City A was very small, so small that the four urban areas could share three primary schools, and there would be no need to build a subway station even in 2026.
Jiang Wang randomly picked an internet cafe and walked in to register his ID card.
The ID card he held was obtained in the ghost market along Yanping Street.
In the 2000s, many cities had ghost markets, but this had nothing to do with feudal superstition. They were generally used for cleansing gray income.
Most of the stolen goods end up gathered here. At three or four o’clock in the morning, when people were still asleep, they opened quietly. Then when the sky was about to light up, all would’ve dispersed before dawn.
In fact, the police had come to clean the place many times with the intention of completely putting the industry to sleep, but in the early years, the police force was insufficient. The eradication of gangsters and evil was not thorough enough, and the police had no other ways to get rid of it.
Jiang Wang went to Yanping Street at three o’clock in the morning while the kid was still snoring, and found someone to help with re-issuing his ID card and household registration.
“The second one is half price, would you consider it?”
Jiang Wang glanced at the man and weighed the heaviness of his new ID card in his hand.
“It has everything in it, and the chip included can be swiped too. I am a century-old brand,” the certificate seller said in a smooth voice, not forgetting to try and sell a few more orders. “If you want a graduation certificate, I can print out one from Tsinghua University in just five minutes!”
When he really went to the internet cafe to swipe his ID card, the certificate seller held no change of emotions on his face, but his movements became slightly slower than usual.
The card machine beeped, then the internet cafe manager with a lollipop in his mouth returned the card to Jiang Wang, “Computer 46, two yuan an hour. If you want to spend the night, you have to come to the front desk before ten o’clock in the evening.”
Jiang Wang lit a cigarette and waited for the computer to turn on. He frowned when he saw the Windows XP interface pop out.
It was inconvenient. Very inconvenient.
The layout of the web pages looked crowded and messy, and the pop-up ads were all scattered about.
He opened the search engine and thought for a while, then directly typed in Sufeng Express, which could rank as one of the top three couriers in the country.
The contact number for joining was at the bottom of the official website, it took almost two minutes to get in touch with an employee after dialing.
“Hello, I am from City A, Province H, and I want to join your company’s express delivery business.”
The young lady on the opposite end quickly searched for the location and said apologetically, “I’m sorry sir, we only accept those in the provincial capital for the time being—”
“You are not in charge, transfer me to another call.” Jiang Wang interrupted, “Find someone who can call the shots and have them talk to me.”
The customer service lady was taken aback, but still agreed after a few seconds of hesitation. She then transferred the call to the customer service supervisor.
The customer service supervisor said the same thing.
“Sorry sir, our company is currently focused on handling business in Shenzhen and Hong Kong, other capital cities are also successively—”
“Substitute,” Jiang Wang put out his cigarette, “let me talk to your superior.”
The phone rang for another minute. Then a slightly cold female voice replaced the voice from the other end, “What’s the matter?”
“I want to establish the delivery express in City A.” Jiang Wei said bluntly, “Don’t be in a hurry to refuse me.”
“Province H is geographically located in Central China, and City A is in its core area. Sooner or later, it will become a major logistics hub.”
“If you decide to give up on this place now, when you look back, the other express companies would have already devoured the entire site, and money will no longer be so easy to make.”
Jiang Wang’s words were not entirely true, but neither were they entirely false.
Province H had indeed been a major transportation hub since ancient times, but 20 years later, it was its neighboring city that would have more geographical advantages and would be developed across the board, not the place Jiang Wang was currently located in.
But when talking about business, you never have to pay attention to the words honesty and sincerity. Party B would never tell Party A that their offer of 3,000 yuan was too high, and the competitor next door actually offered only 200 yuan to take the job.
The woman was silent for a few seconds and ordered the secretary to come over and write down his mobile number.
“I will study it and give you an answer within two days.”
Jiang Wang saw that he only had a 20% chance of winning, so he smiled and didn’t let her hang up.
