The second round of the tournament proceeded smoothly. The official website quickly released videos from various arenas. Among them, one group’s video had a click rate that rivaled the highest in the league. Everyone remembered the image of the golden-haired boy who moved through the crowd of thousands with ruthless taunts.
After all, the natural arrogance and mockery that day were truly eye-catching. However, amidst the jubilant atmosphere in the tournament committee’s public relations department, the event’s staff were almost pulling their hair out.
To be honest, they had never encountered such a situation before. Throughout the entire competition, except for the top-ranking team, all other participants scored zero?! Originally, within a single arena, ten groups were supposed to compete, and according to the rules, three groups were to advance. But now, all the points went to Lan Yuanzhou’s group, and the others couldn’t perform a bit better!
When the results came out, the tournament committee immediately held an emergency meeting. They decided to export all the data from the competition process and select the top two groups of players based on the total damage caused by those groups.
During the chaotic situation when Lan Yuanzhou was besieged, there were inevitably many cases of friendly fire. Therefore, with this wise decision, the tournament committee successfully completed the damage statistics and resolved this issue. They also released a detailed statement, explaining that special circumstances called for special treatment.
The resurrected players were filled with gratitude, while those who had been hasty regretted their actions. They should not have heeded that guy’s provocation to provoke Lan Yuanzhou!
But no matter what, Lu Jingning became famous after this battle. Upon returning, he received several contract offers from well-known star-making companies. The content of all these offers was almost identical, expressing a sincere desire to turn him into an interstellar superstar.
However, Lu Jingning, the person at the center of all this attention, felt nothing but gloom. What they say about a single misstep causing eternal regret was true!
So, how should he explain this to Wen Ge now? During this time, he had become more familiar with Wen Xingchen’s real nature, who was not just a simpleton. He had a gut feeling that a storm was brewing.
He had really gone too far this time, and he had no room to make excuses to save his image in front of his boyfriend.
Lu Jingning pondered and decided to take the initiative before Wen Xingchen could confront him.
Wen Xingchen had, of course, watched the classic video of Lu Jingning that had become a sensation in the league. However, when they met in person, before he could say anything, a steaming cup of milk tea appeared in front of him.
The other person smiled sweetly, “Wen Ge, have some tea.”
Wen Xingchen had never seen Lu Jingning trying to please him so conspicuously before. He raised an eyebrow, took the tea, and said, “When did you learn to make tea?”
“Well, people have to grow up gradually,” Lu Jingning said in an “I’m actually very gentle” manner. He continued, seemingly nonchalantly, “Did you watch the game yesterday? I didn’t even make a move. Am I obedient?”
Wen Xingchen replied, “Yes, you were quite obedient.”
If he hadn’t been obedient, he probably would have been blown into the sky by now.
Lu Jingning was somewhat anxious under Wen Xingchen’s half-smile. He touched his nose and admitted, “Okay, I went too far this time.”
Wen Xingchen asked, “What should we do now?”
Lu Jingning closed his eyes and adopted an attitude of resignation, “As compensation, let me… kiss you.”
Inevitably, this “punishment” method was all too familiar.
Wen Xingchen’s gaze passed over his lips, and he leaned in without hesitation to kiss Lu Jingning.
As their soft lips met, Lu Jingning felt a sweet, syrupy liquid entering his mouth. He opened his eyes in surprise, almost choking on it. “!!!”
After this reaction, Wen Xingchen let him go with a satisfied smile and casually explained, “The milk tea is really good. I wanted you to taste it.”
Lu Jingning couldn’t help but cough, his face turning red. He couldn’t help but recall the gr4p3 that had been pushed into his mouth during their previous roleplay. He inwardly cursed, “I can’t believe this guy! Damn, how could he have such a twisted acting talent! He probably had all kinds of ideas about playing different roles already, right?!”
As Lu Jingning was glaring at him in complaint, a hand gently patted his head. Wen Xingchen’s voice entered his ears, “I watched the video. You don’t need to be so nervous. It was just some fun during the game. Do I look like someone who’s that petty?”
Lu Jingning was extremely surprised and thought, “Aren’t you though?”
Then, he heard Wen Xingchen, in a seemingly nonchalant tone, say, “After all, it was during the game, and some high-profile behavior is understandable. We’re all civilized people; I can understand that. But there’s one thing…”
He paused slightly and gave a smile before saying, good-naturedly, “Let’s try to avoid terms like ‘Xiao Zhou Zhou [/mfn]Adding ‘Xiao’ in front of a name is like a term of endearment.[/mfn],’ shall we? If I usually called Yan Hebin ‘Xiao Bin Bin,’ how would you feel?”
