“Orientation,” Lin Wuyu said.

Lin Wuyu leaving his home this time must have been very sudden.

Only when Ding Ji asked him where these things would be moved to in a while did he find out that he didn’t have a destination at all.

After a few seconds of silence, Lin Wuyu let out a sigh and leaned against the edge of the table: “Nevermind.”

“What?” Ding Ji still had his head lowered, shoving a charger for who-knows-what into the suitcase.

“I’m not bringing these things anymore,” Lin Wuyu said.

Are you fucking playing with me?

Ding Ji raised his head to look at him, not saying the things he wanted to say.

Lin Wuyu’s expression was slightly blank, the kind that was evoked by distress.

Ding Ji didn’t speak again, once again lowering his head and taking out all the items put in the suitcase, returning them to their original places one at a time.

When he was done busying himself, Lin Wuyu finally spoke up again: “Your memory really is excellent. I can’t even put my own things back in their original places.”

“I’m tired to death. Don’t think that if you praise me a couple times, I’ll stop being angry,” Ding Ji said.

“It wasn’t a couple times, I only praised you one time.” Lin Wuyu laughed. “Do I need to even it out?”

“No need,” Ding Ji said. “I have a good temper.”

Lin Wuyu only took away a few clothes.

Books, all kinds of action figures, quite a few drones, and a bunch of related equipment were all left at home.

Ding Ji drove his vehicle and escorted him back to Fu Zhong.

The suitcase wasn’t that big, but their mode of transportation was a moped, so it was a little strenuous.

Ding Ji’s opinion was that it wasn’t that heavy of a suitcase, and that sitting in the back, carrying it in his hand would be fine. But, using the reasoning that it wasn’t safe and it could hit someone, Lin Wuyu forcefully stuffed the suitcase between the two of them.

“I’m telling you,” Ding Ji was very cranky, “it’s only because we won’t run into people who know me over here that I won’t argue with you. If it was over in my area, with my appearance, sitting upright and frying eggs, I wouldn’t even want my moped anymore. You could drive it back yourself.”

“Frying eggs?” Lin Wuyu repeated behind the suitcase. “Frying what eggs? How are you frying them?”

“Frying my eggs!” Ding Ji shouted. “Take a guess how I’m frying them! Squashing them and frying them!”

Lin Wuyu paused for a moment, then started laughing his head off, laughing so hard that the moped started swaying.

“Keep laughing, keep laughing,” Ding Ji said. “A smile will give you back ten years of life. Try to laugh back into your mother’s womb, and you won’t need to argue with your parents and leave home.”

“That won’t work,” Lin Wuyu said. “I’m already here.”

These words were said very casually, but his tone had a hint of arrogance that could only be guessed at, and Ding Ji couldn’t help but glance back at him.

He couldn’t see Lin Wuyu’s expression, only his eyes that were peeking out from the top of the suitcase, expression serene.

He was pretty staunch.

At a glance, he wasn’t to be trifled with.

When they brought the luggage back to the dorms, they didn’t run into anyone. It was the weekend and most people had already left. Those who hadn’t gone home were either at the dining hall or in the classrooms at this hour.

Lin Wuyu took Ding Ji’s book and returned to the school gates.

“Thanks.” He handed the book to Ding Ji.

Ding Ji took the book and when he saw the book cover encasing it, he was startled: “Why did you cover it with this thing?”

“I was afraid to ruin it or get it dirty,” Lin Wuyu said. “Isn’t it your family heirloom?”

“Finished reading it?” Laughing, Ding Ji put the book into the trunk of his moped.

“I flipped through it a couple times,” Lin Wuyu said. “Finishing this thing and understanding it are two different things. I faced my own hand and looked at it, but there wasn’t anything to compare.”

“Too embarrassed to look at a classmate’s, huh?” Ding Ji raised an eyebrow and stuck out a hand in front of him. “Look at mine.”

“Why don’t I treat you to some food?” Lin Wuyu laughed and pushed his hand aside. “With all this business, I’ve troubled you.”

