Home > urban > The Long Road Ahead > CH 9

The Long Road Ahead CH 9

Author:Yu Xiao Fan Category:urban Update time:2023-01-01 03:10:38

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It was almost eight by the time the two could set the dinner table after they were finished cooking, but it was only then that they had realised neither of them had made any rice.

Right then, Shan Haiming's face was already showing signs of impatience despite his calm, so Xiao Ning made his way downstairs to the eatery to get two servings of rice and took them back upstairs.

It's precisely this tone of his which occasionally made Xiao Ning forget that this guy was actually a few years his junior.

◈◇◈

Seeing all this out of the corner of his eye, Xiao Ning felt as though the dinner he had last night was still undigested, feeling heavy and cold.

The person who cooked and currently reeking of burnt oil did not have much of an appetite when as he looked at the meals spread out on the table which weren't that great.

Xiao Ning added the two containers of rice to their layout, though, and was the first one to take a spoonful of their curried chicken.

To be fair, there weren't a lot of people who could mess up curried chicken, so the taste of it was passable.

Relieved at that fact, he placed a plate of it before Shan Haiming, saying, "If it's not that good, you can just eat a little."

Releasing a mocking laugh directed at himself, he shook his head, and was about to put away his phone.

However, he suddenly remembered Shan Haiming, and had no idea if the other had something planned.

So, for this reason, he was the one to contact Shan Haiming first, sending him the message: Sorry, but I just made plans with a friend for this Sunday, so you didn't make any arrangements for then, right

—Your life is the result of your own choices.

But, to Xiao Ning's surprise, Shan Haiming wasn't the one to first contact him, though.

Instead, it was Lu Yan of all people.

With his hand still on the handle, Shan Haiming leaned his body towards Xiao Ning, staring at him for a moment before suddenly reaching out his hand to wipe the corners of Xiao Ning's lips and returning it towards his own with no hesitation.

After licking his fingers, his eyes narrowed while he said: "Tastes bad."

"You have other plans" Lu Yan was also quite shocked.

Never did he even consider those other options, as he continued to ask, "How can you be busy Do you think I don't know you You never had anything to do on Sundays, and if you did, you'd always just drop them.

You know I'd come to find you on Sunday's before too, right When have you ever not been free"

Having one hand supporting his cheek while the other held a pair of chopsticks, Shan Haiming lackadaisically picked up a piece of the chicken, chewing and chewing until he spat out the bone before swallowing the flesh—an act he repeated over and over again.

Maybe it was on account of him being silent for too long, because Lu Yan the urged him impatiently, "Xiao Ning I'll that as a yes, then.

Head to my place early on Sunday first.

Oh, I almost forgot, while you're on your way over bring us some breakfast too.

I'm in the mood for some of the dumplings from that place on Ziqian Street, no garlic."

—Your life is the result of your own choices.

Then after a while of him listening before releasing a sigh carrying traces of a sneer, he replied, "Fine.

I'll see you in an hour."

Tiny note: Singles' Day is a day for single folks that is celebrated on November the 11th (11/11) every year.

[]me throughout this chapter: Lu Yan...

you cunt of a man.

It's a mantra at this point (︶^︶)[]also me this chapter: Little Ning, you do have a choice! Good thing this story is about him realising as much (❁´◡`❁)

"Thanks, but I'll just wait until he gets out so we can eat together." Xia Li said while taking a seat beside Xiao Ning before adding, "I'm sorry for troubling you to bring over breakfast so early."

From the start, Xiao Ning never expected Shan Haiming to issue him any praises, since it was after all just an ordinary meal.

But seeing him at the very least continually taking bite after bit, had made Xiao Ning feel quite grateful.

In response, Xiao Ning just plastered on a smile, because it wasn't that he didn't wear other clothes, it was just that Lu Yan never took notice at all.

It appears as though Xia Li also found Lu Yan quite likeable too.

Not knowing exactly why, however, doing so did help his mood relax.

Despite Shan Haiming usually putting up a "don't talk to me" face, you could always just say what you want.

Inevitably, it gave rise to the same effect in others, making it seem as though saying all those things they want to say aren't that hard to vocalise.

"Thanks, but I'll just wait until he gets out so we can eat together." Xia Li said while taking a seat beside Xiao Ning before adding, "I'm sorry for troubling you to bring over breakfast so early."

From beside Lu Yan, someone spoke up too, so Lu Yan then added, "Xia Li doesn't want any garlic in his either, and only a little bit of pepper."

Xiao Ning then turned his attention to eating that plate of the squirrel-tailed fish.

A dish which sadly bore no resemblance to what it should be.

It was floured far too heavily leaving it thick, and was also fired for far to long making its flesh beyond crispy when eaten.

Furthermore, despite the taste of the sweet and sour sauce not being too bad, it was too thin, however, so it's hold on the fried fish was slight.

Shan Haiming wasn't chatty, replying, "What's up, speak."

The first one out was Xia Li, who when he saw Xiao Ning there, smiled embarrassedly while he asked, "You came Have you had breakfast"

Even the manager lamented about how fortunate he was and for him to not think abut the matter too much.

Following this, Xiao Ning again began working, staying carefully within his bounds.

The new batch of customer service representatives who came in also needed to be trained for a month.

Xiao Ning did not hate the job description, however.

Plus, with his kind disposition along with professional skills, the newcomers all took to him quickly ad everyone was in a cheerful mood.

It's precisely this tone of his which occasionally made Xiao Ning forget that this guy was actually a few years his junior.

After a few seconds passed, Shan Haiming scoffed then smiled.

That pristine smile of his unexpectedly possessed a type of warmth and comfort which was rather difficult to describe, with him then replying, "I'll make it up to you next time."

But this wa the first time anyone had ever learned to make a dish purely for his sake, this fact alone made Xiao Ning able to wear a straight face while he finished eating.

◈◇◈

"Thanks, but I'll just wait until he gets out so we can eat together." Xia Li said while taking a seat beside Xiao Ning before adding, "I'm sorry for troubling you to bring over breakfast so early."

The person who cooked and currently reeking of burnt oil did not have much of an appetite when as he looked at the meals spread out on the table which weren't that great.

Xiao Ning added the two containers of rice to their layout, though, and was the first one to take a spoonful of their curried chicken.

To be fair, there weren't a lot of people who could mess up curried chicken, so the taste of it was passable.

Relieved at that fact, he placed a plate of it before Shan Haiming, saying, "If it's not that good, you can just eat a little."

Shsn Haiming also ate some of the other dishes, not a word leaving him while doing so, as his seemingly assessing gaze was stuck on Xiao Ning.

After Xiao Ning finished the fish, and Shan Haiming was also done as well, his phone had begun ringing.

Hearing this, Xiao Ning pulled the corners of his lips, having no idea what he was even smiling about.

The gentleness had now also returned to his tone, as he simply responded: "Understood."

Wearing a frown of annoyance, Shan Haiming pulled out his phone, giving the screen a look.

His gaze then cast itself towards Xiao Ning, expressing a brief look of contemplation before answering the call, saying, "What is it I already ate."

"What" Xiao Ning couldn;t believe his ears, to the point where the shock was reflected in his tine.

"You want me to look after Xia Li"

Xiao Ning opened his mouth to speak, slightly struggling to find his words yet still manage to say aloud: "The squirrel-tailed fish wasn't really tasty...

but nevertheless...

thank you."

Xiao Ning nodded faintly in reply, exposing a smile as he countered, "There's nothing wrong with being alone."

In response, Xiao Ning just plastered on a smile, because it wasn't that he didn't wear other clothes, it was just that Lu Yan never took notice at all.

The first one out was Xia Li, who when he saw Xiao Ning there, smiled embarrassedly while he asked, "You came Have you had breakfast"

Hearing the other person on the line not knowing what to say, Shan Haiming tapped his finger against the table as he asked, "Is that necessary"

Later that afternoon, Shan Haiming sent him a message in reply, saying: No.

You can go have fun.

Having one hand supporting his cheek while the other held a pair of chopsticks, Shan Haiming lackadaisically picked up a piece of the chicken, chewing and chewing until he spat out the bone before swallowing the flesh—an act he repeated over and over again.

Not knowing exactly why, however, doing so did help his mood relax.

Despite Shan Haiming usually putting up a "don't talk to me" face, you could always just say what you want.

Inevitably, it gave rise to the same effect in others, making it seem as though saying all those things they want to say aren't that hard to vocalise.

Then after a while of him listening before releasing a sigh carrying traces of a sneer, he replied, "Fine.

I'll see you in an hour."

Shsn Haiming also ate some of the other dishes, not a word leaving him while doing so, as his seemingly assessing gaze was stuck on Xiao Ning.

After Xiao Ning finished the fish, and Shan Haiming was also done as well, his phone had begun ringing.

