At night, the tired middle-aged man knocked on the door of his house. The moment the nanny opened the door, he adjusted his expression and looked relaxed.
The nanny took his briefcase. He put on his slippers and looked into the living room. He didn’t see his son so he asked, “Is Letian in his room?”
“Yes, Mr Deng.” The nanny nodded. “Not long after I bought food at noon, Letian came back from the bookstore and looked quite happy. It is much better than the past few days.”
“Really?” Deng Shu laughed. “I’ll go and take a look.”
He knocked on the door. There was a clear and childish ‘come in’ from inside and it sounded faintly cheerful.
Deng Shu was inexplicably relieved. His son’s mood had been a bit low and sullen recently but he refused to say the reason when Deng Shu asked.
He was afraid that his son was being bullied at school so he went to the teacher to ask around, but he didn’t get any answers. He had been worrying about this, but fortunately, his son was happy again.
He gently turned the doorknob and saw Deng Letian sitting in front of the computer, looking intently at a webpage that looked like news.
Deng Shu cleared his throat and said, “Son, what books did you buy at the bookstore today? Do they look good?”
The moment Deng Letian heard this voice, he immediately turned his head and his expression was very excited. “Dad, I met the cap-wearing brother from the news! He must be the cap-wearing brother!”
Deng Shu couldn’t understand it for a while. “What brother?”
The middle school student with an excited expression waved to him. “Dad, come and see!”
He moved his body away to reveal the news on the page. Deng Shu clearly saw the bold and enlarged headlines: …All types of bullying incidents frequently occur inside and outside the campus. We can’t just rely on the unknown hero’s occasional help…
An hour later, the solemn-looking Deng Shu sat in the police station and watched the surveillance video being played on the computer.
Deng Letian was sitting on another chair. Once he saw himself obediently opening his wallet on the screen, he lowered his head in shame. The policewoman accompanying him comforted him, “Your reaction is right. The other group was powerful and had many people. You are only one person and it is more important to avoid getting hurt.”
The hooligans directly took Deng Letian’s wallet. Deng Letian, who originally thought they only needed money, looked overwhelmed and wanted to chase, but he stopped abruptly at the threatening eyes of the other party.
The middle school student stood there with a dejected face until a young man who looked like a student approached him and talked to him.
Deng Letian cheered up the moment he saw this. “He must be the cap-wearing brother! After taking back the wallet, I secretly walked over to take a look. All those people had fallen to the ground and kept yelling, just like in the news. The cap brother cleaned up a lot of bad guys alone!”
The strange young man gave a lesson to the gangsters on another street that happened to have no surveillance. The corresponding video couldn’t be found for the time being.
However, just based on the video of them taking the wallet from Deng Letian and the strange young man returning it afterward, combined with Deng Letian’s testimony, the whole process was already clear.
The policewoman looked at the video with surprise. They had all heard of the mysterious citizen who claimed to be surnamed Gao who recently appeared, but they didn’t expect him to be so young. He looked to be a high school student or college student.
Deng Letian in the video eventually gained the help of a stranger with well-wishes, but Deng Shu saw his son being surrounded by gangsters and was still angry. “Letian said that this isn’t the first time. This group of people are idle and wander around society all day, bullying vulnerable groups. My son definitely isn’t the first victim. Why can no one manage them? Instead, it depends on an ordinary citizen to act courageously?”
“I’m sorry, Mr Deng. The reporting rate of such cases isn’t high. In addition, the mobility of such suspects is generally large and it is difficult to arrest them. However, these suspects have been identified through facial reporting and they have previous convictions. We will act as soon as possible…”
Deng Shu was the owner of a large local home appliance company and had a certain social influence. Therefore, the police handled this matter more cautiously. In addition to meeting Deng Shu’s requirements, they tried to appease him.
“The young man who helped retrieve the wallet is still unknown for the time being, but his behavior deserves recognition and encouragement. Do you think we should find a way to contact this citizen?”
Deng Shu was about to speak when he saw Deng Letian grab his sleeve and shake his head nervously.
Deng Shu understood his son’s meaning and said, “I hope you can keep it a secret for him. He wears a hat every time he appears so he obviously doesn’t want to be recognized. This time, he should’ve accidentally encountered it. I am worried that he will be retaliated against if his identity is revealed.”
Deng Letian nodded in agreement. Once his father finished speaking, he scratched his head and asked in an embarrassed manner, “Police sister, can I ask for a screenshot as a souvenir…”
After returning from the police station, a photo with a low resolution was put into a frame and placed on Deng Letian’s desk.
In the photo, the handsome young man reached out his hand and patted the middle school student’s head. A smile appeared on the latter’s originally dazed face.
This photo had replaced Deng Letian’s favorite superhero toy model and was placed in the most prominent position on his desk.
