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Season 3 (Champion: Excellent Era) - The First Meeting

"The Kings of Glory, Excellent Era made it. They won. They established a three-time championship, a dynasty." Shouted by the commentator of the game. Different cheerings, noises and even cries. All of the fans are celebrating after the "GLORY" showed in the battlefield. Everyone felt that kind of indescribable feeling of happiness. Even their opponents and its fans clapped and cheered for the respective team. This is a history made. Everyone give a ton of respect to the team who won, to Ye Xiu who was able to pull through and won the team battle.

 

"God Ye Qiu" "God Ye" ..."God Ye" People, all of the fans shouted 'Ye Qiu' after the cheerings and the comments. But the said God is gone and cannot be seen even as the awarding happened.

 

"We won! We really won!" Ye Xiu thought and he felt that pride he'd held in his chest. Despite all powerful players coming. Through skills, hardwork, faith and teamwork, the crown is still in our Team. He felt so proud on this Team he had, Excellent Era.

 

It was the day after the final game. He woke up feeling bad as someone spike their drinks last night and he's currently having a hangover. He was sitting in his room looking at the computer, watching the game that happen last night. Three championships in a row, he can't help but to smile in himself while holding One Autumn Leaf's card and thinking 'Muqiu, I made it, we made it.'

 

Days passed by and the hype are still on. The summer of Season 4 started and it was the 1st week of the August when Wu Xuefeng came to him telling that he should make a QQ and Weibo account. Yes, the 'God Ye' don't have a QQ nor a Weibo account, Wu Xuefeng says that he should at least have a form of communication so that he can have an interview even in the form of chats. He even reason to Ye Xiu that it was needed so he can contact him after he retired.

Ye Xiu felt that it was reasonable and made a QQ account, at the same time a Weibo account but seeing that Weibo is a social media and needed a lot of functions. He didn't bother doing anything after he made the account and just left it hanging as it gather followers tremendously. On the other side, he check the QQ which is more or less usable in his case since it was just a messaging app. It was easier to operate than Weibo which includes a lot of posting and stuff.

 

Glory Pro Chatroom

Wu Xuefeng added Ye Qiu to the group chat.

Wu Xuefeng: Ye Qiu say hi to them. Guys let's welcome Ye Qiu. :))

Ye Qiu: Sup'

Guo Mingyu: Whaaaat!!! Ye Qiu made a QQ account?

Han Wenqing: ? Welcome.

Zhang Jiale: YE QIU? You have a QQ account? Congratulation!!

Wang Jiexi: Welcome Senior and congratulations in your win.

Sun Zheping: Welcome welcome!! Congratulations in your win btw!!

Yang Cong: Welcome and Congrats on your win Ye Qiu!

Lin Jingyan: Congratulations Ye Qiu! :)

Fang Shiqian: Congrats Ye Qiu !

Zhang Yiwei: Congrats Ye Qiu !! DM!!

Lin Jie: Congratulations on your win Ye Qiu

NPlayer 1: Welcome and congratulations God Ye!

NPlayer 2: Welcome and congratulations God Ye! +1

NPlayer 3: Welcome and congratulations God Ye! +2
..

..

NPlayer X: Welcome and congratulations God Ye! +12

Ye Qiu: Ah? Thanks! so who amongst you was for the interview?

Everyone: ....

Wu Xuefeng: No Ye Qiu! It was just a chat for all of the Pro players, the interview will send you a personal message. Not here.

Ye Qiu: Oh, Okay.

Zhang Jiale: Don't tell us that the great God Ye Qiu who conquered three times championship is a ...

Yang Cong: Is he Ye Qiu?

Zhang Yiwei: ...

Guo Mingyu: ...

Lin Jingyan: ...

Fang Shiqian: ..a-

Sun Zheping: ... boomer?

Ye Qiu: Boomer? Should I remind you two that this boomer you're calling beat your ass in the finals two weeks ago? *insert smirk emoji*

Guo Mingyu: oof. (You should not say that in front of them Ye Qiu.)

Zhang Yiwei: oof +1 (It might still hurt them.)

Lin Jingyan: oof +2 (I agree. I mean there are normal players here Ye Qiu.)

Fang Shiqian: oof +3 (You shouldn't rub it in their face.)

Han Wenqing:  You'll lose soon.

Ye Qiu: Old Han? Didn't I already beat you in the semis? How many times should I beat you then?

Han Wenqing: Let's PK.

Everyone: ....

Wu Xuefeng: Ye Qiu!! No. He's just not good with anything related with communications.

Ye Qiu: Yes yes !!

Ye Qiu went offline

Wu Xuefeng: I'm sorry for his behaviour

Guo Mingyu: Nahh! I think, it's already normal for him.

Lin Jingyan:  I think it would start to hail this summer if he's not like that

Zhang Jiale: Him not pulling any aggro on anyone would be the more abnormal one.

Sun Zheping: Well, that's Ye Qiu we're talking about

N Player X: .....

Lin Jie: To all other pros who haven't talked with Ye Qiu before, then Yes that's him

Everyone: ...

 

 

Private message with Zhang Yiwei

Zhang Yiwei: Ye Qiu !!

Zhang Yiwei: Ye Qiu !!

Zhang Yiwei: Ye Qiu !!

Ye Qiu: Huh? Yiwei?? Are you the one who would interview? You going to retire and go to E-sports Reporting?

Zhang Yiwei: WTF. Bullshit!!

Ye Qiu: Then what's the deal with you?

Zhang Yiwei: Nah, Mingyu and me is going to City H. You want to meet and eat out? Ask Old Wu too.

Ye Qiu: Huh? What are you two going here for?

Zhang Yiwei: I'm going to visit some relatives. Mingyu, he's-

Zhang Yiwei: Wait! Let me add him

Zhang Yiwei added Guo Mingyu to the chat.

Guo Mingyu: Hey!!! What is this chat?

Ye Qiu: Yiwei said you both are going to City H?

Guo Mingyu: Oh! Ye Qiu!!!

Guo  Mingyu: Aah!! Plans for next week? My cousin is getting married in City H. I'm best man. He got his girlfriend pregnant lol.

Zhang Yiwei: That's why we're both going to City H. I'll be there by Wednesday till Sunday. Don't have plans tho.

Guo Mingyu: The wedding is in Friday. I'll be in the city in the morning of Friday and we can hangout either Saturday or Sunday!

Ye Qiu: So you both just want to play around? Are we going to play Glory?

Guo Mingyu: Ha? All you know is GLORY. Come on' we should hang out to. You should tour us around City H.

Zhang Yiwei: Yeah yeah!

Ye Qiu: Waste of time. And you've been to City H a lot of times. You can handle yourselves or don't tell me you guys are 10 years old who can't read directions and prone to get lost.

Guo Mingyu: Nah, it's different. It's your treat afterall. You have lots of money after your championship.

Zhang Yiwei: Yup! Definitely.

Ye Qiu: What?

Guo Mingyu: Come on' you and Old Wu can both have half and half. Ahh. he's not here?

Zhang Yiwei: Oh, let's add him.

Ye Qiu: Old Wu is already retired. He had moved in to his parents in City G before his flight.

Zhang Yiwei: ...

Guo Mingyu: ...

Zhang Yiwei: That's the more reason we need to meet. You need to be more open since Old Wu is not in your side anymore.

Guo Mingyu: Yeah! You are the captain. You need to act as one. We'll teach you how you should treat other people properly. I can already imagine your teamates getting really low or depressed after you told them off.

Zhang Yiwei: In our case, we know it's just your shameless personality. We are used to it. You throwing those mocks are just part of being you and we didn't take it seriously as we know you didn't mean it in a bad way

Guo Mingyu: But if you tried those acts in newcomers, then good luck.

Ye Qiu: ...

Ye Qiu: .... Fine fine. You can go to EE's building then we can get a lunch/dinner after your lectures. You two make sure, you have your worthy speech. If it's useless, don't even show your face.

Zhang Yiwei: And there goes one of your lines again.

Guo Mingyu: I bet you saying those kinds of lines in the newcomers, they will definitely hate you.

Ye Qiu: .. Yeah yeah. I'm going. See you.

Guo Mingyu: See you.. Saturday ok!!

Zhang Yiwei: See you! :)

Ye Qiu went offline.

 

 

 

It was a hot afternoon of Saturday in the midst of August when two Glory pro's came to EE's building. Ye Xiu welcomed them and tour them inside the building which gets some hidden snarkly comments from the two as they reached the conference room. The two Glory Pro started voicing their reactions as they did held it while walking around since there are some other people from time to time.

 

"Ye Qiu, we said tour the city, not your EE building." Guo Mingyu said while plopping his way to sit in one of the computer chair.

 

"Yeah. We don't need you to tour us in your building. It's almost similar to ours."  Zhang Yiwei added while leaning to the side of the rectangular table

 

"Eh. So you notice? Tsk. tsk." Ye Xiu answered to the two while acting really shocked which can definitely seen as fake one.

 

"What the.. So you're faking it. Ye Qiu y-you -"

 

"Ye Qiu, you should--"

 

The two answered exasperatedly at the same time. They both feel hopeless to this friend of theirs who has a very unique character.

 

"Ok now now, what's the lesson of our almighty Mingyu and Yiwei now?"

 

The three talked for awhile and the two kept on pressuring Ye Xiu of all of those what-if scenarios. The lectures and talks made him think to himself that some possibilities have a very high percentage of happening, since they won the first season and he declines Tao Xuan on all of the advertisement. He just believes that his friend Brother Tao will not do anything on those sort of schemes. He believes but there are still a bit of doubt in his heart. He just listened to the ranting of the two. (Yiwei and Mingyu enjoyed a little bit because it was rare for Ye Xiu to give shit to others' impression on him. He wouldn't be hiding his face for three whole years if he cares.) He felt really thankful to the two pro player he befriended in the past years of playing GLORY beause they were both worried about him.

 

They all got into their talks that they didn't notice the time. It was about 1 PM when they all decided to have lunch. Ye Xiu brings them to one of the restaurant the two saw in the internet. Even though he is an indoor person, he lived in City H for a long time, he know it like the back of his hand. He showed them the way after he knew the address of the restaurant. 

 

They talked a few more after they ordered their foods, but this time is mostly gossips in the pro circle. Ye Xiu didn't really care but the two are just that type of people who would always know some kind of gossips.

 

"Did you know about Huang Shao debuting next season?" Guo Mingyu said that make both Ye Xiu and Zhang Yiwei look at him.

 

"Is that serious? Though, it's also about time." Zhang Yiwei answers.

 

"Yeah." Ye Xiu answered in a very unmotivated voice.

 

"Oh you knew?" Guo Mingyu asked.

 

"Huang Shao spammed me in QQ" Ye Xiu said in a grimacing tone while asking one of the waiter for glass of water while waiting for their food.

 

"Hahaha, Huang Shao? How did he know your QQ?"

"Hahaha, Are you okay?"

The two laughed at him and Zhang Yiwei even asked him if he's okay. They haven't met Huang Shao in real life but they have known that man since they often went to in-game GLORY whenever they would hunt boses. And they all knew how much of a chatterbox is that person.

 

"That Fang Shijing gave it. I thought I will be fine. Guess what happen?" Ye Xiu talked to them in a exhausted voice. He made sure to note about Fang Shijing who gave Huang Shao his QQ account.

 

"Hahaha, what happened? Though I can somehow foresaw it. It's better coming from you." Guo Mingyu continued to laugh at him while Yiwei welcomed the waiter that brought the foods they've order.

 

"The conversation somehow went to his daily food, to the dog pooping he meet while having a run, to his slowpoke teamate, to the canteen's bread, and to a lot of things. I can't remember most of them but in the end it went on him asking for PK"

 

"Hahahahaha" Both of them was really laughing out loud to his story. It was good that there were only a few customers and they were in the corner so they didn't bother other people with their laughs.

 

"You didn't block him? Good job" Zhang Yiwei said while holding some more of his laughter.

 

"I was planning to block him but I thought he might spammed me whenever I would go online in GLORY so I decided not to. I just left and went offline." He said while shaking his head.

 

"Hahahaha. Oh Huang Shao" The three laugh again while thinking about Huang Shaotian. The three started talking a few more topics when Zhang Yiwei broke the ice.

 

"By the way, Season 4 is probably my last Season." After he said the news to them, the once full of laughter table turns silent and the other two only looked at him with questioning eyes.

 

"Why? You only debut on Season 2 right?" Ye Xiu asked looking at him intently. He knows that Zhang Yiwei can still play for another 1- 2. On the other hand Guo Mingyu only looked at the other person.

 

"C'mon, I was older than both of you, you know. It might not look like one but I'm barely holding in my performance." He said casually while continuing to put stuffs in his mouth.

 

"Really? Or is it  because they found another great sharpshooter that can replace you?" Guo Mingyu asked. He heard some rumors about a sharpshooter trainee in Samsara from one of his sources afterall.

 

"Yes. C'mon I am already turning 25. Give me some slack youngsters. And don't you looked down at my successor, he's really good. I'm still teaching him a lot of stuff but I can see that he has a lot of potential."

 

"I'll probably stayed in the bench as a coach or something. The team offered me the position."

 

"You're not being made to be a Training partner for that successor of yours?" Guo Mingyu asked. Guo Mingyu is not a chatterbox like Huang Shaotian but when it comes to gossips he definitely knows something.

 

"Are you implying something? Xiao Zhou is really good and I know that he will definitely be a true gunner God" Zhang Yiwei said while looking at Ye Xiu. They all started in the first server and especially Zhang Yiwei using a Sharpshooter class know the person who was always beside Ye Xiu that time. The One True Gunner God of the GLORY. Guo Mingyu also looked at Ye Xiu, he was kind of ticked becaused of the subtle hints of Zhang Yiwei. 

 

"I see. Should I welcome him?" Ye Xiu smiled back at Zhang Yiwei while teasing the other. It's been 3 years since Muqiu left this world for good. He knows that there's only a few people who would remember him. But seeing that another pro player remembers him made him felt happy and glad.

 

"Very much. If you will so." Zhang Yiwei answered challenging the man back.

 

"Sure sure." Ye Xiu just shrugged while looking at the other person

 

"Okay, I'll wait you at Team Samsara's quarters next week I guess. Saturday okay for you? Good"

 

"Huh? What? What? Are you matchmaking now Zhang Yiwei??" Guo Mingyu asked since he really can't follow the conversation of the two. The two choked when they heard what Guo Mingyu said. They both thrown him weird glances.

 

"Is he a very charming and beautiful Omega Yiwei? For you to set up a date for our Great God Ye Qiu." Guo Mingyu even added while making a questioning look. And this question made even Ye Xiu a bit flusterred.

 

"What the hell are you talking about Guo Mingyu? I was teasing Ye Qiu. Did you forgot about his partner in First Server? Autumn Tree? Isn't he called True Gunner God. What the f story are you making in your mind? And Xiao Zhou is a dominant Alpha for your information." Zhang Yiwei answered Guo Mingyu explodingly since the story this guy's constructing is a bit.

 

"Guo Mingyu, you should probably lessen your time in reading shojo mangas and gossiping about people." Ye Xiu even added.

 

"Oh right! Autumn Tree it is. C'mon, it's been what 3 years? I forgot about it. And I'm an Exorcist I didn't really care about all subclasses of Gunners." He said back to the two which made them fall into another silent.

 

"Really Mingyu, you should --*sigh* but Ye Qiu, I'll wait for you next Saturday okay?" Zhang Yiwei was planning to lecture the other guy but then just accepted it changing back the topic to Ye Xiu coming to their team.

 

"Fine. Fine. I really thought it was in game, not in person though." Ye Xiu reasoned out to Zhang Yiwei but still caves in as he was also a bit curious about the guy who made one of his few friends to plan his retirement early.

 

It was in the middle of Summer, most Pro players are in vacation and some in preparation for the next season. Excellent Era had some of its roosters retired and there's barely people in the building as many have went back home. Most of them will probably be coming back by the end of the month. Ye Xiu just informed Mucheng that he will be going out which the young girl found surprisingly but still smiled as she continue doing her training. She have moved in the dorms of Excellent Era and have already signed a contract with the team. She's practicing inside her room with the routines her brother Ye Xiu made for her.

 

Ye Xiu leisurely took a train going to City S as it was the day he promised Yiwei. It was a hassle but he reminded himself that this friend of his is just a year or two younger than Old Wu and also already at the verge of retirement. He didn't plan anything to do since he was planning to go back in the end of the day. It was past 1 PM when he reach the train station on City S.

 

Before going to Samsara building, he stopped to the Mcdonald's near the building to order a cheeseburger, fries and sprite for his lunch. He wondered where his luck had gone when he saw that the store is a bit full even though it's past lunch time. There is a group of employees who seems to be celebrating something. After he ordered, he wasn't able to find a table and just decided to sit in the side table, near the door which is overlooking outside. There is still one sit free near a man wearing gray jacket. He went and put his food into the table while looking at the other man. 

 

"Excuse. Is this seat free?" He said while looking at the man which made him feel a bit different. He shrugged the feelings, he just thought to himself that it was because the man looks really.. perfect? He grew up always being in the center of attention, and not bragging but he knows to himself that he had good genes. However, this is the first time he found another person good looking? attractive? The guy is indeed handsome and the jaws would definitely make the girls scream, like that one leading man in one of Mucheng's drama.

 

"En" Zhou Zekai nodded his consent to the man while feeling dumbfounded.

 

Zhou Zekai was late having lunch today since he had fun training using his account. He tried going to the canteen of the building but he didn't like the food there and he's even allergic to some of it. He decided to go to the nearest Mcdo, only to find that it was crowded because of a group of people partying. He went to the side table while bringing the spaghetti, cheeseburger, fries, ice cream and coke he ordered, planning to just eat a bit faster than normal. He was eating while scrolling through his phone when a man from behind asked about the seat beside him.

 

He looked at the space beside him and nodded, before he made a look at the man. What picked his attention more than the confident aura of slouching man is the amber eyes of the said person. He looked down on his phone to distract himself. But the thought of the amber eyes of the man is so, so enchanting. It reminded him of that favorite tree he often stayed in his grandma's backyard which turns golden every fall, added to this is that distinct smell of cigarette. It was in the midst of summer but he felt the rustling leaves of autumn.

 

After the man made his way and seated beside him he make a second look to the other which surprisingly met the others eyes. The both of them looked away feeling a bit embarassed when Ye Xiu broke the ice.

 

"It was a bit full today isn't it?" Ye Xiu said trying to start a light conversation on the other person who caught him staring. What can he do? The other is really an eye-candy, a definite head turner if one say so and he thought it's not they would see each other anytime soon.

 

"Hmmm." Zhou Zekai was planning to answer back to the man but while he was thinking of what answer he should say he mumbled a bit of hum, making the situation more awkwardly silent. 

 

The two just continue eating their food silently. Ye Xiu started eating his food, thinking of finishing it soon so he can escape the situation but still felt that this was one of the longest time he ate. He is the kind of person who would rather play GLORY than eat, would rather smoke than eat, would rather sleep than eat. Eating is one of the least priority he have in life. But at this moment, he felt enjoying his food because of the silent atmosphere that made him feel so comfortable.

 

Zhou Zekai on the other hand unconsciously slowed down his pace on eating. He was still scrolling his phone but he was not concentrated to it. He was eating food while doing so, but still kept on thinking of having a third look maybe on the man beside him. They were both silent but he was really enjoying the company. He was eating the ice cream as dessert which made him feel a bit uneasy since he won't have any excuse sitting beside the other person. And most importantly he hasn't seen the others eyes again. 

 

After Ye Xiu finished his cheeseburger he was currently munching on those fries while counting how long he would stay there. It was around 2 PM when he decided that he should get going since he will only be staying for the day and he's still going back to City H. He stand up and went to the restroom before going out.

 

Zhou Zekai saw the man stand up that made him snapped. He finished the last bit of the ice cream and fixed himself since he's planning to go back to the building already. He just thought that this meeting is one of those kind of rare encounters. And that he won't be seeing the other person again. He stand up and was on the way to the door when he noticed the man came out of the restroom and was going towards him.

 

The two both smiled at each other and continued going out. Zhou Zekai noticed the man walking in the same directions of him. He was thinking of starting the conversations as there were only a bit distance between them. Ye Xiu didn't think anything while looking ahead. He didn't want to start another conversation to the young man but wth all due reasons given to the earth, despite all of his pride, he still tried to talked to the man. He just felt that the other is not a snobbish person but naturally just the silent and shy type. 

 

"You're also going to this way? Don't tell me you're a lost penguin from Samsara?" Ye Xiu said jokingly.

 

Zhou Zekai was taken aback when the other started talking to him. He was surprised when the man brought up Samsara. They were both near the building when the other started talking. 

 

"En. Trainee." He intended to talk a bit more but he was only able to say those words. He wanted to chat with him a bit more but was unable to voiced out anything since he was feeling really nervous? His heart had been beating wild ever since awhile ago.

 

Ye Xiu was only light-heartedly joking when he asked the other person. However when the other answered he was a bit flustered, nonetheless he shrugged and just continue talking.

 

"Oh really? That's cool. I was also going there."

 

"Visiting relative?" Zhou Zekai asked. He made sure to look at the man's eye whenever he say those few lines. He wanted to show that he's engaged in the conversation. Or he just wanted to see those beautiful eyes. 

 

"Nah. I'm visiting one of my so-called friends. Apparently he's planning to set me up with someone. Hahaha" Ye Xiu answered casually while laughing, he remembered the lunch last week with Zhang Yiwei and Guo Mingyu. And Mingyu being corrupted by those shoujo manga and animes making all those assumptions.

 

Zhou Zekai felt a bit of repulsion but still smiled. He didn't know how to react. He don't know if he was feeling happy seeing the man's laugh and smile or he is feeling anxious that the other is looking up for a date

 

Ye Xiu on the other hand after blurting out those things looked at the other man who is smiling at him. He knew then, that this man is just a very shy person. He knew. He remembered the time when he was still a kid, Ye Qiu was really not good in communicating with other people. Especially since it was built on most of people around them that would compare the twins and his younger twin would only just nod or smile. It took him a long time before he was able to make Ye Qiu feel really confident in talking. It was in middle school when Ye Qiu started to communicate confidently without just shying away in the front of the eyes of their peers. While thinking about his younger twin, he realised that maybe the reason why he felt comfortable is that because his remembers his younger brother.

 

The two reached Samsara while talking about things, Ye Xiu kept the small talk even though the answers are mostly "En." "Yes" or any kind of monosyllable language. He didn't mind it. Zhou Zekai felt really happy since someone was really making the effort to talk with him. He knew he was not really good when it comes to talking but still he enjoyed the company of the others. He brought Ye Xiu to the reception and was planning to go back when he realised he haven't asked the name of the other. He was already near the training room when he made his decision to go back.

 

He saw the man talking to another person which he hasn't seen the face. He turns his back thinking "it was only a once-in-awhile encounter". He thought to just let it go and continue walking back when he heard a voice.

 

"Ha. Xiao Zhou?" Someone called him, he looked back and see his Captain talking to the other man.

 

"Come here. I'll introduce you." His Captain said to him while gesturing their hands for him to come near them. He looked at the other person.

 

"Xiao Zhou, this is my friend, the Battle God,  Ye Qiu. Ye Qiu, he's my successor the one I talked to you last time." Zhang Yiwei said in a proud tone. 

 

"Nice to meet you I guess?" Ye Xiu said while extending his hands since he don't know what kind of greetings he should do. He was still talking to this person just a few minutes ago.

 

There was a silent atmosphere for a few moments since Zhou Zekai can't believe that the man in front of him was Ye Qiu. The Ye Qiu.

 

"Xiao Zhou, handshake. Ye Qiu, he's a very silent and shy person so just bear with it ok" Zhang Yiwei said defending Zhou Zekai's a bit of cold treatment which only made Ye Xiu smiled and shrugged the topic since he had already talked to this person and have already guess their personality.

 

Zhou Zekai snapped and make a handshake with 'The Ye Qiu'. He don't know what kind of feeling he should have since he can't believe it. The man he has been admiring for, the reason why he pursue being a GLORY pro gamer was standing in front of him. And they even talked a lot for awhile.

 

Zhang Yiwei brought Ye Xiu to the training room while Zhou Zekai followed them. He left the two and went to the next room to talked to the main team .

 

"So Xiao Zhou. You just left me awhile ago not even introducing youself you know? I'm sad. That's not how you properly act to your Seniors." Ye Xiu started the conversation in a playful tone.

 

"Senior. Sorry." Zhou Zekai heard the man and he apologize resolutely with a puppy eyes while pouting since he don't want this Senior to have a bad impression on him. Ye Xiu saw the reaction of the younger man and he couldn't helped but laughed a bit while rushling their hair.

 

"Come on. I'm just joking. Stop pouting." Ye Xiu said while smiling. He really felt comfortable with the youngster.

 

"I heard from Yiwei that you're really good at GLORY. Should we play?"

 

"En." Zhou Zekai feels really excited when the other asked him to play.

 

They were already playing when Zhang Yiwei get back to the training room with all of the rooster players. He introduced Ye Xiu to the team and all of Samsara including the trainees encircled them. They played 1v1 a lot until Ye Xiu said that he needs to go back. Ye Xiu never back down to challenge. But the way he dissed and mock his opponents were really shameless. While others are having impression to him. Zhou Zekai watch the man intently, his idol is currently playing and they even had a few matches. He wanted to play a few more but he's not the only one who wants to and he can't just get the man all for himself like he owns him.

 

After the game/s around past 5:30 PM, which most of them didn't notice that they were playing for 3 hours already, Ye Xiu said that he really needs to be going after all it would take him around 4 hours in the train to reach City H. Zhang Yiwei, Lu Bai(vice captain*) and Zhou Zekai walked Ye Xiu to the front of Samsara. 

 

"Nice meeting you again God Ye. Have a safe trip" Lu Bai said.

 

"You sure to commute? We can use the company car to drive you to the train station?" Zhang Yiwei asked him.

 

"Nahh. I'm not monkeys like you guys. I mean penguins. I wouldn't get stared at."

 

"If that's what you say. Take care. See you in game I guess?"

 

"See you. Good luck."

 

"You too Xiao Zhou."

 

".. Senior. Dinner?" Zhou Zekai really wants to stay a bit more with Ye Xiu. He wanted to engaged another conversation and know more about this God. So even though he felt really shy he asked him for dinner which was answered with long silence, not only from the man but also from his captain.

 

"....."

 

"Nah. I'll just take it later." Ye Xiu somehow understand the man and answered back.

 

"Train. 4 hours." Zhou Zekai said with a worrisome tone. He thought to himself, is he going to skip dinner? He only eat a cheeseburger for lunch right?

 

"...." Another awkward silence until Zhang Yiwei said,

 

"Oh shit. No! Let's go eat first. You're definitely not eating properly again. It's on me."

 

"No. I really should be going. I'll just get some food on the way."

 

"No.! FOOD? What food? Cup Noodles? You're eating habits is still a shit! Wait for a minute here. I'll go fetch my wallet and phone."

 

"Lu Bai, tell the others that we're eating out."

 

"Tsk tsk. Yiwei. Yiwei. You're acting as a mom again"

 

"Oh Shut up. You stay put. Xiao Zhou watch him okay?" Zhang Yiwei went to the dorm and Lu Bai went to the training rooms to inform the others.

 

"..."

 

Ye Xiu pulled a cigarette since he knows that when Yiwei's mom radar went on he really can't avoid it.

 

"Senior. Bad for you" Zhou Zekai said. He had noticed it while they were playing. This man smokes like there's no end

 

Ye Xiu was startled when the youngster looks at him hopelessly while starting the conversation

 

"Nah. It's good you know? Want one?"

 

" ... no." Zhou Zekai said silently.

 

"Good?" Ye Xiu look at the man who's looking like an abandoned puppy. He don't know what happen to him that he threw his most precious cigarrete in the nearest trash can.

 

When Zhou Zekai saw Ye Xiu threw the cigarrete, he felt happy and even though it was a bit unpleasant, he take a picture of the man while he was not looking on his side. He smiled to him, feeling really glad. He knows that the other party will still smoke but atleast he was able to decrease his cancer sticks by one. He made it a note to always ask him whenever they'll meet. He was lost in his thought when he remember to ask for older's contact information.

 

"Ah. Senior." He held his phone in front of the man while saying,

 

"Number?"

 

"I don't own one. It's troublesome." Ye Xiu said. He never really like having one of those but for the first time in his life, he felt the need to have a phone.

 

Zhou Zekai didn't know if Ye Xiu was joking since he said it in serious tone but in this age, who doesn't own a phone? It's a basic need for communication. He's not good at speaking but that doesn't mean he didn't like talking.

