A Lucky Coin

A Lucky Coin

Chapter 5 - Chapter 5

Yan Hang quite enjoyed working at the coffee shop. The environment was nice, there weren't many customers, and the work hours started late. After waking up in the morning, he could leisurely make himself breakfast and eat it before heading out.

Today, his dad was home, so Yan Hang made two portions while preparing breakfast.

"What's for breakfast?" His dad had woken up earlier than him and had already gone out and come back.

"Big shrimp fried rice wrapped in egg." Yan Hang brought the plate over to him.

"I love shrimp," his dad immediately picked up a fork and poked open the egg wrap, then looked at him, "Where's the big shrimp?"

"Diced big shrimp fried rice wrapped in egg." Yan Hang corrected himself.

"...How can you prove it's big shrimp if it's all diced up?" His dad seemed a bit dissatisfied.

"Don't you have taste buds?" Yan Hang started eating from his own plate as he spoke.

"No." His dad quickly replied.

"Then it's just diced shrimp fried rice." Yan Hang felt he should arrange a verbal duel between his dad and Chu Yi.

"Okay, that's acceptable," his dad nodded and happily started eating. "You're going to work in a bit, right?"

"At 10:30." Yan Hang said.

"Want me to visit?" His dad asked.

"Spare me, Your Majesty," Yan Hang sighed. "Our boss is a man, how about you pick a different target?"

"No, I can go compete with him on who's more handsome." His dad picked out a piece of shrimp and put it in his mouth, chewing earnestly.

"He's not as handsome as you." Yan Hang said.

"I can tell this assessment is very sincere." His dad patted him on the shoulder and turned on the TV with the remote control.

His dad was watching the local city news channel. No matter where he went, there had to be a TV in the house, and he basically only watched the local news.

Yan Hang didn't quite understand why he loved watching local news so much.

It was still okay in big cities, but in small cities, the local news was all about neighborhood disputes, roads in disrepair here, lights not working there. In county towns it was even worse, full of trivial matters, like sitting next to old men and women chatting by the roadside.

But his dad just loved watching it. If their village didn't have its own TV station, his dad probably would have watched village news back when they lived there.

This family's cow ate that family's seedlings, this family's chicken chased that family's duck, this family's male dog impregnated all the female dogs in the village...

"I'm heading out." Yan Hang put on his coat.

"Take the card with 154," his dad said. "In case your shop doesn't provide lunch, you can go next door and pretend to be posh - a coffee shop waiter eating Japanese food for lunch."

"...Okay." Yan Hang responded and walked out the door.

After walking for a bit, Yan Hang noticed several students on the road before realizing it was the weekend. He took out his phone again to double check.

He used his phone many times every day, but rarely paid attention to the date and time.

In his life, these two things were mostly dispensable in most situations. Sometimes he couldn't even be sure of the year.

But every time he suddenly noticed the date and time like now, he would take out his phone and carefully confirm it.

Sometimes this action was needed to make himself feel grounded.

Because it was the weekend, there were more people in the coffee shop compared to when he came for the interview.

When Yan Hang came out after changing into his work uniform, he ran into the boss. The boss's surname was Li, a middle-aged man with the air of a very pretentious artist. His clothes and accessories all matched his persona, but for some reason he inexplicably got a bob-cut hairstyle.

"Jidao ah," Boss Li waved at him as soon as he saw him. "Perfect timing, can you go bake some cakes? There are a lot of people today, we're running low."

"Mm." Yan Hang responded, cursing his dad in his mind for at least twenty seconds.

With a name like that, if his reaction hadn't been quick enough, he almost would have answered "Not many roads ah"*.

*T/N: Jidao can also mean 'how many roads'.

Yan Hang busied himself for a while, finished baking the cakes, and returned to the bar counter.

Helping out occasionally was fine, but if the boss wanted to hire a chef at a waiter's salary, then that was not okay.

He would cleanly and decisively quit.

That's how he viewed money as worthless.

Probably from following his dad around all these years, his dad didn't seem to save money, so he also had no concept of saving. As for money, as long as there was enough for travel expenses, rent and food, it was fine. If there was extra, they could go eat a nice meal. If there was none, they'd go make some.

His way of making money was working part-time jobs. How his dad made money, he wasn't clear about.

And didn't really want to find out.