N/A

Not knowing exactly why, however, doing so did help his mood relax.

Despite Shan Haiming usually putting up a "don't talk to me" face, you could always just say what you want.

Inevitably, it gave rise to the same effect in others, making it seem as though saying all those things they want to say aren't that hard to vocalise.

N/A

Seeing all this out of the corner of his eye, Xiao Ning felt as though the dinner he had last night was still undigested, feeling heavy and cold.

—Your life is the result of your own choices.

In response, Xiao Ning just plastered on a smile, because it wasn't that he didn't wear other clothes, it was just that Lu Yan never took notice at all.

While looking at Xiao Ning, right as he was speaking, his lips curved upwards into an indecipherable smile, "It's actually a good thing, because there's something I need to tell you all."

It was almost eight by the time the two could set the dinner table after they were finished cooking, but it was only then that they had realised neither of them had made any rice.

Right then, Shan Haiming's face was already showing signs of impatience despite his calm, so Xiao Ning made his way downstairs to the eatery to get two servings of rice and took them back upstairs.

The next night, Xiao Ning received a call from the administrative department, notifying him to show up at work the following day.

But apart from that, they didn't say anything further, nor did Xiao Ning take it upon himself to ask them as well.

Regarding such a matter, he had a least that much faith in Shan Haiming.

From the start, Xiao Ning never expected Shan Haiming to issue him any praises, since it was after all just an ordinary meal.

But seeing him at the very least continually taking bite after bit, had made Xiao Ning feel quite grateful.

It was almost eight by the time the two could set the dinner table after they were finished cooking, but it was only then that they had realised neither of them had made any rice.

Right then, Shan Haiming's face was already showing signs of impatience despite his calm, so Xiao Ning made his way downstairs to the eatery to get two servings of rice and took them back upstairs.

After the two were done eating, Lu Yan asked Xia Li to take his time while getting changed, as he and Xiao Ning went down to the car first.

After entering the car, Lu Yan suddenly remembered something, taking out his wallet, saying, "If Xia Li want to buy anything, just use my card to buy it if it's not much.

You know the password, right It's your birthday."

And following those words, he ended the call.

A meaningful look was given to him by Xiao Ning, who then asked, "Did something urgent come up You're busy with a prior engagement then."

He himself wasn't all too sure what it was exactly he was thankful for.

Yet, somehow, he felt as though Shan Haiming would still understand.

He said those words so matter-of-factly, it made Xiao Ning want to laugh.

Xiao Ning then turned his attention to eating that plate of the squirrel-tailed fish.

A dish which sadly bore no resemblance to what it should be.

It was floured far too heavily leaving it thick, and was also fired for far to long making its flesh beyond crispy when eaten.

Furthermore, despite the taste of the sweet and sour sauce not being too bad, it was too thin, however, so it's hold on the fried fish was slight.

Shan Haiming's response was not polite in the slightest, maybe it was on account of him having to leave in a hurry, because after slipping his phone back into his pocket, he pushed out his chair and stood up before saying, "I'm leaving."

Unexpected

Seeing this, Xiao Ning rose to his feet as well, walking him to the door, standing beside him as he changed his shoes then opened the door.

"On the table." Xiao Ning replied with a smile.

N/A

Xiao Ning took it without saying a word, because it was Lu Yan's little boyfriend anyhow, so he thought whatever the man did was simply his own business.

"Got it.

Jeez, you're such a nag." After responding, Shan Haiming walked a few steps with his hand tucked in his pockets before remembering to add: "Don't worry about that thing you told me about, alright.

You can take tomorrow off too, but you can go back to work the day after."

But this wa the first time anyone had ever learned to make a dish purely for his sake, this fact alone made Xiao Ning able to wear a straight face while he finished eating.

And following those words, he ended the call.

A meaningful look was given to him by Xiao Ning, who then asked, "Did something urgent come up You're busy with a prior engagement then."

While looking at Xiao Ning, right as he was speaking, his lips curved upwards into an indecipherable smile, "It's actually a good thing, because there's something I need to tell you all."

With his hand still on the handle, Shan Haiming leaned his body towards Xiao Ning, staring at him for a moment before suddenly reaching out his hand to wipe the corners of Xiao Ning's lips and returning it towards his own with no hesitation.

After licking his fingers, his eyes narrowed while he said: "Tastes bad."

Xiao Ning knew Lu Yan was the channel representative of his company, and also that his office was empty half the time.

This was due to him often hoofing around outside, so as long as he signs it off as a field trip, he was surely taking advantage of this convenience to play around all over the place with Xia Li.

The already shocked Xiao Ning didn't know how to react, and Shan Haiming did as he pleased, mocking himself, "And I made it like that.

I'll be going now."

With this, Xiao Ning called him directly, "Mr.

Shan It's me Xiao Ning.

I'm not disturbing you, right"

From the other end of the line, Lu Yan replied: "Yeah.

I was planning to take him out shopping on Sunday, but a meeting got rescheduled for that day and my colleague had to go on a business trip, so I was the only one to take it over."

This person was completely ignorant to the ways of the world. So putting on a smile, Xiao Ning replied simply, "It's fine.

I usually don't sleep in anyhow."

Seeing this, Xiao Ning rose to his feet as well, walking him to the door, standing beside him as he changed his shoes then opened the door.

From beside Lu Yan, someone spoke up too, so Lu Yan then added, "Xia Li doesn't want any garlic in his either, and only a little bit of pepper."

After he walked off, Xiao Ning realised he was talking about the fish, and for some reason, he felt an unbearable urge to chase after Shan Haiming, calling out: "Mr.

Shan!"

While looking at Xiao Ning, right as he was speaking, his lips curved upwards into an indecipherable smile, "It's actually a good thing, because there's something I need to tell you all."

Shan Haiming stopped, turning his head back to look at Xiao Ning, his brows raising in curiosity.

After he sat in the front passenger seat, Lu Yan looked over to him and asked, "Why are you always wearing that shirt Don't you have anything else to wear"

"What" Xiao Ning couldn;t believe his ears, to the point where the shock was reflected in his tine.

"You want me to look after Xia Li"

This person was completely ignorant to the ways of the world. So putting on a smile, Xiao Ning replied simply, "It's fine.

I usually don't sleep in anyhow."

Unexpected

Later that afternoon, Shan Haiming sent him a message in reply, saying: No.

You can go have fun.

The following day, Xiao Ning made his way to the company, being taken to the manager's office the moment he entered.

He was then told the higher ups at his company adjudicated his dereliction of duty and decided to deduct his current month's performance credit along with half of his year-end bonus.

Furthermore, he also had to give the trainees three months of training, since all the other team members were gone.

Shan Haiming's response was not polite in the slightest, maybe it was on account of him having to leave in a hurry, because after slipping his phone back into his pocket, he pushed out his chair and stood up before saying, "I'm leaving."

Xiao Ning opened his mouth to speak, slightly struggling to find his words yet still manage to say aloud: "The squirrel-tailed fish wasn't really tasty...

but nevertheless...

thank you."

"I already told you, it's not a big deal." A smile stretched across Shan Haiming's face at the other end of the line, "What are you worried about Just go have fun.

If anything does come up I'll tell you beforehand.

So don't think about it too much."

Hearing the other person on the line not knowing what to say, Shan Haiming tapped his finger against the table as he asked, "Is that necessary"

After he walked off, Xiao Ning realised he was talking about the fish, and for some reason, he felt an unbearable urge to chase after Shan Haiming, calling out: "Mr.

Shan!"

He himself wasn't all too sure what it was exactly he was thankful for.

Yet, somehow, he felt as though Shan Haiming would still understand.

This punishment was neither light nor heavy, but it was just.

Xiao Ning wanted to thank Shan Haiming for his way of accomplishing things, because like this, it at least appears as if he was receiving some sort of special treatment.

Tiny note: Singles' Day is a day for single folks that is celebrated on November the 11th (11/11) every year.

[]me throughout this chapter: Lu Yan...

you cunt of a man.

It's a mantra at this point (︶^︶)[]also me this chapter: Little Ning, you do have a choice! Good thing this story is about him realising as much (❁´◡`❁)

But this wa the first time anyone had ever learned to make a dish purely for his sake, this fact alone made Xiao Ning able to wear a straight face while he finished eating.

It appears as though Xia Li also found Lu Yan quite likeable too.

Shan Haiming stopped, turning his head back to look at Xiao Ning, his brows raising in curiosity.

After a few seconds passed, Shan Haiming scoffed then smiled.

That pristine smile of his unexpectedly possessed a type of warmth and comfort which was rather difficult to describe, with him then replying, "I'll make it up to you next time."

"Thanks, but I'll just wait until he gets out so we can eat together." Xia Li said while taking a seat beside Xiao Ning before adding, "I'm sorry for troubling you to bring over breakfast so early."

