tioned his grandmother, Luo Ting stopped talking.

Lin Hui had been a left-behind child.
When he was very young, his parents left to find work elsewhere and ended up dying in an accident.
He was brought up entirely by his grandmother.
Luo Ting still remembered this one major-required course that they had to take.
The professor had them take turns and explain why they had chosen to study horticulture.
Lin Hui spoke loudly and clearly.
“My parents died when I was really young.
My grandmother relied on farming and gardening in order to send me to school.
When I was in sixth grade, my teacher told us to write about what we wanted to do after we grew up.
At that time, I thought, ‘When I grow up, I’ll definitely let Grandma have a taste of the fruits and vegetables that I’ve grown myself.’”

The entire class had been shocked by Lin Hui’s answer.

Most college students were technically adults, but their temperaments had yet to mature.
They were competitive, they were vain, and they were sensitive.
It didn’t matter whether it was in front of other students or in front of teachers.
They would always try to hide away the shameful parts of themselves.
Lin Hui was different.
He candidly expresses the hardship that he experienced.
He wasn’t trying to garner pity nor did he pretend to be optimistic.
Within those eyes of his, there was only a burning sense of pride and a soft and gentle smile. 

“So you’re just going to go on like this? It’s almost been a decade.
How many decades are there in a single human life? You’re such a capable person.
How long are you going to waste your time on him? Until he’s married? He might even ask you to arrange his wedding ceremony for him.”

Luo Ting’s words were not pleasing to hear.
However, Lin Hui thought about it carefully and found that it really was a possibility.

 

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“I’ll leave when I can’t take it anymore.”

“Dude, you’re an adult, not a high school student.
I think you need an outcome for yourself.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s good or bad.
You need to give yourself a conclusion.” 

Actually, Lin Hui had once spent countless sleepless nights, lying in bed, thinking about this very issue.
Did he want to give it a go and confess?

However, he knew He Jianshan too well.
He Jianshan was a person who kept his public matters separate from his private matters.
If his confession failed, he wouldn’t necessarily be forced to leave Wanzhu, but he would definitely be transferred elsewhere—somewhere far away from He Jianshan.

He was reluctant to take such a risk.

“He doesn’t like men.” Lin Hui lowered his head and took a sip of his alcohol.
The taste in his mouth was sour. 

“Didn’t you say last time that he doesn’t date? Maybe he also likes men.”

“No, I said that he’s really very busy.
His schedule is completely full.
There was a period of time in which he was so busy that he only slept three hours a day.
I feel like he doesn’t have time to fall in love, and he doesn’t need to fall in love.”

Luo Ting clicked his tongue.
“I feel like the person you’re talking about isn’t a human, but an AI.
He’s an unfeeling machine.”

Lin Hui laughed.
“He’s exactly like that.
A couple of my colleagues were saying how no girl would be able to put up with a boyfriend like that.
Plus—” 

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Lin Hui’s smile faded.
“I heard him say that he doesn’t like men with my own ears.”

After lunch, Lin Hui made a trip to the company.
Although it was a weekend, Lin Hui had invited Liu Hongrui from Yuntai Electric to talk things over that afternoon.
Liu Hongrui had made several calls to invite him out for a meal, but Lin Hui had declined twice.
This time, he simply claimed that he was swamped with work and invited him to the company for a chat.
He drank some beer earlier.
He wasn’t drunk, but his face was a little bit red.
He’d always been like this.
The alcohol would always go to his face.
If he had even the slightest drop of alcohol, his face would go red.
There was really nothing he could do.

Lin Hui went to the bathroom to wash his face.
Then, he stood by the window of the reception lounge with his arms folded, taking in the breeze as he waited.
He had a lot on his mind, and his thoughts had drifted far away.
He didn’t notice the familiar footsteps outside the door.
As a result, when He Jianshan arrived at the office, he was met with this sight.
Assistant Lin, who had always been staunch and tall, was now leaning lazily against the window’s edge.
His body was hidden within the curtain’s shadow.
A scatter of sunlight would occasionally stop by in his downcast eyes.
His entire person looked both lonely and tired—

He seemed to be asleep. 

As soon as this thought flashed through He Jianshan’s mind, his feet immediately took a step back.
Before he even had the chance to wonder why he had such an instinctive reaction, Lin Hui had already heard the movement.
He turned his head, his eyes looked through the dust, and the two of them happened to lock eyes.

Lin Hui seemed to be stunned for a moment.
Then, the corners of his lips curved up.
Maintaining the same lazy posture, he tilted his head slightly in greeting.
“I have an appointment with someone.” It might’ve been because of the alcohol, but he didn’t want to bother with all the formalities.
His entire person seemed a little lax.

He Jianshan felt a little surprised.

Over the past couple of years, they had worked side by side on project after project.
In front of him, Lin Hui was always polite, earnest, and humble.
He watched him go from a fledgling to the capable, reliable jack-of-all-trades that he was today, yet he’d never seen this side of him before. 

He thought of those countless all-nighters in which Lin Hui asked him, “President He, are you tired?”

He suddenly wanted to ask, “Lin Hui, are you tired?”

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