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Go Go Squid! (2019) Series Recap, Episodes 11 – 20

Go Go Squid! Episodes 11 - 20

In the first ten episodes, Tong Nian was shown to be someone Han Shangyan was becoming curious about with her standing out to be a person who isn’t like most and she goes on her own accord to understand and appreciate his profession. At Episode 11 – 20, Han Shangyan is continuing with the fake boyfriend-girlfriend relationship he’s in with Tong Nian. He looks to find it not at all troublesome to keep up. Feelings of like towards Tong Nian seems to be creeping into Han Shangyan during his time being in a fake boyfriend-girlfriend relationship with Tong Nian.

The fake boyfriend-girlfriend relationship does come to an end when Tong Nian’s worry of her being someone troublesome to Han Shangyan makes her say to break up. Tong Nian is heartbroken and Tong Nian’s mum is there to console her. The situation of Tong Nian and Han Shangyan breaking up is a huge strike Tong Nian’s mum puts on Han Shangyan. This strike on Han Shangyan goes on top of the strike she already put on him for the large age gap between them and not liking the behaviour he demonstrated at the New Year’s Eve dinner at Episode 7. This foresees Tong Nian’s mum as an obstacle for Han Shangyan to overcome. Before then, a real boyfriend and girlfriend relationship starts for Han Shangyan and Tong Nian after a brief time of separation following the breakup from their fake boyfriend-girlfriend relationship. At this point, Han Shangyan shows more clearly that he has started to like Tong Nian.

Mi Shaofei’s problem of not performing up to standard starts to be introduced. What also enters in these episodes is finding Tong Nian’s roomie and bestie, Sun Yaya (Jiang Pei Yao), is a fan of CTF. She’s very familiar with CTF and is a loyal Solo team female fan who especially admires Mi Shaofei.

Other developments that comes in is Solo’s daughter, Xiao Ai (Zhang Ge). Xiao Ai hates her mum, Su Cheng. Xiao Ai gets along in a sort of an odd way with Han Shangyan. The two are the same in that they both like to bicker and butt heads with each other. Where it concerns helping Su Cheng with her wish to build a better mother-daughter relationship with Xiao Ai, Han Shangyan is able to handle Xiao Ai easily with using that high opinion she has of her dad to help Su Cheng out.

Episode Summary

These episode summaries will mainly recap the developments around Han Shangyan and Tong Nian.

Episode 11

Han Shangyan, Mi Shaofei and Ou Qiang cruise the streets of Norway. They head to a night view after the victorious outcome in the All-Stars International competition. Han Shangyan and Ou Qiang become heated in their conversation when Han Shangyan expresses his dissatisfaction towards Solo after he explains how he found such a beautiful view.

It was during the time Han Shangyan went back to Norway and studied after leaving Solo. Studying was something Han Shangyan disliked and Nan Wei brought Han Shangyan to this location with the beautiful view to let him see that he needn’t so easily give up the dream he has in his heart when the world is so big. Han Shangyan agreed with this when he said he asked himself why he wasn’t competing in CTF competitions just because Solo wasn’t. Han Shangyan established the K&K club with that thought.

Ou Qiang angry at Han Shangyan.
Han Shangyan, Ou Qiang and Mi Shaofei in a group hug.

Han Shangyan expresses dissatisfaction towards Solo starting up the SP team after making the promise of not being the leader of another team. Han Shangyan finds Solo to be unfit to be the person to improve the environment for CTF in China when he betrayed them all. Ou Qiang finds this view of Han Shangyan’s to be wrong. He sees nothing wrong with Solo returning to CTF and contributing his abilities. Ou Qiang lets Han Shangyan know how disappointed he was with him when he retired from the CTF world. The CTF e-sport is a place where Ou Qiang says his life isn’t so ordinary. He contrasts it to his family’s farming background where he finds that many are good at farming. The CTF e-sport, however, sees him not lacking, his life shines and he feels alive. In the same way that Han Shangyan is angry at Solo and Ai Qing, Ou Qiang is angry at Han Shangyan for being another person who simply left. He left those who saw him as a CTF genius known as Gun God and left him who’s his best buddy. The tension between Han Shangyan and Ou Qiang diffuses when Han Shangyan seems to see he has wronged Ou Qiang. He goes to Ou Qiang and brings Mi Shaofei into a group hug.

Han Shangyan explains to Ou Qiang and Mi Shaofei the habit he has of eating candy. Han Shangyan says that people think he eats candy because he’s angry. However, it’s that eating candy stops him from barking off at someone because it’s hard to speak with candy in his mouth. Candy is sweet also. The sweetness brings you to think why something awful and bitter must be said and so your mood gets somewhat better. Han Shangyan asks Ou Qiang and Mi Shaofei to give eating candy a try and see if they can say bad things about him. They agree it’s hard to say things properly and they joke around a bit and say some bad things about Han Shangyan.

Han Shangyan shocked.
Tong Nian not understanding Han Shangyan's words.

Tong Nian heads to the airport to welcome Han Shangyan back. She arrives late due to heavy traffic on the expressway to the airport. Wu Bai, who dislikes speaking with reporters, comes out late and he brings Tong Nian to Han Shangyan in the K&K bus. There’s awkward boyfriend-girlfriend conversation between Han Shangyan and Tong Nian. Grunt and 97 chuckle and imitate in the background. With the clothes Tong Nian wears, Han Shangyan asks her if she’s not cold. Tong Nian says her jacket and her scarf shields and blocks the wind. Han Shangyan says to not wear clothes like that because it’s easy to get a cold that way. This has Tong Nian think Han Shangyan doesn’t like how she’s dressed.

Tong Nian:

“Tell me how you’d like me to dress next time and I’ll dress like that for you to see.”

Han Shangyan:

“Do you know these words can easily be misunderstood by others?”

Tong Nian:

“Misunderstood?”

Han Shangyan:

“Do you not understand? Don’t ever discuss this matter with others, especially guys. Do you understand?”

