Chapter 5 Hehehe!
No matter how hard it was, he would have to ask if it was for his future.
He had to register by next Monday after all. Fang Ping was not a god; there was only a day left, where else was he supposed to get ten thousand bucks?
He waited until his father Fang Mingrong had returned home, exhausted. When the family was having dinner at the table, Fang Ping opened his mouth and asked.
“Dad, registration for the martial science examinations are on next Monday. I want to take the exams, and the registration fee is… ten thousand bucks.”
After Fang Ping had spoken, the entire house went silent.
Fang Mingrong was a bit over forty, he looked not quite old but a little pale.
Fang Mingrong worked in a pottery factory in the outskirts of Sun City. His work was not technical, either; he was just an ordinary worker.
In Sun City, where the average monthly wage of workers was just two thousand bucks, Fang Mingrong earned three thousand bucks per month.
It was not that his boss particularly took care of him, or that his work was outstanding,
He was paid a higher wage because pottery workers risked getting pneumoconiosis after a long period of work. It was as if he was exchanging his health for money.
Fang Mingrong had to do so.
He had two kids at home. One of them studied in high school, and the other in middle school. Their clothes, food, lodging, and transport. Which one of those did not need money?
He also had to save money for Fang Ping’s university fees and consider the expenditures after his graduation like marriage or purchasing properties. The family was always short of money.
The couple would need half a year to save ten thousand bucks, barring daily expenses.
Their society was one in which martial arts ruled.
Although Fang Mingrong was an ordinary citizen, he knew that the martial science examinations were tough. Acing them was as difficult as ascending the heavens.
There were tens of thousands of students taking the Gaokao in the big Sun City, but those who were accepted into martial science could be counted with ten fingers.
The school Fang Ping studied in, Sun City No.1 High School, was the best high school in the city.
Nevertheless, only five students from the school were admitted into martial sciences out from the approximate a thousand and five hundred senior three students from the twenty or so normal classes.
In the year 2007, two students in total from those twenty normal classes were admitted into martial studies.
As a parent who had attended a few parent-teacher meetings, Fang Mingrong was not unfamiliar with those statistics. They were spread deliberately by the teachers because they were not shortcomings, but achievements that deserved to be a source of pride of the teachers.
Now, was spending ten thousand bucks for a fleeting chance worth it?
Fang Mingrong struggled to speak while Li Yuying could not utter the words she had in her mind.
Fang Yuan put her head down without a word. Compared to Fang Ping, who had just recently been informed of these ‘general knowledge’, she, a middle-school student, was more familiar with the topic.
Fang Mingrong held his small glass up, looked at his son for a while, and he nodded. “Ask your mother to hand you the ATM card later and withdraw ten thousand bucks yourself tomorrow.”
“Dad…” Fang Ping gritted his teeth, thinking of words to reassure his father.
He did not expect Fang Mingrong to interrupt him and say, “No matter your results, it’s important that you have the intent. It’s fine if you don’t pass the tests, because you’ll gain more experience, at least. When Yuanyuan enters high school, you can still give her guidance. We’re not rich, but this is something that will affect your whole life!”
He did not harbor hopes for his son. Something as important as registering for the martial sciences examination would be the deciding factor of the transformation of his destiny. If Fang Ping never brought up the topic, Fang Mingrong would not either.
However, his son did bring up the topic and plus the worst he could do was work overtime for the next couple of months; the loss of ten thousand bucks was not enough to collapse the Fang family.
Fang Ping spoke no more after his father’s words.
Extravagant boasts and resolute words, no matter how much, were pointless in this situation.
Fang Ping was not confident that he could pass the tests, too.
He reincarnated, yes, but he did not come from a world of cultivation. He did not know what subjects he would be taking, but he knew that the field of martial sciences would be related to the body and its capability.
And as Fang Ping had learned, there were far more criteria than that.
If he did not succeed in passing the tests, there was a low chance of him earning huge sums of money but not if he set his sights on smaller profits. There was still a chance of him becoming a martial artist.
Although Fang Ping may not advance to the highest peak in the future, he would not need to trick his sister for twenty bucks at least.
Fang Ping was relieved as he sorted out the biggest problem blocking his path.
Seeing that everyone else was still in slight shock, Fang Yuan, the family’s noisemaker, changed the topic with a laugh. “Fang Ping, do you really want to register for the martial sciences exams?”