“I used to sell houses.” His voice was very steady, it seemed to exude confidence that he was right about everything. “I can sell all the houses in remote locations and even houses where people have been hanged.”
“City A is considered a golden location. The price is currently a bit higher, but it will be a must-fight place in three to five years. You should consider it carefully.”
After waiting for the phone to hang up, Jiang Wang thought for a while, then propped up his chin and played CS for a while.
At present, e-commerce online stores were just getting started, and the pages were still rough. The customer traffic was much less than in the future.
But there was this saying that pigs could fly if they stood on the wind.
After playing with the old computer for a while, the display screen of the big box buzzed. He felt that the graphics card must’ve become hot enough to fry eggs with it and eat them.
He played absent-mindedly and didn’t notice that someone was watching him.
“Hey, it’s you!” The other party greeted him very warmly, and handed him a stick of Baishacigarette brand, “Nice to meet you, I heard Brother Yu and the others talk about you!”
Jiang Wang’s sniper rifle blasted the heads of the enemies connected through LAN that were two rows next door to him. He raised his eyes and looked at the person beside him, “What’s the matter?”
“Didn’t you tell fortunes at the lottery station?” The man looked to be in his thirties, but he had severe baldness, and his scalp was abnormally red, “I, I overslept this morning, and I didn’t expect to meet you here by such a coincidence. Could you still read my fortune?”
Jiang Wang withdrew from the game and glanced up and down at the man a few times. He temporarily could not associate this person with anyone in his past memories.
“Your last name?”
“My surname is Wei! The ghost Wei!”The surname Wei (魏) primitively meant “ghosts and spirits”, the radical 委 means spirit and 鬼 means ghost
“Uncle Wei?” Jiang Wang suddenly remembered something, “The one who was the director of the Finance Bureau?”
“Hey, I don’t seem to be much older than you, so there’s no need to call me uncle,” the bald man rubbed his hands and said, “I’m still the section chief, but the top has recently retired, and I’m still doubtful on whether it’s my turn.”
Jiang Wang stepped back a little, pulled out his chair and tried to stand up.
“My wife constantly travels to foreign places for business trips. I’m actually… actually a little worried.” The bald man whispered, “Can you… take a look for me?”
Aunt Ke was very nice. She was the mother of my junior high school classmate and often brought me fruits.
Jiang Wang glanced at his bald head again, and then looked away after a while, “You have a daughter, right?”
The bald man was a little wary, “Did she see something she shouldn’t have seen?”
“Take her to the hospital for an examination as soon as possible,” Jiang Wang said slowly, “She has hyperthyroidism, so have her treated sooner rather than later.”
“Your wife is very good, you don’t need to think too much about it.”
The other party was dumbfounded, “What ah? My daughter looks pretty healthy except for being slightly thinner.”
“Go to the hospital and find out. Just do a blood test.”
Before Uncle Wang could ask more questions, Jiang Wang glanced at his watch, got off the computer and left, “I should go, we’ll talk later. ”
Jiang Wang never thought he still had these functions.
The trivial incidents he had heard of and the parents of his classmates he knew, could one day reappear in this way.
Turning to the entrance of the elementary school, several classes have already let the children out early.
There were several grocery stores on the left and right sides of the school, selling inferior children’s lipstick, Yu-Gi-Oh cards and so on.
At the entrance, several food stalls gather every three to five, most of which sell candied gourds and cakes.
When Jiang Wang passed by them, he remembered that he actually liked to eat this when he was a child.
At that time, he had no pocket money, so he could only shamelessly rub off from the food his classmates bought.
The hawker in front of him was baking a small plum blossom cake with briquettes. Although it looked like egg waffles, it had a softer and waxy taste, and the custard flavor was more prominent. The shell was roasted and the inside was soft. It was very fragrant.
“Honey cake! Five yuan for half a serving and ten yuan for the whole serving! Come and try it!”
Jiang Wang paid for a newly baked one, thinking that he should give it a little taste.
But then the whole bag just disappeared.
In front of the hawker’s stall, his face didn’t even change colors as he said, “Three more bags, pack them all for take away.”
