They were all here so everyone simply stayed at the hospital to accompany Gu Luo while he received an IV. People came and went from the infusion room in an endless stream but their colorful hair and team uniform were really eye-catching. Unsurprisingly, the people around them often glanced at them.
Gu Luo’s two bottles of IV were too slow. By the time they were finished, the sky outside was completely dark. Obviously, they all had no more interest in going to the celebration party previously scheduled. Therefore, they boarded the business car and directly returned to the base.
Even so, celebrating was still necessary. After thinking about it, Lin Yan called Luo Mo on the way back and asked him to order some takeout in advance to be sent to the team base. Gu Luo was unwell and fell asleep after getting in the car. The others were afraid of being noisy and simply quietly played with their phones.
Unsurprisingly, the result of the finals of Burning Hot Assembly had been uploaded on the Internet. It accounted for three entries on the top hot search alone. This popularity was comparable to the mid-season that had just finished its first elimination. Putting aside everything else, the program was quite willing to spend money on publicity.
Lin Yan casually looked through it and found that the number of sunspots under the hot search was much less than expected. It wasn’t difficult to guess that these people were likely reserving their energy and waiting for their team to fall down after being defeated. He couldn’t help letting out a low laugh.
Just then, the man sitting next to him gently touched him with an elbow. Lin Yan looked up and saw Jing Yuanzhou silently mouthing ‘look at this’ to him before handing over the phone. He didn’t know what Jing Yuanzhou had up his sleeve. Lin Yan suspiciously lowered his eyes and clearly saw the chat record displayed on the screen.
Luni: You’ve finally returned to the professional league! Congratulations!
Jing Yuanzhou: Thank you.
Luni: We are going to face each other in the autumn competition soon. Are you nervous?
Jing Yuanzhou: Would you believe it if I said I was nervous?
Luni: It is impossible to believe it but… I just asked this casually yet you really answered so casually?
Jing Yuanzhou: The teams will soon be reduced from eight to four. Shouldn’t you be adjusting your state? Why run to me? Just say it if there is something.
Luni: Well, it’s nothing. I just want to make an appointment with you for a training match in advance.
Jing Yuanzhou: The mid-season isn’t over yet. Aren’t you getting ahead of yourself?
Luni: Who told GH to be the dark horse team? I have to make an appointment early to rest assured.
Jing Yuanzhou: Oh, I see.
Luni: Is that a yes?
Jing Yuanzhou: Let’s talk about it later. It depends on the mood of my boss.
Lin Yan quickly read all of it and slightly raised his eyebrow.
If nothing else, he really had to find a way to re-adjust the state of the team before the autumn season. In this way, formal training matches naturally needed to be arranged in advance. In the original plan, once the matches to enter the semi-finals were played tomorrow, he could try to contact all teams except for the two teams in the finals.
Even though they had obtained a professional qualification, they were a new team from a variety show in its first season after all. The so-called program’s champion didn’t have much value in the eyes of the teams in the professional league.
It would be best if they got four or five training games. If their luck wasn’t good and only one or two teams were willing, he could consider teams from the secondary league.
Yet the top team LDF was so active. Their qualification for the professional league was just determined this afternoon yet Luni took the initiative to contact Jing Yuanzhou in the evening. This had not been expected by Lin Yan.
He looked at the back of the seat in front of him before opening WeChat and quickly tapping on the screen. A few moments later, Jing Yuanzhou received a new message: Aside from anything else, Luni is indeed a top player with excellent vision.
Jing Yuanzhou looked at this message that seemed to praise others but was in fact bragging about himself in disguise and couldn’t help smiling as he replied: Don’t worry about answering him. First look at the interest of the other teams. If we can’t find anything then we can use LDF.
Lin Yan worked hard to suppress his laugh. He probably had a guess. Luni was invited as a guest of the show. After watching them all the way, he noticed the endless potential of the GH team and eagerly sold himself for a training match in order to test them.
