Shen Yanming’s initial reaction was to ask, “How did you know? Did Fish tell you?” But he felt that speaking like that would be inappropriate, and he couldn’t quite find the right words to say.
He organized his thoughts in the chat box, typed a few words, and then deleted them.
He really didn’t know what would be appropriate to say.

In the end, he settled for a safe response.
Whatever Kong asked, he would just answer.

[Luanlai1Luanlai: “乱来” (luàn lái), Shen Yanming’s alternate account name, it means “Chaos Coming” or “Causing Chaos” ]: I heard there was some trouble online, so I borrowed a classmate’s phone.

[kong_]: Hum.

Shen Yanming looked at this “Hum” and thought to himself that this was indeed the image he associated with Kong Shen.
It would be too out of place to have any maternal aura emanating from Kong…

But he didn’t know how to continue the conversation.
He had already expressed his gratitude and apology.
He wanted to ask if training had just ended and say that it must have been tough, but it felt too familiar, as if he was being overly friendly.

Chatting with his idol was really stressful.
He thought he was good at making friends, always speaking his mind without reservation, and could chat away with people he had just met, but why did he feel so awkward now?

He never felt this loss at words even when writing compositions in Chinese class!

—In fact, his grades in every subject were nothing to be proud of, except for Chinese, which was passable.
When writing essays, his thoughts would flow freely, and he could come up with eight hundred words in less than twenty minutes.

In any case, his pride in his ability to express himself had vanished in front of Kong.

It was really difficult.

But he couldn’t just not reply.
He had to be the one to end the conversation.

[Luanlai]: I have to return the phone to my classmate, so let’s stop chatting for now.
Good luck in the regular season, Kong Shen! TMM will definitely make it to the playoffs with a high score! I’ll always support you guys!2Good luck in the regular season, Kong Shen!: “kong神常规赛加油!”(Kong shén cháng guī sài jiā yóu!), the term that is used here is actually jiā yóu, it is used to express encouragement and support, it is equivalent to 화이팅(hwaiting) in Korean.

After sending those words, Shen Yanming felt that his every line carried a trace of foolishness… Unfortunately, the forum didn’t have a recall function, so he couldn’t do anything about it.

But what he said about TMM getting scoring high and making it to the playoffs shouldn’t be a problem, unless something unexpected happened.
It was the same in his previous life.

On the other hand, they did fail in the World Championship… but of course, Shen Yanming couldn’t say such things.

[kong_]: Okay.

Shen Yanming thought that the conversation would end there, but unexpectedly, Kong sent another message.

[kong_]: Don’t pay too much attention to what people say online.
Rest well, good night.

The little voice inside Shen Yanming’s heart screamed: Ahhhhhh!

He mustered the last remnants of his composure and replied, “Okay, Kong Shen, you should rest early too,” Then he logged out of the account, swiftly left the restroom, and handed the phone back to his roommate.

His roommate looked at him with a bewildered expression and teased, “What did you talk about with your girlfriend? Your face is beaming.”

Shen Yanming grabbed his roommate’s shoulder and shook it back and forth, “Oh my god, he cared about me and even said good night…”

A question mark rose above his roommate’s head.
“Is it necessary to react like this just because she said goodnight?”

Shen Yanming let go of him and headed back to his own bed.
“You wouldn’t understand.”

He guessed that this must be the feeling girls have when their favorite idol interacted with them.

But it wasn’t just that.
Shen Yanming thought it over and realized that it might be because he always thought of Kong as an emotionless, cold and ruthless robot.
Even though they had a period of time when they often solo queued together in the previous life, it was mostly silently attacking each other without much conversation.

He never expected Kong to be so friendly during their chat… Shen Yanming thought that maybe it was this contrast that made him unable to control his excitement.

After finishing his bedtime routine and lying back in bed, he almost completely forgot about the other issues.
Things like accidentally revealing his strength and having a falling out with Aji no longer seemed important.
Anyway, he wasn’t planning on playing anymore.
He would delete his account the next time he used the computer, and everything would be forgotten.

He Changkong stared at the computer screen, slightly lost in thought.

When he saw Shen Yanming’s message on the account [My Milk’s Not Working] last time, he thought they wouldn’t encounter each other again for a while.
Shen Yanming always mentioned “I’m going to delete the game and focus on studying” when they played together, but he never followed through.
He thought that this time Shen Yanming had finally made up his mind.

