Chapter 224: Entering the City [Part 1]
Thanks to Blazing Eagle, Old Chang’s daily income was over ten thousand every day. In fact, he even enjoyed a peak of thirty thousand once.
Thirty thousand MB coins might be nothing to many people in the city, but here in this place it was a crazy amount of money. Because of this, an excited Old Chang was unable to sleep properly for several days straight. If this trend continued, Chang Five’s medical fee would be ready very soon.
Seven days later, after ending a day’s work and eating dinner, Old Chang settled both Cillin and Bel’s wage for the past several days. Cillin’s wage was decided since a while ago, and Bel’s wage was decided according to his performance as agreed earlier.
After the wages were paid, Cillin got 50 thousand MB coins while Bel got 20 thousand MB coins. Old Chang himself had almost 100 thousand MB coins. Originally, Old Chang was planning to pay them more money, but both Cillin and Bel had turned him down. Since he needed to save money for Chang Five’s illness, Old Chang didn’t insist on paying them more. But he did cover for their expenses etc after that.
The gray cat licked its paws while wondering when would Cillin be able to head into the city and buy some fish biscuits. It was starting to miss those snacks a lot.
“Oh right, I noticed that we’re running out of some parts today, and we have a few big clients that need those parts for repairs for the next few days. I can’t seem to find them around the area either, so I may have to make a trip to the city.” Cillin said.
The gray cat’s ears immediately perked up. It stared at Cillin with shining eyes.
Old Chang nodded and passed twenty thousand MB coins to Cillin immediately. Cillin didn’t turn him down either; it wasn’t like Old Chang was going to take back the money even if he refused. Cillin inquired if Old Chang had anything else he wanted to buy while he was in the city, and Old Chang made a list after a moment’s thought. The most important thing in Old Chang’s list was the city’s general hospital, however. A few years ago, he had made an inquiry about Chang Five’s full treatment and learned that the price was ten thousand MB coins at minimum, and that was without counting the cost for rehabilitation treatment. He wanted to know what the current cost of the treatment was.
“Sure, I’ll ask them.”
Cillin had checked on Chang Five’s physical condition as of late, and he found that he was doing a lot better since he started the drug treatments. At the very least, the buffer increased the success chances of a full treatment by a lot, not to mention that Chang Five was feeling very pretty good and smiling more and more as of late. These were all good signs.
“Then I guess it’s my turn to shoulder the responsibility tomorrow!” Bel looked quite eager. He patted Cillin’s shoulder and said, “Leave everything to me, my friend. There is nothing to be worried about. Hehehe.”
Cillin: “…” Why do you sound like you have an ulterior motive?
Upon learning that Cillin was going to visit the city, Chang Seven was unable to fall asleep the whole night. He was even more excited than Chang Eight was the time she went out with Cillin, and the news made both Chang Six and Chang Eight very envious.
It was a visit to the city after all. They couldn’t remember ever visiting one since birth.
The next early morning, Cillin went up a public flying transport with Chang Seven in his arm and headed towards the city. They didn’t use Old Chang’s run down flying car for obvious reasons.
As of late, the public flying transports heading towards the city had an overcrowding problem. Despite increasing the number of transports and raising the prices again and again, every single vehicle was full to the brim. Those who acted even a tad slower had no choice but to stand for the entirety of their trip. In the past it was possible to squeeze in a few more people as long as there was space, but nowadays the city entrances were imposed with heavy inspection points and the transports warned again and again not to go beyond the passenger limit. If the driver was caught, the punishment wouldn’t be as small as a fine anymore. Their vehicles would be detained, and their person sentenced for breaking the rules. That was why everyone was playing it a bit safe for now.
Many of the people who went to the city by public transports were hoping to test their luck. Back at the repair shop, Cillin often heard the car owners talking about the latest news inside the city while they were waiting for their cars such as a certain X who got lucky, or a certain Y got into the good graces’ of a certain Z. Every new gossip made the surroundings listeners more excited.
