Edited by Tin
It had been half a year, but Qi Zui never let his injury get the best of him.
He’d played eSports for eight years, and had seen countless legends, as well as witnessed the fall of countless ‘Gods’. Retirement was not something foreign to Qi Zui. He’d entered HOG’s Team One while he was seventeen years old because his captain’s captain, the previous, previous captain of HOG, had acknowledged that he could not beat Qi Zui, who was not even an adult then, and decided to retire automatically, vacating his gaming chair1 for the new force of the eSports team to take his place.
Qi Zui had ended the legends of countless people but he never felt that that was something to be proud of, he also did not feel that what he was about to face was something shameful.
Born in spring and growing in the summer, harvesting in the autumn and storing in the winter2. Making one’s way to the peak, then falling, was the path that every professional eSports player needed to take.
Anyway, compared to Lai Hua, a professional player who had fallen all the way to the bottom of the valley and was scolded till he had to retire, Qi Zui’s luck was already very good.
His old captain was quietly protecting his glory. His partially confirmed successor had automatically taken on the flag of the team of his own accord. Qi Zui’s career was practically perfect.
Drunk, this ID, could die a natural death, quitting the eSports circle at the peak, leaving behind a myth of the light of eSports forever.
If HOG really declined and withered in the future, every time Qi Zui was mentioned, everyone would sigh in regret. They would feel that if he had not retired, he would certainly be able to maintain the glory of HOG.
Without Qi Zui, HOG was bound to go downhill, and the people who knew insider information were already expecting it, and were all fighting to take responsibility3.
They were not only fighting… Yu Yang had already carved the responsibility4 onto his shoulders.
Qi Zui’s voice was a bit hoarse.
Qi Zui frowned in disgust5, turned his head to the side, clenched his right hand into a fist, pressed it against his forehead and took a deep breath.
In the mirror, Qi Zui’s Adam’s apple was twitching as he tried to keep calm.
It had been half a year already, and this was the first time Qi Zui felt so unreconciled6.
Everything said before was all bullshit.
No one looked forward to retiring, even if it was retiring in glory.
Yu Yang’s hard work, Qi Zui was aware of, but he was still too lacking in many ways.
He could foresee the stress that Yu Yang would face in the many large competitions ahead if Qi Zui was not playing.
It was incredibly difficult to win, so after losing, Yu Yang, who would directly replace Qi Zui’s position as the leader, was bound to become the target for hate.
Yu Yang was only nineteen years old…
“If you don’t want to,” Qi Zui calmed himself down, “I can find Nana and communicate with him, or…”
“All of you have played together for too long,” Yu Yang interrupted Qi Zui, grabbing his team jacket and putting it on, then he lowered his voice and said, “It’s been too long, and you’ve worked together for too long7, the two of them are already used to it, furthermore…”
Yu Yang raised his head to look at Qi Zui, “You haven’t thought of how to tell them yet, right?”
Qi Zui was stunned momentarily, then laughed self-mockingly.
If it was not for the fact that he had to prepare the team, he had wanted to keep it a secret from Lai Hua and He Xiaoxu as well.
Qi Zui was not good at goodbyes.
The closer you were to a person, the more you did not know how to say some things to them.
The flag of HOG had been carried by Qi Zui for too long, he no longer knew how to explain things to the players under the team flag, he was already tired.
Qi Zui took a deep breath, his gaze complicated as he looked at Yu Yang, “How do you know about that?”
“You guys didn’t close the door properly, I came out to smoke…” Yu Yang lowered his gaze, tears accidentally flowing down. Yu Yang wiped his face in annoyance, asking in a low voice, “Is it that serious?”
Qi Zui was quiet.
Yu Yang nodded, “Understood.”
“Busan…” Yu Yang wiped away the tears on his face. “I’ll definitely try my best.”
