Chapter 76 – Boarding the Ship
As Jiaming was eating breakfast, he told them that they would be joining the luxury cruise, and Lingjing and Shasha were both extremely happy. As Jiaming rarely had any opinions when the three of them were together, they did not say anything even though they originally wanted to go. When he did voice what he thought though, the two girls usually listened to him. This tacit understanding between the three of them had become even better after they became intimate. Seeing the joy on the two girls’ faces, Jiaming felt that he had made the right decision.
Encountering unexpected conflict did not mean that he had to deliberately retreat, and wanting an ordinary life did not mean he would have to suffer in silence all the time. Since the Heavens gave him another chance at life, if he was incapable of balancing these contradicting views, then what was the point of getting reborn in the first place?
Thus, he decided not to care about Minamoto Hajime or Cui Guohua, he just wanted to accompany his two young wives on the cruise. If the two of them wanted to fight, then they should do it on the side. As long as they did not affect the mood of the trip, it would be fine. Since he did have a hidden advantage, he would definitely make use of that against the two of them.
Lingjing and Shasha were worried when they did not see Kaoru show up for morning practice. Jiaming naturally explained that an ‘incident’ had occurred. Over the weekend, Kaoru had encountered another kidnapping situation, but was successfully saved despite being shot twice. She was currently being treated at the hospital. Hearing this news, Lingjing and Shasha both felt indignant because those gang members were way too overboard. They had tried to kidnap her two years ago, and two years later, they were still trying. She was only one girl, and it was a good thing she had been rescued or who knew what kind of torture she would have had to endure.
In the afternoon, the three of them went to the hospital to visit Kaoru. It seemed that Cui Guohua had sent some people to take her statement earlier in the day. Cui Guohua had acted too late for the incident this time, because according to Ancestral Awakening's analysis, this was the first conflict at Jianghai City between Peroka and the alliance of the Tsukichi clan and Takamagahara. Since Peroka had suffered a big loss, members of Ancestral Awakening naturally let out a sigh of relief. There was no point in having the regular police investigate this incident due to the connection with the hidden criminal underworld, so it had been labeled as a kidnapping and murder incident.
Even though the Japanese girl’s injuries were not too severe, she was naturally not included in their plan to go on the luxury cruise. When they went to ask Xu Yiting, she had wanted to go but unfortunately had plans with her family. In the end, it went from their glorious club's first vacation to the threesome’s family vacation. The next day, he sold the additional two tickets through Yahan and received around seven thousand kuai.
That night, the girls excitedly planned what furniture they could get for their home: a beautiful sofa, a tea table, a washing machine, a water heater and even a computer, and they would still have some money leftover… it seemed to them that they had become rich overnight.
On October 1, everyone returned home separately. The Huang family had their usual family gathering for dinner, and Shasha finally had a chance to see her busy father. Ugly, the little white cat they had picked up, had been left behind with Shasha's father. They could not take the cat to school with them; Father Ye was allergic to cats and thus Lingjing's family could not take care of it. Since cats were able to look for their own food, they figured that it probably would not starve to death if they left it with Shasha’s father. However, Shasha's father had not seen it for a long time and it was possible that some other male cats had chased Ugly off. Lingjing and Shasha occasionally wondered about the fate of the little white cat.
When he returned home, Jiaming, who was usually ignored, got called to attend a meeting by his third uncle Huang Bingxing. It seemed that this was due to the challenge incident that had happened at school.
Among the Huang family, naturally Huang Haobing was not the only one that studied at Sacred Heart Institute. The result of that challenge incident had already spread far and wide at school as a huge joke. Eventually this news had spread to the adults in the Huang family. As they were such a large family, Jiaming was still usually ignored. Thus, when his third uncle requested to meet with him, it was actually to talk about his mother and what had happened in the past. He mentioned that Jiaming should not walk the path of his mother and that he should always be an upright citizen as to not tarnish the Huang family name. As a man, he should not have resorted to such tricks and should have been more magnanimous as well as good-natured, etc.
For the vacation this time, the Huang family would naturally be able to acquire cruise tickets as well and they would be given to the favored offspring. For example, someone that would have a ticket would be Huang Haoyun, who had been chasing after Yahan and was Huang Bingxing’s son. Another was Huang Haobing, as his father was an important political figure. As to Huang Bingxing, since he had stayed at home too long, he decided to go on the cruise as well.
