These words were said very calmly. Ding Ji couldn’t help but frown: “What’s wrong with you?”

After Ding Ji had introduced himself that day, this person hadn’t returned his politeness and announced his name. But he didn’t feel like asking right now, only watching No Name take a painkiller out of his pocket and put it in his mouth, then take his glass bottle and raise his head to drink a few gulps.

“You’re not very particular.” He took the bottle that No Name had passed back.

“This isn’t a water bottle, right?” No Name wiped his mouth.

“It’s not.” Ding Ji unscrewed the lid and wiped along the edge with a napkin. “This is an ancient Nestlé Coffee-mate bottle. It might be older than me.

No Name didn’t say anything.

He lifted his head and looked over. No Name’s expression was a little unsightly.

“What’s wrong,” he asked.

“If you’re that particular, why did you let someone else drink your water?” No Name had no words. “If you’re going to wipe it off, don’t wipe in front of me.”

“I didn’t know you would really drink it,” Ding Ji said.

No Name stretched out his left hand.

“I’m not reading it.” Ding Ji swatted his hand away, but he still swept a glance over it.

“The bottle,” No Name said.

Ding Ji froze for a moment, then screwed the lid onto the bottle and handed it back to him.

No Name unscrewed the lid and tilted his head back to take two more gulps, then put the bottle on the step next to him: “Can you tell me how you knew that I got rejected?”

“What, you can’t guess it?” Ding Ji looked askance at the bottle.

“Today was easy,” No Name said. “If I could guess everything, how could you go on?”

“Exactly.” Ding Ji raised his head. “How could I tell you when I don’t even know what you’re called?”

“Lin Wuyu,” No Name said.

“What?” Ding Ji hadn’t heard clearly.

“Lin Wuyu,” No Name repeated, pressing his temples.

“Wuyu?” Ding Ji said. “Ah, the largest square has no corners.” [1]

Lin Wuyu’s hands that were pressing against his temples paused.

He could let light breeze and clear moon slide, since after all, his name had that word in it. But blurting out the largest square has no corners was a little inconsistent with his sloppy jianghu scammer style.

Stereotypes were unacceptable. Lin Wuyu conducted one second of self-reflection, then nodded: “Mm.”

Ding Ji leaned against the steps behind him and didn’t speak again.

Lin Wuyu’s head still hurt. Right now, no matter if it was to go back to school or to find something to eat, he couldn’t find the energy.

Moreover…maybe because Ding Ji looked a little like Xu Tianbo, he didn’t really want to go right away.

Hence, he sat next to Dong Ji, looking at the basketball frame set up not too far in the distance with him.

It was still early. There were only two boys shooting baskets.

After they were silent for a while, Lin Wuyu spoke first: “Do you come here often?”

“I come once in a while,” Ding Ji said. “My grandma’s house is nearby.”

“Oh,” Lin Wuyu responded.

“You’re from Fu Zhong, right?” Ding Ji asked.

Lin Wuyu rapidly looked down at himself. His shirt, pants, and shoes were all his own, without any symbols of Fu Zhong.

“When I met you last time, I knew.” Smiling, Ding Ji stretched.

“Last time?” Lin Wuyu thought back for a moment, not finding any details that would let people guess his school.

“Give me your hand,” Ding Ji said.

Lin Wuyu glanced at him, then stretched his left hand out in front of him.

“Your fingers are pretty long.” Ding Ji traced his fingertips across his palm. “You…”

Lin Wuyu bent his index finger and pushed his fingertips away.

“Mm?” Ding Ji turned his head.

“It itches,” Lin Wuyu said.

“Pretentious.” Ding Ji curled his lip a bit disdainfully, fingers tracing his palm in midair.

“What are you going to look at?” Lin Wuyu was rather interested.

“I’ll look at whatever,” Ding Ji said. “You can listen to whatever.”

“Mm.” Lin Wuyu nodded.

“You don’t have a good relationship with your parents, right?” Ding Ji asked.

Lin Wuyu didn’t say anything.

It seemed like Ding Ji didn’t need him to answer, continuing to stare at his hand. After looking at it for a while, he leaned back on the steps: “Your past ten years weren’t very interesting. It was mostly smooth sailing.”

“Is that so?” Lin Wuyu withdrew his hand, looking at it with his head lowered.