The days passed by normally. Deng Shu saw that his son was happy again. From time to time, Deng Letian would show off and emphasize that he was the first person to see the true face of the cap-wearing brother. This made Deng Shu feel funny and emotional.
Deng Shu wanted to thank this unknown young man in person. Not only did this young man help his son get back the wallet containing the photo of his deceased wife, but he also encouraged his son to tell Deng Shu about being bullied. However, he couldn’t investigate the other person’s identity in order to respect his privacy.
It wasn’t until a few weeks later when an old friend came to visit that he accidentally learned the identity of the young man.
On the weekend, Deng Shu put aside his company’s affairs to accompany his son at home. He also received an old friend he visited. Before talking about business, they were chatting casually when Deng Letian ran out with a picture frame like it was his treasure.
“Uncle Jiang, I’ll show you a picture.”
“I’ll take a look.” His old friend squinted. “Oh, it is a big handsome guy and a little handsome guy. It is just that this photo is a bit blurry. Who is this?”
“I can’t tell you.” Deng Letian smiled. “This is a secret.”
“Then why show it to me, stinky little brat…”
Deng Shu shook his head. He had long been accustomed to Deng Letian’s behavior of showing off.
Then his old friend suddenly slapped his head while staring at it. “No, I’ve seen this young man before.”
He turned to Deng Shu with a look of surprise. “Old Deng, don’t you hate those who do financial investment the most? You always say they are doing something false and disrupting the market environment. How can you let Letian make friends with such a person’s child?”:
“What did you say?” Deng Shu was surprised. “You know him?”
“Yes, don’t you know who this is? If I’m not mistaken, this is Pei Minghong’s son.” His old friend thought for a moment before adding rigorously, “Former son.”
In front of the glass window that blocked the winter chill, the watch Xiao Mei sat in the yellow duck seat and sneezed leisurely.
JI Tong urged the host to bring over the little yellow duck that he had been using exclusively for the basketball team. Winter was coming. A watch couldn’t feel cold but it seemed a bit warmer when adding a plush seat.
Recently, the little robot had been sneezing. He rubbed his nose and said to Pei Qingyuan in his mind, “Ruan Ruan, it is said that sneezing means someone is thinking about you. Is someone thinking about you?”
Pei Qingyuan raised his eyes from a pile of books. He looked at the little robot on the dial who was sneezing silently again and corrected him. “It is you who is sneezing so someone should be thinking about you.”
Xiao Mei let out cheerful mechanical laughter. “How can there be humans thinking about me? I am an artificial intelligence. Host, you are so stupid.”
Pei Qingyuan couldn’t help smiling. He took out a tissue to help wipe the dial and continued to look down at the book.
Under the pressure of the college entrance examination getting closer and closer, the days passed quickly and it was already December.
In the last month of the year, students worried about their final exams in the near future and looked forward to the winter vacation and having a few days off.
Ji Tong thought further than the students around him and was already looking forward to how to celebrate the new year.
After he calculated the time flow ratio of different worlds with Fang Hao, it was estimated that there would be more than a month before the host of the fantasy world finished his retreat. Fang Hao could spend the new year here before leaving.
If Pei Qingyuan agreed, he could also invite Fu Yinyin to come at that time and everyone could have a lively time together. This way, the host’s tense nerves could relax.
During this time, Ji Tong had seen Pei Qingyuan’s efforts with his own eyes. Not only did Pei Qingyuan have to prepare for the college entrance examination like other students, but he also learned a wide range of knowledge about artificial intelligence.
Moreover, he also read professional books on media communication and audience management in an attempt to think about how to complete the main mission.
Ji Tong thought that this knowledge would definitely be useful for his future career. Under the premise of ensuring good health and sufficient sleep, he supported the host to try to explore independently and gradually form a set of ideas to solve problems.
After all, the system wasn’t omnipotent and could only play an auxiliary function. In the end, the height that the host could grow to depended on his own ability. Excessive ‘help’ would be counterproductive.
Therefore, Ji Tong accepted this well. However, once the class learned that the class monitor’s after-school books had expanded from machine algorithms to communication and psychology, their expansions became blank. This blankness was mixed with admiration and the depths of the admiration was still blankness.
In front of these papers, it was particularly simple for the class monitor to get full marks for cultural classes.
So for the class monitor, class was a type of rest and the time out of class was his actual class?
…As expected of the class monitor.
Under the silent admiring gazes, Pei Qingyuan tried hard to resist the urge to sneeze.
In the next two days, he planned to focus on reviewing cultural courses. In a few days, he would go to Jiangyuan College to take the recommended exam. This was just an alternative path for him to go to college, but in the end, Xiao Jianping was full of expectations for him and he should take this exam seriously.
The lunch break was about to end. Before the official start of class, the head teacher Zhou Fang walked into the classroom in advance to announce good news to everyone.