 

"...ah." He look at the man disappointedly since he thought that maybe he was being too close. They only met today and maybe the older didn't want to give.

 

"...Sorry." Zhou Zekai mumbled. He just bowed down a bit feeling sad. He felt that maybe he's being too much into him and that made the other man felt repulsed? but what can he do. He's been really excited, nervous, happy, and all sorts of mixed feelings ever since his captain introduced the man. He liked him before he even met him. He was attracted to him when he first met him. And he knows that after meeting and knowing him now in person that his 'admiration' for him is not the pure genuine one.

 

"Huh?" Ye Xiu felt confused when he heard that tingling sound of sadness.

 

"Don't get me wrong Xiao Zhou. I don't really have a phone. I don't see the need to have one. If you want to contact me then what about QQ? I open it from time to time while playing GLORY." He suggested. He thought that maybe the other misunderstood him.

 

"En." Zhou Zekai looked at the man in the eyes a bit surprised and glad since the other seems to didn't not like him. Ye Xiu gave him his QQ account which he immediately put in the calendar of his phone. He wanted to note the date today, August 17. Their first meeting with the wish that it wouldn't be the last and it would be repeated often.

 

After a few minutes Zhang Yiwei and Lu Bai came back and they all headed to the nearest restaurant to eat and drive Ye Xiu to the train station.

Chapter Text

November 24 (Season 4 - Regular Season)

Sunday. 12:01 AM. 


Zhou Zekai was lying down in his bed while looking at his phone reading messages. He's currently staying at his home as he directly went back here instead of going to the dorms since they will be having his birthday celebration tomorrow/later.

He attended a home game of their team just awhile ago. He'd been doing it ever since Season 4 started to show support and to get used to the stage even if he's just at the side corner of the stadium.

He already had a talked with the team that he will be debuting next season and started to prepare himself mentally. Even if there are a lot of commentaries against him, mainly because of his looks that garners some jealousy and/or praises from his co-trainees and his choice of character(a Sharpshooter), he didn't mind it and just continue to work hard in training his skills. There's also some rumor that their Captain will be stepping down after this Season which intensifies those eyes around him. 


It was around 10:40 PM when he reached his home. He took a shower and some snacks from the kitchen before going to his room. His parents are already asleep when he came so he just did his own thing.

He opened his computer planning to went in-game when he saw an account card on top of small boxes in his table. He get his account card First Winter Snow from his pocket and placed it parallel to the other card.

He looked in his account cards before he became a trainee, the time when he was still starting and remember the other card.  He looked at the other account card, his first account, Golden Autumn which is a Battlemage. He was plannning to play in game but the moment he inserted the card and the interface show him a character he first made, memories of a year ago came back.

 

Flashback

(End of July - Season 2 - Finals)

"Did you watch the finals of GLORY? Did you see OAL? Isn't he so cool."

"Yeah! I totally got you. He was really amazing, those technics like shit."

"Like Tyranny be like oh, sorry better luck next time."

"But dude!! That's two-times in a row. Another one and that's dynasty."

"I'm definitely spending my Summer in playing GLORY. haha."

"Same here. Let's add each other in-game."

"Sure sure."

It was the last day of the school before vacation and there's more or less homeworks to give than lectures. Zhou Zekai checks his phone as usual, planning to listen to the new musics uploaded online but the conversation of his classmates keep on getting his attention. He's not into games and never was he interested but the way people around him hype things made him a bit curious. He made some note to check the game after he got back home.

Even though, he's really hard to talk to. He always made sure that he was always updated in all kinds of things so he can engaged in conversation if someone talks to him. Though there's none so far as people around him find it hard to communicate with him, either maybe because of his face (that gets squeal from the girls and snickers from the boys) or his monosyllable language. 

On the way home he walks the usual road and rides the usual train. He stopped one station before his home since his mother asked him to buy some stuff in the grocery. He was walking back to the train station after his errand when he saw a big LCD TV that can be seen on those buildings playing an advertisement of "GLORY". It was a clip of different characters and at the end is a man clothed in black armor with silver spear doing some stunts, fighting some monsters. 

He was attracted to it and stayed for awhile since he thought the TV would show it again but to his guess most of the next advertisement are different. But he stayed and waited. It took around 10 minutes before the same clip show again, he only stand there mesmerized as he looked at the advertisement.

As he went back home, his mind is still on the cool character. He put his headphones and listened to the musics while thinking of the character. He was planning to check the game after coming home when his mom asked him.

"Zekai, are you planning to enter this summers' recital?"

"Hmm."

He nodded while handling over the stuffs to his mom, he went to their living room where a baby grand was lying. He practiced the songs he was planning to make entry with. It took him the rest of the day as he enjoyed playing the piano. He also tried to play some new pop songs in his guitar. Around night when he's going to sleep, he keep on thinking about something he should've done but forgot on.

>>Timeskip (Last week of October, Season 3 - Regular Season)

It was his last day at school, since he asked for dayoffs signed by his mom. They were planning to visit his Grandma and attend his Grandpa's Death Anniversary.

"Did you see EE vs. Blue Rain last Saturday?"

"Boi, they trashed them"

"Really. I heard it was because of Swoksaar."

"Like they lost their Captain and have to start again"

"I think EE for the win. They will definitely be Champion again"

".."

More gossips and talks where happening near him. He remember that man with black armor holding a spear and realized that he did forgot something back in Summer. After he went back home, his mom told him that his father will just go and meet them in City X on the second day.

After eating dinner and finished playing instruments he went to his room to sleep but he made sure to make a quick check on his computer about GLORY. He checks the forums and whatnot. He really can't get what people found in this game. Until.

...

...

...


Until he came acrossed that Battlemage character in a black armor weilding a silver spear. He checks the name, 'One Autumn Leaf'. He checks the recording. He checks all the site. He watch the videos of the character playing, even the guide videos. He watch it again and again. Not noticing that it was already past 5 AM. He continue watching. Until he heard a knock from his room.

"Zekai, are you awake? Lets have breakfast."

And her mom's voice snapped him from binge-watching all the videos of matches related to 'One Autumn Leaf'. He look at the clock on top of his door and see it past 7 AM. He was bewildered. He check his phone to confirm. It was 7:08 AM. He opened the curtains and saw that the sun had already rise. And then he felt tired. The last time he check the clock it was still around 10PM.
He went out and ate breakfast with his mom pretending that he had sleep.


"Your auntie called just awhile ago. They have already reached City X. Hikaru and cute little Aiko was with them"

"Hmm" He really can't find the energy to get happy that made his reponse much more colder.

"Did you want to sleep more? Looks like you didn't get enough?"

"..."

"Okay okay. You can just sleep in the car. It's an 6 hours drive after all."

They reached City X around 5 PM and Zhou Zekai felt really sluggish because even if he wants to sleep in the car. It wasn't that comfortable so he can only get at most 3 hours sleep and they even stopped over some places to eat lunch.

Zhou Zekai still wanted to sleep but he really like whenever their family have a sort of reunion (since they often talk and understand him) so he just waited until nightime. His mom and auntie were preparing their dinner with their grandma. He was being pestered by his cousins, Hikaru (12 years old) and Aiko(4 years old) in the living room to play with him while he was busy on watching videos of a certain battlemage in his phone.

"Kai' nii. You like that game? Do you play?"

"En.No"

"Huh? Hmm. You like the game but you don't play?"

"Yes."

"Hmmmm. I think we also had GLORY in Japan. Is it popular here?"

"Yes."

"You like it, but you don't play. Why don't you? I think auntie is fine buying you a card reader."

"Huh?"

"You don't know? Doesn't that game need a card reader?"

This made Zhou Zekai check the forums and indeed the game needs some kind of card reader and account card to login.

"..."

"You should ask auntie/uncle. Tomorrow, aren't we going to XYZ Mall. You should get one. I also want to try it."

"Hmm. Okay."

The next day, Zhou Zekai wakes up past 9 AM and when he went down to eat breakfast. His father is already at the living room, talking to Hikaru.

"Kai'nii. I already told Uncle. You should reward me. HAHA"

"He said, you were interested in some games. Should we buy it later?"

"Hmm." He nodded before going to the kitchen.

It was around 4 PM when they all came home. Buying foods and flowers they'll bring in the cemetery. Zhou Zekai felt really tired so he went in the back to sit in one of the benches under the tree there while drinking some of boba tea. He was having a peaceful time admiring the tree as its golden leaves started to fall around. It was really soothing and makes him calm, the cue of Autumn.

"Kai' nii, let's open and play that game. And stop sleeping under that tree you're gonna be burried with all those fallen leaves."

"Hmm"

Zhou Zekai followed his cousin and went inside their home and unbox the card reader and the two cards. They went upstairs where their family computer is and set up the card reader.

He was making the character appearance not noticing that the character looks similar to that One Autumn Leaf. In the end, the character's appearance had a mirrored version hair of OAL but made it a bit longer like his hair and he changed the eyes color to gold instead of black.

He was thinking of a name when he saw the golden tree from window. He first named it under 'Autumn Tree' since the tree only shows it's golden beauty in Autumn but it was not allowed as there is already an existing name. He then changed it into Golden Autumn since he really felt inspired of the tree, which was then accepted.

As he was planning to start playing the game, h is cousin who's been watching him from behind told him, "You really like that One Autumn Leaf, huh." T hat made him notice the appearance and the name also contains Autumn and it made him a bit flustered when his cousin teased him that he really like that character.

 

End of Flashback.

 

Zhou Zekai snapped when he receives a message. He didn't noticed that he was smiling as he stared at his character. He went to his bed and checks his phone. He lay down as he felt mixed when he read the texts.

 

From: Cousin Hikaru
...Kai'nii. Professional GLORY is being launched here in JAPAN. And then I remember you, aren't I a good cous. I searched GLORY Pro League there as I get curious. 


From: Cousin Hikaru
Your favorite One Autumn Leaf won again? I watched the vids, He's so cool. No wonder, he got the attention of our one and only 'Kai-nii' HAHA :D

 

He smiled as he read it. He was thinking of a reply while holding his phone when the clock reached 12 MN. He was planning to play a bit on Golden Autumn account but he thought that it's best to train his skills more. He'll be standing on the same stage as 'him' next season. If he wants to stand beside him, then he needs to be a Pro amongst Pro, a God like him. He will only be valued and noticed through skills.

He gets his account card and inserted First Winter Snow, his Sharpshooter account. He started playing in-game, killing mosters as he execute some of the skills his trying to prefect. 

First Winter Snow.

It is his second account which was also made for the sake of standing beside of that someone. 

 

Flashback

 

December 2023 (Season 3- Regular Season.)

 

"Kai nii. Merry Christmas."

"Merry Christmas to you Little Kai."

"Mwery Kwismas"

"Merry Christmas.

"..."

And more Merry Christmas greetings. Zhou Zekai and his family went to spend their Christmas in Japan, specifically his Aunt's house. The two family often made sure to celebrate holidays together since their moms are really close siblings. 

"Kai'nii guess what! Did you bring your account card?"

"En."

"Tadah!I also got a GLORY card reader. It's starting to get some attention here. So I thought why not play. Haha"

"I've already made an account. It's a launcher. Haha, it's cool to have big cannons."

"Hmm."

"You're still playing the Battlemage?"

"Yes." 

"You really like that One Autumn Leaf. You're already a big fan. Did you start buying his merch and watching all of his games?" Hikaru said while moving his avatar online killing some monsters.

"Hmm."

"But if you also become a battlemage you won't be able to stand beside him." Hikaru saying without thinking at all. Like a kid he is stating whatever comes to his mind.

"h-huh?" Zhou Zekai felt confused since he really likes the character. Isn't it normal to follow that character's if you want to show your support.

"You'll become his rival. There's a saying in MMORPG you know, 'there can be a lot of best players but there's only one per class' I'm not sure if it's real tho, only heard from one of my classmates. "

Zhou Zekai felt different when he heard what his cousin says. 

"He might not like you since you'll be challenging his throne."

"Wait. Do you want to fight him?"

"En."

"So you want to challenge him and take his position as the best battlemage?"

"No."

"So you want to fight him but you don't want to take his being number one battlemage?"

"En."

"So. Wait. Wait. Why are we talking like this. Are you planning to go Pro-Gaming Kai' nii?"

And Zhou Zekai was hit. Did he really like him to the point that he want to take the pro-gaming path?

"Aren't you going to France after highschool to learn Music?"

"...."

"OMG. Kai-nii' you're hesitating. Do you really start liking the game to the point that you'll change your plans."

"What are you talking boys?"

"Auntie. Kai-nii was considering going Pro Gaming. He can't decide."

"What? It's the first time I heard of this? Zekai?"

"Mom. I-"  Zhou Zekai can't find explanation and started panicking and having a nervous tension all over his face. 

"Let's talk after we get back home. Don't worry no matter what choice you choose we'll support you. But make sure that you really want and like that. That you're happy with that. Also give us some presentation so we can understand from you, okay?" His mom said while cupping his cheeks and kissed him in a forehead after putting down some plates near the table.

"I bought some cakes, you should eat if you two are going to play all night."

Zhou Zekai calmed down as his mom reassure him of whatever decision he did but he also felt bad. He did started the game because he looked up to whoever was 'One Autumn Leaf' is and find him amazingly cool. But he knows that he started liking the game more and more. The dungeons, the quests, and the PVP. He knows, he's currently infatuated in the game.To the point, that he's literally playing everyday. Although only after he finish practicing his instrument(either piano, violin, guitar and bass). But he play. Always. For the last 2 months, he'd been addicted with the game. 

He's having a short-circuit right now. He don't know what do. B ut he'd always planned to be a musician or anything related to it. For him, music let's him communicate with other people. For him, music is fundamental. It is something that let's him be a normal person. He loved music, ever since he was a kid. There's no way he will choose gaming over it but he can't deny that he had also seen himself playing in that stage, especially after he first watch the game live when EE played Samsara in their city's stadium. He felt really conflicted.

"Well, you can always play Pro-Gaming and study music later on."

"..."

"Since pro-gaming only last a few years. I mean it's supposedly for young"

"And Beethoven is so old already when he become super famous in Music."

"...."

Zhou Zekai smiled and ruffled the hair of his younger cousin who commented straightforwardly like it was nothing and he's just stating the fact. He looks outside the window and it is starting to snow. He thought to himself. "It fine right? To follow him, to play around for a few years."

"Play?"

"Hm. You want to Kai nii' ? Okay. I'll just eat the cakes, then" Hikaru logout and went to the table near them where the cakes are.

He holds the plate while eating and went back to the computer looking at his cousin.

"You're making a new account?"

"Hmm."

"First Winter Snow. Huh? But it's not-- Waaa. It's snowing." Hikaru beamed as he went to the window and see the snow.

End of Flashback


He was training in-game while reminiscing how First Winter Snow came to be. He was lost in his own world when he realized that, it was his birthday, and he's playing in-game instead of sleeping. If only he can play with him, then that would be good. And the realization hits him. Why not ask him? Didn't he have his QQ account? He opened the QQ account in his computer.

He already saved the man's QQ account but never got the confidence to chat them. It was really a waste that he didn't take the chance the last time the other gave him his account. He just couldn't construct a proper sentence or greetings or anything as he stared the QQ account.

Right now, he thought to himself that he wanted to try chatting the other person. Since it was his birthday maybe, he'll get some good luck or blessing. He was staring at the blank QQ chat thinking of what to say.

Private Message with Ye Qiu

Zhou Zekai: ... Senior. PK?

He send the message with a relief and then he saw the clock 1:42 AM. He panicked since he didn't think that maybe the other is already asleep. It took him a whole hour before he decided to chat with the other person, only to find that it was already so late. He went to the bathroom and washed his face and was ready to go to bed when he saw the QQ chat.

Private Message with Ye Qiu

Zhou Zekai: ... Senior. PK?

Ye Qiu: Xiao Zhou? Long time? I thought you'll chat me after you ask for my QQ last time but you never did. Now you're chatting only to ask for a PK. haha.

Zhou Zekai: Sorry.. Senior busy.

Ye Qiu: All Captains are always busy, you know. You're the exact opposite of Huang Shao who keeps on asking for PK literally everyday. Haha.

Zhou Zekai: ...Senior. Can we?

Ye Qiu: Sure sure. Let's meet in-game. I'm playing Launcher btw, do you want me to change class?

Zhou Zekai: .. Sharpshooter?

Ye Qiu: Are you planning to get free lessons from me? My fee is high unless it's your birthday. Haha

Zhou Zekai: ........

Zhou Zekai: ... birthday

Ye Qiu: Huh? It's your birthday? Are you serious?

Zhou Zekai: ...Free? *insert attachment(id picture)

Ye Qiu: .. you're a lot bolder than I think you are. Sure let's go. I'll teach you I guess.

Ye Qiu: Happy Birthday btw. This will be your gift haha.

Zhou Zekai: Thank you Senior. (^_^)

 

 


 

 

December - Season 4 Regular Season

It was an away game for Excellent Era. The team's having a different mood and Ye Xiu has already started noticing things. Since he will always be called everytime they would have a lost game. But since they were still having a good position through the regular season, there's barely anything. So he just moved the thought in the back of his head. Especially since, his duo with Mucheng is much more of a success as one can say. 

The team reached City S in the afternoon. They checked in to the hotel. And some of the team, decided to went out for a walk since the game will start at 7 PM and they only need to be at the stadium 30 minutes before.

Ye Xiu choose to stay at the hotel to watch the VODs again. While Mucheng opted to went out with some of the team to eat some ice cream.

After watching the VOD's for nth time. He decided to went in-game to screw around when he noticed that he don't have any sticks left. He's still debating if he will play or buy cigarrete first. But still choose to buy one first since it was his lifeline. 

He left the hotel and walked towards the usual store where he often buys cigarrete. 

 

"Old Jing, 2 box."

"Oh. Xiao Ye, you're here in City S again?"

"Yes. Some business."

"Oh. The usual white?"

"Yes. Thanks"

"It's been a long time. You should eat some in Old Yang's ramen store. You've always like Japanese right? I heard they add something 'sushi'."

"Really? Guess, I'll go."

"Haha. You often just smoke here for hours but whenever it's Jap Cuisine. *shaking his head"

 

After getting the cigs he bought he talked a few more on the old man before he continue to walk to the directions of the shop he often eat. He'd always like the Jap Cuisine ever since he was a kid, maybe one of the reason is the memories he and Ye Qiu had whenever they would stay at their villa in Japan. And those are the days he treasure so much, when his parents, especially his father hadn't change to a very strict-always-business-shit minded. 

He was young back then so he didn't understand that much, but now that he had aged enough to know how difficult it is to earn money. He knows that his father had change after his grandpa and uncle died when they were still 8 years old. And all of the responsibility of the multibillioner company all became his father's responsibility. 

But driving him and his younger twin brother to the point where they both wanted to runaway is still something he can't erase in his mind. He would be lying if he says that he didn't harbor any rebellious attitude to his father and his mother who closed her eyes and focused herself on those hobby of hers, mainly fashion and restaurant. 

But as time passed by, he slowly accepted it. He's still 21 but ever since he met Muqui, and died. He knows that life is just as fleeting as clouds movement.

He learns to accept things as they are. He was just 18 when he forced himself to mature for the sake of Mucheng who was left behind, for her who he needs to look after. 

He was reminiscing the past and didn't notice that he bumps into someone while near the resto. And being a lightweight he was, he kinda flew(pushed back). But luckily his arms was held back. So he was saved from the potential injury. (With that pearl thin stick body of his, injury is a guaranteed) 

 

"I'm sorry."

"Sor-Senior"

"H-huh? Xiao Zhou?"

 

 

Zhou Zekai feels excited since it was his home game against his 'beloved' Senior. It's almost a month after their first chat, he'd got some confidence to chat with the elusive God. He chatted with him around a few times, which can barely be counted in one's hand. But he's already happy with that since he knows that Captains are often busy.
He was on the way to eat out in a Jap Resto, one of his co-trainee suggested while thinking those few times. 


-------

10:45 PM

Zhou Zekai: Hi Senior.
Ye Qiu: Xiao Zhou? Do you need another lesson? 
Zhou Zekai: Hmm.
Ye Qiu: My fee is high. Your birthday is done. Haha
Zhou Zekai: How?
Ye Qui: Woa. Hmm. Why don't you help me steal a boss? Haha. Jk
Zhou Zekai: Okay? Location?
Ye Qui: Against Samsara's Guild. :D
Zhou Zekai: ... 
Zhou Zekai: Where? 
Ye Qui: Hahaha. Good boy. Here. *insert location.jpg

-----

7:24 AM 

Zhou Zekai: Morning Senior?
Ye Qiu: Xiao Zhou?
Zhou Zekai: Early?
Ye Qiu: I played on the update. Haha. 
Zhou Zekai: ...
Zhou Zekai: Didn't sleep? 
Ye Qiu: Yeah. Imagine those pro's faces when they went online seeing my name on the record. Haha
Zhou Zekai: Haha.
Ye Qiu: Oh. They're already online. I'm going to sleep then. Good morning I guess. Xiao Zhou. 
Zhou Zekai: Good night Senior.

-----

(Tue) 11:48 PM

Zhou Zekai: Senior.
Ye Qiu: Xiao Zhou?
Zhou Zekai: PK?
Ye Qiu: You do know, that I have a game with your team this Saturday right? 
Ye Qiu: Did Old Zhang asked you to spy on me?
Zhou Zekai: No. Can't fight.
Zhou Zekai: TT
Ye Qiu: You haven't debut Xiao Zhou. Ofc we can't fight. 
Zhou Zekai: Please? 
Ye Qiu: Fine. Fine. But not Battlemage.
Zhou Zekai: ?
Zhou Zekai: Sharpshooter. 
Ye Qiu: So it's another lesson. You sure. You're not being forced by Mommyiwei?
Zhou Zekai: pft. Haha
Zhou Zekai: No. 
Zhou Zekai: *insert picture of him in his bedroom in their house.
Ye Qiu: You're home? Dorm?
Zhou Zekai: Home.
Ye Qiu: Haha. Fine. Let's go to the arena. 

(Zhou Zekai is still commuting from his home to Samsara's Training Club. He can live in the dorm but opted not to, since he's still going in the school to finish his classes. He's already on the 2nd year of Senior High. He'll be graduating after 1 more year. Usually his classes ends around 3-4 PM but the school allowed him to cut the classes into half-day considering he's chosen career is pro-gaming. And he's attending a training club. Some of his teachers were even shocked but they can't change the mind of the student and they can't argue when the said student had the support of their parents.
His schedule went like 7AM to 12 PM - School and then 1 PM to 6 PM - Training, Mon-Fri (Home), 8 AM to 6 PM - Training, Sat/Sun (Dorm))

----

Zhou Zekai was busy reminiscing the few chats he had with 'his' Senior when he bumps into someone. Being the kind and caring he is, he held the other man's arm before they totally fell, avoiding any further accident.

He was planning to apologize when he realize that the soft, smooth arm his holding is from the one he'd been thinking of.

"Sor- Senior?"

"H-huh? Xiao Zhou?"

"Ahh.."

It took awhile before they fixed themselves from the awkward position they have.

"Uhm. Sorry. Senior."

"Nah. It's also my fault. I wasn't looking."

"Uhm. My fault. *thinking of you" Zhou Zekai felt the conversation stopped. He didn't know how to continue it but he wants to. He was looking around when he see the familiar store, he saw from the picture of his co-trainees. And he inhaled all kinds of luck he can, praying his Senior will allow him.

"Huh?" Ye Xiu, didn't quite hear all of what Zhou Zekai said, he only heard 'my fault' but he knows base on the mouth movement that the younger still said something after.

"Uhm. Eat? My compensation." Zhou Zekai said while pointing in a somewhat old style Japanese restaurant. He knows it's Japanese since his cousins from the mother side are half and currently living in Japan. And he had gone there a few times.

"Oh. That's also where, I'm going. Let's go. My treat."

"No. Mine."

"Xiao Zhou. I'm the Senior here. I'm not letting a minor pay for me."

"But. Almost injured."

"No. Xiao Zhou. I'm not that soft, that I will get injured after I fell once or twice." Ye Xiu lie with a straight face.

"Hm."

"Let's go. Their ramen is good. But I heard there's additional sushi, now." They talked a few more on how he knows the shop and different stuffs.

"Oh.."  Zhou Zekai only followed the man as he entered the store. There were only a few customer, maybe because it was past lunch time. 

"Old Yang. Table for 2."

"Huh? Xiao Ye. You brought someone?"

"A friend. We met outside, he said someone recommended your shop."

"Hello." Zhou Zekai noticed that Ye Xiu was closed to the store manager and even some of the waiter here. So he becomes curious about it.

They were waiting for their order. Ye Xiu ordered a few sushi and miso soup while Zhou Zekai ordered a light small ramen, katsudon, and ice cream. It was his lunch afterall so he take a big serving since he was always told by his mom to always eat a lot since he was still a growing man. 

And seeing that his only about the height of Ye Xiu he made sure to eat a lot and train his body. Ever since their fateful meeting, he'd wanted to be taller than the man because of the urge to ruffle the others' head. He started feeling that way ever since they PK with each other and the older did it to him. He likes it but he also wanted to do it. Which will be faraway in the future as, first Ye Xiu is older, second they were the same height, third, they were not close enough.

They talked a few mundane things while eating. Ye Xiu, specifically initiating since he already know that Xiao Zhou is really bad at talking. But he knows that the man is really enjoying the conversation since he often look at him. It made Ye Xiu remember those times with his younger twin brother. And it made him felt.. nostalgic? Like home. Although, shameless as him; he'd always cared for his brother. 

"So, Xiao Zhou when did you start playing GLORY?"

"..Last year."

"Woah. just last year? You're already showing a great potential there little kid."

"Thank you Senior." Zhou Zekai smiled

"Though, I'm also 15 when I first played GLORY. How old are you now?"

"17."

"Ohhh young ones.."

"You're still young."

"Xiao Zhou. In GLORY, I'm already middle aged. HAHA. :D"

"How old?"

"Hmmm. I'm already turning 22 in May."

"Still young. Senior."

"....." A long pause. Ye Xiu knows that he is still young. But maybe after being able to carry himself for 6 years, some of his mind diverted on being mature enough. He knows that he can't fight time. He still acted his age from time to time, especially those three years after he left home and he still carried those 'young master' feeling but living on the streets, doing all kinds of job, eating and sleeping just enough to get by the day even cutting some just to buy things for little Mucheng. The 'young master' vibe he has back when he was 15 and below were gone. And after Muqiu left everything become even harder for him. He worked hard to carry Excellent Era to first Championship. For Muqiu' and his dreams, for Mucheng who had only turned 15, same age when he first met them, for GLORY, the game he really love.

"Hahaha. Are you cat or a dog person Xiao Zhou?" Ye Xiu laugh a bit awkwardly while slurping some of his miso soup and changing the topic. 

"... dog."

"Me too. I had this little dog when I was a kid. I think, my brother still take cares of her. ---" Ye Xiu continued to talked and knows now, he becomes soft, ... comfortable? whenever he was talking with this youngster. Like he missed conversing with him or some.

He remember back when they were kids, he would always talk to Ye Qiu which is like this until before around they were 11-12. He didn't know but somehow after they entered middle school, his younger brother started being really open, smiling to the guests, talking to their relatives, gathering all the attention in their school. He liked that his younger brother was able to come out of shell and be able to talk confidently but he also missed those times he protected him, those times the other was completely dependent on him. Something the both hasn't show nowadays since he rarely meet the other. The last time he met him was 2 years ago when he return back only to have another fight with his old man. He still always try to find ways to know about the younger's situation.

"Senior." Zhou Zekai said. He was listening to the Senior in front of him when the man stopped talking like he remember something. Ye Xiu's been doing it in the spun of minutes his talking with him. He tried thinking of something to make the man focused on him again. He likes when people are talking with him. And he definitely like it if Ye Xiu was the one doing so. But he wants his full attention. He wants him. All of him. To concentrate on him. Only him.

He only meet him last summer, but he knows after their first meeting. His "GLORY" is for the sake of playing against this man. He wanted to stand beside him. Against and beside, so contrasting but that's how he really felt. He admire him so much that he wanted to beat him into submission. He love him that he wanted to show the world how great this man is. But more importantly he wanted everyone to see him standing beside this person. 

"Name?" Zhou Zekai tried to continue the conversation before his own mind start flew somewhere deeper.

"O-Oh. Her name is Little Dot. She was really cute and fluffy. It's been along time since the last time I saw her though. How 'bout you? Do you own a dog?"

"No. My cousin have."

"Hm. You didn't buy one when you're young?" Ye Xiu said while munching those sushi in his mouth.

"Can't take care."

"We also can't take care Little Dot when we were young. Ha. Memories. She would poop and we often got scolded."