“You have siblings,” Ding Ji continued. “Whether they’re brothers or sisters, or how many there are, I don’t know.”

Lin Wuyu was still looking at his hand. Hearing this, he started being a little unable to figure it out.

Ding Ji’s ability to observe details and his grasp on human nature were all quite strong. This was a crucial point for him to trick people. But as for how he deduced a stranger’s family situation, for a while, he couldn’t find a direction.

Especially the thing about siblings.

“I’ll tell you the things you don’t know.” Ding Ji turned his head and gazed at his face. “There might be a few twists and turns in the future, but it’s hard to say. They’re roughly in the feeling department.”

“Do you look at these three lines?” Lin Wuyu pointed at his palm lines. “The business line, the love line, and the life line?”

“That’s too basic.” Ding Ji shook his head. “There’s a lot more lines and mounds, and as you look at it you have to…”

“Chat with me as you guess, right?” Lin Wuyu said.

“…How bored are you.” Ding Ji clicked his tongue.

“It’s pretty impressive.” Lin Wuyu smiled. “Did you study it?”

“Where would I study it? With who? It’s all a scam.” Ding Ji waved disdainfully. “Don’t trust those who say they’re going to teach you, either.”

“Mm.” Lin Wuyu rubbed his hands.

“Do you have an older brother or an older sister?” Ding Ji asked.

Lin Wuyu paused, and only after a while did he say: “Why didn’t you ask if it was a little brother or little sister?”

“Your temperament doesn’t seem like it,” Ding Ji said. “I know a lot of people with little brothers and sisters, and they’re not like you.”

“It looks like fortune-telling takes a lot of dedication too,” Lin Wuyu said. “You always have to be careful and pay attention.”

Ding Ji didn’t ask about his siblings again, and Lin Wuyu casually changed the subject. He changed it very naturally. If he hadn’t been thinking over how to prove it, he probably wouldn’t have even discovered that the subject had passed.

It looked like Lin Wuyu didn’t really want to talk to people about this. If he didn’t have a good relationship with his parents, it probably had something to do with this sibling, and Ding Ji didn’t make a habit of asking about strangers’ secrets.

If Lin Wuyu hadn’t nonchalantly drank more than half of his water and sat down without leaving, he wouldn’t have taken the initiative to talk about these trivial matters with this person.

“Are there any good places nearby to eat?” Lin Wuyu asked. “With good flavors.”

“No need to be so polite,” Ding Ji said without a second thought. “I’ve eaten already.”

Lin Wuyu looked ahead and laughed: “I want to find a place to eat.”

“Oh.” Ding Ji didn’t feel awkward and thought for a moment. “If you don’t want to go far, you can go across the street. Even Dogs Go.”

“Even Dogs Go?” Lin Wuyu was startled.

“I’m not cursing at you.” Ding Ji cleared his throat. “It’s a store’s name. Coffee, pizza, pastries, stuff like that. The flavor’s not bad.”

“Isn’t it Even Dogs Come?” Lin Wuyu asked.

“Well, if you’re going over from here, you’re going, right? When dogs go over from here, it’s called Even Dogs Go,” Ding Ji. “It’s only called Even Dogs Come when you’re sitting in the store.”

“…Okay.” Lin Wuyu nodded. “You’ve eaten there?”

“I’ve eaten there once. It’s a store where single dogs can find partners. The pictures stuck on the wall are all people who met there.” Ding Ji stretched a hand out in front of him and calculated on his fingers. “The other day I predicted that I would have a relationship, so I went there to try my luck…”

He hadn’t finished talking before Lin Wuyu had already turned his head and cracked up.

“Don’t laugh.” Ding Ji was very serious. “This stuff is accurate sometimes.”

“Was it accurate?” Lin Wuyu asked, smiling.

“It wasn’t.” Ding Ji frowned. “I predicted that it would be within seven days at the time, but seven days have already passed. I’m guessing it’ll have to be half a month.”

“Has it been half a month?” Lin Wuyu suppressed a laugh.

“It’ll be half a month tomorrow.” Ding Ji flicked his fingers.

“The only stranger you’ve talked with in this half month is me, right?” Lin Wuyu said.

“Mm.” Ding Ji glanced at him. “You? A peach blossom? You’re a watermelon at most.”

Lin Wuyu decided to go to Even Dogs Come to go eat a meal.

When he got up, he hesitated. He hadn’t invited Ding Ji.

