Ye Xiu unwillingly put out his cigarette after being glared at by the officials around him for fifty somethingth times. Judging from their look, it seems like the plan of keep smoking until getting kicked out wouldn't work... They might ended up confiscating his cigarette in the end.
Ye Xiu sighed long-sufferingly, and you'd think being three-times champion would get him anywhere... Nope. He couldn't even call out sick to slip out of this exhausting meet and greet event which main focus is simply to indulge the fans and torture the pros- cough! He meant, to boast the pros' fame.
The problem is, Ye Xiu did not even accept a face reveal, let alone a meet and greet.
It's obviously useless to have Ye Xiu here, just like what Liu Hao (and co.) had said. What did he say again? Aaah yeah, "A ghost-like captain is useless, he can't even sign a poster or picture of him. Oh yeah, he doesn't even have those anyways." Such wise words, Ye Xiu heavily agreed on that.
It was such a rare occasion of Liu Hao to display his intellect. Ye Xiu had seriously almost lost hope for him, but finally he managed to not disappoint Ye Xiu for the first time. Ye Xiu heavily appreciated that.
Seriously, why was he here?
It's not like they let him have his own closed-up chamber where he could sit behind a curtain and talk with computer-generated voice. They had given him a unified nasty glare for that idea.
In the end, Ye Xiu still won't join in. Ye Xiu had no problem with that. After all, it's a waste of energy and inaction is always welcomed for Ye Xiu. No matter how nasty the disappointed glares Tao Xuan sent his way.
Though not joining in the event also not without sacrifice... Ye Xiu is a bit afraid of looking at his bank account. His saving is already running thin in the first place, looks like giving Ye Qiu an anonymous gift couldn't be done this year too.
Su Mucheng had talked to the official and she said he's not allowed to go back first, either. Or else, the fine would be doubled. Ye Xiu wondered how much he could make if he just did a live stream for Glory... Seeing his salary alone couldn't really support him...
Ye Xiu was about to subconsciously reached out for a cigarette again when he remembered the 'remindings' from the officials in the form of nasty glares. Ye Xiu glared at the large 'No Smoking' sign on the other side of the huge hall. Who cares if it's indoor in some fancy building?
No Glory, no smoking, they just wanted to kill him right?
Ye Xiu leaned back on the bench, groaning, his gloomy aura discouraged other people to sit in the same bench as him. Good. He didn't want to be disturbed with fanboys and fangirls talk (If Ye Xiu heard another "Zhou Zekai is so perfect" again, God help him, Ye Xiu would ask Zhou Zekai to tune down his perfection, which probably would be obeyed by the gunner player in a heartbeat).
Ye Xiu looked at his watch (A gift from Zhang Xinjie after some argument about punctuality) and groaned to his palm. Two hours! The event would only start two hours later (not to mention it probably dragged out a little)! God, why?
"Why are you looking so depressed?" A voice asked innocently, prompting Ye Xiu to look up to see a boy peering down at him with his curious wide pitch black eyes. "Don't you excited to meet with the pros?" The boy tilted his head as a bright grin crept on his face.
"Not really," Ye Xiu answered bluntly. The boy looked at Ye Xiu like he's a weird anomaly and completely did not understand what Ye Xiu had just said.
Ye Xiu looked at the boy and smiled gently, "The wait is killing me, but I'm really looking forward for it," It's not a lie, Ye Xiu is really looking forward for this to end. But Ye Xiu won't destroy a child's excitement with his brooding.
The boy's eyes brightened back like Ye Xiu finally talked in the same language as him, "Yeah, yeah! Isn't it exciting? This is is the first time Glory Alliance arranged a large-scale meet and greet! Usually, it's only some small events outside All-Star Weekend or the clubs did the meet and greet themselves!" The boy took a seat next to Ye Xiu as he continues rambling.
Ye Xiu put his chin on his palm, letting the boy having his fun. If he could survive Huang Shaotian's incessant chatter (Which is a lot, whenever they met, the chatterbox seemed to really fond of latching himself on Ye Xiu and talk Ye Xiu's ears off), he could survive a little boy's ramble.
The boy realized he was rambling and grinned towards Ye Xiu apologetically, "I'm Xiao Yan, by the way!" the boy hurried to offer a handshake sheepishly.
Ye Xiu smiled, "Ye Xiu," he shook the boy's hand gently.
Xiao Yan looked down in astonishment at Ye Xiu's hand, "Wow, you have very smooth and pretty hands," Xiao Yan complimented, "Kinda like my younger brother's..."
Ye Xiu blinked at the compliment, feeling flattered at the boy's honesty, "Thanks," Ye didn't expect that at all. They let go and Ye Xiu gazed at the boy, "You have a brother?" Ye Xiu asked gently, making a light and easy conversation.
Xiao Yan's smile brightened, "I have many of them, there are three!" He raised three fingers.
"Where are them? Do they come along?" Ye Xiu asked expectantly.
Xiao Yan's smile faltered a bit, "Uhh, no... They're sick. So they can't make it..." Xiao Yan looked down on the sling bag on his lap and patted it fondly.
"Oh..." Ye Xiu shifted and the gaze he used to look at Xiao Yan, dimmed down slightly. "I hope they get well soon," Ye Xiu sincerely wished.
"Thank you," Xiao Yan smiled at Ye Xiu, "That's why I'm here, I'm going to get the pros' signatures for them. If they're happy they'll probably get better." Xiao Yan stated with hopeful confidence.
"You're a very nice brother," Ye Xiu praised as he peered to Xiao Yan's bag.
"Of course! After all, I'm their big brother," Xiao Yan patted his chest and said proudly.
"Oh?" Ye Xiu made a noise of surprise as he squinted his eyes at Xiao Yan. "You're the eldest? That's so thoughtful and loving of you," the brotherly love and pride, that Xiao Yan displayed, reminding Ye Xiu of his late bestfriend. That guy would even overturn the whole China, if possible, just for his lovely little sister.
Xiao Yan grinned proudly, "Yes, it's my duty to make sure they're all happy," he nodded in satisfiedly to himself.
Ye Xiu blinked at the black haired boy, for a moment an image of an older boy with lighter coloured hair overlapped with Xiao Yan in his eyes, Ye Xiu blinked, "Say, How old are you, little Yan?" Ye Xiu asked.
"I'm fifteen," Xiao Yan answered simply.
So young... "No way, you look like twelve," Ye Xiu joked as he poked Xiao Yan's arm. Xiao Yan indeed looks like he was twelve. Ye Xiu expected a playful laughter or a childish protest and indignance, but instead what Ye Xiu got is only silence.
Xiao Yan's bright smile slowly disappeared as his eyes widen a bit, he lowered his eyes to look at himself self-consciously, "Do I...?" He mumbled.
Ye Xiu quickly patted the boy's head, "No problem, puberty just hadn't hit you yet. It's normal," Ye Xiu didn't expect the boy to react strongly to that. Maybe this boy used to be bullied because of his size? In any case, Ye Xiu regretted for making a joke about it. He was too used to have Huang Shaotian around to joke about age (the chatterbox look fifteen or sixteen despite already in his twenty, so...).
