“I have to say, ever since Youth took over as Captain, Team One has been training a lot harder,” When Team One was eating together at night, He Xiaoxu said objectively, “I saw Lao Lai’s record yesterday. In this past half a month, his average training time has increased by two hours, which is the state he is usually in only before competitions.”
Yu Yang placed down his bowl and swallowed the rice in his mouth, making a sound of agreement as if thanking He Xiaoxu for his acknowledgment.
He Xiaoxu was a horrible person. When he praised someone, he needed to insult another person. He turned his head towards Qi Zui, “Former Captain, are you feeling ashamed?”
“Manager…” Qi Zui put down his fork, expressionless, “When I was 17 years old, I trained for 16 hours a day too.”
He Xiaoxu smiled awkwardly, “Ha… is that true? I had yet to graduate at that time and had not entered the team yet, so I didn’t know…”
He Xiaoxu was two years older than Qi Zui and joined the team three years later than Qi Zui.
Qi Zui pretended to be regretful, “Don’t be embarrassed, I also feel sad that you weren’t able to see me when I was a vigorous person with a lot of youthfulness.”
He Xiaoxu really could not imagine how Qi Zui was back then and could not help saying, “You… You were full of youthful spirit before?”
Qi Zui took a napkin and pressed it against the corner of his lips, calm, “Manager He, no one is born an old beast, can you understand that?”
Yu Yang choked and Bu Nana was laughing so hard that he spit water in Lai Hua’s face.
Lai Hua glared, grabbing a napkin to wipe his face, and said angrily, “No obscene remarks while eating! The seventh rule in the team rulebook! Did you forget?!”
Lao Kai was laughing so hard his stomach ached. He nodded vigorously, “I remember, I remember.”
Qi Zui picked up his fork again, “It’s not my fault, He Xiaoxu made a personal attack first.”
Qi Zui looked at Yu Yang, who was sitting opposite him. The truth was, he agreed with He Xiaoxu’s words.
Compared to him, Yu Yang, as a captain, was indeed more able to motivate the team to improve.
Yu Yang’s overall strength right now was worse than Qi Zui, and he would occasionally make mistakes and get scolded, but this sort of uncertainty managed to motivate the other people in the team to a certain extent.
“We can’t place all the burden on the Captain.”
Qi Zui’s retirement and Yu Yang’s occasional mistakes caused the whole of HOG to wake up.
Of course, the most important thing was still Yu Yang’s tenacious spirit. If he can’t match up to people, he would train more, if he made mistakes, he would correct them. He did not have the mentality of ‘avoidance’ for anything. In his eyes, nothing was impossible.
Come to think of it, the reason why Qi Zui insisted on participating in the Busan Invitational Cup was also due to the influence of Yu Yang.
“I’m done eating,” Qi Zui placed his cutlery down and went upstairs.
These few days, Qi Zui has been gathering money.
He sorted out all his financial investments and sold all his stocks, trying his best to raise money.
He needed to buy the club over in time when the boss wanted to sell off the club.
There was no use making any promises to his teammates. Only when he truly held the club in his hands would everyone be able to feel at ease.
Qi Zui had an estimated price in his heart, and he was still lacking a lot of money right now.
Qi Zui stood in front of the window and thought for a long time before he video called his mother.
“What a rare guest,” His mother was applying a mask. She adjusted her hair a little and sat next to the floor lamp, “Are you so idle after your retirement?”
Qi Zui laughed and told his mother about the price he expected that the club would be sold for, “It’s around this price, right?”
Qi Zui’s mother nodded her head, “Your father got someone to give an estimate before, it’s around that price.”
Qi Zui’s mother took a long look at Qi Zui, “You don’t have enough money, right?”
“It’s not that I don’t have any way to get money…” Qi Zui hesitated, “Financing or loans are both possibilities, but I’m just worried…”
“You’re worried that your boss will be in a hurry and would not wait for you to raise money before he hurriedly sells off the club,” Qi Zui’s mother said mildly, “If one thinks about it sentimentally, obviously, the most suitable course of action is to sell it to you, but he is not obligated to wait for you.”
Qi Zui nodded, “So I want…”
Qi Zui’s mother quietly watched Qi Zui and sat up straight unconsciously. She did not know what she was anticipating.
Qi Zui smiled, “I wanted to ask you for a favor? Help me use your contacts and find a good buyer for my house along the river. The house is not small, and I’m in a hurry to sell it, it won’t be easy to sell…”
Qi-Mother’s expression stiffened and there was a hint of sadness that flashed in her eyes for a moment, as well as pride.
After a moment, Qi Zui’s mother said calmly, “It’s true that it won’t be easy to sell. I’ll help you ask, when do you need it sold by?”
Qi Zui: “Within a month would be best.”
Qi Zui’s mother sneered slightly, “Then it would be impossible to sell it at a good price, it’s such a big house…”
Qi Zui nodded, “I know.”
Qi Zui’s mother said, “I’m letting you know in advance, don’t say that I worked together with outsiders to cheat you if the money is too little.”
