Asking people about me, huh? Academic god.
After Ding Ji announced that he was going to do something big, he didn’t share any more Moments.
Something that could make a chatterer who shared at least ten things in his Moments every day shut up.
Based on Lin Wuyu’s analysis, this big thing was definitely not selling watermelons.
Thinking of this, Lin Wuyu couldn’t help but admire himself greatly, unable to resist letting out a laugh.
“You good?” Chen Mang looked at him.
“Yeah.” Lin Wuyu cleared his throat.
At the lectern, Lao Lin glanced over at him, then continued: “You’ve already gone through the second mock exam, and the third mock won’t be too much, just keep to your working routine and take it…”
“Sprinkle in some cumin and chili powder…” Lin Wuyu murmured.
“You’ve been in a pretty good mood recently.” Chen Mang looked at him.
“I’m usually not in a bad mood.” Lin Wuyu smiled.
“It’s not the same.” Chen Mang gazed at him for a while and sighed. “I really envy the way you are right now. Are people with good brains better at adjusting their emotional states than others?”
“I don’t know. Anyway, the way I practice this ability…” Lin Wuyu patted his shoulder. “No one would be willing to try it.”
After the third mock, there weren’t any more big exams. This was basically the final checkpoint on the results of their studies, and it wasn’t the hardest, but it had great significance.
The school attached great importance to the mocks. The college entrance exam competition with San Zhong had started from the first mock, especially during the civil service exam, when the competition was most intense.
Lin Wuyu had no interest in these things. He had never cared too much about how he compared with others. He only cared about what he himself was like.
Perhaps because of Lin Zhan, from childhood, if he wasn’t being ignored he was being utterly looked down upon in comparison with “your brother,” which made him unconsciously develop this sort of good psychological state.
Sometimes, this was what others saw as “the academic god’s self-confidence.”
During this period of time, Lin Wuyu no longer used his brain to solve problems. Instead, he read every word with his eyes and wrote every question with a pen on paper in order to deepen his impression of them, and to make his reasoning clearer.
It wasn’t just the college entrance exam. He also attached great importance to the mock exam.
Lao Lin was still a little uneasy. He went to him again before the exam, worried that the matter of moving out would affect him.
“It really won’t,” said Lin Wuyu. “Before, I wouldn’t go home every week, and when I did, I wouldn’t necessarily spend the night. I went back to school once I grabbed my things. It’s no different from now.”
“In any case, you can tell me immediately if you run into any difficulties,” said Lao Lin. “I am your father now. I’ll willingly be a beast of burden for my children.”
“…Are you just taking advantage of your age?” Lin Wuyu laughed.
“That’s just what I mean anyway,” said Lao Lin. “I’ll treat you in the dining hall tonight. You all can come over and eat when it’s time.”
“You’ve treated us three times this month, right?” Lin Wuyu asked.
“These are all my investments. You should repay me with your college entrance exam results,” Lao Lin said.
After his stomach ache that day, Lin Wuyu felt hungry all the time, unable to get full, so he was pretty happy when Lao Lin invited him to dinner in the cafeteria. A bunch of people went down like hungry ghosts descending from the mountains, so it wasn’t that obvious when he started eating.
If he ate well and ate merrily, the exam would naturally go smoothly.
The third mock’s problems could be considered simple for Lin Wuyu. When he solved problems, he knew that his third mock results could get the “godly scores” that Lao Lin wanted.
“There’s no suspense anymore. You’re in first place, and Xu Tianbo or Zhang Ruoxue are in second.” Luo Chuan laid on his dorm bed, sending a message to his mother reporting on the results and sighing. “When can I experience getting into the top ten?”
“I heard that San Zhong was really impressive this time,” Chen Mang said. “In last year’s mocks and college entrance exam, more than a dozen in the top twenty were from us. This time, just in the top five, two were from San Zhong. Third and fifth place are San Zhong’s. If the college entrance exam keeps this momentum, will the reputation of the number one key school be destroyed at our hands?”
In the annual college entrance exam, the most fierce competition was between Fu Zhong and San Zhong, both of which were important, long-established key schools. Starting from the mock tests, many students from the two schools would ask about each other, listing out scores and names.
“Are people not allowed to rise up?” said Lin Wuyu. “Last year, San Zhong’s liberal arts were better than us too.”
“Who are the top five at San Zhong?” Luo Chuan asked.
“I don’t know their names, only the scores,” Chen Mang said.
“Who cares who they are? I wouldn’t know anyway.” Lin Wuyu stretched. “They won’t be your opponents in the college entrance exam in any case.”
“Right now, they’re all wondering about who’s first and second,” said Liu Ziyi. “Just wait and see, my classmates are going to come and ask about it in a bit.”
“Why would I ask about that?” Ding Ji quickly put away the things on the table, in a hurry to go to the hospital. “I don’t care who’s first and second.”
