Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Editor: Sulo (b >.>)b
Luo XiaoLou hesitantly took his outstretched hand back as the passing cars ignored him, certain that the way to get a taxi might have changed now. Just as he considered leaving on foot, a black shadow fell from the sky, too fast for him to dodge.
Luo XiaoLou looked at the black car in front of him with an ugly face and took a deep breath, although he didn’t see where the traffic lights were, this poor or crazy driving technique almost allowed this huge car to hit him! Luo XiaoLou walked over furiously, intending to fight for some emotional damages or something.
The side door of the black car slid open silently and a sweet-looking young girl in a dress peeked out. She smiled, winked, and asked, “Where do you want to go?”
Luo XiaoLou hesitated for two seconds before swallowing the sarcasm that reached his lips and, while trying to control his temper, said, “Uh, I was going to the — the mall, so I stopped the car on the side of the road. But I have to say, your driving skills—”
The young lady looked back at the car, gestured gracefully, and said, “Get in, I’ll drive you there.”
Luo XiaoLou was stunned. Well, even if he was charming and this pretty girl had a crush on him, he wasn’t about to get into a stranger’s car. Besides, Josa would put a gun to his head if she came to know!
“I’m sorry, I’m still planning on going on my own — hey, you don’t have to do that…” Luo XiaoLou was embarrassed to discover that the girl was stronger than him. However, after being pulled into the car, Luo XiaoLou knew he had been mistaken.
A few handsome young men were sitting around leisurely, relaxed, and with an innate nobility. At first glance, he could tell they were the same kind of people as the Luo family’s young master whom he had just met. In the eyes of women, this kind of man was more attractive.
Luo XiaoLou was quite uncomfortable with the idea of robbing, kidnapping, cutting up, and forcing prostitution — must be a brain fart, the latter must be removed — it’s all in his head! With a wary gaze passing over these people in the car, Luo XiaoLou took another unobtrusive step back to minimize his presence.
Right in the middle was a blue-eyed young man who looked Luo XiaoLou over with interest, then with a proper smile, he asked, “What are you going to do at the mall?”
“Shopping, of course.” Luo XiaoLou was at a loss. What else was he going to do? Since he wouldn’t be able to go back to the time and space he came from for a while, he should settle down first and think about his food, clothing, and shelter.
Someone around him laughed out loud, the blue-eyed boy froze, and finally looked at Luo XiaoLou who was genuinely confused and said, “It’s rare for you to be interested. Driver, send him over first.”
Luo XiaoLou was quietly relieved. It seemed he was in no danger for the time being. He had a vague feeling that these people knew this body. But no one showed any recognition, and after those two sentences, no one paid any attention to him anymore. As long as there was no trouble, all was well.
Luo XiaoLou silently sat in the corner, trying to keep his distance from those people, while observing the world outside that he needed to fit into, from the car window.
The young man and the young girl were joking and laughing the whole way, and from time to time, someone stared at him with strange eyes.
When the car stopped in front of the mall, Luo XiaoLou thanked them and got out immediately.
As the people in the car watched Luo XiaoLou leave, someone asked the blue-eyed boy, “Lin Xin, isn’t this your master’s new toy? What are you taking him all the way for?”
Lin Xin’s watery eyes blinked and corrected, “He’s a toy that has been discarded. I just wanted to see his reaction.”
The young girl leaned in and affectionately rubbed Lin Xin’s shoulders, leaving her mouth open, “No fun, I didn’t see a reaction at all, but his clothes and mannerisms are really dirt-cheap.”
The others in the car echoed, “Yes, poser. Who personally comes to the mall to buy things?”
Lin Xin looked at Luo XiaoLou who was walking away, and didn’t say anything. He just nodded to the driver and the car flew out again.
Luo XiaoLou stood in front of the huge mall and found that there were very few people inside. The products inside the transparent counter were exquisite and dazzling.
A sweet-looking woman arrived in front of Luo XiaoLou, “Hello, distinguished guest, you are personally welcomed to visit the Star River Mall. The Star River Mall is the largest mall on the planet Anse. There are currently ninety-nine chain stores that can provide you with a variety of quality and assured goods or services, you can say anything you need to me.”
Luo XiaoLou hesitated and first felt for the card in his jacket pocket. Then, he asked, “Hello, that, where can I check the amount of money on my card?”
The receptionist was stunned, then smiled, “This is very simple, in fact, all you have to do is place the card on the communicator on your wrist.”
Luo XiaoLou looked down at the silver-white thing on his wrist. He had already seen it and thought it was a wristwatch. It seemed that the phone he was looking all over the room for was actually in his hand the entire time.
