"Good, that's it, that's pretty good." Jiang Xun was still standing behind Gu Wei, watching Gu Wei operate the character attached to his own account. "Try moving your camera to change directions, and you can get out of this area."
Gu Wei was gradually getting used to the basic controls of the game. He moved his character towards the exit of the building he had spawned in. The ruins which made up the map sprawled out in front of him, and as soon as he stepped outside, he saw a pinkish figure running towards him from the distance.
"Huh, that's…" Jiang Xun glanced at the list of Gu Wei's randomly matched teammates. A pensive look came over his face.
Gu Wei could only concentrate on what Jiang Xun had taught him about how to walk around. With his right hand on the mouse, he adjusted the camera to look around and suddenly saw a red dot flash across his screen. He wanted to have another look at what that red dot was, but in the process of adjusting his perspective again, he accidentally hit some random key on the keyboard.
A gunshot sounded out, and the burly, pink figure from before disappeared.
"Ge! Did someone hit me?!" Gu Wei asked, alarmed and frightened by the sound of a gunshot he'd heard through the headset. "Help me look around."
"…don't worry, angel," Jiang Xun said. "It's you who hit someone."
And that someone just happened to be someone they knew.
Team TMW's Kumachan, on his own training account, had beelined across the map to find his captain. From across the street, he could already see the handsome outfit usually worn by TMW-Xun's character.
"Looks like I found our captain," Kumachan said. "Your God Xun is looking especially dashing in that black trench coat. He got it especially for this practice account, and he spent a lot to get it.
"Want me to take a closer look? Alright, of course. Let's go. Isn't that what our captain is here for? Jiang Xun isn't the face of TMW for nothing. But what's he doing? Why's he moving so awkwardly? Is this some new strategy?
"It looks like he doesn't have voice chat on, but that's not a problem. We're members of the same team, we're closer than family. Just sit back and watch, I'll go say hi to our God Xun. Captain! Cap…"
The supposed 'Captain Xun' shakily moved to stop in front of Kumachan, lifted his gun, and waved it around a bit.
"Hoh, he's showing off his limited edition skin," Kumachan narrated. "Next, we'll…"
Next, with all the spectators of the livestream watching, 'Captain Xun' pointed his gun at Kumachan's face and pulled the trigger, ruthlessly shooting him at point-blank range. The pink-hoodie wearing character screamed in agony as Kumachan's screen dissolved into the 'Defeat' screen.
Kumachan was speechless.
[Santa Claus Please Bring Me Takeout]: Oho? Kumachan, your captain doesn't want you.
[Big Roasted Pear]: You guys are a lovely family.
[TMWEpic]: God Xun is playing like he isn't awake yet.
[Pineapple Bun]: Hahahahaha, God Xun offed his teammate.
Some people had been recording while Kumachan streamed. Before Kumachan even recovered from his stupefied state, someone had uploaded the clip of that incident to TMW's superchat group on Weibo.
@Tabloid: Shocking! Yesterday's allies are today's foes! Old teammates pull guns on each other. Is this a loss of virtue and morality? Or is there another explanation? This is Jiang Xun's account, isn't it? We remember seeing him use it in a previous livestream!
Gu Wei was starting to have fun. He started a second match and, following Jiang Xun's instructions, wandered around the new rainforest map.
Jiang Xun watched fondly as he took in Gu Wei's look of intense concentration. He couldn't help but smile. Little Gu, practically a magnet for trending topics, continued to explore the new world he had entered, blissfully unaware of the storm that was brewing in reality.
Ever since the 'incident' a while ago, Jiang Xun's cell phone had been vibrating nonstop. In just ten minutes, Jiang Xun's Weibo account had been @ mentioned over ten thousand times. Tabloids spread the video clip like wildfire, already starting to spin wild tales of discord brewing within Team TMW.
The topic was obviously going to trend.
"Bullshit," Kumachan declared. He was still streaming upstairs and had switched from the game to swiping through Weibo on his main account, denying all these wild tabloid claims of disputes within the team. "TMW is doing great."