"Make me a latte to go." A young girl walked up to the bar counter, phone in hand, speaking as she prepared to scan the code to pay.

"One moment." Yan Hang efficiently started making the coffee.

The coffee machine had just started grinding the beans when the girl let out an "ah".

Yan Hang looked at her.

"Wait, don't make it, don't make it, my phone... is out of battery." The girl said.

Yan Hang didn't say anything.

"I don't have any cash." The girl seemed a bit embarrassed.

When he came over earlier, he had seen a phone charger underneath, probably used by the other waiters.

He bent down and felt under the bar counter, placing the charger in front of the girl and pointing to the outlet beside them: "Go charge it there."

"...Oh." The girl looked at him in surprise, took the charger and walked over to the side, charging her phone while glancing over at him.

After finishing making the coffee, Yan Hang packaged it and placed it on the bar counter, waving at the girl: "Come pay."

The girl, holding her phone that had charged a tiny bit, scanned the code and paid, then clutched the coffee and scurried off with quick little steps.

"Not bad." Boss Li stood to the side with arms crossed and commented.

"What?" Yan Hang turned to look at him.

"This is the first time I've seen someone do a hard sell so smoothly, naturally and righteously." Boss Li said.

"I... just gave her a phone charger." Yan Hang said.

"Saying you'll buy then not buying, believe it or not I'll smack you," Boss Li said. "The expression was spot on."

Yan Hang thought back and figured he probably forgot to smile just now.

"I'll pay attention next time." He said.

"No need, it was pretty good," Boss Li said. "Didn't this just sell an extra cup of coffee? Pretty good, gotta have this spirit of working hard to earn every penny."

"Ah." Yan Hang nodded.

Busy until getting off work in the afternoon, Yan Hang felt his legs going a bit numb, unsure if it was because the air conditioning was always on in the shop. His head also felt a bit stuffy.

He hadn't worked this year until now and was a bit unaccustomed to standing for such a long time. Running for two hours wouldn't make him very tired, but standing like this for a few hours was exhausting.

When he changed his clothes and walked out of the coffee shop, he swung his arms, planning to run back to get some exercise.

Whenever he felt tired, his mood would change, and this change often came suddenly and inexplicably. By the time he noticed the irritability, it was often already surging. When his colleagues greeted him as he left the store, he pretended not to see them.

In this state, he usually used running to regulate his mood.

Running for an hour to work up a sweat, taking a shower and curling up on the sofa, he would feel very comfortable.

However, it wasn't easy to run at this time. It was the weekend, and there were quite a few people on the streets. If he didn't want to get lost... there was probably only that pothole-ridden, dilapidated road along the river.

The thought of running on that road made him even more irritated.

It was annoying not to run, and it was annoying to run.

When he found the entrance to the road along the river, he still hadn't decided whether to run there or not.

The entrance was a bridge. The bridge was bustling with traffic, but the narrow and broken steps along the bridge leading down to the road along the river were very inconspicuous, completely lacking the ambiance of "I am a tree-lined riverside path."

After standing on the steps for a while, Yan Hang still decided to run back from here.

However, after running just over ten meters past the steps, he stopped again.

Looking down from the railing, there was actually a person on the muddy and garbage-filled riverbank.

And it looked like he was bending over looking for something.

Treasure hunting?

Yan Hang was amused by his first reaction, and his irritability was diluted a bit. He walked to the railing to see what the person was doing.

A second later, he froze.

The treasure hunter was Chu Yi.

After Chu Yi expressed his gratitude to him yesterday and politely declined his role as a righteous hero, he had thought about finding a time to return the ten yuan protection fee to Chu Yi and had no intention of continuing to have any dealings with this kid.

He never expected to run into Chu Yi again in this kind of situation.

He stepped out of the railing and stood on the riverbank, staring at Chu Yi, who was intently searching below with a stick in his hand.

After watching for five minutes, Chu Yi was still in the same posture and didn't seem to be making any progress.

He couldn't stand to watch anymore. When he ran by that night, the feeling wasn't very obvious, but today, standing here, when the wind blew, he smelled the stench wafting from the river.

"Hey!" He shouted down.

Chu Yi didn't react.

The stutterer was also hard of hearing.

Yan Hang squatted down and whistled down again.

