Ultimately, Shen Qiao was convinced to not snitch.
But with that word 'wife' still ringing in his ears, Shen Qiao narrowed his eyes like a cat who'd heard some sort of bad joke. He gazed at Lu Zhe and adopted a somewhat mild tone.
"Have you gotten the wrong idea because I've been spoiling you too much lately, Captain Lu?" he asked. "Who's your wife?"
Lu Zhe's arm was completely healed. Only a scar remained. He'd already started physical therapy and some basic training. Earlier that day, he'd played a few ranked matches by himself. Shen Qiao and the others only didn't notice because they had been playing a practice game against BLX at the time.
Hearing Shen Qiao's words now, Lu Zhe looped his arm around Shen Qiao's neck again, with a little more force. He leaned in closer and boldly kissed Shen Qiao on the mouth, even going so far as to nip at his lower lip. A laugh rose from deep in his throat as he contentedly murmured, "You are, of course."
Shen Qiao lifted a hand to Lu Zhe's shoulder, wanting to push him back and turn his own head away. But not only did he fail to get away, Lu Zhe bit down a little harder. Hard enough to send a jolt of pain through Shen Qiao's lower lip.
Right away, Shen Qiao stopped trying to pull back. He slid his hand from Lu Zhe's shoulder to the nape of Lu Zhe's neck instead, tightly squeezing the spot where Lu Zhe's glands were located. He waited for Lu Zhe to tense up at that motion, then took that opportunity to twist his head away.
His lower lip was already numb and aching due to Lu Zhe's actions. Shen Qiao instinctively licked at that spot. Without having to look, he knew that his lips must have been stained a darker color. He could practically feel the teeth marks that had been left behind.
"Tsk." Shen Qiao looked over at the monitors that had been left on by their teammates. He pressed the backs of his fingers to his lips and asked, "What is Captain Lu trying to do in the sacred training room?"
Manager Zhou had said something similar when reminding them to show some restraint.
Lu Zhe seemed to miss the hint of a warning tone in Shen Qiao's voice. He leaned back in his chair and grinned at Shen Qiao, with mirth coursing through his narrowed eyes. As though afraid his words would be misheard by the other party, Lu Zhe deliberately enunciated each character and spoke slowly, almost like he was stating one word at a time.
He said, "Do you even need to ask?"
He said, "Of course, I'm trying to do you."
Shen Qiao was speechless.
Judging by Lu Zhe's brazen attitude, Shen Qiao could deduce one thing—Lu Zhe's arm was probably all better, or at least close to all better. Otherwise, Lu Zhe wouldn't have dared act like such a shameless dog.
Shen Qiao refused to respond to Lu Zhe's perverted comment. He pushed his chair back over to his own desk. While the wheels of his chair slid across the smooth ground, he raised his brows at Lu Zhe and said, "That's great. It looks like Captain Lu is in perfect health now. Totally ready to resume training right away."
Lu Zhe laughed when he heard those words. His gaze didn't move away from Shen Qiao's figure. He folded his hands together, lacing his ten fingers, and adoringly studied Shen Qiao for a moment.
Then he asked, "Wanna 1v1?"
Shen Qiao was just about to say yes when he heard Lu Zhe continue, "Three rounds, two to win. Loser has to agree to one of the winner's conditions."
Hastily, he added, "You pick the champion for the first round. I'll pick for the second, and we'll randomize it for the third."
Although Lu Zhe's words weren't as blatantly suggestive as before, Shen Qiao very clearly understood the implication—
Whoever lost would be on the bottom.
Shen Qiao flashed him a smirk and asked, "Do you know that from before to now, I've never lost a 1v1?"
Plus, as of late, he'd spent more time than usual in game modes with randomized champions. As such, Shen Qiao had increased his familiarity with champions that he never played much in official games. After playing a dozen of those randomized matches or so, he could easily take the title of MVP.
Upon joining DG, Shen Qiao had been asked to submit a list of champions he was proficient with. He'd answered that he could play any champion, and that was even more true now that he'd had practice with many more of them. He also diligently trained up his accounts on the Korean server. In truth, Shen Qiao felt that his chances of beating Lu Zhe were even better than 50/50.
…especially since Lu Zhe had taken a break from the game for a while.
Lu Zhe smiled as he continued to watch Shen Qiao. To be specific, he was staring at the darkened spot he'd just left on Shen Qiao's lower lip. Unhurriedly, he answered, "You know what, Qiaoqiao? This confident look of yours is my favorite thing. And listen to this coincidence—
"I've never lost a 1v1 either."
Shen Qiao studied Lu Zhe's injured arm for a moment, then put on his headset while pretending not to be too invested in this proposal. He casually answered, "Forget it. Your arm just got better. It would be bad if you played a few rounds against me and hurt yourself again."
Lu Zhe noticed that Shen Qiao's mint-scented pheromones had flared up, spreading through the air. It was obvious that Shen Qiao wasn't as calm as he appeared. He was quite affected by this challenge.
After breathing out a short laugh, Lu Zhe asked, "Scared?"
Shen Qiao instantly cast a look at Lu Zhe out of the corner of his eye. He scoffed, like he wanted to laugh, but refused to do so.