Leading Xiao Ning to finally reveal a smile from his formerly pursed lips before further telling Shan Haiming: "Be careful on the road, alright"

The person who cooked and currently reeking of burnt oil did not have much of an appetite when as he looked at the meals spread out on the table which weren't that great.

Xiao Ning added the two containers of rice to their layout, though, and was the first one to take a spoonful of their curried chicken.

To be fair, there weren't a lot of people who could mess up curried chicken, so the taste of it was passable.

Relieved at that fact, he placed a plate of it before Shan Haiming, saying, "If it's not that good, you can just eat a little."

Shan Haiming stopped, turning his head back to look at Xiao Ning, his brows raising in curiosity.

To which Xiao Ning politely replied, "Yes.

Is Lu Yan up"

Then after a while of him listening before releasing a sigh carrying traces of a sneer, he replied, "Fine.

I'll see you in an hour."

He said those words so matter-of-factly, it made Xiao Ning want to laugh.

"Got it.

Jeez, you're such a nag." After responding, Shan Haiming walked a few steps with his hand tucked in his pockets before remembering to add: "Don't worry about that thing you told me about, alright.

You can take tomorrow off too, but you can go back to work the day after."

Having one hand supporting his cheek while the other held a pair of chopsticks, Shan Haiming lackadaisically picked up a piece of the chicken, chewing and chewing until he spat out the bone before swallowing the flesh—an act he repeated over and over again.

"I guess." Lu Yan sighed, leaning over further to help him buckle his seat belt, while adding, "Then again, if you do get a partner, I don't think I could get used to it."

Not knowing exactly why, however, doing so did help his mood relax.

Despite Shan Haiming usually putting up a "don't talk to me" face, you could always just say what you want.

Inevitably, it gave rise to the same effect in others, making it seem as though saying all those things they want to say aren't that hard to vocalise.

"Yeah, he's in the shower.

He'll be out soon." Not knowing what he was thinking about, Xia Li's face flushed.

Xiao Ning pretended he saw nothing then reminded him, "Breakfast is on the table, you can go eat if you want."

Right as he was stalling, Shan Haiming's teasing appearance suddenly found its way into his mind when he had said: "If you have something to say, just say it.

What's there to be afraid of"

Xiao Ning opened his mouth to speak, slightly struggling to find his words yet still manage to say aloud: "The squirrel-tailed fish wasn't really tasty...

but nevertheless...

thank you."

◈◇◈

Xiao Ning gave a nod to show he understood, though in truth, he had completely forgotten about that matter for the entirety of the afternoon.

It appears as though Xia Li also found Lu Yan quite likeable too.

"Yeah, he's in the shower.

He'll be out soon." Not knowing what he was thinking about, Xia Li's face flushed.

Xiao Ning pretended he saw nothing then reminded him, "Breakfast is on the table, you can go eat if you want."

◈◇◈

—Your life is the result of your own choices.

From the start, Xiao Ning never expected Shan Haiming to issue him any praises, since it was after all just an ordinary meal.

But seeing him at the very least continually taking bite after bit, had made Xiao Ning feel quite grateful.

Xiao Ning knew Lu Yan was the channel representative of his company, and also that his office was empty half the time.

This was due to him often hoofing around outside, so as long as he signs it off as a field trip, he was surely taking advantage of this convenience to play around all over the place with Xia Li.

The person who cooked and currently reeking of burnt oil did not have much of an appetite when as he looked at the meals spread out on the table which weren't that great.

Xiao Ning added the two containers of rice to their layout, though, and was the first one to take a spoonful of their curried chicken.

To be fair, there weren't a lot of people who could mess up curried chicken, so the taste of it was passable.

Relieved at that fact, he placed a plate of it before Shan Haiming, saying, "If it's not that good, you can just eat a little."

◈◇◈

After a few seconds passed, Shan Haiming scoffed then smiled.

That pristine smile of his unexpectedly possessed a type of warmth and comfort which was rather difficult to describe, with him then replying, "I'll make it up to you next time."

Not knowing exactly why, however, doing so did help his mood relax.

Despite Shan Haiming usually putting up a "don't talk to me" face, you could always just say what you want.

Inevitably, it gave rise to the same effect in others, making it seem as though saying all those things they want to say aren't that hard to vocalise.

—Your life is the result of your own choices.

To which Xiao Ning politely replied, "Yes.

Is Lu Yan up"

After he sat in the front passenger seat, Lu Yan looked over to him and asked, "Why are you always wearing that shirt Don't you have anything else to wear"

The next night, Xiao Ning received a call from the administrative department, notifying him to show up at work the following day.

But apart from that, they didn't say anything further, nor did Xiao Ning take it upon himself to ask them as well.

Regarding such a matter, he had a least that much faith in Shan Haiming.

Early Sunday morning, had no choice but to get up early, since both Ziqian Street and the place where Lu Yan lives in Hanjiang was a bit off road.

This time around he had learned from before, so after entering the apartment he only say in the living room and waited.

Luckily, the people in the bedroom didn't stay there for too long.

After all, Lu Yan actually had matters to attend to, so although he was capricious by nature, to bring in a high income at work, he did take his job seriously.

Xiao Ning nodded faintly in reply, exposing a smile as he countered, "There's nothing wrong with being alone."

With this, Xiao Ning called him directly, "Mr.

Shan It's me Xiao Ning.

I'm not disturbing you, right"

The following day, Xiao Ning made his way to the company, being taken to the manager's office the moment he entered.

He was then told the higher ups at his company adjudicated his dereliction of duty and decided to deduct his current month's performance credit along with half of his year-end bonus.

Furthermore, he also had to give the trainees three months of training, since all the other team members were gone.

To which Xiao Ning politely replied, "Yes.

Is Lu Yan up"

After the two were done eating, Lu Yan asked Xia Li to take his time while getting changed, as he and Xiao Ning went down to the car first.

After entering the car, Lu Yan suddenly remembered something, taking out his wallet, saying, "If Xia Li want to buy anything, just use my card to buy it if it's not much.

You know the password, right It's your birthday."

Later that afternoon, Shan Haiming sent him a message in reply, saying: No.

You can go have fun.

"Yeah, he's in the shower.

He'll be out soon." Not knowing what he was thinking about, Xia Li's face flushed.

Xiao Ning pretended he saw nothing then reminded him, "Breakfast is on the table, you can go eat if you want."

N/A

Prompting Xia Li to lament, "You're amazing! When the weekend comes, there are times I don't wake up until noon!"

His eyes now fixed to the ground, Xiao Ning felt a complex range of emotions, causing him to remain silent for a while.

This punishment was neither light nor heavy, but it was just.

Xiao Ning wanted to thank Shan Haiming for his way of accomplishing things, because like this, it at least appears as if he was receiving some sort of special treatment.

Moreover, he had already given his word to Shan Haiming, so it was only natural he would think about him a bit more.

He did figure Shan Haiming wouldn't show up out the blue without notifying him first as well.

During this time, Shan Haiming did not contact him, and every now and again thoughts about this would cross his mind.

Compared to before, now, not only was that man a passing acquaintance of little familiarity, he was able to become a strange friend of sorts.

It appears as though Xia Li also found Lu Yan quite likeable too.

Even the manager lamented about how fortunate he was and for him to not think abut the matter too much.

Following this, Xiao Ning again began working, staying carefully within his bounds.

The new batch of customer service representatives who came in also needed to be trained for a month.

Xiao Ning did not hate the job description, however.

Plus, with his kind disposition along with professional skills, the newcomers all took to him quickly ad everyone was in a cheerful mood.

Right as he was stalling, Shan Haiming's teasing appearance suddenly found its way into his mind when he had said: "If you have something to say, just say it.

What's there to be afraid of"

To which Xiao Ning politely replied, "Yes.

Is Lu Yan up"

The already shocked Xiao Ning didn't know how to react, and Shan Haiming did as he pleased, mocking himself, "And I made it like that.

I'll be going now."

From beside Lu Yan, someone spoke up too, so Lu Yan then added, "Xia Li doesn't want any garlic in his either, and only a little bit of pepper."

While looking at Xiao Ning, right as he was speaking, his lips curved upwards into an indecipherable smile, "It's actually a good thing, because there's something I need to tell you all."

Early Sunday morning, had no choice but to get up early, since both Ziqian Street and the place where Lu Yan lives in Hanjiang was a bit off road.

This time around he had learned from before, so after entering the apartment he only say in the living room and waited.

Luckily, the people in the bedroom didn't stay there for too long.

After all, Lu Yan actually had matters to attend to, so although he was capricious by nature, to bring in a high income at work, he did take his job seriously.

"You have other plans" Lu Yan was also quite shocked.

