After dinner, it was already close to nine in the evening. Finally satisfied with the footage he'd collected, the director called it a day and freed the five guests to spend the rest of their evening as they pleased.
Gu Wei sat on the couch in the hotel lobby, cradling his phone, and heaved a heavy sigh.
After chatting with Chi Yunkai earlier, Gu Wei was roped into joining in on a round of a mobile game with them. With Fu Zhi and Luo Chenxuan joining in, they had four people—the perfect number to form a team. Gu Wei hadn't been playing the game for long, and he wasn't very familiar with it. He could only pick up some crappy gun and follow his teammates around, and sometimes when he encountered a particularly difficult obstacle, he would heave one of those heavy sighs.
Jiang Xun had originally planned on heading up to his own room after dinner, but then he just so happened to notice Little Gu playing a game on his phone.
After falling once more and having to be saved by his companions, Gu Wei didn't want to play anymore.
"You guys go ahead," he said. "Don't worry about me. I'm just making you lose face."
He tossed aside his phone with another dejected sigh and threw his head back against the couch, just in time to see that Jiang Xun had stopped next to him.
Gu Wei flashed a smile and waved Jiang Xun over, scooting to the left enough to make room for Jiang Xun on the couch.
"Want me to take a look?" Jiang Xun offered. He couldn't resist reaching out and tousling Gu Wei's hair as he took a seat.
Gu Wei picked up his phone and handed it to Jiang Xun.
"I'm not too familiar with this kind of mobile game," Jiang Xun admitted. "But my little brother plays it a lot."
Gu Wei felt reassured by that. "Don't worry, I don't know how to play it either."
Then, as Gu Wei watched, the self-proclaimed 'not too familiar with this kind of mobile game' Jiang Xun tidily mowed down their opponents, made it to the championship round, and won as the MVP with ten kills to his name.
And, in the end, he neatly summed up the experience in the in-game chat with one succinct message:
After all had been said and done, Jiang Xun blinked as though coming out of a trance and turned to Gu Wei. "Sorry. Force of habit."
He was really too used to trash talking opponents before and after tournaments, and in the heat of the moment he had forgotten this was Gu Wei's account.
Gu Wei stared at him for a moment before shaking his head. "It's fine, you're really awesome."
"It's not hard," Jiang Xun said. "When you have time, I'll teach you."
These two didn't think much of what had just happened. After saying goodnight to each other, they parted ways and each went to their own hotel room.
But back at T.ATW's dormitory, the three people who had just invited Gu Wei to play a round with them could only stare, dumbstruck, at the one innocent little word sitting in the game's chatbox.
It seemed the previously useless Gu Wei had suddenly awakened, grabbed ten kills, left a casual diss, and disappeared.
"See?" Chi Yunkai said. "I told you there was something wrong with him."
"...he just called us useless," Fu Zhi said.
Luo Chenxuan wailed, "Last time, he threw a Molotov cocktail and burned us all to death. And even then I never called him useless."
"Okay, so," Chi Yunkai said, refocusing on the problem that really mattered. "What should I do about him asking me to find him a male prostitute?"
"I guess just play along for now," Luo Chenxuan said, "and see what happens."
"Better yet," Fu Zhi suggested, "let's dig around a bit and see what he's really trying to do."
Early the next morning, the five guests of Escape Without a Trace all embarked on their return journeys home. Jiang Xun and Gu Wei had been booked on the same flight back to H City, and the director had even booked them neighboring seats.
"Little Gu," Jiang Xun said, "did you not sleep well last night?"
"I'm okay," Gu Wei said, even though his eyes were visibly red.
His latest assistant was pretty new to the agency, and the young lady hadn't known to pack his usual medicine for him. Adding in the fact that the hotel was an unfamiliar environment, there was just no way Gu Wei would have been able to fall asleep.
But the woodsy, floral scent of Jiang Xun's cologne was extremely soothing and refreshing. Gu Wei found himself tilting towards Jiang Xun's seat and instantly feeling much better and more relaxed.
He reached into his bag after a moment and took out the script for Like the Moon, starting to dig into the profile of Miao Zihan, the supporting male character. But no matter how many times he looked over the script and the character profile, he felt like he was missing something.
"Ge," Gu Wei said, turning to Jiang Xun. "Can you tell me about your daily life as a professional esports player?"
"Why would you be interested in that if you aren't my fan?" Jiang Xun asked while reaching over to take the script from Gu Wei.
