Chapter 14: Brothers
Translated by me, edited by Kai.
“So where did you run off to? Not even a letter, I thought you got eliminated and got dumped somewhere by Qi Li’s ex-boyfriend.” That ‘boss’ asked. He was clearly in a bad mood.
“I also asked, but he said to wait until everyone’s here” The friend that picked up Jiang Hai replied.
Hearing these questions, Jiang Hai can only make up a story to cover up the truth. The dragon pearl and the dragon tattoo are secrets that he does not intend to share with anyone. Not his friend, nor his wife. He intends to bring this secret with him to the grave. However, he still needs a cover story for all these random fortunes he received.
“In recent months I was completely out of it. I decided to take sometime off to travel after mourning for my mother. When I was in Xinjing, I found this rock in the Gobi desert….” For these close knit friends of his, Jiang Hai can only make up a somewhat legit story for them.
This story is actually really simple. He found some rocks in the desert, and later found out they were worth a lot. So when he came back, he sold it all to an auction house. Among them is a piece worth several hundred million. He then used this to buy an estate with a farm, a ranch, a fishery, and a winery. He just finished signing those documents, got his green card and is just now waiting for it to take effect.
“Dude, we didn’t order anything to drink yet, how are you drunk?” Hearing Jiang Hai’s story, these friends of his clearly don’t believe him. Seriously, this can’t be real right?
” *cough*, you’re drunk, this is all the truth, here is the green card that I mentioned.” Seeing the disbelief in their eyes, Jiang Hai can only pull out his green card as proof for them to see. Most people have heard of this green card thing, but have never seen it in person. To be honest, a green card is really called a permanent resident card. Currently, China also has this type of green card. These cards are identification cards attesting to the permanent resident status of a foreigner. It is a card with a green backing, 3 sets of serial number at the bottom, a picture of the person on the left, personal information in the middle, and finally their fingerprint on the right.
To be fair, Jiang Hai has also never seen a green card until he received his recently. Seeing Jiang Hai’s green card, these friends of his really can’t tell what it is. Considering it might actually be real, their view of Jiang Hai changed from doubt to curiosity.
“The luck of this dude is unreal, picking up a random rock on the ground and it’s worth so much. Never thought out of all of us here, you would be the first to get rich.” The driver stated strangely.
“Hehe, when luck comes, it’s not like you can block it.” Jiang Hai put away his green card and stated smugly.
“No this won’t do, you’re paying all our bills tonight. Waiter! Give us 10 big skewers of kidneys.” Seeing that smug look on Jiang Hai’s face, the boss can’t help but call out.
“Sure, no problem! Tonight I’m going to make you guys eat till you barf.” Jiang Hai happily stated.
Jiang Hai came from a very simple family, as such, his friends had simple backgrounds as well. He never believed that one day he would have to lie to them. Unlike those third generation statesmen or those second generation rich merchants who have to go around with fake identities, he is just an ordinary citizen. So are his friends.
The one who picked him up earlier is called Xu Wei, and they’re from the same high school. His family circumstance is very ordinary, his father died while he was in high school, so his mother supported him all these years alone. His family never had much savings to begin with, so by selling some of their family’s liquid assets of 2 houses, they scraped by. After finishing high school, he didn’t go to university but rather went to find a job.
After all these years, he never had any particular specialized skills so of course he didn’t earn big money. Later on he got introduced to a construction company, so he bought a minivan last year and specialized in bringing workers to construction sites. A good day would be 200+ Yuan, a bad day would mean nothing. On a good month, he can earn up to 5000 Yuan. Since winter comes early (1) in the north, once snow falls the construction sites become abandoned until next spring. Meaning, for at least 5 months he has got nothing to do. As such, he doesn’t earn a lot, but enough to get by.
The one Jiang Hai slapped previously is Huang Yunfei. A childhood friend. One year younger than him, but they grew up together so of course they’re tight. He lives in the building behind Jiang Hai’s house and his father is a section chief in the logistics department of a nearby hospital. Although he is a section chief, so you’d think he earns a lot, but he is really in charge of cleaning and landcare. Aka, he manages the janitors, no real profits, just wages from cold hard labour. The dude himself never liked studying so after graduating from university, got a job at the collections office in the same hospital with no real foreseeable future at the moment.
