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Ch111.1 – Future
What is the future?
Yu Hao's vision of the future was very simple: each of them will find a job and settle down in a city where the sunlight s.h.i.+nes resplendently. Two people together, buy a house, keep a Golden Retriever, Zhou Sheng can walk the dog in the morning when he goes out for a run, then bring him breakfast when he comes back. When the time comes, he would then crawl out his bed and wash up with a head of mussed hair. Zhou Sheng would pat his b.u.t.t before taking a bath and going to work.
After night falls and they get off work, they would buy groceries, cook, and eat dinner as they sit at the dining table. Zhou Sheng would smoke as he washed the dishes, Yu Hao would do some household ch.o.r.es, then they would both browse the internet once they were done to either play games or watch anime. Once it hits 11pm, they'd do it once on the bed, then sleep. During the holidays, they would carry their backpacks and leave hand in hand to go on a vacation……
All of this was the ideal life that Yu Hao formed from his barren powers of imagination. On the day they die of old age, they would lie in bed and say, “Thank you for your love in this life, let's meet again in the next.” Then close their eyes in peace, die together, and their current life would end.
However, after Chen Yekai reminded him that the “Golden Crow Wheel could be a separator that splits the soul and the body”, Yu Hao suddenly had a vague sense that he no longer feared death. After his life span was up, would they remain in the Golden Crow Wheel and meet once again in that grand, beautiful palace hall while maintaining their youthful appearances?
“So if we want to live that kind of life.” Yu Hao asked in high spirits, “How much would we need without your father's help?”
Zhou Sheng didn't know if he should cry or laugh as he looked at Yu Hao calculating the costs at the dining table and answered, “Your dream's really simple. A few million ba.”
Yu Hao, “A few million?”
A two-bedroom apartment, one room for them with the other for a study, and a dog as well, seventy to eighty square meters, and they could get it on a loan. If the two of them worked hard together, would they still not be able to earn enough to buy a house in this life?
“2,200,000 including renovations.” Yu Hao said, “Then we would be able to live comfortably in Ying City.”
“Un……” Zhou Sheng glanced sideways at Yu Hao's form. As long as people aren't too greedy for material things, life doesn't actually seem so difficult. In this case, they would just need to find a job that paid 6,000 to 12,000 a month within five to six years after their graduation, then their family's total income would sum up to about 15,000 yuan, and they would be able to barely afford Yu Hao's ideal life.
At the same time, this also made them feel like a huge rock had been lifted off their hearts. They no longer needed to fear the gesticulation and discussion of teachers and students behind their backs. Zhou Sheng wasn't even afraid of his own parents, so why would he be afraid of Xue Long? If you have something to say, then say it, otherwise just shut up. They can now be together right out in the open.
On the third day of the New Year, Mama Zhou called them and finally snapped out of her daze as she gave Zhou Sheng a good scolding. However, what left the deepest impression on Yu Hao was that Mama Zhou had actually said in the end, “Forget it, just let it be then. In any case it's better to give birth to a char siew than to give birth to you, let him die without descendants.”
Yu Hao didn't dare to interrupt. In the end, Mama Zhou even offered to increase Zhou Sheng's living expenses from 2,400 to 3,200. Zhou Sheng was about to refuse when Mama Zhou said, “If you have no money, do you intend to let him eat s.h.i.+t with you? This is what your mother's lending you, pay it back when you start working.”
“Okay then.” Zhou Sheng was planning to find a part-time job to earn some money, but he understood Mama Zhou's intentions.
After he hung up, Yu Hao said, “I don't want to spend your mother's money.”
“She already said it's a loan.” Zhou Sheng said, “It'll be fine to return it to her with the accrued interest after graduation, don't you think she's actually pretty happy?”
Yu Hao blew up, “How in the world is she happy?! Why can't I tell that she's happy??”
Zhou Sheng said earnestly, “She's quite satisfied, because I've cut off ties with my Dad. Sometimes I think, ai, she just has to compete with that old man all her life, and she will never stop.”
After Yu Hao thought about it carefully, he realised that it was true. Zhou Sheng's mother proves the value of her existence through constantly opposing Zhou Laichun. Zhou Laichun wouldn't admit that his son was being gay with another guy, so Mama Zhou insisted on doing the opposite. Zhou Laichun cut off all financial support to his son, but Mama Zhou was willing to do her utmost within her abilities to raise Zhou Sheng's living expenses. Zhou Laichun's att.i.tude was “get lost”, while Mama Zhou's att.i.tude was “let the Zhou family die off without descendants this is great hahahaha”, in any case, she just wanted to p.i.s.s him off to death.
