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Second Childe Ye

Chapter Text

He didn’t realise when he had fallen sick. It started with some minor shivers which he passes off as the air conditioning being too cold. Then comes the sniffles, he blames it as a slightly blocked nose from bad air circulation. Now he could feel himself running hot, and is perfectly aware he was having a mild fever.

Perhaps the strain of trying to maintain the team and pushing the training camp players to their max pushed his own bodily limitations. Since he wasn’t able to prevent it, he should go and cure it. He drags himself to the nearest drug store and purchased medicines of both western and eastern origins.

He feels slightly iffy when the shopkeeper selected a random tab from a pile that he just picked up from the floor, after someone ran into a display of it. That was the so-called health booster and the guy just sticks it into a bag before giving it to him. He notices how the capsules aren’t the same from the picked up pile, but this is what he is going to get from eastern self-packed medicines.

The tab he received is going to annoy someone with OCD. The coloured sides aren’t sealed consistently in the same direction. Luckily for him, he has no care for their displacement. It will be consumed soon.

He had to get well fast, the arrival of his replacement could be anytime soon. While he was confident about the western meds he took after his lunch, he sighs at the eastern one in his hand, stating to be able to boost energy levels and overall health. Here goes nothing. He swallows them after dinner and goes to sleep.

Slumber didn’t come easy to him. Or rather, it didn’t arrive at all.

He feels himself getting worse, he gets up and fires up his PC. Pulling up his brother’s QQ window, he quickly inquires about their family’s medical history while he still can. His heart beats faster and faster as he skims Ye Qiu’s angry replies of being ignored for most of the time. He didn’t manage to get his answer. His vision blurs and he feels the vertigo, the 4 walls spinning before his eyes.

He feels the burn from his fever getting hotter, his room feeling like a furnace. He accidentally slams on the keyboard trying to steady himself but he fails, and falls to the floor, bringing his chair with him.

Then there was just silence, before his laboured breathing fills the room.

He refuses to scream out loud no matter how excruciating it is, given he is still in his team’s dormitory. His joints were crackling with pain, the aches in his muscles spasm so hard he couldn’t move. The shivering strikes to his bones and he sweats way more than he had ever run in his entire lifetime.

While he was denied sleep earlier, he welcomes the darkness when he feels himself loosing consciousness, his vision turning black. By then he didn’t need to think anymore.

-

Ye Qiu was alarmed when he receives a keyboard smash in response to his own. Rarely his infuriating twin will answer like this to his usual scoldings through QQ. Did something happen to him? The subject matter was also concerning. As far as he has been educated on their family history, they had a good clean bill in health, nothing major to worry about. Unless they were self-inflicted like smoking and drinking excessively, of course, but this isn’t entirely the point.

He keeps prodding the chat room, but no replies came forth since. He becomes more agitated that his shameless older brother didn’t respond. No matter how uncaring he would appear to be, he would never prank him like this. He quickly pulls up the airline booking tab and gets himself on the earliest flight to H City. After securing a ticket and checking-in, he throws open his closet and pack a few days worth of clothes, his instincts telling him he might be there for a few days. He’ll settle his accommodation in flight.

He gathers his things and heads straight out. He informs their butler that he is going to visit the eldest young master on an emergency, and also tells him to notify the patriarch and matriarch of the family of his whereabouts. He instructs the driver to take him to the airport and to prepare a vehicle for him as soon as he lands in H city.

All he needs to do now is travel in three transportation cabins to bring him to his twin. He hopes his beloved elder brother is okay.

Chapter Text

His body protests from soreness when he cracks open an eye. He remembers passing out, it is probably from the bad sleeping posture. But he manages to sleep, and he feels a lot better now. Sluggishly he pushes himself up, shaking his head gently least it triggers a headache. He wasn’t in a good condition the night before, he will have to take things slowly.

Perhaps he is still in a lucid dream? He didn’t remember the bed being so big before. Everything in his room is not the size they should be. It feels like as if he shrunk! He reaches out a hand to try to pinch himself, then realises the overly large clothes he is entangled in is preventing him from doing so. He pulls at the cloth until his hands are visible, then he checks himself; patting at his face, running a hand through his hair, and looking at his hands.

The shorter and slightly fatter digits greets him in the morning light as he flexes them.

“Shit”

Startled by his own voice, he touches his throat out of reflex. How many people remember what they sound like without a video recording of their childhood? That isn’t the point.

He had shrunk.

He very calmly assesses the situation and decides that he needs some form of help. His computer is still on, so he rids himself of the cumbersome pants and jacket, dressed only in his shirt. After resetting the fallen chair upright, he climbs onto it and QQ Mucheng, informing her he needs help and she should come discreetly.

He checks that his brother is already offline, and feels sorry for the barrage of worried messages after his keyboard spasm. No doubt he will be here soon.

Great, one more person to help him out of this mess, and there is no other candidate more worthy than his own twin, who shares the exact same face as him! It will settle some problems that is arising soon.

He sits there waiting, knowing Mucheng is able to let herself in from the shared bathroom door. True to his predictions, the door opens violently as she surveys the room. His message must have make her run back here from the training rooms.

She stops and they both stare at each other. She slowly walks forwards and furrows her brows at him. Hesitantly, she reaches out to him.

“Ye..Xiu?”

“Hey”

He didn’t expect her to suddenly squeal and lunges at him, picking him up and cuddles him.

“YOU’RE SO CUTE! CUTE CUTE CUTE!!!”

He tries to stop her but no avail, he resigns to his fate of being smothered to death like the teddy bear he is in her arms. She rubs cheeks with him, kissing on them lightly and swaying him left and right, before she settles him down on the bed. Good, at least he can look at her in the eyes when they talk.

“Yeah, you were cute before too, remember?”

“…. You’re really Ye Xiu, not his hidden son or a younger baby brother?”

“Why would my hidden son be wearing his father’s clothes if that’s the case? Ye Qiu would have mentioned if we get a baby brother. Also, how would I be able to keep it from you?”

“True. You have the social interaction of a cryptid”

“Hey, I show myself for team meetings!”

“For events you’re not! So… what now? You need help in that?”

Ye Xiu didn’t have time to react, not like he can stop her in his current size; Mucheng just reaches out and ties the bottom hems of his over-sized shirt under his crotch. At least he won’t be feeling too naked down there. She folds his sleeves so they are to his elbows at least.

“Thanks. By the way, I’m pretty sure Ye Qiu will be here soon, please bring him in quietly. We definitely need his help”

“… Yeah, with your current condition, we don’t need to give them more ammunition to fire you with”

“This plays too well into their plans to get rid of me”

“You knew and yet…”

“It’s inevitable…”

“No it’s not!”

“Mucheng, we’ve gone over this already”

“I won’t be taking this lying down!”

“That’s where it differs, I’m not you, and you’re not me. I have a plan remember?”

“I hope it’s worth it”

“Trust me, it’s going to be worth it.”

Chapter Text

When the car stops in front of Excellent Era’s front gates, the guard is astonished to see God Ye Qiu dressed so prim and proper, in a tailored to fit 3-piece suit, disembarking from that sleek black vehicle. Well, he has a job to do. He calls for Miss Su Mucheng as she instructed him to do earlier; call her when Ye Qiu comes back, at the entrance.

Said Ye Qiu walks over hurriedly to the guard’s booth. He lets him in like usual, much to Ye Qiu’s surprise, but he reverts to being calm immediately. Ye Qiu probably thinks he is a new guard and needs to explain his lack of tag. The guard humourlessly huffed.

He knows their resident god when he sees him, and wouldn’t deny him entry.

Not long after, Miss Su arrives and leads him away. He is baffled; when did Ye Qiu leave the compound? No matter, he must have sneaked out for the night like the mysterious man he was. It has to be some big important event if he has to dress up like that. He continues to watch the front gates, and greets the players and other staff going in and out.