“With the financial support of enthusiastic people, the school has added several scholarships today. The bonuses are very considerable and it is used to reward various types of students. For example, students with relatively tight financial situations, students with excellent grades, students who have made special achievements as well as students with outstanding qualities such as helping others. It will be officially announced later…”
Pei Qingyuan had received a monetary reward after the completion of the last mission and there was no financial pressure for the time being. Therefore, he didn’t care too much about this scholarship.
Then after school, Zhou Fang found him alone and handed him an exquisitely wrapped gift.
“This is given to you by the enthusiastic person who wanted to set up scholarships at the school,” Zhou Fang said. “He said he is very grateful to you. We don’t know precisely what happened, but I want to thank you on behalf of the school and the students who will receive scholarships in the future.”
Pei Qingyuan took the box with some surprise.
He and Ji Tong had already forgotten about saving the middle school student a month ago and couldn’t think of it for a while.
On the way home, Ji Tong tried to analyze it. “Since they can give so much money for scholarships, is it someone you knew previously in the Pei family?”
“What will be in the box? Could it be full of cash?”
After arriving home, Ji Tong couldn’t wait to open the box. He first saw two letters. Then after Pei Qingyuan opened them, he finally understood the origin of the gift.
The handwriting for one letter was immature and was full of yearning and admiration for the cap-wearing brother. The letter stated his hope that the cap-wearing brother would like the gift he designed and it was signed Deng Letian.
The other letter was written in a very sincere way and the person expressed his gratitude to Pei Qingyuan while attaching his contact information. He said that if Pei Qingyuan needed any help, Pei Qingyuan could contact him at any time. It was signed Deng Shu.
Ji Tong immediately searched for this person after seeing it and was surprised. “He is the owner of a home appliance company and is quite famous. Ruan Ruan, our refrigerator is from his company!”
Pei Qingyuan had heard the name Deng Shu before. He just hadn’t expected him to be the father of the middle school student.
Ji Tong patted the refrigerator at home emotionally. Then he looked expectantly at Pei Qingyuan, who was unpacking the gift. “I guess the gift will be an electronic product. It was probably designed by the middle school student.”
However, Pei Qingyuan had a faintly strange expression after he opened the box. “…It is indeed an electronic product.”
Ji Tong came up to see it and accidentally touched the switch. Then a lively ‘thank you’ sounded in the room!
Pei Qingyuan remembered that this was the voice of the middle school student.
After the thank you, there was pleasant start up music and a much more normal announcement. “The speaker is on. Please connect it.”
That’s right, it was a speaker.
However, it looked like a cap.
Ji Tong: “……”
Pei Qingyuan: “……”
This uniquely shaped speaker had a hemispherical body and a realistic curved brim. If placed next to Fang Hao’s cap, it would almost be hard to tell which was real and which was fake. The body even imitated the fabric of the hat to make a pleated effect.
After a short silence, Ji Tong laughed so hard that tears came out. “What a thoughtful middle school student.”
Pei Qingyuan looked at the speaker seriously. “The workmanship is very exquisite.”
It was funny at first glance but this gift was very intentional. No matter whether it was Deng Letian’s design, Deng Shu’s restoration of the design or the act of establishing a scholarship, everything showed a childish sincerity.
However, the father and son didn’t know that they had recognized the wrong person.
“Deng Letian did receive my help but I’m not the cap-wearing brother,” Pei Qingyuan said. “Shouldn’t half of this gift belong to Fang Hao?”
Ji Tong took Pei Qingyuan’s phone to connect to the speaker. He listened to the cap playing a song and found that the acoustics were very good.
Hearing this, he nodded and agreed. “I think Xiao Hao will definitely like it.”
As they spoke, Fang Hao came home with two bags of fried skewers while wearing a cap.
He heard a burst of melodious music when he opened the door. Then he saw the cap in Ji Tong’s hand and instinctively touched the other cap on top of his head. He asked in a stunned manner, “What is this?”
Ji Tong and Pei Qingyuan said almost in unison, “A gift for you.”
“Really? Is it playing music? It looks so fun.”
Fang Hao hurriedly put down the hot skewers and rushed over. “Who sent it?”
“Huh? Is it an elder you know? Fang Hao was surprised. “What Deng is it?”
Pei Qingyuan didn’t understand what he was talking about and repeated, “He is called Deng Shu.”
“I know it is Uncle Deng. What Uncle Deng?” (Uncle is also ‘Shu’ in pinyin and that is the character being used here).
“…There is no Uncle Deng. It is Deng Shu.”
The two adult men of similar heights looked at each other and their handsome faces were full of confusion.
The watching Ji Tong held the cap-speaker that was still singing and his entire body laughed. He almost fainted with laughter.