After finishing reading the letter, Shen Yanming looked up.
He saw He Changkong and the coach returning from afar, engaged in a conversation.
However, Shen Yanming couldn’t care less about that right now.
He hurriedly jogged over, looking a bit reckless.
He nearly bumped into the tables of other guests in the dining room, and as he passed, he quickly apologized and continued forward, even creating a small breeze in his wake.
He just wanted to rush towards He Changkong, like a bird returning to the boundless blue sky it belonged to.
Shen Yanming leaped onto He Changkong’s back, and it happened so suddenly that He Changkong staggered slightly.
However, Shen Yanming quickly hugged He Changkong tight from behind.
He still had the unfolded letter in his hand, and his cheeks carried a faint blush from the haste of his sprint.
People around them turned to look at him.
Meng Yan, in surprise, asked, “What are you doing?”
But Shen Yanming seemed to not have heard him at all.
He continued to cling to He Changkong without saying a word.
He Changkong turned around and softly asked him, “What’s wrong?”
Shen Yanming still didn’t answer; he just nuzzled his face against He Changkong’s back, the fabric of He Changkong’s team jacket lightly brushing against his face.
It wasn’t as if he intended to stay silent or was at a loss for words.
There were eleven thousand “I like you” about to burst from his heart, but his rationality forced them down his throat.
I like you, I like you, I like you, I like you, I love you.
Shen Yanming took a deep breath and finally let go of He Changkong.
He faced the curious gazes of their other teammates.
Even though he lacked confidence, he put on a very self-assured expression and said, “The match is coming up soon, can’t I be nervous?”
Meng Yan looked like he had seen a ghost.
“You get nervous? Did I hear that right? If you get nervous, then when we go outside later, an old lady has to come help me cross the street!”
Even though the coach knew Shen Yanming usually did things in an unconventional way, he had mentioned being nervous before the match.
So, the coach responsibly began to prepare a pep talk.
However, before he could start, Pudding interrupted.
“If you’re nervous, just be nervous.
Why are you hugging and clinging? It’s not proper,” Pudding had completely forgotten about maintaining his composure.
His entire face contorted in a grimace of disgust.
“And what’s that thing in your hand?”
Sunday chimed in, “It’s a love letter.”
It was only then that Shen Yanming realized he was still holding the letter.
Just before the curious onlookers could lean in to take a look, Shen Yanming hurriedly folded the paper and hid it in the back of his phone case.
Shen Yanming: “Why are you asking so much?”
Pudding: “…It’s Kong Jiang’s handwriting up there, right?”
Pudding’s expression grew uglier and uglier.
If not for the coach being present and the possibility of unrelated passersby overhearing their conversation, he felt like cursing out loud, thinking “Damn, why do these damn gays have to make such a fuss about everything?”
He Changkong patted Shen Yanming’s head and explained to Coach Afeng, who looked puzzled, “He’s just a bit nervous, so I wrote some words of encouragement.”
Afeng suddenly understood.
Sunday chimed in, “It’s not a love letter.
Then, we all want some encouragement.”
Afeng said, “Then write a few words of encouragement for the others too.”
Pudding and Meng Yan exclaimed together, “Absolutely not!!!”
Shen Yanming angrily declared, “You’re not allowed to write for these two!”
Sunday laughed, “Hahahahaha.”
In the end, He Changkong still took a hotel notepad and wrote words of encouragement and blessings for the other teammates, even for Pudding, who wasn’t going to play.
On the palm-sized notepad, he wrote just two words: “jiā yóu”1jiā yóu: “加油” means “go for it” or “good luck”
The others thought, “…” The difference in treatment was too obvious.
Only Shen Yanming, after seeing the small notes the others received, proudly raised his chin.
The afternoon to evening match ended without any surprises, earning them another point.
When they went backstage, Shen Yanming saw his parents waiting for him below the stage.
Two middle-aged people were wearing cat ear headbands, which looked somewhat comical amidst all the young fans.
At first, Shen Yanming was a bit surprised, but upon reflection, he remembered that in his previous life, when he had just started playing professionally, his parents had also come to watch him compete live.
Later, as he played more matches and his parents lost interest in esports, finding it troublesome to ask for time off every time, they gradually stopped attending matches.
Shen Yanming waved to his parents, and his teammates greeted them as well.
Shen Yanming wagged his nonexistent tail and asked, “So, how did I do just now? I played well, right?”
Lin Qingyue thought for a moment and honestly replied, “You were flashing around so quickly, one moment this guy was dead, the next that guy was dead.
I couldn’t understand what was happening.
I just listened to the young girls and guys screaming.”
Shen Yanming: “…”
Shen Zhu added, “Winning means you’re amazing.
How could my son not be amazing?”
Shen Zhu went all out and booked a private room at a famous and expensive private restaurant in the city.
He invited the kids who had come from afar to compete and a few accompanying staff members to have a meal together.
At first, everyone was a bit reserved, but both Shen Zhu and Lin Qingyue were chatty people with no airs of elders.
By the end of the meal, everyone was enjoying themselves and having a good time.
