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Chapter 18: ‘So Poor All That is Left is Money’ Family
Seven Lights University. As a university that was famous throughout the galaxy, be it their geographical and urban planning, or their resource and equipment allocations, they were incomparable to the schools at the ten trade Sectors.
Here, there was a tightly guarded research and technology zone, a wide open area training zone, a sleepless city that provided relaxation and entertainment, and a trade zone of many categorizations… they had everything in this place. It was just like a perfected system.
The school zone was the closest to the port, and there was a large residential zone right next to it. There were clumps of high-rising buildings and clumps of villas as well. According to the ‘Seven Lights Handbook’, the students’ living quarters were assigned by the university and not chosen freely by the students. Of course, there were many luxury houses and office buildings for rent, and whether someone could rent those buildings depended entirely on their own abilities. Money was just a small matter; what was really important was the limit of authority of one’s Seven Lights card. If you haven’t ranked up the Seven Lights card to a certain level, then don’t even bother thinking about those buildings.
The school district was located at the center of the planet and was surrounded by the entertainment zone, training zone, trade zone and so on. Cillin did not go to the school zone; he would register himself there directly after circling the entire planet. Therefore, going by the signs on the map, the global train’s first big stop would be the trade zone.
Maybe because it wasn’t the rush hour that there weren’t many people scattered along the train. Some of them had their eyes closed as they slept in their seats. Judging from the badges at their chest area, they were all third or fourth grade students.
In Seven Lights, there were seven grades divided according to one’s education level. The first to fourth grades were mandatory grades, and a student could only apply for graduation after they had gone through all four grades. Of course, those who had good enough results and the intent could pursue for further study, and in Seven Lights those who pursue for further study would enjoy a very lucrative treatment. The reason there was no fifth to seventh grade students abroad the train was because that they all had their own private cars, which was a lot more convenient than taking a train or renting a cab.
When he was speaking with Kang Man on the transport, he had already learned that Kang Man’s choice of education was four plus three, which was an integrated mode for further studies. This mode was only open to specially recruited students, and the treatment they enjoyed were different from other people. Cillin and everyone else’s Seven Lights card was the most basic rank : ‘Crimson’, but Kang Man’s was a rank higher: ‘Orange’. it was also easier for him to rank up his card compared to other people.
Listening to the train’s stop announcement, Cillin got off the train while carrying his bag on his back. The moment he got out, Cillin was immediately assaulted with the sensation that he was standing somewhere else. He might have read the trade zone’s description on the ‘Seven Lights Handbook’, but it was still a lot more impactful to see it in real person.
This place was like a giant business empire.
The trade zone before him seemed to be formed from countless flourishing and complex commercial streets intersecting with each other. The bustling flying cars; the noisy crowd… was this really just a university? Why did it not look too different from the bustling commercial streets on that planet in Sector D when he went to look for Aiflon?
There were many blinking road signs and billboards guiding those who had arrived here. A giant display suspended in mid air would also run ads from time to time, such as: A person wearing a fifth grade badge holding a device in his hands and introducing its functions… Such advertising screens could be seen everywhere while encompassing all kinds of things from the most basic daily necessities to roller skates and flying cars. There were endless varieties, and with images gorgeous enough to capture one’s attention completely.
Cillin randomly took a glance at the shops on his two sides and knew immediately that none of them were selling your ordinary goods. It would have been embarrassing otherwise in such a high-end commercial street anyway. Although Cillin still had some savings in his card right now, there really wasn’t much that he could buy in this place. Luckily for him, he didn’t need some of those items right now anyway.
After arriving at a department store and buying his daily necessities, Cillin then wandered towards a flea market. As its namesake, there were no formal shops in this area, but the people who opened a stall on this street were all second to fourth grade students. The items on display were all part of the prizes they had obtained while undergoing a fieldwork outside the planet or during a certain class’ exam.
Some of these items were small and delicate playthings that were worth nothing but pure decorations inside one’s living quarters. They might be varied, but the only worth of these trinkets were their novelty. Still, there were a lot of good stuff on sale; among them there were even precious metals or energy blocks. If these were consigned to a large shop, then a partial fee would be collected, which was why many people handled the selling themselves.
“Hey, look at this, this is a big seashell that we fished when we went to Planet Sea Blue last month. When the wind blows, you can even hear the sound of sea waves, and would you look at this color…”
“Oh my, you sure have a good eye brother. This is a type of alloy ore that we dug during a fieldwork. The tutor who led our team mentioned that the ratio of the few significant metal elements that made up this alloy ore was near perfect. It plays an important role in building and repairing a weapon, as well as the modification of an armored mech’s parts…”
Looking around, there were all kinds of people selling their products in all sorts of ways. For some people, it might be their first time doing this so they couldn’t let go of themselves, but there were obviously some seasoned old birds mixed inside as well.. The energy behind their shouts and slippery smooth words were practically no different from veteran traders.