The boy brightens up again after Ye Xiu told him it was normal. "Yeah, yeah, once puberty hits, I'll grow taller and stronger."
"Of course," Ye Xiu smiled and indulged as he leaned back on the bench.
"I want to be like Han Wenqing!" Xiao Yan declared and Ye Xiu almost fell off the bench.
"Why?" Ye Xiu blurted out incredulously. "I mean, why him specifically?" It the first time Ye Xiu ever heard a kid want to be like Han Wenqing, they usually run away, crying, when they got a glimpse of Han Wenqing's face, let alone want to be like him!
"He looks strong! I mean, he must be strong, right?" Xiao Yan pointed to Han Wenqing's poster nearby.
Ye Xiu looked at the glaring Han Wenqing in the poster and couldn't help but to nod in agreement, "Well... He does look strong," He is strong, it wasn't just once or twice, Han Wenqing used to toss Ye Xiu over his shoulder whenever Ye Xiu is being disagreeable.
Those weren't pretty memories...
"He also looks so threatening!" Xiao Yan exclaimed excitedly as he gestured to the poster.
Ye Xiu gazed at Xiao Yan with a gaze full of concern, is this kid alright? "And, you want to look threatening?" Ye Xiu asked unsurely. Maybe, he should tell Han Wenqing about this. Look, at last, there's a kid who appreciated his scary look! Ye Xiu could imagine Han Wenqing to be thrilled at this (by glaring murderously at Ye Xiu and demand a duel at certain hours).
"Yeah!" Xiao Yan beamed up, "That way, people would think twice before messing with me and my brothers!"
Ye Xiu speechlessly stared at Xiao Yan, and chuckled, "That would be hard, you're too handsome for that, boy," Ye Xiu peered at the youth's face, which is admittedly handsome and delicate, it's a type of face that would be very adored by girls and probably boys.
Xiao Yan touched his own face, looking troubled, before nodding, "You're right."
Ye Xiu looked at Xiao Yan incredulously before snorting in amusement, This boy is certainly not a modest type. How interesting.
"You're here to meet him then?" Ye Xiu asked.
Xiao Yan nodded solemnly, "I have a goal, I must at least gained one of the gods to sign my notebook," Xiao Yan unzipped his bag and took out four notebooks with Glory's symbol in its covers. Ye Xiu looked at the notebooks before his attention is caught on what inside the bag.
"There are four of them," Ye Xiu pointed out.
Xiao Yan flushed, "The other three are my brothers'. If it's possible and the pros didn't mind it, I'd like to get their signatures om all four of them." He sighed, "But I don't think that's possible. Ye Xiu hummed and peered into the bag.
There are so many character cards inside the bag, and they're in a mess, "What about those cards?" Ye Xiu asked and Xiao Yan blushes.
"Those... I hope I could get the pros' signatures on them too... But they probably would have no time to," Xiao Yan put back his books into the bag. "Besides, I don't think I will make it to all of them," Xiao Yan sadly smiled as he took out some of the cards. Ye Xiu looked at the cards... All of them have characters from different teams. Ye Xiu also noticed there are more than just one enterance tickets in Xiao Yan's bag. They probably had planned it out as a family outing but sadly can't make it.
"There are so many of them, from different teams? Do you, brothers, like different players?" Ye Xiu picked One Autumn Leaf's card from the stack in Xiao Yan's hands and looked at it with a warm gaze.
"We have different preferance, honestly," Xiao Yan laughed. "My second brother, Zhu Yi, likes Yu Wenzhou because of his calm, peaceful and gentlemanly personality." Xiao Yan laid down Swoksaar's card on his bag.
"My third brother, Wang Lin, likes Han Wenqing because of his tyrannical and fierce way," Xiao Yan laid Desert Dust card next.
"And the youngest, Tianhao, likes Zhou Zekai for some reason we didn't quite understand," Cloud Piercer card laid down next. Xiao Yan's expression turn downcast as he clenched the remaining dozens of cards in his hands.
Ye Xiu smiled sadly at the young boy, He didn't ask about their different surnames, figuring they're all might be foster or adopted brothers, "So many preferance, huh?"
"Yeah," Xiao Yan bitterly smiled and shook his head, "But we're not picky." Xiao Yan stored the cards back into his bag, "We like every team fairly, it doesn't matter what rank they are in, the city or the players. To us, Glory is played for fun, as long as the players were having fun, it's good. The winner is the best but that doesn't mean that the rest are not good. They're all inspiring in their own way," Xiao Yan expressed honestly. He looked up and gave Ye Xiu a soft smile.
Ye Xiu couldn't help but to smile back and pat Xiao Yan's head, "If only other fans could be like you and your brothers, there wouldn't be any fan wars," Ye Xiu sighed fondly, what a good and lovely boy.
"So, you'll go for Tyranny right? Because you also favored Han Wenqing along with your third bro?" Ye Xiu questioned as he pointed to Desert Dust card.
Xiao Yan blinked before laughing out loud. "You're right, I'll go to Tyranny first and hopefully could make it to others'. But Han Wenqing is not my favourite, he's actually my second fav," Xiao Yan admitted.
Ye Xiu blinked, "Then, who's your favourite?"
Xiao Yan smiled playfully and pointed at the card in Ye Xiu's hand before gently snatching it from Ye Xiu's hand, "Ye Qiu," Xiao Yan held One Autumn Leaf card in between his pointer and middle finger.
Ye Xiu snorted to cover up his pleasant surprise, "What a coincidence, He's mine too."
Xiao Yan snickered, "I knew we'll be bestfrend the first time I saw you," Xiao Yan put the last card into his bag and zip it close.
"Why, of course. I'm just that charismatic," Ye Xiu shamelessly agreed and Xiao Yan laughed out loud.
"But too bad," Xiao Yan ceased down his laughter, "I would never get his autograph," Who doesn't know Ye Qiu's infamous trademark of not showing his face at all?
Ye Xiu looked at the boy and smiled to himself. He said nothing as he enjoys the boy's company.
"Wow!" Xiao Yan gasped, gaining Ye Xiu's attention. "Ye Xiu, the merchandise booths are opening! Let's go and see!" Xiao Yan jumped to his feet and slung his bag over his shoulder.
Usually, Ye Xiu would say no to that kind of invitation, no matter who invited him. Usually, Ye Xiu would rather sit around being bored to death than to walk around and tired to death. But seeing the boy's glowing excitement, Ye Xiu simply smiled and stood up. He wordlessly followed the boy with light steps, there's still an hour and a half before the event is starting, Ye Xiu figures he might as well do some bonding time with his new little friend.
They explored the place, occasionally commenting on the merchandises and complaining about the prices. Ye Xiu is sure he never got the copyright for all of One Autumn Leaf ones, but then again it might go to Excellent Era instead.
Whilst exploring they also told each other about their stories. Ye Xiu learned a lot about the boy, like, how is his family's rough condition. And Xiao Yan also learned that Ye Xiu had a twin brother and an 'adopted' little sister.