Never did he even consider those other options, as he continued to ask, "How can you be busy Do you think I don't know you You never had anything to do on Sundays, and if you did, you'd always just drop them.

You know I'd come to find you on Sunday's before too, right When have you ever not been free"

During this time, Shan Haiming did not contact him, and every now and again thoughts about this would cross his mind.

Compared to before, now, not only was that man a passing acquaintance of little familiarity, he was able to become a strange friend of sorts.

The already shocked Xiao Ning didn't know how to react, and Shan Haiming did as he pleased, mocking himself, "And I made it like that.

I'll be going now."

The already shocked Xiao Ning didn't know how to react, and Shan Haiming did as he pleased, mocking himself, "And I made it like that.

I'll be going now."

Hearing this, Xiao Ning pulled the corners of his lips, having no idea what he was even smiling about.

The gentleness had now also returned to his tone, as he simply responded: "Understood."

Early Sunday morning, had no choice but to get up early, since both Ziqian Street and the place where Lu Yan lives in Hanjiang was a bit off road.

This time around he had learned from before, so after entering the apartment he only say in the living room and waited.

Luckily, the people in the bedroom didn't stay there for too long.

After all, Lu Yan actually had matters to attend to, so although he was capricious by nature, to bring in a high income at work, he did take his job seriously.

Xiao Ning nodded faintly in reply, exposing a smile as he countered, "There's nothing wrong with being alone."

Seeing this, Xiao Ning rose to his feet as well, walking him to the door, standing beside him as he changed his shoes then opened the door.

"Got it.

Jeez, you're such a nag." After responding, Shan Haiming walked a few steps with his hand tucked in his pockets before remembering to add: "Don't worry about that thing you told me about, alright.

You can take tomorrow off too, but you can go back to work the day after."

Moreover, he had already given his word to Shan Haiming, so it was only natural he would think about him a bit more.

He did figure Shan Haiming wouldn't show up out the blue without notifying him first as well.

After he walked off, Xiao Ning realised he was talking about the fish, and for some reason, he felt an unbearable urge to chase after Shan Haiming, calling out: "Mr.

Shan!"

This punishment was neither light nor heavy, but it was just.

Xiao Ning wanted to thank Shan Haiming for his way of accomplishing things, because like this, it at least appears as if he was receiving some sort of special treatment.

Xiao Ning then turned his attention to eating that plate of the squirrel-tailed fish.

A dish which sadly bore no resemblance to what it should be.

It was floured far too heavily leaving it thick, and was also fired for far to long making its flesh beyond crispy when eaten.

Furthermore, despite the taste of the sweet and sour sauce not being too bad, it was too thin, however, so it's hold on the fried fish was slight.

It's precisely this tone of his which occasionally made Xiao Ning forget that this guy was actually a few years his junior.

"You have other plans" Lu Yan was also quite shocked.

Never did he even consider those other options, as he continued to ask, "How can you be busy Do you think I don't know you You never had anything to do on Sundays, and if you did, you'd always just drop them.

You know I'd come to find you on Sunday's before too, right When have you ever not been free"

But, to Xiao Ning's surprise, Shan Haiming wasn't the one to first contact him, though.

Instead, it was Lu Yan of all people.

After the two were done eating, Lu Yan asked Xia Li to take his time while getting changed, as he and Xiao Ning went down to the car first.

After entering the car, Lu Yan suddenly remembered something, taking out his wallet, saying, "If Xia Li want to buy anything, just use my card to buy it if it's not much.

You know the password, right It's your birthday."

From beside Lu Yan, someone spoke up too, so Lu Yan then added, "Xia Li doesn't want any garlic in his either, and only a little bit of pepper."

Xiao Ning wanted to continue asking about the matter, but out of habit he hesitated, thinking instead that Shan Haiming would certainly notify him advance when he was truly needed. So wouldn't rushing him to answer such a question make him feel uncomfortable

It's precisely this tone of his which occasionally made Xiao Ning forget that this guy was actually a few years his junior.

After hanging up, Xiao Ning suddenly recalled a phrase he had forgotten where he heart it.

"Thanks, but I'll just wait until he gets out so we can eat together." Xia Li said while taking a seat beside Xiao Ning before adding, "I'm sorry for troubling you to bring over breakfast so early."

Not knowing exactly why, however, doing so did help his mood relax.

Despite Shan Haiming usually putting up a "don't talk to me" face, you could always just say what you want.

Inevitably, it gave rise to the same effect in others, making it seem as though saying all those things they want to say aren't that hard to vocalise.

"What" Xiao Ning couldn;t believe his ears, to the point where the shock was reflected in his tine.

"You want me to look after Xia Li"

Xiao Ning opened his mouth to speak, slightly struggling to find his words yet still manage to say aloud: "The squirrel-tailed fish wasn't really tasty...

but nevertheless...

thank you."

From the other end of the line, Lu Yan replied: "Yeah.

I was planning to take him out shopping on Sunday, but a meeting got rescheduled for that day and my colleague had to go on a business trip, so I was the only one to take it over."

"I just wanted to ask you if there's a general time frame of when I'm supposed to help you This matter keeps making me a bit...

worried." Xiao Ning wasn't able to discern whether he was worried about his promise to help Shan Haiming, or Shan Haiming's situation, though.

Trying to smooth his way out of it, Xiao Ning replied: "I might have other plans that day as well, so can't you just ask someone else Or maybe you can just have Xia Li stroll around by himself before you're done."

Lu Yan had no patience when it came to remembering passwords, so for a few of his cards he just used his parents birthdays, and for this card he uses most of the time, he just used Xiao Ning's.

Like this, he could memorize all of their birthday's, killing two birds with one stone which really made him feel rather pleased with himself.

Prompting Xia Li to lament, "You're amazing! When the weekend comes, there are times I don't wake up until noon!"

"Buy yourself a few shirts later.

Consider it as my gift to you." Lu Yan leaned over to help him straighten his collar, a frown forming on his face as he looked him over for a while before handsomely lifting the corners of his lips, "Looks-wise, you're quite handsome, yeah You just need to tidy yourself up a bit.

You can't really expect yourself to keep celebrating Singles' Day every year, right"

"You have other plans" Lu Yan was also quite shocked.

Never did he even consider those other options, as he continued to ask, "How can you be busy Do you think I don't know you You never had anything to do on Sundays, and if you did, you'd always just drop them.

You know I'd come to find you on Sunday's before too, right When have you ever not been free"

He said those words so matter-of-factly, it made Xiao Ning want to laugh.

The first one out was Xia Li, who when he saw Xiao Ning there, smiled embarrassedly while he asked, "You came Have you had breakfast"

Xiao Ning nodded faintly in reply, exposing a smile as he countered, "There's nothing wrong with being alone."

Lu Yan had no patience when it came to remembering passwords, so for a few of his cards he just used his parents birthdays, and for this card he uses most of the time, he just used Xiao Ning's.

Like this, he could memorize all of their birthday's, killing two birds with one stone which really made him feel rather pleased with himself.

The following day, Xiao Ning made his way to the company, being taken to the manager's office the moment he entered.

He was then told the higher ups at his company adjudicated his dereliction of duty and decided to deduct his current month's performance credit along with half of his year-end bonus.

Furthermore, he also had to give the trainees three months of training, since all the other team members were gone.

He said those words so matter-of-factly, it made Xiao Ning want to laugh.

The first one out was Xia Li, who when he saw Xiao Ning there, smiled embarrassedly while he asked, "You came Have you had breakfast"

Releasing a mocking laugh directed at himself, he shook his head, and was about to put away his phone.

However, he suddenly remembered Shan Haiming, and had no idea if the other had something planned.

So, for this reason, he was the one to contact Shan Haiming first, sending him the message: Sorry, but I just made plans with a friend for this Sunday, so you didn't make any arrangements for then, right

Unexpected

Xiao Ning gave a nod to show he understood, though in truth, he had completely forgotten about that matter for the entirety of the afternoon.

After saying this, a depressed look marred his faced as he looked at Xiao Ning, "So it's better you don't find anytime soon, alright"

Xiao Ning gave a nod to show he understood, though in truth, he had completely forgotten about that matter for the entirety of the afternoon.

Prompting Xia Li to lament, "You're amazing! When the weekend comes, there are times I don't wake up until noon!"

Lu Yan then continued, "Besides, who else do you want me to ask I usually don't let Xia Li stay stay alone for too long while I'm at work, and we agreed on Sunday, so how could you expect a kid like him to be on his own like that in a new city I can meet up with you two for dinner in the afternoon at the latest."

Just as he said those words, LuYan walked in.

Upon seeing Xiao Ning his eyes lit up as he asked, "Where's the dumplings"

After the two were done eating, Lu Yan asked Xia Li to take his time while getting changed, as he and Xiao Ning went down to the car first.