They weren’t familiar, after all. In addition, Ding Ji had already eaten and he had declined in advance.

“Their ice cream is pretty good,” Ding Ji said. “You can try it, the vanilla kind. It’s a giant cup.”

“Okay.” Lin Wuyu nodded and jumped down the steps, walking over there.

When he was about to walk out of the mini-park, he looked back and found that Ding Ji wasn’t sitting there anymore. There was a biker on the steps now, currently jumping up and down.

He continued walking forward, and stopped after a few steps. Looking back again, he gazed at the biker for a while, then somewhat startled, he found that the bare-chested one was in fact Ding Ji. He had casually taken off the t-shirt he had been wearing and stuffed it in his waistband, where it was hanging.

How irreverent. He could take off his clothes like this in a public place?

Lin Wuyu took his phone out, opened the camera, and focused the lens on him.

Ding Ji was very practiced. There were a few movements where it looked like he was going to flip over at the top, but he rotated in the next second and landed in his original place.

Lin Wuyu quite liked these sorts of things. In middle school, he obsessed over skateboards with a few classmates for a while, but he hadn’t played it for long when his mother thought that it was wasted time, interfered with his studies, interfered with everything, and he would also get hurt. The most important thing was that she thought Lin Wuyu simply couldn’t do it well.

“You’re not your brother.”

Lin Wuyu didn’t really care about these sorts of words. He felt like it was possible that he really didn’t care, because he could judge himself. It could also be because he was used to it. After all, since childhood, he had heard too many things like that.

But it had to be said that sometimes, these words really were a little disappointing.

They would make people subconsciously start to doubt themselves.

After high school started, he didn’t really play much.

As he was watching Ding Ji now, he had a bit of an impulse to go over and borrow the bike to play with it for a while.

Even though he didn’t know how.

He was just hesitating when Ding Ji stopped, lifting his head and casually glancing over.

He had probably seen him, and he waved at him.

His eyesight was pretty good.

Lin Wuyu waved back.

Ding Ji waved again.

Lin Wuyu continued to respond, feeling like there was something wrong with Ding Ji.

After three rounds, he noticed that Ding Ji’s gestures weren’t waving, but rather pointing at his side.

“Hm?” Lin Wuyu lowered his raised arm and looked to his side, then couldn’t help but let out his first uncivilized word of the year in astonishment. “Fuck!”

He didn’t know how long it had been there, but there was a baby carriage on his right.

The scariest part was that there was a tiny baby sleeping in it, looking like they weren’t even as long as his forearm.

He quickly looked around and couldn’t find anyone.

The rush hour of people getting off work and out of school had already passed, but it wasn’t dinnertime yet, and there were only a few people walking on the streets. Within twenty meters of him, forget about people, there wasn’t even a single shoe.

How this carriage ended up at his side, he completely didn’t know.

Around him, there wasn’t anyone he could ask, either.

“I’m going to go take a look.” Ding Ji mounted his bike, lifted the handlebar, and used the rear wheel to directly jump down three steps.

“Are you sure it’s not a carriage he pushed over?” Da-Dong jumped down too, following behind him and pedaling over. “These days, there are lots of aunties who use these carriages to buy groceries…”

“Is he an auntie!” Ding Ji pedaled fiercely. When he was twenty or thirty meters away from Lin Wuyu he braked and shouted to Lin Wuyu as he put his t-shirt back on, “Is there a kid in it—”

Lin Wuyu nodded.

“Where did it come from?” Ding Ji hurried over to the baby carriage. When he saw the tiny baby, he subconsciously lowered his voice. “This kid is only a few months old, right?”

“Not even a few months.” Da-Dong moved over and took a look. “My nephew wasn’t this small when he was three months old.”

“Where did it come from?” Ding Ji looked at Lin Wuyu.

“I don’t know,” Lin Wuyu said. “You saw the carriage earlier than I did.”

Ding Ji stared at the child in the carriage for a while, then raised his head: “So this is…child abandonment?”

“Probably.” Lin Wuyu’s fingers gently flicked the handle of the baby carriage. “Better call the cops.”

“This kid doesn’t look like there’s anything wrong with them.” Da-Dong carefully lifted the blanket covering the baby’s body. “Fuck, it’s a boy. Then he wasn’t abandoned because of valuing males over females…”

“Don’t wake the kid up! If he starts crying in a moment how are we going to soothe him? Call the cops first.” Ding Ji took out his phone. “Let the officer soothe him.”

