In the evening, Tang Xu walked into the room after taking a shower and had just replied to two messages from colleagues on his phone when he heard footsteps at the door.
He turned around and saw Tang Cuo standing there, holding a soft, big pillow, with semi-dry hair and clothes on his shoulders wet with water droplets.

“I want to sleep with you tonight,” Tang Cuo said.

Tang Xu leaned over and pulled his own pillow to the left side, glanced at the person still standing at the door, and said, “Come in.”

After lying down on the bed, Tang Cuo said again, “I don’t want to blow my hair today,” as his eyes followed Tang Xu, who was coming over with a hairdryer.

“Not going to blow it?” Tang Xu stood by the bed and placed his hand on Tang Cuo’s head.
“Sleeping like this might give you a headache.”

Tang Xu shook his head.
“No, my mom said as long as the roots are dry, it’s fine.”

Tang Xu smiled and agreed not to blow it.

The more they spent time together, the more Tang Cuo could feel Tang Xu’s tolerance for him.
Often, he felt like Tang Xu was still treating him like a child, indulging him almost to the point of spoiling him.

It wasn’t until Tang Xu turned off the lights and got into bed that he touched Tang Cuo’s ear and asked, “What happened today?”

Tang Cuo, unlike his usual reserved and proper self, turned over and hugged Tang Xu, rubbing his face against his shoulder.
Tang Xu was momentarily speechless, realizing that this little guy was now acting spoiled.

He inwardly smiled and hugged him back, patting his back gently.
“I’ve noticed that you being a little spoiled sometimes is quite nice,”

Tang Cuo buried his head, blushing, but didn’t let go.

It wasn’t until Tang Cuo’s neck felt sore that he whispered, “I told He Zhong not to throw away the English materials…”

With the conversation started, Tang Xu understood Tang Cuo’s decision.
He made a sound of agreement and rubbed the back of Tang Cuo’s neck with his hand, encouraging him to continue.

“I’ll start by preparing for English first.”

“Okay, I’ll keep an eye on schools for you.
If you have a school you like, you can also tell me, and I’ll help you contact them.”

Tang Cuo nodded.
He believed that, as long as he wanted to, Tang Xu would arrange everything very well.

After a moment of silence, Tang Cuo lifted his head and looked up at Tang Xu.

As if finally gathering enough courage in each other’s gaze, Tang Cuo said word by word, “Actually, I’m not very ambitious.
I don’t have lofty goals.
But I’m afraid that in the future, you’ll stand higher and higher, and I won’t be able to keep up with you.
I’m afraid that if I always cling to you like a child, worrying and bothering you, you’ll get tired and annoyed.
I don’t want that.
I also want to be someone you admire, like Shen Xihui.”

His words were not generous, but they were firm.

Tang Xu had seen many people describe what their ideals looked like: his students, his classmates, and his teachers.
But among so many people, no one’s gaze was as bright as Tang Cuo’s; even in the dark, it made him feel moved, and he wanted to give his all, pave the way for him, and help him reach where he wanted to go.

Strictly speaking, this is the first time Tang Cuo has opened up to Tang Xu.
Tang Xu seemed to see the little kid he had always known, carefully peeling off the silk cocoon that had been wrapped around his body, revealing a soft yet determined gaze under his gaze.

For him, there is no more satisfying scene than this.

This is his proud little kid.

“First of all, I want to correct two mistakes in your words.” Tang Xu’s voice was full of joyful laughter.
“First, I don’t think that sticking to me will make me tired of you, and second, I already appreciate you now.
You don’t need to compare yourself to Shen Xihui, but I look forward to appreciating you even more.”

As Tang Cuo looked into his eyes, he couldn’t help but be immersed in them, and he leaned in to kiss him.

“I’m glad you can open up to me about your thoughts.
Since you’ve made a decision, work hard at it, but don’t feel pressured,” Tang Xu said, nodding.

Tang Cuo nodded in agreement, finally tearing his gaze away.
He lowered his head and nuzzled into Tang Xu’s shoulder, hesitating for a moment before asking, “Are you going to sleep?”