Regardless of the authenticity of these pieces of gossip, the number of people who went into the city only increased over time. Even those who had been observing from the sidelines and the repair shops who had been enjoying better businesses could no longer just sit by and do nothing, either packing their stuff or closing their shops before making a run for the city. After all, no matter how good business was, it was still the good business of a shop that had been passed down for generations in a poor and shabby place. Who cares about a small shop if they can win the good graces of a noble and take a shot at glory?
That was why Old Chang’s repair shop earned a lot of money. He managed to buy a large sum of parts and other resources at an extremely low price and earn an amazing profit.
Even in the public transport, the passengers’ conversation revolved tightly around those few successful cases. They looked so impassioned that it was almost that they were present at the scene. Their eyes were also filled was unconcealed envy and yearning.
Chang Seven was a restless kid, and since the moment he got on the transport he had been lying against the window and looking at the scenery outside. Even the dullest natural sceneries excited him a lot.
“Look! Look! That’s the Star Tower!” A passenger shouted excitedly.
“Wow, it really is a Star Tower…”
“Let me see! Let me see!”
For a moment, the passengers stopped talking about those successful cases and pressed their faces against the windows to look outside. There were images on display monitors, but naturally they couldn’t compare to the real thing seen with their own eyes. This was something worth boasting only if they had seen it with their own eyes.
The Star Tower was the planet’s highest building and the trademark building of the city. If one saw the Star Tower, it meant that the city was not far away.
Cillin smiled when he saw Chang Seven pressing his face against the window so much that it was about to flatten like a pancake. He rubbed Chang Seven’s head and said, “Why so anxious? You’ll be able to see everything clearly in a moment.”
“Mm!” was Chang Seven’s answer, but he didn’t stop pressing his face against the window and looking outside, “It’ll be nice if Six, Eight and Five can see them too.”
“Don’t worry, we’ll come here together next time.”
“Yay!” Chang Seven smiled brightly at his response. The bit of regret and guilt he felt earlier was gone in a flash.
After they officially entered the city, Chang Seven turned silent. Old Chang had taught them not to speak carelessly when they were in the city. But although he didn’t say a word, his eyes weren’t idle at all. The boy kept looking all over the place.
The public flying transport stopped at the car park at the edge of the city. The car park was purposely set up for flying cars from the commoner zone. People dressed in similar attires stretched all the way to the horizon. It just wasn’t obvious from where they were right now.
There were rich people who built their private estates or big factories outside the city, but all those places had their own specific car parks. They were also a lot more luxurious and not nearly as crowded and rundown as this one.
Almost all the shop owners of small shops built around the car park also weren’t city people either. Just like the client introduced by Bender last time, they were just people living at the fringes of the city. But even then, they felt an unchallengeable sense of superiority over the people in the commoner zone.
The true city people normally scorned the people who lived at the fringes a little. When they passed through these areas, they would normally choose a circuitous path because they thought that it was a filthy place that undermines their status.
There were a lot of people at the public transport station. The exits especially were filled with people.
Cillin squeezed his way out of the car park while holding Chang Seven. There were no taxis inside the station, and very few near the area too. It was almost as if they were trying to avoid a plague. But as long as one walked further out and took a corner somewhere, they would find more and more taxis nearby.
It wasn’t that these people held a grudge against money; they were just worried about their reputation. After all, what if someone said that they were connected to these people? Cillin had asked about certain things inside the city before he came here, and he learned that preparing a commoner zone ID card wasn’t difficult. Cillin easily obtained a fake temporary ID card after spending some money. The commoners inside the city were given more or less the same treatment as those people who didn’t possess an ID card, so they probably wouldn’t examine and verify a person with a commoner ID card closely.
Translator’s Notes: In the raws, the line ‘why do you have an ulterior motive’ and the line above it is meant to sound like Bel sending off Cillin before the latter departs for his death. However, I wasn’t able to come up with a translations that sound that way. In the end, I improvised by making Bel sound like he’s plotting to do something after Cillin is gone. Not the best translation for sure, but it is a valid translation technique.
Would appreciate if anyone of you can come up with something that sounds as intended tho!