Qi Zui exited out of the game window, then looked down and smiled.
He caressed his keyboard gently, taking in a deep breath…that felt so fucking good.
Yu Yang, who was standing not too far away and has not spoken a single word this entire time, stared at Qi Zui unmovingly, almost unable to look away.
When other people came in first place, it was because their skill levels are ranked first. But when Qi Zui came in first, it was simply because the highest rank in the competition was first.
If not for his unmovable skills, if not for his complete confidence, why else would Qi Zui ask to be put back into competition?
Yu Yang was suddenly regretful.
He should not have let Qi Zui to use his own account.
Let Qi Zui go on whoever’s account, as long as it was not his own, so he could have played against him in the match.
Yu Yang badly wanted to go against Qi Zui again in a solo match.
Including all practice matches, Yu Yang had only gone full-out once against Qi Zui in a solo match, and that was back at the Busan Asia Cup Invitationals.
Yu Yang had just joined the team back then, and was getting trained as the future Captain and Qi Zui’s replacement, so he mainly focused on team battles during training, practicing his leading skills instead of systemically strengthening his solo skills.
On the Asia Cup Invitationals, Qi Zui was playing with some injuries, but still unquestionably dominated over everyone else and ended in first place. Yu Yang tried his very best, and was in fourth.
It has been a few months since then, and Yu Yang had been growing his skills and strengths, and was confident against most of the domestic players—he really, really wanted to try again against Qi Zui.
Qi Zui leaned against the gaming chair, massaging gently at his slightly sore wrists. He turned to look at Yu Yang and knew what he was thinking with one glance.
Qi Zui taunted: “Regretting things, are we?”
Yu Yang opened a bottle of water and chugged half a bottle.
He could not be happier than anyone to hear that Qi Zui was in good condition, but he really was regretful…Qi Zui’s wrist was not completely recovered, and he wouldn’t play any other practice matches before the Worlds, and even if he competed at the Worlds, he wouldn’t be able to play every match, so Yu Yang will not have any other opportunities.
Lai Hua was silent for a long moment, then smiled ruefully: “Not everyone is destined for the same fate in the end. Fine, I will allow it.”
Qi Zui’s strength was laid out clear as day in front of them, so He Xiaoxu did not have anything else to say either. He was blown away and completely convinced: “I’ll go apply for the official documents with the organizers…just in case, why don’t I put you down as a coach? As long as you’re on the list, you’ll be able to compete anyway.”
Every one of them was looking out for Qi Zui’s reputation at any given moment; Qi Zui was not someone who couldn’t tell between someone’s good and bad intentions, so he did not argue and nodded: “Ok.”
Bu Nana was sprawled over his gaming chair, mumbling while look at his own sixth place ranking: “Kai…I feel kind of guilting sitting on my starting player position.”
Lao Kai looked at his own fifteenth place ranking on the solo match, joining the mumbling: “I second that, I’m really worried, what if the staff at the competition cannot actually bear looking at my garbage gameplay and wheels me off during the game, and then they’ll wheel Qi Zui up there…”
“Can we make a pact?” Lao Kai looked towards Lai Hua, asking sincerely, “If you’re planning on Qi Zui to take my place on the solo match, just let me know beforehand, okay? I’ll get lost on my own, no need for everyone to lift me out, no need to dirty your hands like that.”
Simba looked at his own 23rd ranking and gulped, then said nervously, “If anyone should be worried, then it should be me…”
“Your strengths aren’t in the solo match to begin with, what are you worrying for? And Your rankings obviously went up this time, everyone has worked hard these days, it’s shown in the results. Also…” Lai Hua frowned, “Focus on working hard if you’re stressed! We’ll probably keep about two people from the trainees this round, they all have the potential, never mind the new backup player we just got!”
The backup player smiled leisurely: “Why thank you.”
Bu Nana and Lao Kai laughed and cursed under their breath, and Simba starts to laugh too. They are all genuinely happy to know that Qi Zui was in such good condition.
Qi Zui tapped at the keyboard, still savouring the feeling. If he did not have to do rehab that night, he would really consider playing another few rounds.
But it couldn’t be helped that he was already at his limit in the two hours already played today; Qi Zui does not dare taking his health matters lightly. He was just about to close the computer down when his Steam account shows that he had new messages.
Qi Zui forgot that he was logged onto Yu Yang’s account and opened it without thinking.
[TGC-ZHOU: Learned how to snipe now?]
Qi Zui grinned.
“Come here.” Qi Zui turned around and called to Yu Yang, “Mute Zhou is looking for you.”
Yu Yang walked over and glanced at the message, then could not help but smile too.
And was also a little ashamed.
“I’ve never managed to get the hang of it.” Yu Yang said lowly. “I did try to practice, but…”
Qi Zui shook his head, uncaring, “Everyone is good at different things. You are a fragger to begin with, you’re good at shootouts at close proximity. I’m not just making you feel better, if we were to actually battle on landing, I wouldn’t be able to win against you.”
