Chapter 54 – The Story of the New Residence
“Wow, it was quite crowded this morning. I heard that there was an extremely beautiful Japanese girl there. It’s a pity we didn’t see her. Jiaming, you could’ve bumped into her, did you see anyone?” Lingjing asked as she placed the dirty rag into the bucket to clean.
“Oh, no I didn’t. Haha, when I wanted to take a look, those eager seniors gathered and gave me a scare, so I hurriedly escaped…” Jiaming smiled and shook his head.
“When it comes to a cute Japanese girl, I think of Tsukichi Kaoru. That girl's attitude is very similar. Even when she was surrounded by that many people, she still managed to register on her own, pay her fees, and then disappear. However, I heard that she knew Chinese, so it's probably not her. Hehe, all those poor foolish boys…” Shasha brandished her mop while laughing.
The three of them were currently on the second floor of an apartment building outside of the school grounds. They were actively cleaning the place and chatting about what had happened in the morning as the three of them thought it was quite amusing. While Lingjing and Shasha had been waiting by the car for Jiaming, another teacher had approached Yahan, asking her to return to the office building to talk about school matters. They were just watching the crowd when a huge commotion happened.
It started with the two male students fighting over the suitcase of a new female student. Then the two societies started an intense brawl in the small square and even managed to smash a racing car that was parked nearby. The funny thing was that while the two groups of people were fighting, the Japanese girl ignored them and retrieved her own suitcase, went to register, paid the school fees on her own, and then disappeared without giving the boys any of her attention. This situation became a funny story of their first days at Sacred Heart Institute.
Receiving the news, Yahan, a large group of teachers, and security guards rushed out to stop the brawl. The three later heard from Yahan that the two male students that had started the fight had a history. Lui Fang was the first generation's third young master of one of Jianghai City’s five large families; and he was quite brash and bossy at school. He Ting, on the other hand, was also a young master of a large conglomerate, and he had always disagreed with Lui Fang. That was not the first conflict between the various young masters at Sacred Heart Institute, and as long as it did not become a huge incident, the families could use the competition between their children as a basis for evaluating their heirs.
After handling the chaotic brawl, Yahan helped the three of them out with looking for a rental apartment. On an older street near the school, there was a two-storey building. The first floor was a smokey, dingy game cafe, and if one took the side stairs to the second floor, they would lead them to a relatively spacious but old-fashioned apartment. The two bedrooms were naturally given to Lingjing and Shasha, while the smaller storage room was to be cleaned up to become Jiaming's bedroom. It was slightly cramped, but this bedroom setup was mostly for maintaining the semblance of propriety in front of “outsiders” such as Yahan or Lingjing's parents. Most of the time, Jiaming would be in the master bedroom, sleeping on the same bed with the two girls.
The apartment included a somewhat narrow living room, a kitchen and a bathroom which was already quite good. Due to Yahan having connections in the area, the rent was also lowered quite a bit by the owners. Even though the apartment could not compare to the Liu family villa, Lingjing and Shasha were both very satisfied with this place.
“Oh, we need to put a desk here. I want to buy that spacecraft lamp I saw at the market the other day. It would be very pretty. Then on the wall there, we should put two posters — I like Andy Lau and Wakin Chau. We need to buy a tea table and a sofa for the living room. Should we get a single couch or a long one? They’re both expensive though…”
“We also need a small TV, around 14” or 15”, but it has to be a color TV. I wanted to set it out straight, but that corner only seems to be able to house a triangular-shaped cabinet… it doesn’t look that good…”
“The bathroom needs a showerhead…”
“There’s barely anything in the kitchen, we’ll have to buy a few more pieces of dinnerware and a small plastic cabinet to place everything in. Eh, it’s probably not going to be that expensive…”
“I was also thinking of buying three bicycles, one for each of us. Second-hand bikes are too ugly, so we should get new ones, but those are expensive…”
“There’s a black mark on that wall that can’t be scrubbed off, we should buy some beautiful wallpaper to cover it…”
“Jiaming likes computers, but we’ll have to get it on our own. We will probably have to wait for quite a while before we can afford it, but we should probably get a small computer desk first. Oh, and we can put it over there…”
After cleaning up, the two girls excitedly ran around the empty apartment planning the future of their small family. The rented apartment did not come with many things: there were two empty beds, a few chairs, and an ugly looking table that was holding everything they had at the moment. They even had to buy a bed for Jiaming to use. They could just take simple things such as blankets from their homes, but furniture or the TV was not something they would take. Otherwise, how could they be considered independent?