The hawker became flustered, “Right away, right away! What I gave you was the first roast, but the next ones are already all lined up!”
Jiang Wang rarely waited for anything patiently. After a few minutes, a figure passed by in the corner of his eyes.
His eyes narrowed, and quickly followed while hearing a short exclamation from the hawker.
“Hey, you remember to come back and get it later! I’ll take the money first!!”
Jiang Wang had already followed the man and was two or three steps behind, his eyes darkened.
The middle-aged man with a long black leather bag swaggered across the school gate and walked inside. The security guard yawned lazily against the wall and didn’t stop him.
When a drunk man woke up, they could still pretend to be human. They comb their oily heads and wear a white shirt, put on black leather shoes and shiny brass watches, and their cheekbones become morbidly prominent. They looked like they had been reincarnated from being a ghost.
The man didn’t remember which class his son was in. He looked through the back door and windows one by one, and only found people in the first and third class.
The English class inside had already finished, and the teacher was simply arranging homework for his students. Many children saw the man come in, and looked over curiously.
Seeing a parent coming over, Teacher Ji walked to the door with the lesson plans and textbooks in his hand, “Who are you?”
The middle-aged man didn’t even look at him, he directly stuck half of his body into the door and yelled out, “Peng Xingwang! Get out of here for your father!”
There was an uproar in the class, and the child in the innermost space shrank himself desperately.
“You won’t come out, will you?” Father Peng suddenly changed color, and despite Teacher Ji’s blocking, he was ready to go in and beat someone, “You bast**d! Have you turned against me! Get out, do you hear me?! Where have you been these days?”
Before he could say anything more, he was grabbed by the back collar, and with a sudden pull, he slid out the door of the class like a mahjong tile.
A young man stood beside him as cold as a knife frowning deeply, and his voice sounded like it had been soaked in ice water.
“I am his cousin, and I will take care of this child from now on.”
“What are you?” Father Peng snorted, struggling to get his collar out from the other person’s hand, “What kind of hands do you have! Let go!”
Teacher Ji’s expression changed, he looked much more serious than before, “Please don’t bring private matters at home to school. Go out if you have something to talk about.”
This was the first time Jiang Wang had seen his father in his early thirties other than in his memories. He was one head taller than him, so he looked down on him without hesitation when he spoke.
Father Peng also became irritable, he cursed a few times in his mouth and threatened to call the police.
“This is my son. I don’t care if you’re a cousin or an elder brother, even if I cut him up and throw him in a hot pot it would have nothing to do with you—”
Jiang Wang slapped his ear with a backhand, and sneered, “Say it again?”
A group of children in the class: “Wow…”
Jiang Wang said flatly, “You don’t pay the tuition fees, and you don’t do any work, instead, you spend your time with prostitutes all day long. Now at this time, you remember to come to school just to wreak havoc?”
A group of children in the class: “Oh…”
Teacher Ji stepped in between them with one hand stretched out, and closed the door with his other hand. He motioned to the students to leave the school through the back door and not to stay here.
“You calm down,” he falsely stopped Jiang Wang as he did not use any real strength. “I believe that both of you are here for the good of the child. But please pay attention to the location and the surroundings.”
Jiang Wang did not say anything else, and carried the opponent with one hand into the air.
He was strong and lean, but his father did not expect that his strength seemed to be stronger than iron.
Father Peng was dumbfounded with the huge gap in power. He kicked twice in mid-air then quickly became cowardly, “You, just say if you have something to say!!!”
“Listen.” Jiang Wang stared into the other party’s eyes, “This child now belongs to me. In the future, I will pay for his food, clothing and studies. You can call the police as you please.”
“But if you dare to hit him again, I will just directly destroy your entire arm.”
The children in the class who were carrying their school bags: “Stop—”
Peng Xingwang burst into tears, “Big Brother!!!”
Thank you for reading! <( ＿ ＿)>
Translator: asoc1a7 ꒰ ˶• ༝ •˶꒱ ♡