Of course, there was no problem with this. It was just a pity that he estimated the blackness of the team. It was natural to contact LDF for a training match but now that LDF was directly sent to them, it made them feel not anxious at all. This was probably the so-called ‘the one who is favored is fearless.’
If Luni knew that he had turned the huge LDF team into a training match spare tire, would he be so angry that he would commit suicide on the spot?
Of course, Lin Yan had been planning on doing this even if Jing Yuanzhou hadn’t suggested it. No matter what, he always coincided with his captain when it came to cheating people. It could only be said that they might both be phenomenal top players but compared with Jing Yuanzhou, Luni was still too pure.
The car stopped at the gate of the base and the members of GH got off one by one.
Luo Mo had ordered takeout from a nearby restaurant and it had already been delivered. A round table was set up directly in the center of the hall and when they entered through the door, it seemed quite powerful at first glance.
Gu Luo had slept in the car and his spirit had recovered well. He also sat at the table with the group and ate a meal. However, drinks definitely weren’t allowed. In the end, he could only hold the hot water prepared in advance to drink.
Due to the rules set after the barbecue last time, there wasn’t a single can of beer on the table. Nevertheless, they couldn’t resist the joy of winning the championship of the show. They happily toasted with cups of Coke and were still burping when they finally returned to the dormitory to rest.
By the time Lin Yan and Luo Mo confirmed all the details of the publicity and came back, the lively voices had already disappeared. For a few days, everyone had been holding their strength for today’s finals. Now that all their efforts had finally been rewarded, they felt relieved and could get a good night’s sleep.
Lin Yan didn’t hurry back to his room and went to the training room on the second floor for a check as usual. After closing the door, he was about to go back and rest. He turned around and inadvertently saw the person leaning against the balcony railing. It was a familiar back view. Since the light wasn’t turned on, he could only see the faint moonlight falling down and creating a long shadow on the ground. This person seemed to be surrounded by a faint halo.
In the silence, Jing Yuanzhou leaned against the railing and smoked a cigarette. The hazy smoke floated around him for a long time without dispersing.
Lin Yan unknowingly stopped as he was about to leave. For some reason, he suddenly remembered Luni’s chat history. At that time, the other person’s first sentence in greeting was: You’ve finally returned to the professional league! Congratulations!
For the GH Club and most of the players, winning the qualification for the autumn competition was indeed the best recognition of strength. However, for the man who once stood at the top, it had a different meaning. It was a return after a brief departure.
Although it was true that he actively sought after Jing Yuanzhou from the beginning, Lin Yan always knew that his team obviously wasn’t the best choice after leaving the BK team. He knew how hard it was for a top player to decide to let go of his previous glory and start again from scratch. He was always aware that Jing Yuanzhou was far less indifferent than he seemed. There were many things that Lin Yan didn’t ask about and in some ways, he knew that Jing Yuanzhou wasn’t willing to mention it.
Jing Yuanzhou perhaps heard the footsteps behind him and turned around.
Lin Yan walked into the balcony calmly. He leaned against the railing next to this person and smiled. “Do you still have a cigarette?”
Jing Yuanzhou took out a box of cigarettes from his pants pocket and handed it over.
Lin Yan put one in his mouth. “Borrow a light?’
Then he leaned slightly toward the lighter in Jing Yuanzhou’s hand. Jing Yuanzhou’s eyes shook slightly. Between the curls of smoke, he could feel the soft hair gently rubbing against the skin of his face.
The outline of this side profile entered his vision and it was enough to make people stunned.
This scene was familiar. It was the same balcony but the person borrowing the fire had changed places.
Once the cigarette was lit, Lin Yan leaned back against the railing, tilting his head up slightly to look at the bright lights not far away. “Everyone played well today. There was the small situation with Gloy in the third game but the overall rhythm wasn’t chaotic and your cooperation is becoming more tacit. Later, I will think of a way to strengthen their personal strength so that Gun Zai can take over the position of commander as soon as possible. At that time, you can let go completely.”