Tong Nian enters K&K for the first time. She explores a bit and tries to steal a picture of Han Shangyan whilst he’s in a call in another room. Han Shangyan finds he’s a topic of Tong Nian’s conversation with her friend when Lan Mei’s message gets played accidentally for Han Shangyan to hear. Lan Mei’s message to Tong Nian says for her to make a move like showing her good body figure to Han Shangyan. Tong Nian explains to Han Shangyan he’s only brought up in their conversations a little bit. It’s not often and it has been about how his CTF profession was like back then.

Tong Nian joins everyone for mealtime. Meal time comes to be a topic about Demo’s poor reaction scores and Tong Nian volunteers to build them a program to help improve reaction speed. She says she can add a feature which ranks their performance in the game. The K&K youngsters aren’t onboard with a more advanced reaction speed training program that’s better at ranking them than their current one. Tong Nian thinks the youngsters declining her help in building them a better reaction speed training program is them being polite. She pulls an all-nighter to finish building the program and informs Han Shangyan the program is finished the next morning.

Episode 12

Tong Nian joins Han Shangyan in a trip to the amusement park with Su Cheng and Xiao Ai. Xiao Ai has a feisty personality. She’s mouthy towards Han Shangyan and she doesn’t like Su Cheng. Xiao Ai doesn’t have a good mother-daughter relationship with Su Cheng after she believes Su Cheng abandoned her and left her with Solo ten years ago.

With Xiao Ai’s dislike of Su Cheng and Su Cheng unable to get Xiao Ai to spend some time with her, Han Shangyan uses Xiao Ai’s proud opinion of her dad to get her to agree to a trip to the amusement park with Su Cheng. Han Shangyan says Xiao Ai lacks respect for her elders. Lacking respect for her elders equates to Solo having not taught her well. This brings Xiao Ai to agree to go to the amusement park with Su Cheng. Han Shangyan agrees on going along in their trip to the amusement park when Xiao Ai says he also must go so he can pay her dad back for the time he took care of him during the Solo team days.

Tong Nian poses for a photo with an unimpressed Han Shangyan.
Xiao Ai watching Tong Nian play a game of Tetris.

Xiao Ai doesn’t know why Tong Nian would like someone like Han Shangyan who she sees as having no good points about him and only shortcomings. Xiao Ai, nevertheless, helps Tong Nian get some alone time with Han Shangyan on a boat ride. She helps Tong Nian steal a couple of pictures of her with him. Han Shangyan being someone who doesn’t like his picture taken, he wants Xiao Ai to delete it. However, he isn’t able to get Xiao Ai to delete the pictures whilst on a separate boat and Xiao Ai won’t delete them back on land when he asks again. Getting Xiao Ai and Han Shangyan out of bickering over the photos Xiao Ai took, Su Cheng suggests getting something to eat. Xiao Ai goes off at Han Shangyan’s rudeness towards Tong Nian when she hears him ask her what she’d do if he didn’t want to eat after Tong Nian said she’ll eat whatever he eats. Xiao Ai tells Han Shangyan to not continue to be an eyesore with his presence if he didn’t want to eat. She then says how he pales in comparison to her dad.

Xiao Ai:

“Born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you love to boast about yourself being a person who works hard and endure hardships. My dad truly started from nothing and battled his way out from the remote countryside.”

The next ride is the rollercoaster and this is a ride Han Shangyan is terrified of. A flashback to Han Shangyan’s Solo team days shows Solo and Ou Qiang forcing Han Shangyan into his seat on the rollercoaster. He bolted out of the ride before he couldn’t.

Han Shangyan is on the lawn playing his Tetris game when Xiao Ai, Tong Nian and Su Cheng return from the ride. Xiao Ai has a bet with Han Shangyan of beating his score on the Tetris game. Xiao Ai unfortunately fails to beat his score. Tong Nian, however, manages to surpass it.

Both Su Cheng and Xiao Ai likes Tong Nian. Su Cheng finds Tong Nian to be how a girl should be. She’s pure, isn’t small-minded and is all smiles everyday. She asks Han Shangyan if he’s thought about developing his relationship with Tong Nian some more. Xiao Ai likes Tong Nian’s company. She asks Tong Nian to remember to message her whenever she has time to go out and have some fun. Tong Nian declines. She should be doing homework in her free time. Xiao Ai lets Tong Nian know she’s posted the picture of her and Shangyan on her group feed and says to her to remember to go take a look. The picture Xiao Ai posted is the picture of Tong Nian and Han Shangyan on the boat ride. The picture has the accompanying words, ‘I enjoy the look of having stolen a picture. Big Dummy with Young Miss. Do you know who the big dummy is?’

At the end of the outing, Xiao Ai tells Han Shangyan what he has paid back with this outing and what he still has to pay back:

Xiao Ai:

“You’ve cleared the debt for when my dad picked you up from the train station. You will slowly clear the debt for him introducing you to the profession and getting the championship title. Stop giving my dad a sour face as well.”

Han Shangyan finds Tong Nian behind him.
Tong Nian puts Han Shangyan's stepmother's necklace on her hand.

After the outing, Han Shangyan and Tong Nian head to K&K. With Tong Nian wanting to show Han Shangyan the reaction speed program she built, Han Shangyan brings her to the spare computer room. When Han Shangyan informs her he’ll return in an hour, Tong Nian wishes to follow and accompany him on the side. Hearing Tong Nian wants to follow, Han Shangyan wonders if she’d still be willing to follow and accompany him if he’s going to go to his room to shower and then sleep.

Han Shangyan returns to the room in an hour and takes a look at the program Tong Nian has built. Han Shangyan doesn’t spend much time looking at the program when Tong Nian becomes drunk. Tong Nian had forced down the can of beer she didn’t really like the taste of that Han Shangyan brought into the room for her to drink as something to do whilst he looked at the program. Unable to have Tong Nian listen to the instruction of staying put in the computer room, Han Shangyan and Tong Nian end up in Han Shangyan’s room. Tong Nian is troublesome. He gets a cut at his forehead which he applies medicine on it in the bathroom. When Han Shangyan returns into the main area of his room, he finds Tong Nian with his stepmother’s antique necklace dangerously placed on her head. She asks Han Shangyan if it’s for her. Worried about the necklace, Han Shangyan says the necklace is for her.