Gu Wei's handwriting was very neat. Inside the script, he had made detailed notes about Miao Zihan's character background. Jiang Xun took one look and understood this was a new role Gu Wei had accepted.
"It's actually pretty boring," Jiang Xun said. "We practice every day. We're always playing practice matches or, once in a while, doing a livestream when the club requests one from us.
"But there's an undeniable appeal to it, something that draws us in and keeps us motivated to stay as the best of the best."
"I keep thinking I'm lacking something in my understanding of this character," Gu Wei said. "I only have what the script tells me."
Why did Miao Zihan quit school to pursue a gaming career? The script barely scratched the surface of his motivations. It only said the character was fiercely committed to esports, but neglected to dig into why.
If Gu Wei wanted to play the role well, he would have to really understand the character Miao Zihan and immerse himself in Miao Zihan's lifestyle and mindset.
"I think I get it now," Jiang Xun suddenly mused, eyeing a beam of sunlight that spilled over Gu Wei's hair. "You were digging through my Weibo because of this role, weren't you?"
Gu Wei nodded, embarrassed but honest.
"I'd recommend seeing the real deal," Jiang Xun said. "Little Gu, do you want to come visit TMW's training room?"
Gu Wei's eyes lit up instantly, brightening with hope. "Can I?"
He still didn't really get esports, but since he sought a deeper understanding of the character he was soon to play, he was naturally eager to check out the training facilities of such a famous team.
"Of course you can," Jiang Xun said. "No one would be opposed to my little wife coming to pay a visit."
Gu Wei fell silent.
But, if it meant he could check out Team TMW's training room, he could be a little wife for a while.
"I'll go," he said.
"But might be boring for you, and you might have to stay up late with us," Jiang Xun warned.
Gu Wei shook his head. "Won't be a problem."
He suddenly wanted to see it: the daily life of the reaction meme.
With that, Gu Wei's visit to Team TMW's training room was decided. Gu Wei returned his attention to studying the script, occasionally turning to Jiang Xun with some questions about esports jargon, and Jiang Xun patiently answered each time.
Before long, Gu Wei's eyelids were starting to slide shut. His hand was starting to lose its grip on the scriptbook. He was losing the battle against sleep.
Jiang Xun was in the middle of defining another esports term for Gu Wei when he noticed Gu Wei's eyes had grown hazy and distant with drowsiness. He gently took the script from Gu Wei's hand and said, "If you're sleepy, get some sleep. Why force yourself to stay awake?"
Gu Wei leaned back in his seat, slowly letting his eyes slide shut. He had only drifted off for a few seconds before he jolted away, gasping lightly.
The sleep-deprived Gu Wei, who wasn't wearing any make-up, looked even paler than usual. His lips and cheeks didn't have much color to them, and the sight made Jiang Xun feel sympathetic and concerned.
"Still sleepy?" he asked. "We still have a ways to go before we get back to H City."
Gu Wei nodded.
"Then come here," Jiang Xun said. "You'll be more comfortable like this."
Gu Wei didn't protest. He obediently leaned to the right and rested his head on Jiang Xun's shoulder. Jiang Xun gave him a tug and pulled him even closer, letting Gu Wei rest his head in his lap before covering Gu Wei with a thin blanket.
Lulled into a deep state of relaxation by Jiang Xun's cologne, Gu Wei didn't wake again. With his head resting in Jiang Xun's lap, he slipped into a deep sleep. He looked so tranquil and calm when he was able to sleep without jolting awake. Before falling soundly asleep, his lashes had fluttered and his gaze had lazily trailed over Jiang Xun's hands.
Seeing Gu Wei like this made Jiang Xun think that this arranged marriage situation was actually quite nice.
When Gu Wei acted so sweet and well-behaved, anyone would want to properly spoil and pamper him.
It was then that Gu Wei's cell phone, which he'd placed off to the side, lit up. The phone buzzed with a low battery notification, and the screen displayed a string of notifications of unread WeChat messages that Jiang Xun just so happened to see.
[Yunkai Sees Mooncakes]: Weiwei, tell me the basics.
[Yunkai Sees Mooncakes]: That friend of yours, what's his type?
[Yunkai Sees Mooncakes]: That friend of yours, what kind of play is he into?
[Yunkai Sees Mooncakes]: That friend of yours, what's his… size?
Jiang Xun blinked.