Chapter 9 – Inheriting Ol’Pops Position
Yang Wei and Gao Wan didn’t have any other choice and could only agree to execute the contract. However, Xia Ping wasn’t interested in watching any further. After all it was already quite late and he still had to head home for dinner.
When he got back home, Xia Ping immediately smelled the delicious scent of meat. It blossomed through his nose and caused all of the cells in his body to salivate in desire. He couldn’t help but swallow.
“Mom, what’re you cooking today? Why does it smell so good?”
A slightly plump middle-aged woman wearing an apron peeked out from the kitchen and slightly smiled, “Your lucky today. This is the fire bear meat that I just bought from the store today.” She was Xia Ping’s mother, Huang Lanxin.
“Fire bear meat? Did we get rich today or something, and now have enough money to buy it?” Xia Ping asked wide-eyed. This fire bear was famous for its strength on Yanhuang star. Not only was it difficult to catch, cold weapons and ordinary guns were useless against it.
It’s meat was extremely precious though, containing a large amount of life energy. If drank as a soup, not only did it improve one’s physique, it also increased the amount of True Qi in their bodies, drastically increasing their strength as well. It wasn’t inferior at all to any of those nourishing medicinal pills and far surpassed the effects of the ginseng and stag antlers of Earth by several times over.
Yet, it was also just as expensive, costing one thousand and two hundred Federation credits per kilogram. Basically a luxury product that normal people couldn’t eat at all. It was only on the New Year and other holidays that they might occasionally have a bit for a meal.
”What, we can’t buy it if we’re not rich? Occasionally spending a bit is okay. After all if we don’t spend our hard-earned money, then are we supposed to take it with us to our graves?” his dad, Xia Chuanliu, sitting in the living room coughed, showing off a generous appearance.
Xia Ping on the other hand was speechless. If he remembered correctly, then his dad was only a civil servant that worked at the city’s bureau of administration. He was responsible for managing the pedlars and small businesses in the city. Basically a city official within an organization. Every month, his wage plus benefits pretty much totalled five to six thousand Federation credits.
As for his mom, she was one of those small businesses pedlars on the street that sold snacks. Although her monthly income wasn’t much, it still amounted to around three thousand Federation credits. When looked at as a whole, his family’s total income seemed as if it was around ten thousand.
The problem was that this house was bought with a loan. It had a duration of thirty years in which three thousand Federation credits had to be payed back every month. In addition to the daily expenses and Xia Ping’s tuition fees, their pockets really were tighter then it seemed.
If it wasn’t some sort of holiday, then it really was difficult to eat a meal of fire bear meat.
“Okay, okay. Enough with the talking. Quickly come and eat while it’s fresh.” His mom hurried about putting all the dishes on the table. Five dishes and one soup, all filled with a generous serving. Not only did it smell delicious, it was also a feast for the eyes.
Seeing such a copious banquet, Xia Ping’s heart skipped a beat. This was definitely a trap! His normally stingy father who couldn’t even bare to waste a cigarette butt when he smoked absolutely wouldn’t be so generous without reason.
“Pops, give it to me straight. Does our family owe an usury? Is this the final dinner that we’ll be having before running off? You can tell me the truth, I can handle it,” Xia Ping said seriously, looking at his old man.
“This day has finally come,” he sighed deep inside. He knew his dad and how he usually liked to gamble a bit. With that disposition, it was likely sooner or later something would happen. Who would’ve thought that he was right, something really did happen.
“Son, what’s with that look? What do you mean by owe an usury and have to run? Is dad’s image in your heart really that bad?” Xia Chuanliu asked, his nose flaring in anger.
Xia Ping blinked. “We don’t owe an usury?”
“Of course not!”
His dad puffed up like a peacock. “No matter what, I’m still a public servant with an organization. Therefore, I’m naturally aware of more things than a normal person. How could I become addicted to gambling? Of course, occasionally gambling a bit is okay. After all, it helps set the mood. Wasn’t there a saying? Small gambles for joy, big gambles for wealth, and bad gambles for nothing.”