"We ..?" Zhou Zekai has been feeling off ever since awhile ago. Because in Ye Xiu's story he would always be with someone. He didn't know if it's alright to get jealous with some relative. He didn't even know if it's fine for him to get jealous when all they had is Senior-Junior relationship who chats from time to time and just accidentally met.

"Oh..." Ye Xiu hesitated but then again, this person is too silent to gossip with someone. And he know, he felt safe with this person.

"Don't tell anyone okay, I have a  brother. A younger twin brother." He said in a whispering tone while covering his mouth with his left hand sideways. Zhou Zekai was surprised and it definitely showed in his face. Ye Xiu laugh when he saw the expression of the man.

"Now, now, you have known something from this battle God, even Old Han doesn't know. Keep it a secret okay." Ye Xiu said while puting a forefinger in front of his mouth hushing the younger one.

"En."  Zhou Zekai felt really surprised and.. pleased? He was happy that he had some kind of special position, knowing a secret. And he smiled while nodding at the man.

The two continued talking until they finished their food and went out out of the store to go back to their respective dorms/hotel. Zhou Zekai even walked Ye Xiu in his hotel, saying he was going somewhere near that directions to buy some more food. Which only made Ye Xiu laugh.

"Xiao Zhou, you're really going this direction?"

"Uhmm. Buying snacks."

"Hmmm. Haha. that's our hotel, I'm going. See you." Ye Xiu felt that the younger only wanted to walked him back. He also noticed that the other's been walking by his right side shielding him from other people walking on the opposite direction of theirs.

"Senior. Good luck."

"Hahaha. Xiao Zhou, you do know that I'll be fighting your team right?"

"U-Uhm.."

"Hahaha. Xiao Zhou's really caring I guess." Ye Xiu went near Zhou Zekai and ruffled his head again. Without thinking anything, since he often do it with Mucheng or Ye Qiu.

"Bye." He said as he walked back.

'Can I take it as a sign?' Zhou Zekai thought to himself and only smiled hopelessly. Is he really this affectionate? I really wished that I'm the only one who knows this side of his. He walked away as he saw the man enter the building.

Chapter Text

(Season 4 - End of Regular Season)

 

Zhou Zekai's been doing his best in training and the team is most confidently that he will be debuting next season. Even though, he was always called as the captain's successor, he knows that it is still early to main Cloud Piercer. He's planning to use his account 'First Winter Snow' in the first few years after he debut, the only problem is it doesn't have a good equipment.

 

Something that's making him nervous especially now that the league is starting to be more diverse when it comes to using Silver Equipments. By Season 2, almost half are already starting the development, just to catch with Excellent Era and by Season 3, only a minor doesn't have atleast their weapon as Silver. Now that Season 4 is more than half-way done even some of of the characters have 8 to 10 silver equipments. He tried going to the R&D of their team but he  was not able to talk to them properly.

 

Cloud Piercer is the main account that symbolizes the team, meaning that it was currently having the most Silver Equips in the team with 7 items. The management have already talked with Zhou Zekai about his debut but they always just leave the topic hanging whenever he would asked on what account he will be using, therefore he made a conjecture that he'll be using his account 'First Winter Snow'. The character has a very good record in arena, the only loss he got is when Ye Xiu PK him and the skill points is up high around the normal pro players character. He didn't mind being the substitute since he knows that his Captain can still fight for another 1 or 2 years.

 

Zhou Zekai attended the last game they had which is in City H against Excellent Era. The team don't have anymore chance for playoff but he already make sure to watch the team's game from the start even if it's an away game and he spends his own money. They ranked 10 in the regular season with 10 points behind number 8 and 5 points behind number 9.

 

7-3

 

The team lost. For the first time, he didn't cheer on Ye Xiu and instead he wanted him to lose. Not to just him but to Samsara.

He'd been watching this team for awhile now. He did enter Pro-Gaming because of a very pathetic reason of chasing someone. But he knows that for this past year that he'd been with the team, he saw how they all struggle. The team works and practice a lot just to have that 'GLORY' but alas the Goddess would not smile for them. He saw how his Captain sacrifice all holidays and stayed with club, just to train and review some videos of mataches of their opponents. He felt compassion with them. The management like him because of his face. Some of his co-trainess might or might not like him. Like Fang Minghua who debuted this season, was close and talked to him often when they were still trainee.

But what he felt right now as the stage for Samsara close and the summer of season 4 came really early is regrets? If only he was there. Maybe he could help something. He saw some of his team came from the backstage. He was allowed to see them as some of the management knew he came to cheered them. He walked to them and talked to their captain. He got some snicker from the other main rooster which he didn't know why. Fang Minghua greeted him before he left with the other, leaving his Captain and him.

 

"Oh. Xiao Zhou, you still came?"

 

"Captain." He said while looking at Zhang Yiwei. He can't find the right word to console the older and it would look impertinent if one says so.

 

"Should we walk? I have some things to tell you."

 

"..." He was a bit confused but before that he made sure to tell his mind.

 

"Captain,.... let's try again."

 

"..." This time it was Zhang Yiwei's turn to get cold. He already decided to leave his character to this young kid in front of him. He knows that he's aready gradually losing his touch. He knows that the kid really didn't try to contend with him when he choose Sharpshooter.  And though he can still push his career for at least 1 to 2 years, that will be pushing all his luck and he knows that he's not someone like 'Ye Qiu'. He's not a God player but only a pro player above average. He smiled and remember, if only GLORY came a bit more earlier. If only he debut on Season 1 instead of finishing his course. Well, nothing can be change now.

 

"Xiao Zhou."

 

"En?"

 

"Play Cloud Piercer." He cannot leave now as he had signed a contract with the company and there's no way he would pay the penalty fee as there are still two years left. But he already talked with the management about handling over Cloud Piercer, more like the management had  talked with him.

 

"No. Captain" Zhou Zekai was shocked when his captain told him to main Cloud Piercer. Cloud Piercer is an account that his Captain brought from the First Server by his own. Maybe somewhere in the future but he already plan to have to 'maybe' make First Winter Snow as a support next season. Like a duo with his Captain.

 

"I've already talked with the management, you will be using Cloud Piercer next season. I'll still be with the team but I will mainly handle trainings and as coaching you. And I won't be participating matches at all. Vice Captain Lu Bai can be the captain and prepare you for the position in Season 6. But this Season 5 you'll be maining Cloud Piercer."

 

"But.. Duo.." Zhou Zekai tried to convey his words and feelings as much as he can.

 

"...." Something that make Zhang Yiwei smile. This kid really just like Sharpshooter, the way he liked it. He always gets bad reactions from the team when talking about it. And they still feel a bit indifferent with Zhou Zekai, especially since the kid was favored by the management but if you start talking with him. It's undeniably just fine. Like it was normal. The only difference is that the man talk less.

 

"No. You will be playing Cloud Piercer next season. Orders from the Captain."

 

"Captain..."

 

"Woah. That's one mighty order isn't it Yiwei?" They were walking at the corridor towards the exit when someone speak from a dark corner they passed by where a familiar scent of cigarette if flowing through the air.

 

"And make sure to beat the shit out of this man Xiao Zhou."

 

"..... Senior"

 

"Seriously? Yiwei? That's what I get after I waited for you here and was trying to invite you to eat out. Tsk Tsk."

 

"You waiting for me? Or hiding from the reporters?"

 

"Hehe."

 

"Oh hello there Xiao Zhou. Do you want go with us? Let's eat. It's my treat for Yiwei's departure on the Glory Pro scene."

 

"Hahaha. You do know little kid that even if I didn't play in the stage I can still impart my knowledge of you on my  team right?" Zhang Yiwei grinned as he said.

 

"Waaah. Scaryy.. Mommyiwei is scary. Xiao Zhou don't be like him okay?" Ye Xiu said while running to the back of Zhou Zekai holding his arms a bit playing childishly on Zhang Yiwei. Ye Xiu felt comfortable dragging Zhou Zekai in his teasing of Zhang Yiwei. They have talked more than a few times even if it was on QQ chat.
Not knowing that Zhou Zekai's ears are already a blushing mess. Zhou Zekai thinks that he was really lucky as his hair is still long enough to cover parts of his ears making it not noticeable.

 

They went out and eat in some barbecue place Ye Xiu recommended. It was a small store in an alley which only few walks by. But the food is really delicious and the price is really cheap. They were talking about different things, mostly Yiwei and Ye Xiu and Zhou Zekai would throw some one-word comments from time to time.

 

Zhou Zekai felt inexplicable, from just awhile ago he received an unanticipated news which is a very big burden in his shoulder but the moment he saw Ye Xiu, he felt at ease and only think to 'just go on' . It's been a really long time when the last time he saw Ye Xiu and he felt excited on this. Afterall, it will be their third date(not counting the people with them).

 

Zhou Zekai was really happy since he'd been making subtle moves on the man ever since last year's unexpected date on that Japanese restaurant. He made sure to greet him on Christmas, New Year, and Valentines. He even send a Valentine food? (He sent some sushi and sashimi from a japanese restaurant in City H, he booked and paid online. He reason out that it is some kind of fee for his inquiries about Sharpshooter.) And he made sure to chat the older man in a not so conspicious irritating way. He made a note to chat him every 8-14 days randomly to make it look like it was so random and not like a certain annoying 'Huang Shao' the other man talked about.

 

He's been looking at the man in front of him while listening to their talks. He would also look at his Captain but not as much and not the way he looked at him.

 

Ye Xiu is not dumb. He long noticed that the younger man has been looking at him with a sparkling eyes but he doubts if it means anything at all. For him, the way the kid stare at him is like looking at its idol. He even smiled seeing it. Even though he never goes public with his face. There are time he attended events but was just moving in the crowds. And he knows this kind of eyes is like those fan's eyes. (Dense Ye Xiu thought)

 

Zhou Zekai felt a bit full and went to restroom leaving the two bickering people behind.

 

"Ye Qiu. On serious note."

 

"Hmm?" Ye Xiu felt confused when Yiwei started to talked in a serious note.

 

"Don't poach Xiao Zhou. I am leaving Cloud Piercer and Samsara to him."

 

"Huh?" Ye Xiu choked on the barbecue he's eating that made him drink the water in front of him fast.

 

"Don't huh me! I'm not blind. Do you think I would not notice it when I'm definitely in front of you two?"

 

"Huh?? What are you saying?" Even if he was a great master tactician, he can't read the minds of people. And now he can't understand where Zhang Yiwei is coming from.

 

"I know One Autumn Leaf is best partner with a Sharpshooter but your team already has a gunner. A very proficient launcher: Dancing Rain, Su Mucheng is it? I bet the Best Duo, this regular season is already yours"

 

"Yeah Mucheng. Of course she's good. I trained her. Good genes and great teacher. Hmhm" Ye Xiu said in a very haughty voice feeling really proud of his little sister.

 

"Where did you even find her? She also had a good character you know."

 

"Hmm? Muqui's sister. You know, Autumn Tree's. If you still remember him."

 

"*cough *cough. You dragged the little sister to pro-gaming? Why the hell are you raising monster? Shit."

 

"Nah!! She's still too green, I'm still training her. But she's good right?" Ye Xiu said in a very pleased and excited tone.

 

"So you shouldn't be eyeing our Xiao Zhou, you know."

 

"......."

 

"Wait. I don't really get you. Yeah I teach Xiao Zhou a few times. And we did play in-game a few times and PK a few times but I've never thought of poaching him. It never crossed my mind even though I really saw his great potential"

 

"What? What? When did you two get close?" Zhang Yiwei stand while shouting at the other man that made some of the customers look at them. At the end he bowed down to them before sitting back and drinking some water to calm himself.

 

"Yiwei. Earth to Yiwei. You're the one who introduce Xiao Zhou to me last year. Summer. I gave him my QQ account and he chatted me. From time to time he will ask some pointers. He even said that you're busy so he can't ask you."

 

"Huh?"

 

"He even asked me about Duo stuff. And played with me as Sharpshooter duo in some dungeons in-game. He was planning to make his account a support for you next season. He plans to introduce same class duo in the alliance. I was really surprised that he thought about that but who knows it will not happen anymore, knowing you give up that soon."

 

"...." Zhang Yiwei felt silent. He still have some fire in him. He still want to play but he can't. The management had already made a decision. All he can do now is to support his junior from behind. So he only smile for a bit.

 

"I can't."

 

"Well. Let's just leave it at that. I guess."

 

A few more minutes Zhou Zekai came back holding three ice cream. He went directly to the front store to get some. He's only planning to get one for him but remembered that he's with his Senior and Captain so he gets two more.

 

"Xiao Zhou. You brought ice cream."

 

"Uhmm. Senior. Captain." He gave the strawberry flavor to Ye Xiu and the mint flavor to his captain.

 

"Nice timing. I'm getting tired with this fats, you even remembered my favor -- Wait Ye Qiu? Strawberry? Really? Haha. That's so girly from the Almighty God Ye." Zhang Yiwei snickered.

 

"What? It's better than your toothpaste flavor. Hmpp." Ye Xiu hissed while scooping some of the ice cream. The two threw a bit more of insults while continuosly eating their ice cream.

 

"Haha."

 

"Xiao Zhou, you're supposed to be on my side. What's yours?"

 

"Choco-cheese-strawberry." Zhou Zekai said while showing his cup that is more than half full.

 

Ye Xiu looked horrid in the cup of the man where there are three colors(yellow, brown, and pink). Zhang Yiwei also felt repulsed after catching the sight of a somewhat ominous color combination. They both know that there are some who likes different flavors and most ice cream shop also offered one to have different. But most are in cones. It's fine eating them by their own. But not mixing the flavors. Like what Zhou Zekai is doing. The ice cream in the cup of Zhou Zekai is in the side leaving the center a bit more open, and they watch as young man used the center to get a bit of every flavor and somehow mix it in to one scoop.

 

"You're also a weird one aren't you Xiao Zhou?" Zhang Yiwei and Ye Xiu looked at one another until Ye Xiu said while looking at the man's eyes. Which was ultimately responded by a very confused look on the two.

 

"As long as you like it." Zhang Yiwei just added seeing that the reaction of the younger man is a very confused weird looking face.

 

"....." They were answered by a Zhou Zekai scooping and eating his ice cream just fine.

 

"Wait, wait. I think we should take a picture to commemorate this weird ice cream out" Zhang Yiwei said while trying to look for his phone.

 

"H-huh? Oh Shit. I forgot. I left my phone in the hotel."

 

"Captain.." Zhou Zekai hand over his phone. He will not missed the chance to get another picture with his Senior.

 

"Good job Xiao Zhou."

 

"Hmpp.."

 

"C'mon Ye Qiu." They all smile while Yiwei take a selfie.

 

"One more, show your cups. HAHA"

 

"Send it to me in QQ Xiao Zhou." Zhang Yiwei added after he took another shot of picture showing their half eaten ice cream while giving back to Zhou Zekai his phone. After finishing their ice cream the three decided to went back as it was also already late. The two Samsara boys walked Ye Xiu back to the Excellent Era building before going their own way. Zhou Zekai and Yiwei separate and went to their own directions, one is to a hotel while the other is to the airport.

 

Zhou Zekai hurriedly catch a cab going to the airport hoping that he won't be late. His flight is 11 :03 PM. They talked a lot, eat a lot, and even walked back his Senior. He was fine with it (and definitely enjoyed the night) since it was his Senior and also his Captain. But it's already past 10 PM. He only have an hour before his flight back.

 

He reached and was able to board the plane just barely in time. He was holding his phone looking at the pictures taken. He also remember to send it to QQ chat of his Captain before turning it off as the plane is already going off and the flight attendants are already telling them to.

 


 

"GLORY"

 

Tyranny won Season 4.

 

A few days after the finals came to an end where Tyranny finally won Ye Xiu got called in the office of Tao Xuan.

 

"Ye Qiu, we lost another sponsor. There are few who wanted you to appear in ad."

 

"Old Tao, my part is playing the game. I won't do business, it's yours."

 

"You can't stay like this. The alliance is going further. You are being left behind Ye Qiu."

 

"I play. I will train the team. Other than that, it's not my concern."

 

"You *sigh .... go"

 

Ye Xiu left the office and went back to his room. He had the same talk with the man ever since Season 1. He was able to hide because they won the first three championship and Brother Wu is by his side. After reaching his room and being sure his alone, he sighed. He knows Old Tao's eyes. He had seen those eyes before. It's the same greedy eyes he had seen whenever he would attend all those elite social parties of his family. Those eyes that wanted to use you, wanted money, wanted power.

 

"Oh, Is this, this generation's Ye heirs? aren't they cute --"

"Young masters, should I hold that bracelet for you? --"

"Don't cry young masters, after we get the ransom --"

"Little Xiu, you're the same age as my son, you should --"

"The twins looks really handsome, won't you model in my --"

"Hello Little Ye, this is my daughter --"

 

Ye Xiu lied down in his bed as he started feeling exhausted. Business. Commercialization. He never wanted anything related to it. But he's not a master tactician for nothing. He is not dumb. When it comes to analyzing, when he called himself number two, no one would say one. He knows the little hostile tone hidden in Old Tao's voice.

 

He convinced himself even with all the doubts he had.

 

It's not his part. What he needs to do now is to reconstruct the pieces fallen in different planes. To reach the peak again, he need to rearrange and re-examines the mistakes they've had last season, knowing that he'll be losing another trusted pair of legs.

 


 

2nd Week of August

 

"Hi everyone."

 

"Hello Captain Zhang."

 

"I think some have already notice about my failing in some games last season."

 

"..."

 

"It is something that cannot be avoided as one ages in this career."

 

".."

 

"I will still be staying in the team to look out for them, something a kin to coaching. The management had offered to me, which I'm very grateful to. Since they still find a value in myself when even I already notice my regressing skills."

 

"Can we ask who will be playing Cloud Piercer, this coming season?"

 

"I want you to welcome my successor. I will be handling over Cloud Piercer to him. Zhou Zekai."

 

Zhou Zekai enter the press conference from the back and walk towards the seat beside Zhang Yiwei which made the cue to make a bunch of flash from the cameras.

 

"WTF? Isn't he too handsome?"
"He's really too eye catching"
"A young and good looking man"
"Shit a pretty boy"

 

"He has some quirks but he's really skilled. He's someone I've groomed for more than a year and I'm very proud to say that the Great Gunner 'Cloud Piercer' will definitely enter a new era in his hands. I hope the alliance will welcome our Xiao Zhou" Zhang Yiwei said in a very proud tone while looking at Zhou Zekai which also caught the interest of the reporters. They were formulating some internal rivalries between the two but was shot down by a very proud mom look of Zhang Yiwei.

 

"Hello Mr. Zhou Zekai. How are you feeling today? Finally debuting?"

 

"Good."

 

"...."

 

"Can we ask about yourself Mr Zhou?"

 

"...En." Zhou Zekai nodded while looking confused, this is a presscon isn't it normal that they will ask something.

 

"Do you think you will be able to handle Cloud Piercer as your Captain said?"

 

".... work"

 

"...."

 

"Do you have any words for your captain?"

 

"En."

 

"What do you want to say to your captain?"

 

"....best"

 

"...................."

 

--- End of Presscon

 

Ye Xiu was playing in-game helping the guild hunt wild bosses when he decided to check his QQ and saw that there were a bunch of pro players discussing about Samsara's press conference(mostly a certain chatterbox spamming with trashtalks pointing to the good-looking junior). He decided to check it into the new tab. He's currently eating his brunch (seafood cup noodles and some fries) at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. His body clock had a complete reverse, whenever it's summer. He sleeps at around 7 AM and wakes up around 2 PM. A very unhealthy way of living. But that's just how much he love 'GLORY'

 

"Hahaha. Xiao Zhou. Xiao Zhou. Someone's gonna get into the blacklist of the reporters again" Ye Xiu said to himself while laughing as he watch the disaster named 'Zhou Zekai' did to the confused reporters.

 

There's a bunch of pro-players that had been blacklisted (meaning hard to knock and harder to crack) by reporters as what Guo Mingyu the resident pro gossiper once talked to in the chat.

First is him. Because he never accepted interview to begin with,

second is definitely the extremely unscrupulous shameless Wei Chen,

then there's Old Han, where the reporters always look like either on the verge of the cliff whenever doing an interview or throwing their wallet in his face,

there's also Sun Zheping who had somewhat a very awkward body(tall and huge muscles, better than Old Han),

and then there's Huang Shaotian that just debuted but already got labelled as a chatterbox.

and Season 5's rookies already got a representative on the form of 'Zhou Zekai'.

Private Message with Zhou Zekai

Ye Qiu: Good job recking the reporters Xiao Zhou. Haha.

 

--

 

Zhou Zekai is feeling a bit off after the presscon and decided to get something to drink in the nearby vending machine before returning to the training room when his phone started vibrating. He knew from the tone that it was just a text or notification, thus decided to get his thirst off first. After opening the can of cola and drinking that bubbly taste, he sighed in relief and decided to check his phone, that only made him lose the grip on the cola his been holding.

 

Private Message with Ye Qiu

Ye Qiu: Good job recking the reporters Xiao Zhou. Haha.

 

.....Senior, messaged him.

.....Senior, messaged him.

.....Senior, messaged him.

.....Senior, messaged him, first.

 

SENIOR.MESSAGED.HIM.FIRST.

 

He was lost in his own world when he decided to look at his phone again and replied with a shaking hands. But he don't know how to answer back. 'What should I do?' 'What should I say.' Huh' 'What the hell should I do.'

 

Private Message with Ye Qiu

 

Ye Qiu: Good job recking the reporters Xiao Zhou. Haha.

Zhou Zekai: Senior.

Zhou Zekai: Thanks.

Zhou Zekai: Haha.

 

Zhou Zekai was remorsing after he saw how he replied to his Senior. It's lame. Even he can felt that it was kinda forced or out of the line. 'What Thanks' 'What Haha'. He grabs his hair while shaking his head, thinking he wasted a good opportunity.

 

Private Message with Ye Qiu

 

Ye Qiu: Good job recking the reporters Xiao Zhou. Haha.

Zhou Zekai: Senior.

Zhou Zekai: Thanks.

Zhou Zekai: Haha.

Ye Qiu: Haha. Congrats btw --

Ye Qiu: but for me you're still not officially a debut until you play the first game. I'll reward you a lesson after your first game :)

Zhou Zekai: Senior. Promise?

Ye Qiu:  What do you think of me? Easyy.. just remind me of it. :)

Zhou Zekai: Thank you Senior \(^ 3 ^)/

Ye Qiu:  Haha. Okay byebye :)

Zhou Zekai:  Bye.

 


 

*Ringgggggg

 

Zhou Zekai just got off the plane and was on the way to the exit when his phone started ringing so he decided to stay in one of the waiting area to check it.

 

Mom calling

 

After seeing the caller he decided to take it. 'Is she checking on me?',  he thought to himself.

 

"Mom"

 

"Zekai, did you reach City H?"

 

"En."

 

"You know the way to the cafe right?"

 

"Yes."

 

"Hmmm. Forgive mom for asking you even though you're busy with training. *cough cough"

 

"Mom, rest. Fine"

 

"Yes, yes. I'll rest. Thank you my big baby boy *insert laugh with sounds of cough* Byebye. Take care."

 

"Bye."

 

Zhou Zekai took a dayoff from the club since his mom got sick and asked him to do the monthly check for one of their cafe located in City H. His mom's business revolves in food; from different kinds of restaurants, cafes, tea shops, even bars. And it's already to the point that she had some in different cities though it was not chain so most of her shops don't have distinguished specific names. She even had a cafe in Singapore where his dad works as a general manager in an electronics company.

 

He was planning to return his phone when a notification from QQ chat came. It was just his Captain adding him in a Samsara Chatroom and Pro Glory Chatroom which some of his future teammates and other pros started welcoming him.

 

After Zhou Zekai checks the QQ, he saw that his Senior is online and remembered he was in City H. 'What if I ask Senior to hangout?', 'Am I being too much?', 'Will it be alright?'

 

Private message with Ye Qiu

 

Zhou Zekai: Hi Senior.

Ye Qiu: Yo Xiao Zhou! Yiwei already added you in Pro Glory. If you had any question at all you can ask there too. Most of the pro's will help you.

Zhou Zekai: Thanks Senior.

Ye Qiu: No problem :)

Zhou Zekai: ...

Ye Qiu: Hmmm. Did you need something

Zhou Zekai: .. Senior. Busy?

Ye Qiu: just dungeoning with the guild.

Zhou Zekai: I. City H ...

Zhou Zekai: hangout?

Ye Qiu: You're City H? What are you doing here?

Zhou Zekai: errand ..

Ye Qiu: Oh...

Zhou Zekai: Can we?

Ye Qiu: Hmmm. I'm playing. What if I said no?

Zhou Zekai: ok.. (๑´• ₃ •̀๑)

Ye Qiu: Are you pouting? Hahaha. After your errand 🤔

Zhou Zekai: really? (≧ω≦)

Ye Qiu: If I'm done with dungeonning. Haha

Zhou Zekai: Senior.

Zhou Zekai:  。・°°・(>_<)・°°・。

Ye Qiu: Hahaha.

 

------

Around 4 PM.

Zhou Zekai: ...(/ω\)

Ye Qiu: Xiao Zhou. Sup'?

Zhou Zekai: Senior....

Ye Qiu: Hmmm. I'm not yet done.Hahaha

Zhou Zekai: (ó﹏ò。)

Ye Qiu: Hahaha. Just kidding. Where are you?

Zhou Zekai: Mcdo Vi St. (*Vi Street - A/N: C'mon, there should be a lot of Mcdo or any fast food in one city right? If not, then let's just assume I said so. ^^)

Ye Qiu:  Hmmm. That's on the other side. I'll come fetch you. I'll tour you to EE Building after.

Zhou Zekai: ( *´︶`*)

 

---

 

Ye Xiu was playing in-game when he received the messages from a certain junior which made him a bit smile. 'The kid is really awkward but attached.' He thought while making his way to Mucheng's room, planning to invite the girl. After he reached the room, he knocked however was answered by nothing but silence. He tried turning the knob which is open, he entered the room and saw his younger sister sleeping in the bed in a very thin clothes. He smiled while shaking his head and fixed the blanket before walking out.

 

He walked towards the direction of Vi Street, a bit far from Excellent Era's building. It took him around 20 minutes before reaching the place. He can take the cab but decided to walk instead since the weather is nice and he would only got stucked on traffic if he took a transportation since it was almost the rush hour.

 

Ye Xiu reached the Mcdo, where he saw a man standing out instead of sitting inside, looking like an abandoned puppy. The kid is wearing a simple jeans and a gray collar shirt and jacket tied on his waist with a black face mask hanging in his face. How did he know it was Zhou Zekai is something even he, himself cannot explain. He walked to the man and he saw the sparkkling eyes again on the eyes of the kid proving that his guess about the identity of the man is right.

 

"Xiao Zhou."

 

"Senior."

 

"Why didn't you enter inside? Let's go and order some food too so we can go back to EE. Mucheng will definitely be hungry after she wake up."

 

"Umm.."

 

"Senior. Cafe?"

 

"Hmmm? You wanted to go to a cafe?"

 

"I..." Zhou Zekai handed him a cafe in his phone which had a good reviews. And of course, he understand that man wanted to went to that certain cafe. It was a bit walk but near where they are.

 

"Do you want to go there?"

 

"Umm. En." He noticed the slightly embarassed tone from the man as he slowly lowered his head to indicate his reponse.

 

"Okay. Let's go." Ye Xiu said while gesturing that they continue to walk, he started a light conversation because it's also around 5-10 minutes walk from their position.

 

"Hmmm. What did you do here in City H, Xiao Zhou?"

 

"Mom's errand."

 

"Ohhhh. By the way. Are you prepared for next week? How do you feel Mr. Zhou? Do you have any confidence on your first game?"  Ye Xiu snorted while mimicking the reporters.

 

"En. Good. Best." Ye Xiu laugh as he heard the reply of younger one. Zhou Zekai, on the other hand knew that he was being made fun because of the disaster presscon that happen last week. But for him, nothing best than to see this person. 'He's so beautiful', he thought to himself as he watched Ye Xiu laugh on him.

 

They reached the cafe while talking and joking around. They ordered some pastries, choco-banana shake and a strawberry frappe for Ye Xiu. Ye Xiu was planning to order some for Mucheng but given that they were walking, the drinks will definitely lose it's coldness in the heat of summer and will only taste awful. But looking at the man with him who ordered a shake combination he can't discern, made him think twice if tasting a melted frappe would taste anything different.

 

They were walking back to the EE building after buying their drinks in the cafe when Ye Xiu noticed that the man he talks to where nowhere beside him. He looks behind as he saw the man staring in the ads of the cinema they've passed by.

