WHEN AN ALPHA IS MARKED BY ONE OF HIS OWN KIND

Chapter 6

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"I've now confirmed with my own eyes that this person is not to be fucked with," Lele muttered to himself as he stared at the blinding 'woof' on his monitor. For some reason, he felt a twinge of sympathy for Shen Qiao.

At their experience and skill levels, they'd seen it all. This dick was massive, what kind of rift… ah, no. The world of the rift was massive, what kind of dick hadn't they encountered?

But a douchebag this forward and perverted… it really was Lele's first time witnessing such an exchange.

Shen Qiao was also momentarily dazed by that message. But if this blind monk could joke around with him even after being dissed by the enemy, then Shen Qiao probably didn't have to worry about that player's mental stability. This monk was clearly a veteran; Shen Qiao needn't worry.

But if the monk had time to mess around, wouldn't it have been so much sweeter to dedicate that time to bagging a few more kills?

Shen Qiao didn't look at the chat box again. He focused on moving between the top and middle lanes, defending their towers. Because he'd scored several kills early on, the gold reward for offing him had gone up. The opposing Xayah and Rakan couldn't resist. After taking care of Vayne in the bottom lane, they joined up with Swain to target Shen Qiao and the hefty bounty on his head.

A 2v1 wasn't enough to intimidate Shen Qiao. But for some reason, perhaps to sneer in the face of the insults that had been thrown earlier, that blind monk popped out of the underbrush every time an enemy targeted Shen Qiao.

Originally, Shen Qiao thought the blink monk was cutting in to steal a kill. He used Tiamat to finish off Rakan, allowing Xayah to escape. But the monk popped up just then and gave Xayah a fierce kick, knocking her down in front of Shen Qiao.

Before Shen Qiao could even think about it, his body had instinctively reacted to that offering and claimed another kill.

He stared at the screen for a while, until Lele's voice rang out through his headset: "Qiao-ge, that Little O wants you to check the chat. He's asking if you want a red buff?"

Shen Qiao took a second to glance at the chat box. After a second, he typed:

[Coming.]

Lele sighed. "Just look at these perfect, gift-wrapped offerings. I get the feeling there's no man in the rift who wouldn't fall for this omega's charms."

Shen Qiao scoffed. While fighting the monster that would grant a red buff, he unhurriedly answered, "Are you sure an omega like this exists in our world?"

Lele earnestly shook his head. "Never met one like this before. That's why I feel like my eyes have been opened to a whole new world today."

Shen Qiao didn't say anything else. Whether the other party was an omega or not was of no importance to him. Top laners were destined to be lone wolves. Even in the rift, there was no such thing as romance for them.

……

The intermittent clicks and clacks of a keyboard and mouse drifted through the training room.

The man whose profile was as beautiful as a work of art curved his lips into a slight smile. He watched as his computer monitor played out the sight of Renekton, with his jagged rows of crocodile teeth, wielding a giant scythe and claiming a buff for himself. When the symbol indicating a red buff appeared under Renekton's feet, a subtle wave of emotion passed through the spectator's eyes, rippling over still waters.

While Lu Zhe teased Shen Qiao with practiced ease, his antics were unexpectedly witnessed by Qian Bao, who'd just finished a round on her computer. Qian Bao was thoroughly stunned by the sight of that girlish, yearning smile on Lu Zhe's face. She couldn't help but sneak a peek at his monitor.

With that peek, she just so happened to see the enemy Gragas's latest provocation in the chat:

[Yo, blindy, you're crawling on your knees and kissing your crocodile daddy's ass again? Too afraid to go solo against me?]

Unhurriedly, Lu Zhe replied:

[If you beg, I'll come.]

Qian Bao suddenly collapsed back into her own gaming chair. She rubbed at her eyes and mumbled, "What the fuck, am I going blind?"

Had the captain's smile been a hallucination? Surely he wouldn't have smiled so dreamily in the face of a provocation like this?

Muttering to herself, Qian Bao rummaged through her desk drawers to find her eye drops. Thus, she missed the next line Lu Zhe spat out with that horrifying username.

[StandUpLittleO (Lee Sin): Gege, do you want to hear me recite some poetry?]

[TheWolfy (Renekton): …not really.]

[StandUpLittleO (Lee Sin): After all the time I spent with you, gege! You had your fun, and now you wanna run?]

[TheWolfy (Renekton): Fine, recite it.]

When Shen Qiao typed out those words, he couldn't have imagined that he would make this night utterly unforgettable for both teams in the rift.

From then on, every time the blind monk felled Gragas, he would recite a line of verse in the global chat—

[This drunkard is full of beer, but really he's nothing to fear.]

[I'm walking through the rift, these free kills are a gift.]

[Beer rains down from on high, it's 'bout time for Drunkie to die.]

[A barrel of beer can get you wasted, but victory's the best thing I've ever tasted.]

[Don't wait long to respawn. I'll wait all night, it's game on!]

……

[Enough.]

