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Chapter 1 – So Far, Everything Was Still Normal
Hao Ren, whose character was like his Chinese name, was a good man.
Hao Ren lived in a little-known north city, which could be reachable by the Emperor if Beijing planned to expand for twenty or thirty rings. Hao Ren himself was just a normal person. If all the “friend zone cards” should be counted on him due to its resemblance to his name in Mandarin, then perhaps he would also become so well-known. If an unfamiliar person, who had a normal, square face with just a little masculinity, who aimed to be a good man in his twenties with no other characteristics, was found on the street—then that’s him.
It was still in the middle of May, when the summer had just begun. Although the weather in the north was much cooler, it was still irritating to walk on the street under the sun. Thus, the center of the city was flooded with all kinds of cars, but with hardly anyone walking on the streets. But one individual walking under the sun was Hao Ren, who was wearing a white T-shirt and a gray trousers. He was grabbing some pieces of paper, trying to walk under the shades on both sides of the street. The car horns and cries of the cicadas could make most people upset, but they did not seem to influence the young man’s mood; he just walked in silence while holding his head. He occasionally flashed his clothes which had been soaked due to the weather, and then looked down at the paper in his hand – two pieces of which were advertisements for jobs, and another piece was promotional flap from a schoolgirl which he received when he was passing the square. On the flap, a beautiful, smiling-blossoming girl was painted, under whom was a line of big text: ”Jin Rong Maternity Hospital, Professional Treatment for …”
Hao Ren felt that the students these days were more and more disengaged in their work; when he was working to distribute such flaps, he
would never put such stuff into the hands of a bachelor who was readily seen at a glance, but anyway, such kind of rigid paper was quite suitable for fanning.
“I’ll go to the last two interviews, but if they still fail, then I might as well just give up.” Hao Ren muttered while looking at the last two job application advertisements in his hand. Fortunately, the two places were next to each other, and one of the place already in front of him. As such, he can finish today’s “task” quickly. The company couldn’t be identified with its economic strength nor its influence, but it had a sign which highly incited curiosity: Galaxy Media Pan-cultural Development and Promotion Company. Its name, from Hao Ren’s perspective, was suggesting that the company might close down within half a year. Hao Ren applied for the company just because of the name, yet his main purpose was not really to get a job; he just wanted to see how freaking the company’s boss was to come up with such a freakish name.
He walked several hundred meters to go around the isolation barrier in the street, and then he went to the entrance of the advertising company with the exotic name; surprisingly, he discovered that the company had really closed down. Although the sign was still hanging, the glass door had a notice of the close-down, which was put up two days ago. However, the job notice in his hand was issued four days ago… This was really a rapidly-changing world. Why would the company recruit new employees two days before its close-down? To allay their shock?
He crumpled the advertisement to a ball and threw it into the trash along the road. Hao Ren looked down at the last piece, and after two seconds, he also crumpled it to a ball and threw it into the trash; he was beginning to reflect whether he was blind when he was screening these stuff two days ago – (in the advertisement) A bus company was recruiting an office clerk, requiring candidates to be 25-40 years old, hardworking, computer literate, someone with work experience was preferred, and last but not the least, gender: female.
He clutched these advertisements in high spirits as he walked to the city center, just to see how bright the glass door of an advertisement company who was busy recruiting two days before its closure. He thought he was really ‘making ado about nothing’.
Hao Ren, gender: male, hobbies: female, age: twenty-five, no bad habits, advantage: not picky about food, currently single, few friends, and living in a house in the old, southern part of the city which was left by his parents. Like most young men, his goal in his life was to have a monthly income of over ten thousand at the age of twenty-five, marry a beautiful woman, and, if possible, have a car. In his opinion, as unfortunate as the fact that he cannot honor his parents, at least he himself should live a good life, so that he wouldn’t be the shame of the family. But among these series of goals, only one happened: he was 25 years old this year.
What a sad story.
In hopes of landing a job, Hao Ren came to the city, but in fact, he has no urgent need to live a normal life: as mentioned above, Hao Ren lived in an old house left by his parents, which he should be grateful to the older generations for. At least this house was big – it was a two-story, old-fashioned house, which had been converted into a structure similar to a family rental apartment.
