Edited by AlexPT
He Xiaoxu really sent the login details of HOG’s Official Weibo account over.
Qi Zui was speechless. He Xiaoxu’s actions showed that he had really accepted the fact that the team might be sold.
Opening the Weibo app, Qi Zui logged into the team’s account successfully.
He scrolled through the comments and reposts, but in the midst of doing so, he recalled something. Minimising the app, he went back to texting He Xiaoxu.
Qi Zui: “I need your help for one more thing.”
He Xiaoxu: “Don’t talk about one thing, even if it were a hundred, a thousand or ten thousand things, I will agree to help you, just like Er’kang 1.”
Qi Zui: “Stop watching so many daytime soaps, my mom says that too much of that makes it more likely for your brain to short-circuit.”
He Xiaoxu: “……”
He Xiaoxu wiped his face as he typed quickly, “I’ll tell you the truth, I’m not worried about anything else. I know my reputation in the industry isn’t good. They all say I’m overly dramatic, harsh and whatnot, and the new boss is most likely going to fire me. But it’s okay, I have many other places to go to if I get fired. I’m in my twenties, the best age to be. I have connections and many other ways out. I also have all these years of management experience, I can begin all over again anywhere and not let myself suffer, but……”
He Xiaoxu was seated on the couch in the break room, eyes reddening as he typed, “What about Lao-lai 2?”
He Xiaoxu: “He has a bad temper and he doesn’t know how to butter up our bosses. He is also too straight with his words. What if the new boss doesn’t like him?”
He Xiaoxu: “Lao-lai joined the team when he was sixteen, he’s really ready to die here. If the new boss really doesn’t like him……”
Qi Zui’s gaze was lowered. He had also considered everything that He Xiaoxu was worrying about.
The things He Xiaoxu couldn’t accept, Qi Zui couldn’t either.
Qi Zui deliberated for a moment but still didn’t reveal anything to He Xiaoxu.
From young, his mother had taught him about the most taboo thing in doing business: being showy before the deal was set in stone.
Qi Zui could not risk it. He needed to be absolutely sure, that there was no room for mistakes regarding this matter.
He Xiaoxu: “Really, I’m not worried about the rest, just him…… He’s been so unlucky these few years, I’m really worried, if only……”
Qi Zui: “Let me interrupt you here, can I continue talking about my request?”
He Xiaoxu’s emotional moment was interrupted and he was peeved, “You old beast! What has it come to! Aren’t you sad?!”
Qi Zui: “……”
Qi Zui: “I have another wish.”
He Xiaoxu replied angrily, “Tell me!”
Qi Zui: “Since you’re at the base, can you help me ruin the air-conditioner in Yu Yang’s room?”
He Xiaoxu: “?”
Qi Zui: “Speedily, we’ll be back in twenty.”
He Xiaoxu: “Are you insane? The weather is getting hotter by the day. How is he supposed to sleep if the air-conditioner is broken? Now I know, you’re a heartless and cruel old beast. You……”
Qi Zui: “If he can’t sleep because of the heat, where do you think he’ll go?”
He Xiaoxu: “……”
He Xiaoxu: “Get lost! Ah ah ah ah I’m not helping you!!!”
Qi Zui regretted his actions. This should have been the first thing he mentioned.
Qi Zui turned to look at Yu Yang, who was sleeping, and sighed.
Back at the base, drunk Bu Nana was pulling He Xiaoxu, wanting a dance battle. He Xiaoxu had enough on his plate to worry about and ignored him. But afraid that the others might see through him, he pretended that all was well. It was only when he made eye contact with Qi Zui that the look in his eyes became strange. Fortunately, everyone had quite a bit to drink and they didn’t notice anything wrong.
Except Yu Yang.
Maybe it was because he had a hard time growing up and often suffered, Yu Yang was exceptionally sensitive to disaster and trouble. He felt that something was not right, and after thinking about it, he guessed that He Xiaoxu’s talks with the sponsors today had fallen through. But things like that were commonplace, and with He Xiaoxu’s temperament, he would just whine a little, scold the contacts involved and not be this upset……
Yu Yang called He Xiaoxu out to speak to him.
He Xiaoxu’s expression was awkward, “What did you want to talk to me about? It’s late at night and we are two men out here by ourselves, it wouldn’t be good if Qi Zui saw us……”
“…… You can’t do anything to me,” Yu Yang was taller than He Xiaoxu and his gaze lowered a little to look at the other man, “Did something happen?”
He Xiaoxu laughed in an extremely fake way, “Hahahaha what could go wrong? Did Mute Zhou suddenly propose to me? Hahahaha……”
Yu Yang was not great with words and he did not know how to ask his questions. He was silent for a moment before speaking suddenly, “NCNC disbanded, there won’t be a Team NCNC in the future.”
