Looking at this kid’s appearance, he doesn’t seem like he’s been drinking.
How did he end up in his room in such a daze? Can someone get so tired to the point of being like this?
At first, He Changkong stiffened and didn’t dare to move, hesitating whether he should wake the person up.
However, the child snuggled against him, and he heard the sound of long and steady breathing.
… He decided not to wake him.
Indeed, today was tiring as well.
In the morning before the match, Shen Yanming had felt uncertain, even practicing a few rounds with him to maintain his touch.
The afternoon match might have seemed easy to others, but in reality, they had all been in a state of tension.
After finally returning to the base by car, even though it was time to sleep, they had spent two or three hours working on their hair.
He Changkong wanted to remove the child’s hand.
He intended to get up and close the door.
His movements were already incredibly gentle, yet Shen Yanming still noticed.
He let out an indistinct murmur, and the hand around his waist tightened.
He Changkong vaguely discerned that Shen Yanming had uttered these two words in his mumbled speech.
He was reminded of those emojis others often used in the group chat, the one with a cat hugging a plush toy.
If anyone tried to take away the toy, the cat would angrily extend its claws to swat at the offender.
He Changkong simply abandoned the idea of getting up to close the door.
Instead, he shifted slightly and pulled the nearby blanket to cover Shen Yanming.
He closed his eyes.
Strangely, no matter how hard he had tried earlier to fall asleep, it had ended in failure.
Now, all the random and distracting thoughts that had plagued his mind seemed to have vanished.
He caught a faint whiff of the not-so-pleasant scent of hair dye from Shen Yanming’s head, and gradually, drowsiness overcame him.
This time, it was Shen Yanming who woke up first.
He squinted his eyes, not fully awake yet, and cuddled with his human-shaped pillow for a couple of rubs.
Specifically, he had managed to position himself like he usually held his pillow, with his legs entwined around He Changkong’s waist.
He wasn’t really aware of his actions.
After a few wiggles, he felt something hard press against him.
It was uncomfortable, so he furrowed his brow and opened his eyes, fully awake now.
Shen Yanming was instantly wide awake.
He opened his mouth wide, wanting to let out a roar of shock, but his mouth hung open soundlessly.
Even though his heart was experiencing a tumultuous storm of lightning and thunder.
He remembered now.
Yesterday, he had come in when he was so exhausted that things were blurry.
But he hadn’t been drinking, so there was no concept of being drunk.
He was just too tired.
He might have thought he was entering his room, or perhaps he had been going directly to He Changkong’s room to sleep these past few days out of habit.
Regardless, he remembered that he had hugged something and then instantly fallen asleep.
How on earth could it be Kong ge!
And he had even used such an intimate posture to hug him!
What if someone thinks he has some improper intentions towards him!
Seems like he also ended up rubbing against something hard… though that’s still fine.
Normal guys have to rise and salute in the morning.
Although it was still kind of embarrassing.
Shen Yanming’s face contorted, and he released his grip, covering his face with both hands and sitting up.
After calming down a bit, he finally whispered, “Damn it.”
They had slept together for so many days, how could things go wrong on the last night? Shen Yanming felt strangely hollow.
He thought to himself that he shouldn’t share a bed with others in the future.
Kong-ge was still asleep, and Shen Yanming was still entangled.
How about pretending nothing happened?
… Let’s pretend nothing happened for now.
Shen Yanming patted his face, then quietly got out of bed and tiptoed to the bathroom.
Inside the bathroom, when he looked at himself in the mirror, Shen Yanming encountered his second shock of the day.
After washing his hair last night, he hadn’t really seen how the color turned out.
Now that it was dry, he saw uneven patches of color… To put it nicely, it had a layered effect, but to be frank, it looked like a dog had chewed on it.
The colors were uneven, and in some places, he might have forgotten to apply the dye.
With a slight tousle of his hair, he could even see patches of glaring black hidden underneath.
Shen Yanming emerged from the bathroom looking disoriented, only to find He Changkong already up and getting dressed.
He quickly raised a hand to cover his messy hair and awkwardly greeted, “Good morning, Kong ge.”
“… What’s wrong?” He Changkong turned his head, observing Shen Yanming’s contorted movements.
Neither of them mentioned last night’s incident.
In fact, when Shen Yanming had left his embrace, He Changkong had already woken up.
However, upon hearing the faint sigh and muttered curse, he chose to keep his eyes closed to avoid embarrassment.
He didn’t know how Shen Yanming would broach the topic with him.
But it seemed that both of them tacitly agreed to play dumb.
He Changkong was halfway through dressing.
From Shen Yanming’s perspective, He Changkong had his back turned to him.
His black t-shirt was only pulled over his back, outlining his figure with a smooth and powerful line.
Shen Yanming suddenly felt awkward watching, so he averted his gaze.
Feeling rather awkward, he spoke with a slight hesitation, “My… my hair dye didn’t turn out well.
I’m going to find Ding Zixian and settle the score.”
It should have been a cutting remark, and he even directly addressed Ding jiang by his full name, “Ding Zixian.” However, his words came out rather feeble and lacking force.