 

"You're interested Xiao Zhou?"  He asked as he can see a different kind of sparkle in the eyes of the kid.

 

"Senior."

 

"That's a bit old already, 4th week of release?"

 

"Didn't."

 

"You weren't able to watch?"

 

"En. Closed."

 

"It was already closed in City S? I guess there are only a few who watched them there."

 

"En." He saw the young man nodded while having a bit disappointment in his eyes. Ye Xiu being selfless he is, can't just leave it behind so he dicided to asked if the other wanted to watch. A suggestion, he will somehow regret as he walked back to the EE building.

 

"Should we watch it? Do you still have time before your flight?"

 

"Uhmm." Zhou Zekai nodded in an exhilarated way which made Ye Xiu smile. The kid is really so smple, he can already see a wagging tail behind the young man.

 

They entered the cinema and since the movie is already on the last week of its showing, there's barely any people at all. Can even be counted in their hands. It's like they rented the whole cinema. They walked in the middle near the back but not to the far end.


The movie is musical-light romance. (A/N: This is not a real movie, its lame but leave it alone. (^○^))


The movie revolves to the main character as he pursue music as his career, forming a band entering different competition but always losing not because he sucks but because of internal strife, they got disbanded and as he's close to giving up he met the lead woman who showed him the light, his dream. The main character in the end fall in love with the woman and tried to used a singing competition to tell her his feelings.

I'm like a statue
Stuck staring right at you
Got me frozen in my tracks

****

Statue
Stuck staring right at you
So when I'm lost for words
Every time I disappoint you
Baby, it's 'cause I can't believe
That you're so beautiful

 

The movie ended and it was already past 6 PM, they continue to walked towards the EE building in an awkward manner for a short time, but Ye Xiu being the shameless him managed to start a conversation and act oblivious. They ordered some take out food from a nearby restaurant and he even went to the convenience store before reaching EE's building.

 

"Xiao Zhou, where are you going to stay? EE building closes at 9 PM though."

 

"Going back."

 

"Oh. Is that so. What time's you flight?"

 

"8 PM."

 

"Huh? It's already 6 30 PM though, you should get going. Why did you even walked back with me."

 

"Senior."

 

"Hmmm?" Ye Xiu looked at the man while putting a cig in his mouth. He is feeling really complicated right now.

 

"Eat more. Too thin." Zhou Zekai said to him as he handed the takeout foods.

 

"Hmm?" Ye Xiu felt a bit shocked and confused from the younger man who spoke 4 words to him.

 

"You should get going, you'll be late in your flight you know."

 

"Ok. Senior, safe" Zhou Zekai said to him while smiling, right now the younger man had already removed his mask and even though it was already night the lights from the posts made the good-looking man even more charming as he is.

 

"Xiao Zhou is really a good kid ha. Go ahead, the building's literally 10 steps away." Ye Xiu said in a teasing tone while shooing the younger man away.

 

"Ok. Bye Senior." Zhou Zekai left his sight after hopping in a cab. Ye Xiu walked back inside the building straight to his room leaving the foods on the table near his computer. He lied down on the bed while thinking what happen the whole day, nah. the whole afternoon.

 

.....

 

Ye Xiu is not oblivious to not notice what the younger man did. Or whatever they would call to what happen this afternoon.

 

The cafe. The slight brush of the hands when the other is handling their food, the man constantly looking at him whenever they would talked.

The road. The long walked where the other always choose to stand on his outer side, the small laugh he can hear from the other.

The movie. From the moment he felt like he was being escorted in the seats, or when Xiao Zhou offered him the jacket because of the cold temperature inside the cinema and seeing his only wearing a shorts below the knee and a simple t shirt, or the static he can feel from the shoulders of the kid when they bumped their shoulders while sitting, not knowing if it was planned because the other didn't move away at all (ofc. he got too much pride to move away first) or even to the point where he was being watch by the younger as the song in the last scene play.

Let's not forget Zhou Zekai walking him back, even though he has a flight nor him suggesting to brought some take out foods only to make him eat more.

 

He doesn't have experience in romantic relationship but that doesn't mean he doesn't know. He had watch a lot of those dramas with Mucheng. He knows the vibe, the atmosphere around them.

 

'Xiao Zhou you're not being subtle at all.' 

'I have much more important things to focus on.'

'Let's just set this aside, even though there were a lot of hints he didn't said anything so let's just assume that my assumptions are wrong. The boy is just being attached to him. Yeah.'

Ye Xiu thought to himself before getting up to take a shower and going back to playing GLORY.

Chapter Text

September 2 -  Season 5

 

After the summer transfer window ended, another season will start. Every season, all of the pro-players need to attend an informal party that counts as an opening ceremony, held by the Glory Pro Alliance, mostly in City B where headquarters' reside. It was a simple gathering were all of the pro player, normal or God-tier, main or sub are required to attend. It was also one of the few events the alliance had, just to introduce all of the rookies and used to make some important announcements.

 

The night started as Chairman Feng, enter the reception hall where most of the pro-players sitted in round tables per team. He started making a speech saying, "Good evening to everyone of you here. Are you all doing fine? I am very much pleased to have all of you here tonight as we open another season of GLORY in our Alliance. I wanted to share to everyone of you, that as E-Sports grew bigger and bigger in our country, GLORY has now acquired the most-number-players amongst all other e-sports. The Alliance decided to host different events in the upcoming months to promote GLORY more. We also wanted to share that, not only in China but GLORY has reached different countries now. Upon confirmation of our intel, after our brothers in Japan has successfully launched their own GLORY Pro league last year; two more countries, namely Canada and New Zealand will be opening their first seasons. As someone who'd only step on my position last season, I might not know about pioneering but I wanted to encourage everyone in all of your plays. I wanted all of you to also see the future of this game, not only for yourself but also as a preparation. GLORY is expanding, we don't know if in 5 to 10 years from now, the commission of E-Sports worldwide will decide to open up the road to the peak more. Glory is becoming not just a simple game but a competitive E-Sports that can rival any other sporting activity worldwide. I hope that as we open the new season and walk towards the future, GLORY will remain towards everyone's heart. New season, new begginning. Thrive harder, work harder, and may the Goddess of Glory guide you to the peak. " After the speech, he held his glass of wine up high as a symbol of cheers which everyone did the same following his gestures.

 

After all the subsequent speech, which are some more important figures and different sponsors of GPA, the simple gathering and eating started. Most of the pro-players acted very mature in the whole program, as this happen every season everyone had practiced their acting already. This time the program take a bit more when Season 5 rookies where introduced, especially when the sponsor saw a very handsome and enchanting young man. Yes, in the figure of Zhou Zekai. Especially when the bosses of the teams talked about him. Even Chairman Feng was starting to hope, that the young man will succeed in this season. The reason is only for them to have a face of the alliance. The Golden Generation that debuted last season are all really good when it comes to skill and almost everyone are willing to face the media and do ads. But they know, everyone knew that someone needs to stand on the peak. Someone superior who will promote GLORY more. Which a certain battlegod refuses to.

 

"Boss S, how lucky you've got a golden goose."

"C'mon Boss TH, he's still new but our previous Captain saw a big potential to him. I don't really know much about games. When the captain said it, I'd gladly say yes if it's for the team."

"Too much modest Boss S"

"Don't tease me Boss HB"

"Looks like we can saw the rise of Samsara this year huh, better warn my team."

"Boss BR, stop teasing me. He's still new."

"Boss S --"

"Boss S --"

 

The bosses of different teams all talk and gossip in two round table, each having 10. Tao Xuan who was just silently observing while listening to them started feeling annoyed.

 

'If only Ye Qiu did the ads, I would have been in a different position than now.'

'All of this people should be under me by now, showing all the respects and trying to curry my favor. I should have been the most important person in this table by now.'

'Why can't he just show his face to the public.'

'If that young man did suceed, will the alliance stop asking me for Ye Qiu to be the face of the Alliance, will all of the sponsorship goes to this team Samsara.'

'This team who haven't even won a championship.'

 

Tao Xuan kept on thinking different kinds of abominable things. He thought all of the losses he had, just because 'Ye Qiu' keep on being obstinate. The bud of hatred in his heart keep on growing as he watched the fellow owners of different teams chat by themselves. At first, he started this team together with his friends. But as time goes by, he can't reason out why his old friend keep on making things hard for him. All those opportunity that got wasted just because of a stubborn prideful man. He didn't know when did he started calling him as an 'old friend'. The battlegod. The peak. All those sponsorship. Everything he should have earned lose. The golden mine in his hand that cannot be appreciated at all.

 

--

 

Zhou Zekai was on the way to the restrom after the introduction and programs of the party. He didn't really like crowded places as such, especially where there would be a lot of people, the more people give him attention the more he wanted to bury himself.

His boss has been introducing him to some of the new sponsors of Alliance like he was being promoted as a brand new product. He didn't like it but he just stayed silent. He knows it's one of the antics his boss wanted to do to grab more sponsorship for the team.

The alliance has entered commercialization and the team needed money to grow more and he takes it as a normal thing in this line. If he wanted to grow more, he needs Cloud Piercer to be a God-Tier avatar meaning he needed him to wear a lot of Silver Equipments and doing so needs manpower, and manpower also corresponds to money.

As he takes a break, he decided to catch some air before going back to the hall. He went to the open area of the floor where there is a mini garden situated. As he was walking near the landscaped tree, a figure of a man came into his view. A figure he knew, he memorized even after only seeing for a few times. He was thinking of how he will approached the older man since it was not even a week after he made the 'just-happen-to-be-date' move on him. Remembering what happened when he went to CIty H a few days ago made him smile.

'Senior. Be mine.' Zhou Zekai smiled while thinking on how he will make another move on the older man. He was taking all the time he needed just to make sure the other won't feel shy on him. He was just looking at the figure thinking on how to use the given opportunity when the other look back at him that made him feel embarassed. He was caught ..


"Xiao Zhou. What are you doing here?"

 

"Senior." He made his move and walked towards the man.

 

"....break."

 

"Oh. you're also taking a break? Is the program done?"

 

"En. Party."

 

"Ooooh.. You should go back, it's better to start making friends earlier you know. Everyone there are really good."

 

"..air"

 

"Ohh.. "

 

"Senior, smoking ..."

 

"Hmmm? Xiao Zhou don't like the smell right? Don't worry I'll go back after this stick."

 

"Bad for you.."

 

"Hahaha. I've been doing it when I'm not even your age. Habit. I'll be done soon."

 

"Die .."

 

"Hahahaha. Don't kill me yet Xiao Zhou."

 

"Hmmpp.. (•́ ₃ •̀)"

 

"Do you know what's the look in your face right now?" Ye Xiu asked in the pouting young man but was answered by clueless gesture.

 

"Hmm?"

 

"Hahaha, nevermind. I'm going back." Ye Xiu said as he put the half-done cig in the trashcan.

 

Ye Xiu was staying in the garden near a stainless trashcan. The night is dark but the lamp posts brightens the place as he started smoking his sticks. He was deciding whether to go back to the party or to play some GLORY. He'd always attend this party since it is private and there are barely pro's who knows him. And he'd always snick out before the party ended, to just rent some computer in the nearest internet cafe.

 

But tonight looks like will be different, he was smoking his nth sticks when he noticed the figure of someone in his back from the reflection of the can. The younger man who's been part of his recent problem. He tried acting and telling himself that it was all just a coincidence. But he was already in his third stick after he notice the man. And yet, he was still beside him stuck staring at him. He even saw the man smiling a bit. The reflection is blurred but he can see clearly in the dark. His eyesight has always been good, so even if it is just a figure or shadow. He knows.


'Guess, I'll just go back to the hall.'

 

--

 

After all the programs and all of the figurative people leave (including all of the bosses), the real party started. Most of them bickering with each other, Huang Shaotian chattering non-stop with different people. Some enjoying the buffet more since most controlled their eating pace awhile ago in front of important people.

 

Ye Xiu who attended the party but also left after the speech of Chairman Feng returned to the hall to have fun with his friends. He was looking around to see where his team are, before a certain someone follow him. He was not running away and he was not scared but the more he spends time with that man the more he realize the certainty of his assumptions and it looks like the younger man hasn't noticed that he can see through his actions at all. And he is not yet ready in exploring 'that' part of the world, he'd rather invest his time in playing GLORY. He is not afraid, he is 'YE QIU', the BattleGod. Never in his life he'd back down from a challenge. What he was doing right now is tactical retreat because at the end of the day, no matter what, he still finds the other person cute  --.

 

'Oh, the junior tacticians.' He thought to himself as he saw the nearest group to him is the Tiny Herb Magician and Cleric beside the three master tactician talking in a serious matter, completely erasing whatever in his mind. Diverting the topic. A basic skill of a tactician. Misdirection. As he got near the table he heard Yu Wenzhou talking some tactics with Zhang Xinjie and Xiao Shiqin.


"If you guys will discuss these kinds of tactics, you should have told me. You isolating me, because I'm old and not part of your generation. Tsk Tsk."

 

"Senior Ye."

 

"Senior"

 

"Senior Ye Qiu."

 

The two from tiny herb together with the four master tacticians gathered in the table talking about their views in different angles of certain situations, discussing with how-to-solve-a-certain-trouble questions. Purely exhanging different idealogies.

 

On the other side, the party continue until the DJ decided to had the dance light on signalling the night party starting. Some of the pro started dancing in the tune of different songs.

 

Huang Shaotian being the oh-so bubbly he is, drag different people in the dancefloor. First was the golden generations which he was able to get Li Xuan, Tian Sen, the two girl, Mucheng and Chu Yunxiu. He also tried to drag all other pro's from different Season. Fang Rui who just got debuted was also dragged being a former trainee of Blue Rain.

 

"Dirty Fang, Dirty Fang, Dirty Fang. As a former trainee of Blue Rain you have been blessed by this one and only Sword Saint. You are the super ultra lucky one to represent the current rookies and this almighty humble Sword Saint is giving you a tasked to drag as many people as you can. It is your task to make all this season's rookie to get into the dance floor. Otherwise I'll PKPKPKPKPK you!!!!!"

 

"WTF. Huang Shaotian. Leave me alone.."

 

"What? You want me to force you to PKPKPKPKPK instead of dragging everyone to hell with you?? That's not dirty at all. Did Wind Howl converted your soul?? That's so sad. And here I thought you're the dirtiest person I've ever known. Guess the title will be revoked from you."

 

Fang Rui instead of suffering alone from the chatterbox make his way to different people to drag them in the dance floor. And being the dirty him, why would he ask another man on the dancefloor. Bai Yunfei being a girl who also debuted the same season was the first in his list.

 

"Hello. You alone? Should we dance?"

 

"Hmmmm.. Can you ask my Captain first?"

 

"Sure Sure.. Where's your Captain?"

 

The people around them started getting curious as to how the two started conversing. But literally it's only because it isn't normal to see a man talk with a woman in the party because there's only few woman who played professionally. So if you have been blessed by one of the Goddesses then you're pretty lucky yourself.

 

Fang Rui was feeling a bit confident until they reached a table where there's a man wearing a grim-reaper face.

 

 

"........"

 

 

"Captain, he wanted to dance me is that okay?" Bai Yunfei said teasingly in a not-so-loud-voice-that-can-be-heard-by-everyone-around-them. He knows about Fang Rui, he was near when Huang Shaotian ramble and called him Dirty Fang. So she thought of playing a prank. She left her jacket in the their team's table and was not currently wearing it so the man might not have known that she was from Tyranny.

 

"................" Fang Rui was able to find his pocket and throw it in the face of the older man together with his handkerchief. The table was not far away from the dancefloor, just on the other side so there are still some pro's around them. Namely Su Mucheng and Chu Yunxiu who were just having their fun swaying lightly to the music while gossipping. So they both saw what happen. Not only them. But also the other tables, Tiny Herb's next to them and next was where the master tacticians having their discussions. They all saw what happen.

 

"............." A long silence that was abruptly disrupted by a maniacally laugh.


"Hahahaha." Ye Xiu who's just listening to his juniors, giving side commentaries from time to time was observing the surroundings. So when he saw what happen, he broke into a laugh that gets the attention of everyone even those from the other side and from the dance floor.

His laugh was the beginning. Then was followed by the people around Han Wenqing and Bai Yunfei who was laughing out loud.

 

"Old Han! Why are you scaring the poor rookies. Hahahahaha."

 

"Ye Qiu! PK!"

 

"Hahahaha."

 

"Ye Qiu? Old Ye! Old Ye! Old Ye!!! You came you came you came. I thought, you didn't came. What are you doing there with Captain and Zhang Xinjie? And with Wang Jiexi and Xiao Shiqin? Why are you bonding with them. Stop being a wallflower come here to the dance floor. Come here Come here come here. Or else I'lll PKPKPKPK you!!" Huang Shaotian came to the table, running while  holding a glass of juice and talking non-stop. He was being hyperactive that he didn't notice the foot of Fang Shiqian. He slipped and the glass of juice was spilled directly to Ye Xiu who was in his line of sight.

 


"............."

 


--


Zhou Zekai was on the dance floor together with Wu Qi and Fang Minghua. Fang Minghua introduce them to a few Season 4, Li Xuan who brought a rookie Wu Yuce, Huang Shaotian and the two girls Mucheng and Yunxiu near them.

 

"Hmph Hmph Hmph. You are a pretty boy ain't you. Are you really good? Really? Really? Really? Or what? Maybe all you have is your face. Hmmmmm. Let me PKPKPK you then!!!"

 

Huang Shaotian drinking his juice while examining  Zhou Zekai from head to toe. Even he felt a bit resignation to the face of the rookie. He's always been proud of his looks, not in the narcisistic view but it really irkes him when someone is better than him.
They were talking when they heard a laugh a few tables away from them which perfectly happened to time after the song finished and the dance floor was a bit quiet. They all looked at the source only to see a man laughing from the table.

 

Zhou Zekai saw his Senior who left him in the garden awhile ago after finishing his cigarette laughing out. 'He's so  beautiful.'


--


Informal party, most of people wears jeans and collared polo with their team's jacket as an outwear. Ye Xiu, who was showered by a glass of orange juice was not wearing his jacket. It's not even wearing 'now', but he never wear it outside the game at all. It was a battle suit similar to an army's green uniform, sailor's white suit, or any other uniform. He was currently being a wet ugly duckling, though he would have a legal reason to snick out of the party now. But that doesn't mean he like it. He looks at Huang Shaotian's guilty face and shakes his head.

 

"O-Old Ye, I'm sorry. It's not on purpose. Promise. Really! I'm sorry Old Ye." The chatterbox speak in a straight with a very regretting voice.

 

"....*sigh"

 

"Senior Ye, you should go to the restroom. Here's a jacket you can use." Zhang Xinjie offering his jacket. But then got stared by everyone. The 'YE QIU' wearing a Tyranny jacket isn't that insane?

 

"......"

 

"Thanks Little Zhang, but better not. Even I felt it was out of place, only imagining me wearing Tyranny jacket." Ye Xiu joked around, not minding the wet clothes he have.

 

"I'll just go back earlier, I guess."

 

"....Senior."

 

"Oh. Xiao Zhou, did you start making friends?"

 

"En."

 

"Good. I'll be going ahead. It's starting to feel cold."

 

"Senior." Zhou Zekai was holding his bag in one hand while handling a t-shirt and face towel. He always made sure to have an extra shirt, bottled water and towel as his mom's words of wisdom if something happens he's prepared. Although 4 years younger, Ye Xiu was definitely able to wear the shirt seeing their the same size.

 

"...."

 

"Thanks Xiao Zhou, you really are a good kid compared to some (*looking at Huang Shaotian). Yiwei has raised you really good. I'll be borrowing this." Ye Xiu said to the younger kid while petting his head.

 

"En."

 

"Old Ye..."

 

"No, Huang Shaotian."

 

"...O-Old Ye.."

 

"As punishment, you're not allowed to ask me for PK for the rest of season."

 

"Old Ye.." A sound of protesting can be heard from the tone of the blademaster.

 

"*Stare*"

 

"Ok.. I'm sorry, Old Ye."

 

"Good."

 

Huang Shaotian look as Ye Xiu walked out from the hall but he also didn't forget to look at the new rookie who was the reason he was punished. He thought that if Zhou Zekai was not there to be compared to him can, he can still escape from Old Ye's punishment without revoking his right to ask for PK. 'Hmph. This rookie.'

 

Ye Xiu went to the restroom bringing the shirt with small towel given to him by the younger man he was avoiding. He was in one of the cubicle, washing his hair from the faucet. He also used the end of the towel to wipe his body. He was alone but he felt the shivers on his body. 'What's that? I'm not going to get cold just because of this right.'

 

He continued cleaning up but the moment he wears the shirt, he smelled something entirely different. It's not a perfume but, 'Shit. Don't tell me, pheromones? It's too strong to get stick up to clean clothes. How?' Ye Xiu himself doubted how the hell it happened but he can really smell the sweet scent especially when he tried putting the cloth near his nose. He stayed up in the cubicle inhaling all the air possible to calm himself.

 

The last time he smelled an Alpha's pheromone was when he was a teen back in their house, Ye Qiu, his twin brother's to be exact. Instead of going back to the hall, just to make sure, he decided to return to the hotel room.

 

The moment he reached  his room, he removed the shirt and went to take a shower. A long shower .. He put his wet clothes to the washing machine so he can wear something tomorrow. He wear the extra shirt he should've used for travelling back. After he had totally calmed down and control everything, he drink some water while folding the borrowed shirt, properly putting it to a sealed plastic. Just to make sure the smell will not leaked out, he left it inside the cabinet and planned to get it before leaving tomorrow.

 

"Xiao Zhou, I'll believe that you're only doing it because you're worried. Yeah. It was only a coincidence. And. You're definitely NOT trying to seduce me."

 


 

Wind Howl vs. Samsara

 

"First game of Samsara after it's Captain handed over Cloud Piercer to his successor. I think many of Samsara fans are waiting for the fight of their new ace player. What do you think Pan Lin?"

 

"Yes Lu Jin, I also ask a few from Samsara before the game and most of them says that the new ace player is really skilled. Especially the former player of Cloud Piercer, Zhang Yiwei. Everyone in the internet has making some dark internal discord about the players but as we can see Zhang Yiwei in the side cheering and smiling awhile ago. We also catch a glimpse of the two talking."

 

"Yes. It was Zhou Zekai's debut today, most of the people are expecting him to be in the individual arena as new rookies where still experiencing the difference of spotlight. And most of the team don't want their new chicks to be on th rookie block."

 

After the second round of the individual section many people are already expecting for their new ace player to come. The fans especially gets more hype as the first game of the season happens to be Samsara's home arena. The first game of individual was won by the Wind Howl while the second was won by Samsara.

 

When the third player came, everyone was shocked. The one who came in the stage was their current captain-in-name Lu Bai. It was already known to the circle that their ace player will inherit the captaincy after the Season 5. And former Vice Captain Lu Bai just stayed only for one more season to help their ace adjust in the pace of the competition and carry some of the burden instead of giving everything to the new chick.  The round went a bit long as both the character played strategically in trading their skills.  After a few more exchange of blows, the one who had the last laugh was Lu Bai, winning with 18% health remaining.

 

"Looks like Samsara's new ace will either play in Group Arena and/or Team Competition. What do you think about this move of theirs Lu Jin?"

 

"I think if the new ace player play in both, then it only means that the team has great expectations of the man."

 

"Let's just hope that he will not get blocked out after he sit in the players booth."

 

The group round started with Wu Qi's assasin, Cruel Silence against Lin Jingyan's Demon Subduer.The match is definitely an interesting one as it's against an assasin who lurks around while the other is a brawler who fights head on. Wu Qi was given the chance to main Cruel Silence and became part of the main rooster even though he only debuted this season like Zhou Zekai. The difference is that no one expected something from him the way they do on the pretty boy. But he was more than happy to be in those shoes, he never felt any resentment at all to his good friend. He'd always been a man with a clear head who knows the limits of his ability. He's been playing assasin ever since his trainee days because the character of an assasin portrays most of his personality. An assasin's worth is not measured by anything flashy. Hand speed and great decision, yes but more than so .. Killing the enemies in the dark. Silently supporting the team in the shadow. Defeating foes skillfully by not going to the light.

 

It would have been more interesting if he had won, but he was faced with the ace player of the other team. He was able to play more steady in the end but the tension can be clearly seen in some of his moves. A typical occurence in a rookie's first fight. The fight took a time as he stabilize himself in the latter half. He was able to bring down Demon Subduer's life to 60% before going down which is not really good since that means the opponent's team have an advantage but as a rookie it was already good to be able to show his potential even though he knew some of his moves in the earlier were a trash. Wu Qi calmed himself before exiting the player booth. 'I've only just stepped. I still have a lot to learn.' He thought to himself while walking back to the player's bench.

 

Zhou Zekai watching his friend fight in the stage also makes him felt the anxiety. Fang Minghua and Wu Qi are both friends he had made when they were still in trainees. The two who never said anything about him by either joining the band-wagon of praising him or alienating him. He knew the two were great people for understanding him despite him being unable to communicate properly. After Fang Minghua debuted in Season 4, the three would still hangout to play GLORY but most of the time it was Wu Qi he always had to spar with, especially as the isolation of some other trainees became even more apparent.

 

"Hmm." Zhou Zekai handed a bottled water and towel to his friend when he saw it come back from the player's booth.

 

"Thanks Zhou." Wu Qi said before drinking from the bottled water. As someone from the same batch of trainees and as a friend, he's already used to this antics. Though he can't still understand what the silent man want to convey, he gets that 'action speaks louder than voice' is the motto of this person.

 

"En."

 

The second player from Samsara, Xiao Ying's blademaster went up and was able to take down Lin Jingyan's brawler in exchange for his 80% health. It was a fierce fight but Wind Howl felt complacent since the group arena is mostly wrapped. Only one player left and they still have two more players. The second player from Wind Howl went to the player's booth confidently. Xiao Ying decided to went and ambush the elementalist to the respawn point. He goes to directly fight it so he can still chip off some of his health knowing that with his health of 20%, it would take a miracle to fight an elementalist which is much prone to long range fights.

 

As soon as the two avatars met, Moon-Luring Frost used Triple Slash  as he closed in the distance between the two and followed by Rising Dragon Slash which missed the center target. Thus after being launched in the air, Beautiful Light was able to evade anymore consecutive strike and used Teleport to warp to the side of the blademaster and cast Piercing Light followed by Flame explosion which took down the remaining health of the blademaster.

 

"The group anchor of Samsara is in dire state as he still needs to fight Beautiful Light with 70% health and the third player of Wind Howl"

 

"So who will be the last fighter -- Oh, it was Zhou Zekai. The new ace player."

 

"Wow, they really thrown the rookie as the group anchor, as most probably knows, group anchors are mostly the Captains or the Ace Player. The third player has always been to secure and win the 2 points of group competition."

 

"Looks like they had too much trust in the Rookie."

 

Zhou Zekai went to the player's booth as the camera followed him. The calmness of the young man can be seen from the in the figure. There's still 70% health left off the 2nd player and he still need to fight the anchor of the opposite team.

 

As he sits down and put his headset, he inhaled and smiled. 'Finally. The start.' He thought to himself. He wouldn't be a God-tier in a night, but today, he will be stepping his foot in the same world as him. Maybe not same realm but it's just a matter of time. 'One step at a time' He would always tell this word to himself whenever he would start learning those instruments he got hooked back in elementary school.


'I'll be in your care.'  He said as Cloud Piercer's screen loads. The elementalists went in the center as soon as the other avatar appeared online. The two were both moving forward but Zhou Zekai on the other hand had always have a high sensitivity of hearing so before the two even met, he was able to catch the sound of footsteps making him have the advantage. Cloud Piercer hids in one of the rocks as he watched Beautiful Moon passed by where he was. As the back of the the opponent is clear for him to attack, he used Burst Firing which hits the elementalist critically making the other got thrown off. Cloud Percer continued to fire attack and also uses the short distance between the two. He'd always been training the short range capability of a Sharpshooter more than the Long-Range. The elementalist threw a few skills and was able to get off from the attacking lane of the Sharpshooter but whenever it would happen he will still be subjected to a beautiful targeted random firing which made the health bar's decline even faster. After a few attacks, the distance that was created was already gone and they were back to short-range fight again. The elementalist was able to cut off some of Cloud Piercer's health, but unfortunately he wasn't able to get away from the targeted strikes of the other. Cloud Piercer was down by 32% in health after defeating the second player.

 

"He's strong."

 

"Really. Beautiful Moon's player as we all know Xu Jiyun is a veteran player. Even though the elementalist have much more AOE skills and mostly stayed in the back as a long-range attacker, that doesn't mean they can't fight in short range."

