I’m A Baller - Chapter 11
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
It was scorching hot in the afternoon. The business wasn’t doing so well, yet Wang Yan was unconcerned.
He sat down happily on the sofa in the air-conditioned guard’s room and browsed through the Habit Incubator leisurely.
[With every use, the host will acquire a good habit naturally. Number of times it has been used: 3/3]
The manual guide was as simple as before. In the remarks, it was written: [After selecting a desired course from the system, you may proceed to make simple customizations.]
Opening the tab, there were a plethora of options to choose from, including reading, exercising, speech, behavior, and life…
There were more than ten different categories, and within each category, there were still numerous subcategories.
Just when Wang Yan was about to scrutinize the different options, a Land Rover stopped along the roadside. The driver lowered the windows and shouted towards the guard’s room, “Are you selling watermelons here?”
“Yes, yes. These watermelons are a very special type!” Uncle Liu replied immediately, while Wang Yan rose from his seat and dashed out.
“Sir, are you buying these watermelons?”
The man probed his head out of the car. His beard was unshaven, and his expression was menacing, making him look a lot like Li Kui.
“How much does a watermelon cost? Are you sure it’s ripe?”
Wang Yan was stunned.
Why did this sound so familiar?
A sense of deja vu overwhelmed him…
Shaking his head, Wang Yan quickly dispersed his thoughts and used Aunty Wang as his new endorser…
“I assure you that it’s definitely ripe and sweet! Aunty Wang from Unit 66 just bought 20 of these melons!”
“Alright then. Get me one of these melons.”
“Sir, do you want one that’s slightly mushy or one that’s crunchy?”
Li Kui lowered his shades and asked with great interest, “Wow, you can even choose the inside of the watermelon?”
“Yep! There are two types!”
“Give me the mushy one then. One that’ll send shivers down my spine.”
Gosh, this was one chatty person…
Wang Yan swiftly went to choose a watermelon and weighed it before packing it and carrying it to the backseat of the Black Whirlwind’s car.
“Sir, it’s 15 and a half pounds. To round it off, that’ll be 280 dollars in total!”
“What? That’s so expensive! Are you overcharging me, or is this the standard price?” The Black Whirlwind was appalled.
“Oh, come on, of course, this is the standard price! You’ll understand once you’ve tried it! It’s really good!”
Wang Yan was a little anxious, but who could have known that the man would be rather quick to pay despite complaining about the price?
He pulled out three 100-yuan bills from his clutch bag decorated with an enormous Louis Vuitton print. “Keep the change. I’ll make sure that you’re put out of business if it doesn’t taste good!”
‘He’s really kind despite his menacing demeanor,’ Wang Yan thought.
Wang Yan watched as the 300 yuan was increased by seven times in the system, becoming an additional income of 2,100. Wang Yan waved his hand elatedly. “Sir, enjoy the watermelon and visit us again!”
Uncle Liu only spoke hesitantly after the Black Whirlwind drove off into the distance.
“Wang Yan, that man wasn’t joking, He’ll seriously smash your car into pieces if the melon doesn’t taste good.”
Wang Yan was shocked. “Are you serious?”
“That’s Brother Hu who rules the upper and lower regions of Xiawa. Half of the town was in a car accident because of him. Wrecking your car is nothing to him!”
Wang Yan didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when he heard Brother Hu’s name.
‘Is it fate that brought us to meet each other?
‘Well, now we’ll actually get to know each other…’
It was starting to get busier at five in the evening.
It was definitely big news to the residents living at the Xiangshanyuan villas to have a watermelon stall running at its doorsteps. For every three cars passing by, one would stop to ask about it.
Even though there might be some who were indifferent and some who were taken back by the prices, there were always a handful of people who were willing to buy despite the price.
Two to three hundred yuan to try something new was nothing much to the people of a higher social status that stayed there.
Wang Yan was kept busy until eight that night. Unable to repress his excitement, he closed his stall and brought the over 50 leftover watermelons home.
A total of 46 watermelons were sold in one day!