At least he gets to see Excellent Era’s God on some occasions.

-

“You’re Su Mucheng?” Their conversation starts in low whispers.

“Yes, please follow me. I’ll bring you to Ye Xiu”

“Do you know what happened to him?”

“… It’s best to see it for yourself, we’re trying to be stealthy here”

“Right, did he do something really stupid that will make me raise my voice?”

“I don’t think it was intentional, but you might, hence it’s better that you see him yourself. He needs your help more than he thinks”

He is baffled at that statement. His independent, head-strong brother requires his help? While all the time he was being ignored on QQ? This better be really serious, and nothing life-threatening. He didn’t want to curse his brother for real even though he curses him all the time in his angry rebukes in QQ.

He pushes open the door Mucheng indicates and sees the lump in bed that should be his brother. He goes up to it and turns him around. What greets him is surely a shock. He stares at a face he hasn’t seen in years.

“Gege…?”

“Ah? You’re here?”

A range of inexplicable emotions flows through him. Seeing the shrunken Ye Xiu lying in bed, in a shirt 3 times too large, with messy hair on a pillow too big for his head, yawning and rubbing his eyes, triggers something in him.

“SO CUTE!”

SCY01_LR

Of course he isn’t going to scream this out loud. He has more dignity than that. He feels his self-restraint crumbling when his shameless elder brother motions to be picked up.

“What are you, 5?! Get up yourself!”

“Qiu-di, I might not be five, but I am smaller right now. Carry meeeeeee

He couldn’t resist the whiny tone his now smaller older brother had used, and the damn pout he makes. Ye Qiu bends over and picks him up. He tsks at the feeble attempt of his child-size clothes and places Ye Xiu standing on the bed.

“I’m getting you clothes… proper child sized clothes. We need to let father and mother know. What happened, gege?!”

“I don’t know, must be the meds I took yesterday. I was burning high with fever, everything was painful, I ached at the joints like a century-old man! Then I passed out. When I woke up I’ve shrunk. They’re still here if we need to send it to our pharma”

Ye Qiu runs a hand over his face. Well, he needs to do a lot of calling to get their tech out here to take the suspicious medicine. He tasks Su Mucheng to buy clothes for his shrunken brother with his card while he does so. As soon as the tech arrives at the front door, Mucheng is alerted by the guard again, so he walks out calmly and passes the pills to the despatch waiting outside the gates.

“Treat this with care. We’re counting on you”

The man salutes him before riding off into the busy streets. He hopes it will go smoothly. Returning to the room, he makes the dreaded video call to his parents, calmly explaining the situation. Glares were thrown to his brother when he side-eyed him, who only tilts his head as he can’t really hear most the conversation.

“Stop being so cute!”

He passes the phone to Ye Xiu who takes it and greets his mother. Ye Qiu didn’t know his mother could still squeal so loud at the age she is now. He takes a deep breath and approaches Su Mucheng, inquiring about Ye Xiu’s state of clothes, ignoring his mother’s reminiscing about her youth upon seeing the small Ye Xiu. She tells him some will arrive today and he tells her to get some of them cleaned for his brother to wear immediately.

In the mean time, they have to come up with a plan; how do they want to tell this situation to his team?!

They just won’t.

Chapter Text

He is lucky to have packed a spyware set with him when he sets off to H City. He never would have thought he would need it to masquerade as his twin! As the captain of his team, ‘Ye Qiu’s responsibility for today is to look over the trainees.

How could he train them when he doesn’t know a thing in playing a cyber game at all!

Hence the mention of said electronics. Dressed in his brother’s team uniform, the miniature go-pro hidden behind his lanyard and tag as much as possible, the wireless earphone in one ear, he is to give verbal corrections to this group of teenagers, while Ye Xiu watches from the go-pro’s feed, setupped in his room and gives him instructions accordingly.

At least he didn’t have to show them any moves. Hopefully he didn’t jinx himself.

The farce continues all the way until dinner. So far so good. The teens didn’t look weirded out, as long he delivers the lines exactly as how Ye Xiu says them to him. He ignores the cute voice his elder brother is having at the moment.

Pro players who tries to approach him are torn asunder under his practiced belittling glare. The shocked looks they show didn’t go unnoticed. His brother must be so friendly here, while he has to put up a shield against the people in the company.

So carefree. He is kind of jealous of it.

At the cafeteria, he heaps a little more food than usual onto his tray and zips straight to their room. He  has to feed himself and Ye Xu, but Su Mucheng helps by getting the other half of Ye Xiu’s meal for him too, so they both didn’t look too greedy.

More importantly they wouldn’t appear too suspicious for their sudden intake of additional food.

Apparently Captain Ye never calls for delivery, so it is out of the question for him to order outside food. Luckily his tastebuds are not too picky, he will be able to stomach this level of cuisine. He really is too spoiled, but he didn’t revel in it. He quietly eats with his brother, wiping at his smaller elder brother’s face when the food didn’t really go into his mouth.

The dinning wares are too big for him to use. Ye Qiu teases him by asking if he needs to use the soup spoon instead. Luckily Ye Xiu isn’t the kind to retaliate with a food fight. He proceeds to use said utensil so he can eat better.

His brother really has a thick skin. Not like he doesn’t know about this. He didn’t expect anything to be different even though he’s smaller now.

Su Mucheng comes back a little later with a laundry package, all of them are delighted by it. Finally Ye Xiu will have some clothes to wear! Both of the Ye twins are grateful Su Mucheng didn’t pull their legs by purchasing obnoxiously cute, adorable children clothes like onesies and overalls. She had the common sense to buy practical ones.

She bought children size equivalent of his adult wardrobe, luckily children fashion nowadays are trendy enough, they look modern and sleek. This includes underwear. Ye Xiu goes to bathe and changes his clothes in the bathroom. Though he is a child now, he refuses to be seen naked by both of the people he considers as family, especially the twin that will not let him live it down.

Ye Xiu wouldn’t mind Ye Qiu at all, actually.

Playing GLORY was hard for the tiny Ye Xiu. His arms and fingers are not long enough to execute some of the commands he needed. The keyboard is slightly too wide, the mouse is too big. He pouts in annoyance. Su Mucheng immediately takes a picture, while Ye Qiu could only solicit it from her.

Later that night, Ye Xiu retires to bed really early. His body is really that of a child, giving out earlier than an adult would. A buzz from Ye Qiu’s silenced phone alerts him of a call. He answers and is not pleased with what he hears. His family requests that he stays with Ye Xiu; he will be relieved of all his company duties to take care of him. When he wanted to protest, another statement shocks him dumb…

There is a possibility that Ye Xiu might revert back into a child-like state.

The family’s pharmaceutical department found a few similar but heavily censored cases of this weird medicine’s misusage; some of the victims who turned younger than 12 had regressed to their younger state of mind. Those that become younger but were still within their adult range appreciated their new found youth; they didn’t relapse. Since Ye Xiu fell victim to it, he needs to be cared for should that were to happen.

This information shocks him to the core. He cannot imagine a world without his adult brother, his twin. If he regressed, wouldn’t it be like having an entirely new younger brother that is already 8 years old out of the blue?

He agrees to the family’s demands and ends the call. Slowly and gently, he shuffles his sleeping brother together with his blanket, until he is carrying him, letting him continuing sleeping on his shoulder. Ye Xiu didn’t wake from being jostled.

 “Gege…” came the painful whisper.

 

 BbyYX+YQ2_LR

Chapter Text

“When it happens, it happens”

“How can you be so nonchalant about this? We might lose you, I might lose you! Do you even care how I feel about this?!”

“… I’m not going to die, just regress. There’s no cure so far right? Even with the medicine at hand, reverse-engineering and testing it on willing subjects requires time. All we can do is hope for the best. In the meantime, no point worrying about it, just do what we need to do, to move on with our daily life. Worse comes to worst, you’ll get me as the adorable younger brother!”