”Um, okay. Then why don’t you tell me what the banquet is for?” Xia Ping still had some doubts.
Seeing his son still doubt him, Xia Chuanliu felt a bit awkward. It couldn’t be helped after all, his image normally wasn’t exactly stellar. Coughing slightly to hide his embarrassment, he explained, “There’s really nothing to it. Since we’ve already talked this far, then I’ll lay it out to you straight. Your school should have already started talking to you about your plans for the future. Then, before we start, what do you have in mind?”
His eyes shined as they looked at Xia Ping.
“I’m planning on going to university,” Xia Ping answered.
“You’re planning on going to university?!” Huang Lanxin cried out in shock.
His dad looked at him fearfully, “Son, are you serious? You’re actually planning that?”
Xia Ping’s lips twitched. Just what the hell was going on? Normally, weren’t parents really happy when they heard that their son wanted to go to university? Then why the heck did these two seem as if they saw a ghost?
“That’s my plan,” Xia Ping replied honestly.
“Son, your plan just isn’t right. This is pretty much rebellion!”
Xia Chuanliu looked as if he was going to collapse from heart failure. “What’s so good about university? After four years of study, aren’t you still only going to earn three to four thousand Federation credits every month? If you’re unlucky enough to work for a bad boss, you might not even get anything at all! Aside from that, there’s also your tuition fee during that time. That’s not a small sum, you know! Instead, your old man’s got a better plan for you! After, you graduate from high school, come work at the government. And not just at any department there, come work at my city management department. Don’t underestimate me just because I’m normally low-key. After working for twenty years, I’ve still got some connections. Like the department head for example. Not only do I often go over to his place to play mahjong, I spend a lot of time flattering and sucking up to him, and after a while, we were completely familiar with one another. All I have to do is hand over a few cigarettes along with a handsome bribe and you can get into the department nice and easy. Then, you and I will manage the streets of this city together! Not only will we be contributing to the order and stability of this city, we’ll even get to order those small businesses about like overlords! One family with two officials, doesn’t that just sound awesome?! Girls will be breaking down our doors to marry you at that point!”
As he finished speaking, his face was extremely smug, filled with longing.
Xia Ping’s lips almost looked liked they were spasming from how often they were twitching. He was already completely speechless. “Dad, I still want to go to university.”
“You! You’re absolutely incorrigible!” Xia Chuanliu’s eyes widened, his expression just screaming, “you’re irredeemable”!
Seeing the tension in the air between them, his mom began to help mediate. “Okay, that’s enough now. Let’s end this conversation here and quickly eat already. There’s still some time before graduation, so we don’t need to rush.”
Xia Chuanliu obeyed and didn’t say anything more on the matter. “Fine, then.”
After finishing the meal half an hour later, Xia Ping went back to his room to rest, leaving only Huang Lanxin and Xia Chuanliu in the living room.
Huang Lanxin looked at her husband. “Chuanliu, our son doesn’t seem to want to follow your path.”
Xia Chuanliu waved it off, not caring at all. “This is just his rebellious phase. I know because I went through it too. However, it’s a reality that his grade are average. After the university exams are over and his grades come out, he’ll know just how smart and great his dad really was. At that point, all I have to do is talk to him about it and I guarantee you that he’ll fall all over himself to agree.”
Huang Lanxin nodded. She also knew just how average her son’s grades were. He would be lucky if he could enter a third-rate university. In the case that he didn’t do well, then it was likely no post-secondary institution would accept him at all.
Huang Lanxin: In Chinese, it’s 黄兰欣. Huang means “yellow”, Lan for “orchid”, and Xin for “gratitude”. Her name basically means, “yellow orchid’s gratitude”.
Xia Chuanliu: In Chinese, it’s 夏川流. Similar to Xia Ping, the surname Xia in this case means “summer”. Chuan has two definition, the first one being “river” and the second is “plain” as in a large flat area. Liu also has several meanings as well, but for simplicity’s sake, “flow” and “pass” as in passing through, makes more sense.