T/N: Hey everyone~ Good news: I’m back! Bad news: Not for that long :(. This uni sem is kicking my ass but I love this book too much to ever ditch it… I’ll try to give a heads-up before I disappear again for finals!! Enjoy this chapter~
HOG’s exceptional performance in the last match managed to appease the fans, reducing the malicious comments online.
At least Yu Yang had managed to prove that they were able to win in a single match.
As for the rest, they needed to fight for it with extensive training.
“Not bad, at least it shows that there’s still hope,” After the competition, Lai Hua did not scold people as he had in the past, he was actually quite calm, “How you guys played today… Youth, needless to say, was at his peak performance the whole time. There were no problems with how Nana and Lao Kai were playing, Xin Ba was a little out of it and could not keep up sometimes. Continue practicing together, it was a good choice coming here today. It’s impossible to meet so many strong teams at once during normal training competitions, and training competitions are normally not that intense, so it’s hard to notice all the problems. As expected, all the problems within the team were exposed this time, this is a good thing. At least we know what we need to improve, it’s not bad, but…”
“For the portion concerning the regulation of your emotions…” Lai Hua’s expression became serious and he said in a low voice, “If any team member has a problem, you should solve it yourself. In the next competition, no matter the result, I don’t want another situation occurring where a team member needs someone else to comfort them. There’s no need for a psychological counselor to accompany us for a small-scale competition like this, right? When there isn’t a psychological counselor accompanying us, you should deal with your problems yourself. After making a mistake, you instead had someone who had been doing their best all along to get distracted and comfort you. I don’t want to see this sort of situation occur again.”
Lai Hua did not say the name of the person he was talking about, but everyone knew who he was referring to. Xin Ba looked at everyone guiltily and suddenly bowed, “I’m sorry, but… I’ll do my best, I want to be more hardworking than Captain, and persevere on until… a newcomer who is better than me appears.”
Bu Nana and Lao Kai were full of emotions on hearing Xin Ba’s words and were speechless for the moment.
Lai Hua had originally wanted to scold Xin Ba. The mistakes made in the first four matches were one thing, but he even had a breakdown towards the end, wanting to give up and stop playing. In that competition, Xin Ba had exposed all his weaknesses, from his skills to his psychological strength, it could not get any worse.
But when he heard Xin Ba say those words, Lai Hua felt a little soft-hearted.
When Bu Nana was about to comfort Xin Ba by telling him that no one could be better than him, Yu Yang, who was standing by the window said calmly, “Alright, continue playing until a newcomer who’s better than you appears.”
Bu Nana smiled awkwardly, in his heart, he thought, ‘As expected of the successor of that old beast, in matters concerning competitions, he does not hold back.’
Yu Yang’s hair was messed up by his headphones, and he retied it. After that, he picked up his own computer accessories bag and carried it.
Yu Yang carried his accessories bag and walked out, when he walked past Xin Ba, who was still bowing, Yu Yang used force to pull Xin Ba up, and looked at Xin Ba in his eyes.
Xin Ba’s eyes were red again, and he said in a small voice, “Captain…”
“From today on, as long as someone better than you appears, you have to quit,” Yu Yang looked at Xin Ba and said, “Do you remember that?”
Xin Ba was confused, “Yes…”
“Make sure you remember,” Yu Yang let go of his arm, “From now on, every match could be your last match in Team One. You have today, but you might not have tomorrow, you have this match, but you might not have the next match, do you understand?”
Xin Ba was stunned and instantly, his eyes turned watery, “I understand! I’ll play my best during every match, Captain…”
Yu Yang nodded his head, “It’s enough that you understand. There are more activities after this, try to cheer up, let us, let…”
Yu Yang raised his eyes and looked towards the person who had arrived sometime and was standing at the lounge entrance. Suddenly, Yu Yang forgot what he wanted to say.
Qi Zui stuffed his two hands into the pockets of his suit and smiled, “Did I interrupt Captain-Yu’s lecture?”
Yu Yang was stunned, and his face suddenly turned red.
The lecture he gave Xin Ba just now… Qi Zui had heard all of it?!
Yu Yang felt embarrassed for some reason, and his cold and serious expression instantly vanished. He stammered, slightly out of it, “You didn’t, didn’t interrupt me, I was just… talking nonsense…”
Yu Yang, who had just been praised as an ‘Imperial Wolfdog’ by the commentators suddenly degenerated. The powerful aura that had been around Yu Yang since the beginning of the competition disappeared. Yu Yang took two steps backward, and swallowed his saliva, then whispered, “Captain…”
Bu Nana was unable to keep watching. He covered his face, “Captain-Yu… can you not give in so easily…”
“There’ll be a gathering for the top five teams tonight, clean yourself up, those that have your clothes in the car, you can change into those, but it’s fine even if you didn’t bring any of your clothes. There is no official photographer, at the most, there will be livestream interviews with a few media platforms, it isn’t official,” After Qi Zui had told them about the official matters, he looked at the four of them, then pursed his lips, “You guys played…”
Yu Yang raised his gaze, guilt flashing in his eyes.