“I’ve been relieved of all my responsibilities just to take care of you in case it happens! We really can’t afford to trust anyone else to do it!!! Also, I don’t want you to become my younger brother!”

“Awww, Qiu-di, you still want to be the baby brother now? Isn’t it for the best? You get to slack off and be with me, I know you love me lots, thanks, Ah Qiu!”

“Gege, you - !”

“Our family really wants us to put up this con huh. While they could hide your existence in the company, I can’t be erased so easily in the e-sports industry”

“You could just retire, isn’t it? I can put up a facade for you to retire, it’s not too hard!”

“… I could

“Then come back with me!”

“I don’t want to. I want to achieve my dreams before I forget it, if the regression is true”

“Gege!”

A knock on the door cuts short their argument, Ye Qiu shimmering down from his emotions. Su Mucheng lets herself in and brings in their lunches, so they could continue their discussions on what to do next. She reminds them that Ye Xiu’s replacement is coming soon, they should prepare for it.

“What replacement?” Ye Qiu demands. There should be no one capable to replace his brother, for he is the number 1, so he has been told.

Ye Xiu lets his brother know about his predicament, since he will be the one confronting his team’s management. Ye Qiu, naturally, is livid upon learning that the team that his brother brought up from scratch, won 3 championships for, stayed through thick and thin throughout the remainder of the 5 seasons, putting so much effort to bring them their fame only to be smacked in the face from their sheer ignorance of his brother’s sacrifices and abandons him.

Not to mention they were trying to push him out, splashing black paint on him for the lack of securing further championships and the team’s intentional uncooperative decline due to his stubbornness in refusing to participate in advertising which will bring in major revenue to the team over the years.

Ye Qiu quickly understands his brother’s stance. The major problem comes from his unwillingness to show his face, to avoid incriminating himself, who has the same face as him, and the family in such an industry. But it wasn’t a really bad one, they could have a slice of this money-making pie too, if done correctly.

No one uses a Ye and discards them!

Ye Xiu’s only regret is leaving his prized account behind. It’s not that they can’t buy it, they won’t be given the chance to do so, the team definitely won’t sell it to Ye Xiu no matter how much money was thrown at them, just to spite him. They wouldn’t expect Ye Xiu to have this kind of money to throw around for a god-level account in the first place.

He quietly reads through his brother’s contract that he manages to pry from little hands trying to hide it. Pitiful. He didn’t even get a raise after the three years of championships, and his salary is fixed as such until today. Meanwhile, if another team tries to buy him out they’re going to be coughing blood asides from money. They’re really trying to milk him for all he’s worth if they could. He inquires about his financial state, which gets a shrugs from the small shoulders, while Su Mucheng helpfully fills him in that Ye Xiu has been helping other not-so successful pro players to get back on their feet.

His brother is really too much of a nice guy. He’ll show them who they are messing with.

Before being cut off by Su Mucheng earlier, Ye Qiu solidifies his determination to support his brother’s wishes because he really fears his regression; he wants his brother to go peacefully if it happens. He couldn’t bear to deal with his brother’s silent pain if he didn’t realise his dreams, his adult self diminishes like a dementia patient, and truly becomes his new younger brother.

He also doesn’t wish to live with regrets, he fully understands his brother even if they didn’t say it out loud to one another.

 

Later that evening, Su Mucheng comes back and informs them of the replacement’s arrival. The showdown is about to begin. They packed all of their belongings and shipped them off in the afternoon, to the hotel Ye Qiu booked earlier in the morning. He tasks his currently-still-employed-to-aid-them-both Personal Assistant to look up a few properties in the cities where a few championship teams resides, just in case his brother is willing to join either one of them. He gathers the needed paperwork and shoves it into his jacket, his brother holding onto a trump card, and also a silver one.

Ye Xiu is concerned about his brother’s sudden silence, thinking it might be nervousness. Ye Qiu is going to pretend to be him after all, not many people can act as someone they’re not on the fly. Luckily, Ye Qiu is his twin, he wouldn’t find for another candidate for the job.

He hopes his cute little brother could pull it off, even though he’s the tiny one now.

Ye Xiu should have known that Ye Qiu dealt with treachery on a daily basis; he’s definitely going to give them a real good show. There’s no way he’s letting his brother retire and fade into the background, used and abused, forgotten like a legend never to be brought up again. Ye Qiu is not going to let them orchestrate their scenario as they please.

He’ll pulverise them.

Chapter Text

Ye Xiu plays his last with One Autumn Leaf, retrieving the account card and shutting down the PC. Ye Qiu puts on his brother’s casual clothes, he strides proudly to where Su Mucheng leads them. He makes sure Ye Xiu is able to keep up with their longer legs, looking back occasionally. His now smaller elder brother has to jog a little to match their speed, bouncing up and down in his miniaturised clothes and shoes.

He is absolutely adorable.

No wonder their mother loves to pinch their cheeks so much when they were younger. Su Mucheng takes an excessive amount of pictures of the two of them ever since Ye Xiu gets the kid version of his adult clothes. Ye Qiu requests her for those pictures of his now smaller twin. She promises to send him the nicest ones everytime she does so.

Their good mood turns sour when they reach a set of doors before them. They stopped, and Ye Xiu runs straight into the back of his younger brother’s legs. Ye Qiu steadies himself by bracing himself against the door, which he accidentally pushes open with a little more force than necessary. He glowers, startling the occupants inside at his sudden arrival with a low growl, instead of knocking.

The small hands behind his thigh pats him in apology.

Within the stereo-typical conference room are a number of people, a bunch of them in their obnoxious red jackets gathered around someone in casual wear, while one is in a business suit. Ye Qiu frowns slightly. They needed an audience to shame his brother, really?

He recognises the replacement known as Sun Xiang from the information given by Su Mucheng. Catching his gaze when the new guy is assessing the two newest addition to the room, he gives the blond his usual ‘Don’t mess with me if you know what’s good for you’ smile.

The younger boy startles at this belittling gaze and visibly straightens up in his chair. He gives a retaliating gaze back to him. Ye Qiu is pleased this little imp has some fire in him. He’ll need it to survive in this pitiful team if it isn’t smothered by the pressure.

Ye Qiu turns his ire to the snake-looking manager, Cui Li, after giving the other fools in the room the same demeaning gaze that they give him earlier and he extends his smile. Though they refuse to cower, believing that he is the ousted and can’t-fight-back Ye Xiu, they remain quiet; every one of them is imagining what is going to happen. They wait for the show that is about to go down.

They won’t know what hit them.

"Ye Qiu, the club has already decided that the newly-transferred Sun Xiang will take over your position as captain. From now on, Sun Xiang will be in control of your account One Autumn Leaf"

It is delivered coldly to Ye Qiu, not even a proper greeting! Su Mucheng wants to retort, but a small hand tugs the hem of her pink jacket, stopping her from giving them a piece of her mind.

“Good evening Manager Cui Li. I thought an outstanding manager like you would have better manners than this, clearly I was wrong about you. Good evening to the rest of you all, too”

Su Mucheng is very satisfied at the scathing greeting Ye Qiu dishes out to them. Being the CEO of a company does have perks, such as fighting back with concealed barbed words.

Not like they care anyway.

“Sorry, Brother Ye. I just got here and I already took your position”

Ye Qiu didn’t know Sun Xiang is seated in the chair meant for the captain of the team, so he doesn’t even acknowledge his attempt on trying to rile him up, earning a scowl from the blond. He didn’t let the others have a word in because he replies immediately after him:

“Thank you for coming here immediately for the position. It must be troublesome for you to arrange on such a short notice, but good job for making it! You’ll have to work very hard to bring this team back to the glorious heights Excellent Era were before, Little Sun. We’ll definitely appreciate it!”