Although the amount didn’t sound like a lot, one had to take into account the unit price of each watermelon!
Twenty-six Blackhoney melons, 20 yuan for a pound, and each melon’s average weight was sixteen and a half pounds, meaning the total profit was 7,800 yuan.
Twenty Crispysweet melons, each at 30 yuan per pound, and each melon’s average weight was 17 pounds. The total amount sold was 4,800 yuan.
The revenue for the day was 12,600 yuan!
Seriously, if anyone had dared to tell Wang Yan that a day of selling melons would rake in a profit of ten thousand yuan, he would have definitely spat in the person’s face.
Did they think that those people had never eaten watermelons before?
But now, Wang Yan believed it.
Not only did he believe it, but he was also extremely skeptical about what the rich ate for their daily meals. Were they eating what people imagined them to eat?
Could it be that the items had the same name, but in fact, they were different things?
‘Forget it, I won’t think about it anymore. Won’t I know one day after experiencing it for myself?
‘With the system around, anything is possible!
‘Therefore, my priority right now should be advancing the system’s levels!’
Subtracting the transport fees that would be paid to Uncle Liu, there was a profit of 11,000 yuan for the day. ‘I just need to find an ATM so I can deposit the money. It’s a done deal!’
The most important thing wasn’t the cash.
Wang Yan was unable to calculate the exact number of rewards that he had received for the day. Just looking at the salary that was tallied in the system, there was 117,600 yuan in total!
That was excluding the 11,000 yuan in his bank account.
Wang Yan had already spent 30 thousand yuan that afternoon to activate the Habit Incubator and upgrade the system to the third level.
To upgrade from the third to the fourth level, it would require 90,000 EXP, and the amount of money Wang Yan had was more than enough!
‘What am I waiting for?
‘I should think of ways to spend it!’
Immediately, Wang Yan logged on to Jingdong and searched for air conditioners.
‘The weather now is scorching hot, so this is the perfect time to buy an air conditioner for my parents! This is my hard-earned money from selling those watermelons, perfectly legal! I’ll buy it!
‘Not only will I buy it, but I’ll also buy the best one!’
Wang Yan didn’t know much about air conditioners, so he had his eyes set on those with higher prices compared to the rest.
Air conditioners were vastly different from phones. At that time, there weren’t many locally-produced phones that were doing exceptionally well, thus Apple products were the best, whereas locally made air conditioners were all of good quality. ‘I should definitely support local businesses!’
In the end, he chose a large standing set that was highly efficient and cost 8,999 yuan.
Since his house had one floor, having a mounted air-conditioner wasn’t very ideal. Having a large standing set in the living room would solve the problem of spreading the cold air to two rooms, which was nice.
Wang Yan couldn’t stop giggling to himself just imagining how surprised his parents would be upon seeing the air conditioner.
He immediately booked an appointment to have it installed the day after the next. The newly-established rich man turned to look at laptops.
A laptop was definitely a necessity for attending university!
Wang Yan didn’t even hesitate for a second before buying an Alienware 15 online.
As an avid gamer, Wang Yan hadn’t played for around a year because of the national college entrance exam. However, his interest in this particular gaming laptop model, which was of top-notch quality, increased gradually as the days passed by.
At the start of the year when Alienware revamped their 15-inch laptop, how many gamers had been excited to tell one another about it?
The thickness of the laptop was like never before, controlled at 1.3 inches. The weight of it was 8.5 pounds, the CPU was Core i7, and it had dual graphics, IPS anti-glare screen, and a carbon fiber exterior. And this version only cost 48,888!
Was there still a need to think about it?
He would buy it!
If he added a Logitech optical gaming mouse, the total amounted to 50 thousand yuan.
Wang Yan didn’t know how to spend the remaining 30 thousand yuan. The days were so hectic and exhausting that he’d never actually considered how to spend the money. Hence, he was a little overwhelmed at the moment.
Actually, he needed to buy a few sets of clothes urgently. However, Wang Yan didn’t have time to go to the mall to try things on, and buying clothes online was troublesome and unreliable.