Fang Ping replied with a laugh, “Of course. Just wait till your brother gets admitted into martial sciences and become a martial artist, and you’ll become rich!
“When you go to school next semester, you can boast to your classmates and tell them that I’m a martial artist.
“I promise you, you’ll be on top of the school then, and no one will dare call you ‘Round Face’ again.”
Fang Yuan was riled up again. Her face was round and her name had the character Yuan 1 , so she was given the nickname by her naughty male classmates during her first couple of days in middle school.
The girl was ready to fight with those few boys just because of this.
Fang Ping mentioned this touchy subject, and so Fang Yuan did not bother to save her brother’s face. She retorted angrily, “You’ll definitely not pass the exams. If you’re going to waste so much money, you might as well use it to buy delicious food!”
The Fang couple scolded at almost the same time. Fang Yuan realized what she had said, and she lowered her head and muttered, “I was just saying! Maybe you’ll pass them.”
Fang Ping laughed, and he did a pinching gesture in Fang Yuan’s direction, riling her up so much that she could not stop rolling her eyes.
After dinner, Li Yuying took the family ATM card out and handed it to Fang Ping.
She had to work the next day, and Fang Ping was no longer a child. He would not have any problem withdrawing the money himself.
The parents would ask Fang Ping to withdraw some cash for them sometimes when the family needed money.
Fang Ping was quite wistful as he accepted the bank card. He muttered, “They’re really trusting. Aren’t they afraid of the possibility that I’ll take all the money for myself…”
There were more than ten thousand bucks in the card, of course. In the past, he would not touch the money.
Fang Ping shook his head. He should put this aside. He would tell his parents directly if ever he needed any. Taking them without asking was no different from stealing.
A night passed without any incident.
The next day, on the 6th of April.
Fang Ping woke up in the early morning, but his parents had woken up even earlier and gone to work.
He tidied himself up simply and walked out to the dining table, where a breakfast prepared by his mother was set. There were several small dishes and a bowl of eggs, fried till golden.
He had gotten used to buying breakfast and eating it while walking to work. The feeling of eating leisurely on a chair was quite enjoyable.
If he had only gone back into the past he had lived in, he would not be so desperate.
What little did the Gaokao amount to?
Even if he did not take the Gaokao, there was a very high possibility that he could seize valuable opportunities and rise high up, what with the experience he had acquired with years of endurance in the workplace.
It was different now. If he failed to grab this opportunity to register for the martial sciences examinations, it was hard to say if he would have another shot at that.
Also, the longer the time in which he was not a martial artist, the longer he would have to watch around for danger when doing business.
Fang Ping knew what was most important. Right now, the main challenge was the Gaokao, especially the martial science examinations.
The other matters would have to wait.
He would only start considering other means only if he failed to pass the tests this time.
After putting his priorities in order and finishing his breakfast, Fang Ping got ready to withdraw the money and also observe the situation he was in and the difference that existed in society on this side.
When he was getting ready to go out, Fang Yuan, already dressed up neatly, ran out hurriedly and said quickly, “Fang Ping, I’m going too!”
“What are you going for?”
“I don’t care, I’m going anyway. You have to buy food for me, too. It’s because you used my pocket money!”
Fang Ping could not help but laugh. He did not refuse, though. He was only going to withdraw money, anyway; it was not a private matter.
Maybe he could avoid some trouble with this little girl at his side. Fang Ping did not know if there was something that he did not understand in this world.
It was still early when they set out. Fang Ping did not hasten to the bank.
He walked on the street with Fang Yuan beside him. He did not need to look out for Fang Yuan; the girl was looking around cheerily, with undue curiosity, as if she was the one who had reincarnated.
The streets in the area were the same as how Fang Ping remembered them to be.
Fang Ping’s life would be easier if there were none of those eyesores they called advertisements.
“Moistening skincare that Grandmasters use and praise!”
“Special Step, run faster than martial artists with them!”
“This is a secret recipe passed down for generations. With just one packet, martial arts will come easy to you!”
They were uncountable. Almost all of them managed to relate themselves to martial artists in some manner.
In reality, among the hundred thousand or so that stayed inSun City, less than twenty of them were martial artists.
Martial artists were actually entities that existed far away from the people in Sun City.
This did not hinder their discussion or concern regarding them or advertisements that used them to market products. They did not mention a specific name, anyway.
Martial powerhouses were the true stars in this world.
