and he was about to toss it when someone took the cup away from him. Immediately after, another cup of milk tea that was more than half-full was stuffed into his hand.
Only then did Lu Boyuan turn his head and reply lazily, “Got it.”
Upon returning to the practice room, Jian Rong kept feeling as if something wasn’t quite right.
He won two consecutive ranked games and was finally promoted to Challenger. Next to him, Xiao Bai caught sight of the special effects from the advancement.
“Good news good news!” Xiao Bai said to the fans in his livestream, “Our mid laner has climbed to Challenger and is another step closer to becoming rank one on the Korean server!” He clapped.
Then he shot another glance at Jian Rong’s desk and asked longingly, “Are you going to drink your milk tea? If not, give it to me, don’t waste it…”
Xiao Bai’s scheming little plump hand was slapped by Jian Rong.
Jian Rong picked up the milk tea and took a big sip from it before he set it back down on the other side of the desk.
“Hey, Xiao Rong.” Yuan Qian looked behind him. “You don’t need to send me that match recording anymore, I downloaded it on my own.”
Jian Rong: “……………”
Fuck! Laozi’s tablet!!!
Jian Rong shot to his feet and whipped around with the intention of charging downstairs—then, through the glass door, he saw Lu Boyuan and Ding-ge walking upstairs together, discussing something. Lu Boyuan had stuffed both hands into his pockets, with Jian Rong’s iPad sandwiched underneath his right arm—
Just like that, he went up to the third floor.
“Do I have faith that he’ll reach rank one? Of course I do, I even have faith that we’ll win the championship. Rank one on the Korean server is hardly anything, isn’t that right, Jian Rong…” Xiao Bai said as he glanced over, only to be taken aback. “What are you doing? Going to the bathroom?”
Jian Rong didn’t answer him as he slowly sank back down in his seat. He propped himself up on his elbows and fiercely rubbed his face with his hands.
Xiao Bai was perplexed. “What, if you need to pee, then just go…”
Jian Rong: “Shut up.”
This was Jian Rong’s first time feeling like their practice quota was so incredibly long.
After reaching his target score for the day, he finally couldn’t help but pull out his phone.
[R-ong: My tablet… are you done using it?]
[R: Finished with practice?]
[R-ong: Mn, just ended]
[R: Come and get it.]
The door to Lu Boyuan’s room was a tiny bit ajar. Jian Rong had already prepared himself to see Ding-ge inside as well, discussing business, but when he pushed open the door and entered, only Lu Boyuan was there.
Lu Boyuan sat at the head of his bed, calling someone. The phone was on speaker, and XIU’s voice came from the other end. The tablet was resting on his legs, with MFG’s match playing silently on the screen.
For pro players, the commentators weren’t that important, and they could understand what was going on even with the game on mute.
XIU was in the middle of saying that Savior hadn’t been affected, before he asked Lu Boyuan if he had been lectured.
Jian Rong didn’t interrupt, but he also couldn’t immediately take the tablet away. He sat down in the chair next to Lu Boyuan’s bed and decided to wait until he was done with his call.
XIU: “However, both of them are young, so it’s whatever for them to go and straighten out that dumbass, but why did you have to join in too? In any case, that dumbass wouldn’t dare to talk bad about you…”
“I was annoyed, so I said it.” Lu Boyuan’s voice was mild. “Do you need anything else? If not, I’m hanging up.”
“What’s the rush, let’s chat a little more. It’s not like your coach is letting you practice tonight anyway…”
“There’s someone next to me.”
XIU understood very well what he was implying and quickly hung up.
Lu Boyuan tossed his phone to the side. “There’s still a while left in this match, wait until I’m done watching?”
“Okay.” Jian Rong paused. “Did you smoke?”
Lu Boyuan lifted an eyebrow. “I smoked one out on the balcony, got it from Ding-ge… is the smell really strong?”
Even Ding-ge was willing to give him a cigarette. Jian Rong frowned. “What did the LPL say, is it a fine or a competition ban? If they’re gonna penalize you, shouldn’t they also penalize me?”
“No penalty. We just got onto the topic of our match against HT last year, so the craving set in.” Lu Boyuan didn’t elaborate further. All of a sudden, he realized something and turned his head to ask, “Those last few messages you sent earlier today… was that on purpose?”
Actually, by the latter half of that game, nobody was interacting anymore, but Jian Rong still gave Rish a mocking at the end. In comparison, Lu Boyuan’s “trash” didn’t seem quite so severe. That way, if antis decided to seize the opportunity to stir up drama later on, they wouldn’t really dump the blame onto Lu Boyuan.