By this point, Tong Nian finally loses a bit of her energy that has brought Han Shangyan so much chaos in the small amount of time from the computer room to his room. As Tong Nian lie sleepily on his chest admiring the necklace that she finds beautiful, Han Shangyan has a bit of a moment staring intriguingly at her. For a moment, he brings his head down and towards her before snapping back to the situation.

Needing to get Tong Nian back home, Han Shangyan goes to the spare computer room to retrieve Tong Nian’s bag. In search for Tong Nian’s phone in her bag, Han Shangyan finds a clear file folder containing an analysis of powerful teams and it has him realise she’s the player he played alongside on the online game he played. Han Shangyan gets into Tong Nian’s phone with a scan of her eyes. Calling Lan Mei on Tong Nian’s phone, he hears Lan Mei ask how Tong Nian how her day out was and if there was any progress like kissing. Han Shangyan lets Lan Mei know he’s on the other end of the call and not Tong Nian with introducing himself to her.

Episode 13

Han Shangyan asks Lan Mei and her husband for the favour of bringing Tong Nian into her house. They meet outside the driveway to Tong Nian’s house.

Han Shangyan, Lan Mei and Lan Mei's husband.
Lan Mei listening to her husband express support to Han Shangyan.

For Lan Mei’s husband, a longtime loyal fan of Han Shangyan’s, it’s the first time he’s met Han Shangyan and he can’t contain his excitement.

Lan Mei’s Husband:

“You can do it, Han Shangyan! Past or future, we fans will always be supporting you from behind. We believe there will be the day where the K&K team will have the national flag draped over the team and win the team championship title. This is your dream. It’s also our dream. You must keep at it! You are the best!”

Lan Mei’s husband gives Han Shangyan a hug which, like the first hug Lan Mei’s husband forced upon him, Han Shangyan is uncomfortable. He offers Lan Mei’s husband a picture to be taken with him. Lan Mei’s husband happily takes up the offer.

Han Shangyan goes to the task of getting Tong Nian out from his car. Guiding Tong Nian to walk seems a bit difficult. Han Shangyan carries her over one shoulder and takes her to the gate of her house. Lan Mei takes this opportunity to find out Han Shangyan’s relationship with Tong Nian.

Lan Mei:

“Do you have interest in our Little Squid?”

Han Shangyan:

“Truthfully, we don’t know each other very well. We’ve met not more than a few times. You ask me whether I like her. Saying I like her is too artificial. Like and not like is something you take time to say.”

“You slowly become familiar with each other and feelings come.”

Before handing Tong Nian over to Lan Mei and her husband, Han Shangyan asks Lan Mei’s husband to exchange numbers with him. It’s so Han Shangyan can get in touch with Lan Mei through her husband for times when there is a need to do so. Lan Mei’s husband again is happy to do so.

Not remembering any of what happened last night, Tong Nian sends a message to Han Shangyan apologising for troubling him again. Han Shangyan doesn’t return a response. He seems troubled by the events of the previous night. He’s been recalling those moments with Tong Nian and he’s reminded of the fact that he willingly gave Tong Nian the antique necklace that belonged to his stepmother when his stepmother calls asking for it. Han Shangyan had managed to get the necklace back from Tong Nian, but he chose to let her have it and slipped it into her backpack before taking her home last night. When Han Shangyan’s stepmother calls him asking him to give the necklace to his grandfather so he can bring it back to Norway with him, Han Shangyan makes a lie and says he lost it in the airport.

Tong Nian crying after sending message to Han Shangyan to break up.
Tong Nian's mum comforting Tong Nian after breaking up with Han Shangyan.

Tong Nian sends another message to Han Shangyan suggesting they break up. Han Shangyan responds, asking Tong Nian if she has thought it through. Tong Nian is in tears over the idea of breaking up, but she sends a confirmation she has thought it through and Han Shangyan can only agree.

Tong Nian’s mum finds Tong Nian has been crying and guesses she’s broken up with Han Shangyan. Tong Nian’s mum comforts Tong Nian and makes sure she knows that the issue is with Han Shangyan and not her. She says she’s never considered Han Shangyan to be her boyfriend because she feels he’s not spent much time with her. Tong Nian’s mum tells Tong Nian she should try not to stop thinking about Han Shangyan and trust her when she says she will find someone who won’t allow her to cry and only have her smile. She will find someone who will dote on her and treasure her like she and her dad does.

Han Shangyan isn’t unaffected by the breakup. The K&K youngsters notice he’s not in a good mood. Han Shangyan is absentminded during when the youngsters do their laps around the park. Su Cheng has a gift from Xiao Ai to Tong Nian that Han Shangyan has to hand to Tong Nian. They’re pictures of him in his Solo days. Reminded of Tong Nian, Han Shangyan plays the reaction speed program she built. After playing the reaction speed game, Han Shangyan finds a folder full of pictures of him in his Solo days and recent ones where he’s watching his team in competitions. He wonders where Tong Nian has gathered them all from. Han Shangyan also finds an animation file which has a male character speaking words he’s spoken to her in the past. It makes him chuckle.

Han Shangyan is taken away from his thoughts of Tong Nian when 97 and One inform him Demo is in a bad mood. Demo is sad over his parents divorcing and he feels they don’t want him anymore. Han Shangyan feels Demo is at an adult age where he shouldn’t be crying over his parents divorcing. Demo daringly snaps at Han Shangyan for this with saying he has an emotional reliance on his parents. Han Shangyan warns Demo about the insubordination towards him.

Han Shangyan puts things into perspective for Demo. He tells Demo of his family situation. His mum passed away at birth. Not long after, his father passed away as well. He has been raised by his stepmother after that. Han Shangyan asks Demo if hearing what he has told him has made his situation seem better and Demo does.

Episode 14

Tong Nian and Lan Mei audition to sing the theme song for CTF competitions. Manager Xiang, the person in charge of the audition, has each person make an introduction about themselves. Tong Nian tells the judging panel she likes to sing. She sees songs to be the best way to convey feelings. She likes to sing to the person she likes and put her feelings into her singing.

