In the fan tournament streaming room—
Shen Qiao was sitting in a gaming chair, wearing his headphones. His camera was on, and his upper body was actually visible for once. It was rare for him to turn on his camera of his own volition during livestreams, so the chat quickly filled up with people shrieking and sending screen-licking emojis.
What got the fans even more worked up was that Shen Qiao was wearing an especially attractive silk shirt that day. It was half black and half blue, with a smattering of white that looked like ink splattered across the fabric, creating the shape of branches and leaves. The wild sort of pattern emphasized Shen Qiao's own wild temperament, while the high-quality material of the shirt made him look quite noble as well.
He had already logged in for the tournament, using an alt account provided by the team. All the champions were unlocked on that account, and of course Lu Zhe was offered the same conditions.
[Wolf Cub, did you and Captain Lu get matching couple's IDs on purpose? One of you is called A Rabbit Who Loves To Eat Carrots and one of you is called A Carrot Who Loves To Eat Rabbits. You guys are a perfect set.]
[It's not just their IDs! I just came from Dog Lu's livestream, and he's wearing a flashy shirt like this too. Save me, why are you two showing off so much! Why do I have to eat dog food when I'm just trying to watch an esports player stream!]
[Just signed up for Old Wo and Er-Hua's tournament yesterday, that was fun. Now I'm here to mess with Dog Lu and Wolf Cub.]
[Wolf Cub! Husband! Good afternoon!]
[You up there, stand down. He's not your husband anymore. He's Dog Lu's husband!]
[Will you give us some fanservice if you win today? Like, maybe a kiss in front of the camera?]
Shen Qiao saw that the number of comments about him and Lu Zhe was growing steadily. He cleared his throat and interrupted, "The club gave us these accounts, and we just happened to buy the clothes at the same store. It isn't a couple outfit."
[Did you buy those rings from the same store too?]
[Did you buy those rings from the same store too? +1]
[Did you buy those rings from the same store too? +1284698]
Shen Qiao glanced over at Lu Zhe, who was sitting a fair distance away from him. Although today's tournament was just for fun, Manager Zhou had still arranged seats that would preserve the integrity of the game for them.
As a result, Shen Qiao couldn't see if Lu Zhe's fans were behaving the same way in his chat. He decided to just change the subject, saying, "We still have five minutes before the game starts. I'll play a song for you guys. What kind of music do you want to listen to?"
[If you sing it! We'll listen to any kind of music!]
[We like the music that's sung by you!]
Shen Qiao fell silent.
He turned a blind eye to those teasing comments and opened up his music player on his computer, putting on a song called 'faded'.
On the other side—
Lu Zhe smoothed out his bangs. A bright, carefree smile lit up his face as he picked out the comments from his chat that he could answer.
"Our clothes? We got them at the same store. I noticed he hadn't bought many clothes this season, and since we haven't had any tournament games on our schedule lately, I dragged him out to shop yesterday."
"The watch? Mm, it's a lovers' bridge. Who's it from? A lovers' bridge watch can only be from a lover, right? Do you even need to ask? As for who that 'lover' is, I'm the only one who needs to know. Why should I tell you?"
"Oh, he's playing music in his stream? Which one of you bullied him again, hm? If you have any questions, come ask me. Don't tease him so much. If you guys rile him up, it's me who has to comfort him later, isn't it?"
Lu Zhe answered these questions with his hands folded on his desk. His smile never wavered, giving him an exceptionally beautiful expression. Even the casual fans who just happened upon his stream were captivated, reluctant to leave. They all gazed at his face for a long while.
[Blech, you back off, I'll comfort him!]
[??????? Dog Lu, can you show at least a tiny bit of shame?]
[Thanks for your concern, but there's no need for it. If Wolf Cub comes into my arms, I guarantee I'll do a better job of comforting him than you.]
[I don't know why I feel like I'm watching someone show off.]
[Be good and tell us exactly how far you two have gotten!]
Lu Zhe was just about to answer that last comment when Manager Zhou came over and whispered to him that they could start the first game now. At that, Lu Zhe cut over to the game where he saw participants randomly being assigned to his team.
To the viewers in the bullet comments, he simply said, "The match is starting. We'll chat more later."
A female fan was the first to be assigned to Shen Qiao's team.
"Wolf Cub, Wolf Cub, I finally got matched up with you! Good afternoon!" Her voice was exceptionally sweet. Everyone in the bullet comments started guessing whether she was an alpha, beta, or omega.
Although Shen Qiao typically showed a rather passive expression during his streams, he was usually very cordial with enthusiastic fans. He politely answered, "Good afternoon."
That fan let out a delighted wail.
The second member of Shen Qiao's team was another woman who happily greeted, "Hello, Wolfy! I love your style of play, and I've been your fan since you played for BLX! Good luck at the world championships this year! Oh, right, and I'm already married with kids, so sisters in the comments don't worry, I'm not here to steal your god from you!"