"Hm, it seemed like the newest edition of character card pack is the cheapest in the third booth," Xiao Yan stated thoughtfully after they roughly had explored the entire place.
Ye Xiu snorted, "Did you really remember the price from each booth?" Ye Xiu looked at the boy in amusement.
"I have a very sharp memory, I used to ace every subject and the top of my class!" Xiao Yan boasted proudly like a childish fifteen years old he was. Ye Xiu did not ask how a boy his age used 'used to' to talk about his academic achievement.
"That's great," Ye Xiu praised as they both come to a stop to catch some breath. "So, are we gonna go back all the way to the third booth?" Ye Xiu asked as he raised a brow.
"Yeah," Xiao Yan nodded, subconsciously wiped his light perspiration with his sleeve. Never mind him, even Ye Xiu is ready to call it a day, but then again Ye Xiu is not a good example for physical activity.
They both started to walk back, deftly dodging throng of people in their way. Upon being bumped on for the nth times, Ye Xiu remembered why he'd always left the grocery duty to Su Muqiu back then, choosing cooking duty as an easier task. It's too much and Ye Xiu hates crowd, he'd never been exposed to a crowd before he ran away.
But he's more concerned over the boy beside him, "Little Yan?" Ye Xiu asked softly. The boy's breathing is getting irregular, it might be the fact that the throng of people had increased.
"Little Yan, are you okay?" Ye Xiu started.
Xiao Yan smiled but not looking at Ye Xiu at all, "I'm fine," he assured. They finally reached the third booth and Xiao Yan purchased his newest edition character cards. The two of them soon made their way out of the merchandise area, eagerly searching for a bench to sit and rest on.
But before they made it, an announcement is made to tell everyone that the event would start soon enough, Xiao Yan quickly made a turn to Tyranny's booth's queue that had formed even when the announcement hadn't been made. Ye Xiu mindlessly followed the boy on instinct (He always let other people led him around in public, rather than the other way around).
Ye Xiu blinked as they stopped on the area filled with Tyranny's fans with their Tyranny get-up. "Huh? What are we doing here?" Ye Xiu asked. This is not the resting area.
Xiao Yan looked back at him in bewilderment, "The event would start, we're lining up."
Ye Xiu expressionlessly scanned the crowd he's currently a part of, and nodded, "I see," his tone alone could convince you to just drop the topic and move on, brushing it off as a random question. But Xiao Yan could detect something else.
"Ye Xiu, what's your favourite team?" Xiao Yan asked before hastily adding, "Aside for... Err you know, the one that houses your favourite?" He smartly omitted the 'forbidden' names. Excellent Era is a taboo name to be said in Tyranny's turf and area except, of course, for insulting, cursing, and hate comments.
The name Ye Qiu is even more so.
Ye Xiu blinked and looked at the boy, "I'll just follow you," for some reason Xiao Yan's pale face worried him.
"Are you sure?" Xiao Yan got a feeling that is not the case.
"Yeah. I'm somewhat fond of Han Wenqing, He's definitely in my top five," of people he likes to tease and bug. If Han Wenqing heard this comment, he will be hesitant on how to respond and would just glare at Ye Xiu. But if he heard Ye Xiu's mental remark after that, he'd surely hit Ye Xiu.
They both ended up staying there, squeezing with everyone who was just eager to meet their idols, resulting in so many people, squeezing and pushing on each others, as if that would help them to go faster to the front of the line.
The guy behind Ye Xiu is particularly rough as he kept pushing and bumping on Ye Xiu, forcing him to hold onto Xiao Yan's shoulder just to steady himself. Luckily, Ye Xiu is behind Xiao Yan, or else the young boy would probably be squeezed into a paste by the guy behind Ye Xiu.
Except... It might be Ye Xiu who become a paste.
'It could be worse...' Ye Xiu silently thought. Like, it could be, if this entire crowd found out that he is Ye Qiu... Ye Xiu would be lucky if he got out as simply a 'paste'.
When Ye Xiu is lost in his mental gratitude, the guy behind him pushed even harder that he almost tumbled over and pull Xiao Yan along with him. The boy staggered but Ye Xiu quickly pull him back to steady him back, before turning a cold stare towards the man.
"Can't you keep things civil?" He spoke out. His tone is even and calm, indifferent. Ye Xiu would usually let it slide without a comment (Just like how he treated the guys in Excellent Era when they were harsh to him) but there's a little boy who almost fell victim.
"The guy behind me pushed me!" The man immadiately defended.
"What?! I didn't!" The one behind him exclaimed indignantly.
Ye Xiu is not impressed. He could distinguish which is 'deliberate push' and which is 'accidental bump' okay?
"Besides, it's just a little push, no need to make a fuss. If you don't get a bruise or two, you're not a real fan," The man grinned challengingly to Ye Xiu who simply stared at him.
"A mind wired like yours is the reason why our society is slowly lacking behind," Ye Xiu muttered. "You're not a real fan, if you can't keep things civil to yourself," Ye Xiu finished bluntly and turned back to face the front. The man behind him fumed but didn't say anything.
Xiao Yan craned his neck and cupped his palm around his mouth, "You have a very sharp tongue, but you shouldn't have said that. What if he decided to seek you out?"
"Don't worry, I'm a professional in the art of slipping out unnoticed," Ye Xiu assured. "Rather than that, you should worry about yourself." Ye Xiu pointed out to Xiao Yan's irregular breathing, cold sweat, and paleness.
"I'm fine," Xiao Yan insisted.
The guy behind Ye Xiu had settled down, to which Ye Xiu's thankful for. But the moment the pros got out and got into their positions, the fans rioted again and the guy behind Ye Xiu jumped, pushing even harder. Ye Xiu was pushed and bumped into Xiao Yan again.
It was at this moment that Ye Xiu regretted that he doesn't have Huang Shaotian's ability in cursing, insulting and trashtalking 500 miles/a sec, that could make people speechless for a while. Alas, Ye Xiu is too ellegant for that.
But before Ye Xiu could say anything, his dainty hands lost their grip on the thin shoulders, he had been holding onto. A girl in front of Xiao Yan cried out as the boy fell onto her but luckily she had a fast reflex and help to steady Xiao Yan back to his feet.
"Little Yan, are you okay?" The boy is breathing way too heavily for Ye Xiu's liking. "Let's take you to an emptier space."
"No.. I-I have to-" The boy desperately clung to Ye Xiu's arm and Ye Xiu's face turn strict.
"You're losing me, little Yan," Without any further ado, Ye Xiu dragged the boy's away.
Ye Xiu truly doesn't know what to do in this situation. Ye Xiu awkwardly eyed the boy who is curretly burrying his face on his knees.
How to deal with a heartbroken little boy, #Help.
Ye Xiu was very good with kids (mainly because, Ye Qiu was and is such a child. And Su Muqiu was also such a child that needed to be put on his place frequently), but he's shit at emotional talk.
"I failed them," Xiao Yan sighed, he sounded so dead that whoever heard him talk would feel down as well, luckily Ye Xiu had his fair share of those tones, so he's not that much affected.
Ye Xiu blinked, "Who?"
