Edited by Tin
Yu Yang had sweat on his forehead, and as he clenched the teacup, his fingertips turned slightly white.
If he confessed to Qi Zui now, would Qi Zui do something to him again…
Yu Yang did not want to have a repeat of that scene that year where he had used all his strength to push Qi Zui away. It was already very tough for his relationship with Qi Zui to recover, and Yu Yang wanted to be very careful. He did not dare to mess it up again.
“Back then, I didn’t… trick you,” Yu Yang’s lips were dry and he kept licking his lips, trying to do his best to speak clearly. “Even without you, I am still able to get first place. I truly like you.”
“I…” God-Yang who had just gotten the first place in the solo competition showed a rare moment of weakness. “I tried to find you after that…”
Qi Zui remembered his schedule for the past few months and did not say anything.
“At that time…” Yu Yang’s heart rate increased again, and he used all his strength to say, “I’m not used to it, being so close, and…overdoing it…”
Yu Yang prayed fervently in his heart that Qi Zui would not ask him why he was not used to it.
Those horrible things in the past… he could not let Qi Zui find out.
Qi Zui breathed in. As expected.
Qi Zui, even more so than Yu Yang, did not want to provoke him. So he smiled and took advantage of the situation. “So that was overdoing it?”
Yu Yang was stunned, and his originally pale face quickly turned red.
Qi Zui’s phone vibrated, and he lowered his gaze to take a look…
Xie Chen: If he’s willing to interact with you, don’t rush it too much, go slow. You need to make him willing to accept treatment out of his own initiative. Wait for him to come and find me, don’t scare him away.
Qi Zui kept his phone back in his pocket. He looked at Yu Yang, whose forehead was covered in sweat, and gave a soft sigh. If he continued asking, it was likely to trigger Yu Yang’s anxiety.
“Don’t be like that, I didn’t bring you out to interrogate you,” Qi Zui said, relaxed. “In the future, we’re on the same team. There’s more than enough time, however…”
Qi Zui put down the teacup in his hand. “I hope you’ll remember that I confessed to you for the second time even when I was not sure if you were tricking me or not.”
Yu Yang’s pupils trembled, and he felt a strong pain in his heart.
“It was a little tough for me, so I hope that you will remember if it’s possible in the future…” Qi Zui tried his best to control his tone so that he did not seem too much like a hooligan. He smiled. “You can ‘properly’ repay me.”
Yu Yang’s mouth and lips trembled slightly, and a thin film of sweat started to appear on his back.
“It’s late,” Qi Zui noticed that he was uncomfortable, and did not continue the topic. He took a look at the time. “Have you finished eating?”
Yu Yang nodded. His hands were stiff, and he instinctively took out his wallet. Qi Zui laughed, and ignored him, walking over first to settle the bill.
“He Xiaoxu was the one who told you to give your prize money to Team Two as a bonus, right?” On the way back to the base, Qi Zui suddenly said.
Yu Yang nodded instinctively, then hurriedly shook his head. “Nope, I’m the one who said it.”
“Ignore him… he’s always been that kind to care about what everyone thinks. Wait till the organizers of the competition call, and he’ll give the lump sum of money to you. The team will fork out the money,” Qi Zui said calmly as he drove. “He Xiaoxu is quite annoying sometimes, but you can trust him when it comes to interpersonal relations. He won’t let you suffer any losses on that front.”
Only then did Yu Yang understand, He Xiaoxu was simply helping him get along with the others. He hurriedly said, “It’s fine, I can pay for it. Anyway… I have money.1”
“Have money…” Qi Zui could not help but laugh, shaking his head. “Alright, I know.”
Yu Yang did not understand what Qi Zui was laughing about, his lips moved a little, but in the end, he did not ask.
But the next day, he understood.
“It’s because it’s only the first year you entered the team, and you’re just a substitute, so you can only get paid the minimum sum. Your yearly pay is one million RMB, and we’ll pay you by season.” He Xiaoxu had already finalized the contract very early on and rubbed his hands together. “This is just the base sum, there will also be the award money you get every month from the team funds, your competition prize, your endorsement fees, your contract with the broadcasting platform… These will depend on you. Good luck, when you’re on the same level as Team Leader Qi, you can just lie around and count money all day.”
“You already understand how the prize money and endorsement money is split, and for the live streams… of course, you need to stream on the platform our eSports team is working with, is that alright?”
It was the same everywhere, Yu Yang did not care and nodded.