In a hurry, he was suddenly reminded of Brother Hu’s leather Louis Vuitton bag. It rang a bell in his mind, and Wang Yan decided, “Okay, I’ll buy an authentic Louis Vuitton bag!”
Wang Yan had overheard his classmates discussing how Louis Vuitton’s luggage was extremely good quality, much better than their clothing.
If he was going to an overseas university, luggage was a necessity that needed to be prepared beforehand.
Browsing through the official website, Wang Yan was immediately mesmerized by the design of the KEEPALL50 duffel bag. The blue and black mosaic design was cool and trendy, but it wasn’t too outrageous.
‘That’s only 18,000 yuan?
‘I’m getting it.’
He was still short by ten thousand experience points. Wang Yan was enticed by another four-wheel suitcase that was part of the MON DAMIER GRAPHITE series. Around two and a half feet in length, it was extremely beautiful, perfect for him to bring to school.
However, it cost an exorbitant 30,000 yuan.
It wasn’t the price that bothered him but rather the fact that the extra experience points would be wasted!
‘That’s going to be a waste!
‘I’ll put it on my list and purchase it next time.’
Carefully calculating his experience points, Wang Yan purchased another AVENUE sling bag in the same design as the duffel bag.
Soon after he confirmed the orders, the level of the system was increased once again.
[System level: 4]
[Every breath will generate a cash reward of 3 yuan.]
[Whenever you eat something delicious, there will be a 3% chance of unlocking a secret reward associated with food.]
[Whenever you are enjoying a drink, there will be a 2% chance of unlocking a secret reward related to drinks.]
[When you are gaming, there will be a one percent chance of unlocking a secret reward related to games.]
[Experience points: 0/270,000]
‘If I earn eight yuan every minute, that would be 11,520 yuan every day! I’d be living from hand to mouth, but that’s still manageable.’
The new attributes were in terms of gaming rewards. The chances of winning them were still fairly low, hence they were of little use at that moment.
The probability of earning gourmet rewards was quite high, but it was a pity that Wang Yan was too busy to enjoy delicacies.
‘I’ll just bear with it for a few days. That’s no big deal.
‘Once I’m done with everything, I’ll have a few million yuan in the bank. By that time, I’ll be doing whatever I please!
‘The system’s reward mechanism is so interesting…
‘Eating, drinking, and playing; is the next one enjoyment?
‘What kind of enjoyment would it be?’
Wang Yan couldn’t make any guesses, but he was in no hurry. It wouldn’t be difficult to upgrade to the next level, as he would only need to acquire 270,000 EXP.
He was focusing on what was to come and, at the same time, looking forward to new experiences.
He had 27,000 yuan left in the system and 11,100 yuan in his bank account. There was still a huge difference in regards to EXP. Wang Yan didn’t want to spend any more money in the meantime.
He closed Louis Vuitton’s official website and turned his attention to the Habit Incubator.
All adults should have known the power of habits.
Beneficial habits had the ability to change a person’s character.
However, the most difficult part would be to build them.
Everyone knew that keeping a fixed exercise routine could help in keeping one’s mental and physical health in good condition, but how many people could do that?
Everyone was aware that having a regular sleep cycle would be beneficial to the body, and reading different books could vastly increase knowledge and improve demeanor. However, how many people would be able to diligently do these things?
If they were unable to follow through, then it was of no use!
The power of the Habit Incubator laid in enforcement, causing a habit to become instinctual. It didn’t require determination. In fact, it cultivated determination.
Wang Yan exclaimed in awe after he finally understood the true value of the Habit Incubator.
‘Wow, if I had this ten years ago, I would be a legend!
‘Actually, that’s alright. It’s not too late now.
‘I should choose wisely between the three good habits that are given.’
For the first habit, Wang Yan had chosen the reading category. He made some minor customizations and finally confirmed the inputs: study for two hours daily.
Whether it was textbook knowledge or knowledge from other places, both required reading.