After entering the car, Lu Yan suddenly remembered something, taking out his wallet, saying, "If Xia Li want to buy anything, just use my card to buy it if it's not much.

You know the password, right It's your birthday."

After a few seconds passed, Shan Haiming scoffed then smiled.

That pristine smile of his unexpectedly possessed a type of warmth and comfort which was rather difficult to describe, with him then replying, "I'll make it up to you next time."

"I just wanted to ask you if there's a general time frame of when I'm supposed to help you This matter keeps making me a bit...

worried." Xiao Ning wasn't able to discern whether he was worried about his promise to help Shan Haiming, or Shan Haiming's situation, though.

"I already told you, it's not a big deal." A smile stretched across Shan Haiming's face at the other end of the line, "What are you worried about Just go have fun.

If anything does come up I'll tell you beforehand.

So don't think about it too much."

Xiao Ning knew Lu Yan was the channel representative of his company, and also that his office was empty half the time.

This was due to him often hoofing around outside, so as long as he signs it off as a field trip, he was surely taking advantage of this convenience to play around all over the place with Xia Li.

From beside Lu Yan, someone spoke up too, so Lu Yan then added, "Xia Li doesn't want any garlic in his either, and only a little bit of pepper."

The next night, Xiao Ning received a call from the administrative department, notifying him to show up at work the following day.

But apart from that, they didn't say anything further, nor did Xiao Ning take it upon himself to ask them as well.

Regarding such a matter, he had a least that much faith in Shan Haiming.

After saying this, a depressed look marred his faced as he looked at Xiao Ning, "So it's better you don't find anytime soon, alright"

It appears as though Xia Li also found Lu Yan quite likeable too.

But, to Xiao Ning's surprise, Shan Haiming wasn't the one to first contact him, though.

Instead, it was Lu Yan of all people.

His eyes now fixed to the ground, Xiao Ning felt a complex range of emotions, causing him to remain silent for a while.

Xiao Ning wanted to continue asking about the matter, but out of habit he hesitated, thinking instead that Shan Haiming would certainly notify him advance when he was truly needed. So wouldn't rushing him to answer such a question make him feel uncomfortable

After he walked off, Xiao Ning realised he was talking about the fish, and for some reason, he felt an unbearable urge to chase after Shan Haiming, calling out: "Mr.

Shan!"

After hanging up, Xiao Ning suddenly recalled a phrase he had forgotten where he heart it.

Maybe it was on account of him being silent for too long, because Lu Yan the urged him impatiently, "Xiao Ning I'll that as a yes, then.

Head to my place early on Sunday first.

Oh, I almost forgot, while you're on your way over bring us some breakfast too.

I'm in the mood for some of the dumplings from that place on Ziqian Street, no garlic."

Xiao Ning then turned his attention to eating that plate of the squirrel-tailed fish.

A dish which sadly bore no resemblance to what it should be.

It was floured far too heavily leaving it thick, and was also fired for far to long making its flesh beyond crispy when eaten.

Furthermore, despite the taste of the sweet and sour sauce not being too bad, it was too thin, however, so it's hold on the fried fish was slight.

"You have other plans" Lu Yan was also quite shocked.

Never did he even consider those other options, as he continued to ask, "How can you be busy Do you think I don't know you You never had anything to do on Sundays, and if you did, you'd always just drop them.

You know I'd come to find you on Sunday's before too, right When have you ever not been free"

It was almost eight by the time the two could set the dinner table after they were finished cooking, but it was only then that they had realised neither of them had made any rice.

Right then, Shan Haiming's face was already showing signs of impatience despite his calm, so Xiao Ning made his way downstairs to the eatery to get two servings of rice and took them back upstairs.

Xiao Ning opened his mouth to speak, slightly struggling to find his words yet still manage to say aloud: "The squirrel-tailed fish wasn't really tasty...

but nevertheless...

thank you."

Just as he said those words, LuYan walked in.

Upon seeing Xiao Ning his eyes lit up as he asked, "Where's the dumplings"

"Buy yourself a few shirts later.

Consider it as my gift to you." Lu Yan leaned over to help him straighten his collar, a frown forming on his face as he looked him over for a while before handsomely lifting the corners of his lips, "Looks-wise, you're quite handsome, yeah You just need to tidy yourself up a bit.

You can't really expect yourself to keep celebrating Singles' Day every year, right"

Shan Haiming's response was not polite in the slightest, maybe it was on account of him having to leave in a hurry, because after slipping his phone back into his pocket, he pushed out his chair and stood up before saying, "I'm leaving."

From beside Lu Yan, someone spoke up too, so Lu Yan then added, "Xia Li doesn't want any garlic in his either, and only a little bit of pepper."

"Buy yourself a few shirts later.

Consider it as my gift to you." Lu Yan leaned over to help him straighten his collar, a frown forming on his face as he looked him over for a while before handsomely lifting the corners of his lips, "Looks-wise, you're quite handsome, yeah You just need to tidy yourself up a bit.

You can't really expect yourself to keep celebrating Singles' Day every year, right"

Hearing this, Xiao Ning pulled the corners of his lips, having no idea what he was even smiling about.

The gentleness had now also returned to his tone, as he simply responded: "Understood."

Maybe it was on account of him being silent for too long, because Lu Yan the urged him impatiently, "Xiao Ning I'll that as a yes, then.

Head to my place early on Sunday first.

Oh, I almost forgot, while you're on your way over bring us some breakfast too.

I'm in the mood for some of the dumplings from that place on Ziqian Street, no garlic."

With his hand still on the handle, Shan Haiming leaned his body towards Xiao Ning, staring at him for a moment before suddenly reaching out his hand to wipe the corners of Xiao Ning's lips and returning it towards his own with no hesitation.

After licking his fingers, his eyes narrowed while he said: "Tastes bad."

After the two were done eating, Lu Yan asked Xia Li to take his time while getting changed, as he and Xiao Ning went down to the car first.

After entering the car, Lu Yan suddenly remembered something, taking out his wallet, saying, "If Xia Li want to buy anything, just use my card to buy it if it's not much.

You know the password, right It's your birthday."

Hearing this, Xiao Ning pulled the corners of his lips, having no idea what he was even smiling about.

The gentleness had now also returned to his tone, as he simply responded: "Understood."

And following those words, he ended the call.

A meaningful look was given to him by Xiao Ning, who then asked, "Did something urgent come up You're busy with a prior engagement then."

To which Xiao Ning politely replied, "Yes.

Is Lu Yan up"

Not knowing exactly why, however, doing so did help his mood relax.

Despite Shan Haiming usually putting up a "don't talk to me" face, you could always just say what you want.

Inevitably, it gave rise to the same effect in others, making it seem as though saying all those things they want to say aren't that hard to vocalise.

After hanging up, Xiao Ning suddenly recalled a phrase he had forgotten where he heart it.

But this wa the first time anyone had ever learned to make a dish purely for his sake, this fact alone made Xiao Ning able to wear a straight face while he finished eating.

Shsn Haiming also ate some of the other dishes, not a word leaving him while doing so, as his seemingly assessing gaze was stuck on Xiao Ning.

After Xiao Ning finished the fish, and Shan Haiming was also done as well, his phone had begun ringing.

—Your life is the result of your own choices.

Tiny note: Singles' Day is a day for single folks that is celebrated on November the 11th (11/11) every year.

[]me throughout this chapter: Lu Yan...

you cunt of a man.

It's a mantra at this point (︶^︶)[]also me this chapter: Little Ning, you do have a choice! Good thing this story is about him realising as much (❁´◡`❁)

He said those words so matter-of-factly, it made Xiao Ning want to laugh.

—Your life is the result of your own choices.

Leading Xiao Ning to finally reveal a smile from his formerly pursed lips before further telling Shan Haiming: "Be careful on the road, alright"

"I guess." Lu Yan sighed, leaning over further to help him buckle his seat belt, while adding, "Then again, if you do get a partner, I don't think I could get used to it."

Hearing this, Xiao Ning pulled the corners of his lips, having no idea what he was even smiling about.

The gentleness had now also returned to his tone, as he simply responded: "Understood."

Releasing a mocking laugh directed at himself, he shook his head, and was about to put away his phone.

However, he suddenly remembered Shan Haiming, and had no idea if the other had something planned.

So, for this reason, he was the one to contact Shan Haiming first, sending him the message: Sorry, but I just made plans with a friend for this Sunday, so you didn't make any arrangements for then, right

This person was completely ignorant to the ways of the world. So putting on a smile, Xiao Ning replied simply, "It's fine.

I usually don't sleep in anyhow."

It's precisely this tone of his which occasionally made Xiao Ning forget that this guy was actually a few years his junior.

