Thank you so much to Ko-fi Supporter for the Ko-fi~
Lu Boyuan watched him hide his head like an ostrich and really felt the urge to laugh.
After he cleaned his hands off with a wet paper towel, he knelt on the bed and effortlessly tugged off the pillow.
Jian Rong’s entire face was still red. He rubbed his eyes and then rubbed his face before he tried hard to act natural as he asked, “Does your hand feel tired.”
Lu Boyuan raised an eyebrow. He felt like if he said no, it would probably leave somewhat of a blow on the young man’s self-confidence. “It’s all right.”
Jian Rong’s hair was an absolute mess. He sat up and looked at his pants and underwear lying at the side of the bed, before he saw that Lu Boyuan was still fully dressed. Strictly speaking, the only difference was that his clothes were a little wrinkled now…
Finally, his gaze landed on Lu Boyuan’s slender fingers.
The instant he remembered what those hands were doing just a moment ago and the way those fingers had been curled, Jian Rong felt his heart tingle as one thought took over his entire mind—
What the hell kind of things have I used the world champion’s hands for!!!
He drew in a deep breath of air before he hastily pulled on his underwear and reached for his pants.
“Your pants are dirty.” Lu Boyuan reminded him considerately.
Jian Rong: “…”
Lu Boyuan asked, “Wear mine? I’ll get a clean pair for you.”
Jian Rong recalled how he still needed to wash some things off his legs, and he immediately shook his head. “It’s not that bad… my room is just a few steps over.”
In the end, carrying his own pants, Jian Rong carefully pulled open Lu Boyuan’s door like a thief. He poked his head out and peered to the left and right, wanting to confirm if there was anyone else nearby.
He truly was scarred by the people in the base who could pop out at any given moment.
Lu Boyuan crossed his arms over his chest and leaned against the wall, watching him from behind. He let out a soft chuckle.
Jian Rong looked back. “Why’re you laughing?”
“The way you’re acting…” Lu Boyuan glanced at the pants Jian Rong was holding and the long legs extending out from underneath his clothing. “Makes me think we just finished having a secret love affair.”
Jian Rong: “…”
Lu Boyuan’s original intention was just to tease him a little. Unexpectedly, Jian Rong froze for two seconds before he turned around, still carrying his pants, and kissed Lu Boyuan on the corner of his mouth.
“I’m going back now.” Even though his face was clearly bright red, Jian Rong insisted on purposefully assuming a very cool expression. “Boyfriend.”
After he left, Lu Boyuan continued to lean against the wall for quite a while before he moved at last.
His bed was a bit messy. The bed sheets that the auntie had newly changed out for him were black, so when Jian Rong was lying on it just now, the color contrast was extremely distinct. His thin, pale waist nestled among the bedding—a glimpse of it alone was dazzling.
Lu Boyuan remembered how earlier, Jian Rong had fumbled a hand towards him using what brainpower still remained, eyes half-closed, wanting to help Lu Boyuan out too. Before he could touch him, Lu Boyuan had gripped his wrist and pressed it back down.
Lu Boyuan understood himself relatively well, so he knew that his self-control truly wasn’t very good when it came to this sort of thing. It was fine if he held himself back, but the moment the lid was opened…
A long pause later, Lu Boyuan randomly chose some clothing and went into the bathroom.
Shanghai had now entered late spring. This month, the temperature rose sharply once again, and there were even two days when it hit 28 degrees Celsius.
The weather wasn’t yet at the point where they had no choice but to turn on the air conditioning. However, people had already started setting up their own electric fans next to their computers in the base.
In their practice match that afternoon, WZWZ’s support complained in the all chat about how their base’s air conditioning was broken and that it was affecting their training. Xiao Bai replied with a string of ellipses, and he finally couldn’t resist asking the question that he had been confused about for the past few days.
“Big bro, back when Shanghai’s temperature was in the tens, you were playing ranked in short-sleeves without even giving a single shiver. These days, Shanghai is about to hit thirty degrees…” Xiao Bai glanced down at Jian Rong’s pants. “So how come you’re constantly wearing long pants?”