"My younger brothers..." The boy slumped back, discreetely rubbing his eyes with his sleeves. "Even though I'm the big brother and the healthiest..."
Ye Xiu blinked and his eyes dawned in realization as he stared into space. Oh...
Xiao Yan had told him about his brothers and that they were 'sick' and only him who can made it. Xiao Yan was the 'healthiest' in the family... Doesn't mean he was actually healthy.
'They're all sickly,' Ye Xiu realized. But it seems like Xiao Yan is in a much better condition than the rest of his brothers, so he represented them by coming here.
"What would I say? They would be very disappointed, even if they wouldn't show it, but I know they have been looking forward to this. To me, going home, telling them stories... I..." He took a deep heavy breath. "I can't even..." He gestured mockingly to himself, "Stand!"
"Ye Xiu, I'm the worst big brother."
Surprisingly, Xiao Yan felt a pat on his head prompting him to look up to see Ye Xiu's confident smile.
"You're a very good big brother, I think you're one of the best. Your brothers are the luckiest little brothers to have you," Ye Xiu praised before standing up. He grabbed Xiao Yan's sling bag, which sat in between them, under Xiao Yan's bewildered stares.
"I'll take over from here," Ye Xiu declared and the boy gaped at him in disbelief.
Xiao Yan breathed shakily, "Ye Xiu... You..." A fragment of sunshine came back into his pitch black eyes. "You're the best! Thank You!" The boy almost stood up before losing his balance as a wave of dizziness overcame him, but Ye Xiu quickly pushed him down.
"I know," Ye Xiu blandly agreed over Xiao Yan's compliment. "Take care, I'm off."
Ye Xiu left Xiao Yan behind as he jogged back to Tyranny's queue, old sling bag slung around his shoulder. Once again, a small smile graced his lips.
Ye Xiu was surrounded by so many amazing Big Brothers... Though, he doubted he was one of them.
"Thanks for your support! Man, you're a cool guy! I'll treasure this, careful on your way back!" Huang Shaotian cheerfully waved to another fan in the queue before gesturing an 'I'm out' to his captain and team before pushing his chair back and grabbed a water bottle. Unscrewing the lid, he chugged it down eagerly so no one would force him to talk and leave him to rest whilst Yu Wenzhou and the rest chatted the next in-line, kindly.
Huang Shaotian might be loved to talk, but expecting him to talk his way through the hundreds of people in the queue is just ridiculous.
Huang Shaotian leaned back on his seat and screwed shut the lid back. He purposefully returned the bottle, beneath the chair, very slowly and delicately like he's putting back his newborn baby daughter back into a crib. He bitterly lamented Blue Rain's popularity. The line is so long and he can't see the end of it... And he's suffering.
Well at least, it's not as long as the two times champion (Also the latest champion who won the season not long ago), Tiny Herb (Suffer Wang Jiexi! Suffer!). And Samsara, which is insulting as the only reason Samsara got so many fans was because of that Zhou Zekai, who only knows how to be handsome.
Excellent Era also had such long queue though not as much (They didn't even make it to the play-off last season), although their core, ace, and captain, Ye Qiu, is (as always) absent. All-Star, as well the most beautiful female player in the alliance, Su Mucheng is still holding the fort very professionally.
Huang Shaotian's eyes wandered over Tyranny's queue, appreciating what supposed to be Zhang Xinjie's misery.
Somehow, Huang Shaotian's eyes immadiately focused on a person, squeezing in the line. Pale, messy, blank and bored expression, kinda pretty, golden eyes- gasp!
Ye Qiu sighted!
Huang Shaotian brightened considerably, leaning and putting his weight on his arms, he opens his mouth, "Old-" Huang Shaotian's voice died down as his conscience, thankfully, finally put a filter on his mouth and forcefully pulling him out of his shiny sunshine-love-filled world, back to the reality and realize just where he is, currently.
Huang Shaotian blanked. His mind started to catch up and the sight before him made him feel like this is all so surreal.
Hold on a damn second. Was he really seeing Ye Qiu? The Ye Qiu? That Ye Qiu who was proclaimed as Tyranny's worst enemy, that Ye Qiu who was the bane of Tyranny's existence?! Why is he lining up in Tyranny's queue?!
Huang Shaotian rubbed his eyes and squinted back. No mistake, pretty and delicate face, slightly hunched, definitely his type, Huang Shaotian has a very sharp eyesight if it's about Ye Xiu.
"What the fuck?" Huang Shaotian blurted out and Yu Wenzhou dropped his bolpoint rather loudly to distract the alerted fan from Huang Shaotian's sudden swearing.
"What is it, Shaotian?" Yu Wenzhou craned his neck and asked, still maintaining the same pleasant smile as he received the fan's white T-shirt for him to sign on. His tone, however, although sounds pleasant, promised a silent death.
"Captain..." Huang Shaotian slowly turned his head towards his captain, but his eyes are still rooted on Ye Xiu's figure.
"Autumn season is so calming," Huang Shaotian stated and Yu Wenzhou's light blue eyes immadiately snapped towards the direction Huang Shaotian is looking at.
Yu Wenzhou immadiately spotted a certain veteran, looking as fragile as ever, squeezed in the midst of Tyranny's queue. If Yu Wenzhou is surprised he didn't show it, "Indeed it is," Yu Wenzhou vaguely replied. The sword and curse duo looked at each other and nodded.
As Jiang Botao kept translating Zhou Zekai's smiles and nods to the fans, Zhou Zekai suddenly tensed.
His mesmerizing grey eyes immadiately darted around frantically as his cowlick swaying stiffly like an antenna. Jiang Botao looked at Zhou Zekai in surprise.
"What is it Captain Zhou?" Jiang Botao asked in confusion.
"I felt senior's presence," Zhou Zekai solemnly pointed to his stiff cowlick and said. He looked around again ignoring the fans' dumbstruck shocks and confused teammates.
"God Zhou just said more than one word!" A fan exclaimed.
"A blessing has fallen onto us!"
"My bussiness would do success!"
"This is a miracle!"
Jiang Botao stiffly smiled in the midst of loud cheers, claps and cries that Samsara's fans had gleefully made in the wake of Zhou Zekai's statement.
"Captain, senior is not here," Jiang Botao gently coaxed. His captain's affliction is getting worse and worse. He started believing his cowlick-antenna to be 'Senior-finding' antenna. Who's the senior? Of course, it was him who people affectionately nicknamed, 'Glory textbook' 'Aggro-pulling BOSS' etc, Ye Qiu.
Jiang Botao pondered as he stared at Zhou Zekai's cowlick which swayed slightly as the handsome man kept turning his head from side to side, frantically searching for 'Senior'. Maybe they should try and cut it off?
Jiang Botao shook his head. Nah, Zhou Zekai's cowlick is literally 40% of his sex appeal. That's the same as cutting off their income.
Just when Jiang Botao was lost in his thought, Zhou Zekai had stood up abruptly and left his position and making a beeline out. The entire Samsara quickly stood up in panic.
"Captain!" They frantically called out as they stumbled to stop their captain.