Xiao Ning wanted to continue asking about the matter, but out of habit he hesitated, thinking instead that Shan Haiming would certainly notify him advance when he was truly needed. So wouldn't rushing him to answer such a question make him feel uncomfortable

Later that afternoon, Shan Haiming sent him a message in reply, saying: No.

You can go have fun.

"Yeah, he's in the shower.

He'll be out soon." Not knowing what he was thinking about, Xia Li's face flushed.

Xiao Ning pretended he saw nothing then reminded him, "Breakfast is on the table, you can go eat if you want."

Hearing the other person on the line not knowing what to say, Shan Haiming tapped his finger against the table as he asked, "Is that necessary"

It was almost eight by the time the two could set the dinner table after they were finished cooking, but it was only then that they had realised neither of them had made any rice.

Right then, Shan Haiming's face was already showing signs of impatience despite his calm, so Xiao Ning made his way downstairs to the eatery to get two servings of rice and took them back upstairs.

Xiao Ning wanted to continue asking about the matter, but out of habit he hesitated, thinking instead that Shan Haiming would certainly notify him advance when he was truly needed. So wouldn't rushing him to answer such a question make him feel uncomfortable

Xiao Ning nodded faintly in reply, exposing a smile as he countered, "There's nothing wrong with being alone."

After he walked off, Xiao Ning realised he was talking about the fish, and for some reason, he felt an unbearable urge to chase after Shan Haiming, calling out: "Mr.

Shan!"

◈◇◈

◈◇◈

To which Xiao Ning politely replied, "Yes.

Is Lu Yan up"

Right as he was stalling, Shan Haiming's teasing appearance suddenly found its way into his mind when he had said: "If you have something to say, just say it.

What's there to be afraid of"

Xiao Ning took it without saying a word, because it was Lu Yan's little boyfriend anyhow, so he thought whatever the man did was simply his own business.

Not knowing exactly why, however, doing so did help his mood relax.

Despite Shan Haiming usually putting up a "don't talk to me" face, you could always just say what you want.

Inevitably, it gave rise to the same effect in others, making it seem as though saying all those things they want to say aren't that hard to vocalise.

Seeing all this out of the corner of his eye, Xiao Ning felt as though the dinner he had last night was still undigested, feeling heavy and cold.

Later that afternoon, Shan Haiming sent him a message in reply, saying: No.

You can go have fun.

Later that afternoon, Shan Haiming sent him a message in reply, saying: No.

You can go have fun.

The next night, Xiao Ning received a call from the administrative department, notifying him to show up at work the following day.

But apart from that, they didn't say anything further, nor did Xiao Ning take it upon himself to ask them as well.

Regarding such a matter, he had a least that much faith in Shan Haiming.

◈◇◈

He himself wasn't all too sure what it was exactly he was thankful for.

Yet, somehow, he felt as though Shan Haiming would still understand.

During this time, Shan Haiming did not contact him, and every now and again thoughts about this would cross his mind.

Compared to before, now, not only was that man a passing acquaintance of little familiarity, he was able to become a strange friend of sorts.

With this, Xiao Ning called him directly, "Mr.

Shan It's me Xiao Ning.

I'm not disturbing you, right"

Seeing this, Xiao Ning rose to his feet as well, walking him to the door, standing beside him as he changed his shoes then opened the door.

Shan Haiming wasn't chatty, replying, "What's up, speak."

Not knowing exactly why, however, doing so did help his mood relax.

Despite Shan Haiming usually putting up a "don't talk to me" face, you could always just say what you want.

Inevitably, it gave rise to the same effect in others, making it seem as though saying all those things they want to say aren't that hard to vocalise.

"I just wanted to ask you if there's a general time frame of when I'm supposed to help you This matter keeps making me a bit...

worried." Xiao Ning wasn't able to discern whether he was worried about his promise to help Shan Haiming, or Shan Haiming's situation, though.

Prompting Xia Li to lament, "You're amazing! When the weekend comes, there are times I don't wake up until noon!"

Right as he was stalling, Shan Haiming's teasing appearance suddenly found its way into his mind when he had said: "If you have something to say, just say it.

What's there to be afraid of"

But this wa the first time anyone had ever learned to make a dish purely for his sake, this fact alone made Xiao Ning able to wear a straight face while he finished eating.

He himself wasn't all too sure what it was exactly he was thankful for.

Yet, somehow, he felt as though Shan Haiming would still understand.

It's precisely this tone of his which occasionally made Xiao Ning forget that this guy was actually a few years his junior.

The person who cooked and currently reeking of burnt oil did not have much of an appetite when as he looked at the meals spread out on the table which weren't that great.

Xiao Ning added the two containers of rice to their layout, though, and was the first one to take a spoonful of their curried chicken.

To be fair, there weren't a lot of people who could mess up curried chicken, so the taste of it was passable.

Relieved at that fact, he placed a plate of it before Shan Haiming, saying, "If it's not that good, you can just eat a little."

With his hand still on the handle, Shan Haiming leaned his body towards Xiao Ning, staring at him for a moment before suddenly reaching out his hand to wipe the corners of Xiao Ning's lips and returning it towards his own with no hesitation.

After licking his fingers, his eyes narrowed while he said: "Tastes bad."

"I already told you, it's not a big deal." A smile stretched across Shan Haiming's face at the other end of the line, "What are you worried about Just go have fun.

If anything does come up I'll tell you beforehand.

So don't think about it too much."

"I guess." Lu Yan sighed, leaning over further to help him buckle his seat belt, while adding, "Then again, if you do get a partner, I don't think I could get used to it."

Prompting Xia Li to lament, "You're amazing! When the weekend comes, there are times I don't wake up until noon!"

Xiao Ning took it without saying a word, because it was Lu Yan's little boyfriend anyhow, so he thought whatever the man did was simply his own business.

It's precisely this tone of his which occasionally made Xiao Ning forget that this guy was actually a few years his junior.

With his hand still on the handle, Shan Haiming leaned his body towards Xiao Ning, staring at him for a moment before suddenly reaching out his hand to wipe the corners of Xiao Ning's lips and returning it towards his own with no hesitation.

After licking his fingers, his eyes narrowed while he said: "Tastes bad."

The already shocked Xiao Ning didn't know how to react, and Shan Haiming did as he pleased, mocking himself, "And I made it like that.

I'll be going now."

This person was completely ignorant to the ways of the world. So putting on a smile, Xiao Ning replied simply, "It's fine.

I usually don't sleep in anyhow."

From the other end of the line, Lu Yan replied: "Yeah.

I was planning to take him out shopping on Sunday, but a meeting got rescheduled for that day and my colleague had to go on a business trip, so I was the only one to take it over."

Xiao Ning wanted to continue asking about the matter, but out of habit he hesitated, thinking instead that Shan Haiming would certainly notify him advance when he was truly needed. So wouldn't rushing him to answer such a question make him feel uncomfortable

Lu Yan had no patience when it came to remembering passwords, so for a few of his cards he just used his parents birthdays, and for this card he uses most of the time, he just used Xiao Ning's.

Like this, he could memorize all of their birthday's, killing two birds with one stone which really made him feel rather pleased with himself.

Seeing this, Xiao Ning rose to his feet as well, walking him to the door, standing beside him as he changed his shoes then opened the door.

◈◇◈

From the other end of the line, Lu Yan replied: "Yeah.

I was planning to take him out shopping on Sunday, but a meeting got rescheduled for that day and my colleague had to go on a business trip, so I was the only one to take it over."

Early Sunday morning, had no choice but to get up early, since both Ziqian Street and the place where Lu Yan lives in Hanjiang was a bit off road.

This time around he had learned from before, so after entering the apartment he only say in the living room and waited.

Luckily, the people in the bedroom didn't stay there for too long.

After all, Lu Yan actually had matters to attend to, so although he was capricious by nature, to bring in a high income at work, he did take his job seriously.

Even the manager lamented about how fortunate he was and for him to not think abut the matter too much.

Following this, Xiao Ning again began working, staying carefully within his bounds.

The new batch of customer service representatives who came in also needed to be trained for a month.

Xiao Ning did not hate the job description, however.

Plus, with his kind disposition along with professional skills, the newcomers all took to him quickly ad everyone was in a cheerful mood.

Xiao Ning took it without saying a word, because it was Lu Yan's little boyfriend anyhow, so he thought whatever the man did was simply his own business.

Trying to smooth his way out of it, Xiao Ning replied: "I might have other plans that day as well, so can't you just ask someone else Or maybe you can just have Xia Li stroll around by himself before you're done."

Wearing a frown of annoyance, Shan Haiming pulled out his phone, giving the screen a look.

His gaze then cast itself towards Xiao Ning, expressing a brief look of contemplation before answering the call, saying, "What is it I already ate."

Later that afternoon, Shan Haiming sent him a message in reply, saying: No.

You can go have fun.