Because the finger marks still hadn’t faded.
Jian Rong was also puzzled. He always thought that he was fairly thick-skinned and sturdy, but after simply being kneaded a few times, he could still faintly see markings on certain parts of his calves, even after two days had passed.
Actually, it didn’t matter if there were marks, since they were very faint. Unless you looked closely, you couldn’t even see them. Even if someone spotted them, he could explain them away as mosquito bites.
But he just had a guilty conscience.
Upon hearing that, Lu Boyuan tilted his head and shot a look at Jian Rong’s pants.
Jian Rong sensed his gaze and couldn’t help but press his lips together. “…don’t stick your nose in your teammate’s life.”
“I’m trying to look out for myself here.” Xiao Bai said righteously, “It’s been too hot lately, and I wanted to convince Ding-ge to turn on the air conditioning, but if he sees the way you’re dressed, he definitely won’t agree.”
Jian Rong replied very mercilessly, “Then stay hot.”
Right after the practice match ended, someone pushed open the door to their room.
Ding-ge walked in with his little notebook and cut straight to the point. “The consequences from the streaming incident with Rish have been announced.”
Jian Rong immediately asked, “Was he penalized?”
Ding-ge said, “No.”
Jian Rong’s expression swiftly cooled, and he didn’t say anything else.
“He started mocking them first, so why wasn’t he penalized?” Xiao Bai closed the scoreboard from the practice match and questioned, “Then what kind of penalty did they give to our mid laner and jungler?”
Ding-ge said, “We weren’t fined either.”
Yuan Qian frowned. “So nobody was fined? What consequences are there to be announced then? There just wasn’t any punishment at all.”
“There was.” Ding-ge cleared this throat. “Doufu was fined 20,000.”
Xiao Bai: “?”
“10,000 was for using profanity on stream… the other 10,000 was for verbally attacking our team’s mid laner Soft.”
Jian Rong: “…”
Everyone went quiet for two seconds before bursting into laughter.
Especially Xiao Bai, who was laughing so hard that there were tears in his eyes. “Damn hahaha serves him right! No way, I gotta go to his stream and see what his expression is right now hahahaha.”
“Enough with you, behave yourself a little.” Ding-ge knocked his head.
Upon learning that Lu Boyuan hadn’t been fined, Jian Rong let out a sigh of relief, and even his movements when exiting out of the game were somewhat smoother.
“There’s something else,” Ding-ge said. “The quarterfinals are being held at our team’s home stadium tomorrow, Fighting Tiger versus MFG. I can get my hands on floor seat tickets, do you guys want to watch in person? After we’re done, I’ll take you all out to eat too.”
Because of the single elimination bracket system, the competition schedule for the playoffs developed extremely quickly, as every BO5 match would eliminate one team. After a few days of the playoffs, only the last two teams remained underneath TTC’s bracket: Fighting Tiger and MFG.
Between those two, the team that won would directly face off against TTC in the semifinals, and the winner of that match would be allowed to participate in the Spring Split finals.
Ever since the regular season ended, nobody had left the base. Apart from when they slept, almost all their other free time was spent stuck in practice matches or ranked. When Ding-ge said that, everyone instantly grew excited.
“Yes!” Xiao Bai’s eyes lit up. “Can I pick the restaurant?”
“You can’t. Don’t think I forgot how you picked that rotten buffet last time, which cost 1,599 yuan per person.” Ding-ge asked, “So everyone’s going, right? Then I’ll ask a staff member to get the tickets?”
Pine said indifferently, “Mn.”
“Is it possible to get an extra ticket?” Yuan Qian asked, “I want to take Youyou along too.”
“No problem, as if we should have any problems getting tickets for our own stadium?” Ding-ge glanced at their silent mid laner and jungler. “Are the two of you coming?”