But the second Qi Zui got his hands on a sniper rifle, once he gets the equipment he needed, then it was a different question.
Qi Zui smiled: “Can I reply to him?”
Yu Yang naturally agreed.
Qi Zui typed quickly—
[HOG-Youth: The husband taught me.]
Yu Yang wanted to find a crack in the floor and hide in it, “Captain…”
“Didn’t you let me reply to him?” Qi Zui looked at Yu Yang innocently, “He came to us for the dog food, how could I let him leave with an empty stomach?”
Yu Yang pursed his lips, uneasy but unable to argue back.
“Then…you go ahead.” Yu Yang was unable to tell Qi Zui “no”, but added quietly, “But can you not say anything too scandalous? I still have to see them in person when we play competitions…”
Qi Zui looked back at Yu Yang, completely infatuated, heart melted.
On Steam, Zhou Feng was still messaging.
[TGC-Zhou: Your team seems to be making good progress on preparing, everyone is improving with their rankings this time.]
Bu Nana and Lao Kai went back to doing their own things already, training and reviewing footage, so no one paid any attention to them. Qi Zui took Yu Yang’s hand, giving it a squeeze, then typed out with one hand—
[HOG-Youth: Nothing to brag about, that’s just their normal level.]
[HOG-Youth: Train hard, make sure you do your best to watch us win again, good luck.]
Zhou Feng did not reply again.
Qi Zui did not think there was any issue at all with what he said, and snorted: “Mute Zhou does not have to have a good mentality, I haven’t even started my taunting yet and he’s gone already.”
Qi Zui was just about to exit the chat when Hua Luo arrived.
[Knight-Flower: God Yang, your sniping today was kind of exceptional.]
Qi Zui squinted, at a complete loss, “How come no one talked to me when I was Captain?”
Qi Zui looked at Yu Yang, surprised, “So now…there are this many random men coming to chat you up every day?”
Yu Yang was in the middle of drinking water, and starts to cough and splutter upon hearing that.
“Take it easy.” Qi Zui patted Yu Yang’s back, understanding and considerate, “I didn’t even say anything, would I care about this kind of thing?”
Qi Zui, who just said that he does not care about these things, replied quickly—
[HOG-Youth: Hubby taught me!]
The unyielding, steel-boned empire’s wolfhound, looking at the “hubby” on the screen, closed his eyes and starts to contemplate death.
Hua Luo was in for quite a shock as well.
[Knight-Flower: Ha…hahaha…that’s nice, that’s nice, it is nice to have a private coach.]
[HOG-Youth]: Mmhm, he is very good to me, and we’re really happy together. I hope you will also find your own happiness one day.]
Yu Yang buried his face in his hands and lost his will to live.
Hua Luo replied from his end after a long moment—
[Knight-Flower]: Yu Yang, I have always thought that you were more reserved and shy.]
Qi Zui snorted. What Hua Luo was doing earlier could be classified as scoping out the competition, but this is plain old flirting now, right?
[HOG-Youth]: Shyness is just the armour I wear.
About 20km away, at the Knight training base, Hua Luo lost his mind due to being unable to reconcile with Yu Yang’s out of character actions.
On the third floor of the HOG training base, Qi Zui shook his head, concerned, “How is Knight going to do in the Worlds if my Hua-ge has this weak mentality?”
Yu Yang’s entire face was blushing furiously, but still did not move to stop Qi Zui and can only try to convince him quietly through the embarrassment: “Don’t…stop chatting with people.”
“Have you seen it now? THis is what these Captains are made of.” Qi Zui raised his brow, “Hey handsome, how are you going to make it amongst these hooligans if you’re so easily embarrassed? Wouldn’t you end up getting bullied by these jerks?”
Yu Yang looked away, “I won’t let myself get bullied…”
Qi Zui looked at Yu Yang skeptically. Yu Yang looked down and said lowly: “I only let you bully me, other people…other people won’t be able to bully me.”
Qi Zui looked left and right, and once he confirms that no one is looking, he gave Yu Yang a quick kiss.
“No worries.” Qi Zui was just joking around with Yu Yang, and now that he has had his fun, he said, “I wouldn’t be able to bear bullying you anyway…”
Qi Zui sent a message to Zhou Feng and Hua Luo, saying that he was the one to repond to them earlier, so that Yu Yang wouldn’t have to be awkward when they saw him in the future.
“You’re not mad, right?” Qi Zui grinned at Yu Yang, “Or, you could play with my phone and my account? Do whatever you want.”
Yu Yang shook his head frantically, “No, I’m worried I’ll accidentally do something again.”
Qi Zui thought back to when Yu Yang shared all those pseudo-science, clickbait articles and laughed out loud. He shut the computer down, then stood up, “I’m going to go do rehab, go on with your training.”
With the competition coming up, they could only flirt when schedule allowed. Qi Zui did not keep Yu Yang from his training schedule and went to do his own thing; Yu Yang also sat back down on his own seat, calming himself down, and throwing himself into training.