The icy female voice rang through the headphones, and Jian Rong watched as the screen went gray in front of him. He tore off his headphones and tossed them onto the table before he picked up his milk and took a fierce gulp from it.
[No way no way? There’s no way that there are actually pro players out there who will walk blindly into the brush despite knowing that the other team is nowhere to be found on the map?]
[Just retire already. You’re really only good enough to be a third-rate streamer.]
[Tsk, you’re so trash that I’m embarrassed to call myself your dad.]
“What?” Jian Rong opened up the in-game shop and said lazily, “Did the several thousand Challenger accounts in League all gather here in my livestream? Let me see.” He clicked on the profile of a spectator who was furiously spamming insults in the barrage. When he saw the game account linked to the profile, he let out a sneer. “Ah, Black Rose server, ranked ‘unyielding’ Silver… You are pretty unyielding.”
[…This is an invasion of God’s privacy!]
“Why weren’t you this bold with your claims when you were digging through my livestream’s side account and invading your dad’s privacy?” Jian Rong moved his cursor. “I already suspected that there were people in the brush… I thought that it was just their mid laner and jungler, but it turned out that there were five of them.”
[You sure know how to make excuses for yourself.]
[Hm? Didn’t the little dumbass say that he wasn’t gonna stream on Christmas because he was gonna go out and have fun?]
[Why aren’t you duo Q’ing with Road today?]
Upon seeing that comment, Jian Rong couldn’t help but glance at the phone sitting on the table.
He had originally made plans with Lu Boyuan to go out and spend Christmas together, but one of the brands Lu Boyuan endorsed had a last minute marketing campaign that they needed him for. As a result, Lu Boyuan booked a flight at noon and went to Beijing.
Judging from the time, he should be there soon…
Ten minutes passed before the phone screen that Jian Rong had glanced at over and over finally lit up.
[Little Orange’s Daddy: I arrived.]
A moment later, a banner that only a livestream’s big boss could possess popped up pompously at the top of the stream—TTC ་ Road has entered TTC ་ Soft’s livestream in a pumpkin carriage.
Jian Rong was in the middle of heatedly reporting his teammates. However, the sound of his typing came to a stop the instant the banner appeared, and he deleted the mini essay in the text box soon after. Instead, he wrote out something plain and simple: Player was boosted, too weak. Recommend banning the account.
[Little Orange’s Daddy: On the way to the photo shoot. Go ahead and stream, I’ll just listen.]
Jian Rong went AFK from the game and picked up his phone to earnestly reply back to Lu Boyuan. When he looked up again, he saw that the barrage had grown displeased.
[What? Dad made time to watch your stream even while shopping with my girlfriend on Christmas. Am I here to watch you play on your phone?]
[AFKing to consume time, I’ve reported you. You can just wait for the super mod to come get you now.]
[Road’s in the stream watching you, and you still have the balls to AFK? I see you have quite a lot of guts!]
“I was just responding to a message, you all are so annoying.” Jian Rong put down his phone reluctantly. “I didn’t AFK. I’m purposefully waiting a little before entering the queue, or else I’m going to run into those idiots again.”
As Jian Rong entered a new game, he glanced at his teammates’ usernames out of habit.
P-Baby’s Little Support joined the lobby.
Jian Rong: “…”
Jian Rong turned his head and shot a look at the computer screen belonging to the person next to him. After confirming that Zhuang Yibai’s assigned role was “top laner,” Jian Rong shifted his mouse. “This game is over.”
Xiao Bai had been eavesdropping for quite a while now, and he immediately took off his headphones. “Jian Rong! What’s that supposed to mean!”
“Look at your match history as a top laner—it’s two pages of red. Even those noobs in my stream are shaking their heads at that. You don’t want to see those esports marketing accounts writing articles tomorrow about how ‘TTC’s mid laner and support joined hands to passionately give a huge Christmas gift to Ionia’s Challenger players,’ do you?” Jian Rong said, “Can’t you go duo queue with your ADC? Don’t screw over other people.”