The dexterous girls would do some simple processing to the materials in their hands, and the resulting appearances were not bad at all. At the very least, the number of people crouching in front a pretty girl’s stall were three times more than anyone else’s. There was no denying the pretty girl effect.
While Cillin was checking out a stall, a man suddenly appeared at the stall beside his. He looked to be about the same age as Cillin. His hair was a little messy and he was wearing a singlet and fat flowery pants. The soles of his feet were tucked with a pair of rattan knitted slippers, and his hands were shaking a fan made from tree leaves. Cillin had seen that fan at a stall that specialized in selling products made of tree leaves before.
This man crouched down in front of the stall and shook the fan with one hand while playing with the little items on the stall with the other. He seemed to be checking the items’ raw materials or their integrity.
However, Cillin realized that the expression of the stallholder behind him had changed multiple times when he saw this person. He opened his mouth, but in the end he did not say anything.
Cillin had a feeling that this stallholder had the impulse to roll up his stall and run away immediately. It piqued Cillin’s curiosity, and so he stood at the side and watched quietly.
The stallholder beside him did not look any different, however. He enthusiastically explained to this man about the raw materials and origins of his items.
Then… a most tragic haggling process began. Cillin witnessed the poor stallholder’s eyes shifting from a most jubilant ‘∩’ shape to a griefing U shape. He couldn’t even get angry as he said, “Forget it, junior. You look like a new student. Just take this as a gift from a fellow senior.”
“No, don’t! it’s not like I know you or anything so why the fudge would I want to accept your gift? Plus, if you don’t accept some money at least you’re gonna give me a guilty conscience, you know?”
Conscience… do you even have such a thing?
The price was chopped from 500 credits all the way to 50 credits. The stallholder’s own tears were almost chopped out of his eyes. The dude even refused when he tried to gift him the item so that he would go away and get out of his sight.
The man lifted a hand, dug into his pocket and fished out a whole stack of galactic credits in €1000 bill (E/N: We decided to use a symbol for the currency of Galactic credits for clarifications even if there is none in the raws). We decided on the € cause it looks like a C and a G, so it could represent Galactic credits). He frowned. He then dug into another pocket and fished out his Seven Lights card and a few VIP cards from a few luxury stores from the central district of the trade zone instead. He spent a long time fishing through his pockets before finally, he worked out a galactic credit with a €50 bill from a certain corner.
“There, a fifty. Don’t say I took advantage of you.” The man smiled most harmlessly.
And boy did the stallholder look like he had chronic constipation. Cillin could feel his misery just by looking at him.
That stack of galactic credits in €1000 bills couldn’t possibly be less than twenty thousand credits, could it? Also, those cards could not be made without spending a few million credits. But he went so far as to crouch down like a person from a small household and haggled all the way until 50 credits while wearing a ‘I’m a good guy you see’ face. If he was that stallholder, Cillin thought that he would’ve let loose his legs and give that bastard one hell of a time.
Watching the man’s departing back, the poor stallholder lifted a trembling finger and pointed at that damnable bastard’s back. He couldn’t even fart a single word for a long time.
Cillin listened to the stallholder of the stall he was visiting patting the back of the person who was still pointing with a trembling finger and consoled, “Let it go. That guy has a bad taste. You aren’t the only one who suffered.”
“Who… is that bastard?”
“Dude, I’ve only learned about it yesterday from a lecturer. When I discovered the truth, I had the impulse to run myself into a wall.”
“Tell me the truth!”
“He’s called Lung Andrea.”
“… This surname is so familiar…” The poor stallholder frowned harder before his eyes abruptly turned wide open, “Andrea… he… he’s from that so-called ‘So Poor All That is Left is Money’ family?!!!”
Something crashed on the ground.
Cillin smiled and left while shaking his head.
The Andrea Family’s fame in the galaxy was even bigger than the Douance’s. In truth, the Douance family’s wealth wasn’t too far behind, but the reason the Andrea Family was so famous was due to an incident, where the master of the Andrea Family had complained about being poor at a certain old galactic general’s birthday party, and that old general had joked and said, “Yeah, you’re poor, you’re so poor all that is left is money.”
And so, the ‘So Poor All That is Left is Money’ family’s name became spread throughout the galaxy.