 

"Yes. But let's remind people that Sharpshooters are supposedly not to be used for short-range. Sharpshooters are middle-range attackers."

 

"Looks like Samsara, indeed find a great player to succeed their main avatar Cloud Piercer." The stadium errupted as the scene of the second fight ended. Many have been waiting to see what will happen to Samsara after their Captain retired but the loyal fans of Samsara started seeing the light of their team in the body of Zhou Zekai.


"Zhou Zekai!"


"Zhou Zekai!"


"Zhou Zekai!"


The cheers of the fans resonated in the stadium. The last round of the group arena are very much anticipated as Cloud Piercer still have around 70% health. The chance is still there, it can still be reversed. Wind Howl's advantage has been cut off to 0.3. It's just a matter of who wins. People, especially the loyal fans of Samsara started believing and hoping to their new light. Zhou Zekai.


...


And their light didn't disappoint them. Zhou Zekai was able to beat the last player of Wind Howl to snatched the two points for his team. The fight went really fierce and marvelous but he was able to win with 17% health remaining.

Zhou Zekai was exhilarated after the fight, his hands are trembling after the fight because the feeling is very much new to him. Being able to win for his team. 'It's not yet done.' He reminded to himself as he stands up and went out of his player booth where he received multiple cheers and applaud of the audience. He walks to the player's bench as he saw his former Captain at the side looking at him with a smile and a thumbs up mouthing 'Good job'. Right now, the camera is focused on him so the whole nation saw how charming he was as his lips curved into a smile. (Let's not talk about how many girls died and started becoming Zhou Zekai's fan after the video was aired and constantly posted in different social media site)

 

They lost the team competition due to some errors, mainly communication error of a certain Sharpshooter which is bound to happen sooner or later. The only grace is that it happens really soon and they can still fixed it. Samsara was also able to drag the team battle really long up to 4v2 where Zhou Zekai was able to slay his fourth one tonight, leading to 3v2 but in the end, Cloud Piercer was killed by the combined power of the brawler and the thief duo, leaving a blademaster with around 2 players.


6-4


Samsara lost but after that first game, the name Zhou Zekai resound in the Pro Glory. Many have prophesized that he will be the next unhindered God of Glory. All sorts of praise came raining as the aggressive silent man was able to shine in the match. But Zhou Zekai, himself thought, 'Unhindered? After having a hard time on that team competition. How can I be called as one?' Zhou Zekai also felt that, the team competition is really harder than the group arena. Cooperation, Team Work, and most importantly Communication. The command was saved in the end of the day by Captain Lu Bai, but according to management, it should be in Zhou Zekai which literally failed causing them errors.

 

After the game, Zhou Zekai didn't forget to reflect everything, especially the team competition. It's Sunday afternoon and he was watching the copy of their game, checking and examining his moves. He started formulating strategies on how he can communicate properly to his team. But he reached a dead-end somewhere, he was thinking when he remembered the promise Ye Xiu said to him. He opened the QQ in his computer and chatted Ye Xiu for the lesson.

 

Private Message with Ye Qiu

Zhou Zekai: Senior.

Ye Qiu: Xiao Zhou. GG. :)

Zhou Zekai: Lesson?

Ye Qiu: Hahaha. you still remember, are you using your Cloud Piercer?

Zhou Zekai: No.. First Winter Snow.

Ye Qiu: Okay, make the room.

Zhou Zekai: Dungeon?

Ye Qiu: Huh? You want to go to the dungeon?

Zhou Zekai: Miss. QAQ

Ye Qiu: Hahaha. you already miss playing in-game, it was only your first fight.

Zhou Zekai: No you.

Ye Qiu: Oh... You miss me going to dungeon? Do you enjoy it?

Zhou Zekai: Team.

Ye Qiu: Hahaha. Well, your team competition kinda indeed sucks.

Zhou Zekai: TT

Ye Qiu: Let's go. Let's run some dungeons, the materials are mine okay.

Zhou Zekai: Okay. Senior. :)

 

Chapter Text

Zhou Zekai's performance in matches has always been near-perfect, if it'll only count the individual or group arena. But most of the team has figured out how to fight Samsara when it comes to team competition.

Blue Rain was the first to use the strategy against Samsara where they would pull two members away from the rest with Zhou Zekai and with the space created, a command will be needed but even if Zhou Zekai was able to pin point on how to resolve the problem and chat on team's chatbox in game. The misinterpretation of his monosyllable language was really a huge hit on their part.

The only grace was that when they were facing the bottom to middle tier teams, Zhou Zekai can bulldosed the team competition and other team wasn't able to mentally isolate him. He's been training with his teams especially with Fang Minghua and Wu Qi in their break time, mostly strategies and communications.

Their synergy has leap a ton after practicing continuosly within the few months. Their fight with Excellent Era will be next, it is still Tuesday and they were training as usual. He wanted to give his best to show 'him' how much he improved in team competition. He wanted to show everything he learned, afterall the nights he asked for team lessons.

But the reality that it was only Fang Minghua who can somewhat understand him even if for a little hits him. He needs Wu Qi in the team competition, however the Seniors still occupied the main rooster.

 

"Captain." Zhou Zekai called and Lu Bai looked at him together with Zhang Yiwei beside him who is currently compiling VOD's of the recent Excellent Era's matches.

 

"....."

 

"What is it Xiao Zhou?" Lu Bai asked

 

"...Uhm" Zhou Zekai hesitated at talking since he was never really good with it. And honestly, he never felt comfortable with his current Captain.

 

"If you have something, you can say to us Xiao Zhou. Do you have some questions?" Zhang Yiwei added while pausing what he's doing.

 

"...No." Zhou Zekai wasn't able to say what in his mind.

 

"Just tell me kay? Guys, head to the conference room after your training, we'll be watching the VOD's"

 

"Yes Mom! *laughter*" The majority of the rooster are still from when Zhang Yiwei is the Captain so they all get along just fine. Although, there's a few from Season 4 and Season 5, everyone still revere their former captain, now coach with great respect.

 

--

 

Private Message with Zhou Zekai


Zhou Zekai: Senior..

Ye Qiu: Sup'?

Zhou Zekai: Match...

Ye Qiu: Oh! Our first match will be this Saturday! Are you ready?

Zhou Zekai: best..

Ye Qiu: Yea. give your best! Let me see your improvement.

Zhou Zekai: Um....

Ye Qiu: Hmmm ???

Zhou Zekai: Meet.. after?

Ye Qiu: Hmmm......

Zhou Zekai: ...

Zhou Zekai: ...birthday

Ye Qiu: Haha. You're using your birthday again Xiao Zhou, and isn't your birthday on the 24th? Saturday is only the 22nd.

Zhou Zekai: ... hehe

Zhou Zekai: .. Senior?

Ye Qiu: Fine!! Let's meet after the game I guess?

Zhou Zekai: ...?

Ye Qiu: ..Hmmm. Area D, left side :)

Zhou Zekai: Thanks Senior!

Ye Qiu: Sure sure!! :) If you win the group arena, I'll even treat you.

Zhou Zekai: Senior :(

Zhou Zekai: Do!

Ye Qiu: :)

 

Ye Xiu was playing Glory with his alts as usual, when a certain shy man chatted him. He was not even sure by now, if the man is really shy or if the word 'shy' can be connected to Zhou Zekai. He already observed that the younger man is a really good guy and open to people he considered trustworthy(not in the communication part but a really good company except the way he talk.)

 

Ye Xiu already has some assumptions towards the feelings of the younger man. Even so, whenever he would received those simple chats from the other he can't control himself but to reply.

 

The feeling of having the privelege of hearing or reading or maybe having an actual conversation with the other is so blissful. Because Zhou Zekai is like if he needs to say a whole sentence, he would only get the mainest of the main topic and if he can, he will only select a few words like his motto is 'fewer is better'

 

Right now, almost everyone have already known the disaster Zhou Zekai in front of the camera is. (Not his face of course!!)To be more precise, it was in front of other people. After hearing testaments from his teamates of how the man rarely talks with them outside training, or even in training the man would just nod and gives very simple message such as 'Can't', 'Assasin', 'Healer', 'Fast', etc. 

 

There was one time when a reporter asked the ever silent rookie something personal after Samsara won a match, and the rookie answered his best with just a few 'En' and nods which can't be counted as answering the questions at all. And don't even try to ask Zhou Zekai after losing a match, he would never utter a single word, even his very simple 'En' was gone, not even nods. He would became a perfect human-standee/poster, no emotion and just plain handsome face. 

 

Ye Xiu was thinking deeply about the man who chatted him. He often asked himself why is he fine with Zhou Zekai making moves on him. (If his assumptions were right by 40%) But all he can get is maybe his egotistical and prideful side having a fun time as he watch the young man grow and show him different emotions while hiding from everyone. It was like being a king or God, having the special rights of someone.
He shakes his head as he noticed his avatar getting PK'ed by the monster, he continue moving his hands and killed the monsters around, as his lips smiled unknowingly.

 

 

--

 

7-3

 

The match was won by Excellent Era, it was a tough fight but Ye Xiu had the last laugh. The regular season is already nearing the end of its third month and Ye Xiu had started noticing very little errors here and there, especially a different kind of atmosphere of the few younger players spreading in the team.


He avoids confronting them as it was not really affecting the game. But there are fights, mostly in group arenas were he anchored that the second will lose in a very disappointing manner making almost two opponent left to him. Even so, he still managed save the day and defeat the opponents in exchange of his pro-gaming life force if one would say.


As usual, he would disappear from the team and won't attend any presscon after the game. He was already in a dark corner of Area D, the meeting place as per what he'd agreed with Zhou Zekai. The smoke he keeps on inhaling as he repeatedly say to himself that it was just a normal meeting.


His mind keep on rejecting the possibility of his assumption towards the young man. The feeling of being attached to someone who's always there for you is something he knows well.


Su Muqiu,


The first person that ever made him feel attached. The first person that made him feel it was fine to depend on. Those days, they did everything just to be able to passed the day. All kinds of jobs just to earn a bit of money. Young as they may, those experiences made him grow to who he was. Muqiu will always be a part of his heart no matter where he was. A person he felt so comfortable different from his younger twin, Ye Qiu. The man that took his hand and lead him to the path he always wanted to. Alas, the Glory was denied to both of them.


Ye Xiu puffed another smoke, thinking of the man he once depended his life on, it's been 4-5 years? Time really is an indescribable thing. It makes people forget feelings and move forward. In life, it's the best ally a broken person can have. Even if he will always be a part of his life, one of the greatest thing that happened to him. The memories are still there even though it's starting to fade. But the feelings he once held was gone. Gone, before he knew it.

 

Ye Xiu walked to the side to throw the cigarette butts in a nearby trashcan where a vending machine is . He was planning to take another stick when he heard a person walking fast from where he came from.


"Senior" The quiet voice echoed but a tinged of hurriedness and excitement can be trace from a man but he stayed silent. He was planning to prank and made fun of the other, something he didn't know why he would do.

 

As time passes, the steps is going near where he was. Thinking that it will be really childish if he tried to shock and 'boo' the man, he lean by the vending machine. His  figure can be seen as soon as the man walked left from the main corridor and they would definitely meet.

 

As Zhou Zekai entered his view, the lights around the vending machine made him see the other person. The smile that can melt even the snow from the north pole, made his heart beat faster.

 

"Senior" Ye Xiu heard the young man say happily with a bunch of affectionate tone. As he moved to where he was standing, the lights which is brighter near the vendo made him see the eyes of the man reflecting him.

 

"Oh! Xiao Zhou, did you do the presscon properly?" He asked moving the subject and trying whatever happened and whatever he felt in that brief moment.

 

"En."

 

The two walked outside the stadium as their booked car came. Zhou Zekai, being him had already made an advanced reservation to a Japanese restaurant in high class street. He is a native of City S and due to his mom's business including restaurants, he grew up beeing a foodie by heart, knowing all dishes there is. He knew where good foods can be located in their city. He got used to good foods from young, to the point that he developed this habit of finding new tastes by his own(mainly by combination, either in ice cream, shakes, teas, even in normal dishes such as noodles, he likes adding lots of condements just to flavor it differently from the usual recommendation.)

 

After getting an 'Ok' from his Senior in the QQ chat, he already made a research on which restaurant to choose from. Remembering their first ever date (...) which is that time they accidentally meet in a Japanese restaurant near Samsara, he choose a similar but a bit classy and private Japanese restaurant.

 

As they reached the restaurant, Ye Xiu felt really complicated. It looks like the night is just starting. Harder than the fight, he just finished. He noticed it, the way the man looked at him, smiled at him and even though he's a man himself: he was escorted in a car. Literally opened the car to let him in first. Literally opened the car for him to get out. Like the gentleman in those movies do for a woman in dinner date. Dinner date? So is this consider a date?

'I should've brought Mucheng with me.' ..

' I  guess, next time.' ..

'...Next time? There's next time?'  Ye Xiu sighs.

 

They went upstairs, where their table was reserved. The restaurant is not a romantic one, and not also super high class but it was enough for it to be considered as a ... date?

No matter how much he denies it and labeled it as just two friends getting food together. Ye Xiu can't. Because the way the other man made him felt butterflies in his stomach with his simple gestures that shows considerations is more than enough of a reason. The way the other look at him longingly, no matter how shameless and good at avoiding he was, he can't deny it. He again started mentally taking notes of all the things the other did. All the hints the other threw at him.

They ordered a bunch of Japanese cuisine for their dinner: a few karaage, tonkatsu, a small plate of sushi and sashimi, miso soup, rice and some mochi ice cream for the dessert. The two had a few talks while waiting for the food.

 

"Xiao Zhou, Good game! You really were great there you know."

 

"Thanks Senior" Zhou Zekai said beaming, he was happy being complimented by his Senior hoping that the feelings of the other will slowly bend towards him.

 

"Especially your coordination with Xiao Wu and Xiao Fang, why don't you tell your captain or Old Zhang to always put him in the team? Not counting Fang Minghua but Wu Qi is good at assisting you, you know. Though your synergy still had few holes. It was a great start"

 

"Try." He can't just say yes to him, even though he, himself also know that. The team management is not up on his hand.

 

"Not try, make sure to tell him. I'm telling this to you because I think your team is really good, you'll definitely be able to reach a God-level in a few years. And if you want a Championship after you become a God, what you need more than your own skills is your team."

 

"En."

 

"Glory is not meant to be played alone, Xiao Zhou."

 

"En." Zhou Zekai can only agree to Ye Xiu, knowing that being a newbie he's still not par with the man carrying three consecutive championship in his back.

 

"Although you can bulldosed some of the weaker team by now, as the regular season progressed, many has already started making preventive strategies against you. When facing Samsara, you're the top in the caution list. Even I already had developed some ways. But of course I didn't use any at the moment as I can still handle you." Ye Xiu said as the smugness can be seen through him.

 

"..." Zhou Zekai lowered his head a bit sad, that can be seen from his beautiful face.

 

"Xiao Zhou, you are the strength of the team. And you are also the weakness of it."

 

"Senior.."

 

"This is an advice, even if you're not really good with communication, try hard. If not, then try harder. I don't want to see you getting isolated because of yourself, your own fault." Ye Xiu said thinking that 'Am I really the one who should be saying this when some of the few younger generations had felt some hatred to me?' He smiled while giving Zhou Zekai advices, what he say is true. He didn't want to see this kid's potential got wasted because of jealousy.

 

"Senior.. remember"

 

"Ou! Even if you're not good at speaking you can communicate with them in a different way? Maybe inviting them to eat like tonight. Even if you can't talk properly at least they will appreciate you listening to their troubles."

 

"En." Zhou Zekai nodded.

 

They continue having their talk while eating their foods, at first it was all from Glory and then it was moved to different topics as usual. Ye Xiu never noticed when did their little talks that would start from Glory end in a very far topic. Mostly Zhou Zekai diverting the topic whenever he would get a chance on the words Ye Xiu would say.  Like this one:

...

"So Xiao Zhou, you should always made sure to practice and train your basics. You're still starting afterall,"

 

"Starting?" Zhou Zekai said tilting his head, a gesture of inquiring question. If he's with other people, it will be hard to decode his sentence but he was with Ye Xiu. 

 

"Hmm, I started back when Glory first opened. I remember back then we lined up around 4 AM in the morning to be able to get the account card. It was really hellish, however nowadays, account card is as many as possible."

 

"Hmm, breakfast?"

 

"No, we didn't get breakfast that time. The release was on 10 AM so we just waited until our turn and just get a bunch of snacks."

 

"Snacks?"

 

"Yeah those on the go biscuits and canned drinks."

 

"Coffee?"

 

"No Xiao Zhou, I don't like coffee. I mostly drink tea, or shakes."

 

"MilkTea?"

 

"Yea!"

 

"Flavor?"

 

"If there's a strawberry then  it is, if non then I'm also fine wih cookies and cream or matcha. How about you?"

 

"Anything."

 

"You really like anything? Or combinations?"

 

"Combinations, good"

 

"Haha."

 

It often happen when the two converse, at first it was all about GLORY but in the end the young man will be able to ask different things from him. And before Ye Xiu noticed the topic, he had already answered what the man asked. To the point that he himself had known that Zhou Zekai may have already got a lot of things about him by now, like 'his private information is an everyday normal'. Their QQ chats have already blown away from the normal acquaintance should have had. But, he can't just leave the guy on read. And Ye Xiu knows that it didn't feel right. It just didn't.

 

Ye Xiu excused himself and went to the restroom. After taking a piss, he washed his hands as he saw his face in the mirror, it was not noticeable if one would look first but the happy aura on him would soon permeat together with a smiling eyes as his lips slightly curved. He washed his face immediately and wiped it with tissues. He looks again and the man in the mirror is back to a listless slouching man, eyes void of too much emotion and lips sealed in a normal way without the sign of hidden simile.
He shakes his head and sighed while thinking 'Xiao Zhou, what in the world did you do to me?'

 


 

All-Star Event.


As Tyranny won the last Season, they were chosen to host the All Star Weekend.


Day 1


One of the most exciting event of All-Star Weekend was Rookie vs. Pro and as any other All Star, rookies have their chances to fight with whomever they choose.

 

Ye Xiu who is already getting tired of this whole thing even doubted his own decision of attending the said event. He didn't have choice as he is still the current no. 1 based on the popular survey. He only wished that there won't be a repeat of Season 4, where the Golden Generation debuted and out of seven challenges everyone choose him like there's no other pro player at all.

 

Zhou Zekai was also nominated as an All-Star despite being rookie. Even though he didn't made the cut and was only in the 27th place, he got most of the attention on him leaving all other Season 5 rookies behind.

 

Counting all the ads his handsome face were in, his popularity rocketed up high. Added to his beautiful performance which was also noted by everyone as he was able to carry Samsara near a playoffs position (currently rank 10). Samsara's ranking was mostly in the middle tier, last season position at number 10 is due to their former Captain Zhang Yiwei burning out all what's left on him. Usually Samsara would place between rank 12-14. There's still another half of the regular season but many have started hoping about the new Samsara.

 

As much as everyone hoped for Ye Xiu's 7 challenges, there was no repeat. Three of the rookies challenged Han Wenqing, one played with Wang Jiexi and the two were with Ye Xiu, three including the last in the rookies, Zhou Zekai.

 

"Hi Mr. Zhou Zekai, how are you doing?

 

"Good"

 

"So you also applied for the rookie challenge, who do you want to fight?"

 

"Ye Qiu"

 

"So it was God Ye, why did you choose him?"

 

"Best"

 

"Okay, let's start the last rookie challenge" Li Yibo, the MC decided to give up on asking the said player.


-


GLORY

 

After the last scene which ended on Zhou Zekai's defeat the two players went out of their respective booth. They walked in the same passageway when Zhou Zekai started speaking.

 

"Senior."

 

"Hmm? What is it Xiao Zhou? You've improved again, you're doing good" Ye Xiu said to the man whose walking beside him. He was really glad seeing this rookie grow up. He find it pleasing whenever they would PK, play dungeon together, or whenever the boy will asked him for inquiries. The drive of Zhou Zekai in learning and improving his weakness that would be pointed out is really something. Ye Xiu would lament from time to time as it differs from the new generation of Excellent Era.


Though it might not be appropriate in the eyes of others, seeing that he was teaching a player from other team but Ye Xiu has always been a caring person.

And it's not just Zhou Zekai, the three Master Tacticians of Season 4: Xiao Shiqin, Zhang Xinjie and Yu Wenzhou would often chat with him whenever they have something in mind that they want to discuss. They even made QQ group for tacticians.

Not only them, whenever anyone from the new generation asked him for something he would gladly do so, of course that includes Chu Yunxiu and Su Mucheng, even Li Xuan who rarely ask him something had tried to PK with him testing some of his knowledge.

There's also Old Lin, Lin Jingyan's new partner this season; Fang Rui. Even Wang Jiexi would ask to exchange notes sometimes and of course Old Han who never gets tired in PK'ing. And even if Shaotian was supposed to be banned this Season 5, he started accepting PK with the chatterbox from time to time.

Ye Xiu was happy with helping them. If he can help them, he would do so. The same way when he's helping other pro's who wasn't able to succeed back in early seasons.

 

"Dinner?" Ye Xiu was having a 'GLORY' related thought when the young man asked him for dinner. '...... so we're going there AGAIN.'

 

"Are you inviting me? I already have dinner before going here though." Ye Xiu rejecting the invitation of Zhou Zekai in a way. For the past few months that he had interacted with the man, he already had the gist of the other.

 

The assumption he was holding back in summer was already confirmed. Counting what happened last summer, on the night of their first game, the QQ chats, and the Christmas event. And of course the New Year message was not forgotten. If it was not, then Zhou Zekai would definitely won the best playboy award.

 

Ye Xiu already knows that, the feelings might not be the same level(as he constantly refuse to admit it) but the possibility of development is not non-existent especially that time when he realized how much he was fond of Zhou Zekai. He doesn't have time for this, he needs to focus on Glory since the season is really hard for the team. And he already noticed Liu Hao and He Ming having small annimosity against him although the game hasn't been affected yet, he can feel it.

 

"Uhmm"

 

"Maybe next time Xiao Zhou, bye" The older man said as he left the other and went back to their team's seat.

 

Zhou Zekai was left behind but he noticed that there's something wrong with his Senior. He was avoiding him. The conversation didn't even last for a few but was cutted immediately.

 

'Did he already know?'

'When did he know?'

'Is it the silent rejection?'

'Does this mean, I have no chance anymore?'

 

Thoughts keep on circulating in his mind. Zhou Zekai hasn't confessed but he was being avoided and rejected. 'Not like this. At least let me tell you properly' He thought determinedly.  After he went back to his own seat, he started racking his brain on how he would do a confession. There would be a long holiday after All-Stars in preparation of Lunar New Year, he wouldn't be able to have an excuse to meet the other. Not even chatting him in-game since it was holiday and most of the players will be going home.

 

-


Private Message with Ye Qiu

Zhou Zekai: ...

Ye Qiu: Xiao Zhou ??

Zhou Zekai: Senior ...

Ye Qiu: Yes? Are we going to have another lesson or are we going to dungeon?

Zhou Zekai: Meet?

Ye Qiu: ... you're in City H again? for errand?

Zhou Zekai: No.

Zhou Zekai: City X, East Station

Zhou Zekai: Tomorrow 4 PM...

Zhou Zekai: I'll wait ..

Zhou Zekai went offline

 

Zhou Zekai insisted to invite Ye Xiu leaving the QQ on hang. He didn't care if the man didn't reply at all, or if the man will ever come. He didn't wait for the man's answer and just said the time and place. He's willing to wait no matter what. He was nervous because, it was in different city and there are a lot of things Ye Xiu should prioritize and he must not have enough time for a kid like himself.

 

Nonetheless after what he learned in the recent all star event, he just won't stay quiet and let the man escape from his grasp. Even if there's only a tiny chance of them being together, it's better to try and be rejected than not try at all. Zhou Zekai always believe that if you worked hard on something you want, something you love, results will definitely come. 

 

Fortunately, there was holiday after the event. He was able to excused himself from Samsara saying he will visit his Granny. The team and management agreed since it was family stuff and most of the rest are also going to their own homes.

 

Ye Xiu was doubting a lot of things, his mind has been flying ever since the conversation he had with a certain someone in QQ. He stopped playing GLORY altogether as he can't really concentrate at all. The first time in the past few years he got so distracted.

 

'Xiao Zhou' 'Xiao Zhou'. He thought to himself. Looks like, him avoiding the young man back in the All-Stars Weekend made the confrontation earlier.

 

Ye Xiu really don't want to go since he kinda foresaw that the younger man inviting him out means something will happen. It was definitely a date or some kinda surprise or maybe even confession. But in the end he just can't let the man wait.

 

'Guess I just need to reject him thoroughly.',

'I'm sorry but it's not yet the right time Xiao Zhou.',

'Maybe in the future.'

 

Ye Xiu sighed as he thought on how he should just reject the other man properly. Deep inside him, he doesn't want to reject him. But he can't just date him. He likes the young man, that's for sure. Not in the way he saw Mucheng or Yunxiu or Huang Shao or any other youngster.

 

Ye Xiu knew he enjoyed their small talks, their time mostly played in GLORY, whether they were PK'ng, dungeoning, or just playing around with Wild Boss. He likes the idea of having to see the assertive part of a shy man. He likes whenever the quiet man would chat him out of nowhere asking things entirely not related to Glory, just anything. Or whenever Zhou Zekai remind him to eat, remind him to lessen smoking or just to remind him of different holidays. And ever since he noticed the others' motive since summer he knows to himself(even if how many times he denies it) he's been paying attention to the younger man. Zhou Zekai has a special place in his heart. The younger man has an allure he just can't say 'no'.


Especially after that time when they had dinner after their first game. The smile that melts his shield down. The sparkling eyes that reflected him, only him. The gentleness that surrounds the young man. And the erratic heart beat he has while observing Zhou Zekai.

 

But that doesn't mean they can be together. It doesn't mean that they should  be together 'now'. Ye Xiu decided that it's better to reject the other man so he can focus on Glory. He's planning to crush Zhou Zekai's confession if any so. (Together with his heart)

 

'I still have GLORY to achieve'

'It just not yet possible.'

 


 

Ye Xiu went to City X albeit he was three hours late, than the said time. He was still doubting at the very last moment. He was not sure if everything will went according to his plan. He reached the train station where Zhou Zekai fetch him in a car, they were silent all the time in the car. The awkwardness was on the air even if they talked a bit from time to time, Ye Xiu teasing the boy of where they will go and even hinting him that he will not answer him at all.

 

...

 

In Zhou Zekai's mind it's fine even if he was rejected he just wanted to tell him all the feelings he had for him. All the admiration he felt, all the love, he just wanted to say everything from the bottom of his heart. He just wanted to let everything out.

 

Ye Xiu on the other was feeling really nervous even if he already made up his mind to reject the other person there are still some regrets but he always reminded himself that it was for the best of themselves. After about half an hour they reach a place where there are rarely people around, they went out of the car and before that Zhou Zekai ask him to put a blindfold,

 

Ye Xiu did do so, with the loud beating of his heart, something is really bound to happen. Zhou Zekai hold his hand to give him the way, making shivers run from his back.

 

After they reached some place Zhou Zekai let go of his hands and said to wait for a minute. Zhou Zekai said that Ye Xiu can removed the blindfold. (A/N: Can't take my eyes off you by Shawn Mendes version. The romantic vibe can be really felt. Just imagine it played in guitar by plucking or whatever.)

 

You're just too good to be true
Can't take my eyes off of you
You're just like Heaven to touch
I wanna hold you so much
At long last, love has arrived
And I just thank God I'm alive
You're just too good to be true
Can't take my eyes off of you

 

Ye Xiu was sure that there was definitely a surprise. However, he didn't expect the over the top kind of surprise Zhou Zekai prepared for the him. If there's a fly or a bug or mosquito it would have definitely enter his mouth gapped as his shocked came into him. The younger man was holding a guitar, singing in a mini stage surrounded with lights, in a center of scented small candles that formed a heart shaped.

 

Pardon the way that I stare
There's nothin' else to compare
The sight of you leaves me weak
There are no words left to speak
So if you feel how I feel
Please let me know that it's real
You're just too good to be true
I can't take my eyes off of you

 

Ye Xiu cannot think about anything. His eyes was looking directly in the Zhou Zekai's eyes who's currently singing his heart out. The first time he had heard the voice of the man despite being able to talk a few words, hearing the full-blown soft angelic voice is of another matter altogether.

 

I love you, baby
And if it's quite alright
I need you, baby
For the lonely nights
My pretty baby
Just know that it's true

 

Even after being mesmerized, Ye Xiu was still able to notice the surroundings, the neat small picnic table in the side, the lights in the trees around them, the petals of roses in the ground. In short, a perfect romantic picnic date on top of a some small hill where all the stars are brightly shining together with the lights situated all over, as Zhou Zekai serenade him.