Tang Xu didn’t answer.
Instead, Tang Cuo tightened his arms around him, holding him closer.
After a moment, he asked, “If I leave, will you wait for me? Will you fall in love with someone else?”

Making a decision is one thing, but the unrelenting anxiety that comes with it is another.

Upon hearing this, Tang Xu immediately flipped over and pressed him down, exchanging a long and lingering kiss that made Tang Cuo completely forget what he had just asked.

“I told you, if anyone should worry, it’s me.”

He was serious when he said this, and it was during the time when he was seriously considering sending Tang Cuo abroad to study that he first experienced the feeling of knowing he should let go rationally but being emotionally unable to let go.

Tang Cuo will go to a great school, where he will meet many outstanding people who are his peers and have the energy and youthfulness that he lacks.
Perhaps there will even be something called a common language between them.
If Tang Cuo had been trapped in his suffocating past during those previous years, is it possible that he could fall in love with someone new now that he has started to move on and prepare for a new life?

It’s not that he lacks confidence; he is afraid that Tang Cuo’s affection for him over the years may be mixed with some unrequited obsession.
Although he knows he shouldn’t speculate on Tang Cuo’s feelings like this, he can’t help but feel a sense of uncontrollable crisis.

Tang Cuo seems to not understand his words and asks in confusion, “Why are you worried?”

This simple question wakes up Tang Xu.
He laughs self-deprecatingly, shakes his head, and feels like a silly young man, worrying about such things.
He gives Tang Cuo a quick peck and says, “I’m afraid that you will lose interest in me after encountering something new and exciting.”

“How is that possible!” Tang Cuo immediately became annoyed, wanting to argue loudly but quickly realizing that it was Tang Xu who was questioning him.
He could only stare with his eyes wide open and finally blurt out, “I only like you.”

Although he was someone who would get shy even with a kiss, he never held back when confessing his feelings to Tang Xu.

Tang Xu felt guilty and comforted him, saying, “Hmm, I know.”

Regarding Tang Cuo’s decision to study abroad, no one was happier than He Zhong.
He had made the decision to study abroad a long time ago and had already chosen his school.
Before Tang Cuo even took the GRE1GRE stands for Graduate Record Examination., He Zhong had been pushing him to join him and continue their school friendship.
When others found out about it, they mostly just wished him good luck and expressed their confidence in him.
Only Tang Cuo’s parents remained silent for a long time after he told them about his decision.

“Cuo Cuo, haven’t you always been against going abroad?” Xiang Wan asked, furrowing her brow.
“Although studying abroad is also great, why do you suddenly want to go now?”

Tang Cuo was not good at lying, so he dodged the question and said, “I just feel that it’s worth going if I can apply to a good university.
Didn’t dad say that studying abroad would be very helpful?”

Compared with Xiang Wan, Tang Yishan seemed much more relaxed.
He smiled and said, “Yes, going abroad is good, learn more knowledge; come back and make contributions; it’s good.”

Xiang Wan glared at him, noticing Tang Cuo’s uneasy expression; her brows didn’t relax at all.

After Tang Cuo left for school, Tang Yishan asked Xiang Wan what was bothering her.

“You’re so relaxed.
Why don’t you think about it? We’ve discussed this matter several times before, and Tang Cuo’s attitude was so firm.
How come he suddenly changed his mind?”

After hearing what Xiang Wan said, Tang Yishan realized that something was indeed not right.

After thinking for a while, Xiang Wan thought there might be a problem and slapped Tang Yishan’s arm excitedly, asking, “Could it be that he’s got a girlfriend? Do you remember that kid from the Yan family? His girlfriend was going to study in Japan, and he insisted on going to Japan too.”

Upon hearing this, Xiang Wan thought she was simply too clever.
She picked up her handbag and was about to leave.
“No, I have to go to the school to see him.”

Tang Yishan quickly held her back, “Hey, you can’t just leave like this.
You have to go to Guangzhou for a business trip tomorrow, right?”