Along with Solo, Han Shangyan is part of the judging panel. Han Shangyan is late and he arrives in the middle of Tong Nian’s audition. He arrives at the time that Tong Nian says to the judges she feels it’s important to give it a try. She says that even though the person she likes doesn’t like her and she can’t persist on it, at the very least she must give it a try. Not trying and not letting him hear her feelings through singing has the outcome of the person she likes never knowing she likes him.

Hearing that Tong Nian sees singing as a way to convey feelings, Han Shangyan challenges Tong Nian to demonstrate her ability to convey feelings through her singing with getting her to sing a kid’s song featuring a donkey. The kid’s song tells a story about a person taking a donkey out to the markets on impulse. They have never ridden on a donkey before and got covered in mud. Tong Nian is initially lost on how to sing the kid’s song in a way that can demonstrate her ability to convey her feelings through her singing, but she finds the way. When one of the judges asks Tong Nian what feelings she was trying to convey when singing the song, Tong Nian says she imagined this donkey was her loved one. When he asks her how the donkey was, Tong Nian answers the donkey was gone.

Han Shangyan looking back at Tong Nian.
Lan Mei finds message on a bottle from Han Shangyan for Tong Nian.

Come judging time, the judges sees Tong Nian and Lan Mei as the successful candidates. Han Shangyan has a bit of doubt towards the suitability of Tong Nian’s singing style for the theme song. He’s not strong on this opinion, though, and Tong Nian and Lan Mei gets chosen to sing the theme song for CTF competitions.

Tong Nian:

“Why aren’t you showing up, Han Shangyan?”

On the first day of recording, Han Shangyan is expected to show up, but Tong Nian doesn’t find him present in the recording room and Tong Nian’s depressed mood is felt in her singing. The producer finds her singing lacking emotions. Lan Mei has a talk with Tong Nian. She tells Tong Nian to imagine Han Shangyan having come and is watching her record. This does the trick. Tong Nian’s singing expresses emotions.

Han Shangyan arrives outside the recording room Tong Nian is in, but he doesn’t head in to let Tong Nian know he has arrived. Instead, he hints he has been to the recording studio with getting a delivery of drinks to her in the recording room she’s in. Lan Mei notices a message on a bottle that’s specially chosen to express the words written on the cap. Lan Mei sees ‘Keep it up’ written on the cap and guesses the message is from Han Shangyan. Tong Nian immediately exits the room to try catch up to Han Shangyan, but he’s already left and nowhere to be seen.

Tong Nian hopes to see Han Shangyan again the second time she goes to the recording studio. She’s disappointed to hear from Manager Xiang Han Shangyan won’t be coming this time when he’s busy with preparing for competitions. The visit isn’t without finding interesting information on Han Shangyan, though. A talk with Manager Xiang, Tong Nian hears that back when Han Shangyan competed in competitions he was the envy of them all because he had the most female fans and they were the type who truly wanted to be his girlfriend. Tong Nian moves away from the conversation, unhappy with Han Shangyan’s ease of having females around him. She goes to ask the producer if she could listen to the recording.

Tong Nian returns to the conversation between Manager Xiang and Lan Mei when she hears Manager Xiang say Han Shangyan doesn’t befriend people easily and everyone is just nodding acquaintances. Tong Nian asks Manager Xiang if Han Shangyan has been seeing anyone. What Manager Xiang says makes Tong Nian unhappy again. Manager Xiang says he believes Han Shangyan has gotten a girlfriend and it’s in recent days. This belief comes from hearing one of the K&K team members say he has a girlfriend. The identity of the girlfriend is unknown and no one knows who she is.

With it being two weeks since Tong Nian had broken up with Han Shangyan, Tong Nian and Lan Mei doesn’t see that this news may possibly be weeks old and the girlfriend they’re referring to is more likely Tong Nian, herself. They believe this news of Han Shangyan having a girlfriend is about a new girlfriend he found after the breakup.

Episode 15

It’s Tong Nian’s birthday. When Tong Nian’s classmate and admirer, Zuo Zhenghui, asks how she’s going to celebrate her birthday, Tong Nian isn’t in high spirits about celebrating her birthday. She thinks there isn’t anything great to celebrate when Han Shangyan has paired up while she has gone back to being single.

Zuo Zhenghui explaining to Han Shangyan he's not harassing Tong Nian.
Zuo Zhenghui in the background as Tong Nian leaves with Han Shangyan.

Tong Nian’s birthday starts to look positive and great when the person she wants to see, Han Shangyan, appears. Zuo Zhenghui thinks Han Shangyan is Tong Nian’s brother when Han Shangyan intimidates him with his protectiveness. Han Shangyan asks Zuo Zhenghui if he’s harassing Tong Nian. He shakes his head. Zuo Zhenghui sees Wu Bai standing by the car. He recognises Wu Bai to be the captain of the winning team of the university international programming competition. Zuo Zhenghui then watches Tong Nian follow Han Shangyan.

Han Shangyan has to fulfil his grandfather’s wish to see Tong Nian again. He brings her to his house. Not long after Han Shangyan sits down to join his grandfather and Tong Nian at the table with a table of food he has cooked for them all to eat, Han Shangyan gets up and goes upstairs to get away from his grandfather’s talk about his plan for him to get married.

Han Shangyan not impressed.
Tong Nian talks to Han Shangyan's grandfather.

Han Shangyan’s grandfather mentions to Tong Nian that he had spoken to her mum about getting Han Shangyan to show her around whenever she gets the opportunity to visit Norway and her mum said she had a fear of heights so she isn’t able to go on planes. Tong Nian says she doesn’t have a fear of flying. A reason that Tong Nian gives for why her mum would say she had a fear of flying is possibly because her mum has concerns about her being abroad by herself. Han Shangyan’s grandfather expresses to Tong Nian that he has been thinking about whether her and Han Shangyan’s wedding should be held abroad or at home.

Han Shangyan’s grandfather is unhappy with Han Shangyan constantly rejecting his efforts to help him get married. He tries to bring Han Shangyan back to the table with letting him know it’s Tong Nian’s birthday. Frustration brings Han Shangyan’s grandfather to say to Han Shangyan he’s not a kid anymore yet he continues to only know how to play on the computer. He says he doesn’t do anything proper or decent.

Tong Nian:

“Grandfather, you’ve misunderstood. Actually, he’s not playing. He’s seriously competing. He’s bringing honour to our country.”