 

Oh, pretty baby
Don't hold me down, I pray
I need you, baby
Now that I've found you, stay
And let me love you, baby
Let me love you

 

"Senior, be mine."

 

"En." Ye Xiu was so speechless that he didn't realize the younger man was already in front of him. He didn't even know when did Zhou Zekai ask him to be his boyfriend. He was dumbfoundedly nodding using the same words of the young man, 'En'.

 

"....." They were already hugging when he came to his own mind. He was so captivated that he forgot his intention to reject the man. He forgot everything. 'Ye Xiu!! What plan huh?' He thought to himself while smiling and shaking his head.

 

"Senior.."

 

"What is it Xiao Zhou?" Ye Xiu said while smiling to the man.

 

"Okay?"

 

"I already said yes, Xiao Zhou. Even though I was planning to reject you .."

 

".... don't like?"

 

"Xiao Zhou, it's the opposite. Not counting you're still young, we're both busy person, being in a relationship will be hard.."

 

"just 4 years..."

 

"Yes I know, it's just 4 years but that doesn't change the fact that you've just come out of the minor year. Do you think we, you can handle this relationship? We're not even living in the same city. It will be really hard, for the both of us ."

 

"Will work. Promise."

 

"Yes yes. You won already. My body answered before my mind catch up and said my supposedly planned lines. You got me with this surprise, you know."

 

"Hehe" Zhou Zekai smiled as he hold Ye Xiu's hand and guide him towards the picnic set. The surprise should have include the sunset viewing but the older man was late. However, it still turns out good as he was able to have him. After that they ate and talked all night. As the night grew, the two decided to went back. Zhou Zekai bringing Ye Xiu to his granny's house which is at the bottom of the hill.

 

"Do you live here? Who's house is this?"

 

"Granny's"

 

"Is it ok for her?"

 

"En."

 

"It's already dark though."

 

"Asleep." The two enter the house and went upstairs. Zhou Zekai guided the the older man to a room on the second floor.

 

"So, is this your room?"

 

"Hmm? No. Here." Zhou Zekai answered to the other gesturing the other door. Ye Xiu entered the room without batting an eye while stretching his arms while yawning.

 

"Let's sleep already."

 

"...."

 

"What? Don't tell me, you can't sleep without showering? Then I'll sleep first." Ye Xiu said while lying in the bed.

 

"Senior, fine?"

 

"What???" Ye Xiu was confused as to why the younger man was standing with a flusterred face.

 

"Sleep together?" Zhou Zekai asked bashedly. Ye Xiu smile while waving his hand to young man, gesturing him to come. Zhou Zekai closed the door of the room before going to his side. Ye Xiu hugged the younger man while rustling his head.

 

"Good night Xiao Zhou" Ye Xiu said while kissing the other's forehead.

 

"...." Zhou Zekai was so emabarrased but he was so happy. The full blown blush on his face can be observe as the two cuddle to sleep.

 

"I love you.. Ye Qiu" Ye Xiu was going to sleep when he heard the young man. He jolted and sit up looking at Zhou Zekai.

 

"Senior?"

 

"Before everything else, Xiao Zhou. Now that you're dating me, you need to know something. Mainly because it just doesn't feel right."

 

"Hmmm?"

 

"It's Ye Xiu."

 

"Ye Xiu?"

 

"Ye Xiu, my name. Remember, I told you I had a younger twin? His name is Ye Qiu. I used his name before and just didn't get the chance to turn it back since 'Ye Qiu' is already well-known."

 

"Ye Xiu"

 

"Hmm"

 

"Ye Xiu"

 

"Yes, yes."

 

"Ye Xiu" Zhou Zekai smiled as he hugged the older man pulling him to lie down in the bed. The two were both looking at each other while smiling.

 

"I love you, Ye Xiu." Ye Xiu heard, the younger man says as it dozes to sleep hugging him tightly, burrying his face to his neck. Looks like he wasn't able to sleep last night. 'How much effort did you put on that surprise for you to lack of sleep.' He smiled imagining a 'Zhou Zekai' brain storming and researching on the surprise, his heart felt surprisingly pleased as he thought of the anxiety of the man waiting patiently for him in the train station. Ye Xiu felt his own lips curving as he picture the younger man meticulously fixing and decorating that hill.

 

"*mumble mumble*  too, Xiao Zhou" he whispered knowing the other won't hear him as the breathing in his neck is stabilize to that of sleeping.

Chapter Text

 

Christmas Extra^^

 

December 16, one week before Christmas, Glory released a teaser regarding the upcoming Christmas Event.

 

Seasons of Love: Gift Giving

*insert picture of Christmas presents, reindeers, Santa, and elves.*

In the upcoming Christmas Event, we are encouraging players to apply with guilds as avatars that have a guild tag will have more advantages.

This time, we, the developer of GLORY wanted to make the event more friendly than rivalry. One of the mission of the game is to make the players gain more friends and enjoy a sportsmanship fight similar to Glory Pro Alliance.

Everyone still had a week to join a guild or create your own. Wish you all the luck !!

 

---

Christmas Event

 

December 25 (countdown to 12 MN)

 

"I'm home!" Su Mucheng said as she entered Ye Xiu's room around 11 o'clock in the evening of 24th. She's holding a few plastic bags containing foods after coming back from their pro girl's Christmas party which is basically last minute shopping.

"Mucheng, how's your day?" Ye Xiu said while taking a glimpse on the girl then going back to playing Glory.

"It's fun, I bought a new bag Xiu-ge. Here's your present!"

"Hmmm. Thanks, yours is under the bed."

"Wha? Really? You bought me something? Hmp! I thought you said you wouldn't." Su Mucheng said knowingly that Ye Xiu is having a hard time on money due to all the penalty fees he paid in the Alliance.

"As if. Are you coming for the event?" As if he would ever forget to give a gift to her younger sister. After he lived with the Su siblings, one thing that Su Muqiu made as a tradition and something ingrained in him is that even if they barely had foods for Christmas or Birthday, they never forget to give a present to the young, Mucheng.

"Yes, of course!! I made sure to be just on time. I brought foods, let's eat before the event." Su Mucheng said as she fixed the side table and prepare their foods. She took the cup of noodles and a few empty bottled water that was lying.

"Gege, let's eat first! Later you won't be able to eat anymore since you'll be busy with the event." She said after returning from throwing the garbages in the trashcan outside the room.

"Hmm." Ye Xiu said as he placed his character in a closed arena. He removed his headset and went to the table where they will eat.

"Huh? You, you're not hungry aren't you?" He said mockingly after seeing the table full of foods.

"Hehe. But Xiu-ge, you're definitely going to be on battlemode after the event start. And I'm 100 percent sure you'll be pulling an all-nighter.. The leftovers will be your snacks."

"You really are.." Ye Xiu sighs as the girl poninted out his plans.

...

There are still 30 minutes before 12 MN, which is the start of the event so Su Mucheng decided to left her brother Ye Xiu and went to her room to take a short shower and change to her pajama clothes.

There's a lot of players online waiting for the event even if it was Christmas eve so those high-level maps are also occupied. Ye Xiu was fighting a few monsters in one of the secluded high-level map using a Sharpshooter dummy account, when a message prompt into his screen.

 

First Winter Snow: Senior?
Eversince: Yo! Xiao Zhou, you're not using Cloud Piercer for the event?
First Winter Snow: Left. (T_T)
Eversince: Oh. You left it at the club? Are you at home now? Haha.
First Winter Snow: Mm. OAL?
Eversince: Later, There's still 30 minutes. People will crowd me, you know.
First Winter Snow: ...
Eversince: ??
First Winter Snow: Duo?
Eversince: What? You sure? You do know the more we play together the more I learn about you!! We're opponents, y'know!
First Winter Snow: Senior.. strong .. fine..
Eversince: Haha. You do know things huh!
First Winter Snow: Hehe. Σ(///□///)
Eversince: Let's go? Coordinate's at 1247.8904
First Winter Snow: Coming.

 

Zhou Zekai was so pleased when he saw his 'Senior'. First Winter Snow, his first account was not bounded by his contract with the team and only a few of Samsara remember him having the account. Afterall, when he was still a trainee, he used the account card given by the team. Though he also played a few times on First Winter Snow on his first three months and initial entree as a trainee, even Fang Minghua and Wu Qi, his friends hasn't seen him playing the account. Back then he was new and there's very few who talk to him, most have left before being accepted as a regular trainee. As failing the result of the trainee qualification test will lead the players to the reality by spending a few more months again.

When Zhou Zekai started playing with Ye Xiu a year ago, First Winter Snow's worth become more special. The account became their 'code', the witness of his secret 'wooing' of a certain older man. The friendlist of the account are all Ye Xiu's dummy accounts and a single battlemage, Golden Autumn. He always started their game sending a friend request as if it was the most normal thing, making sure that it was done without showing his ulterior motive. And Ye Xiu being the dense him never tried or never get curious on First Winter Snow's friendlist.

The two spend the remaining few minutes before the event, PvE'ing monsters with their duo which have been practice more than a few times. A duo that can be a contender of 'best duo award' by time, IF only was born. Zhou Zekai made sure to observe the position, angles and listen to the directions of his partner. In the past he rarely take the initiative but they've played this type of game a few times already, especially when he was planning to make a duo with his Captain back then. But now, listening to Ye Xiu's voice command has only become a habit compared to hearing his favorite music. He already get some gists on how he should execute the command perfectly beautiful, just to get praised from time to time. Most of the monsters around them where killed by their teamwork as they continue not only PvE'ing monsters but also some wild PK'er in a leisure way while counting the clock down.

 

Eversince: Xiao Zhou, I'll be logging out.
First Winter Snow: Ok.
Eversince: See you in the field. I'll PK you if I saw you, Haha.
First Winter Snow: See you.
Eversince: Keep up if you can! I had the record of completing every Christmas Event ever.
First Winter Snow: Do!
Eversince: Haha.

 

A few more minutes and Ye Xiu told him that he'll be logging in with One Autumn Leaf as it was already 5 minutes before the event.  Zhou Zekai knew that they'll be enemies again for the ranking of the leaderboard but the few minutes he was able to witness and observe his Senior first hand is more than enough of a Christmas gift. They had played a bunch of times but he can't still erase the feeling of respect to this man. How awesome the man is. How strong the God of Glory and how much he wanted to stand by his side.

--

12 MN.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

A prompt appeared and a special tab was made in the computer interface of the game.

 

Let's start the Christmas Event with a theme of, Seasons of Love: Gift giving.

 

Rules to follow

  • The players will need to fight reindeer monsters and get certain gifts. The point, is that:

(1) They cannot redeem the the true value of the gift unless they give it to another player with different guild tag.

(2) If one was not affiliated with any guild, they would only be able to give back the gift to the elves stationed in Christmas hut all over the place which in turn will give them common materials or items.

  • (2.1)They had an option where they can gift it to a guild and they would be able to receive a broken piece of 'thank you card'.
  • (2.2) They would need to get another 2 piece of gift and give it to the same person/guild to receive a full 'Thank You' card

(3)The receiver will get the gift and they can redeem it to Santa. It will be tagged as 'present from ... *insert the avatar's name of the sender*' and also, they could also receive a message (optional) from the sender.

(4) The sender of gift will then receive a Thank you card from the receiver automatically which he can then show to Santa, to get a present.

(5) Level of Gifts - Low to High

A. Redeeming from the elves.

  • (5.1)Gift back to Elves = Common Materials/Items (Dungeon Materials, or even some Potions, all common that can be bought in the market
  • (5.2)Broken Thank You Card = Common Equipments (Blue and below)

B. Redeeming from Santa.

  • (5.3)Receiver's "Present from" = Rare Materials(Dungeon, wild boss and hidden boss materials)
  • (5.4)Sender's Full Thank You Card = Rare Materials and Equipments, mostly Purple Equipments.

(6)  Ranking

A. Ranking of most beloved - Gifts will be monitored and the ranking will show who amongst will get the most gifts.

  • (6.1) Top 1 - 25 point Skill Book, 3 pcs. of Orange Equipment, 10 pcs. of SSR materials.
  • (6.2) Top 2 - 20 points Skill Book, 2 pcs. of Orange Equipment, 5 pcs. of SSR materials.
  • (6.3) Top 3 - 10 points Skill Book, 1 pcs. of Orange Equipment, 3 pcs. of SSR materials.
  • (6.4) Top 4 to 10 - 5 points Skill Book and 1 pc. of SSR material.


B. Ranking of highest number of reindeers

  • (6.5) Top 1 - 25 point Skill Book, 3 pcs. of Orange Equipment, 5 pcs. of SSR materials.
  • (6.6) Top 2 - 35 points Skill Book, 2 pcs. of Orange Equipment, 3 pcs. of SSR materials.
  • (6.7) Top 3 - 10 points Skill Book, 1 pcs. of Orange Equipment, 1 pc. of SSR materials.

(7) Bonus
Love Present - If a sender was able to reached a certain amount of gifts to the same person. The optional messages can be counted in checking which would get the bonus. If one was chosen they would receive a gift from Santa, both the sender and receiver.

  • (7.1) Both sender and receiver will gain n(25) point Skill Book, n(25) pieces of either Orange, Purple, or Blue Equipment, n(25) pieces of SSR materials.
  • (7.2) 7.1 rule will only show a word per hour and the blank number(n) will only be released at the same time, 3 hours before the ending of the event, which is exactly 9 PM tonight.

(8) This whole Christmas Event will only happen for 24 hours, which thereafter all the monsters will be cleared and redeemable gift giving will then be prohibited. However gifts can be redeem until before the next event which is the New Year Event on January 1 to give way to those who will be celebrating Christmas with their family. Rest assured, the gifts value will not decline but we encourage everyone to open your presents on Christmas day!

Merry Christmas and Enjoy!!! HO HO HO!!

-

Based on the Level of Gifts, a Sender's full 'Thank You' Card had the highest chance of getting rare valuable items. However, the receiver of the gift also benefits a lot especially if those did not participate in the event and just waited for the gifts. The pro's who will be online already expect a lot of gifts and definitely will be on the top 10.

After reading the rules Ye Xiu started thought that most of the people who will benefit this are the pro avatars and if the talk will include the guild most of the spies will definitely be known since that's one way to get all the materials from both sides.

As the event started, killing here and there was sounded in the day of Christmas. Killing either monsters or other players can be heard in the whole servers. Most people who don't have any plans for Christmas played the event to satisfy being alone in an important holiday of the year.

Almost all team has their own Pro as representative. The prizes this time included lots of skills that can be beneficial in the race.

From last year Champions, Tyranny; only the rookies were present led by Bai Yunfei as she celebrate the Christmas at home and was able to avoid the strict schedule of the team. Han Wenqing and Zhang Jinxie were on a party and considering the time-kept Vice Captain they had whose probably already asleep, doing an event in the middle of the night is impossible.

Tiny Herb was led by Wang Jiexi and Fang Shiqian in roaming around the heavenly domain together with the remaining free members.

Blue Rain on the other hand was having all their ears busted for tonight as the one leading them was Huang Shaotian. Yu Wenzhou attended a party with their boss together with their sponsors and decided to sleep the night other than play around.

Misty Rain has Chu Yunxiu lazing around in a not serious manner but just having Windy Rain all over the map freely killing any monsters leisurely as her focused was on the released of Medical Return's episode 5.

Excellent Era's old God will never missed the said event as a man who prioritized his playing GLORY over his own health.

There are pro avatars, God-level or normal,  all over the place that people will definitely enjoy playing with. Most of the avid fans who was able to see their fave will had a screenshot. Some of the pro avatar will stop and take a pic with them but mostly they can take pictures of their bias avatar while fighting on the wild.

As the event continues, the night grew longer as the sun rises from it's deep sleep. Some lucky going who just wanted to mess around with the event only had time until 3 AM and decided to also sleep on the Christmas day. Some hardcore also stayed around.

The ranking of most beloved changes drastically from time to time but the first was still reserved for this man.

1. One Autumn Leaf
2. Troubling Rain
3. Vacarria
4.

In a competition, there's always a ranking someone will be first and someone will be second and third. The hour grew fast and the day turns to afternoon. Many have signed out and decided to not continue the quest but many has also woken up from their sleep and started the event. The whole thing of giving the gift to others seems unmotivational to some but most of the guild had used the loopholes. They used the spy alts to gain the rewards and transfer the materials and equipments around.

 

--

 

Zhou Zekai was still awake, he still kept on playing the event as he vowed to celebrate the Christamas with a certain 'Senior'. His avatar First Winter Snow is not part of any guild right now so he needed to kill two more times compared to others. He was not aware of the announcement before so he can only play by the rules.

He hasn't seen One Autumn Leaf but based on the Global chatlog he was indeed online. The moment he first kill his three reindeer monsters he open the Global and search on One Autumn Leaf. Even though he hadn't add it as friend. He put it on receiver in the gift sending icon. In this kind of event which you can give gifts to anyone on the game, everyone has the fair chance to have an interaction with the pro player they idolize.

Zhou Zekai put three of the gift he had after killing three monsters. Added a message below of each gift as "M" and click send. A prompt appeared on him saying he received a full thank you card. After reading the rules he decided he can only play by it. So the optional message was just something he wanted to add, not because of the game but more of personal reasons. He hasn't given gift the other person Christmas gift and the event just gave him all the alibi he can say. He decided to make his gift as code of "MERRY CHRISTMAS SENIOR" He only needs 21 at first but since he was not in any guild, he need to work harder this whole day as he will be needing  another two set of 21 for it to become a perfect gift of Christmas.

It's past 10 AM in the morning and he was only at letter R of the second word, meaning he had only killed 24 reindeer monsters on the last 10 hours but being able to kill 24 is already high enough as some of the monsters are late in spawning. There was even one time in *Dilo City where all the reindeers took 1 hour to spawn again. The number of reindeers per city in the heavenly domain is not all that high. Some had very few and some had very high number.

Zhou Zekai went all over the nearby city as well to kill more monsters as he needed more gifts than normal. The reindeer monsters are also different from one another, there are reindeers who had more HP, some had very high attack damage, or reindeers who had defence of a knight, there are also some who are very fast but only had 1 HP, or some hit&run reindeers who will attack and flew away using a sleigh. The monsters had various characteristics that would really test players in game but they would all release the same kind of red gift box with a green ribbon.

This is also the reason why the event is a lot more generous with the rewards as killing those monsters is harder than one thought. The highest ranking of reindeers killed was still 42. Eighteen more  than what Zhou Zekai had, but it was enough to make him hope that he will be able to pull his christmas letter to his senior.

The hours continued to tick as the event test most of the players online who can stay awake for the game. It was past the 20th hour after the game started, the event has started testing patience of the players but to Ye Xiu who was definitely in the pedestal of someone who can pull allnighters, this is nothing.

Ye Xiu continue to roam around and kill such monsters, he was 3rd in the ranking of number of reindeers killed and 1st in the most beloved. There are times he was not lucky with the reindeers. Meeting the reindeers is already for chances, added the different characteristics of the monsters, ther trickery of the event is really good.

After a few more minutes doing the event, the reindeers he had killed is number 96, rank 4th. Wang Jiexi pulled one on him with 98 as 3rd, 2nd was Tyranny's Han Wenqing even though he didn't pulled an all nighter, the guild help him a lot compared to Ye Xiu's situation the other old general has a much more grip when it comes to his team. The 1st was surprisingly in Huang Shaotian's place as he got lucky with finding the reindeers.

A prompt suddendly appeared while Ye Xiu was roaming around trying to find his next kill.

 

"Congratulations for staying up all night with us. You only have three (3) more hours to play the event. We would like to inform you that Love Present's value had been added in the rules. Kindly check in your own accord. Thank you for your patience and Merry Christmas everyone. "

 

Ye Xiu opened the icon tab of the event and went with the rules he was shocked after reading about the love presents completed rules.

 

Love Present

  • If a sender was able to reached a certain amount of gifts to the same person. The optional messages will be counted in checking which would get the bonus.

 

  • Both sender and receiver will gain 25 point Skill Book, 25 pieces of either Orange, Purple, or Blue Equipment, 25 pieces of SSR materials.

Good luck to everyone!! Wish you find your happiness this Christmas.

 

Huh? What the hell is with Glory - Everyone who's currently playing the event all had the same line of thought. 25 ??? Just because it was the 25th you'll just give it like that? Whoever got the Love Present Bonus will definitely feel the love in the air. -.-

 

By this time, Zhou Zekai have almost completed the letters. He was on the last letter and was only finding the third monster for the last full thank you card. After reading it, he decided to find more monsters to add a three heart symbol making the letter be like :

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS SENIOR ♥♥♥

MERRY CHRISTMAS SENIOR ♥♥♥

MERRY CHRISTMAS SENIOR ♥♥♥

 

The message will definitely shown in that way if sorted by receiver and time. Zhou Zekai has confirmed it by checking on his own item box. Since he would also received a full thank you card in a manner where he can see the optional message he had sent.

However a certain One Autumn Leaf didn't give shits on the gifts he received and just focused on killing the monsters. There are no limits on how many can be received and he had all the time to redeem the gifts after the event so he just let it rot on his item box not even giving any care at all. 

 

Glory Pro Chatroom

Troubling Rain: What the fuck what the fuck what the fuck. Did you guys see that shitty love present. what the hell. what's wrong with the developers. what the 25 pieces SSR, what's their basis huh huh huh. if their gonna just choose. they should choose me right since i'm no.1 in the ranking no.1 in the whole wide world no.1 in the universe. you losers. i'll definitely receive that 25 pt. skill book plus 25 for the ranking then 25 pt. in most beloved, i'll definitely get it from you old ye old ye old ye. that's fucking total 75 pt. hahahaha. just wait till i destroy you guys with my troubling rain in my new skill point set. haha. i'll pkpkpkpkpk everyone of you so you can taste my new skill points.

Windy Rain: Ughhh.. can someone shut Huang Shaotian?

Carved Ghost: He's been spamming the Group Chat from who knows when.

Life Extinguisher: @Swoksaar perhaps, can you tame your wild one?

Swoksaar: Shaotian :)

Troubling Rain: I'm not doing anything bad Captain. i'm safe. safe.

Dazzling Hundred Blossoms: there's still 3 hours shaotian you might get dethroned. :)

Troubling Rain: huh? me? me? me? Old Zhang, are you talking to this mighty sword saint getting dethroned being number 1. you should worry about yourself your not even number 2 haha. don't cry you can do it i'll cheer for you.

Vacarria: Oops. I think I changed the leaderboard Shaotian.

Troubling Rain: Hmmm?

Troubling Rain: What the fucking shit did you fucking do Wang Jiexi. how did your ranking goes up what the hell you cheat cheat cheat. i'll report you how did your number increasing sudddenly where are you huh huh huh huh you are cheating definitely

Troubling Rain: you cheat. i'll pkpkpkpkpkpkpkpkpkpk you

Troubling Rain: Where are you where are you huh huh huh huh

 

Troubling Rain has been muted by One Autumn Leaf for 15 minutes.


One Autumn Leaf: wew.

Windy Rain: wew +1

Dancing Rain: wew +2
.
.
.

Rota: Wew + pi number

Swoksaar: Sorry about that everyone. I'll definitely add some training to Huang Shaotian after the event.

 

The event continues and Ye Xiu was able to win the first place the 25 skill point in the most beloved ranking, unfortunately he wasn't able to get in top 3 in the highest number of killed reindeers. But he received 25 skill point for One Autumn Leaf. It will definitely help him strengthen the avatar. The announcement of winner continue until a prompt open up.

 

"Congratulations to One Autumn Leaf for winning the love present award from First Winter Snow."

-Love Present contains of 25 point Skill Book, 25 pieces of either Orange, Purple, or Blue Equipment, 25 pieces of SSR materials. First Winter Snow as a dedicated lover will also receive the same amount. Have a merry merry Christamas to the both of you!!"

 

Zhou Zekai was blushing really hard as he saw that announcement. He never thought the thing he did for the last 24 hours was so fruitful. He took a screenshot, send to his drive and made put a copy to his backup of Ye Xiu materials.

 

Ye Xiu who was sitting in front of the computer starts getting a headache again. He has been playing with this Sharpshooter using his alts from a long time. They even played duo before the event started but he never played with One Autumn Leaf. Never.

 

But seeing the names side by side in the Glory announcement he knew something felt underhanded. How long did this man had a crush on me? Is what he first thought. It was really snicky as the name is not obvious but....


One - First

Autumn - Winter

Leaf - Snow


Xiao Zhou, you're using some analogy on a master tactician. Is what he wanted to say to the younger man. But nevertheless, he benefited a lot tonight. He atleast need to say thanks to the man, no matter how shameless he is.

 

One Autumn Leaf: Xiao Zhou, didn't know you're so dedicated.. Does that mean you're my lover now?
One Autumn Leaf: Haha, just kidding as if that'll happen, it was just a game.

(Ye Xiu added as a hint of rejecting the man. And of course he ignored the avatar naming he just noticed. What's the point? To give more hope to the other. He's not even planning to entertain his feelings.)

One Autumn Leaf: I saw the message btw. anyway, thanks for the gifts. And Merry Christmas too..

First Winter Snow: Senior. ^^
First Winter Snow: Happy.
First Winter Snow: Merry Christmas (〃⊃ω⊂〃)

 

Zhou Zekai was still high and felt elated on the announcement so he didn't really mind what Ye Xiu chat on him and just took it as another shameless way of talking by the man.

 

 


 

 

New Year Extra^^

-January 1, not the Lunar New Year

 

Some part of China celebrate Western New Year. City S and Xiao Zhou's family did, especially since his father is a half chinese-french and had grew up as a French before attending college in China.

 

Ye Xiu who was playing the New Year event opened his QQ to check who amongst the pro's are currently playing. He rarely chat with them in the group but he would always open and read silently while remaining invisible. He was currently scrolling when a certain young man, the reason of his recurring headache chatted him. BUT no matter how much it troubles him, Ye Xiu wasn't able to just seen and left the young man hanging. He cannot act like how he often did when Huang Shaotian was messaging him. Making him always reply in the end.


Private Message with Ye Qiu


Zhou Zekai: Senior..
Ye Qiu: Xiao Zhou
Zhou Zekai: Rest?
Ye Qiu: I'm playing Glory right now. I'll rest later..
Zhou Zekai: .. New year?
Ye Qiu: Oh.. So you're one of those who celebrate western new year. Hmmm..
Zhou Zekai: Senior?
Ye Qiu: Nah! Our family never celebrate it. Lunar New Year is the holiday as per tradition.
Zhou Zekai: Happy New Year :)
Ye Qiu: I just said that I'm not celebrating this holiday tho,
Zhou Zekai: First! (๑////๑)
Ye Qiu: Hahaha. Bye. I'm going..
Zhou Zekai: Senior..
Ye Qiu: hmmm?
Zhou Zekai: *insert video of fireworks*
Ye Qiu: That's really beautiful Xiao Zhou :)
Zhou Zekai: ...
Ye Qiu: ???
Zhou Zekai: *insert voice recording*
Zhou Zekai: *Happy New Year ... Senior*


Zhou Zekai went offline.

 

Ye Xiu was stunned after clicking the voice recording that was sent to him. At first he thought it was another video of fireworks like the young man send a few seconds ago. But after hearing it, he was so stupefy that he didn't move nor blink in the next five minutes. 

After snapping, Ye Xiu replayed the recording three more times and unconsciously smiled before closing the QQ and returning to the tab of GLORY. His mind was full of one thought;

Xiao Zhou, I haven't forgotten what you did last Christmas Event. You added another one. 

Chapter Text

 

(Around 2nd week of April)

Today is another match day for Excellent Era as the team continue to fight for the throne. It was 15 minutes before 10 AM when Ye Xiu woke up as Su Mucheng entered his room.

 

"Xiu-ge, wake up. Is something wrong? Not enough sleep?" Su Mucheng said as she noticed the small bags and stressed aura of the older man.

 

"Hmm. Just watch some videos of Samsara last night." Ye Xiu answered to the young girl.

 

"It's past 12, you should start preparing. Let's eat lunch together." Su Mucheng said and left him after doing her task.

 

"Yeah." Ye Xiu can't say to the girl that the reason he wasn't able to get enough sleep is because of who they were facing. It's the first time after that 'thing' happen. After the confession happen. As shameless as he is, he cannot guarantee his own feelings on meeting him. He wasn't even able to keep his body motions on betraying him back then. 

 

 

Private message with Cloud Piercer

Cloud Piercer: Senior, morning.

One Autumn Leaf: Oh! Xiao Zhou, morning too.