“Oh? Is that so?” He Xiaoxu felt like something was stuck in his chest, but still continued to act nonchalant, “That’s normal, it’s a small team with no achievements. It is expected that they would be here one day and gone the next.”
Yu Yang continued to speak, “One of them was headhunted, another went to TGC’s second team, and the rest…… They said they have gone into streaming, or something else.”
Yu Yang’s words were a direct blow to He Xiaoxu’s heart.
Yu Yang looked at He Xiaoxu calmly, “I’m the captain of the first team now, Manager He. If there’s a problem, you should be discussing it with me, right?”
“I wanted to, but I saw that you’re…… already tired enough, no?” He Xiaoxu had also been under a lot of pressure recently. He tried to hold it in, once, twice, before saying hoarsely, “Youth, our team might be sold off……”
On the third floor, Qi Zui sent the drunkards back to their own rooms. Upon realising that the number wasn’t right, he went back down to look for He Xiaoxu and Yu Yang.
He found only He Xiaoxu downstairs.
He Xiaoxu looked a lot better than he did previously and he still greeted Qi Zui in a relaxed manner when he saw him.
Qi Zui raised his brows, “What happened? You’re not being mopey or beating yourself up worrying about us anymore?”
He Xiaoxu glared at Qi Zui and was about to leave when Qi Zui stopped him, “About that, the air-conditioner……”
“Can you have some conscience?!” He Xiaoxu felt so angry he was about to go bald, “Youth has a far better conscience than you!”
Qi Zui frowned, “What nonsense did you spout to him? You think he doesn’t have enough on his plate?”
He Xiaoxu felt guilty and he just glossed over the talk, “He guessed it on his own, how is it my fault?”
Qi Zui looked at He Xiaoxu plainly.
“Anyway…… it was already said.” He Xiaoxu was unhappy, “You know his temper, don’t you? Could I have kept it from him? But thank god, he said he can help me solve the problem.”
Yu Yang gave He Xiaoxu a promise just now.
Yu Yang said that he could and was willing to lower his contract fee and sign a long-term contract with the new boss on one condition: he only wanted to work with the old HOG team.
The current manager, the current coach, the current teammates. It would not be considered as the old HOG if any of these people were missing.
Thinking back at the calm tone and manner that Yu Yang promised him this in, and how he asked him to keep this a secret for now to not worry the rest of the team, He Xiaoxu was a little touched. He clicked his tongue. No wonder Qi Zui could not forget Yu Yang even after their break-up, liking Yu Yang was really too easy……
He Xiaoxu looked at Qi Zui and tried to provoke him, “Youth is far more resourceful than you, okay? He said, whatever the new boss wants, he will agree to it all. He won’t let the team disband!”
Qi Zui: “……”
“New boss……”, Qi Zui rubbed the space between his brows, repeating, “He will agree to anything the new boss wants?”
“Of course,” With Yu Yang helping to carry the burden, He Xiaoxu was far more relaxed and he went back to his room satisfied, “There’s nothing my Yu-ge cannot deal with……:
Qi Zui was speechless and he also went upstairs.
On the third floor, Captain Yu who had just promised to do anything to save the team was squatting at Qi Zui’s door, head buried in his arms as he dozed.
Qi Zui half-bent down to look at him, whistling softly.
Yu Yang opened his eyes and looked up in a daze.
Qi Zui got up and pushed the door to his room open, “Why didn’t you go to bed if you’re so sleepy?”
“I’m not sleepy,” Yu Yang lied through his teeth and stood up, holding the wall for support, “Just wanted to tell you…… About the team being sold, you don’t have to worry, I will take care of it……”
Qi Zui pulled Yu Yang into the room.
Qi Zui’s mother had taught him to never do anything unnecessary before the contract was signed.
Qi Zui strongly agreed with that.
But behind closed doors, there was no need to keep secrets from family, right?
Qi Zui got Yu Yang to sit down and told him about his plan to buy over the team.
Yu Yang’s eyes lit up a little.
“R-really?” Yu Yang licked his lips, asking in a low voice, “You’re buying the entire team? Is that really possible?”
Qi Zui didn’t dare to make empty promises, and so he smiled, “I am about 80% sure. Our current boss has nothing against me, and we do have somewhat of a relationship after all these years. If he wants to sell it, what’s wrong with me buying it? It’s not like I’ll pay any less than anyone else. Even if it’s not on my account, he would also want to offer my parents an olive branch.”
Yu Yang tried to reconfirm: “None of us would have to leave if you buy the team, right? Coach Lai won’t have to leave either, right?”