Han Shangyan’s Grandfather:

“I know this. He and Xiao Bai keeps saying this. They say they’re training, they’re professional players. It’s formal. However, I know they are just wanting to comfort me.”

Han Shangyan’s grandfather becomes curious about Han Shangyan’s engagement in the CTF e-sport when Tong Nian speaks about the extremely difficult environment that existed for the players at the time when Han Shangyan first came to be engaged in the e-sport ten years ago. She says to Han Shangyan’s grandfather that Han Shangyan had let the world know there was a CTF team from China called Solo and there was an extremely skilled player and that was Han Shangyan. Tong Nian says Han Shangyan announced retirement from what he loved to do and it was during a time when he was at the height of his career. Tong Nian says this makes her feel heartbroken for Han Shangyan every time she thinks about it. Han Shangyan’s grandfather asks Tong Nian where he can see the announcement of retirement she’s speaking of. Instead of showing, Tong Nian chooses to recite Han Shangyan’s signature speech that expressed the difficulties Han Shangyan and his teammates faced and the criticisms directed at them whilst pursuing CTF.

Tong Nian and Han Shangyan.
Han Shangyan pats Tong Nian's head.

Hearing all of what Tong Nian said to his grandfather, Han Shangyan is curious to know how much Tong Nian knows about him. When Tong Nian says she doesn’t know much more than the information provided in publicly available videos of his competitions and interviews, Han Shangyan lets Tong Nian know things about him that’s found on the internet and also the things about him that’s not found on the internet. Things about him that aren’t found on the internet that Han Shangyan lets Tong Nian know comes to be expressing to her about what his personality is like, why he eats candy, how he hates being controlled and having his future decided by others and that he dislikes those who look at CTF with skepticism and have distrusting eyes towards it.

Han Shangyan is interested to know if Tong Nian truly wants to break up with him. He first makes Tong Nian aware of his shortcomings.

Han Shangyan:

“I want to let you know I’m not this perfect guy. My temper is terrible. I have no gentlemanly manners whatsoever. I hate being romantic. I don’t even have time for dating. My entire life is about K&K and the team. I’m very dull. I don’t do recreation. There’s no travelling or vacationing. I hate social parties to the extent that I don’t have breaks, holidays or do New Years. I’ll give you one more chance. Do you still want to break up? Do you want to? Do you not want to? You don’t know how to respond because you haven’t thought it through or you want to have another think about it.”

Tong Nian:

“I don’t want to! I don’t want to break up.”

Han Shangyan:

“Then we won’t break up. Please excuse the things that weren’t done well in the past. Let’s be in touch.”

Tong Nian hears Han Shangyan refer to her as his girlfriend for the first time when Han Shangyan gets a call from Nan Wei and his colleagues about K&K China’s need to win the national championship title. Not realising the phone didn’t go on mute successfully, Han Shangyan gets teased and he has to explain to Nan Wei and the others that the person he’s talking to is his girlfriend who is next to him. Han Shangyan had asked Tong Nian why she’s staring at him and Nan Wei and the others hear her respond.

Han Shangyan takes Tong Nian to the place he likes to shop for things. He asks Tong Nian to select a birthday gift. When Tong Nian says she doesn’t want him to waste money on buying a gift for her, Han Shangyan chooses for her. He chooses a game console and a stack of his favourite games for her to play. Tong Nian is happy to learn the things Han Shangyan likes.

Han Shangyan takes Tong Nian back to the campus. He lets Tong Nian know he’ll be flying to Sanya the next day for training. He’ll be back next week. She won’t need to know his flight number because he doesn’t need her to pick him up. He lets Tong Nian know the hours of the day she can contact him. With the hours outside those, she shouldn’t call unless it’s an emergency because those hours he’ll be training. The awkwardness that slowly gets more awkward, Han Shangyan asks if they should hug. When Tong Nian awkwardly declines, Han Shangyan explains it isn’t that he wants to hug. It’s just something that happens at the end of dates.

Trying to move away from and break out of the awkwardness, Tong Nian says the sweet potatoes from the stall over there is very popular with the people on campus. Han Shangyan goes out of the car and buys those sweet potatoes. Han Shangyan returns back to Tong Nian with the sweet potatoes as well as some bags of takeaways. He says he remembers she hadn’t eaten at all and the many bags of takeaways he bought is because he didn’t know what she liked to eat and so he bought a bit of everything. Tong Nian takes it up to her dorm where she shares it with her roomie and fellow classmate, Sun Yaya.

Episode 16

It’s Mi Shaofei’s birthday. Han Shangyan has sent him a delivery of a birthday cake. He also sends Mi Shaofei a WeChat message wishing him a happy birthday and a wish to see him return to the world stage in CTF.

Fulfilling that wish Han Shangyan has to see Mi Shaofei return to the world stage might be difficult for Mi Shaofei when he’s having trouble staying in SP’s Team Number 1. Solo slips the information in during the small gathering with Mi Shaofei and Ou Qiang celebrating Mi Shaofei’s birthday. Solo tells Mi Shaofei he will need to increase his performance to avoid being moved out of Team Number 1. The news shocks Ou Qiang. Mi Shaofei can only take the shocking news in and accept he must do better. Solo explains the higher-ups are paying close attention. Paying close attention has an upside and a downside. The upside is it affords them resources such as great pay, training facilities and living quarters. The downside is pressure to perform.

Han Shangyan learns of this when the K&K team and the SP team head to Sanya for an elite training event between the two teams organised by the country’s CTF magazine. He hears it from the CTF magazine’s editor-in-chief, Zhou Shan.

Zhou Shan in a robe with plushies.
Tong Nian at computer.

Zhou Shan has respect from Han Shangyan and the other former Solo team members for being someone who helped make the Solo team known to the CTF circle back in the day with writing daily articles on them. Though Zhou Shan is someone Han Shangyan respects, she is bothersome to him. A female fan of Han Shangyan’s, she is seemingly one of those female fans Manager Xiang was talking about—those who truly wants to be his girlfriend.

Han Shangyan makes an emergency flight booking for Tong Nian to Sanya after he finds himself creating a misunderstanding which involves the interaction he has with Zhou Shan in his hotel room.