Wang Yan suddenly felt a thirst from deep within his soul to learn as he watched the usage count show “2/3.”
He found a book online called “The Fundamentals of Accounting,” and once he started reading, he became addicted to it.
Two hours passed by quickly. When he was done with the book, Wang Yan was in shock.
“F*ck! That’s really efficient!”
He had spent merely two hours and finished reading 46 pages of a mundane and technical textbook.
The intense concentration that elevated his comprehension skills and the fun he had stimulating his brain were things Wang Yan had never experienced in his life.
He used to force himself to study, but right then, he was enjoying the process of studying, which was the biggest difference.
If Wang Yan were to compute his efforts for the past two hours, he would think that his ability to study had increased by at least 200 percent.
“F*ck! The time I set for studying is too little…”
Wang Yan felt an immense loss regarding this.
If he had set 12 hours of studying for each day, he would become a genius in no time.
‘If I were to study for 12 hours every day, when would I be able to enjoy myself?’
After a change of heart, Wang Yan was no longer dissatisfied.
If there was a limit to hard work, based on his mediocre talent, putting in effort for another hundred years would pale in comparison to the natural genius of a 20-year-old Terence Tao. He was better off a master of gaming instead.
Wang Yan was clearly aware of his character and pursuits in life, hence he never aimed to become a genius.
Two hours spent on reading every day could satisfy his basic needs. A small but steady increase in knowledge while cultivating his disposition was perfect.
It would be miserable if he was busy to the point where there was no time for other activities. Going beyond his limit was definitely as bad as falling short.
For the second and third habit, Wang Yan was extra careful. He thought long and hard about it. In the end, he decided to just leave it for later.
There were only two more tries left, and the results were surprisingly good. Thus, Wang Yan didn’t want to waste them.
From that day onward, he would spend some time each day studying the courses in the system. He would then pick one based on practicality after taking everything into consideration.
It would be perfect!
While humming “I love bathing because it makes my skin soft,” Wang Yan looked forward to the next day. He gulped down two cans of beer and went to bed early again.
When he opened his eyes again, it was the 29th of July.
From that day on, Wang Yan’s business was finally on the right track.
Only eight melons were sold in the morning. Wang Yan thought the sales would be similar to the day before, but oddly, all the melons were sold out.
A chauffeur driving a Mercedes, a nanny driving an Audi A6L, and a housekeeper driving a small Volkswagen Polo… All of them bought two at once, one each of the mushy and crunchy type.
It was barely 6.30 in the evening, and all 51 watermelons were sold out.
The previous day, two watermelons were cut open to be used for promotion. That day, one was eaten with the security guards, leaving a total of 51, and all of them were sold.
Wang Yan was stunned.
What had happened?
Brother Hu, who was late and didn’t get to buy any, was disappointed. He explained to Wang Yan the reason his melons were selling out.
“Everyone at home said that the watermelons were very delicious. All sixteen and a half pounds were eaten yesterday night, causing us to skip dinner. Late in the night, they all ended up hungry… Brother, are there really none left?”
“There are really none left.”
Wang Yan forced a smile and nodded. “There are two slices left in the guard’s post. Would you like one to quench your thirst?”
Wang Yan was just being polite, but Brother Hu didn’t understand. “Give them all to me!”
Brother Hu took out 1,000 yuan as he squatted along the side of the road to eat the melon.
“Save two for me tomorrow, one of each kind. Here’s a deposit for you!”
He threw the melon skin on the ground and left. It was Wang Yan who picked it up to throw it in the trash bin.
Evidently, the new cunning businessman wasn’t that cunning after all. He had underestimated the purchasing power of the tycoons living in the Xiangshanyuan Villas.
If the item was good enough, would 300 yuan be considered expensive?
Honestly, if the residents went to Japan, they would willingly pay 200 yuan for one pound of watermelon.
That year’s summer was so hot, while Wang Yan’s watermelon was sweet, thirst-quenching, and smelled good. Was it not the perfect food to cool down with?