It was a lot easier for Ding Ji to be swayed when it came to going home on time than making a firm resolution to study well.

Even though the reason why he left school early today was so that he could go home on time after getting the book, avoiding escalating family conflicts, when he was taking Lin Wuyu home and taking him back, he hadn’t hesitated.

Deriving pleasure from helping others, of course, it was a good deed.

He didn’t refuse when Lin Wuyu invited him out to eat, either.

It was already late in any case, and having more debts wouldn’t weigh on him.

Ding Ji let out a sigh in his heart. Finding so many reasons, it was nothing but him not wanting to go home.

In addition, if he ate before going back, he could avoid losing weight at the dinner table from admonishment.

“I thought eating noodles or fast food or something would be fine,” Ding Ji whispered.

Lin Wuyu had taken him to a refined little restaurant quite a few streets away from Fu Zhong. In the back of the restaurant, there was even a super artificial mini manmade lake that was about the same size of a swimming pool.

“You want noodles?” Lin Wuyu asked.

“I don’t want noodles. If you invited me to eat at a Michelin 3-star restaurant [1], I wouldn’t say no either,” Ding Ji said.

“In your dreams,” Lin Wuyu said.

“Should we sit by the lake?” Ding Ji walked in with him. “There are mosquitoes by now, right? From the looks of it, it’s in the open over there, and they have so many plants.”

“There aren’t,” Lin Wuyu simply replied.

After the two of them sat down by a table at the swimming pool, no, the manmade lake, Lin Wuyu said to the waiter: “Could you light the mosquito-repellent incense?”

“Did you mean help you bring over the mosquito-repellent light over here?” the waiter said.

“Incense, the kind that lets out smoke,” Lin Wuyu insisted. “Thank you.”

The waiter left and Ding Ji looked at him: “Didn’t you say there weren’t mosquitoes?”

“There won’t be any when the incense is lighted,” Lin Wuyu said. “If it weren’t for you attracting mosquitoes, I could sit here for a whole night and not get bitten.”

“I attract mosquitoes?” Ding Ji asked. “Are you sure?”

“If those four on your left arm aren’t mosquito bites, are they flea bites?” Lin Wuyu asked as well.

Ding Ji swept his gaze over his arm, one two three four.

He hadn’t even counted himself.

“To be bitten like this in this season, you don’t see it often,” Lin Wuyu said.

“Alright.” Ding Ji scratched at the little red bites on his arm.

The waiter brought a box of mosquito-repellent incense over and put it in a place about half a meter from the table.

Lin Wuyu stretched out a leg and pushed the incense to right under the table.

“Look at me.” Ding Ji leaned against his chair.

“Look at what?” Lin Wuyu looked over.

Ding Ji was downwind. The smoke from the incense slowly rose from beneath the table, floating until it circled all around them.

“Dear cultivator friend,” Ding Ji gazed at him through the smoke, “today you saw the scene of my ascension, and you could say the two of us have fate…”

He hadn’t finished speaking before he choked and coughed.

Lin Wuyu used his foot to push the incense back to its original place.

But the smoke was still floating towards him.

“Why don’t you calculate right now, I feel like you probably really are going to ascend,” Lin Wuyu said. “You can’t even avoid it.”

“I’ll sit on your side.” Ding Ji stood up.

Lin Wuyu shuffled further in.

Right when Ding Ji made his way over, two more people walked in the door.

Lin Wuyu originally thought that they must be sweethearts who had come to enjoy the manmade mini lake for a romantic night, but after glancing at them he discovered that these were Fu Zhong students.

The boy’s sports shorts were from Fu Zhong’s track and field team, with Fu Zhong’s school badge on them. The girl was even more obvious, wearing the uniform skirt.

Lin Wuyu hesitated for a moment, turning his head to look at Ding Ji, who had just sat down next to him: “Go back to where you were sitting.”

Practically no one at Fu Zhong didn’t recognize him, especially after the rooftop shouting.