On the other side are two people. The boss Fu Yuan, Jiang Hai’s middle school classmate. Because he lagged behind for a year thus became friends with Jiang Hai. His dad is the department head of security in a university, with 6 people working for him. His main job is to settle disputes on campus, but he has no control over the security guards at the main gates. Only upside is everyone knows him, he even owns a dry cleaner and a copy house on campus. Thus he is the only one here with a good family situation, but this is all nothing in front of those rich people.
Finally there is Xiang Hua, also Jiang Hai’s middle school classmate. He is currently a chauffeur for his father-in-law, his is also the only here apart from Jiang Hai who’s gotten married. The only difference between the two unyielding ladies is size of their family business. This one here only owns a small machinery plant worth 1.8 million Yuan. Unlike Qi Li, his wife loves him very much, his father-in-law is also pretty good towards him hence the chauffeur job.
These 4 are Jiang Hai’s closest friends. Jiang Hai really liked to make friends when he was little, but they all gradually fell of the grid after university. Towards these people, he’s got no interest to restart their friendship. After the series of unfortunate events which happened to his family and the wedding, the only ones he is still in contact with is just these 4; solidifying their bonds.
They didn’t have to wait long before the waiters brought over their skewer orders and they all dug in. If we’re talking about skewers, then most people would immediately think about Xinjiang or Inner Mongolia. The people grew up with skewered meats, so of course the lamb from there is delicious when skewered. But according to Jiang Hai’s taste, the best tasting lamb skewer is from Harbin. Everyone has different tastes, but pretty much most southerners will say the skewers in Harbin is overly salty, but never say it taste bad.
Inner Mongolia’s roast lamb is pretty famous. No matter if it’s a whole lamb or meat skewers; they all taste great. This is an undeniable fact, but they suck at everything else including chicken wings, geda soup, and honeyed pork belly. Xinjing is pretty much the same as Inner Mongolia. The other stuff all taste average. This is also why Jiang Hai likes Harbin’s cuisine better.
Following the start of the service, the 5 of them became like the hurricane. By the end, nothing is left untouched and unfinished. Ever since the dragon pearl merged with his body, Jiang Hai has found his body change slightly. For example, his appetite has drastically increased, if he could only finished 20 skewers before feeling full, then now he needs at least 40 or 50 skewers. Thinking back to the roast beef back in boston. Of a 10 pound piece, Jiang Hai single handedly finished half of it. So of course 100 skewers won’t satisfy them, thus 30 more was called for. By the end, the bill came to over 500 Yuan which is not very little. Especially when there is only the 5 of them. This type of appetite in Harbin can be considered to be the rarely spotted heavy eaters.
“Now what? We can’t just disband after a meal right?” When they paid the bill, Fu Yuan looked at his cell phone to see that it’s only 6pm. This is golden party time, but where are they gonna go?
“KTV? Or find a place for mahjong?” Hearing the word play, everyone got excited.
“What KTV? I’m gonna go take a bath first. 2 months without a bath, I feel like a dirtman.” On this side, Jiang Hai rejected them all since he would rather take a bath first.
“Ok, bath it is. Let’s go then!” Hearing Jiang Hai words, everyone can’t help but laugh. They left the small restaurant and drove to one of their commonly used bath centers (2).
This particular bath center isn’t very big, but to Jiang Hai’s group it is enough. 39 Yuan a ticket for a bath, a shower, salting, sauna, a rest, a choice of foot massage, cupping therapy, or a full body massage (3). Receiving so many services is well worth it for the price they paid, which is also why Jiang Hai and the others are regulars here.
Now when Jiang Hai said bathing, the first thing they thought of is here. So the group drove here, paid the 39 Yuan entrance fee and went in (4).
1. Hue, winter is coming!!
2. No, this is just a regular bath house nothing more, nothing less. (Kai: Public bathhouse)
3. Kai: 6 bucks for all that, I’m missing out q.q
4. Kai: And made sure to not drop their soap x)