Shang Ning wasn’t wrong. A few minutes later, the first children arrived and half an hour later, everyone had gathered in one of the bigger rooms.
Qin Nuan — the middle-aged auntie that had been directing the two young men before — took the lead in opening today’s operation. “Welcome back everyone! As you can see, today, we have a new volunteer joining everyone. Let’s have him introduce himself and tell you a bit about his life experience.” She smiled kindly at the children and teenagers and then turned to Li Ming, giving him an encouraging look.
Li Ming nodded at her with a smile before turning to the youngsters as well. “Hello, everyone! My name is Li Ming. I’ve been born here in Shanghai and went on to become a security guard after I finished my schooling. These days, I’m working at a local chain hotel. On the side, I have started to work as an instructor for self-defense courses twice a week which is also based on everything I learned from my job as a security guard. I’m happy to answer any questions if you want to know more about either of these.”
He smiled and gave them a questioning look to see if anyone indeed wanted to know more. Of course, he could directly give more information but he had thought about it after Qiao Ya and Shang Ning asked about it and felt that a short self-introduction up front would be better.
If somebody didn’t care at all, they could directly go and take care of their own matters. On the other hand, he could go into more detail with the children who wanted to know more without making the rest feel bored. It seemed like the best of both worlds.
For a moment, nobody spoke. Then, one of the younger kids raised his hand.
Li Ming motioned at him. “What would you like to know?” He wondered if he should ask for his name as well but then figured he’d have enough time to learn those later. Anyway, he’d have an easier time remembering everyone after interacting a bit more instead of trying to take everything in at once.
The boy didn’t think to introduce himself either. He just curiously looked at Li Ming. “So, are you sister Rong’s boyfriend?”
Li Ming’s brows raised slowly. “Huh?” He turned to look at Rong Xiang who didn’t look any less surprised than him. Turning back to the child, he shook his head. “No, why would you think so?”
The boy instantly deflated when he was told no but still explained honestly. “Well, I heard her and sister Shang talk about her boyfriend’s courses just last week! He is also a self-defense instructor so I thought it should be you.”
Some of the other kids nodded as well, clearly having thought so as well.
Li Ming rubbed his neck. Actually, he could understand their thought process. Anyway, not to mention that he and Rong Xiang’s boyfriend having the same job seemed a bit too coincidental, how had he come to volunteer here? Didn’t it make sense that she had introduced him? Maybe they had even heard something similar.
He smiled and finally shook his head. “Well, I’m not her boyfriend but I actually work with her boyfriend. You could say he’s my boss.” In fact, he was his boss. It simply felt less official than Manager Quan being his boss because he tended to hang out with Zhu Yi and Rong Xiang outside of work. Still, he was very clear on the fact that he did indeed work for Zhu Yi.
The boy that had originally asked the question instantly perked up again. “Then what is he like?”
Li Ming’s mouth opened but for a moment, he wasn’t sure what to say. Actually, what was going on here? He turned to look at Rong Xiang, trying to understand if he was missing something. He could understand if the children weren’t too interested in his job. Anyway, being a security guard at a hotel probably didn’t sound that exciting. If he had been a bodyguard, the situation might have been different. But to be asked about other people’s boyfriends …
Rong Xiang just laughed. “Xiao Yong, what’s with this? Are you trying to trick brother Li into revealing more information?”
Xiao Yong immediately shook his head. “Of course not! How can it be called tricking when I ask him directly?” The boy puffed up his cheeks, looking indignant as if she was falsely accusing him of bad deeds.
Rong Xiang just laughed and turned to Li Ming. “Well, brother Li, you tell him honestly then!”
Li Ming felt somewhat embarrassed. It wasn’t that he had anything bad to say about Zhu Yi but that was his boss and he was talking about him in front of his girlfriend. Also, the whole situation was so weird. But then, maybe he should have expected this. Working with children probably was like that.
In the end, he gave a thoughtful hum. “Is there anything specific you’d like to know? Otherwise, this question is a bit broad.”
Xiao Yong thought about it but before he could come up with a response, the girl next to him already waved her hand.
“I know, I know! Have you seen them together? How does he treat sister Rong?”
Li Ming laughed, finally understanding where this was coming from. Apparently, the children liked Rong Xiang so they were worried about her home life. Even though she had probably told them about Zhu Yi already, they might not have been sure if they could trust it. Now that there was somebody who knew her boyfriend, they just wanted to make sure he really was a good person. Basically, they were verifying Rong Xiang’s words with him.
He naturally didn’t need to think about this and nodded straightforwardly. “Of course, he does. He loves your sister Rong very much!”
The two small children looked happy. Unfortunately, one of the older ones just scoffed. “What are you looking so happy for? Of course, he’s saying that. That’s his boss! You can’t trust a word he says about him!”
Li Ming could only look at the teenager in exasperation. Apparently, working with children really wasn’t easy …