He Changkong finished dressing and walked over to Shen Yanming, saying as he reached out, “Take your hand down, let me have a look.”
To his surprise, Shen Yanming acted like he was facing a mortal threat.
He Changkong took a step toward him, and Shen Yanming took a step back.
When he had no more room to retreat, he swiftly changed direction and slipped out of the room.
“I… I’m going to find Ding jiang for an explanation!” Shen Yanming exclaimed.
He Changkong wanted to say that Pudding and the others probably weren’t up yet, but Shen Yanming, at this moment, was like a nimble fish.
He swam right out of his room, conveniently shutting the door behind him.
Perhaps he misjudged the strength when closing the door, resulting in a loud “bang.”
He Changkong guessed that Shen Yanming’s obvious evasion couldn’t be just about not wanting him to see his hair before it was properly dyed.
Most likely, it was because he was embarrassed about how they had been hugging while asleep.
After all, Shen Yanming’s sleeping position was quite outrageous.
No straight guy would probably be okay with waking up next to another guy like that.
He Changkong let out a sigh.
He was the kind of person who pursued his goals relentlessly, except when it came to Shen Yanming.
In this case, he hesitated.
Even though he knew very little about matters of love, he understood that it was a matter between two people, and the person who had captured his heart was a typical straight guy.
He himself didn’t care much about matters of orientation and societal norms.
He had even come to terms with it fairly quickly—perhaps because, although he had previously assumed he was heterosexual, the more common sexual orientation, he had never truly liked anyone of the opposite sex.
He could charge forward recklessly, but his target wasn’t an item to be picked at a specific time and place without consciousness.
It was a living, independent individual.
If the other person wasn’t willing, he couldn’t rush toward them.
So, he thought, hide.
Let’s hide for now.
Shen Yanming stormed out, claiming he was going to settle the score with Pudding, but upon stepping out of He Changkong’s room, he remembered that none of them were early risers.
They wouldn’t be up before noon.
He didn’t really intend to rush to confront Pudding about his unfortunate hair.
It was just that, for some reason, when He Changkong got closer, he suddenly found it difficult to look him in the eye.
It wasn’t entirely due to embarrassment, but he couldn’t explain it.
His face felt warm in retrospect as he fled outside.
He shook his head, dispelling those senseless thoughts without reaching any conclusions.
After finishing his morning routine in his room, Shen Yanming started rummaging through his wardrobe and suitcase for a hat.
His hair was truly messed up from the dyeing, and frequent bleaching in a short time wouldn’t be good… He could only use a hat to cover it up for now.
However, after rummaging through everything, he hadn’t found a single hat.
He wasn’t used to wearing hats in his daily life.
After much effort, he finally found one tucked away in a corner.
Looking at it, he sighed.
It was a duckbill cap from a Chinese X Mobile service provider, given as a promotional item when they set up broadband service.
It was definitely ugly, but compared to his chaotic hair, it was still a better option.
Steeling himself mentally, Shen Yanming put on the cap and headed downstairs.
In the morning, he still teamed up with He Changkong as usual, but both of them remained mostly silent.
Usually, Shen Yanming enjoyed this time of solitude the most, but today, he felt restless.
They managed to endure until noon, and the other team members finally arrived, yawning and stretching.
As soon as Pudding entered the room, he noticed the person wearing the Chinese X Mobile cap and using their computer.
He didn’t realize it immediately, saying, “Did our computer break down? Is this the technician to fix it?”
Shen Yanming turned and shot Pudding a fierce glare, “Look at what you’ve done!”
Pudding looked innocent, “What did I do?”
After finishing the game, Shen Yanming moved to sit beside Pudding.
He removed the ugly cap from his head and pointed to his hair, which had a multilayered effect, “You see my hair? What has it turned into because of you!”
Pudding burst into laughter, “Hahaha, fortunately, luckily I haven’t dyed mine yet.
I’ll stick to going to the barbershop.”
Meng Yan chimed in, “If he had such skills, why is he playing games instead of being a hairstylist? You’re also quite daring, letting him dye your hair like that.”
Pudding laughed again, “Hahaha.”
Shen Yanming, “…”
Pudding was laughing so hard tears were welling up in his eyes.
Finally, he stopped and faced Shen Yanming’s blazing gaze, “I’ll go back and find you some hats that actually look good.”
He Changkong stood aside, detached from the conversation.
He asked, “Are we still playing?”
Meng Yan raised an eyebrow, “You’re not even concerned about the emotional trauma your little pup has suffered? Look at how his mindset crumbled because his hair wasn’t dyed properly.
Instead of comforting him, you’re only focused on playing?”
He Changkong looked at Shen Yanming, who was still wearing the ugly cap.
His silver-white bangs were pressed down, almost covering his eyes.
He Changkong said, “It looks quite nice.”
Under normal circumstances, Shen Yanming would’ve retorted with something like “See, even Kong ge thinks I’m handsome no matter what.” but this time he remained silent.
He even said, “Aren’t we scheduled for a practice match in the afternoon? Let’s skip duo queue for now.”