It was his first time leading the team, and they did not even manage to get the top three.
“You guys…” Qi Zui would not say useless words to comfort them just because he had a special relationship with Yu Yang. He said, “Played very badly, but it’s a good thing that your problems were exposed so early on. Captain-Yu was not bad. In the future, you guys still have to improve on many things, work hard.”
The four of them nodded.
“The competition has already ended, don’t bring these negative emotions into the next competition. It’s enough that you’ve gained experience from this competition, don’t let your negative emotions accumulate. Let’s go, we’ll go to the gathering now.”
The four of them carried their accessories bag and walked out of the venue. Before they got on the car, Yu Yang brought the few of them out, and some fans were still holding up their support posters and LED signs. When they saw that HOG did not get on the car directly and walked over, the fans started to shout excitedly.
Yu Yang said in a low voice, “Bow.”
The four of them bowed at the same time.
After they had apologized to their fans, they got in the car and headed towards the clubhouse that the organizers had prepared for the gathering.
Bu Nana patted his stomach and exclaimed, “I’ve already forgotten how long it’s been since I’ve had to bow to the fans in apology…”
Qi Zui was looking at his phone. When he heard those words, he smiled, “Get used to it in advance?”
Bu Nana glared at Qi Zui angrily.
Qi Zui did not feel that his words were hurting at all. Instead, he started to recall his memories of Bu Nana, “It was the year that Nana joined the team, right? There was once, a mistake was made on the International Invitational Competition, and we lost the position as a seed team, and we were scolded extremely badly…”
“When we came out from the venue after the competition, the fans were so angry that they all left. Only one boy was left waiting outside, and this caused Bu Nana to be so touched… in the snowy winter, he ran over without even wearing his down feather jacket, and did a ninety-degree bow to the boy, he bowed for… about ten minutes?” Qi Zui explained to the newcomers kindly, “Nana was young at that time, so his waist was still quite good.”
Lao Kai chuckled and Bu Nana became frantic. He wanted to cover Qi Zui’s mouth. Lai Hua held back a smile and stopped him. Qi Zui continued to say, “That’s not the main point… The main point is, that fan was quite honest as well, and he suddenly bowed to Nana as well.”
“In Sweden in the winter, the temperature was lower than negative ten, the snowflakes were floating, the two of them bowed to each other like they were bowing to each other in the marriage ceremony, and bowed for around ten minutes…” Qi Zui shook his head slightly and clicked his tongue, “The reporters over there were all scared. What sort of strange Asian practice was that? A group of reporters surrounded the two of them and kept snapping photos. For a few days, the headlines of the eSports magazines were all photos of that incident, and…”
“Qi Zui!!!” Bu Nana yelled, “I’ll fight you to death!”
“Alright, I’ll stop talking,” Qi Zui smiled and coughed, “I was just reminiscing about the bittersweet days, what’s wrong with that?”
Bu Nana was very angry, “Then why didn’t you use yourself as an example?!”
Qi Zui was helpless, “I wanted to, but I didn’t have such a bad history.”
Bu Nana thought about it. It was true, he could not recall any incident. Instantly, he got even angrier.
While they were talking, the car had reached the underground carpark of the clubhouse. Everyone was feeling better, and they got off the car, entering the large private room that had been booked in the clubhouse.
TGC and the rest had already arrived. Hai Xiao had already started drinking, and when he saw HOG arrive, he rushed towards them. Qi Zui pushed soso aside and after mocking the skills of all the teams today, he could not avoid it and had to drink a cup of alcohol as an apology. Everyone laughed and went off to do their own thing. Qi Zui placed the empty glass down and turned his head to look for Yu Yang. He looked around, then, he narrowed his eyes…
Xin Ba was by Yu Yang’s side, following him around.
Although Yu Yang was a little bit of a loner, because of his skills and how low-key he was, he was quite popular in the eSports circle. He had been surrounded as soon as he entered the room. Yu Yang did not like having to keep socializing with people, so he picked up the alcohol and wanted to drink it. However, Xin Ba foolishly and straightforwardly snatched the alcohol away from Yu Yang and gulped it down in one shot.
Xin Ba did not know how to drink alcohol. After he drank a cup of alcohol, he started to cough.
Yu Yang patted his back a few times.
Yu Yang helped Xin Ba get a bottle of mineral water.
Yu Yang frowned and asked Xin Ba if he was alright.
Xin Ba shook his head and said that he was fine, then continued to follow behind Yu Yang like a puppy. The only thing that he had yet to do was help Yu Yang light his cigarette.