He didn’t care how others viewed him, discussions and misunderstandings were fine, but he didn’t want Ding Ji to be misunderstood, even though no one recognized who Ding Ji was.

“What?” Ding Ji stared at him, baffled.

“I’m asking you to sit across from me again,” Lin Wuyu said.

You could almost read a line from Ding Ji’s expression, do you fucking want to get punched?

“I just sat down here,” Ding Ji said. “If you’re not happy you can go sit over there, what’s wrong with you!”

The two students had already looked over. Lin Wuyu stood up.

“Eat my ass.” Ding Ji was pissed, standing up and walking out.

Lin Wuyu sighed, grabbing Ding Ji’s wrist and pushed while he was at it, pushing him back into the opposite seat.

“Sit down.” Lin Wuyu watched him.

“Hey?” Ding Ji rubbed his wrist, but after his “hey” he didn’t move.

Lin Wuyu sat down again, forget it.

This thing already went from “Lin Wuyu is suspected to be eating with his boyfriend” to “Lin Wuyu is suspected to be arguing when eating with his boyfriend…”

There was already no margin for compensation.

Lin Wuyu was a little rueful. His first time coming out of the closet and he didn’t have much experience, and he suddenly ran into this sort of thing and didn’t even handle it correctly.

It was fine, in the future after coming out a few more times it wouldn’t matter.

“Those are students from your school, right.” Ding Ji’s gaze landed behind him.

“Mm,” Lin Wuyu agreed.

“What’s wrong, don’t want people to see the academic god mixing with an unemployed teenager? Well, I’ve gone to your school to find you before.” Ding Ji’s face was full of disdain. “Besides, do you really think I’m an unemployed teenager?”

“Are you not,” Lin Wuyu said.

“I’m a third year at San Zhong,” Ding Ji said.

“Wow.” Lin Wuyu calmly expressed amazement. “Did you know that San Zhong and Fu Zhong are sworn enemies? I thought you were going to say Ba Zhong or Qi Zhong [2].”

“Fuck.” Ding Ji felt around in his bag and pulled out a book of practice problems, slapping it in front of him. “Look for yourself!”

Lin Wuyu glanced at it, and it really was a third year textbook. He had a book of the same problems, but…

“Third year class 379.” He looked up at Ding Ji. “Shi Xiangyang, where’d you pick up this book?”

“That’s my deskmate,” Ding Ji said.

Lin Wuyu cracked up, turning his head to laugh and unable to stop.

“It’s really my deskmate…” Ding Ji was a little miffed.

“Alright.” Lin Wuyu chuckled for a bit longer before he turned his head back, pushing the practice problems back in front of him. “To be serious, if you really want to look at these things, I have them, and I can lend them to you. If you don’t understand I can explain it to you.”

“Hm?” Ding Ji looked at him. “You’re pretty idle, huh?”

“Not idle, I’m super busy,” Lin Wuyu said. “I just think…in any case, if you really want to see it, just tell me.”

“Okay.” Ding Ji nodded. “So why didn’t you let me sit next to you?”

Lin Wuyu didn’t say anything.

“I’m pushing down my rage.” Ding Ji squeezed the words from the cracks of his teeth. “I’ve grown this big and I’ve never been made fun of in front of people like this, if I didn’t know you were a decent person despite being so offensive, by now you would’ve been…”

“Thrashed into tonight’s brightest electric spinning top,” Lin Wuyu said.

“…Yeah.” Ding Ji glared. “Watch out next time! Don’t just steal my lines.”

“When you read palms,” Lin Wuyu raised his left hand and extended it before him, “can you see romance?”

“Didn’t I say last time?” Ding Ji glanced at his palm, fingers making a few empty strokes, “Your emotions might not be favorable.”

“Can you see anything else?” Lin Wuyu asked.

“What do you want to ask?” Ding Ji tilted his head, eyes watching him from next to his palm.

“Orientation,” Lin Wuyu said.

Ding Ji froze for a few seconds before he realized what Lin Wuyu meant.