Yu Yang had originally been able to control himself, but just guessing was different from Qi Zui’s own admission. As soon as that wound opened, the worries and pressure from the past few days surged up all at once, and instantly, Yu Yang’s eyes seemed like a dam had been broken and he could not control his tears no matter how hard he tried.
Yu Yang was unwilling to be like that in front of Qi Zui. He lowered his head to take his already wet T-shirt and walked away, wanting to go and hide in his room.
“I’ll go to Busan,” Qi Zui blocked the exit and stopped Yu Yang in his tracks. He said suddenly, “I’ll play.”
Yu Yang raised his head, asking hesitantly, “Didn’t you tell Manager He… Coach Lai didn’t want to let you play because he was scared that if you made a mistake, then the Right Hand of God…”
“Fuck the Right Hand of God.”
Qi Zui felt relieved, the foul feeling8in his chest was suddenly completely swept away.
Qi Zui leaned on the door frame, gently exhaling before he said to himself, “I choose the second path.”
Yu Yang recalled Qi Zui’s conversation with He Xiaoxu on that day in a daze. He was stunned for a moment, then he slowly squatted down, his tears overflowing and streaming down his face.
“What are you crying for?” Qi Zui gently pulled on Yu Yang’s ponytail, “Speaking of that, the two of us haven’t really played together in a competition before. Haven’t you…”
Qi Zui closed his eyes and cleared his throat. Then, he smiled lightly, “Haven’t you always wanted to play together with me?”
Yu Yang tried his best to restrain himself, refusing to let himself sob out loud.
“This is my decision, it has nothing to do with you,” Qi Zui restrained himself as he gently stroked Yu Yang’s hair. He smiled, “I suddenly understand why some people insist on being criticized into retirement.”
Before they really became the burden of the team, not one professional player would willingly pass his dream on to other people in a hurry, and no professional player could allow their team, that they had poured all their glory into, to fall from grace just like that.
“Trust me,” Qi Zui pressed the top of Yu Yang’s hair, “Drunk is not old yet, I can still win in Busan.”
Yu Yang’s shoulders could not stop trembling, and he forcefully nodded his head after he heard Qi Zui’s words.
“When we return…” Qi Zui’s voice was gentle, “Can you tell me everything about yourself?”
Qi Zui sighed softly, “The relationship between us, hasn’t it already been delayed for too long?”
Yu Yang buried his head in his knees, after an extended period of time, he murmured a ‘mmhm’, his voice nasally from crying.
Qi Zui smiled, then lightly flicked the top of Yu Yang’s head.
At noon the next day, when Bu Nana, Lao Kai, Lai Hua and He Xiaoxu entered the third floor training room, they were all shocked.
“Don’t move, I’ll go around, you should aim your gun at them,” Yu Yang stared at the back slope further away. “You can fire whenever you want, there’s no need to listen for my signal.”
Yu Yang successfully went around and managed to get behind the other party, then he said in a low voice, “Three, two, one!”
Qi Zui and Yu Yang started to shoot at the same time. Two seconds later, the results interface of the game came out: Winner Winner Chicken Dinner11.
“Perfect.” Qi Zui exited the match and looked at his ranking in the American server. He raised his eyebrow, “Not bad, I’ve entered the top hundred already.”
Yu Yang’s ears were a little red and he mumbled, “Actually, you’re the one teaching me how to command…”
“Continue,” Qi Zui put on his headphones again, “Click ready14.”
Bu Nana took out his phone to take a look at the time and was frightened, “Am I blind? Captain has gotten out of bed at this time? Captain is training?”
Lao Kai looked back and forth between the two of them, silent.
No one knew what Lai Hua was thinking about as he cursed in a low voice.
Lai Hua did not say anything more to Qi Zui, it seemed like this path that everyone needed to go through had become a curse that no one could escape from.
Lai Hua looked at the light in Qi Zui’s eyes that he had not seen in a very long time and vaguely felt that perhaps some people were born different from others, and were perhaps destined to break those shackles.
Afterall, this was Drunk.