SML V4C43 A Special Type of Joy

Duan Zhi Hao stared blankly for a moment, not sure what to make of that. He couldn’t know for sure but something told him that he was right. Now, seeing as he had figured out what probably amounted to a secret, he wasn’t sure what to do. Should he say something? Actually, should he speak up and clarify? But that also seemed a little wrong.

Not knowing what else to do, he turned back to the front and pushed his glass back to Yao Chen after all. Well, if you didn’t know what to do, just have one more drink. He would probably regret that tomorrow, but for the moment, it would help.

Li Ming glanced at him but he didn’t notice that anything was off. Actually, he just thought that Duan Zhi Hao was slightly drunk, and might be giving a bit too much about that age of his. “Ah, I don’t think you’re that old. Although I guess being told that by somebody younger might not be too helpful.” He shook his head and then couldn’t help but think of something else. “Speaking of younger … What about tomorrow? Any input on what to do? Sister Yao probably doesn’t get to go out very much these days. We should choose something she would like a lot.”

Duan Zhi Hao hastily pushed away his previous thoughts, although he couldn’t help but sweat a little when he thought how Yao Ai and he had thought of dragging Li Ming to a library to set him up with someone. Really, why had it never crossed their minds that maybe he wasn’t all that interested in women? Then again, it really wasn’t like you could tell from looking at Li Ming. Statistically, they hadn’t done anything wrong …

For a moment, he was distracted, making Li Ming raise his brows at him. “No idea?”

Finally, Duan Zhi Hao managed to pretend that nothing had happened and shook his head. “It’s not that I don’t have ideas. But I think we agreed that you would be the one to choose so how could I just take over? I’m sure sister Yao would realize.”

Li Ming wasn’t too sure if she really would or if she would mind even if she did, but he still nodded. “Well, I guess I’ll think of something myself then.” Anyway, he had been quite successful when it came to choosing dates for him and Mo Fang, right? Or, well, at the very least, he felt that he had been.

Even though Mo Fang hadn’t always been honest about it, he had been able to glimpse a bit of his true reaction beneath his act. So he figured that it shouldn’t be all that difficult to find something that the three of them could do together. Planning something for friends should be much easier than planning something for you and your significant other, right?

For a while, he couldn’t help but wonder about the possibilities, but finally, he shook his head. Right now, that really wasn’t the question yet. Instead, he turned back to Duan Zhi Hao. “The course has ended, so what’s up for you next? Sister Yao and I are probably going to do some other courses but it didn’t strike me as if you had those intentions.”

Duan Zhi Hao shook his head, feeling that Li Ming was really the more observant between the two of them. “Exactly right. Usually, I do a course like that every year or maybe once every two years or so. It’s just something I do to make sure that I stay up-to-date with things and don’t get too comfortable. It’s for reminding myself that even though I have gotten to this advanced age, I don’t know everything yet.”

“It’s a good approach.” Actually, if it had been a year ago, he might not have been able to see the value in it. He would have felt like as long as you just did your job well, it would be enough. But by now, he saw things a little differently.

Yes, this was indeed a good approach. One that he could see himself adopting as well. Using several weeks away from work for now was right for him but, in the future, he wouldn’t have the luxury to indulge himself in the joy of learning.

By then, including learning one new thing per year into his schedule might be the only option. And it was one that he should probably take. Otherwise, there really would be no going forward. Because at some point — just like Duan Zhi Hao had said — you would just get too comfortable with where your life currently was.

He didn’t want that. No, to the him now, going forward and not clinging too much to the status quo and the past was more important than it had been before. He didn’t know if that would still be the same a year from now when he was hopefully over this matter with Mo Fang but he could imagine that it might be. That it should be. At the very least, his experience would stay with him and that should have an influence on how he thought about things long-term as well.

Thinking to himself for a while, Li ming couldn’t help but give Duan Zhi Hao another look. “So, looking at your ‘advanced age’ and calculating what that would mean if you take one course a year, you must have taken a look at quite a few things. Mind to share a bit?”

Duan Zhi Hao relaxed when Li Ming asked him like this, feeling that no matter what, it probably didn’t change anything. Anyway, if Li Ming wanted him to know, he’d tell him in the future. If not, then he would just pretend not to know anything. Yes, that really seemed like the right course of action.

Making up his mind, he finally launched into his tale of the many things he had actually gotten invested in in the past. Recounting all of it, his eyes were actually shimmering with nostalgia. Even though he was usually just joking when talking about his age, there were still many things he had experienced over the years. That was something that he looked back upon fondly. So sharing it was a special type of joy.

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