Chu Yi's hand, which had been poking back and forth with the stick, suddenly stopped in midair. After two seconds, he abruptly straightened up and turned his head, then just stood there.

"What are you doing?" Yan Hang asked.

Chu Yi looked at him without speaking.

"Come up!" Yan Hang shouted.

Chu Yi looked down at his feet, hesitating.

It was only at this point that Yan Hang saw clearly that more than half of his shoes had already sunk into the black mud.

"Damn," Yan Hang found it a bit unbearable, "come up! Are you Martians so uncivilized? Isn't it dirty?"

Chu Yi actually smiled, hesitated for a moment, then slowly walked over to the side.

Watching him walk onto the rocks at the bottom of the riverbank, Yan Hang frowned and asked, "What are you looking for?"

"Th-things," Chu Yi looked up at him.

"This nonsense answer of yours is very standard. Come up first." Yan Hang looked around. A few meters to the left on the embankment was an iron ladder, which Chu Yi must have used to go down.

The lower half of the iron ladder was rusted. One had to grab the iron bars with their hands and step on the wall to climb up. Going down wasn't difficult, just jump down, but coming up wasn't easy, especially with Chu Yi's height...

Yan Hang was just thinking about going over to see if he could give him a hand when Chu Yi jumped up from where he was standing, grabbed the last rung of the iron ladder, then tucked his legs in and kicked against the wall a couple of times. Before Yan Hang could walk to the ladder, he had already flipped over the railing and returned to the road.

"You... have some good moves, young hero." Yan Hang was a bit surprised.

"No, no need to praise," Chu Yi said.

"What are you looking for?" Yan Hang walked over to him and asked again.

"Pen," Chu Yi replied, looking a bit depressed.

Yan Hang thought of his newly bought notebook. The shabby book fell down and he's still looking for it? Did he write something important in it? But after waiting for a while, he didn't wait for Chu Yi to finish speaking.

He could only supplement for Chu Yi, "A notebook?"

"Pen," Chu Yi raised his voice slightly.

"Oh, a pen?" Yan Hang finally reacted.

Paper and pens were quite far from his life. He could only guess that pens were probably worth a bit more than notebooks?


"You went through all that just for a pen?" Yan Hang simply couldn't understand the thought process of these Martians.

"Mm." Chu Yi nodded and took two steps back.

"What are you dodging for? It's not like I'm going to hit you." Yan Hang felt that his irritability had been shocked away by Chu Yi. He sat down on the railing beside him.

"It, it smells," Chu Yi sniffed, a bit embarrassed.

"Oh." He responded.

The two fell into silence.

Section 10

After a while, Yan Hang glanced at Chu Yi. "How did your pen end up down there?"

Chu Yi smiled and didn't say anything.

"It was thrown down by someone, right?" Yan Hang asked.

Chu Yi still didn't speak.

"Was it those classmates?" Yan Hang continued asking.

Chu Yi lowered his head and stomped the mud on his shoes.

Yan Hang felt around in his pocket and found a pack of wet wipes his colleague had given him at lunch.

"Here." He handed the wipes over.

Chu Yi took them, pulled one out, and looked at it back and forth in his hand.

"You Martians don't have wet wipes?" Yan Hang said.

"After coming to, to Earth, haven't, seen them before." Chu Yi squatted down and slowly wiped the mud on his shoes.

Yan Hang looked at him. Actually, it didn't really matter whether these shoes were wiped or not. They were a very old pair of shoes. Judging from the style, they were also very outdated, street stall goods, and the kind from rural town markets at that.

"Chu Yi." Yan Hang called out to him.

"Hm?" Chu Yi looked up.

"Why are they giving you a hard time?" Yan Hang asked.

Chu Yi lowered his head and continued polishing his shoes. After blackening three sheets of paper, he finally said, "They just hate me."

"Why do they hate you?" Yan Hang jumped down from the railing and squatted opposite him.

"I st-stutter," Chu Yi said.

"Just because of that?" Yan Hang frowned.

Chu Yi's shoe polishing movement paused for a moment. After a while, he nodded, "Mm."


Yan Hang glanced at him but didn't ask further.

Although being bullied just for stuttering wasn't impossible, sometimes ten-year-old kids could hate someone for no reason at all. If everyone hated someone, they just followed along and hated them too. If everyone bullied someone, they just followed along and bullied them too, afraid that if they didn't align with the majority, they'd be pushed to the opposing side.