Lu Jingning imagined for a moment and instinctively shivered. The image was too beautiful, almost too daring to imagine…
He realized that such terms of endearment might not be suitable and promised sincerely, “I won’t use those terms anymore.”
Wen Xingchen nodded in satisfaction, “Thank you for understanding.”
Wen Xingchen seemed to really enjoy the cup of tea that Lu Jingning had made for him. When he was in a good mood, he sipped it gently, one sip after another.
However, Lu Jingning found himself lost in thought. After a while, he murmured as if talking to himself, “If you hadn’t mentioned it, I actually thought calling you like that was quite endearing. I was even considering coming up with other nicknames, like ‘Little Wen Wen’ or ‘Little Chen Chen’…”
The milk tea that Wen Xingchen had just sipped reached his throat when he heard this, causing him to cough and nearly spitting it out. Lu Jingning said, “…”
Well, it seemed that being addressed in that manner was quite cringeworthy after all.
Lu Jingning was about to say something when he noticed that Wen Xingchen had finally managed to catch his breath. Wen Xingchen’s voice sounded a bit hoarse as he uttered his name, “Xingchen.”
Lu Jingning didn’t react at first and said, “Hmm?”
Wen Xingchen, with deep and starry eyes, gazed at him as if there was a vast galaxy within them. He lowered his gaze and, with a slight smile, said, “Ah Ning, from now on, you can call me Xingchen.”
When their eyes met, there was a unique allure. Lu Jingning unintentionally uttered those two words that seemed to be the most ambiguous in the world to him, “Xingchen…”
In the entire galaxy, Wen Xingchen belonged only to him.
Lu Jingning declined all the invitations from star-making companies. After all, his ultimate goal was to join the military, not to become a dazzling superstar in the spotlight.
Despite this, in the following games, any group he was in received absolute attention. The popularity he enjoyed far surpassed that of Lan Yuanzhou.
But there was something that puzzled him. In the team matches that followed, no one ever sent him a team invitation. Each time, after the team formation time ended, the system randomly assigned him to a team, and the expressions of his teammates upon seeing him were no different from encountering a ghost.
Lu Jingning successfully made it through, but he felt that his reputation in the gaming community was somehow taking a downturn.
He couldn’t help but raise his concerns.
Yan Hebin was frank, “Probably because they don’t want to be associated with a potential death sentence.”
Lu Jingning asked, “???”
In other words, could we still be friends after I rephrase that?
He felt a little hurt by Yan Hebin’s explanation. He turned his head to Wen Xingchen and said, “Xingchen, what do you think?”
With the suddenly overly affectionate address, not only did Wen Xingchen raise his eyebrows, but others like Bing Yunlin and Wen Ye also looked in their direction.
Wen Xingchen, however, didn’t seem to notice their gaze or perhaps relished the intimate feeling. He seriously interpreted, “There’s another interpretation, probably because they think they can’t measure up to your exceptional abilities.”
Lu Jingning found this explanation much more comforting. He suddenly realized, “I understand now! Sometimes, being too outstanding can also be a burden.”
Yan Hebin thought to himself, “…”
He had a new assessment of his roommate’s ability to selectively accept the truth.
Looking at the time, he didn’t want to continue this headache-inducing topic and reminded them, “Get some rest early. There’s another match tomorrow.”
Unknowingly, the preliminary round had reached its final match. Lu Jingning thought about the upcoming match tomorrow, and his smile slowly faded.
He had been lucky so far. He hadn’t encountered that white-haired Zerg on the battlefield, and even managed to avoid Lan Yuanzhou.
But in the last match of the preliminaries, only 50 players from each region would compete for the final 15 slots for the next stage’s elimination matches.
There was no way to avoid it.
Lu Jingning had been quite high-profile recently, and he didn’t expect that the Zerg wouldn’t notice him. He just felt unsure about what to expect. After all, they had made brief eye contact in the hotel on Watcher’s Island. Did that guy remember him, and if he did, would he try to take revenge for disrupting such an important energy collection plan during the upcoming matches?
Sensing Lu Jingning’s sudden silence, Wen Xingchen seemed to understand the hidden emotions and placed his palm on the back of Lu Jingning’s hand, patting it gently, and said, “Don’t worry about the match; I’m here.”
A warmth spread through their touching skin, instantly bringing Lu Jingning back to the present.
He couldn’t help but let a faint smile grace his lips and softly replied, “Mmm.”
After all, the match was taking place in a virtual map. Even if the other player recognized him, he didn’t think they could cause any real trouble.
Furthermore, in Zone C, he had a good comrade-in-arms by his side!
After all, it was just a bug. He was a crowd-pleaser, so who should be afraid of whom?
T/N: Hey there! There is plenty more where that came from, so stay tuned! And stay healthy! Straighten your posture, so some stretches and drink some water before continuing hehe~
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