Tong Nian finally clues in to what this whole misunderstanding is about in Gun’s mind.
Chapter 8 – “Shen Gun” Q_Q!
Tong Nian was arranged to sit in the first row of the bus, and there, still she remained in a daze, not certain why she needed to go to their victory celebration.
On the bus were the team captains and squads for various other games or secondary teams, sub players, etc. It was not until the bus was about to start driving that, one after another, the members of the primary squad for Tempest of the Sealed Chamber as well as its sub players stepped onto the bus. Those several people were each carrying a backpack, and because of their tall builds, their heads were ducked low to avoid being assaulted by the bus door. And then, one by one, they walked past her.
“Sister-In-Law, nice meeting you for the first time. Remember to look after me, ’kay?”
Tong Nian was caught in an awkward bind. Smiling did not seem appropriate, but not smiling wasn’t appropriate either. The entire time, her lips maintained an eerie curve to them. Finally, when the one and only baseball cap-wearing grown boy, who had not said anything, walked by her, his steps paused for a moment. Wordlessly, he gave a nod, which could be considered his greeting to her. Then, very quickly, the boy sat down in the seat beside 97, which also was behind Tong Nian.
The driver asked him, “When is your leader getting on the bus?”
The boy was silent for a few seconds. “Wait a little longer.”
And so, from various viewpoints within the bus interior, everyone snuck looks at this cutie sister-in-law who seemed to have fallen from the sky.
Never before had Tong Nian been this nervous. She had not even been this nervous the first time she stepped on stage to perform. Her back was erect, and she dared not show even the slightest little movement, for fear that she would leave any sort of bad impression with anyone on his team.
She clearly heard 97, the person who had helped her carry her luggage and who was sitting behind her, ask in a quiet tone, “Eh? Dt, when did your big bro find a girlfriend? Doesn’t he spend twenty-four hours a day basically living in the club’s house?”
“Don’t know.” It was apparent Dt was not interested in pondering on this.
“An underground romance? Leader likes to play that type of game? Is it because he’s worried we’ll follow his lead and start dating, and that will interfere with competing?”
After a short silence, Dt answered, “He’s no spring chicken anymore. Isn’t dating someone a very normal type of need?”
That sentence… could very easily be interpreted with multiple meanings… The various big and little, younger and older, good-looking guys behind her immediately understood, and, each thinking their own naughty little ideas, they all chortled.
Hearing this dialogue in her ears, she instantly became indignant.
How is he “no spring chicken”? …
He’s so obviously cool and handsome it’s ridiculous, and he gives off way more of a manly air than you bunch of little boys…
In the end, however, Gun merely sent a team captain to inform the driver that he might be returning to the hotel a little later, and he told the team captain to bring everyone back first. Tong Nian stole a glance at this female team captain with the curvy figure who, even when wearing a hoodie, exuded a unique appeal. Listening as she methodically explained what the schedule and arrangements would be for everyone, Tong Nian suddenly felt that, when she compared herself to her, she was just…
Tong Nian looked down at her own short skirt and white, over-the-knee tube socks with the cat ears…
A little kid, you know?
With everybody on it, the bus drove out of the stadium grounds. Through the window, she saw that, both inside and outside the stadium, some of the boys and girls whom they passed would elatedly look toward their particular bus. Some would even point and have discussions about the people inside the bus. Such a scene was very similar to how some of the famous online singers, cosplayers, or writers in the entertainment circle she belonged to would be stared at by fans.
So, you could play video games to the point that you were so cool in real life? How come she had never paid attention to this before?
Tong Nian had a moment of silent regretfulness. She began to prick up her ears to listen to the casual chatter of the people in the bus, trying to understand a little more about his social circle. But… why couldn’t she understand anything that she heard? T.T…
So in this way, the entire drive, her mind whirred with all sorts of activity, and her heart felt all sorts of anxiety. From when she was on the bus to in the hotel, she was under 97’s personal, attentive care, and someone even eventually brought her luggage into his room… Even when her hands were unburdened, holding only her mobile phone, and she was sitting in the buffet restaurant of the hotel, she still had not even seen so much as his shadow yet.
“Everyone, Leader called and told us to eat first. He said he will first raise a glass to all of you. Thanks for all your hard work this last month, travelling to four countries for the exhibition tourneys.” The female team captain smiled and raised her glass in gesture.
Once the captain finished saying this, she walked over and bent down at the waist to speak next to Tong Nian’s ear. “Come, I’ll bring you somewhere.”
Tong Nian paused blankly for a moment, but soon, her cheeks grew hot. Nodding her head, she stood and blindly followed after her.
Behind her, all the men had pained expressions of “Leader’s mind has been overcome by lust, and he has deserted his comrades.” Completely immersed in this earth-shaking piece of gossip, they had all forgotten about a serious matter, that today, they also had a fellow comrade and teammate who had suffered internal stomach bleeding and needed everyone’s care and concern…
The female team captain brought Tong Nian to the door of an executive suite on the twelfth floor.
Why… had they come to a hotel room? Tong Nian secretly peeked around at the surroundings.
The team captain knocked on the door.
Footsteps, far away, but getting closer.
Click. The door opened. With one arm resting on the doorframe, Gun glanced first at the female team captain, then lowered his head to look at Tong Nian, whose height reached only to his chest. “Come in.”
All around, it was terribly quiet.
Tong Nian peeked at the female team captain, then at his chin…
Do she really… have to go into the room? …
“If there’s something to talk about, can’t we do it… in the restaurant? …” She felt that this was a little improper.
