Edited by AlexPT
At the Knights’ base, the leader, Hua Luo, exited the game and grabbed his phone to call someone.
“Keep it short, I have something urgent to deal with.”
“What sort of urgent problem can you have,” Hua Luo grinned. “That child is very good, isn’t it a pity to have him only play as a substitute? Do me a favor and let him transfer to the Knight’s team. Anyway, you aren’t lacking a player.”
“You have a prob…” Qi Zui paused, then sneered, “Alright, you can go and ask him personally… See if he even bothers talking to you.”
Qi Zui’s heart rate sped upwhen he recalled Yu Yang’s shot just now. He smiled mockingly, “Noob.”
“Aiya, it was just one mistake,” Hua Luo smiled helplessly. “I’m not joking with you, let him transfer to the Knight team. I really want him.”
Qi Zui quickly headed downstairs. “If you don’t have anything legitimate to ask, I’ll hang up now.”
“You’re really not going to do me this small favor?” Hua Luo sounded very interested. “Isn’t he just one of your youth trainees?”
Qi Zui went downstairs. “No.”
Hua Luo was curious. “Hm?”
Qi Zui reached the first floor, and looked at Yu Yang through a glass wall. “He’s also my future boyfriend.”
“Youth, you were brilliant!” He Xiaoxu had reached the first-floor training room before Qi Zui. He did not anticipate that Yu Yang would be so brilliant while playing solo. He was also a little excited. “Solo matches in the country have always been our weakness. I didn’t think that you would be so good at playing solo. Good good… How about this, you’ll just follow my arrangement, alright?”
“About the thirty thousand RMB prize money of winning the solo competition, I’ll represent the team and not take any percentage of the money from Youth. Instead, let’s add that to the prize money for Team Two this month, alright? Although no one else managed to get into the top three, it has been tough on you guys this week, preparing for the competition.” He Xiaoxu glanced at Yu Yang, and smiled, saying, “You’re fine with it, right? Yu Yang?”
Yu Yang was seated on the table, his heart still poundingvery quickly. He kept replaying what happened in the competition just now in his head, and his fingertips were still slightly trembling. When he heard what was being said, he raised his head, instantly understanding the hidden meaning behind He Xiaoxu’s words.
He Xiaoxu was scared that other people would be jealous and hence hate him, so he was trying to help Yu Yang, hinting at Yu Yang to do everyone this favor.
“Then I won’t take my own portion either. Let’s put all of the thirty thousand into the prize pool,” Yu Yang nodded. “Split it among everyone equally.”
He Xiaoxu felt relieved. Yu Yang had been living on his own before and he knew how to better deal with people than those younger ones that had yet to step out into society.
“We shouldn’t,” The leader of the second team, Xin Ba1 smiled, embarrassed. “For the solo competition, we didn’t contribute at all…”
Yu Yang did not notice, but he had sweat a lot just now, and his hair was damp. Some strands of hair were stuck onto his forehead, and it was very uncomfortable. He took out a rubber band from the pocket of his pants and casually tied up his slightly long blond hair. He shook his head. “You’ve all contributed during the duo and squad matches.”
The other two team members were originally a little discontent, and on hearing that, they felt embarrassed, looking over at He Xiaoxu. He Xiaoxu smiled, “That’s good, let’s listen to Yu Yang. It’s been tough on everyone this past week. You can apply for reimbursements for whatever takeaway Team Two orders tonight. It’s been tough on everyone.”
Everyone thanked him. The members of Team Two and the other youth camp trainees wanted to congratulate Yu Yang, but they were slightly scared of him due to his personality. Only Xin Ba, Team Two’s leader, sincerely told Yu Yang, “You were very outstanding in the last match today. You definitely managed to convince everyone that you have talent, and I bow to that.”
Sin Ba was a little close to him, and Yu Yang backed away slightly, feeling uncomfortable, and nodded his head slightly.
Everyone was used to Yu Yang being like that, and didn’t find it out of the ordinary. The rest of them thanked Yu Yang for his contribution to the prize money, and started clamouring, wanting to order takeaway. Xin Ba smiled. “It’s all thanks to you. I’ll go and order my supper now… Do you want me to help you order takeaway? What would you like?”