Mama Zhou would raise both hands to support anything that could p.i.s.s Zhou Laichun off to death.
“Then……we'll have to work hard.”
During the New Year, Zhou Sheng smiled a bit sadly as he watched Yu Hao come up with a new plan for their life.
“Let's study now then.” Yu Hao answered.
Everyone has a phase in their lives where they would need to completely break away from the support of their family, walk away, and face the pa.s.sing of time independently.
Yu Hao had already experienced it when he graduated from high school, but Zhou Sheng never had. In this respect, Yu Hao was relatively precocious compared to his peers. This was why most of the time, a tacit understanding would emerge between him and Chen Yekai. After all, both of them were people who had undergone this period of maturation, so they shared this common experience.
When they went to pay their New Year's greetings on the fifth day of the year, Yu Hao told Chen Yekai what had happened. Chen Yekai smiled as he said, “Next, you'll just have to wait for Zhou Sheng's father to offer his proposal. Guess how much money he'll smash in your face?”
Yu Hao said helplessly, “Of course I won't even take a single penny.”
Chen Yekai said, “I'll give you an idea, I guarantee he won't be able to do anything to you after that.”
After listening to him, Zhou Sheng appreciated Chen Yekai's “idea” very much, but Yu Hao was still a little worried.
He knew that Zhou Sheng needed time to adjust. Ever since the day they got together, Zhou Sheng had been trying his best to understand and learn how to play the role of a man who would a.s.sume the responsibility of constructing a family. Logically speaking, it would be much better if they could peacefully tide over this period. However, the transition period after entering society was generally not a peaceful one for most people. The change in circ.u.mstance is like a sudden blow to the face, and it would shatter the self-esteem that they used to be so proud of.
Yu Hao had already been mercilessly smashed by that hammer before, but he didn't want to let Zhou Sheng get hit by it too. It was truly too painful.
Chen Yekai, Ou Qihang, Huang Ting, Xiao Yujun, Fu Liqun……Yu Hao had learnt a lot from his friends, which made him adjust his life goals.
During his time in university, he just needed enough money to sustain himself; studying should be his top priority, he couldn't waste too much time on working. Thus, Yu Hao no longer spent too much time on part-time jobs or pursuing material desires, and instead fulfilled his role as a student. Once he got good grades, he would be able to hold his head up higher in front of Xue Long and wouldn't be looked down upon by the teachers and students in college.
A year pa.s.sed by almost in the blink of an eye. Under Yu Hao's persuasion, Zhou Sheng converted their two-person Australia vacation into prize money. Their plane tickets couldn't be refunded, so they could only change their reservation, and they temporarily set the funds for their hotel aside as a backup for their living expenses. Zhou Sheng couldn't convince Yu Hao, so he could only give in.
“You're so smart,” Yu Hao said to Zhou Sheng, “You're definitely capable of studying business.”
“Don't mention business to me.” Zhou Sheng was a little irritated. Yu Hao didn't know what business ever did to him. Zhou Sheng was very good at mathematics, and Yu Hao sometimes felt that he was even better than Chen Yekai at it. However, Zhou Sheng didn't want to be a programmer and learn programming, and he was even less inclined to seriously focus on academic research. Yu Hao thought about it over and over and found that only business would suit him.
Every time he mentioned getting Zhou Sheng to study finance though, Zhou Sheng resisted the idea, so Yu Hao couldn't urge him about it. In the end, Zhou Sheng chose an English course by himself and was ready to get better at it before advancing to Business-level English. His reasoning was that it would be more convenient to take Yu Hao abroad next time to travel the world……
The gingko trees on the sidewalk outside their house turned yellow again; the pear blossoms withered and bloomed. After some time, Fu Liqun began contacting Cen Shan again, and they would meet up once in awhile “as friends”, have a meal, and didn't go get a room.
Neither side mentioned the possibility of reconciling, nor did they sever their ties completely. Yu Hao thought, what kind of relations.h.i.+p does that count as? Ultimately though, this was Fu Liqun's private matter, so he and Zhou Sheng couldn't comment on it.
Yu Hao knew that Fu Liqun must still love Cen Shan. Both of them should have set some certain conditions and yielded to each other some time.
Fu Liqun usually had a good time hanging out with Li Yangming and would occasionally not go out with Zhou Sheng and Yu Hao. His time could be considered to be split 30-70, 30% for Li Yangming, and he would take him out for a meal and shopping from time to time.
Yu Hao understands that Fu Liqun didn't want to disturb his time with Zhou Sheng, and Zhou Sheng did say that everyone has their own goals in life and didn't force Fu Liqun to go out with them all the time. In any case, Fu Liqun would return at night when it was time to sleep.