“The money you get from signing the contract with the streaming platform is 1.2 million RMB, not including any extra money you get from people gifting you things on the platform. The requirement is that you need to live stream for at least sixty hours a month.” He Xiaoxu passed the streaming contract to Yu Yang. “There’s one thing to remember, there is a rule in the team that you cannot live stream during training competitions. It’s fine any other time, but you can’t let it affect your normal work and rest time. Recently, there was someone who was punished because of that.”
“Understood.” Yu Yang lowered his head to look carefully at the contract. Even though he’s already done eSports for a few years, he could not help but mutter under his breath, surprised, “So much…”
“This is considered a lot?” He Xiaoxu smiled. “Do you know how much the broadcasting platform paid God-Qi to sign the contract?”
Yu Yang shook his head, not wanting to hear this sort of private information. He Xiaoxu smiled. “It’s fine, I’m allowed to tell you this, it’s 40 million RMB.”
Yu Yang choked.
“Hahaha, but Qi Zui didn’t sign it,” He Xiaoxu sighed. “He doesn’t lack money and thinks that live streaming interferes with his practice time. Sadly, no one could convince him otherwise… but there are also advantages of not signing the contract. Since he didn’t sign the contract, but would occasionally do live streams on our team’s channel for an hour or two, because of that, the contract fees the streaming platform gives the other members of our team is increased.”
He Xiaoxu smiled. “Your 1.2 million RMB is all thanks to Qi Zui.”
It was easy to be influenced by the audience when doing live streams, and it was indeed detrimental to training. Yu Yang hesitated, then said, “Then maybe I shouldn’t do live streams either…”
“No no no, don’t learn bad things!” He Xiaoxu was so scared he started sweating. “You haven’t managed to save up as much money as him or gain a sufficiently large fanbase yet. Don’t learn such things from that old rascal.”
Yu Yang hesitated for a while, then signed the contract.
“Don’t compare yourself to him. Qi Zui wasn’t so free-spirited originally. When he first joined the team, the eSports scene in China wasn’t so developed, and to help the club pull in sponsors, he, Lao Lai2, and the rest would even compete in those very small competitions.” He Xiaoxu sighed. “You guys joined just in time. When Bu Nana just entered the team, he also had to go through some tough times. Now, when we tell Lao Kai and Yu Qianxi about those tough times, none of them believe us.”
He Xiaoxu was worried that because Yu Yang was so young, he would carelessly spend his money, and could not help but advise him. “You’ve probably earned quite a bit these few years, and you aren’t a total newcomer, but I can’t help but give you a bit of advice. Don’t learn from the rest and waste money on buying sports cars. If you earn enough, buy a house. If you aren’t good at managing your finances, don’t randomly invest in things. So many people want to join eSports as a career, but it’s extremely hard to make it to your level. So cherish it, you can only do this job while you’re young. You can even think of it as money that you exchanged your life for.”
Yu Yang naturally knew, better than anyone, how hard it was to earn money. He nodded his head, and lowered his head to sign the documents.
“Done,” He Xiaoxu collected the contract, looked serious, and stretched out his right hand. “Welcome, Youth, no matter what sort of position you have, from the moment you officially entered the team, HOG needs you at every moment.”
Yu Yang took a deep breath, hesitating for a moment before raising his hand to fist bump He Xiaoxu’s hand.
“Erm… alright,” It was the first time He Xiaoxu had ever welcomed a new team member that was so cool. He was a little stunned and did not know how to react. He gripped his hand, then laughed dryly. “Come on, I’ll bring you to look at your set-up. You can tell me if you need anything.”
The two of them went up to the third floor. While they were walking, He Xiaoxu said, “Your set-up is the same as the other team members, it’s all top quality. But the other accessories are provided by the sponsors, and they’re quite good. But everyone in Team One uses what they prefer. Especially Qi Zui! His keyboard and headphones cost one month of salary for me, it’s so extravagant! You guys have too high an expectation for computer accessories, so the eSports team won’t reimburse you for that sort of spending.”
Yu Yang shook his head. “I’m not picky.”
“That’s good,” He Xiaoxu entered the training room. “Here, this is your seat.”
At the seat with the best lighting in the training room, Qi Zui was leaning on the table and looking at his phone. Seeing Yu Yang approach, Qi Zui put down his phone and glanced at the seat next to his. “The game has already been installed, I helped you… get a pair of headphones.”
When Yu Yang saw the headphones, his heart was a little moved, and his ears turned a little hot…
Those headphones were the same kind as the ones on Qi Zui’s desk.