After eating, according to the plan, they were all supposed to return to the hotel tonight and fly back to Haicheng together tomorrow night.
However, Shen Yanming, who had become quite a macho man in the past few days, suddenly seemed to have become a bit homesick.
He applied to go home and sleep for a night.
It wasn’t an unreasonable request.
When they left the restaurant, everyone else went to the hotel, but Shen Yanming went home with his parents.
Initially, there was nothing unusual when he returned.
He chatted with his parents for a while, watched half an episode of TV, and then, seeing that it was getting late, he returned to his room to finish his homework before going to bed.
After completing his homework and getting ready for bed, he lay down on the bed he hadn’t slept in for over a decade, but Shen Yanming was unusually awake.
His body was tired, of course, after a long day, and he really needed rest.
But his mind was unusually alert.
…Something just didn’t feel right.
He realized belatedly that he had been sleeping with He Changkong every day for so long, and this seemed to be the first time they were sleeping apart.
Now, without the comfort of his human pillow, he couldn’t get used to it.
Shen Yanming tossed and turned under the blanket.
Usually, at this time, He Changkong would hold him, pat his head, kiss his cheek, and say goodnight.
Actually, he did say goodnight.
Just now, he had sent it via his phone, in a voice message.
Shen Yanming opened the voice message and listened to it again, He Changkong’s slightly husky voice flowing into his ears.
But he still couldn’t fall asleep.
Shen Yanming rolled over again and decided to send He Changkong another message.
[Shen bird]: Can’t sleep.
[Kong_]: What’s wrong?
[Shen bird]: Maybe because I didn’t get a goodnight kiss.
In the nickname column, it occasionally showed “Typing…” but after a while, there was still no message from He Changkong.
Shen Yanming thought He Changkong might be typing a long message, perhaps something to coax him to sleep.
But in the end, He Changkong just sent an emoticon.
Shen Yanming: “!!”
Holding his phone against his chest, Shen Yanming rubbed his eyes and looked at the emoticon again.
It was just too cute!
The usually solemn Kong ge sent such an emoticon!
…But maybe because it was too cute, Shen Yanming found it even harder to fall asleep.
However, he didn’t want He Changkong to worry, so he sent back, “Then I’ll go to sleep =3=” and ended the chat again.
But after ending the chat and rolling around in bed a few times, he still wasn’t feeling sleepy.
Shen Yanming climbed out of bed once more.
The letter from this morning was still tucked into his phone case.
He planned to put it away properly when he got back.
He felt like he should write a more serious reply this time.
Previously, he had been using song lyrics, but if he kept copying lyrics, it might give the impression that he was being insincere.
Shen Yanming turned on the light, sat at the desk, and spread out a piece of paper.
In reality, his Chinese language skills had been decent in school, and he could write good essays.
But when it came to writing letters, he felt a bit stuck.
Did writing letters also have to follow a structure, like an introduction, examples, and conclusion?
He sat at the desk for a full five minutes.
He even took out “Excellent Essays for the College Entrance Exam” from the bookshelf to use as a reference.
After flipping through several pages, Shen Yanming felt like it didn’t make much sense.
He decided to just write whatever came to mind.
Shen Yanming picked up a pen and began writing, one stroke at a time, like an elementary school student.
“Dear Kong ge,
Hello! I never thought we would become so close.
I do have many friends, but I never thought I could become such good friends with you before! Because I always thought Kong ge was too amazing – handsome, intelligent, a top student, the god of nannies.
Not something someone like me, an ordinary person, could touch, sigh.
And, mainly, you always looked so aloof!!
But after getting to know you, I realized that you’re only aloof on the surface.
Inside, you’re really passionate and kind to everyone.
Especially to me.
I’ve always wanted to say thank you very much.
If it weren’t for you dragging me into professional gaming, I might still be lazing around in school, feeling unfulfilled and unable to focus on studying, becoming a person with no future… Recently, under your guidance, I’ve managed to train, compete, and study at the same time.
It’s unbelievable, is this really me? But maybe it’s because I’m confident that my dreams can come true, so I feel at ease, and I don’t get distracted when studying.
My efficiency is quite high, hahaha.
And I also, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.
One more ‘I love you’ than you.
Here, Shen Yanming paused.
What in the world had he just written? It was utterly devoid of any literary charm.
Maybe he should just tear it up and start over…
As he was thinking this, Shen Yanming heard some commotion outside, as if someone had rung the doorbell.
His mom hurriedly went to answer the door.
Guests at this hour?
Shen Yanming didn’t bother to check and refocused on what he was doing.
He read his letter again, feeling reluctant to tear it up since he had put so much effort into it.
He tried to think of something else to write when suddenly, the door to the room was slowly pushed open.
Shen Yanming instinctively turned to look and then widened his eyes.
He Changkong was standing by the door, a faint smile on his lips.
“If I’m not here, you can’t sleep, right? …So, I came over.”
Thank you for reading!
Hope you enjoy the rest of your day
If you like reading my translations, do consider supporting me with ko-fi
1jiā yóu: “加油” means “go for it” or “good luck”
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