Tong Nian and Han Shangyan have been in a video call to each other, accompanying each other as they go about their own tasks when Zhou Shan enters into the frame of Tong Nian’s computer looking cozy in her robe and being rather close to Han Shangyan. Tong Nian isn’t able to hear any of the things Zhou Shan and Han Shangyan are saying to each other with Han Shangyan’s computer’s sound muted. It had been muted because Han Shangyan didn’t want to disturb Tong Nian with the sound coming from the video of the competition he was analysing. Han Shangyan is alerted to the fact of him being in his hotel room alone with Zhou Shan when he finds an incoming call from Tong Nian. He goes to push Zhou Shan out of his room, but Zhou Shan manages to continue being in his room for a bit longer when she catches his interest with the information she had on Mi Shaofei and the problem he’s having in the SP team. Zhou Shan is then outside in the hallway outside Han Shangyan’s room and wrapped in bedding, unable to move.

Tong Nian joins Han Shangyan for a few days in Sanya. He has booked Tong Nian a room on an upper floor from the one he’s staying on and the room has great views of the city. When Han Shangyan inputs something into Tong Nian’s phone so he’s able to find her when there is a need for him to find her, he finds out that the password to her phone account includes the day and month of her birthday as well as his birthday.

Episode 17

Han Shangyan:

“I’m not opposed to any sort of intimacy behind closed doors. However, you must be mindful of the consequences in public settings. Otherwise, what will you do when you’re the butt of people’s jokes?”

“I’m a guy. I’m not worried about being at a disadvantage. The person who will be at a disadvantage is you.”

Outside where Han Shangyan and his K&K team are training alongside the SP team, Han Shangyan finds Tong Nian acting unusually affectionate. She’s snuggling up to his arm and contently remaining at his side like a cat as he drinks the coconut drink she bought for him. He wonders what she’s been up to that she’s acting like this.

Tong Nian has been chatting about him with Ai Qing. Ai Qing told Tong Nian the Solo team had raised a cat and Han Shangyan was the one who looked after it. When the cat passed away, Han Shangyan didn’t allow anyone to hold it. Ai Qing said that it brought her and Solo to feel Han Shangyan is someone who is particularly possessive and particularly jealous. Though he can be like a child who’s happy over the littlest things, in love he can be incredibly fixated over certain matters. She said Han Shangyan is someone with a first love complex. Asked who his first love was, Ai Qing said to Tong Nian she is most probably Han Shangyan’s first love because he has never spoken about having a girlfriend and he looks at her with the same look he had with the cat he loved.

Tong Nian learns a bit more about Han Shangyan from Solo when Tong Nian comes across him and Mi Shaofei at the beach. Asking Solo how he knew Han Shangyan when Han Shangyan had lived in Norway, Tong Nian learns Han Shangyan and Solo came to know each other through internet chatting around 2005. They chatted with each other very well and it brought Han Shangyan to fly from Norway to go see him. This fact of Han Shangyan taking a plane trip to see Solo because he had chatted well with him on the internet surprises Tong Nian. Solo says Han Shangyan’s personality is an eccentric one and a normal person’s thinking can’t be applied to him.

Tong Nian is dragged to a seafood restaurant by Zhou Shan who is interested to know who Tong Nian is to Han Shangyan. Zhou Shan says she’s never seen anyone around Han Shangyan and asks Tong Nian if she’s his girlfriend. When Tong Nian confirms she is, Zhou Shan attempts to make Tong Nian see she’s not a match for Han Shangyan and implies she, herself, is.

Han Shangyan grabbing plate of food for Tong Nian.
Zhou Shan

Zhou Shan tells Tong Nian she had become a fan of his when he just got into CTF. She didn’t really understand it much, but she studied programming because her brother did and that’s when she came across CTF. She started paying close attention to Han Shangyan and began liking him a lot. Han Shangyan is the reason she’s in the profession she’s in now. Tong Nian subtly comes back at Zhou Shan with seeing her as another one of Han Shangyan’s fans who likes him. This brings Zhou Shan to continue to express how he wouldn’t have retired had she followed him earlier. Also, she says that with her abilities she could’ve helped Han Shangyan become China’s first world number one in no more than three years.

Zhou Shan:

“A woman who can help a man’s career should remain by his side. Those young and pretty ones who gets in the way of the development of his career are but brief and casual encounters that leaves no mark.”

“Seeing that you are young, I’m afraid you’ll get hurt. With the kind of guy Han Shangyan is, you probably don’t know he might not be suitable for you.”

Han Shangyan:

“If she’s not suitable who is?”

Han Shangyan comes in and provides Tong Nian backup against Zhou Shan’s passive aggressive attacks. He turns Tong Nian’s chair towards him and makes her the only person he sees and will talk to. He tells Tong Nian his grandfather had just called him and says he misses her. This is a lie Han Shangyan makes to help Tong Nian show up Zhou Shan. Zhou Shan reluctantly leaves after seeing she’s unwanted company.

Han Shangyan asks Tong Nian what she and Zhou Shan talked about that her expression is showing she is being wronged. Tong Nian asks if he knew her in the past. Han Shangyan says she’s a crazy fan wanting to get into their circle. Tong Nian says Zhou Shan had gone to watch his CTF competitions while she hadn’t. She feels Zhou Shan is amazing because of this. Han Shangyan says being amazing isn’t anything great when she’s not the person he likes.

Episode 18

Tong Nian asks Han Shangyan to reward her for working hard on her programming projects. One of her projects is developing a face recognition program for the police. The reward Tong Nian wants from Han Shangyan is seeing him in a CTF match. Han Shangyan isn’t so willing to agree to this reward Tong Nian wants. However, when Tong Nian says she wants to understand him a bit more, Han Shangyan comes up with a way to fulfil it.

Han Shangyan surprises everyone with getting Demo out of his seat and has 97 start a round. 97 doesn’t think he can win his mentor and idol in a match. 97 seems to struggle from the get-go, often looking like he’s just barely holding on and just barely managing to counter the attacks Han Shangyan seems to be sending his way until Han Shangyan wins the round.