“No one has to leave,” Qi Zui laughed, “I realise that you all are really protective of him…….”
Yu Yang thought that Qi Zui was jealous again and he quickly explained himself: “No, no, it’s just……”
Yu Yang told him the truth: “When I look at him, I always think about you.”
“I heard that Coach Lai retired because of an injury too, and…… it wasn’t a pretty scene when he announced it,” Yu Yang looked at Qi Zui, speaking softly, “He didn’t go into streaming, open an online shop or go out to work. He wanted to stay here, so we can’t possibly…… really let him be kicked out, no?”
Lai Hua was like Qi Zui, but yet not at the same time. They had similar experiences, but at the crossroads, he walked down the path of the most dire consequences.
Qi Zui raised his hand to Yu Yang’s chin, tilting his face up a little, “Relieved now? Your husband is so rich.”
The huge rock in Yu Yang’s chest finally lifted and he nodded, “Yes……”
“Just now I heard He Xiaoxu say that you’re willing to make deals with the new boss?” Qi Zui looked at Yu Yang, “What are you planning to do?”
Yu Yang: “……”
Yu Yang was embarrassed, “Not that kind of thing……”
“I might really fire Lao-lai, He Xiaoxu and the rest,” Qi Zui smirked, “Do you believe me?”
Yu Yang looked at Qi Zui with distrust.
“I might do all of that just to bully you,” Qi Zui smiled, “Captain Yu…… For Lai Hua, that old pitiful man, is it too much to ask of you if I want you to come over and sit in your new boss’ lap?”
Yu Yang was stunned for a moment before his ears reddened as he realised what Qi Zui was saying.
“You were so confident just now when making promises to He Xiaoxu,” Qi Zui laughed, “So? Were you just saying it? You don’t want to make sacrifices for the team anymore?”
Yu Yang looked at Qi Zui, eyes pleading.
Qi Zui laughed, “Youth…… I am only asking you to sit here while clothed. When you come and beg me again, it might not be just this anymore…… Can you do it if I get you to remove your pants and come sit on my lap while only wearing our shirt?”
Yu Yang’s face flushed immediately, heating up.
Qi Zui laughed, “It’s a limited time offer, why don’t you think about it properly?”
Yu Yang hesitated, feeling conflicted, and he still couldn’t bring himself to do it. Going over of his own accord to sit on Qi Zui’s lap, it was……
Yu Yang said hopefully, “Captain, considering that I worked hard during the competition just now……”
Qi Zui laughed out loud.
“Forget it,” he smiled gently, “But I’ll be going to speak to the boss about this tomorrow. Once everything is in black and white and you have nowhere to hide…… You better remember what you promised He Xiaoxu.”
Yu Yang nodded, face still red.
Qi Zui wanted to continue talking to Yu Yang, but it was already 2AM in the morning. God knew what time it would be if they continued. Yu Yang had to wake up early for extra practice the next day, and so Qi Zui stopped teasing him and told him to go to bed.
Yu Yang went back to his own room and after showering, he realised that he had been a little too unreasonable and selfish.
Slowly drying his hair with a towel, Yu Yang looked at his phone hesitantly……
Qi Zui went behind all their backs to do all these things for the team and he was going to be spending so much on the team. He only wanted Yu Yang to sit on his lap, why…… Why couldn’t he have just sat down?
He wasn’t that averse to touch anymore. Would that short amount of time make his illness relapse? Wasn’t he the one who wanted to desensitise himself as well?
Qi Zui had asked for it too……
Yu Yang hung up the damp towel and grabbed his phone.
Yu Yang sent a text message to Qi Zui.
Yu Yang: “Are you asleep?”
Qi Zui didn’t reply.
Yu Yang blew his hair dry and he picked up his phone again. Seeing that there was no reply, he sent another text: “I showered.”
Yu Yang put his phone down and he opened the windows to smoke a cigarette, going through their game today in his head.
After about half an hour, Yu Yang looked at this phone again, but there was still no reply from Qi Zui.
Yu Yeng felt intuitively that Qi Zui wouldn’t have fallen asleep so early.
With a shower, and the time taken to dry his hair, he couldn’t have gone to bed already.
If he was awake but still not replying to Yu Yang’s texts…… Was he upset?
Yu Yang wanted to make Qi Zui happy.
Qi Zui hung up the phone after speaking to the lawyer for about half an hour.
He rubbed his aching neck and looked at WeChat, immediately opening his chat with Yu yang when he saw a notification.
Youth: “Are you asleep?”
Youth: “I showered.”
Youth: “Do you…… still like looking at this?”
Yu Yang’s last message came with a photo and Qi Zui scrolled down……
It was a photo of Yu Yang, half-naked.