“You actually don’t have to ask about first place.” Shi Xiangyang’s voice was a little flustered. “I have a lot of classmates at Fu Zhong, and he has a well-known reputation. Lin Wuyu is always first in his grade and first in everything. The provincial zhuangyuan  is already set.”
“Really.” Ding Ji’s hands paused.
Lin Wuyu’s grades had to be first-class. You didn’t even need to think to know it. Otherwise, he wouldn’t make students blurt out the nickname of “academic god.” But when he really heard about Lin Wuyu like this from other people’s mouths, he still had a feeling of surprise.
Even a sort of faint pleasure.
I know this person.
He’s a pretty good person too, although he’s pretty tragic, with his parents not caring about him.
And he wasn’t that much like the upright, good student he was on the surface.
“How did you do it?” Shi Xiangyang asked.
“What?” Ding Ji returned to his senses. “Me?”
“Yeah.” Shi Xiangyang gazed at him. “How did you get first in the grade? Did you cheat? Did you steal test papers?”
“Luck, probably.” Ding Ji didn’t care to comfort him. He got up and picked up a pile of books. “I’m gonna head out.”
Shi Xiangyang was still sullenly saying something. He didn’t listen carefully and ran out of the classroom.
Grandma was alright staying at the hospital. His uncle thought up a way to give Grandma a double ward so it wouldn’t be as noisy and she could properly recover in bed.
But what made Ding Ji uneasy was that during a check-up, they found that there was a tumor in her uterus. However, Grandma was in pretty good health, so the doctor suggested that the uterus be removed directly. Thus, for the period of time before the college entrance exam she would have to stay in the hospital.
His aunt was afraid that the food in the hospital wasn’t good enough. Every day, she made some extra meals to send to Grandma in the hospital. These past few days, she was on a business trip, so Ding Ji bought some soup and the like to take to the hospital every day.
At the restaurant next to the hospital, waiting for the waiter to pack his food, he got a message from Lin Wuyu on his phone.
— Have you eaten? If not I’ll treat you
Ding Ji looked at the message and took a long time to realize that they hadn’t been in contact for a week.
Ever since he set himself against his father and went to the hospital to accompany Grandma every day alongside studying within an inch of his life, he hadn’t even touched his phone.
Lin Wuyu hadn’t even had a polite greeting like “what are you busy with recently,” directly asking about eating. He felt like if he answered that he had eaten, Lin Wuyu would immediately say byebye and go eat by himself.
— Where are you?
— The mini-plaza, isn’t it your territory
— It’ll take me half an hour to get there
— Then I’ll wait for you at Only Dogs Go
— Even Dogs Come
— Isn’t it Even Dogs Go
— The dogs can do whatever! Are you inviting me to eat there? It’s all single tables inside, talking might not be convenient
— I’m just waiting for you here
“Where are you going?” Mom looked at him.
“I’m having dinner with a friend.” Ding Ji poured the soup into a bowl and put it on the small table in front of Grandma.
“At a time like this, you’re still going out for dinner?” Mom frowned.
Ding Ji didn’t say a word. After the caregiver helped Grandma wipe her hands, he handed her the spoon.
“It’s been pretty exhausting for him recently.” Grandma gazed at him, face full of heartache. “Every day, he does problems in the corridor until the middle of the night, and his face is all green from sleep deprivation. Let him go eat dinner and relax.”
“Don’t be so protective of him. If you don’t have rules to serve as a framework, even the best foundation will be wasted.” His mother stared at him, as if trying to see if his face really was green from sleep deprivation to confirm that Grandma wasn’t carelessly spoiling her grandson and helping him lie.
“Grandma, eat your food,” Ding Ji said.
“You had a little dog when you were a kid, remember? Later, it ran away from home to Grandpa Wang’s house.” Grandma ate slowly. “You named it Little Butt.”
“Mm.” Ding Ji nodded.
Although Little Butt hadn’t gone to Old Wang’s house. Little Butt died of illness when he was six years old. He had cried for several days and didn’t recover for half a year.
But he didn’t remind his grandmother. Grandma had no problems with her memory, so she must have had a reason for saying that. Since childhood, he’d had this tacit understanding with his grandmother. When Grandma told fortunes, he could keep up with her with a single glance.
“Do you know why?” Grandma said. “Usually, you wouldn’t play with it, you wouldn’t walk it, you wouldn’t feed it. But then you would turn around and insist on training it to sit, lie down, go in circles, so why would it listen to you…”
“Mom? What do you mean by that?” His mother looked at Grandma.
“Grandpa Wang was different. He petted it first—what do they call it these days? Rubbing dogs,” Grandma said. “He rubbed it and rubbed it until it was comfortable and listened to everything he said.”