Qi Zui looked at the two of them calmly and said to Bu Nana, “Is there something that the two of them know that I don’t?”
Bu Nana glanced at Xin Ba and understood. He said casually, “It’s normal, it started from the fifth match of the competition. Xin Ba used to admire you the most, but from today on, it should be Youth. I don’t know what Youth taught him, but he keeps nagging and saying that Youth is too great, too great, his gun skills are good and his psychological quality is so strong it’s scary, he even comforted him and saved him, he’ll be loyal to Youth all his life, that sort of thing…”
Qi Zui smiled coldly, he had simply been a commentator for one competition, and instead of getting rid of the evil cult that shipped Yu Yang and Hua Luo, things had happened in the team1.
Bu Nana looked at Qi Zui’s expression and had an uneasy feeling in his heart. He covered his chest timidly, “Why are you so gloomy? Do you want to eat someone? Isn’t it good that their relationship is good? Youth is indeed a strong player, and he has a lot of charisma. It’s normal for him to be worshipped by others.”
Qi Zui’s smile was a little green2, and tried to keep himself calm, “Yes, it’s very normal.”
Bu Nana carefully held onto his wine glass and avoided Qi Zui, going off to make other people drink.
Before Qi Zui could look for Yu Yang, Zhou Feng came over again. Zhou Feng was there to ask Qi Zui about the matter with the sponsors, and Qi Zui owed him a favor, so it was not good for him to brush him off, so Qi Zui moved away from the crowd and talked in detail about the situation.
After he finished dealing with Zhou Feng, Yu Yang and Xin Ba were no longer in the room.
Qi Zui placed down his glass and went out to look for them.
Qi Zui caught the two of them at the washroom.
Qi Zui: “…”
Qi Zui looked at Xin Ba, who was guarding the entrance of the washroom, and said calmly, “Are you in first grade of primary school? Holding hands to the washroom?”
Xin Ba said awkwardly, “No, I… I was scared that someone would come and bother Captain again, so I have to follow him.”
Qi Zui looked down at Xin Ba slightly and kindly reminded him, “Don’t you think… That I should be the one doing this sort of thing?”
Xin Ba, the completely straight man3 could not feel Qi Zui’s hostility. He did not know that he was already trespassing on someone else’s territory. He was half-drunk from that cup of alcohol and did not think before he spoke. He bravely and directly said, “We’re both in Team One, we should be together!”
They’re in Team One, they’re in Team One, they’re in Team One…
He had already retired, he had already retired, he had already retired…
The barrier in Qi Zui’s heart that separated his human side from his beastly side shattered.
The smile on Qi Zui’s face was completely gone. He loosened his tie and nodded his head, saying mildly, “Yes, you’re both in Team One.”
Yu Yang came out of the washroom and looked at the two of them, not really understanding the situation, “Xin Ba, why haven’t you left yet? Captain, why are you here as well…”
Qi Zui was expressionless as he pulled Yu Yang over so that Yu Yang stood in front of Qi Zui.
Yu Yang: “!”
Yu Yang’s ears instantly turned red.
Qi Zui raised his hand and lightly held Yu Yang’s chin, making him raise his head to look at Xin Ba.
“I want to clarify the relationships within the team,” Qi Zui looked at Xin Ba, “Youth is your captain, and nothing else, right?”
Yu Yang leaned into Qi Zui’s embrace, completely surrounded by Qi Zui. He could even hear Qi Zui’s strong heartbeat. Yu Yang’s Adam’s apple moved… although he did not know what the situation was, but… he quite liked this.
But being forced to let Xin Ba watch, it was a little…
“Yu Yang is my boyfriend and not an ordinary boyfriend, he’s the kind of boyfriend that once he’s retired, we’ll migrate and get married,” Qi Zui looked at Xin Ba, “So, don’t ask him to go to the washroom together from now on, do you understand?”
Xin Ba looked at Yu Yang, whose face was red with embarrassment, then looked at Qi Zui’s whose expression was cold, and suddenly he was awake.
Xin Ba was so scared of Qi Zui that he started to sweat, he stammered, “I understand.”
Qi Zui turned his head to the side and kissed Yu Yang’s ear, “Very good, go and play, I need to talk to your captain.”
Xin Ba acted like he had been pardoned and hurriedly ran away.
Yu Yang covered his left ear that had been kissed by Qi Zui, his heart thumping. He did not imagine it this time, right? He did not imagine it? Qi Zui kissed him?
Yu Yang could not stand the whole process of doubting himself and denying that it happened. He turned to look at Qi Zui, stammering, “You… kiss, kissed me?”
Qi Zui lowered his eyes, “If it wasn’t for the fact that I was scared that you would get angry, I would have kissed you forcefully in front of him just now.”