“Sorry to disturb you guys.”
Someone lightly knocked on the doorframe of the first-floor training room. Everyone looked over, and the noisy training room instantly became quiet. The youth trainees that were joking around and standing with their arms around each other’s shoulders instantly pushed each other away and stood up straight.
Yu Yang was still sitting on the table, and he instinctively turned his head to look over, then coughed suddenly, falling off the table. He quickly stood up behind his gaming chair.
Qi Zui was standing at the doorway of the training room. He smiled, “You guys aren’t having a meal together, right?”
Xin Ba swallowed, shaking his head. “Nope.”
“That’s good, Youth…” Qi Zui looked towards Yu Yang, gripping at the car keys in his hand. “You… Do you want to have supper?”
Yu Yang’s lips moved a little, his heart rate increasing again.
He Xiaoxu paused, his gaze flitted between the two of them rapidly. Seeing that Yu Yang did not speak, he suddenly said, “He’s eating! Of course, he’s eating, it’s already so late now. I’ll allow you to take a leave of absence, go on, go on.”
Yu Yang clutched at his hand. Picking up a jacket and putting it on, he then grabbed his phone and walked out.
Yu Yang put on his jacket properly and left the base after getting into Qi Zui’s car. Even when Qi Zui drove out onto the road, he was still in a daze.
He won the competition, he was about to enter Team One, and Qi Zui came to find him to have supper…
Yu Yang thought that he was having hallucinations due to the extreme happiness from winning the competition. He subconsciously started to look for a cigarette. Suddenly, he remembered that Qi Zui didn’t smoke at all, and his desire to smoke instantly vanished.
Qi Zui turned his head to the side to look at Yu Yang. He saw that his fingertips were trembling slightly and thought he was cold, so he increased the temperature in the car. “Is this better? What…What do you want to eat?”
“Any… Anything’s fine,” Yu Yang tried his best to make his voice sound calm. “I’m not picky. Anything is fine.”
Qi Zui tried his best to remember, but it was a big pity that in the short one month they were interacting, the two of them had spent all day and night in the closed training compound, and whatever they ate was the food prepared by the organizers. Therefore, Qi Zui really could not remember what sort of food Yu Yang liked to eat.
Yu Yang turned his head to take a look at Qi Zui. Scared that Qi Zui would think that he was not interested, he hurriedly added, “I’m really fine with anything, how about we eat… eat-eat noodles.”
“Noodles?” Qi Zui could not help but laugh, and nodded casually. “You’re really hungry… Alright, if you want to eat that, I’ll bring you to eat noodles.”
After Yu Yang said those words, he regretted it. Qi Zui had brought him out, and no matter what, they should be going to a quieter place with a better environment. If there was a chance, and Yu Yang managed to speak, perhaps they could have a proper conversation.
The problem was, Qi Zui had agreed. Yu Yang grabbed at his own hair, annoyed. He closed his mouth, waiting to reach the destination.
Qi Zui turned his car around and drove in the direction of the Shanghai Bund.
Yu Yang’s worries were unnecessary. God-Qi was even more concerned about this sort of thing than he was. If they wanted to have supper, he needed to find an elegant and quieter restaurant. Even if they were just eating a bowl of noodles, he needed to order noodles covered in crab roe and sprinkled with gold foil.
“Let’s eat,” Yu Yang was from the North, and Qi Zui wasn’t sure about what he liked to eat. “The drunken crab from this shop is quite good. Do you want to try some?”
Yu Yang shook his head. “It’s fine.”
He could not accept raw food, Qi Zui thought.
Both of them were full of worries and were momentarily speechless. They could only lower their heads and eat their noodles.
Qi Zui was not actually hungry, and he only ate a few bites before placing his cutlery down. Drinking the soup, he took out his phone and quickly sent a WeChat message to Xie Chen, the mental health counsellor.
Qi Zui: You said that Yu Yang has specific triggers for his negative emotions, what are they?
Xie Chen: How am I supposed to know? When was the last time he showed strong conflicting emotions?
