Something must have been muddling Jiang Ying's thoughts. When he saw that default 'FightOn' emoji, he inexplicably thought of that always serious, always dedicated, always earnest class monitor of his.
[Boss Crab]: It's rare to see you show some fighting spirit. As your master, I'm extremely pleased.
[Boss Crab]: Your acquaintance must be very formidable.
[Fighter3357868]: He's very noisy.
[Fighter3357868]: But not annoying.
[Boss Crab]: Oh, that's right. I forgot to tell you something. Setting aside in-person fights for now, you need to properly equip yourself before online fights.
[Boss Crab]: In order to be good at what you do, you must first equip yourself with the right tools. If you're typing on your phone and your opponent is typing on a keyboard, you definitely won't be able to get good results. Make sure you practice your typing.
[Fighter3357868]: …you fighters are really unexpectedly complex.
[Boss Crab]: One more thing. Just learning how to use punctuation and how to be mysterious and eccentric enough to throw off your opponent isn't going to win you every fight. You have to take all these elements of what you're learning and put them together in a fighting style that suits you. And that requires a deep understanding of our language.
[Boss Crab]: You're so good-looking. That's a statement, but it also has the potential to be a more nuanced sentence. Let's use that as our example.
[Boss Crab]: ??? SlightSmile.jpg So you were actually that good-looking, sir? Not bad, not bad.
[Boss Crab]: Doesn't that piss you off a bit?
[Boss Crab]: If you replace 'actually' with 'really' or 'seriously', it has the same effect.
[Boss Crab]: That's basically it. Take some time to think about it. This sort of thing isn't easy to explain, but you'll get a sense for it eventually. You have to understand this tactic, then you have to have the guts to use it.
[Boss Crab]: Take me for example. I'm brave enough to provoke my class monitor, and no one is brave enough to mess with him.
[Fighter3357868]: Then you're very impressive.
[Boss Crab]: What was I talking about again…? I'm a bit dizzy.
[Boss Crab]: SuperTiredRabbit.jpg
[Boss Crab]: I'll head off first, see ya~
Jiang Ying had been feeling dizzy since a while ago, so he ended the lesson there, turned off his cell phone, and burrowed even deeper under the covers.
"Little Ying." Qi Zhu just so happened to push open the door and return right then. "What are you doing?"
When he felt the lowered temperature in the room, Qi Zhu furrowed his brow with obvious dissatisfaction. "You turned it down again? Who are you trying to freeze to death?"
"Trying to freeze you to death," mumbled the ball of covers on the bed. "Gonna freeze this emotionless acting machine to death."
"You invited yourself to stay in my room, and now you're trying to freeze me to death." Qi Zhu ignored him and moved straight to the wall, unplugging the air conditioner entirely.
Turning back to the bed, Qi Zhu asked, "What do you think I want to do right now? Take a guess."
Jiang Ying could hear some movement from under the covers. He stuck his head out from one end and asked, "What?"
"I'd like to take you, and your comforter, and throw you all out together."
Jiang Ying huffed. "Class Monitor, you're too fierce. You'll never find a wife like that, y'know."
Qi Zhu was silent.
This 'y'know' that Jiang Ying tacked on to the end of his words really made him sound like he needed to be taught a lesson.
"Cheeky," Qi Zhu admonished. He reached out and, as usual, gave Jiang Ying's forehead a light slap.
But this time, he didn't pull his hand back.
Jiang Ying made an inquisitive sound.
"Do you think my head is something you can touch whenever you want?" he complained. "Pay first. Then touch."
"Little Ying," Qi Zhu said solemnly. "Are you… running a bit of a fever?"
Jiang Ying touched a hand to his own forehead. "Am I?"
As it turned out, Jiang #2 wasn't running 'a bit of' a fever. He was running a bit of a high fever. And Jiang Ying himself hadn't had a damn clue.
"He must have caught a chill," said the doctor that was sent over by the director. After taking Jiang Ying's temperature, the doctor prescribed him some fever-reducing medicine.