Right as he was stalling, Shan Haiming's teasing appearance suddenly found its way into his mind when he had said: "If you have something to say, just say it.

What's there to be afraid of"

"Thanks, but I'll just wait until he gets out so we can eat together." Xia Li said while taking a seat beside Xiao Ning before adding, "I'm sorry for troubling you to bring over breakfast so early."

The first one out was Xia Li, who when he saw Xiao Ning there, smiled embarrassedly while he asked, "You came Have you had breakfast"

"You have other plans" Lu Yan was also quite shocked.

Never did he even consider those other options, as he continued to ask, "How can you be busy Do you think I don't know you You never had anything to do on Sundays, and if you did, you'd always just drop them.

You know I'd come to find you on Sunday's before too, right When have you ever not been free"

To which Xiao Ning politely replied, "Yes.

Is Lu Yan up"

Lu Yan then continued, "Besides, who else do you want me to ask I usually don't let Xia Li stay stay alone for too long while I'm at work, and we agreed on Sunday, so how could you expect a kid like him to be on his own like that in a new city I can meet up with you two for dinner in the afternoon at the latest."

Hearing this, Xiao Ning pulled the corners of his lips, having no idea what he was even smiling about.

The gentleness had now also returned to his tone, as he simply responded: "Understood."

Xiao Ning nodded faintly in reply, exposing a smile as he countered, "There's nothing wrong with being alone."

"Yeah, he's in the shower.

He'll be out soon." Not knowing what he was thinking about, Xia Li's face flushed.

Xiao Ning pretended he saw nothing then reminded him, "Breakfast is on the table, you can go eat if you want."

Xiao Ning gave a nod to show he understood, though in truth, he had completely forgotten about that matter for the entirety of the afternoon.

"Thanks, but I'll just wait until he gets out so we can eat together." Xia Li said while taking a seat beside Xiao Ning before adding, "I'm sorry for troubling you to bring over breakfast so early."

N/A

This person was completely ignorant to the ways of the world. So putting on a smile, Xiao Ning replied simply, "It's fine.

I usually don't sleep in anyhow."

During this time, Shan Haiming did not contact him, and every now and again thoughts about this would cross his mind.

Compared to before, now, not only was that man a passing acquaintance of little familiarity, he was able to become a strange friend of sorts.

Having one hand supporting his cheek while the other held a pair of chopsticks, Shan Haiming lackadaisically picked up a piece of the chicken, chewing and chewing until he spat out the bone before swallowing the flesh—an act he repeated over and over again.

To which Xiao Ning politely replied, "Yes.

Is Lu Yan up"

Unable to hold himself back, Lu Yan sat at the table and ate to his hearts content.

After sending a smile Xiao Ning's way, Xia Li also went over to Lu Yan to eat his breakfast.

The two faced each other, eating while chatting and smiling at one another from time to time.

This person was completely ignorant to the ways of the world. So putting on a smile, Xiao Ning replied simply, "It's fine.

I usually don't sleep in anyhow."

This person was completely ignorant to the ways of the world. So putting on a smile, Xiao Ning replied simply, "It's fine.

I usually don't sleep in anyhow."

Hearing the other person on the line not knowing what to say, Shan Haiming tapped his finger against the table as he asked, "Is that necessary"

Seeing all this out of the corner of his eye, Xiao Ning felt as though the dinner he had last night was still undigested, feeling heavy and cold.

Xiao Ning gave a nod to show he understood, though in truth, he had completely forgotten about that matter for the entirety of the afternoon.

Prompting Xia Li to lament, "You're amazing! When the weekend comes, there are times I don't wake up until noon!"

"Got it.

Jeez, you're such a nag." After responding, Shan Haiming walked a few steps with his hand tucked in his pockets before remembering to add: "Don't worry about that thing you told me about, alright.

You can take tomorrow off too, but you can go back to work the day after."

After he walked off, Xiao Ning realised he was talking about the fish, and for some reason, he felt an unbearable urge to chase after Shan Haiming, calling out: "Mr.

Shan!"

Xiao Ning knew Lu Yan was the channel representative of his company, and also that his office was empty half the time.

This was due to him often hoofing around outside, so as long as he signs it off as a field trip, he was surely taking advantage of this convenience to play around all over the place with Xia Li.

Just as he said those words, LuYan walked in.

Upon seeing Xiao Ning his eyes lit up as he asked, "Where's the dumplings"

The next night, Xiao Ning received a call from the administrative department, notifying him to show up at work the following day.

But apart from that, they didn't say anything further, nor did Xiao Ning take it upon himself to ask them as well.

Regarding such a matter, he had a least that much faith in Shan Haiming.

"On the table." Xiao Ning replied with a smile.

Unable to hold himself back, Lu Yan sat at the table and ate to his hearts content.

After sending a smile Xiao Ning's way, Xia Li also went over to Lu Yan to eat his breakfast.

The two faced each other, eating while chatting and smiling at one another from time to time.

Leading Xiao Ning to finally reveal a smile from his formerly pursed lips before further telling Shan Haiming: "Be careful on the road, alright"

From the other end of the line, Lu Yan replied: "Yeah.

I was planning to take him out shopping on Sunday, but a meeting got rescheduled for that day and my colleague had to go on a business trip, so I was the only one to take it over."

From the start, Xiao Ning never expected Shan Haiming to issue him any praises, since it was after all just an ordinary meal.

But seeing him at the very least continually taking bite after bit, had made Xiao Ning feel quite grateful.

This punishment was neither light nor heavy, but it was just.

Xiao Ning wanted to thank Shan Haiming for his way of accomplishing things, because like this, it at least appears as if he was receiving some sort of special treatment.

Unable to hold himself back, Lu Yan sat at the table and ate to his hearts content.

After sending a smile Xiao Ning's way, Xia Li also went over to Lu Yan to eat his breakfast.

The two faced each other, eating while chatting and smiling at one another from time to time.

Wearing a frown of annoyance, Shan Haiming pulled out his phone, giving the screen a look.

His gaze then cast itself towards Xiao Ning, expressing a brief look of contemplation before answering the call, saying, "What is it I already ate."

Xiao Ning then turned his attention to eating that plate of the squirrel-tailed fish.

A dish which sadly bore no resemblance to what it should be.

It was floured far too heavily leaving it thick, and was also fired for far to long making its flesh beyond crispy when eaten.

Furthermore, despite the taste of the sweet and sour sauce not being too bad, it was too thin, however, so it's hold on the fried fish was slight.

Xiao Ning opened his mouth to speak, slightly struggling to find his words yet still manage to say aloud: "The squirrel-tailed fish wasn't really tasty...

but nevertheless...

thank you."

Xiao Ning gave a nod to show he understood, though in truth, he had completely forgotten about that matter for the entirety of the afternoon.

Tiny note: Singles' Day is a day for single folks that is celebrated on November the 11th (11/11) every year.

[]me throughout this chapter: Lu Yan...

you cunt of a man.

It's a mantra at this point (︶^︶)[]also me this chapter: Little Ning, you do have a choice! Good thing this story is about him realising as much (❁´◡`❁)

Seeing all this out of the corner of his eye, Xiao Ning felt as though the dinner he had last night was still undigested, feeling heavy and cold.

Trying to smooth his way out of it, Xiao Ning replied: "I might have other plans that day as well, so can't you just ask someone else Or maybe you can just have Xia Li stroll around by himself before you're done."

"On the table." Xiao Ning replied with a smile.

He said those words so matter-of-factly, it made Xiao Ning want to laugh.

While looking at Xiao Ning, right as he was speaking, his lips curved upwards into an indecipherable smile, "It's actually a good thing, because there's something I need to tell you all."

Trying to smooth his way out of it, Xiao Ning replied: "I might have other plans that day as well, so can't you just ask someone else Or maybe you can just have Xia Li stroll around by himself before you're done."

It was almost eight by the time the two could set the dinner table after they were finished cooking, but it was only then that they had realised neither of them had made any rice.

Right then, Shan Haiming's face was already showing signs of impatience despite his calm, so Xiao Ning made his way downstairs to the eatery to get two servings of rice and took them back upstairs.

"On the table." Xiao Ning replied with a smile.

After the two were done eating, Lu Yan asked Xia Li to take his time while getting changed, as he and Xiao Ning went down to the car first.

After entering the car, Lu Yan suddenly remembered something, taking out his wallet, saying, "If Xia Li want to buy anything, just use my card to buy it if it's not much.

You know the password, right It's your birthday."

His eyes now fixed to the ground, Xiao Ning felt a complex range of emotions, causing him to remain silent for a while.

From the start, Xiao Ning never expected Shan Haiming to issue him any praises, since it was after all just an ordinary meal.

But seeing him at the very least continually taking bite after bit, had made Xiao Ning feel quite grateful.

And following those words, he ended the call.