Impatiently, Xiang Wan waved him off and quickly changed her shoes.
“Business trip, business trip.
I think you’re just too absorbed in your work.
What’s more important, your son or your job? You go ahead; I’m going to see my daughter-in-law.”

Tang Yishan smiled wryly, “Why do you keep talking about things that don’t even exist? What daughter-in-law are you talking about? It’s all nonsense.”

At first, as soon as she was about to leave, upon hearing this, Xiang Wan immediately retracted her body, raised a finger towards Tang Yishan, and had a look of having everything under control.
“Do you want to bet? When it comes to reading literature, I may not be as good as you, but when it comes to understanding our son, do you think you can compare to me?”

Of course, Tang Yishan couldn’t compare with Xiang Wan, nor did he dare to.
So the two of them drove to the university.
As they entered the gate, Tang Yishan asked Xiang Wan to call Tang Cuo, “Are you really planning a surprise attack? Quickly give him a call to inform him.
He might be busy right now.”

After dialling several times, there was no answer on the other end of the line.
Puzzled, Xiang Wan dialled again, but there was still no answer.
When she arrived at the dormitory building where Tang Cuo lived, Xiang Wan murmured to herself and got out of the car to continue calling.
Unexpectedly, she ran into He Zhong and his friends, who had just finished their dinner.

When Tang Cuo first entered university, Xiang Wan and her husband frequently invited all the boys in the dormitory to dinner, so several of them knew them.

“Auntie!” He Zhong called out first from a distance, followed by Zhao Feifei and the others, calling out in a particularly friendly manner.

When Xiang Wan saw them smiling, she pulled out two large bags of food from the back seat of the car and said, “Here, take these upstairs.
Oh, by the way, didn’t Cuo Cuo eat with you guys?”

As the only person in the dorm who knew what was going on, He Zhong began to quickly make up a lie in his mind.
But unexpectedly, Zhao Feifei was someone who lost his mind when he saw food and blurted out, “Isn’t he living at home? He hasn’t been staying in the dorm much lately.”

Upon hearing this, both Xiang Wan and Tang Yishan were confused.
Even He Zhong was stunned, and he gritted his teeth and nudged Zhao Feifei’s arm.
Zhao Feifei kept saying “Ouch!”.

“No, Auntie, he meant that Tang Cuo hasn’t been staying in the dorm much lately, as he’s been invited to accompany performances for the Student Union’s Literary and Artistic Department on weekends.”

Although He Zhong had experience deceiving his parents and teachers since he was a child and was quite experienced in such matters, he could easily tell who Tang Yishan and Xiang Wan were and what was going on.
Tang Yishan was about to speak but was secretly pulled back by Xiang Wan, who smiled kindly and said, “Oh, I see.
He’ll be back this afternoon; he might be busy with something else.
It’s okay; you can go back now.
We’re going on a business trip tomorrow; we’ll bring you some food.”

He Zhong was sweating profusely and had to force himself to say, “Thank you, Uncle and Auntie.
Please be safe on your business trip.
We’ll take care of Cuocuo, don’t worry.”

After He Zhong and the others went upstairs, Tang Yishan was stunned for a few seconds before asking Xiang Wan, “What’s going on?”

Xiang Wan looked at him impatiently and said, “What’s going on? The child just told you to be safe on your business trip.”

Sitting in the car and buckling his seatbelt, Xiang Wan hesitantly spoke, “Could it be that our son… is living together with his girlfriend?”

Tang Yishan, who had seen the world, coughed twice in alarm.

“That couldn’t be true.”

“But haven’t you heard what Zhao Feifei said? He hasn’t been staying in the dormitory much lately.
He did go home on weekends.
So, if you think about it, with a 70% probability of not living in the dormitory, can that correspond to ‘not much’?”

This question was too easy, and without thinking, Tang Yishan immediately replied, “Of course not.”

After the words were spoken, the car fell into a strange silence.

With a start, Xiang Wan snapped out of her thoughts and picked up her phone to make a call.
“No, we have to find him today.
Dating is one thing, but cohabitation is not a small matter.”

1GRE stands for Graduate Record Examination.

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