The atmosphere in the training room became awkward for a moment, only returning to normal when Pudding came back with a few hats in hand, breaking the stagnant tension.
Shen Yanming shouldn’t have had any expectations from Pudding.
Because the hats he brought were all those cutesy ones with bunny ears, bear ears, and cat ears, tailored for a soft girl style.
Even the ones without animal ears were still in those pastel shades.
Shen Yanming, “Can’t you bring something normal, simple, without all these flashy decorations?”
Pudding clicked his tongue in annoyance, “You should be grateful you’re getting anything at all, stop being so picky.”
Shen Yanming howled, “Aren’t you the one who messed up my hair in the first place?”
Pudding probably felt a bit guilty too.
He selected a plain, solid-colored fisherman’s hat from the pile of bizarre hats.
The only problem was, this hat was pink.
Pudding, “How about this one, darling?”
Shen Yanming stiffened his neck, “No.”
Pudding pressed Shen Yanming onto the table, ignoring his struggles, and forcefully put the pink fisherman’s hat on him.
Just as Shen Yanming was about to take it off, He Changkong chimed in with a nonsensical remark, “Like a strawberry sundae.”
Shen Yanming, “…”
Shen Yanming ordered several cool black hats online, but they wouldn’t arrive that quickly.
Since he couldn’t really go out wearing a Chinese X Mobile hat, he reluctantly used the hat Pudding gave him for a couple of days.
So, during the next match, when things got intense, he looked quite fierce.
The livestream recording was even screenshot and turned into an emoji pack, with captions like — the pinker the color, the fiercer the hits.
Shen Yanming endured it.
Nowadays, with fast logistics, it should have taken no more than two or three days for his hats to arrive.
However, it hadn’t arrived yet.
Shen Yanming could only continue wearing the strawberry sundae hat for a few more days.
Eventually, he couldn’t bear it any longer.
When he checked his order, he was in for a surprise – he had bought pre-sale items, and the delivery was still a month away.
A month later, his new hair had already grown out!
Initially, he ordered online because he was too lazy to go out and buy.
Now, he had no choice but to drag the culprit, Pudding, to go outside and buy hats.
Of course, he didn’t have any specific preferences.
He just wanted to buy a simple hat for ten or twenty bucks from a reputable store like Ming X Premium.
Shen Yanming wasn’t sure if he was under a “disastrous outing” debuff, but to avoid the bustling downtown area, they specifically chose a relatively deserted shopping mall nearby.
Indeed, the mall was nearly empty, looking like it might go out of business at any moment.
However, as soon as they got on the escalator to the second floor, Shen Yanming heard Pudding excitedly saying while shaking his shoulder, “Wow, look, isn’t that Moonlight?”
What was so exciting about seeing Moonlight? Shen Yanming couldn’t comprehend.
But maybe they were going to play against them in the next match or the one after that? Shen Yanming had watched some of their team’s match videos and believed that as long as TMM didn’t underestimate their opponents and played seriously, they could easily defeat the other team.
Of course, he hadn’t forgotten his determination to crush that guy’s ego.
But Pudding quickly continued, “Xiba,1Xiba: “西八”(Xibā) is a playful slang term in Chinese, often used to express surprise, emphasis, or excitement.
he’s really gay.
I didn’t believe it when my brother and I gossiped about it before.
He’s had a lot of girlfriends.”
Shen Yanming followed Pudding’s gaze and saw another familiar figure.
Moonlight and Zhuo Minxing probably thought there was no one around.
They were holding hands, and Zhuo Minxing tiptoed to kiss Moonlight’s face.
Moonlight seemed a bit upset and pulled his hand away, then looked around.
Their position from this angle was a blind spot, so they didn’t see Shen Yanming’s group.
Moonlight scolded Zhuo Minxing for a bit before they stopped holding hands, just walking side by side.
Shen Yanming was taken aback.
They got together so quickly? According to the timeline he knew, it should have taken at least another two years for these two to get together.
Was this a butterfly effect?
But then he saw Pudding swiping on his phone screen.
“Haha, I’ve recorded it.”
Shen Yanming didn’t understand, “Why are you recording this? Are you going to gossip about it with your brother later?”
Pudding gave Shen Yanming a look, “He already has a girlfriend now.
They’re flaunting their relationship on Weibo every day and even got named one of the most affectionate couples in the circle… I can’t even stomach last night’s dinner.
If he’s actually gay, won’t he be deceiving the girl? Even if he’s bisexual, you can’t date two people at once, right?”
After being told this, Shen Yanming started to recall.
He didn’t pay much attention to these people’s private lives, but their relationship did create a big buzz back then.
However, in the previous timeline, Moonlight seemed to have finished things with his previous partner before getting together with Zhuo Minxing, so he didn’t pay much attention.
Shen Yanming playfully tugged on Pudding’s gayish purple ponytail, “Well done.”
Luan luanzi comments on the fake-marriage (?) gay guy: I’m dumbfounded!
Kong, who doesn’t know the truth: (drops the bowl to the ground, hand trembling slightly)
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
1Xiba: “西八”(Xibā) is a playful slang term in Chinese, often used to express surprise, emphasis, or excitement.
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