"Zhou!" Jiang Botao called out urgently as the fans clapped loudly to accompany Zhou Zekai's sudden walk-out.
Much to Samsara's depression, many fans speculated afterward that Zhou Zekai was a Physic.
What? Though, it's not like Samsara was complaining about another selling points that came from the rumours.
To tell the truth, Wang Jiexi had noticed Ye Xiu after he rejoined the queue. No one knows, but somehow, Wang Jiexi's discerning eyes always singling Ye Qiu out and immadiately spot him if Ye Qiu ever be in his peripheral sight.
Wang Jiexi once thought of it as simply a 'danger-spotting' ability. After all Ye Qiu had always been a danger. In or out Glory, he was literally a walking disaster. A threat to everone's sanity.
But now that doesn't seem to be the case.
"Earth to Wang Jiexi!" A voice called out and Wang Jiexi blinked to see Fang Shiqian (who supposedly to be retired and all comfy at home, but somehow the club managers convinced him to join this event).
"What's wrong, senior?" Wang Jiexi blankly questioned as if he never zoned out, in the first place. He looked back to the fan in front of him who smiled (grimaced) back at Wang Jiexi.
They chattered the fan before sending him away, Fang Shiqian looked at Wang Jiexi, "What is wrong with you?" An annoyed glare, "You kept staring into space!"
"I didn't," technically he was staring at Ye Qiu, not space.
"Seriously, what are you thinking?" Fang Shiqian asked.
"Many of things," like Tiny Herb's future and how he shouldn't left the team in his early twenty... And Ye Qiu, but that's beside the point.
But Fang Shiqian got the first message just fine, he looked at Deng Fusheng for a help.
Deng Fusheng smiled amicably, "Or rather, not 'what are you thinking?', but 'What are you looking at?', Wang Jiexi?" Sigh, his normalcy was really appreciated.
"Nothing at all," Wang Jiexi's answer is different this time.
The two looked at each other with raised eyebrows and dropped the subject as another fan came up. Pleasant greetings, several thank yous and Wang Jiexi's eyes stranded again to see Ye Qiu. The veteran looked like he is going to pass out any time soon... So it's not a surprise prank for Tyranny, then?
"Is that Ye Qiu?" Fang Shiqian whispered to himself incredulously. Wang Jiexi looked at him only to find Fang Shiqian is staring back at him.
"Is that really? That's what you've been staring at?" Fang Shiqian accused.
"Dude, your eyes literally reflected his sillhouette," Fang Shiqian motioned to Wang Jiexi's one big eye and smirked. "Wow, you're smitten. Fall that hard, Wang Jiexi? Never thought you're masochistic enough to fall for him."
Wang Jiexi gave Fang Shiqian a dead stare as Deng Fusheng acted as he didn't hear anything and enthusiasticly chattered with the next fan, prompting the rest to also ignore them. "I should ask the same for you," Wang Jiexi raised a delicate brow.
"How do you recognize it was his sillhouette is lost in me."
"You were a healer... Yet, him of all people? You're far more masochistic, in my opinion, senior." Wang Jiexi's tone is disdainful, yet his expression is very much like a sincere captain.
"We have our own phase," Fang Shiqian replied expressionlessly as he searched for Ye Qiu's figure in reality rather than in Wang Jiexi's eyes.
"What is he doing?"
Han Wenqing's eyes twitched for the nth time for today, prompting the fan in front of him, and several others behind the said fan, to flinch and took one (or two) step back in fear. Zhang Xinjie readjusted his glasses and glanced to his watch impatiently.
Had it not been one of them spotted a certain someone in the line, Han Wenqing probably wouldn't feel this much ticked up.
Just what a fragile, weak, easily tired, sheltered gamer like Ye Qiu is doing in by squeezing in his arch-rival's team's fan queue?
Zhang Xinjie couldn't find any possible and logical answer to that, aside for Ye Qiu had lost his mind... That, or he had an evil twin or doppelganger that was an opposite of him.
Because Ye Qiu was too mature, careless, and lazy to do this kind of prank. Even if he didn't have anything to do, it's more possible for him to sit around a corner, secretly smoking or perhaps chugging down mineral water as if it's a booze.
Su Mucheng kept giving them some sort of signal to bail Ye Qiu out of there before the guy toppled over and probably be stepped on all over.
"Zhang Xinjie!" Suddenly an arm draped over Zhang Xinjie's shoulder, Zhang Xinjie looked up to see a grinning Huang Shaotian. Zhang Xinjie sighed, of course... Smitten pros and their concern.
"What do you think?" Yu Wenzhou vaguely asked, his pleasant smile was still permanent on his face.
"I'm clueless as well," Zhang Xinjie answered.
"Ever think of it as an evil twin or something?"
"It passed my mind, certainly."
"Is it a dare or something?" Wang Jiexi joined the group casually. Zhang Xinjie squinted his eyes, seriously if the stars from the teams gathered here, who would catter their fans?
"We already made some arrangement," Yu Wenzhou smiled and answered Zhang Xinjie's mental question.
"Captain Zhou!" Loud yells gathered their attentions toward practically an entire Samsara trailling behind their one-man-team captain, who seems to be rather pre-occupied... Tracking something?
The rest paled. They certainly could see where Zhou Zekai's going.
"Holy fuck!" Huang Shaotian, as the quick opportunist, quickly jumped over and run up toward Zhou Zekai to tackle him down before he could do something stupid that will expose Ye Xiu out.
On Ye Xiu's side, Ye Xiu sighed in relief and wiped his perspiration.
With Samsara's help, Huang Shaotian dragged Zhou Zekai to Tyranny's booth where strongest players resided in.
Han Wenqing growled in annoyance as the troublesome kids are increasing, he slammed his hand on the desk, scaring his fans and teammates. Han Wenqing glared, "Special service to the chosen lucky fan," Han Wenqing grabbed the mic and said lowly. The fans perked up but feel fearful, what special?! That tone promises death!
The other teams gawked at Tyranny, they never knew any special service would be done!
"The one wearing red shirt and brown sling bag, please come up."
Ye Xiu blinked and immadiately feel flattered, Old Han you're really an understanding friend. Ye Xiu's legs were already killing him. Everyone looked at him but Ye Xiu ignored them as he got out of the queue and walked to the front.
"Hello, nice to meet you," A stranger. They're strangers right now. Ye Xiu offered his dainty hand for a handshake but instead, Han Wenqing pulled him and almost flung him over the desk.
Everyone exclaimed in shock as the skinny and fragile-looking man was pulled by, the gang lead- err, the tyrannical captain over the desk.
Ye Xiu was practically having his legs on the desk, his golden eyes flashing in indignance, "What are you doing, crazy pro player that I never met before in my life?"
"The rule stated you're free to go beyond," Han Wenqing stated.
"Congrats!" Huang Shaotian cheered as Yu Wenzhou and Zhang Xinjie helped Ye Xiu down.
"Senior," Zhou Zekai smiled shyly.
"What were you doing there?" Wang Jiexi asked in hushes tone.
"Trying to get Old Han's signature," Ye Xiu answered blasely.