The receptionist was slightly surprised by Luo XiaoLou’s rusty movements. On planet Anse, except for those wanted criminals and vagrants, citizens had to carry a communication device since childhood, which stored all the owner’s information. It was similar to an identity card.
The young teenager clearly didn’t look like one of those who lived in the lowest and darkest of worlds. But she thoughtfully didn’t ask too many questions, just walked over to Luo XiaoLou’s communicator and pressed the round activation key on it, then slid the card over the slot of the communicator. An LCD screen was raised with a number displayed on it.
Luo XiaoLou counted the zeroes. One hundred thousand, definitely not much, but according to his relationship with Mrs. Luo and her son, it was quite a lot. Wondering what the prices were right now, he turned his head and asked the female receptionist, “What are the prices right now — or maybe you should just tell me what the normal rent is?”
The female receptionist looked at Luo XiaoLou’s communicator and, seemingly holding back a smile, said, “For knowing the prices and rents, please follow me up to the eleventh floor. However, I would personally recommend you to buy an apartment, and this money will definitely allow you to choose a residence to your liking.”
Luo XiaoLou was surprised that the mall included a real estate area.
Luo XiaoLou got even more excited when he saw the prices… he could actually afford it! Not looking at the apartments that were in excellent locations, a one-bedroom apartment in an ordinary place would only cost 50,000 federal coins. The future society’s house prices and such were too good to be true.
Luo XiaoLou’s face turned red with excitement. He would soon be a homeowner! He would not have to struggle so much for many years — Luo XiaoLou unconsciously thought according to his old logic.
As he was sighing, the receptionist said to him again, “Judging from your age, you must be a newly independent student, so you can choose temporary housing near your school.”
Student — yes, that Mrs. Luo had said she had arranged a school for him. Luo XiaoLou tried to calm himself down and took out the enrollment documents from his pocket.
Before he could study the location of the school, the receptionist next to him suddenly squealed excitedly, “Saint Miro Academy! That Miro flower emblem is definitely Saint Miro Academy! Gosh, the most prestigious school on the planet Anse, and it’s also a military academy that’s ranked in the Federation!”
The receptionist blushed red with excitement, holding Luo XiaoLou’s hand tightly with both hands and said shyly, “Ah, if it weren’t for the fact that it’s office hours now, I’d really like to take a picture with you. The Mecha Department of Saint Miro Academy has produced several generals, and the students from that famous school are the pride of Planet Anse!”
Luo XiaoLou thought of the unrecognizable phrases in the admission documents and instantly felt stressed. He pulled his hand out from her grip inconspicuously, coughed, and said, “In that case, please help me choose some suitable places.”
The female receptionist tried to restrain her excitement and pulled Luo XiaoLou back to the projector, using her finger to point out the location of Saint Miro College. She began pointing around and saying, “You can pick according to your preference, but because of the popularity of Saint Miro College, the prices around the school are quite high. After all, many students don’t like to live in the school, and it’s very inconvenient to do things! Ai,” the receptionist winked at Luo XiaoLou with a smiling face.
Luo XiaoLou looked at the excessively high prices that were almost comparable to those of the aristocratic residential areas. He had no choice but to look a little farther, and finally found an inconspicuous neighborhood in the middle of all the high-class residential areas, where the prices were much lower than the surrounding area.
“Oh, here? It’s because the Homestead District was established some years ago, and the management strength and various facilities are not as strong as the New Garden communities around it, so the prices are cheaper. Also, the people who live there are mostly retirees who have no children at their knees to support them, and students and young people don’t usually choose this place.”
“This is it.” Luo XiaoLou said gleefully. He didn’t have the money to splurge now, and after spending the hundred thousand, it was still unknown if he would find a job. Compared to starvation, it didn’t really matter at all that his neighbor would be a member of the nursing home.
“If you don’t mind, of course you can. And since no one has purchased here for a long time, it just happens to be adjusted to a special price starting this month.”
In the end, Luo XiaoLou was satisfied with spending 60,000 to buy a three-bedroom and one-bathroom apartment. Although he didn’t need to buy such a large apartment for himself, based on his previous narrow view that apartments were a symbol of wealth and gave people a sense of security, he couldn’t really help himself when he was in a position to do so.
“Here’s your door key. I’m now interfacing it with your communicator, so in future you can open the door directly with your communicator, and of course you can use the fingerprint system and iris scan too. Now, this three-bedroom, well-furnished apartment is yours.” After swiping his card to pay for the apartment, the female receptionist tapped her finger on the device and handed Luo XiaoLou the door key that came out of nowhere.