Cloud Piercer: Coming.

One Autumn Leaf: Ok, keep safe. I'm still beating your team, y'know 😎

Cloud Piercer: Samsara.

One Autumn Leaf: Let's just see. Hmmm.

Cloud Piercer: Meet?

One Autumn Leaf: ....where are you bringing me this time Mr.  Hopeless Romantic Penguin? You're not planning another one hell of a surprise ain't you?

Cloud Piercer: (〃ω〃) want?

One Autumn Leaf: Wherever you want. I'll leave it up to you, Xiao Zhou.

Cloud Piercer: Before

One Autumn Leaf: No,no,no. Xiao Zhou, we're enemies. Not until after the game. Be prepared, I'll kick your ass in team competition.

Cloud Piercer: No.

One Autumn Leaf: Haha. Try hard. I'll see to your improvement.

Cloud Piercer: Senior, where?

One Autumn Leaf: Let's just meet outside. West corner, near the small convenience store. *insert screenshot of google map of a family-owned store.*

Cloud Piercer: ...Hmmm, best of luck.

One Autumn Leaf: Best of luck then, see yah.

Cloud Piercer: See you <3

 

Ye Xiu's looking in front of the computer and decided to log out after a few more minutes. He just only opened to check his QQ with a certain person.

 

It's been exactly two and a half months since the confession happen and since they started dating but each time they would chat he would still remember that surprise of Zhou Zekai.

 

He would still imagine that beautiful place from time to time and get those butterflies rummage his stomach. He won't show it in his face but his heart would often beat erratically whenever he remember that surprise. He sighed as he get off from the chair and went to shower and prepare.

~~

Zhou Zekai woke up early today as they had a game with Excellent Era meaning he will see his LOVER again. It's been more than 2 months since the last time he saw him, more than 2 months after he confessed.

 

At first it was hard since he often missed him and he want to be with him more but he knows that they both have their own responsibilities.

 

He only thinks that everything will be fine since they have constant communication. Not unlike in the past where he need to time his messages just so he won't be a nuisance.

 

Now he felt fine and confident on chatting him, that he has all the reasons in the world to message him even if it is not related in Glory. Although it was also a question on how many times he would search first and practice first on whatever they would talk to.

 

But everytime he would chat with the other, he still felt incredibly happy, knowing different things about Ye Xiu or maybe just simply saying good morning or good night. Everytime the other would reply in his simple messages, the smile from his face would never be lost.

 

Zhou Zekai can never get tired of thinking that the man he once just looked up to, is now his boyfriend. The blues are still circulating in his system, and the pictures he took were still saved and become his food to sustain the long distance relationship they had.

 

That beautiful fairy is now his. No matter how far they are from each other as long as their together, as long as it was mutual, as long as there's a label, he'll do everything for this relationship.

 

Zhou Zekai had already thought where he would bring Ye Xiu tonight. It was not as romantic as before but he already got an idea. He already know that they would only meet a few times in a year since the other half is a very workaholic person so he already decided that everytime should be cherished more.

 

"Old Lu." Zhou Zekai greeted an old man who looks like the manager of the cafe. He brought Ye Xiu in a cafe owned by his mom. The same cafe he went to errand back in Summer when he intentionally make an unexpected date with his Senior. 

 

He choose their date for the reason that it was another night outing as the game was done around past 7:30 PM. Samsara lost however the night is not yet done for the handsome young lad. He needs to atleast win this date and made Ye Xiu's feelings bend towards him more.

 

Ye Xiu, on the other hand just followed the man to wherever he'll be bringing him. The two met in the agreed place as Ye Xiu saw the man coming in a disguise while he was smoking.

 

Him, not attending press conference or him being gone after the game has been normal ever since back then so when he was gone this time, no one questioned him. Zhou Zekai wasn't questioned as he informed his team and management in his own way beforehand, one week before the game. His own way of communication means the team wasn't able to get any substance from him.

 

"Little Zekai, so this is your friend, we already put the thing you asked. But are you sure you don't need any assistance? I can atleast let one to stay y'know."

 

"No."

 

"Ok." The older looking manager just leave after the small talk.

 

"You know them, Xiao Zhou?" Ye Xiu asked as he saw that the two were comfortable in conversing which is a rare occassion when someone is 'making a talk' with Zhou Zekai.

 

"Hmm. Mom's cafe."

 

"Ohhh, this is your family's?"

 

"En."  Zhou Zekai nodded as they were eating white pasta in one of the table for their dinner.

 

"I thought you're gonna make another surprise. Haha. Looks like my heart will be able to rest tonight huh." Ye Xiu just commented to the younger one however his heart felt relieved because he knows fully well that the more he saw the consistent gentleness and surprises of Zhou Zekai the more he felt attached to him.

 

"...."

 

After eating the pasta which the two barely finished as thet both have eaten dinner before the game, Zhou Zekai lead Ye Xiu upstairs. "Oh, they had rooms here?", his lover asked as they reached the second floor.

 

"Private." The second floor is made up of 3 rooms, and a stairs on the right side of the single door which leds to rooftop for more tables.

 

"Ohhh." Ye Xiu hummed as he follow the lead of the younger to the soloed room.

 

Zhou Zekai opened the door for Ye Xiu to enter first which made the older speechless. "What the hell, Xiao Zhou don't tell me you fixed your cafe just for today?" Ye Xiu asked vehemently as he saw the arrangement of the floor.

 

"Just a bit."

 

"Huh?"

 

"Gaming center." The second floor's right side is indeed a gaming center, there were a bit of claw machines here and there, video games, etc. But Zhou Zekai asked to change the layout a bit and add a projector, connected to the two computers with 2 card readers beside each other which is basically calling for Glory In Game fight. He also asked to put the sofa around there in front of the projector for the possible movie date.

 

"Hahaha. So? Don't tell me we're gonna play like kids?"

 

"Movie?"

 

"Hahahaha." Ye Xiu laugh as he looked at Zhou Zekai, he cannot fathom how many of sweet novels had this man read. It was not as romantic as the confession but nonetheless it was a definition of a sweet tooth aching date.

 

"Hmmm. Let's watch movie first? I don't want to beat you twice in a day." Ye Xiu said as he walked towards the sofa.

 

The two were siting side by side as they started to watch the serie Ye Xiu chose. It was a series that Mucheng recommended to him.

 

The whole place is really silent and only the sound of the movie can be heard and a bit of munching with their junk foods.

 

Ye Xiu was eating a strawberry ice cream in a cone that was brought to them before the manager left to close the establishment. He felt the stare of the person beside him and thought of teasing the young man.

 

"Do you want some, Xiao Zhou?" He said while offering the ice cream in his hand in front of the other's mouth.

 

Even though there's only a bit light Zhou Zekai's reddened face is visible for him to see.

 

Ye Xiu grinned as he saw the angelic face of the man turning to a very ripe tomato. He saw how the man hesitate and can't decide what to do. He can clearly see it as there is a space between the two of them.

 

On the other hand he was nervous as there was an awkward silence from the beginning but now he felt more calm inside as he teased the younger man.

 

When the other has almost made up his mind based on his gestures, Ye Xiu then retracted his hand and continued to eat the ice cream which started to melt and make a mess of his hand. He grinned as he return his focus to the movie and ignore the one beside him.

 

Ye Xiu cannot describe how much happiness he felt at that moment. He was not sure why but he liked it. The bashful cute face and the shy actions of the other.

 

Zhou Zekai knew 'his Senior' was teasing him. He knew very well, but that doesn't mean he can control his feelings. He always love this person, no matter what he do, the blues are still within him. He can't still believe that they were indeed 'boyfriends', that they were in a romantic relationship and not just a senior-junior or an acquaintance level. They were LOVERS. And that they were in a date right now. He sighed as he continue to look at the man. He can see the slight grin in the older's face. *I need to get back at him*, he thought.

 

Alas, looks an opportunity was given to him as Ye Xiu offer him again, 

 

"C'mon Xiao Zhou, I'll give the best part to you." Ye Xiu said as he put the tip of the ice cream where the delicious chocolate is in front of Zhou Zekai. He continue to make fun of Zhou Zekai as he know that the younger man is not as shameless as he is.

 

"Senior." Zhou Zekai whispered a little and knew that this is his only chance to get back.

 

As the other offer him again while grinning, this time he hardened his face before he made his move. He grabbed the wrist of Ye Xiu and took the last bite that was offered on him. Zhou Zekai completely ate the remaining tip of the ice cream, including fingers that was holding the part. Cleaning the little mess in 'his' beautiful dainty fair hands.

 

Ye Xiu was stunned as he watched the younger man took a bite on his fingers softly as if it was newborn baby sucking his forefinger. He gulp as he saw Zhou Zekai licked his fingers. The same fingers he used to beat the other in GLORY just a few hours ago.

 

As if contented Zhou Zekai returned his hand after giving little kisses on his fingers and smiled on him. Ye Xiu only saw the man innocently smiling at him after what he'd done as if what he did is the most normal thing in the world .

 

"Xiao Zhou, you're getting good at being shameless huh. I never thought you that right? Did I?"

 

"Hehe."

 

The two continue to watch the movie until Ye Xiu fell asleep. Zhou Zekai was focused on watching and understanding the movie since he wanted to add another information on his boyfriend's note regarding on what kind of movies does Ye Xiu enjoy. He was thinking of something to talk after the episode 4 of the series when he noticed the other lying in the armrest of the sofa sleeping.

 

Zhou Zekai stand up and went to the bag which he brought that contains his long scarf. After getting back to the sofa, he went to Ye Xiu's side. They both know that the space is because their still not comfortable acting as lovers.

 

Zhou Zekai put the scarf on Ye Xiu to lessen the cold. As he finished doing such, his sight was taken by that face.

 

Ever since he met this man back then, he can feel the confidence and determination in his body language. The way he stand, the way he looks, the way he speaks. Every single trait oozes the person's dominancy.

 

However that same person is lying in front of him peacefully, or maybe he was just tired. But seeing that the man can sleep with him, he felt his heart melt knowing he was comfortable being with him. The face that drives the entire alliance as being the most shameless person there is, is quietly sleeping beside him. What greater joy it is.

 

Zhou Zekai took his phone out to add another picture of his beloved in his collection.

 

After a few more minutes of satisfying his urge of taking pictures of the most cryptic God of Alliance, he then push some mechanism to turn the sofa into a bed. He slowly and carefully adjusted the man to lie down beside him into the now bed, something he had seen on his research(*basically a bunch of romantic movies he watched).

 

Zhou Zekai continue to stare at the face of his boyfriend after fixing their position. He lied down hugging the man and just watched and listen to the others' breath until he fell asleep. 


-


Ye Xiu wakes up feeling thirsty. As he slowly open his eyes he knows that he is currently being hugged by a huge teddy bear. Before he completely process whatever position they were in, him hugging the man facing the other's chest as he used the Zhou Zekai's arms as his substitute pillow and the man's hand returning it with the other hand on his waist, he remember falling asleep last night while they were watching a series.

 

Movie date or Napping date. Ye Xiu fixed himself and slowly sit down on the sofabed. He stand up and went to the counter which had drinks on the chillers. He get a bottled water and drink some to clear his mind. He saw the young man still lying in the sofabed.

 

"Xiao Zhou's really cute, innocently looking dumbly cute."  He thought to himself as the younger man was munching a bit and snoring so soft. The snore was so soft that it can be consider as just breath if one will be looking in the pretty side.

 

"I didn't snore last night right?" Ye Xiu walked closely to see the man's handsome face a bit more. He was already in front of the face of the man trying to fix the hair of the younger that was so messy when he felt chills in his body. His body started to tremble slightly as he leaned a bit forward near on the neck side of the man.

 

"So, I can't still handle the glands huh." Ye Xiu thought and stand up again. He went outside to wash his face and fixed his hair in the restroom. After washing his face, he looked at the mirror and saw the tip of his ears a bit red. The reddish part was unnoticeable if one wouldn't look too much into it. But for him it was enough to know his situation.


"Looks like, there still some parts that I can't control."

"It looks a normal blush though."

"As long as there's no scent, guess it'll be fine."


He thought before going back to the room. It was only 3 AM and the other was still asleep so what to do is something he'd been doing for the last few years. Go in-game and troll with players. He opened the computer beside, sit in the chair, put the headphone, insert the card and lastly click the GLORY icon.

 


 

May 29th,

 

 

Private message with One Autumn Leaf

Cloud Piercer: Senior, free?

One Autumn Leaf: Xiao Zhou? Are you in City H again?

Cloud Piercer: hmmm. Celebrate.

One Autumn Leaf: Huh?

Cloud Piercer: Happy birthday.

One Autumn Leaf: Oh. My birthday..i forgot, i never really celebrate it. Haha.

Cloud Piercer: ...date?

One Autumn Leaf: Haha. Sure sure. What time?

Cloud Piercer: Now?

One Autumn Leaf: You're already here?

Cloud Piercer: Hehe

One Autumn Leaf: Ok. Give me a minute

 

Today is friday and Ye Xiu was supposed to be planning for the semi-finals that should've start by tomorrow. However this year there had been changes from the Alliance as starting Semifinals there would be one week interim for the team and players to prepare. The Alliance value the top 4 team who reached this stage and they all deserve to have more time to prepare, according to their new Chairman Feng. He believed that the dream that everyone is holding is only one step away when they reached this stage. 
Although everyone's dream is to win the Championship but that doesn't mean their goal didn't start on just being able to stand on the stage of finals. Being able to stand on the Finals stage is never easy, it is more than difficult to stand on finals than to win the pinnacle. A whole season just to be able to reach it, a bunch of matches just to stand on it, so semifinals which will decide the fate of the teams is important, very important. Because of this Chairman Feng signed a new rule of the Alliance that after playoffs, there will be a week off to prepare for the last stage.

 

Coincidentally, Ye Xiu's birthday is on the said rest week. Ye Xiu went to their manager's office and asked for a leave today. Given that it was his birthday, the management wasn't able to deny his leave as it is part of their contract. However a tensed situation was formed.

 

"I'll be on leave today Manager Cui Li."

 

"Huh? Why? Don't you know how important the next game was? It's semifinals, you're supposed to be preparing for it."

 

"It's my birthday today. According to the clause of my contract, taking a leave for personal matters is allowed." Ye Xiu said blandly, after this manager was hired around March this year, he noticed the growing tensions between the members of the team. He also often saw him talking to them, especially Liu Hao and Chen Yehui. 

 

"Go, go." Cui Li said with his mind focused on his own ulterior plans.

 

Ye Xiu walked away as soon as the talk was done. And he absolutely observed the change of attitudes of the Manager. The deceptive eyes that plans things behind someone's back, looks like a snake that will bite you in the neck.

 

--

 

Zhou Zekai decided the surprise he wanted to give Ye Xiu based on their results. Samsara has entered playoffs again this year. Although they also lose on the first round, the impact of being in the playoffs for consecutive years made the  atmosphere of the team better, after the game, their Captain has also announced retirement together with some of the main rooster. At first there was an uproar but it all settled as soon as Zhou Zekai was announced to be the next Captain. 

 

Flashback Samsara's press conference after losing playoffs.

"First of all we, together with the few of us that decided to end our journey here would like to say thank you so much for support. Support from our management, support of the whole team, and especially support from our fans who believed on us. We would not make it here without you. Although we didn't reach that golden trophy, this Glory of being able to enter the playoffs is more than enough for small players like us. Our support for Samsara will never end. Again, thank you so much everyone." Lu Bai said while smiling in the camera.

 

"Captain Lu Bai, can we ask who will be the next Captain?"

 

"I know most of you has your own ideas but the team has decided to pass the Captaincy to our best rookie, Zhou Zekai."

 

"Isn't this just a gimmick to promote Zhou Zekai more? Based on the results we know that Mr. Zhou is a really good player but his communication is not really suitable for making a call. Captains are usually the one who make the call, like Captain Ye Qiu of Excellent Era or Captain Wang Jiexi of Tiny Herb, or Captain Yu Wenzhou of Blue Rain"

 

"Communication and teamwork is something that can be improve but the team, the management and us the retirees decided to take this decisions because of one thing. We all believe that the strongest should be the Captain. If we're gonna list those tactician as the only suitable for Captaincy, then what about Vice Captain Zhang Xinjie of Tyranny? He was the one making the calls in their team however he's not the Captain, not because of older generation but because we all know that Captain Han Wenqing is stronger. Though it was also a debate since Zhang Xinjie is a healer but what I want you to focus is that towards the team's goal of someday reaching the top, we believed that the strongest, the core should always be the Captain." Lu Bai answered and some of the reporters nodded as they saw the conviction of the retiring captain

 

"As someone who will be staying in the technical department of the team, I can also say that, yes the new Samsara will revolve to Cloud Piercer or Zhou Zekai in the future but the team will reach our goal. This is staying true to our mission. It was not preferential but taking our mission to life. Now that we've found a way we'll not let it go. One day we will also be there at that stage. And the team knows fully well that after Zhou Zekai has improved and reach Godhood, he will take Samsara to the pinnacle."

 

"Mr. Zhou- Captain Zhou Zekai what can you say?"

 

"Best."

 

"Any other comment on your team's faith on you?"

 

"En ." Zhou Zekai answered with much more force as he nod showing his conviction. He didn't really like talking and communicating to others. Of course, there's always an exception like that 'man'.

 

"......"

 

End of Flashback

 

Excellent Era on the other hand has succesfully entered the semi finals that will be held on the first week of June.

 

Zhou Zekai fully know that the other will definitely be busy so he only asked the older man for the day itself. It's the first time he will celebrate the other's birthday. He already expected at first that atmost they will only eat out and the other will not go on his planned schedule. 

 

Ye Xiu went out of Excellent Era and went to their meeting place. The same Mcdo, last summer. From afar, he can see the silhoutte of the same man standing. Same place and same way. Waiting for him dilligently like an innocent man he was. Xiao Zhou. 

 

"Yo."

 

"Senior."

 

"So.., what cafe do you wanted to go this time?" Ye Xiu asked while grinning, remembering the alibi of the man last time.

 

"..." Zhou Zekai blushed as he remember his unexpected move last summer. 

 

"Hahaha. C'mon, I'm just teasing you Xiao Zhou."

 

"Senior, eat?" Ye Xiu saw the man tried his best to ask him as the flusterred face can be seen even though his face is covered by a mask. The ears are slowly turning pinkish. 

 

"Oh., you're not gonna surprise me with your romantic plays?"

 

"Senior.."

 

"Haha. Ok ok. So where are we going? Let's eat lunch I haven't had one."

 

"En."

 

"Do you have anywhere you want to go, maybe a cuisine? or barbecue?"

 

"Hmmm."

 

"I'm telling you, this brother can't pay for 5 stars ok."

 

"My treat."

 

"Xiao Zhou, I'm the old-"

 

"My treat." The man cut him before he even said his reasons staring at him really hard.

 

"Ok. Sure, If that's what you want. But I'm already hungry, let's just eat here in Mcdo?"

 

"..."

 

"Let's go. I'll tell you, junkfoods are good from time to time."

 

Zhou Zekai ordered their food while Ye Xiu look for a corner table where they can eat peacefully. Zhou Zekai ordered group spaghetti, a bunch of fries, two cheeseburger and large coke for the drinks. He was trying to find where Ye Xiu is when he saw the man waving on him from the corner area near the huge glass.

 

"You brought lots Xiao Zhou."

 

"Hmp."

 

"I know, you wanted to go to another romantic classy date similar to whatever you saw on the internet but celebrating birthday in Mcdo is fine too you know. I rarely even celebrate my birthday before, it was only Mucheng bringing cake last year, I think? Other than that, I can't remember when  was the last time I did, so c'mon stop sulking you big baby boy. Hahaha."

 

"Hehe. Special.." Ye Xiu didn't hear the last part but Zhou Zekai felt happy when he learn that he was special. At first, date in a fastfood is not what he planned but seeing Ye Xiu smile is more than enough. He knows that going to classy restaurant is also good but it would only lead to an awkward atmosphere. Zhou Zekai noted it again, Ye Xiu is not so good with too much formal.

 

After the two finished their lunchdate. Zhou Zekai was hesitating but he already brought a picnic items in his car. The car was borrowed from the cafe of his mom in City H as he only booked a flight going here. They were already outside of Mcdo when Ye Xiu asked him.

 

"So, where's the next? Do you want to go on tour of City H? I knew some place."

 

"Senior. Free?"

 

"Hmm? Of course, the whole day is yours Xiao Zhou. I took a leave." When Zhou Zekai heard this from the man he smiled and hugged the man feeling elated. He was not sure if it was alright to spend time with him since semifinals is coming. And the other needs to prepare but even though it was supposed to be him making Ye Xiu feel special on his birthday, he felt special as the man give him time. 

 

He hold the others hand and guide the man where he parked the car.

 

Ye Xiu was leisurely walking by the road hand in hand with a silent man. He didn't know where the quiet youngster will be bringing him. They stopped on a what seem a rental parking lot.

 

"Did you brought a car, Xiao Zhou?"

 

"Hmm"

 

"So you really did have a plan huh. Where are you taking me, is this kidnap? Haha"

 

"Surprise."

 

It was past 1 30PM when they reached the parking lot and of course the gentleman Zhou Zekai opened the car's door for him. Ye Xiu knows by then that the man really made a plan but was just minding his time.

 

At first hour Ye Xiu was still alive and chatted with Zhou Zekai but the long drive made him sleepy. He only woke up when he heard a flash of a camera. He was not sure and started rubbing his eyes.

 

"Xiao Zhou, are we here?" Zhou Zekai fixed his stalker tendency and put his phone back to his pocket.

 

"En. Wake?"

 

"What time is it? Sorry I fell asleep."

 

"Fine."

 

"Did you do something Xiao Zhou?"

 

"No."

 

"I think I heard something like a flash and camera shutter? Is it just my imagination?"

 

"Yes."

 

"Hahaha. So what time is it?"

 

"4"

 

"That's a long drive, where did you brought me?"

 

"Let's go?"

 

"Do I need to put a blindfold Xiao Zhou?" Ye Xiu asked teasingly.

 

"Senior."

 

"Haha. Okay, just I can go by myself, you don't need to be a perfect prince and open the door for me. Mr. Gentle Penguin"

 

"Senior.." Ye Xiu saw the man pouted as he continuously tease him.

 

Zhou Zekai brought Ye Xiu in a sunflower grove which is not yet popular as it was only launched and there are only few people visiting it. But his mom talked about this place one time as the owner is a friend of hers and they were planning to collaborate on the foods to be sell here. The place is still not yet fully fixed for attraction and there are still some parts where the soil can be seen. However there was a huge part where sunflowers as tall as human can be seen. He hold Ye Xiu's hand with his right while the other hand was holding the basket and cooler he brought. 

 

Ye Xiu on the other hand was again speechless, he hardened his face and made sure to show his shameless side asking,

 

"So we're having a picnic date watching in a sunflower garden, Xiao Zhou?"

 

"En.


 
"What's the title of the movie Xiao Zhou?

 

"...."

 

"Haha. You big baby boy. Thank you for this. I appreciate it." Ye Xiu said as he rustle the soft hair of the other.

 

"Happy birthday."

 

"Thank you."

 

The two sitted in a the mat Zhou Zekai put bringing out some the foods in the baskets, some sandwiches,  bite-sized chicken and an onigiri box. After putting out the foods, Zhou Zekai open the cooler and took the small box of cake above of drinks. He was looking for the candle when he saw Ye Xiu smiling.

 

"Senior, candle?"

 

"What?" Ye Xiu denying the little mischief he did of hiding the candle wanting to saw the other panicking as if he left something important that will ruin the surprise. He saw the candle when he was rummaging on the basket and guessed that there was definitely a cake.

 

"Senior." Zhou Zekai asked again in a pleading tone. He knew that he was being teased again for the nth time today. But he didn't mind as it was none other than this man.

 

"Here." Ye Xiu gave up and handed over the candle.

 

"You really did your best huh, the foods seems to be all handmade. Did you make the cake too?" Ye Xiu asked as he talked to the man preparing the cake with his back on him.

 

"..."

 

"Should I close my eyes then,?"

 

"Senior." Zhou Zekai brought the cake with the candle lightened. And yes, it was also a handmade. Meaning Zhou Zekai wake up who knows what time to baked a strawberry filling cake. The cake is a simple design and covered with white chocolate icing that has some bits of strawberries. The top was a chocolate crafted autumn leaf design with a bunch of strawberies on the center and surrounded of the lettering of happy birthday in a semi circle. The name Ye Xiu was also written below with a bold red icing.

 

As Ye Xiu saw the cake, he knew by then that the design was something this young man did as he had never seen this kind of cake. 

 

"Senior. Wish." Ye Xiu smiled at him before closing his eyes and making a wish. I should have wished the same as last year, good health and more Glory time. But I'd like to add a wish of good luck in my relationship with Xiao Zhou. 


Ye Xiu blow the candle after the wish and smile. Before he even start another conversation, the moment he laid his eyes with the man holding the cake, he heard him speak.

 

"Happy birthday Ye Xiu, I love you." Zhou Zekai said and smiled at him. 

 

How many times had he practice that?

 


 

July~

 

Summer after Season 5, many have started preparing for Season 6 while some took vacations, either going back home, travelling here and there, going to beach relaxing. Most of the Pro's have their own plans for summer. 

 

"Let's go."

 

"When are you coming back?"

 

"Manager, I'll go back 3 days before. Haha."

 

"The Captain can handle the preparation himself. He's the Glory Textbook right? Haha"

 

"Should I go visit City Q? I've been planning to go but I was hesitating since we need to prepare"

 

"What prepare? Ye Qiu can do everything by himself. Enjoy your vacation."

 

"If that's what you said Manager."

 

"I was also planning to go out of town. I'll bring some souvenirs for you guys"

 

"Sure go ahead. Don't forget the headcount. You don't really need to give those two. Haha"

 

"Mucheng too? I think I can-"

 

"Nah, that bitch is just another hand of that loser."

 

"I guess. Sure sure, I'll go. enjoy guys."

 

"Enjoy."

 

Ye Xiu's face was distorted after hearing such talk on his way to the boss' room. He was summoned for a talk only to witness his own team disrespecting him. 

Liu Hao. Manager Cui Li.

He decided to play deaf and continue to his way. Pretending everything will be fine. Giving careless to the envy clearly written in the eyes of his own vice captain. He reached the boss' room and as soon as he entered, his old brother Tao told him,

 

"Ye Xiu, you lose, not even Finals this time. I even heard from Manager Cui Li that you didn't prepare enough because you chose your own personal business over your responsibility as a Captain."

 

"I was only gone for 1 day and it was my birthday, I think there's nothing wrong on taking some rest."

 

"Now what? what about next year? last year you didn't win, now the team was even eliminated in semifinals, next what?"

 

"The team needs more cooperation."

 

"I don't care, that's your part. Your responsibility. You kept on insisting on telling me that you wouldn't touch anything related on business to focus on leading the team. Leading on what? Where's the Championship? Did you know that some sponsor quit again. We need money to run the team you very well know that. I'll send you the papers, choose atleast one."

 

"I won't show my face."

 

"Ye Qiu. Stop going backward. You're pulling Excellent Era with you, Muqiu would never do that if he was here."

 

"If that's all you're going to say, I'm leaving. I won't do any commercials. That's final."

 

"Ye Qiu."

 

*Bang

 

The greed have eaten you Old friend.

 

Ye Xiu heard a loud bang of the table as he leave the Boss' room. He walks by the hallway when he saw the Manager on the opposite direction, talking with the guild leader Chen Yehui. 

 

"Ye Qiu, you should help out on the guild since you don't have any plans this summer. You can atleast do that right?"

 

"I will, just go find me in my room or in the training room if you need me." He left as soon as he said that, he didn't want to talk with this person.

 

Did they think I don't have any brains at all? How much of an idiot are they to not know why I am labelled as Master Tactician. 


Old Tao, is this what you want. 


You hired that Manager, you choose those players to pull me out. Haha

 

Season 1, We won the Championship and I decline your offer of commercialization.

Season 2, We won again, so you weren't able to say anything but the talk were still there.

Season 3, We still won the Championship, creating that dynasty, for the last three years Old Wu was there to talk with you, to stop you on forcing me to do those commercials.

Season 4, We lost and you started bugging me with all of this, you didn't show too much upfront as Mucheng is also joining and you know her value. You used my sister on those commercials but you still again and again pushed those contracts in front of me. 

Season 5, The team is crumbling. Just because you wanted me to do those commercials, just to gain those sponsors, just for you to have more money. You think I will not notice those people you choose, Liu Hao, Chen Yuhui, Manager Cui Li. That error in semifinals, you told me it was my fault but you never watched any match at all. Liu Hao made that error, the reason we lost. It was his intentional error. 