"Your words could go deceive ghost," Zhang Jiale retorted.
Ye Xiu sighed and readjusted the sling bag, "I met a boy."
Everyone's expressions went cold.
"About fifteen years old," Ye Xiu continued.
Their expressions melted down instantly.
"He has sickly little brothers at home, and they all are fans of Glory. But turn out, this little friend of mine is also sickly and couldn't make it to queueing up," Ye Xiu pointed to Tyranny's long queue. "I'm helping him to get at least one god's signature."
"Why Tyranny?" Huang Shaotian demanded.
"Old Han is his second favourite," Ye Xiu replied.
"Why don't go for the first?" Han Wenqing asked.
"The first is me," A smug smile. "After this I wanted to go to Blue Rain."
"Dear God, you want to transfer to Blue Rain?" Two pretty girls approached them, hand in hand, they were Chu Yunxiu and Su Mucheng.
"Ye Qiu, are you really?" Su Mucheng asked, if it's Ye Xiu's decision, she'll follow it.
"No, I meant, I'll go to Blue Rain's booth after this," Ye Xiu explained.
"Why?" Why Blue Rain? Wang Jiexi doesn't understand.
"Fuck off, Wang Jiexi," Huang Shaotian glared.
"The brothers like different god players," Ye Xiu reasoned.
"Since that is the case, we could just give the signatures now," Yu Wenzhou kindly compromised.
"You could just ask for this kind of thing," Han Wenqing sighed audibly, clearly annoyed for Ye Xiu's non-action to just ask.
Everyone gave him a look.
"That's too eyecatching, alright? And you all are in public-exposed position, I couldn't just walk up from the back and say 'Hey, I need your signature' without gaining unwanted attention," Ye Xiu explained with a heavy sigh. "So can I just skip the full explaination and get your signatures?" Ye Xiu opened his bag and took out the notebook, he paused before taking out all four. If he wanted to extort them, might as well go into the fullest.
"There are so many cards in there," Huang Shaotian also peered curiously into the bag.
"Yeah, they love every team unconditionally, cute right?" Ye Xiu smiled as he also shuffled to take out some cards, the others immadiately fussed over him and help him to take the whole cards in there.
"What's going on here?"
"Why are you guys crowding over Tyranny?"
"Is something wrong?"
Soon, the other curious pros also came and suddenly the event is paused because of the unexpected incident.
"Guys, guys, come here! Sign these!" Huang Shaotian enthusiasticly waved at them as he handled some cards in his hands.
"Why?" Li Xuan sniffed as he looked at the Ghostblade duo's character cards in confusion.
"We're going to practice nepotism," Wang Jiexi said.
"For whom?" Zhao Yang asked.
Everyone pointed at Ye Xiu with their eyes.
Ye Xiu briefly explained to them about the situation of his new little friend. Needless to say, everyone is extremely willing. Though, Chu Yunxiu needs a time alone first before she's mentally ready to sign it (Meaning; She bawled her eyes out and got consoled by Su Mucheng and the other girls).
Every pro were practically fighting and arguing over the right to sign the notebook with big sized signatures, whilst the rest are asking if Ye Xiu needs more.
The poor fans were dumbstruck and didn't know what to say or to do. Why do their idols are fighting to sign that guy's things?
Wasn't it usually them, the fans, who were fighting to get the pros' signatures?!
They all gawked at the crowd of pros who were fighting and laughing at each others as they searched for other things from the man to sign on. The fans' worldview suddenly overturned.
Ye Xiu ducked as he went through the throng of people, who looked at him as if he was a freak, and walked toward the place where he left Xiao Yan at. The boy is still sitting in the same place, looking very anxious and guilty.
"Little Yan!" Ye Xiu called out to get his attention and the boy looked up.
"Ye Xiu! Did you get it?" Xiao Yan wanted to stand up but Ye Xiu beat him back by sitting down beside him.
"Not only that, I got a lucky chance," Ye Xiu mentioned it like nothing.
"Lucky chance?" Xiao Yan tilted his head before recalling something. "You're the one that Han Wenqing called out on the microphone!" He exclaimed in astonishment.
"Yup," Ye Xiu grinned and gave Xiao Yan's bag back at him. The boy unzipped the bag and his jaw dropped in disbelief.
"Ye Xiu, this..." Xiao Yan stared at the character cards, that had lost its pack, in astonishment. Because on each avatar, there are signatures adorning them. Every single of one of them. Xiao Yan rummaged through and took out his notebook, he flipped through it and almost lost his whole breath. The small notebook is full of signatures of different players from different teams, their names were written below the signatures.
"Lucky chance, remember?" Ye Xiu smiled carelessly but soon turned speechless as he got enveloped in a tight hug.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you!" Come muffled sobs from the boy who buried his face in Ye Xiu's chest. Never in his wildest dream he ever thought of getting these many signatures, getting from one team alone was already good, getting from two teams was already the highest peak he ever thought of, but right now, in his old bag there are so many signatures from so many teams' pro players.
Ye Xiu chuckled, "I got them to sign on all four notebooks, too."
"I can't believe this. It's like a dream!" Xiao Yan exclaimed in a muffled voice.
"If it's already like a dream, you wouldn't believe this even more," Ye Xiu said playfully and Xiao Yan looked up in confusion, but what greeted him is not only Ye Xiu's playful smirk but also several faces that he only ever saw on screen.
"Hey~ You are Xiao Yan? Nice to meet you," Chu Yunxiu gently greeted as she bent down and offered a handshake toward Xiao Yan.
"YunYun, you should introduce yourself first. Hey, I'm Su Mucheng," Su Mucheng is the second to introduce herself.
"So this is half of our lucky winner? Nice to meet you," Yu Wenzhou smiled pleasantly.
"You know me right? What's your name? Are you really fifteen? You're a tough one from what I heard. By the way, nice to meet you!" Huang Shaotian chattered cheerfully. Soon some other pros came and greeted Xiao Yan, not all of them as that would be inconvenient.
It was all started by Chu Yunxiu. The sweet, soft, and emotional girl had demanded to meet Ye Xiu's 'little friend' just to talk with him. And then, the others also start getting ideas and followed along.
And now here they are, stealing Ye Xiu's new little friend in a breath.
Ye Xiu sighed as Xiao Yan is distracted by the busybody 'representing' pros, talking about what fans usually talked about to their idol.
"I want to be like you when I grow up!" Ye Xiu almost laughed at his friends' faces after hearing Xiao Yan's declaration toward Han Wenqing. Ye Xiu even almost keeled over when he sees how lost Han Wenqing looked.
"Why?" Even Huang Shaotian is speechless.
"He looks strong and intimidating!" Xiao Yan honestly answered, "If I'm strong and intimidating, I could protect my little brothers." Honestly, Han Wenqing should be indignant but the last bit of it was gone after the boy stated the reason.
"Strength could be found while Intimidation... Seems to be a natural talent," Wang Jiexi hesitated. Han Wenqing glared and he looked away, Huang Shaotian laughed at Wang Jiexi along with Zhang Jiale.