“I won’t,” Qi Zui said, “You know more people than me. As long as it can be sold, it’ll be fine. It definitely won’t be a good price, I just want it to be sold at a price that is as high as possible.”
Qi Zui’s mother nodded and posted on her WeChat moments in front of Qi Zui.
Qi Zui took a look–
[Empress Dowager: My son is finally unable to make a living, he’s selling his house to pay for his living expenses. The house at XXX, he’s selling it at an extremely cheap price. Anyone interested can drop me a private message.]
Qi Zui: “…”
Qi Zui: “Can you not be so realistic…”
“What do you want me to do? Buy your house at a high price anonymously?” Qi Zui’s mother said coldly, “Have you been watching too many TV dramas after your retirement? As your mother, I’ll be kind-hearted and advise you to watch less of such things, it’s easy for you to get dementia like that.”
“I still have some self-awareness,” Qi Zui looked at his mother and said sincerely, “You’re already being very caring by not asking me for a fee for helping to sell the house.”
“Good that you know,” Qi Zui’s mother was in a hurry to wash off the mask and was not very patient, “Is there anything else you need?”
“Go ahead,” Qi Zui smiled, “You’ve maintained your skin very well.”
Qi Zui’s mother smiled coldly at Qi Zui’s flattery and was about to hang up on the video call when Qi Zui’s doorbell rang.
Qi Zui’s mother raised an eyebrow, full of vigilance, “Who is that?”
Yu Yang said in a low voice from outside the door, “Captain…”
Qi Zui: “…”
Qi Zui’s mother quickly removed her mask and loosened her hair from the hair tie. She used the lampshade of the floor lamp as a mirror and quickly restored herself to her original dignified self. Then, she elegantly lay on the sofa, “What’s the matter? Are you going to introduce me to our family’s child bride?”
Qi Zui was dumbfounded, “You want to meet him?”
Qi Zui’s mother raised her chin slightly. She could not be bothered to talk rubbish with Qi Zui.
“I won’t make any promises,” Qi Zui got up, “I’ll convince him not to come.”
Qi Zui’s mother adjusted her hair and rolled her eyes gracefully.
Qi Zui put down his phone and opened the door.
Yu Yang did not know what was going on and shut his mouth.
Qi Zui smiled, “I’m video calling my mom.”
Yu Yang wanted to leave in a hurry when Qi Zui stopped him and said tentatively, “Do you want to meet her?”
Yu Yang’s eyes widened.
“Forget it, I’ll just say that I chased you away,” Qi Zui smiled and said in a small voice, “Wait for a moment, I’ll come and look for you soon.”
“Well…” Yu Yang took a deep breath and struggled, “Since she knows that I’m here, I should… say hello. Don’t lie to her, that’s not good.”
Qi Zui looked at Yu Yang with a smile, “Are you sure?”
Yu Yang was a little nervous and nodded his head hesitantly.
“My Mom…” Qi Zui hesitated, “She’s a little different from me. Of course, she’s a good person, but her temper… is not as good as mine.”
Yu Yang adjusted his team uniform subconsciously and nodded stiffly.
“Okay,” Qi Zui pushed open the door, muttering, “I said that there’s no need to meet, there’s no need to meet, but she insisted on meeting you, she’s too particular about such things…”
Qi Zui passed his phone to Yu Yang, “Mom, this is Youth.”
In the two to three minutes he had been gone, Qi Zui’s mother had already adjusted her appearance such that she looked like she could hold a video conference at any time. She raised her eyes and squinted, “You’re Yu Yang, right?”
Yu Yang nodded politely, “Hello, Aunt…Auntie.”
Qi Zui’s mother looked at Yu Yang carefully and exclaimed, “You’re really young… are you nineteen?”
“Nineteen and a half,” Yu Yang was very nervous, “My zodiac sign is… is the rabbit.”
Qi Zui did not know what his mother found so funny. She tried her best to stop herself from smiling, “I know. Is your training tiring? Your days and nights are reversed, can you get used to it?”
Qi Zui: “…”
Qi Zui looked at his mother with a bleak glance. He understood now that it was not true that his mother did not understand how to be gentle.
“It’s not tiring!” Yu Yang swallowed and said stiffly, “it’s what I should do…To win glory for the country.”
Qi Zui’s mother took a deep breath as if she had been moved by his words and turned her head to the side.
In a place where the camera was unable the capture, Qi Zui’s mother was holding onto her nightgown belt tightly, refusing to let herself laugh and lose her composure the first time she met Yu Yang.
Qi Zui’s mother raised her hand and pressed the corners of her eyes, covering up the remaining inappropriate expression on her face. Her expression was full of kindness, “What a good boy, ah… I was in a bit of a hurry. I had already prepared to sleep and had even changed my clothes. My hair’s in a mess as well, I feel like I’m underdressed…”
Qi Zui laughed.
Qi Zui’s mother’s gaze turned cold and Qi Zui was sensible and shut up, not exposing her lies.
Yu Yang hurriedly shook his head, “I couldn’t tell, you’re very… good.”
