Chapter 1 – A Mysterious Mission
“This is your reward for your contributions in North Africa.” Gramps Lin took out two crumpled notes from the rag-wrapped bundle and pa.s.sed them to Lin Yi, who stared at the notes intently.
Lin Yi had so many questions he wanted answered….The missions he took were always so risky, the enemies were so strong. Even the client benefited greatly from it. Why is it in the end, Lin Yi benefited the least?
Who knows how the old geezer managed to get all those missions for him? Up until now, Lin Yi always narrowly escaped death, but why was the reward always only fifty or a few hundred dollars? The worse part was he would be considered quite fortunate to receive just that amount. There were cases when he was awarded only pocket change for a mission. Whenever he recalled those moments, he felt the urge to cry.
When Lin Yi received the two hundred dollars, which he earned by risking his life, he felt like swearing. Screw you!!!
He learned martial arts from Gramps Lin, who brought him up and trained him for fifteen years. Based on these skills, he should be considered a wenwuquancai (talent that is well versed in term of academic and military skills). If he was born in ancient times and took the imperial examination, he could already be one of the top examinees for both the civil and military examinations. So why is he being ordered around like a part time worker?!……This is just too cruel…AHHH!!!!
It was rumored that even construction workers in the city earned at least 10k dollars annually ….He haf been worked to the bone every day and only earned 1.8 annually.
“Gramps, is this a joke??? 200 dollars?? I’m really starting to suspect that you’re deducting my pay,” Lin Yi complained. This was not the first time Lin Yi suspected this. But Gramps didn’t look like he was rich since both of them lived the same life style.
“You should be glad that you received some money. Did you think that money can be easily earned??” Gramps Lin rolled his eyes and said in an annoyed tone. “So? Do you want it? You can return it to me if you don’t. It has been a long time since I had a sumptuous meal at the village’s shop.”
“……..” Lin Yi felt like giving this scrawny old man a beating. But he knew that it would just be a one sided beating from the old man.
No one knew exactly how strong Gramps Lin was, not even Lin Yi. During all their sparring sessions, Gramps Lin always held back. Even when there were great improvements in Lin Yi’s martial arts, Gramps would raise his own skills accordingly. Lin Yi always lost to Gramps.
“Alright, you’ve already gained enough experience in these past few years. It’s about time that it’s settled.” Without even opening his eyes, Gramps sat down on the stone bed and started crunching on a plate of nuts. “If you’re able to complete this mission, you will not have to worry about money for the rest of your life!!!”
“Is that the truth?” It was known that ever since Lin Yi was adopted at the age of three, everything that he was taught – martial arts, medical skills and other knowledge – was to prepare him for an important mission. So Lin Yi had not doubt about the existence of the mission. He only had doubts about the reward that was stated by Gramps. A reward that can make one person rich is too good to be true.
“When have I ever lied to you??” After tossing another nut into his mouth, Gramps said, “So do you want to go? If you don’t want to, I can always choose someone else.”
“Go? Of course I’ll go!!” Lin Yi thought to himself, I would be an idiot if I reject such a good deal!! Complete this mission, and I will not have to work myself to death anymore and can live a life of riches. This is something worth risking my life for.
“Hmm, off you go then. Head to that is located in Songsan City and look for Chu Peng Zhan. He will brief you about the mission,” Gramps smirked and said, “Think through this carefully. Once you accept this mission, you cannot abandon it.”
“Why? Even if it gets dangerous? I cannot retreat?” Lin Yi was not the kind of person that would accept a mission if it lead to his death.
“Xiao Yi (means small Lin Yi: pet name), I have taken care of you for fifteen years. I’ve provided meals, bought you a laptop and 3G data cards……” Gramps eyes shot open and started nagging: “All I did is ask something of you. Why is it that you have so many questions? You better not force me!!”
“WTF!!” When Lin Yi heard what Gramps said, he explode in anger: “You did take care of me for the first three years, but when I was six, you made me cook and chop firewood. I even had to sell self-plaited straw scandals to take care of you. You better not force me either!!”
“Don’t think I don’t know that you always snuck around at night to watch p.o.r.n on the computer!!” Gramps stared and said, “You are the one that forced me to say this……while you were watching p.o.r.n, you even….”