Xiao Yan snickered and suddenly felt the pockets of his hoodie dipped and an arm draped on his shoulder, he looked up to see Ye Xiu.
"Now, you have a story to tell your brothers about," Ye Xiu smiled simply and Xiao Yan grinned.
"The best story."
"And then, Chu Yunxiu and Su Mucheng pinched Huang Shaotian because he swore in front of me, and because of that he swore again. Yu Wenzhou complimented me when I mentioned the effective counter tactic to Blue Rain's latest tactic to Wang Jiexi, and he asked if I am interested to join Blue Rain Camp!" Xiao Yan gestured excitedly to his brothers who listened in astonishment.
"You got invited? That's great, big brother," Zhu Yi, the second brother, said weakly, but excitement in his tone is sincere. "Too bad, we're not in the same city as Blue Rain."
"After that? What happened after that?" Wang Lin, the third, asked curiously.
Xiao Yan continued "And then Wang Jiexi-"
"Big brother," Tianhao suddenly cut Xiao Yan's words with a cough. Everyone instantly looked at him in worries.
"What is it, little brother? Are you in pain?" The three older brothers anxiously questioned.
"No," the youngest pouted at their overprotectiveness. He instead said, "Did you met Ye Qiu?"
Xiao Yan frowned, "No. Everyone knows Ye Qiu is off-chart in difficulties. It's impossible for me to even look at his shadow, let alone meeting him and ask for a signature."
Tianhao instead pointed to his signature notebook, "Then, why there is a signature of 'Ye Qiu' here?" His words instantly silenced everyone. Zhu Yi and Wang Lin looked at Xiao Yan in shock whilst Xiao Yan is even mote shocked.
"What?" Xiao Yan said dumbly and quickly scrambled over Tianhao. The boy, who is barely out of his toddler stage, showed his book towards his older brothers who looked at a certain neat and strict handwriting in disbelief.
"Impossible..." Xiao Yan mumbled, there's no way Ye Qiu got out and sign it. Everybody said every pro signed it at an open space, a place that Ye Qiu would never be willing to be in.
"Big brother, the other three also have it," Zhu Yi's and Wang Lin's voices snapped Xiao Yan out of his disbelief.
Xiao Yan looked at them before recalling something, he looked at the stack of cards around them, all signed. He quickly stood up and rummaged through his hoodie's pocket. His hands brushed over a familiar texture and something dawned in him, he took out the card from his pocket and stared at it.
One Autumn Leaf character card.
Complete with a signature.
Xiao Yan threw his head back and laugh, "Ye Xiu... Ye Qiu," he shook his head and held up the card, "Whoever you are, Thank you."
Xiao Yan looked back at his expectant brothers and grinned, "Breaking news, guys, I may or may not had been bestfriends with Ye Qiu."
"Seriously, what else do they need me for? And why at a ballroom? How many people would try to convince me to reveal my face this time?" Ye Xiu lamented helplessly, squinting his eyes at the ridiculously bright lighting along the hallways, as Su Mucheng kept nudging him to keep going.
"Just follow their rule, do you want them to double up the fine? Your saving is running thin, though, I don't mind to pay for you. Would you like me to?" Su Mucheng asked expectantly as she blinked her moist beautiful caramel eyes.
"Don't," Ye Xiu would never let Su Mucheng paid for him, except, perhaps, for some occasional lunch and that she convinced him to.
"See? You won't let me but also relucant to follow along," Su Mucheng pouted and keep nudging Ye Xiu on.
"I swear the Alliance is trying to squeeze me to poverty so that I would be desperate enough to expose my face," Ye Xiu sighed.
"That's a harsh accusation," Su Mucheng giggled and they stopped before large doors leading to a ballroom. They both pushed the door open and slowly entered.
"It's so dark here, are you sure this is the place?" Ye Xiu asked but Su Mucheng pushed him with a surprising strength that came from a girl, prompting Ye Xiu to stumble forward and the door suddenly closed with a low grunt, the only source of light disappeared and Ye Xiu can't see anything.
Ye Xiu held up his hands in front of him, "Mucheng?" Ye Xiu called out as he squinted but to no avail, his eyes are slow to adapt, he blamed those ridiculously bright lights in the hallway.
"Mucheng?!" Ye Xiu called out again. "Mucheng, this is not funny, where are you?!" Ye Xiu yelled but still no response. "Is this a prank?" Ye Xiu sighed and start making his way toward the door slowly.
"Ow!" Ye Xiu bumped into something. He grabbed it and worked out that it was a chair.
There was no chair in his trail just now.
Ye Xiu shook his head and continue forward and reached the door. He pulled on it but it wouldn't budge. He pushed on it, and still the same result. He starts banging on it.
"Mucheng! This is not funny, open the door!" Ye Xiu yelled. What is this? His cute little sister is pulling a mean prank on him? Impossible! There's no way Su Mucheng transmigrated to Excellent Era's snobby troops! She's too good for that! Who tricked her to do this?!
Ye Xiu whirled around as he heard some shuffling somewhere, "Mucheng?" Ye Xiu slowly walked deeper into the ballroom, but everything is silent still.
Ye Xiu shivered and rubbed his arms, "Cold," Ye Xiu paused. Wait, cold? The air conditioner is on?
Ye Xiu jolted back as he looked around, his eyes are starting to adjust and he could see some sillhouette for ballroom's stuffs and etc. There are so many in here, Tables, chairs, banners? ribbons? Ye Xiu squinted his eyes and a sound gained his attention immadiately. Suddenly, a human-sized black shadow jumped in front of him and Ye Xiu's vision immediately filled with a horrifying face from up close.
"UWAAAAAHHHH!" The horrifying shadow shrieked.
"What the-!" Ye Xiu flinched back but the thing followed him, he lost his balance and fell on his butt. Much to his shock, the thing followed and fell on top of him.
"SURPRISE!" The ballroom's lights switched on and brightness swarmed Ye Xiu's eyes after the pitch black darkness earlier.
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY YE QIU!" the loud exclamation prompting Ye Xiu to stare incredulously. Before him are his fellow pro players who all wore such shit-eating grins on their face, except for Han Wenqing, but he's smiling which is rare enough.
"Hahaha! You were so scared!" The thing atop Ye Xiu laughed smugly and took off his ghost mask to reveal a smug Huang Shaotian beneath. "I have never seen you so scared before! Ahahaha, scaredy pants! Ahaha, You all should've seen his face! It was so priceless! Oh God, I hope I had a camera!" Huang Shaotian laughed heartily as he picked himself off of Ye Xiu and sat up.
"I was surprised," Ye Xiu expressionlessly said. "But to tell the truth, I was more scared after you took off the mask, put it back on."
"Fuck off fuck off fuck off!" Huang Shaotian glared.
A hand is offered to help Ye Xiu, he looked up to see Zhou Zekai smiling gently at him. "Thanks, little Zhou," Ye Xiu pulled himself up with Zhou Zekai's help.
"Hurt?" Zhou Zekai asked.
"No, the carpet is padded enough," Ye Xiu shook his head. He looked around to see the decorated ballroom.