With a bit of a smile in his eyes, Shen Qiao responded, "Thank you for following me and for your support. Here's to a happy family life for you."
[Ahhhhhh, boo! I want to talk to Wolf Cub too, bwahhhhhh!]
[I'm jealous I'm jealous I'm jealous]
[Does someone want to get a group together to check on Dog Lu?]
The fans in the bullet comments continued to voice their envy of the fans who got to play with Shen Qiao.
The third fan to join Shen Qiao's team was a male fan, and his voice through his mic was fully charged with his excitement. "Daddy Wolf! I love you! I love you, I want to have your babies, do you know that?!"
Faced with such an unexpected outburst of enthusiasm, Shen Qiao froze for a moment, with a few measures of shock flashing across his face. After a few seconds, he said, "Thank you for your love, but babies… aren't necessary."
[His expression right now: wtf did I just hear?]
[Holy shit, is Wolf Cub shy or something? Oh my god, I want to whisper in his ear a thousand times, I love you, I want to have your babies. He'll definitely blow up with shyness!]
[I love you too, Wolf Cub! Look at me!]
The fourth teammate assigned to Shen Qiao had a masculine, upbeat voice full of positivity and sunshine. This fan sounded a bit shy as he greeted, "Daddy Wolf, I've liked you for a long time! I'm here to ask on behalf of all your omega fans—do we still have a chance?"
Shen Qiao was silent.
He licked his lips and resisted the urge to look over at Lu Zhe. His gaze did shift slightly before he finally answered, "Sorry."
After a beat, he added, "I already have someone I like."
The omega fan instantly answered, "That's okay! I'll still support you, always!"
Luckily, these fans knew that this game would be streamed to tens of thousands of viewers. No one said anything particularly egregious. When Shen Qiao started up the game, the five of them began to discuss their plan of attack.
Shen Qiao was the first to ask, "I… what position do you want me to play?"
Since this was a fan appreciation tournament, the main point wasn't to win or lose. It was just to let the fans feel the joy of playing with professional players. So Shen Qiao didn't take things too seriously. As long as his teammates were happy, he could play anything. He would even play support.
But his fans didn't agree—
Right away, they uniformly answered, "Top lane!"
"Of course the top lane, Wolf Cub!"
"We want to see your Vladimir in the top lane!"
Shen Qiao still double-checked, "Lu Zhe will probably be in the jungle on the other side. Are you sure you want me in the top lane?"
"It's okay, don't be afraid, I'll help you counter-gank!" the fan who wanted to play jungler reassured him.
Shen Qiao laughed, as if he really had been comforted. "I'm not afraid. I'm not that easily ganked, anyway. Let him come at me."
While they chatted, Shen Qiao's teammates chose which champions they wanted to ban. Since this was just a game for fun, they didn't think much about strategy and simply banned the champions they personally didn't like playing against—
Shen Qiao's team wound up banning Nautilus, Miss Fortune, and Ezreal.
Lu Zhe's side banned Yuumi, Riven, and Ornn.
After one of Shen Qiao's teammates took Caitlyn, another teammate asked, "Wolf Cub, I only know how to play Soraka. Is that okay?"
"Sure," Shen Qiao said. "Pick whoever you want, whoever you like to play."
"Daddy Wolf's meaning is that we can pick whoever we want, and he'll carry us! Right?" one of his teammates asked with a giggle.
Shen Qiao smiled with his eyes again. He earnestly answered, "If Lu Zhe weren't on the other side, I would be able to carry you anywhere."
The two lineups were set.
Shen Qiao's team would be running Vladimir, Gragas, Kassadin, Caitlyn, and Soraka.
This lineup was full of glass cannons, without any tanks that could take a lot of damage. It was a lineup that clearly said, Come at us, you dogs. This is a day where I'll kill you or die trying.
On the other side, Lu Zhe's team had chosen Jayce, Elise, Syndra, Ashe, and Lulu.
As soon as that lineup came out, a cold snap cracked through the voice chat of Shen Qiao's team.
"Wait… you guys didn't ban Lu Zhe's Elise?"
"We only thought about making sure Wolf Cub got Vladimir, wahhh!"
Shen Qiao hurriedly reassured, "It's fine. Elise is fragile. Don't panic."
However, after entering the rift—
Three messages popped up in the global chat channel.
[A Rabbit Who Loves To Eat Carrots (Elise): I heard there's someone who thinks I'm fragile?]
[A Rabbit Who Loves To Eat Carrots (Elise): Please pay close attention to the fragile little me. I'll be going up to the top lane to gank. ^v^]
[A Rabbit Who Loves To Eat Carrots (Elise): The one who dies first will have to be good and play the part of my didi.]
Elise and Vladimir, the spider and the vampire, two fragile glass cannons… how will this faceoff turn out?
I want to go play in the fan tournament with Qiaoqiao too! I want to beat Dog Lu!