This vacation had nothing to do with Jiaming though, especially since he had been neglected for so long. Even if they had tickets, there was no point showing off in front of him because the standard of comparison was just too low. Even if they won, it would not give them the sense of satisfaction they wanted. Jiaming’s reputation was smeared, so no one wanted to be associated with him.
On October 2, he left really early in the morning and met the two girls at the area where they usually did their morning exercises. Even though they had not gone for several months, the three people felt that they were relearning what this place was like again. Then, they hung out at the martial arts hall until around 3 o’clock in the afternoon as they waited for Yahan to pick them up in her small car. Yahan was neatly-dressed and she had her hair tied back; she was also wearing a pair of sunglasses, looking extremely energetic.
Lingjing was in her usual white colored jacket and her flowing long skirt, looking elegant and charming. She even wore a pair of exquisite earrings on her delicate earlobes, which added some points of maturity to her outfit.
As to Shasha, she was wearing a simple white blouse with black trousers; her hair cut was short, similar to a boy’s. But, after some careful dressing up, her body also emanated an unusual alluring charm. Shasha was considered a beauty, but she usually did not care about outer appearances. However, her current look had caused the three of them to stare at her silently, as Jiaming smirked, “Hey, that beauty over there. Have you seen my family’s Shasha?”
Shasha looked startled, before she blushed and then promptly kicked at him, “Get lost!” Before imitating a scene from a novel, ‘The Butcher’s Wife’  by attempting to kill Jiaming.
By the time the small car arrived at the port, it was reaching 4pm in the afternoon. As they turned around the corner, they saw the scenery of the port. Clear, blue skies, flying seagulls, and an extremely large white luxury cruise ship moored at the port, surrounded by the other ships like a small flock of ugly ducklings around their white swan parent.
This ‘Dream Star’ luxury cruise was five stories high and was over two hundred meters in length. It’s worth was over four hundred million US dollars, and it was considered a first-class cruise ship. Many families and wealthy people from Jianghai City as well as other places had been invited. This was partially for developing tourism, but actually due to the impact of the Southeast Asian financial crisis that was occurring during that period of time. Starting from late August, Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea, Singapore and other countries had decoupled their currency from the US dollar one after the other. The stock markets in Taiwan and Hong Kong had been severely affected as well. The other reason why so many people had been invited was to give them a chance to exchange information with each other and to search for a solution to this economic crisis.
Of course, these things had nothing to do with people like Yahan or Jiaming. Even if Jiaming wanted to make a move and use the seven billion he had appropriated as well as with the assistance of ‘the woman of destiny’ Kelly Founîmes, he would still not be able to hold back the storm. Though when it came to other people’s life and death, it really did not matter to him.
Different kinds of expensive cars drove by and stopped at the pier. There were many people that exited their car under the protection of their bodyguards to board the cruise ship as well. There were also a few that waved and greeted each other loudly. The four carried their own luggage onto the ship, and even though Jiaming continuously observed his surroundings, he did not see Minamoto Hajime or Cui Guohua, which was to be expected. When some of the passengers milled around the deck, their attention was caught by one of the cars that was arriving. Feeling curious, Jiaming took a peek to see what was going on.
Briefly catching a glance of the young woman, Jiaming’s gaze turned startled.
The middle door of the luxury RV opened and a seventeen or eighteen year old foreign young woman stepped out. Her appearance was somewhat androgynous, but she was wearing a gorgeous white dress with an elegant and noble aura, looking like a princess from a movie.
Hearing the people gossip, it seemed that Natalie Annis, the daughter of a British Duke, had arrived at Jianghai City two days earlier.
It should be that name…
Jiaming thought. However it seemed that it was all a prank from the bored gods, because regarding the attendees of this luxury cruise ship - was it more like a gathering of wealthy millionaires, or was it actually a gathering of all the big players usually hidden in the darkness?
As the small butterfly that had flapped its wings and started a storm, it seemed that the situation was starting to affect him and was becoming more and more interesting… He rubbed his nose and smiled calmly, a hint of cool anticipation appearing in his eyes.
 The Butcher’s Wife is a novel by Li Ang. ‘The heroine is sold by her dead father's brother into marriage with a brutal butcher much older than she. He dominates her sexually and takes pleasure in frightening her in various ways, including a visit to the slaughterhouse, after which the heroine in a disoriented state of mind murders him with a butcher's blade.’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li_Ang_(writer) for more info. ↩
7/7 chapters (next chap is June 4).
I'm probably going to be taking a short break these two weeks as I can only sporadically post. Will aim for 15 ch/month as usual, but we'll see.