Qi Zui: The year before. When I wanted to… do something intimate towards him.
Xie Chen: What the hell?!!!!!! You already knew Yu Yang for such a long time?!!!!
Qi Zui: Is it possible that he cannot accept intimate actions?
Xie Chen: You had a romantic past with Yu Yang?!!!! Wow, you really managed to keep things under wraps!!!! Erm… it’s possible, but I can’t be sure. After all, the situation is quite complicated, and there’s no way to directly identify the cause. Furthermore, anxiety disorder is very complex, and it cannot be understood with just a single lead. There are many different scenarios… Wow, you really dated Yu Yang before?! Are you trying to cause the whole eSports community to explode?!
Qi Zui: … Shut up.
Xie Chen: Alright, this is only our analysis… including my guess that he has anxiety disorder.
Xie Chen: My suggestion is that you take things slowly. When he completely trusts you, convince him to come and find me for a chat, or find a more professional psychologist.
Xie Chen: You can’t rush this sort of thing, so don’t be too impulsive. He must be the one who wishes to cure himself. For his kind of situation, he first needs some psychological guidance. If he isn’t the one who is taking initiative, it’s impossible.
Qi Zui: What do you mean by taking initiative?
Xie Chen: Hypothetically, if intimate actions are what triggers him negatively, then when he really likes you and you like him too, naturally, he’ll take the initiative and try to cure himself.
Qi Zui: What if it isn’t that?
Xie Chen: Then… I’m unable to do anything. He can only undergo treatment when he is willing to talk about it and cooperates with the doctors. Otherwise, it’s impossible to guess.
Xie Chen: I’ve interacted with him before, and I’ve tried to help him. But he’s very defensive, and keeps up his guard. So even if it isn’t… I still need you to try to get him to trust you.You can then persuade him, helping him to realize he has some minor illness, and that he needs treatment.
Xie Chen: Anyway, don’t be too rash.
Qi Zui: …
Xie Chen: Hahahaha, be gentler. It’s just seducing a young man. It’s extremely simple.
“You… have something on?” Yu Yang saw how Qi Zui kept looking at his phone. After drinking some soup, he said, “I’m about done eating, we can leave now.”
“I’m sorry, it’s nothing.” Qi Zui threw his phone to the side. “You can continue eating. I’m not done eating yet.”
Yu Yang put a peanut in his mouth and slowly chewed. He took advantage of the fact that he was still able to speak now, and said in a soft voice. “You brought me here… Do you have something to ask me?2”
Qi Zui’s chopsticks stopped moving when he heard what Yu Yang said.
Qi Zui slowly swallowed the noodles in his mouth, having a complex feeling.
He had something to ask, of course, he did.
Qi Zui had so many things he wanted to ask Yu Yang.
What was going on with his family?
Did he really have an anxiety disorder?
What exactly did he go through after leaving home at just twelve years old?
Did Yu Yang come to HOG for him?
Qi Zui put down his chopsticks, taking a sip of ginger tea. “That year, were you being sincere3?”
Yu Yang was stunned, suddenly feeling that this situation and his words were extremely familiar.
If he said yes now, would Qi Zui think that he was lying to him again? That he was just using Qi Zui to do well in the team?
Recently, during the times when he met Qi Zui, Qi Zui no longer targeted him as much as before. Now, they were even able to eat a meal together. If Qi Zui misunderstood him again…
Yu Yang suddenly felt a lump in his throat, and he used all his energy to try to open his mouth. All the bones in his body seemed to be resisting. Yu Yang did not know what was the best thing for him to say in this sort of situation. What could he say so that he would not mess things up again, to make Qi Zui believe that he really…
“Are you embarrassed to say it, or do you not want to say it?” Qi Zui tapped on the table, smiling. “Don’t be so nervous, you can ask me the same question.”
Yu Yang subconsciously followed Qi Zui’s instructions and said, “Were you being sin…”
Yu Yang paused, the rims of his eyes instantly turning red.
“I was being sincere towards you,” Qi Zui calmly looked at Yu Yang, and said seriously. “That year, I was sincere, and I still am now.”