But Chu Yi's reaction clearly indicated it wasn't just about the stuttering.

However, Yan Hang didn't want to ask anymore. Communicating with Chu Yi was too tiring. In order to reduce the frequency of his stuttering, the kid basically never used sentences longer than five words.

Except when he was being a smartass.

...How could someone like this still be a smartass? Yan Hang couldn't help but stare at him again.

Very bizarre.

After Chu Yi finished polishing his shoes, he left. Before leaving, he stared blankly at the riverbank for a while.

Yan Hang wanted to ask if his pen was made of gold.

With that attitude, even gold-plated wouldn't cut it. It had to be pure gold, 99.99%.

He stayed there for a while longer. Estimating that Chu Yi had already walked out of this path, he stretched a bit and ran back along the road.

It was still light out today. He didn't twist his ankle and got a clear look at the general appearance of this path.

Usually, such small paths in the city were quite dirty, with people coming to vomit when they were drunk or relieve themselves when they couldn't find a toilet... But this path was surprisingly clean.

As he ran all the way back, he wanted to take another look at Chu Yi's tree hole, but couldn't find it.

When he got home, his dad had already prepared the dishes.

One dish and one soup.

Napa cabbage leaves boiled in soup, napa cabbage stems stir-fried with large shrimp.

"See, these are real large shrimp. Touched, right?" his dad said. "Want to have a couple of drinks?"

Yan Hang nodded, very touched indeed.

His dad had never considered whether it was appropriate for minors to drink alcohol. Yan Hang couldn't even remember how old he was when he had his first drink. In any case, as far as he could remember, whenever his dad said, "Let's have a couple of drinks," the two of them would sit down and have a couple of drinks.

Today, his dad's mood didn't seem too good. He drank in silence, just downing the alcohol.

Yan Hang also didn't make a sound.

It wasn't until the TV news mentioned today's date that he came back to his senses.

When he left the house in the morning, he didn't even think about the date after seeing it.

Every year on this day, his dad would be down for a day or two.

He had never asked, but always guessed that this day was probably related to his mother, whom he had no impression of at all.

Because his dad was drinking in silence, the two of them drank a little too much, glass after glass. When Yan Hang dizzily collapsed on the bed, he felt a long-lost sleepiness arriving right on time.

He closed his eyes and slept until the next day when his dad came to wake him up.

Breakfast was already bought. Soy milk and fried dough sticks.

"No napa cabbage soup to go with it?" Yan Hang yawned.

"I'll boil it for you in the evening," his dad said.

"I'll cook in the evening," Yan Hang said. "Don't cook anymore. The large shrimp won't be able to rest in peace."

His dad laughed for a long time with a fried dough stick in his mouth.

As Yan Hang strolled to the coffee shop, he felt the ten yuan in his pocket. He had forgotten to give the money back to Chu Yi again yesterday.

For someone who could rummage through a garbage pile for a pen, ten yuan was quite a sum.

He took out his phone as he walked, intending to send Chu Yi a message to set a time to give him the money.

Before he could even turn on his phone, he heard someone calling out in a strange tone, not loudly, from the side, "Boss..."

Yan Hang turned his head to look in the direction of the voice.

There were two people at the bus stop by the side of the road. After he looked over, both of them quickly turned their heads away, pretending they knew nothing.

Yan Hang wasn't good at recognizing roads, but he was still okay at recognizing people, especially since he had already run into them twice.

Small Thug No. 1 and No. 2.

Thinking of Chu Yi stepping in garbage and black mud to find his pen, he felt a bit irritated, both at Chu Yi's repressed personality and even more at these classmates who found amusement in picking on him for no reason.

He stopped and turned to walk towards the two of them.

No. 2, who was pretending to look at the bus stop sign, nudged No. 1 with his elbow. The two of them simultaneously tilted their heads a little, probably seeing him.

When Yan Hang was still a few meters away from them, the two of them turned around at the same time and took off running, even sprinting in two different directions.

"What the fuck?" Yan Hang quickly picked Small Thug No. 1 and chased after him.

Waste of space! You think just because you can't win in a fight, you can outrun me?


Every chapter whispers secrets; every coffee sip fuels the journey. Let's embark on another chapter, powered by everyone's support! >.<

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