“I already wanted to insult him.” Jian Rong remembered the things Rish had said, and his eyes narrowed. “If we encounter this kind of dumbass again, don’t say anything, just let me handle it. In any case, the water friends in my stream are used to it by now.”
Lu Boyuan went quiet for two seconds before he said, “You probably didn’t understand.”
Jian Rong looked up from the match recording. “?”
Lu Boyuan said evenly, “I’m not dating for the sake of finding a boyfriend to help me insult people.”
Lu Boyuan glanced up at him. “Why do you think I responded to him today? What does PUD getting flamed have anything to do with me?”
PUD itself wasn’t even worried, so of course Lu Boyuan wouldn’t get mixed up in it.
But that dumbass had dragged Jian Rong into the mess.
Jian Rong’s eyelids twitched, and he said, “I know, but I have a previous record. If I insult someone, those water friends won’t think much of it…”
“That’s not it.” Lu Boyuan said, amused, “Jian Rong, I’ve been meaning to ask… isn’t your idol filter of me a bit too strong?”
Jian Rong paused and didn’t reply.
Lu Boyuan had hooked him in when he was only thirteen, and then he had watched him compete for a few years. After that, Jian Rong also ended up joining the team because of Lu Boyuan… so how could he not look at him through a filter.
In fact, the reason he came up with the idea of streaming LoL to earn money was also because of Lu Boyuan’s announcement at the time, saying that he had signed a contract with a streaming platform.
When Jian Rong first started streaming, he had felt a little embarrassed, so he had worn Lu Boyuan’s merch hat for several streams. Even though it had been a bit ridiculously large, he always thought that it was very cool back then.
Lu Boyuan watched as Jian Rong’s index finger continued to pick steadily at the seat cushion. He suddenly said, “Ding-ge only started smoking after he joined the team.”
Surprised, Jian Rong blinked once.
“Because I kept arguing with him.” Lu Boyuan’s voice seemed somewhat heavy in the quiet room. “We argued every day. Whenever I didn’t join the team fight in a match, we fought; if I didn’t cooperate and participate in commercial campaigns, we also fought. When Ding-ge first joined, he was quite energetic, but after we were done with the LSPL, a box of cigarettes a day wasn’t even enough for him…
“Back when I used to stay in illegal internet cafes, I was young and ignorant. I let the game get to my head, and I would constantly challenge people to solos. The way I talked wasn’t much better either, I ended up provoking all the regulars in the illegal internet cafe.”
Jian Rong asked, “Did you ever lose?”
Lu Boyuan went silent for a moment. “One of my accounts was even locked away, what do you think?”
Jian Rong frowned. “You didn’t try to find them for a rematch?”
“They moved away, so I couldn’t contact them… is that what’s important here?” Lu Boyuan laughed out of exasperation.
He was trying to say that he himself had also struggled through challenges to emerge from the illegal internet cafe, and that he had done his fair share of flaming, fighting, and shaming others.
Nowadays, people always liked to hold him up on a pedestal, but in reality, apart from his family being fairly wealthy, he was no different from other professional gamers. Just like them, he would ridicule and flame people when he couldn’t hold back any longer; the only exception was that he was too lazy to do so in a public setting. If Ding-ge hadn’t called him then, there were uglier things that might’ve been said.
Lu Boyuan had never once thought about concealing certain parts of his personality in front of his fans, nor was he afraid of what the antis would say about him. He especially didn’t need Jian Rong to use this kind of method to divert the attention and shield him.
Of course, Jian Rong understood what he meant. But…
He rubbed his nose. “But I just don’t want you to get fined… is that not okay?”
Lu Boyuan was startled.
“What’s that dumbass worth, why should you get penalized because of him? Also, those antis in the stream, they can find a way to vilify anything, and they really like to create side accounts, so the mods can’t even block them all. It’s not like I can insult them back using your name, so I might as well just let them flame me, that way I can still argue back.”
After Jian Rong finished speaking, Lu Boyuan mulled it over for a while.
Jian Rong continued, “And the one that he was mocking in the first place was also me, so it’s normal for me to insult him back, nobody would take it too seriously…”
“Wait a moment, Jian Rong.”
Restraining a smile, Lu Boyuan asked, “Is this how you flamers show your love?”
Jian Rong’s expression very evidently darkened a little. A long time passed before he finally said stiffly, “Probably.”
Lu Boyuan couldn’t resist. He tilted his head to the side and let out a deep laugh.
Originally, Jian Rong didn’t think much of it, but when Lu Boyuan laughed, he also started to feel as if his way of doing things was pretty stupid.