He really couldn’t see this.

And he hadn’t guessed it.

He absolutely hadn’t even thought in that direction.

But although this information went against his expectations, it wasn’t something very alarming.

It was just that, because he hadn’t answered, the atmosphere became somewhat unilaterally awkward.

“You don’t…” Ding Ji pushed the hand that Lin Wuyu was still extending in front of him aside, “have any thoughts toward me, right?”

Lin Wuyu’s right eyebrow raised and his expression suddenly changed.

It was entirely fucking full of amusement.

Looking at the style, it was mockery.

“I really don’t,” Lin Wuyu said. “You think too much, great master.”

“Really?” Ding Ji raised an eyebrow too. “The first time it was you who came to talk with me.”

“Really?” Lin Wuyu raised an eyebrow. “The one who climbed over the wall and came into the school to find me was you.”

“Really?” Ding Ji continued to raise his eyebrow. “The one who wanted me to read a fortune was you.”

“Really?” Lin Wuyu raised his other eyebrow. “The one who voluntarily loaned the book to me was you.”

“Really?” Ding Ji switched sides too. “The one who wanted to help me shoot baskets and win an induction cooker was you.”

“The one who insisted on taking me home and helping me move luggage was you.” Lin Wuyu narrowed his eyes.

“The one who insisted on inviting me out to eat a big meal was you.” Ding Ji narrowed his eyes too.

Lin Wuyu laughed.

“No more lines, huh?” Ding Ji was very smug.

“You’re this attached to whether I have thoughts toward you?” Lin Wuyu said.

“…The fuck?” Ding Ji was startled. “I’m just not used to it! From childhood, it’s always been other people having thoughts toward me!”

“I’m the same, you know.” Lin Wuyu took a sip of tea.

“These words of yours aren’t true!” Ding Ji rapidly seized his loophole. “You’re someone with a failed crush.”

“Oh,” Lin Wuyu thought for a moment. “I almost forgot.”

“Alright.” Ding Ji waved a hand. Originally, he had started talking in order to ease the awkwardness, but in the end, after fighting a fierce battle the whole way he didn’t even know where he had run off to. “So you’re afraid that those two Fu Zhongers will think you…no, those two didn’t say hello so they shouldn’t know you, how would they know you’re…ah! Do you have a boy…friend and are afraid that they’ll blindly spread rumors…no way! You don’t even know them, who knows who your boy…friend is…ah! Or did you make it public? Are you that unbridled… “

Lin Wuyu didn’t say a word either. He took a sip of tea, looking at Ding Ji trying to hoodwink and analyze at the same time.

“Ah! Didn’t you leave home today? You didn’t get kicked out because of this, did you?” Ding Ji slapped the table at the end.

“Is that your usual mental process when you tell people’s fortunes?” Lin Wuyu asked.

“No, that analysis is too rudimentary to be worthy of my jianghu status,” Ding Ji said. “I’m a little…you said it a little abruptly. “

“Oh,” Lin Wuyu nodded. “You’re thinking too much, I’m actually just worried about them misunderstanding you.”

“Aren’t you afraid of being misunderstood?” Ding Ji said.

“I couldn’t care less.” Lin Wuyu smiled. “How can the protagonist care about strangers’ thoughts?”

Ding Ji gave him a thumbs up: “You somehow weren’t embarrassed when you said that.”

“If I was embarrassed I wouldn’t let you see it,” Lin Wuyu said.

“So did you get kicked out of your house because of this?” Ding Ji sighed.

“I can only say that it was a surface reason.” Lin Wuyu also sighed. “In any case, I’m out.”

“This won’t affect your studies, right? It won’t be long before the college entrance exam,” Ding Ji said.

“It won’t,” Lin Wuyu said very easily. 

Ding Ji didn’t keep asking. The couple from Fu Zhong behind Lin Wuyu had been looking their way, which made him very annoyed.

