Original and most up to date translations are posted at volaretranslations.
Translator’s Notes: Part 1 is very short because it’s either cutting it off at 1/3++ or let it run until 2/3 of the chapter. Awkward.
Chapter 221: The Fish Says Fine, The Cat Says No Way [Part 2]
Old Chang took out the new parts left behind by Haas and gave them a look, “It looks like the parts that sold quite well inside the city recently, but I don’t know them too well. Guess we have no choice but to give it a try.”
Cillin hadn’t seen these parts before either, but he could guess what their specific functions were from their shape and the car itself.
“Let’s.” Cillin said.
“Mm. We definitely can do this together.” Old Chang actually thought that Cillin had great knowledge and great insight. His assessment of Cillin was that he was a sensible youth with real knowledge, real abilities and a good heart.
The new parts were new for both of them, but they quickly figured out what they were used for quickly. They then researched the diagram and assembly for a bit.
“Please see where it needs to be modified, Cillin.” Old Chang passed the assembly diagram to Cillin.
Cillin didn’t point out the faults in the diagram Old Chang drew directly. Instead, he asked Old Chang why he drew the way he did in several spots.
There existed a kind of harmony between parts. Although this harmony might not be obvious when observed locally, Cillin had ‘dissected’ the car in his head during the time Old Chang was inspecting the entire flying car. Therefore, he knew very well what part of the car should be paid attention to after the new parts were plugged in, and what were the bigger problems in Old Chang’s drawn assembly diagram.
Cillin was socially adept, so he didn’t point out the problems directly. However, Old Chang knew from Cillin’s reaction that he really did notice some problems with his diagram. He wasn’t displeased by this realization, however. On the contrary, he was quite happy at this outcome. Considering his age and the family circumstances he was saddled in, Old Chang wasn’t allowed much opportunities to learn new skills at all. Therefore, Cillin’s arrival and help was an enlightening experience to him. He had been doing repairs for tens of years, and he knew just how important it was to learn new skills. That was also why he felt invigorated after hearing Cillin’s words.
After explaining the reasoning behind his method of drawing, Old Chang looked at Cillin and said, “You don’t need to be worry about me, Cillin. Just speak your mind. This is a good learning experience for me too; it’s been many years since I learned anything new.”
Seeing that Old Chang really meant his words, Cillin stopped beating around the bush and explained everything in his opinion, from the macro to the micro, from the whole to the local, and even the minor problems with the car that didn’t need any repairs. At the very least, this knowledge would give Old Chang bigger ideas when he drew his assembly diagram again.
After some amendments, the duo finally settled on the final version of the assembly diagram. Although it wasn’t the theoretical best way to repair the car, it was the one that suited the car owner the most.
After the assembly diagram was decided, the duo worked a lot quicker than before. The parts were quickly installed under their joint effort. Just like the previous job, Cillin checked the car’s control system.
Just like last time, the car had a dual control system. However, unlike the last car owner this one frequently cleaned his car’s system since it had a lot less unnecessary files in it. Still, there were a couple of bad settings that clashed a little with the newly installed parts, so Cillin manually fixed the programs in conflict. The main setting and controls were kept the same because it was what the car owner was used to, so the car owner wouldn’t realized that the control systems were modified unless he performed a full scan. He would only feel that the flying car was running a lot smoother than before. Once he got used to the hidden changes, the flying car would run a lot faster than it used to.
After the repair was complete, Old Chang wiped the sweat on his forehead while wearing a bright smile after testing the car’s performance. He learned a lot of new things today.
Old Chang contacted Haas after resting for a moment, surprising the latter during the call. After all, the parts he brought to Old Chang were considered new in this area, and he expected Old Chang to spend a lot of time researching these parts before fixing his flying car. He went to Old Chang only because he was hoping to save some money. Parts switching in the city was way too expensive, and he didn’t have that much money to spend.
He couldn’t have done a sloppy job, could he? Haas couldn’t help but think that even though he knew Old Chang’s personality. When he got Old Chang’s notice, he was so anxious that he dropped his business and rushed towards the shop.
While Old Chang was waiting for Haas, a couple more people entered the shop.
Cillin recognized the leader of the group. It was the car owner whom Cillin had cleaned up his system earlier.
“Hey, Old Chang! I brought some customers for you!”
“Bender! How’s your car doing?” asked Old Chang, but he was very confident that Bender must be enjoying his car. He wouldn’t have brought customers over otherwise.
Since there were customers, the triplets stopped playing with the gray cat and Chang Five. Instead, they carried over chairs and brought glasses of water for their customers, causing Bender to say ‘what sensible children’ repeatedly.
Naturally, Old Chang was very happy that his grandchildren were praised.
“You seem to be doing well, aren’t you? You’re busy every time I came to your store! Wait, is this car Haas’? Is that guy switching parts again?! What an enviable fellow!” Bender looked around while commenting. However, Bender shifted his gaze the second he saw Chang Five lying on the recliner not far away. At this point Old Chang started talking about their current business.
Chang Five looked down as gloominess shrouded his eyes yet again. However, he felt a lot better after noticing the slight disdain the gray cat was holding for Bender’s group. While copying the triplets’ movements and rubbing the gray cat’s chin, he shot an inquiring gaze towards the gray cat.
The gray cat jumped up to Chang Five’s shoulder and whispered into his ear, “That guy’s both a bragger and miser!”
Chang Five’s eyes crinkled involuntarily into a smile. The first reason was because the gray cat finally talked. The second reason was that it was clever and mischievous.