“You think I wouldn’t rather do that? P-baby has other training tasks today, and I also have to fulfill my streaming quota since it’s the end of the month. Otherwise I definitely wouldn’t be out here getting wronged like this in solo queue!”
Jian Rong didn’t feel like listening to Xiao Bai’s nonsense, and his cursor was already hovering over the X button.
Zhuang Yibai: “No way no way? You can’t even carry me? Are you that afraid of losing? Can’t afford to lose?”
Jian Rong laughed coldly. “As if you can provoke me.”
“I didn’t provoke you at all.” Zhuang Yibai crossed his arms over his chest as he commented nonchalantly, “Forget it, go ahead and leave. I also feel like you won’t be able to carry me… After all, there aren’t many LPL mid laners left these days who are capable of winning three games in a row while carrying me in top lane, not the way Savior can.”
Two minutes later, TTC’s mid laner and support successfully entered the same game.
Jian Rong bought his starter items and left the base. “Try not to feed so much in the top lane.”
“Are you looking down on me?” Zhuang Yibai said, “Just wait and see, I’m definitely going to have more kills and gold than you by the end of this round.”
Jian Rong let out an “en.” “At least it doesn’t cost money to talk big.”
“…Let’s make a bet then. If you get more kills than me, I’ll change my game username to ‘Soft Is My Dad’ for a whole week. If I get more kills than you…”
“Sure.” There was no need to listen to a scenario that would never happen, so Jian Rong instantly cut him off. “Get ready to buy a name change.”
Seven minutes into the game, Jian Rong had effortlessly grinded the opposing mid laner down to low health. After locking in on an opening, he immediately flashed and prepared to get the kill—then, the game interface froze.
Jian Rong: “?”
He turned to look at Zhuang Yibai’s screen. Zhuang Yibai’s Renekton was still being vigorously thrashed in the top lane, and the announcement that Jian Rong’s character had been killed appeared on the other person’s screen a few seconds later.
Jian Rong: “???”
Jian Rong’s game crashed.
He was connected to the same internet as Zhuang Yibai; they were using the same computer brand; and they had entered the same game together. Yet even though his game crashed, Zhuang Yibai was still getting beat up in the top lane.
From beginning to end, Jian Rong wasn’t able to get back into the game.
The game ultimately finished with the following scores: 0/1/0 for Jian Rong, 1/6/4 for Zhuang Yibai.
“Good match, good match.” Zhuang Yibai cupped his fists and said, “Sorry to say it, but that’s a narrow victory for me—by the margin of one kill.”
Both of their stream barrages were cracking up. Jian Rong stared at him in disbelief. “That counts?”
“Why wouldn’t it count?” Zhuang Yibai said, “Don’t tell me you’re going to back out of this bet in front of several hundred thousand spectators? What are they going to think of you after this?”
Jian Rong shrugged, completely unbothered. “Who cares…”
“My ge is also in the stream! Are you trying to back out in front of my ge? That means from now on, my ge’s going to see you as a man whose words can’t be trusted!”
Jian Rong: “…”
Despite the abrupt cue, Lu Boyuan didn’t respond, even though he was idling in the stream. It wasn’t clear if he just wasn’t saying anything or if he was already in the middle of his shoot.
After a lengthy pause, Jian Rong grinded his teeth together and said, “…I’m not changing my username.”
“I wasn’t going to make you do that.” Zhuang Yibai smiled triumphantly. “All you have to do is play this two-player game with me. I promised my fans I would play it a while ago, but Pine wouldn’t do it with me, so I’ve been delaying it for a long time now.”
Jian Rong checked the time. He had streamed enough for the month, so he said bluntly, “Fine. Let’s play the game right now. The earlier we start, the earlier we finish.”
Ten minutes later, there was a new game icon on Jian Rong’s computer desktop.
It was a picture of a woman’s face on a red background. Upon closer inspection, a bloody red tear was visible at the corner of her eye. Two large words were written underneath the icon: Dielight Hospital.
Zhuang Yibai: “Which character do you want to be? The reporter or the cameraman?”
Jian Rong: “…”
When there was no response, Zhuang Yibai swiveled his head around and saw Jian Rong’s wavering mouse. “You’re not scared, are you? Do you not have the guts to play horror games? Are you that much of a coward?”