"Ge, how do I get out of here?" Gu Wei asked, turning around to look at Jiang Xun. His maneuvering skills still weren't great, and he had gotten stuck in a corner.
Jiang Xun put down his cell phone. He looked down and covered Gu Wei's hand with his own, showing him the proper way to get free.
Gu Wei was a fast learner. He nodded and said, "I got it."
"There's actually a way you can learn even faster." Jiang Xun's hand still covered Gu Wei's right hand. "Want to hear it?"
"Of course," Gu Wei said. He turned to the side and fixed his gaze on Jiang Xun, his pretty peach-petal eyes unblinking as he gave Jiang Xun his full attention.
"Weiwei, if you sit in my lap, I promise I'll make every effort to teach you properly." Jiang Xun lightly pressed down on Gu Wei's hand. "How about it? Will you think about it?"
"I… I will not." Gu Wei was flushed with irritation. He knew exactly what kind of pervert Jiang Xun was, but he couldn't seem to commit it to memory no matter how many times he reminded himself. Every time, he still fell for Jiang Xun's dirty tricks.
It was only then that Gu Wei realized how close they had gotten. There was almost no distance between them. Jiang Xun had bent down again, and Gu Wei was trapped between his arms.
Jiang Xun lightly rested his chin on Gu Wei's right shoulder, and Gu Wei could almost swear he felt a brush of Jiang Xun's breath against his skin.
With his thoughts becoming a jumbled mess, Gu Wei instinctively shifted. But the movement only brought them closer together. His lashes were naturally long, and with so little distance between them already, a simple blink had Gu Wei's eyelashes brushing the skin of Jiang Xun's cheek.
Jiang Xun clearly felt it as well.
"Angel, don't tease me when we haven't set a wedding date yet," Jiang Xun chided. "When you tease me and get me worked up, you never take responsibility for it. I have to take care of it myself in private. The way you look is far too appealing to an old pervert like me."
Gu Wei was frozen and speechless.
Jiang Xun straightened up and put some more distance between them. "Play by yourself for a while. If there's anything you don't understand, just ask me. I'll be taking care of some business on Weibo."
He took a seat in the chair next to Gu Wei, but Gu Wei had yet to recover from the moment they'd shared in such close proximity.
His breathing was a little shallow and hurried, and his heart was beating a lot faster than usual. It was the first time he realized that, considering their sexualities and the ambiguous state of the engagement that still remained between them, they had been way too close.
And he realized, in that moment, that when it came to Jiang Xun… he wasn't as indifferent as he'd thought.
The tabloid that had tried to make the game clip viral had been cussed out by Kumachan, and the spread slowed down after a while. But the comments section was still noisy as hell.
@Mandarin Fish: Someone had a little run-in with Jiang Xun, come watch this trainwreck. [link]
@Did Evis Change Rank Today: Holy shit, it's real, hahahahaha. Wtf is Jiang Xun doing? What's with this positioning? Is he out there birdwatching? Hahahahaha, so lame.
@Wine and Poetry: That can't be Jiang Xun, it's someone else on his account, right? What the hell is this?
@Useru878656767: Impossible. What kind of person would be close enough that Jiang Xun would let them on his personal account? You're better off believing in the tabloids who say TMW's going through some internal dispute.
@Mandarin Fish: How is that impossible? Didn't Xi-ge say something during his stream yesterday, something about the captain having a wife? Wait, fuck, everyone go look, Jiang Xun just posted something!
@TMW-Xun: My bad, I'm entertaining a little sweetheart right now. No need to worry. Anyone looking to start rumors and gossip can disperse now.
Kumachan instantly shared Jiang Xun's post to his own page.
@TMW-Kumachan: Understood. Worth it. respect.jpg @TMW-Xun: My bad, I'm entertaining a little sweetheart right now. No need to worry. Anyone looking to start rumors and gossip can disperse now.