Jian Rong actually wasn’t really fond of watching competitions in person, since the surroundings were too noisy and they also had to tilt their heads back to watch the big screen. If the seats were too far away, they wouldn’t even be able to see what was going on with both teams’ skills.
Lu Boyuan unplugged his mouse and said, “I’m good with anything.”
Jian Rong paused for a moment. “Yes.”
As they were walking out of the practice match room, Lu Boyuan seemed to remember something, and he turned to ask Ding-ge, “What’s the situation in the LCK right now?”
“HT is leading the pack. Their competition schedule is set later than ours, so they don’t know who they’re playing against in the semifinals yet.” Ding-ge lowered his voice. “However, I think they have a fairly good chance of winning at finals. If nothing goes wrong, they’re most likely going to be at MSI.”
Lu Boyuan gave an “en” and stopped walking.
Ding-ge stopped as well, confused. “What is it?”
“You go ahead.”
Following Lu Boyuan’s line of sight, Ding-ge glanced behind him just in time to see their mid laner walk out of the room, carrying his keyboard.
Is this a freaking primary school relationship? After getting out of class, you still have to wait for the other person?
The next afternoon, TTC’s members prepared to go watch the match.
Because they were going as spectators, Ding-ge instructed them to dress as low-key as possible, so they wouldn’t cause any disturbances.
A short while later, their mid laner got in the car, wearing the white T-shirt and jeans combo that typical eighteen-year-old guys liked to wear, along with their jungler’s merch hat on his head.
Ding-ge asked with a smile, “This is MFG and Fighting Tiger’s match, whose party are you trying to crash by wearing our team’s merch there?”
“I only have two hats. This is one of them, the other is my own merch hat.” Jian Rong pinched the hat’s brim. “Maybe I just shouldn’t wear it?”
Ding-ge looked at the two tufts of blue hair that were faintly sticking out and shut his mouth.
Two minutes later, their jungler got in the car, wearing the black T-shirt and jeans combo that typical twenty-three-year-old guys liked to wear, along with their mid laner’s merch hat on his head.
Ding-ge: “What? Do you also only have two hats?!”
“I only have this one.” Lu Boyuan said mildly, “I forgot to get the new merch, and I brought the rest home last time.”
In the end, Ding-ge told the driver to start driving as he prevented Xiao Bai from getting out of the car and grabbing his own merch hat in an attempt to market it at the stadium.
Reality proved that Ding-ge was truly overthinking things—forget their baseball caps, even if they had come wearing large cotton-padded jackets and trapper hats, they still would’ve been recognized instantly by the broadcast directors.
After entering the stadium, they had just barely settled into their seats when the camera connected to the big screen focused on Yuan Qian and Ding-ge. Youyou, who was sitting next to Yuan Qian, was also half-captured in the shot.
The fans in the arena were stunned at first before they all started screaming. There were even some people who couldn’t resist standing up and peering in their direction.
“We can see that TTC’s members have also arrived at the stadium.” Commentator A joked, “Are they here to pick their opponent for the semifinals?”
Commentator B smiled. “Don’t stir up rumors, TTC’s manager has already gone through enough this season.”
Afterwards, the camera moved over to Xiao Bai and Pine. Xiao Bai immediately lifted his hand and created half a heart, before he knocked Pine with his shoulder, indicating that he should cooperate.
Pine expressionlessly pushed Xiao Bai’s hand back down against the seat.
Finally, the camera slowly shifted to the right again.
Jian Rong and Lu Boyuan entered the shot. The camera panned from the top of their heads downwards; both of their hats were pulled very low, so their expressions weren’t visible from that angle.
“As expected, God Lu and Soft are also here… wait a moment.” Commentator A paused. “Are they both wearing the wrong person’s hat?”
Commentator B: “Hm? But I remember during the last World Championship finals, it seemed like Soft was also wearing God Lu’s merch hat?”
“Then is this God Lu’s response?” With a benevolent expression and the smile of a straight man on his face, Commentator C asked, “Soft got with his idol?”