He didn’t mind, though.
He had been busy preparing for the regular season recently and didn’t have much time to change account and play with the kid.
Even if he wanted to recruit him into his team, it didn’t have to happen overnight.

Unexpectedly, they started chatting again so soon.

Moreover, Shen Yanming’s reaction during their conversation was really interesting.

Before this, He Changkong only had a vague feeling that Shen Yanming’s attitude toward his real self and the [My Milk’s Not Working] account was different.
Now he was certain that this feeling was real.

It wasn’t just a slight difference in attitude… it was like having two completely different faces.

But He Changkong couldn’t quite understand why.
If Shen Yanming was polite and reserved because he wasn’t familiar with “He Changkong” as a person, then he and My Milk’s Not Working weren’t old friends either.
They had only chatted briefly in the livestream room, and yet Shen Yanming called him “wife”?

He Changkong recalled hearing people mention in the past that Shen Yanming had exceptional social skills, that even if he were thrown into a new group, he could quickly become friends with everyone within half an hour, as if they had a deep bond.

But why was he so reserved with him?

Was he really that scary?

He Changkong fell into contemplation, but before he could come up with an answer, someone knocked on his door.

He stood up and opened the door, seeing Meng Yan standing there with a packed lunch box.

“I packed it for you,” Meng Yan said.
After training, the other team members went to have supper, but He Changkong returned to his room alone.
Meng Yan handed the lunchbox to He Changkong and casually asked while entering the room, “What are you doing?”

“Thanks, I’ll eat it later,” He Changkong placed the lunch box on the table.
“I’m thinking if I should try to be more approachable.”

“What?” Meng Yan pulled up a chair and sat down, looking puzzled.
“It’s so random.”

He Changkong explained, “There’s a kid who seems to be scared of me.”

Meng Yan didn’t understand at first, not comprehending who this kid was and what the fuss was about.
But then his gaze fell at the open chat box on He Changkong’s computer desktop, and he suddenly realized.

The corner of Meng Yan’s mouth twitched.
“Did someone cast a spell on you?”

He Changkong: “?”

Meng Yan seemed hesitant, opening and closing his mouth several times, sighing in frustration, but couldn’t find the right words to say.

He Changkong interrupted him, saying, “If you have something to say, just say it directly.”

Meng Yan clicked his tongue.
“There’s no room for romance in e-sports.”

He Changkong didn’t understand Meng Yan’s words.

Meng Yan patted He Changkong’s shoulder with a serious expression, and with his other hand, he pulled the lunchbox he brought closer.
Seeing that He Changkong didn’t show any intention of eating, he took a skewer of grilled chicken wings from it and started eating while speaking ambiguously, “Even if you have feelings for someone, you shouldn’t be so… so invested.
I’m not against you being in a relationship, but think about it, you haven’t even confirmed your relationship yet, but you’re acting as if you want to give them your whole heart…”

He Changkong: “…”

He Changkong interrupted Meng Yan, saying, “Stop.
What nonsense are you making up?”

Meng Yan finished eating the grilled chicken wing, straightened his posture, and sat up as if he was going to have a serious conversation with He Changkong.
“Are you still denying it? Look at you, always defending others and getting involved in controversial events.
Tomorrow, the coach will nag you again… And now you have the time to be someone’s gaming partner, right? I’m not criticizing you, but guys like you, who have never been in a relationship, should learn about the art of playing hard to get.
You should play it cool and let the other person come to you instead of always chasing after them.”

“I don’t agree with your views on relationships, and ‘playing hard to get’ doesn’t sound good,” He Changkong helplessly said.
“That’s not the focus right now.
I don’t have any feelings for that person.
I’m not gay, so please stop talking nonsense… He is very talented, as you have also seen.
He is even better than some professional players.
I want him to join our team.”

Meng Yan rolled his eyes and said, “Yeah, yeah, sure, I believe you.” Only ghost would believe you.3Only ghost would believe you: “信你才有鬼”(Xìn nǐ cái yǒu guǐ) translates to “Only ghosts would believe you.” This phrase is used to express disbelief or skepticism towards someone’s statement or claim.