Unable to bear it, he saw that the video on the tablet was done playing and had stopped automatically, so he pursed his lips and stood up, reaching for the iPad. “If you’re done watching, I’ll take it back.”
“No…” Lu Boyuan grabbed his wrist. “I wasn’t laughing at you, I was just feeling… quite happy.”
Jian Rong thought that Lu Boyuan was comforting him, and he didn’t speak.
Lu Boyuan wore a natural expression on his face. “Since I haven’t been doted on by my boyfriend before, after all.”
“…” Jian Rong’s mouth went dry again because of that ‘boyfriend,’ and there was a long pause before he responded monotonously, “Oh.”
Lu Boyuan glanced at the tablet and said, “I finished watching the match. The mid laner is okay, but she’s still a bit worse compared to you in terms of laning.”
Jian Rong, who didn’t know how to write the word ‘modest,’ nodded and said, “Of course. I’ve met her in ranked a few times before, she’s never beaten me.”
Lu Boyuan closed the app, revealing the Weibo interface, which was running in the background the entire time. The app was still frozen on a certain drawing that might be censored at any moment.
Jian Rong’s mind went blank, and he stiffly came to a halt, suddenly feeling somewhat at a loss.
He heard Lu Boyuan ask, “How come they never mention me?”
“They probably think that you won’t look at it…” Jian Rong stopped halfway through his reply.
In order to get the tablet, Jian Rong had bent over, and as long as he turned his head, he could meet Lu Boyuan’s eyes.
Lu Boyuan watched him. “You look at it every time?”
“Not every time…” Jian Rong reached out, wanting to exit the Weibo app. “Don’t look at it anymore.”
Lu Boyuan hummed. “I won’t.”
Before Jian Rong’s hand could touch the screen, Lu Boyuan tugged on his shirt collar. Then, he tilted his head and leaned in.
Whenever they first started kissing, Jian Rong was accustomed to keeping his eyes shut. But as they kissed for a longer period of time, he couldn’t help but slightly open his eyes.
Lu Boyuan had washed his hands after smoking, but when they kissed, Jian Rong could still smell a whiff of tobacco, faint and very enticing.
At the beginning, he just felt like it wasn’t very comfortable to be bending over. Later on, by the time Jian Rong pulled himself together, he was already lying down on Lu Boyuan’s bed. Lu Boyuan’s fingers were sunk deep into Jian Rong’s hair, and his breaths exhaled heavily against the tip of Jian Rong’s nose.
When the hem of his shirt was dragged up, Jian Rong swallowed uncontrollably. A burning sensation ignited everywhere that he was touched.
Jian Rong’s waist was still slender; who knows where the weight that he had gained all went.
In the end, Jian Rong was the first to give in. He arched up and whispered, “Wait, I want to go to the bathroom…”
Lu Boyuan pushed himself up slightly and leaned over Jian Rong, looking at him. “Do you want the bathroom, or do you want your boyfriend?”
That question completely nailed Jian Rong to the spot.
His pulse was thrumming too quickly, and he repeatedly licked his lips numerous times before he asked huskily, “How to have… my boyfriend?”
Lu Boyuan said, “Wasn’t it shown on the drawing?”
Lu Boyuan turned off his phone before he got up and walked towards the door.
The moment Jian Rong heard the lock flip, he couldn’t help but close his eyes as tingles raced all the way up his back to his head.
When they were kissing, his eyes were closed, so he couldn’t see anything. But later, he ended up witnessing everything clearly.
Lu Boyuan’s ears were also red, along with the outer corners of his eyes. Jian Rong didn’t know where to look, and whenever he accidentally met Lu Boyuan’s gaze, Lu Boyuan would lean in to kiss him.
The only remaining light in the room came from the dim bedside lamp. The late spring evening breeze seeped in through the cracked-open window, intermingling with the scalding chemistry in the room.
There was a mole on Jian Rong’s leg. Eyes cast downward, Lu Boyuan pressed against the mole with his other hand, rubbing that patch of skin until it flushed pink.
Once the blankness faded and Jian Rong snapped out of it, he saw Lu Boyuan wiping his hands, head lowered.
He sucked in a deep breath of air before he picked up Lu Boyuan’s pillow and covered his face with it.
The author has something to say:
Only the hand.
Yan: Debated about whether to put a nsfw warning on these kinds of chapters – this is honestly about as explicit as it gets (gotta rely on your imagination lol) so please let me know if you think one is needed! For now, there’s only two chapters I can think of where I’ll probably slap one on (this not being one of them).