"Scared?" he echoed, with a smile. "Three rounds of 1v1 will take more than an hour. Do you see what time it is already? After we play and I win, do you think I'll do you or not? If I do, you'll be bedridden tomorrow. If I don't, I'll have worked hard only to leave my reward hanging. Wouldn't that be a loss for me?"
Lu Zhe couldn't help but laugh out loud again. His shoulders even shook with it.
Clearly, Lu Zhe had only proposed a friendly 1v1, and yet Shen Qiao had already thought ahead to the morning after.
This could only be the person Lu Zhe set his sights on, right?
How could he be so confident?
Zhao Yue returned from the bathroom to find Lu Zhe reclining in his gaming chair with a huge grin on his face. At first, Zhao Yue didn't understand what that was all about. He followed Lu Zhe's line of sight and found him looking at Shen Qiao, who was focused on playing his game.
Without paying any attention to the teammate who'd just returned, Lu Zhe finally stopped laughing and reached over to tousle Shen Qiao's hair. "Sounds like you're very reasonable."
After a beat, Lu Zhe continued, "Alright. Then let's postpone our 1v1. We'll wait until the end of the playoffs. How's that?"
Shen Qiao huffed a laugh under his breath, like he was already sure of Lu Zhe's future defeat. Then he let out a sigh and said, "Fine. Since our Captain Lu is that desperate to taste defeat, we'll do as you wish."
Lu Zhe leaned in closer and whispered directly in his ear, "This confidence… please be sure to keep it up."
After saying that, he turned back to his own computer and invited Shen Qiao to a voice chat once they grouped up together. Once Shen Qiao accepted, Lu Zhe said, "Don't queue with Lu Qianshuang so much, your rank will drop. Queue with me. Gege will take you anywhere you want to go."
Shen Qiao said nothing.
Then his slightly hoarse, raspy voice came over the line, still tinged with a laugh that tickled Lu Zhe's ears.
"In my capacity as the head of the household, I'll give you one more chance to rephrase yourself," Shen Qiao said.
In order to avoid being kicked off Shen Qiao's team, Lu Zhe quickly changed his tune and said, "Daddy Qiao, play with me. I want a piggyback ride."
Lu Zhe's little fan, Zhao Yue, was rendered speechless.
He silently shook his head to himself, refusing to reflect upon the thoroughly shattered mental image of his idol.
[Come quick! Wolf Cub is playing on his alt, room number: xxxxxx]
[Wow, who's this 'StandUpLittleO' person? When did DG start recruiting players from cheap brothels? Is this Wolf Cub's significant other?]
[No! My ship will never sink! We'll never admit defeat! Little Wolf, you can't do this. Our Captain Lu just hurt his hand a little. How could you go off and find another dog so soon! I won't accept this!]
[We've busted Wolf Cub for playing with girls in the middle of the night now, right? Hey, you DG shippers are ready to disband now, aren't you? This should be a devastating night for you.]
[My god, why is this 'StandUpLittleO' so wild?]
Late in the night—
Many of the streamers who'd tried to invite Shen Qiao to their games, only to be ignored, had decided to start spectating Shen Qiao's game in their downtime. They streamed themselves watching the game, and soon enough the news spread to DG's supertopic. Countless fans rushed into their streams to see Shen Qiao play.
And as soon as these fans arrived, they watched a wild match where the top laner and jungler ran rampant. A match that ended in just ten minutes.
The next match—
That jungler, named 'StandUpLittleO', was still there.
There was no doubt that Shen Qiao was queueing with this person.
It was the middle of the night. A professional player was on his alt account. Queueing up with a low-ranked omega. What did it mean? What did it mean?! What could it possibly mean?!
It was obvious! The only explanation was that Shen Qiao was flirting around with a girl!
The two people in question had no idea they were being watched by a large audience. After the second match began, the streamers and their viewers all saw the contents of the chat box in the lower right corner of the screen—
[StandUpLittleO: Gege, carry me. Carry me hard.]
[StandUpLittleO: My body is ready. Go ahead, carry me for forty minutes.]
The fans were bewildered.
Which brazen omega was sexually harassing their wolf cub right now?! Huh?!
Very quickly, Shen Qiao's reply appeared in the chat box. It was just a string of ellipses. But very quickly after that, he replied again.
[Wolfy111: Screenshot taken.]
[Wolfy111: I'll be reporting you to Manager Zhou tomorrow.]
[Wolfy111: You're dead, Captain Lu. :)]
The other players on their team were baffled.
As were the streamers and their viewers.
Very quickly, their team chat and the chat in the streamers' rooms exploded with activity.
['You're dead, Captain Lu.']
[Oh, so you're the legendary Captain Lu? Respect, respect.]
[Only you, Dog Lu.]
[I should have figured it out a long time ago. Besides Dog Lu, who in the world would dare be this bold with Wolf Cub? Today is yet another good day for us WolfDog girls! TAT]
In the livestream rooms broadcasting Shen Qiao's game, one viewer finally seized upon an important point. Amidst all the chaos—
[Wait! Captain Lu and Wolf Cub are queueing together! You know what that means?! Our Daddy Zhe! Our number one jungler in the world! He's! He's coming back, AHHHHHHHHHH!]
Let's have a round of applause for Dog Lu's return!