The day before, the customers were buying to try out the watermelons, but the next day, they were all returning customers!
Happiness came so suddenly that Wang Yan felt uncomfortable when leaving…
For 51 melons, after deducting the delivery fee for Uncle Liu, he was left with 12,500 yuan.
Regarding the amount in the system… it was a total of 175,800 yuan!
‘The leftovers from yesterday combined with today’s profit and the cash rewards I’ve gained from breathing have made me rich overnight!’
At first, Wang Yan thought that the cash reward given by the system for each breath would be his main source of income. He wouldn’t have expected that his business would cause him to become a tycoon when he earned a few cents simply from breathing…
Did that make any sense?
He drove to Mr. Wu to buy another 200 boxes lined with sponge strips. A hundred were left in the warehouse, and 100 were loaded into the truck. Wang Yan felt dizzy while driving home.
‘Come on, let’s start spending!’
Visiting Louis Vuitton’s official website again, he was ready to spend an exorbitant amount on luggage.
Thirty thousand was spent, and in exchange, the EXP increased to 31,250/270,000.
‘All of the items look good. Let’s continue!’
Wang Yan looked exactly like a small mogul when splurging his money. Once he had his mind set on spending money, he was just selecting items based on appearance.
A rich man’s happiness was a conscious decision!
He bought another Sac Plat handbag in pure white. It was pretty but a little too feminine, so he bought another small Discovery messenger bag to neutralize it.
Wallets and card pouches were necessities. The Champs-Elysées card pouch looked very attractive. Wang Yan, the country bumpkin, felt like he had never seen such exquisite leather goods. Thus, he added the item to his cart right away.
When he was choosing a wallet, he was rather disappointed. He casually chose one from the Brazza brand with a red lining. It looked rather classy.
One, two, three, four, five, six, and seven. There was a total of seven items, and the total amount was no less than 85,000 yuan.
Wang Yan felt like he was losing it. He had spent 85,000 yuan and he said it was “only” 85,000…
As he was going to continue browsing for clothes, a phone call came and stopped him from continuing to be cocky.
As for the call, it wasn’t to deliver money but to deliver goods. A new phone and pants had been delivered.
Wang Yan went out of the house to collect the package that he couldn’t wait to unbox. It contained what he had always wanted—an iPhone 6.
As a poor student, Wang Yan had always kept his phone in his pocket. Thus, the size of the iPhone 6 would be better, because the iPhone 6 Plus wouldn’t be able to fit.
His reason for choosing the iPhone 6 over an iPhone 6 Plus clearly showed that Wang Yan was still quite far away from being considered a real millionaire.
Large-screened phones would definitely be the future trend for playing games, watching movies, and messaging. A 4.7-inch iPhone 6 would be a little small.
He immediately inserted his SIM card into the iPhone 6 and couldn’t wait to start using it. However, he still couldn’t quite get used to it.
He had always used a locally-made android. Therefore, suddenly changing to IOS was awkward in every sense.
But after growing used to it, he could feel the excitement of using an Apple product.
Apart from the price, the speed was fast, holding it was comfortable, and the exterior was aesthetic.
Even in this industrial city, a large fraction of his classmates were still unable to afford an Apple phone.
Having an iPhone in hand while going out for a walk would definitely catch him some eyes, would it not?
Unfortunately, his happiness didn’t last long. As he looked at his bank card balance, and then at the cash rewards he had received while breathing, he instantly felt less excited.
The money came too easily, and the threshold increased too fast. The phone he wanted three days ago was now not worth mentioning.
‘Sigh, being a tycoon is really tough…
‘How do I get rid of this feeling of misery?
‘Only by reading books.’
As he was preparing to leave the house, his classmate, Zhang Yin, called to ask him out for barbeque. Wang Yan rejected him right away.
“I can’t. I need to make a trip to the bookshop to purchase some books.”
“F*ck!” Zhang Yin screamed out loud. “Wang Yan, are you crazy? It wasn’t easy to finish exams. Why aren’t you having fun? Why are you reading books now?”