As school had just started, there was not a lot happening on the first few days. The 1st and the 2nd of September were registration days. The 3rd of September was the day of the freshmen placement test, and the 5th of September was when the results were usually posted. The 6th and the 7th of September just happened to be on a weekend and were also vacation days. In other words, they had the whole week to decorate their new home. However, even after a few days, they had only bought some small necessary items such as bedding, wallpaper and kitchen essentials (kettle, cups, etc).
That was because… the amount of funds they had was just not enough.
The three of them could be considered to have come from wealthy families. The amount of monthly living expenses allowance Jiaming got from his family was more than what an ordinary family could use. Lingjing had already rejected the support of her family, while Shasha had a lot of money saved up as usual. If they were to add the funds they had altogether, the three of them could come up with around four to five thousand kuai. Of course, now that they wanted to furnish a home, this amount was definitely far from enough.
A set of well-made, beautiful sofas was over ten thousand; a desk could be a couple hundred, and a tea table could be another couple hundred. A proper dining table could be several thousand, and a TV was also at least over a thousand. After strolling around for a while, they realized that it was not that they could not afford it, it was more that they could not bring themselves to buy it.
After buying a TV, a suitable dining table, a desk and other items, they were unable to afford a beautiful sofa as the cheap ones were ugly. They could not use up all their money at once as they still had to live on their own. The two girls were not wasteful in their spendings, but they had also never had to worry about it before. In the end, they decided that as long as it was useable it was good enough. They would also not acquire anything unnecessary, so until the three of them had a steady income, they would have to spend the money slowly.
By the fourth day, they had already bought most of the necessities and the three of them officially moved into their new home. That night, the two girls excitedly bought beer and barbeque meat to celebrate until late at night. It was fortunate that Jiaming had managed to tire out the two girls in bed, so that they were able to sleep soundly. Otherwise, they would have gone to school with panda-eyes the next day.
Later that night, Jiaming sat on the balcony and looked up at the stars in the night sky, quietly laughing to himself. The feeling of living the life he had dreamed of was so good… even though he had ended up with two girls, and that was a bit strange.
However, if he were to try living the life of a regular person, how would he be able to earn money? Apart from the seven billion from Peroka given to Kelly Founimes, he had transferred out a few additional billion USD for himself, but this money could not appear in front of the two girls. During 1997, because of the financial crisis, crowds of people could not find employment, and the three of them were high school students and children on top of that. It would be quite difficult for them to earn money the regular way.
Temporarily shelving the matter of finding a job, when the three of them went to check on the announcement of the class divisions the next day, they discovered that they had all been separated again. The fees of Sacred Heart Institute were relatively high, but the standard of living in Jianghai City was not that bad. As long as a family had enough funds they would wish for their child to attend that school. There were around 600 new students, and they had been divided into twelve classes. Lingjing ended up in Class 1 due to her outstanding results. Jiaming, with his average results, ended up in Class 6; and Shasha, having improved her results under Lingjing's tutoring, ended up in Class 7.
When Shasha saw them all split up, she suggested that they talk to Yahan to place them together, but Lingjing rejected her idea, “It's fine, this situation doesn't look too bad. Besides, we're together every night. If we stagger our courses and leave the last lesson slot free, we can take turns preparing dinner. Jiaming, what do you think?”
Eating lunch at school and having to return home for dinner was very family-like, and the three of them planned it out. Yahan had originally expected the three of them to come look for her after being separated into different classes. However, in the end they actually did not and she felt slightly put out at that.
On the weekend, the three of them went shopping for some second-hand furniture. On Sunday afternoon, the two girls finally settled on a goose-yellow desk. After some clumsy bargaining, the price of the desk was decreased from 100 RMB to 80 RMB. The shop owner eagerly offered to call a taxi to help them move the desk, but Lingjing ended up refusing when she heard that it would cost 20 RMB.