Over the years, Hao Ren had been making a living out of rental housing, but because the location was so remote that the “old house demolition” might have to wait for the next few Ten-Year Plans, so the rental income was quite pathetic. It was enough for a bachelor like him to live a normal life, but it was just limited to this level.
In all fairness, with such a stable income, there was no necessity for Hao Ren to find a job, but after idling away for such a long time, he person became a little hypocritical, feeling that he should work a little harder to explore pioneering ways of life. Moreover, the old house was too remote, it was extremely isolated that it could be described as having nearly separated from human civilization. Since the last migrant couples left from the rental, the house had been idle for half a year. Watching the continuously empty two-story “apartment”, Hao Ren realized one thing from the bottom of his heart: unless the municipal planning tilted towards him, he had to come out looking for a job to make ends meet.
He studied urban planning for three days at home, reaching a conclusion that the chance that the place would become a commercial center overnight was highly unlikely; considering that he was a mature guy, he should not abandon himself, so he finally decided to find a job, at least in order to maintain a normal life.
Anyway, in the past he had also worked to earn for his tuition, how could he starve himself?
But fate would not change according to man’s will; after spending the whole day, he achieved nothing but travelling around.
Thinking that it was useless to consider too much, Hao Ren stretched his limbs, and decided to take a rest on the bench right under the shade in a nearby park. He planned to find a small restaurant to fill his stomach after the hottest one hour in the middle of the day, and after which, he would go back home. Fortunately, this was a northern town even smaller than a three-tier city, and even if the economic development was very fast, there were still a place that was full of leisure and spaciousness. At least the city’s public land planning was good with trees shading the street. There was still such a small park in the heart of the city where anyone can relax.
He found a piece of paper to wipe the bench clean, then casually lied down, using the flap with a printed logo of the Women’s Hospital and the beautiful girl to cover his face from the sun. Of course, he did not dare to fall asleep, after all, these days, there were more and more thieves, and although his pocket had nothing worth digging, he would still fill unhappy if it was stolen. As such, he was only planning to take a nap.
But right after he lied down, when the sunshine through the folding edge had already dimmed, it seemed someone came beside him. Hao Ren slightly turned his face, dismayed to discover that it was already sunset. At this moment, a slender female figure was standing beside him, the figure exactly blocked the setting sun, and as he was against the light, it was impossible to see the woman’s appearance. Only through a dim outline could he confirm that she was a slim girl with short hair.
“Hey, are you awake?”
This girl seemed too quick with her intimacies, and she was waving while also saying hello to him carelessly. Hao Ren suddenly sat up, and he was surprised to see the surroundings as it was already sunset. He had only intended to take a nap for a while, but he had really slept for half a day. Then, he had the chance to seriously observe the girl up and down. This time, the strange girl seemed to have finally realized that the backlight made people unable to see her appearance, so she grinned a little and slightly leaned so that Hao Ren can see her appearance.
A very pretty girl – this was Hao Ren’s first impression.
The girl had a very light attire; she wore a close-fitting white shirt with a trimmed collar filled with some childish plastic dog decorations, and she also wore dark shorts and leisure shoes. She looked like one of those female college students skipping classes to go shopping. The girl kept a short hair down to her shoulders, and she may be very fond of sports, as she had a slightly tanned skin, looking healthy and enthusiastic. Overall, she looked beautiful. What was most attractive about her was that she had a pair of smart big eyes, with more vitality than anyone’s eyes Hao Ren had ever seen, as if the girl’s vigor could be felt simply by looking at her eyes.
And behind her, there was a large suitcase which looked pretty heavy.
Finding that Hao Ren was a little dizzy, the pretty girl with short hair burst out with an unprecedented brilliant giggle (It may be a little inappropriate, but Hao Ren really thought it was a giggle). She had a smile that was sincere and pure; it seemed that he had rarely seen such a smile in the face of a girl with the same age these days. The girl searched her portable bag packet hard for a long time, and then she finally found a crumpled paper and handed it to Hao Ren: “Excuse me, do you know where this place is? ”
Hao Ren patted himself awake, instead of considering first what the matter was with the careless girl, he looked down at the address on the paper… and was shocked to discover something. Wasn’t it his home address?