"He kicked the blankets off last night," Qi Zhu stated matter-of-factly. "And he didn't dress warmly enough. After going wild during the day, he got hot and took his jacket off. And just now, he turned the AC down to sixteen degrees. Oh, but he was probably already burning up before that."
Jiang Ying rolled his eyes. "You see? Underneath that cold and cool exterior of his, our Qi-laoshi is just a naggy old mother."
Qi Zhu was still talking to the doctor. He stopped in the middle of a sentence, turned to Jiang Ying, and threatened, "If you say one more word, I'm going to find a roll of tape and shut your mouth for you."
Jiang Ying fell silent.
The director, who'd been on his way to check on them, was so alarmed by this line from Qi Zhu that he staggered outside the door and nearly tripped into a wall.
Those two really were at each other's throats every second of every day.
The director was starting to realize these weren't ordinary guests. These two were practically feuding lords.
"He's disoriented from the fever," Qi Zhu said as he walked out with the doctor. "I'll keep an eye on him."
When Qi Zhu returned, Jiang Ying was sitting up against the headrest with a dazed and confused look in his eyes.
Jiang #2 was usually energetic and troublesome. When he felt talkative, he talked nonstop. When he felt argumentative, he was like a hedgehog that would prick anyone who got too close. But, deep down inside, there was a delicate little prince as well.
Jiang Ying was finally starting to realize that he felt unwell.
Due to the fever, his eyes were somewhat hazy when he looked over at Qi Zhu. That haze had completely erased the usual antagonistic glint that filled his eyes.
"Now you've calmed down?" Qi Zhu asked sarcastically.
When Jiang Ying was quiet, he was the perfect idol. He took after his mother, Song Jingxi, whose good looks were renowned in the entertainment industry. People had said that Jing Ying, when he didn't speak, could be aggressively attractive.
But only when he didn't speak.
"Oi, Class Monitor, would you stop dancing around? Quit shaking. I'm already dizzy." Jiang Ying rubbed at his eyes. "Don't move. Seriously, whatever you do, don't move."
Qi Zhu said nothing.
He didn't move, and he hadn't been moving in the first place. Jiang Ying was just so dizzy that he was blaming his disorientation on someone else.
Jiang Ying remained silent for no more than five minutes before he grew restless again.
There was no way he would admit he got a fever after catching a chill. He took his medicine, snuggled up under the covers, and grabbed onto Qi Zhu's hand to start making up nonsense excuses for himself.
Jiang Ying's explanations for his fever ranged from not acclimating to the new environment to bad feng shui. At one point, he even tried to blame it on fate.
Qi Zhu finally couldn't stand all that bullshit anymore. He covered Jiang Ying's mouth.
"Sleep," he said. "We'll see if your fever breaks in the morning."
Jiang Ying was summarily stuffed under the covers, and he didn't care for that at all. With a displeased huff, he wriggled one arm free and reached out to Qi Zhu with a feverish hand. "Gonna burn you to death."
That overheated hand came up and patted Qi Zhu right on the face.
"Hehe. Is it hot?"
Qi Zhu was silent.
Jiang Ying had only settled down and behaved for a little while. After coming down with a fever, the argumentative troll had turned into a troll who was hellbent on burning people. There was just no changing Jiang Ying. He would always poke and prod and push others to their limits.
But Qi Zhu's limits, when it came to Jiang Ying, had always been somewhat fuzzy. It was hard to say whether he treated Jiang Ying with disdain, or whether he doted on Jiang Ying.
Qi Zhu understood Jiang Ying. He could tell Jiang Ying was actually sleepy, but Jiang Ying was still in the mood to stir up some trouble. Because of that mood, he was forcing himself to stay awake.
And so, Qi Zhu decided not to entertain him by rising to his provocations. Each time Jiang Ying put a hand on his face, he calmly removed it and stuffed it back under the covers. His expression remained unchanging.
"Qi-gege," Jiang Ying huffed, immensely dissatisfied by his failure to start a proper fight. "What's up with you? Are you mistaking me for a flyswatter?"
"Mm," Qi Zhu said.
After a moment, he added, "More like a fly, Housefly Jiang."
Jiang Ying fell silent.
As always, his Qi-gege had the ability to really piss someone off with just one line.