“Impossible…” Jian Rong licked his lips as his eyes shifted around aimlessly. “Like hell I’m scared.”
Zhuang Yibai: “Then hurry up and register so you can join my party.”
Jian Rong opened up the game. Eerie background music filtered in through his headphones, accompanied by a woman’s quiet, occasional sob.
Jian Rong: “…”
He turned down the volume.
[Hahahahaha, you totally are afraid of ghosts!!!]
[This has been the most popular horror game lately. Savior just played it yesterday, and he cleared it in three hours. You really can’t tell, especially with how clueless and oblivious he typically is, but he’s not afraid of this sort of thing at all.]
[You can’t judge a book by its cover. This dumbass constantly spits out insults every day, but look at how terrified he is now.]
“Who’s terrified? As if I would be scared of this?” Jian Rong unconsciously puffed out his chest a little. “Dad usually watches horror movies for dinner, got it?”
Three minutes after the game started, Jian Rong was so frightened by the sudden appearance of a “ghostly shadow” that his entire body jolted backwards, causing his gaming chair to roll back shamefully with his momentum.
Jian Rong’s heart was pounding in his ears, but his face remained expressionless. “My foot slipped.”
Seventeen minutes in, continuous knocking erupted in his headphones. It seemed to originate from one place, as if someone really was knocking violently on the door behind him.
Jian Rong removed his headphones, and his voice trembled slightly as he said, “Too damn loud, I’m not wearing these anymore.”
Thirty minutes in, the “ghost” delivered an up-close jumpscare.
Jian Rong abruptly quivered from head to toe and minimized the game interface at the speed of light.
[Hahaha the dumbass is so scared that his eyes are nearly closed hahaha! Honestly, let’s just give up here if you’re timid? There’s no need for someone to play this game if they can’t even see it, there’s really no need.]
[Amazing, I didn’t even get to see what the ghost looked like before the game was minimized. This is the strength of my son’s hand speed.]
[Just give it up. It’s not that hard to acknowledge being a coward, you can stop playing.]
[Just give it up. It’s true that even Doufu cleared this game, but you can close it if you really can’t take it anymore.]
[Just give it up. The only consequence is that you’ll be known as the LPL’s #1 Coward in the future, right? You’re always subject to a good amount of swearing anyway, what’s one more insult?]
Jian Rong: “…”
As pale as a sheet, Jian Rong sat back down in his seat. “I was acting just now. Not scared. For the stream. Why would I lie to you? Look, aren’t you all spamming the barrage for me? I said that I was acting… Let’s play, why wouldn’t I play? Continue.”
Zhuang Yibai was about to lose his mind from holding back his laughter. “You really wanna continue? Don’t force yourself. Even though this is what I requested because you lost to me, if you really can’t take it I can always go ask Savior to play with me…”
Jian Rong: “Continue.”
This was a game that took three hours to clear, but because of Jian Rong’s various pauses, the duration was forcefully extended to five hours.
His blue hair was already thoroughly tousled, and there was an ugly expression on his face. When he saw the barrage say that there were only two checkpoints left, he couldn’t help but heave a furtive sigh.
[Watch out watch out watch out!!!]
[This last jumpscare is super terrifying! I couldn’t sleep well for over a week after I saw it!!]
[Help! I also remember this part. This game is popular purely because of these last few horror scenes!!!]
[It’s here! It’s coming!]
[Son, you should just close your eyes! Isn’t it uncomfortable squinting like that?]
Jian Rong gritted his teeth and straightened upright. Then, he opened his eyes wide and clenched his fists in preparation to meet this game’s final attack.
“Ahhh!!!” As a sharp and piercing female voice rang through his headphones, Jian Rong’s world went dark.
A large hand covered his eyes.
Jian Rong listened to the female ghost shriek in his ears, slightly stunned.
The owner of the hand had just come in from outside, so his palm was a bit chilly, and he carried the scent of the cold wind on him.
Upon seeing the newcomer, Zhuang Yibai called out in surprise, “Ge.”