“Your keyboard! Look at that keyboard! This older brother3 is the one who got that for you,” Bu Nana was resting on his gaming chair, and pointed at the person next to him. “This is Lao Kai, he’s the one who changed your mouse for you. It’s not as expensive as the keyboard I gave you ah, remember that, don’t mix us up.”
Lao Kai was solo queuing 4, and was not free to greet him. He raised his hand to wave, and gave Bu Nana a light slap.
Yu Yang was stunned. He was not used to this sort of situation at all, and he felt a burn in his heart. His face was extremely stiff. “Thank… Thank you.”
“Aiya, it’s nothing much. If you have time, let’s queue together. I’m a fragger like you,” Bu Nana raised an eyebrow. “Let’s go to the airport5 and play aggressively together. We’ll spam the kill feed, and scare everyone to death.”
Qi Zui laughed at him. “Two fraggers playing together?”
“Nana… Please consider my feelings,” Lao Kai, the second sniper in Team One said as he ran into the zone. “You asked me yesterday to help you climb rank tonight.”
Bu Nana instantly changed his tune. “I’m just kidding, just kidding.”
Yu Qianxi’s expression was bad, and he seemed to be extremely annoyed, standing up to leave the training room.
“Qianxi,” Qi Zui kept his phone, turning his head to look at him. “Do you have something to do? If you don’t, finish your match before leaving.”
Yu Qianxi stopped walking and gritted his teeth. He wanted to leave but did not dare to disobey Qi Zui’s words, so turned around and returned to his seat. He only left with a cold expression on his face after he got himself killed.
“He…” Bu Nana felt awkward. “What’s wrong with him?”
Lao Kai raised his head to glance at Yu Yang. “He probably has some pent-up emotions.”
Bu Nana innocently patted his stomach, habitually trying to mediate. “Suddenly recruiting a fragger as a substitute player, shouldn’t I be the one who’s emotional? He… sigh, he’s probably not feeling well and is sick.”
Qi Zui coldly said, “Troubles of the heart.”
“Ignore him first, ignore him first. You guys should be practicing. I’ll go and chat with him in a while.” He Xiaoxu smiled. “Alright, the session to welcome the newcomer has ended, so time to do what you’re supposed to do, train!”
Qi Zui gave a slight glance at the door, then sat back in his seat, opening the game and solo queuing to increase his rank.
He Xiaoxu stealthily took out a camera and installed it for Yu Yang, smiling. “They’ve already given you whatever you need, so I’m giving you a camera. When you livestream later, switch on the camera. Try to attract some fans that like you for your looks… Oh, about your clothes…”
He Xiaoxu was very invested in selling the new team uniform on their Taobao shop, and after taking a look at Yu Yang’s clothes, he frowned and tried to negotiate. “Your uniform hasn’t been printed yet, and anyway, since the name is printed on the back, and no one else would be able to see it, can you wear Lao Kai’s one when you’re live streaming later? It’s better for promoting the team. The two of you have similar statures, and his uniform should fit you.”
Naturally, Yu Yang was fine with anything.
“Wait for a bit,” Lao Kai agreed. “After I’m done with this match, I’ll go and grab a clean one for you.”
“There’s no need for that.”
When Qi Zui said that, his match had already begun. He landed quickly and killed one person, before finding a safe house to hide in and took off his headphones.
In the game, someone entered the house Qi Zui was hiding in. Qi Zui’s eyes were glued to the screen as he pulled down his zipper, taking off his team jacket and tossing it onto Yu Yang’s desk.
He Xiaoxu: “…”
Lao Kai glanced over, giving a tacit smile. “Then, I won’t go and grab my uniform anymore.”
Yu Yang picked up the team jacket that still had some of Qi Zui’s body heat, and the tips of his ears were slightly heated up.
He Xiaoxu saw the team uniform that was obviously one size bigger on Yu Yang and admitted defeat. He could not be bothered to talk it out logically with that old rascal. He simply instructed Yu Yang to wear his uniform properly before starting his live stream and went out to find Yu Qianxi.
Bu Nana gave a muffled laugh and went to queue for a match on his own.
Qi Zui on the other hand seemed to act as if nothing had happened, and wore his headphones, continuing to circle around the houses in the game.
It was only when he saw a red-faced Yu Yang quietly wearing the team jacket with “Drunk” printed on it from the corner of his eyes did the corner of Qi Zui’s lips curve slightly upwards.