This timely response only garnered more attention. Over on his side, Jiang Xun's Weibo was still on fire.
Now, under his new post, the comments were all focused on the 'little sweetheart' Jiang Xun had mentioned.
@TMW-West: The point is, we get along great in our team. We just think about how to beat our next opponents every day. Sorry to waste your time, tabloids.
@Is God Xun Streaming Today: Fuck, this is true love. God Xun is lending his personal practice account to someone?
@QIQI-NININ: +1, what is 'little sweetheart' supposed to mean? DoraemonSurprise.jpg
@Why Does Raw Ginger Pretend to be Potatoes: Doesn't God Xun seem like the type to dote on the one he cares about? God, oh god, fangirls are all weeping right now.
Gunshots rang out. Gu Wei watched as his character once again fell to the ground, dead. Feeling a little dejected, he took off his headphones and looked to his left to find Jiang Xun.
"Had enough?" Jiang Xun asked, smiling.
"Mm, I feel a little dizzy," Gu Wei said. He stood up, but quickly realized he was even dizzier than he had thought.
'Shou Ze' was a first-person game. The camera was always moving this way and that. For new players, it was very easy to get dizzy. Gu Wei hadn't realized it when he was playing, but when he suddenly stood up, the room started to spin.
The dizziness intensified. Gu Wei wobbled on his feet, losing his balance and pitching forward towards Jiang Xun.
But of course Jiang Xun wouldn't let him fall. He reacted quickly and caught Gu Wei in his arms. Gu Wei closed his eyes and rested his head on Jiang Xun's shoulder, waiting for the vertigo to pass.
While he recovered, Jiang Xun's voice came from above, drifting straight into his ear: "Weiwei, if you don't want to play anymore, don't play anymore. No need to throw yourself into my arms without a word."
When Gu Wei heard Jiang Xun's words, his first thought was to put a little distance between himself and the big pervert. But that wave of dizziness had yet to pass, and the ground still looked like it was slanting to him. Gu Wei could only clutch onto Jiang Xun's sleeves, unable to even stand on his own two feet.
"It's my mistake," Jiang Xun murmured. He patted Gu Wei on the back. "I forgot it could make you dizzy."
Gu Wei wanted to say there was no way he would blame Jiang Xun for that, but before he could get the words out of his mouth, he suddenly felt Jiang Xun sweep him off his feet.
Jiang Xun had lifted Gu Wei into his arms.
Gu Wei was startled. "I…"
"Close your eyes," Jiang Xun said as he carried Gu Wei back over to his chair. "Keep them closed for a while, and it might help."
Gu Wei listened and obediently closed his eyes. After a moment, he felt Jiang Xun press a paper cup filled with warm water to his lips, tipping it forward to help Gu Wei drink a few sips.
The ground no longer felt like it was tilting. The nauseous feeling in the pit of his stomach started to subside. Gu Wei hesitated for a moment before opening his eyes. Those eyes of his were still a little hazy and dewy with disorientation. Jiang Xun stilled for a moment just to watch him, as Gu Wei reached out and took the cup from his hand.
"I'm not dizzy anymore," Gu Wei said.
Jiang Xun kept his cool and nodded, looking away. "Rest for a while. You do get dizzy easily if you play for too long."
Gu Wei scooted his chair over a little to make room for Jiang Xun in front of the computer. He watched as Jiang Xun got into a training map to start practicing some techniques with a new gun.
It was only then that Gu Wei noticed his phone had been vibrating endlessly for a while now.
T.ATW's WeChat group had 99+ new messages again.
[Yunkai Sees Mooncakes]: @If You Love Me Please Send Me Money, we're so salty right now.
[stone]: @If You Love Me Please Send Me Money, we want to play on Jiang Xun's personal training account too. We want the world champion to teach us to play too.
[The Sun At Dawn]: @If You Love Me Please Send Me Money, this is such a waste, such a complete and utter waste.
[If You Love Me Please Send Me Money]: ?
[If You Love Me Please Send Me Money]: How did you guys know?