Sun Xiang hisses in anger, his face displays an ugly mug for such a reply. The other members who are ready to shower their new ace and captain with praises and throw rotten insults at Ye Qiu are outraged that he manages to get a word in before them. Many slandering and humiliating words are hurled at him, but Ye Qiu only raises an eyebrow at them.

Seriously, were all these people raised in a barn? They couldn’t answer with a more dignified reply, they resort to name calling and out-right shouting to be heard over themselves. It says a lot of their education, or their upbringing. Ye Qiu understands more on why Ye Xiu refuses to out himself, he risks associating his and his family’s reputation to an industry full of this kind of low-lifes.

“Ye Qiu, hand over your account card to Sun Xiang,” Cui Li ordered. He makes no attempt to simmer down the situation. This man didn’t really project the aura of a manager if he couldn’t even reign in this bunch of hooligans, though Ye Qiu knows he purposely let them behave so.

How low-class.

“I had the impression this should be a private matter and settled as such, conducted in a more professional and personal setting. No wonder this team is heading towards relegations; you’re basically running a circus in here”

The manager gives him the glare, clenching his fist while the others raise their voices again. Ye Qiu ignores them and turns slightly to pick up Ye Xiu behind him, who is visibly shaken. He knows Ye Xiu is reluctant to part with his most prized possession in this team, but it needs to be done. He turns back to the suddenly silent Excellent Era.

Ye Qiu wondered where did the monkeys’ voices go.

They are very shocked to see a child in Ye Qiu’s arms. What more, he bears a striking resemblance to him! Ye Qiu had been harbouring a child all along? They see another reason why ‘Ye Qiu’ is always poor; he has been raising a child all the while! Some of the members are much more quiet now, finding the floor interesting. He walks a few steps closer to where Sun Xiang and Cui Li are sitting, and motions for Sun Xiang to come over.

Ye Xiu is holding the white, silverish card in his hand, his eyes brimming with tears.

“Here’s the card” Ye Qiu coldly tells Sun Xiang in return, holding out Ye Xiu out so he can reach it.

Who would want to take the card from a child?! It’s like robbing a candy from a baby! There’s no way Ye Qiu is going to help him pluck the card from his disheartened brother and give it to this arrogant kid! He’s going to make him suffer for it if that’s the last thing he would do.

The small arm trembles as they hold out the card. The little quiver of his lips makes Sun Xiang second guessing his actions.

Coward! This Battle God, Glory Textbook, God of Glory, is so shameless to use his own kid against an enemy like this! While Sun Xiang is delighted to know he will be inheriting the god-level account One Autumn Leaf and taking over as captain of Excellent Era, he isn’t above to bully a child for it, but no, ‘God Ye’ doesn’t think the same! He sees a little smirk on the older man’s face, while the child in front of him looks miserable.

But he needs to take it, to one-up this barefaced, outdated god! Reluctantly, he reaches out and gently holds onto the card, hoping the kid will let go. His wish didn’t come true; the child had a death-grip on it. He prays to whatever gods to make this kid more lenient than his despicable relative.

“Please let go…” He pleaded with the small boy. He wants to mock the Ye Qiu, not pick a fight with a kid! He is furious when Ye Qiu remains impassive about his pleading. The small child furrows his brows, looking at him in the eye.

“Do you like this game?”

Sun Xiang startles again, this time at the voice of the child suddenly filling the room.

“Huh?”

“If you like it, then treat everything you gain as glory, not boasting”

“What?!”

Sun Xiang wants to reply more, but picking a fight with a kid?! He keeps reminding himself he would not succumb to the level of exchanging verbal blows with a child, he didn’t want to lose to this undignified man for choosing such a method!

“Take care of it”

Chapter Text

The child finally lets go of the card, much to Sun Xiang’s relief. His anger deflates, he couldn’t stay angry at a small child, especially one that’s being used by his shameless relative like this. He didn’t feel any better when Ye Qiu pulls back the child into his embrace; the kid seems to be upset that the card is given away. The small boy lies his head into the crook of Ye Qiu’s neck and shoulder, still looking at him with the corners of his eyes.

He feels himself being judged, the contempt from the small child’s stare. He wonders if the child is fond of One Autumn Leaf. He has to be, he must have seen Ye Qiu play on it numerous times, and have gotten attached.

“Ye Qiu!” The manager calls out. He isn’t happy at the turn of events. No one could have predicted that he would bring a child to the confrontation, and most of them have to withhold their comebacks and scornful replies in a presence of a child. They didn’t have any problem doing so when they didn’t notice the little boy.

Ye Qiu notices this abrupt change. What irony.

"The club doesn't have any suitable account cards to give you right now. For now, you can just stay as a training partner!"

"With Brother Ye's skill level, helping train won't be a problem. Only you deserve to be Glory Professional Alliance's number one training partner!" Sun Xiang jumped at the opportunity to bring Ye Qiu down a peg, his fire quickly reignited for having the manager’s backup.

“You don’t have to trouble yourself, manager Cui Li. I do not wish to waste anyone’s time. Staying as a training partner will crush your current roster if they keep losing to me in practice, isn’t it? Let’s cancel the contract!”

“Cancel the contract? Are you actively seeking to cancel the contract?” He ignores the jab Ye Qiu throws at their player’s abilities. They are very well aware Ye Qiu is actually still very capable, and is very well able to trash them in a one on one. Sun Xiang tsks in the background, not knowing of the conspiracy to drive Ye Qiu out ‘due to his skills are weakening therefore should no longer be captain’ was all a lie.

Su Mucheng continues to smile. She knows Ye Qiu is giving them farce, there’s not way the current Ye Qiu is able to trash them since he doesn’t play Glory, he doesn’t have the skills to back up such claims. They don’t need to know that.

That’s what intimidation is for.

“Yes, I request to cancel the contract. I can’t believe Excellent Era never had players cancelling contracts before, it’s truly mind-boggling how lucrative this team is, no one just wants to leave! I guess I’ll be the first in everything. Ha ha ha”

They obviously notice the ridicule in Ye Qiu’s laugh.

Su Mucheng still doesn’t say anything. They already planned for Ye Xiu to leave due to his condition, so she isn’t going to stop it. No matter how reluctant she was on letting Ye Xiu leave, she definitely didn’t want to trouble Ye Qiu,; he’s just acting on behalf of his twin. Deep in her heart, she knows they are pushing him out anyways, why bother making him stay?

Ye Xiu has done so much for the team her brother and himself has built, and taken care of her for so long, she’d rather feel this hurt temporarily than let Ye Xiu continue to be hurt for much longer for continuing to stay here. She will return the favour, the good, and the bad, all of it, to the deserving ones. It’s a promise, a vindication she intends to fulfil.

"Not bad. That's the ambitious Ye Qiu I recognise”

Cui Li refuses to let Ye Qiu have the upper hand, he immediately goes into topic.

“Then, let's talk about the penalty fee! Honestly speaking, since you've been with us for so many years and contributed so much, we won't push it. If you want to leave, then let's all sit down and talk about the details of cancelling the contract. How about it?"

"Tell it to me straight. What are the conditions?"

"The condition is simple: announce your retirement"

Cui Li thinks he confidently knows about the state of Ye Qiu’s finances, but he didn’t expect the real Ye Qiu, the one with a very, very solid financial backing, is replying in Ye Xiu’s stead.

“That’s really underwhelming of you! You want me to retire instead of me paying you? I thought all Excellent Era ever wanted was money! Why not I compensate for my abrupt leaving? Is 2 million enough? I gave more than the amount I owe actually, think of it as a farewell compensation for being in this team for so long. It’s a great deal right?”

Everyone’s eye bulged. Cui Li quickly recovers and tried to twist the situation into their favour.

“Ye Qiu, this is the condition the club set for you if you were to leave! We will not accept any other options!”

Ye Qiu takes out a stack of papers from his back pocket, one edge stapled together and waves it in the air, very obviously showing to the audience it was the Glory Ye Qiu’s player’s contract.