“It’s so convenient.” Luo XiaoLou murmured as he looked at the screen showing his new home, which was fully furnished with a refrigerator, kitchenware, a sofa, a comfortable bed, a wardrobe, and other furniture. There was even a computer in the study.
“And it comes with so much stuff?” Luo XiaoLou was surprised.
The female receptionist laughed, “This is the most basic configuration. If you need to replace anything with more advanced products, you can give a small payment directly through the computer online deployment and our mall delivery will handle it. It’s convenient and fast.”
Luo XiaoLou just realized, no wonder those young people who heard him say he wanted to go over to the shopping mall by himself wore a strange expression. And no wonder he hardly saw other people in the mall.
“Mr. Luo, is there anything else I can do for you?”
“Ah, that’s right. I also want to buy some textbooks for elementary through high school, and, well, I need some food.” Luo XiaoLou figured that school was about to start and he had to improve from his illiterate state first.
Under the guidance of the enthusiastic and capable receptionist, the books were quickly bought. But when he arrived at the food court, Luo XiaoLou was dumbfounded again.
“A potato for a hundred? It’s pretty big, but it’s not — wait, one egg for a hundred and one?! This isn’t a joke to me, is it?” Luo XiaoLou took another close look at the price tag to make sure he wasn’t bleary-eyed.
The receptionist blushed, and if it weren’t for the fact that she had checked the prices with several large shopping malls around this morning, she would have almost felt guilty for Luo XiaoLou’s shocked expression. Stammering, she explained, “Ah — of course, natural crop farming is very difficult right now, and even if it wasn’t, everything is grown in very dangerous places. That’s why the prices have been so high in recent years, and we don’t dare to raise the prices ourselves just yet.”
“Is it so expensive to eat a meal now?” Luo XiaoLou made an insufferable face.
“Ah, no, of course not. If you want something cheap, there’s artificial food over there.” The female receptionist finally relented and busied herself with guiding Luo XiaoLou.
Luo XiaoLou turned around and went to the artificial food area. Inside the huge freezer were neatly yarded containers that looked like white lunchboxes. There was an open lunchbox on the outermost side as a sample that had white, thick food.
“Ahem, don’t worry, the artificial food has no taste. The nutrition is all formulated according to the human body’s needs, and the shelf life is up to a year, so it’s definitely good value for money.” The female receptionist whispered beside him, while praying that the young customer wouldn’t show such a shocked and innocent expression again. For the first time, she felt as if there was something unreasonable about the mall she was so proud of.
Luo XiaoLou stroked his chin at the price tag below, ten yuan, quite a bargain.
But… it was hardly an appetizing thing to eat.
Luo XiaoLou looked back painfully at the natural crops there, and said to the receptionist, “Pack me a week’s worth of lunch boxes, and then, pack ten potatoes.” Luo XiaoLou took it hard and bought some potatoes, and a few bottles of beer, not sure his stomach would tolerate that paste-like food indefinitely.
Besides, Luo XiaoLou actually wanted to buy a car, but contrary to the cheap housing prices, the prices of cars were outrageously expensive.
Luo XiaoLou gave up. Although he had a license, it was one from thousands of years ago and was useless. Besides, most of the money he had went down the drain, and he couldn’t squander it any longer until he had other sources of income.
Thank goodness buses still existed. What made Luo XiaoLou even more satisfied was that it didn’t cost anything to take the bus.
After asking about the route, Luo XiaoLou was ready to go back to his new home. He had just found out that the school year started on September 10th. His communicator showed that today was August 2nd, so it was little more than a month before his school would start.
He was going to see if he could get a part-time job or something. He had to make his own money if he didn’t want to eat the artificial food that made him feel sick whenever he looked at them every day. If he wanted to opt for natural food, his savings that looked like a lot wouldn’t even be enough to last him two months.
Luo XiaoLou sighed, hoping that the short-sighted mother wouldn’t get too embarrassed.
There weren’t many people on the bus, and most of them were dejected, probably the underprivileged who were struggling to make ends meet. But Luo XiaoLou looked around cheerfully, thinking how cool it was to see a car speeding smoothly through the air.
After getting off the bus, Luo XiaoLou found the residential area that looked very ordinary in the midst of the many high-class neighborhoods.
Luo XiaoLou smiled and walked to his new home. In spite of this unfortunate rebirth, and the thought that he would never be able to return, he had a stubborn ability to survive. He was confident that he would have a good life.
The satisfied Luo XiaoLou never thought that spending his money would cause him to cry.