It’s not surprising that Meng Yan didn’t believe him.
After all, the usual He Changkong was not someone who cared about the team’s development.

Besides, there are countless talented individuals out there.
Was it necessary to go to such lengths?

If he was looking for an excuse, he could have come up with a better one.

He Changkong said, “…I’m serious.”

Meng Yan said, “Yeah, I believe you.
Then let him come and participate in the assessment.
Once he passes, he can join our team, right?”

He Changkong responded, “Speaking of which, I don’t think he’s interested in playing professionally.”

Meng Yan was utterly speechless.
“Come on, are we a struggling team in desperate need of players? And you’re saying you’re not interested in that little streamer? I think you have ulterior motives and want to lure him over for an office romance.”

He Changkong couldn’t argue back.
He couldn’t tell Meng Yan that he was now a prophet who knew about their team’s future misfortunes and wanted to avoid them as soon as possible.

Not knowing how to refute, He Changkong changed the topic.
“Enough about that.
Has Pudding gone for therapy?”

Pudding was the tank player for TMM.

TMM suffered its first defeat in the previous season, mainly because Pudding had a shoulder injury.
The shoulder injury occurred suddenly, and He Changkong didn’t know the exact reason.
It was said to be caused by long-term strain, and unfortunately, it flared up during the competition, severely affecting their performance.

After that, Pudding went for treatment, and Lan, the team’s mage, was bought by another club for a high price.
The new players brought up from the second team didn’t integrate well with the rest of the team, causing TMM to slide down from the top rank.

He Changkong thought that if the injury were due to strain, maybe they could prevent it by taking precautions from now on.
So, he asked him to take some time off for therapy.

Pudding was an elegant cross-dresser who was always concerned about his appearance.
When he heard He Changkong tell him to take care of his body, not to train excessively, and to rest more, his face contorted into an expression that could easily become a meme.
He exclaimed, “Oh my God! Kong ge actually cares about people so directly!”

Of course, it wasn’t that He Changkong lacked warmth in his daily interactions.
Although he seemed to treat his teammates only as colleagues and was not very sociable in terms of interpersonal relationships, if any of his teammates had a headache or fever, He Changkong would go and pour a cup of hot water and put some medicine by their side.

However, he would never express concern so directly.

Meng Yan also felt emotional, realizing that even a wooden block like He Changkong could be softened by love — he still insisted on his own opinion, believing that He Changkong had some interest in that little streamer.

Meng Yan replied, “He went for therapy, He occasionally goes there.”

He Changkong nodded.
“That’s good.”

Meng Yan finished eating the grilled chicken wings and some grilled green peppers.
Originally, the barbecue was meant for He Changkong, but he had almost eaten it all himself.

He Changkong silently watched him eat, then asked after a while, “Is there something else you want to talk about?”

Meng Yan paused for a moment and then said, “Well… yes, there is.”

He Changkong said concisely, “Speak.”

Meng Yan hesitated for a moment, finished eating the skewer in his hand, sighed, and then said, “Your mother called me again.”

“…,” He Changkong lowered his gaze.
“What did she say?”

“She said she wants to come and watch your match.”

He Changkong turned his gaze away.
While he appeared to be looking at something on the forum, his gaze wasn’t focused on the screen, and his mouse clicked randomly.
“No need.”

Meng Yan asked, “Are you really planning to cut off contact with Auntie like this?”

He randomly clicked on a video in a forum post and didn’t immediately respond.
After a while, he spoke, “…Let’s discuss it later.”

Thank you for reading! 

Hope you enjoy the rest of your day

If you like reading my translations, do consider supporting me with ko-fi

1Luanlai: “乱来” (luàn lái), Shen Yanming’s alternate account name, it means “Chaos Coming” or “Causing Chaos” 2Good luck in the regular season, Kong Shen!: “kong神常规赛加油!”(Kong shén cháng guī sài jiā yóu!), the term that is used here is actually jiā yóu, it is used to express encouragement and support, it is equivalent to 화이팅(hwaiting) in Korean.
3Only ghost would believe you: “信你才有鬼”(Xìn nǐ cái yǒu guǐ) translates to “Only ghosts would believe you.” This phrase is used to express disbelief or skepticism towards someone’s statement or claim.

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