“Manager Cui, there must be some mistake! I didn’t receive nor sign a contract that states should I leave, I need to retire! There is a table for the monetary compensation even! Oh look, I should just pay only five-hundred thousand for the duration left on the contract! I’m being very generous here”

He puts it back into Ye Xiu’s hands for safe-keeping, the little boy clutching it, eyes crossing trying to stare at it. He obviously didn’t bother to remember the penalty compensation table.

“When we first received the contracts, we have been made to understand that if we want to leave due to whatever acceptable reasons, example like not suiting our specific needs, a hostile environment, and so forth, you can’t prevent us from leaving. This clause is to protect the player’s mental health and well-being in a sportsmanship manner! If I don’t want to retire, you can’t refuse the penalty fee! There should be no other options that you speak of…”

“Ye Qiu, please co-operate! We’re not going to make trouble for you! Let’s sit down and discuss the conditions further…”

“I’m already trying to leave like you all wished for, you have my replacement ready at hand, what else do you need? Whether I retire or not is solely my decision, not yours. Is Excellent Era that afraid I will go to another team and trash you guys for the championship? I am deteriorating, I’m nothing to worry about! Have faith in Little Sun and your team’s players, Manager Cui”

“I’m warning you, if you don’t agree-“

Are you telling me we should involve lawyers in this?! Here we are, trying to settle in some form of gentlemanly manner but now resorting to shouting over each other’s head to get heard. This is unbecoming of the management, Mr Cui. If you refuse the monetary compensation, I’m free to go”

Ye Qiu pulls out another contract that he had typed out earlier and had it crossed-checked with their lawyers that supports him leaving without repercussions, should the club refuse his penalty fees. He drops it in front of the now ashen-faced manager.

Ye Xiu’s eyes widens as he witnesses this. He didn’t expect his brother to agree on his e-sports dreams like this. He thought his brother was working on tying his loose ends with the company when he saw him working on his laptop few days ago, and he is wrong for once. He feels gratitude to his brother, and is very moved.

“So what will it be? Do you not want money? Or you’re letting me go for free? Make the choice now, or later if you need time to think it through, or go through with the Brother Tao. I’m sure a smart man like you will know which is the more beneficial offer. There’s no need to involve our lawyers nor the press now, do we?”

The black-water splashing audience are gob-smacked. They thought they will see this old god running away with his tail between his legs, not face-slapping them, their manager and the newest addition to the team, all in one go! They had been informed that Ye Xiu was pissed-poor from helping out the other not-so successful players, he shouldn’t be able to fight back like money wasn’t a concern!

Ye Qiu motions for Ye Xiu to pass him the trump card, this time Cui Li recognises it as a bank draft, and pales even further. The money, it’s real! There’s no way the bank will issue a draft to an account with no money in it! When Ye Qiu said 2 million, he seriously meant it, and was well-prepared for this!

Ye Qiu casually flings it on top of the run-free contract already laid on the table.

“Make your decision quickly, Manager Cui! Hesitation like this, and for such a long time, means life and death in a match. Of course it’s not necessary to consider nor discuss anything else, other than abide by the initial contract’s agreements, isn’t it?”

Daddy, why is Manager Cui thinking so hard? Having money is better than having no money right? You’re donating to them free money”

Ye Qiu sucks air in deeply through his teeth to avoid sputtering at his shameless brother’s address towards him, and pinches Ye Xiu on the cheek with one hand. He glares at the amused smirk his annoying older brother is giving him. He doesn’t look sorry, not at all, the little shit even makes pika eyes at him.

Xiu’er, don’t disturb me when I’m talking with someone else okay? Also, when an adult is talking, don’t chime in unless permitted!”  Ye Qiu feels justified upon calling his elder brother Xiu’er because he decides to be a child now of all times!

“But he’s not talking to you right, daddy? He’s thinking very, very hard. Is that uncle okay?”

“Adults have to consider a lot of things, which will affect a lot of other things, which involve all this gege, okay? So Mr Cui has to think very, very hard okay? Give him some time” Ye Qiu imitates the kid talk Ye Xiu is putting out, just to spite the manager and the team a bit more.

He’s going to strangle his brother for this little father and son show, adorable or not.

“Manager Cui, I’ll leave this in your hands. The bank will notify me if you cash the draft; there’s a one week deadline on it. If you don’t cash it, I expect to pickup this contract, signed! We’ve been wasting a lot of time, I’ll best be going. Have a great one at Little Sun’s welcoming party, since I definitely can’t attend it. Good day”

Ye Qiu turns around and leaves, the audience still stunned silence. Ye Xiu looks back at them over his brother’s shoulder. He feels sorry for the team he established with Su Muqiu becoming like this, but he couldn’t give anymore, and snuggles into his twin’s shoulder and sighs heavily. Ye Qiu pats his back walking down the corridor as he is done, Su Mucheng follows them close behind.

Chapter Text

“What was that for, gege, they don’t need to know about your relationship to me!” Ye Qiu hisses harshly at his unrepentant brother, his little hands clinging to the front lapels of his previously-owned jacket that Ye Qiu is currently wearing in lieu of.

“Exactly, they don’t need to know your relationship to me! Good job in there Qiu-di! You showed them what a Ye is supposed to be!” One of his small hand pats his brother on the shoulder.

“That reason doesn’t make sense! You’re a Ye too, gege, were you going to let them do that to you?!”

Ye Xiu didn’t reply him, merely placing the contract he was holding between him and his brother’s face. Ye Qiu snatches it from him and stuffs it into the bag he had retrieved from the guest locker at the lobby area. When they shipped all their luggages that morning, he still needs his laptop for work, even if his workload is minor now that he is being relieved of all his duties. They placed their hand-carry bags in the locker earlier, the access key with them the whole time, and now returned to the reception.

Su Mucheng buys a child bag with a leash on it for Ye Xiu during her shopping spree for his clothes, and she smiles unapologetically at both of them. Ye Qiu somewhat amused, Ye Xiu looking at it with disdain. She passes that smaller bag to Ye Xiu, the inside stores Ye Xiu’s smaller gloves, scarf, beanie, muffler and an additional sweater. Ye Qiu makes his smaller elder brother dons them, even if he have to put it on himself. Luckily, Ye Xiu didn’t put on a fuss about it.

Su Mucheng continues to document them whenever she can.

Ye Qiu didn’t want his brother to fall sick either, they have yet to get him undergo a body checkup to assess his health. He is informed, however, the other test subjects were fine after they shrunk, so they didn’t need to worry too much on hurrying to get it done.

They continue, Ye Qiu still carrying Ye Xiu, his own bag he slings on his free arm, the leashed one Ye Xiu puts on his back, the end of the leash clasped onto Ye Qiu’s wrist that is lifting. Su Mucheng guides them to the entrance, even though she is reluctant to see them go. She assures herself that Ye Xiu is in good hands, literally. His twin brother obviously loves him, and from the showdown earlier, he definitely cemented that belief for her.

“You’re amazing, Ye Qiu, thank you for showing them not to mess with people. I wished Ye Xiu would have done this himself, but he’s the kind of guy who won’t do it because it’s too much hassle. Thank you for not letting them get away with it”

“Thank you for the praises, Miss Su, but there’s really no need for it. Gege is really too much trouble, of course he wouldn’t want trouble for himself. To endure until being trampled like this, I wouldn’t stand it. Still…. Why the hell did you call me daddy?! You’re my gege!” He reaches up a hand and tries to pinch his brother’s cheek again, which is swatted away to prevent him from doing so. When it fails the small hands clutch his fingers to stop it.

“All the better so nobody from the organisation of that medicine will make the connection you are the Ye Qiu of Golden Leaf and the Ye Qiu of Glory, and me the one shrunk by their meds!”

“But you just outed the Ye Qiu of Glory has a son, you shameless gege!”