A hint of impatience flashed across Gun’s eyes. “You want to discuss personal matters in a public setting?”
“Ah?” Of course not!
The female team captain could not suppress a laugh, and coughing, she said, “I’m going now. You guys take your time and talk. Uh, take your time.” Upon saying this, she really did turn around and, with footsteps that were lithe and could even be said to be merry, she retreated out of there.
And so, truly, only she and he remained in a standstill at the doorway.
Gun sensed that this little girl still needed to struggle within herself for a long time, so he simply left the door open, turned around, and went back inside.
G-gone i-in already?
Tong Nian continued to keep her head bowed and continued to struggle for a dozen or more seconds before finally, one little step and one little shift at a time, she went in. Stepping past the front entryway, her view suddenly opened up. Huh? The girly man with the bleeding stomach?
She stared in blank surprise.
Because he was not wearing glasses, grunt, who was lying on one of the large beds, could only squint his eyes. Seeing her walk into the room, he also wore an expression of great astonishment. Gun was sitting on the sofa behind the desk, and the silver fruit knife he was holding in his hand was very soon by his fingers, spiraling around as it pared the skin off a fruit. “The two of you, are you ready to tell the truth now?”
Huh? Tong Nian gazed vacantly at him.
“I honestly don’t know her…” grunt felt he might as well really have had GI bleeding. At least, that would have been better than now, where after being misdiagnosed, he could only stay in the hotel to rest and, furthermore, be forced into a situation of being woken up by Gun and given a dressing-down.
Gun’s brows furrowed slightly.
He folded the knife closed and took a bite out of the freshly-peeled apple. Chewing as he walked over, he lifted grunt’s chin with the knife handle. “Just be quick and straight about it.”
grunt’s face was covered with a look of “just hack me to death and let it be.”
His eyes were lowered and fixed on grunt for several seconds before at last shifting to Tong Nian, whose brain was stuck in a thick fog. “You’re not planning on telling the truth, either?”
“Huh?” Tong Nian carried on in her muddledness.
“You’re still going to insist that you don’t know him?”
“I really don’t know him…”
“Do you know he has a girlfriend?” Gun raised a brow.
“Now you know. Do you have any thoughts on that? Hmm?”
“……” Why did she have to have any thoughts on that? …
grunt suddenly leapt off the bed, grimacing painfully as he put on his glasses. Barefooted, he strode swiftly over to her. With both his hands, he gripped Tong Nian’s shoulders and, bearing through the pain, enunciated his sentence one word at a time. “Little girlie… I’m begging you. I have a girlfriend. I don’t know you, okay? Eh? Just give us one sentence of truth, please?!”
They… They wouldn’t all be thinking that I’ve been tailing this girly man, right?!
Her eyes opened wide, and in disbelief, she stared at grunt. Her mouth opened, but stunned by the shock she had received, no words came forth. And then, she looked in panic at Gun, who was still carrying on with eating his apple… And then, back at grunt again. Back and forth her eyes went for several times until she finally recovered her speech capability. “I’m not… I don’t know this girly— … this grunt. Honest! Honestly, I really don’t know him. Please, don’t get the wrong idea at all. He and I honestly have nothing to do with each other whatsoever…”
grunt turned to look at him with an aggrieved expression of “Leader, see, this girl has nothing to do with me.”
Gun shrugged and threw back a look that said, “If I believe you, I’m an idiot.”
grunt gave a tearless cry and, deciding that things were already as bad as they were, that he had nothing else to lose, he asked, “Little girl, just say it. Why exactly are you here to see me? … Today, right here, let’s say everything and just lay it all out there.”
“You can have an autograph, you can have a photo with me. State whatever terms you wish, so long as you tell the truth and say that there really is nothing between you and me! Really! I swear! Any request you may have, just as long as it isn’t to be my girlfriend, I will fulfill for you.”
She shook her head incessantly, so miserable she truly was about to cry.
How could I be here to find you? What does this have to do with you? …
“Who said I wanted to be your girlfriend?” With a sobbing tone, she flung off grunt’s hands. “I don’t even like you…” After saying this, she very woundedly looked toward Gun, who had been munching on his apple and watching the lively show. Her eyes had reddened, and she truly was about to break down into tears.
That look in her eyes…
As someone who had played the field with women for a long time, grunt paused in surprise. Immediately, he read the meaning behind that look…
He also turned his head. Incredulous, he fiercely threw a look of disdain at Gun.
This is obviously your freakin’ romantic mess, Con Man [pinyin: Shen Gun]!
破罐子破摔 “po guan zi po shuai.” Literally, this means, “to smash a pot to pieces since it is already cracked,” and is meant to describe a situation that has already gone bad, so one might as well just not worry about anything and risk it all.
神棍 “shen gun.” In the strictest sense, this is a derogatory address given to people who use the name of religion or the supernatural to cheat or swindle, like a religious charlatan/swindler (or, as I have translated in the text, “con man”). However, this nickname for Gun is also a play on his online name and status as “Gun神” (pinyin: “Gun Shen”) which means “God Gun,” due to his highly respected status and abilities in the world of gaming. If you break that term I have translated as “con man” apart, the first character 神 “shen” is “god” while the second character 棍 in pinyin is “gùn,” so playing around with the words, they could be written out as “godly ‘gun.’ ”
1 of 1 Prologue
8 of 49 Chapters
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