“You peasant, why can’t you understand the joy of reading?”
Even though Wang Yan sounded like he was joking, he was actually serious.
Ever since he had set his study regime, Wang Yan genuinely liked to read. He found it an enriching and enjoyable two hours.
He didn’t care about how other people were wasting their time. He, Wang Yan, had decided to become a charming prince and a tycoon that was knowledgeable and loved life!
After hanging up on Zhang Yin, many others called to urge him to go. They hadn’t seen Wang Yan in quite some time, so they were really enthusiastic about him attending the gathering.
Wang Yan wanted to go, too. He had a new phone and new pants. How could he not show them off?
The pair of pants had cost 183 yuan and were super comfortable. Moreover, his style for that day was based on a white theme, extremely stylish!
But the problem was that buying the books required at least an hour, and he still had to return home to study for two hours. That didn’t leave much spare time…
After listing why he couldn’t go and rejecting all the invitations, Wang Yan set off excitedly.
The thought of having books to read made him happier than having skewers to eat. There must have been something wrong with him.
Indeed, there was, and it was quite a big problem.
Arrogant Wang Yan left his house and took a cab to the Zhongyu bookstore in the Shangwa area.
A gust of cold air blew at him as he entered the bookstore. Looking at the variety of books available, his restlessness began to fade away. He methodically started flipping through books.
Wang Yan made it into Xing Cheng Normal University, but his course wasn’t the university’s specialty.
It was an overly popular economics major.
The goal he set for himself was to land a job as a civil servant right after graduating from university. There were still many posts suitable for an economics student. Furthermore, the grassroots required officers that were equipped with knowledge of the economy.
Who knew, he might get lucky and end up actually becoming an officer. Then, he would really have succeeded.
To kids in poorer households, this route was economical, with low costs and a high yield, which was preferable.
Now, Wang Yan would definitely not aim to be a civil servant. However, since he had already signed up for the economics major, he would take up more professional modules. They might still be useful to him in the future.
He found the book list that was available online and started collecting the books.
Paul Samuelson’s “Economics” was a must-read. However, the school wouldn’t be giving out these materials. Hence, he needed to buy them.
Mankiw’s “Principles of Economics” was another must-have. It was meant to be read in conjunction with the previous book. These two books together could help him build a strong economic foundation.
Next, he would be learning about micro and macroeconomics, followed by econometrics, and then monetary economics.
When learning about the four categories of economics, there was a need to master Game Theory and math as well.
Once all of the above was finished, it would be time to graduate from university.
When one really understood economics, doing a postgraduate thesis would post no problems at all.
As Wang Yan tried to locate the books, he accidentally found “The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve,” and he was elated.
Netizens online had highly recommended that book. It was rumored that the author had accurately predicted the economic crisis in 2008. The judgments that he made in his book were proven true, one after another. In the revised edition after 2008, he reorganized his deduction process and put forth new predictions.
The book was extremely interesting, as the author was able to incorporate technical knowledge into his stories. As a result, it was a bestseller for over ten years, suitable for everyone to read.
Wang Yan picked up the book, which was as thick as a dictionary, and felt that it could last him a month, so he stopped being greedy and took the other books to the register.
“Economics,””Foundation of Economics,””Game Theory,””Macroeconomics: A Modern Approach,””The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve,” and “Decoding Luxe.” These six books cost 526 yuan in total.
The last book was bought due to Wang Yan’s own insecurity.
Acquiring sudden riches and abruptly becoming even richer, but not knowing how to spend his wealth, put him in an awkward situation.
It was always about life-long learning.
If he didn’t know how to spend, he would learn!
There was also no need to be an expert. He just needed to know how to match items and when things were aesthetically pleasing.
What was the point of spending a hundred thousand yuan on clothing if he looked like a poser? That would be more embarrassing than wearing cheap clothing.
‘I want to become a whale in gaming!
‘That sounds awkward somehow…
‘I don’t care anymore. Time to head home to read books!’