“But you don’t have a son, and nobody needs to know that”

“I do now if I’m going to be that Ye Qiu! What about his reputation?!”

“Well, it’s your name to begin with, so it’s not really my problem. Besides, that Ye Qiu is an old player, not many will miss him since he won’t be getting a lot of chance to shine anymore”

“Gege!”

“Not many will miss him? That’s where you’re wrong, Ye Xiu!” Su Mucheng thinks to herself.

“You’re rich enough to be a few someone’s sugar daddy, I won’t mind being your sugar baby. Besides, my needs are literally kid basic”

“Gege, who was it that keep calling me a baby! Now that I can’t physically punch you, let ‘daddy’ hug you!!!”

“ACK! Mucheng, help!”

“Ye Xiu, let your ‘daddy’ hug you. He loves you very much after all” She giggles some more.

Su Mucheng smiles at Ye Xiu, indicating she wants no part in helping him escape his brother’s bear hug. She snaps a few more of their interactions, the younger twin suffocating his smaller elder brother in his arms, the little hands beating onto the younger brother’s padded shoulders to no avail. She snickered at their brotherly love. It is truly tooth-rotting fluffy, if she can be moved by it, the others will stand absolutely no chance.

She notices Ye Qiu has been carrying Ye Xiu for quite a while, he must be really fit and strong to carry a 40kg kid for so long. Or Ye Xiu isn’t heavy because he is his brother. In the end he puts him down anyways, the winter jackets they had put on makes Ye Xiu too bulky to carry for long.

Su Mucheng forgot to tell them the little bag has a tail swishing back and forth, making Ye Xiu looks like he’s carrying a little fat fox on his back.

The guard that greets them is startled when he sees the small child with them as they reached the front door, but he says nothing, and they parted ways there.

Ye Qiu and Ye Xiu to return to their hotel, while Su Mucheng stays in Excellent Era. She watches them until they disappear into the distance. Ye Xiu keeps turning around to wave his hand at her, Ye Qiu holding the other, guiding him forwards. She doesn’t want to cry, Ye Xiu is alright but her tears keeps flowing. She is no longer young and innocent girl from before, she had assumed a lot of responsibilities alone, and she will face her challenges alone.

She has to become stronger, so she will be able to support them when the time comes, when they need her help. She will be waiting.

Chapter Text

“Gege, the driver cannot make it, the car brakes malfunctioned. The car needs to be sent to the workshop before he’ll be coming to get us with another one. I told him to rest for the night, he didn’t need to sacrifice his sleep, putting us at greater risk. Anywhere we can go to shelter ourselves?”

The night is cold, and it’s snowing. If they stay out too long, icicles will form on their heads. Good thing Ye Xiu has a little cat-eared beanie and worn-halfway ear-muffs to keep his head warm, his twin is also decently dressed for the weather.

“That’s a good employer, Qiu-di. Well, then let’s go to the opposite side of the road!”

“Huh? What is there-“ Ye Qiu stops as he sees the Happy Internet Cafe plastered on a neon-light signboard, directly opposite of Excellent Era’s front doors. The lights are on, signalling it’s open for business.

His brother truly never change.

With a heavy sigh, he crosses the road with his brother’s hand held tightly in his. He isn’t letting him go, not at all. As they enter the cyber cafe, Ye Xiu is too short and covered by Ye Qiu’s bulky self to be noticed by the reception lady to be reminded of the no under-18 curfew. Ye Qiu secures a computer for themselves, and herds Ye Xiu into the area with him. He would use his laptop while the computer is for Ye Xiu’s use.

They go to Area 3, an angry but beautiful woman screaming at her screen greets them unexpectedly. Ye Qiu blinks as Ye Xiu tilts his head, still standing behind Ye Qiu’s legs. He gets excited when he sees she is playing Glory, unfortunately her temper is so bad. She is as beautiful and gentle-looking like Su Mucheng, but her attitude to the game is not reflecting it.

Well, as least she isn’t like Su Mucheng, who smiles and says a thank you when she destroys her competition. Recalling that make his little spine shiver, while Ye Qiu is oblivious about this trait of hers.

Ye Xiu watches as she makes another mistake, letting her opponent capitalise on it. ’DEFEAT’ is written over her screen, she slams her keyboard and curse her umpteenth lost. She turns her head when she notices her audience.

“Computer?”

“Yes, this is 47, right?”

“Sit down!”

The lady leaves as soon as she says that, stumping Ye Qiu. He has never been snubbed by anyone so fiercely before. Ye Xiu concludes being among the ‘commoners’ might expose his brother’s sheltered higher-class self to more normal people, so it isn’t too bad. When they sit down, Ye Xiu climbs onto his brother’s lap and immediately commands the keyboard and mouse, sitting on his brother’s thighs gives him the height leverage he needs.

“What are you doing?”

“Just watch, Qiu-di. This is what I lived for!”

In 40 seconds, the word GLORY appears on the same screen as the DEFEAT from before, Ye Xiu crushes the opponent in the virtual reality Ye Qiu had seen during his captain-masquerading duties to the group of teens. None of the teenagers were able to finish off their opponents like that, so swiftly and so quickly.

Ye Qiu is mesmerised. The game didn’t intrigue him before during the rookies training, but now, he is absolutely mind-blown. Ye Xiu logs out of the game and settles back into his brother’s warm body while clicking around the desktop. Ye Qiu is about to take back the keyboard and mouse from his brother when Ye Xiu tugs at Ye Qiu’s coat and points.

The lady from before is standing to the side of their chair.

Their neighbour had informed her that they are playing on her account, because she didn’t log out from the game. Ye Qiu hurriedly explains before the fierce woman gets angry and shouts again.

“You haven’t log out yet! When I sat down, the fight had already started. Don’t worry, I helped you win!”

“How long have you used it?”

“40 seconds..?”

Ye Qiu didn’t say anything else, as the her jaw just drops. If she, a regular player is shocked from the time, Ye Qiu is more convinced his brother is truly an amazing player, and solidifies his belief from earlier. That Glory is awesome. Luckily, the woman leaves in a hurry, but to his dismay, she comes back as quickly. She gestures to him for a whisper, Ye Qiu reluctantly leans sideways nearer to her as per her equest.

“You’re Ye Qiu?!”

“Er… Yeah, I’m Ye Qiu… is there something wrong?”

“OH.MY.GOD, are you really the Ye Qiu?! Excellent Era’s Battle God Ye Qiu?!”

“No. I happen to have the same name as him” Ye Qiu boldly lies. He knows this woman doesn’t believe him saying so, since his brother defeated the other player in 40 seconds, he had to be that Glory Ye Qiu with such incredible skills.

“Pretty jie jie*, do you work here?”

Ye Xiu’s child voice startles her before she can continue to interrogate Ye Qiu, only then she notices the kid bearing a very close resemblance to Ye Qiu sitting in his lap.

“Yes, I’m the boss? Children under 18 is not allowed in here after 10pm without supervi-…”

“This is my daddy, he’s taking care of me, jie jie, so I am supervised! Can you give daddy a job? Daddy definitely fits your requirements, please consider!”

“Gege*, what are you doing?!” Ye Qiu hisses under his breath.

“Oh my, what happened? If you don’t mind me asking…” Chen Guo is curious of the child talking on behalf of the man who denies to be Ye Qiu. God Ye didn’t have a son, so this man is definitely not the same Ye Qiu. While she is disappointed by this revelation, she wonders what is going on.

“We’ve got thrown out of our house, mommy doesn’t want us to come back, we have no place to go! Can you hire daddy so we can stay here? I don’t want to go back, I wanna stay with daddy

Gege!” Ye Qiu hisses again under his breath.

“Oh, of course! I’ll be glad to help you both” Chen Guo is having a lot of scenarios running through her head, and the typical evil wife that drives out the husband and son with nothing in their name and takes over their wealth is the most common one she always watches in television dramas, and this seems to fit the current situation too perfectly.