K&K and SP officially go into a one-on-one match in the training camp event. Grunt versus Inin. 97 versus Following (Chen Yong). Demo versus Ou Qiang. One versus Hua Ti (Wu Hao). And Mi Shaofei has the difficult match of going up against K&K’s strongest player, Wu Bai. The match sees SP win 3 – 2. Unfortunate to have gone against such a strong player like Wu Bai, it’s another match that sees Mi Shaofei struggle to perform well. Grunt is the other K&K player to win his match.

Tong Nian's gaze on Han Shangyan as he explains why he wears earphones whilst working.
Han Shangyan admires a sleeping Tong Nian.

Tong Nian has one more night and a morning to spend time with Han Shangyan in Sanya. It’s ten at night and Tong Nian is not ready to sleep. She wants to continue to spend time with Han Shangyan. Han Shangyan has a phone conference soon and another at midnight. He will go to sleep around one in the morning. However, accommodating Tong Nian’s want to spend some time chatting, Han Shangyan suggests they’ll first keep each other company as they go about their separate tasks. He’ll do his work and Tong Nian will go about her coding work. When he’s done with his work, he then can chat with her. Tong Nian is happy with the suggestion. She grabs her laptop and follows Han Shangyan to his room.

Tong Nian finds it curious Han Shangyan always has his earphones on when he’s doing his work even when there’s no one else in the room. Han Shangyan gestures Tong Nian over to sit at the seat opposite him to demonstrate why. He places his earphones over Tong Nian’s ears and explains how what she hears calms him and allows him to think well. Tong Nian becomes entranced by his guidance with his hands and fingers over her hands and fingers over the keyboard and mouse. He guides their movement as he says clicking this can add the sound of drizzling rain and clicking that can add a sweet-sounding bell sound.

Han Shangyan has a moment to quietly admire Tong Nian when he returns with drinks in mugs. He finds Tong Nian asleep. He lightly touches her hair and gently places a hand at her cheeks to support her head which slowly rolls on the sofa head with his earphones still on over her head.

The morning of the last day Tong Nian spends with Han Shangyan in Sanya is a trip to the mountainside with Han Shangyan and the K&K youngsters. The morning trip starts off with explosive anger from 97 when he’s disappointed to hear they have come to the mountainside for some self-training. 97 is fed up with consistently training and no relaxation. Han Shangyan reminds 97 that competitions and ranking is all about never stopping otherwise it’s falling behind. The extreme dissatisfaction 97 has with another day of training brings more anger from him. He’s tired. They’re tired. Han Shangyan reminds 97 of the fact that he was someone who understood the need for hard work in order to go up the ranks quickly. Recalling himself to have understood this fact, 97 comes down from his anger and agrees he needs to continue putting in more effort.

The day at the mountainside is planned for the K&K youngsters to relax, though. Han Shangyan tells them he had said self-training earlier. Self-training means they can do whatever they wanted to do. He gestures them all to go and do whatever they want to do.

Han Shangyan leaning closer to Tong Nian.

While the youngsters play around on the rope bridge high above a vast forest in the distance, Tong Nian shows Han Shangyan the game she’s been making for him over the past two days that she’s been in Sanya. It’s a card game based on probability. Han Shangyan is moved by Tong Nian having expended energy on creating a game for him to play. It brings Han Shangyan to lean into Tong Nian to go in for a kiss. The kiss doesn’t eventuate when the youngsters playing around on the rope bridge interrupt the moment.

Tong Nian sees Han Shangyan as someone who fears nothing. The trip ends with Tong Nian amused to find that Han Shangyan is afraid of heights when she watches him cowering across the rope bridge that he desperately doesn’t want to cross.

Episode 19

Tong Nian’s roomie, Sun Yaya, imagined Tong Nian’s boyfriend to be a guy old enough to be an uncle who isn’t a particularly good-looking guy because Tong Nian said she met her boyfriend at an internet café. Sun Yaya is a huge fan of the Solo team since junior high. When Tong Nian says her boyfriend is exactly Han Shangyan of the CTF team, Solo, Sun Yaya thinks Tong Nian has been tricked and has only met a fake. Sun Yaya prepares to expose this boyfriend of Tong Nian’s on the online game chat session Tong Nian has with Han Shangyan and the youngsters, but she ends up being awed by the names she sees in the chat. Grunt, Demo, 97—Sun Yaya recognises them all to be from Han Shangyan’s K&K team. Tong Nian tells the K&K youngsters Sun Yaya’s skills in the game is pretty good. Tong Nian’s praise makes Sun Yaya skirm inside as she sees her gaming skills incomparable to the high level skills of the K&K youngsters.

The youngsters inform Han Shangyan has arrived. Demo logs off and Han Shangyan logs on with his own account, gun. Sun Yaya plays the game with Grunt and 97. Meanwhile, Tong Nian familiarises herself on how to do basic movements like jumping up boxes. Han Shangyan keeps a watch whilst Tong Nian learns.

Sun Yaya awed by her idol, Mi Shaofei.
Sun Yaya goes to shake Han Shangyan's extended hand.

Though Sun Yaya is a fan of all of the Solo team, she is especially a fan of Mi Shaofei. She has a scrapbook containing everything about Mi Shaofei. Tong Nian asks Han Shangyan for his help to get Mi Shaofei to go to Sun Yaya.

Han Shangyan surprises Tong Nian with coming back a day early from Sanya. He attends Tong Nian’s fan signing event. Tong Nian’s fans is quite a large group. A female fan waiting in line who recognises Han Shangyan stops him in his path to tell him she extremely likes him. She asks if they can take a photo together. Han Shangyan doesn’t need to personally decline when Manager Xiang helps him decline.

Han Shangyan’s reason for going to Tong Nian’s fan meeting is to bring her to see he has fulfilled her request of bringing Mi Shaofei to Sun Yaya. He waits until her fan meeting has ended before he takes her to her university where Mi Shaofei is there to surprise Sun Yaya with his appearance.