"My birthday had passed," Ye Xiu told them.
"No shit, sherlock," Zhang Jiale rolled his eyes.
"It was Su Mucheng's idea, we thought it would be great to celebrate it together so we went along," Wang Jiexi gestured toward the little demoness who smiled angelicly at Ye Xiu.
"Happy belated birthday," She wished and went forward to hug Ye Xiu lovigly.
"Girl, you gave me a fright back there," Ye Xiu sighed and patted her head. "But how much money did you spent for all of this? I've told you to never bother to hive me expensive thing," for him, as long as Mucheng is healthy and happy, he'll be fine.
"She didn't spend much," it was Han Wenqing who replied him. "We want to go along with this, so naturally we also support her with our own money," he stated.
"It was intended to be a simple party, but things lead to another and suddenly we have a ballroom," Yu Wenzhou helplessly gestured.
"You guys don't need to," Ye Xiu furrowed his brows.
"Yu Wenzhou only said that vaguely. In truth, an old friend lend us this ballroom, he said he has some life debt with you, Old Han is the one who contacted him," Lin Jingyan explained.
Ye Xiu looked at Han Wenqing who carelessly shrugged, "You lent him money when he needed it the most, He can't come but he said Thank You."
Ye Xiu blinked, he had lent money to so many people in the past. He doesn't remember each of them, most were just an impulse, but they certainly remember him, always.
"Besides, we'll also eat along. Paying is not a problem," Yang Cong chuckled and Xu Bin nudged him playfully.
"We never celebrate your birthday anyways," Zhang Jiale agreed. Because of his own financial problem, Ye Xiu never saw the need to actually celebrate his birthday. A dinner with Su Mucheng is usually enough.
"And it's better late than never. After this, we won't see each other for the whole summer," Wang Jiexi added.
Ye Xiu smiled, a wholesome genuine smile, "Thank you,"
"Then, what are we waiting for? Where's my cake?" Ye Xiu shamelessly asked, everyoe looked at each other and grinned maniacally.
A whole cake found its way to Ye Xiu's face.
Just for today, Ye Xiu won't get his revenge.
In the silence of the night, Ye Xiu blew out his smoke and it drifted out from the open window. His eyes look rather dark with the absence of light with the exception this from his computer's screen. His fingers hovered for a while before clicking on the name he rarely clicked because he feared a rejection... Even if he never ask for anything.
Ye Xiu's eyes stared at the last conversation they have.
Ye Qiu: When will you go home?
Ye Qiu: Give me a definite answer.
Ye Qiu: Happy 25th Birthday.
One Autumn Leaf: Happy Birthday to you too.
Ye Xiu looked at it blankly and sighed, he tilted his head up, wondering about what he should say. His mind instead betrayed him with flashback to their childhood. Where there are only the two of them and only them. Ye Xiu's finger moved.
One Autumn Leaf: Hey.
One Autumn Leaf: How are you?
Ye Xiu stared. Had he really lost the abilty to start a conversation? To his own twin at that? Let's pull those back, it's night, Ye Qiu probably had gone to sleep already.
*ding* A notification gained his attention. Wow, that's fast. Seems like, Ye Qiu hadn't slept after all.
Ye Qiu: Oh my god.
Ye Qiu: Are you dying somewhere?
Ye Qiu: You never texted me first.
Ye Qiu: Are you finally coming home?
Ye Qiu: Need me to pick you up?
Ye Xiu's sweatdropped at his brother's eagerness. On the other hand, his heart tugged painfully when Ye Qiu mentioned that he never contacted first.
One Autumn Leaf: No, I'm not going home
Ye Qiu: D:
One Autumn Leaf: So, how are you?
Ye Qiu: I'm fine?
One Autumn Leaf: Why are you asking back?
Ye Qiu: I don't understand your motive.
One Autumn Leaf: There's no motive.
One Autumn Leaf: I'm just asking your well-being. -_- "
Ye Qiu: Okay? Is there something wrong?
One Autumn Leaf: Nothing.
Ye Qiu: ...
Ye Qiu: Alright, you're freakig me out
Ye Qiu: *freaking
Ye Qiu: You're acting really strange
Ye Qiu: Take care of yourself properly, I don't want this to be our last conversation.
One Autumn Leaf: Stop being so paranoid and superstitous.
One Autumn Leaf: I'm not gonna die soon.
Ye Qiu: Then why are you acting strange?
One Autumn Leaf: Something occupied my mind.
Ye Qiu: What?
Ye Xiu blankly stared at the screen for a whole minute, wondering why is he telling Ye Qiu that. This is stupid, Ye Qiu is right, he's being strange.
Ye Qiu: Ye Xiu? Brother?
One Autumn Leaf: Am I a good big brother?
Ye Xiu stared incredulously at his reply, he looked down to his keyboard disbelievingly. What in the actual fuck he had typed down? Ye Xiu was about to pull the reply when Ye Qiu replied and dashed Ye Xiu's hope for him to not see that.
Ye Qiu: So sudden?
One Autumn Leaf: Just answer truthfully.
Ye Qiu: To be honest, you're a bad big brother. Never call, never answer my call.
One Autumn Leaf: I don't have a phone.
Ye Qiu: Never answer my messages, leaving me alone in the home, Not going home, late wishing me a happy birthday, leaving me alone, not going home. When was the last time we met face to face? It's been years.
Ye Qiu: So yeah, you're a really bad brother.
One Autumn Leaf: Oh...
Ye Xiu expected that. Yet, why is it still painful? He's a bad big brother, the worst, he acknowledged that and even admitted it. It's completely normal for Ye Qiu to also think so.
One Autumn Leaf: Duly noted.
Ye Qiu: But
Ye Qiu: I won't exchange you for anything else
Ye Qiu: Though sometimes you asked for it :p
Ye Xiu stared at his replies and chuckled. A surge of a warm wave of fondness washed over Ye Xiu as he leaned down and smile.
One Autumn Leaf: Even for freedom?
Ye Qiu: ...
Ye Qiu: See? You're asking for it.
Ye Qiu: I planned to also bring you along if I could settled down with a mansion or two that out of father's radar.
One Autumn Leaf: Yeah right.
Ye Qiu: I'm serious.
One Autumn Leaf: I also won't exchange you for anything, Ye Qiu.
One Autumn Leaf: I love you
Ye Qiu stared at Ye Xiu's last messages speechlessly. He looked at the name contact, scrolled back their history, to be really sure that it's his brother's contact, before looking back to the newest message.
Ye Xiu had gone offline.
Ye Qiu covered his mouth and blushed furiously, never before his brother expressed his love to him, not since they're out of toddler stage.
Ye Qiu: I love you too.
For a keepsake, Ye Qiu screenshotted it several times before he's satisfied.
The next day, Ye Xiu would deny that he ever said that and blamed his sleep deprivation and pulled the last message he thought he never sent. Annoyed, Ye Qiu also pulled his last message.
But the screenshots in Ye Qiu's smartphones, laptops, computers and even printed sheets, could never lie.
This pair of twins was so difficult to really express their feeling. Especially towards each other.