After the blind monk offed Gragas for the sixth time, the enemy Swain—who had been silent until then—burst out crying in the global chat.

[Boss, take pity on me. I'm a third-year, and my college entrance exams are coming up in a few months. I haven't memorized all my classical poetry yet.]

[You guys can kill this Gragas as much as you want. I won't avenge him. After this game, I'll even help you report him for foul language. But I'm begging you to just stop with the 'poetry'. Let me live.]

The monk's mind-numbing poetry was potent enough to deal psychological damage to all who happened to see it. Even Shen Qiao and Lele felt somewhat affected. The player behind Gragas, naturally, suffered the brunt of the damage.

After his sixth death, Gragas resurrected at his team's fountain and went AFK.

The monk and the crocodile geared up and kept moving. Vayne came up from the bottom lane to join them and Braum. The four of them swiftly cut through their enemies and fought their way to the opposing team's base. The opposing team didn't put up much more of a fight; they took a vote and unanimously forfeited the match.

A red crystal exploded on screen, emitted dazzling rays of blue light. In the middle of that glorious display, one word appeared—

[VICTORY]

Lele breathed a sigh of relief. After giving the Little O and Shen Qiao each a like, he reported their AD and mid laner. Then he suddenly received a friend request.

He took off his headset and rubbed his ears, then looked to his side. "Qiao-ge, that Little O just sent me a friend request. Must've sent you one too, right? Did you accept?"

Shen Qiao felt around his desk and found a piece of peppermint candy, which had come with the takeout from that night. He unwrapped it, popped it into his mouth, and mumbled, "Rejected."

Lele cocked his head, confused.

"You didn't think he was a good enough jungler?" he asked.

Expressionlessly, Shen Qiao answered, "He was too noisy. I like quiet teammates."

Lele studied Shen Qiao's unfeeling profile for a moment. He blinked slowly before clapping his hands once and giddily declaring, "Oh, oh, oh! I get it. You're afraid you won't be able to handle an omega with such a strong personality, right? I get it!"

Shen Qiao narrowed his eyes. The light of his monitor flashed through his pupils. His voice took on a dangerous tint as he prompted, "…say that again?"

Lele wasn't even a tiny bit scared of Shen Qiao's threatening aura. He flashed Shen Qiao an innocent grin, then suddenly remembered he still had some business to attend to. He turned back to his own monitor and clicked the checkmark to accept his incoming friend request.

His new friend sent a message just a few seconds later:

[Wahhhhhh, why didn't Renekton-gege accept my friend request? He isn't mad at me, is he? I went over the top with the jokes, didn't I? But I didn't do it on purpose! Can you tell him to give me a chance to apologize?]

[Ai, you see, I had a bad breakup today, so my emotions were all over the place. But I promise I can play properly. Won't you guys play with me some more?]

Lele considered those words. It was a tragic story, but he felt like he was the real loser here.

At the end of the day, this omega was only interested in adding Shen Qiao. Lele was just a convenient tool.

The world was changing. This was a modern omega: calculating and cold.

Lele understood the situation perfectly. He shook his head, took a screenshot of the other party's messages, and sent that image along to Shen Qiao. At the same time, another flashing friend request from LittleO showed up on Shen Qiao's monitor.

Shen Qiao furrowed his brow at the screenshot Lele had sent over. He stared at the 'bad breakup' line for a while. It explicably resonated with him, and he ultimately defied all reason and accepted the friend request—

Then he added that player to their team at the speed of light and queued up for a new match right away, as though he could get away from LittleO's bizarre antics if he just started a new game fast enough.

Unfortunately…

The queue was long, and a certain someone refused to stay quiet in their team chat.

[StandUpLittleO: Gege! You added me as a friend! You're awesome, I can't believe you're willing to play with me! You're not like my ex at all…]

Shen Qiao didn't answer. He didn't have any interest in asking about other people's broken hearts, and he wasn't good at comforting people either.

Lele, however, finished taking a break, put his headset back on, and obligingly expressed his curiosity.

[StandUpLittleO: Ai, it's a long story—]

[Leeee: Then, forget it?]

[StandUpLittleO: I once loved a man like this.]

[StandUpLittleO: He said my beauty was nonpareil.]

[StandUpLittleO: So I saved my innocence for him.]

[Leeee: And shut… shut your heart to everyone else?]

[StandUpLittleO: Oh? You've heard my story?]

Lele stared.

Then he calmly started speaking into his mic, letting his voice travel into Shen Qiao's headset: "Qiao-ge, I'm an idiot. Seriously. I honestly believed this guy had just suffered some awful breakup."

Shen Qiao's expression remained unchanging. His usual cold indifference was all that showed on his face. Only he could hear himself grinding his teeth.

 

Author's Notes:

Moment of silence for Qiaoqiao~ The longest lu (road) he'll ever walk is the lu set out for him by Lu Zhe.

PS - 'I once loved a man like this…' is from the song 'Poisoned Perfume'.

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Chapter 6

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