Jing Yuanzhou’s gaze was always on this person. Now his narrow eyes squinted slightly and he slowly blew out a mouthful of smoke. “Don’t push them too hard. Just go with the flow. I think the current rhythm is quite good. Don’t care too much about the team rhythm. Don’t worry, I can cooperate.”
“Haven’t you ever questioned it?’ Lin Yan’s voice was light. “You are all in the same team. Why do you always have to cooperate with others instead of letting them cooperate with you?”
Jing Yuanzhou’s eyes slightly lowered and remained silent.
Lin Yan had already assessed the peak strength of all the players earlier and had a lot of thoughts about Jing Yuanzhou. This time, he expressed it directly. “I said just now that I will try to adjust their state to the best to liberate you completely. The GH team isn’t the previous BK. It doesn’t require sacrifice or accommodation. Every team member can complement each other. This is the most desirable form of a team. The first time we watched Gloy, you said that he is good at everything but too independent. Now you have seen that he has fully adapted to the team’s pace and this aggressive style of play. This isn’t a big problem.”
He said this and smiled lightly at Jing Yuanzhou. “Since the team can perfectly adapt to Gloy, why not make the same effort to adapt to you?”
Jing Yuanzhou stared at Lin Yan. Then after a moment of silence, he couldn’t help laughing slightly. “Do you like to create all types of problems for yourself?”
“It’s interesting to have a challenge.” Lin Yan blinked in a noncommittal manner before smiling. “Still, what can I do? I just don’t like to wrong any player in the team, let along… wrong you.”
The night breeze blew in and Jing Yuanzhou’s hair slowly floated in the air.
After so many years as a professional player, the young man who had first unknowingly joined the league had already faded away. In his years in the BK team, he had gradually learned to polish his edges and corners to blend in perfectly with the rhythm of the team. Everything was natural and smooth. Due to this, no one mentioned it anymore or wanted him to go back to the time when he was reckless and brash.
This was originally a team game and Jing Yuanzhou naturally knew that there was no problem with this concept. In addition, his glorious achievements again and again proved that his choice of abandoning his original style to cooperate with the team was indeed correct.
In fact, only Jing Yuanzhou knew that the tiger hiding in his heart might be sleeping but this didn’t mean there were no regrets. It was just that this personal regret wasn’t worth mentioning when placed in front of the glory of the team.
In fact, he had always thought that he would finish his last one or two years plainly before bidding farewell to this battlefield that he had struggled on for many years with the blessing of fans, just like all retired players.
Originally, everything was indeed proceeding step by step to this end. The only change was probably the sudden choice made by BK’s management that allowed him to meet Lin Yan before he officially retired. As a result, there were some different expectations.
Jing Yuanzhou was immersed in his thoughts as he leaned against the railing. The cigarette butt that was about to burn out had only a weak flame left, just like the light flashing in his eyes. “Can I understand it as you feeling distressed for me?”
Lin Yan was taken aback for a moment. He wanted to answer ‘yes’ but under such a gaze, a strange feeling arose in his heart for some reason. After a pause, the words on his lips became, “I have an obligation to be responsible for all players.”
Jing Yuanzhou squeezed out the cigarette butt and threw it into the trash can next to him. Then he smiled slightly and said nothing.
Suddenly, a long silence hung over the two men.
Lin Yan inexplicably avoided Jing Yuanzhou’s gaze. He didn’t continue the topic from just now. He stared at the neon lights in the distance and started to search for other topics. “Speaking of which, why are you using SpongeBob SquarePants as your WeChat profile picture?”
In fact, the first night they added each other’s WeChat, he noticed that this avatar was completely inconsistent with a professional player. Today he saw the chat history with Luni and remembered it again. This opportunity caused him to casually ask the question in his heart.
Jing Yuanzhou didn’t answer and instead asked, “Isn’t it cute?”
In the end, Lin Yan told the truth. “…It is pretty cute.”
Jing Yuanzhou raised his eyes to look at this person. His mouth slightly twitched as he wondered, “If you think it is cute, I have an image of Patrick Star here. Do you need me to send it to you?”