 

Ye Xiu sighed thinking for the future, for the next season. Season 6. I just wished this team won't go down any further. I bet the errors this time will be worse. It's fine Ye Xiu, you'll be able to do it. You can. For Glory.

 

Ye Xiu lied down on the bed as soon as he came to his room. The exhaustion took over his body and he just wanted to close his eyes and forget everything happening around him. He knew that the team is already abandoning him. But this is the team that he and Muqui made, This is their dream. Slowly as he closed his eyes his body relaxed and he started to fall asleep.

Chapter Text

Last week of July ~

"The start of new generations, Season 5's Champion - Team Tiny Herb"

"You're watching that again Jiexi?"

"Hmm, Just wanted to feel it again. Can't believe we won."

"You really should start believing it, Captain. Haha."

"Qian, let's win again."

"Don't tell me you're getting addicted to winning Championship even though it's only the first one?"

"I dunno but it still feels magical I guess? Everyone's effort was able to be fruitful."

"Thank you for your hard work Captain." Fang Shiqian said as he taps the shoulder of the other man.

"Thank you for always being here Qian."

"Ah! I know, should we celebrate? My uncle owns a small resort west of Qing neighborhood. I'll ask him if we can rent it this summer. You should start planning already."

"Okay. I'll ask the team."

 

Glory Pro Chat

Vaccaria: We'll be having celebration guys, are you free on August 13-14?

Windy Rain: wooooaahh.. I'm in.

Crying Devil: Old Wang is inviting us. I'm free, Wuce you going?"

Carved Ghost: I'm free, Captain.

Dazzling Hundred Blossoms: Tch tch. Celebrating. Hmmmmp. Fine I'm a sportsman. Where is the meeting place?

Dancing Rain: Waaaa.. I wanna go too!! Is it a resort or formal party?

Laughing Song: Hmmmm. I'm in. I'll bring the two kids from Samsara.

Windy Rain: Are you talking about the  "Most Handsome Best Rookie"? Haha

Rota: Waah. I want to go to.. But I don't have anyone with me. :(

Laughing Song: Yeah. I'll bring @Zhou Zekai? and our assassin @Cruel Silence

Cruel Silence: Brother Fang, you haven't asked me. T_T

Cruel Silence: But I'll go.

Zhou Zekai: Ok

Dancing Rain: @Yunfei, don't worry you have us with you. We can meet with Yunxiu before going there.

Immovable Rock: I know the attendance is not required but may I ask what type of party would this be?

Swoksaar: Yeah. Is this a formal party?

Demon Subduer: I'll go. I'm free on that day, what time is it?

Doubtful Demon: Old Lin, fetch me at the club. Haha, Let's go together!!

Rota: Really Sis Mumu? I'll go if you go.

Crying Devil: Am I the only one who noticed that @Troubling Rain is quiet?

Windy Rain: It's a blessing. +1

Laughing Song: +2

Dancing Rain: +3

Carved Ghost: +4

.

.

xx Player: +my cp no.

Swoksaar: Shaotian is busy training. I'm holding his phone so he won't be able to answer anytime soon. ^^

Windy Rain: I don't want to ask what he did this time. RIP Shaotian.

Rota: +1

Dancing Rain: +2

.

.

xx Player: +my cp no.

Flawless: Will this be okay? I mean, does the club will answer the expenses?

Aweto: .. @Vaccaria @Vaccaria @Vaccaria @Vaccaria @Vaccaria @Vaccaria @Vaccaria @Vaccaria @Vaccaria @Vaccaria @Vaccaria @Vaccaria @Vaccaria @Vaccaria @Vaccaria

Aweto: Wang Jiexi. We discuss it before but... Are you inviting the whole alliance? The resort is not that big. Wrong GC!!!!

Windy Rain: What? so you only made us hope. hmp hmp.

Dancing Rain: Yeah yeah. why are you bad. you already said it hmp.

Demon Subduer: Oh.. So it's cancelled?

Doubtful Demon: Hmmm.  and here I was thinking I'll be able to see our Goddesses in swimsuits this summer.

Crying Devil: Aww, I thought we'll be able to have a bonding time outside Glory.

Carved Ghost: Stop being emotional Captain.

Crying Devil: I'm not.

Dazzling Hundred Blossoms: WTF. And here I am being kind after you beat my team. -.-

Vaccaria: SLR. I was called. @Aweto, do you think we'll be able to fit in the resort if we invited them?

Aweto: Maybe, we can, but how about the foods? I'm willing to add some but you'll be burden with the expenses. It was not known by the team afterall.

Vaccaria: Hmmm.. I had 3 boxes here of crabs from Uncle Shu, we can add that to the foods and just do some barbecue?

Windy Rain: Ehem Mommy, Daddy. Please don't fight. We're willing to share with everyone.

Dancing Rain: I'm also willing to share Mommy Daddy. ^^

Crying Devil: Hahaha. We can also bring some foods. So it was not formal. Hahaha

Rota: How sweet is Tiny Herb, Like a whole big family. Mommy Wang and Daddy Fang..

Windy Rain: Wahahaha. Yunfei!!

Immovable Rock: As this was not a formal party, I think I'll be able to go. I'll bring some rice?

Swoksaar: Blue Rain would also bring some rice.

Windy Rain: Oh oh. Wellll, We'll bring some meat.

Demon Subduer: We'll bring some snacks and drinks.

Doubtful Demon: yep yep. some drinks. perfectly normal drinks. no alcohol percentage. *cross finger*

Dazzling Hundred Blossoms: I'll bring some food too I guess.

Cloud Piercer: ...cake

Laughing Song: As our Captain says, we'll bring the cake! Let's all party away from Glory. :D

Angelica: Thank you guys!

Vaccaria: Thank you everyone. Message me for the headcount.

Aweto: And here I was thinking of a small party. Haha. Guess, no sides first. Let's enjoy the summer.




"Ye Xiu, are you busy?"

"Hah? You need something?" Ye Xiu instantly killed the monster in the dungeon he's soloing and standby his alt on one side to look at Su Mucheng who was in his bed lying lazily. He knows something is wrong when this younger sister of his called him by his full name.

"Uhmm. you're not opening your QQ?"

"I'm playing. Why?"

"Tiny Herb plans to celebrate, courtesy of Captain Wang and Brother Fang Shiqian."

"Woah. Nice. We didn't celebrate back then, I mean inviting out?"

"It was only for Tiny Herb but he got wrong send in the Glory Pro Chat. I heard Captain Wang was only doing for the team members but yeah he got wrong send and then it became everyone going to City B."

"Hmm. That Big Eyed Wang really is father figure. It's only been 3 years since his debut and he's already acting like a dad. Hah." Ye Xiu acted funny and continue playing while his headset was half-worn and the sounds were adjusted too low so he can listen to Mucheng.

"Almost everyone from Golden Generation is going mostly lead by Huang Shao and Yu Wenzhou. And some new rookies like Yunfei, Wuce the other Ghost in Void, and that Thief partner of Brother Lin from Wind Howl. Brother Zhang Jiale confirm to come too even though it was his team that gave the Championship. Fang Minghua was even bringing Zhou Zekai, the most handsome best rookie haha." Ye Xiu flinched a bit but as Su Mucheng was looking at her phone while explaining she didn't notice the sudden change in the atmosphere of the man. She fully know that Ye Xiu was not an outgoing person and he really didn't like going to social occasions, formal or even if casual.

"It was mostly those friendly bunch in Pro. I think it will be fun. Definitely fun."

"You can go, y'know" Ye Xiu said with an indifferent tone. But he cannot erase the fact that currently, his heart is beating really loud.

"You see. It was City B Xiu-ge."

"And? just make sure to take care of yourself, you've even gone to City S with Yunxiu right?  Don't drink anything with alcohol. Even if they are all good people you wouldn't want to trust everyone. Don't forget to take your inhibition and pills. Pro players are still more sided into males."

"That's why. If I go alone I'll be fine I know. But it was August 13-14. I'm not sure if my heat will come. I need someone to go with me. Yunxiu wouldn't be able to help me even though she's a Beta."

"....so you're saying.."

"Can you just go with me?"

"Mucheng. *sigh* Fine. I'll go." Ye Xiu answered in an exasperated tone as he calm down his heart.

"Yey. Actually I already book two tickets. haha. Thank you Xiu-ge!" Ye Xiu can feel the joy on his sister's high pitch tone. And if it was not enough of evidence then the woman hugging from behind was more than enough. He was just not sure on how he would act in front of that man. What if, they were noticed? What would happen? There's still 2 weeks. Guess, I'll need to contact Xiao Zhou.

 

Glory Pro Chat

Dancing Rain: Hehe. @Vaccaria Me+1

Windy Rain: You convinced Old Ye?

Swoksaar: So Senior Ye is also going.

Troubling Rain: What what what. Old Ye is coming? what the. is that real is he real? I mean he never attended any party if he can. is this favoritism. I ask him last time on my birthday but he didn't come. hmp hmp. does that mean he will only come if it was a championship celebration. is he finally opening to us? do they have card reader in the resort. i want to pkpkpkpkpk old ye. is he here on GC? @One Autumn Leaf @One Autumn Leaf @One Autumn Leaf @One Autumn Leaf you really coming? let's pkpkpk. i'll bring laptop and reader.

Aweto: @Troubling Rain as much as everyone wanted to PK with Senior Ye, Card Readers are not allowed to be brought on resort. Bring any games other than GLORY. PERIOD.

Immovable Rock: So we have a rule. Should I bring Monopoly?

Crying Devil: Monopoly .... Ugh..

Endless Forest:  +1

Carved Ghost: +2

Troubling Rain: +3

Demon Subduer: +4

Doubtful Demon: +5

Swoksaar: +6

Immovable Rock: I have informed Captain and he will also go.

Windy Rain: HanYe. I'll follow you wherever you are. Kyaaaaaaa \\^_^//

Dancing Rain: Yunxiu, wrong GC!!

Life Extinguisher: uhmm. please check the GC especially you Yunxiu.

Crying Devil: Chu Yunxiu!!

Windy Rain: Don't worry. I send it here fully knowing the GC.

Troubling Rain: you've been wrong sending everywhere.

Troubling Rain: what the hell. last time you send some link on GG

Troubling Rain: then it was some fic stories of us, Captain Yu

Troubling Rain: just own it please, don't put malice on our pure minds.

Windy Rain: That's also an intentional wrong send. Teheee. Did you read it Shaotian? So how's it? Hehehe

 



August 13,

Zhou Zekai was in a happy mood since he will be able to see his Senior again, although they won't be able to tell people around them that they were dating but the mere thought of seeing him once again after 2 months made him happy.

"Xiao Zhou, where do you think we should buy the cake? Here or should we just order online?"

"Know."

"Oh, you already know where, should we buy it here at City S or should we just stop over in some cafe in City B?" Wu Qi asked, he was not sure how to interpret his Captain's words so he just added the question to continue the conversation.

"B."

"Do you have any place in mind?"

"En." After the small talk, the three went directly to the airport for their flight going to City B.

3 hours later

"So where should we be going, brother Fang?"

"Xiao Zhou, where are we going to buy the cake?"

"En." Zhou Zekai nodded leading them out of the airport taking a taxi saying an address.

"You know your way here Xiao Zhou, have you been here for a long time?."

"Mom's business."

"Oh, so your mom has a business here. Have you been sent to some errand in the past?"

"En."

"What's your mom's business by the way?" Wu Qi asked curiously.

"Cafe."

"What?"

"Sweets Cafe."

"So we're going to get the cake in your mom's cafe? Wouldn't that be expensive?"

"Yep. let's just get some local cheap cakes. Haha. You can reserve your mom's cake when we won the Championship."

"Free."

"Huh?"

"Always free."

"Wait Captain, did you just say that it will be free? That it will always be free?"

"Hm."

"Your mom's gonna get bankrupt y'know."

"..."

"But we do need a larger cake since there are a lot of attendees, around 30's I think."

"Fine."

"If you're okay then." The two kept their silence as they reached a four storey building and followed their Captain.

Fang Minghua and Wu Qi just followed their Captain as he lead them around the mini size department store building. There are boutiques in the first floor and a grocery store on the second floor. The transparent lift stopped on third floor as they saw some fast foods here and there.

After taking off, Zhou Zekai walked besides the stores lined up. As he reached the last store facing him directly, he looked back and saw that Fang Minghua and Wu Qi was stunned on the size of the cafe. There are three cafes in Beijing owned by his mom but the two were fairly small size and requesting for cake would definitely be hard. This was more of a sweets center. This cafe offered mostly everything, coffees, teas including milkteas, frappes and shakes, ice creams, sweets such as cookies and pastries, short cakes, whole cakes, as long as you craving for something sweet then this one would definitely be an answer.

As they entered the place, Wu Qi broke the silence.

"Xiao Zhou you richboy." Fang Minghua agreed to what Wu Qi said. Their quiet, shy Captain looks like he came from a family of businessman. Owning such a big cafe.

"??" Zhou Zekai was confused as he was not from a rich family. He knows that, as their house in City S is not a mansion like the one in the movies. And they didn't even have bodyguards and the like, not even a driver. They had a call-in driver but he was pretty much sure that they didn't have a permanent driver. They only had two cars, one four sitter and one old 6 sitter, not sportscars. They had a caregiver in his Granny's side because they need someone to look out for the old gran but that's all. Maybe his family is a bit well-off compare to other people but he won't say they were rich.

The two sighs as they saw the confused look of the man. They just accepted it and walked inside with them.

"Zekai, you're here." A woman who looks in her mid-thirties came by. The two look at the said person who came to hug and kissed their Captain.

"So they are your teammates?  Who's who?"

"Pleasure to meet you Ms? I'm Zhou's senior, Fang Minghua."

"I'm Wu Qi, same rookie debut. Nice to meet you Ms. Captain, you didn't tell us you had a beautiful sister."

"..."

"Hahahaha, stop joking around kids!"

"Mom."

"I'm Zhou Yejing, Zekai's biological mother, the one who carried him for nine months in my tummy, so don't doubt it. I may look young but I'm already 41 this year. Nice to meet you."

"...." The two were speechless as they heard the woman. What the-- One thing's for sure the two Samsara boys were having the same thought. His mom looks so young and lively nothing like their Captain but he definitely had gotten the looks of the woman, though some part maybe from the father side but there are really resemblance. A beauty would only birth another beauty. How unfair is the world?

As they were waiting for the cake, he asked from his mom last night to be properly box, Zhou Zekai excused himself to go to the restroom; leaving the two on his mom's hands. Zhou Yejing based on her personality entertained the two friends his son brought.

"Little Fang, Little Wu, so how's Zekai in the team?"

"Don't worry Auntie, Captain is doing fine in the team. He's really motivated when training and such." Wu Qi answered.

"Yup auntie, I really believe that Captain Zhou will suceed in this profession. He has a lot of talent." Fang Minghua added as he's one of the people who supported Zhou Zekai back then.

"*sighs* I'm not talking about whether he succeed or not. All I want is for him to find happiness."

"...."

"You see, that boy has always been like that ever since he was young. He took it from my late father, I guess. In our family, he's the only one who's really quiet and shy. I'll tell you this, when he was born we thought he was mute. He was already 5 years old when he started calling me mom or my husband, dad."

"So he's been like that. At first we had a hard time understanding him but we know he's a good guy so we thought he was just an introvert."

"It was a psychological constitution of his. We've been bringing him to therapies ever since he was young to improve his communication abilities, but to no avail the doctors all said the same thing. I was really concerned as he had records of being bullied ever since he was young because of the way he speak and envy I guess? I mean, you guys can see he had taken my beauty right haha, he even inherited his dad's green eyes."

"Yes Auntie, he's really good-looking like you. And we already have a bet on how many girls would be his fan. There was one time that a new waitress in the canteen saw him and got stucked up watching him. haha" Fang Minghua added learning things to his new Captain.

"That's also one of the reasons why he never had friends you see. That happening kept on repeating in the past, kids or more likely people would only feel like looking him from afar. That's why when I heard he was attending a celebration party and he said he'll be bringing friends I was really happy. You guys are the first one he introduced as friends y'know."

"Don't worry Auntie, we'll try to make Captain Zhou socialize more." Wu Qi said assuring the young madam with a bashful look. He saw the concern in the eyes of a mother while the other was talking.

"Thank you. Please take care of our Zekai. I'll leave him in your care guys."

"Mom. Cake"

"Oh, Zekai you're back. Did you perhaps went to the kitchen?"

"Madam Zhou, the cake has been prepared as per your order. Here are the four boxes."

"Oh. Thank you for that. You said there would be a lot coming right? Why don't you bring ice creams? We had galloons here y'know. Is cake enough?"

"No, no Auntie." Fang Minghua intervened as he heard that the madam was planning to give them more foods. It was not even their celebration. What would happen if they won a Championship? And saw her son beaming of happiness after winning, cause Zhou Zekai was literally an action speaks louder than voice person. He had noticed it in this past season that the man always shows in his face how happy he was whenever they won a match.

"Just take it as a tip? Or maybe a way for Little Zekai to get 100 friends. Haha"

"Strawberry."

"Oh you like to bring strawberry. Any other flavor?"

"Then Rocky road?" Wu Qi said shyly that made Fang Minghua rolled his eyes. And here he was planning to reject the offer.

"Any other?"

"Then cookies and cream flavor auntie."

"Okay. Got it, Jin' Go get 2.5 gals of each flavor of Strawberry, Rocky Road and Cookies and Cream and pack it up. By the way, how would you go to the venue? We had a company car here you can use maybe?"

"No Auntie, we've already troubled you enough. We're just taking a cab. We had money since we didn't pay anything on the food." Fang Minghua answered fastly rejecting the Madam who has all the enthusiasm in the world just because her son finally had a friend.

"Hmm, is that so. Ok, then." Zhou Zekai's mom answered. Fang Minghua sighs of relief as he look on the quiet man. He was only using phone and never talked back with his mom insisting on things. He just let her be.

The three just took a cab and gave the resort address to the driver after leaving Zhou Zekai's mother in the mini mall.

After 40 minutes of travel, they reached the resort which looks elegantly beautiful. From the front view it had a wide parking space and a modern house painted with pure white and black linings. As they enter the house, they saw the team of Tiny Herb and some other pros who came early.

Fang Shiqian greeted them as they came and some Tiny Herb members helped them with the foods they brought.

"You bought a lot?"

"Courtesy of our Captain's mom."

"Ha? What do you mean?" Deng Fusheng asked curiosly as he's one of the people who's in front of them.

Zhou Zekai was silently following Fang Minghua as soon as they came to the resort. Especially seeing a lot of people, a part of him started shying away from everyone. That he just wanted to bury himself somewhere to hide.

"Our Captain's mom had a cafe here in B City and she gave us this for free."

"Wow!!"

"You even bought some ice creams!!"

"Let's put it in the freezer."

"How about the cake?"

"Put it below"

The tiny herb members took care of the thing they brought and the three just went to the sofa and took a rest for awhile. There are still a only few people there, Chu Yunxiu was one of them whose currently busy with her Drama for the time being.

Fang Minghua walked to Fang Shiqian to asked on whatever he can helped with. Wu Qi on the other hand was abducted by Fang Rui who was with Wu Yuce and Li Xuan. The trio also tried to talked with Zhou Zekai, only to get silently blocked by the handsome rookie of his usual "En's". Zhou Zekai just nodded to them as a signal to don't mind him. Wu Qi didn't really understand but he had known this man for more than a year. And one thing he knows, when there are a lot of people Zhou Zekai tend to become even more shyer, even more quieter, and even more silent.

"Zhou, we're just going to tour the resort. Do you want to come?"

"..." Zhou Zekai didn't answer but the answer can be clearly seen on his face.

"So you'll just stay here?"

"Hmmm." He just nodded and Wu Qi understand that the other wanted to stay alone.

"If that's what you want I guess. But we're just by the pool, if you got bored you should follow us."

"En."


.......

Wu Qi went with the Void duo and his co-rookie Fang Rui to tour the place. They went to the back passing a mini garden before reching a huge infinity pool with a normal slide. In the leftmost side is a jacuzzi and a showering area. A few more walk in front there was a barbecue space and they had seen Wang Jiexi checking the foods. By the side of it is an entertainment side with a karaoke, a billiard and few tables with the foods. The whole area is big enough to accommodate around 30 to 50 people. They were conversing while walking around especially Fang Rui making the talk to the three.

"Wow, you made a conversation with him Wu Qi. Zhou Zekai is really like that huh"

"How the hell did you even understand him?"

"No. I also didn't understand that much."

"Huh?"

"It's easy to talk with Zhou, he will listen to all your ramblings you know. And we found, actually it's Brother Minghua who found a loophole on his conversational skills. If you want to ask something with Zhou, you should always make the question in a yes/no question otherwise it would take a long long long time before you get an answer which you won't be able to to understand anyway. Unless he nods, presume that the answer is no."

"Ugh. Seriously? Other than that? Did he talk at club or something?"

"Sometimes? But he is 'a-go person' with everything you know. If you invite him to go eat he will go with the rest. He would often always go with everyone. And I think he is trying his best to communicate."

Zhou Zekai just stayed on the sofa playing in his phone as people started coming. It was past 4 PM and most of the invited pro are already around except from Su Mucheng and Ye Xiu. He was starting to get worried and look at Chu Yunxiu from time to time since he knew that she and the other girl was really close. At this times he often had wished that Ye Xiu had a cellphone but he knew he can't force something to his special someone if the other don't like it to begin with.

Everyone started gathering on the living area, and Zhou Zekai started feeling stuffed. He stand from the sofa where he's sitting and move somewhere in the corner to stand.

"Where's Old Ye? Yunxiu yunxiu, where are they? Did Mucheng contact you? Where are they? Are they still coming --" A rapid questions that can be heard by everyone and no one would ask whom it belong to.

"Everyone's almost here except them? Did they contact you Wang Jiexi?"

"There was a traffic accident on the way, I hope they're fine."

"Mucheng had texted me. She says we can start already since it would take them an hour to be here there was a big traffic accident on the way according to their taxi driver."

"Oh. Are they fine?"

"They are, they got delayed in the airport for 20 minutes and only learned about the accident after the driver warned them that it will be long drive."

"She said, we should start already."

"If that so. Wang Jiexi please-"

The casual party started after a few thanks here and there and a toast of grape juice(since no one wanted to bring an alcohol or even a wine. They were all pro player and alcohol is prohibited or so maybe not.)

Most of the people started eating, some had soaked in the swimming pool, others chat with all sorts of topics. Everyone had their own things to do. Nobody wanted to touch the cursed board games as it was still noon (5 PM). They were planning to do that on the night. Or maybe there was just no one who had the guts to do so. As it will start a war.

"Helloooo"

"Mumu, you're here! Finally!"

"Ahh, it was so traffic. Ugh! Thanks to that fic you send me, I lessened the boredom."

"Hehe. Of course!"

"Old Ye! You're finally here!" Zhang Jiale said as he's one of the few who's on the living room. Interupting a quiet youngster from coming. Zhou Zekai stayed back on his seat, look around to confirm if no one saw the change in his facial expression. He was so excited to see him that he almost forgot what they'd talk.

Flashback

 

Private Message with One Autumn Leaf

One Autumn Leaf: Xiao Zhou.

One Autumn Leaf: Are you still awake?

Cloud Piercer: Senior!

One Autumn Leaf: I heard you're going on Tiny Herb's celebration?

Cloud Piercer: Yes. Senior?

One Autumn Leaf: Yeah. I was forced by Mucheng.

Cloud Piercer: ... (=^^=)

One Autumn Leaf: So. I know that we'd been in this relationship for a few months, have you tell anybody yet?

Cloud Piercer: ??

One Autumn Leaf: Have you tell anyone about us?

Cloud Piercer: Not yet.

One Autumn Leaf: Xiao Zhou.

One Autumn Leaf: I decided that we should hide it for the time being.

Cloud Piercer: ...

One Autumn Leaf: You're still new and starting in this career. Now that Glory is being commercialized, there's a big chance people around you will make it into a scandal.

One Autumn Leaf: And your focus will be on that issue instead of GLORY, you won't be able to grow properly into Godhood if everyone's looking at you differently.

One Autumn Leaf: Your talent is something I can vouch for. And I believe you'll be one of the brightest star there would be, next to me.

One Autumn Leaf: I don't want anything to happen to you. I don't want your progress to be halted just because of this relationship. I don't want you to get isolated more. We're even working on your communication right?

Cloud Piercer: Used.

One Autumn Leaf: Even if you're used to it, I don't know how much of your past that will make you used to being isolated but I can't bear to be the reason of it. You know, I care for you.

Cloud Piercer: ...senior.

One Autumn Leaf: So can we stay as senior-junior in front of everyone? Don't worry I'm doing this all for you, for your career.

Cloud Piercer: Ok.

One Autumn Leaf: Thank you Xiao Zhou, promise me that okay?

Cloud Piercer: Promise!

One Autumn Leaf: My Xiao Zhou is really good boy. Hehe. See you~

Cloud Piercer: Senior, see you ♡

End of flashback

Mucheng was already dragged to the changing room by the girls lead by Chu Yunxiu while Ye Xiu was talking with Zhang Jiale, specifically asking if the man is okay. Zhang Jiale debuted from Season 2 and has been one of his friends together with his partner. He would really like to mock this person. But knowing what happened to Sun Zheping even his shameless aggro-pulling face and attitude was pulled down a bit.

They were having a talk when he noticed a gaze from a corner. Ye Xiu saw a man who was sitting from afar looking at him. Their eyes met that was instantly denied by the other by continuing whatever he was doing on his own phone. He unconsciously grinned a bit that made Zhang Jiale noticed but he was able to counter it by saying, "Jiale, one more runner up and you'll have the same number of Championship as this one. Congrats" Something that made the other burn and wanted to punch his face.

"Senior Ye, there are foods in the back would you like to go?"

"Sure sure. I'm hungry. Where did Mucheng go?"

"She had been abducted by the girls."

They went to the back and most of the pro in the living area followed. Except from Zhou Zekai who continue to stay there. Zhou Zekai kept reminding himself the space and the distance he needed to make. Because of this he didn't notice that almost all the pro's are going to the back except him.

"Oh, isn't that our handsome rookie. Xiao Zhou why are you alone there? Let's go eat. Come." Ye Xiu asked the man normally while smiling a bit. He was having fun inside with all this hiding and pretending because he can understand Zhou Zekai's gestures more than anyone.  Even though they've only met a few times, he'd been observing this man ever since last summer. The little change in the brows, the hands, the way he looked away.

"..." Zhou Zekai was shocked because the man who told him to hide their relationship take the initiative to talked with him. Ye Xiu was teasing him. Ever since he confessed whenever they will met, it become a habit which the older man will never forget. To tease him. Is it because he was the younger one? He stand and walk to them who was waiting a bit.

The other people didn't mind that short conversation as it only look like a the friendly guy asking that one introvert in the corner of the class to play with them or otherwise.

They were all already in the entertainment area where they put a huge long table to act where the food are placed in a buffet style. There was a pasta, a bunch of different barbecues that was still being replenish at the moment, vegetable salad, boxes of Mcdo nuggets and rice. In the center was a four huge quarter circle cake that was put together to form a huge circle where a "Congratulations Tiny Herb" can be seen written in a chocolate plating at the center.  Other than that it was Zhou Zekai's turn to smile a bit as he watched Ye Xiu speechless. Payback.

The cake is half strawberry half matcha flavor, it was in X position. For others it only look like a design BUT there's only one man whose given name started with X and is addicted with strawberry and matcha flavor. The upper left and the lower right are the same design of strawberry filling white chocolate cake and the other half had the matcha filling white chocolate cake. And it was not just a simple strawberry and matcha flavored chocolate bars in the side but the whole cake was full with it.

"Wow. That looks really delicious. Who bought the cake again?" Mucheng asked after changing into his outfit. She came with the girls and they were all already wearing their swimsuit.

"It was the Samsara boys."

"To be exact, it was Zhou Zekai's mom who gave that. Together with the ice cream. If you want some you, there are in the freezer. We had strawberry, cookies and cream and rocky road." Fang Minghua said.

"His mom owned a sweet cafe so its's all free of charge, as long as you'll invite our Captain again. To make him learn more on socializing."

Everyone looked at Zhou Zekai who smiled a bit bashedful after seeing the man looking at him with an eyes of -You made another one-

"Strawberry Ice cream again, isn't that too girly huh huh. If you're a man choose a chocolate. Zhou Zekai do you like strawberry huh huh huh. So girly, like your stupid looking girly face. Hmp. Hmp Hmp."

"Like."Zhou Zekai took a glimpse on Ye Xiu which made the latter want to hide somewhere. Fortunately no one noticed those subtle eye contacts.