After the end of the lecture, Sun Yaya stays behind to study. One of Sun Yaya’s male classmates asks her if she wants to watch a movie together with him. Sun Yaya declines and the classmate leaves. When Mi Shaofei arrives into the lecture theatre moments after, he tries to get Sun Yaya’s attention with a tap on her shoulder. He taps again when Sun Yaya ignores him the first time round. Mi Shaofei gets the wrath of Sun Yaya’s annoyance when he tries to introduce himself and Sun Yaya yells at him for being so blind as to not see she’s trying to study. Sun Yaya’s annoyance turns to speechlessness and surprise when her eyes find Mi Shaofei.

Sun Yaya gets another surprise. She has the honour of meeting two other former Solo team members: Han Shangyan and Ou Qiang. With meeting three of her idols, Sun Yaya feels she’s completely used up all of her happiness. She also feels she has become someone on the inside of the Solo team circle when she gets to go with them all to Han Shangyan’s place to have a small informal celebration of the tenth anniversary of the formation of the Solo team.

Episode 20

Sun Yaya wonders where Mi Shaofei has been after he retired and disappeared from the CTF stage until he reappeared now. Mi Shaofei says that unlike Solo and Han Shangyan who started a business, he’s been drifting about at home for these past few years. Sun Yaya is curious why he didn’t just continue competing. Mi Shaofei says there’s no meaning in competing when there isn’t the Solo team. Sun Yaya understands this. She feels the same. She makes a guess that Solo is the reason Mi Shaofei returned to CTF. Mi Shaofei indicates she is correct in thinking this as he says he wanted to give Solo a bit of comfort by returning to CTF because he knows Solo has been guilt-ridden these past few years. The other reason for returning is for himself. He wants to give CTF one more shot.

Sun Yaya asking him these questions has Mi Shaofei feel like he’s being interviewed. Mi Shaofei suggests for them to chat about something else. The request to change topics has Sun Yaya explain why she asked those questions. The explanation comes out like a confession to Sun Yaya’s ears when Mi Shaofei expresses surprise.

Sun Yaya:

“It’s that when I was talking, I was especially nervous. You have to understand. I like you like a lot.”

Sun Yaya having a talk with Mi Shaofei.
Sun Yaya showing Mi Shaofei his fans group.

Sun Yaya clarifies that her like isn’t the romantic kind of like when Mi Shaofei was surprised. The like is from a fan who especially likes him and adores him. Sun Yaya wrongly reads Mi Shaofei’s surprise. Mi Shaofei’s surprise is because he didn’t think he had fans.

Mi Shaofei:

“I never thought I’d have fans. When Han Shangyan spoke to me, I thought you were all planning an April Fool’s Day prank on me.”

Sun Yaya says that’s definitely not the case. He definitely has fans. Though he doesn’t have as many fans as Han Shangyan, he has a group of more than a hundred diehard fans. She tells Mi Shaofei how fanatic they are of him. She says one of his fans would always buy a cake and eat it on his birthday as a way to celebrate his birthday. Another fan has written over a thousand fan letters. The fan just never sent it out. A third takes his picture along with them on their overseas holidays and poses with his picture. Sun Yaya lets Mi Shaofei know how much his return to CTF means to them when she says his fans all cried until their eyes were swollen and ugly when they finally heard news about him.

The gang head out to the park to have a picnic after the guys have some fun playing a car racing game. The picnic is another occasion for Tong Nian to learn something about Han Shangyan.

Tong Nian:

“Mi Shaofei, is it true this is the first time he’s gone on a picnic?”

Mi Shaofei:

“Since knowing him, it is his first time going on one. Before that, I’m not sure. He’s someone who thinks about others and not himself. Other than the K&K team, all others are older people. I’m guessing he possibly wants to take care of these people.”

Tong Nian goes to Han Shangyan and asks him to not only focus on competitions and his goal of obtaining the world championship title. He should allow a bit more room in his heart for himself and for her. Tong Nian demonstrates to Han Shangyan what she most wants to do.

Tong Nian:

“What I most want to do is like how we are now. Take a moment to feel. Standing here presently, there’s just you and me. Feel it. Leisurely enjoy the afternoon wind blowing. Close your eyes and take it in. There’s wind, the sound of ducks and the sound of flowing water. There’s also me holding your hand.”

Zuo Zhenghui is terribly worried about his mum’s medical condition that isn’t getting any better. He goes to Tong Nian for help and she offers to get her dad to see what he can do. Tong Nian brings Zuo Zhenghui over to her house where Tong Nian’s dad—a surgeon—offers advice to Zuo Zhenghui to bring her mum to Shanghai for a checkup. Tong Nian’s dad also offers Zuo Zhenghui and his mum a place to stay at their house whilst he and his mum are in Shanghai. The offer of accommodation comes after Tong Nian lets her dad know that money isn’t something that he and his mum have a lot of to spend on accommodation whilst in Shanghai.

Zuo Zhenghui and Tong Nian
Zuo Zhenghui's mum greet Tong Nian's mum.

Tong Nian’s mum is impressed by how polite Zuo Zhenghui is and immediately takes a liking to him. She wants Tong Nian to socialise with Zuo Zhenghui more and suggests for Tong Nian to have him come over to the house and study together. A kindergarten principal, a teacher, Tong Nian’s mum likes that Zuo Zhenghui is a good student. Tong Nian, however, is unhappy to hear her enthusiasm and like towards Zuo Zhenghui. With a bit of annoyance, Tong Nian asks her mum if she likes Han Shangyan. Tong Nian’s mum makes no hesitation in saying she doesn’t like Han Shangyan. She doesn’t like his aloofness and she finds him not a particularly honest person. Tong Nian’s mum says she doesn’t like that Han Shangyan had felt like he was being forced to admit she was his girlfriend. She doesn’t like the lack of thought and effort Han Shangyan put into the New Year’s gift he gave when he made his visit on New Year’s Day.

The many people that Tong Nian hears disliking Han Shangyan, hearing them say he has a bad character, she feels Han Shangyan is pitiful. It makes her want to treat him even better and buy the whole world for him. Tong Nian gets Sun Yaya to contact Mi Shaofei to ask him what Han Shangyan likes. What Mi Shaofei seems to have come up with is a cat. Tong Nian surprises Han Shangyan with the gift of a white cat which looks very much like the one he raised back in his Solo days. Included in the gift of the cat are also photos of him with the cat he raised when he was in the Solo team.

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