Investment Life - 2.1
Translated by Fox23
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Read chapter 1 here
Enjoy chapter 2 (part 1/3): The Rooster in a Crowd of Monkeys
“Doudou! Get up quickly!”
He was woken up by a rough shovel, and Chen Yuanming stared blankly for a moment before realizing that someone called out his [CYM] nickname. A cold draft rushed in from the open door. He shuddered but got out of bed.
He quickly put on some still damp underclothes and then layered on a thick woolen coat. He turned around and looked to the side. The small round table in the center of the room had already been set up. There are several bowls on the table: the rice congee so thin that one could see their reflection on it, only 3-4 pieces of pickled radish strips that were homemade. A man sat at the head of the table sipping congee and taking large bites of mantou. When he noticed Chen Yuanming’s gaze, he squinted and shouted, “What are you staring foolishly for! Hurry and wash your face!”
TN: Mantou is a Chinese steam bun made of flour and water.
“Hurry up and go.” The woman next to Chen Yuanming also pushed him aside and placed a boiled egg on the table. On, “The egg will get cold soon.”
Chen Yuanming silently picked up the towel and walk out the door. Out the door, around the right corner at the end of the hallway was a public toilet and sink. It had already passed the peak hour of using the toilet in the morning. Without much effort, he finished up his personal hygiene routine, twisted the rusty faucet, and splashed a handful of water onto his face.
Cold water in winter was terrible. The pitch-black water pipes even had traces of being burnt. It was clearly that the pipes froze overnight again, but who knew which neighbor was to be blamed. Washing the face only took a few seconds, but the hands were frozen red and frostbite on the pinky finger and the back of the hand begin to itch. In the long and narrow corridor, a mixture of firewood smoke and food aromas starting assaulted his nose. Every household in the corridor was noisy. This place was the staff quarter of L City’s bearing factory, the largest state-owned enterprise in the city. One floor had eight households, and the staff dormitory building had a total of three floors. Every morning was full of turmoil and chaos like troops rebelling and soldiers rioting. He lived in this place for 21 full years and was familiar with everything here.
TN: This is what (mechanical) bearings are:
However, now… he ferociously wringed the towel dry, and he flexed his frozen hands. He raised his head. However, now he was only 15 years old.
“Washing your face, do you need to dillydally for so long? Do you want to be late again?”
When he entered the kitchen, he was pelted with scolding. Chen Yuanming silently put down his towel and sat at the table. A mantou was stuffed into his hand.
“Hurry up and eat. It’s already half past six!” Both hands peeled the boiled egg and threw the tender white boiled eggs into the rice congee with a small splash. “Don’t be so listless all day. Final exams should be coming up soon?”
“There’s still a week.” He took a bite of the mantou and choked down jianmian noodles to stimulate the taste buds. His family’s cooking was always this flabor. He used his chopsticks to cut up the egg in his bowl. Chen Yuanming suddenly felt stinging in his eyes. “Mom, don’t cook eggs anymore. I’m done……”
“You don’t know what you are talking about.” The woman nimbly placed the few empty bowls into the pot to soak, “Our family is not lacking these couple dollars.”
The man did not say anything this time. He only let out a cold snort and strode out of the door with large strides. The door closed with a loud bang. Chen Yuanming’s chopsticks paused a for a moment and then picked up a piece of radish to eat with his rice congee.
Seeing that the father and son pair were still in a cold war, Wang Juan couldn’t help but sigh. She put on her jacket and grabbed her bag. She rushed to greet her son before leaving, “I going to work now. You quickly also quickly finish eating to go to school. When you leave, remember to lock the door.”
Vigorously chewing on something in his mouth, Chen Yuanming nodded. The door closed but it didn’t block the noise coming from outside the door. At 6:45, students arrived to the school and the factory started at 7:00. These two time periods were inevitably going to be frenetic and bustling in the morning. Bicycle bells jingled, children yelled, and some parents screamed in the narrow corridors every year every day.
In the middle of this noise, Chen Yuanming finished his breakfast, placed the bowl into the pot, and lifted his backpack to go out of the door. In January, the night was long, and outside was still a sheet of darkness. The cold wind scraped his face like a knife. The coat could not block out the bone-deep cold. He took a breath through his nose and put his hands in his pocket. He walked towards the school.