She always cheer for the wronged and abused family members, and this time, helping them is her time to shine!

Chapter Text

Ye Qiu politely refuses the pro-longed accommodation given by Chen Guo as he had secured one for themselves during the few days they’ve been crammed into the small storage room. He expresses their gratitude for the shelter she provided, but they won’t burden her on that matter any longer. She is impressed Ye Qiu is able to get back onto his feet so fast, and he makes a point not to let her know where they are actually going to be staying, he vaguely gestures to the low-cost flats nearby.

He had their possessions from the hotel moved to the new home he acquired, and enjoys the remainder weekend stay at the paid hotel with his grumpy brother.

Of course Ye Xiu didn’t stay grumpy for long when Ye Qiu lets him play on a newly acquired gaming laptop attached with a Glory reader. He slumps into bed that evening, after he finishes handing over all his corporate responsibilities, and now live the life of being Ye Xiu’s dedicated babysitter. Judging by how his brother is engrossed in his game, he allows himself to shut his eyes…

… and feels himself being shaken by smaller hands, the moonlight shines through the window.

“Wha..?!”

“I’m hungry…”

“Can’t you order yourself…?”

“They won’t let a kid to physically accept the food order!”

“Ughh…. Did you have the order to be re-send?”

“Yeap! They’ll be back soon! Also, you gotta go to work…”

Ye Qiu sighs heavily and drags himself up.

-

Ye Qiu works diligently in Happy before allowing himself to play Glory. He checks the patrons needs, the network systems and even fixes them with his abundant knowledge on hardware and networking that he had learnt from personally fixing them at some of their less competent subsidiaries. This pleases Chen Guo immensely, as Ye Qiu is also polite and charming as well. As long he and his ‘son’ are able to play on a computer, Ye Qiu won’t ask for more. Her workers all love their new night-shift manager and their impromptu little mascot already.

Customers found them endearing when they see the ‘father’ learning to play Glory for the sake of joining his ‘son’, when they didn’t know it is Ye Xiu training Ye Qiu instead. Ye Xiu is genuinely happy that his brother is interested in Glory, and is subconsciously smiling all the time. The smile on the small boy sitting at a setup too big for him gives the tired patrons an energy boost.

Ye Qiu makes him greet their customers when they come and leave with a little “Hi!” and “Bye!” to raise their spirits more, the handsome ‘father’ mimicking the little one does wonders for their female visitors, and occasionally, for some of the males too.

Of course any perverts or creeps of either gender are physically shown the door by Ye Qiu.

-

The other night-shift worker, Tang Rou, is introduced to the best player in Glory when she comes back from vacation. She didn’t know it is actually the child sitting in Ye Qiu’s lap that plays her for all the rounds. Since Ye Qiu doesn’t smoke and Ye Xiu doesn’t crave for it anymore, they bet a pocky box for each win.

Ye Xiu secured 10 boxes even when he has a slower hand-speed handicap from using a mouse and keyboard too big for him, while Ye Qiu verbally puts a stop to her futile determination to win by sheer force of her hand-speed with no tactics to counter Ye Xiu’s more mindful attacks.

She vows to beat the Ye Qiu, and thus begins her pro-player journey in Glory.

The twins snack on pocky for that 10 nights.

-

Ye Xiu is amazed when teaching Ye Qiu the ins and outs of each class, both running freely in the wild in-game. Ye Qiu, no longer burdening his brain to analyse words, charts nor proposals, absorbs the new graphical information like a sponge. He is delighted to learn that Ye Qiu have the hand speed to execute the moves needed, acquired from playing the piano and the violin throughout his university days, which he still plays as a hobby.

He even participated in a few orchestra performances before.

His twin is prep for gaming just like him, and he could never be happier. He rubs his small hands in glee, a pocky stick in his mouth, additional plans forms in his head.

If one little menace is enough to terrorise the entire of Glory, what would people think of two?

-

Xu Boyuan is appalled when he learns of a child player capable of beating not one, not two, but a dozen of the top guilds veterans, accompanying a very, very experienced but shameless expert of a father who’s extorting them for materials. While many guilds want the child to join their guild so he can grow up and grow-in to be a pro-player for their beloved teams in the future, the father maintains their mercenary status. Fights and wars started and died quickly for the child’s enlisting in their guild, but when there’s papa bear around, they can’t do anything except keeping an eye on this family.

Blue River’s player didn’t know it’s actually the other way around, the twins decided it’s best that Ye Qiu remains as the shameless ‘Ye Qiu’ while Ye Xiu is his genius Glory-playing son. It’s too suspicious for a child to be better than an adult in gaming, so Ye Qiu is known as the despicable Lord Grim while Ye Xiu is the sidekick Luminous Glass but they are in fact, playing the opposing accounts. Instead of using their headphones’ mics, they use external ones which cross each other’s desks so they can speak on behalf of the other.

Ye Xiu is not ashamed to use his child-like voice to persuade other online players to do things his way, and gets a few materials and in-game money with it. Ye Qiu groans in despair as he gets more scorns and insults for things he didn’t do, like teaching his ‘son’ to be shameless. He starts to aggro players with witty remarks just to retaliate those insults, exactly like his brother would, as he is being taught so by the most infuriating player in all of Glory.

The smaller-sized twin is very pleased with the development, like a cat that got the cream.

-

When they are subjugating the guilds in Server 10, Ye Qiu presents a scaled-down keyboard and mouse to Ye Xiu, built to his gaming specifications that he requested from Su Mucheng. While Ye Xiu is able to use an adult keyboard, he does seems to be slower, Su Mucheng had pointed it out when they were hiding in Excellent Era. Ye Qiu pities his twin’s performance being hindered by hardware, and have them commissioned on the sides when they are working in Happy.

Ye Xiu is so moved, he gives in to his more childish side. He trots over to his twin and snuggles into his belly, wrapping his arms around his brother’s torso, hiding his own face against his twin.Ye Qiu hugs him back, a warm feeling blossoms in his chest and a blush appearing on his face.

The entirety of Happy Internet Cafe fawns over their ‘father & son’ bonding.

-

Ye Qiu realised too late that he had been suckered for the night shift manager’s job, even conned to work as his brother’s in-game underling. He still have to pretend to be the Glory Ye Qiu, it’s within their plans that he must learn to play somehow in case the need of him playing arise. Ye Qiu wants Ye Xiu to return to kick specifically one team’s posterior, but pondering how is it feasible for both of them to rejoin the Alliance.

He gets himself the Alliance’s rules and regulations copy and slowly goes through it during their down time.

He didn’t expect to be able to excel in Glory since he didn’t have the vast amount of experience like his brother, but being coached by the best gives him an unfair advantage boost, his abilities now lies at a guild expert level. He never thought he would be playing video games like his twin, who ran away to do just that.

He understands a little more better now.

Chapter Text

Ye Qiu doesn’t know what to make of Steamed Bun Invasion when they run into him during their attempt to kill-steal a boss from the guilds, but Ye Xiu welcomes this player with an amazing hand speed into his brood. This person’s randomness really puzzles them both. Su Mucheng welcomes the addition cheerily while Tang Rou remains indifferent about him. He is who he is and nobody is discriminating.

The small amateurs plus experts team whom they had a rocky start with, covers their backs when they down the boss, and the prowess that Lord Grim shows in commanding the scene cements Bao Rongxing’s unwavering loyalty to ‘the boss’.

-

A regular gives the ‘father and son’ at the reception with a party goodie bag from her son’s birthday, obviously favouring the night manager’s young boy since it reminded her of her own. Ye Xiu, while eating pocky is curbing his phantom smoking habits, feels like he shouldn’t be eating too much of that insulin-spiking treat either. He reaches into the bag and procures a party blower, and sticks it into his mouth. It is child sized, so it isn’t too big and imitates his cigarette to scale, just like his pocky sticks too.