On the other side, the group was talking about their intentions for coming today. Bender had always serviced his car at Old Chang’s place, and he was especially satisfied with the latest repair. He had a relative who lived at the fringe of the city who had a broken flying car. However, his relative wasn’t willing to spend the money to fix it. After hearing from Haas that Old Chang was quite good with repairs and had fair prices to boot, he decided to pay him a tentative visit even though he personally scorned Old Chang’s abilities a little. The flying car had only been bought for less than 3 years, and it looked pretty fine on the surface, so he wasn’t willing to sell it just yet.
“Just be careful when you try to repair it, okay? If you can’t fix it it’s fine, just don’t make it worse than it is already…”
While listening to the car owner’s rants the gray cat whispered beside Chang Five’s ears again, “See, it’s another one of those guys who are stingy and looks down on people. If only he would take a look at his own car; as if that hypocalcemic thing is worth anything!”
Chang Five’s face muscles twitched nonstop at the comment. Hypocalcemic? If he remembered correctly, his family’s flying car was even worse than Bender’s relative’s. Still, Chang Five couldn’t help but smile at the gray cat’s criticism.
From another person’s perspective, they thought that that unfortunate boy Chang Five was just having fun with his pet. They would never imagine that they were talking behind their backs.
Cillin cast a glance at the whispering cat. He knew very well what it was saying to Chang Five. Still, even he had to admit that this car owner was a pain in the ass.
But although this car owner’s behavior was less than desirable, he was here to give them money, so Cillin had no reason to begrudge him. And so both Old Chang and him listened to the car owner’s rants with sincere-looking smiles on their faces, although no one knew what they were thinking at the back of their minds, of course. Cillin was socially adept, and so was Old Chang.
Finally, the car owner left the shop despite turning around to rant a couple times for every step he took. Cillin let out a sigh of relief, exchanged a smile with Old Chang and began researching the flying car in cooperation without a word.
The car wasn’t hard to repair, really. It was more or less the same as all the shabby cars that were sent to this Repair Street for repairs with the only difference being a shiner shell and a newer version of the control program. Very soon, Old Chang and Cillin began to work on the car.
As usual, the gray cat ate its meal on the table during dinner. No one objected to this phenomenon, and the four kids even gave it special care. All of them – even Chang Five – gave bits of their food to the gray cat. Old Chang was gladdened by this scene. It was incredibly rare to see Chang Five in a good mood, and today the boy looked to be especially happy.
A person’s recovery had a lot to do with their own mental state. Chang Five was born weak to begin with, and it was only natural that his gloominess served to worsen his condition further. There, he needed to be in a good mood to enjoy a healthier physique.
It was night, at the gray cat was planning to play a bit in the children’s room. Chang Five had his own room because he didn’t sleep too well, and because Old Chang was afraid that the energetic triplets would disturb their sibling. Therefore, Old Chang prepared a small room for Chang Five.
The triplets had gone to take a bath, so the gray cat only saw Chang Five reading on his bed when he came over.
Chang Five put down the book in his hand and patted a spot on his bed, beckoning the gray cat to come. He wasn’t afraid that the gray cat would dirty his bed.
The gray cat took him on his offer without hesitation. However, it didn’t leave footprints on the bed like a common cat would. The gray cat actually cared about cleanliness a lot.
“What are you reading?”
The gray cat looked down curiously at the book Chang Five was reading. It curled its paws and flipped open the book. It noticed that the contents of the book were blinking circuits and some programs between diagrams.
If the gray cat was anyone else, they would be shocked by the level of the book Chang Five was reading and call him a genius. It took a person of a certain level of education to be able to understand this kind of book, but Chang Five had practically learned his knowledge all on his own. If he wasn’t a genius then who was?
However, the gray cat wasn’t even thinking about this at all. It was flipping through the pages swiftly and carelessly with its paw. Even Chang Five thought that it was just playing around.
While reading, the gray cat’s whiskers shook once, twice, thrice and… What the meow is this!
The gray cat raised its paws and swept the book down the bed. It said disdainfully, “Pages upon pages of nonsense, this is! Optimal programming my ass, this is literal bullshit! To quote Cillin’s words, the less-than-animal who wrote this is an incompetent fool who misguides their readers!”
Chang Five stared blankly at the gray cat who not only threw his book to the floor, but was also spouting expletives with righteous indignation. He could accept it if the gray cat said that the author of the book was misguiding its readers, but what did it mean by less-than-animal? Did you accidentally use the wrong expression while your top is blown, oh mighty cat? He really couldn’t understand why the gray cat was suddenly so furious. It was the book Old Chang had recommended to him since a long time ago because Old Chang himself had acquired his knowledge from it.
“Is there… something wrong with this book?” Chang Five asked.
The gray cat looked indignantly at Chang Five and pointed a nail at the book on the floor, “It barely got anything right at all!”
Chang Five fell silent. It was true that the book was at least dozens of years old, and that the latest book on programming must have been improved a lot since. Also, Old Chang had never been too good with programming, and his main expertise was in repairs. The teaching materials he had on programming were all old versions that were at least dozens of years old, but they were also all Chang Five had to make do with, so much so that he could practically recite them from memory. As for implementing his knowledge for real, he regrettably didn’t have the opportunity to do so.
In fact, Chang Five had wanted to upgrade the programs of the old machines in his house. However, ever since he fainted and stayed in the hospital for 10 days while he was upgrading the small cleaning robot, he never touched them again. He only read, and never tried to physically operate the machines since.
The gray cat was an oddball, but Chang Five himself wasn’t much better. After all, he didn’t wonder immediately why the gray cat could read and understand these things.
After a moment’s thought, Chang Five said, “This book is at least dozens of years old. I suppose that it is a little outdated.”
“It doesn’t matter when it’s released, it’s still a pack of lies!”
The gray cat was so furious that its whiskers were shaking. Who was it that came up with this book? How dare they trick a young kid! The fish may be fine with this, but the cat says no way!