“Mn.” Lu Boyuan only removed his hand once the horrifying scene had vanished entirely from the computer screen. After that, he ruffled Jian Rong’s hair. “What are you doing here, if you’re not practicing?”
Jian Rong was still dazed. “I’m done with practice, so I’m… playing something else.”
“To the point of not even checking your phone?”
Since the game was too thrilling, Jian Rong truly didn’t have time to look at his phone. He picked it up and saw that Lu Boyuan had messaged him several hours ago, telling him not to play that game.
“…I didn’t hear the notification go off.” Jian Rong snapped out of it and turned his head to ask, “How come you’re back here?”
Lu Boyuan walked over to his own computer. “I didn’t have anything else to do in Beijing, so I came back after the shoot.”
Jian Rong responded blankly, “Oh.”
As Lu Boyuan removed his scarf and jacket, he noticed that the other person was still staring at him. “Why are you spacing out?”
“Ah, it’s nothing.”
“Are you still going to keep that game open?” Lu Boyuan said, “Let’s duo queue.”
Jian Rong immediately exited the game. “Okay, be right there.”
After clearing the horror game, Zhuang Yibai leaned back in his chair with extreme satisfaction. As he looked at the game interface, he suddenly thought of something, and he twisted around to tug at Pine’s shirt. “P-baby, P-baby.”
Pine was practicing last hitting, so he didn’t look over. “Speak.”
“This game is way too scary! I don’t dare to sleep by myself tonight anymore!” Zhuang Yibai pressed his palms together. “Please take me in for the night.”
Pine stopped and shot him a glance.
“I’ll definitely sleep quietly and peacefully! I won’t disturb you! Please? Or else I’ll really be so terrified that my eyes will stay open until dawn, which means tomorrow’s practice will be screwed, and next month’s competition too. Then all the haters on the internet are going to curse me out…”
“…It’s up to you.”
“Good people will live good lives!”
After practice, Yuan Qian came out of the shower and laid down on his bed to stare at the ceiling for a while.
Several seconds later, the face of the female ghost that he accidentally caught a glimpse of earlier in the evening materialized on the ceiling.
Yuan Qian had been terrified of this kind of thing ever since he was a kid, and his heart violently skipped a beat as he sat bolt upright in bed.
Way too scary.
This wouldn’t do. If things continued like this, his eyes would be open until daylight.
Yuan Qian glanced at the goodnight message that his girlfriend had sent him half an hour earlier. He hesitated briefly before he ultimately ended up dispelling the thought of asking her to video call with him.
Perhaps he should be like Xiao Bai and find someone to sleep with for the night?
He was even fine with sleeping on the floor!
Maybe the captain then, especially since his room just happened to be a bit bigger than everyone else’s. Yuan Qian would be comfortable even if he slept on the ground.
After making up his mind, Yuan Qian nimbly got up to gather his pillow and blankets. Then he opened his door—and shuddered in fright because of the figure in the hallway.
There was only one light turned on in the hallway. With lingering fear, Yuan Qian looked a little closer at the silhouette.
Fortunately, it wasn’t a female ghost.
It was his captain.
Hand curled around the doorknob, Jian Rong stared outside his room in shock at Lu Boyuan, who was clad in pajamas and had a pillow in his arms.
“May I? That scene was too frightening, I still haven’t forgotten it,” Lu Boyuan said with utter calmness. “I can just sleep on the floor.”
“…” Jian Rong pulled open the door. “You may… Come in, it’s cold out there.”
Lu Boyuan walked into Jian Rong’s room, and the door closed behind him.
Yuan Qian was left standing there alone in extreme bemusement while still hugging his blanket and pillow in his arms.
He looked at Jian Rong’s door, and then he looked at Pine’s door.
Outsiders aren’t allowed to stay overnight at the base—that rule must be targeting me, right???!!
Yan: Surprise! This is a new extra that came with ICDI’s physical books. ICDI has always been my comfort TL, and it feels good to translate it one last time. :’) Once again my search history is filled with random League-related things lolol I hope our beloved dumbass son brightens your day! And I hope you’re all doing well ^^ till next time!