“It was still a little too hasty and it’s embarrassing. How about you come to our house for a visit on another day when you’re not busy,” Qi Zui’s mother smiled gently, “We can have a formal meeting then.”
Yu Yang nodded his head stiffly, “I’ll listen… to your arrangements.”
Qi Zui’s mother chatted with Yu Yang for a while longer before she ended the video call.
Yu Yang wiped off the sweat on his forehead and said, “She… I-I wasn’t impolite, right?”
Yu Yang had no experience in this sort of area and had felt a little conflicted. However, he had subconsciously felt that he could not lie to Qi Zui’s parents, but when he had greeted Qi Zui’s mother, he felt a little regret, “Was I…”
“You were very good,” Qi Zui smiled, “My Mom is like that. She was able to treat you with so much gentleness. That means that she likes you a lot and thinks highly of you.”
Yu Yang was still a little worried when Qi Zui said, “It’s true. Previously, an important sponsor wanted to talk to her through me, and she directly hung up on the call.”
Yu Yang was shocked.
“She won’t waste time even saying one extra sentence to people that are useless to her,” Qi Zui gently pinched Yu Yang’s ear, “It’s normal… no matter what, she’s my mother, she’ll definitely like the person I like.”
Yu Yang said softly, “Your Mother is really pretty, and she cares about you so much.”
Qi Zui did not want Yu Yang to think of his mother and said, “She’s alright… she does love me, but when she’s cruel, she’s really cruel.”
Yu Yang did not believe Qi Zui’s words, “She has such a good temper…”
“That’s towards you,” Qi Zui sat down and said lazily, “Do you remember what I told you before? When I first entered the eSports industry, I didn’t get much salary or bonuses, and the team often could not make ends meet.
Yu Yang nodded.
“Food, drinks, clothes, upgrading equipment, training abroad…” Qi Zui said faintly, “These were all money, and the small amount given by the club was not enough for me to take the airplane once… At that time, the few of us took turns to pay for things.”
“There were a few times when the money was too tight. Among the few of us, my family is the most well-to-do, and I was paying the most. But because at that time, I was too young, and my pocket money was limited, there was a time when the situation got very bad, so I lowered my head and asked my mother for help once.”
Qi Zui smiled, “That was the year that I first joined the team. When I asked my mother to lend me money, I told her, she could charge me the interest rates that loan sharks normally used. I told her that I would definitely return her the money.”
Yu Yang felt instinctively…that things did not go well.
“The interest rate she wanted to charge me was the ‘nine out, thirteen back’ method1,” Qi Zui smiled, “She gave me three months to return everything.”
Yu Yang was dumbfounded, he understood this very well. It was quite impossible for Qi Zui to return the money with such a high interest rate.
Qi Zui was helpless, “I knew that I couldn’t afford to return the money. I knew, so I didn’t borrow the money from her.”
Qi Zui had been full of rebellious anger when he was younger and Qi Zui’s mother was stubborn. He did not need to think of relying on her to help him out when he was in a crisis.
“She said that she was glad. She was worried that this money would be wasted. Then, she chased me out.”
“It’s not her fault… When I came out to play eSports, I had said that in the future, if I starve to death, I was unlucky, and it had nothing to do with my family. I couldn’t spend my family’s money anymore,” Qi Zui leaned on the sofa and said faintly, “I was tired of that group of fucking idiots who didn’t know anything. No matter what happened, whether I won the competition or lost it, the newspapers insisted on bringing my parents’ names into it. They didn’t deserve that treatment, and I didn’t deserve that sort of treatment too…”
Yu Yang was silent.
After he had broken up with Qi Zui, for a long time, Yu Yang would look for news concerning Qi Zui whenever he had free time.
When talking about Qi Zui’s family background, the sentence that the fans often used was that Qi Zui had to do well in eSports, otherwise, he would be forced back home to inherit his family business that was worth hundreds of millions of RMB.
The stuff the anti-fans said was even wilder, some said that as soon as Qi Zui joined eSports, he was always wearing branded goods from head to toe, some said that Qi Zui used a lot of money and relations to enter HOG, and some said that Qi Zui bought his way into the competition using his family’s money…
Yu Yang did not know what sort of feelings the seventeen-year-old Qi Zui had when he saw these news articles after he was chased out of his house by his mother.
Qi Zui smiled lightly, “I’ve not used a single dollar from my family until now. I’ve relied on myself ever since I started my career in eSports, will anyone believe me if I say it?”
Yu Yang did not speak.
What was the use of him saying that he believed Qi Zui over something that had happened so long ago?
Qi Zui smiled, and deliberately changed the topic, “What were you looking for me for?”
Yu Yang wanted to arrange a practice match with the North American and European teams, and he wanted to ask Qi Zui for some contacts for those teams.
This had originally been He Xiaoxu’s job, but He Xiaoxu was on leave for these two days and had already returned home. Therefore, Captain-Yu automatically took over the matter.
“I want to ask you… ask you about…” Captain-Yu lowered his head, his ears red, “Today… are we practicing desensitization?”