A meaningful look was given to him by Xiao Ning, who then asked, "Did something urgent come up You're busy with a prior engagement then."

Xiao Ning knew Lu Yan was the channel representative of his company, and also that his office was empty half the time.

This was due to him often hoofing around outside, so as long as he signs it off as a field trip, he was surely taking advantage of this convenience to play around all over the place with Xia Li.

"You have other plans" Lu Yan was also quite shocked.

Never did he even consider those other options, as he continued to ask, "How can you be busy Do you think I don't know you You never had anything to do on Sundays, and if you did, you'd always just drop them.

You know I'd come to find you on Sunday's before too, right When have you ever not been free"

Moreover, he had already given his word to Shan Haiming, so it was only natural he would think about him a bit more.

He did figure Shan Haiming wouldn't show up out the blue without notifying him first as well.

Not knowing exactly why, however, doing so did help his mood relax.

Despite Shan Haiming usually putting up a "don't talk to me" face, you could always just say what you want.

Inevitably, it gave rise to the same effect in others, making it seem as though saying all those things they want to say aren't that hard to vocalise.

Lu Yan had no patience when it came to remembering passwords, so for a few of his cards he just used his parents birthdays, and for this card he uses most of the time, he just used Xiao Ning's.

Like this, he could memorize all of their birthday's, killing two birds with one stone which really made him feel rather pleased with himself.

Shan Haiming stopped, turning his head back to look at Xiao Ning, his brows raising in curiosity.

Then after a while of him listening before releasing a sigh carrying traces of a sneer, he replied, "Fine.

I'll see you in an hour."

Early Sunday morning, had no choice but to get up early, since both Ziqian Street and the place where Lu Yan lives in Hanjiang was a bit off road.

This time around he had learned from before, so after entering the apartment he only say in the living room and waited.

Luckily, the people in the bedroom didn't stay there for too long.

After all, Lu Yan actually had matters to attend to, so although he was capricious by nature, to bring in a high income at work, he did take his job seriously.

Xiao Ning took it without saying a word, because it was Lu Yan's little boyfriend anyhow, so he thought whatever the man did was simply his own business.

◈◇◈

Xiao Ning knew Lu Yan was the channel representative of his company, and also that his office was empty half the time.

This was due to him often hoofing around outside, so as long as he signs it off as a field trip, he was surely taking advantage of this convenience to play around all over the place with Xia Li.

◈◇◈

After he sat in the front passenger seat, Lu Yan looked over to him and asked, "Why are you always wearing that shirt Don't you have anything else to wear"

From the start, Xiao Ning never expected Shan Haiming to issue him any praises, since it was after all just an ordinary meal.

But seeing him at the very least continually taking bite after bit, had made Xiao Ning feel quite grateful.

Xiao Ning then turned his attention to eating that plate of the squirrel-tailed fish.

A dish which sadly bore no resemblance to what it should be.

It was floured far too heavily leaving it thick, and was also fired for far to long making its flesh beyond crispy when eaten.

Furthermore, despite the taste of the sweet and sour sauce not being too bad, it was too thin, however, so it's hold on the fried fish was slight.

With his hand still on the handle, Shan Haiming leaned his body towards Xiao Ning, staring at him for a moment before suddenly reaching out his hand to wipe the corners of Xiao Ning's lips and returning it towards his own with no hesitation.

After licking his fingers, his eyes narrowed while he said: "Tastes bad."

After he sat in the front passenger seat, Lu Yan looked over to him and asked, "Why are you always wearing that shirt Don't you have anything else to wear"

During this time, Shan Haiming did not contact him, and every now and again thoughts about this would cross his mind.

Compared to before, now, not only was that man a passing acquaintance of little familiarity, he was able to become a strange friend of sorts.

In response, Xiao Ning just plastered on a smile, because it wasn't that he didn't wear other clothes, it was just that Lu Yan never took notice at all.

Then after a while of him listening before releasing a sigh carrying traces of a sneer, he replied, "Fine.

I'll see you in an hour."

It was almost eight by the time the two could set the dinner table after they were finished cooking, but it was only then that they had realised neither of them had made any rice.

Right then, Shan Haiming's face was already showing signs of impatience despite his calm, so Xiao Ning made his way downstairs to the eatery to get two servings of rice and took them back upstairs.

He himself wasn't all too sure what it was exactly he was thankful for.

Yet, somehow, he felt as though Shan Haiming would still understand.

Just as he said those words, LuYan walked in.

Upon seeing Xiao Ning his eyes lit up as he asked, "Where's the dumplings"

This person was completely ignorant to the ways of the world. So putting on a smile, Xiao Ning replied simply, "It's fine.

I usually don't sleep in anyhow."

The person who cooked and currently reeking of burnt oil did not have much of an appetite when as he looked at the meals spread out on the table which weren't that great.

Xiao Ning added the two containers of rice to their layout, though, and was the first one to take a spoonful of their curried chicken.

To be fair, there weren't a lot of people who could mess up curried chicken, so the taste of it was passable.

Relieved at that fact, he placed a plate of it before Shan Haiming, saying, "If it's not that good, you can just eat a little."

From the other end of the line, Lu Yan replied: "Yeah.

I was planning to take him out shopping on Sunday, but a meeting got rescheduled for that day and my colleague had to go on a business trip, so I was the only one to take it over."

"Buy yourself a few shirts later.

Consider it as my gift to you." Lu Yan leaned over to help him straighten his collar, a frown forming on his face as he looked him over for a while before handsomely lifting the corners of his lips, "Looks-wise, you're quite handsome, yeah You just need to tidy yourself up a bit.

You can't really expect yourself to keep celebrating Singles' Day every year, right"

Tiny note: Singles' Day is a day for single folks that is celebrated on November the 11th (11/11) every year.

[]me throughout this chapter: Lu Yan...

you cunt of a man.

It's a mantra at this point (︶^︶)[]also me this chapter: Little Ning, you do have a choice! Good thing this story is about him realising as much (❁´◡`❁)

Unable to hold himself back, Lu Yan sat at the table and ate to his hearts content.

After sending a smile Xiao Ning's way, Xia Li also went over to Lu Yan to eat his breakfast.

The two faced each other, eating while chatting and smiling at one another from time to time.

Moreover, he had already given his word to Shan Haiming, so it was only natural he would think about him a bit more.

He did figure Shan Haiming wouldn't show up out the blue without notifying him first as well.

Wearing a frown of annoyance, Shan Haiming pulled out his phone, giving the screen a look.

His gaze then cast itself towards Xiao Ning, expressing a brief look of contemplation before answering the call, saying, "What is it I already ate."

Xiao Ning wanted to continue asking about the matter, but out of habit he hesitated, thinking instead that Shan Haiming would certainly notify him advance when he was truly needed. So wouldn't rushing him to answer such a question make him feel uncomfortable

Xiao Ning nodded faintly in reply, exposing a smile as he countered, "There's nothing wrong with being alone."

From the start, Xiao Ning never expected Shan Haiming to issue him any praises, since it was after all just an ordinary meal.

But seeing him at the very least continually taking bite after bit, had made Xiao Ning feel quite grateful.

Early Sunday morning, had no choice but to get up early, since both Ziqian Street and the place where Lu Yan lives in Hanjiang was a bit off road.

This time around he had learned from before, so after entering the apartment he only say in the living room and waited.

Luckily, the people in the bedroom didn't stay there for too long.

After all, Lu Yan actually had matters to attend to, so although he was capricious by nature, to bring in a high income at work, he did take his job seriously.

Right as he was stalling, Shan Haiming's teasing appearance suddenly found its way into his mind when he had said: "If you have something to say, just say it.

What's there to be afraid of"

Hearing this, Xiao Ning pulled the corners of his lips, having no idea what he was even smiling about.

The gentleness had now also returned to his tone, as he simply responded: "Understood."

Xiao Ning nodded faintly in reply, exposing a smile as he countered, "There's nothing wrong with being alone."

"I guess." Lu Yan sighed, leaning over further to help him buckle his seat belt, while adding, "Then again, if you do get a partner, I don't think I could get used to it."

The following day, Xiao Ning made his way to the company, being taken to the manager's office the moment he entered.

He was then told the higher ups at his company adjudicated his dereliction of duty and decided to deduct his current month's performance credit along with half of his year-end bonus.

Furthermore, he also had to give the trainees three months of training, since all the other team members were gone.

And following those words, he ended the call.

A meaningful look was given to him by Xiao Ning, who then asked, "Did something urgent come up You're busy with a prior engagement then."

After saying this, a depressed look marred his faced as he looked at Xiao Ning, "So it's better you don't find anytime soon, alright"

After saying this, a depressed look marred his faced as he looked at Xiao Ning, "So it's better you don't find anytime soon, alright"

—Your life is the result of your own choices.

-

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