He likes it as he rolls it between his lips.

Ye Qiu is glad his brother found another solution to his pre de-aged addiction.

He isn’t glad anymore when he discovers that the party blower is the kind that makes a loud tooting noise aside from the extendable bit that hits people in their faces if they’re not careful. Ye Xiu didn’t blow on it too many times, but when he does, the cafe customers thought it is just too cute.

So did their staff, especially Tang Rou and their lady boss Chen Guo.

Ye Qiu sighs defeatedly as that paper tongue caress his cheek with an accompanying toot.

-

After Excellent Era’s demise at Team 301 hand’s, Happy gets the electricity back on after an outage, Tang Rou and little Ye Xiu tag-teamed to persuade the electrician uncle with their charms to stay back and fix it. Not long, a bunch of unruly patrons makes it into the cafe. Ye Qiu didn’t recognise them as they are trying to get the attention of their cafe’s resident beauty, but she was off the clock and is more interested in playing, ignoring them.

Ye Qiu’s in charge of the customers at night. He brightens up the lights at the reception and greets them. Ye Qiu notices his brother didn’t do so with the same enthusiastic ‘Hi!’ that they always do to customers and subtly tries to glance sideways.

Ye Xiu sticks out his foot and nudges his twin on the knee suddenly. Alarmed, Ye Qiu turns to his brother immediately. Upon seeing his serious gaze, he looks back at the customers and recognises Liu Hao. He studies the other three and vaguely recalled one is the guild leader Chen Yehui from Su Mucheng’s provided information, while the other two were the cheerleaders in the meeting room from before, also pro-players from Excellent Era.

The two notice Ye Qiu too and tugs Liu Hao’s jacket to alert him of his presence.

Ye Qiu narrows his eyes and breathes in deeply. Ye Xiu calmly looks back to his screen, leaving the matter into his twin’s hands.

“What a coincidence. It’s actually Brother Ye. Brother you’re here……as a Cafe manager?”

“Yes, indeed in fact I am”

“Oh oh, how is it? Is it hard? How much money do you earn every month?

“1,800…” Ye Qiu begrudgingly admitted, careful to keep his face and the tone pleasant. He recalls his own monthly salary would be twice of theirs combined, had he not needed to be Ye Xiu’s babysitter.

“Woah! 1800! Isn’t that a little tight? Do you have enough money for your cigarettes every month? If you don’t have enough, then you don’t have to be polite. Come look for us brothers. We’re not that far away anyways. You just have to cross the street and walk a bit, no?”

“Okay…” He didn’t smoke anyways, and Ye Xiu no longer does either, they don’t need to know that.

Tang Rou notices the abnormal tone of the conversation and butts in, starting the trouble they are looking for. Liu Hao tries to belittle and ridicule their ex-captain Ye Qiu with the guild leader’s help, but it’s hard when it’s directed at the wrong person with the same name. Ye Qiu remains impassive at their scathing remarks towards him, knowing they have the wrong person, but he is silently fuming at the disrespect they are giving to his brother.

Once they are so-called done, he raises a notch and scolds retorts them in return. He favours the other two cheerleaders’ critique first as they seem to be at loss on their stance, Ye Qiu can see they are just wrangled into the dispute innocently. He scoffs at Liu Hao when he tries to wrestle back control of the conversation, reminding Ye Qiu that he no longer has power over them, but Ye Qiu still wants to have the last word.

“When Sun Xiang’s energy was like a rainbow in the second round, did you not realize this? When he was completely relying on his individual strength in the team competition, did you warn him of anything? Did you have a complete plan to deal with Yang Cong’s and Xu Bin’s combo?”

If Ye Qiu didn’t watch the match with his brother commenting on it, there’s no way he could give out such a remark. Luckily, he is a very attentive listener and have an excellent memory to regurgitate what his smaller elder brother had said, since he himself is still learning to play Glory.

“I always scolded you because you made mistakes. I didn’t let you come out because you’re still too far off. But I have to admit, you are quite capable. You were actually able to climb your way up. Since it’s already like this, then work properly, yours isn’t an easy position. Strength, you need all of it. You can do it!”

“F*ck you!!!”

TOOOOOOOOooooooooootttttttttttt…………………..

The loud toot echoes through the tension-filled room, dying as the breather’s air diminished. All of them look at the little Ye Xiu, sitting on his chair with his party blower retracting back to the rest position in his hand. 

“Bad word! You need to wash your mouth, uncle!”

Tang Rou hides her laugh poorly on the side, Ye Qiu just shakes his head lightly at his brother’s timely interruption. It is time to expel the unwanted guests anyways.

“The four of you can leave right now. The cafe has the right to refuse any drunk people into the premise. AND also, the four of you are public figures, please think before you act. If you continue to make so much noise and cause trouble, you’re tarnishing the team’s name!”

“You-!!!”

TOOOT!!!

“No more bad word! Bye uncles, walk carefully on your way out, and take care!”

He genuinely means it. He hopes the other two will learn from the assessment Ye Qiu took from him and forwarded to them.

“… I won’t be sending you all off”

-

If Liu Hao thinks that neither of the twins notice him trying to infiltrate their ranks and spy, he have it coming. Ye Xiu leads him by the nose, let him learn his dungeon run technique, let Excellent Dynasty holds the record for a bit before the help they are waiting from Blue Rain arrives, after winning their away match with Excellent Era with a breeze.

Their customers, who are mostly Excellent Era fans, leave the cafe from being too angry to continue playing, but it’s the kind of downtime they need to reset the dungeon record, to continue what they are doing; to keep getting hired in-game. Ye Qiu refrains from calling the cops when this suspicious looking person loiters around their cafe. His brother sighs and tells him that is the help they are waiting for. Ye Qiu reluctantly greets the guy and leads him to an isolated area in the cafe, feeding him the cafe’s quick and easy meals, much to this mysterious person’s chagrin.

-

Ye Qiu wants to strangle both Steamed Bun and the Sword Saint when they both start to talk and sing in-game. Luckily Huang Shaotian didn’t notice the tiny Ye Xiu when he sneaks into Happy to help them for a record, he was too short to be noticed compared to the much-more-presence-demanding standing Ye Qiu. They practice the new strategy, Ye Xiu sitting in Ye Qiu’s lap to play since Luminous Glass is an account extra.

Ye Xiu needed Ye Qiu’s voice to command the team and the twins had perfected their synced minds, Ye Qiu relaying what Ye Xiu wants to say just by merely pointing at certain things with a mouse, or his left hand while Ye Qiu inputed keyboard commands for him, having learn the dungeon runs with him during the practice times with that hateful infiltrator.

Ye Xiu is extremely pleased his brother might be able to master the unspecialised as well under his tutoring. He still need to expose him to more pros for him to further grasp countering them efficiently. Ye Qiu meanwhile, is impressed that, with a very efficient pro’s help, the dungeon run did indeed go faster, skills truly matter. Ye Xiu tells him to watch the recording later to understand the Sword Saint’s skills better.

Ye Qiu’s imitation of his brother is impeccable when it is time for the chatterbox to go. Ye Xiu had informed him about the duels he won against the Blademaster, it prepares Ye Qiu to have a verbal PK with him before he scurries back for the night, and misses yet again, the little Glory Textbook sitting next to him.

-

Not long after the tussle with Tiny Herb’s majorly arrogant reserve team, they accidentally snitch their unpopular baby from right under their noses when Ye Xiu instructs Ye Qiu to comment on the Assassin’s performance during the team’s attempt on killing the troublesome Lord Grim. The unseen boy’s performance catches the eye of the tiny Ye Xiu.

Naturally, Ye Xiu pitched the Tiny Herb pros against Ye Qiu and Tang Rou for their training before they can duel with him for their own training.

All is going according to plan.