“Forget it, this small desk isn't too heavy and we don't live too far. Hey, Jiaming, Shasha, we'll just move it!”
Out of the three of them, Lingjing was usually the one that made the decisions. Thus, when they heard her, Jiaming directly lifted the desk onto his shoulder as Lingjing assisted from the front and Shasha assisted from the back. The second-hand furniture store owner stood by the shop entrance and watched them leave, unsure whether he should be impressed with them or disdain them.
It was true that the store was not far from where the three lived — they just needed to pass by their school’s gates and then turn around another corner onto a small street and they would arrive. However, the area mostly consisted of well-off families, so as they passed by the aristocrat school's gate, many high school students in the small plaza pointed and gossiped upon seeing the three of them.
Jiaming completely ignored them, but the two girls felt slightly embarrassed. The two of them had grown up in good families, so they had never encountered that before. Lingjing secretly thought that it would probably be better to call a taxi next time. As they passed by, Shasha suddenly called out, “Lingjing, be careful!” The desk was blocking Jiaming's view, so he did not have time to react. Shortly after he heard a quiet 'Ah!’ from Lingjing as her forehead knocked against the desk, and a soccer ball flew backwards into Jiaming's line of sight.
The desk was hurriedly dropped. Lingjing was standing there slightly stunned. She was rubbing her forehead and there was a dirt mark on the side of her face caused by the soccer ball. Shasha and Jiaming gently tugged her hands away to inspect her forehead. They were relieved to see only a small red mark that was not bleeding. On the side, a person wearing their school uniform ran over from the plaza, laughing as he said, “Sorry, I’m so sorry. We accidentally kicked the soccer ball from over there. Are you ok? Please let me take a look…” From behind him, a dozen men and women leaned against three expensive sports cars that seemed to be his companions watched on with smirks.
The student that rushed over could be considered relatively handsome. He had a sincere smile as he tried to reach out to check Lingjing’s forehead, but Shasha suddenly rushed up and pushed him away, “You guys did it deliberately! I saw everything!”
“Really?” Jiaming examined the bruised area of Lingjing’s forehead as he asked seriously. Lingjing only shook her head and said, “I don’t know, I didn’t see anything.”
“I saw everything very clearly!” Shasha turned to look at the people behind her, “I saw that group of people over there pointing and gossiping. They weren’t even kicking any balls, then that tall guy in the middle deliberately kicked the ball over here. That’s why I warned Lingjing!” As she said this, she was already glaring at the boy in front of her. When Lingjing heard this, she also turned and looked angrily at the group of people.Some of them pretended to be innocent, while some looked like they did not care. The two girls’ body language in that group clearly indicated “Even if we did it, so what?”.
Getting in a fight bare-handed was not a good idea and the pepper spray they had was not suitable for a crowd of people. Shasha looked around and picked up a wooden beam that had been dropped on the side of the road and then waved it at the male student closest to them. The group of people had not expected her to be that valiant and as that male student backed away with an “I’m innocent” look. The group moved forward towards them. Seeing that a fight was about to break out, Jiaming walked back a few steps and then picked up the soccer ball.
“Ah, fellow student, that soccer ball is mine. I accidentally kicked it over, I really am sorry. Could you please pass it back to me? Haha…”
That tall male student from just now raised a hand at Jiaming while his fellow companions laughed at what he said. Then, Jiaming also smiled good-naturedly.
“No worries. I’ll return it to you, please catch it.”
Smiling harmlessly and sounding very sincere, he gently threw the soccer ball towards him.
In a flash, the group of people heard a sound akin to a cannon going off. The tall student reached out with both hands to try and catch the ball. However, it seemed that he miscalculated its speed because his thumbs snapped as the soccer ball flew past and hit him straight in the face.
The male student went flying!
1/8 chapters before the end of the month (next release is tomorrow, April 24).
Start of a mass release, just waiting on chaps to be edited and I have around 2 chaps to tl lol.
I will do my usual procedure of saying when the next chap is going to be released so you'll at least have some idea of when the next one is coming if it's not the next day...