Original and most up to date translations are posted at volaretranslations.
Translator’s Notes: No teaser today, but not because the chapter is spoilerish or anything. Tomorrow’s CNY Eve so things have been busy. Chapters will probably go up at the usual time, but if not I’ll inform y’all. Happy Chinese New Year (soon) everyone!
Chapter 220: Many Hands Make Light Work [Part 1]
Two days later, Cillin hadn’t yet made a full recovery, but he was able to move freely without problems.
Old Chang had been in a happy mood for the past two days. Although the gray cat looked unreliable, it had high work rate and played a big role in Old Chang’s maintenance work with the kids. Before the gray cat showed up, Old Chang could earn at most 100 Mist Bodhisattva (MB) coins per day only, and that was assuming he even had work to do in the first place. Naturally, there was no income if no business showed up.
However, Cillin heard that things had been going well for the past two days. Old Chang received one to two orders everyday and earned an average income of over 120 MB coins. Since Old Chang was happy, he purposely bought a set of fish type capsules and prepared different types of meals for the gray cat everyday.
Cillin helped Old Chang with his work after he was able to move freely.
Old Chang’s shop was a maintenance shop. In fact, the entire street of the place was made up of maintenance shops. The Maintenance Street was quite well known among the lower class because one, it was cheap and affordable; and two, most of the shop owners and the customers knew each other. They came from the same class, so they were simply watching each other’s backs.
Old Chang’s shop was relatively small in the Maintenance Street, and there were plenty of other maintenance shops that were bigger than Old Chang’s. However, Old Chang was satisfied with what he had, especially because he had a limited amount of manpower. He knew very well how many orders he could take, and anything beyond that would only serve to frustrate his customers.
Most of the people who visited Old Chang were familiar faces, such as the one who gave him an order today. The car owner had had a close brush with another flying car while he was conducting a delivery, and while it felt like nothing at the time he soon noticed that his vehicle was losing more energy than norm, but not running a pace that matched the energy loss after he came back. Also, it made weird noises every short distance it flew. Thankfully, the car owner didn’t need to make a delivery today, so he drove it over to Old Chang so it could be repaired.
The car owner looked at Old Chang after he was done complaining, “Old Chang, you think you can get it fixed today? I have a delivery to rush tomorrow.”
Old Chang thought for a moment before answering, “I’ll postpone the order I’m working on and work on your car first, since you need it in a hurry. It should be repaired by tomorrow.”
“Heh, I knew you’re the best, Old Chang. Alright, I’ve got work to get back to, so call me after you’re done fixing, okay?”
Normally, a maintenance shop conducts its business on a first come first serve basis, but regular customers were often given better priority and care. To this car owner, Old Chang’s maintenance shop was the best place to obtain cheap loyalty price. The car owner was very satisfied with Old Chang’s answer, and he left after ending the conversation hastily.
Cillin just happened to witness the car owner’s bidding goodbye when he walked down the stairs, and his gaze stopped at the flying car at maintenance platform. It was a kind of flying car he very rarely saw when he was at GAL, and it looked like it had been used for more than ten years already. The car itself wasn’t big, but its interior space was pretty wide. There was also a small carriage connected to its back used to transport a small amount of goods. Cars like this were a common sight at Maintenance Street.
Old Chang was just setting down a machine he was repairing, and getting up to accept and take a sip from the cup of water his grandson had passed to him when he saw Cillin descending from the stairs. He smiled, “How do you feel, Cillin?”
“I’m doing okay.” In order to prove that he had regained his mobility, Cillin stretched his arms and did some minor exercises. It was definitely proof that he had made a huge recovery.
Cillin then looked at the second hand parts categorized by the gray cat and retrieved by the kids before switching his attention to the newly arrived flying car. He asked, “Is it something to do with its power system?”
Old Chang nodded before pulling at a control stick, moving the flying car deeper into the maintenance platform. A separator then rose from the center of the platform.
Noticing Cillin’s puzzled gaze, Old Chang explained, “Can’t let the kids touch this thing.”
Cillin nodded in understanding after hearing his answer.
Whenever heavy metals or power systems were involved in the repairs, Old Chang would make sure to isolate the vehicle from his grandchildren. An adult might be resistant to their effects, but a child would have their growth greatly affected if they got too close to them. Radiation sickness and heavy metal poisoning were very common around here, and since the people here often lacked the time to perform a medical check they normally didn’t notice it until the symptoms were in full bloom. But by then the illness would’ve been very severe already, and more than eighty percent of the children who died prematurely here were taken away by these two killers. It wasn’t cheap to treat these illnesses, and not every family took care of their children as carefully as Old Chang did.
If a pregnant woman came into frequent contact with these things, the children they birthed were probably going to be born malformed or with birth defects. No children who were born this way were going to live long. However, everyone in the family had to work in order to survive, so pregnant women helping their families and working were a common sight on this street. Idleness would only earn them scorn; they weren’t the noble ladies who lived in high class cities after all.
At this Maintenance Street, the children who were raised as healthily as the triplets were absolutely among the minority. Therefore, it was their fortune to be born into this family.
The triplets were obviously very familiar with the procedure, so when they saw the raised separator they self consciously stayed a good distance away from that place. The platform had specialized tools and parts at the ready, so their aid was unnecessary.
“Let me help you. I’ve done something like this before.”
“It’s fine. You’re still recovering, it’ll be bad for your recovery if you come into contact with these things,” Old Chang attempted to wave Cillin away.
“It’s okay, I’ve been lying on my bed for so long that I need to stretch some muscles.”
Seeing Cillin’s insistence, Old Chang pointed at a cabinet and said, “There are gloves and safety tools in there. Go put them on, will you?”
Cillin walked over and opened the cabinet. Inside he found an entire set of safety clothes including gloves, coat, shoes and so on. Old Chang was already wearing a pair of safety gloves, so this meant that there was only one of every piece of safety equipment except the gloves. It wasn’t a surprise; a full set of safety clothes of the repair type wasn’t cheap after all.
Cillin put on the pair of gloves, but not the coat or the shoes. Instead, he passed them over to Old Chang.
“It’s okay, I’m used to this and I’m immune,” Cillin let Old Chang know that it made no difference whether he put on the safety clothes or not. Then, he went up the maintenance platform and started inspecting the flying car.
Old Chang quickly discovered the problem. As expected, there was a problem with the power system.
“All aged parts waste energy, but even then this is a little too much. The power system is defective, but fixing it won’t fix the real issue with this car. The only way to do so is to renew some critical parts, but I doubt that they’d be willing to spend that money. So we’ll ignore those parts for now.”
Old Chang explained as he continued to inspect the flying car. It was one thing to repair the car, and it was another to determine the degree of the repair if he wished to retain his customers.
After living in Maintenance Street for so many years, Old Chang had more or less figured out the people’s mindset. He was able to maximize a customer’s satisfaction without needing the customer to specify them, and it in turn saved the customer a lot of face.
Cillin was good at repairing things, but his experience in repairing according to a customer’s preference was far lacking compared to Old Chang. When he was practicing under Mo Heng, the style that was pursued was completely different. Mo Heng was the type who pursued perfection, and his standard of parts was very high. However, his style was completely unsuitable in this place.
Cillin listened seriously to Old Chang’s teachings and voiced a question from time to time. He also helped Old Chang with his work a lot.