Chapter 24: Different Person
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
[Name: Lucky Rabbit’s Foot]
[Usage: Increases luck for the wearer by a small margin]
Back in the real world, that mysterious voice and the so-called character panel were absent. Zhang Heng stared at the card with the bartender’s handwriting, speechless.
Such short and simple words cost him five game-points?
Even though he had a decent amount of points, he could tell that it was not cheap having seen how excited the bartender was when she’d received the points.
Zhang Heng was not the least bit surprised by the results of the identification. A rabbit’s foot was an amulet believed to bring good luck in many cultures. This item was probably responsible for how his wound remained uninfected back on the island.
His doubled time aside, this was the first supernatural item he possessed.
Taking into account its positive effects, Zhang Heng decided to wear it as a keychain.
Who would know how much that little bit of luck actually was?
Since he had nothing else to do, Zhang Heng decided to experiment with something. He went to the Wumart next to the library and bought two scratch cards costing him 20 yuan. One of them won him 10 yuan and the other 5 yuan.
After subtracting the principal, he sustained a 5 yuan loss.
After that, Zhang Heng went to another supermarket. Out of the two he bought, one said, ‘Thanks for your patronage’ and the other one won him 20 yuan.
He had broken-even.
Now, Zhang Heng had now somewhat understood the lucky rabbit’s effectiveness. He had initially hoped that his earnings would be higher than average, but alas, he still sustained a loss. Although his luck did improve, it was nothing to rave about. Any intentions of using this little bit of luck to earn money would prove to be quite the challenge.
As he was leaving the supermarket after completing the experiment, Zhang Heng spotted a young couple under a tree nearby. The guy was trying hard to explain something, but the girl kept shaking her head. When the guy reached out to pull the girl in, she sidestepped him instead.
Zhang Heng looked away. He was not about to meddle in other people’s business. Things like that practically happened every day in school. The university was the gathering of a cesspool of hormones, where all kinds of drama occurred all the time.
That being said, Zhang Heng did not have to worry about the guy doing anything beyond the pale because it was broad daylight, and they were within school grounds. Any scream whatsoever would draw the scents of overzealous young men, pouncing to save the damsel in distress.
So off to the library, Zhang Heng went.
At noon on Friday, Zhang Heng bought some snacks and outdoor supplies, its contents some mosquito repellent spray, towels, and band-aids. Wei Jiang Heng had already rented the camping gear and car; its cost split evenly among those who were going. It was 300 yuan a piece. Any overpayment was refunded, and imperfections reimbursed.
Zhang Heng was checking his camera to make sure the batteries were full when Chen Huadong and Wei Jiangyang walked into the room carrying large and small bags.
“The girls bought these. It’s tonight’s dinner. Help us load them into the car later.”
“Sure! Thanks,” exclaimed Zhang Heng, who was pretty much all packed up.
Wei Jiangyang deposited the bag he was carrying onto the table. He guzzled down the glass of water on the table, then heaved a long sigh. “I’ve been so busy these two days, running around all day working myself to the ground like a horse. You guys are the wiser ones. Come to think of it, being single isn’t all that bad.”
“No, please, Childe Wei. Thanks to you, I am only beginning to see a ray of light. Don’t pour cold water on me so soon.” Chen Huadong said with a twinkle in his eyes.
“You’re going after Shen Xixi?” Wei Jiangyang glared at his friend from the corner of his eyes.
“No, no. Brother, I know my limits, alright. She’s like the Public Relations Departments’ number one wholesaler of the ‘good person card1.’ Just too many guys are falling into unrequited love for her. I’m not going to be part of that madness. I don’t mind give up this treasure that is Shen Xixi for our Childe Zhang to conquer. Personally, I much prefer Xu Jing,” Chen Huadong grinned.
“The hell. I knew you liked that kind, you pervert. Xu Jing is a legit Loli, a popular one at that. The only thing’s that she’s quite poor at managing herself – she only learned how to take the subway when she came to university. In fact, until now, she would at times go in the wrong direction, or even miss a stop. Also, she washes her clothes and socks in a washing machine.”
“That’s not a problem. Not a problem at all. Adorkable-ness is justice1! You know me, brother. I’ve been a loyal Love Develops2 fan for so many years.” Chen Huadong pushed his sparkling glasses up the bridge of his nose.
“How inhumane and immoral! Where is the one-one-zero1 when you need them?” Wei Jiangyang exclaimed in distress before turning to Zhang Heng. “Shen Xixi is pretty good, though. You won’t even consider it? Most girls despise those who are popular with the guys, but Shen Xixi is an exception. In fact, Xiao Xiao said the girl she admires most is Shen Xixi – she’s pretty, is an ace at studies, sings well, and is quite genuine with people. She may have rejected many guys, but she has never kept them as ‘spare tires2.’ It’s always a clean rejection.”
“That’s why she’s been given the nickname ‘Kill em’ all1.’” Chen Huadong chuckled.
“But after getting to know her a little, I find her not too bad. She has been the one among the girls who’s been taking care of the trip. When we went to get the stuff for the camp just now, she tried talking to us, and we even enjoyed a few laughs — not the slightest bit of arrogance. Hmm, I guess you can never completely trust spreading rumors,” added Chen Huadong, plainly singing a different tune this time.
“Are you guys done talking?” Zhang Heng chipped in.
“Almost. Don’t worry. Our relationship has come to an end. I have always known that this day would come,” Chen Huadong stubbornly retorted.
“Why don’t the both of you spend your free time by paying some attention to current international affairs instead? Why are you always so concerned about my love life?”
Wei Jiangyang and Chen Huadong looked at each other. They whispered in a grave tone, “Zhang Heng, we’re a little worried for you.”
“I always thought that you’re the kind of person who plays by his own rhythm, completely unaffected by the outside world. But since last week, we’ve felt this new inexplicable edginess out of you.”
Chen Huadong joined in, “Mm, I know this sounds a little melodramatic, but right now, you give off this vibe of loneliness that seems to come from deep within your bones. Do you how many recluses there are on Zhongnan Mountains1? That’s the kind of feeling you’re giving me. Be honest with us, brother. Has something happened to you? Why are you suddenly so withdrawn?”
The words struck a chord in Zhang Heng’s heart. Of course, he knew what had happened to him. No one was as withdrawn from the world as he was. Spending over a year all alone on a deserted island where even his toothbrush was self-made left him with a tremendous feeling of loneliness.
Even though he had returned to the real world, physically unchanged, that period spent in isolation had left him an entirely different person.
Had experience and learning shaped us into who we are today?
Drifting along with his thoughts, Zhang Heng recalled the bartender’s words and was suddenly intrigued. If he continued playing this game for many years to come, what would he be like when it ended?
Would he a completely different person from who he was today?