Ding Ji laughed.
“Don’t laugh.” Grandma touched his face. “You’re more annoying than a dog.”
When Ding Ji came out of the ward, his mother followed him. He stopped and turned to look at her: “I know what you want to say. I’ll just have a meal and come back after eating.”
“Don’t hang out with shady people all day,” Mom said. “Look at you. If you don’t say it, can anyone tell you’re a high school student?”
This made Ding Ji suddenly think of Lin Wuyu.
Lin Wuyu firmly believed that he was a jobless vagrant and watermelon stall worker standing guard over the mini-plaza.
He couldn’t help but laugh.
“Is that funny?” Mom looked at him.
“I’m not laughing at you.” Ding Ji stopped smiling. “Today I’m having dinner with the academic god from Fu Zhong.”
“You’re just like your grandmother. Not a word of truth comes from your mouth. I’m utterly unable to believe you.” Mom probably didn’t want Grandma to hear it, keeping her voice down.
“I don’t need anyone to believe me,” Ding Ji said in a low voice as he approached her. “But I can show you what kind of grandson my grandma can raise.”
“What’s the point of saying these things to me now?” Mom watched him.
“I won’t talk to you two again before the college entrance exam,” Ding Ji said. “Don’t manage me either, we can just be like how we were before.”
Mom’s face suddenly changed.
Ding Ji turned to go to the elevator: “Let’s come to an agreement first. No matter what kind of results I get, they belong to my grandparents. They taught me right.”
“This dog is called Da-ye, it’s new,” said a girl with her palm on her cheek at the table next to him. “It’s usually quite da-ye . When it wants to sleep it lies on the ground and it won’t yield no matter who comes. Although it’s a female dog.”
Lin Wuyu looked down at the small dog, who was putting its head on his shoes and relaxing with its eyes closed. He moved carefully, trying to pull his feet out under its head.
But the little dog’s eyes quickly opened a slit, glanced at him and then closed again.
“Let it sleep. If you take your feet away it’ll bark at you,” said the girl.
“Oh.” Lin Wuyu nodded and his feet didn’t move again.
“You haven’t been here before, have you?” asked the girl.
“I haven’t.” Lin Wuyu glanced at her. She was a middle schooler at most.
“I thought so. I come often,” the girl said, “but I’ve never seen you.”
Lin Wuyu laughed.
“Is your ice cream good?” The girl pointed to the cup of ice cream on his table.
Vanilla ice cream, recommended by Ding Ji. It had been a long time since he’d mentioned it, but he hadn’t had the chance to try it.
Today, he finally had it, and it really was pretty good. Ding Ji was very similar to him in terms of ice cream tastes and habits.
“It’s good.” Lin Wuyu nodded.
“Ah.” The girl smiled.
Lin Wuyu looked back at the waiter: “Get a cup of vanilla ice cream for this little meimei .”
“Ah! Really?” The girl patted the table happily. “Thank you, why don’t I treat you to…”
The door was pushed open, and a person with a baseball cap covering half his face poked his head in: “Hey!”
Lin Wuyu turned around.
“Let’s go.” The person tilted his head. Looking at his chin, he could see that this jianghu da-ge who seemed like he was stopping by to say hello on his way to a robbery was Ding Ji.
“I haven’t finished yet.” Lin Wuyu pointed at the cup in front of him. “Wait for me?”
Ding Ji entered the store, went to his table, picked up the cup, tilted his head back and scooped the remaining half cup of ice cream into his mouth with a spoon.
Then he wiped his mouth and looked at him: “Let’s go.”
“Let’s go.” Lin Wuyu nodded and stood up.
At his feet, Da-ye suddenly had nothing pillowing its head, and it unhappily propped up its body with a paw and howled a couple times.
Lin Wuyu paid the bill.
He heard the girl sigh when he went out.
“What happened to your face?” Lin Wuyu asked behind him.
Ding Ji, who had been walking forward with his head lowered, slowed down, raised his hand and touched his face: “You can tell?”
“Yeah.” Lin Wuyu came up and looked at his face. “Did you get in a fight?”
“Ah,” Ding Ji responded.
“Got beat up by your dad, right?” Lin Wuyu asked again.
Ding Ji stopped and turned to look at him: “You could set up a stall. Let’s rent half of Pengpeng’s spot out to you.”
“It looks like a slap,” said Lin Wuyu. “With your personality, if you really fought with someone it’s probably impossible that you’d let them hit your face. Even if you got smashed in the head you wouldn’t let them hit your face. Your grandparents definitely couldn’t bear to hit you. Your dad’s the only one left, right?”
“Mm.” Ding Ji took off his hat and frowned, a little gloomy. “It’s been a few days and it hasn’t gotten better. I’ve started to suspect that my dad didn’t go abroad to do scientific research or whatever, but for his mother to do benchwork for more than ten years.”