“What the hell did you do at your school? This entertainment-watching is going too much to their head,” said Ding Ji. “I’m gonna lose my temper. “

“Lose it.” Lin Wuyu smiled.

Ding Ji didn’t hesitate at all. He turned his head and yelled over to them: “That’s enough, why don’t you two come over and join our table, how about that?”

It was silent over there. Lin Wuyu didn’t look behind him. He could more or less guess what kind of scene it was.

“I thought you were going to curse at them.” He looked at Ding Ji.

“It’s not that serious,” said Ding Ji, “I don’t usually stir up trouble for these things.”

The couple probably had other activities planned, and they quickly finished eating and left.

When they left, Lin Wuyu was actually already full, but Ding Ji was a bit of a slow eater…of course, it could also be that he ate too fast.

“You’re finished?” asked Ding Ji.

“Mm, take your time,” Lin Wuyu said.

“Do you not use your teeth when you eat?” Ding Ji frowned. “Does your stomach not hurt? My grandmother said that you have to chew thirty times to be healthy.”

“Then would there still be food in my mouth?” said Lin Wuyu. “If I chew three times, there’s only air left.”

“You…” Ding Ji was still frowning.

“Don’t talk nonsense. Eat your food,” Lin Wuyu said.

His phone rang twice in his pocket. He groped it out and before he could see who was calling, the other party had already hung up.

But then they called again.

It was Mom’s number.

Lin Wuyu got up and went to the side of the railing, leaning against it. Then he picked up the phone.

Across the distance of almost two meters, Ding Ji could still clearly hear a woman’s enraged shouting coming from the phone.

It was like a machine gun, breaking Lin Wuyu’s arm with a pew pew pew. The phone wasn’t even held next to his ear, just hanging at his arm as he stared at the tiny lake, lost in thought.

You didn’t even need to guess to know that it was Lin Wuyu’s mother calling.

It was just that Lin Wuyu’s utterly indifferent appearance meant that he didn’t expect that this call would make Lin Wuyu’s entire person look a little ashen.

Ding Ji didn’t understand. Although he always argued with his parents, their ultimate target was still the exam. For Lin Wuyu’s family to be so excessive as to not even consider how their son was about to take his college entrance exam…

A surging sense of justice made Ding Ji put down his chopsticks, walk over to Lin Wuyu’s side, and grab the phone from his hand.

“Hm?” Lin Wuyu was startled and turned to look at him.

Ding Ji jabbed the screen a few times and hung up the phone.

But the moment he hung up, he heard the woman on the phone yelling: “Have you ever thought on our behalf! What’ll happen if you’re sick! What’ll happen if you’re hurt… “

These words made Ding Ji suddenly panic: “Fuck? Should I…not have hung up?”

“Thank you.” Lin Wuyu patted his arm.

“Let’s go,” said Ding Ji. “I’m finished.”

Lin Wuyu took a look at the half-eaten dishes in his bowl, but didn’t say anything, calling the waiter over for the bill.

“Is your mother worried about you?” Ding Ji was a little apologetic. “I thought she was scolding you, so I hung up…”

“She was scolding me.” Lin Wuyu smiled.

“Did I hear you correctly?” Ding Ji froze. “The scolding was this covert?”

“My parents…are very worried about me having accidents, illnesses, injuries, and…going missing,” Lin Wuyu said, “although it’s certainly not the kind of worry you understand.”

Only after walking out of the restaurant did Ding Ji ask, “Is the person you asked me to find your brother or your sister?”

Lin Wuyu’s footsteps paused: “My brother.”

“Is your brother missing?” Ding Ji asked again.

“You could say so.” Lin Wuyu thought for a moment. “He ran away.”

“What does it have to do with you?” Ding Ji couldn’t help but continue to ask.

“It has nothing to do with me.” Lin Wuyu sat on his moped and laughed. “Before he left, at home, I was just air.”


[1] In the novel, this was abbreviated as 米三 (Misan) and I had no idea what that meant but the audio drama clarified this.

[2] The eighth or seventh high schools.