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What a Messy Cone!

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Ye Xiu had many days that, though eventful, he still considered normal. He found his routine to be playing Glory while working his night shift at the Happy Net Café. Of course, he would only receive requests from the the clients inside the café for assistance or an errand when he was at a crucial moment in his fight with bosses. He ended the fight as quickly as he could with his teammates, and hopped offline to buy and bring back the ice cream, “What a Big Cone” from McDonalds. 

It was almost midnight, so the walk there was quiet, which was a good sign. The line was short too, so Ye Xiu thought he would be able to return pronto. However, he was so occupied thinking about Glory on his way out that he bumped into someone. In the process, the ice cream he had purchased had spilled all over you. This snapped Ye Xiu out of his thoughts. 

You were the first to break the silence. “You know, they should have named it, “What a Messy Cone. It would have been more accurate.” Rolling your eyes, your focus goes to the culprit in front of you. Your day has already been a horrible one, after experiencing yet another failed interview for a job. However, you quickly came to realize how handsome this stranger was, and looked away, embarrassed with your current state.

Playing along with you, he follows up saying, “Well, you’re right. I think they should have thought this through more. Though I admit it was my fault for being careless, so I am sorry. I should have paid attention to where I was going, but I was preoccupied with some thoughts.” Wiping your clothes with napkins, Ye Xiu reaches out his hand towards you. Smiling gently he asked, “Are you okay?” 

You noticed the tears coming from his eyes, so you couldn’t help but ask back, “Shouldn’t you worry about yourself first?” Sighing, you wiped his tears with your sleeve that didn’t have ice cream on it. You barely managed to catch the micro expression of shock across his face, since he continued as if you hadn’t said anything about it. 

“Anyways, about your clothes…I know someone who could lend you some for the time being. If you don’t mind, that is.” Ye Xiu scratched his head, embarrassed. It was difficult to refuse the request from him, and seeing as he seemed like a decent guy, you decided to take him up upon his offer. He pulled you up from the ground and led the way to the Happy Net café. 

He informed the boss of the situation, and she yelled at him briefly before attending to you. You soon learned her name was Chen Guo and received a temporary change of clothes while your dirty clothes were in the wash. Looking at the time, you quickly realized how late it was and wondered how you would get home since all of the trains had stopped. Your place was definitely too far to go by foot. Thus, you ended up staying over using a spare guest room that had opened up. While lying on bed, thoughts about the mysterious man’s identity filled your head as you fell asleep.

The following day, you decided to play Glory at the Internet café until your clothes were dried. Feeling slightly better, you play some of that game there and get ready to depart after changing into your original clothes, which are now clean. However, on the way out, a hiring poster for here catches your eye, and you talk to Chen Guo regarding that. After a short interview, you feel relieved knowing you finally have your first job after a long search.

The next morning, you play Glory, while assisting customers with their requests, such as rebooting their computer stations to get them working again. You logged into your account “Prototype Prince” and fought against other players in the arena, getting ready to enter Heaven’s Domain with one more win. The next opponent was Lord Grim, who was famous in the 10th server for being the legendary newbie. 

“That’s the first time I’ve seen that crossbow. It must be a custom weapon.” He said while shooting with the gauntlet form of the umbrella.

“It sure is, I see you have one of your own.” You fired back with your crossbow from a distance.

This stalemate continued back and forth, until you found an opening during the fight. 

“Actually, your voice sounds really familiar. Could you be-” 

You shoot an arrow at him from behind, dealing the final blow. It was a close match that could have gone either way since both players were hanging on by a thread. Taking off your headphones, you get up from your seat and get ready to leave the internet café, when someone blocks your path. He seems flustered and hurriedly grabs your right hand.

“Hold on a moment. You have a lot of potential. Why don’t you join my team? I was really impressed.” Ye Xiu smiles while looking directly at you.

You try to stare back but end up avoiding his eye contact. He was really close, so you waver slightly before responding, “I don’t think I’m a good fit…I’m sure there are better players out there who would be more suitable for the role.” 

He observes you for a brief moment before speaking again. “I think you’re a great fit. Glory is more fun with others, and I want to share that experience with you. If you give me a chance, I’ll make sure that you don’t regret it. I promise. Confidence can be difficult to maintain, but you should stand with your head high. You managed to beat Ye Qiu after all.”

Letting out a small laugh you responded, “I suppose you’re right.” However, you thought he was kidding about being Ye Qiu in order to cheer you up.

After adding him as a friend and joining his team, you all worked together and trained hard. After a couple months of doing that, he sneaked a confession to you. It caught you off guard that you fell out of your chair after hearing that. With a gentle smile, you tell him yes. You soon learned that he wasn’t joking about being Ye Qiu. Everything up until this point, starting from the fateful encounter, had felt like a fever dream. The only disappointing part was not being able to go out on leisurely dates. It made sense that there wasn't time for this considering that the two of you were both gamers working towards winning the pro league.

After all that hard work, the pro league had finally come. You were anxious and nervous since it was your first time participating in it. Ye Xiu noticed your hands were trembling and squeezed his hand with yours. He only said one sentence to you before you went in.

“Believe in yourself.”

And that was all you needed. Your progress became crystal clear when you made it to the final round. The match against Samsara was intense, and it had reached its climax. Only a couple players had survived that long. Among them were you, Ye Xiu, and Zhou Zekai. It was a long range battle, and Ye Xiu was about to deal the final blow, when his wrists trembled, causing him to click the wrong keys. In that instant, Zhou Zekai took him out. Quickly recovering from your shock, you bounced back to avenge Ye Xiu using your crossbow. Zhou Zekai had been caught off guard, and the victory was secured by you.

Worried about Ye Xiu, you go to check up on him immediately afterwards. However, you weren’t expecting him to bend down on one knee while holding out “What a Big Cone'' with a ring on top of it in his hands. Embarrassed, his cheeks blushed a rosy pink, and looked at you straight in the eye while saying, “Will you marry me?”

Your hands automatically cover your mouth and nose, due to shock. Shifting them downwards, you accept the ice cream in one hand and embrace him into a hug with the other, confidently saying, “Yes, I will!” 

A bit after that, Ye Xiu announced his retirement from Glory and the pro league. The two of you stepped off stage and your waterworks followed soon after. You shared the mostly melted ice cream after finding somewhere comfortable to sit, away from the crowd. He takes the ring out to clean it, and then puts it on your finger. Your hearts fluttered as your hands slowly moved towards each other on the bench. When they entwined, your lips touched. 

You were glad that you gave not only him a chance, but also yourself.