“Why did he hit you?” Lin Wuyu asked.
“I don’t know,” Ding Ji waved his hand. “It’s a quarrel. No one’s happy with each other. He thinks I’m unworthy of my IQ. I think he’s unworthy of his parents.”
There were unpleasant things in every family, but for ones like theirs, there probably weren’t too many.
Lin Wuyu could see that Ding Ji had not only fought with his parents before, he’d probably also had a dispute today. It looked like he was in a bad mood at the moment.
He didn’t ask any more questions. He just looked around and said, “You’re familiar with this place. Where can I find good food?”
“It depends on what style you want,” Ding Ji said.
“Barbecue style, do you like it?” Lin Wuyu asked. He hadn’t eaten barbecue in almost a week.
“Do you want to drink?” asked Ding Ji.
“Hm?” Lin Wuyu looked at him.
“You don’t drink when you eat barbecue? Barbecue without alcohol has no soul,” Ding Ji said. “If you don’t drink, we’ll have western food.”
“I’ll drink some then,” Lin Wuyu nodded, “just to celebrate.”
“Celebrate what?” Ding Ji walked to the north of the mini-plaza.
“It’s a secret,” Lin Wuyu said.
“Celebrating getting first in the city on the third mock?” Ding Ji said.
Lin Wuyu paused and glanced at him.
“What’s wrong?” Ding Ji said.
“You pay a lot of attention to me, huh?” Lin Wuyu said with a smile. “You know about that?”
What was there not to know!
This academic god, can you stop being so arrogant and take time to pay attention to names other than first place?
“Does this require paying attention?” Ding Ji scornfully glanced at him. “You’re an academic god. Getting first must be normal for you. What’s not normal for you is celebrating getting first.”
“Hm?” Lin Wuyu turned his head.
“A stately academic god, do you celebrate getting first every time you finish an exam? How busy it must be,” Ding Ji said. “Isn’t it a little too childish? Are you just finding an excuse to take me to dinner?”
Lin Wuyu laughed: “Do you have to turn the tables every time?”
“I’m stating the facts,” said Ding Ji. “Didn’t you invite me to dinner first?”
“Yes,” Lin Wuyu nodded. “Didn’t you want to drink with me first?”
“We’re eating western food.” Ding Ji turned back.
“Hey hey hey.” Lin Wuyu grabbed him. “Let’s drink, let’s drink.”
The barbecue shop Ding Ji chose was very close, and there were a lot of people. It was a pretty big shop, but there were only two empty tables left.
Ding Ji sat down and asked for a box of beer first, opening two cans: “If you can’t drink, just casually drink three or five bottles for the meaning of it.”
“Those who really can’t drink can’t have three or five bottles, much less casually drink three or five bottles,” Lin Wuyu said.
“Then lick it a couple times!” Ding Ji glared at him. “Okay?”
“I never said I couldn’t drink.” Lin Wuyu lifted the corner of his mouth, took the can and poured himself a cup.
“Don’t force yourself,” said Ding Ji. “Don’t you have to study for a bit when you go back to school tonight?”
“It’s fine. I’m not drinking it every day.” Lin Wuyu smiled.
With these words, he looked at Ding Ji for a few seconds, and finally his eyes fell on Ding Ji’s fingers holding the can.
“Fuck?” he said.
“What’s wrong?” Ding Ji put the can down.
Although Lin Wuyu had always reminded himself not to stereotype anything, he suddenly found that he seemed to have accidentally sorted Ding Ji into the wrong category.
Ding Ji was very natural when he mentioned the third mock. When it came to drinking, Ding Ji’s first reaction was that he still had to study later tonight. These weren’t the thoughts that a demigod watermelon boy should have, and combined with Ding Ji’s family’s demands for him…from the day he met Ding Ji, all kinds of neglected details flashed past one by one, and finally his eyes returned to the black inkstain on Ding Ji’s fingertips.
It might be from when Ding Ji couldn’t calculate in his head and grabbed a pen to write it out, but combined with the details in front of him…
“Hold on.” Lin Wuyu took out his phone and quickly sent a message to Chen Mang.
— What are the names of the top students at San Zhong?
Chen Mang was probably still in the cafeteria at the moment, and he replied swiftly.
— You’ve started caring about this?
— I’ll ask my classmate, hold on
As he waited for Chen Mang to answer, Lin Wuyu looked up at Ding Ji.
Ding Ji gazed at him for a short while, leaned against the chair, raised his eyebrows, and laughed a little smugly: “Asking people about me, huh? Academic god.”
 Zhuangyuan means the top scorer in the college entrance exam. ↩
 Da-ye (大爷) means uncle but it also refers to being arrogant or self-centered and idle. ↩
 Meimei (妹妹) means little sister. ↩