“I have no problem with soothing kids.” Da-Dong was very self-confident, but he still withdrew his hand.

Lin Wuyu walked a couple steps and sat next to a flowerbed, watching Ding Ji call the police.

After they were called, a couple middle-aged women saw the situation and walked over.

“Oh, what’s the matter with this kid?” One woman looked at the baby carriage, bent over and reached a hand out to pick the baby up. “This isn’t your child, right!”

Lin Wuyu had originally thought that these might have been warmhearted onlookers, but the woman’s movement made him stand up in an instant. People who wanted to take a kid back home to raise them wouldn’t be this eager. They would have to ask what was going on first, then see whether the child was healthy.

“What are you doing?” Ding Ji barred her hand. “That’s my little brother.”

“Your little brother?” The woman eyed at him and didn’t yield, wanting to squeeze him aside. “Can you say how old your little brother is?”

“Fifty-seven days.” Lin Wuyu walked over and grabbed onto the woman’s hand.

“You brought out such a small child?” the woman asked, snatching her hand back and retreating a step.

“What does it have to do with you?” Ding Ji said.

“You…” The woman was still somewhat unwilling to give up. “You’re probably human traffickers!”

“Then I’ll give you a suggestion,” Lin Wuyu said. “Hurry up and call the cops.”

The woman didn’t continue talking. After staring at them for a bit, she turned and walked off, cursing.

“What did that person want to do?” Da-Dong’s face was baffled. “Snatch the kid? That situation was fishy.”

“She probably wanted to pick up a kid and sell them.” Ding Ji glared viciously at the woman’s back for a while. When he looked back, he found that Lin Wuyu had gone back to sitting by the flowerbed.

Da-Dong skillfully pushed the baby carriage next to him. The two of them examined it again, even testing the child’s breaths.

On the carriage, there wasn’t the child’s birthday or a slip of paper lamenting how they truly couldn’t raise this child. Other than a small blanket, there wasn’t even a milk bottle.

This child’s parents didn’t care what he would face in the future, not even caring about his short past that had been erased by them.

“If this kid wakes up and starts crying right now, we can only stuff a finger in his mouth for him to suck.” Ding Ji sighed and sat next to Lin Wuyu.

Lin Wuyu didn’t answer.

“What do you think happened with this kid?” Ding Ji asked as he looked around.

“His parents didn’t want him and abandoned him, obviously,” Lin Wuyu said. “What else could have happened.”

“Why didn’t they want him…” Ding Ji thought for a moment. “Maybe there’s some illness that can’t be seen from the outside, that they thought couldn’t be cured? Fuck.”

“There are some kids who are simply unnecessary for parents,” Lin Wuyu said. “It doesn’t have anything to do with illnesses.”

Ding Ji glanced at him: “Your words…”

Lin Wuyu didn’t look at him, only staring ahead, lost in thought.

“Or else it might be an accidental pregnancy or something…” Ding Ji said.

“Where are you finding so many reasons from,” Lin Wuyu said.

These words were said very calmly, but his tone carried a bit of intensity. Listening to it, Ding Ji couldn’t help but frown: “What’s wrong with you?”

“There’s nothing wrong with me,” Lin Wuyu. “Even if you find ten thousand reasons for the kid’s parents, it won’t matter to him.”

“I’m just doing some random analysis. The police haven’t come yet, so which nerve did I pull, sitting here talking drivel with you?” Ding Ji was in somewhat of a bad mood. “Who’s finding reasons for his parents? Ten thousand, even. Help me find ten thousand together?”

“No thanks,” Lin Wuyu said.

“Are you hungry? Skipping meals will make you argumentative,” Ding Ji said. “This is the first time I’ve seen it.”

Lin Wuyu didn’t say anything. After a few seconds, he returned to himself and looked over at him: “Sorry.”

“Huh?” Ding Ji froze.

“Did the police say they’d come right away?” Lin Wuyu asked.

“Mm, for these sorts of things, of course they would come right away.” After Ding Ji finished saying this, he gazed at him. After a long time he asked, “Are your parents biological?”


[1] The largest square has no corners (大方无隅), or da fang wu yu, means that a generous person’s large heart has no hidden, dark corners. It comes from a quote by Laozi, the founder of Daoism.