Of course, famous stars were often martial powerhouses too.
Fang Ping looked around once, ignoring those eyesore advertisements. On the way, he bought some skewers that proclaimed to be “praised even by a martial artist!”, and his wallet only had ten bucks left.
The little girl was ecstatic. She did not realize that Fang Ping was actually spending her pocket money.
After they walked around the area, Fang Ping led Fang Yuan to the ATM machine that sat not far away.
Insert the card, input the password, and withdraw the bills.
When Fang Ping was inputting the password, Fang Yuan stood guard as if she was watching out for thieves. She looked around in fear that someone would steal a glance at the number board.
ATM machines during that time had a withdrawal limit of two thousand bucks.
The ATM machine spat the first couple of bills out. Fang Ping suddenly froze after taking them into his hands.
Fang Ping did not continue his actions while he froze.
Fang Yuan, who was standing guard, saw this and said hurriedly, “Fang Ping, are there fake bills? I saw the news last time saying that there were fake bills in ATM machines too. The banks refused to admit it…”
The little girl was riled up. She talked and talked, and she said at last somewhat furiously, “We’ve got to change them for real ones. Let’s go to the bank!”
At this moment, Fang Ping did not really listen to what she had said.
With his brows furrowed slightly, he thought for a while before he continued his actions on the interface and withdrew the second bundle of bills.
The second two thousand bucks were spat out by the machine.
Fang Ping quickly took the money into his hands. Next, he stopped for a while and did not move, the same as the first time.
Fang Yuan, standing beside him, did not understand his actions. She asked strangely, “Fang Ping, are you going crazy?
“Are they fake bills or not?
“Oi, Fang Ping, what are you doing?
“Are you going crazy because of the money?”
The little girl’s mouth did not stop yapping. Fang Ping gave her a glance from beside her and suddenly handed the bills in his hands to her. “Take them.”
Fang Yuan’s round face showed her bafflement. She still took the bills into her hands and looked at Fang Ping.
Fang Ping asked, “How do you feel?”
Fang Yuan paused before saying, “…can you not register for the martial science examinations and buy delicious food for me instead?”
Fang Ping suddenly laughed uproariously. He said quickly, “Does this mean that you don’t feel anything?”
Fang Yuan was on the brink of imploding herself. She glared at him with her big, round eyes and said angrily, “You’re bullying me again!”
“I didn’t. I’m really not bullying you this time.”
Fang Ping’s elation was impossible to conceal. He continued, “I was fooling around with you just now. Okay, I’m going to continue withdrawing the money. After I’m finished, we’re going home!”
Next, Fang Yuan looked on as her brother continued withdrawing the money foolishly.
The reason she said that he was doing so foolishly was because he was doing it in a way that made no sense to her.
He would withdraw one hundred bucks once, and two hundred the next time. The amount that he withdrew every time was different.
He had withdrawn money more than ten times before he finally got his ten thousand bucks.
This was not the end. After he had finished withdrawing his ten thousand bucks, there was still money left in the card. Fang Ping continued withdrawing money.
Fang Yuan had thought that he had intended to take the family’s money for himself before she saw a sight that completely puzzled her.
Fang Ping withdrew some bills, but he deposited them again. He then repeated the cycle a few times, leaving Fang Yuan completely baffled.
There were two people queuing up waiting for their turn to withdraw money.
Fang Ping had occupied the ATM machine for half an hour. Seeing that he was intending to carry on with his actions, someone in line finally exploded. “Young man, that’s enough! No matter if you’re withdrawing or depositing a million bucks, the time you’ve used should be more than enough!”
Fang Yuan was still young, so she was easily embarrassed. She also knew that what they were doing was wrong. Her face reddened immediately, and she tugged at Fang Ping’s arm with all her might.
Fang Ping was almost finished with experimenting, too. He deposited the extra money serenely, withdrew the card and walked away.
After they walked away from the ATM machine, Fang Ping suddenly looked extremely joyous. He started chuckling, disregarding the people around them. “Hehehe…”
Fang Ping almost felt her hair stand up. Was Fang Ping triggered by the previous incident?
“You…don’t scare me?”
“Boo-hoo, Fang Ping, what really happened to you?”
“Hehehe… Cough, nothing happened. Let’s go home.”
Seeing that his sister was almost crying because of him, Fang Ping coughed dryly while restraining his urge to laugh uproariously. He pulled the little girl toward the way home.