“Okay….. I will go…. I won’t abandon the mission. Happy??” Lin Yi face was now very red and he thought, this is so embarra.s.sing. Who would have thought that Gramps knew about my night activities? I must not let him continue to spill anymore of my secrets.
Therefore, under the coercion and inducement of Gramps, Lin Yi packed his bag and took the train to the modern and internationalized Songsan City.
During the train journey, Lin Yi thought, next time I better encrypt the x.x.x videos and hide them in a folder. Most importantly, I must be aware of my surroundings when doing private stuff.
From the tone of Gramps, he knew that this mission was not an easy one, but he was actually looking forward to it. A mission that will immediately allow him to retire was something Lin Yi always dreamed about. Hmmm. It wouldn’t be a challenge if it was too easy.
“Pop!” A pockmark-faced man, who was sitting on the opposite side of Lin Yi, popped open a can of cola. The can’s ring was then inconsiderably discarded on the table.
His neighbor, who had a buzz-cut, nonchalantly picked up the ring and started fiddling with it. After a while, he suddenly exclaimed in surprise: “Wah! Wah! First prize!!”
Although Buzz-cut’s voice was not very loud, everyone inside the carriage heard it. They started to look at him.
Without a doubt, Pockmarked-face also heard it. When he saw that the award winning ring was in fact the ring that he has just discarded, he showed a weird expression: “Give it back, that is mine…..”
“How do you know that it is yours? Is your name written on it??” Buzz-cut clutched the ring tightly in his hands and exclaimed: “Or is your name First Prize??”
“No….My name is not First Prize…. But the award winning ring was discarded by me….” Pockmark-face cowered in fear when he saw Buzz-cut’s enraged face. But since he did not want to lose what was supposedly his, he reb.u.t.ted in a trembling voice.
“Well, according to you, the ring was discarded by you. Since you have discarded it, whoever picked it up after that should be the rightful owner,” Buzz-cut snorted in disdain.
“Eh, why are you so unreasonable?” Pockmark-face panicked, and looked at the man with the spectacles (going to call him spectacles from now), Lin Yi’s neighbor, who was sitting directly opposite him and asked, “Sir, you look like an intellectual person. Can you help access this situation? How can he be so unreasonable?”
“Who is being unreasonable?” Buzz-cut was now enraged and so he too faced Spectacles and exclaimed, “Sir, so who do think this should belong to?”
“Oh….” Spectacles adjusted his spectacles, paused for a while and said, “I am a university professor. Since both of you trust me, I will tell you my evaluation of the current situation.”
“Sure, please do!” Pockmark-face and Buzz-cut both agreed and started staring anxiously at the university professor, Spectacles.
“Logically, since it was his can’s ring, it should belong to him (Pockmark-face)….” Spectacles paused for a while. Pockmark-face started to laugh when he heard that. Buzz-cut panicked, but before he could say anything, Spectacles waved his hand and stopped him and continued, “But…..since he (Pockmark-face) discarded it, and it was picked up by him (Buzz-cut), rightfully it should now belong to him (Buzz-cut) …..”
“But you also mentioned that it should be mine,” complained Pockmark-face when he heard what Spectacles said.
“I feel that it will be best if both of you share the prize. Then it will be fair to both of you!” advised Spectacles.
“Share….” When Buzz-cut heard this, he hesitated for a moment, cringed and said: “Sure, let’s share it then.”
Buzz-cut must have realized that his stand was clearly tenable, so he accepted Spectacles advice. Pockmark-face nodded and agreed too. Since the ring was in Buzz-cut’s hand, he was worried that he would not get a single cent if he disagreed.
“Good. Since both parties agreed with me, then the prize will be shared equally,” Spectacles took the can from Pockmark-face and said: “As stated here, the First prize is 100k and after the 20% tax reduction there will be 80k left. Since the collection of the prize is a ha.s.sle, the one that is going to collect the prize should just pa.s.s 30k to the other party. Are both of you alright with this arrangement?”
“OK!” Pockmark-face was happy as long as he received some money, so he agreed, “I will take the 30k. You can go and claim the prize.”